Thursday, 28 December 2017

Holiday time, let's roll some dice

Who doesn't love a holiday? We are having a 'staycation' this year over Christmas/New Year so I get a chance to play a few week day games.
Yesterday Paul (The Man Cave blog) and I decided to start the Chain of Command 29 Let's Go campaign. We have both played Chain of Command before but with an umpire helping us along. It's fair to say that we had only retained a basic understanding of the rules. The whole idea of starting this campaign is for us to work through the rules in our own time and get a better working understanding.
 I laid out the first map of the campaign (including the "slope rope"- which is what you get when you finish laying out terrain and notice the elevation change on the map). Paul was the Germans defending and delaying and I was the Americans probing forward. My objective was to get at least one unit off the left hand side of the table. Sounds easy in theory.
I managed to get two jump off points quite far across the table - about two thirds of the way to my goal. That may have been my problem. As I brought units onto the table they immediately came under fire from the entrenched German defenders. This lead me to having units bunched up in the centre of the table, under fire from three groups of defenders. Not good. I had a Sherman tank (played by a Chaffee in this episode) as Support, mis-read the deployment rules and brought it on the table too far forward. That's OK, Paul's off-board 88mms sent a high velocity hello screaming straight through my side armour and brewed it up. Bye bye Ronson.
My jump off point to the left, under fire from 3 defender units.
Overall, we had a rollicking good game and learnt a lot more about ChOC but still would not consider us experts. The book's layout is challenging and wording somewhat unclear but we will stick at it. In fact, since I lost we get to play this scenario again although this time I get more tanks for support. I must remember to bring them on at the back of the table. And away from those bloody 88s!
Today I was lucky enough to be invited by the father of Aled, one of my fellow Odinian gamers, to his place for a game of General d'Armee. This is another TFL production, this time grand battles in the Napoleonic era.
Dean (Aled's Dad) is a long time Napoleonic player and has a great collection of painted Peninsular figures. We have played General d'Armee together once previously and both enjoyed it. Today Dean and I played the French while Aled and our mate Phil were the stinky Spanish. We had two brigades of infantry and one of cavalry per side.
 Despite a slow start for both sides (just couldn't get the rolls needed to get the troops moving) we soon got into the action. My infantry brigades pushed forward, soon capturing the town in the centre of the table and putting pressure on the Spanish infantry's left flank. Dean then swept in from our right flank, crossed the river and smashed into the Spanish. Mayhem ensued with units dissolving before Aled and Phils' eyes. It looked like it was all over other than the cleaning up. We were mistaken. My absolutely atrocious rolling for any important result (anyone want a 1? I'm your man) combined with Aled's tenacious defence saw the battle swing back in the Spaniards favour. Phil led the Spanish cavalry, previously held in reserve, across the river and started smacking my right flank around. My left flank kept steadily advancing but my awful rolling frittered away a couple of chances. A re-roll wasn't enough to get my Infantry assault going. Fortunately my right flank managed to repulse the Spanish cav, despite the loss of a unit and the pushing back of our cavalry too.
The Spanish Cav pour over the bridge
It was all up to our infantry on the left. The drums beat, cries of Vive l'Empereur filled the air and the infantry columns crashed home into the Spaniards. The centre tussled but the sangria sippers held on. And then it happened, my leftmost unit routed a Spanish unit in melee and the Spanish right flank melted away. Victory to the French!
It was a great game, no one was assured victory until the very end. General d'Armee is a straightforwrd, quick playing set of rules with simple resolution of combat and clear results.
Dean's new wargames room got a big battle christening, we all had a laugh and it was a good day. Thanks Dean for hosting.
Well, so far, so good for my wargaming holiday. Still 4 days to go. who knows what war dolly madness I can get up to before going back to work.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful day gaming with you mate and, as always, looking forward to more. We even both got to christen new armies on the table too!

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