Tuesday 26 March 2024

WWII Naval Wargame - played on 24/03/2024

Our friend Patrick has some WWII ship models and asked to test a simple rule from an old wargame rule book. Steven and me joined the game.
First game saw me and Steven each with an American battle ship escorted by 2 destroyers facing the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen

Both allied battleships started to target the Bismarck which concentrated it's fire first on the destoyers.
A mistake. The damage its sustained mounted rapidly, while the Prinz Eugen's range dropped short.

Torpedos from the destoyers finished of the Bismarck while the battleships took care of the Prinz Eugen. Clear German defeat.

The second game : The Ark Royal carrier, escorted by 2 destroyers,  had to cross the table , receiving from the other side of the table reinforcements of an American battleship, also escorted by 2 destroyers.
Again, the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen on the other side, while this time reinfored by 2 destoyers

This time as we had reorientated the wargame plates which reduced the distance between the enemy forces. This resulted with the destroyers rapidly wothin range to lauch their torpedos.  The damage that a torpedo inflicted was (to) heavy, and with the launch of 4 torpedos in close range, 3 hits resulted in the immidiate sinking of the Bismarck, which had hit the Ark Royal very hard, but was still afload. At the same time, a allied destroyer and a German one also were iliminated . 

The next the remaining german destroyer did put a torpedo into the Ark Royal, starting to sink. While with another allied destoyer put out of action, the remainder of the German fleet was destroyed. Another alllied victory, but a minor one with the goal of keeping the Ark Royal save, having failed.


Saturday 24 February 2024

Battle of Pelusium 525 BC, Persia invades Egypt - played 18 February 2024

 Months ago, I did read the book of Lloyd llewellyn-Jones "Persians - The age of the Great Kings"

It gave me insight to this empire, that I only knew of the invasions of Greece, and the campaigns of Alexander the Great. I learned about the sophisticated culture, how well organized the Persion Achaemenid Empire was, with a strong administration, messaging and road systems. Far better than the Romans in fact. They also gave the conquered cities and countires a high level of autonomy. 

But the base of the Persion Achaemenid Empire was the army, and the need of the kings to show their military power. In 525 BC, Cambyses II of Persia, son of Cyrus the Great, conceived the plan to invade Egpyt. Cambyses wanted to take the oportunity while  Pharao Psamtik III just came on the throne of Egypt after the dead of his father Amasis II. more info on : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pelusium

Didn't find much on OOB, but the Persians had requested troops from al over the empire, including Ionian Greeks, while the Egyptians had Greek mercenaries. Friend Ronny had a large volume of Egyptian figures, and also Steven had a number of Egyptians, the idea of a game took shape.

Steven and I have Persians,  Greeks and Numidians and Patrick could furnish palm trees and a desert building. All was set.

Peter Steven and me fielded on the Persian side. Ronny, Alberik and Patrick played the Egyptians

Ronny has taken command of the Egyptian right

The Greek heavy infantry veteran hoplites 

Pharao Psamtik III and his elite lifeguard

A Mede officer

Persian general

The veteran Medes and Persians

The Greek mercenaries  on the Egyptian side, also veteran heavy hoplites

Opening of the battle, the Persian cavalry attacks the sirmish lines of Egyptians

The Immortals, Elite warriors

The Egyptian right pushes back the Persian left, but reserves from the Persian centre, close in.

In the centre, it goes back and forth.

On the Egyptian right, Patrick attacks with his camel unit, which proves to be a horror for the Perian right light cavalry, resulting in several units being destroyed. The Persian right is in trouble/

In the centre, Greeks start to fight Greeks, a very bloody battle develops.

Now the Egyptian right also comes under heavy pressure, but Steven, as commander of the Persian right has his command also starting to close on the breaking point.

Peter on the Persian right is on breaking point. He attaches his wing general to the heavy charriot unit. Patrick facing him, also isn't far from breaking point (loosing >50% of his units).
However, in the fight Peter his general is slain and his command broken

At the same moment Ronny, on the Egyptian right, has also his command at breaking point. My Persians units from the centre have the opportunity to turn the battle into a draw. In this one fight, 2 hits should be scored to ensure this. However only one hit is scored, the Egyptian right survives, resulting in the battle being a close Egyptian victory.

In reality, it was a clear Persian victory. The Egyptian navy also defected to the Persians. and the whole of Egypt was conquered.  However in the next 200 years, on several occasions, the Egyptians were able to liberate themselves for a longer or shorter period, but the Persians always came back.
The final occasion  was  in 340/339 BC that Artaxerxes III succeeded in reconquering Egypt.
This 200 years struggle came to an end in 332 BC when Alexander II arrived in Egypt.

This 2 centuries of conflict will give inspiration for more battles or maybe a campaign!

Monday 19 February 2024

Harry Flashman vs the Malay Pirates Skirmish Game

 I've had a fascination with the Malay Pirates of Borneo since reading George MacDonald Faser's "Flashman's Lady". In the novel Faser's picaresque hero, Harry Flashman reluctantly takes part in a Royal Navy attack on a pirate lair. I converted a Replicants Napoleonic sailor into Flashman. The other figures are from Regal Enterprises, Irregular Miniatures and Britains DSG. The Dyak conversions took the most effort. I used Fistful of Lead Horse and Musket rules, my favorite set of one man equal one figure skirmish rules. In my game, the naval landing party had to set fire to 3 of the 5 pirate buildings to win the game. The pirates began the game asleep and had to roll for activation. The sailors and Royal Marines got a free move off their boats and up the beach before the pirates rolled an early activation. The pirates then began tumbling out of their huts and scored several hits on their attackers. The landing party halted to return fire, but the cover of the jungle and building greatly benefited the pirates. The landing party needed to make progress to come into contact with the buildings so that they could fire them. The player running Flashman's 4 sailors enjoyed playing the part of the cowardly hero and made sure that his figure led from the rear. The landing party successfully set fire to the leftmost building and then tried again on the next closest building but did not succeed in their fire roll. The game turned into an exciting series of hand to hand combats as the pirates threw themselves against the landing party to stop them. With perfect timing, Flashman was able to set fire to the third structure, winning the game.

Sunday 31 December 2023

French and Indian War Battle on Snowshoes 1757

 We played one last game of 2023, a "Christmas" themed skirmish in the snow, based on Rogers Rangers First Battle on Snowshoes. Each of the five players controlled five miniatures and the Rangers were outnumbered by the French and Indians by three to two. Historically, the battle started with a successful ambush by the Rangers on a party of Indians, however the Indians were soon reinforced by a much larger force of French Marines, Militia and more Indians. The fighting continued until darkness allowed the Rangers to withdraw, having lost half their number. In our game the Rangers had to perform a fighting withdrawal while carrying their wounded. The Rangers used snowshoes in the four foot deep snow, while the French and Indians did not, so the Rangers were able to move six inches compared to the French and Indians' four inch moves. We used the Fistful of Lead Horse and Musket rules that force the players to spend a whole turn reloading their muskets. We represented the reloading with black markers. Other markers were used for Shaken and Wounded. It was a fun game, played to a conclusion in four hours. Casualties were about equal, but the Rangers were able to slip away off the end of the table, allowing them to fight another day.