Showing posts with label gong garage gamers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gong garage gamers. Show all posts

Friday, 12 January 2018

Memoir '44 Maleme

Only Gary and I seemed to be available for gaming last night, so we abandoned the University and held the club meeting at my place. Gary brought us food, we ate, and then we played Memoir '44.

When I asked him what he fancied playing, he said that in the past he'd enjoyed a set of scenarios based on the German invasion of Crete in 1941. Funnily enough I'd found them and printed them off just before I went on holiday in November, so I dug them out and we gave them a go.

Actually we gave one of them a go - the first one covering the attack on Maleme airfield. Basically we decided that setting a new game up each time was too time-consuming. We didn't even swap sides; Gary played the German in all three games, whilst I played the plucky New Zealanders.

This is the basic setup, with loads of German infantry (all with the Special Forces ability), but with the New Zealanders dug in across the board.

When Gary made his first few moves I wondered how long the New Zealanders would last; the move two hexes and still fight that all of his units has is very useful indeed. But you're only as good as the cards you draw, and the ANZACs have a good defensive position. They also have the Commonwealth Command Rule, which allows them to battle back in close combat. This contributed to whittling down the German forces almost as much as my own actions.

The first game saw Gary attack strongly on his left and capture the airfield, but in attempting to score points elsewhere he lost it, and the game. 6-2 to New Zealand. In the second game I picked up some useful activation cards early on, whilst Gary held back trying to get a decent hand together. When he attacked I was able to hold the line and pick up another 6-2 win. I think this was the game that I advanced the 2-strength armour unit right onto the German baseline.

The final game was a lot closer. Gary attacked the forward hill, and took it fairly quickly, whittled down a few units elsewhere, and ended up rolling for the game - he just needed to hit an artillery unit. He failed, and I used my next turn to pick up my last victory medal instead for a narrow 6-5 victory.

We think the New Zealanders do have an edge in this scenario, but it was an interesting one to play, and we'll move onto the rest another day.

After he went I set up the Gazala scenario from the Terrain pack so I could try out the desert board I'd bought ages ago but not used yet. This is a great scenario for tank fans, consisting entirely of tanks and artillery on a basically open board. The Western Desert rules allow them a bonus overrun move as well, so the action if fast, fluid and deadly.

Despite a superiority in numbers, the British are up against it in this game; the Germans have loads of artillery that can pick off damaged units from afar, whilst the British tanks are limited to a two-hex move. In addition they only have four command cards to the Germans' six.

The Germans won an easy 6-1 victory in the first game (only needing five medals, but picking up the sixth out of spite). The second game was closer after the British left held the initial German attack and then decimated it by swinging reinforcements across from the other flank. A fun feature of this scenario is that both sides start with virtually nothing in the centre, so you are almost fighting tow small battles on opposite edges of the board. The Germans won the second game, but it was 5-4.

If you look closely at the first Gazala picture you can see that I fielded a mix of tank models, some of them ahistorical, for sure, but the added to the variety of the game.

Note to self; I need some khaki Commonwealth figures. I either need to pick up the 'proper' set, or get hold of some Airfix or Matchbox 8th army and 3D print some suitable tanks and artillery.

Update: We played the Commonwealth Command Rule from memory. Bad idea. We got it wrong. We allowed any NZ unit that survived a close assault to battle back. In fact it's only a unit reduced to one figure that gets the bonus,

Friday, 5 January 2018

HOTT Times Three

The first Gong Garage Gamers meet of 2018 saw just three of us; the post-holiday season still eats into everyone's availability for gaming, especially as Australia effectively shuts down until the end of January.

We played three games. the first was very short. Geoff used Dark Elves with a hero general against my Dwarves. I had two pieces of artillery. Geoff deployed his general opposite the artillery. The first cannonade killed him.

On to the second game. Geoff switched the mantle of general to his magician (a magnificent spider-thing).

We both had a core of blades, and had knights facing each other on my right flank.

On the other flank our missile troops face off. The Dwarves would eventually wear down and destroy the Elven archers, but it was a long fight.And they never got back into the battle.

On the other flank the Drawves' giant rollers (knights) were up against Elf knights and a hero. They pushed backward and forward for several bounds.

An overview of the battle.

Eventually the Dwarves managed to destroy an element of Elf knights, and exploited the gap to turn onto the flank of the Dark Elf magician general.

This was a good long fight, with plenty of shoving back and forth, and attempts to exploit overlaps.

The third and final game saw a different iteration of my Dwarves (the artillery and knights were swapped out for a hero and a behemoth) face Caesar's Zulus. These were mostly blades, but with a magician and a dragon in support.

My behemoth was driven off by Caesar's magician.

The two lines of blades closed with each other.

The Dwarven hero caught some Zulus in the long-grass and slaughtered them.

This allowed him to swing onto the flank of the magician, and assist some blades in killing him.

Fierce fighting up and down the line saw the Zulus come off worse. Blades are good in a fight, but when an army has lots of them it's slow to react to a disaster on one of the flanks.

The Zulu line was broken up and the army fled, giving my third win of the evening.

I hadn't had my Dwarves out for a game of HOTT in ages, so it was fun to use them again. I have a few more elements to add to the army; I must complete them sometime.

Thanks to Caesar and Geoff for the games.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Massive Maurice

For our last game of the year we played a big game of Maurice, with three 100pt armies on each side. We used two decks shuffled together, but reduced the army morale breakpoints a little just to make sure we could bring the game to a conclusion within the evening.

Armies were loosely based on historical prototypes. Or maybe not. We just put together interesting 100pt forces, with some people trying out a few ideas for our next Maurice campaign, which will start early next year if all goes to plan.

One one side Caesar, Peter and Ralph ran an Austrian/Prussian Alliance. On the other, John, Daniel and I ran a Russo-French-Swedish Confederation. Here are my Swedes. I tried irregular cavalry in my force.

Caesar's Austrians opposed me. He went for a cavalry-heavy force, backed up by lots of high-quality artillery.

The French (foreground) and Russians (background). The Russians had Rally To The Colours, but were facing Prussians with their deadly Lethal Volleys.

In the centre Peter advanced his Austrians along a river, taking two small villages there.

I pushed my irregulars forward, to grab the woods in the centre of Caesar's deployment area. They took hits from his excellent artillery on the way.

On the other flank Ralph's Prussians approached Daniel's Russians. Both armies looked very neat.

I pushed the Swedish cavalry forward to support my irregulars.

Meanwhile Peter's Austrians were approaching my infantry line. Both Peter and I had selected Clerics as a national advantage; would we get a chance to see how they work?

On our right the Russians and Prussians were exchanging shots and, as always happens, the Lethal Volleys were proving their worth.

Peter and Caesar jostled for position as they advanced. One of my units advanced alone to meet them. This wasn't my choice.

Meanwhile my cavalry piled into Caesar's rather unenthusiastic infantry, and routed it.

Caesar's cavalry surged forward towards my infantry in response. I prepared my clerics to bolster the troops.

My cavalry continued their attack, but failed to break Caesar's remaining infantry. The cavalry fell back and then got shot to pieces. As always.

The Russians were now attacking the Prussians to avoid being shot at. But our army was losing morale rapidly, and our opponents' wasn't.

Before Caesar's impressive cavalry force could hit the Swedes, our army collapsed.

We played to a conclusion in about three hours, which was great, even allowing for the fact that we dropped our starting morale values a little. Once again we found that Lethal Volleys is very good value indeed; maybe under-priced for the effect it has, or too powerful for the cost. We've considered a few possible 'fixes', but aren't sure where to go with it. Two of us chose Clerics, but we never got into a position to use them. I didn't really get to use my irregulars to their full potential either. But I think everyone got some ideas for our future campaign games.

It was also nice to roll some dice again, after a break of at least a couple of weeks.

Friday, 24 November 2017

HOTT Epic 40K - Tyranids vs Chaos

You don't often see Tyranids fighting Chaos, so this is a rare treat.

We played a 96AP game of HOTT last night, using my Epic 40K armies. Each army had four commanders, and troops were split up between them. On one side were (obviously) Tyranids, under Gary and Caesar, whilst Geoff and I used a Chaos army with a few Dark Eldar allies (because I don't quite have 96AP of Chaos troops yet).

Here's the setup. The table was 6' wide, but maintained the usual 2' depth for a 1" to 100p groundscale.

Some Chaos. So chaotic that Khorne and Slaanesh were fighting side by side.

The Chaos centre. The Demon Engine is the CinC.

The Chaos right flank was the first to see action, with it's war-engines and tanks piling into swarms of small Tyranid warriors.

More action in the centre saw Chaos Marines fighting various large Tyranid horrors.

On the right flank things started going badly for the forces of Chaos, as horrors swept out of the ruins destroying everything in their path.

However it wasn't enough - one Chaos Land-Raider kept pushing back its opponent which, in turn, kept pushing back the Tryanid's Dominatrix (the army's magician CinC). It was pushed back so far that it was shoved off the table and lost. This broke the Tyranid army, giving Chaos a rather fluky win.

With time in hand we carried on the battle. The Chaos right flank troops now tries to reorganise and roll up the Tyranid army.

On the other flank things had developed slowly, due to PIP starvation and the fact that neither side felt there was much advantage in pushing the attack.

The Chaos CinC was isolated by a swarm of Tyranid hordes ...

... and destroyed.

Gary finally attacked the Dark Eldar allies holding the left flank, with the Tyranid monsters more than equal to the task of defeating the lighter Eldar attack-craft.

The Eldar broke, and this actually broke the whole Chaos army in terms of losses. But it was, of course, only a hypothetical win.

The Tyranids very much had the better of this game, and lost it to some unfortunate positioning and unlucky rolls. But it was a fun game with tons of figures on the table and plenty of action.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Honours of War - Lobositz

We gave Osprey's 'Honours of War' a try last night, refighting the battle of Lobositz.

The attacking Prussians are on the left and their Austrian opponents are on the right.

A cavalry attack in the centre. This went as well as most of my other cavalry attacks; it looked impressive and ended in disaster.

On the Prussian left, Daniel attempted to clear Austrian light infantry from the olive groves.

Meanwhile our infantry advanced against Lobositz itself.

That also went as well as can be expected, with the attack stalling in the face of concentrated musketry and close-range artillery fire.

Everyone seemed to like the mechanisms of the game, with alternating command activations, a simple modified die roll for combat results and fairly flexible movement away from the enemy. Like any game it will take repeated plays to work out how to play it (as opposed to just understanding the rules themselves. Supporting friendly units is essential, and gives good combat modifiers, but units can retreat or rout a long way, and interpenetration damages units passed through, so managing your reserves and supports looks tricky. Gary moderated the game, but four of us, who hadn't read the rules before, were able to play the game through to a conclusion within the evening. And we had minimal rules queries at the end of it. That's a good sign, if nothing else.
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