What a Tanker – Saturday 09/07/2022

One of our newer members, Eric, reports on a What a (Grav) Tanker game run by Marcus at a recent meeting.

Today I was fortunate enough to play a modified game of “What A Tanker“. Rather than use the original rules published by “Two Fat Lardies”, my opponent and host, Marcus, had adapted them for a sci-fi setting. I was advised from the off that it was a “beer and pretzels” game aimed at having fun and rolling dice rather than anything with any complex hardcore mechanics and depth. Marcus explained that what we were playing was still very much a work in progress and had only ever played in solo mode. There were kinks to iron out and rules to be tweaked, but what he has done with it so far worked well. I get the impression that it’s not meant to have the scope of some small-scale future skirmish games (e.g., Hammers Slammers) – troops and heavy weapons weren’t present in our game. Maybe that is something that will appear later as Marcus works on the rules.

The original Lardies concept is a one-to-one ratio with multiple players fielding one tank each, and in an ideal situation you would have more than two players. However, Marcus’ adaption allows for two players with an increased unit count and the ability to scale up/down players/tanks if desired. As this was essentially a play test, we had several tanks each to command and the rules would be fluid and subject to change as we went.

We used 15mm tanks – the main battle tanks (MTB’s) were a combination of Old Crow miniatures tank chassis with Brigade Models Rapier MBT turrets.

The wheeled, light tanks were Ground Zero Games Paladin II models.

To add to the atmosphere (and create interruption for lines of site), there was some truly brilliant scratch-built scenery supported by alien flora, which looked suspiciously like plastic home aquarium plants (something that was used in Marcus’ sub aqua game). You can have a house point if you can figure out what the basis is for the 15mm buildings.

The rules were quite simple and easy to pick up. Each tank generates a dice pool which in turn is used to generate power that is allocated to different functions – movement, firing, shields, repair and so forth. This provided a level of complexity which meant that it wasn’t just rolling dice and saying “BANG! Your tank’s been destroyed”. Management of the power available to you is an important factor in making effective use of your tank and how it operates. The dice rolled at the beginning of each activation also determine what actions you can perform, with a wildcard number being available (should you generate one) which could be used to facilitate any one of the other functions. For example, you might generate the numbers needed to acquire a target, aim, fire and reload, but not necessarily move. Clearly this is a hindrance if your enemy has snuck behind that abandoned generator shed with the annoying graffiti, and you can’t get a clear shot. This is where the wildcard can be used to perform any of the prescribed game actions. At this point, you would logically trade it for the opportunity to move your tank to get a better shot. The same can be said for any of the other actions that you might need to perform. The wildcard number can also be used to repair non-critical damage.

Unlike other games that rely on a move -> shoot -> melee formula that you don’t normally deviate from, you can issue the commands for your tank in any order you choose. Instead of moving, aiming and firing, if you’ve already acquired your target and have line of sight, you could fire, then move away and reload. This of course, all depends on the previously mentioned power that you have generated via the dice pool and how you have pre-assigned it to different functions.

Let battle commence!, Game 1.

For our game, I was given command of three Paladin II wheeled units whereas Marcus had two heavy/MBT’s. Whilst the heavier tanks looked like they had the edge, we were in fact quite well balanced by me having three units to his two.

We deployed either end of the table with the intention of getting close enough to acquire each other as a target and then aim and fire. All the time, lines of sight were hampered by the local vegetation and buildings, making it tricky to get a bead on one other without exposing ourselves to a barrage of shells/lasers/railgun rounds.

After a while of getting used to the rules (for my benefit) we managed to engage in combat with one of my Paladins taking a couple of hits from Marcus’ MBT. Damage comes in two forms: critical and non-critical. Both types strip you of dice from your pool. If you were to have five dice in your pool and you took two hits; on your next activation, the dice pool would be reduced from five to three. Critical hits can’t be recovered from; these represent non repairable damage, but non-critical ones can. In your next activation round if you generate a wildcard result, it can be traded to remove one non-critical hit, thus restoring a die to your pool. Without those dice it’s a lot tougher to generate the actions you want and provide the power for them each turn.

