Saturday, 9 October 2010

October 2010 Meeting - Winter War

Chas and Steve M attempted to storm famous "Polar Bear" bunker on the Mannerheim line, in this 2500 point FOW Winter War game. Andy tried to survive long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

This was a Winter War game to the "Hold the Line" scenario in the FOW rule book.


Andy, keen to get in shot, poses for the camera, as the Soviet horde gets uncomfortably close to the line. Frustrated he returns to the field telephone in his bunker to check if my men have left Helsinki yet.


A couple of hideous turns for the Soviets see Chas and Steve remember they have left the gas on in Leningrad.


A good bash, with the Soviets getting close, but being check by accurate fire from the A/T guns in the bunkers and fire from the infantry in the trenches. That said, the Fins looked in trouble when they lost the A/T gun platoon and the HMG platoon in the trenches.
Despite it all we weren't so cocky until the landships were burning though !
I decided Andy was doing so well I would leave my troops in the box until turn 4. Glad I bothered to paint them.............

Steve M and Chas attempted to storm part of the Mannerheim line, which Andy defended whilst awaiting the arrival of reinforcements.

This was a 2500 points a side FOW game based on the Winter War fighting in Finland.


Jon's Book Reviews

The Odin Mission by James Holland, the first of the Jack Tanner series. This is the WWII Sharp, which features Sgt Jack Tanner in a mission set during the ill fated Norway campaign in 1940. Really good read, with plenty of historical detail to capture the feel of that campaign. A must for holiday reading.

The second book in the series is now out in paperback which sees Jack Tanner and his company plunged into the Dunkirk campaign where he comes up against two villains, one German and a member of the SS and the other a senior NCO from a previous encounter during his service in India. Great read, that again follows the events of history.

18 Platoon by Sydney Jary was first published in the late 1980s following a platoon re-union, and describes the young Sydney Jarry taking command of 18 platoon of the Somerset Light Infantry part of 43rd Infantry Division in Normandy just after the division had suffered terrible casualties at Hill 112. Jarry after being told he would only survive a few days in combat went on to command the platoon to the end of the war in Germany. This is a really good description of a British infantry platoon in action 1944-45 in Europe and is reccomended reading for todays young subalterns.

Books focussing on the German Infantry forces in late war Europe at the platoon and company level are very rare, so this book looking in particular at the fusilier battalion of the 272nd Volksgrenadier Division was a great find. The book was able to draw on a unique discovery made after the Berlin wall came down of an old suitcase containing the battalion records of this particular unit that would have been kept by the company clerk. In most cases these records were destroyed at the end of the war, but remarkably these survived to enable a phorensic reconstruction of the personel that were recruited into one of the first Volksgrenadier divisions that was hastily thrown into the fighting in the Hurtgen forest.
The book follows and charts in detail the small scale actions the various companies in the fusiliers fought against the Americans allong side the other units in the division, ending with their final surrender in the Ruhr pocket.
Facinating read and reccomended for those interested in the period.

October Game, "Kiss Me Hardy" Play Test

This month gave us a chance to get the sailing ships out and playtest the rules from the Two Fat Lardies, "Kiss me Hardy". The scenario was the free one available on the Yahoo discussion group which pits four British 74s against four French 74s and two 80s. The victory conditions being who could inflict the most damage to the other side. The two forces sailed on to the table in line ahead, with movement, firing, strike tests, boarding attempts and damage checks being carried out in the move as governed by the turn of an appropriate card. I really like the card system as it removes the need to write orders, and events occur in a totally random sequence in each move. The rules are simple to follow without being simplistic, and we picked them up really quickly. We all thought they would make it easy to play with large numbers of ships on the table.

Our game ended with two British 74s badly damaged and forced to strike, and two French ships badly shot up. The photos illustrate the close broadsides being swapped and a fair amount of rigging ending up overboard.

We thought about adding some command and control rules in to govern formations that the sides could use, which should be an easy addition to make. We will run another game next month to get better acquainted with these very nice rules.