Monday, October 31, 2016

Soviet 1019th Rifle Regiment & Battalion HQs/HQs Company: RAPID FIRE

Not much progress this weekend on the modeling/gaming front but I was able to crank out the 9 figures that will encompass the Headquarters of the 1019th Rifle Regiment as well as the 2 HQs of its subordinate Battalions.  In RAPID FIRE speak these are small, 3 figure HQs but in the advanced rules of RAPID FIRE, they become important in both rallying and the issuance of orders.  Plus I love modeling the numerous "ash & trash" units on the "periphery."

Regimental HQs, 1019th Rifle Regiment  The 127th Guards (unfinished)  Heavy Tank Regiment is behind them advancing to victory!
 I've decided to knock out the 1019th first, then do the 1023rd Rifle Regiment next.  At least the HQs units are done!  Each battalion will be 41 figures.  I will utilize the existing painted figures I already have for the 1023rd.  The 1019th will be completed from scratch.

The plan is to base the first battalion individually on pennies so I can use them for other rules and games, and base the third battalion on stands of 4 troops each so I can use them for team or squad sized bases/rules.  This is how my Soviets already are based, with about 60 on pennies and about 15 stands in groups of 4s.

Battalion HQs, 1st Battalion, 1019th Rifle Regiment, 307th Rifle Division

Battalion HQs, 3rd Battalion, 1019th Rifle Regiment, 307th Rifle Division

And just to satisfy the modern masses, I was also able to work more on my VDV air landing company.  Now they at least all have their uniforms.

The last batch of VDV.  I'll get 8 total stands out of these guys but I need heavy weapons...and maybe 15mm BMDs! 

Soviet VDV!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Soviet 307th Rifle Division Headquarters & Headquarters Company: RAPID FIRE

The first "unit" completed as part of my RAPID FIRE Ponyri Station project is the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) of the Soviet 307th Rifle Division.  In RAPID FIRE terms, this is a 10 figure unit along with a transport section (per the USSR Soviet Forces Handbook issued to US Troops in 1946, I have also used the Nafziger Order of Battle for a Soviet Rifle Division and Regiment in Summer, 1943.).

Command Group and Staff poring over the battle maps along with security.
 One of my favorite aspects of Rapid Fire is that I get to tinker with "real world" Orders of Battle in order to produce forces for a game.  In this case, Ponyri Station and the fight for Point 253, the 1st May Collective, and Ponyri itself.

Comrades we attack here at dawn.  Let's use 4, no, 5 battalions of artillery against this strongpoint!
 Now that the Division HQs is done, I can focus more on the Rifle Regiments themselves, each with 2 full battalions!  After that I'll work on the tank units and finally the guns of the Soviet god of war!
Pyotr Pig-ski, commander of submachine gun troops would like a vote.  Rifleman Davidovich clearly doesn't recognize him.  "Where are your mold lines, comrade?"
The phone relay station for the Division HQs.  Call now!  Operators are standing by to deny your request for support, comrade!
 The table got messed up when assembling it as some of the spray paint nicked off but I thought that actually looked really cool - the metal field desk table with chipped paint.  I thought it gave it character.
Unload these boxes from the truck.  When you're done, load all of them back up.  After that, rest, then unload them again comrade!  

The entire HQs and HQs Company.  10 figures
Finally, the Division HQs travels in style in their Zis-3 truck section (5 trucks or so in RF speak).  For the life of my I could not figure out where the Soviets got their air defense units from because in the lowly Rifle Division, I could not find much.  Anyways, the transport section for the Division Main HQs is complete as well.  (Bob McKenzie's Ponyri Station Scenario for Command Decision has the units at Regt and Division loaded with AAA support.)

Surprisingly, this is Krylon "light olive" washed with "agrax earthshade" and drybrushed first with a 50/50 mix of reflective green/khaki, then just khaki.  It looks like a dirty jalopy.  In other words - PERFECT!

my daughter dropped him and the suspension broke, so I put some shrubs on there to hide the issues with the rear suspension.  We couldn't let the Division Commander walk, could we?

Next up?  Well have to finish some more VDV but otherwise the HQs and HQs company for the 1019th Infantry Regiment must be completed!

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!

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.