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First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:47 am
by colingee
Hi, we created a simple scenario, with a German mixed force counter-attacking against recently lost ground, occupied by a British defence.
The Germans employed two tank companies [one of Panthers, one of Panzer IVs, an aufklarungs company, a reduced assault pioneer battalion, and two grenadier battalions, one lorried and one armoured. The hasty defence consisted of a single British infantry battalion, an ad hoc company of headquarters troops, an AT battery [2 6-pdr, 1 17pdr], and the remnants of heavily engaged British armoured units, consisting of 2 M4A3 76mm Shermans, a Challenger, a Centaur, and an AEC armoured car. Sharp-eyed people will see the mysterious arrival of some hedges. We purchased a pack to see how they fitted, and simply left them in place in a redundant area of the table.
[1] looks from the southeast corner, prior to laying the river [he was still painting it!]
[2] looks from the southwest.
[3] looks from the northeast, and finally has the new river sections in place, showing you the precise nature of the German problem. In three, you can see the initial stages of the battle, where one of my Shermans and a 6-pdr are engaging the advancing Aufklarungs troops and a mainly Panther spearhead.
One of his Panthers broke down immediately it came on board, which caused some merriment :-)
[4] the leading Aufklarungs vehicle took a shell in the wheel and slewed off the road. A second hit destroyed the vehicle, wounding one and killing one crewmember. Fearing that the bridge may disappear before his eyes, as he thought he saw some activity at the end of it on my side , my friend surged at top speed [5], intent on getting over the water and finding some cover out of the line of sight of the defence.
[6] On the western flank, he quickly realised that there was nothing to obstruct a run to the ford, but out his assault pioneers in to move over the water and take a small height in the centre of the battlefield.
[7] A single 6-pdr, firing from the flank, disrupted the following Panzer IVs and disabled a lorry, killing two of the occupants, but the lead echelon put the pedal to the metal and plunged on.
[8] The Pioneers quickly deployed out of their lorries, realising they were in the field of fire of the AT gun and a heavy Vickers. Losing a lorry, and subsequently a few men and two boats, they crossed the small river and took the height. How I wished I'd put a small force on it, but I simply felt it was too exposed, and too easily isolated.
[9][9a] Back to the southeast, the aufklarungs surged over the bridge, into the face of a PIAT secreted on the riverbank. Despite having all the advantages, the shot was missed and the recon troopers were very unforgiving. AT and tank shells also missed, and all of a sudden I was in trouble, especially as [10] one Panther put the 6-pdr out of action.
[11] the Panzers backing up the Aufklarungs headed for the bridge and came into range of my Challenger, who took them under fire from a hastily prepared defensive position. A Vickers MG position on the escarpment behind the 6-pdr position managed one burst before being flayed by the MG42s on the recon halftracks.
[12] the Aufklarungs successfully assaulted the fortified ruin next to the 6-pdr, after some nasty hand-to-hand fighting, leaving one half-track to press on into the village, where it ran into the second M4, which missed... and a captured panzerfaust... which also missed.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of what happened next, but the halftrack crew debussed to assault the building from where the Vickers was engaging the pioneers, only to run into a three-sided firebox, from which there was not return. Although their flamethrower did set fire the MG's house, and a panzerschreck took out the 6-pdr that had been troubling the Panzer IVs across the river, the advance group was either killed or wounded and captured in very short order.
The first Panther over the bridge took the surviving M4 under fire, but hit the stone wall in front of it. My reply hit but bounced off the angled armour [much to my vocal dischuffment!]
We fired again, his shell neatly slipping through the hole he had just created and immolating my Sherman; my shot equally wrecked the Panther.
Given the clear strength I had in the village, and needing to engage the Challenger with superior numbers, the panzer force on the southeast drive switched to move around the high ground at the village, and strike forward more centrally.
Which brought them into range of a 17-pdr hidden on a height with simply the most gorgeous field of fire.
[13]The Challenger finally scored, and thumped the rearmost Panther in the side, bring about its spectacular demise.
[14] I took this picture of the surviving southeast Panther in the turn before the Challenger and 17-pdr both put metal on target, knocking it out.
I failed to take a picture of the Panzer IV that suffered the same fate next phase.
As matters now stand, his southeastern thrust is all but over, but he has huge manpower advantages on the southwestern side, and a nice inviting wood in which to hide away from y Challenger and 17-pdr. What he doesn't know is that the Centaur is also in the wood, waiting his arrival. As most of my infantry are in the eastern village, I will have to do a quick move with at least a platoon, to back up the handful of soldiers in the ruined village across the way.
The observant will also notice that we started with dice as markers, something of a carryover from our days gaming on the floor. Now that we have the excellent Kallistra terrain, we've decided to invest all our time and money in terrain, rather than forces. Simply put, we have simply huge armies that will keep us going for a century, so make the surface we play on the best it can be. I can tell you now, it really does make one heck of a difference. You can see the old playing area [20cms x 20cms squares on a painted chipboard floor that was roughly 6.5m x 5m]. The roads are card that has been flocked, and date back to the seventies and eighties. They are being replaced and I will post some pics in time. We are also using the hexons to create insertable tableaus. I've created a bamboo and banyan one, which will start us off on a project to create a pacific island. [We enjoy our pacific fighting, if for no other reason than it is always intense and high casualty warfare.] I also plan to produce hexons pre-drilled with trees and dressed with shrubs and leaf litter, so it will be simply easier to do set-ups, lifting out a board and replacing it with the appropriate tableau. When I have a few, I will post pics.
Anyway, back to the battle.
He has lost three Panthers to direct fire, one to breakdown, One Panzer IV to direct fire, and the best part of an Aufklarungs company.
His two grenadier battalions are still intact and opposed by a rag tag adhoc unit in the destroyed village. I have lost two 6-pdrs and two M4 Shermans. My infantry battalion has been blooded but is still intact. My adhoc infantry unit is presently untroubled. I still control the centre ground with the Challenger and 17-pdr, although the Challenger is running low on AP/APDS ammunition. I have a Centaur and an AEC armoured car in the woods area. Personally, I think I’ve got him beat, but his troops are a better quality than mine, and the Panzer IVs can kill anything I possess, so maybe I shall still err on the side of caution. Much depends on what happens between the woods and the destroyed village methinks.
I add pic [15] just to show some detail from inside the intact village. [The Germans are coming from the left.]
To be continued.

