Monday, February 27, 2017

Fun in the AWI, a 50th Birthday Bash!

Down't club a few weeks ago having a most excellent AWI game (re-fighting Germanstown) with all of Doug's magnificent AWI collection for his 50th. We did try to entice him with other celebratory suggestions but in the end we couldn't top beers, steaks and a huuuge wargame!

My Virginian regular Continentals on the American left of a very European-looking Chew House with Owen's 40th Foot loitering in front - but not for long!
Doug's Militia Brigade and the Marylanders in the middle - very cautiously approaching the grounds of Chew House!
Gamers will recall this is the battle where Washington tried to envelope the British position at Germanstown outside of Philedelphia - and nearly pulled it off.  In the end he was defeated and lost over 1100 out of a force of 11000, with Howe's British and Knyphausen's Hessians losing a bit over 500 out of 9,000 - mainly British casualties.

Mark's ruthless Hessians on the British right of Germanstown.
Owen's veterans on the British centre and left. 
The game we played had a remarkably similar result - if anything the Americans came even closer to enveloping the British flank, only being halted when the American centre threatened to give way.  Doug's militia on the right were also rebuffed by Mark's Hessians - although the Germans lost a lot more in this battle than historically.

Owen's Lights surprised my Continentals by suddenly appearing on the ridge of the hill in front of them...
...and poured a volley into them at close range - ouch! But the regulars were made of sterner stuff and held their ground despite many a soiled pantaloon!
The ensuing firefight was brutal with one unit fleeing off the table, its morale shattered and another reduced to half strength but unsupported, the British were forced back with the timely arrival of American reinforcements.
But the climax of the game was in the centre where Mark and Owen's Scots and Light Bob's, supported by the Hessian Jaegers, decided to charge the American guns trained on Chew House.
The courageous Continental gunners supported by the Marylander regulars eventually saw off two British units before a third becoming victorious and capturing the guns at bayonet point!
The Light Bob's go in ...and are met with another blast of canister!

The American commanders
The fight in and around Chew House gets increasingly desperate with my Virginians to the left copping a shellacking.  The Queens Rangers attacking across open ground encouraged the 40th to come out off the house and drive the Americans off. 
The confused fighting in front of Chew House
Doug's militia take it up to Mark's Hessians. They proved unexpectedly resilient against the experienced Germans, not running away for most of the battle!
The militia giving a good as they get - and not running yet!
The Marylanders and 40th Foot duke it out in front of Chew House
On the American left Nathaniel Greene's veterans have arrived and driving back Howe's assault, threaten to overwhelm the flank after the Lights (who started with the ambush on the hill) finally gave way.
Its not looking good for the British who are now holding the flank by the skin of their teeth!
A dramatic and courageous charge by Owen's Queen's Legion troopers saves the day for the British and fatally stalls the American attack on the flank. 
With the centre all but gone (the guns now in British hands), the flank assault going nowhere and the militia/Marylanders pretty well spent, the game was called in favour of the British. Tallying up the points I think it may have been a major victory for King George Owen and his German friend Mark.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Doc's WWII collection: this time fun with the Aussies

In addition to the Italians (and a smattering of Germans) I have built up a company sized force of Australians representing (mainly) the famed 2/7th.  These guys saw extensive action from the initial assault against the Italians in Libya (the 'Bardia races'), the Vichy French in Syria, the Germans in Greece and on Crete and again in North Africa up until and including el Alamein.  They were then withdrawn to defend Australia against the Japanese in 1942 and ended up covering themselves in more glory on the infamous Kokoda Track where they helped defeat an elite Japanese force that came within an inch of taking Papua New Guinea.  Very worthy unit to recreate for their early war period, particularly my Greece and Crete campaign.

The armour is mainly British but includes a couple of 7 Div Honeys. For air support they have a Blenheim fighter bomber, a Gloster Gladiator and a Hawker Hurricane (I have a Kittyhawk fighter and a Swordfish torpedo bomber still in the works!)  All of these aircraft are in the colours of the Greece campaign (and North Africa). As before, the collection followed by a few action vignettes.

The Allies thus far.

The guns including 2 x 2 pdr ATs (1 x Portee - a beautiful Blitzkrieg/Perrys model), 25pdr & Quad (another Perrys) and the @#$%Bofors AA (unknown E. European make and a 'challenge' to make - Perrys crew)

1st Platoon 2/7th consisting of 3 x 10 man sections & 1 x 8 man section, Headquarters section and supports. The ten man sections each have 1 NCO (Thompson SMG) and six rifles, 1 x VB (rifle grenade) and one Bren LMG team. The 8 man section (which can be attached to HQ section) consists of 5 rifles & a Bren LMG team under an SMG armed NCO. HQ has officer (1st Lt.), radio and two NCOs (SMG) (or runner and sergeant) with attached supports of a Boyes AT rifle team and 2" mortar team. Other supports are a Vickers HMG and a 3" medium mortar. 2nd platoon is same set up as 1st but under a 2nd Lt.

HQ Company (sort of) with officer (Captain), WO and Sergeant with 2" mortar team, Boyes AT rifle team, Forward Observer and runner. Supporting are the Bren section and 2pdr AT guns (and an ancient Morris truck as I don't have a Bedford!)

The Allied armour including 3 x Stuart Honeys (two Australian - Shapeways models - and one Company B)  The 2 x Vickers light tanks are Perrys/Blitzkrieg. The Herrington AC is of unknown origin (picked up for $10 at the club's bring&buy).  In the back are a Crusader Mk. 1 (Blacktree Designs?) and two beautiful Perrys/Blitzkrieg Matilda heavy inf. tanks. There is another Crusader (Mk.2) and a Staghorn AV scout still 'in the works'.

Aussie Honey and Bren squad on patrol.

Perrys 25pdr and Morris Quad in action.

Light scout recon in action.

Honey hit!

Their German counterpart KFZ 221 squad to go with my Ramke Brigade para platoon together with a STuG Assault Gun (still in the works).  They are my only planned North Africa Germans (i.e. DAK) as they can also be later war Mediterranean theatre.  They can also be teamed with the Italian 'Folgore' ('Lightning') Div Parachutisti platoon - when I get around to painting them too!
They'll make great targets for the 2pdr AT guns!

If the RAF doesn't get 'em first!

Hope you enjoyed this last bit of Doc's WWII desert whimsy. Normal service will be resumed shortly - the next post will be an actual game or some even more sensible Napoleonics or something.

A bit of fun with the WWII Italians

Nothing particularly wargamey about this post as I haven't managed to have one over the Xmas New Years break BUT we have been busy finishing our latest Italians for the forthcoming third battle of our Greece Campaign. Basically got all the WWII Italians Regio Esercito and Aussies 2/7th (and assorted armour etc) out to count 'em up and see what gaps there are - trouble is you can always think of more! Really must.not.collect.more.figures!!! (Easier said than done of course - and bugger New Year's resolutions!)  So, the Italian collection and then a few 'action' vignettes.

The Italian Regio Esercito: air, armour and infantry.

The 'lights' - recon AVs and Bersaglieri. Full platoon of Bersas with 4 x squads of ten with a Breda LMG and under an NCO with a Baretta SMG and supported by a Breda MMG, 81mm medium mortar, 47/32 Elefantino AT gun and 20mm Solothurn AT rifle teams. The scout AVs are 2 x Autoblinda 41s, an Autoblinda Lince (Lynx) scout (identical to the British Dingo) and 2 x Sahariana scouts.

The Italian Royal Army regulars, armour and guns. Three ten man squads with the same supports as the Bersas plus a sniper team, forward observer (with radio) and 20mm AA gun (but minus the Solothurn rifle which I've still to make up). The guns are a Canone da 75/27 (75mm) light artillery with four crew and the awesome Semovente 90/53.  The armour is one Semovente 47/32 and a 75/18 Self-Propelled (Assault) Guns, 2 x M13/40 and a M14/41 medium tank. And how could I forget the mighty L3/35 tankette squad including the AT Solothurn and flame-thrower versions.

Italian recon scout group on the move!

The Bersaglieri Moto Guzzi squad. Unfortunately nobody makes 'em in 28mm so I converted three Warlord DAK Kradshutzen and yes the NCO is carrying an MP40 SMG - until I find a Baretta barrel! One of the bikes has a Breda LMG mounted on the handlebar.

The mighty Semo 90/53 with Semo crew carrier  and ammo trailer - Perry's crew (the 90 is a Company B model).

Business end of the Semo 90. Luckily for the Allies they didn't have that many and only available from early '42.

The Semo AGs come under fire.

The M13/40 squad - avanti!

Brewed up - run before she blows!

Mi arrendo!

If I get the time I'll post the Aussie 2/7th collection next.