Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Wordle

I got this from One 72nd's blog over at One 72nd Fantasy Figures.   It condenses the most commonly used words in your blog and makes a collage out of them.  Mine is particularly telling...

Here is the link to my wordle.  Go there and you can make your own!  That is all for this rainy afternoon.  Hopefully I can get to some PAINTING tonight.

I need to finish the 15mm Fences for my upcoming ACW Campaign Season.  Also need to finish those pesky 15mm US WWII GIs for Crossfire, as well as a sh*tload of 1:72 US, Germans, NVA and VC Troops, as well as modern US and muhj fighters. 

That as well as the FRENCHIES who refuse to allow themselves to be painted!!! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Map-Making for Wargame Scenarios

Got this from One Sided Miniature Wargaming Discourse.  This is a terrific tool for planning scenarios as well as posting AARs for the blog.  I encourage everyone to hop on over to the site below and check this out.

Here is an example of his map posted for an AAR that he conducted for a a Blitzkrieg Commander Scenario.  I thought it was excellent work and I can tell you without doubt that I will be using this application from now on!  Forget about scanning and then using powerpoint!  This looks even easier.  Huzzah!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Armourfast Stug III Number 2

Finished the other Stug III in the Armourfast kit.  Got some inspiration from Paul over at Plastic Warriors and thought I would finish up my Armor section for Disposable Heroes.  The first one used the Amoeba pattern and this one used a small, rust-colored line which I thought worked out nicely.  The last pic has a small comparison but Stug number 112 is really the focus of tonight's post.

I am ready to paint up some more infantry, LMG, and HMG sections for DH and once I get those suckers done I'll host a large DH battle.

Not quite as much painted up as I wanted this weekend but the Stug is a nice check-off on my list.  I also sprayed a ton of German, US, and got some 15mm scaled fences done for my Fire and Fury games coming up.  Is it next Friday night yet?  Huzzah!
The tracks have some (read some as...alot) flaws.  Note to self - paint them prior to glue on next time.

Camo pattern looks good.  Got the idea for the ditching-logs from Paul over at Plastic Warriors.  These were railroad ties that were "borrowed" from Northwestern France.

Next to Hans for scale.

Posing for a quick picture somewhere outside Putot, France.

Business End

Stug  112, and 113.

Penny.  My little Hetzer in her "hide position."

Dachshund Siegt an allen fronten!

Making short work of a rawhide!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Armourfast Stug III Redux

Finally picked up a can of "Afrika Mustard" and repainted the Stug long-barrel you might remember from the Disposable Heroes game a couple weeks ago.

I used a slightly different camo concept I picked up from Grenzer John's blog and this seems to do the trick since I don't have an airbrush or any green putty to make camo lines.

The cross looks good on the side as well - it's free-handed!  I goofed on the tracks and the roadwheels a little but what the heck.  The 3 foot rule applies to this vehicle!  It's now ready to take on some Shermans in Northwest Europe!  Huzzah!

Check out those kill-rings!

Good angle.

The reader will excuse the sloppy job on the road wheels!

Also please excuse the drying nappies in the background!
Got alot done today.  Finished some Brigade sized 6mm ACW stands for Volley & Bayonet and also finished this 20mm monster as well.  Now that I see the pattern works, I'm ready to start the other Stug and also the Panther i've got hiding around in the closet.  I am waiting on 2 Armourfast 251 half tracks and I'll probably put lines on those however!!  Happy gaming!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blitzkrieg Commander Ostfront Game: Positional Defense 2

For anyone who is familiar with Charles Grant's "Scenarios for Wargames" I played "Positional Defense 2" from the book (pg 12).  This pitted a Soviet Battalion with an Armor Company in support assaulting a German Company position with a Stug III Long Barrel platoon in support.  The German Kampfgruppe fielded 4 infantry platoons atop a ridgeline in rifle pits and a walled farm complex.  Additionally the Germans had Wespe Artillery and Nebelwerfer support as well.

What a nail biter with a few surprises mixed in just to keep the evening lively.

Had some unusual dice problems this evening, resulting in a Soviet command group staying at the line of departure for almost 4 straight turns!  Also could not, for the life of me, get the German command group to issue more than 1 or 2 orders the entire battle.  On the German left however, things were fairly intense with the Germans beating back 4 repeated assaults up the hill and finally charging down hill to flush out the Soviets from the woods at the bottom of the hill.  (a la Chamberlain from Gettysburg).

Eventually on the Soviet left flank the Battalion Command Group got the ball rolling and they stormed the farm complex along with tank support.  The German air never showed up and eventually the numbers won over.  The German Stug was knocked out early on by the T34 Company so it never got to join in the fun.

The Soviets over ran the farm complex and knocked out the last rifle platoon and weapons platoon in the same turn (turn 10 of 12) and the game ended when the Germans reached their breakpoint of 3.

The game was a classic late war, eastern front engagement where the Germans were tasked with holding on against incredible odds.  In this case, Soviet command problems precluded them from launching an all-out coordinated assault.  Instead they threw themselves piecemeal against the German defenders.  This pro-longed the game and although Mr Grant does not include reinforcements in his scenario, I imagine this rear-guard type action would have bought the German command alot of time to pull Soldiers out in other sectors of the front.  Also, the Soviets lost 7 rifle platoons, almost an understrength battalion of troops!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, then I'll include my lessons learned.  There are alot of pics and eye-candy so bear with me.

Soviet troops advancing with T34 support

Moving up the hill!

Jerry watches Ivan move into position at the tree-line

T-34s in action!

On the German left.  This company would eventually beat back 4 separate assaults!

The first assault against the German left moving into position

Tanks forward!!!!

Soviets moving up the hill

Intense rifle fire forces the platoon back.  The Commissar is only too eager to provide "additional inspiration" to the troops to encourage them to assault again.

German troops meet the assault and return fire

Meanwhile at the farmhouse...

Turn 9, Soviet left finally reaches the farm

Suppressing the MG42 teams in the farmhouse

Soviet HMG supporting the advance

It's only a matter of time now.

Soviet machine presses on.
Artillery Support.  Seems like there is always an artillery lesson to be had here.  In this case, the Germans really made excellent use of their artillery breaking up Soviet assaults.  The Artillery softens up the enemy enough that when the rifles open fire (assuming you can pass the command roll) it is much easier to knock out enemy units.

Tank Support / Combined Arms.  Remember, once again just because you can move 30cms doesn't always mean that you should.  The infantry on the Soviet right were forced to handle the bulk of the fighting for almost 8 turns by themselves and could have used some of those terrific 85mm guns operating in support.  In this instance, the tanks were firing at an MG42 stand that could neither see any infantry (Sov left still below the crest of the hill) nor hit anything yet.  Imagine how they could have steam-rolled over Jerry if proper coordination took place.

Protect your assets.  The loss of the German Stug almost guaranteed a defeat early on.  The Stug could have been kept behind the farm house and brought out to make pop up attacks against the Russians.  Instead, the Stug was killed without even knocking out a single Russian tank.

Purchase Support all the time!  Again, I cannot stress enough how awesome it was to have my choice of self propelled 105mm support or rocket fire blanketing the Russian infantry.  In this instance, artillery was the big killer and I can totally understand the old adage : if there isn't enough artillery...quit!  Probably could have used some minefields in support and maybe a Stuka as well.  That might have leveled the playing field.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disposable Heroes: Long Road South Game

Played my first modern variant of Disposable Heroes with the "Long Road South" supplement.  Game pitted 1 American Squad, 1 M60 LMG Section, and 1 Platoon Headquarters Section against a Vietcong "Main Force" Platoon Command Section, a Rifle Squad with RPD, an RPD Section, and an RPG Section.

Additionally the VC had a dude armed with an SKS rifle in a pop up attack who would come up out of a spider hole later in the game!

The action started out right away (I have a small table...) with the VC engaging the American flank elements as they were trying to get into position.  (The VC won initiative almost every time with their guts value of 9 and the US troops value of 8.)
US Forces advance through rice paddies in Vietnam ca 1969

Main Force Viet Cong troopers take up position in a rubble heap.

VC RPD / HQ Section readies itself for the ambush!

The VC engaged the US M60 section with their RPD and on the first round knocked out the entire M60 team!  Luckily the Platoon HQs was right there to assault through!  They moved up and immediately engaged the VC who were in a makeshift "bunker" which was actually a log wall.
US M60 section knocked out, Platoon HQs and B Team return fire and assault through the Ambush!

Platoon Command Section returning fire.

Unfortunately Fireteam A was already advancing in a different direction, so Fireteam B and the Platoon HQs became a squad for the case of the game.  A firefight ensued and the VC brought in their RPG section.
Long story short?  The US Fireteam eventually moved into position to flank the VC and open fire on them while fireteam B moved up through the orchard for the kill.
Team A advancing.

Team B on the move, flanking the enemy.

A short but vicious close combat ensued on the rubble pile.  American forces took down the VC defender and exacted vengeance for a "snap fire" kill earned while advancing into close combat!
chaos.  Note all the knocked out VC.  The guy with 2 red beads just fell back from his position.

VC Officer returns fire!

Close Combat over.  Americans win this one but just barely!  I think I got the close combat rules down now.

The game was quick and bloody and I have to say, alot of fun.

Thoughts and Lessons Learned about the DH System.

Right off the bat - this game was alot of fun.  It was intense and the casualties were realistic.  I like how only 50% of troops can fire under certain circumstances and here is my example:  When the platoon HQs came under fire, the runner was hit and went down in the firefight.  When the HQs section returned fire, they were only able to do so with the PL's stand.  I find this incredibly realistic since the other guy in the HQs section would have been tending to the wounded rifleman.

Additionally, the RPG team naturally has another guy servicing the launcher and not firing his own AK.  This is a great feature and Iron Ivan got it right with this restriction.

Remember to use the principles of fire and movement.  Have a fireteam to suppress the enemy (preferably with a SAW or LMG) and advance on the enemy with another fireteam.

You need a larger game with more "stuff" to fully take advantage of the unique activation rules for the modern variant!  I only had about 3 to 4 units on a side and both units had activation chits left over when the turn ended.

Have a quick reference sheet or write down your stats prior to the game starting.  It helped me out to have my figure stats in front of me so I didn't have to track down other stuff while tracking down rule questions.

Sneaky VC conducts a pop-up attack against an American fireteam.
At least with the Long Road South Game, remember to read, and make sure you're using the special rules.  The VC player used his pop up attack to great advantage and scored a casualty against an American trooper.

Ensure that when you are close-assaulting you A. Bring enough guys with you [ 3:1 ratio is recommended for close combat] B ensure you have mutually supporting units if you're on the defensive.  The VC guys could have used some more muscle on the rubble pile and were outnumbered without any supporting guns.

Well my M79 bloop gun and RPG-7 didn't make much of a difference at all.  The AP 2 value for the RPG didn't do much to anyone and didn't come close to wounding anyone!  Same with the M79.  That was a let-down but I understand the logic behind not having too many crazy-dominant weapons on the field.

I don't like how fireteams operate seemingly independently when a platoon leader is on the field.  At least in US doctrine, fireteams "typically" operate within close proximity to each other.  In this game, Fireteam A was its own entity and Fireteam B was its own show as well.  Technically this was ok and the game felt just fine, but in the back of my mind it irked me a little...

The final analysis?  Go out and purchase Disposable Heroes: Coffin for 7 Brothers!  The game is crisp and realistic.  Additionally, the game is very easily "tweaked" if you want to slightly change a value.  I for one did not find a need to although I might in the future.  I liked it so much I bought the modern supplement and the Vietnam supplement, and i have plans to purchase Angriff, Urrah, and Go Forward Together.  My biggest issue is that I don't have enough guys painted to field a full platoon for WWII or Modern yet.  But that will come in time! What a great game. Huzzah!