2nd Quarter Warren Games

The 2nd quarter for 2019 has been a period of active gaming for WR, from ancients with Late Romans vs. Franks, forward in time to horse and musket era napoleonics set in Italy 1809, then on to WWII with several Flames of War scenarios in Italy, Russia, Normandy, and even airborne landing on Crete. Some of the mentioned scenarios will have full AAR treatment posted to WR in near future; the Clash of Empires Late Rome vs. Franks ancients scenario, the Flames of War Russia 1941 Drive on Smolensk scenario, and finally the napoleonic Battle of Almonacid 1809 (fought on tabletop late February), which WR has finally collected some background material for that Franco-Spanish peninsular battle.

First up is the napoleonic 1809 battle set in Northern Italy, between the advancing French encountering the arrayed Austrians. The scenario background has the French successful in their early morning river crossing, deploying half their forces across the river in battle formations. The remaining Franco-Italian commands will cross via bridge or discovered river ford behind their front lines to reinforce the pressed Franco-Italian front. For the Austrians, they start fully deployed in a semi-circle containment, preventing further Franco-Italian advance and, at the given signal, charge forward to repulse the Franco-Italian bridgehead.

Starting position for the Franco-Italian vs. Austrians 25/28mm napoleonic river crossing scenario set in Italy 1809. Austrians start on left, Franco-Italians on right, and shown deployment zones.

From sunny Northern Italy, the next WR dice rolling 2nd quarter game was GM’d by WR’s gaming friends Bruce & Gary. Still fought under clear skies and hot Mediterranean sun, the German Fallschirmjagers descended from the sky via assault gliders or their chutes. Greeting the airborne warriors without tea cups, the determined New Zealander company holds the bombed and battered Suva port while a Greek company covered the inland open fields, dotted with stone walls and olive groves. WR played the glider assault, landing directly adjacent to the buildings of Suva. Surprised for the moment, the New Zealanders fought back, keeping the scenario in balance for turn after turn. In the inland fields, the Greeks hunted down the scattered Fallschirmjagers sticks, leading to sudden close range firefights, “picking olives with bullets” it seemed. Scenario win for the Allied defenders this time, till next chance with another Crete FOW game at the nearby aerodrome.

WR’s assault gliders almost poke their noses into the center of Suva, catching the NZ defenders for the moment surprised.

Larger view of the Flames of War Suva port battle. In background the Fallschirmjagers battle the Greeks amidst the Olive groves and rocky hill locks.

Back to Italy but set in 1943 instead of year 1809. Flames of War V3.0 MRB Salerno landings scenario using WR’s 20mm WWII miniature collection this time. Scenario called “Ordeal of the 179th RCT” (45th Thunderbird Division), it portrays the 179th RCT advance and then being surrounded by a German local counterattack during the advance from the Salerno beaches. Updated scenario notes (.doc): Ordeal of 179th RCT Scenario notes.  Scenario background material link posted previously on WR:  Ordeal of the 179th RCT 

Initial Flames of War Salerno 1943 “Ordeal of the 179th RCT” scenario. This is the eastern flank sector showing the arriving German platoon blocking the American lead units.

Western sector for “Ordeal of the 179th RCT” Salerno 1943 scenario. Germans start scenario having slipped into Petramo town (on foreground hilltop) and cutting the LOC for the 179th RCT.

Year later during the WWII timeline, the American 26th Division boat landing teams storm ashore at “Easy Green” Omaha beach on D-Day June 6th. This Normandy 1944 Flames of War scenario was played twice at the local WhedonCon LAX convention, which WR attended and ran the convention game room. Split result for one German and one American victory, and for the bonus, played on the same weekend for the 75th D-Day anniversary celebration. The complete FOW scenario .pdf from the old Battlefront Omaha supplement:   Easy Green Omaha Beach 1944 Scenario

The American landing craft approach the German defended shore at Omaha beach just before the preliminary bombardment. Beach traps and mines line the waterline to cause mananovering tests.

Closer view of the German held WN66 defensive position, with barbwire ring and trenches, manned by a platoon of German Grenadiers, a tank turret, and two 8cm mortars in Tobruk pits.

Opposite view from previous photo. On close examination, The rocket launchers, three HMG Toberk pit positions, A/T dragon teeth, and obvious sea wall 50mm A/T open pit bunker are seen.

From Italy, Crete, and Normandy, WR next travels to Russia for the opening weeks of the German 1941 Operation Barbarossa invasion. This warren Flames of War scenario featured the rapid German panzer advance beside the Smolensk rail line, using fellow gamer’s Bruce and Gary 15mm miniatures gracing the WR tabletop. Hard fighting, the German panzers and support platoons, with squadrons of Ju-87 Stuka flights overhead, overran the Russian front line position, raced to relieve the “besieged” reconnaissance detachment, then proceeded to shoot up the arriving massed Soviet light tanks who were causing difficulties for the leading German columns. They even took care of the heroic Red Army armored train for good measure. German minor victory for the scenario declared, but Soviet resistance shattered to oppose further German advance.

Quick Russia 1941 scenario notes: FOW V3 with 4,000 points on for each side. Germans deploy 1/3 of their points anywhere on the table (represents the German forward detachment seizing a Soviet position behind Soviet front line), thus creating a 36″ bubble zone cleared of all Russian teams. The rest of the German platoons, the remaining 2/3 points worth, will enter the short table edge on turn one.

For the Soviets, 1/4 of their points deploy in the table eastern half, another 1/4 points in the western table half, except for the 12″ no man zone along the short table edge (German arrival edge) and no Soviet deployment within 6″ of the German “bubble zone” demarcation. The remaining 1/2 Soviet points will arrive at ore-determined arrival edge (6 in total, labelled 1-3 for each 4′ of long table edge, and 4-6 for the opposite table edge. Note that no Soviet reserve companies, except for any possible Soviet armored train or all other long side entrance blocked by German team nearby (16″), can arrive on the short table edges. At least one Soviet platoon/company formation must be pre-assigned to each entrance zone (4′) table edge length. Soviet units cannot arrive within 16″ of enemy team, so if blocked, will arrive on adjacent open entrance zone. Any armor or tracked vehicle platoon / company must announce their table edge arrival one turn ahead to the German players (raised dust clouds). Russian reserves use the standard delayed reserve rule (first turn arrival is turn three). The Soviet train only arrives on the Soviet controlled railroad entrance point. Place three German objectives on table. First one in 1st village along railway / road, The second objective in the town near the rail bridge stream crossing and the last objective on the railway table edge exit. 

Victory conditions:  Control the 1st objective = Draw or token victory. Control the 1st and 2nd objectives = Minor German victory for the moment. Control all three objective = Major victory and the progress to Moscow continues on pace. Russians control any objective marker, reduce the German victory level by one step.

The long 12 x 5 tabletop has the Smolensk rail line and roadway running the tabletop center, from short table edge to short edge. Surrounded, the German forward reconnaissance platoons have seized the town at scenario start.

View from the opposite table edge, the edge which the German enter the tabletop. The forward Russian defensive lines are seen

During the scenario, the Soviet armored train arrives to aid the assault on the center town defended by the breakthrough German reconnaissance platoons.

Lastly, WR joined with his Long Beach CA Clash of Empires (COE) 25/28mm ancients gaming group for ancient gaming. The group’s scheduled 2nd quarter scenario featured the Late Roman army vs. the invading Franks, someplace outside the city limits of Rome. Like the Russia 1941 FOW scenario above, this scenario will likewise soon have the complete AAR posted on Wargamerabbit blog so please check back. The 3rd quarter COE group game is roughly scheduled for late August at David’s in Long Beach.

The initial deployment. Massed Frank warbands positioned on the right. The Late Romans control the hillrise at left and waait the barbarian surge forward. Lurking off table several Frankish cavalry units.

The Late Roman Catafractarii crash into the stalled Frankish warband, soon quickly broken and crushed under the Roman hooves or cut down while in flight.

The main battle lines crash into the raised shields on both sides. Shieldwall for the Romans, massed ranks of Frankish warriors heaving their weight into the steady Roman ranks.

That was the busy 2nd quarter of historical gaming looking backwards. Looking forward to more warren games during the 3rd quarter starting this upcoming July. Remember to contract WR, whose direct contact information is found under About the Wargamerabbit tab, with any interest in joining the three game groups which WR regularly participates playing his Ancients, Napoleonics, or WWII era gaming. Also important, those on his game announcement email broadcasts, please remember to reply so WR knows your gaming status.

Cheers from the warren of gaming.


The MRB covers for Flames of War and Clash of Empires:

FOW MRB V3.0 cover

COE MRB V1.0 cover


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