Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowed In!

Last Saturday Old Man Winter dumped about 8" of snow on Southern Pennsylvania, threatening to ruin our club's all day gaming extravaganza. Defiantly, we had 8 members show up, and we ended up gaming from 10am until 3am the following morning. We had lots of great food and beer, and had a blast being snowed in.

Game 1: ACW Naval, using homebrew rules entitled Scurvy for You.
A fictitious scenario taking place in a bay somewhere down South. The Union fleet, consisting of 8 gunships and 8 mortar schooners, entered the harbor with the objective of silencing the shore batteries lining the harbor, as well as destroying the small harbor town. For this scenario the GM (Chris) used a point system to determine the winner. As the battle wore on it became apparent that the Confederates achieved a clear victory, knocking out many of the main Union ships. The Yanks had made the mistake of engaging the forts immediately without waiting for the mortars to soften them up.

The Union fleet enters the harbor:
The USS Paul Jones:
The Southern harbor town with a blockade runner getting under steam:
The USS Hartford engages the main Confederate fort at close range:
The Hartford on fire!:
To avoid being rammed on their sides, the USS Paul Jones and Sassacus turn into the enemy:
The CSS Tennesse and Union Monitors entering the fray:
Confederate tugs attack the USS Canonicus:
Game 2: French and Indian War, using 'Brother Against Brother' rules.
I ran the second game, and the scenario was a simple meeting engagement between British and French forces along with their colonial and native auxiliaries. We had about 300 troops on the board and the game lasted about three hours. While the French had the upper hand for most of the game, the Brits and Americans were able to turn it around in the last couple of turns as the French attacks ground to a halt.
French Line and Canadian Militia moving through the farm area:

American Rangers, backed up by British Lights, take cover on a rocky hill:
Courier D'Bois take up a position on an opposite hill and load their rifles:
A company of British regulars open fire on the French:

British Line and American Provincials:
British Lights open fire on some advancing French Marines:
Natives rush the stonewall trying to outflank the Americans around the farmhouse:
Game 3: WWII Aerial, using 'Check Your Six!' rules.
Phil ran the third game in which we continued our Guadalcanal campaign we have been playing since October. The game was from the Cactus Airforce scenario book. The IJN decided it wanted to finally get the carrier battle it wanted off the Solomons. The Carrier Ryujo was bait for the US carriers. The first phase of that battle was a diversionary attack on Henderson Field. Before the carrier battle, the Ryujo sent its planes to attack Henderson Field. A strike of 5 Kate bombers with 8 Zero escorts was intercepted by 6 wildcats from Henderson Field.
Me and Ray- Banzai!!!:

Little Fritz surveys the battle:

The Gang:
The end of the game. A Japanese victory!:
The view outside of the attic window:
Finally, we finished off the day with a late night game of Zombies!!! Ray picked up the game from Cotton Jim's Flags at Fall-In last November and this was the second time we played. It's a lot of fun, and even my wife loves it.
All of the players start out in the town square, and then each player puts out a connecting block on their turn. Each block consists of a building that houses ammo, health, and Zombies! The objective is to either kill 25 Zombies or be the first one to make it to the helipad. The event cards that are dealt out to each player are really neat in how they add to the game, and the gruesome artwork on the card itself.
A great day of gaming. Enjoy the holidays! And we'll see you all next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Falcon of the Duce

Last Saturday we played a couple of small Check Your Six! games from the 'Falcon of the Duce' scenario and campaign supplement. This particular scenario book honors Italy's fighter ace Franco Lucchini, and his exploits across the Mediterranean Theatre of the War.

The first scenario took place on the 14th of June 1940, over the skies near Buq Buq, Libya. Lucchini and two other pilots intercepted a flight of British Gloster Gladiators and a dogfight ensued.

The Players: Phil commanding the Italians- One Ace (Lucchini) and two skilled pilots in Cr.42s, Justin- 2 green pilots in Gladiators, & Gert- 1 Veteran and 1 green pilot in Gladiators.

Around 10 O'clock in the morning, the Gladiators spot the Italian Cr.42s in the distance and close on them.

Lucchini and his wingmen pitch into the Gladiators on their right.

Then, Lucchini and another pilot shift to the left and single out a target, who just so happens to be the British veteran pilot.

With machine guns blazing, the Gladiator takes a hit and crashes to the ground. Luckily the pilot bails out and will live to fight another day.

Then the other Gladiators exact some revenge and knock down one of the Italians. It is now 3 on 2.

Nose to nose, the pilots are looking each other in the eyes.

But, it is the Italian who takes out the Brit. It is now 2 on 2.

As the combatants circle around each other looking for a clear shot, another hit for the Italian takes out a third British plane. Now, it is two on one. Commanding the last British plane, I decide it is time to pull out of the fight. Being a green pilot, I realize there is no way I can get myself in a good position for a clean shot when I'm up against a skilled and an ace pilot, so I dive out of the action. It is only after the game that I find out that Lucchini's plane is damaged and he has been avoiding the fight, but his presence on the field is enough to shake my nerves.

The second scenario we played consisted of Lucchini taking off from Tobruk with a flight of Cr.42s to intercept a British Sunderland Flying Boat.

The Players: Justin- Sunderland Flying Boat
Gert- 1 Ace (Lucchini) and 1 skilled pilot in Cr.42s, Phil- 2 skilled pilots in Cr. 42s

Two Italians close on the Sunderland quickly, but with limited fuel, they only have a couple of turns to get in some good hits. If they fail, it will be up to Lucchini and his wingman (a good distance away) to catch up and finish the job before the Brit makes it off the field.

The Sunderland was known for it's ability to take a beating and keep on flying, so the Italians, with their poorly armed fighters, will have a tough job of taking her down. Especially while dodging shots from one of the many machine guns positioned on their prey.

For the first game, Phil was able to get a lucky hit on the first turn and knocked the Brit out of the sky. Since it was over so quickly, I was confident that I could do better, and took command of the Sunderland for a second game, only to be knocked out of the game on turn two.

Then Phil decided to take a crack at it. As I gave chase, one of my CR.42's got knocked out, and the other ran out of ammo, but in the process I hit the Sunderland's engine, and she lost speed. Now we had a fight! It would up to Justin (with Lucchini and his wingman) to close the gap and pound the large beast before it could exit the field.

As Justin rushes on, it's going to be close. As soon as they are within range of each other, they open fire. It is turning out to be a real nail biter.

And Lucchini does it again! Phil was only one turn away from completing his escape. As an explosion takes down the Sunderland, a subsequent roll is made to see if any shrapnel hits Lucchini, but he gets lucky and survives.

Today turned out to be a good day for the Italians. We had a great time playing some early war scenarios, and you have to love playing with Bi-planes in WWII.

Enjoy the holiday, and we'll see everyone in December for some more great gaming!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Fall-In" Pics and AAR

A couple of weekends ago our club attended the HMGS East "Fall-In" convention in historic Gettysburg Pennsylvania. As always, we had a great time. We met several people, ran some fun games for the other attendees, and played in a couple of great games stretching from Ancients to WWII.
I snapped a couple of pics, but unfortunately my camera's battery died and I did not get to walk around taking shots of all the games, like I had originally intended.

On Friday afternoon I ran an ACW naval game using some home rules. We had 25 ships, Forts, and Shore Batteries. The scenario was an attack on a Southern Harbor, and the Union players pushed hard to win a decisive victory. They had some lucky hits on the main fort that silenced several of the guns, and the Confederate rams had some bad rolls and couldn't seem to do much of anything. Despite all of this, the Rebels did not give up, and they kept up a hot fight the entire game.

Our Friday Regimental Fire&Fury game:

"Death was holding High Carnival!"- Chickamauga, 19 September 1861
The vital rail junction of Chattanooga was Rosecrans' next target. Bragg's Army of the Tennessee, with the added weight of Longstreet's corps finally stopped retreating and turned around. Scattered Federal troops earlier in the morning have taken a beating, but now more effort has been added. Bragg too is pushing more troops forward. Farmer Brock's field is about to witness an all out slugfest.

AAR: For our playtest before the convention, the Federals had won a decisive victory, virtually destroying the entire Confederate left flank and stopping an assault on the right. The Fall-In game turned out quite differently. It was fairly historical as neither side could gain a clear advantage. The Federals came away with a slight victory as the Confederates could not obtain their objectives. Historically, both sides fought to a standstill until more support could be brought up.

Some games we played on Friday:

The Battle of Kohima, 1944: British vs Japanese

A large Stalingrad game:

On Friday night we hit up O'Rourke's Pub in downtown Gettysburg for a couple pints and some loaded cheese fries. I will really miss this place when the Con moves to Lancaster next year. When we returned to the Ike, we played in one of our friend's Check Your Six! Kamikaze game. I was Japanese, and had a good hit on the carrier. Banzai!!!!!

Our other Regimental Fire&Fury game was played on Saturday: Greenbrier River, 1861. For a more detailed description of the game, see our November 12th post on the playtest before the convention.

Another club member ran a second naval game. The scenario consisted of the CSS Tennessee having to leave port and exit off of the opposite table edge without being sunk by a Union squadron. Of course, some friends showed up to help the Tennessee. I got to command the slow moving Ironclad, and kicked some Yankee butt! -a little retribution for the pounding the Rebels took in the game I ran on Friday.

On Saturday night we ran a large, twelve player Wings of War (WWI aerial) game. We had 24 planes on the deck in an all out dog fight.

With GameMaster registration already open for Cold Wars in March, it's time to start planning our club's schedule. Right now, we are planning on doing some more Regimental Fire&Fury (Belmont MO, Richmond KY, Bentonville NC), as well as some more ACW Naval and Wings of War. We may even bring our large French and Indian War game. Be sure to look for our club (Refuse the Flank Wargamers) in the PEL if you want to game with us.