“Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it” - Napoleon
Tom Toy's Soldiers
Continue reading to discover if they can turn things around.
As the rest of my force was pinned down I (finally) pushed the section that had spent the battle lurking in a sunken road toward the Germans in the field.
Meanwhile Ballzimmer's men continued to pour fire into my beleaguered section in the centre of the field. assisted by the firepower of the Stug.
In a desperate roll of the Chain of Command dice I used my only CoC die to fire with the recently deployed bazooka team.
They missed. And an HE shell saw them blown from the field.
Finally my centre squad cracked and broke. Somewhere in the middle of the Germans getting three consecutive phases. At the end of these consecutive phases Oberstleutnant Ballzimmer inevitably used a CoC die to end the turn and ensure the section and attached senior leader routed.
US force morale plummeted and I was down to just three activation dice.
As the Stug manouvered to lay fire into the US squad on my right flank the Americans on the left, seeing Germans break cover, did likewise and ran forward firing from the hip.
And before the Germans could return fire I ran up the surrender flag.
A short and brutal continuation of the battle with a rather predictable end.
My plan was thrown off from the start when the initial barrage failed to delay German deployment, and instead of reacting to that I tried to press on with a speedy attack and ended up advancing piecemeal.
Also not having anything to hurt a tank was a bad plan.
Still a good fun game. Need to paint up my 57mm anti-tank gun.
Some single shots
As I was finishing this last one I realised that I was subconsciously painting a tribute, or more properly un homage, to flame haired Gallic screen siren (!), star of Engrenages (Spiral) and future Mrs Tom's Toys Soldiers* Audrey Fleurot.
These were odd models to paint. They have a Heavy Metal Album Cover vibe about them, a whiff of Kerrang circa 1983, as if the sculptor's knowledge of female anatomy came from the extensive study of Pat Benatar fan art.
I'm not sure what 12 year old me getting in to the hobby of toy soldiers would have thought about 40 something me painting nipples on 28mm breasts and applying washes to miniature pubic hair. 40 something year old me certainly feels distinctly weird about it.
I realise there's a sub set of gamers who think there's nothing wrong with collecting "erotic" female miniatures, but it's not my version of the hobby.
Over on TMP there used to be (and possibly still is) a board called something like "Needs More Boobies" or an equally puerile title. I once ventured in, in the interests of research you understand, to discover that the vast majority of content came from the man name-checked in the header of this page - Tango01. So apparently when he's not stealing content from other gamers he spends his time glopping off to 54mm anime French Maid sculptures.
On the other hand they're the nicest Greek style harpy models out there and arguably pretty representative of the mythical creatures so I'm happy to have them in the force, though I'm not sure I'll be rushing off to buy any more.
*Madame Audrey Toy-Soldiers has a ring to it I think.
Having thrown back the German counter attack the American forces are pushing on. The Germans meanwhile are determined to slow down the advance.
View from the American end of the table
Jump off points marked (German in Red, US in blue - ignore the big red one!)
I had selected a preliminary barrage. Hoping to disrupt German deployment for a few phases and allow me to rapidly deploy up the table. I can only win by capturing the German jump off point in the petite patisserie in the centre of the rear of the board, so wanted to make rapid progress toward German lines.Predictably I rolled triple 6 with my first roll. ending the turn and with it the barrage before it had any chance to wreck Ballzimmer's plans.At this point I should have reconsidered my options, but I didn't and instead deployed three squads from the get-go. rather revealing the American hand too early.
I pushed one section forward on the right flank where cover was heaviest, hoping to swing around there whilst pinning Germans down on the more exposed left.
The Heer quickly moved to occupy the field on my left. Leaving my squad loitering in the roadway, wary of advancing on the MG42.
Over on the right more Heer moved to occupy the woods facing my advancing squad.
And a final section of Germans put down their vanilla slices and tartes and left the patisserie.
Inevitably a heavy firefight commenced on the right. I'd managed to get a second section up into the other woods on this flank.
However, despite throwing everything possible at the Germans they stubbornly refused to break and casualties and shock began to mount in my sections.
Even the mortar and 30 cal were not enough to swing it.
The Germans were pinned and I launched an assault but terrible dice saw my men flung back and the Germans still in possession of the woods.
And then, to make matters worse, an ominous clanking signaled the arrival of some German heavy metal...
We called a halt at this point and will continue next week...
