Sunday, July 1, 2018

Summer Update

After taking my usual time away from gaming after Enfilade and with the normal gaming slow-down for summer yardwork, I’m looking at getting back to some gaming stuff. Here is what is on my summer horizon.
A pair of previously painted Italian G.50 fighters
First up, the Malta air campaign. This is an outgrowth of the Illustrious project and was spurred on by getting a playtest version of David Manley’s Air War 1940 rules. The campaign will be based off some ideas published in Wargames Illustrated #198 (yes, that is an old issue from June 1998) and the new Osprey Malta 1940-42 air campaign book. We’ve taken the general idea from that article and fleshed out the missions and victory conditions a little. But mostly it will be a chance to put some planes in the air.
I’ve currently got a mix of planes I’m working on for Malta and the Western Desert including – Gloster Gladiators, Tomahawks (P-40B/C), Spitfire V, Cr.42s, and G.50s. Kevin is working on the Luftwaffe and already has a bunch of Italians and British. I’m also going to pick up some medium tonnage merchant ships, in case one of the missions ends up as a ship attack (they will also show up in my WWII coastal forces games). The Malta game will most likely take the place of my usual summer solo game, since I will be playing games with other people!

Once the Malta planes are done, I expect to move some Gripping Beast Plastics Arabs, foot and horse, into the painting queue. I've put together the light cavalry figures and I'm working on the heavy cavalry next. I'll put up photos once I get some paint on the figures.

Another possible summer distraction is the new "What a Tanker!" rules from Too Fat Lardies. Some of the guys in the area are talking about starting some linked games as part of a campaign. I've picked up a copy of the rules, so I can join the action. Although I think I will skip the France 1940 campaign and pick up with the next one (Russia or Western Desert). They are planning on using 15mm tanks, which should reduce any costs of having to buy tanks for this little side project.

Finally, I'm looking toward August and what I can game I can run for International Naval Wargaming Day 2018. David Manley started this last year (and I'm hoping he continues to push it) to "Celebrate the birth of the father of naval wargaming, Fred T. Jane, by running or taking part in a game of your own!" Jane's birthday, August 6, falls on a Monday this year. But I'm hoping to get a few people together the weekend before (or maybe even on Monday) far a small game. I just need to go through my stuff to pick out an appropriate game. 
There will probably be a few other things that pop-up during the summer, but it feels like this is a good start.



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Enfilade 2018 Recap: Part 2 - My Games

For Enfilade 2018, Kevin and I ran two air attack games where the Royal Navy was defending against attacks on their ships. I really enjoy games that mix ships and planes (it gives me a chance to work on my two favorite gaming subjects) and I thought this year's efforts turned out nicely.

Note, you can see photos form other Enfilade 2018 games at this post.

Attack on San Carlos
The first game was from the Falklands/Malvinas War covering air attacks on British ships as they were unloading troops at San Carlos. We used the Air War C21 rules for the game. You can also see Kevin's view of the game on his blog. The Argentinians had the lion's share of choices to make for this game. They had to pick which planes were attacking, what angles they would attack from, and how they would approach the combat zone. The Royal Navy only had to figure out how best to allocate their limited number of Sea Harriers to best protect the amphibious landing.

The Argentinians decided to go with a mix of Daggers, Skyhawks, and Canberras. Then they made some die rolls to see if they lost any planes on the approach and if they entered on schedule. They lost one plane that flew too low over West Falkand to avoid Royal Navy SAMs and all but one flight was delayed in their entry. The Royal Navy had four Sea Harriers on the board, with two more on the way.
Initial Setup with HMS Antelope (left) and HMS Fearless (right)

A pair of Sea Harriers fly CAP near Fearless
A pair of Argentinian Air Force Skyhawks were the first to enter. They found the Sea Harriers slightly of of position and headed straight for HMS Antelope.
Skyhawks on the attack
With the Harriers between them and HMS Fearless, the Skyhawks decided to drop their bombs on the nearby frigate.
Bombs Away!
The one bomb hit and did major damage to Antelope, knocking out her air defenses.The first Skyhawk wave was followed by another set of Argentinian Navy Skyhawks.
Armada Skyhawks attacking
The Armada Skyhawks got one more bomb hit, which did enough damage to basically sink the frigate.

Meanwhile, a flight of Daggers entered from the northwest and moved toward HMS Fearless.
Sea Harriers intercepting the Daggers while Fearless fires a Sea Cat missile
The Sea Harriers near the sinking Antelope mixed it up with the Skyhawks, getting some revenge for the damage done to the frigate.
Sea Harriers move in for revenge
As the Daggers moved in to attack Fearless, the final Argentinian flight, a pair of Caberra bombers, came in from the southeast.
Canberras enters as the Daggers drop their bombs
The Daggers got one hit on Fearless, but it turned out to be a dud (much to the relief of the Royal Navy players). However, things did not look good with the Canberras bearing down on Fearless.
Canberras close in, trying to dodge the incoming missiles
One Canberra was shot down by a Sidewinder, but the Sea Harriers were out of missiles and it would take a really good gun shot to stop the final bomber.

Luckily for the Royal Navy, they got their good gunshot with a critical hit knocking down the final Canberra (for those of you that know the rules, the Royal Navy pilot got to roll on the Golden BB table and killed the bomber pilot).
The last Canberra goes down to guns
We gave the Argentinians a morale victory for sinking the frigate, but the Royal Navy was able to continue with landing troops and earned a strategic victory. Overall, it was a fun game. Only a couple players had used the rules before, but everyone caught on very quickly.

