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Battlegroup Rematch! (Oriskany vs. Aras – Let’s see how the Americans do) (18 posts)

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  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Good morning, Beasts of War!

    This past weekend I was able to get in another game of Battlegroup against @aras. This time I decided to try the Americans, and also to keep the list and the game a little smaller.

    Basically we a roughly 500-point game of Americans (armored recon group) approaching a German-held railroad crossing. I decided to try out some defensive positions this time, giving the Germans a smaller force but also including some minefields and reinforced positions for their mortars.

    German infantry was very weak in this game, but their armor was superb. Only three vehicles, but a veteran Jagdpanther (good grief!) was daunting to say the least. Perhaps even worse were those two StG-IIIGs, upgraded to panzer ace status (elite troop quality, and a +1 to any to-hit rolls).

    But, being the Americans, one thing I had on my side was a big advantage in numbers. Battlegroup force ratings were 27 German to 31 American.

    Battle of Villers-Bretonneux – April 24, 1918 – 100th Anniversary
    History’s First Tank vs. Tank Engagement

    Historical Editor – Beasts of War
  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    First blood is drawn! Damn, those elite “panzer ace” StG-IIIs are deadly!

  • Avatar Image jamesevans140978p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Maybe the star maybe lucky second time around in white.
    I look at your Sherman platoon with envy @oriskany. The US 4AD does not get Easy 8s until Jan 45 and the first Jumbo 76s start to arrive in Feb. Let the American Tiger roar!

    I have a certain evil glint in my eye looking at the STuGs. The somewhat boastful @timp764 has yet to face my 3 mid war elite STuGs lead by the Panzer Ace the Black Baron. Oh the story of Fireflies, Cromwells and other things that melt in the night.

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of this game. I have to admit that I can’t resist a STuG, unless it’s a Jagdpanzer IV/70. :-D

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Thanks, @jamesevans140

    Indeed this would have to be a very late war scenario, with all those Chaffees running around.

    One of these days I’ll really have to get some true “Easy Eights” with the M1A1 gun, double-chambered muzzle brake, just for aesthetics if nothing else.

    I have a few more images from this game to put yup, I’ll post them later today (perhaps during lunch break).

    You’re building elite StGs as well? Nice. My favorite StG ace was Hugo Primozic, I remember first reading about him when I was 16.

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    The Americans get some very lucky breaks here, but the Germans aren’t done yet! :D

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Finishing up the late-war US vs. Germans Battlegroup game. I will try and posts the lists later today. :D Thanks again to @aras for the great game!

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Army Lists for the battle:

  • Avatar Image jamesevans140978p said 9 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Interesting battle @oriskany.????

    I have a real love hate for the German big cats so I have rarely used them. This highlights one issue with them. The 90 points that poor @aras spent on this Jadgpanther could have got him 2 more STuGs, and it did what? They promise to defeat the enemy for you, just like any promise from Hitler.

    Did the American Tiger get to roar at all?
    Oddly a number of US ADs swapped out their M5s for the truly sweet Chaffees in Dec 44, but again the 4th AD was not one of them. Is there a pattern (Patton?) forming here?

    I believe the Chaffee was one of the overlooked and best tanks of the war. If the Centurian was the birth of the MBT, then the Chaffee marked the birth of the light MTB that will influence light tank design for almost the next 40 years. It’s descendant the Walker Bulldog was an amazing vehicle. I suppose it falls into the background and shadow of the MBT. China and Brazil have recently put into service their own indigenous light tank designs.

    Yarrick and @timp764 will be over later today. We will be planning for WinterCon that starts tomorrow. We plan for what we want to buy, so if we see anything that one of us wants we let them know. We will meet up with the Mad Dutchman there. It is not as big as CanCon with less crowds which is better for me. Each year it is getting bigger.

    My elite veteran STuG zug is close to ten years old. Originally it was a German support platoon for my Finnish Army in northern Finland. They have been painted up in a style that over emphasises heavy wear and tear on these STuGs.

    I have sent you a present via e-mail.

    The US Cavalry officially called the jeep in their service the Bantam, which is a breed of small chickens. ????

    Now about that jeep that failed to protect your command unit …

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    Apologies @jamesevans140 for being largely off the site for the last 2-3 days.

    Yes, you’re right about that Jagdpanther, it got to fire one shot and missed. But hey, one of my Chaffees didn’t get to fire at all.

    Yes, that upgraded Sherman did get to “roar,” the caption write-ups say where it took out the first StG. I honestly don’t know if it took out the second. I think it did, while bazooka teams tore up the halftracks. The Shermans and Chaffees scored some hits, but never got the lucky penetration roll if memory serves. They did fire off plenty of HE, bow MG, etc fire on German infantry, and managed to rack up some German BRCs.

    And finally, yes! I have seen and downloaded the rules set you sent me. I honestly don’t know if that project is still on, but these rules are definitely better than the ones I think they were going to use. I’ll read through them and see if they’re a fit for the project. If so, I’ll forward them on to Gianna. :D

    Thanks very much! The artwork in the book is amazing, if nothing else! :D

  • Avatar Image jamesevans140978p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    You are more than welcome @oriskany. Osprey also produce War in the East and War in the West. These are the army lists for the historic battles with some extra rules for some battles.

    As for you being off line/site the timing was good as I went to WinterCon and the associated down time that comes with it. I had a great time, caught up with people I have not seen for a while and got some bargains.

    Among which I now have 62 Shermans! I picked up a box of PSC Fireflies/A4 Shermans. Using the spare parts from my A2s will give me 5 A3 105 Shermans., I just need 1 more to complete a company of 2 platoons of three 105s each.

    I don’t know about you but I learn new rules best with a handful of dice and models. So I picked up enough models for each side to have a battery of cannon, a unit of cavalry, two units of infantry on both sides in 15mm. This will be enough to learn the game and get a feel for it. I want to use the ACW for fun play and I don’t envision to do any serious study. I live that you start with almost Napoleonics and Finnish with almost WW1 armies. In doctrine and technology that is a bigger step up than what we saw in WW2 Europe.

    I love the Chaffee but I have only used them in the scouting or infantry assault rules. Where they give you the promise of being a Sherman they just don’t quite deliver. I love using their speed to get to soft targets behind the front line. This normally forces the other guy to pull a platoon of tanks off his front line to deal with them. Once these tanks come in range I drop smoke and scoot. While the Chaffees are still on the board he has to deal with them. In this role I don’t care if the Chaffees get to fire or not, it is just another case of movement being a potent weapon.

    I am still waiting for Battlefront to deliver the full rules of FoW V4 to me, but I was given a free copy of them from a supplier that knows me. The new full rules are a big clean up allowing for faster games. Everything is still there but some of them are a bit dumbed down but are still much better than the over simplistic V4 1942 rules that you got.

    The issue with V3 is that it was the world standard for WW2 tournament rules and was the product of tournament players demands and the accompanying rules to fix loopholes and abuse of the rules. V4 gets back to being a gamers fun game to play.

    I spoke with as many tournament players as I could about V4 and they hate it. Once you boil down the complaints it comes down to not being able to dictate the rules to the other player and forcing him to do what they want. This means they use rules and not tactics to win. It does not seem to occur to them that the tactics of the day was designed to do just this. So if the learned the tactics of the day they could achieve this regardless of the rules in use.
    This is just my point of view, which they completely rejected as being too vague. You need the rules to make it precise and as I was not a tournament player I don’t understand. But this is the problem of tournament players. They represent less than 10% of the playing population but believe they are the ruling elite. I maybe being harsh here but I have not spoken to a tournament player who has not been cast from this mould. I hope that there are tournament players out there that are not like this, but I have not met one yet. So the tournament players hating V4 gives it a big plus for me.
    I will be the first to admit that four actions in the Lorraine it will need modification to fight these battles properly, but what rules don’t as all have been designed for general play and not a particular battle. As a PL/AIW player you are at least across this with the scenario rules fine tuning to the actual battle.

    Getting your head around the size of the ACW battles is quite a process. Such as just the battle of Gettysburg really needs to be done in 6mm on an 18 foot table just to get a proper feel and you are still not covering the whole battlefield. So I have much to decide as I would prefer to keep my battles to a 6 to 8 foot table. Even with one model equaling 60 men it is still going to take hundreds of models on each side to do many of these battles. So I am going to have to use a faster way of painting that still looks good on the table.

  • Avatar Image piers3330p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    “So the tournament players hating V4 gives it a big plus for me.”

    Oddly its the ‘historical’ FoW players I spoke to that seem to dislike V4. Not the tourney players, so I’d be wary in apply any totality to things. Indeed from the conversations Ive seen online in FoW groups, the tourney players seem to be more in favour of V4 than the more historically minded player base to a degree. We have certainly picked up a lot of new Battlegroup players since it was released… and BG aint not tourney set…

    Ive not played any of them, but it seems more that some people don’t like change, a common enough trait in many, regardless of the theme of the change.

    Perhaps its just that… People don’t want to change. As I always say… Just play what you want to play. :)

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    Cool deal, @jamesevans140 – Things are starting to return to normal, so I should be on the site more. Finished the new Fantasy / Battlesystem series (first part published today), worked on Ste. Nazaire commando raid wargame design with Warren, went to see my Dad after his surgery, put a big, big dent in my Hessians for upcoming AWI work.

    Awesome news on the Shermans. I bought 22 sprues of Shermans on the cheap (old Open Fire box set from BF, terrible kits but the price was really low) – and hey, they’re “just” Shermans. Like T-34s, you can never have too many. Haven’t had time to build many of them, though. When all built I have 22 + the 15 or so I have now . . . not quite the Sherman lion you have, but enough. :D I plan on doing some of them in Soviet marking as Lend-Lease. :D

    Hope you had a great time at WinterCon. I think Historicon here is running this weekend or next in Virginia. Sadly, I will not be able to make it (Virginia is at least one air flight from Ft. Lauderdale Florida, and I literally already have four projects in the air at once).

    Actually, I’ve been building up a lot of AIW figures lately, I’m re-basing my whole British, Patriot, and Hessian armies on 20mm bases for use in a re-tooling of Battlesystem. I also have MORE American patriots on order and perhaps even some Iroquois Confederacy Native Americans if I can find a supplier for the Italeri kit I want. That’s going to be all the non-writing, non-Photoshop hobby time for at least three weeks – but I have a player already lined up and ready to go. :D

    Chaffees are indeed fun. They’re just so fast, and they hit as hard as Shermans with the same 75mm gun. Fragile as a box of lightbulbs, though. If memory serves, @Aras was able to take out one with an infantry assault with almost contemptible ease (once he rolled the “5” on the antitank mine table, that is) – If you get that 5 you get to roll a PEN 6 attack against flank armor, which on a Chaffee I think you can break with a good cricket bat. :D

    I had Battlefront FoW v4 before the release or even the Boot Camp (BoW sent a copy so I could write the article series leading up to the event). Then of course we all got the 1942 rules at the boot camp you mention.

    I’d agree that v4 is an improvement. Actually, a great improvement. V3 was just a friggin’ train wreck. It’s always amazed me that a game could be that complex and yet also that unrealistic. Maybe I was just watching bad demo games, but the Stormtrooper move, the spearhead rule, infiltrate rule, Patton rule, artillery belong more effective against tanks than infantry instead of vice-versa, the bogging rules (especially in assaults) – it was maddening just to watch, never mind play.

    Battlegroup will always be my favorite miniature World War II game, but I can definitely see where v4 FoW has taken a step back, re-evaluated the runaway evolutionary development of their rules sets, and set a new streamlined, cleaned-up baseline.

    We talk about it with Phil Yates here:

    Some of the games at the boot camp were a friggin’ blast, that 24’ table game was amazing (might have been because of where I was on the table and how I was doing with the dice). If I was recruiting new WW2 players, I would probably “start the class” with FoW v4, when take the cream of the class and graduate them to Battlegroup.

    I would n ever “tell” another player “how to game” – but I definitely agree with you that tournament gaming is not my scene. :D

    I would also agree that ACW in miniature is a daunting prospect. Which is why I stick to AWI, and even then, we’re using a representational Battlesystem scale (1 fig = usually 10 men). EVEN THEN, we’re never trying to do a whole battle like Brandywine, Monmouth, or even Saratoga.

    That’s what hexes and counters are for, which is also what I use for ACW (Gettysburg mostly, both Avalon Hill’s 1980s reprint of the divisional, entry-level classic and the far more advanced company-based “Devil’s Den.”

    In your ACW minis, you’re talking 1 fig = 60 men, so roughly company-level as well (60 men = actual field strength, not parade ground strength)? Yeah, I see what you mean. A full Gettysburg would still take at least 3000 figures including artillery, officers, command units, etc.

  • Avatar Image cpauls16159p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    You’ve definitely given me the itch @oriskany ! :-) I’ve only just dipped my toe in the water (those 15mm WF infantry I showed you when you were here), but I will definitely start collecting, as deals present themselves.

    Great rematch and battle report!

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    @piers – I would agree that there seems to be a big emphasis in v4 in making the game suitable for tournament play.

    Maybe not the arcane, beardy, “I know the rules better than you” power-gaming that @jamesevans140 was mentioning, but in the the game is clean, fast, easily measurable for scoring results, thus making it easy to use in campaigns where lots of games, run quickly and reliably and with no arguments, builds toward a successful event.

    Then again, my view may be skewed – I’ve really only played at the Flames of War Boot Camp, where we had two ETC members and we talked specifically about FoW v4 suitability for tournaments:

    (starting at about 1h20mins):

    Again, tournaments aren’t my thing, so while I can recognize and respect a game’s design features, doesn’t mean that feature’s specifically for me. They talk about how the game can be played in under an hour. If I play a wargame and it doesn’t last at least 2 hours, I feel cheated. :D

    This Battlegroup game I had with @aras was awesome, a lot smaller than the previous one (500+ points), played in 2.5 hours, and we had lots of those great BRC draws.

    Well, I thought they were great. @Aras, probably not so much. Fatal breakdown on his Jagdpanther, P-47 Thunderbolt blowing up his mortars and command group . . .

    :D :D :D

  • Avatar Image oriskany13236p said 9 months, 1 week ago:

    Awesome, @cpauls1 ! One of these days, we’ll have to get some Battlegroup going! :D