Thursday, 10 March 2016

American Civil War - Battle of Antietam

Hi everyone!  This is a repost from Palladian Guard, showing what some of our chaps got up to recently with our new 6mm game.  Once this is fully playtested we're hoping to make a full participation game for everyone.

The Battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburg as it was known in the Confederacy, remains the bloodiest day in the history of the United States to this day; 25,000 casualties of whom 4,000 were killed.  So it was not without some trepidation that we embarked on our latest game of Two Splendid Lines, following the history of the Fourth Texas Infantry through the Civil War, battle by battle.

For those who've missed the preceeding posts, TSL is a 6mm game based on the Give Them The Cold Steel ruleset.  It focuses on the morale and tactical dynamics of regimental-level combat - all about the snapshot of a battle.

This is how the battle opened.  The infamous Miller's Cornfield is towards the top, and the Federal attack is coming along the road.  Hood's now-famous Texas Brigade is hasilty deployed - the 1st and 5th Texas are just off the top of the board at this point and don't take any direct part in the battle.  We're facing off against the equally tenacious Iron Brigade...

 From our angle you can see the challenge we face.  The ground is difficult and varied, which means it will be difficult to attack in line - but the fact that there's a regular U.S. Army artillery battery preculdes a column approach!

This is how the Federals begin.  Because of their slightly awkward start, they can't deploy in a full line as the 19th Indiana advanced too quickly.  The 35th New York, on the other end of the line, would have to stand in front of the guns to complete the line.  Instead, the 19th forms an impromptu line with the 7th Wisconsin and the New Yorkers march by the flank (ie. sideways) to get behind them in support.

Contrary to experience and practice, the 19th Indiana let loose a battalion volley at 80 yards.  This sounds bad, but is actually ideal for the Confederates - at that range the majority of the shots will fly high, and the entire regiment is left standing there with empty muskets.  Still, we lose about 20 men in one volley!

 In response, I double my regiment forward to about 40 yards, fire a volley of my own just as the Yankees are reloading, then charge!  At that very close range the fire of my Texans is much more devastating and the 19th are forced to withdraw in disorder, to avoid being impaled.  However, I can't advance any further myself because my own ranks are disordered from all the running and the men are tired.  I've just won a little bit of ground.  Reading the official records, this is how about 95% of all bayonet charges went, and accounts for the low casualty figures.  They were shock weapons rather than physical ones.

The other two regiments put up a brave fight.  The Georgians and Hampton's Legion cannot advance any closer because of the vicious canister fire from the artillery, so with their flanks secure they expertly alternate their two regiments to hold off our three - one fighting, the other resting.  To break the stalemate, I despatched my lieutenant colonel with two companies of skirmishers to go into the woods and harras the enemy.  This prevented the 19th Indiana from rallying, and also stopped the 'recovering' regiment from resting so easily.  Also, they scored a big hit when Brigadier General John Gibbon was shot in the upper arm and carried from the field.  (Our fate dice showed that he subsequently died following an unsucessful amputation).

With this, the Federals started to withdraw, but there was no way our shattered brigade could advance any further.  We soon withdrew - both sides had been stopped, but at tremendous cost.  Out of 422 men, the 4th Texas lost 43 killed and 64 wounded (a slightly smaller proportion than in real life).  I quote the following passage from the colonel's report after the battle:

No words can convey the depth of emotion and admiration I hold for the men of the 4th Texas; they responded instantly to whatever order I gave as if on the parade-ground and seemingly disregarding the scores of dead and wounded about them.  Each man who stood on that field deserves, and has earned, a higher praise than I can herein give.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Assualting the trenches part 2

Good morning and welcome to the assault on the trenches from my perspective, the defender.
As Coldsteel eluded to this will be a 4 part post and next time I shall have the job of trying to dislodge his poxy Space Marines from those trenches I only just managed to hold.

We don't tend to play huge point games for 40k, not just because of the space needed but for sheer time factors. I hardly moved at all and we spent nearly 6 hours at Games Workshop HQ playing this game! But we both fancied getting our whole collection out and onto the field. So without further ado let me introduce you to my Tau.