Illustrious Must be Sunk!
The second game was the January 1940 attack on HMS Illustrious in the Mediterranean by a mixed German - Italian force. Those of you that follow the blog have seen a couple playtest reports on this game (here and here) and you can see Kevin's take on the game on his blog. This time around the Axis players went with a torpedo bomber force (choosing nine SM 79s and only 3 Stukas) and traded one flight of bombers for a pair of MC 200 escorts. The Royal Navy had six Fulmar fighters to protect the carrier, along with flak from the ships.
Italian bombers enter the board
Royal Navy Fulmars on CAP duty
After setting up the aircraft, the ships got to turn in place (this represented radar warning), which slightly threw off the original Italian plans for the attack. So they had to maneuver the big bombers around, which gave the Fulmars a little more time to try to stop them
Fulmars make a head-on pass at the bombers
Bombers maneuvering to set up their torpedo runs
The Italian fighters looked to mix it up with the Fulmars, but flak from the destroyer knocked one of them down. The remaining fighter felt honor-bound to strafe the destroyer. The strafing run went really well and the fighter suppressed the light flak on the destroyer.
Strafing pays off
The Fulmars tried to get into good positions to stop the bombers, but they were not having a good day rolling the dice. They did a lot of minor damage, but only forced one bomber to jettison its torpedo. Another has its torpedo release mechanism knocked out by a critical hit. Meanwhile one Fulmar was shot down and another had its forward guns knocked out.
The bombers line up on the carrier as the Fulmars try to stop them
Flak tries to protect the carrier as the bombers close in
One of the SM 79s decided to break away from its group to make a torpedo attack on the destroyer.
Torpedo run on the destroyer
But the destroyer was able to avoid the attack.

By this time, the Italians were in position to make their torpedo runs on Illustrious. Things didn't look very good for the carrier with torpedo planes on both sides.
Torpedo bombers off the starboard side!
Torpedo bombers on the port side!
The octuple 2 pdr batteries on Illustrious opened fire, knocking down a couple of the bombers and the carrier tried to dodge the torpedoes. But one torpedo found the mark doing major damage.
Torpedo hit
The last of the Italians approached from the port side...
The last bombers approach
But no hits were made. This left the flight of Stukas as the last hope for an Axis victory. The Stukas made their approach and started their dives.
Last chance for the Axis
But the smoke seemed to hide the carrier and no bombs hit.Illustrious took some major damage from the torpedo, but was able to sail into Malta for temporary repairs.

The game came down to a few final rolls and it could have turned out better for the Axis players. But, everyone seemed to have a good time.

That's all for Enfilade 2018. I hope you enjoyed the photos and report.

Enfilade 2018 Recap: Part 1 - Other People's Games

Enfilade 2018 wrapped up on Sunday and it was another well run and attended convention. This year there were over 400 attendees making it one of the largest ever. It felt like every gaming period was packed with games and gamers. Overall, it seems like the convention is healthy and the Enfilade staff should be congratulated on another great convention.

Sorry for the delay in getting these photos up. But due to some computer issues, it has taken a couple days to put together my photos.

As per my normal Enfilade recap, I’m doing two Enfilade posts; one on the general convention and other people's games and a second covering the games I ran. This post will cover the general convention stuff. This year I seemed to have a little trouble getting a good focus with my camera. So even though I tried to take photos of most of the games, not all of them turned out and some of the ones that were okay are somewhat fuzzy.

The theme for 2018 was Rebels and Rebellions, and there were lots of games that focused on the theme.

Note this is a long post with lots of photos.

Friday Afternoon and Evening
Enfilade started out with some interesting games on Friday. There was the Teutoburg game, which looked great, along with some other interesting games.

Royal Navy air attack on Mers el Kebir

Confederates attacking the forts outside Washington D.C.

First St Albans

Fornovo using Pikeman's Lament

Isandlwana (with the Zulus closing in)

English Civil War using Pikeman's Lament

Star Wars Pod Racing

Team Yankee US Army

And Team Yankee Soviets

The Teutoburg game

and a slightly different view

It wouldn't be Enfilade without a Thunderboats game
The Battle of Brietenfield

Bronze Age Heroes

Chrysler's Farm 1812

Greek City State galley warfare

Gang warfare game

Java 1942

Kevin's Mad Wet Max game

I helped out with the Mad Wet Max game, but it was really Kevin's show

Pre-Dreadnought action

A German Ratt and some Mauses (Mices?)

Russian Civil War action

Survive the S-Mart zombie game
Saturday
My two main games were on Saturday (see my other post for more on those), so I didn't get as many photos of the games. But there was plenty to see and play in.
Harpoon Captain's Edition v2

Car War Arena action

Tyrolean rebels attack inn the Alps

Battle of Clontarf

Battle of Eylau (sans snow)

Gettysburg

Battle of Heraclea

An interesting looking Pulp Alley beach game

Battle of Mobile Bay
Hail Caesar game

The Battle of New Orleans with the British almost at the ditch

A Cold War goes hot game

A Mexican - American War game

Napoleon in Russia

Operation Rheinubung

Irish Rebels ambush the English at Ford of the Biscuits

Pulp Alley goes to sea, with some interesting results

AWI battle using Sharpe Practice

Battle of Tewkesury using Lion Rampant

French ships trying to escape from Mers el Kebir
Sunday
Sundays are typically light as everyone recovers from the previous two days. There were still a good number of games this year and I helped Kevin run a reprise of Mad Wet Max (AKA Thunderdome Boats).
A big All Quiet on the Martian Front game

Battle of Borodino

A Boxer Rebellion action
Galactic Knights
A castle siege
Mad Wet Max reprise

Pulp Alley Casablanca

Casablanca again

Star Wars Death Star trench run
That’s all the photos for other people's games for this year. I obviously didn't get photos of all the games, but I hope you like what is here.