Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Britainian Forces retake Anthracillia

After fierce fighting Britainian Imperial Forces have retaken the Voltavian industrial town of Anthracillia and halted the Teutonian Army in its tracks.

Reports are confusing ( mostly because yours truly has forgotten huge chunks of what actually happened) but it appears Britainian Steam Armour units and infantry supported by motorised artillery have wrested control of the vitally important town of Anthracillia from the Teutonians thus depriving the Teutonians of a source of Anthracillium* (See footnote)


Looking South to North, the towns main objective, the Manufactorium, is located in the centre of the town. The town itself consists of a number of bombed out buildings and a cemetery. Hardly somewhere to have your holidays but..
Other key terrain features are a number of small woods, a peach orchard and a river.

The Teutonians, including a unit of Vostroyan Mercenaries, hold the Manufactorium and a number of adjacent buildings. They are banking on the timely arrival of armoured reserves and infantry. Unfortunately for the hard pressed Teutonians their lines of communication have been the target of persistent sabotage attacks by the Voltavian Resistance so their arrival isnt guaranteed.

Vostroyan Mercenaries defend a building

The Britainians on the other hand have pulled off an organizational master-stroke by amassing a powerful combined force of infantry, including the elite Welsh Guards, and a number of the very latest Valiant Class, Cruiser weight, steam tanks plus a number of towed artillery pieces manned by The Royal Artillery.

The opening moves begin with the Britainians thrusting their armour forward across the river on their left flank whilst rapidly advancing in the centre towards the protective cover of the cemeteries walls and the outlying buildings on their right flank.

Combined arms move up

Royal Artillery

Britanian forces occupy the cemetery

A Valiant Class cruiser tank lays down suppressing fire

The Welsh Guards advance

The Britannian tank immediately draws fire from the Teutonian Tesla Cannon, located on the top floor of the Manufactorium, as it crests the stone bridge. Luckily its anti static armour shield does its job this time.
The Britanian infantry follow closely behind whilst the towed medium field gun unlimbers at the base of the wood with a clear line of sight to bring down suppressing fire on the Manufactorium as a unit of Gordon Highlanders ford the river aiming to outflank the Teutonians and flush out any ambushes.

Teutonian Tesla cannon with attendant arc generator

Meanwhile in another part of town the Britainian's reach the sanctuary of the cemetery walls and their armour and infantry take up position amongst the buildings on their right flank.

From these positions they commence a bombardment and strafe of the Teutonian positions to soften them up prior to launching their assault.

Light field gun in action on the outskirts of Anthracillia

An engineer carrying out emergency field repair by hitting tank with big spanner

Meet your new neighbours.

Amidst the din of battle the beleagured Teutonians hear the unmistakable clatter of tank tracks to their rear. "Ja, Ja ist Gut, Panzers" a somewhat relieved Teutoniam Commander exclaims. The Teutonian armoured reinforcements have arrived.

Teutonian armour moves up to support the Vostroyans

Teutonian reserves rushing to reinforce beleaguered defenders

The Teutonian tankers waste no time in seeking out the Britainian armour but some pretty uninspiring shooting sees the Britainians come through relatively unscathed. Once again the Tesla cannon fails to score a hit. In response the Britainians pepper the Manufactorium with well aimed fire and succeed in picking off two the Tesla gunners.

Things settle into a bit of a slugfest as both sides are content to whittle away at each other from cover but weight of numbers is beginning to tell on the Teutonians as one by one their numbers dwindle.

On the Britainian left flank  the Highlanders come under some deadly accurate fire from a unit of Jager concealed along a hedge line whilst a fearsome Teutonic steam walkers maxim gun pours fire into them as well, effectively halting the Highlanders in the tracks and forcing them to ground with four casualties.
Some incredibly effective return fire succeeds in severing one of the walkers steering rods, forcing it to veer to the left. No doubt the Highlanders marksmanship is inspired by the skirl of Piper McNulty's pipes.

Highlanders caught in the open

Teutonian Jager in ambush

Another Teutonian tank emerges from the cover of the peach orchard to engage the Britanian tank but despite a direct hit fails to inflict any damage. The plucky Brit tankers are barely rattled by this and fire back hitting the Teutonians engine compartment sending acrid smoke billowing from the tank and forcing it to career back into the cover of the orchard.


Another direct hit on the Tesla cannon wipes out the gunners leaving the Manufactorium minus anti tank protection. Seizing the initiative the Britanian commander orders an assault on the Manufactorium. The Brits, under the cover of a Valiant tanks machine gun, storm forward in the face of a hail of gunfire and, despite taking a couple of casualties, reach the building's imposing steel walls. Vicious hand to hand combat ensues and both sides are are practically wiped out but the heroic Teutonian defenders hang on by a thread.

On the Teutonian left flank unrelenting pressure from the enemy has depleted their numbers though the tenacious Vostroyan Mercenaries seem to be holding up well with no casualties as yet. Unfortunately they are too pinned down to be able to render any assistance to their comrades in the Manufactorium.

The Britanians, throw in another unit to assault the battered defenders of the Manufactorium with the inevitable result. The sight of the Union jack proudly fluttering atop the upper story of the building says it all. The Manufactorium is in Britanian hands. The Teutonians have suffered a major set-back.

The final assault

*Anthracillium  essential element in the manufacturing of armour piercing ammunition. (See Prof Arbuthnott's Metallurgical Science and Modern Warfare, Chapter 4)

Britainians celebrate the great victory.
The gent at the back reacts to the news that 
it's his round next!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Steampunk...what else?

Apologies for a rather prolonged absence since my last post, I've been somewhat distracted from gaming by a number of Steampunk events of late. The most notable of these was the Oamaru Steampunk festival in June and the Sirculating Soiree held at Avesbury House in Christchurch . Needless to say Yours Truly attended along with a number of my hand picked Ministry Agents and of course, the Memsahib.

But enough of such nonsense, time to get back to some proper wargaming. Fortunately I have still managed to beaver away on my steampunk forces and even managed a couple of smallish trial games using FUBAR. We're still getting to grips with how to achieve nicely balance games that don't favour one side too much as we've found that troops in the open get well and truly thumped so plenty of cover seems to be the ticket.

Rather than bore you with battle reports of trial games I thought I'd include a few pics of some selected highlights and follow up in a future post with an upcoming full dress game that I'm staging in a couple of weeks.

Some of the troops still require a bit of work on the bases but I hope to have this in hand in time for the Big Game.

Some of my favourite figures are the Ironclad Miniatures Grenadier Guards and Redoubts Brits in Home Service uniform. If the sight of these splendid chaps, resplendent in scarlet doesn't stir your blood I'm afraid you're beyond help.

No shows complete without the 'Baddies'. Northstar Miniature's Prussians in re-breathers and some Automata straight off the assembly line. What will those dastardly Prussians think up next??

"Toddle pip for now Old Things".

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Franco Prussian Fracas, Beumont.

For our Wednesday night tabletop delectation fellow Strategist, Adrian, put on a Franco Prussian scenario from his endless cache of Volley and Bayonet scenarios. The figures and all the terrain were from his immaculately painted collection.

French commanders confer.

This evenings game was Beumont. I know zilch about this real life battle so google it to see what really happened.

The battle was a holding action by the French to allow their baggage train to escape following a prior defeat at the hands of the Prussians.
The French set up with troops holding the Southernmost village astride the main road with more troops covering their Left flank.
Way back down the road to the North another large French force are defending the bridge to maintain an escape route.

The Prussians begin the game arriving from the Southern baseline with  more troops due on turn two and a large Bavarian force set to appear on the Prussian left flank about midway along the table.

I 'll keep the narrative brief and try to put some sense of order to the accompanying photos as my recollection of events allows.

French defend the line of retreat while the baggage scarpers.

 The Prussians were quick out of the blocks and quickly pushed forward their infantry whilst deploying their guns to shell the town. As the commander of this particular force I knew that I couldn't afford to waste time pointlessly assaulting the town so opted to get to grips with the French infantry pronto.

Prussian forces advance

Bring artillery down on that town!

French defenders about to cop hell.

No sooner had the Prussian gunners unlimbered their guns than they were bringing down accurate and telling fire on the French. The French responded with some indifferent volley fire.

The Prussian infantry soon came within range of the French Chassepots but, as turned out to be the case for most of the night, failed to inflict enough casualties to halt the Prussians.

I kept the pedal down and was soon trading fire with French units right across my line while still pummelling the town and nearby French infantry with artillery causing one French infantry unit to rout. I brought my remaining guns round the French Right flank and covered their advance with a unit of cavalry (Dragoons)
At this moment my ally, Geoff,, arrives on the French left flank with his force.

Prussians appear on the French Left flank. (See red dice)

Clearly the French are in a very sticky predicament here as their rear is threatened and they face a strong force to their front. Fortunately they are stationery so receive a double complement of dice when firing...not that it does any good. They don't even slow the Prussians down.
The plucky French commander throws in a cavalry attack against the Prussian Hussars and a melee quickly ensues.

French Lancers charging Prussian Hussars.

Unfortunately the French crappy dice throwing continues and the French Lancers are routed.
The Prussian infantry follow up with a massed assault on the French from front and rear. This is too much for the French and they are driven back towards the centre road and the retreating baggage train.

Now it is the turn of the Prussian's Bavarian allies to arrive on the French right flank. Their light blue uniforms and checker-board flags make a stirring sight. Their aim is to head off the baggage and block the French line of communication.

Bavarians arriving on the French right flank

They are met by stiff French resistance and both sides trade fire and face off in a number of mellees. As the game progresses this half of the Bavarian command eventually goes exhausted however the remaining half are still in good shape and advance en-mass to sit astride the main road forcing the French to move from defending the bridge to shoving them out of the way.

Meanwhile down my neck of the woods things are progressing to plan as I push aside the French on my Left and in partnership with my ally Geoff bring overwhelming pressure on the centre.

By now French units are routing or are being destroyed at such a rate that it is only a matter of time before they reach the inevitable morale collapse. By comparison Prussian losses are minimal. Clearly the dice gods favour the Prussians this night as the dejected French Commander, Chris, can only stare in disbelief at a continual succession of one's and two's whilst his opponents roll sixes with ease. As one who has been on the receiving end of this sort of thing on numerous occasions I couldn't help but feel for Chris.... fortunately his wife is a trained counsellor.

French baggage in sight

I detect a note of despondency in the French Command

 The situation at turn six sees Chris's French command suffer morale collapse as expected, leaving the way clear for the Prussians to race forward with their cavalry to begin assailing the French baggage and with their escape rout cut the French call it a day.

Prussian Dragoons eyeing up the French baggage train

Thanks to Adrian for putting on another challenging and attractive game and thank you the 'Dice Gods' for smiling upon me this night.

My celebratory beverage of choice for the night was.....Longbeard Blonde

Longbeard Blonde, IPA, intense hops and lingering fruit notes....outstanding!

Some more of Adrian's superb troops