Monday, 17 September 2012

Escape to La Barquette

Sunday night saw a 28mm World War 2 skirmish game at a secret wargamers friends wargame workshop, the scenario was based on actual events during the second day of the D-Day landings.

My briefing reported:

You are in command of a Fallschirmjager Platoon (of 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Fallshirmjager Regiment):

"On June 7th 1944 the Ist Battalion was given orders to withdraw south from around Vierville towards Carentan. The Battalion was slow to react to this order and consequently the way was blocked by elements of the 501st and 506th Parachute Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division.

The scenario represents this attempted break out. The Allies will represent a patrol from 3rd Battalion 506th PIR.

In reality only some 25 men (out of 500) of the 1st Battalion were able to escape, the rest being killed or captured by the Americans. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 6th FJR went on a few days later to defend Carentan, earning the title of the 'Lions of Carentan' for their dogged resistance"

The main areas of conflict

A close up of a key area of the battlefield

Some bocage that would see a key encounter between opposing troops.

My Order of Battle

Platoon Leader-Leutnant Hans Worner-Grade 111 'Big Man' (Big Man Bonus of 1D6+1)

1st Squad
Unterfeldwebel Otto Meyer-Grade 111 'Big Man' (Big Man bonus of 1D6)
2x LMG fire teams of 5 men each

2nd Squad
Unterfeldwebel Kurt Ulhig-Grade 11 'Big Man'(Big Man bonus of 1D4)
2x LMG fire teams of 5 men each.

We were using the rule set troops, weapons and tactics by Too Fat Lardies.

I split my platoon elements into two squads, one racing up the road to grab a tall building in the centre, the other squad moving up the right flank across the fields. During the early part of the game only 'blinds' were on the table, so neither side knew where the enemy troops were.

The first few moves using blinds.....

My one squad close on the centre of the town.

My opponent managed to get a rifle squad to the centre first, and they took up position behind a stone wall, and ideal firing position to catch my patrol in the open as they move up the road.

Things were about to get messy.....

Meanwhile on my right flank, two squads of troops bundled into each other, each player believing the opposing blind was a fake........things were going to get really, really messy.

Looking across at the platoon.

My troops on the road started to take wounds and casualties....

Meanwhile on the far right, some good dice roles saw my two LMG squads devastate a US para squad.

A Google maps view of Carentan today

My troops on the road took three casualties, and the survivors of one squad fled, meantime both US parachute rifle teams were pinned, and then took serious hits themselves, leaving the road clear for my troops to move toward a river and escape.

The river in sight....

The remaining US para's took shelter in a former brothel, allowing my team to make good their escape.

The German's lost three men, the Americans took 12 casualties, with one man missing, a Pte Ryan......

Set for a sequel?

Band of Brothers - an 8 minute sample.....

Sunday, 16 September 2012


It may add to the ambience of my tale if you watch the YouTube videos as you encounter them in this blog.

Saturday 15th September so my first all day wargame for some considerable time.

As the title, and YouTube video allude to, I was fighting the Zulu.

The table prior to play

I was suspicious about this grassy area, and rightly so as it turned out.

This rock area would also feature

My briefing was concise and to the point, a sharp, hurty, spear type point

A slightly blurred, posed photgraph (recently restored) of Major Spalding, prior to his expedition.

The front of the column, entering the table. There was a distinct aroma of bacon, sausage and egg in the games room at this point. It wouldn't do to fight on an empty stomach would it?

The view down the table, seems awfully long from a 28mm point of view.....

View from the left flank section

More of Spaldings little command enter the table. No sign of the Zulu. It would not last long, my opponent was wiping the last stains of egg from his chin.........

This was the one wagon that would be defended to the last, full of British beer.

The column makes slow but steady progress.

Suddenly, and after gulping a considerable mouthful of piping hot tea, my Secret Wargaming Friend placed the first 'blinds' on the table.

This fellow appeared to be orchestrating things.....

The Zulu appear in some numbers

They looked a tad grumpy.

Fortunately my Secret Wargaming was in possession of quite a few Zulu figures.

Even more of the blighters were appearing. My bacon butty felt heavy on my stomach at this point.

The Zulu warriors are Egged on by their General

The drummer boy was dispatched to put down the range markers - a plumb job apparently....

My rocket battery would surely make short shrift of the advancing Zulu regiment

My troops take up their position, and wait nervously, although they are slightly comforted by the squat, mean looking Gatling gun sat next to them......

The chanting begins......

The Zulu and British positions. Due to the firepower displayed by the British ranks, the Zulus did not really pose a threat throughout the game, despite their bravery and courage.

I had a Gatling gun, and Cannon too - both caused horrendous Zulu casualties.


Luckily, my troops avoided the outcome depicted in this film

Even the late arrival of Warriors with rifles could not swing the battle in the Zulu favour

The line held.
I managed to decimate the Zulu hordes, but found my self only a foot or so on the table, and no nearer to Rorkes Drift. I won the battle, but did not meet any of my objectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Ambush Alley

The Secret War-gamers Secret Wargaming friend ran a small Ambush Alley scenario on a quiet Wednesday evening in early September.

The game table - all the terrain and buildings owned or made by my opponent

I played Blue Force, and controlled two fire teams and a single command figure. My task was to rescue two Green force police officers holed up in a petrol station. As luck would have it, my team were on foot, and the petrol station was located at the far end of the table. All I had to do was navigate through a rabbit warren of buildings and alleyways crawling with insurgents. A breeze then.......

The petrol station on the left

My chaps form up at the "go" line just after the briefing

My plan was to send a team to the nearest highest building for "overwatch", and send the second team scurrying down the alleys to rescue 'Plod'.

There were a lot of buildings to hide in......if you were an insurgent

A group of Red Force insurgents waiting to buy their newspapers and fags.....

More heavily armed men walk the streets, I had a feeling that my first plan could be flawed

The building on the left was my first objective

The team make a cautious approach

The bunker in the distance was the first building of concern, it was searched and fortunately found to be empty.

A group of insurgents wonder if they have gone over time on the tacograph....

The view from the ground

Blue force team close on the first objective "contact, contact, contact"

After a brief and violent close quarters assault, the team took the first objective. They were soon faced with numerous insurgents. "Poontang"

"Mable this is Crazy Horse, objective secured, I repeat, objective secured. Out"

Insurgents take to the rooftop to fire at the team. Note the poster of my Secret Wargaming Friends favourite romantic foreign cinema film....

You can get a reasonable sized property, with a pool, close to the town centre and local amenities for less than a thousand goats.....

More insurgents move into range

My team held the advantage and started to open fire on the numerous Red Force insurgents, causing close to 30 casualties, to no loss within an hour.

Confirmation that the rule of law had broken down.....

After surprising myself with the effectiveness of the firepower of Blue Force, I decided to take the opportunity of sending a snatch squad to rescue the police officers trapped in the petrol station.

2nd Team run the gauntlet, with 1st team on overwatch like guardian angels

The team make it, and escort the police to safety.

A happy ending to a great evening