Friday, 24 February 2012

Issos 333 BC - Alexander the Great v Darius in 15mm

Big Al and the Macedonian pike blocks...a well known jazz combo from Asia Minor, re fought their famous after hours set too with local unappreciative aficionados at the 'Hugh's All Weather Stadium and Grill' on Tuesday night. Our on-the-spot reporter sent us this thrilling account of the occasion.

The rule set was FOG and the sponsor was Hugh's Pasties...

Remember - 'Hugh'll never forget Hugh's Pasties'

"Enter the forces for tonight's mighty contest. Masses of Phalangites waving their 16ft pikes making the Greek Hoplite mercenaries feel somehow inadequate.."

 The Phalanx.
 ..more conventional slingers supplied by rent-a-mob...

 Cavalry in great quantity ranged along the flanks boosting the prospects for rose sellers next season and causing sandal scrapers to soar in price...

'Water, water!'

'Keep running, that cavalry ain't stopping'

'...and I say the temple cost a fortune so we take it with us....'


 ...and closer...

'O King Darius...a message from your wife and're doing it all wrong, you should.....'

 The seaward flank is the most fluid (pardon the pun) and invites speedy cavalry action
  "The Persians at the ocean side destroyed the Paionian and Prodromoi Light Cavalry and went on to rout the Thracian Peltasts and scattered the Macedonian light troops.
The one negative was the Thessalians defeated a Persian Heavy Cavalry unit and crossed the river."

 Hard fighting...

 "On the Macedonian Right Flank the Royal Corps of Companions and the Hupaspists attacked with mixed success. after a long fight against superior numbers, the companions defeated the cavalry against them and crossed the river. The  Hupaspists  faced the Persian Kardakes and were ground down to defeat. A unit of Persian cavalry almost forced a crossing but were held by Thracian Peltasts (who were on the point of breaking).
 Desperate Hoplite defence is very effective....
 "In the centre 5 regiments of phalanx after a while ground down the Greek Mercenary Hoplites who were holding the riverbank opposite."
'Oi careful! You'll have somebody's eye out with that.'

 "In the steep hill inland light troops fought each other to a stalemate with little threat to each other."

'What a moment to find out you've won the lottery'

 It could have been the Persian break through ...but alas....
"Importantly, the Thessalians manoevred round the flank of the last Hoplite unit and were about to charge it in the rear!"

"So, lots of action and casualties on both sides. On balance, I would give it as an expensive victory to the Macedonians, since at the end, the 5 regiments of Phalanx were bearing down on Darius who was about to bail out of his chariot and ride off to build up a new army, leaving his Mother, Wife and family to the mercy of Alexander, (just like the real thing)."

With many thanks to Hugh and family for their kind hospitality.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Operation "Bagration" 1944: The Rout (Part Three)

 The chaos continues as the fuel runs out and the panic begins to set in. The flak gunners see IL2's of the 3rd Aviation Regiment nose into a shallow attack run

'Up a bit...right a bit...'

 First aircraft dives...
 ...and all the flak along the route opens up. Quads, single 20mm, 37mm, small arms, kitchen sinks and officers napkin rings are thrown at the attackers.
 ...a hit...
 ..and too low to bail out the Sturmovik spins into the ground.
 The next is all bombs...
 ...and raking cannon fire. Fortunately for the troops it's none too effective.
 Russians....and lots of them.
 T34 Battalions supported by tank riding infantry Battalion's at the 6 expected.
 ...and at the 3 position...not expected (pretty good Russian dice roll by Comrade Colinski)
 Unlike the larger tactical picture the local Russian attack from the 3 position is quite uncoordinated. The Russians not being used to a vulnerable, target rich environment. Panthers are bounced but at the cost of a clear attack into town.

 Accompanying anti-tank company now believe in Christmas and almost fluff it.
 Meanwhile, 1 o'clock is the nightmare they had hoped (and the roll was set) to avoid becomes a reality. Von Billy sobs into handkerchief. PAK 40's are valiant but swamped. Flak is engaged at CQ and fights desperately...
 The 3 makes an enveloping shake out to its right...
 The 1 gets an idea that opposition could be patchy...
 The 6 is tardy at getting forward to support 3 but keeps German attention divided.
 Quick at the response the Hun concentrates mortar and small arms fire, supported by a 20mm Quad Flak in the ground role upon the infantry battalion in the van of the attack by 3.
 Corps HQ is shank's pony through town as the situation becomes awkward.
 ....frontal assault by two forward companies is roughly handled by vigorous defence.
'Give that comrade a coconut!'
 Cheering for the hit...but the lead Inf Bn is decimated and a poor morale roll send them into a rout.
 The 1 group decides on a stop for a sit rep and O group.
 Flak gunners having a field day...
 ...No 2 goes in..
'Get the chalk out Hans'
 Jubilant gunners watch the second kill fall...only two successful runs in so far
 Other gunners not so lucky.
 Some move up along the road..
 ...keeping to the cover of the tanks...
 ..others do the sneaky peaky out flanking  manoeuvre...
 ...accompanied by infantry.
 Out of fuel Pumas face the direction of the enemy and wait.
 The lucky ones are over the river...

More lost flak...victory is fleeting. However, the town defence is still holding up well.

 Too little, too late.

The 3 sweeps on to out flank the town and cut the road, the only viable escape route.
The out flank... set to be effectively within reach of the main escape junction...

...but this crews panic is over...

and this lot couldn't be more relieved.

Next time....the end?