Saturday, 31 August 2013

British 17lb A/T guns

I spent some time today finishing off the big brothers to my infantry anti tank platoon. These 17 pounder anti tank guns are capable of taking out almost any German tank and alongside my infantry 6 pounders should hold off even the most determined armored attack.

I took a range of pics of these guys, but the light is failing and the rest of the shots were pretty washed out.

These guns all have drilled out barrels and muzzle breaks. I took a lot of time making sure gun barrels were all horizontal. These guns were high velocity anti tank guns and I see a lot of peoples models online with angled barrels, almost as if they were some form of artillery.

The guns are not secured to the base yet - this is currently for ease of transport, but if I magnetize the bases this will change.

I also have some ammo crates to add to the bases, and hopefully some brass shell casings once I get a chance to find some brass rod.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Quiet Weekend

Not a lot of activity this last week. I managed to get most of my vehicles and infantry base coated with their respective colours (Russian Uniform Green (Vallejo 924) for the vehicles and English Uniform (Vallejo 922) for the infantry). Getting them all done quickly I made use of my new airbrush.

Thankfully I seem to be getting a grasp on how to use this and aside from issues around getting the thickness of the paint right and knowing how long I can go before I need to clean the paint from around the nozzle, I'm doing well with it.

I'm hopeful that I can organise a game of something for this weekend - last weekend I had my girlfriend visiting from down south, so nothing modelling wise done despite it being a 3 day weekend!

Next step will be, I think, getting the infantry sorted. Pictures and more interesting posts to follow once I have made some progress.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Other club pics and home made PIATs

My post last night about the game me and David played took far more time than I expected, so I didn't get round to posting the couple of other pics I had taken.

The other club members were playing a Napoleonic battle in 10mm. I'm not sure how it went (I think the French won, something about the Russians getting wiped out).

Today has been spent priming the unpainted stuff I have (or at least a huge portion of it) and also working on some modelling stuff. The first it I want to create a ambulance for a mini diorama. I'm planning on getting some jeeps at some point and converting one to an ambulance jeep, but I wanted to try and convert one of my spare trucks into an ambulance as well.

Will see how this progresses. The model came from the bring and buy at Claymore this year and was already slightly damaged.

I also need some PIAT's for my Recon Carriers. I've not been able to locate models to suit, and only have one suitable infantry figure I can cut up. To resolve this I decided to try and make some proxies. They look a bit very rough... but should be ok at a distance and painted.

Lastly, I worked on assembling and detailing the Sherman V for my Sherman Crab troop.

The white lines on the model are modelling putty to fill in the gaps. This is the 4th one of these kits I have put together, and every single one has had the same issue. There are always gaps! I also loaded this tank up with spare tracks. I took it that any tank attached to a couple of flail tanks would need spare track links (and spare chains for the flails on the rear hull).

Saturday, 17 August 2013

1000pt FoW AAR - 51st Highland Division vs ... Germans.

Hero's of the battle! Read on to find out why... (These are plastic Battlefront Sherman V's with a resin Sherman Firefly - all with the markings of 144RAC).

Not too long back from an enjoyable days spent down at Carluke and Law wargames club. Young David picked me up - after a morning spent revisiting my army list and attempting to find the figures I needed from the shelf (failing, as on unpacking I was missing several command team Universal Carriers and my Mortar Spotting teams).

The idea of playing a 4 player game (a bring everything you have affair) was scrapped as I understand we were asked to accommodate another 2 players. Young David replied that we couldn't - so the other guys decided to play 10mm Napoleonics. As it happened my fears of not knowing the rules well enough were well founded. 1000pts each turned out to be enough when we spent a lot of the game checking rules. Not sure that a larger game with more players would have worked.

So, to start. My army from the Overlord book, consisting of troops from the 51st Highland Division (Reluctant Veterans):

Command Squad (with Piper and Universal Carrier)     50pts

Infantry Platoon (with De-frocked Priests transport)    160pts

Infantry Platoon (with De-frocked Priests transport)    160pts

Machine Gun Platoon (2 Vickers MMG squads with MMG Carriers)     80pts

Mortar Platoon (6 3" Mortars with Mortar Carriers)    160pts

Anti Tank Platoon (4 x 6 Pounder A/T guns with Loyds Carriers)     130pts

Tank Troop (3 x Sherman I's and 1 x Sherman Firefly)     275pts

Total: 1015pts

I don't have a copy of Young Davids army list, but from memory it was along the lines of:

Command Squad (SMG teams with Panzerfausts)

2 x Grenadier Platoons (without any transport, all Fearless Veteran MG squads)

1 x Pak 40 Platoon (no transports, Fearless Vets, 3 x Pak 40's)

3 x Marder III's (Fearless Veterans)

I tried to take some pictures as we went along but as usual managed to miss the important ones (like the layout of the whole table).

