Air War Germany 1944 – Session 2

We played out our second session of the campaign in April 2019 and as we have our third session at Next Saturday’s meeting it was high time to write it up!

The British were approaching their target and had been benefited by fog that had hampered the take-off of nightfighters from 1.Jagddivision, but the British umpire now played a weather change card as the main raid neared its target, which luckily cleared the ground in just the right area and replaced it with heavy cloud cover for the attacking bombers!

Me 110G-4s scramble – planes used in the campaign are all 1/600 Tumbling Dice with Dom’s Decals, from the Umpire’s collection

The first action resulted from a straggler interception of the main raid by the commander of 2.Jagddivision, Steve, which allowed him to vector in the Me110G-4s of III.NJG3 as the raid passed Rostock in a ‘Tame Boar’ attack.  In this type of attack each nightfighter followed the bomber stream using on-board radar to detect and close on targets.  The targets proved hard to find, but Dave detected and successfully shot down 1 straggling Lancaster, K for King.

Another night-fighter unit from 1.Jagddivision, commanded by Dave, now made the first successful infiltration of the main bomber stream.  The attacking unit was 2.NJG5, also equipped with Me110-G-4s, but it’s impact was reduced by having been scattered on take-off in foggy weather.  Not only did it fail to inflict any damage but one of the attacking fighters piloted by Andy was shot down by defensive fire when if homed in on it’s target, B for Baker.

ME 109G-6s scramble

The raid move on and the target was now revealed as the raid stream turned south and began bombing its target, Berlin.  Dave was able to vector in the Me109G-6s of 1.JG302 to attack the the head of the bomber stream as it passed over the target in a ‘Wild Boar’ attack, closely followed by the Me110F-4s and G-4s of 3.NJG5, which were directed in from the radar beacon north-west of Berlin where they had been orbiting.  This type of attack was made by visually intercepting bombers lit up by searchlights.  The cloud cover reduced the searchlight effect, but bombers could still be attacked against the illuminated clouds.  The defending fighters had to take their chances with defending flak fire.

The first attack by the Me-109s resulted in heavy losses for the attackers.  Steve made a spectacular high score, shooting down four attacking Lancasters – G for George, F for Fox, M for Mike and P for Peter.  Dave added to his score with two more bombers, D for Dog and J for Jig.  John L opened his score with E2 for Easy Squared.  Chairman John pursued another bomber, J2 for Jig Squared, but only managed to damage her before she exited the illuminated zone.  The British scored back as Andy homed in on D2 for Dog Squared, damaging the bomber with his first burst, only to be damaged in turn and driven off by defensive fire from the bombers gunners.

The air picture around Berlin at the end of the second session, with the position of the bomber stream in the previous move shown as a tracked target

The resolution of the attack by 3.NJG5 was postponed until the next session, as time was up for the day….

At the end of session 2 the points scored were as follows:

Dave (1JD)                        +6             +3 for Lancasters shot down, +1 for Tame Boar attack, +2 for Wild Boar attacks

Steve (2JD)                       +5            +4 for Lancasters shot down, +1 for Tame Boar attack

John L (7JD)                      +1             +1 for Lancaster shot down

Chairman John (3JD)    +0.5       +.5 for Lancaster damaged

Andy (4JD)                         -2.5      +.5 for Lancaster damaged, -2 for Me110 shot down, -1 for Me109 damaged

That leaves the individual League table so far as follows (with 2JD the leading team so far with 8 points):

Dave (1JD)                        +6         2 sessions played

Steve (2JD)                       +5         1 session played

Mike (2JD)                       +3           1 session played

Chairman John (3JD)  +2.5        2 sessions played

John L (7JD)                      +1           1 session played

Chris (7JD)                       -1.5           1 session played

Bob (4JD)                          -2             1 session played

Andy (4JD)                        -2.5       1 session played

The Battle Of Antietam

Stephen takes on the Union in this historical refight.

At a recent meeting we had an American Civil War game – the Battle of Antietam!

Being such a large battle, and the bloodiest in American history, we didn’t do the whole battle. Instead we focused on the action at the end of the day – the Union grab for Sharpsburg.

Our game took place after the battle for Burnside bridge. We set up the brigades as they were after the Confederates had been pushed back and Burnside’s corps advanced toward Sharpsburg.

Taking the Union were Jon Roche (Corps command plus Wilcox and Sturgis’ divisions) and Paul French (with Rodman and Scannon’s divisions). In control of the Confederates were Jeremey Claridge (Jones’ division) and Stephen Tucker (Hill’s division). There was no overall Confederate commander, with the two Confederate divisions (which were much larger than the Union divisions) acting independently.

The Union side also had a large artillery park with three batteries which were under Army command, so couldn’t be moved but would shoot at targets that came in range.

The Union objective was to get a brigade in Sharpsburg, the Confederate objective was to stop them!

