Monday, December 31, 2012

Commission Figurine Buildings

I've managed to paint up three of the 6 Commission Figurine Buildings I purchased for one of the Day of Days: Stalingrad tables, I will do the rest in the new year. The buildings are very, very nice.

I just added a bit of card underneath for extra support.

Other projects completed are the US paras (3 platoons, 4x 57mmm at guns and 3x glider 105s) which I'll get pictures of up sometime soon but things are a bit busy with holidays and visitors at present. 

Day of Days Playtest- encounter

My longtime wargaming opponent (since we were 7) Ian is down for New Year so we took the opportunity to have a playtest of our forces for Day of days. Kent and dale came over with a possible new recruit, wargamer who has relocated form the UK to Timaru so he also joined us for his first ever game of FoW.

Ian and I ran my cossacks and his mixed tankovy:

Mixed Tankovy Conscript
8x T60 155
6x T34/76 430
4x KV 1E 430
3x BA 64 (trained) 75

Cossacks- FT

HQ 35
9x Mounted Cossacks 205
13x Dismounted Cossacks 250
4x 76mm Obr 1927 75
4x 45mm Orb 1937 (AT 7) 105
4x KV 1E (FA 9)- Conscripts 430


Dale, Kent and Albert shared the panzer company and Nigel's panzer grenadiers.

Motorised PGs
HQ + 1x P/K 50
7x MG Teams + P/K 195
7x MG teams + P/K 195
3x Pak 38s 120
3x Stug F (FA 5) 420
4x 82mm Mortars (2x observers) 120

German Panzer Company

1x Mk IV F1, 1x III Late J 205
4x Mk III late Js 420
2x 231 Armoured Cars 85
2x Mk IV F2, 1x F1 390


The Germans were going to struggle to deal with the KVs- just as they did in the real world and it is nice to see the Germans wincing for a change.

Mission as encounter, as with FFA we added a 3rd objective to each side to stop a "rugby scrum" from enveloping and it works well with multiplayer games.

This battle represented the start of Operation Winterstorm with the 6th panzer running into advanced elements of a Soviet tank corps (2nd?). The ground counted as frozen snow so standard cross-country rules applied and the Germans got a bonus of limited stuka support.

Turn 1. Ian advances his T34s in a bold flanking move that wrongfoots the Axis players.

Turn 2 the T34 assault up onto a wooded hill but being conscripts  miss almost all the Germans who slink back into the woods.
 The cossacks advance with KV support, Dale retreats his panzer grenadiers.
 The T34s are now unsupported and facing the panzers and reserve pak 38s.
 The cossacks advance continues.
 T60s arrive from reserve and mill around avoiding most things that can kill them.
 The KVs assault the panzer grenadiers driving them back, this is followed by cossack assaults.
 In the background the T34s are no more but Ian's KVs are now advancing on the central objective.
 The cossacks and KVs have driven the panzer grenadiers off the objective but the panzer IIIs are MGing the cossacks- by the end of the game there was one cossack left and he passed a couple of sole survivor tests.
 Ian's KVs have reached the hill and are tangling with the stugs and 2nd panzer grenadier platoon.
 Ian managers to loser a couple of KVs to stugs- 1s are bad!
 However, Albert has pushed up the rest of the panzers to try to grab an objective protected by the dismounted cossacks and 76mm infantry guns. The last 2 45mm guns destroy the small KGed (love the horse artillery rules) and from then on (for the first time in history)  they get called "nasty AT guns" by the German players. AT 7 counted as nasty?
 With the KVs about to win the game Albert throws the panzers forward but defensive fire from the 76mmm infantry gun bails one and knocks out another tank, the tanks retreat and the last one is destroyed in our next turn.

Victory to the Soviets

A fun game that was a real nailbiter. the extra objectives ensured that the players had to spread their forces and both sides had real chances of winning it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

US Paras- winter themed.

One of the forces I've been wanting to do is US paras in winter greatcoats. Warclouds in Feb is being theemd on the Battle of the Bulge and limited to the lastest books (which is a bit of a shame really as the British also played a major part in the battle but will not be eligible for the event by the sounds of it). Anyway, that was all the motiation Ineeded to get cracking on (another) company of US paras. I've picked up the new US infantry (winter) company and added the mortars from the weapons platoon(winter) blister to make a company of US paras. I've 6 infantry stands to do tonight to finish the third platoon, then I'll add some 57mm AT guns and 81mm mortars to round out the force.

Gotta say that I absolutely love the new greatcoat sculpts. I was very disappointed with the last generation of US para figures they were truly awful (dwarfism had taken root) but these sculpts are amongst the best I've seen from BF and I can't recommend them enough. 

I've got All American All the Way which is an excellent history of the 82nd Airborne so will theme the force on the 82nd at Trois Points but using the Nuts 101st briefing.

Here are my initial ideas: 
            HQ      30
9x        Paras- (rifles)- 1x bazooka 235
9x        Paras-(rifles), 1x bazooka   235
2x        81mm Mortars +  bazooka  85
3x        57mm AT guns         110
9x        Glider Rifles- 1x bazooka (CV)      170
4x        Hellcats- CV  410
4x        Stuarts- CV   210
3x        M3 105 howitzers (Glider)- CV      115
            Limited Thunderbolts          150

Option 2 is to add some CT Shermans and ditch the airpower.
            HQ (FV)--2 x SMG    30
9x        Paras- (rifles)- 2x bazookas + Sergeants     250
9x        Paras-(rifles), 2x bazookas 240
2x        81mm Mortars +  bazooka  85
3x        57mm AT guns         110
9x        Glider Rifles (CV), 2x bazookas    175
4x        Hellcats (CV)            410
4x        Shermans (2x 76mm)- (CT)            335
3x        Glider 105s    115

I will also probably add a couple of dismounted 50cal MG teams (which count as gun teams) to the glider rifles to make them a more defensive part of the force.

Anyway, here are the first two platoons. Snow bases are a bit boring so I've added logs to most bases to make them look a bit like the paras are fighting in the woods of the Ardenne.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

More Winter Terrain

The winter terrain building continues. I've had some Woodland Scenic tree armatures lying round for several years so have based them up for winter.  Each is based on a washer for weight. So far I've made 31 trees and have another 15 or so left to make but ran out of permafilla for the bases. I've also made another 8 woods bases, painted them and added Woodland Scenics snow. The original ones think I'll convert to iced ponds and lakes by adding some clear resin.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FoW- Surrounded

We playtested another mission tonight- surrounded. Only rule change was that each attacking company needed to be deployed in one zone. The Soviets ended up attacking. Again the snow counted as slow going.

I ran the same cossacks and Mixed tankovy as last game. Dale couldn't make it so Kent quickly made up a panzer company.

The cossacks deploy in the foreground, the mixed tankovy at the top of screen.
 Turn 1 the Soviets advance...
 Now that is a seriously cool action shot!
 Pak 38s line up the  T34s and T60s.
 When they hit you on 2s you don't tend to last long but being fearless the survivors hang around. 
 But the KVs kill 2x stug Fs and the third runs- first blood to the Soviets.
 A lucky panzer IV F2 shot drills a KV supporting the cossacks.
 But the other KV platoon kill a panzer III and the other panzers are both bogged or bailed so leg it too.
 Meanwhile there is only 1x T34 left.
 Kent and Nigel looking a bit worried.
 The KVs close on the objective.
 And drive back the panzer grenadiers.
 But the following turn the grenadiers fight back, aided by the remaining 2x panzer IVs and the KVs are knocked out- breaking the mixed tankovy as the last T34 and final 2x T60s also flee.
A good fun, and entertaining game. The mission worked well and we will use it for Day of Days to represent either the final attempt to link up or else as the final destruction of the 6th panzer army.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

One of those days...

Yesterday I popped into the local Briscoes store looking for something to use as a gaming cloth for Day of Days. They had some polarfleece blankets (220cm x 160cm or slightly over 6ft x 5 ft) on sale, 40% off which will be perfect so I grabbed a couple (worked out less than $18 for a table).

So today I dug out my winter terrain and decided it needed a bit of work. So I potted about cutting out MDF, plastering, painting and once dry then adding woodlands scenic snow to make some new terrain pieces. I also added woodlands scenic snow to the cossack bases and am much happier with the look- though the camera probably doesn't pick it up well.

So I managed to make:
4x woods templates- which the trees sit on top of.

4x snow drifts
10x fences
I also made 9x bases out of MDF  and rebased some pine tree bases (and added snow to the trees)

This evening I also based up (or rebased in some cases) some Atlas HO fences I'd had lying round for a number of years and had not got round to using- linear terrain is in my opinion one of the most important, yet so often overlooked, terrain features. I am often astounded by the number of tables I see where building sit out in the middle of nowhere without a wall, hedge or fence to be seen.

So all up not a bad days work.

 As you can see I also added snow to the silflor grasses- there has been a recent snow fall.

 A snow drift in the foreground and woods template behind.
 It was a bit of a mission to find these building but eventually I tracked them down- they are from Peter Pig.
 The cornfield shouldn't be there- unless it was an unseasonally early snow fall :) The table is 6ft x 5ft which is the size we'll be using for Day of Days.

Urrah!  The ruined building in the foreground is one I made out of balsa over a decade ago- it has lasted pretty well.The roads were made out of felt covered in No More Gaps and painted several years ago. An easy, cheap and flexible way to make roads (if a bit messy as the No More Gaps doesn't spread that easily).

One of the projects I want to do soon is make some bases for the buildings with walls and/or hedges etc already on them so I simply place the building on the base, and do both summer and snow versions. And another snow table with several balkas on it for out on the steppes...


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Here come the cossacks

Last night I rebased 4 stands of mounted cossacks, which leaves me 12 stands for my "spring/summer" force. Under the new rules I much prefer to use one smaller mounted platoon (typically 9 stands all up) and one larger dismounted platoon. With the large bases I find that fewer mounted cossacks works better for me. The other thing I do I only base 3 figures per stand for the mounted cossacks, which gives me a couple of extra stands of infantry over a whole box. My cossacks were made from to of the old box sets so I have 4x tankcha to make up at some point as well.

I have another 4 stands I have just undercoated and intend to paint up over the weekend and the mounted component will be ready. I'm going to order a platoon of dismounted cossacks and mix them up with the great coated infantry as the dismounted platoons for this force.

Winter bases
The bases are just permafilla which I then highlighted with a gloss white to brighten the up a bit- the permafilla itself is a bit of a "dull" white so the gloss paint lifts it somewhat.  Usually I cover the bases with a combination Woodlands Scenic Snow/ Baking Soda/ PVA glue and water and may end up going down this route again but the permafilla + gloss paint works quite ell. The trick is to use a damp paintbrush to push down the permafilla and make the "snow" smoothish.

I also rebased the mighty 76mm artillery pieces, very cool models. The gunshields have been given a light white wash to blend in with the scenery. These regimental guns are pretty handy as they can be combat attached (as can the 45mm AT versions) giving me lots of flexibility. Of course this means that I will also need to add some horse limbers as well...

 The sun has finally decided to come out so here are some more shots of the Mixed Tankovy. I used Vallejo Off White, which is almost a very pale grey shade, but might dab them again with their brighter white shade to highlight them a bit more.
 The mighty KV 1E with no tigers or panthers to worry about the Soviets will have the upper hand and for once the Germans will have to try too apply tactics to deal with Soviet heavies- just like they actually had to do (gee, who would have figured?). Its the Soviet heavies like these that forced the Germans to up gun their panzer IIIs and IVs and introduce the marder series, tigers and panthers. Stalingrad and Kharkov '43 were in some ways the last hurrah for the KV series as once the panthers arrived they quickly became obsolete and were replaced the following spring with the new JS series- it always astounds me how much tank development occurred in WWII over such a (relatively) short period of time. From T26s and T60s to JS IIs in but a few short years, it really was a revolution in tank evolution. 
 T34s- there is always one which refuses to line up properly on parade!
 T60s- Being rated as "half tracked" in FoW they will be totally useless in the snow :)
 And finally, the view from where I paint. I look out over a park to the harbour and city, could be worse spots to paint from :)