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HISTORICON 2007

Once again we were well represented, with lots of BF games, Regimental F&F, and original F&F games. The "usual suspects" (Pete Landry, Mike Sincavage, Steve Keyer, and Michael Panzer) ran lots of games, along with the F&F Games crew itself.
I want to thank Pete for giving me lots of pics for the 3 games he ran.

Regimental Fire and Fury

RFF has proved to be very flexible, we are "herding the cats" toward publication, with Richard tweaking the rules to his satisfaction. At this convention, Richard, Tony Figlia, et al. put on two wars set in India and also a Brandy Station battle, which Rich used to try out some new ideas for cavalry. It was also heartening to see an RFF game put on by the "Refuse the Flank Wargamers" who put on a Monacacy battle.

Battles in India

RFF has proven to be just about the right scale to handle many of the battles that occurred in the 19th century in India. Two battles were featured, Assaye from the Second Mahratta War in 1803, which was one of Wellington's early victories, and Aliwal from the first Sikh war in 1848. Indian battles feature many colorful troops and desperate situations, and are well worth investigating for wargame scenarios. These two battles show that RFF can be used for the smaller battles of the Napoleonic war as well as the ACW.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Assaye
Assaye
Forces line up around the fortified village of Assaye
Aliwal 01
Aliwal 01
One view of Aliwal
Aliwal 02
Aliwal 02
Another view of Aliwal.

Brandy Station

Richard wanted to try out some new ideas for cavalry rules in RFF, and there is no better battle to do it with than Brandy Station. Once again, the famous "Hasenauer Avacado Blanket" provided the battle
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Brandy 01
Confederate Artillery
Confederate Artillery overlooks an open field.
Brandy 02
Forces Mass in the Woods
The opposing sides deploy. The Union to the right and the Confederate to the left.
Brandy 03
Another view
The opposing sides from behind the Confederate Lines.

Monacacy

In a little known but important battle, the Union Forces under General Lew Wallace (who later wrote Ben Hur) delayed Jubal Early's forces along the Monacacy river near Frederick Maryland long enough to allow Union forces to man the forts North of Washington. An RFF game put on by the "Refuse the Flank Wargamers" replayed this battle. If you live or visit Washington DC, this battlefield is about 1/2 North of the city and (despite the interstate that goes through it), you can get a good idea of the terrain involved.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Monacacy
Confederates force a crossing
Early was confronted with a defended river line. The bridge was well defended, but there were fords to the west of the bridge that allowed the Confederates to cross and outflank the defenders. Here the Confederates force a crossing.

Brigade Level Fire and Fury

Even after almost 20 years (yes, Rich, it has been almost that long), the original F & F is still going strong, as it is ideal for larger battles. I have pics from 2 games that were presented at Historicon this year. The first is a Chickamauga game put on by the Southern Maryland Partizans group. The second is Al Gaspar's latest creation, the First Battle of Bull Run. If you ever visit one of the HMGS East conventions, see if Al is putting on a game. His forte is custom terrain boards that are visually stunning. In addition to creating stunning terrain, he uses BF:WW2 for his World War 2 games and Brigade F & F for his ACW games (this shows his good sense).
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Chickamauga
Chickamauga
View of the Chickamauga Battlefield
Bull Run 01
Bull Run 01
Al Gaspar's Bull Run Battlefield-1
Bull Run 02
Bull Run 02
Al Gaspar's Bull Run Battlefield-2
Bull Run 03
Bull Run 03
Al Gaspar's Bull Run Battlefield-3
Bull Run 04
Bull Run 04
Al Gaspar's Bull Run Battlefield-4

Treadhead Game Scenarios

Steve Keyer of Two Tin Soldiers has published two Campaign books under the "Treadhead Games" label. Each of these covers a campaign with historical background and about 10 scenarios. These are manageable size, directly usable in BF:WW2 (which is Steve's primary rule set), and are an all around good buy. Also, they cover little-known campaigns, rather than being stuck in NW Europe or the Eastern Front. At Historicon this year, I 3 of the 7 or 8 BF games I saw used scenarios from his books. There are now two books out, one on the Winter War in Finnish, and one on the campaign in Greece. More to come. How is that for a plug, Steve?
Steve ran two games set in Greece, and Pete Landry and Mike Sincavage ran a Finnish battle.

