SAGA – Welsh Hearthguard and Warlord

I finally prepped my 4pt Welsh force for SAGA last week and got stuck in to painting them.

Hearthguard and Warlord

So far I’ve finished the four hearthguard and the warlord.

01-hearthguard-and-warlord

I was a bit sceptical when I was painting them, but I’m happy with the final result. It’s amazing the impact a wash has on a miniature. I quite like the Gripping Beast models and they weren’t too hard to prep. I remember affixing the spears for my Anglo-Danes was a lot more fiddly than the Welsh were. I went with Desert Yellow (Army Painter) for the undercoat, just like I used for my Anglo-Danes (and use for my Soviets too).

 

The fun thing about SAGA is that you can do a bit of a mixture of colours given the time period. It does mean painting takes a little longer though because you can’t get a production line going. I really like the whorl shield designs, the cross ones are pretty basic. I copied the shield design for the warlord from the Gripping Beast images, but left out the dragons because I hand paint my designs and there is no way in hell I can paint a tiny dragon!

Next up I’ll ge the 16 warriors done, then the 12 levy. I’d like to get them all done by Christmas, which should be very doable. I’d be even happier if I could get them all done before I go on leave (16 December is my last day for the year), but given how busy I am at the moment I don’t think that will be achievable.

Next Time

Probably some thoughts o Guild Ball pitch ideas. Alternatively some happy snaps of the miniatures I’ve painted for D&D this year. Until then, happy wargaming.

 

Guild Ball – Fishermen’s Guild Starter

In the past week I’ve finished off my Fishermen’s Guild starter box for Guild Ball.

Guild Ball

Back in the day, I very nearly supported the Guild Ball Kickstarter. I asked my D&D mates (non-wargamers) if they’d be interested in playing, but the response was lacklustre and I couldn’t justify expending the funds at the time. Now I somewhat regret not backing it. The miniatures are fantastic and the game looks really fun.

I decided to get two teams together earlier this year and picked up the starter packs for the Fishermen’s and Brewer’s Guilds. The reason I chose these two was that I liked the sound of the Fishermen’s playstyle and the Brewer’s Guild are the Brewer’s Guild. I mean really, do you need any other reason? I’d also like to put a quick plug here for Nerdvana Games. They’re an Adelaide based company who I decided to give a go for this order and boy was I stoked with their service. If you live in Adelaide, provided the product is in stock, you’ll get it the same day you order it and postage is free. Their range is limited to a few games but if you play Guild Ball, Infinity or X-Wing I highly recommend them.

01-fishermens-guild-starter

I painted Shark and the ball a few months back now.

 

Both came out quite nice but I am particularly pleased with the ball. It’s funny how something so small and simple can provide such satisfaction when complete. I decided to theme my bases as marshy ground, like along a river bank or wetland area. I used Vallejo still water (the clear one) for the water effects and I’m pretty happy with the results. You can tell I was experimenting across the four models with the best way to make the effect. I’m still not set on any one result.

 

Angel and Siren I did over the past couple of weeks. I really like Angel’s model, although I think her hair turned out a little yellow. Siren’s, on the other hand, was hell for me. I think she turned out alright in the end, but it was very difficult for me to tell what was what when painting her. A note on painting black (e.g. Siren’s hair): if you don’t already, I highly recommend using German Grey (Valllejo Model Colour) and then washing (fairly heavily) with black ink of your choice (I use Nuln Oil in Citadel’s range, their inks are the only Games Workshop products I use these days – I just like inks in pots rather than dropper bottles).

Next Up for Guild Ball

The Brewer’s Guild starter box is next on my list to do. I’m a little annoyed that I’ve glued sand on their bases when now I’m thinking I’d prefer flagstones or cobbles. I might see what I can do about that. Then I’ll probably get Salt (season one Fishermen’s mascot) and a couple more players for my Fishermen (probably Greyscales and Jac) and get them together. I also need to find some opponents. So if you’re in Adelaide and play Guild Ball or looking to get into Guild Ball, let me know!

Happy wargaming.

Friday Post – 18th of November, 2016

Well now, haven’t the months flown since my last post? It’s been quite an unproductive winter this year, none the less I’m starting to do things again. I’m not sure when I will have an after action report again, but for now I am sorting out a few wordy-picturey posts as I paint things, plus some various thoughts posts.

Today I’ve just a quick overview of what’s been happening. I might try fit some pictures in to make it more interesting.

Get out of Here, Winter

Winter was Very Crazy.

You may or may not be aware that the entirety of my state (South Australia) lost power for about eight hours (for those of us in the metro area, it took days to restore power to some regional areas) in late September. The outage occurred when a series of tornadoes (not something that occurs here and certainly nothing those in the US would have experienced) ripped across the state and took out something like 22-29 high voltage transmission pylons, brining down two out of our three high voltage transmission lines. As a result of the ensuing voltage collapse, power generation went into safety shutdown, ditto the interconnector with Victoria. And so the state was plunged into a blackout. Making my way home from work, I’ve never seen the CBD so busy as I made my way home. Also it was pissing with rain.

On the whole for this winter, the rain was incessant, the wind incredible. We are well above average rainfall and I can say that everyone is thoroughly sick of the wet and cold weather. Spring has finally arrived proper though (only two months late) and with it my enthusiasm to paint things, play games and maybe make some more terrain.

I’ve not been wholly ideal however. My mate Dan and I are finally playing X-Wing regularly. We’ve been playing weekly for at least three months now. It’s also encouraged me to expand my X-Wing collection, mostly with for my Rebels (Dan mainly plays Imperial, but is building up a Scum collection too). X-Wing is a fun game and maybe I should try some after action reports for it some time. Though personally I find it better suited to video reports. Below is my X-Wing collection, less my two ARC-170s which I picked up the other month. also my second X-Wing T70 (I think the other is somewhere in the X-Wing mass there. If not, I have two).

