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HISTORICON 2005

There were lots of Battlefront events this year, and I took many photos, although I didn't get all of the events. If anyone has photos of the events I missed, send them to me and I will add them to this page. I want to thank Pete Landry, who contributed lots of pics that are interspersed herein.

Mukdi

Development of the Regimental Fire and Fury proceeds, and one of the events we tried was the Battle of Mukdi, which pits very good British and Sepoy forces against a horde of colorful Sikhs and their allies. In our game (and in history), the British attacked furiously. After some tense moments in the center and left, the game was decided when the British right wing cavalry broke their Sikh opponents and poured into the rear.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Mukdi  01
The Sikhs
Hordes of Indians await the attack.
Mukdi  02
The British
The British infantry await their attack orders.
Mukdi  03
British Infantry
Some British Infantry.
Mukdi  03s
A Sikh Cavalry Horde
The Sikhs had some huge units.
Mukdi  04
On the Attack
The entire British force moves out in one big line. The waiting Sikh artillery initially caused some casualties.
Mukdi  05
Crisis in the Center
The British hit the Sikh Artillery positions in the center.
Mukdi  06
Forming Square
On the left, the Sikhs launch a cavalry charge, but the Sepoy infantry they target form a quick square.

Al Gaspar's Point du Hoc

When we were setting up for Saturday, an edifice took form in the entry hall that put most of the terrain setups to shame. This was Al Gaspar's scenario of the Rangers assault on Point du Hoc at D-Day. He uses Battlefront:WW2 with 10mm figures to refight his battles and has put on demonstrations at the Smithsonian (to our friends abroad, this is our National Museum). For those few of you who are not familiar with this battle, the Rangers were given the task of clearing out coastal batteries that could enfilade Omaha Beach. They were nominally positioned on top of imposing cliffs, but when the Rangers conducted their daring assault, they found the batteries empty. However, when the Rangers moved inland, they found and destroyed the battery of 150mm guns that had been redeployed inland for safety. Pictures do not do true justice to this terrain board. He has done similar displays at previous conventions. Here are some links to other sets of pictures of his earlier games:
Fall In, Omaha Beach are the last dozen photos.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Point du Hoc 01
From the Ocean Side
The cliffs were considered immune to attack, but the Rangers have other ideas.
Point du Hoc 01a
An overall view
Pete Landry took this picture of the cliffs.
Point du Hoc 02
The Left Flank Beach
A view of the left flank of the assault.
Point du Hoc 03
The Right Flank Beach
A view of the right flank of the assault.
Point du Hoc 04
From the German Side
Most of the important fighting took place inland from the cliffs.
Point du Hoc 05
The Rangers hit the beach
The landing craft drop off the assaulting forces.
Point du Hoc 06
The terrain inland
Most of the important fighting took place inland from the cliffs.
Point du Hoc 07
Mounting the cliffs
The Rangers mount to the top of the cliffs.
Point du Hoc 08
The scale of the terrain
The same situation seen from the side, which shows the size of the cliffs in this custom-made terrain board.

Remember The Alamo

Rich H., Mike Pierce, and Ron Perillaman (?-please correct me if I this last name wrong-it was what was in the catalog) first put their Alamo game back in the mid-1980s, and it has been a favorite of convention goers whenever it appears. It is a massive game with hundreds of figures but extremely simple rules. The objective of the Mexican forces is to completely wipe out the Texans, and they have 3 waves to do it with. Each wave is defeated if/when all of the Mexicans run away or are killed, which happens very quickly in the first wave, less so in the second, and usually not in the third wave. All the Mexican casualties return for the next wave, but every Texan casualty is permanent.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Alamo 01
Proud Papas
Mike, Ron, and Rich pose for the camera. When the Alamo was first put on in the 1980s, a local newspaper printed a similar photo, but there was more hair and less girth :-).
Alamo 02
The Palisade and Chapel
Texans await the onslaught from the stronger part of the fort.
Alamo 03
Another Angle
A view from another angle. The Mexicans assaulting the Palisade (to the right) quickly evaporate, but the ones from the left are nearing the wall. Incidentally, our other perennial visitor from abroad 'English Bob' is the one with his head seemingly bowed in prayer to the top right of the picture, which is appropriate for a Mexican commander at the beginning of the first wave.
Alamo 04
Reaching the Wall
Throwing up their ladders, the assault columns prepare to mount the wall to engage in hand-to-hand combat.
Alamo 05
Another view
The columns converge on the fort, but the chapel and palisade are holding their own.
Alamo 06
Over the top
If the Mexicans gain the wall, the resulting attrition combat will weaken the defenders for the subsequent waves.

Pete Landry and Mike Sincavage's Gembloux

Thank you Pete for these pics. Gembloux was a battle which showed that properly handled and positioned French troops could stop the Blitzkrieg. Those of you who love your Panthers and JS-IIs should try Blitzkrieg-era games. The short ranges put a premium on maneuver and tactics.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Gembloux 01
Setup
I believe this adopted into battle from a SkirmishCampaigns scenario.
Gembloux 02
German approach
Mk IIs already burning!
Gembloux 03
German approach 2
Germans ignoring French Somuas in rear
Gembloux 04
French take advantage
Somuas flank attack
Gembloux 05
Battle rages
Combat on the outskirts of the town
Gembloux 06
They aren't supposed to do that!??
Somuas in German rear
Gembloux 07
The price of battle
Smoking wrecks everywhere!
Gembloux 08
German final push
German final push
Gembloux 09
French holding Gembloux
In the actual battle the Germans were stopped cold at Gembloux, but events on the rest of the front rendered this action moot.

John Rigley's China Game

John put on a 3-way game involving Japanese, and two types of Chinese. He modified the BF-WW2 rules to allow 3 sides. I didn't get many pictures (John-do you have some you want to donate?), as I arrived at the convention late on Thursday. Unfortunately, the Japanese players decided they didn't like the game and, instead of turning their forces over to someone else, had their figures retreat randomly for a couple of turns and then left the game, ruining the experience for the others.
John also developed a Beer and Pretzels 'Moby Dick' game which was a surprise hit of the convention (unfortunately I don't have any pictures, I was too busy playing-John, do you want to donate some?). The object of the game was, not surprisingly, to kill the White Whale, who moved randomly around the board. The players each controled a whaleboat and competed against each other to see who could inflict the most damage. As the rowers fell out of the boat, everyone was cheering on the hungry sharks. The mechanics meshed perfectly and everyone had a great time.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Rigley China 01
Chinese Collide
The Communists and Nationalists fight it out over the target village. The Japanese have childishly packed up their toys and left.
Rigley China 02
Another View
Another view of the battle.

Steve Keyer's Hungary Game

Steve is promoting his 'Legions East' figure line that will include many of the minor allies on the Ostfront. This scenario pitted a very good Hungarian recon force (albeit dismounted) against Russian remnants scattered across the board. The Hungarians marched up both sides of the board (which was probably a mistake) and ended up engaging almost all of the Russian groups. The result was a narrow Russian victory. I am developing this scenario and should have it ready for download.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Hungary 01
Hungarians move out
The Hungarians deploy from the V at the left of the map and move toward the various objectives
Hungary 02
Assault on the village
Light Tanks take on the forward defenders of the village. The tanks were unable to capture the village, but did clear out the defenders in the muddy field.
Hungary 03
The map from the Russian side
A view of the whole battlefield. There is a gun in the bunker on the right that was a constant nuisance to the attackers througout the game.
Hungary 04
Hungarian Engineers catch up
The light tanks got ahead of their supporting infantry, but a Hungarian engineer force caught up and assaults the ruins on the right flank.
Hungary 05
Engineer Assault
A continuation of the previous situation.
Hungary 06
Assault on the Village 2
Supported by the tanks and the AA vehicle, Hungarian infantry goes after the village.
Hungary 07
Moving up
The Hungarians move forward. Attrition is starting to take its toll and Russian armor makes its appearance.
Hungary 08
Clearing the left woods
A Hungarians infantry company clears out Soviet naval troops. Steve said after the game that the Hungarians managed to hit all of the defenders. A more concentrated attack might have bypassed some of them.
Hungary 09
Stalemate
This is about the final position. The Hungarian attack has pretty much run out of steam and both sides stare at each other.

Kokoda Redux

Steven Lee put on the next of his Kokoda series (I am waiting for the scenario-hi Steve). In this one, both sides attack with the Japanese attempting to force the Australians out of their positions at one end of the table, while the Australians return the the favor at the other. The game at the convention was a hard-fought draw.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
kokoda 01
Setting up
This game featured some of the BFWW2 'grognards' like Pete Landry (blue shirt), Kurt Kramer (red shirt), and Mike Sincavage (not in photo).
kokoda 02
Japanese prepare their attack.
The Japanese prepare to assault the Australians across the open terrain.
kokoda 03
Japanese attack.
The assault forces charge the trench line.
kokoda 04
Australians attack.
At the other end of the board, Mike Sincavage's Australians prepare to attack a Japanese hill position
kokoda 05
Struggle for the hill.
The Australians go in while Japanese reinforcements struggle through the Jungle.
kokoda 06
More Struggle for the hill.
Japanese and Australians clash on the hilltop.
kokoda 07
Both sides organize.
The Australians have taken the hill, but the Japanese are still in the fight.
kokoda 08
Breakthrough
At the other end of the board the Japanese smash through the trench line.
kokoda 09
Another view.
Another view of the Japanese breakthrough.

Pagoda Hill

Mark Hayes developed this scenario of a famous battle in Burma, where the Commonwealth forces had to clear out the dug-in defenders of Mandalay. He ran this twice, and the photos here are an intermingling of the two games. This scenario develops as two separate battles. The Commonwealth forces need to clear the hill and also break through the ancient city wall. I want to thank Pete Landry for some of these photos.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Pagoda 00
Overall view
The scenario's namesake rises in the background, while the city wall is to the lower right.
Pagoda 00a
Different angle
Looking at the map from the pagoda side.
Pagoda 01
Yet another angle
Another view.
Pagoda 02
Assault on the hill
Commonwealth troops, assisted by armour, move up the hill.
Pagoda 03
Commonwealth attack
Same situation as the previous photo.
Pagoda 10
Commonwealth attack
Same situation as the previous photo.
Pagoda 04
Assault on the wall
The other group of Commonwealth troops, backed up by tanks and a big artillery piece, prepare to attack the city wall.
Pagoda 11
Another view
The wall attack begins.
Pagoda 05
Clearing the bunkers
The fight for the hill top rages.
Pagoda 06
Defending the wall
The Japanese defend the wall.
Pagoda 07
Mark mediates
Mark Hayes (right) helps resolve the attack on the hill.
Pagoda 08
River crossing
Commonwealth troops cross the river to get to the wall.
Pagoda 04
Fight for the hill continues
Another view The other group of Commonwealth troops, backed up by tanks and a big artillery piece, prepare to attack the city wall.

Saipan

Pete Landry (who provided some of the pictures) put on another Pacific game. The Marines coming ashore at Saipan encounter stiff Japanese resistance, aided by wayward American airpower. Your not-so-humble webmaster (Jim Baker) was the U.S. overall commander. While we made some progress in the center, we did not push hard enough on the right flank to knock out the bunkers. This scenario is a tough slogging match for the Marines.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Saipan 01
Getting ready to land
The Marines prepare to land. The beach area is divided into 3 sectors, with objectives behind each.
Saipan 02
From the Japanese side
A view of the landing area from the Japanese side. I explain the rules.
Saipan 02a
Resistance from the start
The Japanese guns have the beaches zeroed in, and artillery fire lands before the Marines can move out.
Saipan 03
First Contact
The Marines encounter the first Japanese outposts just of the beach.
Saipan 04
Moving Up
Supported by Amtracks, the Marines move up.
Saipan 04a
Right Flank in trouble
The right flank runs into stiff resistance.
Saipan 05
Moving up in the middle
The units in the center overwhelm individual Japanese units.
Saipan 06
'Japanese' Airforce
Calling for air support was chancy. Not only were there no good targets, but there was a significant chance that the airplanes would attack friendly forces. We called for it 3 times, and the Japanese controlled the strike twice.
Saipan 07
Left Flank moves up
The left flank got to the railroad quickly, but ran into stiff resistance when it moved beyond.
Saipan 08
Second Wave
The USMC second wave arrives.
Saipan 10
Japanese Armor Counterattacks
Several light tanks move up into the village on the right flank. They were able to knock out the Amphtracks, forcing the USMC to send some Shermans to help.
Saipan 11
Japanese Main Line
The USMC center force comes up against a dug-in Japanese force.
Saipan 11
Moving up on the Left
The left and center force attacks the village.
Saipan 09
Armor Support
Shermans land in the second wave. The Japanese had some tanks which were able to handle the Amphtraks, but the Shermans were another story.
Saipan 12
Fight on the Right
The Japanese forces on the U.S. right flank proved to be extremely tough.
Saipan 13
Fight on the Right 2
A different angle.

Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Bobs from the UK
Scottish and English Bob
Two friends form "Across the Pond" have been regular visitors to our conventions, sometimes staying with Richard. "Scottish Bob" (standing), introduced Rich to Haggis after we introduced him to scrapple (just revenge). "English Bob" is preparing to play in the Pagoda Hill game.

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