Monday, November 15, 2010

German PaK 36 Anti-Tank Gun Battery

This is a battery of German PaK 36 anti-tank guns for my early war Pioneer company. The local meta game has a lot of light tank companies (German, French and Polish) so for our escalation league these seem like a necessity. I used them on Saturday for the first time and they seem to be a very cost effective asset for my force, so much so that I might actually paint up a second battery which both of the German pioneer company TO&Es allow. This battery is made up of Battlefront gun models and Battle Honors early war artillerymen. This is because the only Battlefront blisters currently available were old stock Fallschirmjägers. To make my battery I substituted some Battle Honors artillerymen for the Fallschirmjägers gunners.  I mostly finished painting up these figures Friday night before our escallation league game day, but I still had some finishing touches to add to the basing before I considered them completely finished and worthy of a blog post.

Next up on the painting table is a battery of 100mm chemical mortars which I proxied for this weekend's game.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Early War Escalation League (4)

Today we had another session of our early war escalation league at Adler Hobby. This being the first session of the month we focused on gaming. As most players are still waiting for Battlefront to release blisters for the early war figures to complete their forces we're still at 600 points in the league. To liven things up we're going to focus on a different mission each month. This month's mission is 'Fighting Withdrawal'. In the photo above you can see the objective placement area marked with green Popsicle sticks. Since both armies were infantry we diced to see who would be the defender and I won the roll and chose to defend.

I used a new army list today which started with of one platoon of regular engineers (instead of the mechanized engineer list). I did this because the blisters for the Panzer I tanks from the mechanized list are still not released so I thought I'd try out the flame thrower-armed foot pioneers instead. For support I used a battery of PaK 36 AT guns that I partially completed, enough to put on the table, and a battery of 100mm chemical mortars which I had to proxy with blank bases. I had 25 points left over so I equipped my engineers with a supply truck which provided me with three sections of barbed wire - just the trick to slow down hordes of advancing Polish foot sloggers. My opponent was Scott with his Polish infantry horde company with a battery of light artillery and a battery of light AT guns which were devastatingly effective.

We're all learning, and Scott chose to try out the Polish special rule 'Bypassed' for this game. This rule allows the Polish player to have one of their platoons arrive at a random location behind the enemy position. This is a tricky rule as the non-Polish player is notified of the bypass and can position troops to block the arrival points. I chose to do this and limited Scott's arival points to only 3 of the 6 available which was unfortunately too effective in a 600 point game and prevented Scott's platoon (his HUGE infantry platoon) from arriving until turn 7 of 8 for the scenario.

Even with this disadvantage, Scott almost won the game with just his artillery and AT guns which were devastatingly effective. His 3 AT guns destroyed my 4-gun AT battery before I could return the favor. Scott's artillery had very good luck digging out my infantry using the guns 4+ firepower rating. At the end of the game I was clinging on to the final objective with only 3 stands of infantry and my commanders. Had his Polish infantry deployed on board and marched across the table he would have destroyed me completely. We both agreed that the 'Bypassed' special rule will be much more useful in larger point games, but maybe not in the 'Fighting Withdrawal' scenario as the defender has the luxury of covering up too many of the arrival points.

A couple more photos of our game are below. Note the placement of my barbed wire at the Polish arrival points. The final position of the troops on turn 8 is in the last photo on the right.

The other game played was Jason's German Light Panzer company against Gordon's German motorcycle company. Gordon's motorcycles had a platoon of PaK 36 AT guns and a light AA half track battery in support. Gordon scored some early kills with his AT guns, but in the end Jason continued to roll along with his Blitzkrieg-ing German armor.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carnage 13 - Centuries of Conflict

This past weekend was the Carnage 13 convention. This year was my first year as coordinator for the Centuries of Conflict historical wargame theme event, which up to now has been coordinated by Byron Champlin, the director of our club's Tricon conventions. I would like to thank all of the game masters who hosted the excellent 18th century theme games. Without all of you Centuries of Conflict couldn't happen. I'd also like to thank the Carnage staff for their support. I'm very much looking forward to next year's Carnage convention and our 19th century theme.

The winner of this year's Pour le Merite award for best theme game was Rich Wallace for his game, the battle of Chotusitz 1742 using Carnage & Glory computer moderated rules. In addition to being a very well run game, Rich's figures (pictured above) and terrain (pictured below) were both awesome. Rich's use of dedicated table cover using dyed faux fur made for a very realistic looking table. Congratulations Rich for an excellent game! All awards for this year's Centuries events were artwork with laser-engraved glass frames which I made on my laser.

The winner of this year's Pour Encourager les Autres award was the team of Chris Penny and Billy DiGiulio for their Battle of Hohenfriedburg game using Age of Honor rules. Chris and Billy's terrain featured realistic changes in contours and their figures and scenario were both excellent.

The winner of this year's Admiral Byng award for best period naval game was Michael Bailey for his Battle of the Virginia Capes naval game featuring 1:900 Portsmouth Models miniatures.

I very much enjoyed running my game, the Battle of Bemis heights using the Carnage & Glory computer moderated rules. This was the second time I've run the scenario at a convention and I have to say the system works well for convention games with 4-6 players if you size the commands appropriately. The game ended in a very historical American victory with the Americans overwhelming the Hessian redoubt in a flank attack while occupying the guns in the redoubt to the front with a stout skirmish line. Elsewhere in the middle of the table the Americans fought a back and forth battle with the British lights and advanced detachments. The past three times I've run this scenario have been a draw, a British victory and this game - an American victory. It's always fun to see a scenario that is balanced enough to be won by both sides. Interesting fact, for a small convention, Carnage had a large number of Carnage & Glory games; five in total. This is only two fewer than were hosted at Fall In! Fans of C&G should definitely consider attending future Carnage conventions.

Below are photos from some of the other Centuries of Conflict games. Thanks again to all of the game masters for supporting the Centuries of Conflict theme event.