Saturday, 31 December 2011

A delayed after action report - Allied advance to Germany

This wargame was put on by my secret wargaming friend back in October, but due to technical issues, is only recently available.

The battle was 15mm World War 2 -Rapid Fire (my favourite rules for World War II), and a thoroughly good time was had by all.

An American reinforced recon unit was tasked with punching through limited German opposition and seizing some vital geographical points, such as the cross roads above and the road further in the distance.

The view from German lines.

My friend had been generous with my resources, which made me feel uncomfortable.........

Is it me, or did Stan and Hilda Ogden live in the house third on the left?

I decided to surprise my good buddy, and kept a strong reserve off table, and raced up the road with light units in an effort to force his hand and show what units the Germans were to field.

A quick, but powerful advance force race past the cross roads, and not a peep from the German defenders - the nervous feeling began to grow stronger. (what was he up too?)

The German advanced guard

Oh good, they have brought an armoured Panzer Grenadier Regiment with them

A quick fire exchange of rounds quickly showed the German superiority in kit, and forced the Americans back to the bend, hoping close combat would even the odds somewhat

I deployed some reserves in an attempt to secure a damaged building on hill to anchor my left flank. It was clear I had run into a major German counter attack, and my recon thrust was now becoming a hasty defence scenario. Would my boys hold then off?

This building became the focus of some vicious hand to hand fighting, seeing the destruction of two American infantry companies.............

More American infantry arrives and is immediately thrown into the line to anchor the American left on this church. Meanwhile the full German strength was becoming all too evident.....

I love Tiger tanks........when I play the Germans

A company of Shermans attempt to hold back some German panzers, supported by armoured infantry, on the American right flank - where is the bloody much vaunted Allied air power? The red marker indicates heavy damage.

The pressure is building

The assault on my left flank builds with some ferocious fighting.

Vicious fighting in the wrecked factory. The German assault was fearsome, and could not be stopped despite the best efforts of the gallant American defenders.

More Panzer Grenadiers approach the desperate battle.

German reserves shelter from potential air attack - note the AA unit.

As the evening came to an end, the American position was precarious to say the least, my left flank position had been destroyed, and the right flank crumbling. I had a second line of defence anchored on the church, but the writing was on the wall. The Americans suffered 300 casualties, and lost 20 armoured vehicles. The Germans lost about 120 men and five tanks.

A good scenario, and good evening.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Thursday Night Festive Naval wargame

A secret wargaming friend came over tonight, on a dreary Thursday to play some Clear for Action Age of Sail wargaming. He took the role of a Spanish Admiral, engaging a British squadron, somewhere in the North Atlantic.

He found himself in command of the Mighty Santa Anna - 112 guns, and her consort, the Tigre - 74 guns, and at a slight disadvantage of being downwind of a British squadron astern of him, consisting of the 74 gun, Bangor, and the 50 gun, Serapis, both under the command of yours truly.

My wargaming fellow was practising his naval wargaming skills, prior to an important campaign battle next week.

The evening got off to an embarrassing start as both Admirals managed to allow there respective commands to become fouled with there own consorts - Doh! - although, strangely, only the Spanish embarrassment was caught on camera - how fortunate......

The Santa Anna and Tigre are fouled, very early on in the game - the Spanish Admirals face was as red as his dress coat!

The battle moved quickly into contact with both sides exchanging fire - the British flagship losing an anchor and five men on the first broadside from the Spanish behemoth.

Bangor and Serapis speeding towards the fouled Spanish squadron

Due to a series of misinterpreted orders, the Spanish squadron found itself split, with the two British ships sailing between the two. The Bangor raked the stern of the Tigre, causing serious damage to her rudder and killing several crew.

Bangor and Serapis passing the stern of the Tigre

The Bangor managed to engage the mighty Santa Anna from the rear - Much to the frustration of the Spanish Admiral, who found her clumsy to navigate

The battle allowed some valuable experience of the rules for my good friend. The Tigre lost her rudder early on, and this only dawned on the British Admiral late on in the evening. Meanwhile, the Santa Anna suffered some damage to her masts.

The British got off fairly unscathed.

