Sunday, 8 November 2009

Battle on Endor - FWC Skirmish

I recently worked up some trial skirmish lists for the Wizkidz range of pre-painted 28mm Star Wars Miniatures - Rebel Alliance and Imperial Forces so that I could have a bash at FWC's skirmish rules.

The following is a quick AAR of the game played earlier this weekend with my son and one of his school mates.

Rebel Forces
CO Princess Leia CV9
2x Rebel Troopers

HQ Han Solo CV9
2x Rebel Troopers

HQ Chewbacca CV8
2x Rebel Troopers
1x Dressalian Sniper
C3PO and R2-D2

Rebel Forces Objective -
destroy the Bunker housing the Death Star Force Field Generator

Imperial Forces
CO Imperial Officer CV8
2x Stormtrooper
1x Scout Trooper

HQ Stormtrooper Officer CV7
3x Stormtrooper

HQ Stormtrooper Officer
1x Heavy Weapons Stormtrooper
1x Heavy Weapons Assistant
1x Stormtrooper

AT-ST Scout Walker and 2 Crew (CV7)

The Rebel Forces deployed using mobile deployment however Han Solo clearly got lost somewhere in the forest and didn't arrive on time! Luckily the rebel incursion went un-noticed by the Imperial Forces and Chewbacca and Leia were able to take up firing positions surrounding the bunker.

Han eventually arrived but seemeed to be having some issues in moving into position. Chewbacca ordered C3PO and R2D2 into the open ground in front of the bunker hoping to draw the enemies fire which would allow the Dressalian Sniper to take out the two Stormtroopers guarding the entrance.

Imperial Forces began to make their way towards the bunker to meet the Rebel Incursion and some accurate fire from the Dressalian Sniper forced the Scout Walkers crew to baton the hatches.

A firefight broke out near the bunker between the Stormtrooper guards and the Rebel Commandoes led by Leia and Chewbacca. Han Solo's command arrives just in time to take up a flanking position on the bunker.

The Scoutwalker (with batoned down hatches) gained some ground and picked off a solitary rebel commando making a break for cover. The stormtroopers at the bunker found themselves pinned by the weight of fire incoming.

With more Imperial Forces arriving and the Scoutwalker pinned by Rebel Small Arms fire Leia makes a dash for the command bunker which R2 and C3PO have managed to gain entry to. Leia is cut down in hand combat by the Imperial Officer sending the Rebel Forces into panic!

Chewbacca bursts from cover hoping ti take the bunker whilst Han trades fire with Imperial forces and he meets the same fate a Leia being hit from all directions by small arms fire and the heavy lasers of the Scout Walker. Han finds himself surrounded and pinned down forcing him to surrender.

The Rebel Fleet assaulting the Death Star is in for a nasty surprise.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Another Bug Hunt - FWC Scenario

A USCM Detatchment has been allocated a 'sweep and clear mission' of a remote run down mining colony on the planet of XQ 718.

A previous mission to the colony has not been heard from since deploying a week earlier. Nothing has been heard from the colonists for over a month.

Mission Goal
Sweep and secure the colony and establish a comlink from the main terminal building

Colonial Marine Detachment
CO (CV10)Bishop
3x Colonial Marine Squads

HQ (CV8)Lt Gorman
2x M577A2 APC
4x Colonial Marine Squads
2x M240 Incinerator Unit upgrades

HQ (CV9)Sgt Apone & Ripley as technical advisor)
1x M577A2 APC
5 x Colonial Marine Squads

2x Recce Squads

HQ (CV9) Predator
2x Predator Squads

Alien Colony
CO (CV12)
5x Facehugger
12x Alien Juvenile
10x Alien Adult
2x Alien Retinue
3x Ancient Alien
3x Ambushes and hidden deployment set up.

Early game turns
The Marine detachment advances towards the outskirts of the colony with Lt Gorman in the vanguard. Sgt Apone heads off across toward the left flank taking up covering fire positions, whilst the CO heads for the rocky outcrops on the right flank.

The Predator command stays in the rear. Maybe they sense something the Marines clearly cant yet see.

'First contact' is made when the recce unit on the right flank springs an alien ambush.

Lt Gorman's vanguard heading toward the outpost.

