Saturday, 11 June 2022

Punishing the Afghans - 1920s style

 Today I popped over to Matt's for some back of beyond action with Afghans vs British beyond the Khyber Pass. These punishment raids were common place in the late 19th and early 20th Century and they followed a common theme. Tribesmen would stir up trouble with unreasonable demands, like freedom and self determinaton, and the British would relatiate by attacking the village, at which point the Afghans would melt away, then blowing up the watch tower and stealing the wood (a precious resource in that part of the world). The Britsh would then start to retreat and all hell would break loose as the Afghans reappeared and attacked. So that was the scenario. Matt was the British and I was the Afghans. I would start with a handful of units and recieve significant reinforcements at random locations during the battle

THe table, Brits at far end about to leave the village

The only bridge over the wadi, with my guys waiting in ambush

More Afghans hiding in the hills and a walled field

My heavy weaponss, a maxim and a stolen mountain gun

Loads of Brits with 3 AC, field gun, machine guns, cavalry inc Bengal Lancers and loads of infantry. I have to stop the trucks getting off the far end of the table

Brits advance and there is a sharp exchange of fire

My 1st batch of reinforcements arrive to support the front line

on the central hill

and brilliantly and large group of sword and spear armed men appear out of caves amongst the British machine guns and promptly take the guns out

THe brits push forward. I fire but the Afghans are inexperienced which makes them worst shots with lower morale that the Brits, but they do fight as well as the Brits. So I'm stuggling to lay down enough fire

My Afghans taunt the Brits from the hill but are soon mown down

Cavalry reinforcements arrive

The Brits plough forward but I'm fighting hard

The Brits attack the fram on my left, and I unleash a killer volley that routs the Bengal Lancers. I bring up reinforcements 

But the British cavalry catches them in the open and destroys them

I counter charge with my cavalry from the wadi and rout the British Cavalry

An armoured car makes to  the bridge and the Afghans attack, but only manage to scratch the paintwork. Some T-cut will fix that

The supporting British take out the ambushers

THe farm on te right is still holding out and the Brits are paying for it with their lives

They even try and unsuccessful assault

The lead AC has crossed the wadi and I charge it, but again there is barely any damage and it costs a lot of lives

Rifle fire from the RHS farm takes out one of the supply trucks

and then the maxim gun takes out the other one. At which point we call it a day and the Afghans melt away. A minor victory for the Afghans.
A fantastic battle, perfectly balanced and great fun.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Battle of Campanilla - Spanish Civil War AAR

 Today I went down to sunny Redcar to visit Ian and Jane and play in Ian's games room / garage/bike shed. We were giving my SCW armies a 1st try out and testing my Land and Freedom Rules, see pages above.

The battle was fictional one based around the campaign to capture Santander by the Nationalists, evil fascist scum (EFS) in 1937. The aim of the EFS was to secure the river crossings over the Pisuena river, whilst the the Republicans, brave socialist workers (BSW) were racing to stop them. Each side had 2 brigades, a couple of tank companies and artillery support.

The battle, EFS (me) to the right and BSW (Ian) to the left. Victor holds both river crossings

On my left Ian is advancing with a tank supported brigade of regulars

I've taken the wooded hills on the left with 2 brigades of regulars but have no tank or AT support

I do have artillery spotter with commanding view of the battle field. Artillery is good in my rules, but only one off map and 1 martor battery attack per turn max. The black and white numbers are priority points that decide when inte turn each unit is activated. Battalions have D3 (set at start) and these were pretty even across the armies. These can be added to by brigade and army commanders. I had 1 brigade commander with only 1 point to allocate and my army commander only had 1. Ian's were more even

I have rushed forward with a Moroccan Falange battalion, with AT support, in trucks, debused and occupied the town because...

Ian has done the same and tanked the bridge with a T26 and battalion in trucks.

On my right I'm advancing with a Falange battalion with Pz1 support

Ian debuses and tries to form a bridgehead, but I rain in fire

My AT takes out his T26

A brief firefight on te right and I've destroyed a International battalion

Ian has siezed the other bridge.

My supports have arrived to attack and wipe out his bridgehead

I now have a lot of forces in the line but Ian is still struggling to match me

I advance to the edge of town

I advance on the right and take out the battalion on the hill. The tank is important and I wipe them out. The flank is now open

I bring a battalion from the left to attack the bridge but in the open they get battered by artillery.

I storm the bridge with a Pz1 and Ian counter attacks with Molotov cocktails and take out the tank

Ian is still holding the bridges but on the left is very reduced, remove 1 more base and they will rout

My weight of numbers has wiped out Ian in the centre and we ended it there

It was a fun battle, very brutal and the rules worked well. We played on a 6x4 table and it was a bit packed. The messengers weren't really needed, mainly I had no points to give them and Ian was generally close enough with his commanders to not need them.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Spanish Civil War Painting Mania

 I've completed my planned Spanish Civil War armies. We all say "finished" and mean the other thing. I had planned to have forces of 2 brigades per side, with additional support units and that is what I have done. Obviously I need aircraft (Dave has some I can have), cavalry (if I want), armoured trucks (SCW classic) and if I want more brigades. But for now I have enough to play.

I've written some rules that feel like they will work really well. I have a play test on Thursday at Ian's, and will post them onthe page after. I have stolen the priority points system from Altar of Freedom, which I really like, and added messengers to move these priority points. It gets rid of the IGOUGO approach that can annoy me and required you to plan your moves carefully. More on the rules when I post them. 

Enough of the waffling, I'm waiting for the photos to download to my one drive. Last time I posted a regular Republican Brigade, tanks, trucks and AT guns. Now for the rest

Nationalist Moroccan Falange Brigade

Pretty with their blue shirts and red fez

African Colonial troops were essential for the Nationalist victory

Several companies of Guarda Civilia, they fought for whoever was in control of their region, but were generally on the Nationalist side

Regular Nationalist Brigade

Green uniforms, compared with the Republican khake

but same organisation.
Messengers are important in my rules so

Cavalry messengers, the slowest

radio operators, instant messaging if they get through.

Motorbike messengers, the coolest form

Set of Opel Blitz trucks, to move a brigade about

Finally a Republican International Brigade

Bit more rag tag and comprising Canadian, American and British brigades, cos I had the flags for them

I have to say the Pendraken SCW selection is marvellous and has gone a long way to reinforce my move to 10mm. I love 10mm, it's a nice scale to fight massive battles with loads of units. I prefer my gaming to be strategic and 10mm works. It also helps that they have a shop a couple of miles from my sister's house. So i can buy toys and then go drinking. Perfect.
Even more perfect, Port Vale won the playoff and got promoted to 1st division. UTV