Monday, September 29, 2014

France, 1914, The Finish

Just what the Germans needed, the Initiative! Their 77s miss the French Artillery, but score a hit on the Hotchkiss MMG, one of the crew is KIA while a Shaken is placed on the other. Fire brought to bear on the few remaining Poilu in the field, results in x2 KIA and x2 additional Shaken (top center). The Germans have withstood the French assault! Only to emphasize this, x1 of the two remaining Frenchmen at the farmhouse goes down as well!
French return fire completely misses everything as the surivors are ordered to withdraw:

The British are marginally more fortunate, as the Germans gain a total of x1 KIA, x2 Shaken, and x2 Pinned.
The Brits have x13 shots in the woods alone but continue their dreadful rolling and score x1 Shaken. x2 Tommies do engage x1 German in melee, and both lose one (center):
Germans win initiative again! This time (finally one might say) they smash a French 75mm (just off picture lower right). The real damage is in the field and farmhouse. x2 remaining Poilu go down leaving one shaken Frenchman left in the field (right of center). The reserve company does strike back (bottom of photo), and gets x2 KIAs. The French order a retreat!
The Germans reinforce Gamappe (buidling right of center) but their fire is ineffective. 
The German MMG at the edge of Gemappe (top left) is much more effective. Along with some supporting rifle fire, they inflict x6 KIAs (all at the left flank of the British line, left of center photo). British return fire and get x3 KIAs (also at the left of woods), x1 Shaken and x1 Pinned. Perhaps it is enough to keep the Hun at bay, as the British High Command has ordered a withdrawal as well.
Now of course the Allies win the initiative! The Brits leave the Germans a parting shot which gets one more Shaken in the woods. 
At least they can retire relatively unharmed. 
The only casaulty this final round is the lone Shaken Poilu in the middle of a field. The Germans don't let him escape, and yet another casualty soaks that bloody field!
The carnage comes to an end. Total casualties:
                "left battlefield"  Lightly wounded  Moderate Wound  Serious wound   Dead          Total
French:               15                       4                               11                       9               23               62

British:                 5                       11                               8                       4               17               45

German:              10                       8                               14                      14              27              73

Little explanantion about casualties/morale. I simplified my rules years ago to include morale within the combat rolls. I always believed morale in games was vital, but I hated the time figuring different positive/negative modifiers. Hence the catagory above 'left battlefield". We don't roll morale in game. If we were playing a campaign, all casualties would have arrived at their command center/aid station, where they would be "recycled". It has worked remarkably well. So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed it. Leave and questions and/or comments and I will respond as quickly as I can. 
Next up: Admiral Seymore's Relief column on the train route from Tientsin to Peking, 1900! Boxers galore!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

France, 1914, The Battle, Part IV

France gets the initiative and charges the fence! x3 Poilu and x2 Germans go down, but they've done it... they reached the position! French fire add x2 more KIAs but the 75s miss. Germans next add x2 KIAs and a Shaken at the farm and x1 KIA and another Pin against the charge. All 77s miss. German artillery has been tottally absent!

The Germans next turn their attention to the Brits and a melee in a Gemappe building with x4 German and x2 Brit leaves both Tommies down with x1 German. In the street x1 more Brit becomes a casualty. Next it's the survivor of the brave charge that goes KIA and in the melee woods, between x5 German and x2 Brits, both Tommies are lost with x1 German. The woods have been taken! But the British don't give in quite yet. A counterattack goes in and they get x2 KIA and x1 Shaken. On the Gemappe streets, both British fires go wide
Viva la France! The French keep the initiative!! And their 75s finally score, destroying a 77mm!
South of Villiers, one Poilu actually jumps the fence...only to be cut down in melee! (There he is, right of center) with the famous red pants) They down x3 more of the Huns. German artillery again misses everything (Someone will catch hell!) and they miss all French at the farm. x2 German survivors at the fence fall back. Is the tide turning? 
In Gemappe, the Germans engage the final two Tommies on the street in melee, and dispatch both! Finally, a British company has waited patiently inside some houses (have removed top floors) and now opens up on the Germans in the street and gets x2 KIAs(can see a second British company retiring from the l-shaped building, as HQ has decreed a fallback): 

In the woods, Germans score a KIA, Shaken and Pin but then the British counterattack drops two Germans. Finally two Tommie companies west of the wood get x10 shots, on target with x5 and get x4 KIAs! They may have stabilized the sector once more.
Looks like it is almost done, stayed tuned for the finish.