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[12] to come
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Re: First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:48 pm
by Norm
Very nice, n ce models. This interests me because I am an old boardgamer, so as soon as I see hexes need units to sit exactly inside them and be regulated by them, using the landscape as a free space is something I would like to do, but needs a minset shift on my part (I am working on that :-) ).

Just so you know, my browser is safari (common to the Mac) and it woulkdn't let me run a slideshow of your shots (got a warning to say my browser was not supported).

If this limitation is affecting others, It might be worth you getting a blogspot account, plentry of free space for blogging and pics etc and run this as a blog project.


Re: First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:36 pm
by colingee
Thanks for that Norm. I only hope I would be that techie :-)
I'm in the process of adapting our previous rules to accomodate the hexes. One our issues is artillery and mortar fire zones, and we are struggling a little, as our previous gaming area was seperated into 200mm squares, which made fire zones easy to work with. I suspect we will simply come up with some formers to permit differing fire patterns. We are considering simplifying our movement rules to use hexes, which also will probably help us with gear changes and cornering speeds.
We use our own wargame rules, developed over decades, and will be producing them to compliment my books when time allows.
I'm also working on some road and track. I had planned to make them integral to the hexes, but instead elected to make them surface mounts, made out of 2mm MDF, with chamfered edges.
The river sections that my oppo made [in the shots] we simply don't like, so they will be replaced by new ones, constructed from 200gsm card.
I also dabbled in creating substitute hexons. Our idea is that we will be able to lift out hexons and drop completed panels in place. Im planning an eight hexon board village, which will be glued together. Ive made an experimental jungle board, using 100 bamboo plants and three banyan trees, set on a three colour hexon, using the dark green as the bamboo patches. Looks quite reasonable, but consumes a lot of resources just for one hexon board. I also plan to create a forest, and have purchased over 900 trees in recent weeks. Think that might look quite good when finished.
I appear to have gone totally overboard with tufts, and have about thirty boxes, ready to dress the boards when I get a chance.
Kallistra provides an excellent basis for gaming, but my friend and I want to explore all possibilities, including going down [exploiting the depth in a hexon tile], as well as up.
So many ideas, so little time eh?

