Tuesday, 24 February 2015
I've seen some really, really great setups for these guys in the past. Including Cameron's excellent work here and here. Seeing those models came at a time when I was struggling to get enthused about working on stuff and helped me get back into what I was doing at the time.
Aside from looking great, Cameron's models have something that are seen quite often on artillery models, and that is a base showing the artillery to be dug in. For my birthday last July I got a box of 25-pdr's from A. These will allow me to have a full 8 gun battery. One small issue for me are these:
'Scenic' bases that come with the guns. Now, they are really really nice - and look great. But my other 4 guns are on standard flat bases, so the 8 guns are going to look different. So, the next thing then is not to use these bases. However, as the turning plate for the guns is sculpted on the bases, they are not included in the box. Sooooo.... I have to use the sculpted bases of find some of the circular plate things from somewhere. (Anyone want to swap?)
The other reason I have an issue with these sculpted bases is that in my mind, these guns are dug in.
OK, so I know that they are not dug in as in 'in a gun pit' dug in. But there is an element of protection on the base - which is something represented totally differently in FoW. Don't get me wrong - I don't think enough is modelled dug in. Troops in Normandy learned that if you were not sleeping, advancing or being shot at, you were digging (and I'm pretty sure the first three were happening while digging was going in). I've seen some really really nice sets of 20mm WW2 models that basically had squads in foxholes - but for my FoW force I made the decision to have everything on fairly plain bases. This was as much to represent the troops on the advance around Totalise as anything else.
If and when I do a opposition force, they will be the opposite - as much dug in as possible.
I do try to make the bases look interesting where there is need for them to be. For example, my 4.2" Mortars are currently looking like this:
Unusually for me, I decided to paint these bits on the bases. Mainly because of the bother of trying to keep the Mortar parts together while painting them. When I did the 3" Mortars I had to assemble them several times - mainly due to my son deciding he liked them being in bits. He knows not to touch daddies models, but mortars are not toy soldiers... It's now been a year since I have seen him and 1 year and a half since he has been in my house :(
Anyway, that's where I'm at. Stuck between feeling that I should try and keep the artillery bases simple, because being 'dug in' is a particular thing in FoW and I don't feel right having dug in models that are not dug in for rules purposes... and having to use the scenic bases because I am missing the parts I need to base the guns the same as the others I have done! First world problems, eh?
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Classification: Priority Alpha Black-Charlie
Trimming Automation Directives
Significant damage to main industrial area of Tab-1. Substantial dust storm prevents orbital scans. Ground communication and landings indicates civilian casualties may exceed 3000. Medical and salvage teams dispatched to surface. Humanitarian, diplomatic and ground support required urgently. Significant chance of further casualties due to environmental situation.
Saturday, 21 February 2015
We arranged another, slightly bigger, game this week and C took the idea of the blockaded planet and ran with it. Earlier in the week I posted the two briefings given to me and JB (who was also taking command of an NAC relief force under my command).
The background involves a planet named Tab-1. One of the main products of Tab-1 is a strategic resource used by the NAC military. The main use for this material is in the production of advanced alloys.
The planet, being a member of the NAC, had a democratically elected government that was overthrown in a violent miners coup orchestrated by a man named Jakarno Lynx. The NAC undertook a blockade of the planet (effectively enforcing a no fly zone) while attempting to find a diplomatic solution. Unwilling to take immediate military action on the planets surface in case industrial infrastructure was damaged, the NAC stopped traffic to and from the Tab system.
The third player in this story are a Private Military Contract corporation called the Umbrella-Gygax Corporation. UG represent a range of corporate interests, but the largest is that of a Private Military Contractor - also know as the Mercenary department. UG also have a substantial military research wing. Unbeknown to the NAC, UG have been busy working away on their own project on Tab-1. The coup, and the attention it has drawn, has interrupted UG's project and drawn unwelcome interest. Specifically - when it is all over someone is going to do an audit and discover a mismatch between production and supply. And evidence of just where all those top secret resources have been going.
Jakarno's desperation to get off planet and escape with the monetary assets he has been quietly stripping since the coup - and escape what is increasingly looking like the inevitable NAC ground response, gives UG the cover they need. And another source of profit to make up for the lost Tab-1 enterprise.
