Monday, 6 March 2017

Back to Vietnam War?

A short post with a twofold intention:

First, to show that I'm still alive and kicking. However due to a health problem in the family (my wife was diagnosed breast cancer on 23rd December...), my hobby time has shrinked substantially and I decided to invest whatever time available in painting for Curt's Painting Challenge and playing some games from time to time (lately with Command and Colors Napoleonics).

The good news is that the health problem seems now contained and the doctor is rather optimist on overcoming it, although we'll still have to fight whatever remains of the SOB inside my wife´s body and the treatment will last 8 months to a year.

Second and the main reason of the post, the possibility of returning to play the Vietnam period, albeit not with Charlie Don't Surf but with a new set based on the popular Chain of Command World War II rules.

This is fact NOT an official supplement, but the lone effort put up by blogger Jason Sendjirdjian, who has been extensively reporting the progress on the rules and the lists in his blog Wargaming DMZ for most of 2016. This chap very generously has compiled and nicely edited a 41-pages pdf document (here) with all stuff needed to play the game.

This is a period that gained traction in my group when Charlie Don't Surf was first released a few years ago. It was (actually IS) a very good set of rules and an excellent simulation of the tactics and atmosphere of this grim theater of operations. Truth is that after a lot of playing my gaming group attention moved to II World War with Chain of Command, and Vietnam fell into oblivion.

With the limitations emerging from obligations with my wife treatment, I'll try to lead a Vietnam reinassance within my gaming group... time now to undust my Grunts, Charlies, NVAs and M 113s!

The good news are that we already have all we need in terms of gaming material and in 28mm, so no need to invest (much) money in a new project. I hope the rules work good, I haven´t even read the pdf yet (will do tonight) but considering the hard work already put by Jason and his demonstrated knowledge of the conflict, I'm honestly optimistic.

I strongly recommend visiting Wargaming DMZ and if you fancy show your gratitude for the generosity shown by the author sharing all this wrok by leaving a comment in the last post.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Old Hickory Campaign Games 4 and 5 (conclusion)

This weekend we played turns 4 and 5 (conclusion) of the Old Hickory campaign for Chain of Command. If you remember when we stopped in early December, the Germans had already won two games through the "orange route" and were now arriving to the final US defensive line at Le Neufbourg.

The US players called all reinforcements scattered in the different approaching routes to concentrate now into the village and to put a strong opposition despite overwhelming odds. The US side also played their last air support card in the 4th turn, resulting in the dispersion of the German attacking columns, winning the game and gaining some breathing space.

After this, the German deployed a new platoon form the general reserve (the one used in game 3) and then we moved to game number five, which as you will see resulted in a new straight German victory and also de conclusion of the campaign.    

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy 2017!

A short final post at 90 minutes for 2016 to expire, to wish you all a happy New Year, may 2017 bring you above all health, love, and peace... and of course wealth too.

I hope to continue sharing with you my hobby life this year, although unfortunately I'm starting 2017 with the wrong foot, as we have some potential health issues in my family that I strongly wish will end up in being just a false alarm. We'll know for sure in 3 weeks time. Therefore, no plans for 2017 at least for now.

In the meantime, bear with me and a likely irregular posting over the next weeks.
Best to all.  

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas to the Blogosphere

A short message to wish you a many Merry Christmas, peace, health and money (of course to be  spent in games, lead and plastic).

Looking back the year, gaming wise it's been a strange one with lack of focus on periods/rules and volatile activity due to the flooding of our club premises just before the summer, that put us out of business for many months (until November).

Notably also in my gaming group, we have had some dispersion of projects. After 2 years of intense Chain of Command games, we were eagerly expecting the release of the Sharp Practice II, the skirmish rules for the Black Powder era. After a strong start playing mostly focused on the Napoleonic era, we realised that skirmishing was not totally to our taste and looked for ways to scale it up.

The truth is that after several failed attempts, we decided to abandon the project and instead explore other rule options with the scale we were looking for. A strong candidate emerged with Age of Eagles II, ony to be put on hold after the release of Pickett's Charge in November.

Although the latter is focused on the ACW period, the author already announced a sister book covering the Napoleonic period. A few test games unveiled a very solid and interesting set of rules and we are now waiting for the new book.

Almost concluding the year, my attention is being called by Rattenkrieg!, a new set of skirmish rules for the IIWW period published by Barrage Miniatures. I played a first game last week and was very positively impressed by the original game mechanism, based on an action/reaction engine. I promise to write a detailed comment sometime next week.

But not all was negative. Less time wargaming meant more time allocated to painting and I'm myself surprised by the large output achieved of French Napoleonics in 28mm, becoming the French reference player within my gaming group. And more reinforcements are coming as a result of my participation in The Painting Challenge for the second year in a row.

Summarising, a peculiar gaming year 2016 and looking into 2017 to be a Napoleonic year.
Enjoy the holidays!   


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Old Hickory Campaign Game 3

The third game of the Hickory Campaign concluded with a decisive German victory, causing a bloody havoc on the US units that had to pull out into Le Neufbourg, the objective of the offensive. Frankly, the position of the US players is in serious risk as the game today eliminated some critical scarce assets like ATGs and men.

The game was played in the Orange 2 map of the campaign booklet and corresponded to a Scenario 6 "Attack-Defend" in terms of the Chain of Command terminology. The German was of course the attacker and the victory conditions called for them either to wipe the resisitance in the table or force a withdrawing due to Force Moral erosion.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Old Hickory Campaign Game 2

The second game of the Old Hickory campaign finished with a German victory. A very funny game in which for the first time in life I saw a F1 race between three German Hanomags, competing to reach first the US table tactical edge.

Following the initial setback  of the campaign when the Allied airforce dispersed the concentration of German units at its jumpoff area, the German HQ activated the second company (2 platoons) and ordered an attack through the same Orange route of the first attempt.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Old Hickory Campaign Game 1

German HQ (H-1 hour)

News that the heads of the assault columns are now in the jump-off positions and ready to take on the arguably unprepared US troops near the railroad line (area code name Orange 1) are received with satisfaction at the Das Reich regiment HQ. 

Suddenly the deafening noise of aircraft engines flying at low level fill the air and the dreaded black and white stripes of the Allied air force the German officers eyes ... luckily the planes pass away leaving the HQ unmolested, but almost immediately machine gun and bomb explosions are heard towards the jumpoff area followed by black smoke columns .

A devastating air attack has dispersed the German forces, with the units running in panic pursued by the Allied Typhoons and the Mustangs. After what looks like an eternity, the planes finally leave and it's time now to take stock of the damages and regroup the surviving forces. The attack is cancelled and will be postponed at least for the following day.


And this is how the first turn of the Hickory campaign ended... played without placing a single model on a wargame table and actually resolved by Whatsapp! Let me explain what just happened.

As commented in the previous post, there are three attacking routes and the Germans must select one; the Allied had an air interdiction asset that had to be allocated to one of the routes before the Germans announce their attack. If they select the same route, the Germans suffer a devastating air attack and their units are dispersed and unable to take the offensive, losing the game.

Incredibly, both decided to choose the Orange route, which they communicated to me this same afternoon. Must reckon that I had a big laugh and the poor German players were in total shock for this unexpected (and unknown to them) option in the Allied hands.

All this was settled communicating with the two groups of players through Whatsapp!

This is one of the advantages of playing campaigns and using independent umpires: incresed for of war and uncertainty; and of course more fun (specially the umpire). More surprises in store for both sides... and only I know.. Wa-ha-ha-ha!!