Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

Dan K. has inspired me to write up a year in review report based on his BoardGameGeek forum threads for 2013 and 2014.

Here is a breakdown of games played here at Chicago Wargamer HQ by opponent. Several large projects were completed, bringing down the variety of titles attempted.  

Dan K.:  

Flying Colors/Serpents of the Seas: Raleigh vs. Druid Duel, Minorca, El Ferrol, Cape Henry, Algeciras Bay, Flamborough Head, Suffren v. Hughes Campaign, Lake Ontario Campaign, Glorious First of June, Trafalgar

Fading Glory: Salamanca, Smolensk, Borodino, Waterloo, Jena

The Battle for Normandy: Campaign Game


Rebel Raiders of the High Seas

East Front (Columbia Block)

Mike L.:  We will finally be finishing up our run of all GCACW titles once we are done with Grant Takes Command.

Stonewall Jackson's Way II: Cedar Mountain, Lee vs. Pope, Jackson's March, From the Rappahannock to Bull Run, Bag the Whole Crowd, Which Way Did He Go, From the Rapidan to Manassas

Stonewall's Last Battle: Chancellorsville Campaign

Roads To Gettysburg: The Battle that Never Happened, Gettysburg Campaign

Battle Above the Clouds: The Chickamauga Campaign, The Chattanooga Campaign

Grant Takes Command: Grant's 1864 Offensive Campaign

Ending out the Year with Grant Takes Command

John H:  My stalwart ASL opponent for many years via VASL.  We have been concentrating on HASL, so no individual scenarios played this year.

Red Barricades: Campaign Game III  (officially started in 2013, but finally completed in May 2014)

Valor of the Guards: Campaign Game IV  (I took a serious beating as the Germans)

Singling Campaign Game

Pegasus Bridge Campaign Game

Jared: Our newest opponent, we hope to see more of you in 2015

Blood & Roses: 1st Saint Albans, Blore Heath

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Battle For Normandy Finish - June 15

The Normandy campaign came to a sudden halt after the Allies broke out from the German lines.  June 15 was an optional sudden death victory check date, so we decided to apply the rule as the Allies had amassed enough victory locations to bring an end to the game.  We would have liked to play it out farther, but time issues over the next few weeks and the impending holidays pushed us in favor of wrapping it up.

Normandy: Evening of June 15, 1944

The Americans conducted a breakout from the Vire River line near Saint-Jean-de-Daye with the 2nd Armored Division spearheading a race to seal off the peninsula at Lessay and driving deep south to Coutances. In the north the American 90th Infantry Division assaulted the defenses of Cherbourg and pushed through to the coast at Carteret.  This double envelopment pocketed the remaining German defenders on the Cotentin.  The Allies ended the day with 37 points of geographic objectives.

American Breakout: June 13-15, 1944
Some post game stats:
Play length: July 8 - November 11, 2014
Play time: 17 sessions averaging 4.15 hours
Total play time: 70 hours
Total Campaign Game Dates: June 6 - August 11 = 67 days (201 turns)
Completed Campaign Game Dates: June 6 - June 15 = 10 days (30 turns)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Battle For Normandy Update - June 11

Normandy: June 11, 1944
Our Normandy campaign continues as we are on the sixth day of the invasion, with nearly two and a half months of real time logged.  The weather has held up for the most part, giving the Allies time to make some significant gains in select sectors.  German resistance grows along the bocage line.

British and Canadian Front
The British thrust lead by the Desert Rats push through Bayeux toward Caumont. The Canadians and British 3rd Infantry screen Caen, waiting for their opportunity.

American Zone: Omaha 
The Big Red One finishes off a large pocket of the German 352nd who held out at Trevieres for seven days.  U.S. 28th Infantry push on toward St. Lo, but have not linked up with Utah yet.  Strong German lines hold the Douve and Taute Rivers.