In response to the attack on the blockading destroyer group, the NAC urgently dispatches a veteran commander (me) leading a light cruiser group and a green commander (JB) leading a long range patrol group.
My forces consisted of:
RNS Bosworth and RNS Blore Heath - Lancaster class light cruisers
RNS Durban and RNS Denver - Tallahachie class destroyers
RNS Winnipeg - Troutbridge class frigate.
While JB had 1 Lancaster class light cruiser, 1 Tulsa class heavy destroyer and 2 Tallahachie class destroyers. JB was using his own fleet, so his ships appeared mysteriously FSE like! Unfortunately I didn't take a note of his ship names.
For those not familiar with Full Thrust, movement is plotted (written) down at the start of the turn then all ships complete their orders in the movement phase. This means your never quite 100% sure where your own ships might end up, never mind the enemy ones! High speeds do make your movement slightly more predicable.
|JB's nicely painted FSE light cruiser|
Jakarno Lynx. The transport crew are under a standard contract and will not engage in any combat - they will stand down if boarded by NAC forces.
The rest of C's UG fleet consisted of a Heavy Cruiser, 3 Heavy Destroyers and 3 Frigates. From our previous encounter I knew that the UG ships tended to be heavily armed and protected, but very slow. The heavy destroyers are the most dangerous ships in the UG fleet, equipped with two shields and thrust 2. But with 3 class 2 beams, 1 class 1 beam and a pulse torpedo. You might notice no mention of point defense systems. These heavy destroyers are far far more effective in ship to ship combat than the NAC vessels of the same class.
We deployed our forces - C had myself and JB roll a dice. JB rolled low, and I rolled high. My ships reported detecting strange sensor readings at the same time as detecting the convoy.
JB has the FSE/NAC ships closest to the camera. I had my two light cruisers (CL's) in the centre and my destroyers (DD's) on the right. The plan was to get behind the UG ships... Then try to catch up with the transport. At this stage we had different views on how boarding went. The rules make it rather awkward - needing to match course, speed and be within 6cm. However C thought just getting close enough would allow Marines to do an assault boarding vs some sort of shuttle or drop pod setup. We went with that for the purposes of the game.
Points wise, the NAC had slightly more.
C's objective was to get the transport and as many of his vessels as possible to our side of the table. The UG forces, being mercs, had a hit point level at which they would drop the contract and invoke 'Lazarus Law'. Basically this meant UG forces would cease to be combatants as they were not in contract any more. However, I interpreted my orders that this was to be ignored. At the start of the game, we were unaware of the hit point % that would cause UG to quit.
The first few turns were uneventful, with the two fleets closing. My ships got up to around 20cm velocity, having thrust 6 allowed me to fairly rapidly decelerate and turn when required.
I was rolling at the start of each turn to try and pin down the strange signal I had detected earlier. Around turn three my ships reported a 'ping' - marked by the gold coin (up by the white box, top centre).
Not too long afterwards, beam fire started criss-crossing the darkness between the fleets. I had requested that JB send his CL and DDH (heavy destroyer) more towards the centre to back up the Bosworth and Blore Heath, while his DD's went left and tried to draw off the UG's forces - or at least provide better flanking opportunities.
The Bosworth and Blore Heath made a slight right turn, opening up the angle for the planned hard left. JB's DD's went wide left, his CL and DDH heading for the merchant. My FF (Frigate) started long distance scanning of the UG vessels - trying to build up a better picture of the UG ships for NAC Naval Intel. This wasn't on my orders briefing, but I considered it to be a high priority secondary objective. One of JB's DD's died under fire from 2 UG DDH's and a FF.
The long range fire had been largely ineffectual, now it was time for knife fighting range.Time ticked down, the km's reeled off, crews braced in their crash chairs, damage control teams stood ready, gunners watched their screens. The order was given - the order was 'Execute!'.
One of my DD's (the Denver) did a hard 3 point turn and ended up amongst the UG fleet - I mistimed this turn, expecting the UG fleet to have accelerated. The other DD (Durban) and the FF (Winnipeg) stayed out and right, biding their time before they committed. Bosworth and Blore Heath committed, both using their impressive thrust 6 engines to turn hard to port. A 2 point turn put Blore Heath nose to nose with a DDH and FF. A 3 point turn placed Bosworth just off the port of two DDH's. JB's CL managed to park itself perfectly slightly behind and to the left of the UG CH (heavy cruiser). His DDH unfortunately, was not so lucky. Ending up slightly ahead of a FF and two DDH's.
The shooting phase saw JB's DDH destroyed, having taken 2 pulse torp hits and a bucket load of beam fire. The Denver also paid for my mistimed turn, also being gutted and destroyed by UG fire. JB's other DD took significant system damage - the bridge crew were ominously out of contact and emergency broadcasts indicated a reactor core overload...
The UG fleet had now destroyed 2 NAC DD's, crippled one and a destroyed a DDH for no loss - there is definitely something wrong with our ships today! The NAC is again being punished for it's lack of small ship defences...
However, the bulk of the UG convoy now had at least 2 NAC CL's behind them.
The next set of movement saw the fleets start to draw apart. The bad news for the NAC forces was the continued acceleration away of the target merchant towards the FTL point. Time was running out.
This turn (turn 6) also saw the NAC Captains surprised as a matt black UG ship suddenly appeared in the midst's of the UG fleet in a massive wash of thermal energy. This was immediately identified as the mystery vessel that had risen from the planet of Tab-1. Unfortunately no NAC ships were in range and arc to engage it.
On board JB's crippled DD, without any bridge control the last remaining damage control team makes the decision to jettison the core and save the crew (JB's in character decision). The NAC destroyer would be salvage after the battle, the remains of the crew having managed to survive on the emergency life support.
The Durban and Winnipeg both did a 3 point turn to port, bringing them in well behind the fleeing UG ships. The Bosworth and Blore Heath continued their hard port turns, bringing the Bosworth almost fully round to chase the tail of the still fleeing merchant ship. JB's CL had decelerated, hoping to end the movement closer to the merchant ship - however it had been travelling faster than we had appreciated. The mystery ship had fixed it's overheated cloaking system and vanished from the sensors.
Shooting this turn resulted in combined fire from the 3 NAC CL's destroying one of the UG DDH's - causing many cheers on the bridges of the beaten and bruised NAC ships (I think the kill went to JB's CL). Fire from JB's CL also crippled one of the fleeing UG FF's, leaving it a drifting hulk. One side effect of this was that it's course and speed stopped the merchant ship from engaging it's FTL! Unknown to the NAC commanders, the Umbrella-Gygax Corporation commander was getting very close to the point of dropping the contract due to his losses.
Turn 7 and the chase is on! Almost all the NAC ships have made it past the ponderous UG ships - and into a safer position behind those heavy DDH's guns. Sustained fire from JB's CL, the Durban and finally the Winnipeg destroyed another DDH. NAC sensors detected various UG ships spooling up FTL drives. At the same time the UG commander informed Jakarno Lynx that the Umbrella-Gygax ship losses had resulted in a breach of contract (there was some mention of end of quarter profit margins). At the end of the broadcast, a charge detonated on board the merchant vessel, destroying the FTL and real space engines.
The final turn saw the UG heavy cruiser jump away, along with one of the remaining frigates. But tragedy struck the UG fleet. In their hurry to escape the two frigates had ended up within 6cm of each other - and of the decloaked mystery ship (which had decloaked to jump). As the first frigate entered FTL it cause a gravitic shockwave. The second frigates FTL drive simultaneously went into cascade failure - blowing the frigate apart in an explosion of light - a flash of colour that no human could ever describe. This dealt significant damage to the mystery ship before it's own FTL engaged.
Following my rules of engagement, the NAC forces continued to engage the remaining UG ships. This included shooting up the drifting out of control frigate and remaining DDH...resulting in complaints from the UG DDH commander that they had invoked the 'Lazarus Law' (our term for the Tuffleyverse fluff that sees mercenaries only classed as combatants during the duration of their contract). The UG commander was informed that as his ships had continued to engage following the ending of the contract, he was now classed as a pirate and should stand down or be destroyed.
The Bosworth stepped on the gas and caught up with the merchant vessel, dispatching marine assault teams as it sped past. On arrival they found the outer airlock accessible. Just beyond the inner air lock sat Jakarno Lynx - wrapped in gaffa tape and with a sock in his mouth. The rest of the crew surrendered. The Bosworth would also have continued on to capture the out of control UG frigate. The last UG DDH Jumped away.
Total loses (including from FTL mishaps);
NAC: 1 x DDH destroyed, 2 x DD destroyed, 1 x DD requiring salvage but otherwise (mostly) intact.
UG: 2 x DDH destroyed, 1 x FF destroyed, 1 x FF captured, 1 x merchant captured.
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Transmission: NAC CMD SEC G-5 TO CPT BRENNAN
Trimming Automation Directives
Executing Course Changes…..
Transmission Reads Thus:
Captain Brennan, You are being reassigned to the defensive operations under the oversight of NAC Captain James [ Access NAC Officer Data Entry #62954-N-CptJM Captain? ] . Rebel Leader Jakarno Lynx with the aid of PMC Umbrella-Gygax-Corp is attempting an escape.
Enemy force is capable and heavily armed, seeing to the destruction of NAC Forces RNS Duncan & Dunkirk in a skirmish 13 hours ago.
Proceed to the encoded coordinates and assist Captain James in the apprehension of Jakarno Lynx.
The Admiralty takes this moment to remind you that given your history and previous assignment, that your performance in the coming engagement is highly anticipated.
Your orders are thus:
-Apprehend Jakarno Lynx before he is escorted beyond the detection range of our passive FTL mappers.
-Adhere to NAC Combat Literature, do not engage targets unnecessarily, do not risk NAC equipment, Preserve NAC personnel, acknowledge parlays, do not kill civilians.
-Destroy as many UG Corp vessels as possible: the presence of such a PMC Force in Sector G is disruptive to long term developmental goals.
( PMC & mercenary forces are not held accountable for the activities of their employers. Agreements to peacefire and disengage upon the meeting of contractual obligations must be upheld by NAC Captains of the line. Failure to do so is a court martial offense.)
Transmission: NAC CMD SEC G-5 TO CPT JAMES
Trimming Automation Directives
Transmission Reads Thus:
Captain James, As you are aware, the recent loss of RNS Duncan And Dunkirk [See Status Update HG-58732-J Captain ?] is a result of an escape attempt by Jakarno Lynx, the rebellion instigator currently occupying Tab-1.
Information has arisen, indicating that he has enlisted the military aid of the Umbrella-Gygax-Corporation, and their incursion into the null-zone is their attempt to rendezvous with Jakarno in order to facilitate his escape.
Tab-1 being a major source of [Classified] for the NAC at large, it is essential that we apprehend the man that we may expel his ideology from the planet, not just his presence.
At 07:32 this morning, orbital fabrication platforms Hans and Geraldine were deliberately de-orbited into the industrial sector of Encal on Tab-1. There are sources planet-side who claim that amidst the destruction, a large UG Corp vessel emerged from the warehousing district.
Shortly thereafter we lost contact with the planet, a result of a global power-cut initiated by Jakarno after a publicity broadcast.
As a result of the loss of power we are unable to make contact with planet-side sensor equipment.
We have no knowledge of enemy composition, nor validation on claims of a mystery vessel.
Your orders are thus:
-Apprehend Jakarno Lynx by any means necessary before he is escorted beyond the detection range of our passive FTL mappers.
-Ignore any invocation of Lazarus Law on the part of UG Corp: Their participation in the destruction of Tab-1 [Classified] supply represents an overriding concern to the Admiralty.
-Destroy as many UG Corp vessels as possible: the presence of such a PMC Force in Sector G is disruptive to long term developmental goals.
Monday, 16 February 2015
Not really all that enthused by it as a product. The contents, specifically the history, don't feel up to the usual (or previous) quality. The information on the Highland Division is not as great as provided in the Overlord book or the previous free PDF for the Scottish Divisions - in fact it's decidedly sparse and uninteresting. And then there is the silliness of the night vision kit for the Germans, no evidence of it being deployed in the west, but in a book covering the western front...
High points are that I can field my Jocks as Confident Vets - along with Sherman I platoons that are also confident vets. But as an example of the history being off - it mentions that the HD were supported by 33 Armoured Brigade during the Rhine Crossing under the Sherman entry. It's correct that 33 AB supported the Highland Division during that period. But they did so by driving the LVT (Buffaloes) - which is not mentioned anywhere.
The only unit from 33 Armoured Brigade that gets a mention is the Northamptonshire Yeomanry - but hey ho!
There are some weird things with the Rifle company list - like no Artillery listed as Divisional Support, only Corps Support. If you take any APC's for a single platoon, you must take them for all platoons - and you cannot mix and match APC types. Bagpipes are no longer a freebie for the HD lists and comets can't be taken as support for the infantry companies.
So yeah, pleased to get the ability to field a late late war force - though it really does suck that the Brits get only a choice of 3 (4 if you count the PDF for the 53rd Welsh Division). The Commando Brigades part in the Rhine crossings are mentioned, but no late late war Commando list. No Airborne lists. No late late war Sherman or Churchill lists. What is included is yet another German late late war infantry lists and two more late late war German armour lists (one that allows night attacks as well as all the normal German special rules).
Brit players are still being well and truly shafted, and it's not like there is a shortage of really interesting late late war British formations that by that point in the war were pretty individual. I guess it's pretty clear that the Yanks and Nazi's are where the focus is - and no doubt they will continue to be the most popular as there are the biggest model ranges and biggest list options for them both.
Anyway, in amongst the pics in the book were what could be new Universal Carriers. Certainly they don't look like conversions.
|Front mounted .50 cal - this matches some of the reference pictures and from the front does not look like a conversion - if it is, it's a very well done one.|
|I think that chap in the back is holding a PIAT|
|Not a very clear picture, but the Bren guns have the bipod folded up under the barrel - something that the current Bren guns do not have.|
Edit: One thing I forgot to mention, but I found to be rather telling - the painting guide no longer references Vallejo paints, but has gone down the road of using Battlefronts own paint range - complete with stupid 40k esk paint names. Not a useful move for a lot of modellers.
Sunday, 15 February 2015
It's been a few months since I updated my painting chart for the 6 Months Miniature Mountain Reduction Painting Challenge (!!!). Not long to go till the official end of the challenge - although I started a month later so will be running on by 4 weeks.
The chart is not showing a great deal of green on it - I've introduced yellow to show the models that are basecoated but not finished. This is mainly down to the time of year which has prevented me from using the Army Painter varnish I usually use. However, I have painted all the crew figures for the packs I had open up to recently. Then I opened more packs and have more vehicle crews to do...
Currently in the works are all my Universal Carriers (15 total), Wasps (3 total), Loyds Carriers (4 total), 4.2" Mortars (small job, I am assembling and painting these on the bases - 4 of them) and Churchill Crocodiles (only 1 assembled but 2 still to open).
I'm currently sorting out the Universal Carriers as I'm unhappy with the weapons fits. Somehow I've lost many of the Bren gun extras I had and I'm not quite there with the .50 cal mounts. I have read accounts of the .50 cal Universal Carriers in use but the few pictures I have seen show the guns mounted in different places. I decided to put them in the same place as the .303 Vickers MG's on the MMG Carriers.
I've had to use several .30 cal machine guns mounted in the back for the extra hull MG. One thing I am really unhappy with are the total lack of reference pictures for Recce Regiment Universal Carriers. From reading the book I have on the history of the Recce Corps, it's clear that all their vehicles tended to be very heavily armed.The .30 cals are just going to have to do.
The PIAT armed carriers are coming together (with the help of the PIAT gunners I got from Dai in a swap). They look a little crude with the PIAT gunners standing in the back, but hey ho! The only other way I can see of doing it is to put the PIAT's where the front mounted Bren guns are, and mounting a Bren gun in the back. But I have none of the spare Bren's!
Aside from the weapons I also have the usual stowage to sort. The Forged in Battle Universal Carriers already have stowage modelled on them, but the FoW models will need a bit of detailing.
I also remembered that the Fireflys I have basecoated need some camo on their guns! And the Crocodiles need some thought regarding how I am going to mount them on bases, and what sort of bases I use - I want the fuel trailers to be detachable.
Still, even small progress is still progress so I'm chipping away with the aim of getting as much basecoated as possible for the better weather!!
Sorry for the wall of text this time round!
Friday, 13 February 2015
More pictures can be found over at Paul's excellent blog here.
As I've said before Paul, David and Davey have been the ones (along with the visitors to my blog and the guys at the club) to really inspire me to not just paint my figures but to try and improve my own painting quality.
Their positive and generous feedback combined with their help in offering tips, tools and advice have really played a massive part in getting me back into the hobby in the last few years. And they managed to find space in their cars to take me to all the main Scottish Wargame shows last year! I think you will all agree that YD's figures are outstanding - and his FoW stuff is equally fantastic.
Thanks again guys!
Sunday, 8 February 2015
First up was Beneath the Lily Banner played in 10mm. I got the impression that this was something quite new to the club and the game looked very impressive.
This was a 4 or 5 player (I think) game set on an L shaped tables. As I understand it the factions included Polish, Russian, Swedes and one or two others. The last pic above shows the end of the game - by which point the Russians and Poles had been beaten. I may have that wrong as I only visited the table a couple of times. Feedback from the group seems to be that the game was enjoyed.
The other game was Lord of the Rings - but there were no green table covers left. I'm not sure how the game went, but from the pics it looks like the good guys won!
Monday, 2 February 2015
Fighting Withdrawal has the defenders trying to delay the attacker for as long as possible while inflicting casualties. All the while, the defender loses his own strength as his units pull out.
The mission description means that there are three objectives. All in the defenders (YD's) half of the table. He got to place two, and I got to place one. As the game progresses the defender must start (from turn 3 onwards) to remove a platoon almost every turn. On turn 6, the defender gets to remove an objective. On turn 8 the game ends and the defender wins. On any turn that the attacker starts with units on an objective, they win.
I forgot my objective tokens, so we used yellow tiddly winks. One objective was in the southern forest - defended by an infantry platoon and half track SPG's. One behind the house (top right, with all the purple circles) defended by the PaK40's and an infantry platoon. One on the hill top just behind the house.
First turn goes to the attacker. All attacking and defending squads start the game in prepared positions should they so choose. So all of YD's Germans were dug in and gone to ground (and concealed, for the infantry).
I started by advancing my main thrust towards the forest in the bottom right, using the hill and hedges for cover.
In the middle my Kangaroo's parked behind the house, under cover from the German guns. Ready for the infantry to move into the ruins next turn.
Up top, my infantry in their Kangaroos started moving towards the house that was their initial objective. At this point I was positive that YD would take his tanks down the table towards my main thrust. The MG carriers also moved forward and into the forest, 2 of them bogging in the process.
My shooting saw a 4.2" and 3" mortar bombardment on the troops in the forest. No casualties caused but the platoon was pinned. In the middle my 17-pdr carefully lined up on the Tiger revealed by the morning light, and put one round into it. YD rolled a 1 for his save, and the surviving crew made for the rear - leaving their burning tank behind.
The 17-pdr crew were to be heading home themselves the following turn, when one of the PaK40's returned the favour.
The Crocodiles added to the shooting by bailing out the two Cannon armed half tracks.
Over to YD, and he surprised me by moving his Panzer IV's to counter my infantry and MG's on my left (the top of the table) rather than moving them south. In the forest on my right his troops remained pinned and the half track crews decided staying outside their vehicles was the better idea.The mounted infantry that were his ready reserve had realised that at least one of my 17-pdrs had line of sight on them, so swiftly moved south towards my main thrust. As did the command platoons two half tracks.
As mentioned above, one of his PaK40's took out a 17-pdr while his artillery failed to range in on anything.
|Knocked out Tiger killer!|
Back to my turn 2. On my left, the Kangaroo crews decided discretion was the better part of valour and bugged the hell out! The MG crews dismounted into the forest (away from the tanks) and into position to fire on the hill.
I just wasn't willing to lose an infantry platoon in the building with 4 Panzer IV's (two with the short barrels), 2 105mm guns and a load of infantry MG's all pinging away at them. However, you can see from the picture above that leaving the flank up in the air like that was going to cause my 4.2" Mortar platoon issues!
On the right I pulled the Wasp's back and dismounted the Pioneers up to the hedge. Effectively swapping these two units round. The Crocodiles moved forward again, while the infantry platoon dismounted behind the Crocodiles.
In the centre my infantry de-bussed (or de-pouched to use the period language) into the ruined building and prepared to weather a storm of MG42 fire.
Shooting wise there were no targets for the 17-pdrs. The lack of HE hurt me a little bit here, as there were lots of targets but no vehicles to shoot up. I'm not sure that guns are valid targets for non-HE guns, so my guns sat quietly. I'm sure I have seen pictures of guns knocked out by solid shot, but then the British did switch to using the 75mm gun in their cruiser tanks as the 2 and 6-pdrs were lacking vs a/t guns.
My mortars again put a bombardment down on the forest and hedge row, but again no kills. To be honest this was a little wasted as the platoon there was already pinned and I didn't realise that the troops in the hedgerow were the same platoon. Due to the approaching Panzers this would be the last bombardment from the 4.2" mortars for the game, and the 3" mortars were out of range of anything but the bottom half of the table.
The Pioneers, a little stupidly, opened up on the Germans in the forest with no effect. The Churchill's brewed up one of the Cannon half tracks. A question arose at this point about platoon motivation tests. The rules state that you test when you have less live units that dead... we weren't sure if 50/50 counts for testing, or is it just 51/49?
The infantry in the middle peppered some of the German infantry in the building opposite, doing nothing. My MG teams fired on the artillery, but having counted as moving they did very little.
It's all gearing up for a risky assault on the woods... but there were still a lot of things that could go wrong!
YD's turn two and his Panzers move forward again while his reserve infantry dismount and get ready to reinforce the woods. There is a little juggling of troops behind the hedgerow next to the forest in order for the arty spotter to get a view.
There was a little worried moment when YD realised he had a potential shot on the Crocodiles with one of his PaK40's. Thankfully he was out of range! The Panzers fired on the Kangaroos again, but missed. I lost one of my MG teams to fire from the infantry around the hill and my infantry in the centre had some MG fire directed their way. Thankfully veterans in bulletproof cover are hard to shift!
The worst came from the forest as my Pioneer platoon melted. Sustained MG42 fire just tore it to shreds and I failed all the saved. I tested for the remains and they decided they had enough and quit.
|The objective... less one pioneer platoon preparing to assault it!|
Now things got a little crazy. Those Panzers were getting to be a bit too much of a threat so my 17-pdrs needed to redeploy and the 4.2" Mortars needed to get out of dodge. I whistled up the transports while I could and the great switchover began! One 17-pdr could turn to cover the area but the other 2 were shifted to be able to cover the flank as well.
This is a later picture, from YD's turn 3. But it shows the confusion in my lines!
I pulled the Kangaroos round the hill, fully expecting to lose one of both of them in YD's turn. This was because there was nowhere they could go, but also to provide other targets for those tanks other than my a/t guns and mortars!
Down by the woods my Crocodiles and infantry surged forward. I struggled with using my Crocodiles flames here, as burning the forest was going to prevent my assault troops making it in. Instead I shot up the half tracks some more, missing with both shots. The Wasps just couldn't get in a position either this turn, but were getting in place for the following one.
The MG platoon put fire down on the hilltop and killed one of the guns there. Thinking about it I should have used the bombardment ability to pin down both platoons.The 3" Mortars put in a bombardment of the forest again, resulting in the Germans there being re-pinned.
But down to business. With the skirl of pipes and led by Captain Treleaven the Jocks went in. I lost one squad to defensive fire, and only killed one or two squads with my 2IC and Treleaven. The Germans counter attacked and I took the majority of the hits on Treleaven and my 2IC - as they were warrior teams they got saves! Both passed and thanks to Treleavens special ability the Jocks went in again. This time taking out a load of the German squads and pushing the MG42 squad out of the forest.
The Jocks were on the objective. Could they stay there?
A really close game, the last assault really did just come down to dice rolls. One bad one from me or one good one from Young David and the outcome could have been totally different.
Losses for the game were 1 platoon of Pioneers for me and one beat up infantry platoon, and YD lost 1 infantry platoon and the Tiger platoon. So not the blood bath it could have been as the fighting was quite focused. And I didn't use a single flamethrower!
A good game and we both learnt some things from it I think.
Finally, some shots of YD's figures: