Sunday, 13 December 2015

Assaulting The Trenches Part 1

Hello!

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

CHARGE!!!
 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

Before....

..... 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

NFTR

Coldsteel

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


NFTR


Coldsteel

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 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv3MRVJS50qSnPolYHj6yaQ

That's all for now

NTFR

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!

NFTR

Trojan578

















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!


Sunday, 11 October 2015

21st(SS) Panzer grenadier regiment

Firstly Let me introduce myself. I am Trojan578, brother to Coldsteel and member of SB5 Gaming. An avid computer and wargamer I love the research and fluff that comes with recreating historic battles. So with out further ado ladies and gentlemen meet 21st(SS) panzer grenadier regiment, part of 10th(SS) Panzer Division
21st(SS) Panzer Grenadier Regiment


Further to Coldsteel's earlier post about rapid fire, these are some of the German forces that will be fighting 11th armoured division around the British sector at Caen.

Panzer grenadier regiments usually comprised of an HQ element, 3 Companies and a support company with HMGs, mortars and artillery . However at this late stage of the war they usually were understrength.


 Command squad  with SS-Standartenf├╝hrer, Dr Eduard Deisenhofer in command.
           .
    
Panzer grenadiers were transported into battle via the above SDKFZ 250s. There are a few other variants for the HQ and support companies.


10th SS Panzer division was raised alongside its sister division the 9th in early 1943 as a reserve for the long expected allied invasion of France.

First seeing action in the Ukraine in the summer of 1944 it was hastily sent to France during June 1944. Although it had only 1 battalion of tanks (usually SS Panzer divisions has 1 battalion of Panzer Vs and 1 of Panzer IVs. The 10th's 2nd battalion was strangely made up of 2 companies of Panzer IVs and 2 of Stug III assault guns) it was instrumental in halting Operation Epsom, the planned British breakout around Caen. Fighting with distinction throughout the Normandy campaign and being mauled by allied airstrikes, it eventually managed to escape through the falaise pocket with no tanks and only 2 regiments of infantry left.
Ordered to a sleepy Dutch town called Arnhem to rest and refit, it finally took delivery of its long awaited Panzer Vs just as British chutes started landing for Operation Market Garden. Managing to halt the advance of Market Garden it was in the reserve for the battle of the bulge, finally ending the war in eastern Germany.

Watch this space as the rest of 10th(SS) Panzer Division takes to the field.

NFTR

Trojan578



Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Tanks!

 
 Hello Again!


One of the Wargames on our list is a WW2 game called Rapid Fire, a fast paced 20mm game that allows you to field everything from Parachute Regiments to Panzer Companies.

With that my brother Trojan578 has built and painted a Sherman Squadron

The Squadron Comprises of 2 M4A4 Shermans and a 'Firefly' (in the centre)




 The Models are from the Plastic Soldier Company, and are easy build and very detailed
An M4A4 Sherman

Same Tank - Different Angle

 The tanks will form part of 23rd Hussars, 29th Armoured Brigade, 11th Armoured Division - their real life counterparts saw action at Caen, in the 'Falaise Pocket' and where involved in Operation Market Garden and during The Battle of the Bulge to name but a few.


That's all for now - see you next time

NFTR

Coldsteel





Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Warhammer Ancients

Hello there,

This week is a Wargame post, and so I've decided to start with Warhammer Ancient Battles


Macedonians Vs. Egyptians

For those that played GW's Warhammer (The one that they've stopped doing), you'll be instantly familiar with how Ancients works - less the magic, mythical beasts and monsters of course. The rules are fairly simple and easy to pick up, while still being complex enough to feel realistic. That said, small scale games tend to be over very quickly, and larger battles tend to be more fun as you try to outmanoeuvre each other.

The beauty of it is that it allows you to pick any army from ancient history, be it Greek, Roman, Celt, Egyptian and any in between, and then fight against armies that wouldn't have fought each other - Want to know who'd come out on top in a fight between Huns
and Persians? Well now you can find out.



My Brother, Trojan578's Macedonian Army  
The Start of my Celts
There are plenty of companies that do Ancient models - Warlord Games, Aventine Miniatures, Foundry and 1st Corps to name but a few. You're also not limited to 28mm, the system works well with other scales too

All in all - its a brilliant game and SB5 have loads of fun playing it

That's all for now, see you next time..



NFTR

Coldsteel

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Future Projects: Gaming Videos

Hi All,

For a while now I have been recording our online exploits with the use of a handy screen capture software package, so that we can re-live our most epic victories if we hit something of a dry spell or to see what we could have done better for next time.

Until recently that was about it, however I have now purchased some video editing software....


..... see where I'm going here....


Trying to get to grips with the new software

That's right Ladies and Gents - SB5 will (hopefully) be heading to Youtube in the near future! Now you too can see exactly what we get up to! I'll let you guys know when it all gets up and running


That's all for now

NFTR

Coldsteel

Friday, 4 September 2015

Thank GhostWarrior its Friday!: Red Orchestra 2 (part 1)

Evenin' all,

Its Friday and I thought I'd dig through an venerable SB5 classic: Red Orchestra 2. RO2 is a first person WW2 tactical shooter and one of the best in my opinion.While the PC games industry is in no shortage of WW2 shooters the majority seem to feature scenes from classic WW2 films. Whether its the old sock grenade can knock out a Tiger tank trick from Saving Private Ryan (meaning that every American GI could knock out two Tigers) or a nod to Enemy at the Gates, they all seemed a little samey. Also, RO2 is set in what was at the time, quite rare setting of the Eastern Front.

