Sunday, January 5, 2020

Davis' Crossroads - Chickamauga

This past Saturday, Chris, Matt, James, Aaron, Andy and Myself got together to give Pickett's Charge a second go. I decided to run the hypothetical scenario, Davis' Crossroads from Brad Butkovich's great A Murderous Fire: Regimental Scenarios for the Battle of Chickamauga: Sept 11th-19th. I own most of Brad's series of ACW scenario books and they are all fantastic with great maps and are easily adaptable to multiple game systems/scales.

Historically Maj General James Negley's division advanced toward Lafayette, GA ahead of the main battle of Chickamauga, they were lured up towards Dug Gap by Pigeon Mountain before realizing he was being drawn in a trap. Braxton Bragg had ordered Maj Gen. Hindman's division to attack with Maj Gen. Patrick Cleburne's division to crush the Union salient. Hindman flinched historically and failed to advance on the Union forces before they withdrew, this scenario presents that Hindman acted aggressively and was able to coordinate with Cleburne's division.

Forces Overview

Board and initial Union dispositions
The Union command consisted of two division commanded by Maj Gen. Negley and Maj Gen. Absalom Baird commanding five total brigades and three artillery batteries. The majority of Union brigades started around the Davis' farm preparing for a Confederate onslaught, with one brigade, Sirwell's, arriving as a reserve.

Confederate forces
The Confederate forces were two divisions, Hindman's and Cleburne's, which were significantly larger than their Union counterparts. Their attack would be staggered, with Hindman arriving on turn one and Cleburne coming on turn four.

The Battle


Hidman's Division arrived and immediately pushes the Union line
Sirwell's brigade moving up in support
Cleburne's division arrives
Deshler's brigade of (dis)mounted infantry arrive
Union artillery open up on Cleburne's division
Sirwell's brigade saves the Union left by flanking Anderson's brigade
Confederate artillery pushes up to clear Union forces in the woods
Cleburne's division breaks the Union line
Col. Wood leads his brigade to the wall

Conclusion

After a few hours of fighting the Confederates numbers were showing and we decided to call it a Rebel victory. Union forces on the left had managed to hold, due to the arrival of Sirwell's brigade flanking the Confederate forces. But Cleburne's large division hitting the Union right, overwhelmed the line and forced multiple regiments to retreat.

We all enjoyed the scenario and I am thinking about working on it some more to possibly run at Little Wars this Spring.

Union forces fleeing back towards the Davis' farmstead




Monday, October 14, 2019

Deep Dish Lard Day - Hamburger Hill





This past weekend we held our first Deep Dish Lard Day at Noble Knight Games in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. We had a good turnout and hope to build from this in future, overall we had 20 players and put on five games in morning session and four in afternoon.

Want to thank everyone who came and either put on a game or just played in some! And a thanks to Noble Knight for hosting us, their gaming space was great for the day.

Giveaways for the Lard Day

I ran two games so did not have a chance to take pictures of everyone else's setups but I know Paul was running around taking pictures so check out his blog at Scrivsland I'm sure he'll be posting those shortly.

Morning Session - A Hard Day for Charlie Company

First game I ran in morning session was from Skirmish Elite- Screaming Eagles at Hamburger Hill using a variant of Chain of Command called Chain of Command: DMZ. Created by Jason Sendjirdjian you can check it out yourself on his blog here.

Edit: I see Jason actually just published Version 2 of his variant downloadable HERE

I had two players in this game, Matt and Brian who came from Milwaukee and Racine. They have been trying to learn the rules so this allowed them to get a grasp on regular CoC and see some of the funky bits added in Jason's DMZ variant.

The scenario followed Charlie Company of the 187th Airborne Regiment working their way up a hill adjacent to Hamburger Hill. Objective was for the Americans to destroy Five Vietnamese bunkers in order to continue pushing.

Matt's American's pushed up slowly and took their time taking the front line bunkers out one at a time. Brian attempted to have his NVA charge down one flank to overwhelm a jump off point but int he ensuing melee they were beaten back and opened the left flank. The NVA Political Cadre (Senior leader) was killed leading the assault, which took a toll on the Vietnamese morale.

After a hard fought battle the Americans emerged victorious as four Vietnamese bunkers were destroyed and the NVA morale was dropping very low, we agreed to call it an American victory.

Battlefield, still under American bombardment

American squad moves slowly to first bunker line
VC recce squad command section
After destroying frontline bunkers, Americans push on

Afternoon Session - Stretched Thin

In the afternoon, I ran another scenario from the Hamburger Hill booked called Stretched Thin. In this scenario the Americans have to withstand Vietnamese assaults form two sides as they try to evacuate wounded off the board.

I play tested this a few times to play around with the jump-off placement being on two sides of the table for the attacking player. But thought the game worked well and resulted in a bloody American victory, I faced off against Paul, who was also trying DMZ for the first time.

As the Vietnamese I tried to use their Local Knowledge special rule (can move a jump off point 18" closer at start of game) to try and pounce on the American lines, but Paul rolled up a full American squad with M60 support right away and made short work of my desperate charge. Vietnamese manged to remove one American jump off point and contest a second after a Vietcong charge. But in the end the Americans got all stretcher parties off the board as well as took out two NVA jump off points that resulted in the Vietnamese breaking and fleeing the field.

Battlefield - Stretcher parties attempting to run off


NVA result is met with brutal American fire
Vietcong assault onto the road
After routing the Americans, the Vietcong push a jump off point
NVA forces capture and remove a jump off point



Friday, September 13, 2019

2019 Deep Dish Lard Day Game Schedule!

We have created our draft Deep Dish Lard Day schedule, this could still be subject to change but we are really happy to have 13 games being run across seven tables!

In total, the games being run will have space for 62 players, hopefully we will be seeing you in October at Noble Knight!

To sign up, please contact me at wharding91@gmail.com, for now we are going to try and reserve 50% of game slots in order to allow walk ups on the day of. I will try and update with which games have RSVPs as soon as I can.

Deep Dish Lard Day 2019 Schedule - October 12th, 2019

9:45 to 10:15 AM - Game 1 Setup
10:15 AM to 1:00 PM - Game 1 block

  •  Mr. Lincoln Sees the Elephant
      • 28mm, Sharp Practice 1, Terry Mayne, Four players (One of two RSVPs)
        • Blackhawk War, 1832, a Young Abraham Lincoln experiences combat for the first time.
    • Save the Whisky lads!
      • 28mm Sharp Practice 2, Ed Harding, Four players (One of two RSVPs)
        • Jacobite Rebellion, 1745. British government forces have stolen the local clan's Whisky, the Jacobites must prevent them from escaping with it!
    • Burma WW2
      • 28mm Chain of Command, Paul Scrivens-Smith, Four players (One of two RSVPs)
        • British vs Japanese in the jungles of Burma during World War Two.
    • A Hard Day for Charlie Company
      • 20mm Chain of Command: DMZ (Vietnam Variant), Liam Harding, Four players 
        • C Company of the 187th airborne is tasked with probing Hill 900, just east of Hamburger Hill
    • 1944 - Western Front
      • 28mm Chain of Command, Phil Roberts, Four players
        • Americans vs Germans somewhere in France, 1944
    • Brody, Russia 1941
      • 15mm, What a Tanker! Al Muelling/Clyde Holmes, Six players
        • The Battle of Brody tank battle fought in the triangle formed by the towns of Dubno, Lutsk, and Brody between 23 and 30 June 1941. It is known in Soviet historiography as a part of the "border defensive battles".

