Monday, May 11, 2015

North Africa Campaign Day - FoW, with a twist!

On Saturday Bowman Towers played host to a days FoW campaigning, set in the MidWar North African theatre... 3 Axis players would face off against three Allied players in a team event. But this was going to be FoW, with a twist...

Brett and Paul have been working on ways to perhaps make the game a little more interesting and flowing, and while the core game mechanic and deployments would remain the same... the position and number of objective markers would be adjusted, and there would be an introduction of a 'force morale' system, which could have the effect of reducing your forces morale rating over the course of the days campaigning as wear and tear took its toll on battered forces...

 This is further detailed here on Pauls blog...

So the day saw myself, Ash and Brett play the dastardly Huns, each bringing 1000 points of Midwar Kraut goodness to the tables.
The sneaky cunning Allies were Paul, Ste and Bryan.

Three tables were set up loosely depicting North Africa, Sicily and Italy...

The force I would bring to the table was a Confident Veteran Panzerkompanie:
HQ ; PzIV G + PzIV F1
CBT; PzIV F1 + 2 x PzIII L/M
CBT; PzIV F1 + 2 x PzIII L/M
Recce: 2 x 8Rad

Thinking was the CO with a big gun to kill stuff, the 2ic with an independent ability to fire for effect or direct fire smoke to conceal trickier targets.
The CBT platoons each had 2 PzIII, with Rof 3 AT9 that's quite usable in midwar against most targets, only downside is range... backed up again with direct firing smoke from PzIV.
The cheap recce would do what recce do!
I figured I'd have an even chance against tanks and good chance against infantry/mech...

North Africa


Game 1 and I drew Paul with his Confident Trained Shermans and Grants, in Free for All.
This game could go either way...Pauls trained tanks are easier to hit, but he has range on me and semi-indirect fire... I'd have to close to get effective shots, hope to do some damage, lob off a bit of smoke and weather the return fire.... its going to come down to who blinks first... in gaming parlance... who gets the better dice...

Paul got first turn and adjusted slightly and sneaked one tank ahead behind cover to contest the loose objective, but held fire.

I couldn't move anything up to contest without being caught in a crossfire... so I decided to just start trying to take out his trained tanks. My CO hit as did a several of my PzIIIs... but Paul rolled 5's+6's for all saves.... Curses... Oh well in return fire he's hitting me on 6's... 20+ dice later (semi-indirect fire remember?)... and nothing higher than a 2 rolled for an armour save and I have the 2ic dead and two tanks dead from the left flank platoon, the third typically fails morale and I am down 4 tanks... facing 8... with more of the same to come...  I could dance about and try and play cat and mouse, but with Paul sitting on 2 objectives out of 3 he was just going to wrack up the points and I'd likely just lose more Force Morale points, so I elected to withdraw... first game over in about 10 mins... Not a very auspicious start to the days gaming... on the plus side, it can only get better ...right?

vs Pauls Shermans

Game 2 and I am facing Ste and a mad mix of Fearless Trained Indian Infantry, with Confident Vet Pios and two platoons of Matildas, in Dust Up.
Ste put three infantry platoons on the table, against my one platoon of panzers, plus HQ tanks. Again my opponent quickly had the jump on two out of three objective markers so I was forced to be aggressive which is justly right for armour...

Ste camped one infantry platoon in a building t-junction with an objective, moved his small pios into a little palm tree cover and more indians held a hill top objective.

I sent the cbt platoon for the hilltop indians with the HQ tanks moving to keep harassing the other troops till my reserves arrived. As the five tanks past the pios they sprayed them with MG fire. 20 dice and 11 hits on the 4 element un-dug-in platoon. Expecting to see the pios evaporate... Ste then passed every save, all 11 dice came up 3+...

Ste was battling his own issue as his troops steadfastly refused to dig in, and were prey to continued MG fire, and though I whittled him down gradually he held on. My Panzers eventually, got to and sprayed up the hill top indians then rolled in for the assault...  3 hits on 3+...and I miss with two...whats worse Ste comes back at me with sticky bombs, gets a couple of hits, and yep I rolled two 1's for top armour saves, two tanks go boom! Oh for @#$^% sakes!... I swing back, and miss, and Ste fails to motivate... so I 'win' and advance to push him off the objective with my lone panzer... but then it comes down to a morale check for the lone panzer, a fail and my force withdraws!
I rolled a 4, so I am still in it by the skin of my teeth...
The only good bit of that was seeing some sticky bombs also blow up the indians!

Reserves then start arriving for both of us... The matildas arrive and double time to try and get near the action... my panzers and 8rads arrive and move to attack the T junction.

With time running out, my 2ic parked on the only objective I have keeps the matildas at bay, just as they trade insults...My lone panzer on the hill with the indians manages to hold them off as they try an assault...

Finally things hot up in the T-junction as my armour try an assault, but only bops a pio team who come back at me with the crazy indians joining in... thankfully I pass my saves, but then fail to motivate and must withdraw, reversing over a hedge one tank bogs and is captured... and that's the game...

Over the course of the game Ste has wracked up more objective points than me so he's the winner...

Well that should have gone better... lady luck farts in my face again! Still at least I got to kill some stuff this time...

vs Ste's Brits & Indians

Game 3 is against Bryan and his Fearless Vet Yank Paras... with Trained support - Howitzers, recce and M10s, in Encounter...

Again I find the revealed objectives have me at a disadvantage. Bryan is camped on one from the start with his core force. I have a chance to sneak the flank one and my 2ic heads for that and stops there for a sausage sandwich... My panzer platoon and CO move forward to start harassing the paras position and threaten the other flank objective which Bryan has his 2ic trying to hold. Taking some cover from the assorted huts and building they fire on the howitzers, being trained and large guns in the open, they are easy targets and I start whittling them down. In return Bryan pops his m10s and nails my CO.
In their turn my panzers return fire and kill the m10s, over two turns, then settle back to finishing off the guns. My reserves arrive and start rushing to get in on the action. Bryan starts getting reserves on and some paras get going running towards my 2ic, who backs off not wanting to be gammon bombed by crazy yank paras... so I lose points for that objective, but have gained the other flank one having mg-ed off Bryans brave 2ic.

The howitzer platoon is virtually destroyed and withdraws... and the cat and mouse starts on the other flank... Bryans HMG platoon arrives with no hope of hurting the tanks and I look to take them out ... but again time catches up with us... I didnt fancy my chances assaulting Bryans paras with Gammon bombs in the centre with just three tanks after my sticky bomb experiences until I had reduced their numbers but they had refused to die... so with that the games ends, with Bryan just ahead on objective points though at least this time I won the exchange on force morale points having killed two platoons.

A better game for me this time, which probably would have gone my way in the end if time had not been a factor, but they're the breaks...

vs Bryans Yanks

And with that the day came to an end...

As the points were tallied up it was clear the Germans had taken a pasting... all three German players added together managed to just beat Bryans points, but when you add in Pauls and Stes scores it wasn't anywhere near close... I wonder if the date had anything to do with it, May 9th... VE day?

Ah well, a good days fun and dice rolling, in great company... if only the gods of dice and games wouldnt keep taking great delight in their gaseous expulsions in my facial orientation! ;-)

Oh and a special thanks to 'Mrs Ste' for the wargamers cupcakes with handcrafted dice on top - very impressive :)


  1. Great post and what a fun way to spend VE day with mates!
    Nice table setups too

  2. Nice write up Scott. You certainly got the short end of the luck stick, again! Our game was most definitely a game of dice. I passed every test I had to make, be it armour saves or fire power tests, whereas you failed virtually every one of yours. We could play that ten times over and it wouldn't be that bad again! If it's any consolation, I suffered the same fate against Brett.
    Still, an excellent day with most accommodating hosts to whom we are most grateful. Hope you enjoyed the concept of the games more than the results on the day. I guess it was fated to be an Allied victory on such an historic day :-)

    1. No worries Paul, tank on tank like that comes down to dice, pretty much... but you played well to your forces strength...stay still, hope to stay alive and roll lots of dice, it worked!
      All good, yes I liked the change of pace and style... and be happy to give it another go :)
      Fate indeed my firend and justly so...

  3. I'll second Paul, a very pleasant way to spend a Saturday, all credit to the hosts and also the mad geniuses that came up with the lunatic ideas for objectives and random events!
    Your dice were truly awful that day, it was weird. My Indians should not have survived your panzer assaults, nevermind take out two tanks! I think I may have actually destroyed more of my own infantry with those sticky bombs though than actual tanks!
    Bring on some more devilishly designed gaming days!

    1. All good... despite the crazyness and carnage of the game, your ability to roll a few ones with those sticky bombs did put a wry smile on my face ;-)
      More devilsih gaming days will definitely be on the agenda :)

  4. Nice report and great looking tables Scott, very impressive!


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