It really is more of a tactical shooter than any previous game. For example; firing at anything on the move more than three feet away is a waste of ammo. Another feature is the aiming. You can set your iron sights and scopes to preset ranges (in increments of 100m) but you have no way of knowing the range to the target. At first this is frustrating as you can be emptying clips into people you think are 100m away and not hit anything. After time however, you start to get a better feel for the ranges and can usually adjust your sights after one or two rounds for mid range combat.

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Tinglyed on the MG34, you can see the beautifully modeled weapons on this game

One of my favorite aspects of the game is the class system. Each class has its roll to play and it focus more on tactical doctrine form the time rather than a balanced game. For example MG's can dominate when used effectively, but require other squad members to support (including being handed ammo). Also a simple class and weapon upgrade system give nice rewards for persisting with a class.When I first began playing I was in my sniper phase and can honestly say it is one of the best sniper games I have played mainly due to the sight adjusting and bullet physics I mentioned earlier.

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Me and Tinglyed back in the good ol' Sniper days            

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

World of Warships

A quick update from Tinglyed today on World of Warships - the online game that's currently played a lot by SB5.  Because we're spread all over the country and people are back to work this week, wargaming is down to a minimum as we do some online gaming in the evenings (but plans continue to be hatched...)

My lovely Ishizuchi battleship!
I have a small flotilla of a destroyer (for competitive games) and the cruiser Aurora and battleship Ishizuchi (for fun 'arcade' games against bots).  I'm really into my naval history and this is immersive enough to be fun and realistic, but accessible to be played quite casually.
  • Ghostwarrior is another primarily battleship player
  • KB is playing cruisers at the moment, but looking to go for carriers
  • Coldsteel is working down the cruiser line
We enjoy working together on this, normally the smaller ships 'orbiting' the larger ones and keeping destroyers away.  Have to say we're just getting into it so we're not brilliant, but it is a fun game.

In the vein of other Wargaming online games (World of Tanks and Warplanes) there is the opportunity to spend absurd amounts of money.  I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tirpitz and was dismayed to find out it cost £43.  I would have probably paid that for the game itself - it certainly has that much playability.  Instead I opted for the cheaper Ishizuchi, a dreadnought-era ship much closer to my period of interest, which cost about £8.  Including the Aurora and some extra coins for upgrades I've probably spent about £20 which is my limit for these 'free' games.

Of course, the savvy/patient/determined player can plow through the tech tree without spending a penny, I just wanted some of these premium ships which look lovely.

So, any other WoW players out there?

Friday, 28 August 2015

Thank GhostWarrior its Friday!: Company of Heroes 2



Hi there, 

It’s Friday so it’s time for my Friday update! I thought an obvious starting point would be Company of Heroes 2. 

Along with Verdun, this is probably SB5’s most played game and certainly our most played Strategy Game. We converted to COH2 from COH and on the whole it was improvements all round. If you’ve not played COH2 it’s a WW2 RTS. The factions include; Wehrmacht, Oberkommando West, US Forces, Soviet Union and as of September, The British Forces.

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An old favourite of mine, the Elefant Tank Destroyer. Despite being and infantry commander, the lure of these wonderfully moddeled vehicles is always there

There’s a nice variety of units. Light infantry, Assault Infantry, Anti-tank infantry, Snipers, Scout Tanks, Heavy Tanks and Tank Destroyers to name but a few! For those of you familiar with the COH series it retains (and in my opinion, streamlines) the doctrine system. Every faction gets a wide selection of ‘vanilla’ units. Before the battle you can select from a growing number of Commanders that give you additional special units (like Elefant Tank Destroyers) and abilities (like Air Support). With SB5 games this is a key part of our strategy, and we plan before the battle who’s doing what.
A rough outline of SB5 strategy is to push out to a defensive line (preferably somewhere that limits the enemy frontage such as bridges or cliffs). My roll tends to be the assault force. So while I provide some units for the defence I’ll be building up an assault force. This is always a difficult choice for me because by nature I’m and infantry commander. I love nothing more than elite infantry rushing from Coldsteel’s defensive line, bombing from crater to crater supported by accurate artillery from Tinglyed, but in bigger games infantry tend to be a bit fragile so I usually end up attacking with tanks (although with some beautifully modelled Tiger I’s, T34-85’s, IS-2’s and Elefants it’s not a terrible second choice). I will note that COH2 makes it easier to look after infantry than the original COH.

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Post battle statistcs: the mainstay of RTS gaming. Also proof that while they are fragile, infatry can be a viable option even in big games.
There’s some great gameplay features including ‘true-sight’; this means that while all units have a spotting radius, it can be blocked by buildings, hedges and hills. The intelligent squad movement system the original COH is carried over.

There’s a fairly active Steam community surrounding COH2 with lots of community maps. Some of the original maps have been well remade for the sequel. All in all, it’s a fantastic sequel that defiantly improves on the original and has the characteristic great visuals and replayability of the Company of Heroes series.  

Thanks for tuning in! Have a great weekend

GhostWarrior

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

ZOMBIES!

Hi,

As I mentioned in my Intro post I mentioned that I was working on a wargame of my own called....

Re-cention

Its a small squad level game set about 120 years after a Zombie Apocalypse, and humanity is starting to rebuild. The burgeoning settlements are now starting to expand into each others territory, which has of course lead to conflict

Two Groups of Fighters battle it out in close quarters

Use of cover is essential
 Of course a Zombie game would not be complete without Zombies, and since the apocalypse is now out of living memory, people have learnt how to deal with them - Single Zombies are easy to dispatch but a horde will overwhelm even the best fighters.

Zombies can become an annoyance, left unchecked they become a serious threat  

Trapped between the Enemy and the Zombies.... What would you do?
I've only just started play testing so there are still a lot of creases to iron out, but it seems that it'll turn out to be a fun, quick wargame that will force players to make some rather difficult choices. I'll keep you guys updated as it goes!

See you next time!

NFTR

Coldsteel

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Tinglyed

Looks like I'm second, so here goes my introduction...

I'm Tinglyed, although I go by Colonel Scipio on the blogosphere.  If you play Verdun, and you've ever been machine-gunned from halfway across the map you may be familiar with my Verdun name  of [SB5]MG08/15.  I'll give you a quick rundown of my games:

Wargaming

I already have quite an extensive blog detailing all my wargaming.  I used to be big into WH40K, but now I've moved on to historical, including 2mm.  We often like to run extensive, immersive sandbox campaigns like our American Civil War one a few months back.


I also have lots of Pre-Dreadnought Naval, Mordheim, WW2... you get the idea.  Basically I play immersive games quite casually with mates.

Online Gaming

Online I play a bit of a mish-mash really, I have over a hundred games on Steam and I love pretty much all of them, but to summarize I mainly play historical RTS and FPS games.  Two big ones are Company of Heroes 2 and Verdun.

When I'm on COH2 with the rest of the SB5 gang, I often play a support role.  Lots of mortars, AAA, rear-line security troops - allowing the others to smash forwards with 'fighting troops'.  My big love is artillery, and many's the time SB5 have advanced across the map under an expertly-micromanaged rolling barrage of 105 shells.  Hurrah!

In Verdun, my first love is the Landser machine gunner.  Before my last account was wiped I had about 35,000 kills and 350,000 rounds fired - testimony to my favored tactics of suppressing fire, or firing constantly into a gap and wait for the enemies to appear.  Although I do get stuck in when needed, I'm very much a long-range gunner!


I also like to bring my love of artillery to the trenches, so if we're not playing as Landsers I often go as the officer to call in artillery.  Of course this is a popular role so we have to take turns - but Coldsteel likes to play machine gunner to so mixing it up gives us all chance to play the roles.

I'll try to do some updates in the future about tactics etc, and what we're all up to.

Thanks for reading,

Tinglyed

Monday, 24 August 2015

Ghost Warrior



Hi all,


Just thought I’d start by introducing myself. I’m GhostWarrior and currently studying towards a history degree (combined with a nine month old daughter leads to an interesting work/life/game balance!)

Tabletop Wargames:

I’ve been a table top wargamer since I was 11 (I’m 28 now) and got in to the hobby through Warhammer/ Warhammer 40K. However, since I’m not the CO of a major international computer company I can’t afford GW products which (among other things) has led to a very satisfying shift towards more historical wargaming. Having recently finished an ACW and ECW 2mm campaign I’m now looking at running my own Arab-Israeli air war campaign. I still have some left overs from my 40K days including a Strom Wolves (my own chapter) command squad. I also have some 28mm ACW confederate sharpshooters and 28mm fallschirmj├Ąger. Having a child has a major impact on your expendable income, but if you're smart then theres still a world of gaming oppertunities out there.
 Haakon, leader of the Storm Wolves 1st Company. Wonderfully painted by Tinglyed

Online gaming:

I’ve been online gaming for about the same amount of time. Traditionally my role in SB5 (as far as FPS’s go) has been the roll of Sniper. Something about sitting at the back of the map and picking off unsuspecting Machine Gunners is quite satisfying. However, I’ve recently undergone in a shift in tactical thinking and become a huge advocate of offensive spirit. This has changed the way I play a lot of online games (including Verdun, CoH2, Total War 2 to name a few), being much more aggressive and favouring the Grenadier role particularly in Verdun. In strategy games, I tend to play the assault role having a fast moving, hard hitting force focused on a point to break through the enemy lines and into the enemy rear. 

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Me and Tinglyed Sturming down a trench in RO2. It was interest in the First World War (in particular in German Stormtrooper units) that really kickstarted a shift in my tactical thinking.


I’m aiming to do a weekly update with general musing about something military/ gaming orientated every Friday.


Look forward to hearing from you all in the future!

GhostWarrior