The Aliens creep forward under hidden deployment to take up positions in the foremost buidlings of the colony hoping to spring a large scale assault on Sgt Apone's command but are rumbled when Apone's sensors detect the movement.

Lt Gorman, now in full panic mode orders a brave but foolhardy flanking deployment which although capturing the aliens in the open and being fired upon from the flank, leaves his own command dangerously exposed.

The full firepower of the colonial marines starts to take its gory toll as aliens left, right and centre 'get some'. Despite this onslaught more aliens appear and they immediately swamp Lt Gormans vanguard to devastating effect. Gorman panics and heads for safety leaving his command leaderless. They will have to rely on their own initiative to get them out of this one.

Apone's squads also come under a devastating assault as more and more aliens appear to replace their mounting losses. Savage hand to hand combat breaks out and soon Apone, Ripley and Newt are the only survivors as Cpl Hicks lays down what suppressing fire he can.

With Gorman retreating and Apone dangerously exposed, the CO orders a general withdrawal. If they can withdraw in reasonable order maybe this will draw the aliens into the open where 'marine firepower' can take care of the rest? The Predator commander 'blunders' and his command decides 'discretion is the better part of valour' and heads for safety too.

The aliens choose not to pursue and begin to withdraw to the safety of cover and the battle ends.

The aliens had lost over half their starting forces and the Marines were 1 stand from their breakpoint.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Colonial Marine and Aliens Photos

These figures are Pendraken's 10mm range and were the inspiration around my efforts to create FWC lists.

Aliens v Marines in FWC

ALIEN… in space no-one can hear you scream!

Matching FWC Army Lists Based on the Cult Sci-fi Films.

Having seen Nik Harwood’s wonderful Alien/Colonial Marine FWC Armies and being a long-time fan of the Alien films, I set out on creating two matching army lists for the main protagonists of the Aliens films based on Pete’s FWC system.

Army List Planning
Translating the film Alien we have become familiar with into a workable FWC Army list presented a number of issues:

1. How would I represent an alien colony similar to that of the films that relied heavily on stealth and speed (as well as fear) to close with an enemy bristling with firepower?

2. I didn’t like the idea of ‘acid blood’ as a potential ranged weapon. Every army list in FWC contains a ranged fire combat and to leave out such an attribute could potentially leave a non-firepower based army at a severe disadvantage.

3. How would I develop ‘different’ army lists that didn’t require the use of creating wholesale rule changes or additions that would potentially overcomplicate the simplicity of the FWC system? ‘As is’ FWC works really well. Why change a system that isn’t broke?

4. Incinerator units feature heavily in Alien, Aliens and Aliens 3, however In FWC flame weapons are typically attributed to armour and not infantry. How would I incorporate ‘incinerator units’ into the Colonial Marine list without tipping the balance further in favour of the Marines? Early play-testing revealed this weapon to be far too powerful.

5. How would I incorporate many of the film characters – Ripley, Cpl Hicks, Bishop, Burke etc.

6. How would I incorporate the Predator figures from Pendraken into any list I created? Any AVP fan knows the history of these fearsome warriors.

Trawling through the army lists in FWC I went with Nik H’s ideas of the Bug Colony list and the Colonial Union Defence Force as starting points for the new lists.

Converting the Bug Colony to ALIEN HOST
Although the Bug Colony list was my start point there was a lot about the list that I felt didn’t quite represent the Aliens as we have all come to know, love and fear as depicted in the films. The most obvious issue was that the original list presented too many troop types.

Mulling over memories of the films I decided that there need only be four troop types;

• Face-huggers
• Alien Juveniles
• Alien Adults
• The Alien Queen

Pendraken Miniatures 10mm range had all I needed as well as one or two others – namely Egg Clusters/Chest bursters and a pack containing 8 medium alien creatures that closely resembled the later Aliens of Alien Resurrection. With these additional miniatures in mind I decided upon a fifth troop type, Alien Retinue as a particularly tough troop type limited in numbers.

The Egg Cluster pack from Pendraken comes with human victims. I modelled the Queen bases with Egg clusters to add to the look of the base and modelled the ‘victims’ along with some spare face-huggers as ‘Infested’ stands. More on this one later.

For Special Rules I chose to stick largely with the original Colony theme (with only minor changes as highlighted with*):

• Swarm tactical doctrine/advanced tech level
• Air Superiority – enemy always has full Air Superiority
• All units have the Tunneler Ability *(1)
• All units do not incur the command penalty of assaulting enemy units *(2)

*(1) Only Warrior Units have the Tunneler Ability in the Colony list
*(2) Only Warrior Units do not incur the assault command penalty in the Colony list

The following Colony units were used as baseline stats in translating the equivalent Host Units:

• Warrior TG772 = Facehugger
• Warrior GS772 = Alien Juvenile
• Warrior LT825 = Alien Adult
• Warrior LT825 = Alien Retinue
• Warrior HS109 = Alien Queen

Ranged combat stats were removed from all listings.

Facehugger stands were given a new ability rule INFESTATION, whereby if an enemy infantry unit is knocked out in close combat by a Facehugger its stand is replaced with an Egg Cluster/Chest Burster stand. In the next Alien initiative phase the Marine stand is replaced with a facehugger stand.

Alien Adult and Retinue stands hits stat lines were modified upwards and the Queen Stands Assault stats were modified downwards.
Converting the CUDF to Colonial Marines
For Special Rules I chose to stick entirely with the original CUDF theme.

• Normal Tactical Doctrine and Contemporary Tech Level
• Air Superiority: +2 modifier to die roll
• Any command unit can request air support at a -1 modifier

The combat elements were far simpler to replicate in terms of the initial starting point. The following CUDF units were directly translated as:

• Command Stands = Retained the CO & HQ as CV9 and 8 respectively
• Recce (S9 Survey Team) = Colonial Scouts
• CU Defence Team = Colonial Marines* (1)
• IFV Unit (CU-731A) = M577 APC
• Dropship Unit (Eagle Transporter) = UD-4H Dropship

*(1) Each Marine stand was also equipped with an ‘Incinerator Unit’ (Flamethrower)

In addition to these stats I had a number of units I wished to create to replicate other Pendraken Miniatures I had in my collection. I trawled the various army lists in CWC and created the following additional units:

• FAO = There is no FAO within the CUDF force so a CV8 unit was added
• Tank Unit (M22 Jackson)
• Artillery Unit (M292A SPG) including an ‘off table’ option

Introducing Predators as a troop type
Pendraken also produce a pack of 10 Predator miniatures. I created two bases of four figures and a single stand of two figures to represent an independent command stand.

The main design elements I wished to create for my Predators was an ability to survive against Alien Numbers and an Ability to take on the Aliens in a stand up fight.

The following abilities appeared to give the Predators a bit of an edge:

• Teleport
• Adaptive Camouflage
• Stealth

Early Play Testing
In early play-testing I chose balanced forces of equal points in straightforward meeting engagements. I deliberately placed lots of cover on the table to cut down lines of fire as I fully expected the Aliens to get cut to ribbons on the way in.

Interestingly I have made very little change to the ALIEN HOST; it is the Colonial Marine list that I have had to tinker with the most.

• Marine firepower was a lot weaker than I anticipated with the exception of incinerator units which were ridiculously powerful
• The Alien Host Tunneler Ability was way too effective
• Vehicle’s were incredibly vulnerable in close combat
• The Alien Queen stands were way too powerful
• Predator Teleport Technology also seemed far too potent and clashed too much with Stealth Technology

Patience is a virtue so they say, sadly its not one of my better known qualities. The four or five play tests I had run were such one sided affairs that other projects took precedence in terms of wargaming.

Old passions rediscovered
Several months and one or two completed wargaming projects down the line, I decided to re-visit my earlier efforts as a prelude to deciding whether to ‘Evil-bay’ said miniatures. I am glad I did this as I think I am now at a point where the new lists feel both playable and aesthetically right. I am even considering a more robust and thorough play-test in December at a local sci-fi gaming show.

I dug out a long forgotten spotters guide, Lee Brimmicombe-Wood’s ‘Colonial Marines Technical Manual’ (Boxtree Ltd, ISBN 0-7522-0844-6) and the rest is history, hopefully.

List modifications – Colonial Marines (Oct 2009)

• Created optional CO and HQ units to reflect film-specific characters such as Bishop, Ripley, Burke, Gorman etc
• Up-rated several Attack ratings of the Marine elements taking into account the deployment of M56 Smart Guns at squad level and the M41A1 Pulse Rifle with under-slung grenade launcher
• Made Incinerator Units (M240 Flamethrower) a limited numbers upgrade and reduced their range and attacks dramatically
• Developed two versions of the M577 APC including the M577A2 with plasma weapons
• Introduced the M22 Jackson Medium Tank and the M292A2 Self Propelled Gun
• Seriously upgraded the UD-4H Dropship to reflect its role as dual purpose dropship/gunship role
• Changed the Recce Units Planetary Surveyors to ‘Motion Trackers’
• Gave Command Stands and M577 model APC’s an option to incorporate Motion Trackers as upgrades
• Introduced stats for the UA 571-C Remote Sentry Weapons System
• Removed Predator Units Teleport technology

List modifications – Alien Host (Oct 2009)

• Removed the Tunneler Ability from the list
• Downgraded the Alien Queen to a new troop type Ancient Alien
• Upgraded the Facehugger assault factor
• Introduced Stealth Technology
• Gave all units the Stubborn ability

Subsequent play-testing (v1.6)
The latest play-test certainly gave a more balanced game with the Aliens quite rightly being cut down in swathes during the initial moves to contact. Once the Aliens got into close combat both sides fared much better with many encounters not necessarily going the predictable route of an alien whitewash.

The M577A2’s plasma weapon came into its own suppressing stands close to the impact area and generally the Marines fared much better in what was essentially a ‘stand-up’ fight coming close to, but not exceeding their breakpoint having beaten off the alien onslaught.

The next play-test will introduce hidden deployment and ambush to test the Motion Tracker theory

Paul Martin
(aka Nosher)
October 2009.

Friday, 3 July 2009

BKC Scenario - Early Eastern Front 1941

Counter Assault on Route-Gelbe

"We have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down"
—Adolf Hitler

The second stage of Germany’s assault on the Soviet Union (Operation Typhoon) and the drive to Moscow, began on October 2.

The early stages of the Operation took the Russians completely by surprise and within two weeks the combined assaults of the German 2nd, 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies had encircled a total of eight Soviet Armies.

Moscow's first line of defence had been shattered. The pocket yielded 663,000 Soviet prisoners, bringing the tally since the start of the invasion to three million Soviet soldiers captured. The Soviets had only 90,000 men and 150 tanks left for the defense of Moscow.

On 13 October the 3rd Panzer Army penetrated to within 90 miles of the capital. Almost from the beginning of Operation Typhoon the weather had deteriorated. Temperatures fell and the continual rainfall turned the unpaved road network into mud-bath steadily slowing the German advance to as little as 2 miles a day. The supply situation rapidly deteriorated and on 31 October the Germany Army High Command ordered a halt to Operation Typhoon while the armies were re-organized.

The battlefield from the German deployment zone. In the foreground (left), the crossroads/rail junction, foreground (right) Hill 109, centre (left) village and working farm including bridge, centre (right) second bridge Route Gelbe, rear (left) Russian Infantry Battalion deployment zone, rear (right) Russian Armoured Column deployment zone.

The scenario
Red Counter-assault on Route Gelbe is a scenario based on the fighting on Moscow’s doorstep as (not for the first time in history) Russian resistance stiffens in front of the capital.

Advance recce elements of 3rd Panzer Army have raced forward to a small Russian working farm and have secured one of two crossings over a major river tributary. As night falls on the 12th October, a Russian infantry battalion under the command of a motivated young Major (+1 CV) carries out a series of aggressive fighting patrols that isolate the German recce unit.

As dawn approaches on the 13th another counter assault by the Russians has caught 3rd Panzer Army off balance and whilst this attack is being dealt with a small armoured Kampfgruppe has been despatched to relieve the recce company and secure the bridgehead.

On their way to the battle the column has been ambushed resulting in the death of the German CO. His 2ic has taken command (-1 CV) but is inexperienced having just arrived at the front as a battle casualty replacement. Continual rainfall has reduced the road system to a quagmire (-1 Command to all armoured/transport units moving off-road).
Overnight the Russian Infantry Battalion has been reinforced by armoured support and two batteries of artillery. It is now a straightforward rush for the bridges.

Advance elements
3rd Panzer Army

German Recce Forces - deploys on table near the bridge on the left of the table as it is looked at in the first photograph
3x Infantry
1x MG
1x 28mm ATG
1x Stuka

3x Infantry
1x 28mm ATG

Trenches x10

Kampfgruppe ‘Rotschwein’
Deploys using mobile deployment in turn one
CO (2ic) CV9
3x 37mm ATG
3x Horse Transport
2x MG
1x Mortar
2x Infantry

4x PzIII Short 50mm
2x Sdkfz 251
2x Infantry

2x STUG III Short
5x Infantry

German BP17

Russian Infantry Company
Deploys at the farm above the bridge leftmost in the picture
1x Recce BA6 A/C
6x Infantry

6x Infantry

2x MG
2x Mortar
3x 152mm Artillery

3x Artillery HE
3x Artillery Smoke

Russian Armoured Column –
Deploys using mobile deployment in turn one
2x MG
1x Mortar
3x Truck
3x 122mm Artillery

1x Recce BA6 a/c
3x T34/76
3x Infantry

3x T34/76
3x Infantry

2x KV-1e

6x Artillery HE
6x Artillery Smoke

Russian BP18

The game lasts for twelve turns and the objectives for both sides is to secure the river crossings for a counter attack.

Turns 1 & 2
In the early morning mist, the Russian infantry battalion deploys its support company in light woods and begins its advance on the German forward positions near the working farm bridge. Advance elements of the armoured support make some headway down the muddy road towards the second bridge.

The German Recce platoon calls in the support of a Stuka to break up the infantry assault and it is promptly shot down! The German relief column fans out from its entry point in the west but the muddy fields and roads severely hamper their progress.

Pre-registered smoke assets from the two Russian batteries mask both advance routes leaving the German forward positions blind. The Russian infantry battalion continues to make good progress, but the armour support stalls as it tries to make its way up the road.

The German column continues to make hard work of its advance with the horse drawn anti-tank platoon particularly struggling.

A Stuka bites the dust!

Turns 3 & 4
The Russian artillery battery supporting the armoured support continues to put down smoke ahead of the advance whilst the battery supporting the infantry pounds the advance positions of the German Recce platoon.

The initial probe across the bridge by the Russian infantry is met with a hail of fire and casualties are taken stalling the attack. The Russian armour fares no better again failing to make much progress down the road to the second bridge, however the Russian CO does manage to get his support company to the bridge along with an FAO.

The German relief column blunders twice – fortunately no enemy is in sight so the troops remain in position rather than charging headlong forward. The CO manages to finally deploy his anti-tank platoon at the cross roads/rail junction – not as far forward as he would have liked, but still better than failing to move at all.

Another pre-registered Russian HE strike on Hill 109 fails to cause casualties falling neatly between the armour and deployed infantry but the 152mm Battery fares much better being called down with devastating accuracy on the working farm suppressing all of its occupants. The Russian infantry press home this advantage racing over the bridge only to command blunder and fall back!

The German STUG platoon and supporting infantry in half tracks finally make the village and take up blocking positions on the road defending the working farm bridge. The Russian infantry battalion is now horribly exposed in the open.

German BP 1of17 Russian BP 2of16

Russian infantry assaults the farm bridge under the veil of a smoke barrage

The German horse drawn Anti-tank platoon struggling in the mud

Turns 5&6
Further pre-registered artillery fire in support of the Russian armour falls on the cross roads/rail junction creating havoc within the ranks of the German anti-tank platoon. The Russian infantry Battalion, now holding onto the belt buckles of the German forward positions used massed firepower to suppress and knock out the vast majority of the defenders of the farm. Soviet armour finally makes the second road bridge and the remaining armour, way behind make good progress forward in support.

The German STUG platoon wreaks havoc amongst the Russian infantry again stalling their advance whilst other German units consolidate their positions to receive the Russian onslaught. The German commander is quite pleased with his deployment and begins to relax.

The Russian armoured columns attached FAO continues his good run of form accurately calling down fire on the cross roads/rail junction once again suppressing the vast majority of the anti-tank platoon.

The second T34 platoon changes its axis of advance moving towards the farm bridge in support of the Russian Infantry Battalion but fails to bring its guns in range of the STUG platoon.

Both sides settle down into a protracted long range fire duel and more casualties result.

German BP 5of17 Russian 4of16

German forces consolidate a holding position at the crossroads rail junction

KV's and T34's engaging PzIII's and coming off second best

T34's join the Russian infantry assault at the farm bridge

Turns 7&8
For the first time in the game the Russian Artillery support fails to arrive. With evening approaching the Russian CO throws caution to the wind and orders a general assault.

Russian troops on both flanks crash forward completely catching the German player by surprise. Russian troops although largely suppressed and having taken casualties now have a foothold on the German side of the river.

The German PzIII company trades fire with the KV’s but at extreme range do little discernible damage. Pushing command to the limit, they once again blunder racing headlong at the KV’s bringing them into range of a T34 platoon and supporting infantry with Anti-tank rifles.

The action at both bridges intensifies with the Russian Infantry battalion taking a hammering. The Russian armour manages to check the advance of the PzIII’s leaving them dangerously exposed. Just as the Russian CO feels things moving in his favour the T34 platoon blunders and falls back along the road.

Things go no better at the farm bridge as the two lead T34’s brew up from combined STUG and anti-tank rifle rounds.

German 6of 17 Russian 9of16

Turn 9

As dusk approaches the battle once again swings in the favour of the Russians. At the farm bridge weight of numbers begins to tell and the Russians consolidate the bridgehead taking the farm and outlying buildings. The STUG platoon and supporting infantry take casualties or end the turn suppressed and due to the tight nature of the terrain what remains of the German defenders cannot draw a clear line of fire.

The KV’s supported by infantry and four (yes four!) consecutive command rolls by the T34 platoon that only minutes ago retreated, leave the PzIII platoon shattered.

As night falls, the German commander has no effective weapon in range other than a solitary mortar with which to return fire.

German 10of17 Russian 9of16

Turn 10

In the darkness the Russian continue to pile on the pressure. By closing the range to within initiative distance small arms fire begins to take effect and some miraculous spotting by the FAO once again causes casualties amongst the remaining German forward positions around the village.

The Russian CO’s armour polishes off the final PzIII leaving the Germans without effective armoured support other than the STUGs.

The German CO, stunned by the ferocity of the Russian assault orders his men to hold hoping that morning will bring some supporting airpower and armour forward.

The Russian CO begins his plans for more aggressive fighting patrols in the hours of darkness!

German 14of17 Russian 10of16

German Losses:

4x PzIII, 1x Mortar, 2x 28mm ATG, 2x HMG, 5x Infantry

Russian Losses:
3x T34, 7x Infantry

End game - Russians holding both bridges and Germans in a last defensive line minus armoured support.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Fathers Day 2009 at IWM Duxford

I thought I'd share a few photos of my recent Fathers Day trip to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford with my family.

I last visited Duxford when I was stationed with 39 Royal Engr Regt Wksp REME at Waterbeach Barracks near Cambridge way back in 1997. If memory serves me correctly the collection whilst quite well established was a bit hodge-podge in arrangement.

I got quite a shock when I realised just how big the collection has become and the addition of two 'brand-spanking-new-purpose-built' display hangers really make the day a great day out for the family as well as the military enthusiast.

Apart from the 'thrill of the throb' of a Spitfire roaring overhead I was particularly keen to see the Museums growing collection of Warsaw Pact vehicles - reputedly one of the biggest in the world.

As always with these things there were things I came across on the day that were added bonuses and I'll try to do my best here to share those with you.

The 'obligatory' Spitfire - Czech roundel if I'm not mistaken?

The ubiquitous Hurricane

This is an unusual one - a folding motorcycle as used by British Airborne Forces complete with its drop cannister and parachute. This was the very first time I had seen one in this condition in the flesh as opposed to in a book!

'Big Boys Toys'
The level of detail on the r/c models was amazing. The weathering on the foremost model was incredible and even one or two of the figures heads was moveable by remote control.

This video just goes to prove two things.
1. Size isn't everything
2. The turret traverse of the Tiger I is truly deplorable!

The SA8 Gecko

The PT76 - another 'first' for me!

A T34/85 in Balkans 'livery'
Not too sure what the script reads, but sure that whatever it reads its not too pleasant!

FV432 'Lady in Red'
An unusual camouflage scheme which is anyones guess really? I'm not entirely sure Chris DeBurgh would approve - personally I think this is a massive improvement on his wailing which I have heard far too many times for one lifetime:-)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

CWC Batrep - Mount Longdon, 11th June 1982

British Order of Battle - 3 Para Btn

1x CO Lt Col H. Pike CV10
4x Para Infantry
2x Charlie G Upgrades

Recce Patrol
2x Para Patrols

Company Support
1x HQ CV9
1x Naval FAO (HMS Avenger)
3x 81mm Mortar
2x Milan

A Coy
2x HQ Maj D.A Collet CV9
5x Para Infantry

B Coy
2x HQ Maj M.H Argue CV9
1x Artillery FAO (29 Cdo - 2x 105mm FH)
9x Para Infantry
2x Charlie G Upgrades

Breakpoint 13
2190 points

Argentinian Order of Battle - RI7

1x CO Maj C. Carrizo-Salvadores CV8
1x FAO (1x 105mm FH)
3x Reservist Infantry
1x Sniper
1x SAM Blowpipe

1x HQ Marine Sub-Lieutenant S. Dachary CV8
3x Marine Infantry
1x HMG (IR)

1x HQ CV7
3x Reservist Infantry
1x HMG
2x 81mm Mortar

Breakpoint 8
895 Points

View of Mt. Longdon through IR Night Sights
from the British Support Company Position

3Para Plan of Attack
With the battle taking place at night and in poor weather 3 Para's CO decided that the main thrust of the assault would be against the right flank. B Company would lead the assault in a flanking manouvre intended to 'roll up the flanks' of the Argentinian positions.

A Coy would support this attack whilst HQ Company under the CO would feint an attack against the centre left positions with the intent of pinning the enemy in the centre. Support company would offer fire support from the startline.

Having the advantage of Hidden Deployment and gaining a further 5 hidden deployment markers, the British would seek to threaten the left flank with the blank markers hopefully preventing the Argentinian Commander from re-deploying any troops to strengthen the actual point of attack until it was too late.

RI7 Plan of Defence
Major C. Carrizo-Salvadores strung out his forces across the expanse of Longdon placing his HQ's and IR equipped HMG and Sniper along likely routes of attack.

His Marine detachment under MSL S. Dachary took up positions on the most exposed left flank. A single hidden minefield covered a gully in defilade leading to the central summit of Longdon.

Turns 1-3
The Para patrols located the Argentinian Marines calling in HMS Avengers guns - only for it to blunder. Fortunately for the Paras the fire deviated massively off the table narrowly missing B Coy's startline.

The advance elements of B Coy came within 200 metres of the Argentinian Marines before being detected, a hail of fire checking their advance. Other hidden routes of advance went largely unchecked. Were the enemy asleep?

The Argentinian CO watched in horror as hidden deployment markers moved behind his line of defences dangerously exposing his right flank. A runner was despatched to rouse the Reservists.

The advance elements of B Coy failed their command roll leaving themselves dangerously exposed in the open and the ensuing firefight sees them suppressed again. Some frighteningly accurate artillery support ties up other units of B Coy stalling the Paras assault.

In the centre the Argentinian CO wisely checks his fire allowing A Coy to come within effective range of the weapons massed on Longdon's summit.

The Paras continue to creep forward bringing their Charlie G's into play not realising that almost their entire battlegroup has now been detected. Suddenly all hell breaks loose resulting in the first British casulaties to B Coy. The Para Recce patrols desperately try to relocate to the centre aspect of the battlefiled but find the terrain pretty tough going.

Just when it is feared that things cant get much worse the Naval FAO wanders into the hidden minefield - narrowly avoiding destruction.

