Sunday 31 May 2015

Border Reivers in the Shed-O-War

Posties rejects got together on Saturday to have a run through of our Demo game for the Broadside Show in a couple of weeks time. I've not played the period before but Posties rules are easy and intuitive making for a smooth running game and an exciting climax....mind you I would say that as I won!! I won't be posting a full scale BatRep unfortunately - much as I would like to - because we want to keep the game under wraps until the show. Instead here are a couple of teaser pictures with more available over on Rays Blog: Don't throw a 1.

Postie has made some great terrain for this game and although this is a skirmish game and not a massed battle I still think it looks excellent. Anyway, if you want to see more come and visit Posties Rejects on table G15 at the Broadside Wargames Show on the 14th June at the Swallows Leisure Centre at Sittingbourne in Kent (Postcode for SatNav ME10 4NT).

Wednesday 20 May 2015

More Smoke Markers

I'm currently waiting for some more models to arrive (z scale railway track all the way from Japan!) but in the meantime I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. My idle hands have therefore been employed making more smoke markers for my 6mm WWII games. I already have a load made up and ready to use but I reasoned I could never have enough... who knows how much carnage and destruction could happen in the course of a game?!?


I used my tried and trusted method detailed in my Smoke and Flame post...basically glue clump foliage together, dunk in PVA, allow to dry and then spray paint. I made several small clouds, fixed to metal washers for stability. These can be used on buildings or other small targets. I also made three large billowing smoke clouds for bigger buildings or burning supply dumps. These use small polystyrene balls (the sort found in 'craft' stores) as the core with clump foliage on the outside. This makes them very light and keeps the centre of gravity quite low thereby improving stability. 

Monday 18 May 2015

Dismounted LRDG

The Flames of War rules for LRDG Chevy trucks state that crew can dismount as rifle teams. Personally I don't see the point of swapping a vehicle bristling with heavy machine guns for an infantry rifle team but the option is there if the players can see a use for it. I've modelled my dismounted crew on small bases (the same size as command units) with two figures per base. 

I've only painted six bases because I expect them to only be on the games table for a short while and probably never more than a couple at the same time. I couldn't find any irregular infantry figures to represent the varied and unconventional dress of these men so in the end I opted to use regular British Desert Infantrymen.

As well as allowing crew to dismount if they wish I also plan on allowing crew a chance to survive if their vehicle is destroyed, similar to the rules for passengers Dismounting Under Fire from destroyed transport vehicles. Many of the detailed action reports I have read tell of LRDG crew calmly leaping from wrecked or burning vehicles and escaping capture by evasion or by mounting other vehicles. I really wanted to show this in my game and decided I needed to tweak the existing rules to reflect the toughness and daring of these desert warriors. 

Dismounting Under Fire (LRDG)
When you destroy an LRDG Vehicle, make a 4+ Passenger Save to see if the crew survive. If they do place an LRDG Rile Team next to the destroyed vehicle. Crew that Dismount Under Fire in this way may immediately move up to 4"/10cm in any direction, but not closer to the shooting team. In night fighting encounters where visibility is limited by darkness, bailed out infantry teams can be removed from play (deemed to have escaped into the night) if they end their move 12" from the nearest enemy team.

I think this new rule will open up some interesting options for players to consider and will certainly cause a few headaches for axis players desperate to claw back victory points by destroying LRDG raiding patrols.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

The Battle of Pattala - A Macadonian Massacre

Its been a while since my last game with Posties Rejects but now that I've had it I almost wish I'd stayed at home! I can't remember the last time I was on the receiving end of such a thrashing. I blame the rules of course, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with our tactics...

The Setup
Alexander has invaded India and now faces a huge Indian army outside the walls of the city of Pattala. This is a classic Quality verses Quantity encounter with the Macedonians significantly outnumbered but with superior troops.

The Action
Initial Setup. We (the Macadonian players) were able to deploy in response to the Indian setup

Elephants emerging from the city gate

Yet more Elephants on their right wing

And Heavy Chariots

The Macadonian right...with quality infantry shielded by skirmishers and supported by cavalry

Phalanx after Phalanx of Heavy Infantry in the centre

Facing rank after rank of Indian Archers

And of course a commander on the back of another Elephant

The Macadonian advance begins but things go wrong from the very beginning.
This is where the plan fell apart...about fiver minutes into the game! The omens were bad for the Macadonian right flank (Surjits troops) who refused to advance at all for two turns. Then the Indian archers fire was far more effective than we had hoped. My troops in the centre were going to get a pounding all the way in towards the Indians.

The Indian Elephants advance... And with our Catapults unable to fire on them we couldn't hope to cause a route and watch the carnage we had hoped for.

The Indian Heavy Chariots were also much more powerful than we anticipated. Each chariot was roughly equivalent to each of our cavalry units! Most unsporting.

The Indian right flank was protected by archers on the city walls...more archers than we were initially lead to believe the sneaky beggers!

My Phalanx's march resolutely forward in the centre

And the sky is turned dark with clouds of arrows from the Indian archers

Finally, in about turn four or five one of our catapults can finally start shooting.

Indian Elephants advance slowly but are never really in danger

Ray advances his flank and diverts some of his Bow units to support the attack on my centre. Macadonian units are now taking some serious punishment.

My men are getting closer to the Indian lines but at a heavy price

The Indian players know the battle is theirs very early on. 

Indian Heavy Chariots crash into the flank of a Javelin unit...and ride right over them.

Elephants continue to advance

Just to rub salt in the wounds the Indian commanders now reveal a whole load of extra cavalry they have been keeping in if they bl@$%y needed them!!!

With the flank of my Phalanxes compromised I turn one to face the onrushing Chariots, but their fate has been sealed.

My Phalanxes are withering

Where did my army go? That's it, the Macedonians throw in the towel

Look at the disparity of casualties... Macadonian dead on the left and a handful of Indian casualties on the right.

To the victors the spoils...gloating not allowed!

We deployed wrong and the dice gods failed us but ultimately the killing blow was landed by the rules. The Indian archers are so powerful that we never stood a chance of reaching them. The Elephants and Chariots were also incredibly powerful and nothing the Macadonians had in our order of battle could come close to these in power and strength.

We still had a fun game but from very early on it was clear this battle was going only one way and I was just unlucky in the draw to pick sides!

Update:  Ray earlier posted his Batrep and pictures of the game from the Indian point of view. Worth checking out to see the same battle from a different perspective.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Operation Tiger Memorial

While I was on holiday in Devon a few weeks ago I had the chance to visit the Exercise Tiger Memorial at Slapton Sands. I've been here before, way back in the mid 80's, but this time I wanted to return and pay my respects at the Memorial now that I have a little more understanding of why it is here and what it signifies. 

On the 27th April 1944 thousands of allied soldiers began boarding eight Landing Ships for an amphibious assault on a heavily defended beach. This was a carefully choreographed rehearsal  of the Normandy landings that would take place just a couple of months later and was designed to give 'green' troops some valuable invasion experience and thereby save lives. Unfortunately this trial run turned deadly when a  group of German E Boats stumbled upon the convoy and began launching torpedoes against the lightly armed LCT's. Three Landing Craft were hit, two of which sank within minutes. Both were full of soldiers in full combat gear wearing life preservers they had had precious little instruction in using. 749 Soldiers and sailors lost their lives and the survivors were ordered never to tell the story for fear that Allied invasion plans would leak out. 

In the 1970's a local man, Ken Small found artefacts washed up on local beaches and this set him on a path to uncovering the story of Exercise Tiger and the huge loss of life that went with it. He eventually got permission to raise a Sherman DD tank from the seabed and in 1984 the tank was dragged ashore and turned into a permanent memorial to the men that lost their lives preparing for D-Day and the liberation of Europe. 

This Sherman DD Tank was recovered from the sea and set up a memorial to Exercise Tiger

The dedication of the memorial

Despite over 50 years on the seabed the tank is in pretty good shape

Part of the specialised DD drive on this tank

Me and the Sherman in 2015

...and back in the mid 80's. 
There is lots more information and some interesting pictures and videos on the Exercise Tiger Memorial website including pictures of the tank being raised in 1984.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

VE Day at the Royal Gunpowder Mills

On Monday my family and I took a short drive to Waltham Abbey and the Royal Gunpowder Mills for their VE Day Celebrations. This is a relatively small re-enactment and living history event but the site is very interesting and there was a lot going on to keep the family busy.

Airsoft air-gun range for the kids (and even I had a go)

George Crosses awarded to employees at the gunpowder mills for staying at their posts when nearby huts exploded.

German Heavy Machine Gun

Parade of Vehicles

American Trucks

An assortment of bomb disposal equipment 

A British PIAT anti tank launcher

Explosives, grenades and sticky bombs!

German field maps

Bedford Truck 
German Pak Anti Tank gun

Spitfire display

Start of the re-enactement battle

British Para's attack

Jeep mounted Para's ride into battle

American & British Airborne Troops working side by side

Job done the Para's leave the field to the Americans

Germans counter-attack, bringing in some HMG's

Having captured the Americans the Germans prepare to defend their ground


Here come the Para's again!

Supported by the Essex Regiment

Go get em boys!

Now this just isn't Cricket...

By the British sweep the field and win the battle at the end of the day.

A pretty good display and I managed to bag a good position for the main battle, away from the crowds and with a good view of the whole site. The weather stayed good all day which always helps these sort of events and made up for Saturday and Sunday which were a bit on the cold side. Oh and I even managed to pick up some low priced modelling tools from a guy selling scale models so I call that a result.