Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ardennes Game – December 16

On December 16, 2017 we played our final game of that year. This was a 15mm German vs. American battle set loosely during the Battle of the Bulge.

Looking across (long ways) the table. The Germans will enter from the left and try to exit off the right. The Americans will set up (hidden) on the table.

Alex and Ed were given time to secretly deploy their forces and decide where to put their mine fields These anti-tank mine fields played a big part in the American defence. The Germans had given the possibility of mines no thought. The Americans had not realized how effective they would be.

German Kampfgruppen on their left flank – Phil’s units. One group is mostly Tiger tanks with a little infantry. The other is an infantry company supported by Stug III’s.

Near the center of the table German artillery has hit a village and set part of it on fire hoping to drive any Americans out into the snow.

Steve’s units were behind a hill and weren’t taken under fire on the first turn, so he hit the village and some woods with artillery. Jay advanced right into a mine field losing his armor support. Part of the unit was destroyed by mines and the rest knocked out by Alex’s M36 tank destroyers which were covering the mine field.

In the foreground Steve’s kampfgroup (infantry and Panther tanks) advance on the German right flank. Editor’s note: Yes the photo is rotated 90 degrees.
Click on the photo and it will display correctly.

In the center of the battle Jay’s units (infantry and Mark IV’s) have hit a mine field and stumbled upon some of Alex’s infantry in the woods. On the German left the infantry dismounted and were hit by mortar and machine gun fire. The Sturmgeshutzen are trying to push the infantry out of the woods. The Tigers are advancing slowly on the German left..

Steve’s Panthers advance but are hit in the flank when they come around the hill by Ed’s M10’s.

Alex’s infantry is able to hold the woods in the center and the American right. Phil’s Tigers advance slowly dueling with some Shermans in the woods.

In the center the attack is bogged down. The American infantry hold the village and 2 pieces of woods. They are able to direct a lot of machine gun and mortar fire on the deployed German infantry. American tanks and tank destroyers are taking a toll on the German armor.

Ed’s M10s are taken out by Steve’s Panthers but cause enough damage that the Panthers are killed by some Shermans. Steve’s infantry find more mine fields.

Ed’s M10’s did not duck out of sight after hitting the Panthers and retaliation was swift.

Steve’s Panthers firing up Ed’s M10’s. Some of Steve’s infantry has also stumbled into a minefield.

Ed’s remaining armor (some short 75mm Shermans) take out another Panther and damage the last one.

The German attack never really got going. The Americans hid in the woods and were able to stay hidden until they could get the first shots at close range. The mine fields in the center also took their toll.

At the end the Germans had their Tigers and very little supporting infantry. The Americans still had some Shermans and about 3 companies of infantry.

Atribution: All photos and commentary by Ed Sansing. Such editing as was done (yes this included the photo on its side) by Jay Stribling.

And yet another postponement

Because of events occurring in and about Fondren Presbyterian Church in Jackson MS, we have had to cancel our game set for Saturday November 18. Please join us for the next scheduled game.

Game on Sep. 30 is POSTPONED

Due to a late scheduled event at the church, we will not be able to have our game there on Saturday.  The 15mm Medieval game that I was going to run to introduce everyone to the Might of Arms rules will be postponed, probably to Saturday, November 18.

Sorry for the delay, but it can’t be helped.


The Crimean War

On May 11, the “Old Geezers” lunch meeting was in full flower, with Eds Sansing, Jim Pitts, Russ Schneider, and Jay Stribling when two of our favorite “extended range” club members joined us. These were Marc Fluitt from Mandeville Louisiana and Mark Stevens from Columbia Mississippi. After the lunch, we adjourned to Jay Stribling’s home where we played a previously prepared 15mm Crimean War game.

Marc Fluitt took a number of photographs with his massive camera (with that lens it could probably take images of Pluto) and I will post them here.

Russian Infantry battalions advancing across the game table.

I (Jay Stribling) had probably set up too large a game. Certainly the Russians were too numerous. Three divisions of infantry, three brigades of cavalry and four(?) batteries of artillery were too many for the British and French to halt.

Above, a French battalion fires furiously. The British and French battalions received five fire dice (at full strength) while the Russian columns were allowed only one fire die. There were several Russian Rifle units that shot with four dice. The allied generated far more casualties than they took (at least three to one) but there were always more Russian battalions.

In close combat the Russians did as well as the allies… I blame the one-sided game (Imperial Russia’s finest day) on the game-master and his inability to balance the thing. Who was this scoundrel of a game-master? It was Jay Stribling (ME)!

A British battalion in line. All the troops are mostly Minifigs.

At one point many MANY years ago, Mark Stevens and I began painting this army using 15mm Peter Laing figures. Does anyone remember Peter Laing? We still have a few of those (Small 15m) guys, but all of the figures painted in the last 25 years have been Minifigs.

More Russians with the tiniest portion of the British shown on the right.

This is almost a repeat of an earlier shot. The figures shown make up perhaps half of one Russian division – they had three divisions. These were a lot of figures on a 5′ x 8′ game table.

Jim Pitts, one of the Allied players.

Jim Pitts, Mark Stevens (Brits) and Russ Schneider (French) were the allies. While Jim and Mark suffered heavily, Russ was just blown (or bayonetted) to nothingness. Ed Sansing, Marc Fluitt, and Jay Stribling were the Russians. We had so many troops that traffic control was our major problem. Not a balanced game.

Russian columns and British line are involved in melee

There are almost no reserves for the allies, but there are many more Russians. This is the center of the line on about turn four. In defense of the game-master, he thought that the allied battalions’ fire would stop many of the Russian units.

Mark Stevens in a joyful mood (probably just gave the Russians a good volley)

Mark obviously has pulled off a tactical coup here, but still the Russians march on. The Russian objectives were very near the rear edge of the allied line. This meant that the allies had very little room to fall back. They were on higher ground than the enemy so never thought about moving forward to meet the Russians earlier.

Jay Stribling, the fiend of a game-master

We used a variant of the Brom Standard rules which were an ancestor of Larry Broms Chassepot and Needlegun rules for the Franco-Prussian war. C&N would have worked just a well. It was a good game however there was muttering about “Jay fixed the game and played on the winning side.” In a way that was true, but the assignments to the sides (Russian or Allies) were made randomly long after the game was set up.

I enjoyed it anyway!

Troop Redeployment

This past Saturday some of the Jackson Gamers assisted Jay, Lord Sterling in moving his vast armies of “little lead men” from his old house in northeast Jackson to his new house in east Brandon.  With four pick-up trucks, one van, two compact SUVs, and Jay’s car, the redeployment went almost without a hitch.  The hitch, unfortunately, was the loss of the wargames table frame which came unsecured from Russ’ pick-up and smashed itself to splinters near the Pascagoula south-bound on ramp of IH-55.  Luckily no following vehicle was impacted by the flying frame.

Jay would like to thank Larry C., Larry R., Jim P., Sean P., Mark G., Fred D., Phil Y., Russ S., and Jerry A. for their assistance in the troop redeployment.  Without friends like these the armies would still be in transit, one small carload at a time.

Our next game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, at Jay’s new house.  We’ll see if that actually happens.

Here are some pictures from the first trip’s unloading and the resulting stacks of troop and terrain boxes.

Larry R. and mark unloading Russ' truck

Larry R., Russ, and Mark unloading Russ’ truck

The start of the stacks in the two-car garage.

Start of one of the stacks on the back porch.

Phil unloading Jim’s CUV.

Troop boxes in the back of Mark’s pick-up.

The stacks in the garage get bigger.

The rear of the garage stack.

More stacking on the back porch.

And even more stacking on the back porch.

Taking a break before a brief tour of Jay’s new house.

The Battle of Moriarty’s Tavern

Moriartys Tavern Jay 004s

We fought a “Murican Revolution” game in 25mm on July 4, 2015. It seemed appropriate somehow. I am going to pop up some photos for your amusement, and then follow with commentary a bit later.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 009s

Russ Schnieder, one of the British commanders, looking a bit skeptical as the game begins.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 019s

Jim Pitts, one of the Patriot commanders (along with his son Sean Pitts) hurries newly-arrived reinforcements into the battle.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 026s

The action begins!

Moriartys Tavern Jay 033s

More troops are involved.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 034s

Russ, along with his fellow Royalist commander Ed Sansing are in action.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 040s

A view down the battlefield later in the game.

Moriartys Tavern Jay 044s

The surviving British and loyalist cavalrymen go “view-hallooing” along after being withdrawn from the British right and sent along a safe path to the left. General Schneider wisely kept them out of range after an initial blooding.

The colored plastic rings indicate the units’ morale state. A yellow ring shows a morale state of 4 (the best), a Blue would indicate a morale state of 3, a Green ring would show a morale state of 2, while a Red ring would be a morale marker for a morale point of 1 – the worst!



A view of the battlefield before the battle began. Photo by Jim Pitts





A view of one of our regiments. Each is composed of six stands of 3 figures each. While real-life British or Patriot units varied wildly in size, ours are the same size, for easy identification of current strength as opposed to starting strength. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Patriot dragoons attack the British lines on the right flank of the Rebel lines. Sean Pitts launched this attack in an attempt to slow down the enemy advance, which it did, but at the cost of most of the Rebel mounted troops. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



A patriot unit milling about in confusion having fallen back in rout due to British volleys. The tag on the unit shows that previously it had gone low on ammunition. Cute markers instead of clumsy labels to show low ammo or loss of officers are just around the corner – and have been for years! Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



This Pennsylvania regiment has fallen back out of the Holmes Farm with the prisoner, who had been the object of the search by both armies. The British had been trying to “rescue that brave man” while the Patriots had been trying to “Get that prisoner to headquarters before the Militia do something stupid”. Photo by Jim Pitts.



Photo by Jim Pitts.



The Rebel right flank, under the command of Sean Pitts, at the end of the battle. They had severely attrited the British left, and were bending it back, but it never quite broke. The Patriot center and left, HAD broken however. The Patriot army was in poor shape (Major Morale) and was leaking units to the rear. Photo by Jim Pitts.

The Rebels had their prisoner, but they lost on points with 8 (5 of them for the prisoner) to the British 10 points, all from inflicting casualties on the Rebels.

Thee will be a bit more text to be added to this report.

The Battle of the Alma

On Saturday June 30, 2015, the Jackson Gamers refought the battle of the Alma. This was the first action in the Crimean War, on September 20, 1854. The allies (Britain and France) had landed north of their objective, the Russian city of Sebastopol on the Crimean peninsula in the Black sea. They then marched around the city to attack it from the south.

The high ground beyond the river Alma was where the Russian army made it’s stand. We took as the basis for this game an older SPI “Quad” game published 30 years ago. This board game contains four battles, including The Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman and Tchernaya River.

Game Crimea May 15 021a

John Murdaugh, commanding the French 3rd Division and the British 3rd Division, considers the battlefield. The troops that we used were part of Jay Stribling’s 15mm Crimean War army, placed on enlarged versions of the board game counters.
Game Crimea May 15 022a

Some of the Russian defenders, under the command of Prince Menshikov (Jay Stribling) await the allied onslaught. Because of the difficulties that the allies had with the crossing of the Alma river, the French army was unable to cross for the first two turns of the game. This is a carry-over from the board game rules.

Game Crimea May 15 023a

The French army, lead by Zouave regiments has finally gotten itself in gear and has crossed the river. The French 1st, 2nd and 4th divisions were commanded by Phil Young.

Game Crimea May 15 026a

The Russian defenders await the French onslaught. Jay Stribling commanded the Russians on the left and Ed Sansing commanded the Czar’s troops on the right side of the battlefield.

Game Crimea May 15 027a

Telegraph hill (named for an incomplete semaphore telegraph tower that was on it) has been occupied by British and French in this image, take about half-way through the game. The British battalions consist of two infantry bases on a “stand” with a pinkish label containing movement, morale, and combat information, taken from the boardgame. The French battalions have blue labels. Note the red rings on two of the British units, showing that they are disrupted, halving their fire and melee factors.