Friday, September 26, 2014

France, 1914, Part III

With the Germans winning inititive they were able to bring punishing fire down on the French advancing against them, Even when an entire company failed to score any hits at long range, the Germans still managed to inflict x7 KIA and x1 additional Shaken! The first wave of the French was destroyed! French return fire did drop x3 Germans as well as a Pin, then a French 75mm ranged in on the German MMG on the hill and killed one and put a Shaken on another (right-center of photo):
The Germans missed hitting any British in Gemappe (can see the three Brits and Germans on the main street, blasting away) , but scored x1 KIA in the fighting west of Gemappe (poor shooting here) but the MMG did score hits on the unfortunate British Cavalry (lower-right of photo), scoring x2 KIAs and x1 Shaken. Despite both 18lbers missing their target, the British MMG and Infantry in the woods, brought down x5 Germans between the woods and Gemappe ! East of Gemappe, British troops had taken to the upper floors (that's them on the roof at center of photo) and scored x2 further kills on the German company advancing to the east of Gemappe:
Fortunately for the French they win inititive and continue the attack of the second wave. In the fields south of Villiers, the 75mm smashes the MMG on the hill plus another rifleman (right of center). They then add x2 additional KIAs, x1 Shaken and x1 Pin. "viva la France is heard, as the poilus charge forward! German retribution is severe however. SW of Villiers, German reinforcements (inc MMG) get x2 KIAs and x1 Shaken (viewed screened by farmhouse left of center), while back in the field south of Villiers, they inflict x4 KIAs! (about center) 
On the British front, the tommies in Gemmape, drop one German east of town and finish off the German rifleman in the town itself. In the woods and west of Gemappe, the Germans lose x3 more KIAs! Tough round for the Germans! It gets worse as their return fire only results in x1 KIA, x2 Shaken and x4 Pinned:

The Germans win the inititive and start on the French, inflicting x5 KIAs and an additional Shaken, but still the poilu press on! Viva la France!
The French 75 now score, creating x2 casualties on the German line (see right of center along fence above, or upper right below)
Over against the Tommies, things don't go well. Although x2 casualties are inflicted on the British inside the buildings on the eastern edge of Gemappe against x2 German, only one other KIA is achieved. The British at one point rolling excellent defensive rolls. The men of the BEF don't take advantage however, and the poor rolls continue resulting in x1 Shaken and x2 Pinned! In another melee west of the woods involoving x4 Brits and x2 Germans, x2 tommies go down to only x1 German! Even the 18lbers could only score a Shaken and a Pin! (left of center)
The British needed the inititive...and they win it! But what's this, bad rolls again! "What's wrong with out bloody rifles!" Only x1 German goes down. In two melees involving x8 Brits and x7 Germans, x3 Tommies and x4 Germans go down. One British company (above the woods left of center) bravely (foolishly?) charge the German line containing MMG! The Germans make them pay as their return fire take down 5/6 British tommies! (seen between woods and Gemappe left of center above or below) An additional Brit becomes a casualty in the Gemappe buildings, while x4 are KIA in the woods or to the west! All told, x9 Brits became casualties. British reserves are moving up from the right. Will it be enough?
 German reserves (from the left of photo) are rushing to the front as well:
Over on the left again, the German 77s miss both a shot on the French 75s and MMG, but their Infantry do inflict x6 more casualites. The second wave of poilu is wavering! The French 75s only score x2 Shaken while the Infantry add only x1 KIA and x3 Pins! The attacking German line seen upper right is moving against x4 French survivors partially screened by the farmhouse left of center
The next turn could be critical for all sides!
Thanks so much for your comments. I am fortunate to have a 7'x8' table in my basement, aka, "The War Room". I have always tried to prepare a good looking battlefield, so thanks again. May all you're rolls be good!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

France, 1914: The Battle Part II

On the German left flank, two troopers are snet in pursuit of the retreating French survivor, but in an incredible turn of events, the Frenchman despatches both Germans! In the center of Gemappe, the German Cavalry charge and the British launch a belated countercharge. The result is two troopers on each side becoming casualites:
German infantry now approaching the Cavalry picket located just south of Villiers. French Infantry spotted ahead!
The French line is beginning to place intelf in line of battel:
On the German right flank, the Infantry is also taking up it's positions:
The British too, are moving their Infantry into position:
German Infantry in Gemappe advance, and get two shots at long range (each figure firing rolls x1 d6 to be on target: Short=2-6; Md=3-6; Long=4-6; with a -1 deduction if moved). One is on target leading to British targets making defensive roll (x1 d6 in each defensive setting with -1 if moving, +1/+2 for remaining stationary or behind hard cover). Then the Germans roll for the one on target...and they miss. On the next turn they get initiative, move closer and score one casualty on the opposing Cavalry!
The British Infantry move past the retiring Cavalry and fire at long range and score a casualty. Meanwhile the French move into long range, and score two casualties!
During the next turn, both sides begin to really pitch in. The French move their attack forward across the field and around a farmhouse but their x11 shots prove ineffective against the Germans (who had some hard and soft cover as well as being prone) Their Hotchkiss MMG also missed! The Germans on this front however made the French pay. Their Infantry along the farm's fences and walls inflict 4 KIA! (one is hidden behind farmhouse) But the most damaging was the German MMG (lower right on hill) which ranged in on a second French line  (see at left amongst trees) and put down x4 French and added a Shaken out of five men in the company! (if the attackers roll is = to defensive roll the result is a yellow cap resulting in no movement or fire permitted the following turn)
Germans in Gemappe missed their British opponents, but the Tommies got a KIA in response. A German company thought they had the range of a new British company advancing along the western edge of Gemappe (at right of photo), but they were out of range! The Brits, after moving,  returned fire with x7 rifles but they all missed as well. The Vickers MMG however, was right on target and inflicted x3 KIA! To end the turn, x1 British 18lb missed with it's first round (out of picture to lower left):
The succeeding turn sees the French push forward through the field south of Villers )to right of photo) and do get x2 KIA. But they take x2 KIA and x2 additional Pinned (red cap reflecting an attacker's roll at -1 against the defensive roll) in return. First German artillery fire misses the French MMG on hill (upper right):
Germans took some heavier losses on their right flank as the British MMG wiped out one company (seen between Gemappe and wooded hill) and x1 18lb scored a hit  for x2 KIAs! (at bottom left of photo) German return fire dropped x2 Tommies, but one of their MMG missed the British Cavaly on the se edge of town! Time to redeploy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

France, 1914: The Battle Begins!

As the initial phases will be played solitaire, some moves may seem strange, but I leave decisions up to die rolls, such as when to charge, countercharge etc.

The German Cavalry on the left spots approaching French Cavalry (just in view at top center) and deploys :
And on the German right, they too see advancing Cavalry, this time British (barely seen at top):
German Infantry arriving on the right flank (don't think the French farmer is going to be happy!):
But there is a long line of British troops also moving onto the board, here in the SW corner (that is Gemappe at the top. German Cavalry are to the left. Can just make out British Cavalry top center, entering Gemappe):
The French too, make their appearance, on the SE corner (sorry, should have retaken this photo):
The first clash is just south of Villiers, as the French Cavalry launch a charge and just make contact! (16" on road) but the German commander chooses to remain stationary! (my random roll) Incredibly, even with a +2 charge bonus, both French Troopers go down in melee! (Simple rules: for each figure in contact, x1 d6 is rolled, best roll inflicts casualty):
 The Germans attack the spent French column and lose their first casualty. However, they take down x3 French! Terrible fortunes of war for the French:
Meanwhile, over on the German right flank, a messenger is sent posthaste to hurry up the German Infantry, while their Cavalry choose not to charge the advancing Brits in the center of Gemappe (Notice the British Infantry column top right):
Germans get initiative (Start of turn each side rolls a d6, and high rolls goes first. Losers get a +1 each time on next chance) and continue their assault on the French troopers. This time, 2 more are dispatched with no loss to themselves:
While the German Cavalry is finishing off their opponents, the German Infantry push into Villiers:
French Infantry too are approaching. The retreating French Cavalry can be seen coming towards them (left of center):
Finally (at least for now), additional German Infantry are tearing down farm fences to begin their deployment (Way to win the hearts and minds!):
To be continued!