Friday, October 31, 2014

BA Early War Germans

I hadn't picked up a brush or rolled a die in a few weeks but Tony at the club has just finished his Early War French army so popped down to see him at the club Weds and arranged a game for next week. I don't usually get to use my axis forces so its a great opportunity to get them out for a game but it meant I needed to finish off a few bits and pieces.

Early-Mid War has always been my preferred gaming periods for World War Two, there are none of the usual suspects when it comes to equipping Germans- no assault rifles, no big cats, and indeed German tanks are often inferior to their opponents.

So last night I finished off my pioneers and added a pak 36 door knocker to round out the force, as well as highlighting the uniforms on the infantry. I've used an eclectic range of figures- a few Assault Group, a squad of Warlord Early War Germans, as well as a few from Crusader Miniatures & Black Tree Design to round things out. Out of the ranges I think I prefer the Crusader figures for ease of painting and detail- they just paint up so well. The Warlord figures aren't bad but are a bit fiddly to paint and (as seems common with Warlord Game figures) had plenty of flash.

Each Squad is 10 men- SMG armed NCO, 7x riflemen and an MG34 LMG. That gives me plenty of flexibility in deciding how many troops to field in the squad. As with most of my figures I prefer to multibase. I have 4x 2 figure round bases, a single rifleman (which is used to repalce single losses) and single SMG figure.

First Squad

2nd Squad. The NCO  in this squad is from TAG.
3rd (Pioneer) Squad. This squad has 12 figures as it also has a flamethrower team (Black Tree Designs) as well as obligatory LMG team (I don't care about the online arguments about their pints cost, its just not WII without obligatory squad level LMG team, and in fact I find the extra range to be damn handy). Again the squad is a mix of all the ranges.

Warlord Games MG 34 MMG and 81mm Mortars for additional support.
 My vehicles and AT guns.
 A Warlord Games pak 36.
 A Blitzkrieg Miniatures (I think) pak 38 for games in Russia. It was pretty fiddly to put together but turned out all right eventually.

 Warlord Games SDKFZ 251/1 and SDFFZ222 armoured cars and a Blitzkrieg Miniatures Stug D.

 I need to add a few trucks at some stage and a motorcycle combo or two to round out the force. I've based my Early War Germans on the Gross Deutschland Regiment in  France. They were one of the few units to be supported by the then still new and experimental Stug D assault guns- I think one or two batteries of Stug D were involved in the invasion of France. Helmet Spaeter's book The History of Panzer Korps Gross Deutschland has some excellent small scale actions that would be perfect to wargame. It can also be used as a mid War Gross Deutschland force easy enough and it will also provide the core of a LW force. I like the idea id a motorised infantry platoon in trucks with a motorcycle or two in the vanguard. My only issue, i hate the way transports work in Bolt Action- it is one of the frustrating things about the game to me. 

Where to from here? 
I intend to add a squad or two of Artizan LW Germans for more variety (and for LW games) at some point and have ordered a squad of their EW Germans in Great Coats as a 4th squad.  I like both the Artizan and Crusader Miniatures figures for rank and file troops but I absolutely HATE their ridiculously oversized MP40s! Check this out: 

WTF are those things those Crusader Miniatures figures are carrying? They sure as hell aren't 28mm scaled MP40s! So I'm not sure who I will use to add more SMGs but aren't keen on those ones.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

BA- US Paras's vs Fallschrimjager

I haven't done much gaming of late. Dale and I had a game of Twilight Struggle (my favourite Cold War era board game) the other week, which Dale narrowly won.

Kent popped round for another game of Bolt Action a couple of weeks ago, this time his FJ trying to force a crossing over a US para held bridge, somewhere in Normandy. The mission was envelopment so Kent got extra points for getting units off the table. This time he left his stug at home adding airpower instead. He also chose to add a nebelwefer observer (one of our local rules for LW Germans)

The Germans atacked from the left.
 The initial bomardment pinned a few units but casualties were light.
 My paras prepare to enter the wooded area to contest a ford.
 A view down the American positions- the closest building to the river held a sniper and glider infantry team.
 Fallschrimjager are soon spotted infiltrating forward.
 Luckily for us "The Grim Reaper" was released from reserve to add its weight to our firepower.
 n enemy armoured car takes up position across the river while my paras move forward to put a mortar team under small arms fire.
 The armoured car puts my infantry in the building under 20mm autocanon fire but luckily it is soon strafed by the US airforce and takes several pins.
 Menwhile the FJ cross open ground in front of the river.

 The armoured car, although hving 6 pins mnages to reverse to a crossroads and away from my bazooka team
 The advancing FJ take fire from mysquads but continue their advance. By now things were well and truely heating up for the Americans.
 At the ford e prepare to repel the Germans.
 But in the next turn the Germans get the first die and as they are within 6" there is no defensive fire- uh oh
 Only three men surived to counter atack, they did nowhere near enough damage and surrender.
 The Germans now have a toehold on our side of the river- and their panzershrek team has also knocked out my M16!
 I send troops across to bolster my right flank, but too little, too late. Kent was moving every avaialble team across the river and into the woods.

 Trying to get a few points back I launch an attack across the bridge and take out a squad. In the distance the 222 armoured car remained pinned and ineffective.
 Result: A win the the Germans. I thought 2 squads and an M16 would have been enough in the woods but it proved not so, my defences were brushed aside the the Germans quickly reinforced the bridgehead and consolidated their gains. Another good game though.

Friday, October 3, 2014

More reinforcements

A Warlord Games tiger 1. Not sure how useful it will be in the game but who doesn't like a Tiger 1?

I need ot pick up some Artisan infantry to support it late war- the only ting putting me off is the silly SMG armed troops of artisan- the MP 40s are totally out of scale

And for the Soviets the ubiquitous SU 76, Suka. Again from Warlord Games. The SU 76 was the second most produced Soviet armoured vehicle after the T34.

 I also picked up one of the new Warehouse sets, I'd been eyeing up similar terrain from other manufacturers but as postage is always a conern decided to add it to my last Warlord Games order- free postage is hard to beat.


Dug in Markers finished

The completed dug in markers

Next up will probably be a tiger and SU 76 for my German and Soviet armies.