    1:00 PM to 2:00 PM - Game 1 breakdown/Game 2 setup
    2:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Game 2 block

    • Brazen Chariots
      • 28mm What A Tanker! Mark Huml, Eight players. 
        • Western Desert melee, Italians, Germans and British involved.
    • Kidnapped!
      • 28mm, Sharp Practice 2, Ed Harding, Four players (One of two RSVPs)
        • Jacobite Rebellion, British Government forces have captured Jacobite General Alan Breck Stewart. The Jacobites must rescue him!
    • Bag the Hun!
      •  Bag the Hun, Paul Scrivens-Smith, Six players
        • Air combat above Britain, World War Two.
    • Stretched Thin
      • 20mm, Chain of Command: DMZ, Liam Harding, Four players
        • After a friendly fire incident, US Paratroopers work to evacuate wounded under a Vietnamese assault.
    • 1944 - Western Front
      • 28mm Chain of Command, Phil Roberts, Four players (One of two RSVPs)
        • Americans vs Germans somewhere in France, 1944
    • Overloon, Holland 1944
      • 15mm, What a Tanker!, Al Muelling/Clyde Holmes, Six players
        • Largest tank battle fought in The Netherlands during World War II. Seeking to destroy the German threat that was centered on the crucial crossroads town of Overloon, the British 2nd Army launched a series of offensives. The battles that occurred were often fought in torrential rains and marked by heavy casualties on both sides.

    • Battle at Turks Head Tavern, 1777
      • 15mm, Sharp Practice 2, Jim Heniff, Four Players
        • American War of Independence, Chester Co. Pennsylvania. After his defeat at Paoli, "Mad" Anthony Wayne sends a detachment to Turk's Head Tavern (modern West Chester, PA) seeking revenge against supposed Tories in Chester County Penn. Meanwhile a Loyalist and Hessian force learn of the Rebel's movements and try to intercept Wayne's forces and interrupt their plans, whatever they are?







    Monday, August 19, 2019

    Deep Dish Lard Day!

     
     
    Wanted to give everyone a heads up that Lard America Midwest will be hosting the first ever "Deep Dish Lard" at Noble Knight Games in Fitchburg, Wisconsin on Saturday, October 12th. Gaming will be from 10 AM to 6 PM, current plan is for two blocks of games beginning at 10 AM and 2 PM.

    We hope local Lardies will be able to join us, we are still working on a game schedule but there will be CoC, CoC: DMZ, WaT and SP from early musings. As soon as we have a concrete game schedule it will be shared here or on the Lard America Facebook Page

    If you are interested in possibly running a game let me know via email at wharding91@gmail.com.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    Historicon 2019

    This past weekend was Historicon 2019, at the new location in downtown Lancaster the Lancaster County Convention Center.

    Off the bat, I'd say our entire group loved the new location, we ran six games over the weekend and did not have issues unloading or taking down games at all. My only complaint would be noise levels in Commonwealth room, which I know others have noticed as well. I think the new venue is a huge improvement over the Host and this will likely be Historicon's future home.

    We left Chicago Wednesday afternoon to make our trip a bit more bearable,and stopped outside Cleveland Wednesday night. Thursday morning we pushed through to Sharpsburg and did a 5 hour battlefield tour of Antietam with author John Michael Priest. This is highly recommended as Mike is a fellow gamer and gave us a fantastic historical overview of the battle and some ideas on how to better game it. You can take a look at his tours here.

    Phil, Mike, Mark and Chris taking the Sunken Road




    Friday gaming went into full swing, Ed ran three full What A Tanker games that had a great amount of new players in addition to some children playing, which is always great to see! Our games were all among the Lard America group, who all put on some fantastic looking games. Ed Leland's Malaya and Patrick Berkebile's French Indochina games were personal highlights to me.



    On Saturday Chris and I ran our Guadalajara, 1937 game we previously ran at Little Wars this year we had a full game of five players, all who had played CoC before, so made running the game a lot easier. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, and we ended with a Nationalist Pyrrhic victory as they did not control the Palacio but managed to break the International Brigade and would of pushed through. The Anarchist player on the Republican side had probably the best dice rolling I've ever seen, barely taking any losses with Green troops the entire game.

    Post battle positions

    Unstoppable Anarchists

    Game in motion (thanks for the mug Patrick!)

    Saturday afternoon Mark ran his Russian vs Prussian SYW Sharp Practice game, which I sadly do not have pictures of as Chris and I were playing in a Samurai game at the same time. Ed ran his Jacobite scenario Saturday night and won his second PELA, so big congrats to him to bringing another trophy home to Chicago!

      
    Ed receiving PELA #2
    Going to dump a selection of photos I took from the other games we played in and other interesting ones I saw. Was a great trip and got to catch up with people based out East and enjoy a new convention venue.







    Circus Mad Maximillian



    Great Samurai game put on by Kalissa and David Skibicki



    Huge Mogadishu game by Peter Panzeri



    Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    Pavlov's House - Version 1


    The Scenario:

    Over last few years have been putting together forces for 15mm Barbarbossa, using Mark Fastoso's Fireball Forward! rule set. Last year I had the idea of trying to create a Pavlov's House terrain board, considering most FF scenarios can be played on a 4x4 or a 3x4 board.

    This was first test of a Pavlov's House scenario with three platoons of Germans supported by armor attacking two platoons of Soviet infantry dug in the apartment complex and surrounding buildings. James and I commanded the Germans, while Lt. Pavlov was played by Fil supported by his Comrade Commissar Eric.

    Reference Map
    If you are interested in a scenario breakdown, please comment and I can send you forces/ratings, feedback is welcome!


    Initial table layout (3'x4') is trying to remain close to the reference map. I still need to purchase some more apartment blocks, as ideally Pavlov's House should be multiple stories high. But for now, a destroyed factory was a placeholder.

    Shell crates provided cover for infantry advancing as to not get gunned down easily crossing the square leading up to the House. The tram and rail lines both provided cover for infantry as well.

    German infantry prepares to come on
    Turn 1 the Soviets stayed hidden, while Germans poured onto the board. Both German infantry platoons, supported by light mortars pushed in from the Milk House, supported by a platoon of Pioneers in half-tracks to their left.



    As soon as Germans attempted to push into the craters the Soviet infantry opened up and getting enough hits to slow down the first German infantry platoon. The German's quickly attempted to lay down smoke to cover their advance, but the eastward blowing wind only helped the Pioneers advance, while leaving the infantry in the open.

    Smoke attempts to slow Soviet fire
    Mad dash across the square!

    Getting held up on the push towards the house, James, the German commander on the right flank pushed his armor down the main street hoping to put pressure on Soviets to reveal their positions. One Soviet 45mm gun quickly appeared in a crater outside the mill, but its shots ricocheted off the Panzer 4, which quickly returned fire and destroyed the gun and its crew.


    Russians appearing in the apartment block across from Pavlov's House were quickly pinned down by fire from the armor as well as the second German platoon who shifted positions to try and advance.  This German advantage was quickly countered by a hidden Soviet sniper who killed one German squad and made the German's think twice about advancing.

    Sniper gets a crossing German squad
    Being stuck on both flanks, the Germans pushed forward aggressively, and their Panzer 3 quickly discovered the second 45mm gun hidden in the rubble of an apartment block. This gun did not miss its opportunity and quickly set the Pz3 aflame.



    The pinned Russians quickly rallied from a good roll on their Commissar table, that allowed them to rally all units in their second platoon and obtain a free action.

    Za Rodina Comrades!
    By this point the Germans were close to admitting defeat, having their left and right flank advances stopped by relentless Russian fire. The Pioneers managed to make one last assault into the trench outside Pavlov's House and one brave squad even managed to get inside, but it was too little too late and comrade Pavlov and his platoon were able to hold off the German assault in the end.

    Final Positions

    Take Aways:

    Scenario obviously needs tweaking as this was the first attempt, but think Germans could either use more armor support or another platoon of Pioneers, as the infantry was quickly pinned down trying to cross into the buildings.

    Soviet forces felt good overall, but the sniper was very effective, I may consider removing him scenario as they do slow down advances very quickly.