Could do Better

DSCF2351Well finally here it is, my very first game report and to be totally honest with you if it were to be marked it wouldn’t be a pass and as the title suggests there’d be a personal message in red at the bottom. It started all rather well, the pictures of the table worked fine but by the time it came to play two elements came into town in recording the game. Firstly under the andrenalin fuelled pressure of playing Uncle Focus buggered right off and Auntie Blurred decided to visit for the weekend, and latterly as taking the photos slowed the play the need to take photos waned a little as did the already questionable quality. I apologise in advance for this, it’s left me scratching my head as to just how other folk manage it.

The game itself was a very simple contact scenario in a town with two bridges, the British aiming to take control of at least one bridge while the Germans were to deny them this. The Bridges had been guarded by very poor German troops who had decided to desert after a visit from the RAF, and German reenforcements had been delayed by supply difficulties, so it really was a very open scenario from the start.

DSCF2352The Germans would be starting from the town side, and would be guaranteed good cover for all of their forces.

DSCF2363As they were to have the first turn there was a more than reasonable chance they’d be able to reach the main bridge before the British arrived, and would enjoy plenty of cover in defending it.

DSCF2374The nearby pontoon bridge would be more difficult to reach, but getting it in sight and preventing anyone from crossing it would be quite simple.

DSCF2379The Germans began their push towards the pontoon bridge, getting a pair of Panzer IVs lined up on it, HMG and Mortar teams racing towards position when disaster struck as the commander failed his second command roll. Desperate to gain ground he pushed on aiming to get into the church tower in the following turn.

DSCF2384Unfortunately things got worst on the other side as the commander failed his first command roll with a blunder. This left both armour and infantry units sitting watching as the HQ led just a small armour element forward, with a Puma leading the only Tiger into the town.

DSCF2387HQ then succeeded in getting some of the stalled infantry on the move, with a Stug taking point.

DSCF2388German HQ then failed a command roll but made the most of it by taking a well covered position and hoped to rectify a rather poor deployment on the second turn.

DSCF2389The British arrive and push on and on, a recon element reaches the pontoon bridge in good time and helps in surpressing the pair of Tiger IVs apparently parked up behind a distant hedge.

DSCF2399Meanwhile at the main bridge a scout car and a Cromwell decide to slowly cross the bridge towards what they think is a Puma but is actually a Stug. Hoping to knock it out proves only enough to surpress it.

DSCF2405One of the Puma has actually made a mad dash into a forward position, covered from fire but able to surpress anything trying to cross the pontoon bridge.

DSCF2406While the other has mounted the hill to cover the bridge in support of the stug, while Germany infantry dashes into the cover of buildings all over the town. The Brits dither but do manage to get a powerful group at one end of the bridge.

DSCF2410

Suddenly all hell breaks lose. One German command makes it to the church tower and is able to target mortar fire onto the attempted crossing of the pontoon, only to attract tons of fire in return destroying it and leaving the German left flank without command. The Brits on the road bridge advance at a crawl but eventually manage to take out the Stug facing them. The advance Puma in the centre enjoys a number of potshots at various enemy targets, while the Tiger moves through the square towards a supporting position with a Panzer IV following it. With crafty maneuvering the Brits manage to bring guns to bear on the advance Puma and knock it out. Having reduced the British advance to a mix of crawl and traffic jam the Tiger is unsure which way to go and so plays it safe in trying to find a defensive position behing the statue in the square.

DSCF2414Massed on the bridge the Brits decide to test the water by pushing forward with recon, only to lose it as soon as it leaves the bridge while German infantry pours surpressing fire onto the bridge itself from the safety of various buildings. The British infantry at the rear decide to brew-up.

DSCF2423The Brits at the pontoon bridge fare better, managing to take out one of the uncommanded Panzer IVs and sweep towards the square where a Panzer IV has re-enforced the Tiger’s position. Every gun fires at the Tiger, the smoke clears and it is only pinned. Plenty of shots are exchanged without loss, while the German HQ makes a dash to bring the offscreen Panzer IV into play. Just as he manages it there’s a massive explosion as the Tiger is eventually destroyed.

DSCF2435The Germans realise their flank has been turned and despite a brave effort it’s not long before they’re totally outgunned and face the danger of being surrounded and start withdrawing. As the smell of fresh tea spreads across the town the British do not pursue them, choosing to search for biscuits instead.

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12 Responses to “Could do Better”

  1. Keith Flint Says:

    As has been said on the BKC forum, that’s a classy set-up. Not easy to get it right in 6mm scale. And I note a fellow fan of the FoW river set!

    Can’t really give any camera advice except to say I have found a small table-top tripod very useful (mine only cost a fiver or so), and check out the ways you can use the manual settings on your camera to increase depth of focus (so that more of the things in each photo are in focus).

    Very best wishes, Keith Flint.

  2. 6milphil Says:

    Cheers Keith. Yes although I borrowed the river set I was impressed with it.

