Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Battle of Britain - Wednesday night wargaming

Using the free wargames campaign software we fought the opening salvos of a Battle of Britain mini campaign.

Berthier is used to manage hidden map movement between the players, and any 'on map' contact is resolved using Wings of Glory (war) rules and models.

It was designed to be quick, interesting, and attempted to capture the flavour and main issues of the actual battle.

A flight of Gloster Gladiators from No 247 Squadron found themselves engaging the first Luftwaffe attack against RAF Manston early on day 1.

The Luftwaffe formation approached the airfield as the British fighters scrambled to intercept.

The two formations quickly closed the distance. The pilots in the Gladiators noted the swift manoeuvrability of the German Bf109's.

Soon the neat formations merged into a frantic dog fight, some aircraft nudging each other mid flight.

The Glosters prevented the German bombers reaching the airfield, claiming a JU87 in the process - the enemy pilot ejecting and later captured by a patrolling unit of the Home Guard.

The Luftwaffe quickly exacted revenge by downing one of the elderly biplane fighters.

In the meantime, over a Chain Home site another vicious battle was taking place.

A HE111 escorted by two Bf109 approached the station.

No 43 Squadron RAF scramble to meet the threat. " We have trade for you"

Again the opposing forces close the gap quickly.

Another deadly dog fight ensued, and two Hurricane of 43 Squadron were shot down, one plane exploded. The second pilot bailed out and later returned to his squadron uninjured.

The bomber dropped her deadly load on the Chain Home station, but missed and caused no damage.

Later that afternoon, the Italian airforce joined the fray, attempting to bomb RAF Manston.

They were greeted by a pair of Spitfire from 64 squadron.

Fearing the worst, the Italian planes turned away from the threat, and eventually reached the safety of the coast.

The first day of the battle ended with the following statistics:
3 x RAF fighter aircraft shot down
1 x Luftwaffe bomber shot down

To be continued......

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Battle of Britain - Wednesday night teaser

" What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over."

" I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now."

" Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands."

 " But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science."

" Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour."

Friday, 6 March 2015

All the nice girls love a sailor, all the nice girls they love a tar......

Wednesday night, my secret wargaming friend put on a WW1 game with his brand new shiny Naval Brigade making their debut.
Jolly Jack

An overview of the battleground. The Brits entering from the bottom right of the table.

I was officer commanding the naval brigade, and had a two section landing party, supported by some Scots.

The British senior commander was played by another secret wargaming friend and he was in command of elements of the BEF.

We were tasked with blowing a bridge to prevent the Hun advancing, and rescuing two downed RFC pilots.

My naval landing party were not impressed with the locally advertised drag act, they had seen better at a 'Sods Opera' aboard ship.

The Colonel came up with a rather daring and good plan. Advance quickly, but leave a small search party to look for the pilots. Our money was that they would be on the enemy side of the river.

It wasn't long before the Bosch arrived on table. A group of Jaegars tangled with some fiery Glaswegians in kilts. Not necessarily a good idea.

I have to say my good friends terrain is exquisite

His attention to detail was immaculate.

The swine shifted nervously in their pen. Our money was on the daring chaps of the Royal Flying Corps sheltering here. After all, they love their 'snorkers'.

Sooner than expected, the pilots were found, hiding not far from the British start position. The colonel's plan paying dividends at an early stage. It wasn't long before Coward and Faversham were back at the squadron.

A close up of the advanced party of Jaegars.

The Scots were in decent cover.

Soon sections from the Colonels command joined them on the left flank.

The Colonel, who may have appeared, at first glance, a bit doddery with his walking stick, crossed the bridge, supported by a team carrying a borrowed Belgian Lewis gun.

He saw some Ulhans riding at speed toward him.

A frantic signal for help was...well...erm..signalled.

Meanwhile, despite casualties, the Uhlans rode on.

Men quickly ran to the aide of the beleaguered command team on the bridge.

Meanwhile, elements of the naval landing party attempted to lay the demolition charges.

The mere presence of 'the Senior Service' seemed to raise the moral of the army.

More Germans arrived, setting up a machine gun to rake the British defenders.

A sniper played havoc with the British officers.

In the end, the Ulhans were driven off, after receiving significant casualties, and the bridge was nearly ready to blow. SWF declaring a British victory.

A sound plan by the Colonel paying off.

A good night, with great figures and terrain.....