Sunday, December 21, 2014

Teugen-Hausen Take 2! Volley & Bayonet Action

Ken hosted a Volley & Bayonet game of Teugen-Hausen (1809) at his house this afternoon with his outstanding French and Austrian 15mm troops, and I'm pleased to report we got through 6 complete turns of battle.

I played the French and Ken played the Austrians.  This battle was a real meatgrinder, and probably characteristic of the French campaigns against the Austrians at this time.

The Austrian advanced guard deployed on the high ground overlooking Teugen.
One of the aspects of the game that struck me was the importance of morale and its effects on formations.  This became apparent during and after melees when the French won most of the tie-breaking die rolls in melee due to their high morale (all French formations were Morale 6) and the presence of Elites.
The mighty 57th deploys for action along the Teugen-Hausen road!  

French troops move into the attack while the Austrians give ground grudgingly!

THe Austrians of Lusignan's Division deploy to stop St Hilaire's rampaging Frenchmen!
St Hilaire advanced up the heights overlooking Teugen and pushed the advanced guard back somewhat.  Ken threw out his skirmish troops to my flanks and not only threatened my flanks but presented obstacles to any further advances.  This wasn't going to be a walk in the park getting to Hausen!

Austrian reinforcements and the main line of resistance!  Hausen - a tough nut to crack!

Friant's division shows up and immediately is sent to the heights.  Davout wants them to try and outflank the Austrians!

The 57th on the left under the tree needs a rest and, aside from being out of command, will wait for their detached skirmisher to show up and bolster their fledgling strength!
Ken is amassing quite the forces behind the marshy creek in front of Hausen and with St Hilaire's division getting more beat up as the turn clock moves on, I'm not looking forward to launching the assault across the creek!

Friant executes a forced march through the woods!

Duty calls as troops of Gudin's Division, under the direct command of Marshall Davout, launch another grueling assault!

You have to be careful after a melee because sometimes occupying the ground held by a brigade after a melee may put you out of command.  I could seldom spare the time it would take to get them back into command!

Ken's main line of resistance!  Bristling with guns and bayonets.  By the way, the dedicated guns of the Austrian brigades  were also an unpleasant surprise!

More and more Austrians blocking access to Hausen.

Friant's Division attempts the crossing and is stopped by an Austrian Brigade.  They'll have to fight from the marshy banks!

Meanwhile, St Hilaire's Division is quickly approaching exhaustion but the assault goes on as planned.

Meanwhile an entire brigade is taken out of the grand assault to deal with a Cavalry skirmisher detachment Ken threw in their way!  

After heavy fighting, 1 French brigade on the far left secures a toe-hold on the other side.

Meanwhile the 10th Ligne routs from heavy fighting!

The battle is broken by the sudden appearance of a giant hand from the sky.

Ken's Austrians counter-attack the bridgehead!

Meanwhile Gudin's Flank march finally arrives and begins its attack.
At this point we started rolling to end the battle (which ended with the timely arrival of a thunderstorm).  I did not make the roll to end the game so we will fight another turn!  Can Gudin knock the remaining Austrians out of Hausen?  Can the Austrians exhaust a French Division in time to win the battle?

All in all, a fun battle and I'm looking forward to the conclusion.  I personally feel like this will be an Austrian victory but time will tell as there are still 2 powerful French divisions on the Austrian flanks.  Although they might not have enough time to dislodge the tough Austrian forces in Hausen, it's going to be fun to find out!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Panzer III Ausf M Heavy Metal! Tiger Begleitung!

As promised here are some more shots of my latest mad-scientist creations here at Sound Officers Call.  A pair of Panzer III Ms with the side skirts from Plastic Soldier Company.  These are 15mm and I still have 2 more of their brothers to complete.  I'm saving the 5th for the stub-nosed "n" model, the support gun.

 The mighty Panzer III!  You can clearly see evidence of my first DISASTROUS painting attempt.  I used Silly Putty to try and mask the original, botched camo job.  Dont ever do that under any circumstances.  I'm adding that to the wargaming TACSOP...

 The second go around worked much better.  Believe it or not, there are 2 layers of protective finish on these.  I didn't paint all the detail I would have liked to, but again these are for the wargaming table and in my humble opinion, I think they look ok.

I tried some "chipping" and rust with a small foam thing, but it still just looks like dirt.

dont even ask about the TC.  He got all blobbed up with paint from the 2 go-arounds under the spray can...

Look at that unsightly crap all over the skirts!

These will serve either as Tiger escorts or as their own independent unit.  I only plan on buying a box or two of these (PSC REALLY did this kit right!  They were my favorite kit by far to assemble).

I love the Panzer III.  It's one of my all time favorite tanks of the war.  Next 2 or 3 I will not make the same mistakes again.  I was thinking for 1 vehicle, I will paint it in the same scheme as my Tigers, with a slightly darker green pattern first.

Tonight was the conclusion of a 15mm Black Powder game and boy was that a mess.  Command and Control a huge issue and I learned some really important lessons.

Also have a gaggle of T-34s to post as well.  More to follow!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BT-7 Pair!

Well I finally got around to finishing these lovely Zvezda 1/100 BT-7s I had laying around.  These are, of course, for Battlegroup Barbarossa and will be the centerpiece of my Soviet counter-attack forces.
 The decals are from Plastic Soldier Company.  They are painted in Krylon "light olive," dry-brushed with "sandstone," weathered with the Plastic Soldier Company's "Light Brown Weathering Spray," dry brushed again! then sealed.  Sadly I wish I could say they looked nicer for all the work I put into them but they are for the wargaming table and not the competition table!

2 Soviet troopers for scale

here they are in their natural element!

Comrade Commissar has arrived for inspection of the glorious people's tank troops

Next up I have a batch of German Panzer III M's with the skirts for my Battlegroup: Kursk forces, as well as a T-34/76 platoon also for BGK.  I need to do one or two more things for the BGK units to be completed, then I can post pictures.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Squad Leader in Miniature: The Guards Counterattack!

I wanted to try something a little different today so I placed some terrain down and grabbed my "Squad Leader in Miniature" (SLIM) rules along with the original SL rulesbook and a bunch of my 15mm Eastern Front Soviets and Germans to play Scenario #1: The Guards Counterattack.

While I don't have the urban nightmare that was the streets of Stalingrad, the numerous stone buildings in this village and all of the rubble definitely provided the ambiance and solid cover I was looking for.

The Germans are outnumbered and hard-pressed to defend the stone buildings on the map.  The Soviets have a massive infantry group in a reserve position on the table.  The names of the officers and NCOs are directly from the Scenario Card.

German Company Commander, Captain Wetzelberge (9 -2)
 Original victory conditions stipulate that the Soviets must occupy 2 buildings initially occupied by the Germans, or have a significantly higher amount of stone buildings in their possession.  To make this really easy, I only included a handful of standing stone buildings on the table, 2 of which were already occupied!

German HMG position under the command of  SGT Hieken (8 -1).
 This game featured a ton of "oh crap" moments just like I remember when playing SL in college.  Long-shot MMG bursts taking out entire squad and platoons in defensive fire were commonplace this afternoon.

Soviet Support by Fire position overlooking the village center.  MMG section and rifle squad under the command of Lieutenant Dubovich (9 -1)

Soviet assault group - under the command of Colonel Berki (10 -2), the Battalion Commander.

The dreaded Commissar Cohenov
 Rifle and MMG fire from the Russian positions against Berki's HMG section broke the section almost immediately and they were suppressed allowing the Soviet infantry already in the town free movement on the German right.
 Fire from the Commissar's position in the village center crippled the German command group and each rifle squad broke under the accurate fire.

Soviets pour the fire into the buildings hoping to hit something!

German return fire is fairly accurate but the Germans are too scattered to form any firegroups 

 The Soviets push forward despite some early losses.  The Germans attempt to leapfrog a platoon back towards the buildings.
CPT Wetzelberge rallies the command group and they return fire after taking casualties.

The German platoon on the left moves their position to engage the Commissar's troops in the center of town.  Their fire is deadly accurate and the entire commissar group is wiped out.  Cohenov would be put in for the Order of Lenin but this was eventually downgraded to a People's Commendation.
 The last words of SGT Hamblen, meanwhile, are "well i never expected that to happen" as the platoon is eliminated by defensive fire crossing a linear danger area (the Soviet MMG using long-range, defensive fire!  Firepower 6 but minus 2 on the die roll gets them a KIA result.  These were losses the Germans really couldn't afford to take)

SGT Hamblen's covering force is taken out early in the game while attempting a retrograde.

Cohenov's old position, now vacant.  Immediately in the background are the waves of Colonel Berki's assault group.
 The Soviets move their assault group forward in one huge stack and the Germans pour rifle and LMG fire into the advancing khaki wave.

Soviet human wave attack!!
 The Germans are able to thin out about half of the attackers before grudgingly giving ground themselves.  While no squads are knocked out, about 6 Soviet "Guards" squads are broken and sent to the rear in cover.
Soviet Guards casualties.  Relatively light wouldn't you agree??

The remaining Soviets push on, intent on cutting the road and getting to the 2 story stone building that was once Soviet Party Headquarters in this region.

Casualty pile mounts

Town center is chock full of Ivans and the Germans attempt to pull back on the road.  CPT Wetzelberge stays at the crossroads with his single squad to hold off the Soviets, buying time for his Landsers to occupy better ground.

A German squad is routed onto the road.  Ivan is right on their heels!

The crossroads where CPT Wetzelberge earned his Knight's Cross.  His command group is seen butted up against the pine tree.  He would fight it out with 2 Russian squads simultaneously, killing both, and also getting killed in the process.  Squad Leader allows 1 leadership mod to be used per Close Combat.  If there ever was a time for that, it's now!
 Meanwhile, on the Soviet left, the Soviets sneak up to the stone and brick structure housing the German HMG section and SGT Hieken.  Ineffective defensive fire and bad rolling sees Hieken and his section wiped out, opening the back door of the village to the rest of the Soviet squads still in cover.  1 stone building down, 1 to go!

Wetzelberge's last stand!  There used to be 2 more Soviet stands on the crossroads...
 German resistance collapses and the remaining landers, on their last turn, are unable to fire at any targets so they call the game and run off.  Colonel Berki's troops occupy the old Party Headquarters building and the battle is over.

Germans bugging out of Party Headquarters!
Well nice going if you made it this far.  I am a big fan of Squad Leader and playing it in miniature is all the more enjoyable as it's much more visual.  Tracking units might be difficult if playing a larger battle but I certainly think the game can handle it.  You can download the rules and the SLIM supplemental rules for free and they should be available on the links section on my blog.