Saturday, 1 June 2019

Cruel Seas Convoy Game

A chance to try our my house rules for Cruel Seas at club this week. A German convoy commanded by Mark, escorted by 3 little Kriegfischkutters, is jumped by two groups of British MTBs (Henry and myself). Help is at hand for the convoy, a Type 24 torpedo boat is steaming up and, as they are close to shore, there is a possibility for air support turning up.

Three Vosper Mark IIs waiting with engines off....

 ......for the prey to arrive!

Two Mark IIs launch their forward tubes whilst the third breaks off.

The convoy move forward into the torpedoes path and a Kriegfischkutter peels off to engage Henry's Vosper Mark Is which are trying to flank them.

 Now in front of the convoy the third Mark II launches his first fish.

From the British captain's point of view.

At the end of the turn Mark (the German player) rolled for availability of air support and got a 1, success, an aircraft would enter the table in the next turn. Rolling again for what aircraft was available and he got a JU87 Stuka, which he promptly used to dive bomb the Vosper Mark IIs. All three boats were within 20cm of the Stuka so threw up a barrage of flak.

A lucky hit with a twin 20mm and I rolled three 6's for damage, BOOM! the plane nose dived into the sea just in front of the Vosper.

Enter the cavalry, the Type 24 Torpedo Boat to the rescue, but it's first salvo missed!

My first torpedo finds it's target....

....BOOM! The damage wasn't enough to sink the merchant, but I scored 3 critical hits using our new rules. I got a double engine hit (taking it to 1/3 speed), additional structural damage and then a Crippled result. This meant another engine hit (so the ship couldn't move), a rudder hit (random direction if  she could have moved) and taking on water (extra 3d6 damage every turn). This last was enough to sent the ship to the bottom, but rolling a 6 meant that the wreckage would remain in place for 3 turns.

Coming round the other side of the island, one of the Mark I's looks like it's torpedoes are on target.

A bit of frantic manoeuvring by the German ships lets the merchant avoid the torps, but one catches the's a dud!

But avoiding Henry's torpedoes and missing ramming the sinking ship put the merchant in the path of one of my torpedoes, and it was a BOOM!

Looking good for the British, we had lost two MTBs (one of Henry's Mark I's went down to a crossfire from the three Kriegfishkutters) but sunk the two merchants and I had a boat with two torpedoes left lining up on it. But at this point the Type 24 sank that MTBs with a direct hit from a 4" gun.

There were still a lot of fish in the water, including two that Henry had chucked in the direction of the |Type 24 to try and put it off. Another torpedo hit the tanker, but failed to go off and another of Henry's boats went down. We decided to call it a day and head for home, both my surviving boats got off the table but Henry's last boat was riddled by the Type 24 and finished off by a Kriegfischkutter (with a 35mm and a twin or quad 20mm these little boats have quite a punch!).

The final insult and luckiest move of the game, was when Mark somehow managed to turn the Type 24 in between the two torpedoes coming at it! We had to check twice with laser pointers to be sure, but somehow he'd managed it.

We called it a draw, two merchants for 4 Vospers wasn't a good exchange. We had all had a lot of fun and laughs and agreed that the new torpedo rules worked mush better (when they hit). Henry had really bad luck with his fish, all three that had lined up with a target had either missed or was a dud!

Other games on that night;

A 40K game with the Space marines fielding an impressive bit of kit.

And a 4-player Chain of Command game set in Burma.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

7TV Sweeney Style

I tried out 7TV at the club this week. Henry has had the game for some time and seems to have acquired an awful lot of cards and figures for 1970s TV shows (The Sweeney, Blakes 7, Doctor Who etc) but hasn't got to play it very often. As most of his Sci-fi figures are still to be painted (like many wargamers I know) we went with The Sweeney. I had the cops and Colin had the armed robbers, with Henry umpiring/explaining.

At first glance it didn't look good for the boys in blue, I had two detectives (star and co-star) with pistols, the rest just had truncheons but the bandits had 2 guys with pistols, 3 with swan-off shotguns and 1 with a sub-machine gun!

Here is the table layout, obviously the action is taking place in a very unsalubrious inner city area, ripe for redevelopment.

We both packed our car with extras and drove into the middle of the table. Unfortunately Colin then hit me with a gadget (I was never sure exactly what) which meant that I couldn't activate the coppers in the car for the next turn. So while they sat in the vehicle arguing over which radio channel they should have on, the robbers piled out of their car and grabbed the two central objectives.

 Left to their own devices the detectives, followed by the last PC, rushed forward and drew their firearms. When my star saw a man wearing a mask and brandishing a sawn-off running towards him he challenged the man, then put him down with two rounds when he failed to comply. It actually think it went something like BANG! BANG! "Armed Police! Put down your weapon, you slag!"

 My sergeant finally got his team moving and leapt out of the car taking cover behind the wall, but despite this one of the PCs was gunned down by a shotgun. Somewhat annoyed by this the rest of the coppers jumped the wall and set to with their truncheons.

This was a good move because the uniformed police have a "You're nicked" ability. If a figure is incapacitated in some way, for example just having been hit on the head by a lump of polished wood, a copper can use and action to arrest the villain, providing a police vehicle is within 6". I got lucky dice in combat and in no time the back of the police car was stuffed with bruised and handcuffed bad guys.

The last robber with a shotgun got into a gunfight with the two detectives and hit the ground, brown bread!
This took the robbers to less than half their starting cast, so needed to test, rolled low and their cast was axed! The star and co-star were the only two remaining and they had spent all their time ransacking the house on the left, looking for the objective.
However, when we added up the Victory Point scores it was a much closer game that it appeared, the Sweeney won by  6VPs to 5.

We played a second game, this time with Henry taking the bad guys. This time I took the fight to the robbers by driving forward, then swinging the car in front of the villain's motor, blocking their way. Everyone piled out and a shootout/punch up developed around the cars, allowing my detectives to run up and grab two objectives (I was learning!).

This time I lost 3 PCs before I taken out the bandits. Then, just as the two stars were swapping punches in best cop show traditions, one of the robbers changed sides (obviously an undercover officer).

 He promptly gunned down the bandit co-star, who had been previously wounded in an exchange for fire with my co-star. Again this forced a test and with only the star left in play the robbers were axed. This time it was an overwhelming victory for the forces of law and order, 14VPs to zero!

Other games on that night.

An ACW Sharpe Practice game.

A Congo game.

A second Sharpe Practice game, this time somewhere hot!

And a 40K game.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Big 10mm WSS Battle

Mark, Henry, Colin and myself had a big Black Powder War of Spanish Succession game at club on Friday. Using our 10mm armies a Anglo-Dutch-Catalan Confederation army faced up against a Bourbon Franco-Spanish force. The armies deployed in conventional fashion, infantry in the middle in two lines (each of two brigades) and a brigade of cavalry on each flank. I was a bit concerned that a wood on the French right flank meant that my second line could not be deployed properly until we had advanced and had the space to bring them up into position.

Things did not go well for the British and their allies. On their left flank (Henry) rushed aggressively across the table, but his cavalry failed to move leaving the infantry flank wide open and his limbered gun very vulnerable. I took a gamble and charged the gun with my French cavalry and managed to catch it before it could be unlimbered! In response Henry threw his front line of infantry and his cavalry into the French troops opposite. Unfortunately, his partner did not match his enthusiasm! On the Confederate rightt flank (Mark), the British front line got confused and retired to the edge of the table leaving the Catalan units in the second line advance unsupported across the table. His Catalan cavalry were slow to advance and just trotted forward, but to be fair Colin's Spanish cavalry opposite also failed to charge.

Henry's aggressive action had effectively pinned my command with nowhere to bring up my second infantry line. Trapped by the melee in front of them and the wood on their flank, they just had to wait until the front line had pushed the British back (or been broken themselves), before they could get into action. Much to everyone's surprise the British and Dutch cavalry, with their superior charge, bounced of the French Horse in confusion and two regiments promptly routed when the French reserve ranks smashed into them. The infantry fared in similar fashion, the French musketry closing fire was unusually effective and 3 British battalion recoiled, one of the routing. Then a second battalion routed when the French riposte crashed into them.

On the other flank the two cavalry brigades were funneled by a wood, so both could only fight on a single unit frontage. They spent the battle in a grinding melee, first one side gaining the upper hand, then the other, only to be thrown back in turn my the enemy's next rank of fresh troops.
The Catalans and Spanish opposite settled down into a conventional musketry duel, whilst waiting for the British infantry to catch up.

Back on my flank the British second line advance to plug the gap and routed one of my battalions that had broken through the front line. But just as they started to stabilise the situation, another round of fierce combat (or rubbish dice on Henry's part) saw the British cavalry quit the field, a broken brigade. With their flank wide open, Henry pulled a battalion out of the line to refuse the flank. But this stalled his attack and allowed me to finally get my second line moving. They smashed into the opposite end of the British line and routed another unit from the front line, which broke that brigade. Henry was now left with just one infantry brigade, pinned to their front by a French infantry brigade with another wheeling around onto his flank and a cavalry brigade circling around behind him! It wasn't long before they were in flight as well. With 3 out of 6 brigades broken, that was half the Confederate army gone and a Bourbon victory.

 The situation at the end of the first turn. Note the novel Confederate manoeuvreing!

 The French cavalry catch the artillery napping.

 The view from the French side with the infantry of my second line bunched up by the wood on their flank.

 And suddenly the British cavalry were gone!

 Feeling a bit lonely with all those horsemen galloping around in front of them!

 On the other flank the assorted Spanish take it in turns to advance and retreat in a gentlemanly fashion.

Other games on that night:
A Warhammer 40K game.

A Necromunda game.

And a large Chain of Command game somewhere in Burma.

 In the face of the banzai charge it looks like the British are trying to resort to a square. They are not Zulus you know!

Sunday, 5 May 2019


It had to be done! As it was the Tring Club Games Day on Saturday, we decided to play some Star Wars skirmishes with my old plastic figures.

The first game was a general two-on-two firefight on a frozen planet, complicated by a hungry wampa wandering around. This was a win for the Rebel Alliance.

The second game was on the same planet, this time the objective was to retrieve important data from a crashed craft. This game was a win for the Empire.

For the final game we moved somewhere hot. This game was a four-way fight. Lando Carlissian was conducting a trade for some dodgy goods on this ship and trying to get back to it before the stormtroopers turned up. Unknown to him a rebal agent had hidden an important datafile on the ship and Chewbacca was leading a team to retrieve it. In the meantime Londo's "customers" were trying to double cross him and steal his ship. The final team was a patrol of stormtroopers, sent to impound the suspect vessel. Despite being wounded, Chewbacca and his men won through in the end and emerged victorious! Which seemed apt at this particular time.