Sunday, 30 April 2017

Tank on Tank: Eastfront - The Hammer

This was another game against my nine year old daughter, who once again took on the role of the German Kampfgruppe commander against my Soviet armoured forces. The scenario involved a massed attack by the Soviets to capture three town hexes, with the dug-in German defenders trying to stop them by the end of turn nine. If either side knocked out all of the enemies forces they would also win but it was really all about taking the towns and having more units in occupation at the end to the game.

Needless to say, it was a close run thing but the girl beat her dad again (!) even though we both held a town each at the end of the game. One thing I did do was to use plastic counters to mark knocked out units, rather than just removing the counters from play, which meant that line of sight and movement was a bit more challenging. This worked well but could make the game less fluid, so I'll only use it as and when the scenario would benefit in the future or just count the destroyed units as not actually being an obstacle.

Atlantic Fleet Battle of the Atlantic Campaign

Over the last couple of months I've been chipping away at the Atlantic Fleet Battle of the Atlantic campaign, playing the Kriegsmarine rather than the Royal Navy. I had tried the latter but came to a sticky end after about twenty turns, so switched sides in an attempt to work out what I  had done wrong. At the moment, I'm about half way through 1941 and things are going well for the U Boats, with an impressive tonnage of merchant ships sunk and the allies reduced to a fleet of destroyers. I'm very wary of the occasional capital ship that pops up out of nowhere and of the odd setback due to allied air power, having lost a light cruiser only a couple of turns ago to a Liberator with depth charges.

It's a good campaign mode, although by it's very nature there are repetitive bits with U Boat attacks on convoys or destroyers being pretty frequent. I've found that organising the submarines into Wolf Packs really works well, especially when combined with surface battle groups of battleships, battlecruisers and light cruisers. My biggest headache is that I've run out of these and can't build any more, so have to rely on destroyers and submarines to replace any losses, even though the German destroyers are pretty powerful as they are. It's a great little game and has an element of historical accuracy that is missing from most other naval themed titles, so well worth playing and definitely good value for money. I just wish there was a WW1 version!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Tank on Tank: Eastfront - Soviet Smash

I played a follow on Meeting Engagement of Tank on Tank: Eastfront against my daughter this morning, with a German Kampfruppe of Panthers, a Tiger and armoured infantry with artillery support, against a Soviet armoured force of KV85's and a single Katyusha battery. The end result was a total defeat for the Soviets and a virtual walkover for the Germans, who lost a couple of Panthers late in the game but wiped out the Soviets in short order, using a combination of artillery fire and Panthers hidden in the woods and town hexes. I was completely out manoeuvred by a nine year old but will get my own back in the next encounter!

Tank on Tank: Eastfront - Meeting Engagement

I played a game of Tank on Tank: Eastfront against the sprog this morning, with a German Kampfgruppe against an equal points value of Soviet T34 and T34/85's. The scenario was the generic meeting engagement in which the first side to knock out half the enemies points wins, with a game length of ten turns as a cut off point. The Soviets gained an early advantage by destroying several Panzer IV's with some high dice rolls but the Germans counter attacked by the end of turn six by knocked out half the Soviet points value in tanks. This was a draw if the end of Turn Six was the cut off point, although the Soviets did actually win it by achieving the objective first. A good game and one which my daughter, who was chief dice roller for the Soviets, enjoyed a lot especially when her brother's Panzer IV's brewed up!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Easter Holidays

I have ten days of holiday from tomorrow, so will finally get to open the Tank on Tank East Front box and play through some scenarios. I'm also planning to pack a couple of extra beer and pretzels style games to while away the evenings and the inevitable rainy afternoons. :0)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Blood, Sweat and Cheers

This looks really good, especially as it's written by Nic Wright, the author of Galleys and Galleons, one of my favourite 'beer and pretzels' style age of sail naval wargame rules. The blurb for Blood, Sweat and Cheers says it all:

Blood, Sweat and Cheers is a tactical, two-player, card and dice game, that recreates single combat between gladiators in the arenas of the Roman world from the mid-third century BC to the start of the fifth century AD.

Cards are used to abstractly represent the different options available to a player’s gladiator during the ebb and flow of a gladiatorial bout, while dice are used to resolve interactions. The watching crowd interacts with the gladiators in the arena by rewarding showy attacks and spilt blood with favourable cheering which may in turn be utilised to buoy up a gladiator’s performance.

Almost everything you need to play the game, including a basic area, is included in the deck. All players need to do is download the free two-page rule sheet and provide their own gladiators, dice, and a few wound tokens or markers.

I've been looking for a decent set of fast but fun gladiatorial combat rules for ages, having been disappointed by Warhammer Historical's Gladiator and put off by the intricacy of other alternatives like Viktus and Jugula. In have a nice selection of gladiators in 28mm too, as you can see from the group photo, so would only need to order the deck of cards to get a game underway.

Apparently, if enough people ask, the cards could be printed in the EU by Ganesha Games, which would solve the postage and/or customs tax issue if you live on this side of the pond.