20160806_161302

I’ve finally started on my American Civil War stuff and have nearly completed my first infantry battalion. It just needs to be based. Unfortunately because of the way I’m basing my stuff I’ll need an extra box of infantry and an extra box of zouvaes. Also an extra box of artillery because of the gun I’ve misplaced (which annoys me greatly).

afternoons-work

The above lot was actually done bay in May. Blimey…

20160820_150348

I got the SDKFz (above) done in September, but I knocked the right headlight off and blowed if I can find the bugger. It’s probably been vaccumed by now. I’m also missing the top hatch – which annoys me more – I don’t ever recal it being packed with the model, so that’s annoying.

I’m also slowly painting my Guild Ball minis. I picked up a couple of starter sets earlier in the year and I’m slowly working through those. I might try find some opponents soon to learn the game. Not so sure about that but. Pictures in the future when everything is done.

Finally, I’ve painted a few things for D&D. We’ve been playing very regularly (for me) and I can safely say 2016 has been the year I’ve played the most D&D (approximately fortnightly). Playing regularly has really spurred my enthusiasm for the game and I’ve now got a second group going through Curse of Strahd. I’ll endeavour to do a post with some pics and tales in the future.

Next Time

I’m considering what to prioritise painting, but first will definitely be Siren for my Fishermen and basing the first battalion for my Union army. Next I am likely to (finally) tackle my Welsh starter force for SAGA because once that is painted, I’ll have two 4pt forces and will be able to play a game against my brother or mate Tom (my opponent in my Bolt Action and Flames of War AARs).

In the meantime I’ll see about using my downtime at work to whip up a few short progress posts to put up on a regular basis for the rest of the year. So until then, happy wargaming.

Prussian Landwehr

Things have been rather quiet recently and I haven’t been playing many games of anything. Being the middle of winter undercoating anything is difficult, but I have been doing some work on things that I was able to undercoat before the nice weather ended. As a result, I’ve finally finished my box of Prussian Landwehr from Warlord Games.

Prussian Landwehr

The models are single piece plastic, with the exception of the command figures which are metal. I’ve never been perturbed by Warlord’s use of large proportions so I quite like the models. The command did take a bit of cleaning though – the flag pole was particularly annoying to get through the hands. I’ve not sorted out a flag for the unit yet so that is still on the to do list, but otherwise they are complete. I like how they have turned out but I’m not sure when I will be getting more things to build my force from.

I recently stumbled across this site however with a breakdown of the Army of the Lower Rhine. It has given me a lot of inspiration when planning what I want to get next and the elements that I’d like them to represent. I’m not so pedantic that I want eveyr accurately represented though, so I shan’t be bothering with any sort of craziness like uniform variations and things.

American Civil War

When I can undercoat things again my force will be the American Civil War. Sometime about the end of May or start of June our order for the Battle in a Box American Civil War set produced by Perry Miniatures came through. My mate and I have split the forces with him doing Confederate and myself Union. I’ve assembled my infantry, general and one gun but still have my cavalry (of which we bought an extra box so we each have 12 models instead of six) and the second gun to assemble.

The product is pretty fantastic. It’s good value and gives you two forces straight out the box to start playing games with. It doesn’t quite breakdown properly if you are basing four men on 40mm bases (they are depicted with six on 60mm bases with 18 men to a unit). So if you want to base your models that way you’ll also want to grab another box of cavalry, infantry and Zouvaes.

It would have been good to have had a breakdown of what was actually in the box for those of us unfamiliar with the product’s composite parts. I was able to find a list on a forum somewhere which outlines the contents (correctly) as follows:

  • 2 generals (which can both look unique and are unique to the box set I believe)
  • 13 sprues of Confederate infantry (five men a sprue, these are the same as Perry’s Confederate infantry 1861-65 box)
  • 4 sprues of Confederate command options (eight men, a model for an officer and a model for a drummer or standard bearer. The models on the infantry sprues can also be used for a standard bearer)
  • 4 sprues of ACW Infantry (48 men, can be painted as either side, use for the Union troops. These are the same as Perry’s ACW Infantry box and include an officer on each sprue plus a model that can either be a standard bearer or drummer)
  • 4 sprues of Zouvaes (20 men, same as Perry’s Zouvaes box)
  • 2 sprues of Zouvaes command options (four men, one officer and a standard bearer/drummer model on each sprue)
  • 3 sprues of ACW cavalry (same as Perry’s ACW cavalry box set)
  • 4 guns (options for various sizes)
  • 3 sprues of artillery crew (18 men total)
  • Bases
  • Farmhouse
  • Rail fencing galore
  • Firepower A5 rulebook (quick play ACW rules)

Overall the Battle in a Box American Civil War product is very good and if you are looking to get into gaming in the period I highly recommend picking it up.

That’s all for now, hopefully my next update won’t be so long coming. Happy wargaming.

 

 

 

 

Operation Barbarossa Mini-Campaign 3 – 1000pts – Kiev Defensive Operation (Point Defence)

The third in our three game set of Operation Barbarossa. I’d already lost the set, so I was very keen to a void a clean sweep!

Table and Mission

 

The battle was set in the outskirts of Kiev, 1941 – the First Battle of Kiev, also know as the Kiev Defensive Operation. We selected point defence for the mission with the Soviets would be defending from the built up side. The objectives were the church yard on the far left, the government building in the centre, and the house of the far right flank. To win, the Germans would need to hold two or three objectives.

Forces

Again, no image of the forces. In the images of the battle, pretend like the men with SMGs have rifles, I don’t have enough! Also it’s a struggle for me to read the yellow on red order die, so if you can read them in the images (which is doubtful I think) they are very unlikely to be on the order that was actually issued.

Soviet

Captain with two staff (Regular)

1st Lieutenant with two staff (Regular)

Three rifle squads, each with 12 men, one with AT grenades (Inexperienced)

Two LMG squads, each with 10 men and an LMG (Inexperienced)

Maxim MMG (Regular)

82mm Mortar (Regular)

Zis-3 AT gun (Regular)

T-34/76 (Regular)

German

1st Lieutenant with one staff (Veteran)

Four Heer squads, each with eight men and LMG (Regular)

Heer Pioneer squad with eight men, including flamethrower team (Veteran)

Two Hanomag halftracks (Inexperienced)

MG-42 MMG team (Regular)

Panzer III J (Regular)

Deployment

 

I positioned one of the rifle squads without AT grenades behind the fence covering the church yard. In the central building I positioned my Maxim on the upper floor on the left, sniper on the upper floor on the right, Lieutenant on the stairs out of sight and one of the LMG squads on the ground floor. Finally on the far right I deployed my Zis-3 and the rest of my force was placed in reserve. The German preparatory bombardment failed to hit the Zis-3, but added two pins to all other units except my LMG squad, which only received one.

Order of Battle

 

I pulled the first die and immediately put the Zis-3 into ambush. I tried to do the same with the Maxim but it rolled double sixes – FUBAR! Luckily I rolled friendly fire and with no valid target it just went down. Then came the interesting move of one of the halftracks with a squad of Heer driving straight at my Zis-3. Springing my ambush, the Zis-3 hit and destroyed the halftrack, then rolled a maximum six hits on the unit inside, killing four of them! First blood to the Soviets thanks to some very questionable German tactics – more on that in the Aftermath. The rest of the turn was fairly uneventful. The rifle squad near the church yard failed their order test, likewise the Lieutenant so they both went down. The rest of the German force moved on: Heer squad on the far left, halftrack with pioneers on the left road, Panzer III behind that (it fired on the Maxim and managed three sixes in a row to score a wound with its hull MG), two Heer squads in the centre of the field (one moving through the wheat field, the other on the hill), then the MG42 and Lieutenant on the far right. Finally, my sniper took a long shot and hit the Heer in the field (centre left) but failed to kill the target.

 

Turn two and I brought my Captain on first to motivate the riflemen on the left. His support ensured they went into ambush when ordered. The Maxim also went into ambush. On the far right, the Germans moved up the MG42 and Lieutenant into the house. Meanwhile in the centre the two Heer squads ran into the houses opposite the government building. On the left the Heer advanced and engaged in a firefight with the riflemen opposite – with one of the riflemen being killed. The surviving halftrack advanced up the road and I pulled the next die to bring on my T-34 behind the government building, but with an angle on the halftrack. Which it promptly missed. Next die was me again and I went with the Zis-3. I considered the Heer in the building opposite, but decided to go with the long shot on the halftrack – which I hit and then, thanks to the +1 pen on side armour, destroyed! I again rolled six hits on the squad inside and again killed four! Things were not going well for the Germans. The Panzer III trundled up behind the wrecked halftrack and tried to pick off the Maxim again, without any success. I then brought on my remaining squads: rifle squad with AT grenades on the road of the left; mortar in the centre with spotter to the right behind the trees near the road; LMG squad between the mortar and spotter; and last rifle squad into the objective house on the far right. I also conducted some fire against the squad in the house in the centre on the right, scoring a single hit from my sniper but nothing from the LMG squad on the ground floor and no kills. Finally: the Heer that bailed out the halftrack ran up to the trees on the right but got caught in the open.

 

The Panzer III was up first turn three and zipped towards the T-34 and out of sight of the Zis-3. It shot wide and in return was struck by the T-34, but also to no effect. I opted to fire my Zis-3 on the unit in the right house but only scored a single hit with HE ammunition, killing the unlucky Heer. On the right the four man Heer squad ran forward and I opened up with my rifle squad in the house, killing two. The Heer in the right house then ran out towards the Zis-3. I lobbed a mortar shell at them, but missed, and then opened up with the LMG squad – killing five! In the building my Maxim and LMG squad went into ambush, expecting an assault from the remaining squad in the house. Meanwhile the sniper shot at the Heer in the house but failed to score a kill. On the left, the Pioneers and Heer ran into the church and the riflemen shot at them to no effect.

 

Turn four and the two Heer on the road assaulted the Zis-3, scoring only one kill. In response the Zis also scored one kill and a second round of the assault was fought. One kill a piece again saw the Heer dispatched but the Zis down to a single man. My rifle squad on the right opened up and finished off the other two man Heer squad, before the MG-42 ended my Zis-3. I repositioned my sniper to take on the MG and lobbed a mortar shell at it for good measure – but missed. On the left the Panzer III failed to do anything to the T-34 again, but in response this time the T-34 dealt it a crew stunned result. The Heer in the church assaulted the left most rifle squad and cut it down, but not without taking casualties. The Captain added to those losses with SMG fire. The remaining Pioneers then lit up the flamethrower and took on the other rifle squad on the left, but only scored a single hit! Rifle fire from the Pioneers further whittled down that squad, but they held firm and then proceeded to assault the Heer in the church yard. The Heer were eliminated, but only three riflemen remained. Finally, the Heer in the house knew they had to do something and ran left, with the Maxim and LMG team opening up as they repositioned, killing three and adding two pins.

 

Turn five and the T-34 scored the first dice and took out the Panzer III. I rallied my three riflemen into another assault, this time against the Pioneers in the Church. All three Pioneers were cut down and in response only two riflemen died with the last man standing keeping to the field. The last Heer squad ran into the church, which the Maxim peppered with rounds, scoring a couple of this but no kills. My two LMG squads ran across to the left while my rifles on the right shot at and scored a kill on the MG-42 team, which took out the mortar’s spotter. The mortar repositioned for a view on the MG.

 

Turn six and everything converged on the church. The Heer were whittled down to three men with five pins and went down. On the right the riflemen took out the MG-42, leaving only the Lieutenant at the back of the field.

 

Aftermath

We didn’t bother rolling for a turn seven because there were only five Germans left on the field and only the most impossible of odds that the battle would result in anything but a Soviet victory. So, just like the real battle, the Soviets held on for that bit longer!

