Wargames on your table - December 2017
James
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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Hello friends! For the final time this year, it's time to ask the eternal question: What wargames are on your table this month? As usual, it doesn't matter if it's solo or opposed, online or face-to-face, hex & counter or cubes & cards. If you can crush your enemies, we want to hear about it.

According to the aggregator we have played 1530 games between us so far this year. Not bad, not bad at all. High fives all round. This list is still my favourite part of BGG, so many thanks to you all for continuing to make it so rad.

Now, get off my lawn.


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126. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:640]
Board Game: Friedrich
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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Got to play this yesterday, haven’t gotten to play it for awhile and really enjoyed it. I played the Prussia’s but lost to the French, could get the events that eliminate the other powers.
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127. Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:1851]
Board Game: Holland '44: Operation Market-Garden
Karl Kreder
United States
Nuevo
California
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Played the first 5 turns of this, very clean rules that are easy to look up. The game play was good but as the Germans I was on defense the whole time. That was still fun but I know later the Germans get to on offense which I would like to see.
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Board Game: Steel Wolves: The German Submarine Campaign Against Allied Shipping – Vol 1
Still december over here. Still 2017. New year's eve? I couldn't care less. I'm playing more patrol scenarios and I am enjoying it a lot. I want to get used to this part of the game before going all in.

So far... great game.
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129. Board Game: Men of Iron [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3222]
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Joe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Finished my playing of Bannockburn early on New Years Eve.

I left the Scots in schiltron too long and they started to take some losses from the English Longbow (LB) units. This was also giving time to the English to organize their scattered and disordered pike (PK) units.

Finally had the Scots go over to the attack and were causing a lot of damage to the English (LB, PK and even MM units).

They drove the English over their Flight Level but were close enough themselves that they also went over with their die roll so the game ended in a draw.

My mistake as the Scots was not to leave schiltron formation when the English foot units (mainly LB) presented themselves towards the start. If the LB are there you need to leave schiltron or it will simply be a repeat of Falkirk.
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130. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:145]
Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe
David Martin
United States
GENEVA
Illinois
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Paul (Germans, defender) v. David (Canadians, defender)
Scenario: #52 - The New Highlanders - Authie, Normandy (7 June 1944)
Expansion: Battle Pack 3—Normandy
Played: In person, 12-22-2017
Outcome: German victory via Canadian surrender

Paul and I met up the Friday before Christmas for a little bout of holiday wargaming. We both had a 'Combat Commander' itch that needed to be scratched. I'd been grooming the scenario books for a few days prior, and had earmarked a few I thought would be fun. Paul picked 'The New Highlanders', which pitched some Canadian Highlander units in the defense of an airfield against an SS counterattack. It sounded like the plotline for a good movie.

From gallery of dmartin1982


I elected to deploy most of my forces forward at the point of attack, and essentially attempt a "man coverage" style of defense—if I may appropriate a football term for describing a tactical deployment. Leading this force was Cpt. Fraser, some guards, and a heavy machine gun. Behind him Lt. Sutherland orchestrated a unit of guards and line troops (each with a Bren), as well as an elite team.

I kept two weapons teams in back—one on my left with a heavy machine gun; the other on the right with a mortar. These were my "safeties" who were going to serve as a check against any outflanking attempts, as well as providing supporting and covering fire as needed.

Paul deployed his SS troops in the forwardmost elements of the treeline. The stage was set for an epic confrontation. As always, 'Combat Commander' did not disappoint.

The game started with a laugh when Paul's medium mortar jammed on its first attempt to fire. On the following turn, so too did Cpt. Fraser's heavy machine gun. But things got quite serious shortly thereafter. A fury of rifle fire erupted between the structures on the airfield and the treeline, punctuated by periodic bursts from Bren guns and the ripping sounds of an MG-42.

Soldiers on both sides fell during this furious exchange. Those who weren't hit tried desperately to press themselves further into the ground, or huddle even tighter against whatever cover they could find. Neither side dared cross the open ground between the treeline and airfield buildings. To do so seemed tantamount to suicide.

It was at that moment when Dietel, a Hero of the Reich, rose up and led several squads of SS in a quick and furious assault on Cpt. Fraser and his guards in the center.

The Captain knew his Highland guards had taken the worst of it after continued fire from an MG-42 in the nearby woods. Morale even amongst these battle-hardened lads had begun to sag. So the Captain did what any good Highland commander does—tell the men to fix bayonets!

The Captain's stoic resolve buoyed the morale of his guards. As the SS closed in, they were met with hot fury and cold steel. Not a single man in the German feldgrau survived—even the noble Dietel, was felled by a well-placed shot from the Captain's Webley.

From gallery of dmartin1982


But the ecstasy of the victory was fated to be short-lived. Moments after the melee, the Captain was wounded by small arms fire. As he rose up to assure his lads it was merely a flesh wound, a German caught a glance of him in his sights, and put a fatal round through his head.

From gallery of dmartin1982


The loss of their great Captain demoralized the Canadian line. Perhaps sensing this, the Germans renewed their attacks on all frontages, pushing the Canadians out of their positions on their right and center, and forcing them to fall back. The crisis of the battle had been reached.

It was then that German Lt. Ortmann led a squad of SS and a weapons team in an assault against the remaining position on the Canadian left. It was held by a line squad, supported by an elite team with a Bren gun. They had managed to take shelter in some foxholes, as well as their building. Taking the position would be a tall order.

Following ambushes by both sides (one played by the Germans; two by the Canadians), a tenuous melee ensued. While the Canadian Highlanders initially beat back the assault, Paul's timely use of the Initiative Card to re-roll his combat dice breathed new life into the embattled SS troops. It was too much for the Canadians, who fought bravely to the last.

From gallery of dmartin1982


With the loss of that position, the Canadian casualties had reached critical mass. Most of those left were walking wounded, and they had little choice but to place themselves at the mercy of their captors. The day was done.

Paul and I had a blast playing out this scenario. Once more, ‘Combat Commander’ had an epic story to tell. Suffice it to say I am already looking forward to playing it again soon.
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