After several turns of skulking through the undergrowth I finally managed to get into position and land a good couple of solid hits on one of Marcus’s MBT’s. He fired on me but with power management points applied to the shields, I successfully negated any damage he would have caused. The subsequent turn, I trundled into a kill position and finished off the already crippled MBT. This awarded me a special card which could be used in that game or saved and carried over to a future skirmish.

As it looked like our game would turn into one of cat and mouse between Marcus’s remaining tank and my Paladins, we decided to end it there.

The red Paladin takes down Marcus’ MBT, drawing the first game to a close

As there was still time on the clock, we decided to play a second game.

Game Two

This time Steve and James joined me, so we had a Paladin each, while Tony joined Marcus controlling one of the two MBT’s. The scenery set up remained the same and the deployment as was as the last time, with both teams starting at opposite ends.

James took the left flank, Steve, the right and I went down the middle. Tony had managed to work his MBT into a spot where he could snipe on me and stripped away a couple of dice worth of power which made my next activation extremely difficult. It wasn’t long into the game though before we had our first casualty, me! Trying to shield myself next to a building did no good and a second round of firing from Tony reduced my tank to a burning wreck without me even getting a shot off.

Smoke billows from the blue Paladin after receiving catastrophic damage from Tony’s MBT

Meanwhile Steve moved up the right-hand side of the table exchanging fire with Marcus whilst James tried to outmanoeuvre Tony. Steve took some hits which would have meant he was seriously compromised but managed to recover all the damage he had suffered (including any critical hits) with the help of a special play card. Unfortunately, he subsequently succumbed to fire from Marcus, meaning the MBT’s were in a superior position and dominating the battle, leaving just James to try and slug it out with the two MBT’s on his own.

Steve attempts to take the right flank – Marcus’ MBT is just out of shot

James, still on the flank, his Paladin now damaged and functioning at 80% capacity, managed to get into position which gave him a clear shot at Tony. A hail of fire destroyed Tony’s tank, while Marcus looked for a firing solution against James. Marcus fired, but the shells glanced harmlessly off the Paladin thanks to some wise use of power management to his shield. With only Marcus left and in a clear line of site, James reciprocated Marcus’ salvo after winning initiative. The hits were enough to cause some non-critical damage but with the help of a special play card earned from taking out Tony, James’ shells found a chink in Marcus’s armour and truly ended the battle with a bang and winning the game.

James’ Paladin makes its way up the left flank

I’ve deliberately neglected to include some of the rules that were used – for brevity’s sake and because it’s Marcus’ project it’s undoubtedly subject to change.

I can say in all honesty, I look forward to Marcus getting the rules fully realised and written up as this makes for a great pick-up game, with more subtle complexities than would first appear. With the planned revisions that he has this has all the markings of being a great little game. It’s certainly made me want to buy some 15 mm sci-fi tanks now!

Society Meeting 9th July 2022

A tad late, but here’s a short pictorial round up of the games staged at our last meeting.

Stephen and Tony G ran a game of Sword & Spear (Romans and Germans) in 15mm.

Paul also ran an Ancients game, using his own rules for 3mm figures.

 

And finally, Marcus and Eric played a game of Marcus Sci Fi adaption of What a Tanker, using 15mm tanks. There will be an article by Eric on this game shortly.

Return to Tatooine

The good weather appears to have slowed down member’s painting and modelling activities, so instead of a WIP Wednesday post, here’s Tony’s account of the Society’s game at Broadside.

At the recent Broadside show in Gillingham, the club resurrected an old game from many years ago – its first outing was way back in 1997. Originally named with the simple but descriptive title of ‘Tatooine Droid Hunt’, it was rebadged as ‘Utini!’ for this outing, which is a Jawa exclamation of shock or surprise.

The game centres around a Jawa sandcrawler during the opening scenes of Star Wars:A New Hope. Imperial stormtroopers are hunting for C3P0 and R2D2 amongst the droid waifs and strays which have been collected by the sandcrawler crew. Back in the day we didn’t take any photos of the game in action (it was before the days of camera phones) so this was a good chance to fill a gap in the club’s historical record.

The sandcrawler was scratchbuilt by Phil Richards, the stormtroopers and Jawas are long-OOP figures from West End Games painted by Tony Francis and the droids are from the Galoob micro-machines range. Phil is going to write-up the sandcrawler build in more detail for the website, but for now here’s a gallery of photos from Broadside taken by Andy King.

Society Meeting 11/06/2022

A bit later than planned, but here’s a brief photo roundup of the games staged at our meeting on June 11th.

Field of Glory, 6mm Ancients.

Sword & Spear (15mm) – Wars of the Roses

Star Wars Armada

Work in Progress Wednesday

Jeremey has briefly been sidelined, so Tony F takes over the WIP Wednesday reins this week.

The club’s gone relatively quiet lately – obviously everyone’s efforts went into the jubilee ! However, there has still been some progress – Mark J has employed his magnifying glass for his 6mm Saxons (above), then broke out the electron microscope for some 2mm Antonine for Strength and Honour, which are based on perspex.

Warbases’ 2mm Roman Legion (Mark J)

Marcus meanwhile has been working on some 28mm Spy-fi and 15mm Sci-fi miniatures.

The initial stages of some 28mm Spy-fi from Marcus (who, like Bond, seems to have an eye for the ladies !).
15mm Sci-fi from Marcus – mostly Brigade Models but with the odd interloper.

Jeremey has been converting a Copplestone figure to act as his Stargrave crew’s first mate.

Jeremey has named this image ‘Avon’ – a nod to the Blake’s 7 character perhaps ?

And finally, something from me – these were missed from the last WIP Wednesday post (about which I’m not bitter at all…) but since I’m in charge this week, I’m putting them in. First, it’s more additions to my Middle Earth armies – half-a-dozen elf spearmen to accompany the cavalry I painted a few weeks ago.

Six Rivendell elf spearmen

Next is my take on Radagast the Brown – it’s not either of the official GW figures which are rather expensive, but a Conquest Miniatures hedge witch. I added a bird from an OOP Celtos figure which is positioned as if the wizard is talking to it, painted up as a falcon.

Talking to the birds…

And to round things off, another small piece of 6mm desert terrain, an oasis made from 3mm Foamex, a sand/paint/PVA texture, cheap palm trees from eBay and clear PVA for the water.

Water, water everywhere.

Society Meeting 14/05/2022

In addition to the Stargrave game previously reported, there were two other games run at this meeting, both using rulesets new to the Society from from Two Fat Lardies .

First up the 6mm Ancients players tried out the Strength and Honour rules with a couple of games involving Roman and Pontic armies.

Our members collections are primarily based for Field of Glory / DBM, so for this trial game Perspex bases were used to reflect the bases sizes in Strength & Honour.

The left of the Roman Battle Line
Pontics on the left, Romans on the right
Roman Legions form up
Pontic pike phalanxes
Pontic scythed chariot supported by cavalry and clibanarii
View from the Roman lines
Pontic phalanxes with skirmisher supports
Clash of cavalry, Pontic Clibanarii against lighter Roman cavalry
Infantry lines get into the fray

The first game was a narrow Pontic victory, the second was a Roman walkover.

Some members are also building some armies in 2mm for these rules on the regulation bases, here’s a Roman legion arrayed in the triplex acies:

Trial basing for 2mm figures.

The second game to feature a new ruleset was an early WW2 game using “O” Group rules. This featured a British advance on German positions, and ended in a German victory as the British failed to inflict enough damage on the Germans.

The battlefield in the lull before the storm
German officer giving orders
Two Matilda II tanks advance
German Pak 36
German Pak 36
British infantry advance
Matilda IIs with infantry support
Germans take cover behind the hedge.
British infantry also take cover
German heavy weapons, le.IG 18 75mm Infantry Support Gun in the forground. Pak 36 in the background

Finally, a few pictures from the Stargrave game that didn’t make the game report.

Tony’s crew advance
A cyber enhanced critter, the bane of Andy’s crew
Andy’s sniper takes position to cover the flank

Tribbles and Tribulations – A Stargrave Adventure

At a recent meeting Stephen ran a multiplayer Stargrave scenario:

Rather than a full blown battle report I thought I’d present the game as a photo report. Five star captains made their way to a disused research facility – Catrix Station. Each was after loot, but to keep things interesting they also had their own objectives…

Jeremey          Captain Blake
Tony                Captain Hosvarn
Eric                   Captain Kadel
Phil                   Captain Rita
Andy                 Captain Reynolds

Note some references to past TV/Film characters

Captain Blake (Jeremey) and crew disembark from The Liberator
Captain Reynold’s (Andy) crew take up position on the outskirts of Catrix Station
Captain Kadal (Eric) and crew
Captain Rita (Phil) and First Mate Old Ned approach Catrix Station
Captain Blake’s crew advance through Catrix Station
Monkey see, monkey do
Captain Kadal leads from the front into the ruins of Catrix Station
Captain Reynolds tries to organise his crew
Captain Hosvarn (Tony) is in deep tribble
‘Lets make a run for it’
Locked and loaded and ready to rock n roll
Two of Captain Hosvarn’s crew (on the right) cower behind cover at the approach of notorious bounty hunter Captain Kadal (Eric)
Captain Blake’s crew (bottom) advance on Captain Rita’s crew (top)
It took half of Captain Blake’s crew to kill a single monkey
Captain Kadal (in the centre) goes down as her crew engages with Andy’s crew
Private Property means nothing to these scavengers
Captains Hosvarn (bottom left) and Blakes (centre and top) crews as they surround Catrix Station

Any of the Captains that actually made it into the main Catrix Station building (see the photo of Captain Hosvarn above) landed themselves with a 150 credit bill for decontaminating their starships following a Tribble infestation.

Never heard of Tribbles? Follow the link: The Trouble with Tribbles

Are These The Droids You’re Looking For?

Over the last 12 months or so Phil and I have been assembling a variety of figures and vehicles – mostly repurposed toys – aimed at playing Star Wars games in 15mm (many of them have turned up in WIP Wednesday posts).

The Christmas meeting seemed like the ideal time to give them their debut, so I put together a simple scenario. I’d been unsure about what rules to use – I had a copy of the classic West End Games Star Wars miniatures rules as one option and another idea was to modify Games Workshop’s Middle Earth rules since they deal with heroes very effectively (using the magic rules to represent The Force). But I had an idea when I lined up some figures during painting – all of the figures were in squads of ten, which happens to be the same size as a crew in Stargrave. We’ve played a number of games since those were released, including during lockdowns when the club was unable to meet, so everyone was familiar with them which made them the ideal choice.

Figures
All of the figures in this game were from Highlander Studios in the US. For the five players we had two squads of Rebel troopers, two of Imperial stormtroopers and one of Jawas. There were also a few figures from the hero packs, including the droids and a couple of smugglers. The Jawas’ Ronto beast was a Galoob action fleet toy.

Buildings and Scenery
All of the buildings were put together by Phil from the Brigade Models 15mm Desert and Advanced Buildings ranges. The various walls and clutter around the buildings were also by Brigade. Some of the scatter terrain came from Debris of War. The desert mat came from Tiny Wargames.

Vehicles
The vehicles are sourced from a variety of toys and model kits. The Imperial stormtroopers flew in on a Galoob shuttle while the Rebels used a Revell U-Wing. The droids’ escape pod was also from Galoob, along with the skiff. The Falcon was another toy, it’s actually the wrong version (it’s from Solo and has the square radar) but I wasn’t too fussed about that, after all it looks like what it’s supposed to be, besides being much cheaper than any alternative I could find ! Luke’s landspeeder was a diecast model sourced from eBay, unfortunately I can’t remember the brand name. All of them came pre-painted, so were just given a wash of thinned black-brown acrylic mixed with Johnson’s floor polish, followed by a coat of Army Painter spray varnish – it’s amazing how this simple technique turns a toy into a scale model.

Scenario

Click for a larger version

The game is set at the start of the original Star Wars:A New Hope movie. R2-D2 and C-3PO have been ejected in an escape pod over Tatooine to keep them out of Imperial clutches, but here the story changes slightly. The Tantive IV has somehow evaded capture and has now despatched a shuttle full of Rebel troopers in a desperate bid to recover them. The Imperial Star Destroyer also spotted the pod, and sent down their own landing party to investigate. Both craft came down a short distance apart on the outskirts of Mos Eisley.

The game was intended for five players – two Rebels, two Imperials and myself playing the Jawas while also acting as a vaguely impartial umpire.

The players needed to search the buildings to find the droids – but there were other things in the buildings besides Artoo and Threepio. Each building had a random set of inhabitants, including Rebel sympathisers, Imperial loyalists and a pair of smugglers – plus the droids of course. Although I randomly rolled each time one of the buildings was searched, things were ‘fixed’ so that the droids would be in the last building to be searched.

The Rebels came out of the traps much more quickly than the stormtroopers – their lightly armoured figures moved slightly faster – and began searching the first buildings straightaway. They uncovered a pair of Imperial loyalists in the first building but made short work of them. However, nearby firing upset the Ronto which stampeded, and one Rebel squad ended up in a firefight with some Jawas (which inevitably ended badly for the locals).

The Imperials slow-but-steady approach saw them unearthing some Rebel sympathisers, whose appearance was brief as they disappeared under a hail of fire. The two forces were by now engaging each other, and the slightly better armour and longer-ranged weapons of the Stormtroopers began to be significant. They unearthed a pair of Sabacc-playing smugglers – Han and Chewie made a dash for the Falcon (obviously wishing to avoid any ‘Imperial entanglements’) but Han was immediately gunned down as they tried to cross the square. Chewie’s bowcaster dealt out some measure of revenge, but eventually the Wookie went down too.

By now the Rebels were searching the last building, and found the two droids. All they had to do was return them to their U-Wing and get off planet. However, they had taken more losses than the Imperials in getting to this point and numbers began to tell. One by one the Rebels were picked off by the steadily advancing line of Stormtroopers, until there was one Rebel trooper left. He got the droids virtually to the U-Wing’s ramp but fell at the final hurdle, allowing the Empire to snatch victory at the last.

Moon 22 – A Full Thrust Battle Report

Everyone loves a bit of space opera and so several members jumped at the chance of a game of Full Thrust. Jeremey takes us through the battle of Moon 22.

Rather than have a straight up fight I thought I’d create a scenario to add a bit of flavour. We had two players per side Marcus joined me against Tony and Stephen. As we didn’t have an umpire I created four different scenarios centered around two damaged freighters and the collapsed Moon 22, each scenario had a different objective and each team would draw one at random. The remaining two were not revealed so that neither team could guess what mission the enemy had.

Tony’s fleet were all from Brigade Models, while my fleet was one I’d scratchbuilt. This was in fact their first action. Tony and Stephen’s mission was to get alongside the damaged freighters and then escape with the cargo. The mission facing myself and Marcus was to destroy as many of the enemy fleet as possible while trying not to lose any ships.

At the start of the battle each player ended up splitting up effectively creating four battle groups. Both groups made straight for eachother apart from Tony who kept some ships back and headed for the freighters.

Having exchanged a bit of fire Marcus and Stephen’s ships got very close. We were using the slightly harder vector rules from the Full Thrust Fleet Book 1 which led to a miscalculation for Marcus’ ships where they stopped short and turned their backs to the enemy. In the meantime Stephen also turned some ships round in anticipation the enemy would fly past.

On the other side of the battle I engaged Tony’s ships in a fierce fire fight. I got lucky with the re-rolls on one attack causing significant damage.

Meanwhile Marcus and Stephen were still engaging eachother. Marcus was concentrating on the smaller ships in order to score more points towards the objective but at the expense of leaving Stephen’s bigger ships including their bigger guns.

It became obvious what mission Tony and Stephen had when Tony managed to get some ships close to the freighters. Seeing this I quickly moved some ships in order to get Tony’s  ships in line of sight.

I manged to destroy one of the ships but the others began to escape. Marcus had taken quite a beating from Stephens ships and decided to jump out rather than allow his ships to be destroyed.

With Marcus’ fleet leaving I made a run to catch up to Tony’s escaping ships. However I still had two big ships bearing down on me and so left a ship to cover my fleet.

Little did I know how severe the damge to Tony’s ships was, fire from my rear guard ship took out Tony’s flagship.

Tony’s ships were accelerating fast leaving only one chance to stop them. Unfortunately the dice were not with me and I manage to destroy only one of the fleeing ships.

With Tony having got only one of the two ships away and the loses suffered by mine and Marcus’ fleets the game ended in a draw.

It was good to get a game of Full Thrust in and for a chance to use my scratch built fleet. Also the moon used in the battle was an old sponge ball I found and the space mat was actually a table cloth.

“Upping The Ante” – A Hammers Slammers Battle Report

Peter dives into the si-fi universe of David Drake.

“…And so, Major Kovacs, PRA Intelligence has confirmed that the rebel fanatics have used their mineral wealth to hire what looks like the whole Ariete Division (some 15,000 men) to back their ludicrous independence claims and rescue their faltering defence. It seems likely that they will try to strike at some of the outlying abandoned mine-workings before heading to the coastal plains, in part to get some more income but also to give our troops a ‘bloody nose’ in the hope that it’ll make the govt sue for peace. It is your mission, therefore, to buy some time whilst we organise a major push – and to show those ‘Arietes’ that Paley is not such an easy proposition!”

Saturday 12th March saw another game set in the SF universe of ‘Hammers Slammers’. The scenario this time was taken from the ‘Paley Campaign’, with rebel forces aided later on by the Mercenary ‘Ariete’ Division to try and turn the civil war in their favour.

The game represented a reinforced probe as ‘Ariete’ began their drive in a pincer aimed at the mining settlement of Smiricky VII, defended by elements of the PRA 7th Armoured Regt. Only short-range recce was available, as the PRA had not inconsiderable AA assets… The forces used were as follows:

Ariete Division, ‘Trieste’ Armoured Regt

2x ‘veteran’ armoured detachments, each of 10x TUs (Tactical Units)

  • Tank platoon = 2x ‘Cougar’ heavy MBTs, +1x ‘King Cougar’ super-heavy MBT
  • Mech infantry platoon = 3x ‘Lynx’ heavy APCs (one with large-calibre ‘close-support’ HE cannon), carrying 1x TU of heavy infantry
  • 1x medium ‘Puma’ tank (with upgraded main weapon and light ATGM)

Commanders

  • Captain Christopher Sime
  • Lt ‘Juan Cornetto’ Treadaway

PRA 7th Cavalry Regiment – ‘The Iron Fist in the Iron Glove’

2x ‘trained’ detachments, each of 15x TUs

  • Tank platoon = 4x F6 ‘Hellcat’ medium MBTs
  • Mechanised infantry platoon = 4x light F20 ‘Tigercat’ APCs, each with 1x TU of assault infantry
  • Support platoon with 2x F4 ‘Wildcat’ (AAA version), and 1x new F35 ‘Sabrecat’ mounting a large ex-naval cone-bore weapon as enhanced anti-tank
  • All vehicles, whilst lighter than their opponents, had decent frontal armour and plenty of anti-tank light ATGMs….

