Saturday, December 26, 2015

AAR: Normandy Fight: British Airborne Vs. German Fallschrimjager.

    In this post, we, my wife and I, decided to try out the new Normandy Fight rules that we received recently. Though, the rules are not anything new or unknown to us, I wanted to try them out between the two of us. I have played this rule set when it first came out and several times after. It is not that bad of a rules set. For the tactical technical gamer, this is right up your alley. In a way, this can be taken as a slight review. There are some things that I like about this rules set is that there are grenades, reloading, and the ability to divide and conquer. I used the last one as a manager at work for several jobs. It also works as a military strategy. In Normandy Firefight, they mention the action of three to five men on average. They are mainly covering scouts. Honestly, I would like a little bit more troops. One reason is because I have them. Two, scouts did not really get into long winded firefights. However, with how the rules work, if I really had a problem with them, I would just used a modified WW2 of Buckskins and Rangers. But the rules covers a lot of ground to really only need several characters. You can name them and give them various weapons. The only issue I have with the rules are the simplification of them. They work with two players, and at max, four. It is a card based game. This is not so say that you could not modify the game to included more players. But honestly, it might drag on quite a bit.
   Anyway, on the game we played. I wanted Kalissa to play this game on her terms. Mainly, the reason of this was because of a common fact that she cannot be tactically challenging in a game without knowing the rules. Despite being a war gamer with my war gamer ways, I will still never try to take advantage of my wife's knowledge handicap. The last and first time she played the game, she had no idea of her options. For one, the team player insisted on playing the rules as written. If this were a club game, team members are not allowed to discuss tactics in this game as it is a gentleman's game. This game sometimes can require an umpire. In the USA, this is not common in games. But in the case on never playing a game, I feel the both sides in the engagement should have been okay with going over the rules in advance. It happens. So, in a sense, my wife was not originally into these rules. It was only until she found them on a deal for $3.00 did she commit to trying them. I like them as rules so far.
  So in the case of this game, we took a few liberties when playing our first game against each other. She had five men of the British Airborne. Two of them had Sten Guns and the others had Smile Rifles. I had five German Fallshirmjagers. One of them had a MP40, another had a FG42 Assault Rifle, and the rest had KAR98 rifles. The deal with the soldiers is that they can be character driven. In this case, I had Fredrick Von Strudel as my Sgt. followed by Bobbi Blackhause, Otto Pippen, Vincent Weiss, and Olsen Schmitt. Vincent Weiss had the FG42 and Fredrick had the MP40. I do not remember all of Kalissa's troops. I know there was a Bobby and a Corneillis.
   So here was the battle field.
View from he west.

View from the South.

View from the Southeastern side.
     With an higher roll, Kalissa chose the North side of the board. I got the Southern end up to 12" inches. She had a 6" deployment. This was the Scout Mission in the book. I will not lie, I had a plan. It was simple: occupy the farm buildings. I set up the idea of a three man team of the FG42 with the MP40 and a rifle. The other team was to be two rifles. I wanted the three membered team to take the stable and the two team to occupy the farm house. I had no idea what Kalissa's Paratroopers where up to. Here was the turns.
This was my three-man team.

This was my two-man rifle team. The Sherman Tank was part of the scenario. It took a Panzerfaust to knock it out. I would never do such a thing!

Kalissa's Skirmish line moving in.

Otto opens the Farm house door, while Vincent covers with a couple rounds.

The British take positions.

The British commander knees behind the wagon.

     I would like to add some important information to our game. Like I mentioned earlier, we tended to ignore certain rules while playing to learn the basics. For instants, we did not keep track of ammo or the previous moves. We also treated Submachine guns as Assault rifles. And we forgot about pins, completely. Some of this was not on purpose. Evening know some rules, did forget some. After all, I last played in October of 2014! So, for the hardcore Normandy Firefight people, forgive us!
Fredrick Von Strudel takes aim at some British!

The British know the Germans have the Farm House.

Corneillis  takes aim.

Otto throws a grenade out the stable door!

Vincent takes aim!

The Grenade proved too much taking out it's throw as well a some British!

Vincent takes the final shot!

Fredrick von Strudel's shot was cancelled with Vincent's shot!

        Anyway, fun rule system! We will try the other stuff we missed. Kalissa lost everyone, but I lost two men. I find that weapons can be lethal in this game. Also, grenades, while fun, are just as dangerous against yourself. My suggestion with this rule set is baby steps! Try simple rules and then, afterwards. We will report on future full rules games!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

AAR: Doing the Tank War Twist.

    Out to test out a new mat and just to play, Kalissa and I met up with our fellow gamers at Hobbytown USA. Though, recently, a few have been sidetracked into the newer Kings of War game, we were happy to see our friend, Danny. He decided not to play, but be an umpire to our corky Bolt Action Battle.
What made it different, you may ask? Well, unlike the normal depolyment of choosing sides, we rolled for corners. The corners were labelled one throught four on a six-sided die. If you rolled a one, the corner labelled one would be where your tank came on. Same with the other corners with a five and six being rerolls. After your rolled locations, your tanks can come in 16" either way from that corner. Here was the catch: the first tank can come on in either place, otherwise you have to roll your number to get your tank on the table in said corner. Kalissa gained the number six to choose whatever corner of hers she wanted. I got five. If you roll your opponents number, your tank went down and could not come on the table. It was very different, since you may never get everyone on.
      How this game went was nothing short of a brutal Tankfest against my wife. To start, she was running eight Cromwells, four Sherman Fireflies, three M-10 Tank Destroyers, and a Daimler armored car. She had 16 armored vehicles to kill or kill me with. I was a little outnumbered being the Germans. Historically, that was fairly accurate in most combat situations in WW2. I had four Panthers, one Jagdpanther, one Jagdpanzer IV L70, two Sturmgeschultz III G's, one Puma armored car, and Sd Kfz. 222 armored car. The 222 was like bring a knife to a gun fight! Why not?
    Danny had us roll for corners are random. Kalissa gained corners one and four. I got two and three. I think Danny was hoping for some more chaos in the game to make it more interesting. It still was, but we still ended up with forces coming on the same side. Otherwise, most of the normal Bolt Action gaming continued. Kalissa brought on a Cromwell as her first tank. I decided to use my Jagdpanther. The first turn saw a lot of Kalissa's tanks come on. Mine, not so much. I started out with nearly no one on and Kalissa dominating the board. It took a couple of losses before my Germans started taking this threat seriously. I ended up winning with a large amount of devestating hits. It could have gone either way. Only one tank did not make it on the table, which was one of her Cromwells.
   Below is the picture rundown of the events of the day. Pictures tell better stories, I think.
Corner One and Four. One was on the top.

Corner Two and Three were to the right side of the river which was rated impassible to Armor. A natural defensive line.

The only way to cross.

An interesting formation for armor. They might have needed a traffic cop!

My one Jagdpanther scanning the field.

A Panther take aim as the Jagdpanzer IV takes a hit disabling a track.

A long range shot glances the upper Cromwell tank shocking the crew with one pin.

The Daimler runs up the road as a speedy little target to scare someone?

Taking the high ground around the farm house, an Achilles M-10 Tank Destroyer sends loving shots to it's target.

More Tank Destroyers!

A Sherman Firefly tried to get a side shot on the Jagpanther across the river. A Panther tank showed up in response with a glancing blow across the turret.

The German tank river defense.

The death of some fellow Panzerwaffe brothers stirs the Panzer nest.

British advance through the farmer's road.

The Diamler found the enemy in an unconventional way.

The M-10's continue to advance under fire.

The reserves start to weigh in. Now there are three Super-heavy guns.

An Panther tank was hit from a long range Firefly.

Same said Firefly buys the farm!

An Firefly drives to a concealed position.

The Puma crests the bridge to take pot shots at incoming British armor.

A drive through the woods.

Another Stug III arrives on turn four.

Smoke on the armor!

More Cromwell advance to save the day!

Over the bridge, we go!

The 222 is now in the fight......sort of.

A daring move across the field.

Disabled Cromwell. Now, it is a pillbox.

Another late arriving Cromwell tank.

The Stug III become a smoking 23 ton road block!

Jagdpanther's  point of view.

British survivors.