Sunday, March 23, 2014

War of 1812 Attack on Ft. Erie

My good friend Bob (who's a painting machine) wanted to put on a large War of 1812 game at the Hotlead gaming convention this past weekend. Because the historic attack on the fort in 1814 was quite large even Bob had to scale it back a bit. He focused his attack just on the main fort position. His figure size used was 15mm. The scale for the scenario was 1 figure = 1 man. Yup. The fort had 500 US figures in it while the British attack was with 1500 figures. A battalion leading the attack from 2 different sides.
There were 5 players representing the British forces and 3 representing the US forces.
The battalion companies are lined up in 3 columns of companies on opposite sides of the fort.
3 British companies attempt an attack at the main gate.

The attack begins. The roofs of the 2 buildings were removed for figure access. The far side of the fort another British battalion is attacking at the same time.
 The British attack from the  east (photo above) came in at 2 points. the Far left 3 companies take a tremendous beating for some ships that were off table. The remaining battalion companies with siege ladders in hand make a rush for the redoubt on the right.
The west end attack takes shape. Skirmishers approach the fort.

The attack from the west is making progress. The left redoubt has been captured. This is the same redoubt that historically exploded (magazine) and stopped cold the British attack.
One of the eastern redoubts is captured.
A view looking further back.
The western attack has now made it into the right side redoubt.
The eastern end attack follows suit with capturing the second redoubt on their front.
A bird's eye view. All 4 redoubts have been captured.
After 3 hours of play the game was called to a conclusion with a British victory. With all 4 redoubts captured it would have been very difficult for the Americans to hold onto the fort. Casualties were heavy on both sides. The Americans were fast approaching 50%. Of the 2 British battalions attacking the number of casualties amounted to about 3 1/2 companies of men. Historically the British attack was somewhat different with only one attacking force on the fort while a second one tried to approach from the far end of the dug in American position. The British did manage to get into the eastern redoubt but a magazine explosion stopped them cold and killed their General. At the opposite side of the American position another British attack attempted to wade around a gun battery and got caught out in the open.
The rules used were house rules and designed for quick playability at conventions. They did cover melee, terrain, moral, and artillery.
The overall response for the players was a very enjoyable game. I suggested to Bob that next one he has at this scale to use movement trays for the figures. This would speed up the game further.

Hotlead 2014

I had the opportunity to attend Hotlead 2014 gaming convention in Stratford Ontario this past weekend. It's substantially smaller than Coldwars and would classify it as a regional gaming convention in one large ballroom in a hotel. I went along with my friend Bob, yes crazy Bob to help him set up his game. He needed the help having such a large game scale ratio. I'll do a separate posting on his game.
The flea market was great. Many an opportunity to acquire some heavily discounted gaming materials there. Being only at the convention for the AM on Saturday I only managed to capture a few photos of some the more notable games being presented.
A beautiful terrain board for some WW2 action.
One of the most eye appealing games was a WW2 skirmish game in 20mm. I believe it was German vs Brit. Because of the hilly terrain I'd place this one in Italy.
The German OOB for the WW2 Skirmish game.
I didn't see much action in this game mind you I was helping Bob with his large game.
WW2 D-Day landing game. US vs German, 28mm
The D-Day landing game in 28mm had beautiful terrain. I believe the rules being used were Bolt Action.
G.I.'s approach the sea wall. A Sherman makes it across.
A view from the German side. Pillbox and machine gun nests slow down the US forces.
A view from the other side of the table. A very detailed village awaits combat!
28mm is fast becoming the scale for WW2 skirmish.
Another WW2 Skirmish game. It looks like a meeting engagement.
A view from the Allied side.
British forces look like they've come across overwhelming enemy forces.
All eras were present.
A large ancients battle underway.
A shield wall meets pikes.

I think I'll have to make Hotlead an annual event for me. Very reasonable cost to get it for the day $15, and it's not too far from home.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Coldwars 2014

I, with a few friends just came back from Coldwars gaming convention in Lancaster PA. Here's a few photos of some of the games that went on.
An ACW game, Fox Gap, 15mm Regimental Fire and Fury.
Another ACW game
Some kind of winter battle game in 15mm. Company B Aerosans.
25mm ACW game about to start.
A 25mm Alamo game. This was a very popular one that had over a dozen people playing it.
A 15mm Vietnam game I played in. The objective was for a French convoy to make it from one end of the table to the other end. The Viet Minh had something to say about that.
The convoy moves off. Lots of firepower. River craft, tanks, armoured recon, off board artillery, and aircraft.
The Viet Minh spring an ambush. The convoy starts to get shot up.
Red disrupted markers everywhere. The French loose this one. The rules used were a variant of Battlefront. I found them too detailed for a convention. The French were handicapped with limited airpower and off board artillery. If we were allowed to use these forces with bombardments and strikes in suspected areas the outcome would have been different.
A multi table D-Day Pegasus bridge game in 25mm.
The attack on the lift bridge starts.
A 25mm WW1 Western front trench game.
The Germans wait for the French attack.
Another 15mm Alamo game. The Mexican attack is about to begin. BLOODY DAWN rules for Blue Moon 15mm figures.
The Mexicans rush the walls.
775 28mm Zombies hordes waiting to attack! 
The squads of vigilantes waiting for the swarm. I would have wanted to play this one but was committed to another one.
And another game I participated in. A hack and slash game of an English army against a large Viking raid in 28mm.

The Vikings approach.
A view from the opposite side.
John was busy with holding back the Vikings. He did a great job too!
My Knights attempt a charge on the Viking wall.
One of the beautifully painted Knights on the table.
And last the Dealer hall where your wallet will grow thin quickly.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Advance and take that Normandy village!

Our group decided to do a WW2 skirmish game. A small scale, 1 figure = 1 man type of game. Very little armour. The scenario was a supported Canadian force moving on a Normandy village. We had the opportunity to play this as a double blind game with a ref watching all plotted off board moves. When opposing sides came within sight of each other they were placed on the table. The Canadian force consisted of 2 platoons of infantry supported by 2 Sherman M4A1's, a Daimler scout car, and a mechanized mortar section (universal carriers). The German forces are unknown.
The shelled out Normandy village.
The Canadian forces decided to split into to flanking forces. The left force had the benefit of the 2 Shermans while the right force had the scout car and the mortar section.
The left force advances across a field. Infantry spread out to minimize artillery strikes. The right force is moving up the other side of the road but hasn't been seen by the enemy yet and therefore not placed on the table.
The left force proceeds across the field. No Germans in sight yet.
Still quiet.
The Canadians are becoming too confident. No enemy in sight.
A German squad with a supporting MG34 opens up on the the Canadian flank. Once Canadian squad manages to pull back with one casualty while the other leading squad gets pinned down and annihilated. Only one soldier escapes!
Counter attack. The German squad has bugged out.
With the help of some HE fire from one of the Shermans the German squad on the Canadian flank is forced to pull back. The Germans did manage to slow down this Canadian platoon with minimal losses.
Hidden armour.
 While the left forces was struggling with the German flank attack the Germans moved a Mk IV into a building and started to engage the 2 Shermans.
View from the other side.

View of from the Canadian side of a well hidden Mk IV tank.

The mortars manage to place down a smoke screen to hide the Shermans. This forces the Mk IV out of the building. Meanwhile on the right side of the road the right force makes it to the church.
Backing out of the house.

Caught a German mortar in a nearby field.
The German mortar crew got caught in the open and paid the price.

Canadian infantry make it to the church but can't move any further.

The scout car falls victim to a lucky mortar round.
With the scout car knocked out the Germans decide to go on the offensive and run their Sd. Kfz 251 halftrack down the road to engage the stalled Canadian infantry.

What's that down the road?
One of the Shermans reversed it's course in the field and decided to move down the road. It managed to take a shot at the German halftrack  but missed. It was at this time that the Canadian forces realized that they'd need more help in taking the village and decided to pull back.

The game ended with a German tactical victory.

The rules used are home grown. As mentioned the scale is 1 fig = 1 man, 1 vehicle = 1 vehicle.