The first meeting of the year is when we hold our AGM – we try to keep it brief, and no more formal than is absolutely necessary. It’s generally a good meeting since we get more attendees than normal and this more games are put on. So rather than dwell on the thrills of the treasurer’s report on the club’s finances (healthy, by the way), here’s a gallery of the gaming highlights of the day.
Photos by Tony Francis and Andy King
During the AGM, John Legg collected the trophy for last year’s Field of Glory tournament from Paul Lymath, the 2018 winner.
Alan Kirk hosted a large 1940 Chain of Command game.
Tony Francis and Jeremey Claridge put on a Celtos game (but didn’t play in it themselves…)
Instead, they both took part in some aerial combat over the Sinai desert in 1956
As always, there was a Field of Glory game going on – the first of the 2020 tournament
And Jon Roche and John Lambert took to the seas in some ancient galleys
The results for our third session are in. This was to be a session dominated by Wild Boar attack over the city of Berlin,as fighters sought to attack bomber caught in the glare of the clouds illuminated by the searchlights below. One of the JG commanders was absent due to sickness and another had temporarily lost use of his headquarters (aka house) so we were down to three players on the day . Two players babysat for the missing players JagdGeschwader for their map moves. Absent players do not affect the tactical combat results, as each player simply flies one plane.
The day began with the Me110s of NJG engaging the bomber stream over Berlin. This unit was depleted, so the number of tactics was reduced. 3.NJG5 was also handicapped by having some relatively slow Me110F-4s among its Me110G-4s; these struggled to match the speed of the Lancaster at high altitude. The action was something of a damp squib with no Lancasters engaged and the Me110F of Chris damaged by fire from the defending Berlin flak batteries.
After another map turn the bomber steam continued to move through the city and the German players now had a final chance for their units to engage the tail end of the bomber stream over the city searchlights.
First in were the Me109G-6s of 1.JG302 belonging to Tony’s JagdDivision 1. Things looked up for Chris as he was first off the scoreboard the day, downing C for Charlie. However, he did a bit too good a job as his fire detonated the bomb bay and his own fighter was consumed in the explosion! Things took an even worse turn for the Germans as Tony’s 109 was shot down by an alert gunner on E for Easy.
Next up was Tony’s 3.NJG5 coming round for another go. Michael got involved in a running fight with, funnily enough M for Mike. His first pass winged the Lancaster, but the defending gunners in turn damaged the attacking Me110. However, Mike hung on and made another pass, sending the Lancaster down. Tony now got into his stride with his pilot bagging first N for Nab, then K for King.
As the last of the bomber stream came in over the searchlights the Me110G-4s of 1.NJG5 also belonging to Tony’s JagdDivision1 arrived over the city. Tony continued on his combat roll by adding J2 for Jig squared to his total for the day.
The ever persistent 3.NJG5 now succeeded in infiltrating itself into the bomber stream as it left the city, becoming the first night fighter unit to do so.
With time up for the day and four tactical combats played out, the resolution of the Tame Boar attack was left for the next session.
At the end of session 3 the points scored were as follows:
Tony (1JD) +5 +3 for Lancasters shot down, +3 for Wild Boar attacks, +1 for Tame Boar infiltration, -2 for fighter shot down
Michael (2JD) 0 +1 for Lancaster shot down, -1 for fighter damaged
Chris (7JD) -2 +1 for Lancaster shot down, -2 for fighter downed, -1 for fighter damaged by flak
Marcus (3JD) – On leave
Bob (4JD) – Unable to fly
That leaves the individual League table so far as follows (with 1JD going into the team lead with 11 points):
Dave (1JD) +6 2 sessions played
Steve (2JD) +5 1 session played
Tony (1JD) +5 1 session played
Mike (2JD) +3 2 sessions played
Chairman John (3JD) +2.5 2 sessions played
John L (7JD) +1 1 session played
Bob (4JD) -2 1 session played
Andy (4JD) -2.5 1 session played
Chris (7JD) -3.5 2 sessions played
Worth saying that you score as follows:
1 point for each successful interception on the map by a unit, doubled if done before raid passes through own division area
1 point for identifying a main force raid or mosquito raid before air picture is clarified, doubled if done before raid passes through own division area
Air to air combat points:
1 point for shooting down a four engined bomber
2 points for shooting down a Mosquito2 points lost if own nightfighter shot down
Damaged aircraft score half points, for and against. Ties decided by number of bomber shot down.
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!
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.
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 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):
I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some WW2 games for a while but never really knew what I wanted to do. I had a false start with Flames Of War some time ago but I found the rules so dire that it soon fell by the wayside.
But then a recent issue of Wargames Illustrated had some plastic 28mm US infantry as a freebie. I bought an issue, put them together and then slapped some paint on them. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that 28mm WW2 was the way I was going to go. I also decided that I would focus on small-scale infantry actions rather than huge set-piece battles – Chain Of Command has been played at the club and it seemed like the scale of game I was interested in.
I then bought another copy of WI so I could get some more. Realising this could be an expensive way to go about it I then asked if anyone at the club had an unwanted sprue from the magazine. Phil and Marcus both stepped up (cheers, chaps).
When it came to painting them I made a snap decision.
I was going to paint them in standard European theatre colours and do late war games. Then I thought about the scenery. Woods, roads, hills, etc would be no problem – I have plenty already. It was the houses though, that made me pause. I wanted to do this on the cheap because WW2 would never be a ‘main’ period for me, so it had to pay its way in terms of money and storage space. Piles of European houses, that would not be used for anything else I do, would take a lot of space and money.
So I suddenly thought, ‘Pacific war!’
Trees, trees, and more trees.
I know there’ll be some out there who will object and say the figures aren’t wearing Marine issue equipment. Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a monkey’s. Once painted, especially in that duck-hunter camouflage the Marines wore, I reckoned no one would be able to tell.
So I went for it.
They were given an all-over spray of khaki. Flesh and weapons were given a base-coat of a chocolate brown colour. I then washed all webbing and weapons with GW’s agrax earthshade. I use VMJ medium flesh for…er…flesh. The wooden bits on the guns were picked out with GW’s Bestial Brown (or whatever they now call it). The webbing was given a base-coat made from a mix of khaki and mid green, and a bit of white was added for highlights.
For the uniforms I decided to mix it up a bit to create a rag-tag look. Some would be in green, some in duck-hunter, some in a mix of the two. For the green just choose your favourite olive drab colour. For the camouflage the base colour was a 50/50 mix of khaki and white. And then blobs of chocolate brown and mid-green were randomly dotted all over.
The sprues themselves give a good mix of poses. I managed to get a good variety, even better with a slight bit of chopping up. I’ve given each squad a sergeant (armed with a Thompson), two BARs, and nine M1-armed infantry.
I also scratch-built a flamethrower using bits from the sprue.
The motivation is still there so I’m making head-way in painting these whilst I can. I will need a few more to complete a platoon. And I will also have to get some Japanese. So an order to Warlord will be made later in the year.
By the time it’s all done and ready it will likely be 2020, so for next year some WW2 games will be in the offing.
In our first session the five German players each commanded their own JagdDivision of Night Fighters, aiming to intercept the incoming bomber Command raids that night.
The Germans were lulled into a bit of a false sense of security as they did not spot any incoming raids until turn 3. The air picture then clarified and the main force raid was identified using a northern route, with a mosquito raid to the south and two other diversionary raids emerging from the main force attack.
The first unit to strike were the Ju-88 C-6 of Mike’s II Gruppe, NJG3, which had been placed on overwatch under control of the defensive radar chain in Northern Germany. They attacked as the Main Force Raid Lancasters passed over the radar line. However, this unit had been dispersed by the poor weather on take off, reducing its impact.
Fighters were given only a very general indication of where the bombers were by their heavily jammed ground radar and mainly relied on their own airborne radar to find targets. However, only 2 of the players had the new sets that were free from British jamming.
In the action that followed, it was Chris that got in the first attack, badly damaging Lancaster C for Charlie in a hasty attack. However, he’d picked the wrong plane to mess with and his Ju88 was shot down by return fire from the defending gunners.
Next up was Bob, who homed in on Lancaster E for Easy. However, this plane’s gunners were really on alert and they opened fire first and shot the Ju88 down before it had a chance to land any hits.
However, at last the NachtJagd managed to get off the scoreboard as John locked on to Lancaster H for How, damaging the target on his first pass. A second pass shot the Lancaster down. The gunners never saw what hit them.
With the first attack completed the players returned to the raid map. Here diversionary Mosquito raids were beginning to hit their targets in Duisburg, Witten and Hamburg. The Duisburg raiders got clean away without being intercepted. However, the only unit equipped with high-speed specialised He-219 A-2 Night Fighters, Chairman John’s I Gruppe NJG1, was now placed on overwatch in the radar line astride their return route and were vectored in to attack the Mosquitos that had raided Witten. The Ju-88s and Me-110s in the air in the area were too slow to catch the Mosquitos.
In this second action the unarmed Mosquito Mk IVs played a cat and mouse game as the Heinkels tried to home in on their targets, relying on their speed for protection. Mike managed to get into position to make a power dive to pounce on one of the raiders, but his approach was spotted and the Mosquito attempted to shake him off with a corkscrew turn. Mike second guessed this and followed the Mosquito through the turn, then shot it down with a well-aimed burst, as it began a second corkscrew evasion.
The raid will continue at the next session in April.
At the end of session 1 the league table points scored are as follows (it is worth noting that the Germans were stupendously unlucky in their dice rolls to lose 2 Night Fighters in air to air combat):
Mike (2JD) 3 +2 for Mosquito shot down, +1 for GCI attack
Chairman John (3JD) 2 +1 for Lancaster shot down, +1 for GCI attack
Dave (1JD) 0 no gains, no losses
Chris (7JD) -1.5 +.5 for Lancaster damaged, -2 for Ju88 shot down
The first was 15mm refight of the opening clash of the American Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run. The second was a 25mm action using Chain of Command.
In the first game Andy and Jon led the Federal Army against Steve and Mark with the combined Confederate Armies of Beauregard and Johnston.
This used Steve’s 15mm figures and was a third playtest for his home grown, Brigade level rules. One of the features of this action was the fairly chaotic command arrangements of the newly raised, largely volunteer armies, which arrived over the course of the action. This means that units from the same command were set up to appear at different points on the battlefield, meaning that many brigades were hard to co-ordinate as they were out of their command radius.
We managed to reverse history with this one with the Federals seizing the high ground and seeing off all of the Confederate attempts to get it back. Steve’s rules make for an enjoyable and fast paced game and after a few tweaks to fine tune things are ready for another outing!
In our second game fast forward to 1944 and Dave and Pete led their American paratroopers (with some help from an attached Sherman tank)against a position defended by German paratroopers under Alan and John. Figures and terrain from Alan’s 25mm collection. Alas the Sherman support was to no avail – picked off in an ambush by a Panzer killer team armed with Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons. These rules can be the source of some nasty surprise if your opponents save up command points to deploy ambushes!
The club is holding its annual Open Day on Saturday June 23rd (11am to 4pm). This when we put on many games and open our doors for all to come and visit and get a much wider idea of what we do and the games we play. We try to put on a good variety of games across all the popular periods and scales, all of which are open to visitors to join in. We offer a special discounted membership rate for anyone who joins the club on the day. There’s also a prize draw sponsored by local manufacturer Brigade Models for all visitors.
This year there are seven games, including one put on by Milton Hundred Wargames Club, our nearby friends and neighbours. The six club games are as follows:
The Fall of the Ramas Echor – a 28mm Lord of the Rings game set just before the Battle of Pelennor Fields, TA3019.
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.