Calore River 1943 revisited

Last time WR’s Calore River crossing 1943 scenario was played the Germans eked out a narrow victory. For the Orccon 2017 convention, Daniel (WR’s son) wanted to run the same scenario since he missed the first game. Joined by FOW veteran Bruce, teamed with young Jesse, the scenario replay was hard-fought for ten turns. In the end, a new victor, American or German was determined, but the reader will have to read the AAR… or just scroll down to the final scene.

Scenario starts with the deployment of both sides (FOW meeting engagement mission basically, alternating platoon placement) and the Americans have first move. This is important for the German player to notice and plan his deployment carefully, knowing his exposed platoons will receive immediate American firepower after the American movement step is completed.

Full table with both sides deployment. Germans on left, Americans on right with first movement. Table is 6′ x 8′

A quick recap of the American and German platoons involved in the scenario before the AAR narrative. All the American platoons start on the tabletop, two of the vehicle German platoons are reserves and will arrive on turn two. Specific deployment zone bands are described in the scenario notes file. For a complete scenario background and scenario notes, click on this link: Calore River crossing 1943.  Continue reading

Strategicon – OrcCon 2017

Catching up with the recent gaming activities for WR. First is a quick report on the  Strategicon – OrcCon convention held every President’s Day weekend near LAX (Los Angeles airport). WR and his son Daniel GM’d two scenario games during the OrcCon convention. A Flames of War 20mm Salerno 1943 game and a small French Republican scenario called the Battle of Gaza 1799. Historically, the Gaza battle was a minor action but General Bonaparte made a bulletin mention of his “victory” so WR made his unusual scenario.

Calore River Crossing – Salerno 1943 Flames of War 20mm scenario run by Daniel (son of WR). Some teasing photos pending the full WR write-up on this hard-fought battle.

Calore River crossing – Salerno 1943 HMGS-PSW — Sat 11 am — Flames of War 20mm GM: Daniel Verity. Salerno – Calore River crossing 1943 Flames of War 20mm scenario based upon the efforts of 2nd Battalion, 179th RCT to advance across Calore river, block German access to Highway 19 near Serre, and link up with rest of their 179th RCT taking a different route towards Ponte-Sele and Serre. All gamers welcome. [Copied from the Orccon program book]

Calore River crossing 1943 scenario at start. A hard-fought tabletop action had four players enjoying the afternoon. Americans at right with first move, their German opponents at left.

Mid game with the arrival of the German StuG III armor. The red markers dotting the tabletop denote casualties on both sides.

Battle of Gaza 1799 run by WR. Having played this scenario years ago, the French and Levant Ottomans are facing off again. Will the Levant Ottomans win this time and repulse the French coastal advance towards Arce? This scenario went the distance with both sides having success and failures. Full WR report with photos to follow soon.

Battle of Gaza 1799 French vs. Ottomans – HMGS-PSW — Sun 11 am — Napoleonics 28mm GM: Michael Verity. Fun scenario with the French Armee d’Orient, under General Bonaparte, marching towards Gaza (Acre) and encountering portions of the Ottoman army of Damascus, under Jezzar Pasha, defending the sandy coastal hills. All gamers welcome, experienced or inexperienced.

A turn or two completed, the French arrival triggers some Levant Ottoman cavalry to advance and slow the French infantry columns and screening cavalry.

Battle in full swing about mid game, the Mameluke cavalry lines up to charge home. Sharp swords gleam in the sunlight. French heads to lop off…..

During the convention live gaming hours, WR made quick walk around trips to see the nearby miniature tables. Photos taken and brief game photo description of the action posted below. Continue reading

Ordeal of 179th RCT AAR

WR’s Flames of War (FOW) 20mm scenario written AAR from the recently played “Ordeal of the 179th RCT” Strategicon Gateway convention. This scenario covers the fighting between the 179th (Tomahawks) RCT of 45th (Thunderbird) Division, and the Kampfgruppe Ulrich formed from elements of 29th Panzer Grenadier (Falcon) Division and 29th PzGrenadier Division Aufklarung (Recon) battalion, on September 11, 1943, during the early days of the Salerno invasion.

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Grand view of the “Ordeal of 179th” Salerno 1943 scenario tabletop from Persano (western) end of table (west) towards the Ponte-Sele and Serre low heights (eastern sector) in distance.

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Eastern table shows German starting control of the Ponte-Sele to Serre heights. American lead Rifle platoon in center crop field behind hedge. JU 87 does a fly by….. for now.

Ordeal of the 179th RCT scenario notes (.doc) file below has complete OOB, scenario rules, deployment, reinforcement arrival, weather, terrain notes, and victory conditions:

Ordeal of 179th RCT scenario-notes

Scenario historical background material posted on WR in previous post link:: Ordeal of 179th RCT.

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Ordeal of the 179th RCT scenario map. Shows the Persano table zone, the eastern Ponte-Sele zone, and the joining transit (yellow) zone linking movement between the two battlefields.

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FOW Valmontone 1944 revisit

A first for WR’s son Daniel. Daniel ran his first convention scenario at Strategicon-GAMEX over the Memorial Day weekend (sunday). Basic and proven Flames of War 20mm action, the Valmontone Italy 1944 scenario has been played several times between WR and Daniel. Set during the Anzio breakout battles before the entrance of the Allies into Rome, the scenario has the US. 3rd Infantry Division against the tough opponents of the Herman Goring Division.

Scenario map for Valmontone Italy 1944. Each square is 1 foot for 6'x4' tabletop.

Scenario map for Valmontone Italy 1944. Each square is 1 foot for 6’x4′ tabletop.

Scenario notes and Allied or German forces has been covered in a previous WR post Valmontone 1944.  A previous Valmontone 1944 after action report can be read for a comparison of the basic scenario action. Valmontone 1944 AAR

For the convention scenario game. Daniel made two changes to the tabletop terrain and forces involved. He added one additional M4 Sherman platoon (5xM4) to the American roster and expanded the table width to 8 feet from the basic 6 foot set up. The expanded table width is common for WR’s FOW 20mm scenarios due to the increase 20mm base footprint on the tabletop (+25% adjustment for scenario width). The German entrance points along the Highway 6 were adjusted for the increased table width.

Before the narrative, a quick review of the American and German force deployment. For the Americans, the weight of the assault was placed on the right half of the table. Both M4 Sherman platoons, the M3 Stuart platoon (or M5), the armored rifle platoon in their M3 halftracks and the assault reinforced rifle platoon (in the vineyard). An observer from the M7 Priest battery (center table near back edge) joined the American Company HQ command group in the vineyard building. The remaining reinforced rifle platoon entered the central woods to hold the flank and threaten the German controlled center road junction objective.

The German deployment, completed before any American forces were placed, forced them to cover Highway 6 with interlocking fire zones. With both American objectives placed on Highway 6, one panzer grenadier platoon directly defended their placement, supported by the Pak40 75mm platoon with their anti-tank cannon and the German company HQ. On the German right the other HG panzer pioneer platoon, the NW41 Nebelwerfer rocket battery (6) and the heavy AA 88mm battery (2 cannon). Lastly, on their left, sort of by themselves, the Wespe artillery battery behind the tall hedge. Off table and placed in reserves, the StuG III assault platoon (3) and the mixed Panzer III / IV platoon (4), rolled to arrive each turn at either Highway entrance point 12″ from table edge. Unlike most American or German match-ups, both sides for this scenario are rated confident veteran.

With only six scenario turns, the American platoons must advance quickly across the Italian countryside. No time to sit back and shell the German positions to soften them up. Turn one has the American armor platoons race ahead across the tabletop followed by their armored infantry rifle platoon. The M7 Priest battery ranges in and shells the objective position on Highway 6, covering the German panzer grenadiers and their Pak40 A/T platoon under bombardment. The two American infantry platoons advance forward into the vineyard and central woods respectfully. In the shooting phase, the American tanks opened fire on the concealed Wespe platoon behind the hedge. Three of the Wespe armored 105mm vehicles quickly become burning torches but passed their morale test. Germans mostly stayed low in their prepared foxhole positions during their turn. The Pak40 75mm platoon drew quick blood, brewing up one M4 Sherman. Another Sherman quickly brewed up alongside from the distant 88mm battery zeroing in. No German reserves arrive.

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Turn one completed. American opening flank movement with massed tanks, M3 halftrack rifle platoon, and two rifle platoons enter the central woods or vineyard. M7 Priests shell the objective road junction as the American tanks brew up the German Wespe platoon..

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Alcolea 1808 revisited AAR

Alcolea 1808 is an interest small scenario far from the typical napoleonic battle played by the majority of napoleonic miniature gamers. Different from the norm of two sides, lined up facing each other, in that one side (the French) has a mixed collection of grab bag units, good overall in combative power and morale, marching along a dusty Spanish road towards Cordova. The other side is a rag-tag group of poorly armed, recently pressed, civilians with some Spanish regulars for backbone.

The initial scenario deployment has the Spanish in three groups; at the river stone bridge crossing, another group standing well behind the bridge defenders position hoping that they won’t be involved, and across a river, on the French side, they watch the French march across their front from a low hill. The French, for their part, are stung out marching in their road columns towards the Spanish defended bridge. Unit for unit, the French are superior, generally disciplined, and have four provisional cavalry regiments. The Spanish, except for the small number of regulars at the river bridge crossing, are mostly poorly armed civilians, some with muskets or firearms, others with pikes or farm tools. Their cavalry is two groups of collected squadrons from different regiments. The armed civilians cannot even form squares against the French cavalry, a scenario ripe for Spanish disaster when four provisional French cavalry regiments are present on the battlefield. The French need to march and assault fast…. sending the Spanish army morale “into the river” in quick order. Cordova is their target for the evening looting festivities. The scenario question is can the Spanish hold them up, prevent the sacking of Cordova that night, and maybe change history. But… if no sacking of Cordova occurs, would the Spanish be so outraged which led directly to the Baylen campaign next month and the Dupont surrender. A pondered question but for now the present scenario narrative commences.

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The initial deployments. French on the road in their marching columns. Spanish river bridge defense and the cross river hill position. The other Spanish command is off lower right of picture.

Scenario design and additional information found on WR’s Alcolea 1808 post. In addition there is another previous Alcolea 1808 AAR written about this scenario battle with a different flow of activity and result.

After some French player discussion, Paul and Daniel elected to storm the river defenses and just screen off the low hill Spanish levy defender. Easy to do with a few cavalry regiments since the Spanish levy battalions across the river, on the low hill position, has almost no defense from the sharp charging swords of the French provisional cavalry. They cannot form square formation and half the miniatures don’t even have a firearm to shoot at the French. Eric and WR played the poor Spanish basically without a plan since they basically react to the French assault. Both Paul and Eric are new to the game rules and systems of play and generally easy to pick up on the march so to speak. Paul while marching into the Spanish musketry, Eric hoping that the French stay away…. while hearing the Spanish levy knees knocking out of unison.

Scenario starts with the French infantry charging over the bridge. Column battalion formations, marching in step, over the bridge hump, and into the Spanish cannon fire. The Spanish skirmisher screen popping off a few musket balls too. Opening dice throws… French bodies fall rapidly on the bridge, the leading French General of Brigade Pannetier himself is hit and rolled to be mortal. Spanish player morale notches up. Continue reading

Strategicon – Gamex 2016 convention

Last weekend WR and his son Daniel GM’d two historical scenario games at Strategicon – GAMEX Los Angeles regional convention. The southern California Strategicon group runs three regional multi-day conventions every year on different weekends: OrcCon on President’s Day weekend, Gamex on Memorial Day weekend, and Gateway on Labor Day weekend (Strategicon). Each convention has the full slate of games offering board games, card games, miniatures (historical and fantasy), roleplaying, collectables, and computer based games. Link to PEL copy: Gamex 2016 files

Gamex 2016 Book cover

Strategicon – Gamex YR2016 booklet covering the entire convention events. See link for .pdf copy.

Historical Miniature Gaming Society – Pacific SouthWest chapter (HMGS-PSW) sponsors and recruits local gamers to run their miniature games at Strategicon every year. This year the selection of games covered ancient times to the near modern era. During the convention on Saturday and Sunday, WR had brief moments during his own convention scenarios to quickly walk about the miniatures gaming room and photograph some of the games while in progress. Continue reading