Thursday, 30 May 2013

Zvezda Flammpanzer III

At the same time that I bought the Zvezda T34s from this previous post, I also bought two 1/100th Flammpanzer III (which don't seem to exist on the Art of Tactic Website...). They are the first flamethrower tanks that I have built, (not that they were any different from any other tanks I've ever built...) and they add a little flavour to my mid-war German collection. Again these are lovely little models, clean lines and easily built:






I painted them in a break from some light reading about chemical warfare:


It's easier to find ways to procrastinate about writing a dissertation than actually writing the bloody thing...

PS, I am also selling the Viking army that was featured in one of the early posts on this blog. They are up for sale on EBay: HERE. I also have a few other wargming and modelling items for sale, so be sure to check out my other items for sale.

PPS, I am thinking of starting a Wings of Glory campaign with a difference. It would involve three players, myself as the umpire/Germans and two British players. I was thinking along these lines, the two British players would compete against one another to see who could score the most points as a scout squadron. They would be given a squadron list of pilots and aircraft, probably twelve each, of which they could use up to three in each mission. Obviously injuries or death would affect who they could use, along with new recruits each game week or so.

The players would choose which missions from a list they would like their pilots to perform, such as patrols, escort duty, balloon bursting, etc. Each mission would have a set score if completed, plus a score for every German machine destroyed. The German forces would be randomised depending on the mission chosen by the player and controlled on the board by the umpire.

I guess it wouldn't take much to set up and can be an ongoing thing that can be played at any time the players are free, so wouldn't involve organising a time when everyone was free and would only be an evening's gaming as WoW/G is easy to set up and finish within a couple of hours. It's just to add a bit of  interest to the game and reduce the fight to the death syndrome which most games seem to involve! Any suggestions in the comments, please!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Soviet Hammer

Even though I'd already had a game day with Dean on Saturday, Ninjasaurus Rex turned up for a game on Sunday. I'll never get my dissertation written at this rate... We decided on a game of Rapid Fire! and I thought of the Germans attacking a Russian held position would give me the chance to use some of the early war vehicles I have been working on for a while. I just pulled together what I thought would make an interesting mix:

The Germans
3 X Panzer II
3 X Panzer 38(t)
2 X Panzer III (short 50mm) (off table at the start of the game, these would enter on a D6 roll of 6)
5 X SdKfz 251/1
1 X Infantry Battalion in the SdKfz 251 and two Opel Blitz

The Russians
2 X T-70
4 X 45mm Anti-Tank Gun
4 X Anti-Tank Rifles
5 X BT-5 (off board at the start, these would enter on a D6 roll of 6)
2 X T-34/76 Model 1940 (As above)
1 X Infantry Battalion

So I thought this would be a reasonably balanced game but as I have not played games with early war vehicles the strengths of them were unknown to me. Also I don't like to use army points and prefer a realistic game where sides are not matched. I took the Russians and set up with the town hall as the objective for the Germans. I created a perimeter defence mainly of the A/T guns in the smaller buildings and tree line, with the infantry in the town hall itself should any Germans get through. The two T-70s went in the wooded areas to the front and left of the hall.


Then Ninjasaurus set up his attack:


So this is how the game looked to start:



The German halftracks moved into column formation down the road with the three Panzer 38(t) as the vanguard.



Heading down the road past the empty farm, everything seemed to be going well.


Meanwhile the two Panzer IIs faced off with one of the T-70s and a 45mm A/T Gun concealed in the woods.


Strike one to the Russians at the lead Panzer 38(t) was set alight by fire from the T-70 and other concealed A/T guns in the village.


The remaining Panzer 38(t)s failed their morale and fell back into the fields behind the farm building, as the halftracks left the road to get around the blockage and debussed into the other field.


Two Russian A/T rifles firing at the halftracks from the woods had no effect.


Until the other A/T guns took a toll along with some mortar fire from close to the town hall.


The Panzer IIs inched forward but were quickly stopped by anti-tank fire, destroying one and heavily damaging the second (the red marker).


In my first movement turn I fortunately rolled a 6 and brought on the five BT-5s. I moved three of them forward to counter the threat posed by the two Panzer IIIs which had also appeared by fortuitous German dice rolling. In the meantime the German towed 75mm Infantry gun made a dash closer to the action around the town.


The remaining BT-5s headed off to help the defence against the main thrust of the Germans.


My hopes of holding the Panzer IIIs off were quickly shattered as one of the BT-5s burst into flame and the other was lightly damaged. This resulted in them failing their morale and routing off board.


In the centre of the field Russian A/T fire was filling the sky with burning fumes.


The Germans found it hard to advance under the heavy fire, but still pressed on relentlessly.


With their morale intact the remaining two Panzer 38(t)s got back into the action.




But they quickly came under more Russian fire, damaging one along with the remaining Panzer II. The two halftracks burst into flame as well, one of which contained the HQ unit.


Things just got worse and worse for the Germans after this. Infantry casualties started to mount from mortar fire.


The two Panzer IIIs were heavily damaged by the newly arrived T-34s which made them fail their morale roll, in turn resulting in them routing off the board.


The middle of the board seemed to be packed with the burning hulks of German vehicles.




The T34s knocked out the 37mm A/T gun emplaced by the farmhouse, the Opel Blitz towing the 75mm infantry gun was destroyed as it tried to redeploy across the board and the final two halftracks were either destroyed or damaged.



The smoky graveyard.



The heroic Red Army advanced for the final victory!


The game was over, the German infantry failed their morale roll and routed. Not an inevitable result given that they had no armour support as all of it was burning or damaged. My total losses were two 45mm anti-tank guns and two anti-tank rifle teams, the town hall remained in Soviet hands.

When I set the game up I didn't expect to hand the Germans their ass on a plate and thought it would be a tougher battle than it was. I guess that's the power of concealed anti-tank guns! Our unfamiliarity with early war tanks also played a part, but it was great fun, and not just because I won.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Wings of Glory AAR or Superman Kempf

Dean dropped off some models for me this afternoon and while he was over I asked if he wanted to play Wings of Glory. He'd never played it before and we've never actually played a game together before, so two firsts. The first game was a one on one match to introduce him to the game, which I won. We then decided to up the ante and use three against three. I took two Sopwith Camels (Barker and Elwood) and a RE8 Harry Tate (Longton and Carson) against a Fokker Dr1 (Kempf) and Two Albatross DVa (Udet and Weber). I set my planes up in the centre of board with the Germans having the jump on them and the objective of having to destroy the Harry Tate:



Beware of the Hun in the sun!


I quickly split my formation to hit the Germans head on whilst Harry took to his heels!


There was a bit of ineffectual firing as both sides closed in.


And with Dean's inexperience showing the Germans seemed to split off in seperate directions.



Elwood managed to get a few shots in against Kempf, the first of many...



Meanwhile, Udet and Weber started to manoeuvre towards the Harry.


Kempf was keeping Elwood busy as the action split into two areas.



The RE8 managed to escape the marauding Albatri, and Kempf kept slipping out from under Elwood's guns.


Until he was caught between the two camels, but took the damage very well.


Even the Harry Tate had a pop at Kempf to no avail...



Finally a lucky shot from the RE8 sets fire to Kempf's crate.


And the rear gun caught Udet and set him alight as well!


It seemed to be going the British way in the middle of the scrum, but...


...Barker suddenly went plummeting to the ground under a hail of fire from Kempf and Weber!


Kempf then turned his guns on the RE8 and claimed another victory whilst still burning!


I had lost the game, but we decided to fight on to see what the conclusion was. With three against one I had a good idea how it would turn out.


Elwood finally brought Kempf down, who's aircraft must have been riddled with holes judging by the amount of damage cards he had collected.


But my exultation didn't last long as Weber brought down the last gallant British flier.


Well, I'd lost the game when I lost the RE8 but it was still an enjoyable fight. Dean enjoyed it and it demonstrates the elegant simplicity of the Wings of War/Glory rules that he was able to pick it up in an afternoon and beat me...

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this AAR, as a final note, I am selling some 1/72nd and 1/76th Armourfast, Airfix, Revell and Pegasus Hobbies vehicles and figures on EBay, have a look at my items here:

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