“Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it” - Napoleon
TOB game played at Johns using his and Stephens excellent 10mm early war kit.
Scenario was set around Hannut in Belgium with a Panzer Regiment with Panzer Grenadier support attacking against French armour and infantry.
The Boche also had some air support (Stukas and ME109s) the French a small chance of air to counter the Luftwaffe.
Both sides had off-table artillery, 75mm for the French and 105mm for the Boche.
I started as a German Commander along with Stephen but after a single turn Stevie P arrived and took over my command and I then assisted John with French.
The Boche were Veteran with morale 9 (i.e. pretty damn good) the French mostly Regular (with a few Experienced) also Morale 9 (not too shabby)
Interesting using early war kit with French tanks having decent armour and similar AT to Boche but with lesser rate of fire (1 man turret/radio less tanks) and slower.
We failed to finish the scenario with the Boche having taken only Hannut (they had to capture 2 of 4 objective BUA and threaten a third to win) but with French infantry lines badly weakened.
Took a bit to explain the LOS/Spotting rules to John and Mr P as both new to TOB but otherwise things cracked along nicely.
Only mistake we noticed was when a Stuka attacked we forgot to reduce morale of enemy with 12" of the attack by 2 for any morale checks.
Again a nice system for this scale of game ie 3-4 Battalions plus support per side.
He set up a scenario based on Neerwinden with he and I as French attackers and Tony and the Dice Demon as defending Williamites.
Another excellent game which with the big moves for 28mm saw us fairly whizz through the game finishing in a mere three hours despite there being some 40 plus units on table.
Le Ducs house rules for the period disallowed any oblique moves and of the opposing mounted arms only French Cavalry could conduct Immediate Melees.
Additionally for this scenario the entrenched Allies could only be attacked by Foot who could then remove a section of hasty defences to allow mounted to break through or at least that was the theory.
I had right flank forces with two Infantry and two Cavalry commands not sure what Le Duc had.
The Allies had more but smaller commands it seemed.
The game was pretty much split into two distinct action areas with my wing fighting Tony and Le Duc engaging the Demon with very little overlap.
However I knew things were going somewhat eschew on my left as the air was turning blue with Le Duc becoming exasperated with his troops ("bloody French b******ds" was heard at least once)
My foot Commands managed to advance 3 moves on our first card and attack several sections of the hasty defences and the Rumsdorp village on my right.
I repulsed two Allied foot units and dismantled said hasty defences and took the village.
However Rumsdorp was lost and retaken whilst it seemed to take an age for my mounted troops to get into position to exploit the hard won gaps.
Eventually did manage to charge through and rout a damaged Allied infantry unit then engage its supporting cavalry being initially forced back then forcing back the enemy with supports.
My second cavalry command was about to assault the other breach just as game ended.
Le Duc on the left suffered terribly from Allied firepower and he managed to lose a whooping 4 Commanders (despite it only occurring on a 1 on a D20 !!) including Berwick and Luxembourg the CinC.
He did take a section of defences on his extreme left but like me could not exploit in time.
When our Morale Chips hit zero the Allies had only a few (8 ?) left themselves but we were unable to inflict any further losses on them before handing over a few to them then of course on the first Morale Card we turned the game ended giving William the field.
Another cracking game of FOB2 and again I hope Tony enjoyed the game and now has a decent grasp of the FOB system and its nuances, strengths, abstractions and indeed limitations.
My initial advance and one just achieved breach visible at Tonys right hand
Le Duc struggles to attack Neerwinden itself but again note the breach on extreme left
French cavalry approaches as my foot attempt to clear a path
Rumsdorp changes hands for final time as French push out defenders
Swiss Garde suffer trying to pierce the other breach in allied defences as my cavalry push forward in other breached section
The 'Demon' I don't actually know how well he rolled but can only assume he put a hex on Le Ducs dice going by his fervent outcries !!
Le Ducs dark mood...……………….
Tony armed with hot coffee
My other mounted command swings to assault other breach
Whilst their colleagues at last enter the Allied 'back field'
Game today with Le Duc and a visiting Blogger Tony (prometheusinaspic.blogspot.com/) all the way from East Lothian (over for a weekends FOB familiarisation).
I umpired the game using my 15mm French and Prussians with a replay of a GDB scenario 'The Prussian Charge' at Lutzen May 1813.
Tony took the defending French and Darren the Prussian attackers.
As Tony is a newbie to FOB (he has read the rules and played once ?) I helped him with the mechanics of the rules and card system.
He took no time absorbing the basics and the game soon flowed in the way FOB games do.
Le Duc suffered early on from poor rolls on his move cards and took awhile to get to the initial village target Gros Gorschen but did Rout the French from it rather easily.
However Klein Gorschen proved tougher fare as the garrison beat off its attackers in short order.
Meanwhile both side suffered casualties in the central areas.
The French heavy battery on the hill shot at long range into the flanks of Prussian Cavalry causing them to Rout as another unit was Routed by a French square.
However the Prussian Cavalry rallied and with further mounted reserves arriving they dealt with a square and the French artillery.
A timely arrival by the French Cavalry Brigade shored up that flank before the Prussian mounted arm could run riot.
In the center the French defenders began to rout in droves but again the arrival of a large Infantry Division shored up this area.
Both sides had lost multiple Morale Chips but the French suddenly found their Morale had run out and they were giving chips to the Prussians.
However Tony managed to forestall doom twice by passing his Army Morale check but eventually succumbed on third appearance of the card.
A hard fought action and I hope both Le Duc and Tony enjoyed the game and that Tony was given a good grounding in FOB.
Also hope he saw how well FOB performs for a game such as this with some 30+ units per side.
Off to Le Ducs tomorrow for a FOB refight of Neerwinden with his 25's yee hah
Action is based around attack in area of Cristot on 11th June by 50th Infantry Division against 12th SS Hitler Jugend.
British were Regulars Morale 8 the SS Veteran morale 9 although if we were to play this again I would make one or other Experienced with same morale level as Veterans are very powerful in TOB with their +1 to hit.
The scenario was based on a 7' x 5' table and so I copied terrain pretty much exactly however the RF villages are a good deal bigger than the TOB built up areas so maybe should have reduced their footprint a tad.
But really made little difference to game overall.
Stephen took the SS defenders and we just had him set up hidden on a map which worked fine.
Tough to spot in Normandy terrain and defenders invariably get first shot in.
We also used the Special Events cards which are a nice addition with some minor but interesting effects for specific units or actions.
The deterministic Spotting rules take a bit of getting used to but work fine, but we still are not 100% sure we are doing Morale checks correctly in terms of some modifiers as to whether they are 'one offs' or last throughout game in particular Forced Back and Eliminated.
Otherwise a slick playable system streamlined a good deal from the earlier CDII we played years ago.
I suspect another outing for these soon
The area of operations pre-battle from German lines, Cristot center/left.
Dragoon Guards run into trouble
As Infantry deploys around Hill 103
Hill 102 occupied by Panther Platoon which which I never got close enough to spot.
Allied advance on left towards Brouray
Game today using Test Of Battle version of Command Decision rules system at Stephens.
I have had these for about 10 years without trying them !
Used to play CD versions I & II quite a lot prior to arrival of Spearhead.
We used Stephens lovely 10mm kit with me as Canadians and he as SS in a scenario 'Buron' showing the 12th SS counter attack on 7th June 1944.
Great game with a much faster playing version of CD.
A lot of stuff has been refined to easier systems with a lot less firing and a new hit and hit effects system, although based around unit quality.
The CD orders chit system remains but with less order types and effects more playable overall.
Like Battlegroup rules high velocity weapons suffer as they essentially fire the same as anything else eg a 37mm hits same as an 88mm with only a smaller extreme range and of course much less penetration.
Some stats seem tad off as well such a standard Sherman has frontal armour of 8 but a Firefly has a mighty 10 whilst a PzIVh has a mere 6.
I prefer SH or FOBWW2 for larger games but TOB is great for games with couple of Battalions per side.
The WW2 kick continues...……………
We played another scenario from the Bleneville Or Bust supplement with Stephens using his Yanks against my Krauts.
I had 2 Stugs and 2 Tigers backing up a mixed Company of Fallschirmjager and Infantry against 10 Shermans and a full Armoured Infantry Company with some Recon assets.
We both had access to air power although USSAF had rocket armed Jabos whilst Luftwaffe had MG strafing only.
I did manage to brew 5 Shermans but lost one Tiger to laser guided munitions of the Jabo (and 2nd Tiger nearby was lucky to escape unscathed) whilst my 2 Stugs retired with guns knocked out.
My Infantry were badly handled by Yank tank fire and incessant 60mm Mortar attention (Yanks had 4 of these annoying weapons).
We failed to finish but I think it would have been hard for me to wrest control of the bridge objective from the Yanks.
Again we came up against some rules issues this time being unable to find any rules covering on-table mortar fire !! not covered directly (amazingly !) in the actual rules but is in the late war supplement War of Liberation.
Another was use of MGs on half-tracks, with rules covering their firing included but not how to crew them again I found an answer later in another supplement (a no-brainer as such but at least it spells out that you need to leave crew to drive a half-track and 2 additional crew to fire any onboard MG at full effect).
Such issues are very annoying with IABSM especially with such basic stuff, easily enough resolved but much time wasted trying to decide what rules say, or don't say and making a house rule.
Still an enjoyable game and we both like the scale of IABSM and its system overall but just wish the writing was a tad 'tighter' and less left to Kriegspiel approach.
Overview of the battlefield from Yank entry point with German high ground to left
Yank tanks suffer
Yank Infantry Platoon and Recce defend southern approaches to bridge
Yanks in the church facing my Grenadiern
Stugs on my left flank
Soldaten on ridge line
More Shermans appear to the north
Tiger appear to replace the retiring Stugs
My FJ advance in centre
And uncover more Shermans
Shermans suffering more as Tigers open up
Soldaten decimated by Tank HE
An M8 brewed a hard to spot little bugger in the bocage