I was very pleased to have taken an extra officer and my Zis-3 did a sterling job. I was very much aided by some questionable German tactics. Basically what my mate attempted to do was completely ignore the centre and split his forces into two, striking at the flanks. I was very surprised he decided to go head to head with the Zis. I expected the next units to come on to try overwhelm it, but they deployed on the other side of the field. He regretted his tactical decisions almost immediately and in hindsight would focus his entire strength on one objective. So a good game, but a very decisive Soviet victory to end the set.

Next Time

It’s to be decided what we’ll be playing and when next time. We are waiting for our Perry Miniatures Battle in a Box to arrive so we can dive into the American Civil War – something I’m very much looking forward to. In the meantime I want to get my Prussian Landwehr done and some other Bolt Action things. Next post or two will likely be about things I have painted and terrain – notably the government building from this after action report. Happy wargaming!

 

Barbarossa Mini-Campaign 2 – 750pts – Minsk Pocket (Envelopment)

My mate forgot that he had a Star Wars quiz on May 4th, so we had to delay a day, but here it is game two of our Operation Barbarossa mini-campaign.

The Table and Mission

 

The setting is the Minsk pocket. Soviet forces have been encircled by German forces and are desperate to break out. We went with the Envelopment mission with the only modification that the attacker (the Soviets) would not get preliminary bombardment. The Germans would be defending from the side of the board flanked by the two hills, the Soviets would be coming on through the fields.

The Forces

Given the size of the Soviet force, I skipped on force pictures.

Soviet (all inexperienced, also note that I don’t have enough riflemen, so there are a bunch of guys with PPShs and even the rest of the artillery observer crew used to represent them)

2nd Lieutenant with two staff

Commisar with one staff

Four rifle squads, one with 12 men and AT grenades, the other three with 11 men

Two LMG squads, both with 12 men and LMG

Maxim MMG

82mm Mortar team with spotter

45mm AT gun

T-26B

German

1st Lieutenant with one staff (Veteran)

Three Heer squads with eight men each and NCO with SMG (Regular)

Heer pioneer squad with five men and flamethrower (Veteran)

Hanomag halftrack (Inexperienced)

MG42 MMG team (Veteran)

Panzer III J (Regular)

Deployment

The Germans deployed the Panzer III on the road on the Soviet left; a Heer squad roughly in the centre of the field with the command team behind it; MG42 in the woods in the centre of the field; and a second Heer squad on the road on the Soviet right flank. The last Heer squad, halftrack and pioneers were all kept in reserve.

I nominated two rifle squads, my 45mm AT gun, Maxim MMG, T-26B and 82mm mortar to form my first wave.

Order of Battle

 

Turn one was a fairly dull affair. My first wave all ran onto the field with the exception of the T-26 which advanced and laid down machine gun fire on the Heer squad on the road. They took a couple of hits and scored a pin, but none were killed. For Germany, the Panzer III took a shot at the 45mm and scored a single wound on it, the MG42 and Heer on the road both went into ambush and the other Heer squad advanced and pick off a couple of Soviet riflemen opposite – who became regular as a result.

 

Turn two began with the 45mm firing on the Panzer III, scoring a hit but failing to do any damage. The Heer in the forest continued to lay down fire on the Rifle squad, killing a couple more. In response the Soviet command team came on and thanks to their motivation the rifle squad advanced to the fence and returned fire on the Heer. Also on the left flank the Commissar moved up, as did another rifle squad on the far left and an LMG squad in the centre of the field. The mortar failed to range in on the Heer on the road, but the T-26 advanced and fired on them scoring more hits and a couple of kills. The Maxim then also opened fire, stacking on another pin and more losses.

On the far right the last Heer squad ran up the hill while the Soviet riflemen in the field advanced but failed to land any hits on the new squad on the hill. The last LMG squad came on behind the rifle squad on the far right. Meanwhile the halftrack moved onto the left side of the field. Finally the Panzer III with its one pin failed its order test because the German command team was 1” too far away! The final rifle squad came entered on via the road on the Soviet right flank.

 

Turn three and the 45mm continued to be ineffective against the Panzer III which subsequently unpinned and scored another wound, leaving the 45mm with a single crew member. The 82mm struck home and blew apart four Heer and added another two pins. The little that remained of the unit fled the field – first blood to the Soviets! On the right the Heer on the hill picked off a few riflemen, who in turn added added a pin to the Heer. The LMG squad behind the rifles moved up, as did the Maxim. The T-26 trundled up the road again and fired on the squad on the hill, causing another pin and kill.

Meanwhile in the centre of the field the LMG squad shifted up behind the fence and joined the firefight with the Heer in the forest. The squad in the forest was whittled down and gained a couple of pins resulting in it failing its order test and going down. The Panzer III unpinned but was ineffective against the 45mm. The halftrack moved up and fired on the rifle squad on the right, taking out a man. They passed their order test and moved up. Finally on the right the rifle squad on the road ran up, tripping the ambush from the MG42 and taking some casualties and a crucial pin.

 

Turn four and the rifle squad on the right broke out into the open, this time firing more effectively on the Heer on the hill. Behind them ran the LMG squad. The Maxim also fired on the Heer on the hill, causing them more strife. In response they were able to fire back at the rifle squad but without great effect. In the centre the MG42 whittled down the central LMG squad. It passed its order test and advanced though. The Heer in the forest then failed their order test and went down.

In better news for Germany the halftrack advanced and then the Pioneer BBQ Funtimes squad hopped out and killed most of what remained of the rifle squad on the far left (after some more hits from the halftrack MG and having failed to go into ambush in response). The 45mm was unable to take out the halftrack and the mortar failed to range in on the pioneers. In all of this the commissar and Soviet command were both running around in the centre of the field to share their motivation. Meanwhile the T-26 advanced again and fired a wild shot on the Panzer III. Finally, more bad news for the Soviets was that the rifle squad on the road failed its order test and went down.

 

Turn five and the Heer squad on the hill was killed in an assault from the rifle squad. The LMG squad behind ran up behind. In the centre my LMG squad advanced, adding another pin to the Heer in the forest. They managed to pass their order test and in an audacious assault sent the final three men at my six LMG squadmen – and won! Only a single Heer was left however and he was quickly shot by the advancing rifle squad. Meanwhile on the far left the Pioneers took out the 45mm after it failed to take out the halftrack.

Finally the T-26 and Panzer III were ineffective against each other, the Maxim ran up and the MG42 put a pin on the Maxim.

 

Turn six and the first dice went to Germany and boom went the T-26 – not a good start to the turn for me! Things went from bad to much, much worse though when the MG-42 put a pin on the rifle squad on the right then it and the Maxim all failed their order tests and went down! Thankfully the suqad on the road passed its order test, but it was still a move from the German deployment zone. The pain wasn’t over though because my rifle squad on the road on the left ran up (in a mad dash and hope for a turn seven) only to be assaulted by the two man German command team. Now, error here: I thought there were three men in the team and had my mate roll three dice, scoring three kills while I only scored two, leading to a loss. While we did realise this killed the whole squad, it was late and I was tired and this information didn’t seem to register. That said: there was a Panzer III right next to them, I don’t think the five men that were there would have survived the eight MG42 shots in turn seven!

The mortar didn’t get a chance to shell the pioneers who jumped in the halftrack, but it did missed the halftrack. The command teams ran up the middle in a mad dash to maybe get in a position to score some points for me.

44 - end game

As it turned out there was a turn seven. My rifle squad on the road managed to get into the deployment zone and the two squads on the right both left the field. The Maxim continued to stay flat on the road (it rolled 10 for its order test three turns in a row!). The Commissar and Command team were both killed though. The Commissar fled after his staff member was shot by the Hanomag MG42 while the Lieutenant was shot to pieces by the MG42 and Pioneer rifle fire.

Result and Aftermath

The Germans had taken out 7 Soviet units for 14 victory points while the Soviets had taken out 4 German units (4 points), had one unit in the German deployment zone (2 points) and had run two units off the German table edge (6 points) for a total of 12 victory points. The day went to Germany!

What a great battle. Early on things were very much in my favour. A gutsy assault on the left and the endless burning murder of flamethrower pioneers and their halftrack really set me back. Then the MG42 scored crucial pins that just stopped my advance on the road in its tracks. The Maxim had three turns to pass its order test to get into the German deployment, but failed them all! Luck did over my T-26 too. In hindsight I should have taken two officers with such a horde list, one for the right flank and another for the left, rather than the Commissar. Or at least the Commissar should have been deployed on the right side of the field. I positioned both command teams very poorly too, which led to their deaths and gave away easy victory points. Next time, Germany, next time!

Next Time

In two weeks we’ll be back for game three. Though I’ve already lost overall I am hopeful for a victory in the defence of Kiev! If I am really motivated I’ll even get a new building together for it… Until then, enjoy!

 

 

Barbarossa Mini-Campaign 1 – 600pts – Point Defence

With my mate back from the States it’s time to head back to the Eastern Front during late 1941 for some Operation Barbarossa in Bolt Action.

The Table and Mission

The Germans would be advancing up the road to the village, which they would seek to encircle. The two road sections either side of the village in the Soviet deployment zone were the objectives. The Germans just had to hold one uncontested to claim victory – a modified version of Point Defence in light of the 6’x4’ table and 600pt forces.

The Forces

01 - Soviets

Soviet (all inexperienced):

1st Lieutenant with two staff

Four rifle squads: 12 men with AT grenades; 11 men; and then two squads with ten men each

Maxim MMG

82mm medium mortar

45mm AT gun

T-26B light tank

02 - Germans

German:

1st Lieutenant with one staff member (Veterans, both with rifles)

Two Heer infantry squads, one 8 man and the other 7 man, both with NCOs with SMGs (both regular)

Heer pioneer squad with 7 men including a flamethrower (veterans)

Hanomag halftrack (inexperienced)

Panzer III J (regular)

Deployment

 

On the left flank in the field I deployed the 12 man rifle squad with AT grenades. In the left house I positioned my MG and a 10 man rifle squad with my HQ behind the building. In the right house I deployed my 11 man rifle squad with the mortar behind the building (the spotter was in the field just to the left of the road). The T-26B, 45mm AT gun and other 10 man rifle squad were held off the table. The German force was off the board to come on first turn. Preliminary bombardment was rolled inflicted 2 pins on the rifle squad and mortar on the right; two pins and a casualty to the Maxim and one pin to the rifle squad on the left. The command team and 11 man rifle squad were unaffected.

Order of Battle

Turn one involved things moving. The eight man Heer squad came on and moved into the woods on the right. The seven man squad moved into the centre. The Panzer III came trundling down the road and fired on the Maxim, doing nothing. In response my T-26 came on and drove up into the field, fired on the Panzer and missed (I rolled a 1. The T-26 was very good at rolling 1s). The halftrack came on the far left and likewise the German command squad. The pioneers went down. My other moves were to run the 12 man squad up; move my AT gun onto the road to face off against the Panzer III; and move my other 10 man squad on and up the road. The Maxim and 11 man squad both rallied and got rid of their pins. The mortar tried but failed to range in on the Heer in the woods and the command team went down.

Turn two and my AT gun fired and missed the Panzer III. In response it opened up its MGs and scored exceptional damage, killing the gun – first blood went to the Germans! On the right my squad on the road ran up ready to assault the church in the following turn. A move which predicted the Heer in the centre’s moves as they shifted into the church. In the process they tripped my MG and 10 man squad in the building which I had put in ambush. They managed to pick off a couple, which was nice. My mortar fired and missed the Heer in the woods again, which then moved up slightly. On the left the halftrack advanced and gunned down a couple of Soviet riflemen. It was then a game of Who Gets the Next Die. It was me and I decided putting the squad on the left in ambush was the best response to the pending BBQ. Unfortunately the dice didn’t agree. With the pin from the halftrack MG I had to take an order test, which I failed on an 11! The rifle squad went down to the delight of the pioneers. They jumped out their transport and started cooking. I can’t remember how many riflemen died, but an additional four pins were added (taking the remaining squad to 5) and they well and truly did not feel like sticking around. Another Soviet unit destroyed! Meanwhile our armoured units continued to be Very Useless. The Panzer III did nothing to the Maxim and the T-26 rolled another 1 to hit the Panzer.

Turn three and I dropped mortar shells on the Pioneers scoring six hits! Unfortunately I followed that up with three ones, I still managed to kill three pioneers though. They passed their motivation and hoped back in the halftrack which then sped across the field to the left house. On the right I assaulted the church and kill the Heer squad inside to a man, I took four casualties in turn. The Heer in the woods then shot at me, managing to pick off one rifleman. The T-26 was, yet again, useless when it rolled another 1, this time to hit the halftrack. The Panzer III tried for the T-26 but joined the 1 club. Units in buildings just kept their heads down.

Turn four and Han’s House of BBQ saw the ten man squad with the Maxim burnt alive or running. In response my command team popped their heads round the corner and gunned down two more pioneers – including scoring exceptional damage and ending the flamethrower’s run. The other two stuck around. My T-26 fired and actually hit the Panzer III, but only scored a glancing hit that immobilised it. In response the Panzer III shot at my T-26 and rolled a 1 again. My mortar then lobbed shells at the Panzer and hit, but failed to do anything. Over at the church the Heer assaulted and cut the riflemen down, but lost four in response.

31 - Repositioned MG

Turn five and the pioneers hoped back in the halftrack and then proceeded to murder my command squad. The German command started running up the field too. My Maxim repositioned out the building to defend the objective but was gunned down by the Panzer. I chose to keep my T-26 steady and fire on the Panzer III (its view was obscured if it moved to the objective). My mortar hit and did nothing to the Panzer. On the right, the Heer entered the now vacant church and my remaining rifle squad did some ineffective shooting in their direction.

32 - end T6

Turn six and the situation did not look good. The pioneers jumped out the halftrack and assaulted my T-26 scoring a Fire result. Accordingly my T-26, having not acted yet, automatically went down but at least it didn’t flee. The German HQ joined the halftrack on the objective. My mortar did a world of nothing. I then had to make the choice of whether to re-position my rifle men, or ambush to stop the Heer in the church advancing. I decided to reposition. This allowed the Heer to move up, but they were not yet to the objective.

We rolled and scored a turn seven – good for me! Unfortunately the Germans got the jump. The Heer moved up and shot at the mortar, scoring two kills. The remaining man stayed around but when ordered to advance to contest the objective he decided to cower in fear! On the left my T-26 moved to put itself on the objective and took out the halftrack. The pioneers tried an assault again, but had no success. The German command then shot at and killed a couple of riflemen. My last order dice and I was to advance my riflemen and take out the three Heer to the right. They had to make an order test though and what do you know, they decided to cower too! And so ended the battle, with the Soviets trying to hide on the ground!

Aftermath

It was a close game and with more luck on my order tests I could have held the game at a draw with the objectives contested but held by no one. I was probably a little aggressive on the left and at the end there I should have held my riflemen in ambush in the house. It seemed the better choice to put them in a situation where they could threaten either objective rather than just one, however. A good game though.

We’ll be back in a fortnight’s time with another Barbarossa themed game. Until then, happy wargaming!

 

Infinity Terrain and Operation Flamestrike

Just a quick update to showcase some terrain I’ve made for Infinity over the past couple of week and to highlight my efforts in Operation Flamestrike.

Supply Crates

I built these supply crates quite some time ago now – I think I have images in an older post. The rest of the contents arrived from The Assault Group early this year and I finally got around to finishing them off.

The construction is really simple: matchsticks and cardstock. Rule out 2cm squares on cardstock and then cut them out. Make sure to also cut out a section to insert inside to form a base to put your contents on. Alternatively have another piece for a lid. Glue matchsticks around your cube and lid to form the frame. I then glue the whole thing to a 40mm renedra base. For the contents I used modern 28mm scale weapons from The Assault Group. There’s a bunch of different things there: AK-74s, Drugnovs, M9s, RPGs, SAWs and the shotguns I forget the model of.

Painting them up is easy stuff: heavy coat of Raw Umber; heavy-ish dry brush Mud Puddle; very light dry brush of Bleached Titanium (a bone white). For the inside I also did some hatches of Yellow Oxide. The weapons are all painted black with Gunmetal Gry barrels and wooden details (stocks for example) done in Beige Brown. Simple pieces, look good and make for great supply crate/objective markers or just cover in general.

Bunkers/Barracks

A mate has these half cylinder bunker/barracks buildings which I think were originally for 40k. I liked them when I saw them and decided I’d make something similar. Fast forward to the other week, I finally got around to it.

I wasn’t so sure how it’d all work at first, but in the end it was very easy. Draw out a half circle on foamcore (I have a diameter of 10cm). Cut it out very carefully freehand with an exacto knife and use it as a template for the other half circles. Once they’re all cut out, make sure their fairly even in shape. Draw in where your door is going and cut that out. For a base use 3mm MDF. I’ve used a piece cut to be 15cm long and 10cm wide, plus 2cm kick outs at either end in from of the door. I painted the base and walls first, sponging a camo pattern on the outside wall to distinguish it from the base. Glue those on then measure out your roof from corrugated card. Roll it up to get the bend and make sure it fits right. Paint it up Gunmetal Grey and at that point it is done if you want. You can use PVA to stiffen it up (not too heavy though, you don’t want it to warp). I have a mixture of sand, grey paint and PVA for snow though, make sure it is a relatively dry mix. Once it is solid, paint it white.

For the doors I used thin cardboard and cardstock with magnets glued to the outside of the walls and inside of the doors (6mm diameter, .5mm thick rare earth). Paint them up however you like and you have a removeable door.

Building

Finally I have another building for my Ariadna snow table.

I used 3mm MDF for the base and the floor inside (it is raised off the base by 2cm). The base measures about 10cm by 18cm (roughly) and the building itself is about 10cm square. Standard 5mm black foamcore was used for the building itself. The ramps and roof are from a heavy-ish cardstock (Be Natural meusli bar box). I added three 2cm strips of the same cardstock to reinforce the roof. I also added a 1cm strip of cardstock around the base of the walls inside for the skirting. The exterior has a band of corrugated card round the base. Finally the doors are done the usual way: 6mm rare earth magents on the outside walls and interior of the door on cardstock tabs glued to the cardboard door proper.

Colours used to paint the structure include Natural Grey, Slate Grey, White, Gunmetal Grey (all exterior), Pistachio (inside wall), Antique White (skirting and doors) and Raw Umber (floor, also sponged lightly with white). The snow on the roof is done the same way as the bunker/barracks buildings.

Operation Flamestrike

I’ve been really enthused about Operation Flamestrike. If you play Infinity and aren’t already signed up, get into it here. You can also see my commander profile where you can access my battle reports which currently include:

Operation Red Oilfield

Operation Infallible Girlfriend

Operation Overpriced Hawk

Operation Smith the Wizard

I believe you can access these without signing up, if you are signed up, ratings, comments and commendations are appreciated.

Unfortunately I can’t get as many games as I would like, but I’m playing as much as I can. This campaign means my big pile of Bolt Action painting is on ice while I get more Infinity models done plus work on my Infinity snow table.

Keep an eye on my Operation Flamestrike commander proflie for more battle reports though, I may also shift them all over to here in the future too.

That’s all for now, happy wargaming.

El Alamein Mini-Campaign 3 – Assault on Tel El Aqqaqir

We played the third and final game in our El Alamein mini-campaign last night. The campaign had already gone the way of the Allies with two crushing defeats inflicted on the Deutsche Afrika Korp, so I was really hoping for a win to avoid a clean sweep.

Background

2 November 1942 and Operation Supercharge begins. The 2nd New Zealand Division is tasked with carrying out the initial thrust, the objective being the capture of Tel El Aqqaqir (the base of Axis operations). The division had suffered significant losses in July (1,405 men in three days of fighting) and the toll of the battle so far had seen it further worn down. To reinforce the division, several brigades and battalions were brought under its command – including the 9th Armoured Brigade. As a result of the depleted manpower, the 9th Armoured Brigade was tasked with leading the assault – headlong into dug in German anti-tank gun positions, including Flak 88 guns.

Table and Mission

I selected Hold the Line for this mission. The Allies would be assaulting along the road heading towards the village with the hill off to the left. The objectives were the hill and the far house (back and right of the road).

The Forces

I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of the forces for this battle.

German:

HQ with two Panzer III Ls

Two Panzer platoons – 1st with two Panzer IV F2s, two Panzer III Ls and a Panzer III N, 2nd with one Panzer IV F2, two Panzer III Ls and one Panzer III N

Heavy anti-aircraft battery with two Flak 88s with extra crew (so rate of fire 3)

Priority air support from Ju87G Stukas

British

HQ and two heavy armoured platoons with three shermans a piece

Light armour platoon with three honey stuarts

Kingforce armour platoon with three Churchill IIIs – this platoon wasn’t actually part of the force organisation chart, but we were doing a fun “use everything” battle, so it came under the company’s command

Sporadic air support from Hurricane IIICs

Order of Battle

I positioned my Flak 88s to cover my right flank and held my 1st Panzer platoon in ambush (with the intention to appear them on my right flank). My mate deployed his two Sherman platoons on his left and right flanks, Honey Stuarts centre left and Churchills centre right. His HQ was positioned at the rear behind the ridge.

Turn one and three Hurricanes would have come roaring in had Axis fighter aces not shot down two of them – already a good start for me. The entire British force moved up save the HQ and all opened up on the Flak 88s – scoring very few hits, all of which were saved. The lone Hurricane dropped its payload, but the Flak made its save with ease. Things only got better for me in my turn. I sprung my ambush on the right flank and opened up on the Shermans opposite, although I only knocked out one and bailed the other two. On my left flank however my Flak 88s decimated the Shermans that had moved up to take them on. I also managed to call two Stukas in which failed to score any kills on the Churchills.

Turn two and more Hurricanes came roaring in, two planes this time and my interceptors failed to shoot any down. All British tanks remounted, the Churchills moved up to take on the Flak 88s and the two Shermans on the left pivoted to engage my Panzers. The Honey Stuarts moved up the centre and turned left to also engage my Panzers. The HQ moved from behind the ridge to the back centre of the British line. The Stuarts failed to do anything, but the Shermans knocked out both my Panzer IV F2s. Meanwhile the Churchills silenced a Flak 88 while the Hurricanes did nothing. My turn and my reserves were still delayed, but two Stukas came in on the enemy HQ. I kept everything put and in shooting took out two Churchills with my Flak 88, with the third failing its motivation check and quitting the field. My Panzers bailed two Honey Stuarts, but otherwise were ineffective. My Stukas managed to knock out the enemy command tank though.

Turn three and the Hurricanes were back and again I wasted another air support die on trying to intercept. All tanks remounted, the Stuarts repositioned further into the centre and turned to take on the Panzers. HQ shermans, now commanded by the 2iC moved up to assist the remaining Sherman platoon. Shooting saw the Panzer III N obliterated but the remaining to Ls kept their cool. The Hurricanes failed to inflict damage again. In my turn reserves again failed to materialise, but my Stukas were back on the British HQ. My Flak 88 took out one from the Sherman platoon, but the remaining tank held. My Panzers bailed all three Honey Stuarts, which I was most unimpressed with. My Stukas failed to inflict any further casualties.

Turn four and the skies were as silent as the Honey Stuarts’ engines, with all three tanks failing to remount. The Shermans remounted and opened up on the two Panzer III Ls obliterating the both of them. My turn and I still had no reserves and no Stukas this turn too. My Flak 88 took out the last Sherman in the platoon, but the British passed their company morale check.

35 - Stuarts Take Hill

Turn five and no Hurricanes again. Two of the Stuarts remounted and took the hill that was a mess of burning Panzer wrecks. The command tanks moved up and turned right to deal with the Flak 88. My turn and it was all down to  my reserves roll: fail and have the British snatch victory from the jaws of defeat; pass and have my Panzers move up to contest the hill. I scored two fives and was able to bring both my 2nd Platoon and command platoon on. They bailed both the Stuarts on the hill, which wasn’t particularly fantastic, but good enough because I was contesting the objective.

37 - End Game

At the start of turn six we decided to call it a win for the Germans. We did movement and shooting with the Shermans and they took out the Flak 88 command team, with the gun failing its platoon morale check so my mate could have the satisfaction of seeing it off, but the battle had already been decided.

Aftermath

In the real world the 9th Armoured Brigade suffered heavy losses, but silenced close to all of the German guns, including the Flak 88s. It was another fine battle last night and it was good to finally do some real damage. Again the visual impact of the battle was fantastic and the scene of tanks trundling across the desert and the board slowly filling with wrecks really is quite powerful. That’ll be it from North Africa for some months though. We’ll probably return later in the year, but next up is Operation Barbarossa played out in Bolt Action. That won’t start still late April when my mate returns from his holiday to the US. Until then, I might post some other content, perhaps of my Ariadna and of the terrain I’m working on for Infinity. Happy wargaming.

 

 

El Alamein Mini-Campaign 2 – Push for “Woodcock”

We played our second battle in our El Alamein Flames of War mini-campaign last night. We have brought forward the last battle to next week on account of my mate being interstate for a work conference.

Background

On the night of 26 October 1942 elements of the 2nd Armoured Brigade was ordered to circle north around an area of resistance known as “Woodcock”. They would then strike south while the 2nd Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps would also attack the point. The units were moved forward under the cover of darkness. Unfortunately the lack of light made going slow and units lost their position. By daylight, however, Commonwealth forces continued with their orders to take the point and regroup.

Battlefield and Mission

I selected the mission Breakthrough for the scenario. The objective would be the large hill opposite the canyon through which the road leads. My mate (the attacker) would deploy in the quarter with the canyon and I (the defender) in the other two quarters without the objective.

The Forces

01 - German Force

German (all proxy again, except the Panzer III Ns)

HQ with two Panzer III Js (late)

Three panzer platoons with three Panzer III Js (late), except for the two Panzer III Ns (one a piece in two of the platoons)

One Flak 88 with extra crew.

06 - 1st Armoured Division

British (yes this is the image from last time, just imagine a Hurricane IIC is also in it)

HQ and two heavy armour platoons each with three Shermans

Light armour platoon with three Honey Stuarts

Hurricane IIC limited air support

Order of Battle

I deployed the Flak in one quarter near the central line on the long edge and one platoon of Panzers behind the building and scrub in the other quarter, the rest of my force had to be kept in reserve. My mate put down two platoons of Shermans, including his HQ, and his Honey Stuarts in the canyon, the last platoon of Shermans was kept in reserve.

The battle began at dawn and under the cover of darkness only movement occurred. One platoon of Shermans moved up the road while the others swung around the cliffs. The Honey Stuarts stayed put, likewise the immobile Flak 88. My Panzers moved up ready to strike.

Turn two and day broke and with the sun’s rise so came the roar of Hurricane engines as a full sortie was successfully called in on my Flak 88. Thankfully no reserves showed up for the British. The Shermans moved up again and the command platoon took out the Flak 88 before the air strike hit. The other Sherman platoon knocked out one Panzer III. My Flak’s command team survived the bombing run and I just kept his head down. I also scored no reserves, much to my dismay. My Panzers opened up on the Shermans and actually managed several hits, but all were saved with ease. I stormtroopered them back to lead the Shermans on.

Turn three and still no British reserves, but the Hurricanes returned, this time swooping for my Panzers. The Shermans continued to move up and the command platoon opened up its machine guns on my Flak command team to no effect. The Sherman’s shooting was equally ineffective and I thought I’d get out of the turn ok, but then the (single) Hurricane blew up one of my Panzers and the final tank lost his nerve and reversed out of there. In my turn I managed to score some reserves and I decided to come in to swoop at the side of the Sherman platoon that’d emerged from the canyon. I scored a single hit which managed to bail a Sherman. Not good.

Turn four and the Hurricanes stayed away, but the final Sherman platoon arrived and drove straight onto the objective, which was to be expected. The Shermans and Honey Stuarts moved up across the field. My mate ignored the Flak command team this time, but the Sherman platoon that had just pivoted opened up on my Panzers – knocking out two of them. The Stuarts, unsurprisingly, did nothing. My turn and some more Panzers arrived, but by now it was too little too late. I couldn’t get in range and what little shooting I put into the Shermans in the centre of the field missed its mark.

Turn five and the British had secured the objective. Another crushing defeat for Axis forces in North Africa.

Aftermath

It was an even worse showing than the last battle for the Axis, having only managed to bail a single tank in two separate turns. My force distribution was quite poor and I really should have run two larger Panzer platoons, rather than three small ones. I think fielding my air support would also have been a better choice than the Flak – I’d have interceptor capability and good tank knock out power (especially because my mate tends to group his tanks closer than I do). Still, it was a good game if for no other reason than it was visually awesome. I really do love my desert board and the view of tanks rolling across the desert and flaming wrecks exploding is really quite fantastic.

Next Time

Next time the points go up again, but we’ll be running “just everything” lists. This means my mate will have four Churchills which don’t actually fit into the Heavy Armoured Company force organisation chart, but hey, it’s for fun and he’s already won the campaign anyway! I’ll have to give more careful consideration to what to field, but I might see about cracking open the box of Plastic Soldier Tigers I picked up last weekend…

 

Our next battle is next Wednesday (2 March 2016), but then it’ll be a drought till late April because my mate is off to the US for a holiday. I’ll be busy painting things though, so you might see some of that, otherwise look forward to the next mini-campaign which I plan to be three games of Bolt Action set during Operation Barbarossa! Happy wargaming!