Monday, October 29, 2012

LW Hungarians?

One of those half finished forces I've had lying round. I had a bit of a brainwave the other day while reviewing ideas for the Masters, why not Hungarians? I had a 7 stand platoon of infantry from my Southcon 2011 (MW Hungarian armour) force but if I was to run motorised infantry needed to paint a few more stands up

So last night I churned out: 12 infantry stands, 2x HMG stands and 4x command stands. Which I think is not a bad effort really. all painted and based in one evening.

Some highlights are still needed tonght but they are table ready.

Not sure I'll take it but this is what I am thinking of:

Hungarian Motorised Infantry (CV)         
            HQ + Shrek   50
9x        R/MG + P/F   195
9x        R/MG + P/K   190
2x        HMGs 70
3x        Hungarian Pak 40s   155
3x        Hungarian Panthers           550
3x        Zrinyi  225
2x        Nimrods         115
3x        Nebelwerfers (CT)   85
            Sporadic HS 129s    115

Of course I still need the Zrinyi's, Hungarian Pak 40s and Hungarian Nebelwerfers. Tonights job is to convert three panthers to make them Hungarian ones.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

FoW- LW Germans

I decided to do a roll call of my Late War Germans, I've a few other bits and pieces that took some damage in the move and need to be repaired but this is most of my collection. It includes 4x platoons of LW infantry as well as my Europe and Cassino Fallschrimjager (2 platoons of each + supports).

All except for 3x panzer IVs are Battlefront. The funny thing is of all the tanks the ones that most often get fielded are 4x Marder II & 4x panzer IVs or stugs. I can't remember the last time I actually ran an Armoured company.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Black Powder

We managed a game of Balck Powder at the club tonight. Kent and Lewis, vs Stephen, Simon and myself. Stepphen has completed to batttalions of Prussians so it was 11 battalions of infantry per side. The French used two comands (5 and 6 battalions) while we used 3 (4-4-3).

Some poor command rolls mean the French advance is somewhat uncoordianted.
 Even so Kent gets a unit quickly onto my flank- as per usual.
 On the far left the Prussians (who can actually shoot) engage in a fire fight vs Lewis' command.
 In the centre though a couple of French battalions are broken and the Russians go onto the attack.
 Kent's command breaks (for the first time ever) and eimon and my troops pivot left to aid Stephen while the French cavalry ride onto salvage some pride.
 End game. This battalion of Lewis' is about to get annihilated.

As it turned out Kent's command dice early on cost him dearly with him lauching several haphazard and ill-coordinated advances allowing us to gang up on his units and destroy them piecemeal. I am happy to report the first ever Russian victory- though the Prussians claim it was due to their input . At the end of the game we had smashed Kent's command and Lewis' was in serious trouble whilst the cavalry, which had arrived late for both sides,  was clashing on our far left flank.


LW Motorised Panzer Grenadiers

A busy couple of nights while I await the Perry order. I’ve rebased two more platoons of DAK, as wwell as HMGs, mortars and a couple more pak 36r AT guns, so I’ve now 4 platoons finished. Last night I also repainted:4x marders, 1x hornise (finally found the fourth AWOL hornisse) and put together my first kingtiger (which was a bit tricky to do actually) and painted it up in an ambush scheme. Added to that I repainted 3x pak 40s, 3 pumas and a Stuka Ze Fuss so all told it was a bit mad really. 

The main reason I’ve been painting LW Germans is that I had some much fun with the motorised panzer grenadiers at Conquest that I am going to do the same, albeit in LW, for the Masters in  Wellington. I’ve run a few, okay a lot of, random ideas past Poochie and Bede and have narrowed it down to the following list.

            LW Motorised PGs (Grey Wolf, p80)
            HQ      45
7x        MG teams + P/K       190
7x        MG teams      185
5x        Armoured Pioneers (5x 251s)        210
            2x Stuka Ze Fuss     70
3x        Pak 40s          155
4x        Marder II         260
1x        Kingtiger        345
3x        Werfers + extra crews          180
2x        37mm AA half tracks           110
I have tried to include everything that want to run (and have almost managed it, I’m only missing pumas from my must run list). However, the main goal has been to try and squeeze in a platoon of armoured panzer pioneers with a Stuka Ze Fuss or two, and a king tiger. I don’t expect the tiger to do much but the heaviest armour I usually run LW are marder IIs and panzer IVs or stugs so it will make for a major change. 

 Originally I had intended to go Motostrelkovy but Bede thinks there are probably a lot more Allied than German forces at present so that decided it for me. Anything to try to minimise the number of blue on blue games.


As you see the panzerwerfers need to be repainted.

Monday, October 22, 2012

FoW: Conquest 2012

Conquest 2012 report

This weekend as the 10th annual Conquest competition in Christchurch. I’ve been to them all (possibly the only player to make them all, though Poochie must have been present at almost all them too).

WIn the enxt fe days we are about to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Alamein so the weekend's theme was…Alamein for the MW comp. All forces had to be appropriate for the battle and it was run as an axis of attack style game with the number of victories per side dictating which side attacked and defended each round- so infantry got to attack tanks. 

My DAK Panzer Grenadiers
·         HQ- 2x SMG teams
·         7x MG teams & 2x pak 38s
·         7x MG teams
·         2x Bison
·         4x 76.2 pak 36(r) artillery
·         4x Marder III
·         4x Semovante & Carri Comando 

Going into the comp I was worried that I lacked enough infantry and that a third platoon would have been better than the bisons but the bisons look cool so wanted to give them a go. Would I regret this decision? Only time would tell.Unfortunately I forgot to take a camera so no photos. 

Game 1: No Retreat vs Jeff L
To represent the fury of the initial bombardment the Germans started pinned and the british launched a night attack on all tables. Jeff ran hat is my typical mid ar British list: 3x infantry paltoons, carriers, shermans, 6 pdr portees and 8x 25 pdrs. By turn 2 3 infantry platoons were in my defences and assaulting. My panzer grenadiers were forced to retreat from  railway (Alamain station?) and things were looking grim as all platoons ere at full strength. 

Turn 2 I managed to pin one platoon and it did not unpin, which as critical as it made his assaults on turn 3 slightly disjointed and I was able to see them off. In the end my marder ambush was revealed to cut down on the nasty 25 pdrs by using range ot my advantage and turn 4 my reserves had just made it close enogh to throw Jeff off the forward objective in a desperate counter assault. His last assault was met by a hail off pak 38, mader and MG 34 fire and driven back (pinned) and with 2 infantry platoons either destroyed on at a few teams and the third about to be MGed to death (hopefully) he surrendered- a surrender I gratefully accepted. The bison had just appeared from reserve and so they claimed it as their appearance that decided ot gae. In reality I think it as the failure to unpn on turn 2 as I did not have sufficient forces to throw back assaults by all three platoons of British infantry.

To tell the truth I think Jeff threw in the towel too early, his portees and Shermans were still a major threat, the carriers were in my end zone and the 25 pdrs still doing damage and  so I could have easily lost a couple of platoons of been thrown back- the 1st platoon had passed a couple of morale tests.

Lesson learned : Even pinned panzer grenadiers can throw back assaults with RoF 2. Pre comp I was wondering if I would regret not being panzer pioneers but this game made me glad to have taken the infantry as MG teams.

Game 2: Counter Attack vs Bob "Pip Roberts" Pearce.
The Germans successfully held the first nights attack (5-1 IIRC) so an immediate counter attack (Cauldron) was launched and so my panzer grenadiers found themselves attacking a British armoured company of Pip Roberts, 2x platoons of shermans, 2x platoons of stuarts and humber ACs.

Bob deployed his humbers in an oasis defending an objective and his his tanks round a village in a wadi while my infantry surrounded the position. 

Lets just say this was a lesson in dice rolling. My random deployent was exactly where I wanted it. I managed to get a stuart early as my dug in infantry waited for reinforcements to help. When the Shermans started to arrive it was all on. My marders drove on blasted the shermans, killing 1 and bailing 2 Pip “Oi, you over there stand your ground” Roberts  kept them in the game and then the last platoon of Shermans and Stuarts arrived and in the next two turns Bob blasted my force to pieces. Bob’s dice during these two turns were simply hot- he passed 4 top armour saves vs Bisons, destroyed the marders and the 76.2s followed by the bison and semovantes- two lost to the RAF and a 3rd picked off my a grant in a single turn while saving almost everything I threw back in return. 
An example of how the dice gods abandoned me as when m 76.2s desperate for a single point aimed at 2 surviving stuarts hitting 2, both of which rolled 6s for saves and I failed the two firepower tests. 6-1 to Bob. Ouch!

Lessons learned: Pip is very handy. He allowed two platoons rerolls that kept them on table- without those rerolls I would have had a lot less incoming fire on turn 3 and 4 (not to mention I'd have scrounged a couple of points) so the game might not been quite so one sided. I really couldn’t have got a better deployment, my stuff was exactly where I wanted it and supporting each other but the 76.2 (r) doesn’t quite cut it vs Shermans at long range, almost all their hits bounced. It was a lesson in massing your firepower really.

Well played Bob, I think we are now 2-2.

Game 3: Dust Up vs Lionel
I hadn't played Lionel before so was looking forward to the game. As the British British had regained the momentum and both sides were throwing in more reseves in (a 4-2 win that round to the British overall) so I faced Lionel’s massive British rifle force: 10 platoons (4x infantry, deacons, portees, carrirs, humber ACs, 8x 25 pdrs). He deployed 2x platoons, 6 pdrs and full 25 pdr battery vs my defensive PGs (with pak 38s), 76,2(rs) and semovantes.  So basically his deployment zone was already an extremely powerful defensive position.

Lionel moved his infantry forward then dug in while I simply dug in and waited for help as the Semovantes could not tangle with the 6 pdrs, and the 25pdrs were too far back for my artillery to pick off with direct fire. Pretty soon I started to take losses to the large template and "murder" of the artillery (but some extremely lucky dice rolling from me meant I lost a lot less than I should have). I decided I was not going to win by taking Lionel’s objective but that my best best was to destroy his reserves as the they came on (hopefully) piece meal so moved the semovantes back towards his reserves area and my marders headed that ay as soon as they came on too. 

It s a long, tense game as we nibbled away at each other. Eventually my marders sniped 3x 25 pdrs at range but the 6 pdr gun line with supporting infantry prevented me getting closer to the objectives. Lionel threw his first platoon on reserves at my infantry and even pinned I just d
generated enough dice to throw the back (this hasty assault whcih had it come off would have turned my defence wwas i hindsight the only rash move form Lionel and possibly sung the game for me).  However, we then sniped away at each other (semovantes and marders really don't want to risk a gun dual vs portees) but in the end I took out the deacons and then the recce platoons and got at the two recce platoons. Lionel continued to attack aggressively and in the end, with time almost up on the clock I destroyeda 6th platoon and forced a company morale test which he failed. I lost the bisons to a single round of artillery fire from the 25 pdrs and should have lost my first platoon of PGs but they somehow stayed one team above their morale despite repeated attempts from lionel to finish them off. 

So a hard fought 5-2. Lionel had a really tough force and handled it well, playing aggressively. I had to wait till I'd made an opening to try to get through his reserve and  into his deployment area to grab an objective as I  simply lacked enough infantry to force the issue and needed to rely on my mobile units to grind Lionels force down.  It as never going to be easy for me and took much longer than I’d intended as I simply did not have enough infantry to deal with his 4 platoons. I was really impressed with how Lionel handled his force and wouldn't want to face it again in a hurry. It was a long, tough fight that was very enjoyable.

Lesson learned: Pinned panzer grenadiers teams are worth their weight in gold. My bisons also managed their first kills: a recce carrier and 2 deacons!   British artillery is damn nasty when it gets to repeat bombard.     

Day 2: Game 4- Pincer vs Stephen Hoare’s Sherman horde
The momentum had returned to the British winning 4 games in round 3 (IIRC). Stehpen’s last 2 games had lasted 2o minutes each for a 6-1 and a 1-6. I deployed my PGs + pak 38s on the forward objective, 76.2 ( rs) slightly behind them and marders in ambush. Stephen drove straight at the forward platoon and assaulted on turn 2. Defensive fire bailed a Sherman and he killed one team. I retreated and let rip with the pak 38s and pak 36rs killing one Sherman and bailing 3 others. My infantry assaulted and captured the 4 bailed shermans, including the company commander. Turn 3 he repeated bogging a sherman and I again retreated. Marders now ambushed (killing 1 bailing another sherman but missing at close range 6 times vs trained Shermans!) and the paks bailed another one. I assaulted the last Sherman and killed it, capturing the bailed ones and breaking his company. 6-1
Wow, not at all what I expected. 

It was so fast we rolled up another mission (Counter attack) and had a close 4-3 win to me.

Lessons learned: GtG infantry + paks can survive tank assaults- just but it could very of easily gone 6-1 the other way. Shermans are beasts! Who needs panzer knackers?

Game 5: Fighting withdrawal vs Poochies Aussies.
It was now neck and neck with about the same number of wins per side but running out of reserves and with the writing on the wall, Rommel ordered a fighting withdrawal. Poochie and his fearless Vet Aussies planned to cut off my retreat. Poochie was running 3x platoons (sticky bombs to the max), carriers, mortars, 4x 25 pdrs, 3x fearless vet Stuarts.

I put my infantry + pak 38s in ambush and waited for the inevitable infantry assaults- which happened from turn 2! It turned out to be a blood bath in the dark. As expected Aussie attack after Aussie attack as launched and in one of our typically crazy games (it as played at night until the start of turn 6- the final turn- when Poochie broke my company). Highlights for me included an infantry counter assault that destroyed 6 teams and so eliminated one platoon of Aussies (ya a point). Poochie’s company commander singling out my company commander and killing him in assault only to have my 2iC return the favour in my counter assault leaving us both commander-less. A bison killing  carrier in direct fire- just because he could!

 Low lights included failing to storm trooper my marders, losing 1 to portees and having one double bailed and another bailed. The double bailed one fled dragging the last two with it. 

The semovantes were the last platoon to die as the portees (which had just survived a serious MGing from my infantry) roared into the last semovantes to finish them off (Poochie had gun tanked the carri commando so the semovantes were stuck!) to break y force.

Poochie launched lots of assaults as did I (spoiling attacks we'll call them) and at the end of the game he’d lost 3 platoons and had a total of 5 infantry stands (which equalled the remnants of more two platoons) on table (but also is mortars, portees and   25 pdrs) vs my 5 infantry stands- so yes it could hve gone either way and yes it as a bloodbath.

4-3 to Poochie and for quite while I was wondering if I’d manage to get any points. I knew I’d be stretched defending vs Poochie's aggressive style and didn't think I had enough infantry for the job and so it proved but it was a very entertaining, topsy-turvey game. 

The last round the British won 4 games again (IIRC) and so after several days of hard tough fighting broke though the German lines and own the battle.

The weekend was a great success, lots of forces fielded that typically don’t get seen and the axis of attack narrative worked really well. With all the tables being treated as roads the portees were damn dangerous (24” move) and with the new rules of gunshields are  very handy. Another really enjoyable aspect was the theme and limitations meant that the Sherman was the king of battle as it was at the actual battle and for once was a midwar monster to face. 

Bob’s Pip Roberts force as the run away winner and my panzer grenadiers were top axis and 2nd overall just pipping Poohie (and Chris W’s pioneers +8x marders)by a point so but it was a very close competition. 

Thanks to all my opponents for the games, thoroughly enjoyable and I learned a lot of 3E changes that I wasn't aware of. 

Post Comp Changes
As expected the bison were pants and are probably the main change I’d make. I’d also probably replace the semovantes with 4x carri so as to get a 3rd platoon with 2 more pak 38s. 2 platoons of infantry just doesn’t cut it AFAIK.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how tough the RoF 2 pinned panzer grenadiers are on defence  and can’t recommend them enough!

Desert Terrain
I also need to make some decent wadi terrain- I’ve a couple of ideas I’ve experimented with before. I really need to get a better 3D look to my desert boards so will make polystyrene wadi’s that fit under the cloth to give depth the table and then scatter terrain on top, it may be a project to complete soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

ACW: Two Brigades... almost

Only two stands to finish my first two brigades of ACW. I recieved Fire N Fury yesterday but alas have little interest in trying it. My objective these days is to keep the rule sets I use to a minimum:
  • Impetvs for Ancients/Dark Ages
  • Black Powder for ACW/Napoleonics
  • FoW for WWII

I don't really have the time or energy to try new rule sets (hence no Saga on the list- it looks like fun but I just don't like skirmish gaming), so with that in mind I'll probably just use Fire and Fury when we go up for Gettysburg and for when Rodger teaches us the rules.

So here are the two brigades. I added an independence Flag of Alabama to Law's Alabama Brigade to tell them a part from the rest of the troops, probably ahistorical but it is all about being able to easily identify troops on table as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, I think they are coming along quite nicely.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

FoW: Conquest 2012

Next weekend is the 10th Conquest.  I've played Flames at them all so am looking forward to the weekend.

The next couple of weekends is the 70th anniversary of Alamein so the theme for the event is the (third) Battle of Alamein. I was tempted to run a tank company after last weekend for some quick games (either Panzers of Carri) but there are already several panzer companies so decided to go with the panzer grenadiers- though I am tempted to run them as pioneers (losing a pak 38 if I do go down that line). This force is built round my back up force for the Worlds a couple of years ago but have added some Semovante's at the expense of my second marder platoon (mainly so I'm not too similar to Chris Ws force). I have included the Bison mainly as the models look cool, not because I expect them to do anything useful, and have picked equipment (marders, semovante and bison) as I like the models more than because of what I expect them to do on table. I as tempted to take carri instead of Semovante's but as far as I'm aware there are no Semovante's being taken so it would be wrong not to include them for the weekend.  

The army assembled.
 2x infantry platoons (one with 2x pak 38s)
 Artillery: pak 36rs- mainly for their 32" range.
 Bison, Semovante and Marder IIIs.

I've to paint up a staff team for the artillery but otherwise it is good to go.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ACW: Perry' Plastics & Steve Barber Models

Last night I painted up two stands of Steve Barber models to try them out- really nice to paint and sharp detail (much better defined than the Perry plastics, but the Perry's are fine). A few Perry's with Barber headswaps are also included on the stands. The command stand are all Perry's, including a skirmisher. As I said the other day the two ranges work well together.