    I have a small tripod so I’ll have to just start using the thing, I can’t imagine the results could be any worse. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Of course the first pile of photos of models, etc , on here suffered from low quality and I did eventually get that sussed, I wrongly assumed the game table would almost automatically be similar but it’s quite different.

  3. Mark Says:

    Phil:

    You are far too harsh in judging your own work. I found it to be a great AAR! Particularly for a first effort.

    You’ve provided an interesting and informative narration. Could the photos be better? Maybe. So there’s room to improve. But I have never once played a game where I didn’t lament how many (of my) photos did not wind up being usable.

    The suggestion for a table-top tripod is a good one. Much of the blurring may be shaking rather than poor focus. Also you might want an extra shoe-box or some other light weight structure. I find most of my pictures are taken with my tripod folded shut into a mono-pod, braced at some odd angle off of a box, to get to just the right place over the “action”.

    Don’t neglect the light settings on your camera either. If you are not set for the right lighting, you may suffer added blur caused by the difficulty of holding still during a slow exposure time.

    As to the pictures interfering with the game … we have come to make it a celebrated part of our gaming. Whenever something interesting happens, a gamer calls for a picture (first kill: “Hah, I gotcha! Get the camera!” … mad rush for the gun line: “Hey, we need a picture of that!”). Don’t feel you need a picture of everything that happens. Two or three “establishing shots” (showing the broad set-up and sweep of action) are usually enough, the rest showing only the most interesting events.

    That’s the way we do it, at least. You, of course may find a different path. But in any case, please do keep posting. AARs make very entertaining reading.

    -Mark
    (aka: Mk 1)

  4. Andy McMaster Says:

    Nice report and pics. Tripod definitely a good idea. I keep placing my camera on the table to take pics and have had some good results but I’ll be trying some 6mm stuff soon and I think I’ll need the extra stability and flexibility of a tripod.

    Good stuff! More please ๐Ÿ™‚

    Andy

  5. 6milphil Says:

    Thanks chaps, kind words indeed.

    Mark, good points one and all… I was unhappy to have taken around sixty pictures and barely managing to scrape up 20 for the report, I didn’t imagine anyone else would or even could match such a rejection rate. Although I’ve got better at taking pics of individual models or miniatures, I remain one of the “any idiot can press a button” crowd when it comes to the photographic arts, but onwards and upwards.

    Andy, what are you going to try in 6mm?
    The next games should be more like SOE adventures so the defending player, who doesn’t get to do much unless the raiders are spotted, can spend his time taking photos.

  6. Andy McMaster Says:

    I’ve long planned a Justinian/Belisarian Byzantine army. Although at some stage I will do things in 15mm I’ve been very impressed with the Impetus rules and some of the 6mm armies people have done so at Derby last weekend I bought a load of Baccus figures – a mix of Late Roman, Hun nobles, Sarmatians etc. and will be using these as the basis for the army. From what I’ve read there would be a lot of variety in the army, especially the Bucellerii, with a lot of carry overs from Late Roman and ‘lends’ from the opposition. Anyway, that’s the plan. And I want to do the 6mm thing while my eyes can still cope with it!

    Andy

  7. 6milphil Says:

    Sounds great, especially if you get to use some of the mighty Baccus figures. I’ve not been so lucky yet as when I got into this WW2 project, and halted on the British Colonial was when Pete started making colonial!

    I know what you mean about the eyes, I really can’t paint more than a couple of 6mm figures without strain, I can still manage the vehicles and buildings though. Luckily there’s some good painting services out there.

  8. matt Says:

    Alright Phil,

    In a previous life when I didn’t know any better I used to freelance for Forge World, Games Workshop’s scenery and resin arm. The quality of the photos depends on how much time and effort you want to put in on what is essentially supposed to be a fun thing to do in leisure time. GW run their games in full, but when they reach a bit that will look good, or is pivotal to the outcome of the game they grab a quick shot without too much thought of quality as an aide memoire, and maybe jot down a couple of quick notes to help with the timing in the game. Then they set up that part again after the game, with all the lights and the tripods and all that gumph and take the photos properly. This allows the game to flow properly and you can do any cheating that might be needed, like moving scenery to get a decent camera angle.

    As I said it all depends how much effort you want to put in. Please do another one anyway because I enjoyed reading the last one.

    Regards

    matt
    (the miffster)

  9. 6milphil Says:

    Ah the tips of the pro’s eh? It’s like entering the inner circle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    There will be more reports, at the mo we’re bickering over who get’s to play Mr Sneaky, as guard duty isn’t much fun until the raiders eff things up.

  10. matt Says:

    phil

    when i know you better i’ll make the obvious jokes about GW and entering the inner circles!

    The miffster

  11. sho3box Says:

    That set up is gorgeous. Although I have played GW 6mm games on and off for twebty years I have never managed to get a truly decent table for it.

    Lovely work.

  12. 6milphil Says:

    Glad you like it.

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