Santa Anna with rigging lying to port

I thoroughly enjoyed the game, as did my opponent. Valuable lessons learned by both sides, particularly in close manoeuvring!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Modern Micro Armour

This is an area in which I have always held an interest, it is just that I doubted any rules could make a playable game, particularly modern naval. However, after a couple of years of reading on the Internet, I decided to invest in two rules sets:

A. Modern Spearhead for land battles
B. Shipwreck for naval battles

I have been slowly building up my collection of miniatures, and have yet to play a battle using either set of rules, but with a bit of luck, I could have my first game around Christmas time.

A Soviet Recce company, preceding a tank company escorted by AA elements

A Mig 29 providing air cover to the advancing group

A T72 tank company, and Engineer company with mine and bridging equipment race toward a river

American F16's tear toward the bridging unit

Soviet Mig 29's attempt to intercept the F16's before they reach the Russiam bridging equipment

Unpainted Soviet hardware

I have American stuff too

Meanwhile, the battle of the Atlantic rages - a US Los Angeles sub leaving harbour

A British Trafalgar class sailing from Faslane

Soviet Victor class SSN

I love my hobby.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Can you fight a war-games campaign using WW2 computer simulations?

The AWI campaign is paused for the month of October. My secret wargaming friend has gone to a traditional October Sauerkraut festival in Germany, followed by a two week trip to a Village People tribute band concert, in full 'motorcycle cop garb' and will be unavailable until early November. One of those is a lie, I will let you make up your mind which...................

Other than a battle connected with the campaign, it is likely that the month will be quiet on the table top front. So I cast my eye around for something in the late autumn into winter evenings to keep me occupied.......................

How about fighting a world war two mini campaign, using Berthier and the ability of the program to automatically move units (Plans)? - trouble is, solo table top games are OK, but I would prefer a regular opponent.

I considered the war-games I had available:

1. Berthier - the strategic map movement
2. Combat Mission Barbarrossa - Land Combat (also have Combat Mission Afrika Korps, and Beyond Overlord)
3. IL2 Sturmovik (1946) - Air combat
4. Silent Hunter 3 - sub combat
5. Fighting Steel - surface combat at sea

I realised I could almost fight the whole war on the eastern front (almost) from the first person point of view, I made my decision. I intend to keep it simple, and will update the blog with my adventures as and when they happen.............................

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Battle of Long Island

Interesting 9 minute video - covering the battle and tactics, including a flank march and spies.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

AWI campaign

The campaign is still going strong, but because the various players read the blog, I have been unable to update on events, lest I leak information.

I was motivated a while ago when I read a blog entry on a war gamers blog. I have included a link to this campaign summary if you are interested. It might even motivate you to try your own campaign!

Anyway, as my secret wargaming friend says - to annoy me "unleash the dogs of war"


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The reality of Seven Years War battles

I found this on You Tube, but cannot add it directly to the blog.

I would urge the players of the campaign to watch it - it gives a flavour of the period, and may assist in understanding the tactics.

Click here for you tube video

It was made in 1975!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Campaign newspaper

Here is the next campaign newspaper - it is some issues behind the current paper, but I am staging the release of the content

Campaign newspaper

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Thursday, 8 September 2011

AWI Campaign - Umpires observations

A group of five of us are currently on turn 13 of an American War of Independence campaign. It is run using the free windows war-games campaign management software called Berthier.

This programme has cut out an awful lot of book keeping on my behalf. I recommend you give it a go.

The campaign is kept simple, with no supply (although ammunition and weather play a part on the tabletop), and campaign turns are roughly fortnightly.

Each player has played their part to a 'T', and even included some well written declarations on the first turn, setting the tone.

The naval tactical battles are fought using the computer moderated rules called - Clear For Action.

The land tactical battles are fought using the computer moderated rules called - Carnage and Glory II.

Several battles have already taken place, and due to the use of the above programmes, the fog of war is causing some real headaches for the players.

Even though the players are present at the tactical battles, due to the use of the computer programmes, they are unsure as to how much damage they have caused the enemy. Leaving them a little less confident, or cocksure, even after victory on the tabletop.

Add to the mix the delay in receiving orders, instructions and updates, due to 18th century communication, the players are getting a true flavour of that period of warfare. Some have confessed to new found admiration, and understanding for the frustrations and difficulties experienced by their namesakes in the actual campaign.

Obviously, as umpire, it is easy for me to sit on the sideline, with a full picture and decide what I would do in such a situation, but even with a full picture of all the dispositions, and movements, I can honestly say that the campaign presents a significant challenge.

The players are not absolutely certain where all their units are on the campaign map.

The only let up in the strict flow of information, is the campaign newspaper - The Yorktown Times. The paper contains a mixture of brief stories and accounts, and 'bends' the communication time restrictions.

It is designed to keep the players immersed in the campaign world, but even this is not without smoking mirrors, some articles are accurate, other less so, some are true, others not, intermixed with real information and characters from the age.

Some player submitted articles, and subtle propaganda have also featured. Some have even featured secret messages to allied players!

I know that all of the players are scratching their heads and trying to compare the information in the newspaper with their intelligence reports, sighting reports and messages from their subordinates. They can only know what they see, everything else is by letter, or message.

More than once I have heard the phrase "but I don't understand". Laid on a plate - it ain't!

Overall, the fog of war is both entertaining, adding flavour to the campaign but also frustrating - just as I wanted it to be. It is realistic, and has a big effect on the players.

I have had recent conversations with the senior commander for each side, it is apparent that neither was fully prepared for managing the operational side of the campaign.

I know they will not mind me saying this, but their command and control structure was woefully inadequate. In essence, they were keeping information in their head.

This was fine in the first few turns, but now there is such a build up of information, that their head is not storing accurate information. They are missing vital information, and are not building a picture.

Both are considering their options and techniques to rectify this shortfall.

A classic example of this failure to manage command and control can be seen in the battle of Cormacks Creek. See the account of the battle on this blog for a detailed summary.

I known that certainly one of the players has started to review all the information, from messages, letters, intelligence and newspaper reports in an effort to build up a better picture. I am not sure what the second player has in mind, but he is a devious bugger and no doubt will sort it!

The other thing, which I do not think any of the players have grasped is the interaction between allied 'human' players. The information sharing is not as I would have expected. Perhaps the fear of intercepted messages may be the driving force for this?

All the players have agreed not to contact each other directly, and only direct face to face communication can take place if players are in the same location on the campaign map. Then an umpired monitored 'Council of war' can take place.

Overall, and as a result of the above, the campaign appears to be mirroring reality.

There are a few twists and turns to come, but I for one am thoroughly enjoying it, the battles generated as a result of strategic movement have been realistic, and not the sort you would put on for a one off game, but seem to be more enjoyable because of that.

The players also seem to be thinking more like generals and admirals, than 'all seeing Demi gods'.

For some, getting used to limited information has been difficult to accept...........after all, standing over a war-games table seeing a birds eye view of the enemy and their location, and knowing what damage you have scored by throwing the right dice is the norm, having information withheld is not, and takes some getting used to.

The 'personal' moral of the players is also playing a significant part, much more than it would in a one off - 'charge and be damned battle' - I think this alone could decide the outcome of the campaign, something which has greatly surprised me.

The big question on three of the players lips is "where are the French? "

I like it, I like it a lot.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 5 September 2011

AWI Campaign - Newspaper

The campaign is now at turn 13. There have been further battles, but I cannot share them at this time, because it may compromise the 'fog of war' for the campaign. All I can say is - as the umpire, I have found fascinating, and scarily realistic........

Click here for campaign newspaper for turn 6

Stay tuned folks!

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Battle of Cormacks Creek - AWI campaign battle

A warm July Sunday evening saw a major battle to the southwest of New York between Von Knaphausen's Division, and troops led by none other than Washington himself. This is part of an ongoing AWI campaign, so I have to be vague with the wider details and background to the battle.

Suffice to say, both Von Knaphausen and Washington thought that a decisive victory to either side might decide the outcome of the campaign itself..........

The American camp and entrenchments

American forces had been watching New York from afar, unmolested by the British garrison. The Kings forces had even afforded them the courtesy of time to dig in. How gentlemanly.

The American position was to the southwest of the city, and gave the watching rebels an insight into British intentions in the north. It was only a matter of time before General Howe ran out of patience and took action.

A birds eye view of the table - looking NE

Up to this point, British and to some extent, American eyes, had been focussed on the battle for Yorktown. Now that he felt that this position was secure, Howe considered the north. He acted quickly, and in typical fashion, aggressively.

Howe dispatched a Division of British and Hessian troops under General Von Knaphausen with strict instructions to remove the rebels from the position. Just to be safe, Howe saw that Von Knaphausen was given command of some of his best troops.

The British player was confident, fortifications or no fortifications, he had the quality of troops, and superior numbers to get the job done quickly. His tactics had given a major victory at Yorktown, and with that experience, he was content that the battle was in the bag.

Click here to read campaign newspaper

However, it soon became evident, all too evident, that Howe had either misread, or even worse, ignored, some crucial intelligence about American movements and intentions.

This even included a captured message giving details of forthcoming rebel movements, positions, and even the commanders involved.

The British player is not the first, nor will he be the last commander to misjudge the intelligence picture.

On this occasion, it was very nearly fatal.

Meanwhile General George Washington had been forced to march north to meet up with his forces at a little location called Cormacks Creek (please do not try and find this on a map - it is a made up name for the recording of the battle, Fog of War you know).

He was fully aware of the British army that had marched from New York, and had used his cavalry to monitor it's movement towards Cormacks Creek and his Brigade of Observation stationed there.

Washington arrived during the early morning, just before the British turned up. Washington quickly went to work preparing his defence. He had a plan, and it involved taking a calculated risk.

Washington prepares the defences

Shortly after 8am in the morning, the ominous sound if fife and drum was heard approaching the American positions from the northeast. The battle was joined.

Confidently, the British prepared their lines, with the major thrust being directed toward the American left flank, while British artillery shelled the American guns imbedded within the entrenchments.

The main thrust of the British advance was through the woods, and against the rebel left flank as you look at the table

It all began so well for Knaphausen, clearly (he thought), with overwhelming numbers, he would make short work of the rebel position, his troops moved quickly through the woods and onto a clearing to form up.

It was at this point the 300 men of the 1st Continental Light Dragoons intervened........

Washington had dispatched them to his left, with the intention of skirting round the British flank, toward the rear of the British formations, " Draw as many of the enemy that you can, away from their main axis of attack " he ordered.

The British Foot Guards found themselves having to form a square as the American Dragoons closed to a menacing distance. A nearby Hessian Regiment moved to give them support. At a stroke, two key units were removed from the assault - without a shot being fired.

On the British left flank, two Hessian line infantry stood stock still, looking splendid in their sharp blue uniform. They had two tasks, protect the artillery, and, tie the American defenders to the entrenchments opposite. As an insurance, the 16th Light Dragoons sat menacingly nearby on a low hill.

It was within an hour of the battle commencing that things started to frustrate Knyphausen.

The 16th Light Dragoons came under artillery attack at long range. He had to move them out of range, which took longer than expected, and effectively removed their threat. The Hessians on the same ridge started to come under a withering fire from the second American battery, causing, small, but consistent casualties.

He discovered that his Jaegers had been issued with the wrong type of rifles, and were being forced to fight as heavy infantry rather than in open order (umpire error in Carnage and Glory programming) (as an aside read this interesting article)

In addition, the march through the woods, and the heat (weather conditions on the table top) were beginning to slow his assault. Add to the mix, the commanding Officer of the 15th Regiment of Foot failing to act on an order to assault the enemy in nearby fortifications, the British player found himself in a quagmire, and it was readily apparent that his (the players moral) was being affected.

He started to look despondent. A stark contrast to earlier optimism.

Meanwhile, Washington found his position under an increasingly aggressive attack by the British. His position was becoming increasingly precarious as more and more British units closed. He took some comfort in a decision made during the deployment phase of the battle.

Unbeknown to the British player, Washington had gambled on a Brigade of infantry and supporting Dragoons conducting a flank march around from the east and to enter onto the northern part of the table - effectively behind the British.

These units were due to achieve this by 8.45am.

At 8.45am a note was delivered to Washington, to his dismay it stated that the flanking troops were finding the going harder than anticipated, and they would not enter the table until 9.45am.

Washington hung on, in a desperate attempt to trap the British. Meanwhile, the British player was struggling with his own moral. The Americans were making it more difficult than it should be. He was worrying about casualties.

Now, the player taking the role of Knyphausen never, and I mean never, worries about wargaming ' casualties '...............

I put this down to ' the campaign effect '.

As the umpire, it was fascinating to watch the 'moral ascendancy' of the players move one way, then the next.

Slowly, and after a successful assault by some Hessian Grenadiers - driving American light infantry from a redoubt, the British player moral began to improve.

The timing of this could not have been better, for at 10am, 1hr 15mins late - the flanking Brigade marched onto the northern edge of the table, and threatened to split the British force in two, and destroy it piecemeal.

A blurred picture of the American flanking Brigade

I am convinced that if this unit had arrived at the designated time, or just after, the British player would have seriously considered surrendering, his moral was that low.

However, it was still a massive shock for him, and it was only then that he figured the 'intelligence picture' out -
" I am up against Washington, arn't I ".

For a couple of turns, Knaphausen seemed like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Washington, however, was like the cat that had got the cream.

Then, quite suddenly, Knaphausen seemed to get a second wind (and it was nothing to do with the pickled gherkins he had been scoffing earlier). He moved the ' out of position ' 16th Dragoons, who were now fortuitously ' in position ' to screen off the American flanking Brigade, and turned his very tired gunners and artillery to face them.

He pressed home the attack on the American main position. The British were once again in the ascendancy.

Washington knew the game was up.

The flank Brigade had arrived too late and was too far away to prevent the inevitable defeat of the units in the entrenchments.

The Americans withdrew from the battlefield - leaving a relieved Von Knyphausen with a minor British Victory.

It was a close run thing, for both sides, each of whom, at some point had victory in their grasp.

I love campaigns!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 22 July 2011

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Battle of Yorktown

Two of my secret wargaming friends are engaged in an American War of Independence campaign. I am the umpire with the assistance of Berthier Campaign Manager.

I have to be coy with the wider details of the campaign so I do not give any information away, so I will stick to the battle.

The battle was between an American Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Sumter, and the British under the command of General Charles, Earl Cornwallis.

Charles, Earl Cornwallis pictured above (he looks strangely like one of the participants in the campaign).

Sumter found himself behind the safety of fortifications constructed over the previous 9 days. However, he had no artillery and only four battalions of militia to face the veterans of Cornwallis, who outnumbered his command by nearly two to one.

His orders were concise, " Defend Yorktown ".

Thomas Sumter pictured

The American commander, because he was defending, and in fortifications, deployed first. He chose to anchor his fortifications around a high hill to the north eastern portion of the tactical map.

Tactical map - top is north

The scenario was the first battle of AWI played by the American commander, and he was up against it. I was also a little nervous, it was not the kind of scenario to set up for two players, all the American commander could do was wait for the British onslaught...............not the most exciting and tactical rich environment for your first SYW game, but hey, isn't that what campaigns are all about?

Equally, I was unsure how the British would fair, they only deployed 4 x 6 pounders on the table, so breaching the fortifications would be down to infantry assault.

I really did not know which way the battle would go.

The British deployed, Tarleton and his British legion on the British left flank, Cornwallis and his troops on the centre and right.

The British then advanced. The game was on...........

The British commander manoeuvred his forces and his main axis of attack was on his left flank, using the centre and right flank forces to pin the Americans in their fortifications.

A good strategy, it prevented the American player from moving units to reinforce his vulnerable line. All he could do was use Sumter to raise moral - something he did to great effect.

The British Legion attack on British left flank

In the centre, Cornwallis used his artillery on the high fortifications, and moved three battalions of troops to a short distance from the enemy, but out of musket range. A silent but visual sign of threatening intent.

Meanwhile, the British right flank attack was developing, and a fearsome fight it was. Sumter found himself riding between the two fortified milita battalions shouting encouragement to the men.

The British pressed on and eventually, 3 hours into the battle, forced the first American troops from their positions. The American commanders face said it all, he was tired and knew the game was up...." if only I had a reserve and some artillery " he thought.

The positions just prior to the first American unit crumbles

The second American position held on for a little longer

Eventually, both militia units on the British right flank crumbled and surrendered the positions, which were soon captured by Tarletons men, but at a cost. Several British units were so fatigued after the battle, they had to be rested and took no further meaningful part in the battle. Testament to the defence put up by the American militia.

Tarleton was forced to lead his troops from the front.

The British had broken through the American lines, and it was only a matter of time before the whole Brigade was destroyed and all the defensive positions captured. The Americans fought on for another hour and a half before finally succumbing to the British onslaught, but not before they drove back and stalled a rash charge by a British infantry battalion on the British right flank.

A hard fought battle, and I do wonder what an extra militia battalion, and some artillery would have done for the American defenders.

Yorktown, and it's harbour was now in British hands, as was the campaign newspaper - The Yorktown Times

Click here for copy of last newspaper (turn4)

The above was produced before the battle which took place on turn 6.

Further battle reports will be posted as and when they take place.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Osprey Publishing - Plassey 1757

Osprey Publishing - Plassey 1757

I have always had an interest in The Seven Years War, including the campaigns in India. The above book has been on my wish list for a couple of years, but seems to have been out of print. Hopefully it is available again

The American Revolution Part 2

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The American Revolution

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse - part 2

A quick summary of my testing of the computer moderated Carnage and Glory II rules. I like them.

This was a solo battle that I played to test the rules out. I had made an admin error when entering the artillery data for both sides (too many guns), but other than that, I was really quite impressed. No doubt, the speed of the game will improve once I am comfortable with the rules.

I can still hear my secret wargaming friend say " But I miss rolling the dice "

He will be converted, oh yes he will!

The British marched in line across the battlefield toward the awaiting American Militia, their first line of defence. How long would their line hold?

The Scots and Hessians advance on the right flank

I moved the British across the table in linear formation. A broad assault. I did send the Jaegers to scout for a gap in the American defence on the left flank. The ran smack bang into some American light infantry and an exchange of fire took place.

After several exchanges of fire, the American light infantry routed. Although the Jaegers could not follow up the advance. I forgot to order each unit into open order - a learning point. The Jaegers were in cover (some light woods) and the Americans in the open - it is obvious that the rules took this into account:

The first number is the casualty count. The second, the unit strength - this can change with chaps running off and casualties etc.

[R] [ 104] Jaegers 0(casualties)/ 150 (unit strength) C Disordered Three Rank Line (British)

[D] [ 208] Light Infantry 94/ 206 C- Dispersed Three Rank Line (American)

The two lines open fire. The British to devastating effect

Clearly the British, who were better troops, had devastating fire power, but the Guards on the left flank took a real pounding from the American artillery in the first line (remember these units were over strength due to my input error):

[R] [ 101] 2nd Guards 53/ 247 B Disordered Three Rank Line (British)

[ 211] 2nd Artillery Battery 12/ 188 [ 8] C- Formed Limbered (American)

Washington's Cavalry stem the tide - for a while

The left flanked stalled, moral had failed on a number of key British units causing them to fail to advance, this was due to a mixture of American (overpowered) artillery, and determined resistance by the American troops.

The American first line finally crumbles

Butlers Brigade did sterling work, but it was only a matter of time as one unit after another succumbed to poor moral, heavy losses and decided to call it a day. Below is the status of Butler's brigade at the end of the battle (Butler himself was captured by Tarletans cavalry, along with his artillery.

Brigade Butler

[ 202] Brigadier General Butler - Active B-

[D] [ 208] Light Infantry 94/ 206 C- Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 209] Washingtons Cavalry 60/ 90 C- Dispersed Two Rank Line

[R] [ 210] 1st North Carolina Militia 60/ 315 E+ Shaken Open Order

[ 211] 2nd Artillery Battery 12/ 188 [ 8] C- Formed Limbered

[D] [ 212] 2nd North Carolina Militia 64/ 236 D- Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 213] 3rd North Carolina Militia 75/ 225 D Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 214] Virginia Rifles 145/ 230 D+ Dispersed Three Rank Line

Tarleton just before he captures the American guns

The first line of the American defence did a sterling job, they caused casualties and disorder amongst the British. The second line, in essence two Virginian militia battalions, would no doubt have added to the casualties. I think I would have really struggled against the final American defence line.

I called it a day (well evening), and was content with my first bash at the rules. I am looking to run another game with a couple of mates, to further test the rules - Seven Years War in India anyone?

I have some learning to do using the rules, my troops need careful watch and cannot charge around the table willy nilly. Moral and fatigue are very important, and a close eye should be kept on the weather. I recommend them for large scale battles, and I know that in the not too distant future, my secret wargaming friend will be uttering those fateful words " this is too realistic, and I miss my dice "

The Carnage and Glory print of the battle:

Time - 13.15hrs


Army Charles, Earl Cornwallis

[ 101] Lieutenant General Charles, Earl Cornwallis - Active B+

Brigade Webster

[ 102] Lieutenant General Webster - Active B

[R] [ 101] 2nd Guards 53/ 247 B Disordered Three Rank Line

[R] [ 102] 23rd Foot 31/ 194 B- Shaken Three Rank Line

[ 103] 33rd Foot 24/ 276 B- Formed Three Rank Line

[R] [ 104] Jaegers 0/ 150 C Disordered Three Rank Line

[ 109] Tarletons Cavalry 0/ 200 C- Formed Two Rank Line

Brigade Leslie

[ 103] Lieutenant General Leslie - Active B

[ 105] Foot Artillery Battery 0/ 200 [ 8] C- Formed Limbered

[ 106] 71st Highlanders 48/ 252 B- Formed Three Rank Line

[ 107] Von Bose Regiment 24/ 276 C- Formed Three Rank Line

[ 108] 1st Guards 19/ 281 B Formed Three Rank Line



199/ 1676 Bayonets

0/ 200 Sabres

0/ 200 Artillerists

0/ 8 Cannon

199/ 2076 Total of all arms

6 Standards present


Army Nathaniel Greene

[ 201] Major General Nathaniel Greene - Active B+

Brigade Butler

[ 202] Brigadier General Butler - Active B-

[D] [ 208] Light Infantry 94/ 206 C- Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 209] Washingtons Cavalry 60/ 90 C- Dispersed Two Rank Line

[R] [ 210] 1st North Carolina Militia 60/ 315 E+ Shaken Open Order

[ 211] 2nd Artillery Battery 12/ 188 [ 8] C- Formed Limbered

[D] [ 212] 2nd North Carolina Militia 64/ 236 D- Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 213] 3rd North Carolina Militia 75/ 225 D Dispersed Three Rank Line

[D] [ 214] Virginia Rifles 145/ 230 D+ Dispersed Three Rank Line

Brigade Lawson

[ 203] Brigadier General Lawson - Active B

[ 206] 1st Virginia Militia 0/ 400 E+ Formed Three Rank Line

[ 207] 2nd Virginia Militia 0/ 400 E+ Formed Three Rank Line

Brigade Huger

[ 204] Brigadier General Huger - Active B+

[ 201] 2nd Maryland Continentals 0/ 375 [ 1] C- Formed Three Rank Line

[ 202] 1st Maryland Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line

[ 203] 1st Artillery Battery 0/ 200 [ 8] C- Formed Deployed

[ 204] 4th Virgiinia Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line

[ 205] 3rd Virginia Continentals 0/ 375 C- Formed Three Rank Line



438/ 3512 Bayonets

60/ 90 Sabres

12/ 388 Artillerists

0/ 17 Cannon

510/ 3990 Total of all arms

10 Standards present

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The hunt for Big Bertha

Before I re-post this, it was taken down after a complaint was received that I had infringed copyright. Copy of email:

"Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to \"draft\" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.

A bit of background: the DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. If you believe you have the rights to post the content at issue here, you can file a counter-claim. For more information on our DMCA policy, including how to file a counter-claim, please see

The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can search for the DMCA notice associated with the removal of your content by going to the Chilling Effects search page at, and entering in the URL of the blog post that was removed.

If it is brought to our attention that you have republished the post without removing the content/link in question, then we will delete your post and count it as a violation on your account. Repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account including deleting your blog and/or terminating your account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel."


The Blogger Team

Now I checked the URL against the database and I could not find the notice. I then searched through the lists of notices manually, and could not find the notice.....................

The only thing I can think of was the picture of sauerkraut. I have removed this, and wish to apologise if I infringed anybodies rights.

Everything else is either a photograph taken by me, or a short account of a battle, written by me.


This actually relates to a World War One skirmish game in 28mm fought on Wednesday, and kindly laid on by my good secret wargaming friend, and not an article about one of his old flames...............................

The story starts in 1914...

Sir Hugh Dorien-Grenock was tucking into dinner, the starter was his favourite - ham and pea soup, soon to be followed by numerous snorkers (good oh!).


The sudden, loud crashing sound caused such a stir in Sir Hugh's body that his monocle promptly splashed headlong into the soup.

His servant, who was stood in the dining room, rushed over with a spare napkin to rescue his master.

" What on earth is that racket " Sir Hugh said, obviously startled and still fishing for his monocle amongst the ham and peas in his bowl "

" Big Bertha, Sir " his man servant replied

" The new cook? " enquired Sir Hugh, triumphant in finally finding his monocle

" No Sir, the German ordnance piece that has been causing havoc at various Brigade Headquarters, it seems that it is now our turn " replied the servant.

" Damn poor show Brown, Damn poor show - go and get Colonel Warner, I simply cannot function if my dinner is disturbed, and pour me a large glass of port before you go "

This was the premise of the wargame, I had to find and locate Big Bertha, suspected to be a large mortar that was shelling my Brigade headquarters.

For the task, I had some old friends and some shiny new models - the paint barely dry.

I was the British, my secret wargaming friend, as ever, the Germans.

Now, I need to put the record straight, my secret wargaming friend is a bit concerned that due to my previous post, he has been teased about his penchant for sausages, and he has requested that I put the record straight:

My secret wargaming friend does indeed like sausages, but they are not the only food he enjoys, for example, he likes sauerkraut too. I hope this puts the matter finally to rest.

The wargame:

I had a strong force - four big men, each leading a section of troops:

2 x Infantry Sections
1 x Cavalry troop

2 x Infantry Sections

The Wargames table

I have to admit to being a little suspicious. I was given a strong force with some high value Big men. I had no doubt that my sneaky secret wargaming friend had some tricks up his sleeve. Sneaky git!

The Shiny new lancers

My secret wargaming friend thinks I am a cautious commander. To keep him on his toes, I decided to change my tactics:

I elected to be very aggressive in this battle, the terrain was against me and I had no intelligence on the enemy forces I would encounter. I decided to use the lancers and my French troops to dash toward a farm on the other side of a ridge. The French crossing the land and climbing the hills, the lancers speeding down the road.

I would keep my British sections back to exploit any weakness in the enemy defence line. My plan almost paid off, almost.

Now you may call me stupid, but there was method in my madness at sending the Lancers down the main road, I hoped their speed would keep them out of trouble, and it did, until they ran into a hidden machine gun nest and an even more hidden sniper. The lancers were trapped in a lethal crossfire, and for the first time, I lost a Big Man in battle. RIP Capt Carruthers.

The sneaky machine gun team - just not cricket

The even sneakier sniper

For those readers who note the helmet of the sniper - I remind you this is grass roots wargaming, so please look past the headgear and pretend the soldier was field testing some new kit.

Meanwhile, the French units had crested the hill and were coming down the other side. Causing must consternation to the German forces (although I was unaware of this panic at the time).

They ran smack bang into a German Jaeger section, conveniently hidden behind a wooden fence.

Sneaky Jaegers - can you see a pattern forming?

The redoubtable French, once again the best of the allied troops

There began a long range exchange of fire between the two sections. The second French unit winding its way along the reverse of the ridge, to the cover of some woods, and (unbeknown to me), too close for comfort to the Big Bertha team.

Big Bertha - the mortar

I decided to bring the British sections on and they made quick progress along the road. In the meantime, the surviving lancers dismounted and eventually killed the sniper (revenge!).

The French section in the centre started to close, but were held up by the machine gun team and another German section.

The British infantry were too far away to capture the mortar as the game ended. A German tactical victory.

So close, yet so far. If only I had brought the British Infantry on a couple of turns earlier. Things may have been very different.

Another smashing evening.

“Unleash hell”

The Roman General Barbro Africanus stood on the low hill and looked east. The great city of Hyarastorni was behind him. Recently besieged an...