31 January 2016

The slacker returns - Crusade 's - a-coming

SAGA Crescent and Cross


Just before Xmas my SAGA Crescent and Cross Arab/Saracen/Muslim faction and dice arrived.
Been slacking on blogging ( but not painting, converting or modelling)


I had already been converting my long unpainted (read base-coated only)  LOTR figures to represent Crusade age warriors. Humming Chris de Burg's "Crusader" I thus set to work...

"What do I do next?" said the bishop to the priest,
"I have spent my whole life waiting, preparing for the feast,
And now you say Jerusalem has fallen and is lost,
The king of heathen Saracen has seized the holy cross;"




Then the priest said:
"Oh my bishop, we must put them to the sword,
For God in all His mercy will find a just reward,
For the noblemen and sinners, and knights of ready hand,
Who will be the Lord's Crusader, send word through all the land, 
Jerusalem is lost,Jerusalem is lost,Jerusalem is lost ..." 

"Tell me what to do", said the king upon his throne,
"but speak to me in whispers for we are not alone,
They tell me that Jerusalem has fallen to the hand,
Of some bedeviled eastern Heathen who has seized the Holy Land;"

Then the chamberlain said "Lord, we must call upon our foes
In Spain and France and Germany to end our bitter wars,
All Christian men must be as one and gather for the fight,
You will be their leader, begin the battle cry, 
Jerusalem is lost,Jerusalem is lost,Jerusalem is lost"

So therefore: Spain came first. 
(Any resemblance to LOTR characters living or dead; is non-intentional and completely incidental)


The Spanish Forces of El Cid (The Reconquistada)



Command on foot


Mounted (Standard bearer still on the desk top)




Archers. Found it an interesting challenge to paint the amrour as leather rather than metal, and  I am quite happy with the result




Spearmen /Levy, possibly a bit heavy armoured to be levy, but with the numbers they can double for anything on the battlefield



Warriors/Hearth guard


Another command group (or simply more warriors).
Seems to be a bit of a waste of Aragorn though

And a shield wall of warriors




Thundering hooves



I already had the Spanish Cavalry, ready painted, only needed basing and minimal touch-up. Bought these off Jon Bettin. Will be put to good use, thanks Jon!




30 December 2015

Saga Crescent and Cross: Merry Christmas and Happy New year. From Dad...to Dad!

Saga Crescent and Cross: 

Merry Christmas and Happy New year.... From Dad...to Dad!

Xmas has come and gone, with yours truly working all the way through. Little time for blogging, less time for gaming, snatching a few moments to paint here and there.

Anyhow it is almost over now, and when others go off back to work, we start to play...
Took the boat trailer for a warrant of fitness this am, dusted off the fishing rods.

Thoughts turn to the joy that Santa brought...an inflatable water "biscuit" to be towed behing the boat; a book on Gallipoli; a close-up lens to fit my phone for better photos of my models...

and a package from Wayland Games. To Dad. From Dad. With Love. 
3 boxes of Gripping Beast Arab minis  to add to my current favourite obsession.
Saga.


I have recently repainted all of my LOTR figures as spanish troops. Yes, I think it worked. No, not Bilbo and Frodo or any other hobbit! Numedoreans, Harradim, Rohorrim, and other last standers.
Amazing what can be done with a suitable colour scheme and imagination.
Bought some Spanish horsemen off Facebook. They just needed basing. Were already well painted.


So Santa's gift under the tree, from me, to me, was 3 boxes of Arab troops: Infantry, light and heavy cavalry. Can do a lot in Crescent and Cross with that mix! And Christian and Muslim dice!

Now just to assemble the figures...




5 December 2015

SAGA rising

Saga and Kings of War: 

After the demise of the Warhammer world


My wargaming has changed irrevocably. I am no longer the prisoner of Games Workshop. 

I have spread my wings and left the Age of the Sigmarines to those who wish to partake. Flames of war trundles along, but I wait for inspiration on that front. My attention and fervour has turned to Saga


.

Started off with swapping some ratmen for 28mm Normans at the Kapiti Wargames Club's open day. Needed the push, did I (?) So off we go...few clicks of the mouse later and we are on Gripping Beast's website, and not long before the my Vikings arrive, and the rulebooks, and Cross and Crescent. Look-Shinitis strikes again. 


Quite happy the way my Viking command turned out

I am now the proud owner of enough Vikings to fill two 16 plus point warbands, same with the Normans and also a Spanish warband. The long unpainted LOTR figures have become quasi-Muslim warriors, or Spanish infantry. And we have enough for a war. 


Viking levy archers


Viking Warriors

First out of the blocks is a Vikings vs Normans 4 pointer against my son. I draw the Vikings, he gets the Normans on roll-off. Civilised that way, we are.
Complete novice agains couple-of games- (ahem) veteran. Great fun.


Luc kicks Dad's a$$ with the Normans. Dex Aie. 

Twice that has happened to my Viking warlords. Starting to hate that ability. Anyhow, loving Saga. Very satisfying models to paint too. Nice to run the History channel's Vikings series as background on the PC. Or Youtube search for Norse music. Lots out there. Stirring stuff.



Ulfhednar Beserkers- the 1st Unit



Ulfhednar 2nd Unit. Taking on the Norse Levy archers


Ulfhednar and Bondi with great axes taking on the Norse cavalry




While the Norse infantry follow behand their warriors, also equipped with the Dane axe.
(Not that it gives any extra benefit to either faction.)


20 October 2015

And so, back to the future...

Happy Back to the Future Day!





Not Photoshopped. I was allowed to sit in the Southward Car Museum's De Lorean.
Its not what you know. It's who you know...



8 June 2015

KWC Open Day: Batrep of the Defense of Niedlingen

Open Day FoW in 20mm Game: Defense of Niedlingen, East Prussia (Winter 1944-45)


The  (fictitious) East Prussian Town of Niedlingen is situated a about 600 hundred kilometers east of Berlin, near Arnswalde.

Historical context:

In early February 1945, the 11th SS Panzer Battalion Nordland was ordered onto the offensive as a part of Operation Sonnenwende, the plan to destroy a Soviet salient and to relieve the troops besieged in the town of Arnswalde.
11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division „Nordland“.svg

The offensive had been conceived by Generaloberst Heinz Guderian as a massed assault all along the front but had then been reduced by Hitler to the level of a local counter-attack. Initially, Nordland's attack achieved a total tactical surprise and the division soon advanced to the banks of Lake Ihna in all sectors. However, as the Soviet forces realized what was happening, resistance grew stiffer and the advance began to slow. On 17 February, the division reached Arnswalde and relieved the exhausted garrison. Over the next few days the town was secured and the surviving civilians were evacuated.

Soon however, strong Soviet counter-attacks halted the division's advance, and Steiner called off the attack, pulling the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps back to Stargard and Stettin on the northern Oder River. The 10. SS-Panzer-Division "Frundsberg", led by Brigadef├╝hrer Heinz Harmel, also took part in the operation after being detached from the II SS Panzerkorps in December 1944 (at the time engaged on the Western Front).

Flames of War in 20mm

By 21 February the conclusion was arrived-at that no more useful gains could be made against an increasingly powerful enemy without incurring undue casualties, so Steiner ordered a general withdrawal back to the north bank of the river Ihna.

This is where our battle is set.


Elements of the 11th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg occupy the Town of Niedlingen, East Prussia


General Jaydovich advising Colonel Bruce-chev on the best use of the Soviet Guards Army Tankovy

Russian armour arrive on the banks of the frozen  Ihna River
German pioneers have laid a mine-field on the north bank. A pedestrian bridge (left) and a
single lane metal bridge span the river. The Germans have not had time to dig in, so swift has the Soviet retaliation and pursuit been.


The fuel dump (Soviet Objective 1) is defended by a Pak 40 and MG 42 along with infantry

Turn one:  Colonel Bruce-chev approaches the two bridges, and orders a unit of Cossacks and a unit of Partisans to clear the minefield. As the Don Cossacks had fought on both sides of the war, they are considered expendable, as are the partisans. 
Among their number is a group of nuns, possibly secreting hand-weapons under their habits.


Several groups of partisans succumb to the mine-field. Somehow the nuns survive, and keep moving forward. The Cossacks follow eagerly behind them on horseback.


The second Soviet objective is the town centre of Niedlingen. The only road approach is protected by two stugs and several Pak 40s. The town centre is held by a number of Panther tanks. In the fields beyond  the town is a unit of Nebelwerfers and an artillery battery of 7 LeFH 18 howitzers.

Her Oberst is ably assisted by Herr Leutnant Romlet in his first battle. Fresh out of Panzer schule he is very knowledgable on armour and eager for battle. 


The Soviets attack first, and drive for the bridges


IS-2s clearing a bank on their race for the bridge


Columns of Soviet Armour pouring towards Niedlingen

The German 1st turn sees the lead T34-85 and T34 Obr 1943 destroyed on the bridge. The Soviets are caught in a bottle-neck. They try to cross the frozen river on foot, but the infantry commander falls through the ice on a roll of a 1. (Roll anything but a one, Bruce!)

PTRDs move up to give defensive fire while the heavy IS-2s advance

The Nebelwerfers and LeFH18s take a heavy toll on infantry, mortar units  and 122mm Howitzers, almost all falling prey to the template of mass destruction


Turn 2 degenerates on both sides into an artillery slugfest, with almost all infantry in range being destroyed by artillery fire. Su76s, 85s and IS-2s all unleash a torrent of lead on the German defenders. Pak 40s, mortar units, MG crews, all fall to the murderous fire. 

The  Germans return the favour with all their artillery capable of firing HE and rockets.
The Soviets used foresight, and brought a recovery vehicle with them. The burning T34s are swiftly moved out of the way, and IS2s and ISU 122s start crossing the bridge



Turn Three: CCCP: The Cossacks and Partisans advance through and clear the mine-fields. 
Seems some of the German soldiers are good catholic boys, 
and cannot get themselves to shoot at the nuns. 
They make it to the fuel storage tanks, habits flowing in the mid-winter wind.

The Cossacks cavalry charge the defenders, mowing them down with SMG fire. The last men standing are two artillery observers. They fall to merciless flashing sabres and flailing hooves in the assault phase. The nuns and the cossacks take the objective

Their Turn 3 sees the Germans leave the town centre, in an attempt to outflank the Cossacks attacking the fuel dump.
StugGs, Panthers and Jagdpanthers advance past the church. Reinforcements arrive, but fail to make any impact on the rest of the battle.


German armour rushing towards the Russian advance


Turn 4: The Soviets counter with armour to back up the Cossacks holding the fuel dump.
The T34s make it across the frozen river, but for some reason the assault gun commanders seem to think that their vehicles weigh the same as the medium tanks.

The lead SU 85 plunges to the bottom of the frozen river, with only a small splash and trail of bubbles to mark his passing. The rest stall on the bank.



Desperate to remove the nuns and cossacks from the fuel dump the SS bring up their heavy hitters. 
A King Tiger and Jagd Tiger with an Begleit Panther clank through the narrow streets. The bulk of the factory and station prevent them from drawing a bead on the cavalry troops. They are unable to shoot.


Unfortunately for them, they are now within the range of the tankbusters. 
The Panther is the first to brew up in Turn 5


During their turn 4 the Germans also bring up the balance of their Panthers 
and two tank destroyers of their own


Turn 5: The sole surviving PTRD fires from the farmyard


Hits the flank of the lead StuG who had not thought to wear schurtzen that day. 
This oversight creates a fatal bottle-neck for the German tanks


The assault guns continue to rain destruction, and this time it is the King Tiger that cops it. 
It is hard to stop a barrage of 122 mm shells dropping on your thin top armour


Source of the destruction: ISU 122s and IS-2s en masse, protected by SU 76s and T34-85s


Final moments of the 10. SS Tank Battalion at Niedlingen. 

The tightly packed German armour succumb to a whirlwind of Russian shells. The nuns and Cossacks hold an objective  by the end of the game, and the Germans fail in their attempt to deny the Russians and push them back across the river. 

A resounding victory to Colonel Bruce-chev and his Red Guard Tankovy