Saturday 30 March 2019

Turning the Flank at Reval: A Message to Colonel Tott at Prnovo

Proud warriors of the Freikorps.

I know that we are being asked to fight on foreign soil. But there are German civilians placing their lives with us and your blood will protect them from the Communist menace. This land for which we fight is rightfully ours and it is our duty to protect its native population.

Our strike MUST be swift and decisive. An aimed sword blow through the heart of the dragon. Time is precious and whatever happens we MUST sweep the enemy from the field. Should we fail in our mission, innocent lives will be lost.

So, men of courage, men of honour and men of action. I urge you forwards for the sake of freedom and justice. Each soldier of the enemy that lives is an arrow that pierces the heart of Germany.

For God, Honour and Freedom.

Saturday 23 March 2019

Turning the Flank at Reval: Turn 1, Part 1

As the railway line in T/R5 Old and New Crossing is destroyed by the Estonians, a Freikorps bombardment reduces morale of the Estonians in T8 Prnovo by 10% (Flight number = 40%).

A Freikorps mobile column of 13 units (Cavalry, Vehicles and Artillery) advances quickly through T5 The Pass into T/R5 Old and New Crossing to assault the enemy troops that are dug in there (2 units: Cavalry and Infantry). Being vastly outnumbered and despite being dug in, the Estonian forces sensibly retire to T8 Prnovo but in the process a platoon each of Estonian Engineers and Nationalist cavalry are captured. The Freikorps mobile column can see from its new vantage point two adjacent occupied areas:

T8 Prnovo
5 units (Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry and Vehicles)
R2 Bald Hill
2 units (Cavalry)

A Freikorps column then advances north through R6 Wooden Bridge and assaults into T8 Prnovo with 19 units (Infantry) using a Breakthrough order. The Estonians have 5 units (Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry and Vehicles) plus the 2 units that retired from T/R5 Old and New Crossing.

(Click for a larger map)

Could we be about to see our first battle?

Saturday 16 March 2019

Turning the Flank at Reval: Freikorps Go Home!


Today the Germans shall throw their full strength at us. At you. At Estonia! Truly I tell unto you, if we do not stand and fight, the very rocks shall cry out! The trees shall throw themselves at the invaders! Behind every boulder, an Estonian, and in every Estonian, a heart of rock!

Our forces are a curtain over the Prnovo river; an iron curtain - The curtain falls on the Freikorps!

And if, out of any hole they crawled, any spies or servants of these German oppressors, shall hear of this, as the whole world will hear, we can only say one thing: in response to tyranny matched with treachery and muscled by the clash of arms and the thunder of hooves, we, and all the free people of the world, can only demand that,

There will be blood!

Friday 15 March 2019

Hellfire: A little more hell on Dodgson's World

Figures: Irregular Miniatures
Buildings: Various
Terrain hexes: GHQ Terrainmaker

The heroic resistance fighters of Dodgson's World took on the brave liberators of Dodgson's World at my house last night. The rebels arrived mob-handed in a selection of improvised armoured vehicles worthy of the A-Team (circled in blue in the image below). Their goal was to seize the air traffic control equipment from the New Clemency spaceport and make off with it. This would make it hard for ShortCom to land new troops and would disrupt ShortCom activities massively, thus giving the rebels a chance to focus on defeating existing ShortCom troops before new ones could be brought in.
The situation just after the start of the game
 The spaceport defence company, augmented by a small militia company and a company of mercenary Thaugs who acted as the police for the spaceport village occupied the spaceport buildings (circled in red above). A battalion of ShortCom regulars was known to be in the area and they might be made available to the spaceport defence troops. They would enter from the right of the picture when Steve had rolled enough points for them. A single d6 was rolled each player turn and the value added to the previously rolled total. The troops would become available once the total reached their points cost.
Another view of the game at the start.
The rebels rolled forward as fast as they could. The spaceport defence vehicle heroically drove out to meet them, and was promptly destroyed by rebel fire. The militia company holed up in the hangars fared little better and was soon retreating towards the control tower having taken more casualties than it liked.
Lorries packed with troops follow up the armoured spearhead.
As the rebels raced forward, elements of 26T battalion started to appear. The troops in the control tower had made contact and emphasised the seriousness of the situation. Two companies of infantry and two guided missile carriers were soon tearing up the road towards the spaceport. The missile carriers met the same fate as the spaceport defence vehicle but the infantry made it into the cover of nearby buildings and prepared to assault the rebels.
Reinforcements arrive
Rebel vehicles screamed up the apron. The fire from their gunners drove the spaceport defence company and the militia back but returning fire immobilised one vehicle and took out the gunner on another. Light losses for the rebels. It seemed like nothing could stop them.
The lorries approach the control tower ready to deploy their troops and carry off the control equipment.
As the lorries deployed their load of troops, the spaceport defence company was routed. The troops entered the control tower and began dismantling the equipment. (At this point, I got too carried away and forgot to take any more photos.) The troops in the control tower came under fire and took some losses but three turns later they had loaded the equipment onto a lorry and were prepared to skedaddle with the loot. At this point, the two companies from 26T battalion broke cover and close assaulted the vehicle companies. A combination of  melee and RPG fire saw the artic and one of the cars destroyed. The rebels were pulling away. Seeing nothing else for it, a ShortCom RPG gunner fired his weapon at the lorry with the equipment on board. He hit it and turned the lorry into a fireball. At this point, there was nothing for the rebels to do but scoot away. They had not achieved their objective.

The game was a draw thanks to Steve's last lucky shot with the RPG. Up to that point, it had felt very one-sided. Rebel casualties were amazingly low because of the lack of anti-vehicle weaponry among the corporate forces while corporate casualties were huge. Despite this, he prevented me from achieving my victory condition (escaping with the equipment) but by destroying it, he also stopped his own victory. To be fair, I think this was the best outcome he could expect by that point of the game. No doubt both sides will spin this into a propaganda victory.

After two games, we are of the opinion that Hellfire is a decent set of rules. The mental arithmetic that is needed to calculate combats is, no doubt, good for our ageing brains and will offset some deterioration there. However, we are also both of the opinion that these rules, more than many others we play, require the players to play within the spirit of the rules rather than the letter of them. Playing them with a rules lawyer would be even more hellish than other rules sets.

I was a bit worried that I would not have enough buildings to cover the table. Turns out I did, although there is little coherency in the architecture, and I really need to get more of them painted.

Saturday 9 March 2019

Turning the Flank at Reval: A Plea to the Good People of Estonia

Soldiers of Estonia. We offer you the chance to surrender to us and we will be merciful. If you offer any resistance we will not be so merciful. We have witnessed the horrors of war and how it can turn a mans mind. We know what happens to families when they receive news that their loved ones have been slain and their bodies left to the crows. We have no fear of this happening, our families are immune to the terrors of the front.

Do you really want to give your families nightmares about their sons? Do you know what the Russians will do to your women whilst you are at the front? We see no need for this and offer you the chance to surrender your arms and go home.

The choice is yours, valiant men of Estonia.

Saturday 2 March 2019

Turning the Flank at Reval: Set-up

The Estonian forces are massing to repel the Freikorps invasion. The map shows those forces of which the Freikorps is aware at start.

The Resource Track records your current resource levels for pre-operations actions (see Section 9 of the campaign rules).

The Freikorps has Strategic Initiative.