Club Meeting Wednesday 11th May 2016

Last week (The 11th of May 2016.) saw Bob B, our newest member, being roped in to try some Lion Rampant; Andy and James fighting WWIII in Flames of War: Team Yankee; some ironclad ACW action between Neil M and Kev with Hammerin’ Iron and John and Pete M fighting on the WWII Eastern Front with War Stories: Red Storm.

Pete D described the Lion Rampant session as follows:”Bob M and I introduced Bob B to the delights of Lion Rampant. A lovely game with Bob’s gorgeous Front Rank Wars of the Roses troops won due to the indolence of my mediocre leader (I.e. failure to throw high enough to get his unit to move.). Bob M romped the Sausage & Mustard scenario burning 3/4s of the village before his troops retired. Most of our successes were down to Bob B’s excellent work commanding our crossbows.

Andy gave a fulsome report on the Flames of War: Team Yankee encounter:”Last night saw my third Team Yankee outing with my third trainee opponent, this time James, following in the footsteps of Kev and Bob. With both Howard and Philip showing interest we have the makings of a vibrant embryonic group. If anyone else has in interest in a mid-eighties fictitious alternate history with events that thankfully never happened then I’m happy to give an introduction as it helps me to become more familiar with the rules.

The game last night saw me generously allowing James to use my small but growing force of Americans comprising about 40 points – a tank platoon of 4x M1 Abrams and a mechanised platoon of 4x M113’s and associated troops armed to the gunnels. As it was James’ first game I went easy on him with my meagre 18 point Soviet force of 3x T-72’s and x3 BTR80’s that I played as BMP-1’s (As I was outnumbered ahistorically I needed something to try and redress the balance.). In general we are currently short of painted kit for both sides but both Bob and I have loads of stuff in various stages of construction on our painting tables so come the end of June we will be well tooled up.

To the game itself: we played on a heavily wooded/arable table with a slightly incongruous set of storage tanks on the American base line in front of which was my objective. There were a couple of roads crossing in the centre where James placed his objective on my side at the end of the road. Tanks set up opposite each other on my left his right and I set my infantry up around James’ objective with their battle buses further to my right. James set his Mech Infantry up on the other end of the road to the objective. His plan was simple, overwhelm my tanks on the flank and then roll up in a coordinated manner to join the battle just as the frontal assault by the Mech Inf hit my infantry. This good simple plan went the way of so many good simple plans as it lasted as long as the first encounter.

My T-72’s got off the fist two shots from their superior guns (125mm v 105mm.) and managed to suppress the C.O.’s M1 whilst everyone else kicked around their foxholes smoking cheap Russian cigarettes. James’ response was to ignore my shells and return a few of his own I then introduced him to the confusing term ‘brewing-up’ as that is exactly what one of my shiny tanks did. His M113’s nonchalantly advanced up the road oblivious to their certain impending doom, mwa-ha-haaaa. So fast forward a few turns and essentially James was back on plan though it had taken a bit longer than he thought and with quite a few casualties. Having lost an M113 to RPGs, he de-bused and we slugged it out until only one battle taxi remained on either side including one of mine that made a dash for the un-defended objective. His Infantry walked towards the objective and a mini war of attrition ensued. Also 3 out of 4 M1’s saw off my remaining T-72’s and they were well on the way towards their objective when we called time.

The rules play reasonable quickly and we managed most of the game referring to the unit cards and the QRF which also shows the page number in the book for the detailed rule. Hopefully James will play again and that Bob and I can get closer towards of 100 point target per side.”.

Kev’s report on Hammerin’ Iron went like this:”Neil and I played Hammerin’ Iron, a nice fun naval ACW game from Peter Pig. Neil was the Confederates and I played the Union fleet. Following a semi-random setup Neil was defending. To defend the 2 objectives of 4 buildings and 4 cargo ships (Which ended up in the same spot.), Neil had the CSS Tennessee, CSS Lady Davis plus a huge fort and the chance of 3 late arrivals. The Union fleet had USS New Ironsides, USS Signal and USS Teaser to start and 3 late arrivals including my favourite ship USS Commodore Morris.

Game report in brief: the Tennessee rammed but failed to sink the New Ironsides and was eventually sunk by the Union ironclad but not before sinking the Commodore Morris. The Lady Davis (With a little help from the fort.) successfully defended the 2 objectives from 3 Union ships only losing 1 building before pulling out to avoid being sunk. Neil won the scenario 33 to 30 points (!) but really deserved a high win margin as he held off my 5 ships with 1 ironclad, a tug plus the fort that couldn’t always fire.”.

John B reported on the WWII Eastern Front game as follows:”Pete M and I got in our second game of War Stories: Red Storm – we managed to fit it into a club night, but only just as we found out we are still not hot on the rules yet but we are learning. Pete won by managing to use his half-track to ferry his Panzer Grenadiers to his objective (A railway line.) and blow up a section of it. I laid down a lot of machine gun fire, immobilised the half-track but couldn’t stop him from reaching his objective – he was helped by the timely arrival of his Stukas which kept my best Red Army troops suppressed and unable to act in time. Very nice game with a very unique system which we are still getting out heads around – it is best played with no starting information on the opposing side’s forces or objectives, which is handled by having two scenario books – one for each player – this gives only the information for your own forces, deployment and objectives – this produces a very real fog-of-war feeling the first time you play each scenario.”.

Next week (18th May 2016.) there is only one firm plan which is for some two player De Bellis Antiquitatis. No doubt the other gameless club members will have cooked something up by Wednesday.

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