Sunday, 22 December 2019

Middle Earth Angmar Battle

Mark and I took the opportunity to match up some of our Middle Earth armies to try out the latest version of my adaptation of Soldiers of God for Middle Earth battles.

The forces of Angmar encounter a mixed force of Elves and Dwarves, somewhere around the Barrow Downs. My battleplan was for the Dwarves in the centre battle to lead the main assault whilst the smaller Dwarf battle on the right would advance in support and the Elves in the left battle would hang back and use their bows to disrupt the enemy in front of them. Mark chose exactly the same battleplan but in reverse, so we were actually a mirror image of each other.

 The forces of Angmar deploy.

The left flank, facing the elves.

The main attack force in the centre.

Fast moving wargs and riders on the rightt flank.

The Elf/Dwarf alliance.

Elves on the right flank.

The bulk of the dwarf axemen in the centre.

Dwarf archers and spearmen face off against the wargs.

As the centre battles advanced towards each other, the warg battle charge forward. The warg riders attack the dwarf archers, to prevent them giving missile support to the axemen next to them. These two units would remain locked in indecisive combat for the rest of the game.

The unit of wargs charge the dwarf spears, not a good move as they take heavy casualties.

The centres grind together.
On the other flank the two big units of snaga orcs advanced at first, bringing them into bow range of the elves, then paused, not getting the activation cards they needed to close the gap for there own weapons to reach.
This continued for a couple of turns, allowing the elves to inflict quite heavy damage on the orcs who were unable to reply.

The elite dwarven huscarls face a mass of poor quality snaga, who are "encouraged" by the presence of a unit of trolls behind them.

The wargs on the far flank are routed by the spears. Unfortunately the spears are too far away to affect the fighting in the centre.

The snaga take casualties but hold on, undoubtedly due the the presence of the Witch King himself. The fighting in the centre was a battle of attrition, several times a unit was on the point of breaking and both players had to cash in activation cards to keep their units in play.

 Finally the snaga broke, but the huscarls had taken casualties and were now attacked by both the trolls and Witch King's bodyguard of large uruks.

 On the Angmar left flank the snaga units finally managed to close the range and inflicted casualties on the elves, but too late and both units routed under the weight of the elven arrow storm.

The final move. With both one of the dwarven axe units and the Witch King's bodyguard almost simultaneously routing, the nazgul decides to charge the huscarls himself to try and break the deadlock. The nazgul disappears under a mass of hacking axes and is killed (or rather dispersed and his spirit flies back to Angmar).

The Angmar army morale dropped to zero, so it was a close fought victory for the Dwarf/Elf alliance.

It was a great game and a lot of fun, with several nail-biting moments. I had tweaked the snaga, previously even large units had been just speed bumps, this time they were more of a nuisance to dispose of. We both suffered with not getting movement activation cards early on when we needed them. Once the centre battles clashed they demanded all out attention and we were constandly using any spare cards to rally units (we could discard an activation card to remove a point of disorder from a unit), so the flanks were ignored.
We are both looking forward to the next game and planning an all-day big battle for sometime next year.

Other games being played.
A 28mm WW2 game with Chain of Command.

Another WW2 game, this time in 15mm.

And a Wars of the Roses game, using a variant of Sharp Practice.

Monday, 16 December 2019

More Little Boats (and even smaller boats)

Colin and took our Cruel Seas boats for another outing at club on Friday, joined by Keiron who seems to be in danger of catching the CS bug.

A British raiding force of 2 Fairmile Ds, each supported by a pair of Vospers were attacking a small harbour where a Type 34 Torpedo Boat and a Tanker were moored up. It will take 2 moves for the Germans to come to action stations, at which point they can fire and cast off, but not move until the following turn.
As the arrived at the target, they saw a small convoy of three merchantmen, escorted by 3 Kriegfischkutters approaching the harbour. At this point the British divided their forces, half the boats heading for the original target, whilst half veered off towards the convoy.

The German convoy enters the table.

The German Torpedo Boat and tanker, moored in harbour, are unaware....

...of the approach of the British raiders.

The little Kriegfischkutters veer aware towards the oncoming British.

Whilst casting off, the Torpedo Boat manned the forward 4" turret and took a long range shot (and I rolled a 1!). After a direct hit from a 4" shell there isn't much left of a little Vosper.

The convoy starts to scatter and the lead Kriegfischkutter exchanges shots with the closest Vosper, both ships taking damage.

Shocked by the early loss of a Vosper with it's full load of torpedoes, the British start to put fish in the water in the direction of the Torpedo Boat.

As the Type 34 pulls out of the harbour she starts to turn to avoid the spread of torpedoes....

...and succeeds in narrowly getting out of the path of the torpedoes....

...then I roll another 1 with the 4" gun! Having already taken damage, it almost wasn't worth rolling the damage dice.

And the Type 34 took out a third Vosper with it's secondary guns.

As the torpedoes move closer to the convoy, the ships continue to take evasive action.

A merchantman and a Kriegfischkutter almost collide in the confusion and as a torpedo strikes home, damaging the ships engines.

Now one of the Fairmiles explodes!

Trying to line up a torpedo on the Type 34, the last Vosper gets careless and runs into the Torpedo Boat. Then a critical hit on the Type 34 sets off one of it's torpedoes and damages the steering.

A second torpedo hits the first merchant and send her to the bottom.

A second merchant takes a hit.

It's not a dud!
The Type 34's 20mm guns finish off the last Vosper (not much was needed after the earlier collision).

A torpedo hits the tanker as she starts to pull away from the dockside, but this one is a dud!

The Luftwaffe finally make an appearance, but the Stuka misses the last Fairmile.

Who its the third merchantman. This time the British score a "broken back" on the critical hits table and the vessel rapidly sinks.

Out of control the Type 34 veers around and takes a double hit from the Fairmiles two 6 pounder guns, with is enough to finally sink the torpedo boat.

Turning their attention back to the convoy, the last British crew take out one of the Kriegfischkutter escorts.

But in the following move is sunk in turn by the last undamaged escort.
All the British raiders were now accounted for, but the Fairmile still had fish in the water... of which scored a second hit on the last surviving merchantman which sent her beneath the waves.
The situation at the end of the game, The Germans have 2 Kriegfischkutters left (well one and a half really) and the tanker makes it's escape.
Working out the VPs for this scenario, the game was a draw. 100 VPs for each merchant, 75 for the Type 34 minus 50 VP for each British boat lost. They needed 100 VPs for a win, zero or less would have been a German victory.

No one minded, because we had had a lot of fun!

Other games at the club that night.

A Necromunda game (or Kill Team, I forgot to check).

A 6mm Sci-fi battle with Futurewar Commander.

A WW1 naval engagement with much smaller ships (I think by Tumbling Dice).

WW2 US vs Japanese Chain of Command game.

I thought Banzai charges across open ground were a Japanese tactic?

Not fair, using real tanks against the Japanese tin cans in tracks.