Game Crimea May 15 028a

On the Russian right, the first of two defensive works the great redoubt has been overrun by the British after a prolonged defense. General Sansing attempted to recapture the work, alas to no avail. The British and French units had a much greater fire effect than the Russian battalions, but the Russians had a higher hand-to-hand combat value.

Game Crimea May 15 030a

The village of Bourliuk which was stuffed with straw and set ablaze by the Russians in an attempt to deny the allies shelter and to slow their passage of the river Alma.

Game Crimea May 15 032a

Another view of the French battalions on their extreme right, attempting to turn the Russian left. By this time, the Russians were withdrawing slowly with occasional bayonet counter-attacks. The Russian army’s morale that grown shaky with units being lost, and every turn, to avoid a loss of victory points, they had to withdraw to battalions off the table edge to the rear.

Game Crimea May 15 034a

On the Russian right, the lesser redoubt has also fallen to the British, under the command of Sean Pitts. The surviving Russian defenders have retreated out of the image of the camera.

So, who won this battle? It was closer than it seemed at the time. The Allies destroyed 8 Russian units, while losing 7 of their own. The Russians still had their road-exit to the rear, but had lost one Victory point on turn 7 for not being in a position to withdraw two battalions as their army morale broke. So, the Allies had 8 victory points, and the Russians had 7. An allied victory! The war would continue, with thousands upon thousands of soldiers dying, mainly of disease.

Game Crimea May 15 033a

Here is a photo of the boardgame that Jay Stribling stole (was inspired by) the game mechandisms, map and order of battle.
Actually the allies should have had 10 more units, but we did not have enough infantry stands to create them – not that they needed them.

The Little-Known Battle

Did you know that there was a small invasion of Britain in 1941 by elements of the German Army and Air Force? Well neither did the Jackson Gamers till I ran this game on December 5, 2014. The Germans fielded five units (7-9 figures each) of Fallshirmjaegers and two units of infantry. There were also supporting units such as an 81mm. mortar and two tripod mounted machine guns.

Jay Stribling (your humble correspondent) set up the game, at his home, and wrote the rules, which are an unpublished variant for Larry Brom’s The Sword and the Flame colonial rules. We call this variant Right in your face! after the old Spike Jones song.

The troops are 28mm figures from a variety of makers. They are owned and painted by Jim Pitts, Mark Stevens and Jay Stribling.


This shows part of Phil Young’s command, German Paratroopers, behind a hedge while the British home guard under the command of Larry Cole rush the same hedge. Unfortunately Phil was able to fire before Larry (first fire card drawn was a German one) and cut down many of these sturdy older soldiers.


A long view from the North side of the table showing the bloody slaughter of the home guards (under Larry Cole’s command) by the German Fallshirmjaeger led by Phil Young. Photo by Jim Pitts.


This shows “The Machine Shop” after Jim Pitts had moved British Infantry into it. The British had eight units similar in size to the German ones. Three were home guard, two were infantry, and three were pararoopers. There were also supporting weapons such as two 3-inch morars and two heavy machine guns.

The machine shop and the area around it, full of scrap metal and junk gave excellent cover. The open space just to the south of it looked like it would be a killing zone to both sides so Jim did not progress beyond the machine shop and his opponent in this area, Russ Schneider did not advance into it either.

The young lady on the bicycle is a “non-player character” that various gamers moved around the game table at their whim. She was apparently unaffected by the whizzing bullets as she cycled about! The figure is one of a set made by the Foundry some time past. We used a number of these in the game. They are owned by Mark Stevens and were painted years ago by the late Andrew Doyle.


Jim Pitts (left) and Larry Cole (right) discuss important matters, such as why Larry’ forces, all home guard, were getting shot to pieces by the German paratroopers.


This image shows “The House” and the tiled roof of “The Villa”. The German paratroopers behind the wall were part of Russ Schneider’s command and they traded long distance fire with Jim Pitts” British infantry across the way in “The Foundry”.

