Translate

Sunday, 23 March 2014

28mm Sudan Battle using TDLIUE "They Don't Like It Up Em'"

This was a fictional battle set in the Sudan utilising my 28mm collection, playing with the Two Fat Lardies rules TDLIUE "They Don't Like It Up Em'"  - held at the Devon Wargames Club, where we had a record turn out of over 20 players, I was hosting for 8 players with me Umpiring the game...
Chaos was bound to ensue...

Advance the Columns...

The scenario was set during the Relief of Gordon at Khartoum, the British forces had sent a column to the city but had been fought to a standstill, and was retiring in good order but "low on ammo" towards the Nile to meet up with the main Imperial force, having 3 columns landed and advancing to the city, and to meet number one column, who were being pursued by a large Mahdist force...

View of the map from bottom left of the Empire deployment area, with the Heliograph section on the hill...

The TDLIUE rules are from the Too Fat Lardies Christmas special, working on the basis of card driven initiative system, each Brigade/Rub have their own card, but each player, whether Damn Fine Chap or Mullah, have their own card as well, which adds extra initiative, on a die roll they command that many units. the combat shooting and moving is quite simplistic with each unit having four action dice to be divided into firing or movement, camels and horse having bonus' to their movement, Fuzzy's ignoring first level of movement cover effect, as this is their home. Fighting is simplistic but very bloody... I like these rules for this period and find them quite effective and realistic for the period...

Sir Chas "Mad Dog" Carter was leading the Imperial forces, with Steve, Jack and Vince as his loyal subordinates.


 The Empire forces...




Each Imperial player had a force under his control and a Damn Fine Chap, which had a small sub plot to try and accomplish in the game as well as surviving.

First Brigade.
Brigadier General. Steve

Coldstream Guards (Elite)
Cameroon Highlanders (Aggressive)
49th Infantry Batt. (Regular)
The Post Office Rifles (Elite)
Mountain Gun

Your column is “low on ammo” and returning to base to resupply, you may come on in any top corner, you need to get to the far end of the table and rejoin your forces and resupply, but as first Brigade and the superior commander you must do this in good order and fight your way back and give a good account of yourselves.
Your DFC 1 has an outstanding feud with DFC 2, as he stole your beloved child hood sweetheart, who happens to be the generals daughter and your way of aspiring to the top ranks, if you can leave him out to dry or kill him if you have the chance, honourably if the opportunity arises.

Second Brigade
Brigadier General. Vince
Naval Infantry - HMS Lion (Regular)
Naval Infantry - HMS King Edward (Regular)
Indian Infantry (Regular)
Indian Infantry (Regular)
Gatling Gun
Gardiner Gun

Your brigade has just landed off of the Nile Gunboat HMS Lion, you have been commanded to go and rescue the first brigade as their commander needs all the help he can get to pull his men back from the debacle falling upon him.
Your DFC must attempt to rescue his beloved wife to be who has been left stranded by the retreating forces, she will be with a young officer leading the Heliograph group, but beware there may be enemies about. She is the generals daughter and also your way to the top ranks...

Third Brigade
Brigadier General. Chas 
Camel Corps Batt. (Regular)
Camel Corps Batt. (Regular)
RA Field Gun
21st Lancers (Elite - Aggressive)
Bengal Lancers

The Third Brigade falls to your command of course, as the most dashing hansom fellow in the army, it was only right that you were chosen to lead this cavalry brigade, then they attached some of those dreadful camel boys onto your brigade, and a damn cannon just to slow you down, at least the camels will be of some help if things get sticky!!
Your DFC 3 has his younger brother on the field somewhere, he is out scouting for the general and has one of those heliograph contraptions with him, mummy has asked that you keep him safe at all costs, if not daddy will be cutting of your allowances, and you do not want that!!!

Fourth BrigadeCavalry
Brigadier General.(Extra kudos for commanding these damn fuzzy chaps) Jack
Egyptian Infantry (Regular/Hesitant)
Egyptian Infantry (Regular/Hesitant)
Egyptian Infantry (Regular/Hesitant)
Sudanese Infantry (Regular - Aggressive)
Egyptian Cavalry (Regular-Hesitant)

That damn incompetent general has given you command of a damn bunch of fuzzy chaps, they can’t even march let alone fight, to top it off he has given you the command of the munitions and supplies, do you look like a damn quarter master!!!!
You have to decide who gets what within the brigade, your troops have landed and are marching to the aid of all the brigades as they are facing an ever increasing enemy, looks like this could be the big one.
Prove yourself here DFC and you will be the next brigade commander of decent troops.
 


with that they deployed on the table...
Damn Fine Chaps Sir Steve, Viscount Vince, Sir "Mad Dog" Carter, and Pasha Jack.
The Mahdist's forces was led by Everett, his loyal followers being Andy, Andy and new boy Phil... 
They had forces hidden on blinds, that they moved around the table until the empire troops spotted them or the Fuzzy chaps decided to spring forth...
 The Fuzzy's Mass for the Mahdi...
They had the tough job of Killing all the Imperial troops...
Let battle commence...

 "Oh Bearded Leader, show us the righteous path to victory..."
Damn Fine Mullah's Andy, Andy, Everett, and Phil...

Chas and the DFC's deployed their troops on the board, Steve with column No1 on the board retiring back to the main column, and the other chaps deploying across the bottom of the board...

The Heliograph section and skirmisher escort up in the hills spotting for Sir Chas "Mad Dog" Carter.

Everett "Oh Bearded One" and his loyal Mullah followers deployed their blind markers coming on the top end of the board chasing No1 Column and swarming towards the others Columns advancing into the fold...
The Mullah forces deploying on blinds initially, with No1 column in the far distance...
Early few turns saw the Empire forces advance forward, sending out the cavalry forward to spot, antagonising the Fuzzies to break cover, and No1 Column hastily forming square as the Fuzzies swarm in to attack, Everett forms his Nile arabs up to attack, and Phil's Fuzzy Wuzzy's come in from the flank...
Steve's No1 Column on their leisurely stroll back to the Nile...
Never fear relief is on the way...


"Form Brigade Square!!! incoming Fuzzy's..."


"Advance the cavalry..."

Early stages with the blinds advancing towards the square and the relief columns...


Heliograph Section up in the hills with views of the Empire forces advancing across the plains...

There is a multitude of fighting at No1 Column, thousands of Fuzzies and Arabs swarming around the square, the square holds, fighting off numerous attacks, but taking severe casualties, but inflicting even more...

Hold Them...

But, after much firing and fighting, the square of No1 Column falls into chaos, the two sides die to a man, but stunts the advance, the Highlanders and 49th form battalion squares trying to fall back on the relief slowly coming forward.

Fuzzies swarm over the dead of what remains of the square...
and advances on the remaining British units...


 The square breaks...
Meanwhile the Blinds of Andy and Andy surge forward in the centre and on the their right, trying to take the Heliograph section out, and sweep around the Egyptian flanks, the Generals daughter is in peril, and luckily for her the card is drawn from the pile for the gallant leftenant to act, he mounts his steed and pulls her up and rides off, telling his men to hold he is off to get help and rescue the lady... 


"Ah Sir, Fuzzies, and there seems to be rather a lot of them sir?!!"


Trotting off with the lady in tow to get help...
The Egyptians forming battalion squares in the distances...


Fuzzies attacking the hill...

Meanwhile in the centre the Mahdist Camels and Fuzzies formed up preparing to attack, readying themselves, whilst the Empire cavalry surged forward with the Bengal Lancers and the 21st, being led by Mad Dog Carter, they get the drop with the cards favouring them, so Mad Dog, dismounts his camel troops in line behind his camels as cover and charges forward with his Lancers, causing severe casualties and confusion in the Mahdist centre... the turn ends with the second Tiffin card being drawn, and low and behold the cavalry get the drop again and in he goes again with gallant charges again and again stalling the centre for a while...


Lancers, Charge!!!!


Action in the centre...

The fighting on the flanks becomes more and more desperate, with the 49th and Cameroons holding off successive attacks, the Naval Brigade of Vsc.Vince advances forward in line and deploys the Gatling and Gardeners to the front mowing down the gallant fuzzies whom come within arc of fire....
The remains of No1 Column battalion squares fighting off yet another attack from Phil's Fuzzies...