My Left flank - Kroot in the first lines, XV8 suits and broadsides in the second line with XV108 Riptide, XV09 and Hammerhead Support

My Right flank, Fire warriors in both lines with Hammerhead support
My army comprised of the following:

1x Commander in XV8 suit with 2 XV8 crisis bodyguards
1x Cadre fireblade

1 x XV108 Riptide
3 x XV8 crisis suits
2 x 4 XV25 stealth suits

11 x Fire warriors
12 x Fire warriors 1 x Devilfish transport
20 x Kroot with 2 x krootox

Fast attack
3 x XV09 hazard suits
2 x 5 Path finders

Heavy Support
1 x R'vanna experimental battlesuit
2 x Hammerhead Gunships
3 x XV88 Broadside suit

I decided to put my R'vanna, XV09 and Riptide stationed on the bridge to help which ever side Coldsteel pushed hardest. The Path finders and Stealth suits were split on both flanks. My right flank I placed both my Fire warriors with a Hammerhead and Crisis suit support. My left I left rather lightly defended with the kroot up front and a Hammerhead, Broadside and Commander to support.
My thinking being that Coldsteel would rather face relatively weak Kroot than face the massed volley fire of my Fire warriors. One he took the bait I was planning to reinforce in strength across the bridge. The battle turned out very differently..........

The Fire warriors see the bait has not been taken and the are the intended target!

As you can see Coldsteel decided to put his best units against my strong gun line.

I luckily managed to get the first turn. However my dice rolling was poor to say the least. I only managed to destroy the Vindicator! Tau excel at shooting but are basically made of cardboard, they can dish out a whole lot of hurt but cant take it in return! My long range meant I would have at least 2 turns of unopposed shooting, but I had just wasted one!

This Quickly turned into a battle of two sides so I will briefly cover the holding action on the left flank. Coldsteel pushed up a Dreadnaught and tactical squad with scout squad support.

The holding action begins

The Kroot started to take casualties and eventually fled the battle.

The Kroot valiantly held for as long as they could

After pulling my Riptide and XV09 suits away from the left to deal with the impending terminator assault I was forced to push my commander into the front line to hold my left with broadside support.
Broadsides search for their next target
Luckily this managed to hold my left and we pretty much fought each other into a standstill here. Now onto the main event the right flank.
The R'vanna locks onto the Centurion devastators
Despite being hit with volley after volley the Space marines weathered the storm
Slowly the Space marines advanced, shaking off multiple hits from my ionised weapons. I managed to take out a tactical squad and the devastators lurking in a building but still the armoured warriors advanced.
The Fireblade shouted inspiration to his troops! FOR THE GREATER GOOD!
Finally the inevitable happened. The terminators hit home, and hit hard they did. The Tau are pathetic at combat. My first squad was wiped out. The crisis suits sent in to hold the line suffered the same fate.
The Terminators hit my first line

Terminators mop up
While what was left of the Terminators peeled left to mop up my Path finders and Stealth suits, his commander dealt with my XV09 suits that managed to arrive in the fight. Even with Space marine killing weapons these were quickly dispatched!

The terminators finally fell to my massed fire from the second line, and the R'vanna's duel with the Centurions ended with their death. Dans reserve bikers flew up the table and locked my R'vanna in combat until the end of the game. Tying up my most deadly asset while his flying gunship continued to strafe my lines.

His commander and what was left of his command squad turned their eyes to my second line. Despite only being two strong they weathered my fire and took out a second complete squad!
Coldsteels command squad breaks cover to assault while his bikes move to pin my R'vanna

The Slaughter begins
After decimating my right flank I finally managed to put an end to his commander with a well placed Hammerhead round. With us pretty much having fought each other to a standstill we decided to call it there. I managed to hold the trench lines but at such a high cost it wasn't much of a victory.

Aftermath on the left flank

What was left of the right flank
The Glorious dead 

As you can see we both were left with very little. It was a hugely enjoyable day and the next round shall be played next month. I am not looking forward to trying to dislodge Space marines from prepared defences. But that is for another day.



Sunday, 13 December 2015

Assaulting The Trenches Part 1


This is Part 1 of a 4 Part Super-post!

A few days ago, My brother Trojan and I had a game of Warhammer 40,000 at Warhammer World. We normally play small scale game, but this time we decided to go all out and use as many models we could muster - we ended up with a 3000 points of Space marines Vs Tau!

The Battlefield

We decided to make this more fun we would do a 2 part battle, having one player as the defender and the other attacking, then swap over and see who could do better. Points would be awarded for every fortified point - 1 point for a Bunker and 5 for the larger gun platforms that we could clear.

The River split the battlefield in half, the bridge as the only way to cross

My forces included:
1 Chapter Master
1 Captain
A Command Squad with Champion, Apothecary and Techmarine
10 man Terminator Squad
7 man Sternguard Squad
6 man Vanguard squad
A Venerable Dreadnought
10 man Scout Squad
2 x 10 man Tactical squads
6 man Bike Squad
6 man Devastator squad
3 man Devastator Centurion Squad
A Vindicator
A Razorback
and a Stormraven

I set up as seen in the photos above, my plan was to use the right flank to pin some of Trojans troops and Suits in place while launching a full assault on the left.

My Sternguard formed the core of my holding force

The Command Squad in all its glory 

A few, inevitable casualties on the assault force

The first few turns saw my advance take a few casualties, but most of the shots simply bounced off, it wasn't until Trojan brought his Big suits into the fray that I started to feel my losses

 The holding force managed to do a fair amount of damage on the right flank, even causing a unit of Kroot to flee, so I decided to assault that flank as well

The Scouts cove an advance on the right flank
Late into that game and my losses started to take their toll, it was clear that I wouldn't be able to push much further in, so I did what any self respecting Space Marine player would do - go out in a blaze of glory!

My Captain and Chapter Master were unstoppable, wiping out 2 Fire warrior teams and a team of XV9's


..... and after
The remainder of my forces threw themselves at the Tau lines, Giving as good as they got

In the end my Forces was all but destroyed, but I had taken out a significant portion of Trojans defenders, and Scored 6 points!

Look forward to Trojans post next, detailing the Taus view of the Battle



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Test and Adjust

Hi All

Over the weekend my brother and I ran a test game for my new wargame - Re-cension

We had 2 roughly equal sides, and with no real objective except kill each other we started, the game mechanics are pretty solid and allowed for a fast game with the rules being easy to understand and turns only taking a few minutes.

There where zombies dotted around to start that provided a slight nuisance and where dispatched quickly. Although they did make us make decisions that otherwise we wouldn't have to make which kept things interesting

Some of my fighter were forced out of position to deal with Zombies, leaving them exposed to Trojans' guns

The test game also allowed me to adjust some of the rules, like the injury chart, around so next time it'll make a little more sense. Its still going to take a few more games before I get points costs for fighters and weapons nailed down so watch this space

After a few rounds of shooting, my guys started to take some hits, the markers help keep track of what was happening

So, a few things I learned from the test game:

  • More Zombies - Zombie Groups will be bigger, and a well as the possibility of being on from the start they now have the chance to spawn from terrain features too
  • Modify the Injury chart - Some of the injuries didn't quite fit or were overpowered
  • Bonus Vs Zombies in Close Combat - while taking down zombies at range is hard I felt it was still to hard to take them out in Close Combat, so a bonus while battering them over the head was added  
Well that's all for this time



Thursday, 29 October 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

Hi all

I am very proud to announce the launch of our very own Youtube Channel!

Now you'll be able to see what [SB5] get up to on our excursions into the online gaming world!
There's only a few videos at the moment but more will be added as the guy routinely get together to play, so feel free to subscribe!

you can find it here -

That's all for now


Coldsteel Dan  

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Rapid Fire

Good evening all Trojan here.
Earlier this morning I introduced Tinglyed to the joys of Rapid fire. It was only a small scale engagement with the newly finished 23rd Hussars and the Germans still being a work in progress.

While Flames of War is a great set of rules for WW2 I find that it tends to be far too in depth for the 15mm scale. The quick reference guide is confusing and complex. Don't get me wrong, while its nice to have vehicle crews digging out bogged in tanks and different squads weapons having different effects, all the special rules and complex procedures takes away from why we enjoy playing wargames - the fun and tactics it takes to beat and opponent.

I gave Ed the quick reference sheet for Rapid Fire and within 5 minutes was happy enough to deploy his forces. He chose the Germans for this engagement, a fictional skirmish between the 10th(SS) Panzer Division and the British 11th Armoured Division around hill 112 during the opening days of Operation Epsom.

11th Armoured Division deploys

I decided to deploy the British with a squadron of Shermans on the right, one in the centre and one on the left. The infantry (8th rifles) deployed mainly on my right with a company and the HQ going to strike out and capture the church on the hill to dominate the centre.
A Squadron 23rd hussars waiting for H hour

One of the main reasons we like Rapid Fire is how simple it is but still has the feel of WW2 gaming. The core rules cover basic moving, shooting, morale and everything you would expect but the advanced rules let you add aircraft, beach landing, snipers, glider assaults and you can get as in depth as you want.

The "fog of war" is one of the great touches about this. Just because you can see the whole battlefield your troops, especially in a buttoned down AFV cant. The are automatic ranges for spotting enemy (6" for infantry and 12" for armour) but other than that you have to try to spot them. Once a unit has been discovered it can be seen by everyone, but at the early stages this gives a nice feel of units probing forwards, trying to test where the enemy actually are.

At this stage we were still blindly probing forwards. Us generals floating above the battle could clearly see where the enemy was, but our troops on the ground still has no idea where each other was.

The battle began in earnest with the Germans spotting my armour pushing up the right flank. The opening salvo saw one of my Cromwells burst into flames! Rapid fire uses a simple firing system. Guns range from class  1-5 and armour A-E. Using a simple chart you find out the score needed for a hit and any modifiers for moving, cover etc. If a hit is scored you then roll for damage causing either light, heavy or you destroy the tank. Damage caries over so two lights = heavy and 2 heavys = destroyed. Shermans having an armour class of C tend to get destroyed very easily from the German Class 2  guns!

The right started to get deadly, with only my Firefly being able to punch through the Germans armour.
Neither side managed to get the advantage, the German line held firm while I had to get in close for my Shermans small 75mm main guns to start taking effect. The British managed to hold the church deploying mortars and MMGs but took heavy casualties in doing so.

The Germans superior armaments started to take effect and although being outnumbered they started to get the upper hand.

The Germans pushed my left flank hard while I was forced to reinforce my floundering right flank.

My ARV tried valiantly to repair a damaged Sherman and get it back in the fight.

Finally the weight of German fire proved too much. An entire company of infantry had been wiped out holding the church and all but one of my tanks were on fire! B Squadrons remaining Firefly decided he had had enough and withdrew from the field. With the infantry at risk of being surrounded and with only a PIAT to hold off the German armour I decided to withdraw and regroup.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable game and all done and dusted in just over an hour. While being a simple rule set it still gave a good feel for the tactics and weapons of the day. My 75mm Shermans were all but useless unless point blank against a German tank, but my advantage in numbers made for a balanced and challenging game. Just a shame they decided to go up in flames every time a Panzer so much as looked at them!



Friday, 16 October 2015

How To Run A Supercampaign

Hi everyone!  A quick wargaming update from Tinglyed today.

Over on my Palladian Guard blog I've started a series of posts on supercampaigns.  These are basically immersive map campaigns where all the moves are carried out in real time.  GhostWarrior and I have played two such campaigns and once the system is watertight we'll be doing a much larger one for all the members of SB5.

Part I looks at all the planning that goes into a supercampaign.  Enjoy!