Each structure on the game table was a possible source of victory points, but the players did not know what the “value” of each one was. Here is the game-master’s list:

  • “The Bridge” is a lovely ancient thing, but it is not worth any victory points.
  • “The Barn” hides a group of Luftwaffe aircrew, with weapons. They were shot down days ago and are spoiling for a fight. They can be added to the German order of battle. Occupation of the structure itself gives no victory points.
  • “The Machine Shop” has been making prototypes of new Wonder-weapons. (If any of them work it will be a wonder!) Occupation of the Machine shop is worth 15 victory points.
  • “The Ruined Church” has valuable documents hidden in the crypt. Occupation is worth 5 victory points.
  • “The Villa” contains the Mistress of Major-General Bumpf, her little doggie Fritz, and the General’s papers. Occupation of the Villa is worth 10 victory points.
  • “The House” has been used to billet technicians. Occupation of the house is worth 5 victory points.
  • “The Apartment Building” has been used to billet troops. Various papers, possibly useful to military intelligence are there. It is worth 5 victory points.
  • “The Tower” contains refugee nuns of the Order of The little sisters of 7.9mm. Mauser. They are armed and will fire on the first side to try to enter the tower. The tower itself contains weapons and ammunition and is worth 10 points.
  • In addition, each dead or wounded enemy soldier is worth 1 victory point.


This shows the area around “The Machine Shop” occupied by British Infantry. From here they shot at long range at the Germans occupying the courtyard around “The House” and “The Villa” and received fire from their opponents. There was little effect on either side.


“The Ruined Church” has been occupied by a party of the home guard under Larry Cole. The vicar who appeared to them there is probably a ghostly presence, but that did not matter to Larry’s men!


The pig sty of “the Keep” occupied by Alec Kirk’s paratroopers. Apparently the armed Nuns in “The Keep” did not care if men occupied the pig pen. Alec’s men fired at and were fired upon by German Paratroopers under the command of Sean Pitts. There were a number of casualties on both sides from this fire.


These are the positions occupied by Sean Pitts’ German paratroopers firing at Alex across the way. “The Barn” can be seen in the background. Sean did not occupy “the Barn” so it’s German Luftwaffe occupants did not emerge to join the fight.


Alex in a pensive mood. This is after the armed nuns had rebuffed his attempted entry into the “tower”. These were the “Little sisters of 7.9mm. Mauser” and as an armed sisterhood, would fire on any group of males attempting to enter the structure. When the leader of the unit was wounded, Alex withdrew, never testing the close combat ability of the armed women.


This photo by Jim Pitts is a better view of Alex’s British Paras and their German Opponents. Again, “The Barn” is in the background.


Sean has moved German Paratroopers around to the west, in a successful attempt to outflank part of Alex’s Paras. Alex responded by rushing forward to close the range. He suffered from the crossfire of the two units of Fallshirmjaegers but he also inflicted substantial casualties on the flanking force. Photo by Jim Pitts.

The figures shown lying down are wounded. The figure with the yellow ring is a leader. Figures with red rings are “pinned”.


Here is one last photo of “The Machine Shop” taken by Jim Pitts, showing his forces in occupation. In the background, Jim has a 3-inch mortar in operation. Note that the female cyclist is heading for a (hopefully) quiet patch of woods.

So, who won this game? After totaling up the points for occupation of various structures and those for killed and wounded enemy troops, each side ended up with 27 points! A draw was declared and we watched part of Ian McKellen’s Richard III and had hot dogs and chips for lunch, suitably polished off by a fine cake, baked by Larry Cole.

Chance meeting in Laval


As Patton’s Third U.S. army was activated in August 1944, it had two missions. One was to move along with the right flank of the First U.S. Army. The other was to occupy Brittany and seize the German-occupied port of Brest. Our game takes place during this race for Brest.

This is a look at the battlefield. The American 4th armored division moves sourthward toward the French town of Laval. Stuart light tanks can be seen on the road. As with all of these photos, click on the picture to see a larger version.

Their mission is to get through Laval, crossing the small river there, and continue charging towards Brest. The Germans, want to get out of this area, and move north-eastward towards the 7th German Army – and eventually towards home!


Phil Young, one of the American commanders moves his Sherman tanks along the direct road to the town. His infantry in halftracks moves across the fields.


