Monthly Meeting Saturday 22 March 2003

after action report (more photos to be added soon)

 

We welcomed two new members to the ranks of the HKSW - Keith Chan and Philip Ngo - they even got their black HKSW sports shirts to prove it!

Treachery Tovarich!

If you are not confused you don’t understand the situation”. Whilst this aphorism was true of many wars it was especially suited to the variety of participants and complicated series of alliances and motives that marked the Russian Civil War. This confusion was well demonstrated at the little battle of Vanzhai Junction that took place in the war’s third year, deep in the Ukraine .

The terrain around Vanzhai is marked by light woods and rolling hills and resembles a letter “T”. The main east-west road runs up the leg of the “T” which is then capped by the north-south railway. At the junction stands Vanzhai itself, a collection of hovels and warehouses, and, of course a church. It was the warehouses that brought the war to this quiet spot.

           

The Whites, backed by Interventionist French forces, had exploited the toil of the masses and brought in all the harvest from the surrounding countryside and stored it in the village prior to selling it to the Polish Interventionist forces. This was a cash-on-delivery transaction. A Polish motorized convoy would proceed up the road, load up in the village and then return. Taking with it the grain and potatoes, which should have seen the peasants of the district through the harsh winter, to convert into vodka to fuel the fleshpots of Warsaw .

 

Hearing of this theft, Nestor Makhno, (played with great panache by Jeff,) pulled together a loose alliance of Reds, Ukrainian nationalist and his own anarcho-syndicalist bands. His aim was to stop the convoy, or, better still, take Vanzhai and liberate the harvest. In true anarchist style Nestor dismissed any concept of a coordinated attack as a symptom of bourgeois militaristic thinking that should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Consequently the leftists made a series of randomly timed and directed thrusts against the road and the village.

 

First up was Hetman Ken leading the Ukrainian cavalry. As he entered on the side of the “T’s” leg the battlefield appeared empty. The Hetman favoured a cautious approach but, goaded on by Nestor, he decided to immediately cut the road instead. For a brief moment he stood in triumph on both sides of the road. Then he discovered that the enemy had indeed been slaves to militaristic dogma and had deployed their troops hidden in the many woods and hills near the road. As a result Ken was caught in a crossfire from several woods occupied by Generals Frank and Dick, and the approaching convoy led by Andrzej. Charged in the flank, surrounded and outnumbered, Ken went down fighting, and managed to inflict some losses on the convoy before the inevitable end.

 

Next Commissar Pityor leading the Red naval brigade and workers moved against the village from the edge of the cap of the “T”. Using high ground to cover his approach he moved cautiously. Thus he was unable to prevent the Polish convoy entering the village but at least Pityor was able to take the hill that dominated the road with no losses. This happy situation did not last long however as the houses opposite him were garrisoned by French Interventionists under Commandant Paul who, with the advantage of cover, training and target practice quickly shot the advancing Reds to pieces.

 

Whilst this was going on Ken’s more left wing cousin had appeared over the battlefield flying the Makhnovite’s only aeroplane. A quick reconnaissance showed that must of the rightists were still deployed in cover so Ken recovered some family pride by turning his Vickers on the convoy and Frank’s cavalry left in the open.

 

Finally the leftists seemed to get their act together. Almost simultaneously Commissar Kris and his Reds arrived at the cap of the “T” on the opposite side of the village to Pityor, whilst the Makhovites under Nestor and Phillipe arrived, together and in force, on the leg of the “T”. At the village Kris’s arrival brought forth a withering fire from more Poles hidden in the village itself and the femme fatale Andrilea emerged from the woods to counterattack Kris’s flank. Thus Kris’ attack stalled and he was unable to prevent the convoy loading up. However as the convoy drove out of the village it masked the fire of the French Interventionists. This allowed Pityor’s sailors both to extricate themselves from the killing ground on the hill and to pour a devastating fire into the convoy as they withdrew, knocking out one of the vehicles.

 

Meanwhile, on the leg of the “T”, Nestor and Phillipe exploited their numerical superiority against Frank’s cavalry. Although in a series of charges and countercharges the White horsemen put up a good show, they could not hold out in long enough for Dick’s infantry to come to their help. Their fate was finally sealed by another strafing attack by aviator Ken. Phillipe even managed to get the returning convoy in the sights of his artillery only to find that Nestor was just as weak at logistics as he was at strategy. Instead of blowing away the convoy’s vehicles one-by-one the Makhnovist gunners could just look on impotently as their ammunition ran out. Even so Nestor was firmly astride the road and the battered convoy looked as if it would not be able to fight its way though his cavalry. Sensing the final victory of the masses he drew his sabre, squared his shoulders, stood up in the stirrups and looked over his shoulder…only to see his men streaming away from the battlefield. The leftists’ cumulative losses in their uncoordinated attacks had been too much for their simple peasant, worker and sailor spirits. They had broken at the possible moment of victory. Sadly Nestor turned and followed his fleeing bands. The cruel war would continue and it would be a hungry winter for the people of Vanzhai.

 

Kris, ever the opportunist, attempted to change sides, but his timing was poor, having given such a hard time to the Poles defending the village, he was shot out of hand.  There was, of course, the usual session of self-criticism after the battle. Nestor and Ken did the decent thing and ended everything with a single bullet.  Phillipe and Pityor were less noble and fled with whatever they could lay their hands on.  Remarkably they all ended up as waiters in Paris after the war. When they tired of simple pleasures like gobbing in the bisque of their capitalist clientele: “more cream Monsieur?” they would occasionally meet up and, over pyrogi and vodka think back to that autumn day in the Ukraine . . . what if? what if? 

 


Six players participated players in a 15mm Napoleonic battle; French against Russian & Prussian. The French commanders were Philip Ngo (left wing), Keith Chan (centre), Lawrence Ho (right wing) while the Russian-Prussian side were commanded by Christopher Chu on the right, Alexander Lam in the centre and Herbert Wong on the left.  The French early attack in the centre was repulsed.  The Russian Prussian counterattack on their right and centre broke their French adversaries.  On the French right wing, the French advanced cautiously and both sides suffered light losses.  Half of the French army was lost that day and, not surprisingly, the Allies were declared the winners.

 

 


Vincent Chan and Tom Tong played a game of Mech Commanders and were later joined by Wayne Knowles, who was new to the game system.

 

 



A three player Warhammer 40K Carnage scenario saw Andy Lam's Tyranid and A V Kit's Black Templar at two table corners, with Albert Leung's Dark Angels deployed at the far table edge.  All were competing for control of the graveyard in the centre of the big table.  

 

The report is written from Albert's perspective.

I rolled to start first and my first objective was to keep Kit at bay while the major objective was to stop the 'Nids from digging in to the objective (we agreed that the graveyard was hard cover with a 4+ cover save). The Nids were numerous and it would be hard to drive them out once they had dug in.

My plan was to move two Razorbacks with 2 tactical squads to the left with all the guns aimed at the passage of the 'Nids to the centre.  While my right wings, LR with DW squads and 3 Dreadnaughts would move slowly to the objective.

For Andy, his plan was simple.  He would send his little 'Nids as cover and the big 'Nids would move towards the objective using the forest as cover.  The 'Nids were at great disadvantage as the las-cannon could exert its full effect in such a large open area.  Kit's plan was to let us fight while he preserved his troops for the final assault.  It is an effective plan indeed and I could do nothing to stop him even though I was aware of it

At around turn 3-4, DA left wing was doing great as the short and long range cross fires eliminated most of little 'Nids.  However, I also suffer losses.  However, the big 'Nids were still moving forward unscathed.  I was planning to close in for the kill when suddenly Kit's fire, for which I was unprepared, was directed at me.  Kit's Predator destroyed my Vindicator tank through its side armour and another Dreadnaught ripped off my Dreadnaught's twin link las cannon.  This act upset my plan as I was planning to use the Vindicator to guard the objective (S10 barrage, he he . . . )  But, as it turned out, it was also a great threat to the Black Templar.

With the Kit's intention known I had to retreat my LRC to keep his force at bay.  At that time Andy and I were suffering badly from casualties and Kit was near clean with 1500 pts.  Kit's attacks were fair as his assault was targeted at both me and Andy, further weakening our
forces.

By turn 6, all of our big units were nearing the objective;  Andy's Carnifex and 'Nid queen; Andy's infantry (3 Rhino full of surprises) and Jump Pack Guys are also ready to seize the objective.  However, it is the DA who landed first.  One Dreadnaught was deployed at the objective with a full team of Death Wing as support.

At the time, I really hoped that the variable game roll would be 1 so that we could end the game. However, it was not to be . . . My units were suffering from attacks from all sides.  Andy's Carnifex assaulted my DW from the left side and killed two of my Termies with powerfists, like ripping through wet toilet paper.  While my Dreadnaught failed to stop AV's renowned Super Chaplin and was destroyed, my other Dreadnaught was also acting as a kamikaze unit to assault the Kit Jump Pack Guys on the right.  He killed one JP with his power fist but was destroyed by another PW guy. The DA suffered heavy losses.

The battle between the Carnifex and the DW went on.  Andy and I both got some bad dice rolls. Seeing his chance the Grand Master used his Sword of Secret to kill the Carnifex.  The 'Nid queen tried to support but her passage was stopped but my LRC moving in.

At that time Kit's Jump Pack Guys were moving in on the objective in the centre.  Now the Deathwing was down to 2 men with lightning claws and the Grand Master himself and they charged the Jump Pack Guys immediately to stop them from seizing the objective.  Although there were only 3 Terminators remaining they could inflict a total of 14 hits of power weapon attacks (8 can reroll to wound and 6 with strength 6).  I was laughing with a evil grin when I charged in as I thought Kit had under estimated the DW.  However, it was I that under-estimated the Jump Pack Guys as they were all equipped with storm shields.  My 14 attacks only dropped 2 Black Templars. The fight was on and finally the Jump Pack Guys were all destroyed, but the Deathwing was down to the Grand Master himself . . . standing in the middle of the Carnage.

Meanwhile, Kit's reserve force was still large (2 Rhinos with Marines and Super Chaplins). However, either Kit was kind to me or he thought that Andy's 'Nid queen was a bigger threat. He blocked Andy's queen instead of charging my Deathwing and eliminating them all.  With Kit's Super Chaplins (6 power fists attacks each), Andy's queen was gone and now the lone DA Grand Master was standing in the middle facing more than 10 Black Templars with the Emperors Champion and and 2 Chaplins.

At that time a roll of 1-4 would have ended the game and I thought the DA might win. However, a 5 was rolled and it was the 11 turn!!!

It seemed that the lone Grand Master had no hope of surviving the game.  However, at this point all the reserve firing power of the DA was unleashed.  The tactical squads on the left wing and the LRC all fired at the massed troops of the Black Templar that had just finished off the 'Nid queen, gunning them down so that only 4 Marines remained (1 troop, 2 Chaplin and 1 Emperor's Champion).  And so the final show down!

At first the Grand Master fought the Emperor's Champion.  The Grand Master dropped the false champion with the Sword of Secrets and get one wound.  The Chaplin fought back.  Kit chose to use power weapons instead of the power fists as he was confident that 12 power weapon attacks would get me.  However, it was bad die rolls again, with only 2 wounds being inflicted (actually 3 is the average for a 4+ to hit and 4+ to wound).  And it was now down to the inv. save 5+.  I rolled two dice and 1 wound was saved.  Kit thought I got 2 wounds but as a Grand Master he got 3 wounds.  So the Grand Master was still standing although down to 1 wound.  The Grand Master also fought back and managed to kill one Chaplin in return.

Now we needed to roll to see if we had to continue the game with a 6+ roll.  Thanks to a 5 being rolled the game ended at around 7:15 pm.  It was real carnage in the middle of the field which was full of corpses!  Right to the last moment of the game it was uncertain who would hold the objective .

 

 


A two player 750 pts Warhammer Fantasy Battle saw High Elves (Fun Lee) against Chaos Warriors (John Szeto), with the latter army prevailing at game's end.


 


Two players played a game of 10mm Warmaster; High Elves versus Bretonnian, and later on that day High Elves versus Chaos.  The first battle was played by Clifford Tsang as the Bretonnian player and James Cheung as the High Elves.  Clifford Tsang’s Bretonnians rolled up the flank of James Cheung’s High Elves and were declared winners. The second battle was fought between James Cheung’s High Elves and Philip Ngo’s Chaos.  James’ cavalry charge in the centre failed to break the Chaos army.  His assault was bloodily repulsed and he lost all of his cavalry and chariots.  The High Elven infantry were subsequently broken by the Philip's counter assault and Chaos prevailed.

 

 

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