Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Projects for 2012

Being a typical war game hobbyist I am usual have a number of projects going on. Also being a bit of a procrastinator I am doing my list of goals and projects for 2012 at the end January rather than the beginning.

So without further adue here we are
Personal Goals:
1) attend a convention.  Believe it or not this is something I have never done.  I am planning to go to Huzzah in Portland ME.
2) Participate in a FOW tournament. this is linked to the goal above.
3) Run a Black Powder war game/tactical exercise  for Regiment Saintonge.  This is something Steven and I have talked about for a long time as a way to give people and idea of what they have to deal with as commanders in terms of tactics and derision making.

Painting Goals:
1) Finish My Free French Tirailerurs Senegalese and Decourverte de combat force for FOW
2) Paint at least 3 more units of Napoleonic French before Huzzah.
3) Paint up my Gebirgsjagers for use as a German Infantry force in the late war league.

4) Paint more 7YW and WAS 15mm to reduce my "lead debt" resulting from large number of these figures bought or received as gifts from Robert Burr.

Reading Goal:  find good books on the Eastern Front (WW II) and Napoleonic wars to improve my knowledge of these conflicts. Please give me your recommendations.

Bonus Goal: Find some use for my FOW Russians either field a Russian army or find a buyer.

That should be a good set of projects, maybe not a years worth but it should keep me busy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Free French Vs. Stutzpunkt

My brave legionnaires were once more called upon to assault an Axis fortified position. This as a new FOW V3 mission called counter attack you can get the another view of it here: http://ajs-wargaming.blogspot.com/2012/01/australia-day-ew-north-africa.html.

As you can see our forces deployed at almost knife range. AJ had several powerful bunker and a good defensive force but there was another objective he had to go after that was out side his position.

Turn one I was able to use smoke to naturalize his 88 Bunker and recon moves got my Australian cavalry carrier platoon on the objective. The fine French VB took out the 2cm AA bunker to my front. After a few game I have to say that killing bunkers is not that bad if you can get in range of them and you have a descent fire power.  My French vets with VB grenade launchers have been very successful at this if they can get in Range! (German and British Light mortars with at 16" range would be even better). 

AJ counter with his Panzer IIs and so the hilarity began... as Axis and Allied tanks tried desperately to kill each other but never got better than a bail.  AJ would kill my Aussies but the Free French H39 tanks and Panzer IIs would bounce shot after shot off each-other turn after turn.

I did try a right hook with my Legion sappers but though my initial attack was successful driving off AJ's command team HMG fire and bad save kill more than half my men and the legionnaires took cover behind the hill. My 75s took out the 88 and would spend the rest of the game bouncing shells off of Panzer IIs.  I love the French 75 but as a tank kill by bombardment it leaves much to be desired.

Both company commanders were kill and both of us forgot to treat them as heroes something every one in the group needs to remember. AJ and I agreed to call the battle a draw as the time was approaching mid night and I had work in the morning.

Friday, January 27, 2012

For sale posting for a friend

 A Friend of mine has to sell some figures.  He has most of a Polish armored infantry company 1st Free Polish. Here are some pictures of his tanks.

A "Brutal" night of gaming

Got in two games with AJ last night.

The first game consisted of my 1750 Panzer Force leading with its chin and getting leveled by AJ's Australians. In three turns of play I lost all of my Panzers and my Pioneers in return I killed AJs Staff team... that's all!

The second game was my FF Legion against AJ's German "tobruk" force. I will post more about this game latter but as I have not had a chance to down load photos and didn't get to bed until almost 1am. There were two main lesson from this battle. The First is that 3 Panzer IIs cannot kill 3 Hochkiss H39s and vices verse.  The 2nd is that Fortified companies and "corner" missions are a bad combination.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Panzer Company 1500 pionts

Above is my Panzer company  1500 points including transports, recovery vehicle, bailed out tank crews and two objectives. My Panzer IVs were fetured recently but here are some of my other platoons.

My reading of history tells me armor needs infantry suport but Flames of War may not work that way still I have my platoon of pioneers.  They are only rifle teams but the comand has SMG and they can carry three Flamethrows.
 My most important suport platoon a battery of 10.5 CM howitzers.  They are good at digging out infantry and can kill tanks even Matildas (with the help of a little luck).

My Panzer IIs this platoon is suprizingly effective they have numbers and a gun with a good rate of fire.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Escalation League Encounter 1500 Points

Chris and I were both a little sick of the Big Push mission so we rolled randomly and got Encounter (number 2 in your rule book).

I started with two platoons on the table. After much consideration I put down my 10.5 cm and my Pioneers each on one the objectives I had to defend. This was probably not the right choice...

Chris Deployed his massive 25 pounder battery and an infantry platoon.

The first several turns consisted of artilery 'sniping' at each other and rolling for reserves.  Chriss go the better of both.

He took out my guns one at a time and got his Universal carries and an infantry platoon on before I got my fist platoon of tanks.

I was able to take out his universal carriers but that was a poor trade for a battery of 10.5 cms! It was a t about this time that Chris brought on his two Matildas! Not good for me!

I tried to launch and attack with my Panzer IIs and Panzer IVs and even managed to route one of his infantry platoons.  The retribution of his Matildas and 25s was swift and I was soon Tankless. At this point Iresorted to some questionable command arrangements (that seemed right at the time but on refection are probably not correct in the rules) to try and get some men over to the second objective but it was 10:30 PM so I conceaded.

Good Game Chris I thought it was like July or something then I walked out into the snow!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Panzer Paint Job

Initially I had painted my Panzer IVDs in Panzer gray. As my army developed I decided I really preferred the desert paint scheme to that used in early war Europe. So as my army developed these guys looked more and more out of place. Anyway I had the time to do something about this this weekend so repainted (sort of).

According to Battle Front German panzer shipped to Africa with Panzer Gray paint jobs were covered with mud and dust so they would blend with their surroundings. Unit markings were left clear.

Here is my interpretation of this approach(I also added decals to the Panzers).

I also snaped a shot of the with the company CO who was done in desert colors from the start but now has his decals. The shot was taken while both were drying from a final coat of sealer

Napoleonic Infantry and Dragoons

Got a chance to finish a number of projects over the weekend so here they are.

Unit of French infantry in field uniforms. They carry the flag of the 2nd regiment picked because it was the easiest to cut out. The 2nd regiment was formed in 1776 as part of the reforms instituted at that time standardizing all regiments to the same 2 battalion set up. The 2nd and 4th Battalions of the 1st Picardie regiment were taken and reformed as the 2nd Provenance Regiment. Regional title were abandon with the French Revolution.

The next is another French unit this one dressed for bad weather in great coats. I have to say I am very pleased with how the came out.

This is a close up of the unit commander who is wearing his great coat open (silly officer). I also like the drummer hunched over and carrying his drum over his shoulder.

Here we have the Irish Legion made up of Irish exiles and deserters form the British army and Navy. I do not yet have their colors but I hope to find some one who makes them in the near future.

This is a close up of the Unit Commander standard bearer and a Sapper with his ax and bushy beard. Behind him are the unit musicians a drummer and a a fifer. Fifers are the forgotten musicians of war gaming so when I saw this one (from Front Rank) I had to have him.

I also have completed six stands of dragoons enough for two three stand units or one larger one (our group normally has cavalry at 4 stands)

Finally my dragoon officer.

Also I have completed my French army commander. I am very pleased with how this came out.

The cloak is based off one I own not a historical example. Still I think the Green mantle and black (faded slightly gray) cloak looks good and is something that might reasonably have existed.

This top down shot is for the basing fans out there

Friday, January 13, 2012

Escalation League Free French Big push

Another game night at Adler hobby. AJ showed up and since I had played him last time Chris got to go against him. Looked like a fun game, AJ managed to win because Chris drove his Matildas into 'woods' and bogged bot tanks. AJ jumped on him like with an infantry assault and that end the "Waltzing" for the night.

This is a picture I took of Chris basting his way through AJ's defenses early in the game while Gordon was talking to the Reporter who is doing a piece on Adler Hobby.

Once Gordon was done working on PR he set up his Italian positional force and I prepared my French Foreign Legion/Free French force. You may remember last time I tried to attack this force I got creamed!

As you can se Gordon had formidable front line

This time I got a preliminary bombardment that killed several of Gordon's infantry and I had some armor, Granted half my armor was Australian Universal Carriers but this is what happens when your government surrenders.

Smoke covered one of Gordon's AT bunkers and my French 75s the other plus and MG. I deployed my guns up front to as to have direct shots. The Boys rifles on the carriers Killed a second MG Bunker.

Unfortunately my troops and tanks were crammed into a narrow area by the tank traps Gordon had set up on the flanks.

The next turn my universal carriers got bogged down on the train traks and my mortars failed to smoke. One of my Tanks was destroyed crossing the mine field then the other two bogged down!

Gordon opened up with every thing he had and one more tank and both Universal carriers got it!

Turn three had gaped the barb wire and my infantry was advancing But then Gordon's tanks started to arrive! They look lovely don't they...

I was in a difficult spot but I thought I might be be able to get out. My tank got one hit on Gordon's tanks but Gordon made his save. Like wise with my artillery bombardment French 75s suck at bombarding tanks but hey its what I had!

My infantry did drive Gordon From his forward trench line but took a lot of shots from the MG Heavy Italian tanks being cut down below half.
This was my high water mark and a moral victory

Gordon got his second Tank Platoon the next turn...
And I congratulated him on a game well played.

Here is an image of my French H39 Tanks this was their first battle folks and they really had a tough time of it

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

8.8 Flak 36

The 8.8 may be the most famous artillery piece in history. Certainly it was regarded as something of a wonder weapon by the allies. There is an old joke that every allied soldier believed every German tank to be a tiger. Well it could also be argued they believed every gun firing at them was an 8.8.

I already had one 8.8 painted so when Chris told me he wanted to play a game using his Matilda force I figured it was time to paint up the second. Here is the result along with some flame marks to decorate the tanks they kill.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Black Powder January 2012

Sunday I headed up to Hollis NH to play a Black Powder battle from the 1813 campaign of the Napoleonic wars. The game was run presented and GMed by Richard Claydon of Boston Trained Band.

I was with the French/Wurttemburge army defending the city of Wartemberg. I commanded the light Cavalry in the Center AJ had the French infantry on my left and Chris command the Wurttemburge Infantry to my right.

AJ did an admirable job first holding the river line and then breaking the Prussian infantry assaulting Wartemberg. He aggressively hit Prussian Columns that were still in March and generally made life miserable for this opponent (who's name I sadly cannot remember).

Chris got chewed up badly on the right but one gallant battalion held in side the village for the entire game fighting Gordon's seemingly unlimited Prussiands. At this stage AJ, Chris and I realy thought things were over... Chris's last battalion really won the battle by just holding on until Gordon's troops broke.

The first 5 turn of the battle were slow for me (not boring just slow) With no troops moving on the center I was waiting for something to break. Chris's troubles had me send one cavalry regiment to the right were they made several slashing attacks hurting Gordon's Prussians. Gordon did send one Leib Regiment into he center but AJ and I crushed it between my unengaged Cavalry and his infantry.

Honestly I thought I was making the quick charge to provide enough time for the Army to pull back but the Prussians were at last cut up tot he point that they could not advance further so the French and their allies lived to fight another day.

Thanks Rich for letting us all play with your Lead and for running a great game.

3 Trolls Battle at Sidi Bou Zid

This was a great weekend of gaming for me Two games in Two days!

I was able to participate in a Flames of War battle at 3 Trolls on Saturday morning. This battle was based on an encounter near Sidi Bou Zid in Tunisia. Basically a German Panzer brigade ran right into a US Armored brigade... in the ensuing clash the US Armor came off the worse but the Germans did not get to Kaserien Pass which helped troops holding positions there (though not much!)

Sine I have pushed a lot of German armor lately I opted to play Americans. Dick and I did better then historic American but not by much.

The Germans came straight at us and a long range fire fight ensued. I got the drop on Warren's Panzer IIIs after they double but though I bailed 3 of the 4 I did not kill any. My two Sherman Platoons were holing their own again Warren's two Panzer III platoons I until Curtis' Panzer IVs started sniping at me. Dick mean time lost all the armor on his Flank and only knocked out a few tanks. At this point the results were Obvious so we called the game as German Victory.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Big Push

Last Nights mission was called the Big Push basically battle fronts set piece

battle where both sides star off dug in and the attacker has to crack the front lines.

I was running my German Mittlere Panzerkompanie and Chris had his Polish infantry (using the Australian list from Hell Fire and back). Both armies were 1250 points. My force had a platoon of 3 Panzer IVDs and a platoon of 5 Panzer IICs backed by a battery of 10.5cm artillery pieces I would have loved to bring my Pioneers for this one but that would have meant loosing my panzer IIs or my artillery and both were key to my plan. My HQ was a Panzer IVD as well.
Chris had 4 18/25 pounders that he deployed forward and two platoons of infantry in trenches. He also had tow 47mm Gun pits deployed forward of his main force off board Chriss had 4 2lbs portees and two Matildas.

I deployed my tanks to the right hand side of the board and my Artilry on the high ground.

Preliminary bombardment Killed one of the Polish Guns and three infantry stands not great but not bad. I was glad to get the gun at least.

Turn one my Panzer trundled forward under cover of smoke and shots from the Panzer IV's killed on of the Bunkers. Chris tried to bombard my artillery ranged in but failed to hit.

Turn two I again used smoke and my Panzer IVs took out the other bunker. Chris hit my artery but I made the gun save but failed to unpin for turn 3 so no smoke.

Turn 3 my Panzer II's successfully negotiated the min field and MG fire form them and the Panzer IVs managed to pin Chris's two remaining guns My assault went in losing on tank to defensive fire but I kill Chris's artillery. The Panzer IVs crossed the mine field using Storm-trooper (something I usually forget to use) Chris did not get any reinforcements.

Turn 4 My panzers and Artillery pinned one of Chris's Infantry platoon but my Panzer IIs failed motivation to continue their assault. They killed three stands and lost one tank. Again Chris did not get reinforcements! Chris used the trenches to move his men in to defend the objective I was after.

Turn 5 Again I Pinned Chris's infantry and this time the assault by the Panzer IIs was success full killing the battered platoon (only two stands left) and then "breaking through" to assault the CIC who was killed. Chris again did not get any reinforcements and was unable to pin his infantry giving me the win as we went to turn 6.

This was a great game for me. I had a plan in mind and was able to execute it. I was lucky as Chris did not get his Matildas or is Portees onto the board. Still I used smoke successfully (something I have not done well in the past) and remembers to use Storm trooper (something I struggle to do). Chris did not get good mileage out of his Minefields. After the game I suggested to him that is position would have been stronger if he had placed his Artillery behind his infantry where I would have a hard time assaulting them.