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HISTORICON 2006

Once again we were well represented, with lots of BF games and also some Regimental F&F games.

Pacific War Games

One of the themes this year was the Pacific war. BF was much in evidence.

Peleliu

Pete Landry presented two scenarios based on Peleliu. Peleliu was one of the most vicious but perhaps unnecessary fights in the Pacific. It took many weeks of no-quarters battle to clear the entrenched Japanese off an essentially worthless island which could have been neutralized and bypassed.
Photos by Pete Landry.
The first game was based on the initial stages of the invasion.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Pelilieu Game 1 Photo  01
Marines invade
Marines hit the beach at White Beach 1.
Pelilieu Game 1 Photo  02
Japanese wait
The Japanese are waiting.
Pelilieu Game 1 Photo  03
Marines reinforce
A shallow advance by the Marines is reinforced by the 2nd wave.
Pelilieu Game 1 Photo  04
The 'Point'
The Marines 1st look at the 'Point'
The second continued the fight after the invasion with a Japanese counterattack over the critical terrain known as the 'Point'.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  01
Japanese counterattack
The Japanese initial attack at the eastern end of the 'Point'
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  02
View of the 'Point'
A view of the 'Point' showing how it enfilades the invasion beaches
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  03
Southeast of the 'Point'
No man's land southeast of the 'Point'
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  04
Another look at the 'Point'
The 'Point'
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  05
Marines hold on
The isolated Marines desperately fighting to hold the 'Point'
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  06
Marines can't break through
2 Marine companies can't get to the 'Point' in time to save it
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  07
Another angle
View from the mountains
Pelilieu Game 2 Photo  08
Japanese slow down
The Japanese have taken the 'Point' but have run out of steam

Iwo Jima

Roxanne Patton put on several games on Iwo Jima, with an impressive Mt. Suribachi model, featuring many hidden Japanese bunkers and pillboxes.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Iwo Jima Photo  01
Mt. Suribachi 1
One angle on Mt. Suribachi
Iwo Jima Photo  02
Mt. Suribachi 2
Another view of Mt. Suribachi

Bloody Ridge

Greg Lyle and I ran a game based on the battle of Bloody Ridge on Guadacanal. We had two teenagers running the forces, and they quickly picked up the rules. Rather than coming in piecemeal, as happened historically, the Japanese waited until all of their forces were in position and hit all across the line. The result was bloody, but at the end of the game, it looked as though the Japanese were going to break through to the HQ in the rear.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Bloody Ridge 01
Bloody Ridge 01
Japanese emerge from the forest. This is not as dangerous as it looks, because at nighttime, the U.S. is restricted to random shelling until something is suspected.
Bloody Ridge 02
Bloody Ridge 02
Another view of the initial situation
Bloody Ridge 03
Bloody Ridge 03
The first wave hits all across the line. They are repulsed, but cause casualties.
Bloody Ridge 04
Bloody Ridge 04
The second wave of Japanese prepare to assault.
Bloody Ridge 05
Bloody Ridge 05
Japanese break through in the center, and their right, but the Americans hold on the near flank. Greg expounds on the game in the background.

Kokoda Conclusion

Steven Lee ran the final game of his 10 scenario Kokoda series. This one involved an Australian assault on an entrenched Japanese position. Many of the old-time Kokoda campaigners were there, but there were some new faces as well.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Kokoda 01
Kokoda 01
The terrain - the Japanese sit behind their entrenchments.
Kokoda 02
Kokoda 02
Another view of the initial situation - from the Japanese side
Kokoda 03
Kokoda 03
Australians move out across the open terrain.
Kokoda 04
Kokoda 04
Japanese lie in wait.
Kokoda 05
Kokoda 05
Steve coaches a new player.

Other Games

BF and F&F were in evidence in many other games.

Italy vs Greece

Steve Keyer of Two Tin Soldiers is coming out with scenario books on lesser know campaigns between "minor" powers. The first of these "Balkans in Flames" is based on the fight between Italy and Greece in 1940-41, which eventually pulled in the British and Germans and delayed Hitler's invasion of Russia by several critical months. The battles in these campaigns are often smaller and more manageable that those between major powers, but are just as hard fought. At Historicon, Steve put on a scenario featuring attacking Italian mountain troops against Greeks defending a village. This inspired me to buy a Greek army.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Italy vs Greece Photo  01
Italians come on the table
The Italians decided to try a sweep around the Greek Right flank
Italy vs Greece Photo  02
Greeks Delay
The Greeks had set an ambush in the woods. They shot, caused some casualties and then fell back. The wave of Italians continued forward.
Italy vs Greece Photo  03
Other Greeks appear
The Italian wave catches up with the Greek delaying force, but other Greek forces appear behind the stone wall. The Italians move unopposed over the farmhouse on their extreme right, as the Greeks had decided to defend the town instead (having read the victory conditions).
Italy vs Greece Photo  04
Change of Front
The Italians wheel their right flank to face the town. The Greeks commit their reserve.
Italy vs Greece Photo  05
Firefight for the town
As the Italians advance on the town, a sharp firefight ensues.

Winter War

One of the more interesting conflicts of the WW2 period is the Russian-Finnish Winter War, a classic quantity vs quality struggle. Another Raate Road battle was staged this year, and its participants included many of the BF grognards (the people who know the rules much better than the designers) John Rigley, Kurt Kramer, Michael Panzer, and Roxanne Patton.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Winter War 01
Winter War 01
Winter War 1
Winter War 02
Winter War 02
Winter War 2
Winter War 03
Winter War 03
Winter War 3
Winter War 04
Winter War 04
Winter War 4
Winter War 05
Winter War 05
Winter War 5

Armored conflict in Poland

Mike Sincavage and Pete Landry have had success in converting SkirmishCampaign scenarios into Battlefront:WW2. They tend to concentrate on the Blitzkrieg period, where the short ranges and weak armor of the tanks make maneuver much more important than big guns. Here they staged an armored battle that occurred in the Polish campaing, where a German armored/motorized column ran into some Polish tanks. Pz IIs vs 7TPs is a LOT different than Panthers vs T34/85s.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Poland 01
Poland 01
Poland 1
Poland 02
Poland 02
Poland 2
Poland 03
Poland 03
Poland 3
Poland 04
Poland 04
Poland 4
Poland 05
Poland 05
Poland 5

Fight in the Tractor Factory

Michael Montemorano has built more of his great Stalingrad buildings, and Mike Pierce used them to put on two games based on the fight for the tractor factory. Just to show that luck can play a part in the game, in the first game the Russians had two successive turns where they could place an artillery concentration (not a shelling pattern) on about about 8-9 German troop stands moving through the open. However, they were unable to make a successful call-for-fire with a veteran FO and the Germans moved on unscathed.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Tractor Factory 01
Tractor Factory 01
The terrain
Tractor Factory 02
Tractor Factory 02
Artillery placed but ineffective (about 8-9 German stands are under the pattern
Tractor Factory 03
Tractor Factory 03
The next turn - more German infantry clumps in the open, but the artillery which was called fails to come in again. FO sent to Gulag.
Tractor Factory 04
Tractor Factory 04
Infantry Fight
Tractor Factory 05
Tractor Factory 05
Another Infantry Fight

Kursk

Steve Curtis put on a Kursk battle involving the 3rd Pz Division assaulting the entrenched Russians. Sorry about the color.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Kursk 01
Kursk 01
Trench Lines
Kursk 02
Kursk 02
Different angle
Kursk 03
Kursk 03
Yet another angle

ACW Battle

An ACW game (I think Salem Church) was run using RF&F rules. Unfortunately I lost my program, so I cannot give proper credit. Here are a couple of pictures from the game. It is always gratifying when people unconnected to your group run games using your system.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
ACW 01
ACW 01
One view
ACW 02
ACW 02
Different angle

Newbury

As Richard has developed his Regimental F&F rules, he discovered that the system seems to work for the entire Horse/Musket/Early Rifle period. One of the most colorful (or colourful for our friends in the UK) period is the English Civil War. With slightly different charts, the RF&F rules work quite well for this period as well. At this convention, he put on the battle of Newbury.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Newbury 01
Newbury 01
The terrain - webmaster fools around with his light filter
Newbury 02
Newbury 02
Battle Lines approach
Newbury 03
Newbury 03
Cavalry Units.
Newbury 04
Newbury 04
The battle lines move through the hedgerows
Newbury 05
Newbury 05
Cavalry maneuvers in the open

Al Gaspar's Fort Stevens

East Coast Conventions would not be complete without Al Gaspar's impressive terrain layouts. In this one, he modelled the battle of Fort Stevens, where the Confederates were stopped just outside of Washington D.C. He used the original Fire and Fury rules for this game. Al Gaspar always makes an effort to include youngsters in his games, and it is gratifying to see younger players included. Below are 4 angles of the battlefield.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Ft. Stevens 01
Ft. Stevens 01
Ft. Stevens View 1.
Ft. Stevens 02
Ft. Stevens 02
Ft. Stevens View 2.
Ft. Stevens 03
Ft. Stevens 03
Ft. Stevens View 3.
Ft. Stevens 04
Ft. Stevens 04
Ft. Stevens View 4.

Omaha Beach

Almost as impressive as Al Gaspar's terrain was a massive Omaha Beach scenario. The authors of this game spent considerable time on the scenario mechanics and managed to capture the effect of beach currents, naval gunfire, and the frustrations of the invading forces as they tried to advance past the sea wall. This game went on for most of the day, allowing players to drop in and command a force and then move on. Both Rich and I participated for a couple of hours.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Omaha 01
The terrain
A view from one end of the invasion beach
Omaha 02
The tanks get ready
DD tanks and landing craft prepare their approach. As happened in history, few of the DD tanks made it to shore.
Omaha 03
The tanks land
Tanks land
Omaha 04
Tanks move up to the sea wall
The tanks that made it to shore move up, suffering casualties along the way. Landing craft filled with infantry await their turn.
Omaha 05
second wave
The second wave approaches

Tunisia

Greg Lyle and I ran the Sidi Bou Zid training scenario again. This pits 3 companies of Shermans and a couple of halftrack TDs against 2 Sturmgeschutz, 2 Marders, and 2 Tigers. This fight is about even. This time it ended in a draw by mutual exhaustion, with one Sturmgeschutz facing down a ME of 2 Shermans. The last photo says it all.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Sidi Bou Zid 01
Charge!
Several turns into the game the U.S. charge begins. A German Marder got a little frisky and was eliminated by the combined fire of about 7 Shermans.
Sidi Bou Zid 02
Close Assault
The first of the Tigers comes under a close assault by several Shermans, one of the few ways the big cats can be taken out by Shermans.
Sidi Bou Zid 03
Flanking
The Tigers are gone and the weakened Americans move into position to flank the remaining Germans.
Sidi Bou Zid 04
Last Stand
Several turns later the only Germans left are the Sturmis, but the U.S. has taken heavy losses.
Sidi Bou Zid 05
The End
The last Sturmgeschutz and the German HQ face down the 2-3 remaining Shermans. Everyone is of low morale and closing and missing morale would be a good way to lose the final unit. A draw, but the U.S. scores a moral victory by destroying the Tigers.

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