Vapour Trails Over Linton

A WW2 battle report from Andy King

Introduction

This game was staged a short notice to fill in for another game that had been postponed.

The scenario was a raid by two squadrons of German bombers with fighter escort, with two squadrons of British fighters opposing them.

We used Majestic 12 Games’ Spitting Fire rules with some additional home-grown rules for bombers and flak. Although, typically, I forgot to bring the scenario rules and the flak and target record sheets with me, so these had to be improvised.

Forces
Luftwaffe
Bob commanded two squadrons:
• 5.KG76 (F1+XN) consisting of 9 x JU88A-1s
• 7.JG51 (# + I) consisting of 8 x Bf109Es.
Kim commanded two squadrons:
• 9.KG76 (F1+XT) consisting of Do17Z-2s
• 8.JG51 (# + I) consisting of 8 x Bf109Es.

RAF
Paul commanded 602 squadron (Code LO) with 12 Spitfire Mk 1s.
Andy commanded 213 squadron (Code AK) with 12 Hurricane Mk 1s.

One of the house rules concerning bombers was to require them to stay at a set altitude until they had released their bombs; another was to require that some of the fighters remained as close escort to the bombers, rather than having all of them performing fighter sweeps ahead of the bomber force.

With the terrain laid out (a mixture of Irregular Miniatures, Navwar and Brigade Models) five potential targets were defined: an airfield (RAF Linton), a power station, a fuel tank farm, a railway marshalling yard and some railway sidings. Each of the German players were asked to make a note of their allocated target(s), but not to let the British side know which had been selected.

Victory points would be awarded as follows:
Fighter shot down: 2 VP
Bomber shot down: 4 VP
Each damage point inflicted on ground target: 1 VP

The players deployments left Paul (602 Sqn) facing Kim (9.KG76 and 8.JG51) and Andy (213 Sqn) facing Bob (5.KG76 and 7.JG51).

Individual reports from the players will follow, but in the end the game was a German Victory, 48 VP to 32 VP. All aircraft are from Tumbling Dice with decals from Dom’s Decals.

The Raid on Owain the Cantankerous

We recently published a report on one of the actions from our SAGA:Age of the Wolf campaign. In the spirit of balanced reporting, here’s the view from the other side of the battlefield…

Andraes Vilhelmsson and Uhtred Beornson let it be known that they would form an alliance.

Andraes gathered his men and went forth to teach that Welsh curmudgeon Owain the Cantankerous not to meddle in the business of the rightful rulers of this land.

Leading the way was Berwulf’s Levy, followed by Wynbald and his Warriors and the Hearthguards of Beorhtel and Ordlaf escorting Andraes himself.

Making their way through the valley they came across Owain’s men hiding among woods and tors. Berwulf’s Levy lead the way showering the Welsh with arrows, but the trees gave them protection, and few fell.

Wynbald’s Warriors then entered the woods and drove out some of the Welsh, while more Welsh knaves, knowing the secret ways of the woods, attacked showering them with javelins.

The Welsh sent some of their better men against Berwulf’s scouts, perhaps with some druidic sorcerer among them, as against their will the scouts were drawn towards the Welsh swords and axes. Many of the Scouts fell in that unequal fight, but a few survived and managed to resist the Welsh siren call, falling back to engage the Welsh with their bows.

Ordlaf’s Hearthguard charged from the woods, attacking a group of Welsh warriors in the rocky ground, surely the skills of the experienced blades would carry the day, but Welsh sorcery struck again and Ordlaf’s men were beaten back with heavy losses.

The Welsh sorcerers then tried to cloud Andraes’s mind and draw him away from his Hearthguard to attack a group of Welsh warriors, but he proved to be of stronger mind than the scouts and stood his ground.

As the battle progressed, casualties mounted on either side with the Welsh benefiting from the cover of the woods and rocks. It came to the point where the weasel Welsh sensed they had perhaps inflicted enough damage on Andraes’s men to carry the day and began to withdraw as fast as they could to save themselves from the cream of Andraes’s Hearthguard.

And where was Owain during this battle, you ask? He was fleetingly seen from time to time, hiding behind his men.

On returning to his hall, Andreas received word that Uhtred Beornson would continue the campaign against Owain, and sought aid under our alliance. Ordlaf’s Hearthguard were sent to join Uhtred’s raid, but that story is another man’s to tell.

Scenario Note

The Scouts Scenario starts the game with each side having one unit on the table, this must be Levy, Mounted or missile armed Warriors. The remainder of the Warband’s units enter the table one unit per turn, determined by the roll of a die. It requires opponents to keep track of VPs inflicted during game, when a side suffers 10 VP it must roll a number of SAGA dice, the same as would be rolled during the orders phase, needing at least one “6” to continue fighting. Stephen (Owain) inflicted 10.33 VP on me while I had inflicted 9 VP on him. I passed my first morale roll, but failed the second, ending the battle.

Sicilian Channel – June 1940

A game report by Paul French

Introduction

Following the successful bombardment on Tripoli and Benghazi, units of the Mediterranean Fleet have been detached to sweep the Sicilian Channel. Warned by air reconnaissance the Italians have sortied two strong cruiser and destroyer groups to intercept.

Order Of Battle

RN Forces

2nd Division, 7th Cruiser Squadron
HMS Gloucester, HMS Liverpool, Town Class (2nd Group) CL.

14th Destroyer Flotilla
HMS Mohawk, HMS Nubian, Tribal Class DDs; HMS Jervis, HMS Juno, J Class DDs

Italian Forces
3rd Cruiser Divison
Pola, Zara Class, CA Trento, Trento Class, CA Bolzano, Bolzano Class CA.

11th Destroyer Division
Artigliere, Camicia Nera, Aviere, Geniere
All Soldati Class, DD

12th Destroyer Division
Lanciere, Carabinieri, Corrazziere, Ascari
All Soldati Class, DD

Contact

Screening destroyers made contact at 02:03, NW of Benghazi, at a range of about 9000 yards, starshells were deployed copiously from both sides but failed to illuminate enemy ships. Closing at a combined speed of 40 knots though meant that the action was fought at close range.

By 02:09 the Britsih commander (Jon) was aware he was in contact with a significant and superior force.

Holding his course he was able to get into a good torpedo position. Whilst the Italians (Paul & Mark), tried to get the 12th Div ahead and bring the cruisers into action.

The initial exchange resulted in minor damage to Nubian, Corrazziere and Trento. The Italian 3rd Division was blocked for a short period by the 12th Division. It was all that the Liverpool and Gloucester needed. Heavy fire came down on Corriziere and Lanciere . Leaving them burning and stationary – in torpedo water.

A few minutes later two torpedoes hit each destroyer – putting the fires out….. Nubian came under concentrated from the 11th Div and was left with overwhelming fires and flooding. The 3rd Divison cruisers landed effective fire on Gloucester.

At this point Jon decided discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew to the SW under smoke. Nubian was finished off by the cruisers and immediate contact was lost.

Outcome

A winning draw for the RN, as the Italians lost one more destroyer. Both sides had a destroyer with light damage and a cruiser (Trento and Gloucester) with minor damage. The RN really needed to retire to the east to join the battlefleet by daylight as being close to Sicilian and North Africa airfield in daylight was likely to be trying.

Rules

The game was played using Command at Sea, Version 4. Which gave a good feel for a night action. The range was down to 5000 yards at one point and attacks were potentially devastating. In fact the bulk of the damage was inflicted in two, three minute bounds which correlates well with historical actions. The smaller RN force was really at less of a disadvantage as the very low visibility meant that the larger Italian force found it difficult to get to grip.

Historical Outcome

The RN force carried out a bombardment of Tobruk, later rejoining the battlefleet. Other units were engaged at Benghazi and units were detached on anti-shipping sweeps. Italian units sortied from Messina and Taranto, covering the Sicilian Channel and sweeping into the Aegean, but failed to make contact.

Best Historical Game at Salute 2018

Here is a gallery of pictures from Salute 2018 of our Zeebrugge 1918 game.  Lots of detail added to the Vindictive, including; a new coat of paint and weathering, the 11″ Howitzer, two 7.5″ Howitzers, the foremast together with its fighting top and pompom gun, and crew figures for Vindictive and her guns.  We had lots of players take part on the day leading their squads to attack targets on the mole.  The game won the Robert Bothwell Best Historical Game Memorial Award.  The games creator, Phil, can be seen pointing at his creation below.

‘Coming Soon…

The quaint, and peaceful, medieval port of Stephenshaven. Quaint and peaceful for the time being only!

This is my work-in-progress for one of the games at this year’s Open Day on June 23rd. It will feature a full table (6’x4′) medieval port!
The game will be set during the Hundred’s Year War and will be a French raid on an English town, or maybe an English raid on a French town.
I will be using the Lion Rampant rules and any visitors will be welcome to join in for a game.
If you fancy a go then come along to the Open Day where you will be welcome to join in my game or any of the others that members will be putting on.
Right, back to the scalpel and paint brushes for me…

Zeebrugge 1918 – Salute and National Museum of the Royal Navy

The finishing touches are going in to the model of HMS Vindictive prior to two big outings for the game at Salute (London Excel on 14th April) and the Zeebrugge Centenary events at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth (Museum Galleries at The Historic Dockyard on 22nd April).

These are the almost finished 11-inch and two 7.5-inch howitzers that were fitted to provide covering fire for the attack in place of some of the Vindictive’s 6-inch guns.  These guns had been designed as anti-submarine weapons firing a special “depth charge” type shell.  The 11-inch was the first gun completed.

Also below, continuing the Italian food theme is some spaghetti that will be used as part of the final model.  Any guesses what it is for?

Gasland Race Day #2

Some club members have recently been spreading post-apocalyptic death and destruction with the new Osprey Games’ Gaslands game. Last meeting saw the second Race Day, with five teams of two cars battling it out around the Langley Circuit.

After some mayhem (several cars slid off the track at the tricky first corner), destruction (two cars met a fiery end courtesy of a flamethrower), the winner by a bumper was Swampy, Tony’s pickup and one of the slowest cars on the track !

The Red Dragon And The White Wolves

Hark now and listen to yon bards!

Listen as they stretch the strings on their harps, as they tell their tales, for this is a story that children of the land must know.

Out there, there ‘pon the hill of dreams. There lies the Red Dragon, restful in its slumber. Though listen keenly and you will hear the howl of the wolves. Two vicious wolves, Guttersnipe and Ragamuffin by name. Though these are no ordinary wolves, these are the very worst kind – White Wolves!

These White Wolves looked on the Red Dragon’s hill, and their lusts and craves led them to steal the Dragon’s sheep, the Dragon’s wealth.

But this Dragon would have none of it.

Guttersnipe and Ragamuffin crept viciously in the dark, keeping low and trying to look innocent, they wished their white hides would make others think they were peaceful sheep – such is the treachery that these two knew.

What they would come to know all too soon, though, was the might and power of the Red Dragon who, upon seeing the two White Wolves making for his wealth and sheep, he rose up and with keen claws and fiery breath he did smite the two wolves! Harken and listen, I tell you! Harken and listen, for the Red Dragon’s wrath was furious and righteous.

And there lie the remains of the two White Wolves. The two wretched carcasses. And the Red Dragon, as a show of his power, did rend their tails from their hides and he did place them upon his war banner so that all would know that any who dared meddle and steal from the Red Dragon would meet an equal fate.

