Tuesday 11 June 2019

The Battle of James' New house

James, of MadTinHatter fame is moving into a new build house on the site of the old J Hill and Sons company ( it was F Hills but my typing was off). This was a furniture factory and during the 1930s dabbled in aircraft manufacture, the Hillson Praga Monoplane

As James has never played a VBCW it seems an ideal opportunity to break him in. The joy of VBCW is you get to fight imaginary stuff like this.
I needed a factory model and a e-bay (BanksJohnEdward store) and I was sorted. The mdf models from him are basic and very very cheap. It arrived promptly but was incomplete and a quick email exchange later and not only were the missing parts supplied but I recieved an entire building. Some cutting of board and I had 3 factory buildings and a massive factory. Quick spray paint and a raid of the internet for images of advertising signs and I was sorted.

This will do nicely for the main battle. The story will be that the fascist forces of Lord Percy have ventured South in his attempt to refound the Kingdom of Northumbria. The workers of Hills have banded together with the local Fire brigade to prevent Percy from capturing this important aircraft factory and have sent for reinforcements from the Post Office Workers Union. Can they hold out until the Posties arrive. Find out in out next thrilling installment (actually probably the one after next as I have some 10mm Austrians to paint)

Sunday 2 June 2019

D-Day 1944 - Utah Beach

Today we refought the landings and para drops that were D-Day. We were recreating the American landings at Utah beach and the paratroop objectives of clearing the 2 causeways, disabling the guns at Brecourt Manor, securing the glider landing zone and capturing St Marie du Mont.
The table was 17ft by 6ft  and massive. We had a big turn out. Dave and James were the Germans and ran the game, almost all of the terrain and troops were theirs, much of the german forces were mine and others provided bits as needed. Angus, Stig and John were the beach landing forces. Scotty was in charge of air and naval bombardments. We had 2 newbies, David and Paul are old hands from that far away country of Scotland and friends of James and Stig. David and me were the paras - I had Easy Company (that Easy Company) and David had Fox Company, both from 506th Infantry regiment. Paul was photographer in chief.

Beach with Normandy (and Dave) in the distance

Obviously the para drops came first. Dave had a nifty plan

The swearing at the end is me as my forces land in a flooded field

I threw well and pretty much landed on the LZ

In a tight group just behind the exit to Causeway 1. The flooded fields between the beach and the countryside claimed 4 squads

Even my glider support landed on spot

View towards the beach. St Marie du Mont is on the right, Brecourt Manor to the left and the causeway exit is the cluster of houses on the left closer to the beach than Brecourt manor. I'm between Brecourt and the Causeway exit.
Fox Company were due to land in the bottom right behind St Marie due Mont

Generally they did

Although some did overshoot and hit the town. The German command truck was a very early casualty

Fox got the 81mm mortar support - well they landed in a tree and lost their command so took a while to position
While Fox were capturing the the glider LZ and trying to get close to the town, the Germans were dug in, heavily armed and deadly, Easy Company started to make their way to the objectives. 1st up Brecourt Manor.

4x105mm dug in field guns with infantry support. Top centre Easy II command and an infantry stand had landed right on the edge of the position

So I attacked immediately and captured the 1st gun. The tiddly winks are objectives and when collected trigger random events and can be used to call air and naval support or to gather up stragglers.

I bring up support from the LZ to attack and support my commander

I attack again and capture the next gun but lose the infantry section. My other support took out the infantry support got mauled. Another section makes it into the position.  

I capture the last 2 guns and the remaining germans bug out. The command stand too 3 of the guns and was suitably heroic. Medal of honour winner for sure, but more of him later.
In the centre of the table was a 88 emplacement. Some of the scattered sections including Easy CO and some of Fox attacked it 

2x88 and an MG42. These caused a lot of casualties as they repulsed 3 attacked

In the end we used smoke and attacked and captured it. This gave us a new angle of fire on St marie du Mont
The top of Causeway 1 was heavily defended by an infantry platoon, 2 MG42s, 3.7mm Flak and a Pak40. 
I advanced from the LZ and started to move the enemy

I've taken the building to the right but the incoming fire is brutal and it will take the whole game to capture the position.
The top of causeway 2 was even worse we had no troops anywhere near it

We had captured Brecourt manor, the glider LZ, and an 88 emplacement. We were attacking causeway 1 but were nowhere on causeway 2 and getting butchered in the trying to get close to the town.

The German beach defences

Scotty unleashes a naval and air assault and blasts the shit out of the defences

here comes the invasion

A lot of it

The infantry get to and cross the sea wall. Fire from navy, airforce and DD tanks on the beach has destroyed the defences and casualties are fairly light. To be explained later

2nd wave

into the trenches

All the tanks in the world have arrived

Charging through the defences

However the engineers are very late and they have to blow the sea wall before the tanks can advance off the beach. Cue traffic jam

Meanwhile we are getting nowhere is St marie du Mont. David is shelling the town and attacking but neither him nor me can make saves. Time for drastic action

We call in a naval bombardment and start to level the town. This give David the opportunity to enter from the right and we have a corner.

Just when you though all was going well

A company of MarderIIIs enter in my LZ

and a company of repurposed Char Bis enter the glider LZ

Luckily all my anti tank troops are still in the LZ and i brew up 1 and bail another

Bazooka action takes out the Char bis' and the crews leg it

The Marders remount and advance but I butcher them. Excellent.
The infantry are advancing from the beach

A airstrike on the top of causeway 2

and the infantry with tank support are attacking it

the paras can relax, we have done our job. What's that noise

Loads more germans arrive in my LZ. All i have to face them are the heroes of Brecourt, who have moved back to safety to a rest

And now we have stugs and infantry. The beach guys had better hurry up.

Airstrikes on the Stugs

Luckily the beach units have made it to the end of the causeways and we have linked up. The Germans have been beaten. We knew that the beach had been easy as when Angus' men reach me and cleared out the last of the Germans we had to explain the melee rules to him. Easy life.

As for the Germans who attacked the LZ they were beaten off by the hero of Brecourt, pretty much on his own. Can you get 2 medals of honour for the same battle.
Update. I've been checking the commanders of Easy company and the heroic command stand was commander of No2 platoon - Lt Winters. Genuinely a case of history repeating itself

This was a truly brilliant battle. We play some really good and vast games but this was better than all previous one. Dave and James ran if perfectly, it was difficult, detailed and heroic.