Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ponyri Station Soviet Order of Battle: RAPID FIRE

After alot of thought and pondering on the subject, I've decided that the rules I want to pursue for "large battles" or battles "in the grand manner" are RAPID FIRE.  First of all, I love tinkering with the OOBs and converting the real life troop strengths with the numbers in the game, secondly, I love how the game flows more and more, and I enjoy the fact that I can build out HQs and support units and they actually have uses.

Anyways, the last few days I've been mulling over all of the units involved in my hair-brained Ponyri Station Mega Battle and converting them to RAPID FIRE tables of organization and equipment (TOE).

Feel free to check out and use at your leisure.  Believe it or not, this is not going to be a huge lift in terms of painting or modeling.  The entire Soviet 307th Rifle Division will get about 263 painted Russians and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 16 tanks?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

VDV Basing Double-Trouble

I am something of a home-made basing aficionado so imagine my surprise when David F mailed my pumice basing material to me last Christmas.  He's been urging me to break it out and use it so I figured this would be a good time to try it out with proper infantry team / squad bases.

Pumice mixture painted black and dry brushed with vallejo flat earth and then some "over the counter" "territorial beige" which works really well 
 I stuck these guys down right onto the pumice when it was wet (it comes in a mixture of PVA) and they are holding on nicely.  The flock is GW grass.

Soviet airborne advancing onto the bridge!

Oh don't mind my "practice panzer" I'm practicing "stippling" camo patterns.  it looks respectable.

A squad.  Or 2 squads.  Or a proper Rapid Fire Modern VDV Company!  (6 figures) Painting up some Anti Tank teams now.


Pumice looks really neat on the bases.  Thanks Dave!

Anyways that's all for now.  Cranking out 2 more stands of VDV and working on camouflaging my Panzers!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Soviet Airborne Troops VDV (ВДВ: Воздушно-десантные войска)

With the moderns bite in full swing lately, I thought I'd finally break out my Rebel Minis' 15mm "Spetznaz" troops, who I originally planned on basing individually, and paint them up with the famous KLMK camouflage uniforms with blue berets to serve as my VDV Soviet Airborne troops.

I used the tutorial and color schemes from the excellent "Cold War Hot Hot Hot" Blog found here.

While the casts aren't Rebel Miniatures' best figures (their Modern US are really good, among others), they fit the bill nicely.

Google uploaded the pictures backwards.  Oh well.  Here I'm using David F's pumice for the bases.

 I've based these on "team" sized bases to represent whatever I need them to represent and to basically play them with any rules set I want.

 Iraqi sand mades the "squiggles" or digital patterns that are found on this famous uniform.  I like the look of these fellas much better than the plain "Afgantsy" on the Team Yankee pages.

Combine these guys with the firepower from the 1/144 Zvezda Hind gunships, or even mount them in the fast, hard-hitting BTR80 from Zvezda and you've got yourself a very nice little force that packs an elite punch.

By the war, Richard C, the colors you picked were Spot On for VDV in my humble opinion.  The only change I made was to add a little rust color to add some redness when I painted the magazines on their small arms.  Also, I have not applied any washed or dry brushing yet.

Anyways that's all for now.  Not much time for gaming or even much painting but I am trying to keep myself painting some stuff.

Also planning out a World War II "Rapid Fire" scenario based on Ponyri Station.  I just cant give it up can I?

More VDV coming and hopefully some Early 80s US Army (or US National Guard?) and another ersatz Bundeswehr infantry platoon.  Stay Frosty everybody!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Latest Addition to my Miniatures Collection!

Greetings All!
Meet Andrew - born yesterday a healthy 8 lbs, 19.5 inches long and dad's future gaming and painting partner.  We hope!

Christina and Andy

The family!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Rapidly Played RAPID FIRE Game

So this morning I was up with the chickens and played a very quick game (a practice game?) of RAPID FIRE.  I've been thinking more and more of larger modern rules that will handle big battles and give a particular "feel" that I'm looking for.  Rapid Fire gives a nice "old school" feel to it with unit tables of organization and figure-based battalions (6 to 10 figure companies).  I have traditionally given RAPID FIRE a tough time in the past but after rereading the rules I'm going to put together another game, probably centered around the Kursk Ponyri Station battle to see how it goes.  I've played some modern variants of Rapid Fire and have really enjoyed them so I think exploring the WWII rules once again deserves a chance.

Anyways onto the action - this game featured 2 Soviet Rifle Companies, about 21 figures counting a Battalion command stand advancing against a German Company of 9 figures.  Both sides were regular.

Soviet rifle company advances!  No heavy weapons or support.  Just bayonets and fervor!

slow trudging through the woods.  Using a variable movement penalty of 1D6 in the woods.
 I had to look some things up in regards to who shoots and the sequence of play.  Also the observation rules needed some dusting off but at this range, it's a guaranteed spot since the range is so close.

German company in cover awaiting Ivan's advance.  Soon 2 Rifle Companies would burst from the woods

The Germans have another trick up their sleeve.  An AT gun battery of PAK 40s (yes, this is a PAK 38)
 The AT fire is pretty neat .  The Range Band pretty much determines the target number to hit and the gun's HE value is consulted.  In this instance the Germans were able to take more momentum out of the Soviet advance.
German command group in the Pig St ye.

For the Motherland!  Urrah!  Urrah!
 Soviet revolutionary fervor is cut short by hot lead as the Germans use their reserved fire to cut into the advancing Soviets.  The first volley knocks down 6 troops in the left company!

The wave after wave of humanity continues forward as the Soviets mercilessly push their gun fodder towards the German line.

Lonely in the advance.  The first company down to 3 troops.  The Battalion gets closer to breaking.
 RAPID FIRE hones a more unusual sequence of play and morale checks occur at the beginning of the turn.  The Soviets luckily (well, luckily if you're high command but not one of the riflemen!) pass and the advance continues.  The battalion command team joins the line advancing into almost certain oblivion.

The Soviet return fire has been ineffective against the Germans due to the Germans' skillful use of Reserved Fire.  They are knocked down in strength before they get an opportunity to shoot.  The Soviets really could have used some mortars and HMGs.


costly lessons learned...
It would be fun to play this with more companies, support weapons, artillery, and of course, TANKS!  This might be the "Christmas Offensive" game this winter.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Ken came over and we played a quick game of Team Yankee today.  I say quick because the entire game last about 2.5 hours and that was with me jumping on a work conference call and some more rules-flipping.  Otherwise, this was a great game!

Mission was a Hasty Attack and we figured since this was WW3 then the Soviets should be the ones attacking.  Total was roughly 75 points per side with a T-72 company, BMP2 company, along with Hind gunship and Frogfoot support for the Soviets, and 2 M1 Abrams tank platoons, an M113 mounted mech platoon, and this time Ken opted to leave his self propelled artillery behind in favor of a pack of "hunter-killer" AH-1 Cobras, cleverly disguised as 1/144 AH64 Apaches...

Ken brought over some of the new Team Yankee terrain - the Mc-Taco-King and the modern gas station!  So the fight for the fast food joint was on!

The table.  4th Infantry Division marker is Ken's objective.  The Soviet Guards marker is mine.  The Hasty Attack mission allows the attacker to remove one of the OBJs after setup.  Note the "McDonalds" and grey gas station in the lower left

Soviet T-72s coming on fast and going right for the objective.  Ken has an M1 platoon in reserve out there somewhere.

US GI's trudging up to the tree line

 I got pretty lucky with the aircraft rolls until some "hollywood action" brought both of them down on turn 5.  Anyways I tried the barrage weapons (rocket pods) on the SU25.  While I did pin the infantry in place, not a single kill...

Note the Soviet tanks creeping up the left side of the map.  And the "pizza box" barrage template from Frogfoot rocket pods.

Surprise!  Ken's ambush is sprung

The shootout begins.  Instead of racing for the objective, I attempt to deploy my T-72s on line to get into a shootout with the M1s...bad idea!

And they start dropping.

I would like a "beeg-mack comrade"  Shilkas deploy in the McDonalds parking lot to keep the Cobras at bay

Speaking of which, Ken is busy throwing TOW missiles at me from maximum standoff distance

meanwhile that weasel Bannon sneaks towards the objective

FROGFOOTS!  And Bannon dies again.  In our games, he's starting to have a worse track record than Sean Bean in his movies...

flush with their first taste of capitalist french fries (pomme frites?) The Shilkas move into the parking lot.

While my T-72s get online to shoot at the M1s...still NO KILLS

And the Shilkas bog down.

US infantry calling for support!

Ken bails 3 in a row

All my combat power on the left flank still cant dislodge a US platoon.  They pull back on their own but still contest the objective
 Next turn I try to dislodge the Shilkas.  Did they throw a track?  Or did they just want seconds at McDonalds??

At this point my Hinds cant hit the broad side of a barn.

I try to take the objective but morale will falter soon...

Lots of dead Russian tanks!
 Finally my BMPs come onto the board!  But is it too little too late?  My plan is to have them guard the American objective (Ken's second tank platoon still hasn't come on yet) with their deadly AT-5 missiles and tough infantry....

Morale problems get worse on the left flank as the tank company decides they've had enough and quit

And the Hind gunners still cant hit anything!

I call the game after a salvo of ATGM from the BMPs only bails 1 M1 and the rest laugh them off, or I missed.

This game was great fun and really makes me want to finish the rest of my modern Soviet equipment and infantry.  Team Yankee has constantly delivered a fast playing, hard hitting game where you get a solid game in in an afternoon with all your toys on the table.  I realized playing the Russians you need to push all your equipment to its limits - run it as fast as you can.  You can ill afford to sit back and trade shots with the bigger NATO tanks.  That's asking for trouble!