Monday, 24 September 2012

WW2 - 15mm - Halftrack Crew

I took the figures from PP Range  8/337 (Half track crew) and mated them with a pair of Sdkfz 250/1 that were sat in the spares box unloved.  Adding a combat cap to the second figures was straight forward using one of Martin's heads from range 6 which are excellent to add a little variety to your forces.

All sprayed up and waiting for an opponent and the Battle Group Kursk book to arrive.  In the meantime they will be into action supporting my PBI Germans on the Eastern Front

Saturday, 15 September 2012

WW2 - 15mm - PBI Germans

Some more older photos from my early attempts at painting 15mm figures.  Back in the day when I used BLACK undercoat......That is a long long time ago.  I am quite happy with how these came out but they do show there age compared to some of my newer attempts

Gun Crew on a 40 x 40 base

First attempt at doing head swaps 

Back in the days when I had reasonable eyesight

WW2 - 15mm - PBI Markers

While cleaning up I found a marker I had made for the recce phase of PBI, which I had modelled on Ralph Steiner from the Sam Peckinpah film "Cross of Iron"


Base figure was a PP German with Russian SMG to which I added a miliput smock.  Very early paint job in my collection.  Probably could do with a coat of dullcote.

Great War - GWSH - "They Shall Not Pass"

I haven't played against a "real" opponent with GWSH.  So I took the Scenario from the book as a learning exercise.

First up then is a straight 1915 Slugfest with a German Division assaulting French trenches near Verdun. The battle was deliberately restricted to a Regiment of Defenders as this keeps the table size down to a 2' x 4' which is a strange table size for most gamers when considering this will be a 3 Regiment Assault but reflects troop density and tactics in this year of the War.

French Defenders: (Using my Russians as Proxy units )

Regiment HQ Stand
  • 37mm Infantry Gun Battery
  • 3 Battalions each with:
    • Hotchkiss MG
    • 4 Infantry Companies.
Divisional Artillery Support:
  • Regiment of 75mm Guns (3)
  • Trench Mortar Battery
Corps Artillery Support:
  • 2 Regiments of 75mm Guns (3) (6 Fire Missions each)
Trench Defences

1 Bunker
3 Pillboxes (assumed provided on Divisional frontage by Engineer battalion)
24" of Trenches (First Line)
24" of Trenches (Second Line)
24" of Barbed Wire (10 Sections laid in one continuous strip)
12" of Barbed wire (5 Sections placed as required by the defender)

German Attackers:

Division HQ Stand

4 Infantry Regiments, each with
  • Regiment HQ Stand
  • 3 Battalions each with:
    • MG08
    • 4 Infantry Companies
Divisional Engineer Company

Divisional Artillery:
  • 3 Regiments 77mm Gun (3)
  • 1 Regiment 105mm Howitzer (3)
Corps Artillery Support:
  • 1 Regiment 150mm Howitzers (2)
Army Artillery Support:
  • 1 Super Heavy Regiment
  • 2 Heavy Regiments

On Table forces set up (both sides) See GWSH map.
  • French decided to go with 2 Battalions (at 50%) in the Front Line plus the two pillboxes containing the Bn MGs. The rest of the two forward Battalions were held in the Second line together with the Complete 3rd Battalion. The Bunker (containing the 37mm IG) and the final pillbox were in the second trench line with two battalions HQ and support. The idea would be to reinforce the threatened sector with reserves as soon as the German assault began.
  • German idea was to lead with 2 Regiments into the first trench line and then pass through the two fresh regiments against the second line trench system supported by Div Arty.

Preliminary Bombardment

I had 3 days Preliminary bombardment, I didn't extend it otherwise the French would have been allowed an additional regiment of troops.

So... Germans have, 1 SH Regt, 3 H Regts, and 4 Field Regiments to support the attack.

To destroy the Wire, I need the Field Regiments, while only the SH and H Regiments can damage the Bunkers and Pillboxes.

The defenders can replace 1/2 a stand of wire and on a roll of 4+ may replace a full stand (the rules let me replace 3 pieces per 2 engineer bases so 1 base can replace 1.5. As mine are double width I thought it sensible to give them a 50/50 chance of replacing a full stand.

Three days of 4 Field Regiments shooting gives me 12 shots so on average I might destroy 2 stands of wire. As hitting the same area twice causes a terrain effect, I may as well keep shooting and hope that day 3 will clear a path through.

Using the H Regiments against the Infantry should reduce the defenders firepower as they kill infantry 50% of the time. This then leaves the SH Regiment to 3 days to target 3 separate bunkers/pillboxes. Obviously this means I am aiming for the forward trench area.

Fire plan written off we go.......

Great War - SB Play test 1 (German v Russian)

I have been fortunate to help out with the play testing of the new version of square bashing. I NEVER played the old version which according to web lore people either loved or hated, but as with most RFCM sets there are good ideas and things which some won't like. The rules are set for the specific period, so I can't draw any comparisons with anything else, and the mechanisms are there to reflect the flavour of warfare in the early 20th Century so each to his own. I have played the new SB and found it enjoyable so as a GAME I am keeping with it. If I want something more technical there is GWSH.
I will not steal Martin's thunder about Army Book contents and rule mechanisms. I will only give you a taste of a game in progress (Eastern Front 1914 Germans vs Russians). The thing with RFCM rules is just that, they can be picked and played almost anywhere, this one is no different. The table size is 4' x 3' or 120cm x 90cm, so it will fit quite easily on the average dining table. The new version keeps with squares but as this is a reduced table size the square size is down from 12" to 6", which is the same as PBI. This gives a playing area of 48 squares. Effects and results affect the whole square which means terrain can be moved out of the way of figures etc in the same way as some other RFCM sets.
Open source info (ie if you look on the RFCM Yahoo group will give you an idea that both sides equal about 600 points and comprise (depending on quality and equipment) 8 - 12 Infantry Units, 1 - 4 Cavalry, Half a dozen MGs and another Half dozen or so Artillery pieces. This should provide a game last about 3 hours (including set up etc) but uses the RFCM stock random count down system which means a game can have as few as 4 turns or as many as 21.
 The two forces in this game (Monday 12 Mar 12) are as follows:

  • 1 Unit of Average quality Cavalry
  • 2 Units of Green quality infantry
  • 8 Units of Average quality infantry
  • 6 MG08 Companies
  • 6 Batteries of 77mm Guns
  • Higher Command
  • 1 Unit of Green Quality Cavalry
  • 1 Units of Average Quality Cavalry
  • 6 Units of Green quality Infantry
  • 5 Units of Average quality Infantry
  • 1 Unit of Veteran Quality Infantry
  • 6 Maxim Companies
  • 4 76mm Field Guns
  • Higher Command
Both sides provide 4 pieces of terrain (which will then be placed by the defender) but each player can only have 2 of each allowable type (amended by specifc items in the army lists) for this game we have Village, 4 Woods, Rough Hill, 2 Low hills; each of which is 12" x 6" in size and can be placed either horizontally or vertically. The other terrain items involved are objectives (4 off including the road junction formed by each side placing a road). I won't go into how the objectives are placed but again this needs a bit of thought by the defender. 
The new version has a pre-battle mechansim to determine the attacker/defender as well altering the deployment areas and in game attributes such as the amount of off table artillery support etc. If you have played Bloody Barons then you get the general idea. Again I wont spoil the rules by showing you how it works but just give you the outcome.......
Unfortunately, despite the best effort of the 1914 Germans, the Russians ended up being the attacker "Along the front" this would mean that the German force should lose about 1 base per unit, which should make the attack a bit easier...In the end the Germans lost a total of 3 bases rather than the 12 I was expecting.....
So onto terrain set up. 

First the defender and attack place roads, with an objective becoming the road junction.
The "barren, featureless desert" with the roads added.

The defender then places the rest of the game objectives (which I have called "The Chateau", "High Wood" and "Hill 60". The actual game has different names etc

Defender placed the rest of the terrain provided by both players (Village, 4 Woods, Rough Hill, 2 Low hills), The attacker was allowed to move 3 pieces of terrain and the battlefield was set

Attacking force deploys (at the top). The bulk of the Regular Infantry and going to try and push up the left flank.

Defenders deploy, one of the battle events allows 2 units to move forward.

Russian advance starts off well, as a point barrage hits the reservist unit in the objective and the assault formation is in the perfect place to attack. The other rounds were over hitting the empty hills and the village.

The attack didn't come off and the attackers were repulsed.

Over on the right flank the Russian Infantry is caught by defending artillery, which punishes the reservist units badly.

German reinforcements begin to arrive and their on table artillery begins to whittle down the attacking infantry.

While the German units on the far left flank have been pushed back in disarray the objectives are still not taken. The Russian attack flounders in the face of German firepower. The defenders have used their assets well to reinforce the position with hasty defences. In a final desparate bid the Russian artillery is called in to clear the last of the defenders from the objective and drops short hitting the assaulting troops, causing a rout and retirement of the Professional and Regular units. This is the end of the Russian assault.

SB and other RFCM rules have a countdown process and then game ended on turn five, for a massive german defensive victory although losses were roughly equal in terms of numbers of troops lost, the Russian regular and professional troops had taken a beating and the reservists were not in a position to clear out the reinforced regular germans with intact support.

Some random Eye Candy

Great War - Russian

I have no history for any Russian unit at present so this unit will be a generic formation present at Stalluponen or Gumbinnen in 1914.
Elements of the Starter Army I bought a long time ago. I have now started adding units to it. The white undercoated bases have now been painted so I have just under two full regiments painted up (two of which is about half the necessary Infantry so the Divisions are massive). My next Pendraken Order has 90 Infantry in it which will begin to fill the Infantry up for this. Need to look at the Artillery support which is historically weak with only two artillery battalions per Division with a total of 6 - 8 Batteries, compared to a German division which has 12 Batteries, in 4 Battalions. Might have to rely on the Stoicism of the infantry to enemy firepower to hold the line!
So Pendraken Order has arrived only to find that I ran out of bases as I did a few extra German troops during the week...Doh! More on order but currently means I only have 10 battalions of Russians done for Monday's game! If my mate can get a pack in the post to me tomorrow I can be upto 13 Battalions! Only another 3 left to order then which will be another two packs of RP1 Infantry. At least I have all the MGs!


Great War - Western Front Terrain

As I wanted to use my forces for both Square Bashing and GWSH I looked at some terrain ideas that could be used between the two systems.  This is as far as I have got.  The Trench system is modular and I have done some angular connecting pieces.  I have also knocked out more wire sections which count as difficult terrain in SB.

An idea of the two lead regiments on part of my Western Front terrain. Simple terrain pieces so far, as I gradually get to grips. Eastern Front is my main thing so this will be most definitely work in progress

The thing with both GWSH and SB is that the ground scale doesn't match accurate terrain features such as trenches, so, A bit of artistic license needed.