Sunday, 22 October 2017

WW2 Burma game using Crossfire rules

This past Saturday I finally finished off all my planned WW2 Burma figures. There are not many. Each side is made up of two packets of Airfix infantry, plus an Anti-Tank gun with tow and a couple of tanks. I may yet add a couple of mortars for each side.

WW2 Burma Armies - they each fit nicely in a draw. Very useful as storage starts to become more of an issue.
This whole project was very opportunistic. Starting with a spontaneous purchase of two packets of WW2 Japanese infantry. I have always had in the back of my mind the thought of using Crossfire rules in a WW2 Burma setting. When I first purchased them a few years back, and until this weekend they have been just sitting in a draw unused.

After a quick reading of the Crossfire rules as a reminder. A 4x4 foot tabletop was set up using all the jungle terrain I made a few weeks back (jungle post here). The terrain features are marked using some dark green teddy bear fur cut into shapes and the jungle placed on top. The fur is meant to look like long grass, possible a bit too dark and needs to be lightened somehow. While the brown felt represents depressions.

Terrain all laid out for a game.
For my first game using these rules I wanted to keep it reasonably straight forwarded. The Japanese had two platoons with a company commander and machine gun with the objective of holding off the advancing Australians. Who had three platoons and a company commander with a 2 inch mortar and HMG.
Australian company.
A reduced Japanese company.
Here are some pictures of my first game. As with most first games using rules you are not familiar with, they can be frustrating affairs as you regularly re-read rules for clarifications and memory lapses. The latter do seem to be on the increase now-a-days.

Japanese squads take up position 
Two platoons and company commander take up position in a depression.
The third Australian platoon secures the other flank.
Australian sections move into the long grass and receive reactive fire from the defending Japanese. The matchsticks represent pinned and suppressed sections. One for pinned and two for suppressed.
On the other flank, Japanese sections push forward into a depression. This was a mistake, I should have moved them into  the cover of long grass.
A clear line of fire for a Japanese machine gun.
Australian move up ready to assault the Japanese. Too much rule checking on how to assault meant there are no pictures of the assault)
After successfully storming the depression the Japanese machine gun is engaged.
With the Japanese machine gun occupied on the other flank. The commander with one section are able to move around the flank.
The game is in the balance as the Japanese flank become threatened.
Another assault to clear out the Japanese defenders.
A final attack supported by the 2 inch mortar finishes off the machine gun.
So having just played my first game. I do like the rules and was starting to get in the swing of things as the game progressed. The rules certainly give that company level feel with troops rushing from one terrain feature to another.  Because I mostly use a gridded tabletop for wargaming I didn't really notice the lack of measuring, which is a notable feature of the rules where nothing is measured, movement and shooting.

Friday, 20 October 2017

French Indian War campaign - game 2 report

The second battle of the French Indian War campaign has a slightly larger French force up against the advancing British. The game is played be using house rules influenced by the Lion Rampant ruleset and One Hour Wargames (found in a link above).

The forces....

  • 1 Grendier unit
  • 2 Frontiersmen (Skirmisher) units
  • 2 Light Infantry Units
  • 3 Line Infantry
  • 4 Line infantry units
  • 1 Light artillery
  • 3 Frontiersmen (Skirmisher) units
  • 2 Indian units

The British skirmishers quickly secured the woods on their flank while moving their line infantry around to face the French line being formed. 
Skirmishers engage while battle lines are formed. Indians push ahead to the hill on the French left flank.
British Line infantry and light infantry units advance on the hill occupied by Indian units. While the French form two lines and have their artillery positioned. 
The hill is taken by British units.
Units exchange musket fire and French units secure their left flank after losing control of the hill.
Both sides face each other.
The French artillery while taking hits was causing hits to many British units.
Exchanges of musket and artillery fire was reducing the French line while holes were appearing in the British line. 
British skirmishers move around the French right flank.
By this time both sides had suffered 50% casualties and any units failing a rally from now on would be eliminated. 
The final stages of the battle. The French having a slight advantage with their remaining units having sustained few hits.
The British were on the ropes, but a disastrous couple of dice rolls saw the French commander fail to rally even with a re-roll option and was eliminated

A marginal victory to the British, their second win to open the campaign.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

French Indian War campaign - Game 2

With painting of the WW2 Burma units I have had little opportunity to get much gaming in. As painting is progressing well I thought it was time to setup the second game of my French Indian War campaign. In the first game the British had a minor victory causing the losing French force to retire one move. A major victory would cause the losing force to retire two moves and the victorious side with the opportunity to followup with one move.

As the result of losing a battle French forces retire one move
Over the next few alternating moves, British forces push forward and attempt to flank French forces on the river. The French counter this by moving forward a force from their river defences.
British forces are selected

French forces are selected. Two additional units would be added as the French chose to  throw in some reinforcements (they are allowed to do this twice during the campaign)
The tabletop was setup with the terrain placed based upon dice rolls. Looking at the campaign map I decided the forces would not arrive on opposite sides. Instead the French would arrive on the British left flank.

French deployment 
British deployment
All being well I will be able to start the game later this week.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

WW2 Burma project second part

No wargaming this weekend, although I may be able to get a quick game later tonight. Most of my time this weekend has been on making inroads into the Commonwealth WW2 Burma forces to line up against the small but completed Japanese.

WW2 Japanese with recently completed jungle terrain
All figures are Airfix
Progress on WW2 Commonwealth forces
While waiting for paint to dry I am flicking through "Battle - Practical Wargaming" by Charles Grant.  

Thursday, 12 October 2017

WW2 Burma project progress

I am hoping to complete all my WW2 Japanese forces required for a small Crossfire games this week. The infantry units are now complete. The sharp-eyed readers may notice the anti-tank gun crew are somewhat Russian in appearance. I purchased a second-hand Russian anti-tank gun and replaced the gun shield to represent a 47mm type-1 gun.

And I am now moving on to the few vehicles required. All were second-hand purchases from which I have used over the last year to pick up a number of less common WW2 vehicles.

Monday, 9 October 2017

WW2 Burma project preparation begins

Over the last couple of months I have been slowly painting up a collection of plastic Spencer Smith Napoleonic units.  I am about half way through them and its time for a short break and a change.

A while back I purchased some Airfix WW2 Japanese troops and have since then picked up a few vehicles and tanks and Allied forces for a game using the Crossfire rules. The last couple of models I ordered arrived this weekend past. So it was timely to finish off a couple of Napoleonic units I was working on and start preparing the Burma forces.

A British Armoured Car was also purchased for my Northern Europe games - I could not resist
I plan for the Crossfire forces to be small, about a company of men with support of a tank, AT gun and a couple of heavy weapons.

A Japanese Company and Napoleonic unit being finished off in the background.
Part of the weekend was spent cutting out the stands, cleaning up the WW2 Japanese models and preparing them for painting. I also visited the library to get some reading material on Burma. I started collecting this project on a whim having spotted the Airfix models, and have limited knowledge of the campaign history.

Currently reading "We Gave Or Today - Burma 1941-1945" by William Fowler

Saturday, 7 October 2017

French Indian War Campaign - Game 1

With my French Indian War campaign map and some basic rules for linking a few games together it was time to start. There were a number of opening map moves, where each side took turns to move one of their forces at a time.

The campaign map - the British objective is to take the town 
French forces all start located in their fortified area. The British line up ready to  enter on one of the two roads in the bottom left-hand corner of the map
Initial moves have the British entry and French pushing forward on the south of the river
Contact as British forces meet French forces - the first game now needs to be played. 
For my games I am using some home grown rules which required a quick re-read to refresh my memory, having not played them for quite a few weeks. There is a link top of the page for those interested.

The first step was selecting the forces to be used. For this game both sides selected 12 units which were whittled down to 8 using playing cards.

British force after selection using playing cards (see previous post on approach)
French force
The second step was to set up terrain on the tabletop. I first laid out the roads using the campaign map as to guide what roads are required and the type of terrain required. In this case: 4 woods, 3 hills, and 2 rough terrain features. Each feature taking up 2 squares on my gridded tabletop. The terrain is randomly placed based upon the roll of the dice.

Terrain laid out and units placed ready for a game
Step three was positioning of units. Both sides roll to see who goes first. Units may only be placed in the first two rows on their base side and not in either two squares on the flanks. The losing side has to place 50 percent of more of their  units on the second row from the base side. Once done the winning player does the same on their side. Then the losing player places all remaining units on the row on the base side. Finally the winning player places their remaining units in the same manner.

Note: the purpose behind not placing units on the flank squares of my 6x4 foot table when setting up is to allow sides to make flanking moves.

Opening Moves
Everything is now ready for the game with the player who lost the placement roll getting to move first.

In the game's opening moves the French quickly took up position with their artillery piece on a hill to cover their right flank. The British moved around to attack the French left flank while the French moved forward and held their lines.

The lines close
The British flank attack was progressing well and the French left flank was under serious threat of failing.

Musket fire ripples down the lines
After securing the flank - British prepare to storm the hill
The British successfully stormed the hill beside the road but at a price. They lost their commander and the surviving units were all close to exhaustion. The French made a last counterattack which came close to reversing their fortunes, but with no success they had no option but to retire from the battlefield.

The French counter attack to hold their line
Game 1 over and a marginal victory to the British as they open the campaign.