The club’s next scheduled date on August 11th is unavailable due to hall refurbishment, so there is no meeting that day – we can all enjoy the summer sunshine instead.
However, as recompense we’ve arranged extended hours for the following meeting on the 25th – the club will be open until 7pm rather than the usual 5pm.
Two members have taken the opportunity to put on large games that day – in the first, Dave Bates will be running The Battle of Ligney, a 15mm Napoleonic what-if scenario set during the Hundred Days (or Waterloo) campaign.
The game concerns the battle of June 16th 1815, principally Napoleon attacking the Prussian army who were deployed along the Ligney, a small but marshy stream crossed by four bridges. As we know, Wellington was not involved as he had been busy with a banquet in Brussels. However, in this game we bring in the 2nd Anglo Allied Corps under The Prince of Orange from Quatre Bras. Napoleon’s staff failed to get orders to Marshal Ney – who had been at Quatre Bras – until much later.
The game is Black Powder supplemented by play tested house rules, and will be able to accommodate up to 6 players.
This game was a clash between the French Confederation Army of Germany Reserve Cavalry Corps (2 division of cuirassiers and 2 of light cavalry) and the Reserve Cavalry Corps of the Austro-Hungarian Hauptarmee (one division of cuirassiers and two of mixed medium/light cavalry), set in 1809. The orders of battle were historical for early May 1809.
This was a two player game fought to test out some changes to the cavalry part of the house rules for Army scale combat at yesterdays meeting.
The day ended with the Austrian Corps forced to retire in the last move, although inflicting a halt on their opponents as they did so – preventing a pursuit.
The figures are all 1/300 Heroics and Ros – ideal for large scale actions of this type. Around 1,000 figures representing about 25,000 real cavalrymen were used.
Our house rules use brigade bases for manoeuvre, with combats fought out at battalion/squadron level, designed for actions of corps/army size using several thousand figures – but capable of being completed in a single day of gaming. The combat phase rolls up the combat outcome into a single dice roll representing the outcome of both firing and melee. The focus in the game is on command and control and effective use of reserves.
John La continues the saga of his SAGA campaign following two battles against Jeremey’s Anglo Danes
War comes to the Isles
Winter has been kind, fresh recruits flock to our holy war banner, blessed by the Saints. Strong men from Steornabhag make up the most loyal retainers, wielding their great axes with strength and speed. Whilst travelling to market in Steornabhag, We were surprised to find the army of Beornsen blocking our path. Danish witchcraft perplexed our brave warriors as though they had drunk too much Uisge. The bravest of the brave, stout axemen of Talisker charged forward to remove the irritant bowmen, these cowardly men afraid of steel met the edges of mighty axes. What was this ! More witchcraft and sorcery or was it too much Uisge as the axes failed to meet their mark. Enraged our brave and mighty lads charged Beornsen himself who luckily survived the frenzied onslaught. A way had been cleared for our goods but Thornstein The Slaver’s path was blocked by cowardly bowmen. Single handed He took them on but the brave Slaver was finally overcome by the Milksop wretches. Beornsen was knocked to the ground from a challenge, badly wounded and he would pay dearly for this arrogant invasion of our peaceful realm.
Einar ‘Buttered Bread’ becomes a Man
Weakened by his ill considered attack, Beornsen’s lands were ripe for raiding. More new recruits had joined and our fleet of Birlinn’s was now three. We sailed east until we sighted Beornsen’s land. There was no resistance to our landing as the Danes fled in fear of our Mighty host. Beornsen’s men were waiting by ford to ambush us. More witchcraft made our mean hesitant but this time there was a steely determination. Beornsen’s best men and Beornsen himself charged the stout axemen of Talisker, steel met steel, steel met flesh in a whirring frenzy of axes. The fight finished with Beornsen in control of the ford and the waters ran red with the blood of brave warriors. Seeing Beornsen isolated on the ford, our viking cousins from Orkney issued a challenge and callow youth Einar ‘Buttered Bread’ was pushed to the front to take on Beornsen in single combat. Hampered by a serious wound, Beornsen failed to land a blow. Einar closed his eyes and swung his mighty axe, it shattered Beornsen’s helm, cleaving him in two, kicking the remains of Beornsen’s head into the waters below. Arise Einar ‘Skull Splitter’! whose reputation has spread far and wide across the lands. With the death of their impulsive Leader, the Danish resistance crumbled beneath a hail of javelins and axes. It had been a profitable raid and Ui Naill cousins from Donegal have joined our growing army. Much Uisge was drunk in celebration. We spend time planning and training as the nights draw in.
Meanwhile storm clouds gather to the south and east. Winter is coming.
Stephen has written the following report on his Open Day game.
At the Open Day we got in three games of Lion Rampant, all based around the idea that the English were raiding the town of Sluys in Flanders.
The first game saw the English having to burn the town! In Lion Rampant you win the game by getting the most Glory, and you gain Glory by achieving your objectives and by also making Boasts. The English managed to set light to some of the buildings, which they gained Glory for, and also by achieving their Boasts – on this occasion that the English leader would challenge the French leader to a duel.
First game went to the English.
The second game was based around ransacking the town and getting away with as much loot as possible. In this game the English moved up quickly, but the French moved up their Genoese crossbowmen mercenaries who loosed their quarrels to devastating effect. The English had a poor time of it. Some longbowmen tried to make off with some loot but found the way to the ships blocked by some angry French knights.
Second game went to the French.
The third game was a decider. We re-played the ‘burning’ scenario with Mark and Alan from the Milton club taking command of the two sides. The English were slow to advance, which meant the French managed to move forward enough to protect the town. The English leader challenged the French leader to a duel, but it was ill-advised – the English lord was slain!
Third and final game went to the French, meaning the day had been a French victory.
Time to share a random selection of pictures from the last couple of club meetings – April 28th by Andy King, May 12th by Tony Francis and Stephen Tucker. Highlights include Pete’s ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ Vietnam game, two naval games (Napoleonic and 50’s modern), Celtos Fantasy and a Star Wars fleet battle.
At the last meeting we had a game of Sword & Spear – Romans against Sarmatians.
We decided to do one of the scenario games listed in the rules: Attack A Prepared Position.
The Romans (Andy King and Dave Sime) were defending which meant the Sarmatians (Tony Gibbs and Stephen Tucker) had to break them or they lose by default. After the sixth turn a dice is rolled each turn and depending on the roll that could be the end of the game.
So there was no time to lose.
The battle field was set up with a hill and wood on one flank, and on the other was another hill, an area of rocky ground, and a villa/farm. The Romans also had a fortified camp which they put in the middle of their table edge.
Since the Romans were defending they had to deploy first. They used their legionaries to form a strong line linking the farm and camp. They kept their cavalry in the rear as a mobile reserve, and put their auxiliaries in the farm with the wall to protect them. Their skirmishers – some light cavalry, slingers, and a few archers – they had out front in the open.
The Sarmatians deployed with their cavalry in the middle. On their left they put the light cavalry archers, and on the right they had a few skirmishers with bows and some Gepid mercenaries.
The game started with the Romans remaining stationary. There was no need for them to advance after all.
Tony’s Sarmatians on the left made good speed, advancing to threaten the Roman skirmishers and light cavalry. The right flank was somewhat tardy in its advance – the rocky ground and poor activation dice making progress difficult.
First blood went to the Sarmatians, who made short work of the Roman skirmishers. It was never looking good for them out there in the open against all that cavalry. There was a desultory exchange of bowfire between the Roman auxiliaries in the farm and the advancing Sarmatian skirmishers.
With the Roman light troops routed the Sarmatian left flank advanced on the Roman line. The Romans feared a mighty cavalry charge and moved their own cavalry into position where they might plug any gap should the inevitable happen. The Roman legionaries around the villa wobbled back and forth, unsure whether to make a charge or to hold their line (they chose to hold the line) and the Gepids finally managed to move up.
The turns ticked by. The Sarmatians were ahead on points but this game wasn’t about who killed most – the Sarmatians were against the clock and if they didn’t break the Roman line quickly that would be it. So in went the Gepids and in went the Sarmatian cavalry!
The Gepids delivered a whallop, but the Romans paid that back with interest. The cavalry charge wasn’t all it could have been and the Roman line held and pushed them back.
It hadn’t been enough.
Dusk fell, and time was up. Game end!
The Sarmatians had destroyed more Roman units but had failed to break them before the last turn.
Though bloodied, the Romans held the field and were declared victors.