Initially, Hill’s division was not deployed – his brigades were busily marching up the road from Harper’s Ferry to bolster the Confederate line. So at the outset the Union outnumber the Confederates. As such, the Union made an advance on the Confederate line. Not so on the southern edge – Scannon’s division was a bit tardy in its approach. Meanwhile, John deployed his artillery in a field, near to the Army artillery park, which would provide a powerful incentive for the Confederates not to counter-attack on that side.

Hill’s division came on, but was hampered in its deployment due to cramped conditions – it was proving hard to fit the brigades and artillery where they were needed.

Eventually the two sides came to blows – Jones’ division to the north around Cemetery Hill facing off against Wilcox and Sturgis, and Rodman (waiting Scannon’s arrival) to the south coming over Centre Hill.

The early part of the battle was going slightly in favour of the Confederates. The artillery to the north was making it hard to take the battle to the Union, so Jones’ brigades and artillery dug-in and pushed back the Union attacks.

On Centre Hill, Rodman came over the top, took a round of musketry, and then pulled back! Much to everyone’s amazement (not, least Burnside’s!). Paul did try to explain this (ahem) ‘cautious’ move.

But maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Because emboldened by this withdrawal, Hill advanced his brigades over Centre Hill and took the battle to the Union with a wild rebel yell. And paid the price for charging the guns.

Equally emboldened, Jones advanced Drayton’s brigade against the Union brigades and artillery to the north. After a round of pummelling from Union Corps and Army artillery they soon regretted it and hobbled back all but destroyed.

In the end our game had a very historical outcome – the battle just fizzled out. The Union didn’t have it in them to continue the push to Sharpsburg and the Confederates didn’t have it in them to counter attack. Like the actual battle itself, it was a no-score draw – both sides had taken so many casualties neither could carry the day.

My thanks to Jeremey and Andy for taking some pictures.

Intruder Alert!


In November 1980 a now forgotten conflict started. Now you can re-fight that conflict at the Open Day. Jeremey will be taking on all comers, with this hard uncompromising game. Many show games are made in favour of the player, not this one. Expect to face humiliation as you try and get a high score against the relentless robots or Evil Otto himself. Can you clock up the highest score to be crowned Berserk champion?

Beyond the Pale

Alan K briefs us on another Open Day offering.

Ireland 1596

Another English garrison is under attack from the Irish rebels. Your column has been sent to relieve the garrison and with your modern weapons, drilling and artillery they should be no match for you. But the Irish are wily and you don’t want to suffer the same fate as your forces at the Ford of the Biscuits or Clontibret. Can you get the column through?

Beyond the Pale is a recreation of a typical encounter in the Nine Years’ War in Ireland (also known as Tyrone’s Rebellion) which saw an Irish alliance under Hugh O’Neill of Tyrone and Hugh Roe O’Donnell of Tyrconnell resisting the Tudor conquest of Ireland between 1593 and 1603.

The English forces suffered an embarrassing mauling at the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits in Country Fermanagh in 1594 and defeats at the Battles of Clontibret in 1595 and at the Yellow Ford in 1598 when English relief columns were harassed by Irish forces and finally engaged.

The game will use the Irregular Wars: Wargaming at the World’s End rules and 28mm figures from the old Vendel Miniatures (now available again from d’Arlo Figurines), Monolith Graven Images (also available again this time from Hoka Hey Wargaming) and Pendraken ranges.

The Flying Musketeers

Tony F goes aerial with his planned Open Day game.

Operation Musketeer was the codename given to the joint British and French plan to occupy the Suez Canal zone in 1956. The conflict also involved Israel which invaded the Sinai peninsula, forming part of the second Arab-Israeli war.

MiG-17s overfly a coastal town.

My game looks at the conflict in the air. It was one of the last air wars to be fought entirely with guns, before the advent of the missile age. It also involved a wide range of aircraft, from WW2-era prop planes such as the Mustang and Mosquito used by the IAF, to the latest jet fighters. Egyptian pilots flew the MiG-15 and MiG-17, the RAF deployed Hunters, Venoms and Vampires, and even deployed the first of the nuclear capable V-Bombers,the Valiant, along with the smaller Canberra, from bases in Cyprus and Malta. Not a great deal of air-to-air combat occurred during the conflict but as wargamers we never let the truth get in the way of a good game, so rest assured there will be plenty of chances to dogfight with the enemy.

RAF Canberra Bombers

The 1/600th models are all from Tumbling Dice. Buildings and other scenery come from local manufacturer Brigade Models. The rules are a home-brew variant of Spitting Fire by US publisher Majestic 12 Games.

Israeli Mosquitoes on a recce flight

The idea will be to run a number of consecutive short scenarios over the day, allowing players to drop in and out during the day.

Israeli Mysteres over a mosque near the Suez canal.

Open Day Axemen

Stephen previews his Open Day game.

For this year’s Open Day I will be doing a 28mm Saga game. It is based on the Norman invasion of Ireland.

I have a large collection of dark ages/early medieval stuff. However, I thought the Norse Gaels would better reflect the military style of the later Irish warriors than the actual Irish battleboard in the game. Whilst I had most of the necessary troops what I was lacking were some two-handed axe armed warriors – so that’s what I’ve painted up.

These are all Gripping Beast figures. I am pleased to say they have now blooded their axes! We recently had a game of Saga and I brought the Norse Gaels out to give them a try.
The Open Day game will centre around a Norman raid on an Irish religious community. This means I will have to build a round tower for the game as well.

If you’ve never played Saga before, or if you have but have yet to try Saga 2 (because that’s what we’ll be using) then come along and enjoy a game – whether wildly swinging axes is your style or if you prefer mounting a good cavalry charge.

Thunderhead

Another Open Day game preview, this time from Marcus Wheeler

It’s Wellington Stock’s toughest mission yet! What is Project Thunderhead, and why has its chief scientist Dr. “Cat” Fisher disappeared? Wellington finds himself in deep trouble in the dangerous waters off Australia’s north coast.

The game is a “playable demo” (in other words, I am still working on it!) of underwater close quarters combat, with all the staples of the genre. From a stealthy starting mission, play builds to an action packed, frenetic big battle conclusion.

Charlie Don’t Surf

Pete tells us all about his Open Day Game

“Charlie Don’t Surf” is a card driven Company level Vietnam game played with 10mm figures and models from club member Pete Smith’s collection.

This scenario will see three Platoons of US Infantry search for VC munition and rice caches in and around a small hamlet on the main highway from Saigon to Da Nang. Local VC are known to operate in this area. Also,Company HQ has advised that a company of NVA may have deployed to this area to interrupt any US operations.

The US forces may be inserted into the area by Huey Helicopters or may decide to go in on foot.
A Cobra gunship and spotter helicopter are in support,along with a mech.platoon of M113s and maybe a Phantom F4 could be available to assist.

The US have a lot of fire power at hand, but a couple of well placed ambushes by the VC and NVA can turn things around against the US very rapidly.

We’ve played several CDS games at the club and they’ve all been fast moving and exiting.

Why not not swing by and visit the ‘Nam and maybe command a squad of US Infantry or VC/NVA for a few turns?

Open Day 2019

Open Day Coordinator Dave Sime gives the low-down on this year’s games…

Open Day, 22nd June 2019

The Open Day will be held on June 22nd from 11am to 4pm at our usual venue in Linton, just outside Maidstone.

Below is the list of games for the 2019 Open Day – over the next few weeks each game sponsor will be giving us more details on their respective games.

Just to whet your appetites, here are a selection of the games from last year’s event…

A Tale of Two Skimishes

Alan K updates us on the club’s two visits to the the Skirmish wargames show in 2018.

As I was putting together the forces for our game at the next Skirmish show (the Second Battle of El Teb, 29 February 1884) I realised that I hadn’t written anything about our two visits last year.

For the first show we had decided on a 28mm Vietnam scenario based on a hastily mounted search and rescue operation for a downed helicopter crew. But as we watched the weather forecast steadily worsen (an interesting contrast to this year) with snow expected it was touch and go whether we might attend at all. In the end we decided to brave it and the snow turned out not to be anywhere near as bad as we had feared. Unfortunately it did have rather a chilling effect (sorry about that) on both the traders and visitors.

In any event, we arrived well in time and set up the game with the crashed chopper over to one side and the landing zone (LZ) over toward the other. The players took control of the small US unit designated to search this area and were duly landed at the LZ. The Viet Cong (VC) and other random encounters were all handled by the FNG rules from Two Hour Wargames.

Between the LZ and the main search area was a fast flowing stream crossed by a single ford on the main route to the nearby village. The players seemed reluctant to use the ford and so decided to cross the stream. Unfortunately the first man lost his footing and if it had not been for some quick reactions on behalf of his squad mates he might have drowned. Of course all the commotion attracted the attention of a lone VC who began taking pot shots from cover at the US troops in the open.

After dealing with this initial threat the Americans advanced and began to make their way slowly through the long grass towards the jungle encountering more VC emerging from cover or well concealed spider holes and always keeping an eye out for booby traps! The US forces made slow progress taking a few casualties before being assaulted by a larger VC force. Having seen them off they finally located the chopper crew and withdrew to the LZ for a dust off.

Our second visit to Skirmish later in the year was another 28mm affair but this time winding back to the Great War. In this case our game was set early in the war, featuring a certain Erwin Rommel and taken directly from his own account of the action in his book Infantry Attacks. In his own, admittedly potentially self-aggrandising narrative, after advancing west from Hill 325, Lt. Rommel stopped his platoon in cover in a field and took a scouting group ahead. Making use of cover and the foggy conditions, they passed one farm and found their way close to the Mussy-la-Ville road. As the scouting team approached they spotted a couple of French squads relaxing along the road. Rommel decided to attack rather than wait to bring up the rest of his platoon. Surprised by Rommel’s bold attack the French put up little resistance and then surrendered.

In our scenario the player who took Rommel was somewhat less bold and when he encounter the French decided to fall back and gather his platoon before attacking. Unfortunately for him that meant another French squad had arrived before the Germans returned and they had more of a fight on their hands!