Saturday, 30 November 2013

Slow progress and illness

I'm aware I've not posted very much recently, but there has been a combination of factors that have slowed my progress down.

One has been that after deciding I was happy to use yellow number decals on the turrets of my flails, I decided (surprise surprise) that I wanted to use the correct red ones. These are on order from Doms Decals, but I've been waiting a week now.

The second thing that's slowed me down this week has been a kidney stone that's more or less floored me. My lovely girl was so concerned that she actually traveled up to look after me for several days.

While I'm still very sore, I hope to be able to head to the club today and play some 10mm rapid fire. Just need to make sure I need to take a load of painkillers!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Knightly Gaming Generals day, 16/11/13

Last Saturday I attended the FoW Generals day held at my local gaming shop in Lanark, Knightly Gaming. There were a few players there, none of which I've played before, so it was interesting to see other peoples armies.

As it worked out I was matched against a 750pt late war Russian Tank Company... I'm afraid I didn't catch my opponents name but we had a very friendly game together and we both picked up bits and bobs rules wise we had been doing wrong. His force consisted of 9 T34/85's (daunting to be sitting across from). The other tank company present (a German late war list) was his regular opponent, so my Highland Division mechanised force was up against a wall of tanks!

I tried to go for a balanced list with my 2 infantry platoons backed up with a troop of Shermans and 4 x 6 Pounder anti tank guns.

The table (at the end of turn one)

As it turned out my infantry's mobility wasn't used - I basically unloaded into buildings and dug in. The battle was just a fight to the death, so no objectives to take and hold. My veteran infantry in buildings (concealed and gone to ground) proved impossible for the t34's to shift. They needed 4+ basic, 6+ for concealed and gone to ground and 7+ due to the russkies hen and chick rules. 

Despite losing my Firefly to the first round of shooting, my Shermans actually gave a really good account of themselves. My command tank adding to it's impressive tally of tank kills!

With my infantry and guns dug in, the Russkie advance continues...

With the T34's on the left flank failing their motivation test (and taking the HQ unit with them), it left my two remaining guns and Shermans to handle the right flank (while my infantry hid and took PIAT shots at anything coming near!)

I decided one of my Infantry platoons that had been on the left should redeploy to get it's PIAT into the fight... so began their epic chase! (I forgot I could have recalled the transports).

Before finally the last Russkie tank was dealt with.

Yes, that is a Sherman model, my opponents force had been a mid war soviet one prior to being rejigged.

Some of the other games:

A good day and I think I learned a good few things about my understanding of the rules. One of the Battlefront 'Rangers' was present and taking pics, so there might be a chance the event gets featured on the Battlefront website.

Thanks to Brett at Knightly Gaming for hosting the event! Attendees also got a free plastic Sherman or StuG model and another gamer very kindly gave me their Sherman Firefly plastic kit as well as the standard Sherman V I got :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

FoW game, Saturday 9/11/13 - 144RAC vs Germans

Finally getting around to posting some of the pictures from my game with YD last weekend. It's been a busy week so I hadn't got round to typing anything up (and nothing to do with the fact I got soundly thumped).

This was my first game playing with a armored list, using a list from Overlord and the 11th armored list as a proxy for my 33 Armored Brigade.

I fielded a lot of unpainted mini's in this game, which is something I have been avoiding whenever possible. But I fancied changing things up a bit and seeing how I got on. The list consisted of (roughly):

Confident Trained Armor:

Command Troop (2 x Sherman I's)

2 x Troops (3 x Sherman I's, 1 x Firefly)

1 x Recce troop (3 x Daimler I's, 2 x Humber LRC's)

2 x Highland Division Infantry Platoons (in De-frocked priests)

1 x A/T platoon (4 x 6 pounder guns)

Priority air support.

Light cruiser artillery support (off table) - this was mainly to make up the points and I had a ground team spotter for them.

YD fielded his Confident Vet infantry, with 2 x 4 Panzer IV's and 1 x Tiger, Neb's and a few other bits and bobs.

Neither of these lists were strictly speaking accurate, but what the hell!

A brief synopsis of the game saw me advancing into contact and getting bogged down due to dug in Pak40's (again!). A few Shermans were lost without much forward movement, then the Tiger got involved and my Shermans started to pop all over the place. The game ended without me killing many units and with my infantry not even dismounting before I decided I would fall back and concede.

YD's 15mm Tiger

YD's German infantry

Result: Allied Defeat!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Carluke Club 9/11/13

I took a few pictures at the club yesterday and didn't get around to posting anything last night. Today in the UK is Remembrance Sunday. I spent my two minutes in silence at 11am and stopped in the street to watch the pipers and parade of local organisations (scouts, Guides, etc) heading to the memorial hall in Lanark. I thought a lot about whether to post or not today, the connection between war and playing war games is a close and sensitive one. I'm the first to say I enjoy playing the games I play - but I would also say that war itself is abhorrent.

My FoW collection is for me a memorial to my Grandfather - a Sherman tank driver with 144th Regiment, Royal Armored Corps. He served (and survived) in the NWE theatre from as far as I know the regiment landing just after d-day till the occupation of Germany and then onto Italy before being De-mobbed.

In my living room I have his ID tags, complete with the original string worn smooth where he had it around his neck.

My interest in warfare, as I have gotten older, has moved away from awe of the kit to awe of the men. My knowledge and my search for knowledge is not to me glorification of war, but glorification of those men (and women) that died and that survived. As a society we say 'Lest we forget', but as individuals we do forget. Or we never take the time to learn just how bad it was - and is for those that are currently serving or surviving having served.

So I thought about whether, today, to post a blog about a game that was played yesterday. But at the end of the day, it is a game. Playing it is no dishonour to the gamers, and no dishonour to the fallen. So posting pictured of it shouldn't be either.

Apologies for the rambling justification, and apologies if you do think that posting today was disrespectful. I can assure you, no disrespect was intended.

Anyway, first up some pics of the Napoleonic multi player game that was going on. French models were provided by Auld Davey, British by John P. I only stopped by the game from time to time to take some pictures, so no battler report. I gather the French were attacking a British held ridge line, and that the British won.

Just to say, as these games are multi player they are largely collaborative. If you wanted to play then some forces would be assigned to you and everyone would be happy to help you play the game. One of the great things about the club.

French on the right, Brits on the left.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Sherman Crab Flail Work In Progress (Part III)

Onto part 3 of the series of Sherman Crab progress posts... At this stage, I have no idea how long the series will be!

Getting the basecoat on, blocking in the main colours and then using Army Painter Strong Tone on them left me with highlights to do and the dusty effect I have been aiming for.

I picked up some Vallejo pigments and set about making a mess of both models. Stupidly I was confident I would get the effect I wanted (or close to it) first time round. What a fool I am!

Next day, with a hot tap and a old toothbrush, I found myself scrubbing away.

Another few attempts with pigments, and I defaulted to using a drybrush. Another possible mistake at this point is that I've not applied decals yet. This may come back to be an issue later.

Still having issues with lighting for pictures. I also toned down the paint on the mantlet end of the gun barrel after looking at these pics.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Carluke club ACW 2/11/13

Another visit to the club this Saturday and a large game of Johnny Reb in 15mm. There were 7 of us playing (with a quick visit from 2 others) with the southern forces attacking and the northerners defending. The game ended with what could be described as a draw - with the northerners holding the farm and my southern regiments about to take the hill top.

Auld Davey... ;) ... provided the majority of the forces, with additional reinforcements coming from Johns collection. Davey was happily commanding his recently painted Texan regiments.

Our forces on the far left got held up by some superhuman sharpshooters (far too over rated unit compared to everything else in the rules set), while me and YD were attacking up a hill onto forces defending a ridge line.

The last two photos above were my forces before and after I revised my deployment. One of the nice things about these games have been that they take me out of my comfort zone. I'm normally much more inclined to defend than attack, and looking at the defenses I was pretty sure we were onto a hiding. Luckily, on the first turn YD's artillery hit one of the central defending units on the ridge line (zoaves?). They failed their first morale check and ran off the hill, taking one of the other units beside them with them. Me and YD aimed for the hole and went forward.

Meanwhile our left was still bogged down by some of these superhuman sharpshooters (ignore cover, save better than space marines, move in any direction, etc, etc).

As me and YD went forward, the union troops began to rally and redeploy to cover the hole in their line. I decided to put pressure on and shield YD's brigades from the right as they went forward. I was aided by John rolling lots of double 1's in shooting and Dave beside him concentrating too much on YD and ignoring what my units were doing.

As the game progressed, more southern brigades arrived to back up the assault.

My forces closing in and pinning down Johns units. One of our objectives was the T junction of fences on the hill top. My leading regiments were taking a pounding. One was broken and ran off, the other staggered and needed to be disengaged to stop me losing it.

A little experiment with a panoramic shot.

A good game, we did much better on the attack than I thought we would. It was good to push myself in a situation I wasn't comfortable with, and it's good to learn to fight that urge to 'just f*ck it' and charge. YD seemed to have the same idea and we slogged it out in the firefights and gradually pushed hard in the centre. By the final turn I had a charge lined up on the T junction, but time ran out. A good laugh with some great banter, and an example of how the club can support big games for people that don't know the rules (like me and auld davey... =D ).