Friday, 20 January 2017

The Red hammer pushes on..WW2 AAR

The battlefield is set in the outer regions of Germany 1944 as the Russians push towards Berlin, the radar station,ruined town houses and bombed factory across the middle of the table are the objectives, these will be needed to be claimed by the end of turn 7 to win the game with the possibility of a extra turn, if either side would reach 2/3rds of their Break point total they would be forced to retreat and the engagement would be lost 

As I stated in my last post we decided to have another game of Iron cross this week after we found ourselves rather rusty with the rules in our last game. This time out I decided to give the Russians a run out for the first time using these rules and my dad used the Germans. We used the 1944 lists and picked 700 points aside. I decided to go for Weight of numbers and brought plenty of T34/76 tanks (backed up by a couple of T34/85) which are inferior to the German armour but I was hoping the extra numbers would count. Supporting these tanks was a SU-76mm tank hunter and a T70 light tank and a 76mm A/T gun. My dad took a Tiger 1 backed up by some Panzer IV's and a 88mm just for good measure, we both had roughly the same amount of infantry squads and support teams although I had a extra flamethrower team and sniper, both sides had a quarter of their force off in reserve which could arrive from the start of turn 3.

Onto the action..........

T34/76. Tanks advance towards to town buildings objective supported by the infantry mounted in the transport trucks. I find that the the transport in Ironcross can be very useful for getting your infantry squads to objectives with speed, once you disembark you don't have to worry to much about having to get the transport off the table (wasting valuable command tokens) as they don't contribute to your Break point (BT). 
The German infantry squads take the inititive and take control of the ruined town houses early in the game
The Russian left flank was to see heavy fighting throughout the game, the 76mm A/T gun engages in a fire fight with the distant Panzer IV's, this fire fight was to last the entire game with both sides coming desperately close on a number of occasions to surpassing their morale limit, only for some timely company command orders/rolls to save them. The supporting Russian infantry engaged in a fire fight with the German infantry in the wood, eventual destroying the Germans.
The 88mm waits quietly in the wood for a target, naturally i was very reluctant to give it one, the tiger and infantry support the squads holding the town houses.
A Russian spotting plane on a recon mission surveys the German position (the model was only on for show and wasn't actually playing any part but you have to use as many of your miniatures/models as possible as, well it looks nice and adds to the visual effects of the game 😄
As the Russian tank column advances towards the town houses the tiger clunks into gear and moves from the concealment of the wood to meet the threat head on down the narrow road way
The sound of the tiger coming into view was enough to get my advance T34's attention and I tried to react to this with a reverse move ASAP, however it proved unsuccessful unlike the 88m shell from the tiger which found its target with a Kaboom result!
As my Russian armour advanced to take control of the radar station a sneaky German infantry squad tried for a flank position for a panzerfaust shot onto the unsuspecting Russian tanks. However I had support from a couple of squads of infantry and they advanced into the wood to pin the attack from happening. This was another fire fight which would continue throughout the game. It's very important in iron cross to keep your tanks supported by infantry as it gets hard to react to the enemy infantry with your tanks if you are not supported. I do like this rule as it gives your infantry a good role to play in supporting your armour in attacks,which I have not always found the Case in other rule sets where infantry would be at times neglected.
My flamethrower squad once in position quickly cleared out the German infantry from the town house objective, after this attack the flamethrower squad attracted a lot of German fire as a result of the effectiveness of the close range flame attack, the squad was eventually broken but it had cleared the way for my supporting Russian infantry to take the objective. 
As our reserves entered the table most of our armour was becoming involved in a long range fire fight on the Russian left flank around the factory objective. My poor Russian tank drivers were proving no match for the Panzer IV's as two quick reaction shots saw two T34's blow up, one with a Kaboom effect which saw the supporting infantry squads take morale damage. One of these squads I issued a fall back order as they had become the target of a 80mm mortar team and once these are ranged in they start to become dangerous as you don't get any benefit for cover and each mortar shot gets one easier on the dice to hit each time it fires, the down side to this with the mortars is it can eat into your command tokens quickly. I made a bad error around this time as I forgot to activate a transport truck carrying a infantry squad from reserve when they became available, this ment they had been lost on route to the battle, oops!
The Panzer IV's which accounted for the loss of my T34's arriving from reserve. However my dad was using a lot of command tokens to keep these tanks in the game as he was regularly having to take company command checks to rally hits from the morale, mostly these were been caused by tne 76mm anti tank gun defending the factory objective
The Russian infantry squads secure the radar station as the T34's engage the remains of the German infantry squads in the area.
A bitter fight had broke out over the ruined town houses but despite taking heavy fire the Russian infantry squad was hanging onto the objective, even trying a pot shot or two at the panzer III which had appeared out the wood from reserve with their PTRD which shock the morale of the German tank. All though I wasn't destroying the tank, the fact that I was inflicting morale hits ment the Panzer III was becoming hard to activate and when it did it was suffering penalties to its shooting.
After constantly targeting the 88 in the wood the Russian mortar team finally managed to destroy it, this opened the way for my T34's to adavance into the open central area of The table, a shot from one of these quickly destroyed the Panzer III
In reaction to my T34 advancing to shoot the panzer III, my dad reacted with a panzer IV which was lurking round the back of the house, it moved around the corner of the house as my T34 engaged the Panzer III, a flank shot saw the T34 destroyed (note to readers, when my dad rolls on the damage table  for a tank it's as rare as a Sunderland win that he rolls any other result than a destroyed one!)
The game was just about to enter turn 7 when we were coming towards the time limit for our game. My dad conceaded that he was only a few points shy from his force been broken where i was still 20+ points away, most likely I would have managed to break his Germans in the final turn. I was also holding the three objectives but only after some fierce fire fighting. Both the town houses and factory area had really been a hard fought to take and then hold.
The Russian command team was called upon late in the game to lend a hand to hold the factory objective, on a couple of occasions I was called upon using his  ability to reroll a failed activation roll to keep the anti tank gun firing.
My Russian tanks after securing the radar station start to advance onto the flank of The German position after clearing the area of German infantry 
The final position as the Russains gain a victory and another foothold into German territory 
These last couple of games using Ironcross rules has really set alight my passion for gaming world war 2 after a absence of over 5-6months. I really do like his these rules work as at all times during the game you get to be involved, it almost feels like your not actually playing turns. I love the rules for the sniper teams, definetly the best idea for them I have played, and the ease of tne transports is excellent.  I know the rules don't have aeroplane attacks and in game artillery bombardments but if does not suffer at all for this, actually both myself and my dad think it's better without them as in the past they have slowed the game down and proven to be a to much of a dominate force in a game. What I have learned so far in my games of iron cross is to be careful with your command tokens. It is so easy to just keep spending them activating or reacting that before you know if you have next to non left and your opponent has a handful. During this game my dad suffered from this when he failed 5-6 reaction rolls in a row to interrupt my move, meaning when I did pass the initiative back to him he was limited to what he could do. Also, although very important that they are, company command rolls can eat into your command tokens if your not careful, sometimes I think you just have to leave troops to there fate and concentrate your efforts elsewhere. Finding that balance between been aggressive with the initiative and been to passive and cautious is a fine line, I think I got it right during this game, on a couple of occasions I took the game to my dad by been very aggressive in attacking the objective inthe  ruined town houses area, using a fair amount of my command tokens but at the same time I was managing to draw my dad into trying to react to this expending his command tokens on actions he probably could have done without doing. If you haven't played Ironcross before they are definetly worth  having a go 👍
I have loads of models which had a purpose in my previous set of WW2 rules which I am now finding a new use for in Ironcross. My old communication truck base makes a nice place to put my discarded command tokens from company command rolls... (Any excuse to get these cool looking models onto the table 😀)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

First Walkers for the Walking Dead game

Been a massive fan of the TV series, I decided Towards the end of the year to take the plunge and buy myself the miniatures game for the walking dead all out war which after a couple of trial games I pleased I did, the game and characters are based around the comic series which At Christmas I received the first omnibus of. I decided to paint the Walkers first, I have deliberately gone for bright colours as I wanted them to have a 'comic' feel about them, I have done the same with the scenery which was bought as part of the booster for the game. The models have been really well scuptured and once painted I think have come up very nice, they are definetly full of character. Once I finish my remaining walkers I will crack on with Rick Grimmes and co.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Some WW2 Action

After watching the movie A Bridge to far the other day it put me in the mood to want a WW2 game as it had been quite some months since we last had our WW2 armies on the table top. Last year had seen us move away from the battlegroup rules, replacing them with the Ironcross rule set, so we picked 600 points of Germans (me) and Americans (my dad)which give us a decent amount of troops and set about fighting a meeting engagement scenario .
German Stug's and infantry squads ready to advance
A Pak40 anti tank gun and infantry squads taking cover in the woods along with CnC
American GI's advance through the wooded area towards the German position
80mm mortar shells the Ametican positions 
American Infantry dig in around the ruins 
A 75mm Sherman advances and engages the German armour from a distance
A Stug tank becomes a casualty to the advancing Shermans as the Getman infantry move towards the ruined rail station objective
American infantry lay down defensive fire as a Sherman creeps through the woods to support the attack 
The German infantry continue to hold the ruined rail staion despite attracting a lot of American onto their position
The Bridge objective falls into the hands of the Americans as a Sherman is the first to move onto the Bridge crossing the river
More American infantry arrive from reserve late in the day
The German command centre desperately calls for reenforcements 
Three Stug's and a Hetzler are knocked out by the Dhermans having failed to cause any damage on the American Armour

Unfortunately the game ended before we could determine a winner,(the Americans were awarded a winning draw) this was mostly down to the fact that my dad and I were rusty on the rules after a long lay off from them, which led to us having a couple of lengthy stops rule checking during the game. This was a shame as I was really enjoy the game despite the fact I had managed to lose all my armour due to expert Marksmenship of the American Shermans but the stoppages proved worth while as we managed to 'iron out' a couple of rules we had been doing wrong up until now. We have decided to have have another WW2 game next week now that we have the rules fresh in our minds again, but this game definetly tweaked my interest again in WW2

Friday, 13 January 2017

Sector 2..demolition...terminate...scenario

The a resistance force led by John Connor
The Terminator force
With most my Terminator Genisys miniatures now painted and based I decided to set up a game on Tuesday night and rope my partner Catherine Into playing a scenario taken from the Rulebook. The scenario was mission three:demolish which sees a random number of objectives placed on the board by both players (3 in this game), the attacker has to plant a detonator on the objective by been in base contact then in the following turn once they move away from the objective the charge is detonated and the objective is destroyed, by the end of the game the attacker needs to destroy more than half the objectives to win. I had picked a couple of forces of 750points, I took the role as the attacker using the resistance who were led by John Connor, I had Kyle Reece and 4 resistance soldiers in a pick up truck in reserve with the intention of arriving late in the day to help secure the objective, the terminator force included a cyborg infiltrator who is disguised as one of the resistance soldiers who's identity was unknown to me. Both forces had to deploy their troops in opposite corners from each other.

The table top at the end of the first turn
A squad of resistance soldiers move at the double up the edge of the table towards the objective deep in the right handside of the terminator deployment zone.
The main bulk of endoskeletons move towards the centre of the table, two of them were armed with a missile launcher and a flamethrower which is very deadly in the game of terminator once they get into range.
John Connors infantry squad move into the ruined buildings to meet the terminator advance, the missile launchers position themselves on the higher floors and engage the oncoming endoskeletons with plenty of sucess.
Another squad of resistance soldiers run towards the only objective in my side of the table, by the end of turn three I destroyed the objective without much resistance from the terminator force , one down 
With the sniffer dog approaching the cyborg infiltrator revealed itself amongst the squad led by John Conners lieutenant who was attacked immediately, somehow the infiltrator failed to cause an damage in the close combat allowing the lieutenant to escape.
At the start of turn 4 I announced my reserves would arrive, a D20 roll of 6-20 would see them arrive safely, 2-5 would delay them two moves and a 1 would destroy them before they arrive! Heart in mouth I rolled the dice..15 they arrived safely. Their arrival position was randomised and much to the horror of Catherine I rolled the corner right next to the objective in the terminator deployment zone, all I needed to do now was to jump out the pickup truck , open fire and destroy the endoskelton and spider dog to claim the 2nd objective and claim victory!
After a massive fire fight in the centre of the table the resistance missile launchers had cleared a path through the endoskeletons to open the way to the third objective, with the news of the arrival of Kylee Reece, John Connor and the remains of his squad dashed towards the third objective defended by the terminators behind the barricades deep in their deployment zone, this was now a race against time..
'Hasta la vista baby' as a terminator crawler has a couple of plasma rounds blasted into it as John Connor crosses the street rubble
Kylee Reece gets his squad to spread out so the flame cannon mounted spider dog would be less effective after it had previously accounted for 3 resistance soldiers in a single shot in a earlier attack on the objective. Despite firing at point blank range every single shot counted for nothing as the terminators high armour/resolution proved to resilient. More importantly the terminators were still in a position to defend the objective at the end of turn 4.
The red lights in the the eyes of the cyborg infiltrator go out after a lucky shot from remaining resistance soldiers plasma rifle.
With the second objective still contested a squad of resistance fighters make a desperate attack onto the third objective but are quickly gunned down crossing the open ground, only 1 from the 4 remained 
Kylee Reece ordered his squad to move into base contact and plant the detonators on the objective after a round of lucky shooting managed to destroy two endoskeletons and the spider dog who's resolution test failed this time round. However it was now the end of turn 5, with only one of the three objectives destroyed a roll a 4 on a D4 would see the game end and victory go to Skyet and the machines.....PHEW!!, a dice roll of 2 saw the game continue, if I managed to gain the tactical edge and  roll at least one activation on the fate dice I would be able to detonate the second objective and win the game and the terminators would be helpless to stop this.....
And that's exactly what happened, the luck of the dice saw me get the tactical edge and activate John Connors lieutenant (who escaped the clutches of the cyborg infiltrator) moved away from the objective and detonated it, destroying it. Unfortunately a resistance soldier was sacrificed as the objective was destroyed but it was a sacrifice for the greater good in the war against the machines.
With the sound of the large explosion signalling the second objective been destroyed, John Connor abandons his assault on the third objective and retreats under the cover of the supporting missile launchers who had more than proved there worth during the course of the game. The few  remaining endoskeletons tried to stop the resistance retreat but to little avail. At the end of turn 6 a D6 roll of a 4 ended the game, with two out of the three objectives destroyed it was, with a large slice of luck, a victory to the resistance in there war against the machines. The main turning point was the arrival of Kylee Reece who like in the movies arrived exactly were he was needed, on another day he could have arrived on the opposite end of the table which would have seen victory surly go to the machines, termiator  genisys is proving to be a fun game to play and has definetly grown on me the more I have played it, there is plenty of scope to the game to invent some narrative scenarios which will only add to the fun of the drama in the game.