Breakpoints - 3Para 2/13, RI7 0/8

View of the assault by B Coy on the
Argentinian right flank from A Coys start line

Turns 4 & 5
With casualties starting to mount 3Para upped the anti throwing the Support Company into the fray. Milan, GPMG and Mortar fire raked the Argentinian positions in the centre with further support added from HMS Avenger and 29 CDO's 105mm Field Howitzers.

The Argentinian Marines supported by the 81mm mortar platoon continued to increase the pressure on B Coy once again stalling their assault with mounting casualties.

3Para's support company continued to pour down covering fire and A Coy's support passing through B Coy proved timely. With the vast majority of his troops pinned down by enemy fire the Argentinian CO was powerless to respond. An entire turn passed with only sporadic fire being returned towards A & B Companys combined assault.

Breakpoint 3Para 5/13, RI7 4/8

Argentinian Centre being pinned by 3Para's HQ Coy

Turn 6
The combined assault of 3Para A & B Company finally breaks into the Argentinian Marine position from the flank and rear and in a brutal round of hand to hand clear the trenches.

With daylight approaching and under pressure from 3Para Support Company Maj Carrizo-Salvadores orders his men to retreat on Stanley.

Breakpoint 3Para 5/13, RI7 6/8

Op Corporate in 6mm

Operation Corporate, the British Army's campaign to re-take the Falkland Islands has always appealed to me. As an impressionable teenager with aspirations of joining the army from early childhood, I remember racing home from school to catch the news each evening. What I saw on my TV only made me more determined to join as soon as I physically could.

I have always thought it strange that I had never seriously tried to re-enact any of the engagements through my hobby of wargaming until now, 27 years later. In a way I think one of the primary reasons for not doing so much earlier, is that there never seemed to be a rule set that captured the feel of battalion actions. That fact, coupled with so few military miniature manufacturers producing Falklands ranges probably restricted my choices.

When Cold War Commander was first released a couple of years back, it was with great delight that I noticed the Falklands Conflict was covered in the army lists. A few hours of internet surfing later and I was left feeling disappointed that even fewer miniature manufacturers were producing a range that covered the conflict. 20mm seems to be relatively well covered but its not a scale I particularly like. Once again the desire to recreate an engagement of the conflict came to nothing.

It was only recently when I caught the two part series on Sky about the Falklands that my appetite was re-wetted. I dragged out my Cold War British army in 6mm and realised that at 1-1 scale I pretty much had the vast majority of kit used in the conflict. Further digging (to find figures to represent the Argentinians) highlighted my WW2 Red Army and WW2 Late War Americans as potential stand in's.

An hour or so later I two workable forces at roughly battalion scale with infantry stands representing infantry sections. Using CWC's battlegroup creator I had two opposing forces to pitch against each other - 3Para going up against B Coy of the Argentinian RI7 supported by Argentinian Marine Machine Guns on Mount Longdon, 11th June 1982.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Welcome to my blog

Hello and welcome to my witterings about my primary hobby - the weird and wonderful world of Wargaming.

Here I'll share my latest thoughts on the hobby, pictures of the latest project I am working on, batreps of games I have played and other ramblings about the hobby in general.

I have a wide interest in Wargaming and have been playing with 'toy soldiers' for more years than I care to remember.

I have fond memories of creating 'trench systems' in my parents front garden (much to their dismay) and hours spent pelting Britains/Airfix plastics with lumps of mud, stone and the occasional housebrick!

I have 'not so fond' memories of as many hours spent digging over the garden to recover those miniatures s that my dad could reclaim his vegetable patch.

My main period of wargaming interest remains 20th Century games (primarily WW2 and Modern Era) although I also dabble in Napoleonics, Colonials, ACW, AWI, ECW and numerous others.

Lately I have collected, assembled and painted several 'futuristic forces' for Future War Commander - one of my personal favourites when it comes to rule sets which comes out of the Pete Jones 'stable', Specialist Military Publishing

Pete's other rule sets, BKC & CWC cover WW2 and Modern Gaming respectively. I cannot big these rule sets up enough. I have been wargaming for many years and Pete's rules are the first set I have stuck with for more than a year! They are ideal for solo gaming due to the innovative command and control system. If you haven't seen these rules then you are missing out.

I'll be aiming to add to my blog on a monthly basis at least as long as work and real life doesn't get in the way:-)