David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Friday, 19 June 2015

By Air to Battle

Earlier in the week Jon and I played a WWII game here in GHQ using figures, vehicles and scenics from my 20mm collections and using the old stalwart of WWII rules, Rapid Fire!2. Other rule sets are available, as you all know, but these remain for me the standard others can only aspire to better for speed of play, nuance of period feel and the look of a larger scale WWII game on your table. Of course, plenty of folk will disagree with me on one or all of those sentiments, but I will let that pass as I'm sure they will. On to the game, a German v British Airborne game with 25 Victory points available on the table, all held by the Germans at the onset of the action and marked on the table by the plain red counters. In truth, the Germans are rather thinly spread, but the British player does n't know that at the outset and must decide on his Drop and Landing zones without specific intelligence on the enemy's deployment. After marking his seven zones, Jon the has to use the direction dice and distance dice {from a well known fantasy games shop} to determine how far from the target his elements will land! ominously, with hindsight, Jon's dice were either bang on target or very close! The Red Dice of Doom were well up to the mark from the outset!

















The British land and deploy in the first turn, to simulate the surprise suffered the Germans and the time taken to respond to reports of glider and parachute landings all over the table. Glider borne artillery and infantry support landed on the German's left flank, beyond the lightly guarded river bridge. Purists will no doubt scoff at my rather square glider, but its very special to me as my son Matt scratch built it as a very young lad for me and I've always treasured it for that reason ~



















To the east of the main town on the table the Germans had deployed one of their Stug elements and supporting infantry. The British Paras dropped all over them and from the onset the fighting was terrible to behold.


















 An immediate attack by the British Piat team soon took out the Stug element, a sign of things to come for the Germans in Jon's dice throwing results~














The Germans supporting the Stugs now found themselves assailed on three sides, so decided to withdraw rather briskly to rejoin their supporting elements beyond immediate danger. No such luck, the Dice of Doom saw to that ~


















That leaves the Germans garrisoning the main town rather exposed to say the least, although they did begin to take a toll on the enemy. By Turn 3 they were being shelled by the Airborne Howitzer batter on their flank and coming under small arms and machine gun fire from their front and opposite flank. Attempts to communicate with their artillery support proved unsuccessful initially and later the successful radio contact was mitigated by rather poor at targeting ~
















Coming under such heavy pressure the casualties in the town began to mount alarmingly and in Turn 4 the Germans took their first morale test, which resulted in them becoming pinned ~


















Refugees were soon streaming south from the town mingled with ever mounting casualties making for the forward casualty clearing station ~


















Obviously now the Germans were under serious threat of loosing the game. The garrison in the main town were cut off from reinforcements and under serious pressure, with only artillery able to support the defence, while the remaining elements could not advance on the enemy to relieve the pressure, while all their firing in their own defence suffers a minus 2 on the dice while pinned and in each turn a fresh casualty leads to another morale check! Its looking ominous for the Germans now despite a strong second line of defence covering their centre and eastern flank ~














As casualties continue to mount the medics are overwhelmed at times, while the command struggles to make sense of events which have largely overtaken their ability to respond decisively ~

















By Turn 8, with successive morale checks mounting against them, the Germans finally rout or surrender and its all up for the defence. The Airborne have already gained 10 points of Victory by taking the town and its neighbouring farm, while the bridge over the river has seen its outflanked garrison withdrawn in the first move of Pinning ~














All over in eight Turns I think and about 2 1/2 hours play. The dice gods definitely favoured Jon from the off and resulted in my plan to attack the drop zones energetically rather coming unstuck from Turn 2! Still, despite the hammering, I thoroughly enjoyed the game. With better dice luck for me, or worse for Jon, I would have made a better showing, but once pinned my fire became fairly ineffective and allowed the Airborne more freedom to move and coordinate their attacks.
Next up in GHQ, a Late Roman Civil War game pitting the rightful emperor Pompus Maximus against the pretender Baldinus and the usurper Albinus! But first, off to Devon for a few days R&R M'dears!











10 comments:

  1. Great reportage and pics as usual Mr. B. The larger table is looking to be a grand asset, we will see the effect on ancient battles when we return from our respective trips, had my first pint of Tribute already. Have a good journey down.

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    1. The main effect on Ancient games has already been noted: I'm painting up new units! Two double Impetus based units of Late Roman infantry already done and some early Saxons underway.

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  2. This looks like a lot of fun. :)

    I like the glider your son made, that's very sweet. :)

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    1. It reminds me of how he started out as a figure sculptor. Not sure how he'd react to being told it was sweet now though.

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  3. Great game and amazing table. I agree with you about the Rapid Fire, it is my favourite system too. I agree with Anna, the glider looks great.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Bartek. I am a real fan of RF I have to confess.

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  4. Very nice report and the table looks just wonderful!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks for the comment Christopher! How are the 15mm ACWs coming along?

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  5. I like RF as well. It is my favourite 20mm game. Great playing table.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment John. I think RF is 'the' rule set for 20mm WWII myself.

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