American Zone: Utah
The U.S. Airborne forces have remained static against strong German defenses while the 90th Infantry have pushed through on the coast to the north in a mad dash to reach Cherbourg.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blood & Roses - Blore Heath

Saturday saw our first game with BoardGameGeek user Jared Inc.  Jared had put out the call on the BGG forums a few weeks ago for local Chicago wargamers and we arranged a session of GMT's Blood & Roses. This is a Richard Berg design on battles from the English Wars of the Roses.  It is part of the Men of Iron series of medieval battles.  We had time to try out the first two battles in the game: 1st St. Albans and Blore Heath. 1st St. Albans is really more of an introductory scenario, and we played though it quickly to work out any rules questions still lingering.

Blore Heath End Game 
Blore Heath was our first serious attempt.  This battle features a small force of Yorkists in a strong defensive position attacked by a strong Lancastrian combined force.  It turned into quite a tense affair with Lancastrian infantry assaulting the Yorkist trench line while the Yorkist Longbows skirmished on the Lancastrian left flank, causing quite a bit of damage.  It all come down to the army morale roll with Lancaster losing the will to continue the battle.  A lucky break for the Yorkists, who were hard pressed and ready to flee the field.

Jared joins our expanding network of local Chicago wargamers.  We have an email database that can be utilized to make a match for local face to face wargames.  Please drop me a line if you would like to be included in our growing ranks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Battle For Normandy - The Night of June 6

The great invasion has finally begun.  Tuesday night saw my Allies take on Dan K.'s Germans as we started the standard campaign game.  We spent some time finalizing setup and reviewing various rules which left us with just enough time to complete the initial June 6 night airdrop phase.  We realized too late that we had already made on error in the drop procedure rolling for scatter direction for each individual company. However, we decided to let it stand and move on.  It will just take me a little longer to reform the battalions from the slightly farther afield companies.

The British 6th AB landed consistently south of the Bois de Bavent in a fairly tight pattern with minimal losses.  The Ox and Bucks took Pegasus Bridge.
The British Airdrop

The US took slightly higher losses than historical,  losing 17 of 54 (31%) airborne infantry companies plus the 101st HQ compared to the 22% historical loss rate.

The American Airdrop 
 Next week we hit the beaches...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Battle For Normandy

The next big project with Dan K. is to be GMT's The Battle For Normandy.  We are going right into the campaign game as soon as I finish clipping 100,000 counters.
Is this how armies are made?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Red Barricades Campaign Game

Things have been quiet here on the blog as of late as I have been concentrating on a Red Barricades Campaign Game III.  Yes, the big one, played out on VASL with John H.  It has taken us the better part of a year to finally come to a conclusion with the Germans pushing the Russians off the map.  I made a simple video showing the daily situation from beginning to end.  Sorry guys, it's not very sound or fancy graphics.  We are thinking of going Valor of the Guards next so I might record the game with the idea of doing a more complex video report.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

PAASL February 2014

Saturday night was the latest PAASL meeting hosted by Dave Kleinschmidt.  Five brave souls faced another round of Winter 2014 as we made our way to the NW suburbs.  I matched up with Tom B. for J139 Light Aid Detached.  This is an interesting scenario featuring partisans attempting to hold off a mixed German column.  The partisans must buy time for a small British repair crew to hastily man a pair of vehicles in defense of their undermanned facility.  Also in attendance was newcomer Eric O. who matched wits with Mark W.  in a small scenario from Valor of the Guards.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Flying Colors - Minorca

This week Dan K. and I took to the seas with GMT's Flying Colors.  We started with Minorca, a naval battle between Britain and France during the Seven Years' War.  The British closed the gap on the French line quickly and powerful broadsides were exchanged.  A lucky shot killed the French Admiral on turn 4 quickly followed by an unlucky roll which broke the French fleet.
Britain has the wind gauge.

Ramillies fires on the Foudroyant - the Marquis is lost!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rebel Raiders of the High Seas

The first game of the new year was a test run of Rebel Raiders of the High Seas with Vance.  A quick and fun little game; a quasi CDG with some simple, if at times quirky, mechanics.  Most of our action took place with the blockade on the high seas.  We didn't see as much movement on the rivers, mostly due to some fumbling with the rules on our part.  Now that we have some of the bumps worked out I would like to try it again.