Sunday, 30 December 2012

Hawker vs Richthofen

With the addition of the new Wings of Glory miniatures to my collection I was able to re-fight, almost accurately, the final fight of Lanoe Hawker VC against Manfred Von Richthofen on 23 November 1916. With Brumowski's red Albatros D.III standing in for Richthofen's plane (I know, I know, it was an Albatros D.II and not even red...) and a DH.2 with Hawker at the controls. All explosion cards were removed from the deck as we wanted this to be a game of skill between two aces and with Motörhead turned up to eleven the duel was on!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Christmas Non-Truce

For this year's Christmas game I decided we would play with my new Wings of Glory models, which had only arrived a couple of weeks ago. The scenario was thus, three DH.2s were on patrol and had been jumped out of the sun by three Fokker E.IIIs. I took the British planes and my opponent played as the Germans. The game was played on a Terrain Mat's World War One gaming mat. Some of the photos are not the best, but that is because I was using a cheap phone camera and the sun was setting by the end of the game, but I hope you enjoy this report of what was an enjoyable game!

Friday, 21 December 2012

200th Tank Brigade at Verkhopenye

Following on from the previous post of the Großdeutschland at Verkhopenye, here are their opponents for the Rapid Fire! Verkhopenye scenario; the 200th Soviet Tank Brigade with attached elements. As mentioned previously, when I play tested this scenario there were many burning Soviet tanks by the end of the game. I put it down to bad dice rolls, rather than bad leadership. Next time I will be luckier! The vehicles and figures are a mix of Command Decision and Flames of War, plus resin planes from Armaments in Miniature
200th Motor Rifle Battalion:




Katyusha BM-13 Rocket Launcher:



SU-76 and the SU-122:



200th Tank Brigade:



'Coffin for Seven Brothers' the M3 Lee:




Air support comes from a lend-lease P39 Airacobra (on a Wings of Glory Gotha base...):


This should have been added to the previous post, a Henschel Hs-129 with 30mm A/T gun mounted underneath. (The flight stand is from Armaments in Miniature):


All those Soviet Tanks lined up like it's May Day make a  very tempting target...



200th Tank Brigade

Brigade HQ = 1 x M3 Half Track
191st Battalion = 4 x T34/76
192nd Battalion = 2 x T34/76, 2 x M3 Lee

200th Motor Rifle Battalion

HQ = CO + 3 figures (1 x AT Rifle), 1 x Jeep
Support Company = 1 x Maxim MMG, 1 x 82mm Mortar, 1 x 57mm AT Gun, 1 x 37mm AA Gun, 3 x Trucks
3 x SMG Companies, each with 6 x SMG, 1 x Truck
Gun Company = 1 x 76.2 AT Gun, 1 x M3 Scout Car

SP Company/146th SU Regiment

1 x SU 76, 1 x SU 122

Guards Mortar Battery

1 x SP BM-13 'Katyusha'

Air Support

P39 Airacobra

Saturday, 15 December 2012

More German Toys

This post is about some of my early war German vehicles and guns, first off a trio of Panzer III Ausf J by Command Decision


Following on here are two Eighty Eights, again by Command Decision:



I set up a game using the Panzer IIIs and the 88s and pitted them against three KV-1s and a unit of four BA-10s and one BA-64 (all by Command Decision also). I took the German side and was hoping for a walk-over to showcase my 88s. The scenario was based around the German defence of a series of hills, hence the objective markers. Things started off OK (the dice behind the tanks were to indicate how many HE shots the vehicles had left, we gave each AFV five rounds):


The Soviet Cavalry moved through the flanking woodland.


I lost a few casualties on one of the objective hills as the BAs moved in, but nothing to worry about yet... (I use red plastic tabs to indicate casualties)


Then things started burning...


My casualties mounted...


And mounted...


Finally the Soviets moved in for the kill on both flanks...


Not a glorious start for my 88s and Panzer IIIs, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of opportunities to settle the score. You may have noticed the horse drawn wagons in German service. Here's a couple of better photos of them. I forget who these are produced by; but I wanted to recreate the horse drawn elements of the German army and these worked just fine:




Monday, 10 December 2012

Großdeutschland at Verkhopenye

Verkhopenye was a battle fought on 8 July 1943 and was part of Operation Zitadelle, the German offensive also known as the Battle of Kursk. Ad hoc Großdeutschland units were used an armoured spearhead thrust after a costly breakthrough of the Soviet defence line. These units were used to exploit the open country and consisted of battlegroups thrown together with reconnaissance and assault gun battalions. A Soviet counter offensive forced this unit into a defensive posture and although the Soviets were beaten in this particular battle, the overall German offensive was slowly stemmed and this led, four days later, to the battle of Prokhorovka, the biggest tank battle the world has ever seen.

This battle is covered in more detail in the Rapid Fire! Third Supplement: Scenarios for the Russian Front and I decided that I would build the forces involved in the Battle of Verkhopenye in order to play the scenario. This post covers the Germans and I will photograph and post the Soviet forces in due course. The vehicles and figures are all Command Decision by Skytrex models, except for the Panzer III OP vehicle, which is by Battlefront.








The force consists of:

Großdeutschland Recce Battalion, under Major Watjen
  • HQ; CO + 3 figures + 1 x Sdkfz. 250/10 + 1 x SP 20mm AA
  • 1st Armoured Car Company; 1 x Sdkfz 232 + 3 x Sdkfz 222
  • 2nd Light APC Company; 8 x Troops + 2 x Sdkfz 250 + 1 x Sdkfz 250/8
  • 3rd Company; 8 x Troops + 2 x Kubelwagen
  • 4th Company; 8 x Troops + 2 x Schwimmwagen
  • 5th Heavy Company; 1 x Sdkfz 251/9 + 1 x 75mm PAK + 1 x Sdkfz 251 + 1 x 120mm Mortar + 1 x Truck
 Großdeutschland Assault Gun Battalion
  • HQ; 1 x StuG III (75mm)
  • 1st Company; 1 x StuG III (75mm)
  • 2nd Company; 1 x StuG III (75mm)
  • 3rd Company; 1 x StuG III (105mm)
SP Artillery Battalion
  • Observer team; 1 x Panzer III (OP)
  • 2 x Wespe SP 105mm
The unit also has air support from a Henschel Hs 129 armed with 20mm and 30mm tank-busting cannons. This is a damn potent force and when I played the scenario history was repeated with a lot of burning Soviet tanks by the end of the game. Unfortunately I drew the short straw and was playing as the Soviets...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Square Bashing Boche

Following on from my previous post about my British Square Bashing army, here, I present my Late War German army. This was based around one of Peter Pig's 'Black Box' armies, with some additions, like Stormtroopers, to build up the numbers. All the figures, artillery and captured Mark IV Tank are from Peter Pig, the A7V is from Quick Reaction Force.

The force consists of:
  • 2 x Higher Command
  • 8 x Regular Infantry Battalions
  • 4 x Stormtrooper Battalions
  • 17 x Machine Guns
  • 12 x Minenwerfer (mortars)
  •  9 x 7.7cm Field Guns
  • 6 x 10.5cm Howitzers
  • 4 x Stormtrooper Field Guns
  • 2 x Heavy Tanks (Mark IV and A7V)




Higher Command, hiding behind a wall!


Stretcher Bearers



A7V


Captured Mark IV



Like my British army, this army is based on the original version of Square Bashing, so there may actually be too many of some units for the Second Edition of the rules. The two stretcher bearers are not used in the rules, but I like to have them on the game board almost as terrain pieces.