Friday, May 17, 2019

As yet 'unblooded' on the table top

I've been ill in bed for a week (first sick days off work in 25 years!!) so there's been no painting output, and obviously no games. I felt the need to post something, so.. these T70s, and a Cossack Tchanka, from the 20mm collection. These were all modelled by good friend Gerard, and gifted several years ago. I am sad to say they have yet to see action on the tabletop.

Monday, May 6, 2019

West German air support

A little painting and pottering amidst a heavy work schedule - the air support for the West Germans, repainted with the NATO scheme I like ( I used something similar for the BAOR Harriers).

So, a pair each of Phantoms, and Tornadoes.

That should give a little flexibility in list design for the West Germans.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Action approaching Tula, 1941

Of Marshall Katukov, the record says: "On the onset of the war he took command of the 4th Tank Brigade. In the battle of Moscow in 1941, it was Katukov's Tank Brigade, then part of the 1st Guards Rifle Corps, that checked the advance of Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 near Tula. "

And so the scene was set for last night's Spearhead game, my Germans attacking Keith's newly painted Soviet forces. I've taken a liberty there with the reference to Katukov, because Keith's force was taken from an infantry division organisation. It does however make the point that there were pockets of competence, and even brilliance, in those early days of Soviet defence.

The Germans were executing a hasty attack against a Russian force of three infantry battalions and an armoured brigade.  Andy commanded the Soviet right, and Keith the left, while Jim commanded the German left and I took the right, with the deep armoured thrust. The forces were relatively thin on the ground after several weeks of hard campaigning, and division hd allocated strong artillery forces to the attack to try to shoot the ground forces onto their objectives.

Jim advanced with a motorised infantry battalion, while the German left wing attack had a motorised infantry battalion and a Panzer battalion cross attached. The infantry heavy battalion was to advance into what as expected tp be the strongest part of the Soviet defence, while the tank heavy battalion was to conduct a deep flank march.

The simple German plan, the German forces attacking from the left

The German frontal part of their left wing attack, expecting heavy resistance from the ridge just above the top of the photo

Soviet infantry deployed in the larger town

The German right wing pushes forward

The Soviet right

Action is joined on the German right with the Soviets opening fire

Action heats up

The ridge which was expected to be the main part of the Soviet defence on their right

The Soviets withdraw in the face of the German right wing attack

Keith's newly painted Soviet infantry looking sharp... nice work!!

The German right flank infantry battalion, the Schwere company platoons of StuG IIIs in support

The German left flank approaches the Soviet positions

The deep flank march enters behind the Soviet lines

The main fire fight begins.

While on the right ....

The Soviets commit their armoured brigade which had been held in reserve: T28s and T26s

The Soviet armour pushes forward

The battle continues on the German left. The artillery upon whom so much was dependent failed repeatedly to answer calls .. partisan activity already?

Actin is joined between the Soviet armoured reserve and the deep flank march panzer battalion

Things are getting hot and messy on the German right in what was originally intended to be simply a pinning action

And the action is definitely heating on on the left. A Soviet AT platoon (45mm guns) has accounted for two platoons of Pz IVs

On the right ..

Very ugly and messy

O.. oh..

Wow.. intense ..

The Soviets (random morale) had turned out to be green, but inspired by their Commissars, they held, surviving a . morale check...

Armoured action, each side taking losses. The Soviet armour came up as 'Regular', as had their left flank battalion facing the German right.. 
And the German right flank is stretched too...

We hd to call the game at this stage. The VP situation favoured the Soviets 5:2 in what had been a really interesting action.

My choice of attack list for the Germans was most probably too heavy on artillery, and needed more troops on the ground. We had both take an Option A, mine being a battalion of 170 mm guns for Counter Battery work. Keith had done likewise. His CB had been spectacularly successful, eliminating a complete battalion of German 105mm guns, while mine had eliminated one battery of his CB 152mm, and suppressing the other. The German artillery, normally reasonably successful, was a dismal failure, suffering repeated die rolls of 1 or 2 to acquire. Andy on the other hand had a series of rolls of 5 or 6 to acquire, and then hit, the German artillery.

Such is the 'gaming life'... and what a great game it was.

Monday, April 15, 2019

West Germans 1982 for Modern Spearhead

Sometimes things just fall in to place, whether that's our hobby, or life in general.

I make  no secret of the fact that I am a fan of the Spearhead stable of rules, WW1, WW2, and Moderns.

With that in mind, quite a few years ago Adrian and I swapped out the figures I'd bought for a League of Augsberg army with Adrian's pile of moderns vehicles .. West Germans, French, Dutch, and Americans. They have sat unloved in their original boxes for far too long. Some fiction reading (Harvey Black's series 'The Red Effect: the day the cold war turned hot', 'The Black Effect', and 'The Blue Effect') created some motivation to finally do something with them. I have begun with the West Germans. They needed basing, and a new colour scheme. I also had to buy some infantry to add to the MICV bases.

Finally the core of the West German army is completed.

You don't get a lot of stands of West Germans under the scenario generation system - highly effective, but thin on the ground, whew

The Marder MICVs

Some ICTs mounted in M113s

The good ol' M106 Mortar carriers, 120mm mortars

Jaguar AT platoons

M577 Brigade command

Luchs recce platoon

Gepard AA support

Roland AA support

Red Eye man pack AA support

Finally the MBTs.. Leopards
So, this is the core army, with enough stands to do a defend list and an attack list. As I said, good quality, but VEEERRRYYY thin on the ground. There are a lot more vehicles in the box, but I don;'t think I'll want too many more, although i need to play around with some lists before I do anything else. Thanks Adrian.. what an amazing gift. I am embarrassed to say that you finished painting the League of Augsberg figures you received in exchange quite along time ago... and wow did those figures go to a good home.

Now, the French ...

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Creative use of junk... isn't that just the ticket for HotT?

So it's like this... we'd been given a couple of packets of sachets of dog food. We don't normally feed our girls with that stuff, it's mostly water and very little nutrition. But... there were these interesting looking plastic packaging retainers in which the sachets sat. I hate consigning interesting looking stuff to the landfills, so the question was what could I make of them.

I put them face to face, and trimmed the edging off the top one. This looked a little like a bunker, or a magical tunnel , or ... well who knows. I had in mind something that might work for WWW1, or VSF, either as a piece of terrain, or a stronghold, for our HotT games. I just added a table tennis ball for a dome and a dish.

So, here is the finished piece, in the first photo complete with British VSF troops.

And here with WWW1 units.

I added some details at each end to look like lights.

And played with the idea of a magical dome.. it didn't quite work, but it'll do.

As yet 'unblooded' on the table top

I've been ill in bed for a week (first sick days off work in 25 years!!) so there's been no painting output, and obviously no games...