We played this game in Alex Kirk’s home in Forrest MS. on August 16th 2014. Alex has a special room, suitably elevated above the “regular” part of his home, in which wargamers may indulge in their “little wars.” Alex’s lovely wife not only tolerated this invasion of her home by the Jackson Gamers, but very kindly made a run for provisions, when the gamers began calling for rations.

Alex is shown here in action, moving his U.S. tanks toward Laval. All of the armies and terrain were his, and parts of his formidable library can be seen in the background.


Another view of the 4th Armored division as it streams south towards Brest. The town of Laval is where it met (n our game) the German 11th Panzer division.


Two of the German commanders, Sean Pitts (on left) and Jay Stribling (on right) move their panzers and supporting arms up toward Laval. This is a good view of the town of Laval. The small blue stream was unfordable to vehicles, in most locations.


Sean Pitts thinks hard about his move. The rules were Alex Kirk’s variant of Command Decision, and he proved to be a good teacher, for the Jackson Gamers seemed to understand them quickly.


Another view of the town, showing what a bottleneck for each side that it was. The Americans got there “fustest with the moistest” as the saying goes, and while they could not advance out of the town, The Germans could not get into it. On the extreme American right, near the edge of the battlefield, a ford was found across the stream, and the Americans got some forces across. There was an obvious attempt to turn the German right, but the forces of Ed Sansing, the other German commander, resisted.

The victory conditions for both sides were to get off the other end of the table, but neither side could get through the town. At the games end, there was a discussion along the lines of “well in another 4 turns, we would have turn the German right…” All wargamers are familiar with these little ego-boosting seminars, but in the end, we called it a draw.

The Shermans lived up to their reputation of being “Ronsons” which would “light up every time” but they and the American Tank Destroyers did considerable execution on the German Mark IV tanks. Most of the German Panther battalion was on the left, and with no way across the stream, and no way into the town, did very little for most of the game. The commander of this force Oberst von Stribling loudly calls attention to the fact that he had almost no losses! The other gamers point to the fact that he almost was never engaged!


Another view of Laval showing the jam-up of the Germans. On the last several turns, the Germans managed to bring up a “Brummbar” (Grumbling Bear) close support vehicle. It’s thick armor protected it from the Sherman’s 75mm guns, and it’s 150mm howitzer began to chip away at the Americans in the town.


In the field beyond the town, Phil Young deployed his U.S. infantry. They moved toward the stream but had not attempted a crossing by the time the game ended. Interestingly, Alex Kirk mentioned after the game that there was a hidden ford near the table edge on the German left flank (the American right flank) but neither Stribling’s Germans, nor Young’s American troops made any effort to search for a ford.


The center of the German side of the field, showing forces under the command of Ed Sansing. Note that these are light forces. The American troops and vehicles under Alex Kirk’s command that forced the crossing on the German right, could have menaced these Germans, in another turn or two. They would have entered this scene from the extreme left near the troop box sitting on the battlefield.


Another close view of the town of Laval. More pressure, more carnage, and even less ways to get through the mess! The way to win this game, obviously, was to flank the entire thing to the left or right, but only Alex managed to do that.


German Order of battle: 11th Panzer Division (advance elements)
Panzer Aufklärungs Abtelung 11 (Pz Recon Bn)
110th Panzer Grenader Regt Command group
Abtelung 1 (Gepanzer)/110th Panzer Grenader Regt
Abtelung 2/15th Panzer Regt.
Abtelung 1/119th Pz Arty Regt.

American Order of battle: CCB 4th Armored Division
8th Tank Bn
27th Armored Infantry Bn
35th Armored Infantry Bn
B/24th Armored Engineer Bn
C/704th TD Bn
66th Armored Field Artillery Bn.

This was the christening battle for Alex’s game room. All the Jackson Gamers that were able to make the trip agreed that a great time was had by all!

Smash and Grab

On August 3 , 2013, Sean ran a Battle Tech game for us, pitting the remnants of the 2nd Argyle Highlander Regiment against a Lyran force.

Highlander and Lyran slug it out!

The battle report is on the Jackson Gamer’s blog: