Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cossacks hit the table.


Got in two (!) games last night at the Dueling Grounds, and managed to get in and out without breaking downs and buying anything for Dystopian Wars.  Pat on the back there.  I'm holding off the MAgpie by not buying anything while I wait for the order I placed to the soon to be closed . Apparently, after 10 days, the order has yet to ship - something about them trying to organize all the clearance packages at once.  I do hope there's no trouble with the order.

I got in a multiplayer Bolt Action game (500 points) against ernieR and Foxlington (Yank Rangers and Volksgrenadiers), followed by a quick 400 point intro game of DW against Fox.  Both were fun, though I found by the time we started DW, I was beginning to fade; having kids has turned me into a morning person by necessity, and I find these days by 9ish I'm less able to concentrate.  Not that it stops me from staying up, I'm just useless when I do.

We had a quick perusal of the BA rulebook, and more or less settled on the Maximum Attrition scenario as the easiest to adapt to multi-player.  We also houseruled that since ernieR never seems to get to take advantage of his Ranger move (which requires that he start the game with models on the table), he could activate his Rangers at the end of the first turn, after Fox and I had moved on.  I was fairly enthusiastic about this game, as I was finally playing fully painted.  The guys at have given a sneak peak of what's in the Russian book, and cossacks are there, so I spent a couple evenings re-basing the ones I did for Flames of War. They're not quite finished (need some matte coat and flock), but I now have 500 points of painted Soviets with which to play.

So new they're shiny.

The scenario gives the option to deploy up to half of your force in reserve, with the other half moving on to the table in the first turn.  No opted to split their force, however, I suspect due to table constraints.  I ran a slightly modified version of the list I ran last time, to account for the new figures, basically swapping the LMG in my large regular squad for a bunch of SMGs spread across the two regulars (which now are comprised of cossacks).  I brought my guys on from the middle of the "south" edge, with Fox's Volksgrens entering from the "north-east" and ernieR's Rangers from the "north-west".

F:R, Conscripts, Cossack LMG squad, Veteran SMG death commandos.  Somewhere in the distance, ze German lurks.

My initial plan was to use the gullies in the table as much as possible, on the reasonable grounds that they can't shoot at what they can't see.  I set up my mortar on the right, and and my PTRD team and the mortar spotter on the left.  There were a number of woods and buildings on the table, and I hoped to advance into their cover, and set up some decent firing opportunities.

Meanwhile, both Fox and ernieR moved their troops into the deep ravines that dominated the other side of the table.  ernieR also moved to set up  a strong point in the building in his corner.

Ze German.  Lurking.

One thing I hadn't noticed when I first positioned the mortar, was that a branch of the ravine by Fox's deployment took him right up to the half-war point.  It would be easy enough for him to advance under cover, and then pop up and snipe the mortar.  As it's one of my favorite units, I shifted the veteran and conscript squads over to engage anything approaching on the left, putting them into ambush when the opportunity arose.

Protect the mortar!

In the centre, I pushed my LMG squad into position to offer covering fire, and my larger cossack squad moved towards a bulding, hoping to seize it as a strong point.  One advantage I had over the other two players was that they lacked HE support, so buildings constituted a solid asset for me.

The building on the right would become key.  The one on the left is the one I went after.

Fox did end up sending a squad towards me down the ravine I'd noticed, but he opted to push the rest of his troops towards ernieR's position.

Predictably sneaky.

ernieR took position of the building in his corner, and moved the rest of his Rangers up in cover.

ernieR doesn't know it yet, but there's a bullseye painted on that building top left.

By this point, I'd set up a pretty secure line at the edge of the forest.  We generally play that while you can see through woods, firing through them imposes a penalty as if your target was in cover.  Fox started asking about how many of my guys were carrying SMGS; I think he was hoping to "pop" up outside of 12" to blunt my ambush potential.

Come at me comrade.

On the left, I'd located the LMG, and continued to move towards the building.

Hey, Peter, I can see your house from up here!

While this was going on, I'd been trying to range in with my mortar on the building ernieR had set up as a fire base.  It took a few turns, but when I hit, it killed something like 3 rangers outright, and ernieR decided that maybe buildings weren't such a good place to be in after all.

Yuri, do you think we can hit them?

Things were going pretty well.  I'd set up a good defensive line, my mortar was earning its keep, all in all, I was happy.  Then, I rolled my very first FUBAR for a morale roll.  Some sporadic firing had put a pin on my conscripts.  I wasn't too worried about it, as they had the officer nearby.  Then this happened.


I got a friendly fire result, and ernieR and Fox, cackling madly, decided that my conscripts had mistaken the LMG squad for enemies.

They're wearing funny hats.  They must be fascists!

Given how many shots were fired, I was content to only lose a couple men.  The LMG could still fire, which was the main thing.

Still firing.

On the right, Fox popped the squad in the ravine, and I triggered my ambush.  Turns out, I was within 12", and he lost a bunch of guys before getting a chance to fire back.  On my next activation, I assaulted, with predictable results, given it was a vet squad with 5 SMGS.

Who's ravine?  My ravine!

While that was going on, ernieR had managed to vacate the unit from the now somewhat dismantled building on his side, while Fox had pushed a squad into the building at the centre of the table.  The one pretty much everybody could fire at.

Why yes, I do think I'm going to shoot the Bejesus out of that farmhouse, thanks!

I'd set up my own little fortress on the left, with an SMG-heavy squad occupying the first floor, and my PTRD team up top.  In the end, these guys didn't get to do much.  No one came close enough to the building for the assault squad to have targets, and the PTRD struggled to hit the available targets (which were generally limited and under cover).

No one to play with.

My mortar continued to perform, nailing the one squad ernieR exposed on the one turn they were visible (rolling 6s when you need them is always fun).


Yuri, going ballistic.

Fox's Germans were pretty chewed up at this point.  He'd lost a couple squads to ernieR, and at least one to me.  The last of his troops were holed up in the centre building, taking fire from all sides, and reconsidering their devotion to the Fuhrer.

You say "Sieg!", I say "Heil!".  Ready?

We were now on turn 6, with a 50-50 shot of another turn.  I poured fire into the central building, but between range, cover, small target penalties, and crap dice, couldn't get more than pins.  ernieR had similar problems, and it looked like the Germans might weather the storm.

Two vets with SMGs.  A force to be reckoned with.

My officer and bullet catcher, however, were within assault range, so I figured what the hell, and threw them in.  After a first turn where no one scored hits, we had a second round of combat, in which my brave Lt. and his comrade ousted the Germans from the building.  We rolled another turn, and pretty much everything in ernieR's force unloaded, along with I think the last couple guys Fox had.  A lucky shot took out my brave Lt., but the bullet catcher stood his ground, and the game came to an end.



Although everybody had pretty much been shooting at everybody, ernieR and I had accounted for a couple of squads of Fox's VGs apiece, but neither of us had taken unit casualties.  We called it a tie, and any exchange of fire was classed as a misunderstanding.  Allies, you know.

I'll save the DW game for the weekend, as the Tenkei is taking longer than expected, and I think painting time will be at a premium over the next few days.  Work is getting crazy, and I'm going to have my hands full.  Next week I've got a 600 point DW game scheduled, so fingers crossed all goes well.



  1. What a fabulous table! Great report, terrain is excellent!

  2. I almost placed an order for some Privateer Press stuff, but was a bit worried about getting my order filled. After 10 days, I would be a bit concerned. Maybe contact them.

    1. Yeah, I dropped them an email, and they were quick to respond - it was the email I note above, regarding the mass shipment. Fingers crossed.

  3. Hey FMB , great writeup !
    i think we did a good job squeezing the Volksgrenadiers between our two forces . but you really need to be more careful where you're pointing that mortar :)


  4. Great AAR and most importantly, it looks like a lot of fun. I'm reading The Lions of Carentan and this tipped the scale. I'm going to buy BA and take a look. Thanks for the visit by the magpie!

    1. Always happy to oblige Monty ;) If you're looking for really granular hyper-realist stuff, it's likely to disappoint, but if you're looking for a good game with period flavour, it'll be a hit.

  5. Wow that is one of the nicest terrain boards I have seen.

    Out of interest which city are you gaming in?