I'm in all sorts of bother. The attack on my right flank has stalled - one squad is pinned and the other is badly shot up. Even though the Germans are in slightly worse shape I'm not sure I have the manpower left to shift them.
The arrival of the Stug, spraying MG fire has further worsened the situation on that flank. I also don't have anything much in the force to deal with armour. Let's hope the bazooka boys can arrive and save the day.
I think if this were a proper campaign where my casualties carried over into future games I'd be pulling out by now. As it is a couple of good turns of shooting from the Germans are likely to see my force morale collapse.
I wanted a sniper (after my Sergeant was on the receiving end in the Crete game) and an FOO team and I needed a few more riflemen to ensure I had enough crews for the support weapons (as they were originally intended for Bolt Action).
All were done in the same way as the previous ones basic block painting followed by an all over wash. This time, I used Army Painter Strong Tone wash, rather than the dip (mainly so they dried quicker and matt).
They need some static grass adding, but I rushed them in to battle before they got that treatment.
The riflemen are Crusader.
Sniper and FOO team are Artizan.
He took Poseidon and I took Hermes.
We both had an assortment of mortals and heroes, I made sure to include the war sheep.
We decided to play the Sacred Grove scenario, mainly because the GH had set the table up with a grove in the centre.
I began by advancing my hoplites toward the grove.
The Sea God appeared behind my lines and decided to use his trident as a crook.
Hermes ran across to rescue his flock. The resultant draw left the sheep awed!
Meanwhile the Nemean Lion had wondered into the grove and was able to shrug off the attacking sprites due to being invulnerable.
At about this point Hermes was banished from the mortal realm and the sheep fled the scene.
The GH invoked furiously and used the resultant power to summon a Kraken - no doubt irate at being forced to dwell in a swamp.
Hermes was restored to the mortal realm and ran into the grove to see off the lion.
Poseidon and the Kraken decided to even the odds.
Finally the brass bull (slow) got moving and clanked toward the grove.
Where he joined up with the Spartans.
Seizing his chance the bull charged the Nemean Lion, who rolled a 1 and was vanquished!
But it was too little too late, the centaurs had by now sneaked into the grove and despite Hermes killing the Kraken the game belonged to Poseidon!
Another good fun game. I always enjoy games with the Song of.. engine. They're the right balance of choice (2 dice or 3?) and fun for me.
Predictably the two recently painted units, sheep and brass bull were largely terrible.
A force of mostly standard marines led by the Emperor's Champion has blundered into contact with my altogether clankier army, consisting of Dreadnaught, Kans and a Morkanaut.
Early shooting from the marines proved ineffectual and the Orks clanked merrily forward.
Despite a jet swooping overhead the bright red death machines were soon in amongst the marines.
Where their shiny metal fists wrought havoc.
It was soon all over and the Ork Death Machines were triumphant.
Turns out Emperor's Champions are prone to squishyness when confronted by a Morkanaut..
Oddly enough the Gaming Heir has refused my subsequent attempts to play the next campaign turn.
This time I was to play Sam, who had an army of crocodiles. Handbags and Shoes for the Tzarina!
Sadly Sam knew what he was doing and I still don't.
Forward the horse archers!
The proud Lancers of Kislev
More reptilian raiders
Dead stuff too
We were playing the scenario where you have to collect up the gems.The vagaries of the dice meant we were playing down the length of the table. A few fluffed activation roles meant the killer kroks were able to scoop up more than half of them quite quickly.As we'd forgotten to do boasts or challenges that meant I was already unable to win. However neither of us felt like finishing soon (or starting again) so we just fought on. You know, for the lolz.
The yetis managed to drop rocks on the heads of some passing crocs, but this was the limit of my success.
Eventually a particularly animated and agitated alligator put paid to my wizard
And with that we called a halt to the slaughter.
I'm now played 3 lost 3 in the campaign.
But it's all good fun.
The US troops behind the fence continued to exchange fire with the beleaguered Germans in the woods.
Despite the arrival of their commanding officer the Germans proved inaccurate with their fire, whilst the Americans were having one of those days when they just couldn't miss.
Eventually the Germans pulled back and the Americans were able to switch their fire to the squad approaching their left flank.
Meanwhile behind on the outskirts of the village the US troops continued to pour fire into the fallschirmjagers in the building, eventually wiping them out.
By this time additional German troops were deploying into the nearby building and so the US section pulled into cover behind one of the larger buildings.
The Germans attempted to push up on the American squad in the centre, however the assaulting infantry were caught in the open and the fire of their MG42 squad was ineffective.
Judicious use of Turn Ending CoC dice at this point pushed the Germans close to the Force Morale of 3 that would hand victory to the US and so, in desperation the remaining undamaged squad left their building and moved to out flank the Americans.
They were met by a hail of fire from the US troops
Despite some dodgy moments the American firepower proved (just) too much for the Germans who broke and (with the aid of another Turn Ending dice) took Force Morale down to zero, leaving the Americans in charge of Tromnee-sur-Ilq.
Another good fun game that had plenty of swings and changes of fortune.
General B had a poor day with the dice whilst mine ran hot all evening.
At least until the end when I couldn't roll a four to save my life and the shock began to pile up on the American squad in the open.
I'm enjoying Chain of Command, though it does feel a bit like the game breaks down into a series of long ranged firefights where the decision making is about who you activate, rather than what they do. You know they're going to carry on firing, and if possible removing shock - the only question is what dice you get to do that.
Maybe this is an accurate recreation of war, or maybe we're just not very good at playing the game well but it does feel as if the game is a bit static for long periods.
Next week I'm on the attack, pursuing the fleeing Germans.
Usually we have roped our chum Spandex in to remain a bastion of bemused sobriety as we attempted to move soldiers in a state of advanced drunkenness. Sadly he wasn't available this year. But, undaunted Steve and I pressed on with the whole thing.
So, big game of Warhammer. I had 3,000 points - 2,000 Orcs and Goblins and 1,000 Ogres. Opposing me was a slightly smaller alliance of Skaven and Undead.
All I had to do was knock down a bunch of buildings (and avoid being butchered by the Vampire).
The field of WAR!
I painted these. They are horrible models
Boar Boys are Aces!
Giant. Ideal for smashing buildings
The battle began with the horrid dogs charging the boarboys. Meanwhile repulsive, rotting leathery things devoid of emotion and empathy (no, not Theresa May) were flapping around.
Stephen got his ghoulies out. They're a peculiar shade of purple are Stephen's ghoulies.
They formed up in a horde in the graveyard, with the vampire ordering them about.
The Boarboys took their sweet time killing the dogs.
Fortunately I had some things to deal with leathery flappers.
On the left flank a Doomwheel was fizzing about randomly, which caused my own randomly fizzing things to come shooting out. Dealing a fair bit of damage to the electrified hamster wheel.
The Vampire got his ghoulies out to play with. The Bulls charged them. And then were slaughtered.
The boarboys, finally free of the dogs made for the skaven
As the bulls were dying the Ironguts and Orcs pushed up
Having gorged on dead flying beasties the Squigs went to munch on the tower.
Bulls struggle gamely on
Eventually the Ironguts ploughed into the tower and hacked it to the ground.
Meanwhile out of sight (i.e. I forgot to take pictures) the Orc warboss cut down the Vampire and some serious crumbling began.
Victory to the Orc and Ogre alliance!
Splendid game. Steve was a bit hampered by deployment (his super hard graveguard were out of command range of the vampire, so struggled to get anywhere) but my big lads performed admirably.
Then we went for a curry.
We decided to play our second game using the full setting up rules, rolling for morale and scenario and everything.
We rolled up the Flank Attack scenario, so figured that as I'd lost the previous game the US would be on the defensive in the outskirts of the village we'd fought over last time.
The scenario potentially gives the attacker lots of support, so we were both excited (General B) and nervous (me) about the outcome. Then the good General rolled a 2 and it was all pretty much the same as last time.
Despite the advantage of patrol markers on the German side for this scenario I was able to push forward with mine and rapidly pin the German forces. However the Germans would be attacking in force from the wooded hill on the right of the board.
The US faired better with the early rolls and I rapidly deployed a squad in the centre of the board. Sending the rifle section to secure the fence line I pushed the BAR team into the small wooded hill to give fire to the Germans advancing on my left.
Meanwhile a second squad occupied a building on the fringes of the village with good field of fire over the rest of the settlement of Tomnee-sur-Ilq.
Once again the Germans infiltrated the wooded hills to the east of the village and a firefight broke out between the US troops at the fence and the deploying Heer.
Unfortunately the Geermans had by this stage managed to get a section of fallschirmjager complete with two (!) machineguns into the buildings from where they could potentially enfilade my troops at the fence.
So I was forced to deploy my remaining section behind a wall and fence and give fire on the building to try and keep heads down.
Initiall firing bought some success but the superior German fire power began to take it's toll.
At this point with time ticking on we called a pause and will conclude the battle this evening....
The river bed actually marked the edge of the area we were playing on this occasion and the paratroops and gliders in the valley were purely decorative.
The Cannon show takes place in the town hall which is a lovely venue.
However it's not a busy show by any stretch of the imagination. This was taken at the hieght of the rush. Most of the day was much quieter than this!
He invited me along to help out at the Canon show last weekend and I made a small contribution to the game in the form of some goats and oil barrels.
The whole game looked splendid on a huge table dominated by the valley of the River Tavronitis complete with girder bridge.
The game we played out was a bit of a "what if" scenario based on the defence of Hill 107 - where we allowed the British to attack the Germans earlier than they did in the actual battle.
Rules used were Chain of Command.
We played all day and because it was a (very) quiet show we got a lot of leisurely gaming in and were able to chat to the small number of punters as well. Mike took the Germans, James was overall British commander and I took the New Zealand and RAF rag-tag troops. Sam was sleeping off the after-effects of an actual Greek wedding so gave this one a miss.
There's a lot of pictures to follow, with some minimal commentary.
Models are all 28mm, a mix of Crusader, Artizan, Black Tree Design and one or two others. The flying planes are 1/72 (it works better perspective wise, oddly) the gliders are 1/48 scale plastic kits.
The terrain is mostly the work of James and Sam, the British are I think all James' work with the Germans being provided by Mike and Sam.
The British Commander arrives and takes stock
The New Zealand commander arrives and takes a sniper bullet.
Fallschirmjäger swarm out of the river bed
The Germans had strong air support
The British had a couple of tanks (that performed rather better than their real life counterparts)
The New Zealanders assemble at the wall
The British begin to advance through the olive groves
RAF ground crew were pressed in to servioce (led by Wanklyn Flower. No, really)
The sniper who took out the New Zealand officer
Not sure the AT gun was strictly historically accurate at this stage in the battle
Another Stuka bombing run completed
Lee McColl built the excellent out of service Brewster Buffalo, based on a contemporary picture
The British forces took their time establishing themselves at the edge of the olive groves
The Germans likewise took cover near the tents of the RAF camp
The New Zealanders came under mortar fire
Eventually the tank closed on the Pak.
Driving over them tends to rout the stoutest of chaps
Where's the bloody RAF?!
At about this point the organisers stopped by to award James the best game prize
Emboldened the British break cover
Hopefully this isn't about to lead to a war crime!
The tanks tries to escape from the river bed...
...and the fallschirmjäger take aim...
Look Hans, dinner!
The British storm the groves and attempt to retake the camp
Me109 flies in and strafes...his own side! (Should have stuck with Stukas!)
Fierce fighting about the camp
The British CO encourages from the rear
Partizans look on
In the end the British were unable to take the camp and were thrown back by some late arriving fallschirmjäger.Victory to the German airborne invaders
A really great day out playing soldiers. Thanks to James and Mike for having me along for the ride.
The game will be at Partizan in May (though it may be a different scenario).
I began by pulling back my exposed soldiers in the woods, an and using the sergeant to try and shift some shock.
This meant Von Ballzimmer could shift fire from the tripod MG42 on to the troops cowering behind the fence.
The American squad in the woods was now ready to return to the fray and poured fire into a German unit that had unwisely wandered into the open (and SMG range)
At the fence the squad pulled back and the Senior Leader restored some semblance of order
The German squad in the open was taking some serious shock
But on the far flank the Germans were pushing up on the abandoned fence
The German junior leader took a wound, further hampering their chances of recoevring from the shock storm
Seizing the day (and realising time was running out) the Americans in the wood rushed the pinned Germans and wiped them out.
Unfortunately, despite this causing the German force morale to plummet, the brave Anmerican squad were left exposed.
A fierce counter charge by the Germans wiped them out and the resulting checks saw the US FM fall to zero and the game was up.
A good fun game. Second time around we were starting to see some of the nuances of the system (though I expect they'll remain nuances that other people are good at).
General B opined afterwards that he far preferred it to Bolt Action.
I'm not sure the comparison is entirely fair as BA and CoC trying to do different things, but I do think it suits our preferred style of playing.
A big thumbs up from us and another game planned for next week.