Re: First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:38 am
by Norm
I look forward to seeing those plans roll out.

Kallistra do 'templates', these are very thin plastic hex shapes as single, doubles, triples and quads. They are very useful for building scenics onto and then just laying them onto the hex boards and gives the best of both world of having properly fixed scenics, but having the flexibility to move them around and slightly easier storage.

(I have a short video here - the example is about halfway through Link - ... field.html )

I would quite like to see what you do with the 'depth' of the tile. There is a good tutorial on their site for a sunken river, but I have never really seen any real examples of people doing that on their boards - I suppose you need to have an inclination towards modelling and not everyone does.

Anyway, good luck with the project.

Re: First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:30 am
by colingee
I have some templates already [one of each] and they will prove useful for my 'downwards' work. if I get time, I'll post a picture of my jungle hex as an example of the interchangeable boards I'm seeking to have in numbers. I have a few blank hexons with which to play. Once I know what and how, I'll be getting some more and cracking on mass-producing. Thanks for your help, Norm :-)

Re: First battle of new Hexon table

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:32 am
by colingee
Apologies for the delay in posting the end of the battle :-)
Pictures are on my website again.
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18- repeat picture [apologies]
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The strongpoint after an assault by elements of the aufklarungs [16]. British were overcome, leaving two wounded men as prisoners. He established it as an aid post but some unsporting bren gunner accidentally mowed down both of his sanits... accidental... honest.
The rearmost Panther started to get a lot of incoming [17].
I spotted a Bergepanther so figured that the best way to stop it shifting the destroyed Panther on the bridge was to add some extra ventilation and make it into a bonfire. [19]. In any case, what happened next made his Bergepanther immaterial.
Using the cover of the woods and a small hill [20], his pionieres took to their boats and m oved across the small river... which puzzled me. he later tried to use the watercourse to attack down. A Vickers HMG said otherwise and the pionieres were stopped dead. In the background you can see the infantry pushing forward, enjoying the safety provided by the woods.
[21] Another Panzer IV succumbed. To this point I don't think he had laid a shell on the hull down Challenger, which was now joined by a 17pdr AT on a large hill to the rear.
[22] Desperate times call for desperate measures. Having knocked out both Shermans in the village, the aufklarungs commander decided to drive on at speed, and assault the house containing the Vickers immolating the pionieres [black and white at the top] as well as capture the 6pdr and turn it on the Challenger. Alas for him, he scored a miraculous shot at distance and knocked the AT out. He then decided to focus on the black and white house before charging the challenger and 17pdr. the British had lain dormant waiting for such an opportunity, and took his recon troopers in a three-way fire sack. You will see that it didn't go well for the Germans, but they did take a few Brits with them. Three men running to support the house were mown down without being able to fire back.
On the water, the pionieres come under heavy fire as they try to push forward [23]
[24] In support of the expected aufklarungs surge at the Challenger, he pushed forward the lead elements of the grenadieres and ran straight at a previously undetected Centaur... which promptly broke down and failed to fire a shot as the crew abandoned immediately. Under fire from the ruined village, the lead elements charged the British tank from the side.
Throughout the battle, I had kept an AEC armoured car hidden in the woods, despite having had excellent opportunities. It now burst out and moved around behind the advancing infantry on the wood side.
[26] In one move, and I apologise that the picture does not reflect the words, the German commander and his hq staff were killed or wounded by the surprise move of the AEC, all but one of his remaining tanks was destroyed, and his leading infantry elements were hammered, both from the destroyed village, and the Challenger.
End result was a no-result, as the wood was irrecoverable as I lacked decent support for my infantry, and I was also outnumbered in that area. he retained a toehold in the other village, but it was mainly mine. Whilst I had only lost two Shermans and 2 6pdrs to direct action, I had to count the centaur as a loss after he decided to introduce it to one of his satchel charges. German total losses were three Panthers [plus one totally disabled] and three Panzer IVs, plus transport and halftracks.
The undoubted highlight was the hand to hand combat in the ground floor of the black and white building, which he took after a savage contest.
Hope you enjoyed the presentation.