Warheads

Official and Glorious Blog of the Inglorious and Officious Warheads Gaming Club

Month: May 2014

Warheads Flames of War League, Week 1

The annual Warheads Flames of War League began this week.  At stake: bowls of schadenfreude and an engraved name on the Warheads league plaque.

This year the league is short, just four games.  We’re playing two Fair Fight missions, Fighting Withdrawal, and the new mission Breakout.  It’s a 1780 point Late War league.  Players are restricted to one briefing for the duration of the league but can alter lists from week to week.  NGFS is banned.  Scoring works this way: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a loss.  Small points (traditional FoW scoring) are tie breakers, with enemy platoons killed as 3rd tie breaker if needed.  In addition, you get 1 bonus big point for using the same list for four weeks, and another generous big point if you are fully painted for the whole league.  The lists and rules are on this thread: http://warheads.ie/index.php?topic=530.0

Nine Thursday night regulars reported for duty and names were drawn from a hat (actually, a Samsung phone) for pairings.  The mission was Free-for-All.

Baz’s Tankovy and Floody’s 2ID landed together on table 1.

Padraic, the league kommissar, drew Grant.  How would Grant’s Aufklarungsschwadron fair against 2ID?  On table 3, John’s trained Panzer Kampfgruppe faced off against Ulick’s Canadian infantry.
Table 4 pitted Daniel’s Canadian Armoured Recce list of Sherman ninja tanks against Brendan’s Independent Tank Company.  Brendan looked over his Stuart spam and concluded: Worst.  Match.  Ever.

This left yours truly with a bye.  Sad face (Although the bye point win and the fact that Woody and I went for a few pints provided some consolation):

The games were of a high standard.  Everyone save Grant is a tournament veteran.  The armies were nicely painted too.  Check out the detail on Floody’s staff team maps:

Padraic’s Sherman platoon took cover in a tree line while the infantry in the background dug in.  Grant attacked aggressively, quickly lost several platoons and then Padraic cleaned up for a major win.

Daniel’s land mattresses were ready for action:

Brendan’s 11 platoon Stuart spam list suffered mightily at the hands of the Canuck ninja tanks and Daniel came away with a decisive victory.





The bloodiest game of the night was between John and Ulick.  John’s FlaKs put some fear into Ulick’s two Sherman platoons.  John’s jagdpanthers inflicted kills until a single Typhoon wiped out the unit.  The guys traded a good few platoons before time was called and they limped away with a mutual loss.
Ulick’s two units of Shermans, backed up by fin and fur boys, lined up for battle:

 Baz and Floody both played aggressively.  A risky flanking action by T-34s put serious pressure on Floody.

Floody, however, was able to sneak a unit of Stuarts and recce jeeps onto one of Baz’s objective.  Unfortunately for Floody, they ran into Baz’s commander who had paused for a brief looting pit stop.  The lone matilda contested the objective and the game finished with a mutual loss.

It was a good night and the four games were enjoyable to watch.  The table after Week 1:

1.  Daniel, 3-6-6
2.  Padraic, 3-6-6
3.  Brian, 3-6-0 (bye)
4.  Ulick, 1-3-5
5.  John, 1-3-4
6.  Baz, 1-3-3
7.  Floody, 1-3-3
8.  Brendan, 1-0-0
9.  Grant, 1-0-0

Warheads Episode 6

Welcome to Episode 6 of the Warheads podcast. Vile aspersions are cast upon all involved as we run through our recent games, recent army books, not-so-recent history and upcoming Irish events.

Contents

00:23 Pop Quiz! Baz is covered in shame. Shame….

03:35 Brian tells us of his participation game in which we discover that centralised control is a real and ongoing problem.

10:16 We run through our own AARs and what we’ve learnt since the last podcast. Very little, in Pádraic’s case.

17:14 Like a reverse AA meeting, Baz shows us how to recover from a gaming tailspin and dive back into the throes of plastic/resin addiction.