Arise now. Arise and go.

Go out into the land and the people will know thy name. For thou art no longer just Owain of Bangor, thou art OWAIN THE WOLF TAMER.

Middle-Earth March

A post from webmaster Tony F…

I have two Middle-Earth projects on my To-Do list this year – the first is a refight of the Scouring of the Shire mini-campaign with Phil, for which I’ve completed all my Hobbit figures and just need to finish off various bits of Shire scenery. The second project is a game for the club’s 2018 Open Day, part of the Siege of Minas Tirith – it turns out that I have most of the Gondor figures I need already painted, although I will use it as an excuse to paint a box of Knights of Dol Amroth which have been sitting in the pile for a while. When I was sorting through my Middle-Earth figures I came across an awful lot which I’d started but not finished – dozens, in fact – plus many other that have been based and undercoated but no more. So I’ve resolved to slowly work through these and complete as many as I can, both ones for the two main projects plus any others that take my fancy. March has been quite productive, I’ve finished eight figures (although only one of these is for the Open day game).

I’ll start with the elder race first – in the main picture above is Gil-Galad, Elven King who was slain by Sauron at the Battle of the Last Alliance (he can be briefly seen in the opening part of the Fellowship movie). To his right is Haldir, who turned up with his elves at Helm’s Deep in the Two Towers movie for no immediately obvious reason (in the book he stays firmly in Lothlorien for the duration).

Next in order of age are the Dwarves – this is Balin, a member of Thorin’s company who survived Smaug the Dragon but died in a vain attempt to retake Moria. This is the early GW version of the figure rather than the one who appears in the Hobbit movies.

These two are Murin and Drar, a pair of Dwarf adventurers who are inseparable (you can’t use one in a Dwarf army without the other). I’ve never come across any reference to them in any of Tolkein’s books, so I think they’re a purely GW invention, but nice figures nevertheless.

Moving onto the race of Men (and Women), here we have a Captain of Rohan (l). He’s acting as bodyguard to Eowyn in her Pelennor Fields/Dernhelm armour (r).

And finally, the one figure that I do need in the Open Day game – a Knight of the White Tower. He’s a Finecast resin figure (the rest are metal) and has given me no end of problems with his bent sword – I’ve tried several times to sort it out with hot water (even clamping it between two pieces of flat plastic while it cools) but I can’t seem to straighten it out.

The Untimely Death of a Warrior King

Heading home to the Hebrides, King Olaf spotted an opportunity to raid the lands of Andraes Vilhelmsson near the coast. Charging into the village of Lindahl, he spied that there was just enough room in the Birlinn Nathair Mhara to load additional booty. The defending bowmen were quickly dealt with by the mercenaries from the King of Norway but the mighty host of Danish warriors took longer to break down and the heavy rains prevented the burning of the village. Sensing defeat, the cowardly Vilhelmsson fled the fight. Alas, Olaf’s warriors were tiring and failed to land a blow on the advancing bodyguard. Olaf leapt into the fight with against the bodyguard challenging them, He had dispatched many noble but foolish men this way before and the first man fell swiftly to his flashing blade. Then, witchcraft struck as Olaf’s blade shattered leaving Him defenceless and outnumbered and he fell, a warriors death. Thus died Olaf a Mighty Warrior King. His warriors returned to the Hebrides with his body and He was buried at sea from whence He came, flames flickering and spluttering in the night skies in the shadow of the stones of Callanish as the Nathair Mhara sank below the waves.

The Saga of Iomhair MacAulay

I am Olaf’s eldest son and claim the Title King of the Hebrides following my Father’s untimely death. I had spent several years of life on Iona where I was educated by the monks, now a man of faith I set out to rule the lands in a different way from my father but am bound by our culture to be at feud with Vilhelmsson. New recruits have joined from other islands and during the long autumn nights We are patiently sharpening our axe blades, waiting and planning. Winter is coming.