Well the Deeside Defenders annual show, Gauntlet, has come and gone - last weekend (6th and 7th July).
I managed to play in Ian Shaw's Kursk game ( I was expecting Stalingrad for some reason) on the Saturday. This was played using Battle Group WW2 rules written by Ian Clarke, who was also playing the Russian commander, while Ian Shaw and I took command of the left and right wings of the German assault. Needless to say, the game was enjoyable, although it was really useful to have two players so experienced in the rules to provide assistance in working through the game mechanisms. The scenario ended in a relatively historical outcome with the german armour overrunning Soviet infantry and AT defensive lines, but at such cost that the mass hordes of T-34s available to the Russian player as reserves would have wiped the floor with the surviving German armour. By 1943, Pz IIIs are just moving targets, although the Pz IVs en mass could hold their own, while Panthers were much less wonder weapons than I was expecting.
On the second day, Ian S and I played a Cold War Commander game set in 1985 Poland, close to the Baltic coast. My USMC had another outing, this time against the forward elements of a Soviet tank division. The game was effectively a meeting encounter with both sides scrambling to take control of an airfield, motorway and road river crossings. A Soviet motor rifle battalion, minus transport, was landed on the airfield by helicopter, while armoured batallions approached the bridge crossings. A USMC infantry battalion ambushed one of the Soviet armoured battalions from the flank, knocking out quite a bit or armour with dragons, SMAWs and some 4x4 mounted TOWs. Another infantry battalion, supported by a LAV battalion, made considerable progress in taking control of the airfield, but unfortunately a helo inserted infantry battalion supported by M60A3 tank company proved no match for two Soviet tank battalions, so the game ended in a draw with the Soviets controlling the motorway bridge crossing and the USMC in effective control of the airfield and the secondary river crossing being effectively contested by the remnants of a Soviet tank battalion and BMP motor rifle battalion versus a USMC infantry battalion. Another fun game.
I came away with a fair haul of booty. The bring and buy supplied me with a Future War Commander army and a Kallistra space fleet (the latter for my son .... honest). I also took the plunge and bought a Dystopian Wars starter fleet (the Federated States of America), plus a dreadnaught to stiffen them up a little. I also picked up enough D8s, 10s, 12s and 20s to play Force on Force, etc. Also picked up some really nice D-day fortifications from the Baggage Train, including the sea wall set, a left and right handed 50mm bunker, Merville artillery bunker, Ouistreham observers bunker and various assorted hedges - more in these plus the others that I bought last year in a future blog, as well as progress in the Dystopian Wars battle group.
In addition to the games I was involved in, there were some excellent games being played. The highlight had to be the massive ECW game played on the Sunday involving a scenario based around the siege of Chester and including a battlefield which covered the Gauntlet venue at the Aerospace Wings Club in Broughton. A link to Ricks site with battle reports is here.
There was also a really nice WW2 Tunisia game organised by Will from the Defenders club and SOTCW with British, US, French, Italian and German troops on the table.
There was a huge refight of Leipzig (I think) in 15mm, as well as a large 15mm FoW game, various Dark Ages games and numerous Dystopian Wars naval and land battles being fought.
Overall, a really good couple of days gaming. Only problem was the weather, which was the hottest/sunniest weekend of the year so far, so a bit of a shame to spend it inside. Still, this weekend should be sunny too, long may it continue!
Thanks for looking.