On the Empire left flank Pasha Jack decides to put his Egyptian's and Sudanese Battalions into square to try and fight off the growing Fuzzies advancing towards him, with his artillery on the back hill, they will support them, surely? The Heliograph detachment successfully hold the rocky high ground and push Andy's Fuzzy's back once more, however there are always more of them forming up to attack... 
Corporal Jones card
"Move along nothing to see..."

The TDLIUE system operates with card system, in there are two tiffin cards, when both drawn ends the turn, but there is also a Corporal Jones card, which then indicates a special event card is drawn, this can effect various events good and bad for both sides...

The cards are pulled, and a special event of the Heat effecting the ammo, reduces the Empire firing by -1 effect, until the fresh ammo is distributed, in the subsequent turn another special event occurs with the Empire forces being affected with Water shortages, this reduces their movement by -1 on each die rolled, luck of the cards... or not as the case may be...

 Form the men into square if you would...
The heat starts to takes its Toll...
 The situation on the left flank...
After several charges with both the Lancer units Mad Dog Carter leads the remnants back behind the firing lines of the Camel Corps, as the Fuzzy Camel units mass forming up after being thrown into chaos by the Lancers, and their infantry mass beside them slowly advancing out of the cover they formed up in.
With that the Camels advance forward toward the Egyptian squares and the Camel Corp lines, they pour in round after round at the advancing masses...
"Allah Akbar..."
Camel Corp firing line, and the firm Naval brigade firing line in the background...


Fuzzies forming up, Fousands of em...

As the game started to draw to its final stages, the Cameroons were the last of No1 Column, being led by gallant Sir "Ladyboy" Steve, the square fought like demons holing off thousands of Fuzzies, as they drew closer to the firing line of Viscount Vince's Naval brigade, and the deadly machine guns, however Everett and Phil's final cavalry charges managed to break the line in one charge only restored by yet another charge by the lancers, and superior fire power, they were surprised by the vast distance the cavalry could cover...

Andy's fuzzies manage to overwhelm the Heliograph section on the hill, massing towards the Egyptian squares... but under artillery fire of the Egyptian guns, the other Andy's Fuzzies advanced towards the squares but was taking volumes of fire...

The final turns saw the fire power dwindle the fighting effectiveness of the Fuzzies, and the level of casualties on the Mahdist units was effecting their movement and overall morale, at this point I decided the Mahdi would draw his troops back to fight another day...
Steve's square holding to the last man!!!

DFC Sir Steve with his square...


 View along the line in the last turn...
The Mahdi draws his Mullahs back to fight another day...
My thanks to all the guys that played the game, and put up with my whimsical umpiring throughout...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Romans vs Germans - Hail Caesar

One of the games laid on at the club yesterday was a 15mm Hail Caesar encounter with Early Imperial Romans up against Early Period Germans. Mr Steve Huntsman was our Gamemiester for the day, still on the wrong end of jet lag, but managed to lead us through the Hail Caesar rules, as most of us were playing our first game, including me.


We diced to see who would set up first, which the Germans won, and so  the Romans in three divisions were invited to set up first. Following this the Germans deployed in two divisions of about 8 and 10 units each.

The Roman centre division (nearest to camera) opposite the German right division.
Legionaries in front with skirmishers to the fore and Auxiliaries
and a reserve unit of  Legionaries in support. Artillery on the left of the line
Hail Caesar works on the principle of players announcing their intentions and then rolling dice to see if their command and control is capable of allowing the intention to be carried out and to what extent.

Thus as Romans, two d6 were rolled against the standard command rating of 8, with 9 or more being a fail, 7 or 8 giving one move, 6 two and 5 or less three moves. A move being movement or formation change. If units of a division are in a chain from their commander, within six inches of each other they can make divisional moves. To reflect the discipline of the Legionaries, they are assumed to be able to move once in a turn automatically if they fail a command test.
All the cavalry formed the Roman right division facing the larger of the two German left division
Thus it was that the German left division, the stronger of the two, failed its divisional order to advance on the Roman right and centre. Appreciating the opportunity to get the jump on their barbarian opponents, the Roman left and centre divisions advanced rapidly towards the German right division using their massed cavalry to keep the attention of the other German division.

This, right from the start, became the defining moment of our game as the German left struggled to move to assist their comrades on the right all the while having their heals snapped at by marauding Roman allied cavalry.

The Roman left division with a couple of Legionary and Auxiliary units supported by archers 
As the Roman lines closed with the German right. the Roman left division quickly overcame the extreme right hand units of Germans and proceeded to turn their flank. As the neighbouring units attempted to turn and support their friends they exposed their flanks to the oncoming Roman centre division. As Legionaries charged in on their German counterparts winning some encounters getting pushed back on others, the battle for the German right flank degenerated into a slug fest as the two side wore each other down in a series of multiple melees.

The Germans were using their "wild fighters" attributes, re-rolling up to three failed hand to hand attacks in their charges together with their higher clash value of 9 dice rolled versus 7 for the Legionaries. It return the Romans were lobbing in their pila with each charge reducing the German save attempts from hits achieved in the hand to hand combat phase. The net result producing a grinding down of the opposing units as each side attempted to break the other before supporting units could intervene. All good fun and very nerve racking at times.

The Roman allied cavalry quickly overcame their German adversaries and moved in
behind the barbarian infantry
On the Roman right the Allied cavalry quickly drove off their German opposite numbers together with some infantry that attempted to come to their aid and immediately swung around and behind the German left flank, forcing the rear most units to about face as they attempted to move towards the fight on the right. This helped to slow any succour the German right wing commander could hope for and gave the Legionaries more time to wear down the opposition.

One highlight for the Germans was the sight of the Roman Cavalry Commander getting carried away and leading his men into the charge taking a wound for his trouble but managing to win the melee. Good stuff and exemplifying the spirit our game was played in.

The Roman centre and left divisions moved quickly to assault the German right division
before their comrades could come to their support
As the German relief force closed in on the Roman right centre, the German right started to break up as unit after unit of German infantry started to go shaken status and the inevitable happened as the units started to break in the melees. Once a division has more than half of its units destroyed or left the table then it is deemed broken causing the remainder to become shaken and forcing the division as a whole to quit the field.

Too little too late as the German left division (moving over the hill)
attempts to intervene the Roman cavalry (back table) moves in as the German right division is forced to retreat
Thus with the German right division broken we deemed the Romans had achieved a Pyrrhic victory able to hold the field at night fall and recover their dead and wounded comrades of which there were many.

Many thanks to Steve, Ian, Ollie, Jason and Tom for a very enjoyable afternoon battling in the forests of Germania, "On my command unleash hell".

For my thoughts on Hail Caesar rules check out JJ's Blog

March Meeting at the Devon Wargames Group

Yesterday was the March meeting of the DWG and a very eventful day it turned out to be. The drive to raise the profile of the club and to attract new players in the area saw the club play host to 21 gamers and saw several new members at their first game with the club.

I took a few pictures around the room to capture the "hubble bubble" of conversation that precedes a day of gaming as people catch up and games are set up and briefed out to the participants. The really nice thing to see was that we originally had two games planned which rapidly progressed to four over the day to accommodate the numbers that wanted to play. Thanks to Steve H for pulling together a game of "Saga" and "X-Wing" as well as organising the game I took part in of "Hail Caesar".

The Sudan Table gets set up
In addition to the the three games mentioned, Nathan set up his lovely collection of 28mm Sudan figures for a game of "They don't like it up em" from the Lardies. Game reports on the days events will follow.

A hastily arranged Saga encounter

Romans v Germans on the Hail Caesar table

To "Senior" club members who got lost amongst all the tables and
couldn't find their way back to their game

Nathan held centre stage with is Sudan collection, very nice




Saga clash under way

The afternoon concluded with a quick game of X-Wing

A very warm welcome to all new members who came along yesterday and joined in the fun. If you are interested in joining a club in the Exeter area, then check out the Devon Wargames Group.