Monday, March 31, 2014

More Kiwi reinforcements

Today my last order from Warlord games arrived just in time for Wednesday's game. A 6pdr and Sherman- a MV which will be used as a Kiwi Mk III.

 The Sherman still requires highlighting and some weathering but is now useable for Wedsnesday's game.


"Fixing" Bolt Action Germans

There has been a lot of discussion about German special abilities in BA (though no-one seems to complain about the cheap assault rifles). Kent for instance feeling that his SS should have some sort of special ability (personally I think that the SS were overrated wannabies and I'd never field them on principle bit that's just me- I'd happily field fallschrimjager though).

Anyway after our game last week Kent and I discussed ways of giving the Germans "an edge". So using the British national characteristics as a guide have come up with a range of options to allow the Germans a bit more  flexibility. No one is going to pop round and confiscate our rules or models and it might just ad another dimension of fun to the game.

So here are the choices I''ve come up with for Kent (some based on already existing rules others things I think might be cool). He can choose one to add a bit of flavour to his army. 

 Choose one of the following special rules for your army.

If forced to check their morale when reduced to half strength then infantry teams always test at their full morale value ignoring  any pinned markers (source: AoGB p24).
All regular and veteran infantry roll bonus attack dice when fighting in close combat. For every three men fighting in the combat roll one extra die eg 7 men would be 2 extra rolls (source: AoGB, p18)
For the fuhrer
If the army has this rule then any order given to make an assault is automatically treated as having been passed- the unit is assumed to have rolled whatever order dice score is needed to pass the test. This rule does not apply to inexperienced troops- including any units that started out as ‘green’.
All German infantry teams automatically get anti-tank grenades for free.

Post 1943: 1x free panzerfausts per infantry platoon.

The army are panzer grenadiers and get 1x hanomag half track for free.

1-2 infantry units can be given tough status.

This costs an additional 1pt per man.  
Moaning Minnies
Your force has the support of a nearby battery of nebelwerfer artillery. You get a free artillery forward observer. This does not count
towards the limit of observers for your reinforce platoon; he is additional and free. Artillery observers cannot be included in a force whose selector does not include Artillery observers in the first place.

Not sure about the tough rule might be siimpler to make it a standard ability but then we'd run the risk of all Germans being tough all the time so thought a pts increase would mae it a less "must have unit". Of course it could be limited to SS or FJ units.

I think having nebelwerfers is very Germanic and an iconic weapon so want to include it- and equals out the British artillery rules. We will see how they play. 


What a find!

I was wandering past our property managers office on Friday and the guys were looking through a pile of old newspapers that our property manager had found in a house he bought many years ago and had had in storage. The first paper on top caught my eye, dated 25 October 1916 so I stopped and had a closer look.

The newspaper, the Otago Witness, had page after page of photos of soldiers who had been killed or wounded in France. On Oct 4th 1916 the NZ division joined the battle of Passchendaele and the 12th of October is the NZ army’s worst day in history with 3700 casualties including 800 dead. Given the delay in getting info back home in the early 20th Century no doubt the casualty lists published in newspapers, such as the Otago witness, up and down the country were the first inkling for  families at home of the big offensive. Can you imagine opening the paper each morning to scan the lists of pictures to see if your brother, uncle, father, son or a family friend or relative, was one of those who had been killed or wounded. It must have been hell for those at home as well as those serving overseas. To put it in context, NZ lost 5 soldiers in 10 years in Afghanistan. These young faces say it all really.

NZ had a proud military history in World War One. With a population of only 1 million more than 100,000 men and women (including both my grandfathers) served, and 40,000 were killed or wounded. These images, change that from mere stats to actual people with lives, families, hopes and dreams.

The second paper, dated 4th November had even more pictues of the wounded and fallen but what struck me from the newspapers, which are almost 100 years old, was the juxtaposition between the pages of casualty figures and images of a local horse racing and other local events- life going on as normal.

There were plenty more issues from WWI and I was very tempted to ask to borrow them and photograph them all but I suggested that the papers be taken to the local museum which I know is putting together displays for the commemoration of WWI.  However, images like these should be published and put online so that we can all access our social history and not be hidden away in a vault somewhere.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

More kiwis

My final section for my NZ platoon in Italy was done on Friday night along with the carriers- though more highlighting was done tonight.

Sniper and light mortar.
 The three sections.

 The carrier- which will be used as a transport/tow.
 And the centrepiece of the entire force, the Staghound, which was done this evening. The NZ Divs Divisional Cavalry reequipped with Staghounds prior to arriving in Italy in Oct-Nov 1943. Although a very cool armoured car its size meant it was not exactly the most practical recce vehicle on the narrow roads of Italy and eventually the Div Cav was disbanded and became an infantry battalion to help address the manpower shortage in the NZ Div. The Kiwis even converted the 37mm armed staghounds to carry 3" howitzers. They also added 25pdr boxes to the front and rear mudguards for extra stowage.

The model is a blitzkrieg miniatures Staghound 1 and is a very very nice model!


Now I need to find some 28mm NZ silver fern div tactical signs