Russia vs. Poles Training scenario

This AAR comes from a scheduled Thursday evening warren game, structured to familiarize the newer warren players with the club rules napoleonic unit point system, some basic nationalistic army organization, and then field a player chosen “balanced” small corps on the tabletop. Scenario is straight forward meeting engagement, with even points (1700 predetermined points level) per side, fought for twelve active game turns (4 game hours) duration, or less if one side exceeds their MFP corp’s total to be declared defeated.

First a quick overview of the starting chosen order of battle by both player teams, then some brief discussion of the Combat Morale Rating (CMR) rating used in the group games.  CMR is a major component of the club napoleonic rules, game play and interaction mechanics, and foundation of the points system. After CMR discussion, a brief understanding of the how the points system works. But first, the finished order of battles chosen by the two player teams:

The Russian player team fielded a small corps with two infantry divisions and attached mixed cavalry division. Their Corp’s roster included:

Russian Corps HQ with HQ base, ADC’s, military ammo train, baggage group, no attached artillery batteries or units.

Infantry Division: Grenadier regt (2×6 miniature battalions), Jager regt (2×6), four Musketeer regiments (2×6 each), 12-pound positional battery (12 cannon), 6-pound Foot battery (12), two Cossack regiments (1×4 each).

Infantry Division: Two Jager regiments (2×6 each), four Musketeer regiments (2×6 each), 12-pound positional battery (12), 6-pound Foot battery (12).

Cavalry Division: Three Dragoon regiments (1×5 each), Hussar regt. (1×10), Uhlan regt. (1×10), and attached 6-pound Horse battery (12)

Classical Russian organization. Infantry divisions same size of six regiments, with slight difference exchanging one jager regiment for a grenadier in one division. Cavalry in large division organization so a bit unwieldy on the tabletop consisting of hussar, uhlans, and dragoons. Being Russian, the artillery is solid with five large batteries, four foot and one horse. Toss in the two cossack regiments to tease the Polish-Lithuanian uhlans. The complete Russian .xls roster file:  Russia Roster 1812

The Russian small corps is deployed in foreground. The road divided the two infantry divisions, backed by the cavalry division. Corps HQ deployed near the woods and roadway.

The Polish Corps formed as the Russian opponent for the Thursday evening scenario. Like the Russians, the Polish & Lithuanians form two infantry divisions, one Polish and one Lithuanian, and a smaller cavalry division. Not too often you read or see a 1812-13 Lithuanian division on the tabletop, WR likes the odd ball armies. The Polish or Duchy of Warsaw (DOW) and Lithuanian contingent order of battle outlined below:

Polish HQ: HQ base, ADC’s, ammo train, baggage group, and two Polish converged grenadier battalions (2×6).

Polish Infantry Division: Three Line regiment (3×6 each), a Polish Legion regiment (3×9), and two 6-pound Foot batteries (6 cannon each).

Lithuanian Infantry Division: Five Line regiments (2×6 each), two Lithuanian Uhlan regiments (2×5), and two Polish 6-pound Foot batteries (6 cannon each).

Polish Cavalry Division: Two Hussar regiments (2×6) and Lithuanian Uhlan regiment (1×5), with attached 6-pound Horse battery.

The Polish and Lithuanian force seems to be well-balanced and organized on paper roster. Attaching the Lithuanian uhlans to their infantry gives them local cavalry support but somewhat restricts them to the slower infantry movement. The Polish Cavalry division is small, only three regiments so the staying power is weak for numbers, but being hussars, the CMR is high. Artillery ratio good, twelve cannon for each infantry division, but no reserve batteries or heavier artillery cannon then their divisional 6-pounders on the battlefield. The complete Polish – Lithuanian .xls roster file:  Polish Roster 1812

The DOW & Lithuanian corps deployment, DOW infantry division at right of or on the road, Lithuanian infantry division at left. Hussars at far left, all Lithuanian uhlans at right. HQ on roadway.

A side view of the initial deployments. Table size is 6′ width x 5′ depth. Army deployment starts 18″ on table from rear edge for each side.

If desired, the reader can skip the next few paragraphs which detail out the CMR and napoleonic point system working and calculations, and go directly to the AAR report on the colorful tabletop miniature action. Continue reading

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Peiper’s Charge 1944 AAR

Peiper’s Charge….WR’s grand convention Flames of War 3rd Edition 20mm scenario for this year’s HMGS-PSW regional Fall Mini Wars convention. Scenario features a winter 1944 Bulge scenario fought along the eighteen foot table (18′ x 5′) length.

The full table scenario set up, all eighteen feet of length. Viewed from the German entrance side towards their distant exit edge.

Opposite view showing the German foreground exit edge towards the distant German entrance at right table corner.

Scenario details: Complete scenario details can be read on WR’s previous post on Peiper’s Charge. Includes the platoon forces for both sides, the extra platoon reinforcements available or suggested to add character to scenario, some terrain details, objective notes, and WR thoughts on the scenario, especially towards play: Peiper’s Charge Introduction and Preparation and Winter Terrain construction.

Having completed the scenario tabletop setup, taken photos of the starting position, having gather the two 4-player teams for a pregame conference to cover the scenario and special FOW rules, WR explained to team German players the need to keep moving forward every turn. For the American player group, figure out any ways to delay and slow the German advance but be aware of the special German bonus movement when American fuel depots are seized. Meeting over, the signal rocket is launched. Scenario AAR commentary on the turn by turn action with Table maps embedded.

Turn One: Germans have first movement and roar onto the tabletop with three chosen platoons (Attack Column rule) plus the starting Fallschirmjager platoon facing down the American roadblock platoon position. Seen by the Americans defending Lanzerath village, the German deploy their SS King Tigers (2x), a SS Panther platoon (4x), the SS SPA Grille battery (6x), and Peiper’s own command SS Panther tank, moving across the “slow going” snowy ground. Starting next to the American forward defenses, the Fallschirmjager platoon clear away the American minefield (one team blown up) and the barbed wire. Positioned to assault now but pinned by the mine explosion, the Fallschirmjagers think hard seeing the prepared Americans manning their HMG in the building and lining the hasty trench work. German stormtrooper movement rolled for each platoon and performed.

Note: All vehicle movement off the road is rated slow going. For most tracked vehicles that is 8″ maximum movement per turn. For jeep teams, WR specially ruled them to have 6″ movement vs. the normal FOW distance of 4″ cross-country. So movement on the roadway is paramount for the Germans to keep to schedule and meet the scenario 25 turn road exit requirement at the table end. All German Stormtrooper rolls are 3+ to succeed during scenario.

Three German platoon enter the tabletop. King Tigers (2x), Panthers (4x) and SPA Grille platoon plus Peiper’s command Panther tank. Fallschirmjager clear away the American defenses.

American see targets everywhere. Their bazooka team miss the mass of German thin armor before them, but the American M! Garand plus a stream of bullets from their HMG cut down two Fallschirmjager teams to bloody the snow dusted ground. To add some insult, they place their booby trap on the Fallschirmjager. Back in the far distant American rear area, American scrap yard tank platoon start their used tank motors and drive quickly towards the front line (Table Three). Over their radio net something about German tanks reported near Lanzerath.

Note: WR error. The booby trap marker can only be placed in own deployment territory or in no mans land. Since the Fallschirmjager hadn’t moved from their starting position, they should have been declared still in their deployment area and no booby trap placement.

American open fire and bump off two Fallschirmjager teams plus deploy their booby trap marker.

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FOW at Games Empire

During the last quarter, WR has travelled to Games Empire (Pasadena CA) for several of Bruce’s 15mm Flames of War 1942 scenarios played over successive weekends. Bruce’s FOW Ver3.x group typically, like WR’s, play a themed scenario which recently has focused on the Eastern Front of 1942. Several gaming days featured large multi-table team force structured scenarios such as: Approach to Stalingrad, the outskirts of Stalingrad, in Stalingrad itself, and soon forthcoming the Soviet counterattack. Now the group has expanded their history period to Kursk 1943.

Several games photographed below. First the 1942 Stalingrad scenario with every building or ruins displayed on the tabletop. WR played the part of assaulting the large foreground building, which was heroically defended by Bruce. After many turns of close quarter action in and around the large building….. the Germans lost and were forced to regroup for another day.

The Stalingrad scenario. WR’s initial force lower right posed to assault the large building.

Opposite end of the Stalingrad scenario. Scattered platoons occupy the ruins.

WR’s hasty floor diagram to handle the multi-floor action inside the large building. Bruce was impressed with AR’s artwork for his building model. Ground floor action was hot and heavy.

Enterprising Soviet teams cross the main street to seize buildings from their former German occupants.

The volume of shooting across the main street never really let up during the scenario play. Soon as one soviet team was hit…. another team advanced to retain their position.

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Ludendorff Bridge Hollywood AAR

Previously WR reported on his basic Flames of War 20mm scale Ludendorff Bridge 1945 scenario played as the morning game at Gamex 2018. For the second or afternoon Flames of War (FOW) game scenario, the same terraced tabletop was used but the units and platoons involved had slight changes for both sides. These changes converted what the basic FOW Ludendorff scenario was, to what WR calls his “Hollywood movie” version, following what is seen in “The Bridge at Remagen” movie (1969). To save some writing, WR refers the reader to the previous Ludendorff Bridge – Remagen 1945 article for specific details on the scenario written at end of scenario write-up. For this Hollywood themed scenario, the following changes are made from the basic scenario; platoon addition or change, team attachments, and adjusted starting positions are listed:

For the German side:

  1. The German 2cm Flak36 platoon is exchanged out for a Reluctant Conscript 88mm Flak platoon of three 88mm A/A guns, their Cmd SMG team, and attached HMG team. all in entrenchment or gun pits. This 888mm Flak36 battery is positioned forward on the Erpeler Ley, till placed on the 3rd level mountain edge overlooking the entire scenario tabletop.
  2. The 2iC SMG team in company HQ is exchanged out for 2iC MG team starting in the same position per scenario notes.
  3. The sunken river barge is anchored (placed) on the opposite side of the bridge, in center of river, and about 3″ from bridge. Change out the sniper team for an independent trained HMG team, concealed and “gone to river” status.

For the Americans:

  1. Add Armored Mortar platoon (81mm mortar) to the reinforcements pool. This Confident Veteran platoon has Cmd Carbine team, M2 or M3 H/T with .50cal AAMG, and three M4a1 81mm H/T. Following the delayed Reserves rules, roll on turn three for possible arrival at zone 3 table edge.
  2. If the Pershing Heavy tank platoon is destroyed, starting on turn three or later, a replacement light tank platoon will arrive. Players agreement, either Confident Veteran  M24 Chaffee platoon (four tanks), or a M18 HellCat platoon (four tanks) without their TD rules applied… just a common tank platoon for scenario. Delayed Reserves rule applies again.
  3. The Engineer platoon has special Ludendorff Bridge rules to follow for repairing or clearing the bridge for vehicle passage.

Remember WR adjusted the map squares to be 15″ wide and 12″ deep for his tabletop since he uses 20mm scale miniatures and basing.

Faced by the deadly 88mm AA Flak36 battery, the American have to target the hated cannon with their armor main guns, those same 90mm, 76mm, and 75mm tank cannon, to blast apart the German tank killing battery. So thoughtful planning the movement and fire control is paramount for the 1st turn. No double timing with the Shermans….. they will be pulped. Even the Pershing platoon needs to keep their distance to upgrade their armor factor by one… 10 to at long-range 11 vs, the 13 AT rating of the 88mm cannon. The Sherman crews just leave the turret and hull hatches open…. 88mm shells will come and go (7 to at long-range 8 vs. 13) against their armor hulls. This of course leaves the 3.7cm Flak 38 gun pit cannon complete alone for the start of the scenario…. all eight of them as they eye the American infantry. A different game mechanic situation is already in place. Much discussion at the lunch break between the scenario games…. let’s now see what the teams actually do on the tabletop. Continue reading

Ludendorff Bridge AAR

This past Memorial Day weekend WR attended the regional Strategicon Gamex convention based near the Los Angeles Airport or LAX (Hilton hotel). Joined by his son Daniel as GM, the scenario for the convention was the much awaited Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen 1945 Flames of War (FOW) MRB Ver3.0 project. Details for the FOW scenario, hints and notes, and the preparation of 20mm (1/72) miniatures / terrain have been covered in previous articles links below.

Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen) scenario, including the basic and “Hollywood movie” scenario versions: Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen) March 1945 and the Ludendorff Bridge Preparation.

Scenario map 12″x12″ square grid. WR’s version uses 20mm scale miniatures so WR enlarges width by 25% or 15″ wide by 12″ depth.

Table terrain setup clearly shows the Ludendorff Bridge, the Rhine River, the barge, the Erpeler Ley mountain, and railroad ramps with stonework arches leading to the tunnel portal position.

The starting American set up: Pictured below, the Pershing heavy tank platoon, the leading Armoured Rifle platoon (without transport), the Co. HQ CinC and 2iC teams, and the defending VolksGrenadier platoon guarding the RR ramp leading to the bridge.

Starting American positions with the Co. HQ CinC, 2iC teams, the Armored Rifle platoon, and the Pershing heavy tank platoon. Also pictured the defending VolksGrenadier platoon at bridge ramp.

The defending German starting position: The 2cm Flak36 gun pit battery up on the Erleper Ley mountain, the Flak38 3.7cm battery along the riverbank, and a portion of the Volks Artillery battery lower right corner seen. Not pictured below, behind the Erleper Ley mountain at tunnel portal, is the German Co. HQ CinC and 2iC teams, plus the VolksSturm platoon.

The German starting defensive positions…. the flak 2cm battery on Erpeler Ley, the Flak 3.7cm battery on riverbank, and the Volks Artillery battery lower right of photo.

WR refers the reader to the Ludendorff Bridge (Remagen) scenario and note links about the terrain modeled on the tabletop. Continue reading

Battle of Arronches 1801 AAR

Several months ago WR wrote up some background material on the War of the Oranges (Guerra de las Naranjas) during 1801, fought between the invading Spanish army and the defending Portuguese as the main players. Secondary French forces, along with a small French emigrate (English) contingent, marching in the respective rear areas just to add flavor to the proceedings. Later on WR wrote up an enlarged historical scenario engagement between the Spanish and Portuguese armies based upon an action fought near the old town of Arronches in Portugal. That scenario now has seen light to the miniature tabletop and the following After Action Report (AAR) is presented to report the miniatures engagement.

To read the actual scenario design and notes, the forces and units involved, and the battlefield terrain detail, WR refers the reader to the Arronches 1801 article posted on Wargamerabbit:  Battle of Arronches 1801

The scenario starting positions has the Portuguese in army confusion and disarray, surprised by the “fast marching” Spanish advance guard division’s arrival during the mid morning siesta period of the Portuguese army. Only the formed Portuguese now “rearguard” (titled the Advance Guard command) and their cavalry brigade are ready to confront the Spanish army while their main infantry division breaks camp and forms their battalions to march. Not a good way to start a miniature scenario, even the Portuguese HQ starts the scenario with their line of communication towards Portalegre threatened by the Spanish Advance Guard’s division arrival. For the reader’s note, since WR has no 1790 era painted Portuguese, he will use his 1790 Reicharmee as stand in’s for the scenario play.

The Arronches battlefield. The town is off to the left. The Spanish are arriving on the central road. The Portuguese cavalry brigade and escorted wagon train further up the road, across the bridge.

Scenario map. Each square is 12″ or 600 yards.Map legend at right.

View from the west. Clearly the Portuguese 2nd Division is strung out leaving Arronches, heading towards the Portalegre road which has the cavalry brigade and train. Spanish upper right corner. Portuguese “rearguard” and HQ positioned in Arronches.

View from the north. The 2nd Division, cavalry brigade, trains, seen on the battlefield in their starting positions. WR still has to place various “camp and civilians” around the 2nd Division to reflect its “in camp status”.

The eastern table view to complete the 360′ viewing of the terrain and miniature command starting positions, using the wooden block movement system. Dry Caia riverbed clearly marking the battlefield with orange groves across the open fields.

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Battle of Halle 1806 Revisited

At the recent President’s Day weekend  at the Strategicon – OrcCon 2018 convention, Daniel and WR re-staged the Battle of Halle 1806 historical scenario. To avoid repeating text, details on this historical napoleonic scenario can be read on previous WR articles posted here on Wargamerabbit:  Battle of Halle 1806 background  and  Battle of Halle 1806 AAR

Set up and opening movements for the French followed the previous Halle 1806 game. But this time the Prussian Advance guard… or Rearguard brigade in reality, retired quickly into Halle and defended the last bridge crossing. French light cavalry movement quickly triggered the release of one Prussian reserve command by crossing the Saale river early, threatening the Prussian left hand infantry division in reserve, Shortly after releasing the Prussian left hand infantry division, the entire Prussian Reserve Corps was released by French 1st division infantry entering Halle proper, thus being the second French command to cross the Saale river. Unfortunately, the “early” release of the entire Prussian Reserve Corps allowed them to march northward unimpeded while the French 1st then 2nd Infantry Divisions were delayed within the town walls of Halle. Small Prussian reinforcement (brigade size) fed into Halle proper, joined the hard pressed Prussian fusilier battalions and hold the French infantry in check. By containing the French in Halle, the bulk of the Prussian infantry and, more importantly their military trains and baggage, reaching the critical crossroads outside the Steinthor town gate without incident. At that point the French, except for two weak cavalry regiments, had little in the path of the massed Prussian northward movement and ability to prevent the exit of all Prussian trains. A Prussian victory was declared unlike the historical result.

Halle scenario map drawn to each map square is 12″ on tabletop or 600 yards (50 yds to inch scale).

French OOB with unit size (battalion. cavalry regiment or detachment, or battery / train). The Combat Morale Rating (CMR) on 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the highest rating.

Following is a quick WR report, using photos, of the OrcCon convention napoleonic Halle 1806 scenario game. Daniel, Don, and Alex had the French side. Braden and WR played the Prussian position. Each turn is 20 minutes and three turns per game scenario hour.

1000 hours: I Corps, 1st Division (GD Dupont) approaches the covered bridge causeway with I Corps light cavalry brigade under GB Tilly. 2nd Division lower left corner and Prussian Advance Guard (von Hinrichs) at bridge entrance.

Rest of Prussians rest in their encampment area under Reserve orders. They cannot move north past the Liepziger Turm without French commands actually crossing Saale river to eastern bank.

French 1st Division (Dupont) approaches the Prussian outposts (hussar detachment) while the other Prussian units slowly retire across the covered bridge causeway into Halle.

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