Sunday, March 1, 2009

Battle Hymn 09

Hello fellow troops !

Well ..... Battle Hymn 09 has come and gone once again.

The turnout was once again very high. The show consisted of various models, the wargames miniatures section and car/military vehicles on display. And of course the vendors were in full force. The cub scouts were there in high numbers as well. Its good to see their motivation and hope that the model hobby as well as the miniature wargaming sticks as a hobby for them.

Once arriving I headed straight over to the wargame area. I had plans to find Steve and his Battle of El Alamein. It wasn't hard to find since it was the only desert table in the area. I introduced myself and Steve allowed me to help control his British forces on the table.

Taking on the Nazis controlled by Tom was a task that any experienced FOW general would find daunting, I found it a humbling experience to say the least. A fun time but very humbling.

As I took control, the British were already deployed since Steve was running the game before I arrived. A true sportsman and a great teacher he allowed me to role the dice and ask many many questions.

We had two objectives. One being Rommel himself and the other a supply depot. The British in this scenario did not have any objectives thus forcing us into an attack role. The scenario only allowed tanks being a easy way to learn the game. The map consisted of a main road splitting the board and t'ed off towards two separate villages. There was olive groves, various hills/ridges and some marshes. The marshes were an interesting use of small bases with some vegetation spread out among a large bases of tan. The buildings were 15mm in design and made the map feel so much more a desert reality. Excellent setup !

My first kill some an awesome shot from a British Sherman tank. Well to tell the true it was the only thing my Shermans did in the first game I played. The kill occurred as we attempted to flank the German position surrounding Rommel's HQ. It was the only shot we placed and killed in this attempt. The victorious Sherman was rewarded by being tagged by a returning German fire and his OIC failed his moral test and retreated from the battle. The Grant platoon was singled out and destroyed in later rounds without much effect.

While the above flanking maneuver was taking place we sent a 1 platoon of British Shermans and 1 platoon of British Crusaders down the main road to split up the defending Germans.

It is here that we had a German response with the OIC leading the attack on our Shermans attempting to flank again through a gap next to the buildings in the horizon. The Crusaders lacked armor but had excellent tank killing power. They moved to attempt cover fire.

On the opposite side of the map we had 1 platoon of British Grants and 1 platoon of British Crusaders. Their objective was the supply depot near a village and olive grove. We moved them onto of an excellent hill for exploiting our 2 shot advantage per Grant. The Grants in this scenario led in kills and were one of the most effective firing units we had. We poured fire into units defending the supply depot and you could almost hear the rounds punching through the German armor.

We also had the Grants provide cover fire for the middle advance. A couple more kills achieved with great shooting from the British crews. But alas the middle advance was destroyed by superior German armor and my horrible dice rolling.
Things began to crumble as the German armor turned its ugly head to the remaining British forces. Once the eastern forces were no longer a threat; the defending Olive grove forces moved to engage our remaining Grants and Crusaders. Slowly our forces were opened up like tin cans although we took out some Germans with us.

It was a great game for being my first. Steve was excellent in explaining the basic rules and making the game fun to learn. I thank Steve tons for allowing to participate and making it a great day. I look forward to playing future games with Steve and Tom. Revenge of the burning British tanks will be had .... maybe.

I have more pictures from a second game that we played. But since the carnage was so great I will be posting it later as a "Things I learned not to do".

Till then .... be safe, keep painting and practice the dice rolling (I need to for sure). And remember, the 327th GIR is forming and looking to make its mark on the table.

Be safe ....



  1. Joe, it was a pleasure! I really though the Tommies had a good shot of it that second game, but alas the dice Gods were not feeling particularly benevolent.

    Tom and I ran a 3rd game afterwards with me as the Germans. It was an ugly ugly repeat. Tom had a solid strategy, but those panzer IV F2s along with some flanking IIIs just annhilated the British.

    In short- I think that despite being balanced points wise, it was a one sides scenario that favored the Germans.

    Looking forward to many more games to come!

    Also- beautiful pictures. You should post the battle report on the FOW forum, I think it'd be a big hit. I'll happily do it if you want me to.

  2. Thanks Steve ! The pleasure was all mine. I appreciate the kind comments and will post the report on FOW forum.

    I think your scenario was a thinking game for the British side. I am sure there is a way but it may take some time to work out the win.

    Infantry and some well dug in antitank troops may help the British out well.

    Thanks about the pictures. I was using a museum setting on the camera and it seemed to make some nice shots. A little Paint Shop Pro and I may get them to look real.

    Thanks for the kind comments and look forward to catching some more games with you.

    Be safe ... Joe

  3. Joe, after thinking about it I think the scenario was probably too hard on the British. In a normal Free For All, a failed attack would mean you pull back and let the other guy come to you- but the british had no alternative but to keep pressing.

    You free this weekend? Sundays are good for me for gaming, and I have a full US Rifle co with just about any support you can think of. They can stand in for Glider troops since they're the exact same organization if you want to try em out.

    Shoot me an e-mail and let me know, maybe we can work something out.

    By the way, I posted the AAR on the FOW forum:

  4. Steve .... I should be free on Sunday for a couple of hours. It would be great to catch a game or two. Afternoons would work better for me.

    I will shoot you an email ....


    PS - Thanks for the posting on the FOW forum !