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Fall IN 2011

2011's Fall In convention encountered an early season snow storm, which reduced attendance. Still, both RFF and BF games were in evidence. Pete Landry and Mike Sincavage put on several BF games, Bill Grey had a beautiful Age of Honor game, and there were several RFF games.

Sloshing through the Swamp

Mike Sincavage and Pete Landry ran a BFWW2 game base on a Russian Airborne Counterattack from the early war period. On 29JUN1941, the Germans were attempting to establish a bridgehead across the Berezina when the Soviet 8th Brigade of the 4th Airborne Corps was sent to stop them. While German Engineers attempt to build a bridge so their tanks can cross, the Russians attempt to crush the infantry which has crossed to defend the crossing point. The terrain was very restrictive, forcing the Russians to either make a frontal attack or maneuver through swamp (multiple bog-down checks). The Russians chose the latter approach, because in the swamp provided sparse cover and obscured line of sight even while it slowed movement.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Starting position
Starting position
The German position as seen from the Russian Lines. The Germans are well dug in, making a frontal assault a daunting task.
Starting position 2
Starting position 2
Seen from the side, the concentrated German position looks formidable. The Russians decide to try to move up the left flank with the bulk of their forces, accepting the swampy movement penalties, while leaving one company and the HQ element in the right and center to keep the Germans from shifting.
The Bridge
The Bridge
German engineers labor frantically to build the bridge to allow their tanks to cross.
The Right Flank
The Right Flank
Russian troops prepare to dash into a gully closer to the Germans.
Into the Swamp
Into the swamp
Russian troops wade into the swamp. Despite the bog down checks needed, bogging down is not disastrous because the German troops cannot cover the sparse terrain with fire.
Contact
Contact
Covered with mud, two Russian companies finally make it to the German lines and the firefight flares up. Despite losses, the corner of the German position comes under heavy pressure.
Cover more important than speed
Cover more important than speed
The Russian player on the far left flank thinks that the swamp can be bypassed by a narrow strip of clear terrain near the river. This proves to be an unfortunate choice as the lack of sparse terrain allows the German tanks into the fight and they inflict heavy casualties on this company.
Fight at the corner
Fight at the corner
The Russian player begins to break into the position, but the losses on the far left allow the Germans to hold the line. The Russians run out of bodies.
A most interesting scenario. If the Russians on the left had sent all their troops into the swamp, instead of trying to use the faster, but dangerous, clear route, the extra bodies might have carried the day.

Landing at the airfield

Another Mike and Pete creation had the German Airborne forces attempting to take Valkenburg Airfield in the Netherlands in the early part of the May 1940 offensive. We played this twice with the Dutch decisively defeating the landings in the first game. With an adjustment to the landing procedure, we played it again, and these pics are from the second game.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Plane 1 Crashlands
Plane 1 Crashlands
The first wave of Ju-52s land at Valkenburg under fire from the Dutch defenders. All but two are suppressed or disordered getting out of the transport, but they all survived.
Support from Paradraop
Support from Paradrop
Fallschimjaegers already on the ground south of the airfield support the landing.
Plane 2 arriives
Plane 2 arriives
The second wave of Ju-52s lands. Only three squads get out unscathed while the rest are suppressed and disordered with three not surviving.
Plane 3
Plane 3 arriives
The third and last wave of Ju-52s lands with minimal disruption. They immediately head off to take the town Valkenburg.
Germans consolidate and move out
Germans consolidate and move out
The Germans head east to take their objectives of the town of Valkenburg, and to the south the bridge and a farm that covers the connecting road.
Dutch Counterattack begins
Dutch Counterattack begins
A battalion of Dutch approach the airfield from the northwest using the berms (green lines) as cover (the berms are for water containment and drainage, this is Holland!).
More Dutch
More Dutch
A 2nd Dutch battalion attack from the northeast to retake Katwijk from the Fallschimjaegers.
Dutch threaten airfield
Dutch threaten airfield
With the attack into Katwijk underway, two Dutch companies advance towards Valkenburg and the airfield.
Battle for the towns
Battle for the towns
Two companies of Germans defend the airfield, one the town of Valkenburg while a smaller force of Fallschimjaegers fight it out in Katwijk. The Dutch are assembling to the north for the main assault on the airfield while more Dutch approach from the northeast.
Clearing the town
Clearing the town
Katwijk slowly being cleared of the Fallschimjaegers. The German player had spent several turns before the Dutch appeared improving the positions of his troops in the building, which served him well in the battle.
Airfield held
Airfield held
An assault did go in at the airfield. On the first wave only one squad and made it onto the airfield with the rest of the attack beaten off. Following attack would have easily made the airfield but the Germans would not be cleared by the end of the scenario.
At the end the Dutch contested the airfield and were taking Katwijk but the rest of the objectives were still in German control. The decision went to a minor German win. An excellent scenario which I hope Pete and Mike develop further. The Dutch player (your humble webmaster) did not realize until too late the importance of the few two story buildings which would have allowed his FO to direct artillery over berms in the flat terrain, which served to block most LOS.

Bill Gray's Northern Thunder Redux

Bill has modified (with our full approval) the Fire and Fury mechanics to cover the Napoleonic and Lace War periods in his "Age of Eagles" and "Age of Honor" rules. These are designed to fight BIG games and they work smoothly and lead to visually impressive games. Saturday morning found him presenting an Age of Honor game based on the 1712 battle of Gadebusch between the Danes and the Swedes. The Danes were defending a town behind a swamp and a river, but the Swedes were much better troops. For a while, it looked as the game would not occur, because a surpise snowstorm had struck the night before and attendance was down at the convention. But we finally got enough players together and the fight was on.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Danish Right Flank
Danish Right Flank
A view from behind the Danish right flank. Danish Cavalry in the foreground await the Swedes, while the defensive position stretches off into the distance and the Swedish line up ominously to the right of the photo.
Swedish Left Flank
Swedish Left Flank
The Swedes line up to attack the defenders in the previous photo. A cavalry battle is imminent.
The Center
The Center
The Swedish infantry and artillery prepare their assault.
The Swedish Right Flank
The Swedish Right Flank
The Swedish cavalry on the right is faced with extensive swampy ground.
Sloshing Forward
Sloshing Forward
The Swedish cavalry didn't really want to get their feet wet, as they rolled very poorly and moved forward slowly into the wet ground, getting into each other's way on almost every move.
Rumbling Forward
Rumbling Forward
In the center, the Swedish infantry starts to close. The Age of Honor linear infantry tactics and troop types lead to a fairly steady but slow movement leading to violent melees when contact finally occurs.
Crashing Forward
Crashing Forward
Cavalry, on the other hand, can move fast. In this game, a cavalry melee broke out almost immediately on the Swedish left, with neither side gaining a decisive advantage for several turn.
Breakthrough Begins
Breakthrough Begins
After several turns of fighting, the Swedes gain an advantage on the left as their cavalry gains the upper hand and their superior infantry pushes back the Danish defenders.
Fighting Rages
Fighting Rages
The battle rages all along the lines. The Swedish right flank did not make as much progress, but their breakthrough on the right will soon allow the Swedes to roll up the line.
Fun in the Swamp
Fun in the Swamp
The Swedish cavalry finally starts to get through the swamp, but is disorganized. The Danes on this flank stay just out of reach.
Last Stand
Last Stand
The whole battlefield from behind the Swedish lines. The left flank Swedes are about to push in the flank.
The End
The End
When we finished the game, the Danish infantry on the left was in danger of being hit by both cavalry and infantry. The game was judged a Swedish victory.

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