Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Action Over the Channel

     We got together in Dale City, Virginia, last Saturday for a game of "Check Your Six" in 1/144 scale set in 1940 over the English Channel.  Our two German players -- Ron and Brian; commanded two Heinkel He 111 medium bombers escorted by four Messerschmidt 109s.  Our two British players -- Ray and Dave, commanded two flights of three Spitfires each.

     Fighter aircraft models -- by 21st Century Toys (sadly, now out of production); bombers, and table from the collection of our host, Ron P.

August 1940 -- British Spitfires patrol the English Channel

The Luftwaffe is up early today -- Target:  England!

Me 109 providing fighter escort to the German bombers

Squadron Leader Ray Flashman, RAF, orders the attack!

Hauptmann Rolland Prill gives the alarm, "Achtung, SPITFIRE!"

German bombers -- He 111s -- bore in with their bomb loads

The Luftwaffe pilots are determined professionals

German fighters prepare to engage the Englishmen

The Spitfires flash by, guns blazing, but the bombers hit their target

Me 109s beat off the British attack

The bombers close up as the Spitfires close in

A Spitfire makes a desperate pass as the bombers turn and head for France

Leutnant Bruno Wittman's bomber under attack

Flying Officer David Smythe's Spitfire hammered by Me-109 cannon fire

The Spitfires exact their revenge on the enemy bombers

A wild aerial melee over The Channel

Belching smoke, this Messerschmidt heads for France

     We played the game in two phases.  Phase I -- the approach, was a German victory as the bombers reached and attacked their target for the loss of one escorting Me 109, while downing one Spitfire.

     Phase II saw the German players' attempt to return to France, pursued by the Spitfires.  Both bombers were lost on the return flight for the loss of a second Spitfire.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Battle for State Farm 69 -- Russian Front

     On 2 May 2015, we got together for a large-scale skirmish game set on the Russian Front, circa November 1943.  A German Panzergrenadier force moves forward to seize State Farm 69 from its Soviet defenders.  We modified the rules from BATTLEGROUND, and doubled the ranges for our game with 54mm figures.  Table, figures, and terrain from the collection of our host, Ron P.

A Russian infantry squad crosses a stream just south of the Commissar's dacha at the vital road juncture bordering State Farm 69.

The Russians must hold the Commissar's dacha and prevent the Germans from controlling the road network.

German reconnaissance reports Soviet infantry moving through the woods.

As the Germans approach, the Russian infantry moves into the woods.

The German scout reports the enemy's location.

Soviet BA-6 armored car reports "Enemy in sight!"

German panzergrenadiers arrive and begin to deploy.

The BA-6 commander prepares to engage the enemy.

The Russian infantry stands ready to meet the German onslaught.

A German Sd.Kfz. halftrack moves forward.

The Russians in the woods open fire.

German panzergrenadiers dismount and attack.

German Sd.Kfz. 250 halftrack scout car moves forward searching for hidden Russians.

German reinforcements arrive and move forward.

A second wave of panzergrenadiers takes cover before joining the assault.

A German halftrack emerges from the woods and engages the Soviet infantry.

The panzergrenadiers press forward.

Sd.Kfz. 251/9 "Stummel" arrives and engages the Russians with its 75mm gun.

Can the German armored assault be stopped?

Russian infantry defending the Commissar's dacha.

  Soviet BA-10 immobilized by German fire -- crew abandons their smoking vehicle.

The Russian armored car pours in a withering fire.

German crewman escapes his burning vehicle -- begins walking back to Germany.

     Results:  A Soviet victory -- the Germans sustained heavier casualties and were unable to seize the Commissar's dacha and dominate the road junction.

     Lessons Learned:  If we reprise the scenario, the Germans need some off-board artillery or mortar support to suppress the Russian defenders, and should be allowed multiple points of entry onto the tabletop to divide the defenders' defensive fire.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Getting Under Way -- A recent skirmish game in 54mm set in Mexico during "The Maximilian Adventure" in 1866

Ciudad Santa Dale_dawn_1866_on the coastal road from Vera Cruz north to Matamoros

French troops escorting a vital ammunition train sheltered overnight in the deserted town

The French used the Mission as headquarters, awaiting reinforcements from Matamoros

French sentries stand-to, scanning the horizon for Mexican Republican troops

Republican troops loyal to Presidente Benito Juarez occupy hills to the southeast

Another Republican unit approaches unobserved from the southwest

Commandante Jorge Aquas-Caliente signals his comrades "Begin the attack!"

Egyptian-Sudanese infantry, allies to the French, open fire on the advancing enemy

The supply convoy gets underway while French and Egyptian infantry forms a rear guard

The defenders attempt to blunt the Mexican attack

Teniente Ronaldo Colafrio leads another unit of pistoleroes in from the east

Republican troops close in on the Mission, firing on the run

Republican troops occupy the wooded hilltop northeast of the town

Tirailleurs algeriens lay down heavy fire on the Republicans advancing from the east

The Mexican squad takes casualties, but does not run

Pvt. Mohammet-dihn mans the bell tower, firing on the advancing Republicans

Commandante Jorge's troops reach the Mission

Juan Valdez spurs on the reluctant pack animals

The Republicans dash forward, eager to seize the pack animals

The pistoleroes close-in on the French rear guard

Commandante Jorge urges his men forward -- "Capture the supplies!"

The Algerians are overrun and destroyed

French reinforcements arrive -- Mexican fire brings down one of the pack mules

The Republicans try to prevent the supply convoy's escape

The French rear guard -- nearly-destroyed, but fighting on

The French relief column arrives and deploys on the north side of town

French troops occupy the ruined Tequila factory as the supply convoy flees northward

The Republicans have the town, but howl in fury as the supplies escape their grasp