Obenstleutnant Heinze Siebenundfunfzig, Staffels 5.KG76 and 7.JG51
Aircraft: 9 JU88-1 and 8 ME109-3
Six ME109s stayed closely to the bombers for support while two fighters were allowed to roam. Three JU88s were assigned rail-yards as a target while six were assigned a group of oil storage tanks. The bombers and escorting fighters were to stay in a tight group until near their respective targets. Ten minutes before target we were met by a large number of Hurricanes who bore straight in on the bombers. Our fighters shot down one Hurricane in a head-on attack as they passed over the bombers. The British pilots bravely concentrated most of their effort on the bombers giving our fighters an advantage. The 20mm canons were especially effective since our pilots were shooting accurately. The bombers rear gunners were making steady hits with their 30 calibres, managing to down at least one British fighter. The bombers took numerous 30 calibre hits and all but one managed to return; three had serious damage and all had been hit at least several times. The fighter pilots claimed 18 kills.
A navigational problem caused the bombers to continue past their targets before turning for home. This error was caused by my failure to submit sufficiently detailed orders. Fortunately, it had little effect on the mission or the casualties. This will not happen again (if I still have a command). Heil Hitler!
Nine bombers completed their run on their targets; two failed to release because they were not aligned. The results from above looked promising, especially on the oil tanks.
With more raids like this one Britain will not last out the month.
Squadron Leader Duncan MacDonald, CO 213 Sqn, Tangmere
Scrambled by sector in response to a German raid, the Hurricanes of 213 Sqn climbed to maximum altitude and spotted a formation of Ju88s escorted by Me109s below them, heading North. A similar formation of German Do17s and escorts to the East was engaged by 602 Sqn. In accordance with doctrine 213 Sqn pressed home the attack against the bombers, diving to engage the Ju88s head on; passing behind them and then turning to pursue them.
While our aircraft attacked the bombers they were in turn attacked by the Me109s; the German cannon reaping havoc among the Hurricanes, with many of the squadron’s aircraft being shot down.
The Ju88s pressed on towards their targets, a railway marshalling yard and a fuel tank farm, with the remaining Hurricanes in pursuit. One Ju88 was brought down, but most of the rest unleashed their bombs on target.
As the Ju88s turned towards RAF Linton the last of the Hurricanes was brought down.
A very bad day for the squadron.
From officer commanding 9.KG76, Hauptmann Joachim Roth.
Two flights of bombers (6 x Do17) from 9. KG76 were designated to target the power station and one flight (3 x Do17) were assigned to the sidings; all escorted by 4 Bf109E from 8. JG51with another 4 Bf109E flying independently.
As we neared the targets two fighters broke off to get behind the approaching Spitfires. However, we were surprised that the Spitfires grouped up and attacked the fighters and not the bombers as expected.
Our fighters were soon losing numbers fast however this gave the bombers a clearer run at the targets. All of the bombers released their bombs over the assigned targets; however accuracy was not particularly good.
Our fighters took a number of wrong turns and were not as effective as they should have been especially against the tight turns of the Spitfires. Eventually 3 of our Do17s assigned to the power station attack and all our fighters were destroyed; the remaining bombers, one of which was severely damaged, broke off and headed for home.
Squadron Leader Hetherington – Smythe, CO 602 Sqn – Tangmere
The squadron was scrambled along with Hurricanes from 213 Sqn to intercept a raid into southern England. We were vectored onto the raiders numbering some 18 bombers with numerous escorting fighters.
We climbed to high altitude with two flights providing top cover. The Hurricanes were at lower altitude to the west. The raiders were in two more or less equal groups. The Hurricanes went for the western group, whilst 602 moved to engage the Eastern group. Initial contact with this group was on our 11:00 someway below us. The initial contact made interception tricky as we would approach nearly head on. Using our height and speed advantage the squadron moved to the SW with a view to engaging from the beam and stern of the group. However, the loose escorting fighters were going to be a problem. Therefore, the squadron was kept concentrated and focused on the escorting fighters. We managed to overwhelm them destroying seven and damaging one for two damaged Spitfires. This took time and the bombers were able to reach their target with minimal losses, one destroyed and one lightly damaged. The Hurricanes trying to concentrate on the bombers suffered at the hands of the escorting fighters.
It is suggested that the Duxford Big Wing concept is developed so that our fighters engage both the escorts and the bombers. I considered joining the Hurricanes in engaging the western group, at the time going for the closer group seemed the way ahead. On reflection the Spitfires concentrating on the western fighters would most likely have allowed the Hurricanes to deal with the bombers more effectively.
Paul had to leave early so Andy took over 602 Sqn.
The squadron continued to attack the Do17s and their escorting Me109s as they turned for home, eventually shooting down the last Me109 and three of the nine Do17’s. Part of the Squadron headed west to assist the Hurricanes of 213 Sqn. Only one plane from 602 Sqn was shot down, LO-J.