Friday, September 30, 2016

Cavalry versus Armour at Mokra 1939

Yesterday I embraced the dark side and took command of the German forces invading Poland in a scenario designed by Richard based on the battle of Mokra and using the Scenario 6: Exploitation setup in Blitzkrieg Commander.  All the figures and terrain are Richards.

The game has only eight turns so I have to get a move on.

First on are the Pz Is

Then the Pz  IIs which come under immediate fire, one tank being destroyed

The two infantry commands which complete the German force fail to make it on 

However turn 2 and I get lucky with a double move 
and boldly advance my truck born troops towards the village.

The motorcycle infantry are now on.  The Pz Is have come under fire and the Pz IIs have stalled.

The Pz Is nemesis.  
Armed only with machine guns the Pz Is will be unable to deal with the Polish armour

Did I say I got lucky?
My luck held out in so far as the Polish artillery strike failed
But the Polish defenders in the village got in multiple attacks 
(I think it was three or more successful activations)

Pz Is have switched to support the Pz IIs.
Motorcycle infantry have deployed, not wanting to suffer the fate of their truck born comrades.

Off board Polish artillery

Infantry have been suppressed by an artillery barrage.

The Pz IIs have knocked out part of the armoured train

The Pz Is are now exploiting the gap.
(This was the first time we had used the train and we had to improvise some rules as we went along)
We decided that even wrecked the train takes up a lot of space.

The exploitation seen from the Polish side.

The Panzers pushing cautiously into the woods

The horses for the Polish cavalry waiting rather nervously I'd expect.

The Poles desperately need their artillery to stop the German advance

Richard commented that we hadn't had any command blunders.
My next roll...

The blunder by the German infantry means the tanks have had to go it alone.

The remaining infantry regroups.

The Pz IIs now switch to the left flank to take on the Polish miniature armour 
that had scared off the Pz Is.  Time is running out...

The Pz Is attempt to mop up the village

The German infantry are attempting to clear the station.

Progress against the village is good.

The Pz IIs race off, ignoring the flanking fire from the train.

The Pz IIs don't make it in time to clear out the Polish armour

And on the right Richard gathers the dice for a massive artillery bombardment on the Pz Is.

Blitzkrieg Commander is a funny game.  It is well integrated, but rather abstract, especially in its scenario design and ground and time scales (unit scales as well).  Just when I think it isn't working it surprises me with some, to my limited knowledge, excellent historical outcomes.

The actual battle on 1 September 1939 saw repeated attacks by the 4th Panzer Division around the village of Mokra on the Wolynska Cavalry Brigade, which determinedly held its ground, inflicting significant losses on the poorly coordinated tank and infantry attacks.

The game took about five hours, but there had been some interruptions and a bit of rule checking as it was a while since we'd last played.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Early Macedonian Successor versus Classical Indians (Again)

But can I win?

Mark Woods has deployed his army in three divisions: archers, chariots and elephants

My Thracians face the archers across some fields.

My centre pike await the chariots.

While my right flank pike await the elephants.

Trying an outflank on the left with the Thracian light cavalry 
and even the Macedonian cavalry if it can get a move on

The centres move slowly closer

On the right I'm trying an out flank with the Greek light cavalry

My Thracians bearing down on the Indian archers

A bit of skirmishing in the centre

The elephants

After a promising start two units of Thracians are destroyed.

The remaining Thracian and Peltasts comprising my left flank are in trouble.

But the central pike grinds on.
Best to get into action before its left flank is exposed.

Things are developing slowly on the right.

Did I say the Macedonian heavy cavalry needed to get a move on?
They have failed four Discipline Tests in a row.

The Indian Palace Guard have wiped out all before them.
My left flank is on the verge of collapse (one point form breaking)

My skirmishers are run down by the Indian Chariots

I'm slowly getting closer to the elephants

Looking down the field from the left flank

Missile fire form the elephants is as ferocious as the beasts

Bruised, the pike and Hoplites attack.

And in the centre the chariots are engaged.
The Indian Palace Guard is bearing down on the exposed left flank.

The Cretan archers try and bravely hold the field

Many elephants are slaughtered

But then the centre commander decides he is having a bad day.

The flank attack by the Palace Guard failed when I threw a miraculous 1 for the Cohesion Test.
(My two Rolls of Destiny had been used earlier trying to save the Thracians).

My cavalry arrives and pushes back the Indian right flank

The fighting is fierce in the centre.

And equally so on the right.

The remains of my left flank command

The remains of the Indian army

Both the Indian centre and left flank have been routed.

Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.