I was out of town for March game night but according to Ralph we had a banner turn out with all games filling up nicely. We have no photos, but game reviews are below:
At the March Game Night, 5 Conspirators and a guest took part in a WW II SPEARHEAD Game. The scenario sought to recreate the fast-paced, fluid battles immediately after the Normandy Breakout in August and September of 1944.
The British side was led by John Magnifico, Peter Stickney and guest John Mascone. The Germans were ably commanded by Greg Symko, Chris Adams and Andrew Simpson. Each player commanded a battalion-sized group. The objectives were pretty straight forward. For the Germans – kill British. For the British – kill Germans or push them off the board.
The Germans were deployed by "Kampfgruppe" as determined by a die roll while the British left the room to plan their attack using a map of the table. The Dice were with the Germans and they ended up deploying right along the edge of the table where the British were entering. The British players had pretty long faces when they returned to the table and saw the German deployments for the first time. But they kept their chins up and declared "c'est la guerre!"
The British attacked with two infantry battalions forward each supported by an armored car squadron and an artillery battery. They maintained their armored regiment (battalion) in reserve. The first two German Kampfgruppe encountered were the equivalent of a weak armored battalion of veterans supported by an anti-tank company and the equivalent of a weak infantry battalion of green troops. The German second defensive line consisted of another infantry battalion supported by three Stug III platoons.
Confused a bit by terrain, the British attacked cautiously and took five turns to commit their armor. At that point in the game, the Germans had caused severe casualties in one infantry battalion and stymied the other battalion to the point where victory seemed well out of reach for the British. The armored regiment did get in a few good shots which effectively put the German armor Kampfgruppe hors de combat.
Although no battalions were routed per the rules, the British effectively lost one battalion and the Germans one Kampfgruppe by the end of the game. I called the game a draw with the Germans having the upper hand because we did not get to complete all 15 turns.
This was the second time I have hosted this game and the outcome could not have differed much more from the first game. There were relatively light casualties in this game compared to the first game. The British took a much more "Monty" approach to their advance than the first game. During the first game the "Charge of the Light Brigade" advance of truck mounted infantry units brought them to the brink of disaster from which they snatched victory. In this game, the infantry advanced on foot and took several turns before they ever closed with the Germans. I believe that had the British committed their armor sooner they would have come much closer to victory.
I believe the totally different outcome of this scenario from the last time we played it shows that there is a lot of balance in the scenario design and I look forward to playing it again to see what happens.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Roman Blades!
--Mr. Don Miller
The 1st First Man in Rome Tournament, held at the March game night, was both well attended and well played. The Roman contestants were: Dave (Julius Caesar) Bostwick, Mark (Octavian) Nichipor, Phil (Sulla) Hammond and Don (Marius) Miller. The Enemies of Rome were: Paul (Ariovistus) Mcarthy, Mike (Hannibal) Bailey and Randy (King Juba) Field. I filled in the missing “Enemy” pushing Iberians.
The structure of the Tournament was such, that each Roman played each Enemy of Rome. We played four Rounds. The competition was both fierce and friendly. I would like to thank all of the participants for both their gentlemanly conduct and the enjoyment they all brought to the table. My hope is that DBA Ancients is not only alive and well but back and growing amongst the Conspiracy!
The Winner of the First Man in Rome Trophy was Dave (Julius Caesar) Bostwick! Dave was a very strong winner. Victorious in 3 of the 4 rounds, he continued in his glory to take on the Enemy of Rome in one last game and was victorious again! Ave Dave!! (is that “ah-way Da-way”?).
Fresh off his recent victory as King of Numidia, Randy (King Juba) Field won the First Enemy of Rome Trophy. This was a close one as Mike (Hannibal) Bailey and his Carthaginians had carved their way through waves of Blades to within one point of the winning score. However, Juba and his Numidians were once again victorious. Hail King Juba! (and from the back of the room the chant begins once again…) JUBA, JUBA, JUBA, JUBA!!!
The object of this game was to win by having 3 points at the end of twelve turns by occupying some combination of: Wartenburg(2pts), Bleddin(1pt), Globig(1pt) and/or a small works (1pt).
The Prussians entered the table from the east and marched through a large marsh that ran in front of the French positions. Bob Oulette was commander of Prussian 1st Corps and also commanded Prussian 2nd Brigade. Robert Reusse commanded Prussian 1st Brigade. Leo commanded Prussian 7th Brigade and Byron commanded Prussian 8th Brigade. The French 4th Corps was commanded by Ralph Gero. Ralph also commanded French 12th Division defending Wartenburg and French 7th Division covering the western flank of the 4th Corps. Dave Mesquita commanded French 5th Division defending works atop the large dike in the center of the French position. Dave also commanded 4th Corps cavalry division.
The game began with Bob's 2nd Prussian Brigade crossing the marsh and moving against French 7th Division. On both flanks the French began to withdraw. Upon the withdrawal in the east, Robert's 13th Landwehr moved to occupy the vacated position atop the small dike near Wartenburg. Ralph's 8th Light and 137th Line about faced and routed the 13th Landwehr back into the marsh. In the west, Bob's 1st Prussian Brigade caught up briefly with French 7th Division and in a small, sharp action the French 61st Line was destroyed. While these actions were being fought, Leo and Byron's brigades struggled in disorder through the marsh toward the French center.
By turn 7, Robert's Prussian light cavalry had won a melee against the French near Wartenburg and his artillery was dominating the area east of town. In the west Bob occupied Bleddin and moved on Globig for 2 points. He also continued his pursuit of French 7th Division. In the center Leo and Byron's Prussians had reached the large center dike and were forming up for an assault on the works above them.
On turn 9, Leo's disordered 14th Landwehr led the assault on the works and defeated Dave's veteran French 51st Light. The western end of the works quickly fell to the Prussians. Bob's Prussian 2nd Brigade now moved on Wartenburg from the west while Robert prepared to assault it from the east.
On turns 9 through 12, the tide turned again as French reinforcements from 12th and 7th Divisions were rushed to the works. A flurry of bitter combats were won and lost by both sides in and around the works. Robert's Prussian 1st Brigade now attacked the French east of Wartenburg. The French fought back with great elan and the Prussians were soundly thrashed to the point of exhaustion. The vengeful Prussians fighting for the works now destroyed the remnants of French 7th Division. With the works not able to be claimed by either side, all eyes turned to the epic showdown between Bob's veteran shock troops backed by Robert's artillery and Ralph's French defending Wartenburg. After the dice were rolled and the dust cleared, French cheers could be heard as the once proud Prussian 1st Line stumbled back from Wartenburg in disorder and defeat.
The game was technically a draw, with perhaps a slight nod to the French for having done better than their historic counterparts. Historically, the French kept their divisions isolated from each other and were defeated in detail by the Prussians.