Thursday, October 8, 2020

Action around Mallwischken

We don't get to play Great War Spearhead games very often. This week was an exception, with four of us coming together to fight the historical scenario 'Action around Mallwischken' from the 'All fine men' scenario book published by Shawn Taylor and Robert Dunlop.


The battlefield at the beginning, Germans attacking from the right, Russians defending from the centre road left


The German plan of attack, with the main effort on the German right, here we thought we saw the weakest area of defence. Not the regiment kept in reserve off table in the centre, so that it could be committed in support of either flank. See also the length of the attack arrows.. more comment on that at the end of the report




The German right flank regiments sweep across the open ground hoping to take advantage of the relatively open Russian left

Russian defenders entrenched in the centre on the high ground

Russian defenders occupying the village of Uszballen

The Russian centre

The advancing German infantry took fire as they advanced, required to move at full speed because they had no spotted enemy

Similarly on the German left. This fire was to prove decisive, causing heavy casualties

The intensity of the fire fight that developed in the German right can be seen here, with fire identified with markers

The regiment on the German left, only intended as a blocking force, had advanced too far, taken serious casualties and attempted to withdraw back into the woods.

Troops in Uszballen taking fire

Russian defenders in the centre took a fierce volume of fire, with one company eliminated and another suppressed, but this was not enough


Uszballen still holding, despite the volume of fire

The German right is also taking serious casualties. Their supporting artillery is now in action .. surely this will help


Uszballen is now taking heavy small arms and direct artillery fire but .. nope.. still holding, and no casualties

And the defenders in the centre are also now taking artillery fire but they still hold

The German left survives a morale test and pulls back to avoid further casualties

A regiment of the German supporting artillery on the right is now also taking casualties from direct fire

Fire continues to pour down on the defenders in the centre.. nope..

The 3rd German regiment is nearing critical casualties

The Russian defenders are now sufficiently confident that they advance from their entrenchments to counter attack the Germans

And they advance to counterattack the blocking regiment on the German left

However at this stage, the 3rd German regiment is forced to take two consecutive morale checks (it's casualties took it past the 50% and 66% marks all in the one turn), passes the first but fails the second. 

While the German reserve had been committed to shore up the left/centre, the attack had clearly run out of puff. Withdrawal is the only option.

So, clearly Keith and I (commanding the Germans) had forgotten how to 'attack' in GWSH. I have to take the responsibility for that, having drawn our attack arrows too long, too far. This drove the attacking regiments onto the Russian defences, and the casualties were basically catastrophic. I know that I was cursed with poor die trolling with the attack on the right, but that is hardly a 'get out of jail' excuse. The attack was poorly planned.

But what a great game. We had forgotten that the simpler range of weapons systems inWW1 games means that games play faster than their WW2 and Modern equivalents. The game was played with my 6mm forces, all modelled using figures and guns from the Irregular Miniatures range.

Sparatacus (slave revolt) vs Barbarian.. Hordes of the Things in action on the table top again

 Aha... another evening with a couple of HotT games with Andy. He brought over his Sparatacus (slave revolt) and Undead armies. Here's the battle between his Sparatacus army and my Barbarian army.

The Barbarian army was:

1 x Hero general
1 x knight
2 x behemoth (mammoths)
1 x knight
5 x warband

Andy's Sparatacus army:
1 x Hero general
6 x horde
4 x blade
1 x beasts
2 x riders

Sparatacus himself

Beasts.. urrgghhhh
Barbarian hero general flanked by a behemoth


The initial Barbarian charge is repelled


One of the mammoth behemoth is recoiled

The warband on the barbarian right are not making any headway at all

Finally a gap.. the beasts fall to the warband

The Slave revolt riders come around the flank

The Barbarian general eliminates a blde

It's getting messy


The barbarians try to carve through the slave bldes

Meanwhile a now isolated warband tries to hold up the flank



A blade is destroyed by the behemoth

An dthe general moves to the rear to threaten another bldae, but the blade repels the behemoth/knight attack

The barbarian general fights for his life, attacked front and flank, he repels the attack

The slave hordes are successfully tying up the barbarian left

Another slave blade element is destroyed

The left flank behemoth starts a pushing match with a horde, slowly pushing it back,. We suspected the horde was luring the mammoth towards the lava pit.. BBQ anyone?

Ouch .. that was the barbarian general finally succumbing




Two barbarian warband are destroyed, and with the loss of the general that's it.. all over

A great game, all credit to Andy as he stuck to the task, despite some appalling PIP die rolling a times.  We followed this with a game in which Andy's Undead took down my Orc army..  two great games .. and yes there were sausage rolls!!

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...