Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Rearguard at Dalian 1904 RJW using Blood Big Battles

This scenario, Rearguard (2) from Scenarios for Wargames, follows on from the successful Russian defense of Dalian.
The Russians have been ordered to evacuate Dalian and most of the Division has embarked leaving a regiment as rearguard. The Japanese have got wind of the withdrawal and have sent a brigade to capture the harbour.
The Rearguard map from Scenarios for Wargames
The table
The Terrain

All hills are steep sided - level 3 of Lijia Ridge is impassable
The streams are impassable to artillery except at bridges
Minquan, Shidiao and Fuguo are villages and each count as 1 Objective
Dalian Harbour is 2 villages and each one counts as 2 Objectives
The battlefield from Sinjan Hill
The Forces

The Russians have 12 Companies of 3 Bases and 2 Guns
The Japanese have 21 Companies of 3 Bases  and 4 Guns
Both sides are armed with repeating rifles and breach loading artillery
All troops are Trained.
The Japanese are not classed as Aggressive due to their kicking in the initial fight for Dalian.


There are 7 Objective points - the 3 villages (1) and Dalian Harbour (2x2) The game lasts for 8 turns 

The Game
The Japanese advance to Lijia Ridge

Mike, Rodge and myself were the Japanese. We had to deploy first and concentrated everything on Posu Ridge and Anjin Hill with the aim of punching straight through to Dalian

Lijia Ridge
The Russian Reserves

Dave N and Shaun were the Russians who deployed a token force on Lijia Ridge and the remainder as reserves between Minquan and Shidiao

In  order to secure the villages of Shidiao and Fuguo the Japanese push forward a battalion

Japanese troops approach Hongqi Hill
The fight for Hongqi Hill and Shidiao
A Japanese Company moves to secure Fuguo

The main attack was aimed at Lijia Ridge

The Japanese prepare to storm Lijia Ridge
The attack goes in.
The Russians get hammered on the ridge
The Japanese start to advance down Lijia Ridge to Minquan and Dalian
The Russian line crumbles under the Japanese pressure
Individual Russian companies attempt to hold Minquan and Shidiao
The Russian company hold Dalian is ordered to hold to the last by their Commanders
But on the last turn the Japanese get a foothold on the Harbour

The final tally for Objectives had the Japanese on 3 for the villages of Minquan, Shidiao and Fuguo and the Russians on 2 for half of Dalian Harbour - the other half being contested. So a less than minor victory to the Japanese with the Russian commanders having to abandon their Faberge Egg collection!

Another excellent scenario from Grant's book - going down to the wire. 

The Japanese Artillery failed to get into action due to miserable dice rolling but weren't really needed as their infantry were more than up for the job.

3 Base infantry units disappear very quickly especially with close range Repeating Rifle fire so I will try 4 Base units next time. 

And as for next time. With the Japanese capture of Dalian they can now start bringing in troops and supplies for the assault on Port Arthur. However will the Russians give up the Liaodong Peninsula and just sit in Port Arthur as they did historically? I doubt it.

The figures are all by Pendraken and the buildings  by Mura Miniatures

The terrain is all by Homebase - the hills and villages are the "luxury" £5 carpet tiles, reduced to £2.50 and the sea and streams are the sadly out of production Oxford Blue self adhesive vinyl tiles. I keep writing to them but they just ignore me. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Dalian 1904 RJW using Blood Big Battles

I've had a copy of C.S.Grant's Scenarios for Wargames for more years than I care to count but I've never ever played any of the scenarios. Last week I picked up the book and decided to do the first scenario - Positional Defense - using Bloody Big Battles (BBB) and my Russo-Japanese forces.

For fictitious games I like to have a bit of background as to why there is a battle so welcome to Dalian.
In the 1890s the Russians spent a fortune on building the port of Dalian situated on the north-east corner of the Liaodong Peninsula. Railway lines connected it north to Mukden and south to Port Arthur.

After the Russians were defeated at the battle of Nanshan they retreated directly to Port Arthur leaving the entire Liaodong Peninsula and Dalian wide open for the Japanese. They used the port as the main supply base for the siege of Port Arthur.

This scenario supposes that a Russian Division  retired on Dalian to deny it to the Japanese and to threaten their flank when they advanced to Port Arthur. In response the Japanese sent 2 Divisions to capture it.
Therefore the river now becomes Hand Bay. The built-up area "B" is Dalian and the woods become a kaoliang plantation. The game objectives are Dalian and Xiangu, and Redoubt C. All 3 positions are connected by rifle pits. There are also redoubts at 1 and 2.

The book lists the forces in terms of Horse and Musket armies - line & light infantry, light & heavy cavalry etc. So I did a simple conversion of 1 line infantry unit = 2x3 stand Infantry units and everything else, light inf, and cavalry, become 1x3 stand Infantry unit. Artillery converts on a one-to-one basis. for this game units represent battalions and batteries

This gives the Russians 11 infantry battalions and 4 batteries and the Japanese 20 battalions and 4 batteries.

In BBB terms both sides are armed with repeating rifles and breach loading artillery. . All troops are Trained and the Japanese are classed as aggressive. The redoubts are Entrenchments and the trenches are Rifle Pits.

The original scenario allows only light infantry to operate in the wood/kaoliang. For our first game it was treated as difficult going ie -1 to the command roll but this was way too easy for the Japanese to advance through. I changed it to -2 to the command roll for our second game which slowed them down quite a bit.

In the first game Mike and Shaun played the Japanese and Dave and I played the Russians.
Start of Game 1

The Japanese sent 10 battalions through the kaoliang, storming Redoubt C and rolling up the trench line whilst the the other half pined the Russians and then attacked and took Xiangu once the Russian left flank had gone.
Japanese forces form in column to enter the kaoliang fields
Russian defenders in Xiangu
The Russian line from Xiangu to Redoubt C

As the defender of Redoubt C I can lay the blame fairly and squarely on the firing dice - artillery completely missing a battalion in column at 3". The Japanese claimed victory with 2 objectives and a shattered Russian force.
Game 2 - the Russian line looking north from Redoubt C

In the second game  Rodge, Andy & I played the Japanese whilst Shaun and Steve played the Russians. As it was harder to advance through the kaoliang only 6 battalions were sent through, 3 battalions feinted against Dalian and the other 11 did a frontal assault between Xiangu and Redoubt C. This was a miserable failure for the Japanese.

The force in the kaoliang managed to get through but then suffered a turn of truly awesome defensive figure where the Russians could not roll under 9 for every shot leaving the Japanese in a complete  mess
The Japanese advance through the kaoliang fields...
... and emerge to storm of Russian bullets and shells

My feint against Dalian was incompetent. I deployed my guns at a range of 17" which turned out to be 22" so they were completely ineffective. I then decided to advance my 3 battalions into firing range of which only the first one rolled enough to move whilst the other two remained stationary. The Russians then rolled a 12 with 16 fire points on the advanced battalion destroying it completely.
The unimpressive feint

The frontal assault managed to overrun the rifle pits between Redoubt C and Xiangu  but then faltered seeing how ineffective it's flanking forces were.
The Japanese attack begins
The view from the Russian rifle pits
Advancing in column against trenches - what could possibly go wrong?
The assault goes in awash with smiley faces - yellow is disrupted & green is low on ammo
The Russians counter attack
The attack falters under heavy fire from the Russians in Xiangu
With the Russians victorious one of the Japanese commanders prepares to give a two fingered salute to the commander of Redoubt C

 This time a victory to the Russians for holding onto all 3 objectives.

Two good games based on a simple scenario with very different results partly due to dice rolling, partly to changing the effects of the kaoliang and ever so slightly due to my measuring abilities.

I enjoyed tying it in with our last RJW battle and am looking through the scenario book for the next game as the Japanese continue their advance on Port Arthur.

Once again BBB proved to be a great set of rules that give you the ability to tinker. The lads are very familiar with them now so I don't need to umpire. However given my showing in both games maybe I should stick to umpiring .

And the Emperor had promised me a holiday home if the Japanese captured Dalian

The figures are all by Pendraken

And I forgot to mention that we allowed columns to assault with the understanding that only the front rank could fire and melee and that they were classed as outflanked.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

FWC Bootcamp 2017

The 8th annual Future War Commander Bootcamp, a weekend of 6mm Sci-Fi scenarios, took place at the Tudor Arms in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, organised by the very efficient Mark

 There were 10 players this year including a contingent from Reading.

The first scenario is the traditional 1000 point Mad Max 2 themed Gastown where Hunter-Scavenger clans (that's Orks) each try to get their tanker into town to fill up. The game is pretty chaotic with 9 players all trying to avoid destruction due to mandatory assaults when within 15cm of the enemy and still meet the objective.
Gastown and it's lush surroundings - well that's what it says in the brochure.
Most of Gastown is underground.
One of the Scav Clans, David's, on their way to fill up
Rodge'sClan spent most of it's time blundering backwards
Graham's Clan which eventually won through no fault of Graham
My Clan's airforce -  Jagdstaffel 60 - known as Jasta Minute
Steve's Scavs overlook Gastown
Graham & Jon's troops clash
Gordon dropshipped his troops into the back of Dan's Clan
Rodge's tanker can't decide to whether to go forward or backwards
Jasta Minute returns to base after their tanker gets destroyed

An entertaining start to the weekend that saw Graham taking the honours and everyone else taking everyone else apart. 

We then went onto to play 1 v 1 2500 Point Encounter games. There were 5 worlds to play on.

Urban World - Steve's Kraytonians v Mark's Cyber Undead (Necrons)

Abandoned World -  Dan's Space Marines v Rodge's Pac-Fed Humans

Alien World - Mike's Eldar v Graham's I.K.E.A Droids

Ice World World -  Gordon's Imperial Guard  v Jon's Hunter Scavengers

Desert World  - David's Cybernetic Species X31 (Tau) v my Pax Arcadians
You manics - you blew it up
The Pax Arcs advance
The X31s advance 
We meet in the middle and start shooting
Quite a lot of shooting as neither army really likes close combat
David's army was beautifully painted - the models are Okami Combine by Onslaught Miniatures
Another shot of the X31s/Okami Combine/Tau

Sunday began  with our Holy Grail - the 1500 Point Stargate Scenario.  This is where two teams, each with a Home try to find the codes to the enemy's Home world which are scattered on 3 other worlds.

Black Team on the Ice world comprised Gordon, Graham, Mike, Rodge and Steve. Red Team on the Urban World consisted of Dan, David, Jon, Mark and myself.
Red Team's Space Marines form up to go through the gate on Urban World.
Red's Pax Arcs encounter a band of mercenaries on Alien World
On Desert World Black's 's Eldar, Pac-Feds, X31s AND Kraytonians attack Red's Red Guard and Pax Arcs - bring it on lads!
Black's Space Canadians(?) and  Red's Space Marines tough it out on Abandoned World.
Back on Desert World Black's Eldar assault Red's Pax Arc Mammoth tanks in the rear and fail thanks to Defensive fire and support from Red Guard infantry. 
Black's Space Canadians finally reach the Gate Code station on Abandoned World...
...but Red's Scav force comes to the aid of the Space Marines.

So 2 Home World codes apiece but Red controlled two of the three Outer Worlds and had broken Black's Kraytonian force. Therefore no outright winner but a major victory to Black Team in the Never-ending Stargate War

The final game on Sunday was the 1250 point Woken Furies scenario based on the book of the same name. This is a cooperative game  where the players have to clear a city of Mimints - nano-tech cyborgs or something like that. 

Mark runs this game and puts on an excellent show with superb scenery and models
Harlans World - New Hok
The Cleared Area
Jon's Scav Gargant poses for a photo whilst clearing the city
The team advances through the city
After a BBQ and a few beers the Pax Arcs decide to join in the fun
Some of the city's wildlife
Whilst Jon's Gargant kills a few architects (top right) the Pax Arcs prepare to blow away some Mimints

With the city having been cleared someone had killed enough Mimints to claim victory. It wasn't me as I only killed a blue furry thing that was a UN protect species but could rip a tank in half.

And that was the end of another cracking weekend of sci-fi gaming.

Thanks to Mark for setting it all up and thanks to everyone who played especially Dan, David and Jon for trekking down from Reading. 

This was probably Graham's last Bootcamp as he is off to Canada so he will be sorely missed.  

And after 8 years of playing the Pax Arcs, wonderful army that it is, I'm going to retire them and start a new FWC army (honest).