We placed two objective markers on the exit roads from Davids side of the table. He deployed one Infantry platoon and his Pak 40's on my left flank, dug in along a hilltop and into a wood. On the right he deployed his infantry in one of the tall buildings and along the hill top, supported by his Marder platoon. 

On my side, I deployed my Sherman platoon on the right flank along with one Infantry platoon in it's Kangeroos.

I know that the Anti Tank guns would have the trails together when being towed, but I like the look of them behind the carriers without the crew bases.
Note that the Kangeroos are used despite not being quite finished yet.

My centre consisted of my Mortar Platoon (deployed) and my Anti Tank platoon advancing up the road. I split the Mortar Observer teams up, issuing one to each Infantry Platoon and one to support the MMG squads. We agreed that it would make sense that the OP units would ride in the Kangeroos.

My other Infantry platoon deploys in it's Kangeroos on the left flank, beside the wood. The MMG platoon on the other side of the wood ready to cover the German Infantry and A/T guns on the left.

We rolled for first turn, and David got to go first. He began by putting a couple of Pak40 shells into my leading Kangeroo on the left flank. However, on discussing and getting down to eye level, we realised that the only part of the APC visible was the .50 machine gun. So we rewound a little bit.

With little to do but try a few long distance A/T shots against my Shermans, it was my turn.

There was a little confusion over the rules around disembarking from transports on my behalf - I didn't realise troops could only debus at the start of the transports units movement. Kangeroos and MMG unit headed left, risking fire from the Marders up the road (as it happened, the Marders were more worried about the advancing Shermans).

On the right my Shermans and Kangeroos advanced towards the hill and the forest just short of the buildings. I made a mistake of leaving my Firefly stationary to take some shots at the only Marder in sight.

However, I forgot I had done this and fired my leading Sherman. With a billow of smoke and flame the first Marder succumbs.

On the left flank my Mortars brought down tentative fire against the hilltop and the dug in German forces there. (lots of rules reading here, but it went much more smoothly than I thought it would).

On Davids turn he held his fire on the left, with few targets due to the thick bocage. On the right, he moved his Marders around the building to try and counter the advancing Shermans. A Marder tentatively noses round a corner and with a crack from it's high velocity 75mm gun, a Sherman grinds to a halt. The crew bailing from the stricken tank as fire erupts within and it's ammo begins to cook off. 

My turn begins with a repositioning of my Shermans to engage the new threat and cover the approach of the third Marder, at this stage still behind the building. We spoke about this afterwards and David was very unimpressed with these vehicles - even going so far as to have a look at army lists that allowed him more medium towed anti tank guns. We did agree that if the Marders had been able to fire all in one turn my Shermans would have been toast, and that being able to take them on one at a time (and his poor luck with the dice) made things a lot easier for me.

In the centre my Anti Tank guns had unlimbered in case of any threats from the Marders, but with them tied up with the Shermans they began to shell the German occupied building.

On the left, my Infantry platoon debussed from it's Kangeroos (which promptly headed for the rear) and advanced across the plowed field towards the bocage and distant enemy. On the right, my Kangeroos moved to a position that they could unload their precious cargo into the forest in the following turn.

On to shooting, and on the left my Vickers team began what would be a constant barrage of machine gun fire against the German infantry and guns dug in on the hilltop. This included a barrage using the British MMG special rules - it wasn't till later in the game when we realised that one hit on a unit from an artillery bombardment causes pinning that we discovered the value of this tactic. The Mortars also brought down fire on the hilltop, causing the German infantry a few casualties and causing pinning.

My Shermans, having lost one of their number to a Marder, turned their attentions on to this new threat and the infantry in the building. With another bone shaking wham, the command Sherman puts a round into the second Marder, brewing it up as well.

We had both been unsure about the angle of this shot and the tree line - David thought it was fine, I wasn't sure so we diced for it. The Dice said OK, go for it!

Davids movement was again short. The third Marder edged round the right of the building, sending a shot flashing past the command Sherman, thankfully missing.

On the left his infantry and guns opened up on the Vickers teams - the value of the bocage became apparent as despite numerous hits the bulletproof cover of the earthen bank saved the squads.

Back to my turn, the Kangeroos on the right flank unloaded into the forest, providing the infantry with a concealed jump off point for their assault on the German held building. By this point I realised that shooting at dug in Veteran infantry was a fools game, and direct assault was the only way to shift them.

On the left, my infantry made it to the bocage line. 

In Davids turn they received a barrage of fire that caused few casualties but pins platoon down behind their new found cover.

The Vickers continue to chatter away at the dug in Germans. By now they should have some decent sized piles of brass at the bottom of that embankment!

On the right, the commander of my lead Sherman barks orders into the intercom. The Shermans turret rolls round, stops, and the 75mm gun barks twice. Two AP shells hit the remaining Marder and its crew abandon their vehicle and head for the rear as their chariot erupts in flame! The Sherman troops command vehicle putting paid to all three of the enemy AFV's.

The other Shermans pour machine gun and 75mm fire on the dug in German platoon in the building. Adding to this the mortar spotter calls down all six tubes on the building and the 6 pounders fire HE at it. The British infantry began snapping shots off as they advance, and under all this fire the German hunker down, pinned.

The view from a passing  B17 raid!

My infantry, advancing quickly towards the German held building, pushes through the smoke from burning German tanks. The German infantry outside the building succumb to Jock tenacity while another squad attempting to defend the entry to the building falls to hand grenades, bursts of Sten fire and covering fire from Brens.

The Germans morale waivers and even these veteran Germans baulk at the swirl of pipes, refusing their commanders orders to counter attack and instead falling back in confusion. News of this victory helps the jaded (reluctant) Scots on the left flank unpin.

The German turn is brief, with some desultory fire against the infantry on the left, resulting in cries for stretcher bearers. Several squads of infantry are lifted from the table but the jocks remain unpinned. In my turn my infantry begins to attack the hillside, with the mortars and Vickers fire keeping the Germans on the hill pinned.

Under the cover of all this fire, my bocage dwelling infantry decides it's time to give the Germans a taste of steel. At this point the assault rules had us a little stumped, as the book mentions both 4" and 8" as the assault range.

On the right, my infantry poured from the building, ready to follow up their previous assault and push the Germans off the objective. Supporting fire from the Shermans pinned the Germans as the Jocks prepared for another push... and we ended it there.

It was nearly time up, and we were a bit confused with the assault rules. As it turns out, the assault distance is 4" and once your assaulting squads are in other units in the same platoon up to 8" away can choose to move 4" closer to the fight.

There were no doubt lots of other bits and bobs we got wrong on this play through, but it ended in a draw and we both thought it played pretty smoothly. We were also glad that our battlefield looked more like what we expect from a WW2 game, rather than the taxi rank of tanks side by side we see quite a lot online. We were both using our full command distances and the table with the painted mini's looked great (even if we did just throw the terrain together quickly to have something to try the rules with).

I will admit that Davids praise of my painted Shermans got me quite emotional as the Provan clans painting skills are what has inspired me to really focus on this aspect of the hobby.

All in all, a great first game and great company!

Oh, and we decided it was a draw!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Saturday FoW game

Looks like my Rapid Fire game this weekend has been switched to a Flames of War game. My Brits against Young Davids Germans.

With 2 other players...

We had agreed on 1000pts, but with the extra players David has said 'just bring everything'. I'm not too happy using unpainted stuff oddly enough, but counting what I have painted and what I can use that's unpainted but mobile enough my army comes to 2540 points.

That's not including the breaching group, AA units and a few other bits and bobs (like 2 guns from the 6 pounder platoon, Heavy Mortar platoon, etc).

As mentioned previously, I also have done a little more work on the Sherman Crabs.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

War gaming and the need for community...

My last blog touched briefly on something that I've come to realise - and that's very obvious in retrospect. That is the importance of community and, I guess for me, praise of your work from fellow gamers.

While community is obviously important for having people to play games with, that's not the aspect I am talking about here. 

When I first started war gaming I was far more into the collecting and playing than the painting side. Although I would say I was always willing to do conversions of my models - my Space Marines and Imperial Guard all had some unique models (Marines reloading, kneeling steel legion converted from tank crew, steel legion commissars and missionaries, etc.).

I had very little interest at that time (and I suppose at that age) in painting my models and it always seemed more like a chore. Of course, at that time in the hobby spray paints were just coming out for modellers and companies like army painter were not around. Dry brushing seemed some sort of secret art form and priming seemed to me to be a waste of time and Youtube hadn't even been invented - in fact I'm pretty sure we didn't even have dial up Internet access... 

But I can look back at that and see I was playing against very few painted armies, and playing with gamers of my own age and experience levels. There wasn't any older players or hobbyists in that circle. We had fun, sure. I ended up with hundred of pounds worth of model kits. But hardly anything got painted as it just wasn't important. And more than that, even if I had wanted to paint my models, I wouldn't have known where to start. 

As an example it wasn't until I asked Paul to sit with me and show me shading techniques that I knew how to do that. No one was there to explain why models should be primed or to show how good a painted army fighting a painted army on a nicely equipped table looked. We had games, and had fun, but looking at it now my group were pretty isolated and weren't tied in to any sort of community. We didn't have any older gamers or painters there to show us how things should be done or the benefits of having painted armies.

I wonder if that is the cause of many people have gaps of there periods in the hobby. Lack of any sense of connection to the hobby community - unlike football supporters who's fellow supporters tend to be easy to spot, war gamers tend to be a little more difficult to observe in the wild. If you lose your original group it's either going to be luck or a determined effort to  find fellow hobbyists.

For me I find it's important to get some feedback on my efforts. As egotistical as it sounds it's nice to hear someone say you have done a good job. It makes it easier to face that large pile of unpainted metal, plastic and resin. I know that I can look at my work since I started last year and see a definite improvement in my painting skills, but it's that community input that keeps me wanting to improve.

Sherman Crab chains in 15mm

Not a huge amount of progress modelling wise of late (mainly because of time away and then on my return playing Wargame: Airland Battle and Civilization V: Brave New World on the PC) but my trip to the club and the very nice things said about my painting and modelling work have got me rolling again. All be it to a slow start.

Here's a quick pic of where I'm at just now:

Sherman Crabs with alternative chain.
On Sunday I picked up a very very tacky bit of costume jewellery that had a suitable gold (coloured) chain. This was to use as the flail chains on my Sherman Crabs. I would add as well that I know of someone who added a great deal to the value of his models by chopping up some chain he found outside - only to discover it was actually a gold chain!

Top chain is the Battlefront one, the gold coloured one is the cheapo fake chain. The thinner chain is around 18 links per inch. I think I would have liked around 22 links per inch, although adding it to the model would no doubt have been much more difficult. 

Monday night was spent clipping the chain into lengths and then gluing the lengths to the drum on the tank. One of the most annoying jobs I've had so far. I think superglue gel would have been a much better substance for this. Normal superglue was too hard to control and made things stick in places and ways I didn't want. Gluing non rigid chain onto a rounded surface is no fun either. I tried to think of other ways to do this, but the best I could come up with was to use a file to file small lines in the drum where the chain was to attach.

I managed, after several hours, to get the chain the way I wanted it. This was the result:

Both Sherman Crabs.

Slightly out of focus close up.

I did run out of chain to do the inside of the drum, but picked some more up today. Hopefully another line of chain will be enough, and the spare can be used as stowage or details on other models. I might loop the chain around the top from the inside to give chain a little more bulk on the drum - but also as I figured that the chain whirls away from the tank so when it stopped chain would be still twirling around.

Anyway, that's progress so far. Next step will be sorting out the 4.2" mortars then everything can get primed.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

10mm Rapid Fire

This Saturday I managed to get down to the Wargames Club in Law for the day (the first time in a lot of months). Unfortunately (for me) in July my son and his mother moved up north (a good move for him, and I am happy about that). This has left me with my weekends empty, as for the last 4 years I have had him staying most weekends.

I got a lift down to Law from 'Young' David, and he had mentioned there was going to be a Rapid Fire game I could join. Rapid fire isn't a game I have been keen on, based on playing it previously in 20mm. I wasn't very happy with the way firing was resolved, especially the way tank armour was the same from any angle other than the rear (not something very helpful when you play Allies vs the German Big Cats). Still, it was a WW2 wargame, and neither me nor David have our Flames of War stuff organized at the moment.

The guys had laid out a nice looking table (about 4" by 12" I think). The German forces were very sensibly picked without a big cat in sight - although as we were attacking the guys decided to play the German forces in deployment using 'blinds' and including dummy blinds. Something that worked really well and forced us as attackers to be much more careful and make use of our recon assets.

Here's a pic of the table and the allied objectives and attack routes.

Allied attack routes marked by blue arrows, top left dismounted infantry battalion, middle left 2 motorised infantry battalions and bottom left corner my mechanised infantry with tanks and Davids mechanised battalion with arty, A/T and recon.

The US objectives are marked by the orange hexagons on the map - namely the farm complex at the top, village in the middle, hilltop at the bottom and exit road on the right centre.

Myself and David took a bit longer to get into the fight due to the length of the road and out diagonal advance. 'Our' aka 'my' plan was to advance up the road, through the corn field in the centre and cut behind the village to secure the road - also hopefully helping the dismounted infantry attacking the village from the front.

Mechanised infantry heading towards the village. The Heavy weapons company is already on the hilltop - where they debus, get hit by artillery and route. The infantries recce jeep can be seen up by the village, about to get a burst of MG42 fire that puts it out of action. The infantries artillery hit the village and force the German infantry there to move from the building closest to the Y junction.

Mine and Davids half tracks move up the road, with M8 Greyhound units sniffing out the nearest blind counters - revealing them to be decoys or mine fields. Two companies of infantry in half tracks and three of my Shermans head for the hilltop. My infantry (closest to the camera) was to set up a base of fire at a hedge line, but that plan changed when I found out what the weapon ranges were. Instead they went to the forest at the bottom of the hill, while my infantry headed up the road towards the corn field and Davids secure the stone wall enclosure next to the road junction.

Another view of our column, with Davids M8 recce units checking out the forest (although I wanted to use infantry, David was a bit more gung ho). Davids leading infantry and heavy weapons broke off the the south of the road after the hedge to assault the stone enclosure, while my heavy weapons took to the forest. The Shermans in the column forms a echelon right line to the side of the road, clearing the way for my infantry M5's to advance up the road.

View of the enclosure and wheat field - you can see my recce jeep that David sends to it's doom at the T junction up ahead.

John P's dismounted infantry advancing, while his recce and tanks take the road towards the crossroads. His recce ran into some AA units and pulled back, and his tanks ended up crossing the hedges and coming around the east of the forest and clearing some pioneers.

The Allied infantry in the centre - the company on the hill top and the heavy weapons company at the base are about to get hit by artillery (spotted by German OP's in the tall building at the T junction). The heavy weapons company routes and leaves the table (chased by some 88 rounds from a Hornise hidden in the stone walled enclosure in the top right of the pic.

Hilltop almost clear - A Hornisse pops out and fires at Davids Greyhound, which destroys it with return fire. My heavy weapons head for the forest and Davids prepares to assault the walls to the left. Taking artillery fire called in by spotters (assumed to be in the building top right). The brown squares are minefields.

Fuller battlefield picture. The battle in the north grinds on. In the centre the infantry dismounts behind the hill and forms up for an attack on the village hidden from the German OP's.

Burning Hornisse - number 21 turned out to be a HMG team. The marker in the corner of the field at the top of the photo turned out to be a StuG.

Infantry forming up in the centre, ready to move on the town.

John P's recce leaves the table in route after a Nebelwerfer stonk took out their command units. Johns artillery is dismounted and his heavy weapons move to support the infantry advance.

John P's American infantry advancing. A Hornisse had moved round to support the German Infantry company in the farm. Besides Honrisse we also spotted some StuGs - but no turreted German AFV's.

Hornisse preparing to engage the Shermans. German Fallschirmjager hold the farm.

Thats more or less all the pictures I took - we made good progress, especially me and David. There would have been a bit of a scrappy duel between our Shermans and the Hornisse and StuG's in the south. The infantry fight in the north would have been scrappy and in the centre the infantry was suffering under artillery fire. Myself and David had secured the hill top, which was the only Allied objective secured before we ran out of time. I'm pretty sure my infantry and half tracks would have made it to the wheat field as well.

Lessons learnt were that the allies should have started deployed further onto the board, that the Blinds and Decoys really made it into a interesting tactical game and that I enjoy Rapid Fire more in 10mm than in 20mm.

Note sure that I will be collecting any more armies just yet though!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Societies Views...

A week or so ago I saw a very interesting blog post on Big Lees Miniature Adventures Blog about a very poor article (found here - titled "If David Cameron must ban anything, let it be Warhammer fantasy games").

At the time it was something I read, tutted at and commented on Big Lee's blog about. I had intend to post a blog about this myself afterwards, but I decided to leave it as many other wargames blogs had covered the same stuff. Basically it was someone taking a cheap shot at the Warhammer games specifically, and by association the whole hobby. There are some people who believe that the article was designed to be some sort of satire... but personally I'm not convinced.

The article in question also caused me to look at how my hobby is perceived by my friends, relatives and colleagues. I'm lucky in that my partner is very supportive (see previous blogs mentioning visits to Haugh Battery, Eden Camp, Cardiff Castle, The Royal Welsh Regimental Museum, etc) and will happily let me sit quietly and paint. Mainly because I am sitting quietly, I suspect. My family have, by now, gotten used to my obsessive tendencies and I would like to think are impressed at the quality of my painting. I'm very open about my hobbies with my colleagues - some don't understand, some do but leave me to it and others will ask me about what I've been doing and ask me to see pics.

This hostility that seems to exist about this particular hobby seems to be one of these nebulous things that 'society' (aka, elements of the media) seems to have. Just as it's fun to take the mickey from geeks, it must be even more fun to make fun of subsets of geeks. I mentioned in Big Lee's blogs comments about this attitude not applying to things like football.

I was interested then, to read this article on the BBC website, about HG Wells and the creation of the hobby. A much more balanced and informative article, although it only briefly touches on the smaller elements (painting, modelling, etc). The comparison between the two is massive, and really made me question the purpose of the original telegraph piece. Maybe it was satire - comparing playing and banning warhammer to watching and banning hardcore pornography.

The final point of this blog entry? My names James and I'm a wargamer - and not ashamed of it!

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Recent travels and Claymore purchases

Lack of updates recently due to me entertaining/traveling all over.

Some pics of me... and some stuff...

These were taken at Eden Camp. I was really pleased to get up close with an actual Sherman, even if it was a very late model one (an Israeli M-50 Super Sherman I think).

Back home and yesterday I went a jaunt into Edinburgh for my third Wargame show this year. Claymore was certainly on a bigger scale than the Glasgow show, although I actually felt it was slightly smaller than Falkirk.

With so much waiting in the wings to paint, I focused mainly on some books I had wanted. Namely the Battlegroup Kursk mini rule book from Iron Fist/Plastic Soldier Company and the Battlegroup Overlord supplement. These are both very interesting and need a bit more than a quick skim through to comment.

I also picked up British Armour in Normandy by Ludovic Fortin - great addition to my collection, and I was especially pleased at a few pictures of 144RAC I hadn't seen before.

Lastly, I picked up the D-Day rules pack from Battlefront. I had looked at this on and off since it came out and although it was an expensive purchase, I went ahead and picked it up. Inside there are a lot of army lists, including a revised and updated one for the 51st HD. I am a little bit annoyed at this, as I have been building my force using the .pdf version, and the army list in the book is different. Not vastly so, but different enough that a couple of my purchases seem to be redundant - and surprise surprise I also need to make some additions.

Big annoyance has been that the options for the recce unit are either the Daimler A/C's with Daimler Dingos, or Humber A/C's with Humber LRC's. Thankfully the Daimlers and the Humbers have the same stats, so I will use the models I have and do a 'counts as'. The Pioneer platoon no longer has a half track (so one M5 Half track I had no need to buy) but thankfully I have spare 15cwt trucks. The breaching group is now a unit on it's own with 1 Sherman V (ordered a plastic one via ebay), 2 Sherman Flails and either 2 or 4 Churchill AVRE's with an option for an armoured bulldozer.

The biggest annoyance though is that 33AB and 144RAC are no longer represented in the rules. There seem to be no British armoured units in the book that can have the Sherman I in squadrons of 4. I had a look and one option allows confident trained Sherman II's with the correct squadron size, so I guess I will have to use these (again 'counts as' but again there is no difference between the versions of Shermans).

Pluses are that the HD can now use SP A/T and A/A units, and that it is possible to have both 6 Pounder A/T and 17 Pounder A/T guns in the army - both as Reluctant Vets.The Bofors units are now in 3 batteries of 2 (instead of 2 of 3) which means I can now use all of those models.

My other purchase was a pack of British 4.2" Mortars. Carriers for these will have to wait. 

The show itself was interesting with some great demo games - tellingly, there were very few retailers selling 15mm WW2. A sure sign that the scale+period is going out of fashion.