33:44 Like a olde time prophet, Floody emerges from the deep desert holding a book and preaching news of Italian theatre Axis lists.

47:15 To round out the show, we talk about upcoming events. The focus falls heavily on Clash of Steel and we discuss possible tank lists and the strange but refreshing restrictions.

Check out this episode!

Bolt Action! British Commandos vs. Soviets

Tony and I met for a cracker of a game this week.  The game was 1000 points.

I brought:
1.  Regular Junior Lieutenant with friend
2.  Inexperienced Commissar with friend
3.  Veteran rifle squad with 2 captured panzerfausts
4.  Veteran SMG tank rider squad
5.  Assault engineer squad with flamethrower
6.  Scout squad
7.  SU-76
8.  Medium morar
9.  M-42 45mm AT gun
10.  Free green squad
11.  Sniper
12.  Regular BA-64

Tony brought:
1.  Lieutenant with  friend
2.  Medic with friend
3.  Free artillery observer
4.  Heavy mortar with observer
5.  MMG
6.  Sniper
7.  Anti-tank rifle
8.  Commando squad
9.  Commando squad
10.  Commando squad
11.  Cromwell CS
12.  Commando squad

A nice list, and two units with 2d6 HE certainly had my Vets worried.  The Cromwell CS was a recent acquisition for Tony.  It’s a Corgi pre-painted die-cast model.  The best part?  Check out those tracks!

We discovered that if you make a tank sound when you move this particular model you will always hit with the medium howitzer.

We rolled up Envelopment for the mission.  This mission requires the attacker to move on from his table edge with the objectives of exiting units off the opposite table edge, finishing the game with units in the defender’s deployment zone, and killing enemy units.  The defender earns points by killing enemy units.  The table had a nice road network and a decent cluster of buildings in the center.

Deployment

I won the roll and decided to attack.  In this mission only the defender deploys.  On turn 1 the attacker moves forces onto the table.  Tony opted to deploy everything and he put a decent force on each flank.

Turn 1
Tony’s Cromwell was on his left flank so I decided to push everything against the right flank.  I outflanked with the assault engineers, a veteran squad, my commissar and my commander.  The games starts with a preparatory bombardment by the attacker.  Unfortunately for me I rolled a ‘1’ and the bombardment failed to materialize.  My scouts started in a building in the middle of the table.  A photo of the Soviet advance against the British right flank:

I used the buildings to hide the SU-76 and my mortar from Tony’s Cromwell and heavy mortar.  The green squad was eager to prove their worth.  However, their headstrong advance put them in line-of-sight of trouble.  See the Cromwell CS in the distance?

From the Cromwell’s point of view:

Lucky for Tony the Cromwell hit, lucky for me he rolled atrociously and only killed 3 in the unit.  He did, however, inflict three pins and the green squad would remain in that spot for the remainder of the game (note to self: suck it up and roll over the down order next time).  The defender benefits from Hidden Deployment so there was no shooting for me other than my sniper adjusting his scope.

Turn 2
Tony’s heavy mortar had fired in T1 and missed, it missed again in T2.  My sniper caught a break and eliminated it.  My scouts broke cover and assaulted Tony’s MMG on the ground floor of a ruin.  One of Tony’s para sqauds then assaulted and wiped out the scouts.

Seeing the action on his right flank, Tony decided to move over one of his para squads from the left.  The outflankers prevented him from vacating his left flank entirely.

My SU-76 and medium mortar started firing on the ruin which had a British squad on each floor.  Both missed.  Tony’s sniper killed the NCO of my tank rider squad, and one of his rifle squads inflicted two more casualties.  With his last order dice, Tony’s artillery observer called in a strike.  Uh oh.

Turn 3
Like sunshine on the 4th of July, Tony’s artillery strike covered my units with pins.

Thus did the Soviet advance come to a screeching halt.  The British paras inflicted a handful of other casualties with shooting.  The Cromwell broke cover to reinforce the right flank and I sprung my trap: the mighty 45mm anti-tank gun.

Alas the little anti-tank gun that thought it could failed to get the job done–for three turns in a row.

Turn 4
The Soviet advance was struggling at this point.  My only hope was to bring on my outflankers.  I had committed them all to the main advance against Tony’s right flank.  I successfully rolled for all four units–nice!

An unlucky para squad took the heat from my assault engineers and three were roasted.

The paras passed their morale check and launched an assault against the engineers [gulp].  The resulting assault roll against my veteran engineers:

The engineers, surprised to still be alive, killed the paras to death!  More assaults were to follow.  Tony had advanced a para unit into a building.  My severely depleted tank rider squad attempted an assault–and rolled a 4 to pass their test.  In they went:

These paras, however, had evidently remember to sharpen their knives and my tank riders were wiped, although they did take four paras with them.

The Cromwell once again found itself with the opportunity to make a decisive contribution.  Tony drew down on the assault engineers, hit with the medium howitzer, and killed two engineers.

The BA-64 which had been shooting ineffectually for a few turns took a hit from the anti-tank rifle and then FUBARed back to within a few inches of my table edge.  The SU-76 missed, but the medium mortar hit the ruin…and killed one guy in the anti-tank rifle team.
Turn 5

Serious business now.  Tony and I conducted some assaults in the center of the table.  I lost my commander and a veteran squad for one of Tony’s para squads.

I decided to move the assault engineers off the table rather than face another Cromwell shot.  The BA-64, now recovered, put a pin on the Cromwell.  The SU-76 and the mortar both inflicted casualties. 
Turn 6
The dice bag was considerably lighter than when the game started.  I possessed a slight lead in units killed, but the Tony as the defender earns more victory points for killing units than me.  I had to get units into his deployment zone.  The pinned down troops in my backfield were unsympathetic.  Tony’s sniper killed my commissar and my mortar and SU-76 inflicted additional casualties.  The turn was over quickly however, and the game ended without a Turn 7.  Victory points were tallied and…a 10-10 draw!
Reflections
I was really close to victory–that preparatory bombardment would sure as hell have helped.  And yet Tony’s Cromwell, although able to hit consistently, evidently had a bad batch of HE shells.  Both my green squad and my assault engineers should have been red-misted by that tank.

Tony and I were both happy with how our tanks performed.  My SU-76 was cheap as chips and had success firing both indirectly and directly (with HE).  Similarly, other than the below-average kill rolls, the Cromwell performed well.

[edit: oops!  Tony corrected me: he brought Commandos not Paras!]

Warheads Episode 5

Look, basic sound editing. We’re rapidly approaching the most basic level of competence required to create a podcast. The day may come when we can stand proudly in the middle of the pack, slightly towards the back.

Contents

00:00 A host recounts the tale of his recent visit to the Saumur Tank Museum (Musée des Blindés) and its extensive collection of armoured fighting vehicles. We froth about tanks and chatter happily about museums for a good while. Some of this might be legally damning.

27:07 The age-old stereotype of the lazy European worker is in no way damaged by a very, very quick discussion of our holidays.

28:10 There was a crazy amount of gaming in the Warhead lairs over the past fortnight. We begin with the Late-War games. The merits of a lend-lease Matilda II horde are expoused and Floody is mocked.

35:34 The long-awaited Japanese force hits the table against a less than ideal opponent. Floody is condemned and mocked as Early-War FoW is considered.

44:41 To finish the game round-up, we switch to the Mid-War games. We discuss Tigers vs T-34s and the least motivated Italians to ever take to the field. Floody is mocked and condemned as unimaginative and a bad egg.

55:56 Following our discussion of World of Tanks as a hobby-killer in the last podcast, we consider other hazards (mainly, sunshine). Baz makes binding promises as he chats about his newly acquired IS-2 list.

Check out this episode!

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