Finland - the Last Act

Pete Landry and Mike Sincavage ran this one, which features a Russian Assault on a Finnish town. The Russians have lots of bodies and armor (some of it in the form of T28 tanks, which are quite good for the period). The Finns have hidden positions and generally better troops.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Russians Advance
Russians Advance
Russians crossing the tracks advancing towards the Finns.
Russians Advance 2
Russians Advance 2
A view from a different angle.
Russians Advance
Russians Advance 3
And from the other side
Russians Advance
Russians Advance 3
And from the other side
Russians break into town
Russians break into town
On the Russian left flank, the T28s push past the Finn delaying units.
T28s
T28s
Town fighting with T 28s
Russians Encounter Finns
Russians Encounter Finns
Russians hit the a house in the first line of resistance opposing their right flank.
Russians Assault the Finns
Russians Assault the Finns
Russians assault the house. While it eventually fell, the units inside inflicted heavy losses.
Russians Assault the Finns 2
Russians Assault the Finns 2
Russians continue to assault the house.
Russians Push On
Russians Push On
T26s bypass the house, which is still offering resistance.
Russians Push On 2
Russians Push On 2
T26s moving forward - note the lack of infantry support for the near tanks.
Finn ATGs
Finn ATGs
Finn ATGs waiting to ambush the T 26s.
Finn Infantry drive back T26s
Finn Infantry drive back T26s
A Finn 'Bomber' takes out a T 26, and the tanks disordered partners are sent scurrying back. The bomber units are special units that are trained to close assault tanks and these can be quite deadly in the proper context. In this situation, the ATG suppressed and disordered the T26s and the bomber units followed up with great effect, as the T26s had outrun their infantry support. These losses, and the subsequent stalling of the right flank of the Russian attack, were the margin of victory for the Finns.
Finn Infantry drive back T26s 2
Finn Infantry drive back T26s 2
A wider view of the previous situation. Note the lack of Russian infantry around the nearest tanks, where the Finn 'Bomber' units are prevailing.

Greece-Clash of Armor

The Greek campaign started out with Italians vs Greeks, but later in the war the British came in to support the Greeks and the Germans then intervened. One battle was a fight between advancing Panzers of the 9th Pz. Division and defending British Armour of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment. Your humble webmaster took part in this one as a German.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
German Panzers Approach
German Panzers Approach
The Germans were under a slight misunderstanding of the victory conditions, which we thought were just to cut the road and inflict losses. Instead, we were to cut the road where it exited the table, which is to the left of the picture. The British had lined up their tanks in a position where they could flank an attack on the entrenchments and instead the Germans moved right at them. This had the unexpected effect of keeping a significant part of the British force out of the fight, at the expense of extreme time pressure near the end of the game.
German Panzers Approach 2
German Panzers Approach 2
Another angle on the advancing Huns.
British draw first blood
British draw first blood
Two PzIs bite the dust when they stick their noses out a bit too far, showing that the 2 pounder is not quite as ineffective as it could be.
The Germans draw closer
The Germans draw closer
The Germans prepare for the big charge.
Smash!
Smash!
One of the German commanders jumped the gun and charged into close combat. Rather than let him get defeated in detail, the rest of us followed, including the infantry.
Smash!
Surprise Victory
The result was surprising, as the multiple Close Combats managed to knock out several British tanks.One of the German commanders jumped the gun and charged into close combat. Rather than let him get defeated in detail, the rest of us followed, including the infantry.
Forward!
Forward!
The British tanks are routed, but the real victory conditions are the entrenchments. The Germans redirect their assault in the correct direction, with the flaming wrecks of the British armor surrounding them.
Maybe not that far forward!
Maybe not that far forward!
The Germans charge toward the defending entrenchment. One German tank gets out ahead and gets adjacent to the trench, exposing its flank. A hidden AT gun will take it out.
Final Charge
Final Charge
In a final attempt to dislodge the defenders, multiple German tanks assault the trenches. They succeed in driving out the defenders, but the losses they have taken give the day to the Brits by a hair.

Greece-SS Reconaissance

This battle pits an advancing SS motorized unit against defending Greek infantry.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
SS Get ready
SS Get ready
SS mounted on trucks and led by light armor move out
Assault on the town begins
Assault on the town begins
They first need to clear the defended village
A different angle
A different angle
A different angle on the town. Note the puff of smoke on the woodline. This is the position of a single infantry gun that did much to disrupt the SS advance, surviving close assaults, disrupting trucks, and generally wreaking havoc out of proportion to its size.
Assault on the town begins
Clearing the town
The fight for the town continues. The brave gun fights on in the background - note the disordered infantry in front of it.
To the hills beyond
To the hills beyond
The fight for the town is about over, so the Germans prepare to move on.
The attack peters out
The attack peters out
The light armor makes it to the final position but the Germans don't have the time to win.

Battles at Stonne, France 1940

It is unusual that the Blitzkrieg era is not more popular. In the Blitzkrieg era, the weapons and vehicles are much less impressive than later periods, forcing players to maneuver and use combined arms tactics, rather than just setting up their Tigers and Panthers and blasting away at anything that moves. Note that France 1940 and the campaigns in the Treadhead series feature less impressive equipment but often more interesting battles.
In the campaign for France in 1940, the French launched their armor at the German Panzer spearhead near the town of Stonne. There were two games on this battle.

