Thursday, 28 October 2021

Shoot-out in Paradise - “Mad Dogs with Guns”

Paradise, Illinois, a small city near Chicago during Prohibition was run by two gangs. In this game the two gangs have organised a meeting with their accountant. However the Police Department and Feds also wish to join the meet.

The rules used are “Mad Dogs with Guns” a card driven game. Each player was given a faction worth $1,200 plus transport. In addition each player had three objectives, mostly to do with the accountant and his bag.

The game started when “The Dude” and his gang picked up the Accountant from his digs. There was some concern that a truck parked opposite might be suspicious so the gang kept a watch on it. The Accountant got into the car with “The Dude” and his “Nice Girl”, she commented that he looked very much like Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo.

They travelled uneventfully to the Diner where the meeting was to be held, they pulled up, the gang spread out, and the Diner was given the all clear. At this time all weapons were hidden as it is against the local law to carry guns. The truck had followed the gang but this was not considered suspicious as each player could move the Civilians and Trucks. During this phase the movement of Gangs was disrupted by citizens getting in the way, the most disruptive being the “Sisters”.

Now things warmed up. The Dude's gang were suspicious of some characters across the square. Shouting out to them to keep away they responded that they were Feds. To this the Piano Man uncovered his Tommy Gun. Unfortunately for him in the suspicious truck were Cops who opened fire. There ensued a gunfight which went on until one of the Feds shot the Piano Man in the back.

A general firefight now started the Dude's gang taking on the Cops and Feds. The Dude with top gang members exited the back of the Diner. The first escape route was blocked by the Feds, so they ran the other way towards Ken's Gang (who had their heads down and guns hidden so far). This however was blocked by the Cops who started to arrest the gang members and shot the Dude and Accountant. 

This all happened down a back lane, no one saw what happened but the Cops report was that the Accountant took a gun from a Beat Cop and shot himself. The Chief of Police Si, was pleased he had now achieved one of his objectives.

The game now changed into what resembled a American Football Match. Ken's Gang open fire and his wheelman runs down some Feds, his car crashes and goes up in flame (yes these rules are that detailed). A Cop picks up the Accountants Bag and starts to run, closely followed by a Fed. He is tackled, the Fed now runs back, he passes a hiding Hood who shoots him, drops the bag. A Cop now picks up the bag but a nearby Fed with BAR drops him (unfortunately also takes out a citizen). One of Ken's gang is now running with bag, but then a Fed gets it off him and makes it to the Car. Before he can start the engine, Ken's Hood is grabbing the Fed through the window. As these two fight it out a Cop with carbine stands by watching. Ken's Hood wins the bag, he turns around and gets shot........ End of game.

As all that was going on Cops had rounded up the rest of the Gang Members and Arrested Feds for shooting innocent civilians.

There were other side story's that played out during the game, one of Ken's hoods was beaten up by a Nun. Nice Girl tried to escape using her purse gun to name but two.

This was a fast moving and well set up balanced game thanks to Vince who was also umpire today. Steve M was in charge of the Feds and Si the Police. Ken controlled the Italian Gang and I was the Dude (hence there being more detail in my report about my actions).

Technical Bit
The rules as mentioned above were “Mad Dogs with Guns” and they play well and have lots of period detail. In addition they have a well thought out campaign system, which a group of us used during the first lock down to get our wargaming fix. 

Figures are mostly Blue Moon and Copplestone with a few Pulp Fiction thrown in. Buildings were from TT Combat and Armchair General.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Target for Tonight, Op Eight - Dusseldorf

The final Op to Dusseldorf flown on 3rd-4th November 1943 was the last game of eight to be played in our Target for Tonight, Battle of Berlin Campaign and what a game it proved to be to end on, with Bomber Command desperate to make up for the consequences of misplaced Target Indicators on the previous Op, that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and left the campaign teetering on a German minor victory.

The Mainforce turnout for this next Op to the Rhur city of Dusseldorf saw maintenance crews pulling out all the stops to produce the number of aircraft seen above for the five groups and with only four crews not rated as veteran or better and with two crews rated as second tour elites.

Thus with good weather over the target, a short flight to the Rhur Valley, well within Oboe range for precise navigation and a very heavy bomb load, things all looked set for an opportunity to pull the campaign back in favour of the RAF, but would the Nachtjagd have something to say about that?

As with the previous games you can find out how this one ended with a full report on our game on JJ's Wargames together with links to the previous seven games leading up to it.

Halifax Z-Zebra tangles with a nightfighter north of Aachen in our final campaign game

Many thanks Bob, Steve and Ian for helping to finish things off on a high and for your enthusiastic playing, help and input into what has been a very fun time and to give an idea on how our games have progressed over the campaign you can see a short clip below of this one with the guys getting the bomber stream moved, with Bob trying his best to crash R-Roger and Steve explaining the delights of dodging nightfighters on the bomb-run!

To read on just follow the link below.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Granada 14th December 1856 - The Filibuster War

William Walker (President of Nicaragua) was on board his Steamer "La Virgin", watching what what was happening to his forces trapped in the church of Guadalupe. They had been given orders to burn the city down, but unfortunately they found some alcohol and when they woke they found themselves trapped by the Nicaraguans. 

William Walker, self-proclaimed American President of Nicaragua 
from 1855-57 after he invaded the country and occupied it

However fate intervened and more Filibuster reinforcements arrived, it was therefor time to save his brave lads.

This is where our game starts. Juan and Carlos were in command of the city they had put an iron ring around the church, anyone trying to escape would be cut down (think Butch Cassidy and Sundance).

Other soldiers were scattered around the town and on the water front. They had a plan, that was to let
the Americans land and move inland, then the defenders would appear from the side streets and cut them off.

Walker had two brave volunteers, Gregory an American Patriot and Vince a British mercenary. They brought the steamer up close to the docks and let loose a terrifying volley, the dock guards ran away. The Americans then disembarked unopposed and formed two columns.

Gregory took his men up through the back gardens until encountering a large unit of peasants. There was then a long one sided firefight, the Peasants could not shoot back, however neither would they run away.

The other column lead by Vince advance cautiously up the high street, using long range fire to drive back the militia. On the flank was a fort held by some regulars, here there was a long range firefight by the American steamer guard which included a cannon. This too went bad for the defenders as the regulars refused to activate then finally ran away.

Things were basically going wrong for the Nicaraguans, poor discipline of the militia and peasants meant they joined the battle piecemeal and were shot to pieces. Units were even pulled out of the church guard but still could not change the run of the battle.

At this time Juan and Carlos thought it was time to pack up.

Now for some technical stuff.
Rules were Rebels and Patriots, these give a fun fast moving game.

The Americans were classed as well armed light infantry, they provided their own weapons and were not well disciplined.

The Nicaraguans consisted of standard Line Infantry, Militia Line Infantry (-1 discipline and poor shots) and Peasants (Natives with-1 discipline).

Figures, 28mm, Americans Alamo to ACW/Cowboys ranges. From manufacturers such as Boot Hill, Perry, Redoubt Enterprise, 1st Corps and Wargame Foundry.

Nicaraguans were Napoleonic Spanish Guerrillas, South American Wars of Independence, Maximillian Mexico plus Mexican Cowboys ranges. Manufacturers most of the above plus Orinoco Miniatures.

In conclusion, the game played well and the Filibusters victory was due to their good tactics, playing to their strength and not letting the Nicaraguans use their advantage of numbers. If they got in close the game would have ended differently.

In case you were wondering, the game gave an historical result.

Thanks to Gregory, Vince and John for playing and letting me cross another battle of my to do list.