Fire & Fury - Game Report 6

The Battle of Brandywine Halt June 1862

Introduction

As a break from the "routine" wargames I decided to invite Kevin over for a game of Fire & Fury. I should say for the aficionados of the rule set. by way of Fire & Fury I do mean version 1 of the Brigade scale rules - which I purchased in 1994 and are still going strong. He had not played the game system before, however he is a very experienced wargamer and Fire & Fury are a very simple set of rules with which one cane become rapidly familiar with. The biggest challenge for him was to scale down from 28mm to 10mm figures!!

Scenario

The scenario I set up used a previous battlefield with some additional features. 

The black route on the terrain is the Virginia Central Railroad running from Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley. The railroad route, in this scenario, generally runs much East to West much further south than Brandywine. However, a few miles East it loops North and then runs East to West through Brandywine (as shown here) before dipping south again a few miles East to run Eastwards to Richmond. It is vital railroad to the Confederate cause as it brings supplies from the Valley and provides a means to send troops to the defence of the Valley.

General Kevin "Stonewall" Parry has been campaigning in the Valley and is aware of the vital significance of Brandywine, and he has gained intelligence form his spy, Theobold Aventure, that a Union Corps is advancing from the North East to seize and destroy the railroad at Brandywine. His mission is to seize Brandywine and destroy the Union Corps and to prevent it joining with General George B. McClellan outside Richmond.

The Union IX Corps General Colin "Ironside" Whittaker has been detached from the Army of Washington to seize Brandywine Junction, to destroy the railroad and any rebel supplies there, and then to reinforce General George B. McClellan.

The orbats were randomly generated. A vey nice and neat spreadsheet I downloaded as a resource in 1994 from the interweb, and which has stood the test of time to generate some really fun games. 

The Battle

The early movement saw both forces trying their best to move at speed to secure Brandywine. The Union were closer, but the Rebels had the advantage of the road. The Union's 1st Division is moving Willich's Bde into Brandywine, While Emory moves around the church on the right. Robinson has been deployed to protect the left flank. On the Right the 2nd Division is moving 2 Bdes forward, Marston on the left, Brandon on the right, to extend the line North. Parker's Bde remains in Divisional Reserve.

From the IX Corps Commander's position, looking down the road running westwards, he can see the dust as the Rebels advance. Specific targets are hidden by the low hill west of Brandywine. Ewell moved two his brigades to the North of the road aimed on the church and the woods to the North, meanwhile he sent two other brigades around the south side of Brandywine.

The threat to the left flank caused the 1st Division commander to send Robinson's Bde out to the left to block it, and he also called for another battery to deploy to provide fire support to Robinson.

Meanwhile Lidell's Bde manoeuvred to come into Brandywine from the South, and to try and outflank Willich's Bde which was in the process of deploying into Brandywine. Gibson's Bde has secured the stone wall in front of the church, while Jackson's Bde were delayed in deploying in support to their left. 

The Union's 2nd Division have almost completed their deployment to protect the right flank. While Jackson's Division have advanced through the woods and are readying themselves to attack.

Emory's Bde launched an attack against the stone wall but were thrown back. Both Jackson's Division and the Union 2nd Division, unleashed fearsome volleys and rapidly depleted ammunition stocks (the blue markers). One of Jackson's artillery batterys was forced to displace to the rear because of the fire it suffered from the Union artillery. One of Ewell's batterys was also forced to displace to the rear due to fire from Willich's Bde.

Robinson's Bde has successfully deployed to the flank and was now engaged in a firefight with Leventhorpe's Bde. 

Eventually Leventhorpe's Bde achieved fire dominance over Robinson inflicting severe casualties. Although Robinson's Bde depleted their fire in the firefight they came of very much second best!

The Union's 2nd Division at this stage seemed well placed and capable of holding its own. Marston's Bde is in the woods flanked on the left by Brandon, with Parker's Bde in depth in field column ready to provide support. However, Jackson's Division despite its profligacy in expending its ammunition is continuing its advance and trying to move around the Union right.

The battle over the Brandywine Church stone wall was fierce at one stage Emory threw the Rebels back to the top of the hill. However a fierce counterattack by Gibson's Bde forced Emory's Bde out off the churchyard. Meanwhile, on Emory's right in the wood, Marston's Bde has been overran and destroyed by Jackson's Bde fierce attack, which has almost taken them into contact with the retreating Emory.

While Marston was unsuccessfully trying to hold the wood the Union 2nd Division Commander ordered Parker's Bde column forward to counterattack. They failed and were eventually driven back. At this stage the Union commander decided that it was in his best interests to start withdrawing his line.

On the left Leventhorpe seized the opportunity of the reduced fire from Robinson's Bde to attack. Robinson's green troops fled to the rear in despair from the attack. This exposed the artillery battery which was overran and captured by Leventhorpe's equally green troops. This attack drove the Union left back and exposed their left flank to attack. The Union Corps Commander at this stage passed the orders for the Corps to retire. 

Outcome

A great game with a decisive Confederate victory.

Losses:






Bolt Action - Game Report 16

Point Defence – Operation Asset Strip Phase II Feb 1945

Introduction

With time to spare it was on to game 2. This time we rolled for Scenario 9 – Point Defence, with the Soviet’s attacking.

Situation

NKVD weapons intelligence teams decided after examining the equipment recovered that the entire airfield should be rapidly be captured to determine what further high value technology could be seized. Given the experience gained in his first battle, and intimate knowledge of the battlefield, Junior Lieutenant Boris Magovich was given command of the initial phase of the operation.

Enemy Forces

Overnight patrols detected that the Germans had reinforced the position with lower quality troops. There was no sign of the Flakpanzer, but a captured prisoner reported under interrogation that a Sturmtiger was present on the airbase and under command of Hauptmann Holz.

Friendly Forces

The same forces were made available to Megovich. Additionally, the Regimental artillery officer promised support from the divisional batteries.

Mission

2 Pl is to seize the regimental initial objectives in order to seize and occupy the airbase for technology exploitation.

Battle Report

The preparatory bombardment arrived as promised. Megovich’s forces advanced in a single wave under cover of the bombardment.

The T34 commanded by Sgt Vasilov, advanced cautiously, and spotted the Sturmtiger before they even knew their were Soviet's attacking. His gunner acquired the target and centred the sight reticules on the bulky vehicle and pulled the trigger. There was a direct hit with penetration. Smoke could be seen coming from the hatches and shortly later the crew abandoned the vehicle. The road was now clear to exploit this victory.

On the right flank the scout squad which had deployed well forward over night, launched an attack against the house. It had been occupied by a mortar spotter who was killed during the assault. The scout squad then started to put heavy and very effective close-range fire on the Germans in the field.

The Soviets achieved fire dominance over the Germans using the supporting fire from the T34, the Zis-3 and the regimental howitzer battery. This effectively destroyed three German units leaving the wat open for the Infantry to move forward unopposed to secure the middle objective. On the right the scout squad assaulted the mortar and seized the right flank objective.

Outcome

A victory for the Soviets, who were able to recover a significant amount of technology to advance the development of their own jet aircraft.

Bolt Action - Game Report 15

Top Secret – Operation Asset Strip Phase I Feb 1945

Introduction

Reading the Entoyment Bolt Action Facebook group on Tuesday I noted that Josh was seeking a game. His wife wanted him out of the house while he she was decorating – what a wife! I jumped at the opportunity to get the Soviets on the table. On a random roll the first battle was Scenario 5 – Top Secret.

Situation

The end-game is approaching. All allies saw the opportunity to asset strip Germany of its technological resources. In Eastern Germany the NKVD had learnt of a secret airfield where highly advanced technology was being developed. An operation was planned to recover this before it was destroyed or fell into the Western Allies hands.

Enemy Forces

Early intelligence reports failed to predict the size of forces the Germans would be able to throw together to defend the airfield and the technology. After action reports from prisoner interrogation was that Hauptmann Josh Holz (aka Wood) had assembled a strong force of infantry with automatic weapons with mortar support. He had also obtained a highly experimental mobile anti-aircraft weapon system, the like of which we had not seen before; the Flakpanzer Coelian.

Friendly Forces

Junior Lieutenant Boris Magovich commanding 2nd Pl, 4th Coy, 1075 Rifle Regt was given command of the operation to recover the equipment. He had three sections of his own platoon, one of which was drawn from the regimental reserves and very inexperienced. He had artillery support from an observer and a ZIS-3 from the regimental gun battery, a sniper and three anti tank teams. He was also provided with scouts from the scout company and a T34-76 and tank riders to provide desant capabilities.

Mission

2Pl is to secure the equipment package and return it safely to our own lines.

Battle Report

There was a great deal of confusion because the operation was put together in such haste. Many of the troops lost their way and were late to arrive for the operation. However, the T34 with its tank riders on board advanced rapidly, flanked by the stream, to the windmill. This placed the tank riders within spitting distance of the package. In support one of the platoon’s infantry sections were moving up in support. On the right the green infantry section also found its way to the battle, even if the artillery observer with his map and radio got lost on the way!

The tank riders ran forward to seize the package, and 2 of the 7 men managed to survive the hail of German machine gun fire. These Heroes of the Soviet Union then seized the initiative and their opportunity to run for their life with the package to the rear. The T34 and the infantry section led by Junior Lieutenant Boris provided excellent support to cover the tank riders retreat. On the right the reserve infantry section were seriously mauled and pinned down by the Flakpanzer.

At this stage the Germans were getting desperate to recover the package. They recklessly pushed their troops forward to stop the tank riders leaving with the swag!

Fortunately, the late arrival of the other infantry section and the scout team managed to see off this vain attempt to stop the tank riders that came from the German right flank. As the tank riders were leaving the battlefield, the Flakpanzer’s engine was heard to rev up and start to advance in attempt to mow down the tank riders. The targeting system was thrown awry and instead of engaging the Soviet troops the Flakpanzer engaged its own forces in a terrible blue-on-blue disaster.

Outcome

A victory for the Soviet forces.

ADLG - Game Report 58

Early Imperial Roman(85) vs Catalan Company (262)

On to the main event. A suggested in the previous ADLG report I had used a game to refine an order of battle that would be a good test for Paul’s Catalans as he prepared for the tournament in Rome. My main response to the previous game with Richard was to upgrade my Auxilia to medium elite impact armoured infantry – let’s see what the Almogavar’s can do against them.

Well the first issue was that if I hadn’t have got lucky with repositioning the terrain, rolling a six, the entire centre of the table would have been difficult or rough terrain. As it is I have placed my cavalry on the left to contain and annoy the knights, the legionnaires would hold in the centre and my main effort would be on the right with the powerful auxilia.

After making a similar mistake to the one I made in my previous game with my cavalry, I was soon down a cavalry unit. On the right my Auxilia archers are trying to hold the “gully”. In the centre I have broken some legionnaires off to support the flank of the auxilia.

At this stage I had managed to recover some of the cavalry after containing the Catalan right, the others retreated into the depth of the Catalan position. On my right the fight in the gully seems to be going the way of the Catalans. In the centre, however, despite the loss of a unit my position looks a lot more tenable.

There is every opportunity for me to destroy at least three Almogavars next turn, with the potential to roll out left and right from the centre.

Alas, it was not to be. In each of the critical combats in the centre I rolled ones or twos and even with their eliteness it didn’t help, because the Catalans were rolling fours or better!

Outcome

From Paul’s perspective it was a good fight marred by some of my atrocious combat rolls. I went down losing 20 to Paul’s 15.

Lessons Learnt

  • I missed an opportunity to protect my right flank and seize the gully with an ambush.
  • We had a very awkward rule resolution to resolve caused by sliding into contact and then failure to conform, but which was resolved amicably after much page turning.
  • I need to stop making the same mistake, of exposing cavalry rear or flank attacks.
  • Note to self: retire the white dice!
  • Fire & Fury - Game Report 6

    The Battle of Brandywine Halt June 1862 Introduction As a break from the "routine" wargames I decided to invite Kevin over for a g...