Stonne 1

In the first game, put on by Michael Panzer and Kurt Kramer, the Germans assault Stonne and encounter French armor and infantry.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Stonne 1 Photo 1
Stonne 1 Photo 1
Panzers spar with French Light Tanks
Stonne 1 Photo 2
Stonne 1 Photo 2
Wider view of the Battlefield
Stonne 1 Photo 3
Stonne 1 Photo 3
German Infantry and Light Tanks
Stonne 1 Photo 4
Stonne 1 Photo 4
French Heavy Armor

Stonne 2

The second game was put on by Pete Landry and Mike Sincavage. The Germans have taken Stonne, but the French launch a combined-arms counterattack to take it back. Your humble webmaster played the commander of the German Stug IIIs, most of whom survived the battle but were sent back to gunnery school.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
French initial positions
French initial positions
French 1st turn positions. They were going to assault on the left and right and pin in the middle.
German Tank Awaits
German Tank Awaits
French infantry enter the soon to be 'Dead Zone' on the right flank. 5 squads consecutively were KIA in the same location. Germans must have bore sighted that little piece of real estate. The Panzer looks like it means business.
The Right Flank Attack
The Right Flank Attack
A larger view of the French Right Flank Assault. The Germans are waiting for them.
The Left Flank moves out.
The Left Flank moves out
French infantry, supported by light tanks, starts moving up against Germans in the forest.
From the German side
From the German side
A look at the left flank attack from the other side.
Hey, diddle, diddle...
Hey, diddle, diddle...
Up the middle go the French infantry, into the waiting guns of the Stugs.
The Left presses forward
The Left presses forward
The French flank assault develops.
Char Bs win one
Char Bs win one
Char B1s defeat an impotent StugIII, This Stug could not get a kill even with many shots with + drms.
Char Bs fall back
Char Bs fall back
After knocking out the Stug 2 Char Bs fall back to admire their victory from the safety of the woods.
The French Left moves forward.
The French Left moves forward.
The French great flanking maneuver begins.
The French Left moves forward.
Another view.
The French infantry and light armor start to move toward the rear of the German Right flank. Your humble webmaster was running 3 remaining Stugs, an ATG, and some stray infantry and starting to feel very nervous.
Char Bs fall back
German Left holds
The Germans easily hold the French right flank infantry attack off...but Jim on the opposite flank keeps calling for support to no avail.
Germans Win an exchange
Germans Win an exchange
A PzIIIE close assaults a Char B and both are killed. Given the relative value of the tanks, and the fact that only one Char B was left, the Germans were happy to make the trade.
Smoking wrecks
Smoking wrecks
The result of the previous close combat.
Nick of time
Nick of time
The French left flank has pushed forward, but the defeat of the right flank and the demise of the Char Bs as an effective force has allowed the Germans to pull their forces back into to the town and establish a defence. In addition to the Stugs, the buildings are now full of German infantry, and the German light tanks are engaging the fast moving French light armor. Stonne was held by the Germans as the French commander called off the attack to avoid expected high losses with the outcome not looking good.

Other BF:WW2 Battles

Greg Lyle put on two Sidi bou Zid training games, but this scenario has been seen often enough in earlier conventions that I decided not to include pics here (look at almost any convention over the past few years). Unfortunately Steve Curtis was unable to attend, as I was looking forward to two of his Kursk scenarios-maybe next time. Pete Landry brought out his Pelileu game, and Mark Hayes ran two Burma scenarios.

Pelelieu

Pete Landry ran this battle of one of the USMC's most vicious island battles.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Marines Landing
Marines Landing
Marines landing on Peleliu
Marines Push Inland
Marines Push Inland
Marines desperately trying to push inland off of the beach
Japanese shell ineffectively
Japanese shell ineffectively
One of the many Japanese barrages that made a lot of noise but did little damage.
Japanese at water's edge 1
Japanese at water's edge 1
Marines badly needed reinforcements on the way as the Japanese fight at the waters edge in the center.
Japanese at water's edge 2
Japanese at water's edge 2
Another view of the previous situation.
Watch out for the kid
Watch out for the kid
Scott had his hands full facing the 'die rolling kid machine'.
Tanks arrive in the nick of time
Tanks arrive in the nick of time
Shermans arrive on the beach in the midst of chaos to stabilize the situation.

Wetlet

Mark Hayes put on this scenario from the Meiktila campaign of 1945, where a mobile column struck the Japanese positions around the village of Wetlet.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Wetlet 01
Wetlet 01
One view of the battlefield
Wetlet 02
Wetlet 02
British tanks can be seen in the background.

Pagoda Hill

While seizing the city of Mandalay, Commonwealth forces attack a fortified position. Again, Mark Hayes put on this scenario.
Click on the Thumbnail for a full-size photo Description
Pagoda 01
Pagoda 01
Mark explains the situation.
Pagoda 02
Pagoda 02
A view of the city.
Pagoda 03
Pagoda 03
One prong of the British attack goes up the hill.
Pagoda 04
Pagoda 04
The other prong prepares to attack across the river.

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