1‘Company HQ’ F100 ‘Top-cat’ which allowed for the redistribution of ‘action points’ between the two sub-commands (the other ‘guard’ vehicles and bridgelayer were just for show – this time).

Neither side had any off-table artillery assets (the PRA has an abundance of multiple-launch semi-guided rocket artillery, like WW2 ‘Katyushas’ or MLRS)

The ‘company HQ’, whilst certainly handy, was also an excuse to put some more nice models out. All of the vehicles were (sort-of) scratch built from other ranges – more of which anon. Meanwhile, what happened….?

Unfortunately, the main PRA player (your erstwhile webmaster, as it happens…) had caught COVID just before the game, and so yours truly had to sub. As the task was a fairly static one, however, with a purely reactive defence, it was not too bad. So, after initial briefings and extremely useful reminders of the key rules by JT, the PRA were deployed in hasty defensive positions across a wide general arc covering the four main roads in to the site. The undoubted qualitative advantage of the Mercenary Arietes – command/control as well as equipment – was offset to an extent by the close terrain and the PRA being in defence.

Captain Sime got off to a good start with his tank platoon crashing through the woods astride the NE track, whilst the armoured infantry skirted to come in from the north. Certainly his three tanks had a good view of the defenders – it’s just that it also worked the other way, as he found to his cost when one of the new self-propelled AT guns sent a (very lucky) round crashing through the side of the lead giant ‘King Cougar’, which promptly exploded!

Whilst this unfortunate set-back had more effect on the player’s morale than overall result, it did lead to a more cautious probing and longer-range ‘softening-up’ of defending infantry bunkers, other PRA vehicles etc (especially the SP/AT!), which in the end was more to the Ariete’s advantage. The PRA main weapons only had a decent chance if they could get some side-armour shots, and so were hoping to ‘mix-it’ when the enemy got closer.

As the Ariete gradually eroded the PRA armour, a late probe by the Heavy APCs almost came to grief when they were caught in a close-range cross-fire from one of the multi-barrelled SP/AAA and hidden PRA tank-hunter infantry in the mine buildings. Sadly by this time the PRA was running short of command points due to earlier losses, so could not afford the luxury of using said CP to enhance shooting, aiming etc, and the ambush came to naught. Well, other than generating lots of – fortunately small calibre – return fire from Chris into the buildings, until ‘Ariete HQ’ tactfully reminded him that they were supposed to not blow the bloody doors off the valuable mine workings……

On the NE flank, again the Ariete got off to a less than sparkling start when Lt Treadaway used a fistful of his command points in an attempt to execute a massed ‘Follow me!’ option, which would have seen half his force roll together as one in an unstoppable steel tide….. However, seems the tide was out that day as John failed the key roll and no-one else followed his lead! Not only that, but a probe down the road by a scout vehicle with an APC as backup came to grief when, having blown up some armoured trucks near the mine workings, they were ‘set-upon’ by another crossfire from the PRA tanks and SPs, from which only the infantry inside the APC survived.

As with the other flank, however, gradually the Ariete worked their way forward through the wooded terrain, taking out first the truly terrifying F35 SP/AT, then each of the PRA heavy armour in turn. There were some close shaves during return fire, and the sky was full of – fortunately – light ATGMs, for a while. In the end, the Ariete was simply too powerful and commanders good for the PRA engaged, and as they loss level tipped over the key 50% level, the PRA decided that their delaying mission had been achieved. It must also be said that the Ariete had gained a new respect as well as insight into the mettle of their PRA opponents, and much thought would need to go in to the next encounters.

Part 2 of this article will outline more about the terrain and especially vehicle models, together with all the scratch-building mania which went into this project. Until then, it’s a case of a geeky ‘spot the bits’ competition. Oh, and very big plus points for anyone who IDs the dark brown roads…

My thanks to my fellow MWS members for hosting the game, and both Chris and John for playing.

LINKS:
Hammers Slammers official website: http://www.hammers-slammers.com/

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