Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Firestorm: Market Garden - Turn 2!

Last weekend we played turn two of the TCOW Market Garden Firestorm campaign. At the end of the first turn, the Allies made some exploitation moves that won them some good ground for turn two. Andrew dropped a few more paratroopers and glidermen, including the Polish Parachute Brigade at Driel south of Arnhem and US 101st paratroopers north of Eindhoven. Arnhem town and the Elst road were captured on either side of the Arnhem bridge. Further south, some of the side roads were secured by US paratroopers.

Meanwhile, a strong showing of German Firestorm troops arrived to reinforce the Axis forces, notably heavy tanks and more 88 flak guns. British Typhoons successfully interdicted the Panzer Brigade 107, and they were delayed this turn. Still, Greg was able to use his troops to capture the Goesbeek Heights with exploitation moves and get a lot of troops forward to deal with the unfolding Allied assault.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Bridge Too Far: A TCOW Campaign

Turn 1 is upon us! We're playing through Firestorm: Market Garden at TCOW over the next few weeks, and here's the result of the first turn!

This week, we had five games lined up. The Allied strategy was focused on breaking out at the bridgehead and making a move into Holland from the border. A couple of Allied generals dropped behind enemy lines, but a good number of German spoiler attacks hit the British ground forces hard.

Andrew commands the Allied forces and executes his parachute jump, including some exploitation moves to seize critical roads, bridges, and towns. Greg commands the Axis and orders a general defense along the border.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Battle for the Belgian Canals

This last weekend we ran an intro Firestorm game based on the battle for the Belgian canals, which happened the week before Operation Market Garden. In that battle, the Allies had to gain some footholds over the canals in order to let loose 30 Corps across Holland.

Two canals ran across the Allied attack route: the Albert Canal, which connects Brussels and Maastricht. The second, the Meuse-Escaut Canal, runs along the Belgian-Dutch border. These needed to be secured as quickly as possible to guarantee a good footing for Montgomery's Operation Market Garden.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Going West(falen)

After Panzerschreck XIV last weekend, I thought I would have a bit of a debrief about using SS-Panzerbrigade Westfalen from Bridge at Remagen.

Before I begin with my dissection of what did and did not work with my list, I'd like to direct you to Eric Riha's excellent theoretical analysis of the army on WWPD. His thoughts are a great place to get ideas on how to get things to work together.

Also, please have a read of Sean Ireland's article, To the Bitter End, as well for even more great tips and tactics for Westfalen.

I'd also like to straight away say that my recent experiences with this list are unique, which took place in an unusual setting. Bear in mind that this was a doubles event and this list was built to synergize with Andrew's Reluctant Trained Tiger IIs and PaK40s, things that are not inherently available to Westfalen in the book. So what worked for us may not yield the same results elsewhere. Like-wise I'll try and stick with tactics that work under normal gameplay situations.

With that in mind, let's head west!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Panzerschreck 2014

Hey all!

I've just got back from a weekend of gaming at Panzerschreck XIV (14), which is, in my opinion, one of the best Flames of War events in the country. It's put on every year by the fine gentlemen of the Manawatu Duellists Society in Palmerston North, New Zealand. It's great to meet up with old friends, meet new ones, and roll a lot of dice for two days. It's a doubles/team tournament, 1000 points per player with up to 100 points shared between them. You can see Andrew's and my list here. In the next few days I hope to have a showcase of the Panzerschreck armies and bit of an article about how Westfalen works (or doesn't), but for now, here's my event report.

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the Road to Panzerschreck!

We're on our way to Panzerschreck 2014! Its a doubles event, and I've paired up with my brother to deliver Bridge At Remagen awesomeness to the tabletop.

I'll be running a group of tricksy Westfalen nutjobs and Andrew is bringing super-cheap Tiger IIs. Should be interesting games ahead of us, considering we got zero practice games in!

Here's what we're taking down with us:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blog Catch-Up!

Well it's been some time since my last update, so I thought I'd post up what's been happening around my hobby space.

I've got a grab-bag of topics here, including an X-Wing update, some painting news, an upcoming Flames of War tournament, and more. Each of these deserves an article of it's own, but with my time being pulled in a hundred different ways, this might be the only chance I've got to get it all down!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

D+25567: Citizen Soldiers in France

Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. It seemed proper to mark the historic event with a Flames Of War battle report featuring the Big Red One on Omaha Beach.

This battle also marks the first in my series of Citizen Soldier games. After several months of preparation, I was ready to hit the beach and I chose 6 June 2014 as the launch date for my article series.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Bloody Liri - A WWPD Italy Campaign AAR

Pat and I played another game over the long weekend. We both liked our lists from last week, and we were still learning how to use them, do we decided to rematch them. After settling on the Liri Valley as our battleground in the WWPD Italy Campaign, we set up out table.

Our mission was randomly determined to be No Retreat. Like last time, Pat elected to try a Night Attack, putting me on the defensive again. I was quite happy with that because I could use some practice with my defensive tactics.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

'Murican Tank Riders

Part of my New Years resolution is to get a lot of painting done to support the games I intend to play. For the 35ID game I'll be using Tank Riders, which means I need a way to show them on the tanks.

In the complicated hedgerow country of Normandy, traffic was notoriously bad and the going incredibly slow. To keep up and reduce traffic on the roads, some US infantry regiments used their tanks as transports. This increased the survival for both the infantry and tanks as they crashed through the bocage.

Some divisions, such as the 35th, took this to heart and actually incorporated tank-riding tactics into their training. The 83rd did the same on the rush across and beyond the Rhine. In fact many of Patton's infantry divisions did, which is somewhat unsurprising considering the Third Army commander's aggressive posture.