Sunday, 23 September 2018

Finished!: 12th SS Panther A's

Hi folks,

This particular unit was due for completion much earlier in the year, but I lost the will to live after painting 12 Panzer IV's and was distracted by building and painting a LCT and finishing off my 10mm ACW...

Suitably refreshed after finishing off my ACW stuff, I got stuck into my Panthers. These are plastic models from the Plastic Soldier Company. I mentioned on my Facebook page that as I was in the process of painting them I discovered that the build instructions for the PSC Panthers are incorrect. I found this out by accident, noticing that my exhaust didn't match those of images of Panther A's I was referencing, and on watching a Fog of War video on YouTube, discovered that the instructions to make the Panther A are actually the instructions for the Panther D. The Instructions for the D are actually for the A, and there is some minor conversion work required to turn the model into a 'proper' A and correct some inaccuracies in the kit. So a bit of rework mid painting and I was back on track.

Have to say, this was a pretty annoying experience. Building the PSC kits is a nuisance enough, without the instructions themselves being wrong. Big shout out to the Fog of War channel for having the technical knowledge with the German kit that I really lack.

These tanks are part of the German counter attack on 8 August 1944 against Phase I of Operation Totalize. From what I can find, at some point during the day 5 Panthers of I./SS Panzer Regiment 12, which had been under repair and were rushed forward, joined the German forces. Specifically, to join Kampfgruppe Waldmuller in their attack through Robertmesnil and 'Le Petit Ravin' against elements of 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry.

I could find no mention of what Kompanie these tanks were from, and it's likely they should have been a mixed bunch having come from being repaired. However, I just could not bring myself to randomly pick some turret numbers, so marked them up as belonging to the 2.Kompanie. I know the 2.Kompanie fought later on in Operation Tractable, so decided to go with that. If I choose to add to the unit later and make it up to a full Kompanie, then I can do that.

The other thing I would say about the PSC kit is the lack of zimmerit, despite the artwork on the box. I understand that most of the Panthers in Normandy over the period would have had zimmerit. I'm not sure if I would go for more PSC models, or spend the extra for the resin and metal ones (the BF plastics only make the G version and the Jagdpanther).

Period pictures have these tanks (generally) with a lot of foliage on them, and I guessed that if they were parked up hidden somewhere being worked on there would have been time to camo them up a bit.

The Panther is a tank I always forget the size of:

So, looking back at my painting chart (to be finished by July...):

I've still got a few bits to do to get everything done. Not sure how I feel about getting onto the StuGs right now, so I may pick something else to do. The Kubelwagons shouldn't be too tough to do. Time will tell!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Battle in the Bocage - FoW v4 umpired game

Hi folks,

On Sunday I managed to get over to Dave's for a few hours to get some game time in before I had to dash off to a family meal. We set up a generic bocage board for Normandy. The basic premise was an early attempt by American armour to attack into the bocage. Limited infantry was available, as we were going with what Dave had painted, and I umpired/controlled the hidden Germans while Dave and Scottie battled the terrain. It also gave us a bit of a chance to look at some of the issues this terrain causes armoured forces. I took the opportunity to mess about a bit with the spotting concept I use when umpiring.

Good fun was had, I think. Lovely looking table although we all agree more hedges are required.

As mentioned above, I messed about a bit with the 'skill test for spotting' concept, which saw these green Americans 'misidentifying' everything as Tigers or 88's if they did not roll highly on their skill checks. This caused an interesting amount of confusion I think! There were actually no Tigers or 88's used - StuGs, 5cm A/T guns, a Pak40 and some Panzer IV's only, along with German infantry which while present never actually had to be deployed. So where you see the wrong stuff burning, it's because that's what the Americans THOUGHT they had engaged and killed.

The results of this confusion included Dave's force believing that there was a Tiger and a Panzer IV in a field opposing him, because they were _positive_ that there was a Tiger there, and another unit reported seeing a Panzer IV, so there must be one of each... Definitely something to play with a bit more in the future!

On to the pics:

Green counters to trigger random events and be collected to spend on air and artillery support by the allies. The large counters are worth d6 little ones. 

The American armour probes forward. The infantry must be held up somewhere...

StuGs via Stuarts - I mi-applied the 'rolling 7's' rule, so the shot bounced off the Stuarts (Scottie rolled two 6's) - lesson learnt for next time!

Somethings shooting at us, must be a Tiger! American armoured infantry learning that if you don't man the hedgeline, someone else might. 

Somethings shooting at us! Must be an 88! (Actually one of a pair of Panzer IV's). There were also German infantry behind the hedgeline. 

Hidden Nebs firing in the centre (smoke puffs) were subjected to repeated counter battery bombardments!

If in doubt, call in air support - aircraft are for 'Wings of Glory'. The 2nd StuG failed morale and drove off, but the Yanks didn't have 'eyes on' so didn't see it go. 

The Pak40 had been unspotted and was waiting on a bigger target. Unfortunately the recon chaps came round the back of the house...

Tigers, Tigers everywhere? One Bazooka team will be forever boasting about killing a Tiger (actually a Panzer IV)

Shermans struggle to breach the Bocage - and worry about the single StuG up ahead!

Terrain also constrains their movement, causing a bit of bunching, before they move forward en-mass to attempt and deal with the StuG. I think this is where the bases on the tanks shines, as there is still decent spacing. 

The pesky StuG had already failed it's morale and left the table.. But with no LoS to it, the allies didn't know this till they advanced. 

The game ended with the objectives still under German control, but another few turns and the Yanks would have been contesting them I think! Although they would have struggled to clear the buildings I think. 
We're hoping to get some regular games in over the next year, and perhaps work towards a Normandy campaign. Scottie also has a large number of Russkies and Germans, so there is a possibility of some games on the Eastern Front at some point!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Finished! 10mm ACW ARMY!

Hi folks,

I completed the last few bits I had planned for my confederates earlier this week, so wanted to just post some pics of them and of the completed project. Possibly the first full start to finish thing I've managed to complete!

So first up, my 'Silenced gun' markers (the destroyed artillery), 'damaged gun' markers (the small wheel and gun bits bases and two sizes of 'disordered' markers - single infantry figures and single cavalry casualties.

The guns don't quite match those I have painted for my army (I think they might be howitzers?), but I'm not going to worry about that. I included some casualties on the bases, and stuck to the same basing technique as the rest of the army.

So here's what I've finished up in the last few weeks:

And the money shot...

As you can see, not a lot of room left in the storage box, so a perfect time to call it quits. I can't see me doing any more to these chaps now. All figures are Pendraken 10mm figures, based roughly for Fire and Fury but flexible enough to be used for whatever other system takes our fancy. I've mounted and dismounted Cavalry, 4 guns, 4 limbers, and ammo wagon, horse holders for the Cavalry, 'heavy casualties' marker, 'out of ammo' marker, a few different command bases and the counters I pictured above. As well as enough infantry to do a decent sized Brigade for F+F (more if using Black Powder, where I can get one unit per command stand).

All bases are magnetised to stay in the tray, and I've kept the basing as standard as possible across the whole army, with a 'hot summer' look.

Glad to get it all done! One army down *mutters* to go!

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Finished!: 10mm Pendraken ACW Limbers

Hi folks,

Progress has been made this week in finishing off my 10mm ACW project (at last!). Just a few final bits to do.

The four limbers are now done, along with some spare figures which will be 'Brave Colonels' or Brigade Commanders. I used the outriders from the limber teams as the two 'Brigade' command stands. My previous command stand is a bit big, so should probably be a division command stand.

The limber bases are 25mm by 70mm.

Thankfully, I had previously blogged about basing colours for these models, so was able to replicate what I'd done with the rest of the army.

Just some 'silenced' gun markers (destroyed guns) and some damaged gun markers, as well as some casualty markers for marking disorder and stuff, and I am all done. Those are at various stages, with the guns just needing based and tufts, while the casualties need a highlight, varnish and basing. I should get them done this weekend. Then I've decided to try and tackle the Panthers...

Today I went to the Gateshead wargames show as well. Despite a bit of a detour on the way (I took a wrong turning and ended up on the A1 from the A19...), I got there easily enough and had a good wonder round. Picked up some old GHQ moderns at the bring and buy, a couple of books on Normandy, some 28mm scenery for Necromunda and a couple of FoW bits from a stall (two resin Panzer IV's that need stripped, £1 each, and some SS infantry at 50p a stand as well as some Nebelwerfer crew). Decent little show, though I didn't take many pictures: