28 February 2013

FoW: And then I had my whole foot in...

Flames of War 20mm: And then I had my whole foot in...

Ok so we get to the club last night, and it's my German Panzerkompanie up against Luc's UK Armoured Squadron in Normandy. Late war. Flames of War in 20mm

Free-for-all and objectives to seize and hold, 2 each. A river runs through it, with a bridge and mill-house, small forest and village. Open fields mostly.Still struggling with numbers of models, as our armies were build for Warhammer WW2. Troops not on multi-bases. Not nearly enough artillery or Shermans, not the right light models  tanks on UK side. End up using Matildas as Stuart replacements, and M10s as stand-in Shermans

Slow start, as we're still feeling our way. Mike is at hand to help with rules, going a lot easier this time...more enjoyable. Our confidence and enjoyment improves turn by turn.Thank you very much Michael!

I choose to defend the approaches to the bridge with a pair of portee Kfz 7 Flak vierling 20mms, also giving cover to my motorised infantry. Not much space for my recce Zundapps with sidecars to maneuvre. LeFH 18s deploy on the edge of the boasrd, covering the right hand corner, Company commander in lead Panzer over to thier right. Panther company skulking behind the mill house, with one covering the bridge approach, and two covering the flank.

Luc places his field artillery (25 pdr x 2) opposing mine, 2 troops of 4 each Shermans with a firefly gun-tank each on that flank, and another troop on his side of the bridge. Motorised infantry deploy on other side of river facing him. Troop of 3 Stuarts supporting them

Firefly in my sights. German Command Tank advancing.

The Ill-fated QF 25 pounder battery, shortly before the Luftwaffe's visit.
Shermans passing by. This troop ended up taking the majority of the Panthers out.

First 2 turns is mostly tactical maneuvring, both side's foot soldiers digging in. Armour jostling for position. Herr Oberst in Panzer 1 takes out Firefly on approach to bridge, just to be taken out in return by a flanking troop with another firefly. Luftwaffe arrives on turn 2, contarary to expectations, 3 make it through the air defences, and takes out the whole 25 pdr battery, HQ escapes the blast, hops into their Bren carrier; and goes and sits on objective to defend it for the rest of the game. Lucs turn 2 sees his Stuarts (Matildas) taking out most of my motorised platoons' MGs, and laying down a smokescreen to further protect his dug in motor company.Spectacular fail on roll to bring on air support: 4 ones and 3 two's!; the RAF miss their target completely. Germans relieved.

Almost an ambush. Panthers protecting the bridge and the objective marker from behind the Mill House

Infantry face off across the river, both sides dug in.

Lots of baling out and clambering into vehicles in the next turn, a couple of Shermans destroyed by the panthers. Luftwaffe arrives again, a single aircraft makes it to target, anti-aircraft fire from Stuarts fail, and 2 of their number succumb to the direct hits from the veteran dive-bomber pilots. Sherman on the bridge now lay down smoke to protect their infantry. Panzergrenadiers unfussed, move forward through river, difficult terrain no problem for them, same with motorcycles, who cut through forest and attack the flank of the Tommies. Shermans open fire, and destroy the German transports struggling through the river. The Captain and his Protze staff car make it through unscathed. The surviving troops divert for a gap between the bridge and the houses, trying to make it to the objective beyond, taking cover behind a house.RAF finally make it through, only to be destroyed by the Flak before launching their rockets. Sherman takes out one in retribution on Luc's turn.

None of these Shermans survived the battle.

Movin' out. Luc's turn 1. Only one Sherman from this troop survived the Panther attack. 
Ok, the luftwaffe also took 2 out!

Ranging in...Open sights of the enemy

Luftwaffe at hand. 

Carnage after they had been...

With only one Stuart (Matilda) to oppose them the motorcyclists cross unhindered

Meanwhile a drama is played out behind the mill house, slug-fest between the panthers and Sherman troops.
The 2 IC panzer is flanked, hit repeatedly, baled, but remounted every time by the experienced crew. Impetuous sherman crew pay the price. Approach to bridge now open, and the panzer crew eagerly eye the objective just beyond the bridge. Only problem is the hulks of multiple burnt-out Shermans on it. While they are still contemplating what to do next they receive a long range shot from a firefly that sends the wonderment into oblivion in a ball of smoke and fire. Same fate befalls another Panther, breaks the line of approaching Shermans, takes out the firefly. Sole survivor retreats back towards objective. Coward Tommies, lets get them!, race forward thinking that cover from hulks on battlefield will protect, But no, the only surviving firefly has the last word: Boom! Panzer Zerstoerd (Destroyed)

Only one Panther, the Field Artillery, Zundapp riders and the one 20mm Flak vehicle survive. O yeah, and Herr Kapitan with half his Sturmtruppen, behind the house.

A good victory to Luc! A much more enjoyable game once you get the rules.

Lessons learned: 
1. Get the right models, and enough of them
2. Read the rules some more, watch the videos again
3. Base the infantry on team bases
4. Panthers pack good punch, but are a bit lacking in side armour. As an expensive option Tigers may be better.

22 February 2013

WHFB New Chaos Daemon Releases and Army Book

WHFB New Chaos Daemon Releases and Army Book

GW has just (3 h ago) opened pre-orders on the new Chaos Daemon Army Book and Models

Check my fantasy Site for more info and pictures:


21 February 2013

Progress with the 8th Army

Progress with the 8th Army

I have been so absorbed with the NZTC Championsip Warhammer Fantasy Battles (and annual leave up in the sunny Bay of Islands) that I have neglected to update my 20mm blog to some extent.

Prior to Xmas I finished basing and almost finished painting a good deal of my 8th Army Desert/Italian Campaign Force. I started with the ANZAC Forces, using the Aussie Jungle Fighters by Airfix, and Indian Troops. I added a scattering of Ghurkas too, as they had the right headgear. Don't think they came out too bad. Down side to it all is that I had just finished repainting all my armour and guns for the European conflict...Oh well..

Anyhow, finally got to taking a few snaps, so here it is: The Allied defense of Wadi Ah Ful, somewhere in North Africa:

Signals receive word that a Recce Patrol has sighted a German Recce and Tank Unit
 making its way towards Wadi Ah Ful

The supply column hastily refuels and rearms the Diggers

A Matilda Platoon from the Indian Company is sent out to reconnoitre

While British Crusaders move up to bolster the Aussie Digger Platoons moving out. The battery of 6pdr anti-tank guns are already dug in, and ready for any Fritz that pokes his nose over the dunes

A Unit of Grants move over to the ridge above the Wadi to give the Indians suporting fire. Two 17 pounders may not be enough...

Indian Recce patrol returns reporting that the German coloumn has just entered the South End of the Wadi

Aussie sappers lay another mine-field along the edge of the Wadi

While the Indian 17 pounders lay in wait

3 Platoons of Sikh warriors move out to meet the Desert Fox and his Afrika Korps

Anti-tank and Anti-Aircraft cover

Kurz und Lang: Two Models of the  PzKfW IV roll into the South end of Wadi Ah Ful

German Recce Platoon racing down the dunes:

Two half-tracks, one a radio command vehicle, the other with a 20mm gun, and 3 SDKfz 222s each packing a 20mm cannon, 3 kubelwagens with Mg 34s, and a Kettenrad: 
Clearly a hit-and-run Kampfgruppe

Methinks the element of surprise is gone.

Can we expect those verdamte Hurribombers or Beaufighters again? 

But the Allies are prepared. View from the German (South end) of Wadi Ah Ful 

PzKfw IVs eyeing the Matildas

They may just have bitten off more than they can chew...
View from the North

Dipping my toe...FoW gaming in 20mm

 Dipping my Toe...FoW game in 20mm

Ok, so it had to happen sooner or later. Wargames are turn-based. Mostly. Period. (No pun intended)

 WWW2 (Warhammer WW2) is great fun, but I'm not all that keen on initiative/leadership  testing to see which units get to go, nominating this unit, then that...

Even Phil Yates must have come to the same conclusion when he started developing FoW.

... On the other hand I found the FoW rules we played last nightjust  a tad tedious. (Maybe its just because I have to look so many things up, and we were all noobs at it)

 It does differ substantially from Lionel Tarr and Donald Feathersone's rules that I cut my teeth on; and the Games Workshop stuff that's my main  fodder at the moment.( Just took part in a Team Championship Tournament last week.)

So back top WW2, as I've had enough of Dark Elves and Daemons for a while. But then again they have brought out some great looking models...Isn't avarice a terrible thing?

Ok, so there we went, Luc and I at the Kapiti Wargames Club, chose to random opposing sides,

 Late War: German PzGrenadiers with 2 platoons of Panthers, 
and British Armoured Squadron, with a lorryload of Shermans, a platoon of Firefly Shermans, and 4 M10 Achilles Tank destroyers.

We chose to play a simple capture and hold the objective battle, with a small farm, Pas de Douchie,  in centre of the table, with 2 roads leading to it, a ploughed field, and a forest.

Panzer Grenadiers rushing in with their Hanomags, just failing to make it to the objective before Luc's Motor Company. Think I forgot some of the German special rules, but so hey...

Time and ineptitude constrained us, but we got in a couple of rounds, Luc took the farm, and held it successfully.

Still struggling a bit with the concept of hits being based on opponents experience rather than shooter's ballistic skill. Suppose it will come with time. Thanks Michael for offering to help us next week.

LSSAH Panther on the road to Pas de Douchie

BTW: check out this great graphic site for armour I discovered:

18 February 2013

NZTC (New Zealand Team Championships) Tournament Warhammer Fantasy Battles

Kapiti Krushers at the NZTC (New Zealand Team Championships) Tournament
Warhammer Fantasy Battles

The Kapiti Wargames Club fielded a team called the Kapiti Krushers at Saturday and Sunday's New Zealand Warhammer Fantasy Battles Team Championships, held and Ngaio Town Hall, in Wellington

This was my first tournament, which I approached with just a bit of trepidation, but I found all the opponents I came up against accepting of my lack of tournament experience and ignorance of some of the finer niceties of the 8th edition rules.

We came in 7th overall, which was a little disappointing for some, but I am generally quite satisfied with our performance (being the newbie)

Still some bragging rights in that: I suppose KWC's Kapiti Krushers are now Ranked no 7 team in NZ until next year.

Not bad for a start, I think... And…we beat the Aussies (yay!)

Check my WHFB blog for more detail and photos: Trouble in the Border Provinces

7 February 2013

Of Hobbits, Cars, Trains and Aeroplanes

Of Hobbits, Cars, Trains and Aeroplanes

Thought I'd share this with all you Aeroplane, Wargaming and Hobbit Fans out there: Some really quirky accommodation we slept in while on a road trip in January:

Link to better pictures of the hobbit holes and the plane on my aeroplane blog: