Sunday, 29 September 2013

FoW game, 28/9/13

I'm not going to do a massive battle report this time round, mainly because the game went on for quite a while and I didn't take pics as regularly as I normally do.

A quick run down is that we decided to play a meeting engagement again, with YD using much the same force - with the addition this time round of a Machine Gun platoon and halftracks to tow his Pak40's. I went with the army list I posted on Friday night.

YD this time round made sure his Nebelwerfers and infantry were on the table at the start, brining his tanks on later. I did much the same, deploying my non mobile stuff first and bringing on the mobile units as reserves. This meant that other than a few nasty bombardments from my mortars and his Neb's, not much happened for the first few turns.

Eventually the tanks all came on, with my Shermans dying to Panzer IV fire before they could make any impact. This left me with only my 2 remaining 6 pounder anti tank guns (24" range vs his tanks 36" range) and my Typhoon - which became a problem as most of his tanks were within 16" of my forces.

The Typhoon proved useful in keeping the Nebs pinned for most of the game, and took out a couple of tanks. However I think either more Shermans or the 17 Pounders would have been of more use. I found my ability to deal with the Panzer IV's to be really lacking.

As the game went on both of our platoons started to vanish - I started to suffer from the reluctant status of my men, with several turns passing where most of my army was pinned and refused to unpin. My Defrocked priests attempted to deliver their infantry via the centre of the table, avoiding the Panzers. However YD's Pak40's and then command panzerfaust team had them bail and unload their troops (rules query - if the armored transport team is just bailed, do you still roll to see if the passengers are destroyed?). One of these platoons rallied magnificently and assaulted across the center of the table - destroying at least two platoons before the last surviving squad bottled it.

On the left YD's Panzers spent most of the game shooting up a pinned down infantry platoon and my MMG carriers/teams that had tried to zoom round the flank to reach the objective.

On the right I managed to use my Pioneers with Typhoon support to take out the Pak40 platoon (first use of a flame thrower, hurrah!). We both reached a point we had to take a company motivation test, with me failing first (although we then realised YD should have been taking them on a couple of previous turns...!) . A loss for me and a well deserved win for YD - him having a untouched platoon of Panzer IV's on the table and the other platoon at half strength.

Lessons learned for me were the need for more anti tank support and perhaps a better appreciation for having the 25 pounders. YD made great used of his tanks, keeping them working together and making brilliant use of the stormtrooper move.

One of our hardest fought games so far. Great fun and as ever with YD, brilliant sportsmanship.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Saturdays Army

Just a quick blog about my musings for the game tomorrow. Another 1500pt game versus Young David.

I'm in a bit of a quandary with this one as I want to use my Typhoon but I know it will be quite a variable on the table. I have also pre-warned YD to give him a chance to field some flak.


Command Squad (with Piper and Universal Carrier)     40pts

Infantry Platoon (3 squads with De-frocked Priests transport)    160pts

Infantry Platoon (3 squads with De-frocked Priests transport)    160pts

Infantry Platoon (3 squads) 140pts

Machine Gun Platoon (4 Vickers MMG squads with MMG Carriers)     155pts

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

Mortar Platoon (6 x 3" Mortars with carriers) 160pts

Pioneer Platoon  75pts

Priority Air Support  220pts

Total: 1515pts

I think I may regret not having the 17 pounders this time, but I want to play with my aeroplane! Still no recon units painted - they had been next on the list, but the flail tanks were closer so I've started on them.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Defrocked Priest Decals (Strike again)

So after painting my defrocked priests with formation badges from the British 3rd Infantry Division and the 11th Armored Division... I realised these were wrong!

"The first Kangaroos were converted from 102 M7 Priest self-propelled guns of three field artillery regiments of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division who were involved in the initial assault on 6 June 1944. These were no longer needed, as these regiments were re-equipped with towed 25 pounder guns in late July. At a field workshop (codenamed Kangaroo, hence the name) they were stripped of their 105mm guns, the front aperture welded over, then sent into service carrying twelve troops. They were first used on 8 August 1944 during Operation Totalize south of Caen to supplement the half-tracks available." - Wiki


"Four Canadian artillery units - the 12th, 13th and 14th Field Regiments of the 3rd Division and the 19th Army Field Regiment - had exchanged their 25-pounders for Priests in the fall of 1943 as part of their equipment for Overlord. The time was now ripe, with the 3rd Division withdrawn from the line for a well deserved rest, for the three divisional regiments to exchange their borrowed guns for towed 25-pounders as part of a program to re-equip the field regiments of 21st Army Group. (The 12th and 13th Field Regiments began to turn in their Priests on 1 August, followed by the 14th Field Regiment on 3 August...."

"On 31 July Crerar had anticipated that the Americans would agree and had directed Brigadier Grant to be prepared to convert the SP guns to armoured infantry carriers by 9 August, although this date was later moved forward to 6 August." - No Holding Back

So my vehicles should have the markings of 12th, 13th and 14th Field Regiments of the Canadian army - part of 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. I found the formation sign here.

Using a scalpel I carefully removed the formation signs from last night and attempted to match the color of the Divisional sign above.

Not a great picture, but I tried to match the color and used German camo beige to do the maple leaf shape.

The sad bit is my realization that the Canadian's used differed WD numbers than the British army. Basically the same numbers, but with the letter C in front of them. So....

Yeah. I may need help....

[linked image]

Exhibition Image One

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Decals on defrocked priests

Waiting for a meeting to start at work (huzzah for being somewhere with a 3G phone signal!) so I thought I would post a few wee pics of my work in progress defrocked priests.

These vehicles had been self propelled artillery just prior to totalise, but were converted over a period of only hours in the days prior to their use. As such I wanted to do two things with them. The first was replicated from pictures I had seen, where units from 154 Brigade of the Highland Division had painted or chalked the HD sign and their Brigade tactical sign of 69 on the front of the APC's. 

The second thing was to show that these vehicles were so hastily converted they still had the original artillery units tac markings on them! 

So far, this is where I am at:

These four are all from different units - 3rd Infantry Division and 11th Armoured Division (although this may change as the tac signs for the artillery of the 11th Armoured would be a white 72 on a red and blue square...). I've also made an effort to use different stars on different locations to show them being different batteries. 

So some markings are subject to change. I'm fighting the urge to buy actual decals for the divisions rather relying on my poor free hand skills! Still got another Matt varnish to do and then the static grass and the infantry to be glued inside...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Completed Hawker Typhoon 1/144

I've spend the last week and a bit working on getting the various infantry models I had to a finished state. I'm pretty happy with them now, with the matt varnish going on them last night. I'll do another coat just to make sure they are nice and covered (and non shiny) probably tomorrow night. Then they can go on the shelf until the various guns and vehicles are completed. I am still aiming to try working on these a unit at a time rather than doing my normal process of getting all the models to a set stage before starting the next stage.

So tonight I also aimed to finish off my Hawker Typhoon. The plan had been to use some decals I had got to do the invasion stripes. Alas, these didn't work out the way I had hoped. I had to revert to hand painting them - and unless you look too closely, they look ok (at least, I think!).

When I took these pics the decal fix under the roundels on the wings hadn't dried yet, so they still look a little messy. Unfortunately between finishing the model and typing this my phone has decided to update to iOS7, so no more pics tonight.

Still, I am pleased with it, and I think that for a model that cost me less than £3 it's not too bad!

Here is the model alongside the decals I was planning on using:

The final version (as my phone is now working):

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Knightly Gaming

Quiet weekend with my girl, so not much gaming.

I did however manage to get along to the opening of a local gaming shop. A couple of the FoW Rangers guys were along and there were some demos of a few other games. Not sure that the shop has a website yet, but info about them can be found here.

They have a good range of Vallejo paints and while I didn't spend a lot of time browsing they did have 40k, Warmachine, Dystopian Wars and a range of roleplay games. There were also KRC cases and a load of other stuff.

They also had 3 tables set up and I think the owner is planning to run gaming and roleplay nights.

Great to see something like this in Lanark, and I wish them every success! Hopefully I'll get a chance to do a bit more gaming through them!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Carluke and Law Wargames club naps game, 14/09/13

Just a quick post with some pics of the other game that was going on while me and David were playing our FoW game on Saturday. I didn't follow what happened, but I gathered that the French beat the Brits.

Rules used were (I think) General De Brigade.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

1500pt FoW 51st HD vs 21st Panzer Division AAR (Part 2)

Continuing the AAR from my previous blog entry with the start of turn four. I had forgotten to mention that in YD's turn 3 he had called down a rocket barrage onto my own artillery OP and killed the OP's Universal Carrier and my company commander!

I started by rolling for reserves and come up short again.Three turns with nothing and four platoons in reserve. With YD's Panzers closing in, things are looking a bit grim.

With nothing moving this turn (my infantry either failed to dig in again or I forgot to try) I settled down to shooting. My 6 pdr guns that could see the Panzer IV's opened fire, only succeeding to bail one of the German tanks.

While one of my more central 17 pdr guns sends a shell into one of the Panzer IV's on the left flank. These guns are rapidly proving their worth.

Unfortunately the other guns fail to take out any of the tanks on the left and the 6 pdrs that could see targets found them to be out of range. My infantry on the left held their fire and made use of the gone to ground bonus.

YD pushed his tanks forward again, edging forward on the left:

And made some small moves on the right. In the centre, his infantry moved more fully into the wood - finally presenting a target for my own infantry!

In YD's shooting, his Panzers on the left opened fire on another of my 17 pdrs... Being dug in didn't help and the gun was destroyed.

Another of his tanks fires on one of my 6 pdrs and leaves the gun a broken and mangled mess.

While on the right his tanks fire into my infantry and I managed to save all the fire.

My turn 5 starts with me rolling 5 dice for reserves, and finally getting two of my platoons on. Thinking that the game only lasts 6 turns (a hold over from my earlier 40k days) I chose to bring on my Shermans and MMG platoon. These both end up over on the right flank - which is thankfully where I can use them.

On the left, one of my 17 pdrs rotates to face the flanking German tanks. On the right my Shermans send shells every which way other than into the two German tanks to their front. Similarly the 6 pdr gun there only manages to bail one of the German tanks.

My artillery is again pretty useless. All game the most it has done is bail a few German tanks and otherwise miss everything it's fired at.

YD's turn 5 sees him continue his advance, creeping tanks forward on the left and staying still on the right to put fire on the Shermans. A flurry of shots sees one tank bailed...

And my Firefly vanish in an internal explosion.

My turn 6, I manage to get my Sherman crew back in their tank and return fire - doing nothing to the German tanks. I manage to get another reserve platoon on, this time my infantry and in the centre. I moved them over towards the 17 pdrs as a last ditch against YD attempting to grab the objective there. One of those guns managed to brew up another German tank, and the other bails one.

The last few turns there has been an infantry engagement going on over on the left between my infantry in the building and YD's in the forest, but no casualties inflicted.

YD's turn 6 - his forces continue to creep forward. The most devastating aspect of this turn is a rather nastily placed Nebelwerfer barrage...

That the following turn I reciprocate onto his two Panzer IV's with my 25 pdrs, destroying one tank and bailing one.

But not before he managed to bail one and destroy another Sherman.

My turn gets me my last remaining platoon on, my pioneers. They arrive on my left flank and start moving into the wood there. Finally, my 17 pdr on that flank knocks out another of these prowling Panzer IV's.

On my right I throw my remaining Shermans forward in an attempt to get flank shots on the Panzer IV's. My Universal carrier also surge forward in an attempt to find targets and get out of the Panzers line of fire.

Sherman fire bails one of the Panzers. At the end of the shooting YD rolls platoon motivation for both his Panzer IV platoons... and fails both. He leaves the tanks on the table, but gleefully tells me the crews are getting shot when they return to his lines.

His Pak40's move up onto the road to block the Shermans - thankfully missing with their fire against the Shermans. The Nebelwerfers spotter fails to call in fire this turn.

The table at the end of turn 7 (note, in my recounting I may have got mixed up - I think I took these photos at the end of turn 6!)

 In my turn I throw my MMG carriers forward again, firing on his Pak40's and killing one. On the left my infantry does well vs his infantry in the forest, taking them below half strength - aided by an artillery barrage. They pass their motivation and keep fighting. My Shermans also engage the Pak40's but manage to not hit anything.

One of my 6 pdr's fires on his Nebelwerfer spotters jeep, knocking it out. But the damned spotter leads a charmed life and survives.

YD fires the Pak40's at my Shermans again, doing nothing. One fires on the MMG carriers but does no damage either.

My turn and the MMG carriers move on the objective, putting the hedge line between them and the guns. They fire on the Nebelwerfers and wipe out the whole platoon. The one MMG out of LOS of the Nebelwerfers fires on a visible Pak40 and takes it out. YD fails the platoon motivation and then the company motivation. Game over.

A close win for me as it was looking distinctly dodgy for quite a few turns with those tanks bearing down. I was very disappointed with the performance of my artillery and very pleased with how the 17 pdrs did, although they took nearly 50% casualties they did manage to hold up Young Davids Panzer IV's and it was terrific to do unto the German tanks what is done unto my poor Shermans!

It was also a nasty shock to be on the receiving end of those Nebelwerfers - either through luck or bad dice rolling on my behalf these seemed a lot more effective than my guns. My MMG carriers proved to be a very useful unit - even on the move getting 3 dice each, they did a lot of damage in wiping out the Nebelwerfers and killing the Pak40 that cause the German company morale failure.

What would I have done different as the Germans? I would have deployed only one tank unit at the start, and had the Nebelwerfers and spotter in place early. We also need to look at the national rules again, as I think we have totally forgotten about them. Transports for the guns are a must in this sort of game - especially if they are starting in reserve. Both of us could have done with more mobile units, but then I have a lot less aggressive play style than YD - as shown by the fact I didn't even think about capturing my objective until much later in the game. I need to learn to take the initiative a bit more rather than sitting back and waiting to blunt the attack.

Playing again as the Brits I'd remember my infantry transports and have had a mobile platoon! I also should have been more cautious with my Shermans, perhaps using smoke to cover them. Not sure about taking the artillery again, I may need to use them some more to decide.

A good game and we both enjoyed ourselves. From my side very closely fought and a good display of the different kit the axis and allies had.

Edit: Just a slight change to the wording in the third last paragraph as I may have sounded a little bit judgemental of YD's playstyle when no judgement was intended! (thats what happens when you spend hours on a post and rush to get it finished!). An outcome very much determined by the dice rolls.