Monday, 29 July 2013

BARB WIRE, MINE-FEILD AND ANTI-TANK OBSTACLES FOR FOW

I have slowly been progressing on my Vichy French army, spent a long time swapping multitude of heads using the kepi head sprue to give the men a Legionnaire look to them. Most of my units are now based and prime spay painted black ready for painting. I have still some more units to get and make, but progress is good.

I also spent a couple of nights last week making up some HMG nests, a anti-tank obstacle, a minefield and three barb wire obstacles to which I am rather pleased with.
I probably wouldn't field them all in one list (not much fun for your opponent) but thought I would build them all to have all to have some options.


I scratch built the AT obstacle from using dense foam type material Andy had salvaged from shower cubicle packaging left on building sites, I cut them into shape and PVA glued them onto a 3mm MDF base , then applied a poly filler to base and left to dry. Once dried, glue sand and stone mixture and then spay paint matt black.


Built the barbwire and minefield obstacles from match sticks drilled into MDF base board and glued then trim to the right size, placed them in a zig-zag type arrangement for good aesthetics. 
.

Built the HMG nests from some plastic square sections I had lying around, then placed matchsticks to the roof and front. I put men inside, but I got too carried away and forgot to paint their faces before applying the roof, and is now rather hard to paint in detail to any degree so just left them black (one could say this was done on purpose as they are in the shadows but this would be lying.) Put a HMG gun sticking out the front and voila.... done

I finished off the barb wire obstacles using a wire Andrew has for work. Very handy having a brother as a plumber/gas-fitter sometimes as he uses this stuff for gas meters and gets it in 3m rolls. I think Battlefront now sell it on their website and I am sure its the same stuff. For the minefield I used some fine fuse wire to put a wire type fence around it.

Photos of the finished products

The HMG nests all finished
Minefield obstacle
Anti-tank Obstacle

Barb wire obstacles

Obstacles all placed on the battlefield in a defensive position between to hills
HMG nests at each end with AT and minefield between, and all three barb wires out the front.
This would be hell to get through !




Wednesday, 24 July 2013

PANZERSHREK RESULTS

Well, back from another great Panzershrek XII FOW tournament, had all good games against some tough opponents and armies.  I was glad to see some more infantry armies this year but their was a lot of breakthrough guns and tanks in lists, which is not surprising and becoming more the norm now with the 3+ gun save GTG status in V3 rules.

Tom, Evan, Phil and Derek ran another smooth event this year with an excellent BBQ dinner on the Saturday night, also had some excellent prize support from Battlefront in the form of the new Japanese tank box sets and books out. There was 5 games over 2 days with each mission pulled out of a hat, It was a doubles team event, with both members having a limit of 1100 pts each, making for 4400pts of models  being played on 8" x 4" of table.

I was teamed with my brother Andrew (as usual) and we both were running LW German Infantry companies this year. I was using a Reluctant trained Sicherungs force with 10 platoons, Andy was using a Reluctant Veteran Sperrvanband force with 8 platoons, so it was fitting our team name be The Reluctant Ones.
For complete list breakdown see my earlier post about army - my first blog post in fact.


These days we always carry our armies on trays (having not very good carry cases) ... so as we arrived everyone seemed to congregate around our table to see what we had brought this year, one person (forget who) said that the force looked big, I then pointed out that the other half of the army was over in Andrews tray ..... most amusing.

We designed our force around having the Captured armoured train and a Motorised Artillery unit of 10.5cm guns, so the best for this was the Sicherung company, but that creates another problem as the rule states that you can never place the infantry combat platoons in reserve and have to be on the table. So the answer was to take lots of platoons so we have a lot of chaff off the table while still having the StugG, Pak40 RSO vet tank hunters, Captured T-34 tanks, 10.5cm Artillery, Sperr Pioneers, a Sperr Infantry and all three of my Sicherung platoons on the table in reserve missions.

We went into the tournament knowing that we were going to at best come away with a 4-3 win in games, as it would be terribly easy for us to bleed points given our force. So had a plan to concentrate firepower and try to secure the two points for us first and then worry about trying to win the game - which worked out well for us.
Overall photo of both our army's - 92 elements in total


1st game was a FFA against Team FarCanal - Damien and Shep
They were running a Kastner / Puma force with 2 infantry platoons, 3 units of Pumas, Nebs, 2 units Stuh42 tanks, 2 units of 88's and some AA halftracks.
It was a tense first turn as they got to spearhead one unit of Stuh42, followed by two units of Pumas recon move, so all nicely positioned to blast our gun teams apart, but shep failed 4 firepower 2+ tests in a row to kill them. If they had some moderate luck I think they would of had us after this but the game ended in a 3-3 draw.


2nd game was a Counterattack mission against the two Stu's - one Stu was running a large mechanised PzGren army all in half-tracks and the other Stu was running a Panther force. Both army's were Confident trained so were rather large. The train track had an impact in the game as the half-tracks could only move 4" across and having a river to cross as well, caused in slowing down their attack. Andy's 105 artillery and mortars had some good luck in this game catching a heck of a lot of half-tracks under templates and a few panthers as well. Game ended up a 5-2 win to us.

2nd game table , we deployed on the far left corner with two Stu's on opposite side, with the train track
placed on theclose left corner to the middle right long table side.

3rd game was a Fighting Withdrawal mission (my favourite) Game was fought against Bob Pearce and Brian Trot who were using a Cromwell army and Brit infantry army with Typhoons and artillery park. The table had a large hedgerow maze in the middle third with a river on right side with a town on the left side. All their infantry went in the maze backed up by Stuarts and UCarriers, with all the tanks on the left side. The game ended up in lots of shooting and multiple assaults that resulted in lots of burning wrecks littered over the battlefield. I must say that Brian has a talent for air-power as every time I have had the pleasure of playing against him he has punished me with it time and time again. A most enjoyable game that could of ended up 4:3 either way, but Andy and I ended up with the 4 point win. They were also the closest team to almost break one of us.
Bob had told us the next day that he had totally forgot to use his indirect fire rule not just in our game but for the whole of day one ......... might of come in handy.

Game 3 was played on this table, river on one side, hedge maze in middle with town on other side.
We deployed on the far side of this photo.

4th game was a Dust up mission, against Team Hippo artillery park - Tim and Nick who were running a Romanian Vanatori Motorizata and Hungarian tank force. A fun and clever list that quite frankly packs some punch. Had two Vantori infantry platoons, two 100mm and one 150mm artillery platoons with a mobile element lead by Ervin Tarczay warrior panther, 2 x panthers, 3x Turan II, 2x Nimrods, 3x R-2 tanks and 3x TACAM T-60.
They had placed all their light mobile stuff  in reserve and hid them behind a hill until all their stuff was on, I thought we would struggle against so many light tanks but with the train and us being able to place the tracks in our side of our deployment zone, it came to the rescue in time from reserve and quickly eliminated the threat.
Our reserve was the T-34 and Stugs with Sperr platoon and mortars, backing them up - their character Ervin was very good and combined with direct fire from the 155 artillery killed the T-34's and had us down to one Stug, the BA-10m had a chance to kill Ervin in the flank but failed his FP - it would of been funny as hell if he had killed him (a little BA-10M being a 25 point unit and all)
It was another fun game that had assaults, lots of artillery barrages, and lots of burning wrecks. The game ended up another 3-3 draw for us as neither of us had the punch left to tackle the objectives in time..

4th game played on this table, we set up on the far left corner with Tim and Nick
in the close right corner.
5th and final game was the toughest game of the tournament, played against Cameron and Joe who were using a Brit para and US Para force (market garden) with the 2+ motivation Warrior teams each (forget the names) so very hard to shift them. Andrew had played Cameron at last years Call to Arms and had used the train then, so Cameron knew the full potential it had. We were both infantry companies so ended up dicing off to see who attacked this mission.... poo ... we had rolled to high.

They placed a mine-field on the track and also used pioneer teams to break up the tracks - a wise move as it stopped us moving the train in for MG dice.
The biggest problem was killing the artillery as being a medium support artillery their repeat bombardment goes from AT3/FP6+ to a whopping AT5/FP2+ so this caused us no end of problems.
The game had us fail a lot of reluctant rolls and we couldn't unpin to save ourselves as the repeat bombardments continued to whittle our numbers.
It was a very fun game though and had more than a few tense assaults in there. The game was our only loss of the tournament and ended up a deserved 6-1 to Joe and Cameron, we got one platoon but it didnt count due to the 9 platoons.  Even if we did defend in this mission I fear there force had all the right tools (night attack and deadly artillery) to deal to us, not a good match up for us being reluctant but shit happens

Final game, we attacked from the far side of photo, fairly open but lots of mini forests/tree lines
to block the line of sight.


So all up a fun tournament. In the final standings we finished in 4th place (which came as a nice surprise), and we also picked up the Best Sports award which is always a pleasure to receive, thanks for those who voted for us.

Best units of our army was the Captured Train and the 10.5cm Artillery battery. Some people think the train is a pain in the backside ( especially the tracks) but for 210 points for 2 Heavy Artillery cars with AT4/FP4+ that can also combine batteries to form a 8 gun battery, it is worth every penny. The AT cars keep the tanks honest and can often surprise you and the enemy - also gives the train the extra length you need.

Already thinking of new armies for next year - considering taking Andrews AK Polish uprising force each, lots of fearless trained infantry all with gammon bombs running around - fun.

Friday, 19 July 2013

C3-PO AND R2-D2 MODELS


Now for something totally different, yep, STAR WARS FIGURINES ....


To break up some of the 15mm painting, Andy has finished painting his C3-PO and R2-D2 figures, and has placed them both on a display plinth, making the basing a Tatooine theme.

Andrew and I had bought these models years and years ago
We also got the figures for Boba Fett, Han Solo and a Storm Trooper
The models are soft vinyl plastic, and stands roughly about 10" high. Models come unpainted and need assembling, but very easy to put together

Andrew has painted the Han Solo and the Storm Trooper figurines, but they are not yet based, so will post a photo when he has completed them. Boba Fett is still waiting patiently for some brush stoke attention.







Thursday, 11 July 2013

CALL TO ARMS TOURNAMENT IN WELLINGTON, AUGUST 3/4



Due to the Flames of War tournament at Call to Arms being the same sad old boring LW era with standard mission format (YAWN), Andrew and I have both decided to give it a miss and get back into Warhammer Fantasy this year instead.

We haven't played that many games with the new 8th edition rules of Warhammer Fantasy and haven't played in a competition format for a number of years now so it will be a good learn as go type scenario, so not expecting to do that well in it. But should be fun with a new bunch of players to play against and some old ones from way back. It will be interesting to see what armies they use and how much lists have changed since we last played with the old version 7 rule set.

My overall Nurgle army

As so I don't have to worry about fear, terror and panic tests etc I will be taking my brother Andrews Nurgle Deamon army. Nice and easy, not much magic and no shooting, so its your straight in your face combat type army which I tend to like. I always think a themed warhammer army is the only way, so all my units are going to be with mark of Nurgle - so none of the other riff raff among the ranks.

So my list will most likely be
The Great Unclean One, LVL 1 with Lore of Nurgle, with 2 Lesser gifts
Herald of Nurgle with lesser Locus, mounted on Nurgle Infestation
Herald of Nurgle, with lesser Locus
Herald of Nurgle, with lesser Locus
20x Plaguebearers
20x Plaguebearers
20x Plaguebearers
3x Nurglings
2x Nurglings
2x Nurglings
3x Beasts of Nurgle
3x Beasts of Nurgle

Still undecided whether to put Father Nurgle in or not, or maybe a Deamon Prince of Nurgle. The ability to fly around is tempting but Father Nurgle should be fun as well.
The lesser Locus skill should be interesting with its ability to poison on 5 and 6, and it confers to the unit the Herald is with, so long as he's alive that is.
Plan is to anchor myself in a corner with beasts in flank and come out swinging, the Nurglings should be annoying for skirmishers and war-machines with their scouting ability's.
The ability to have the minus one to hit in hand to hand combat due to the mark of Nurgle is a really big factor for this army and can really even out the odds due to the relative slow initiative of the army.

Not really sure whether to put more magic level in the army or not as the winds of magic is a tad too random to put overload of points in there, For instance what happens if you have a level 3 and two level 1's and then you roll double ones for winds of magic - what a waste ! - well that's my view, I may change my mind when I see veteran players make good use of it and show me how its done when he blasts half my army too bits - but for now its limited magic for me this tournament.

Here is some photos, of Andrews Nurgle deamons in all its glory. Andrews overall Nurgle army collection has some more Nurgling figures and a few more Plaguebearers but not much more, so I have take the majority of what he has to offer.


Great Unclean one and Herald of Nurgle
Herald's of Nurgle

All my heroes
Beasts of Nurgle on left, with Plaguebearers behind, with nurglings in front




Wednesday, 10 July 2013

FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION ARMY - EARLY WAR


As mentioned in my earlier Desert Fort post, I have been collecting models for a new Early War army as I think I need my own EW army while I eagerly wait for the Russian EW armies to come out. Up till now I have always had to use one of Andrews many EW armies he has, mainly the Italians.
The French Foreign Legion emblem
The Legion on parade

So I have decided to do a Vichy French force from the Burning Empires book. I have never had a veteran force of my own before, so I thought the Elite French Foreign Legion would fit the bill nicely.

Cartoon picking the might of the Vichy France of WW2

The Legion has got itself a proud and interesting history over the many years beginning back in the early 1800's. In WW2 they had played a some what small role but served in the Norwegian, Syrian and North African campaigns. They also had a division in thier loyalties at this time as part of the Legion served the Free French movement while the other served the Vichy Government, and as such during the Syria-Lebanon campaign of June 1941 you saw Legionnaire fight Legionnaire as the 13th Demi-Brigade clashed with the 6th Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment at Damas in Syria. Also after the war the many former German soldiers joined up to pursue a military career which of course was not an option in Germany at that time, and to this day one of the main nationalities is German in the Legionnaires.

My Force will loosely based on the 6th Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment which stayed loyal to the Vichy French in WW2. My force will comprise of.

HQ - Legion Co and 2IC rifle team (CV)
Add Legion 60mm mle Mortar team (CV)
Add Legion Resupply Section (CV)\
Combat - Legion Tirailleurs Platoon with 2 squads (CV)
Combat - Legion Tirailleurs Platoon with 2 squads (CV)
Weapons - Legion Machinegun Platoon with 4x 8mm mle 1914 (CV)
Reg Support - Legion Mortar platoon with 4x 81mm mle 27/31 mortars (CV)
Reg Support - Legion Sapper Platoon with 3 squads and supply wagon (CV)
Reg Support - Legion AT gun platoon with 3x 25mm SA-34 guns (CV)
Div Support - 3x Renault R-35 tanks (CT)
Div Support - Vichy AT platoon with 3x75mm mle 1897 guns all with turntables (CT)
Div Support - Colonial 75mm Artillery Battery with 4x75mm mle 1897 guns, one with turntable (CT)
Totals to 1500 points

I also plan to make/paint and have available the following units so I have more options for the army
Div Support - 3x Renault R-35 tanks (CT)
Div Support - Heavy Artillery Battery with 2x155mm Cmle 1917S guns (CT)
Div Support - Trucked Spahi Platoon with 3 sections all with trucks (CT)
Div Support - Desert Fort with 2x ruined walls
Div Support - HMG nest with 1x Minefield, 3x Barbwire and 1x AT obstacle.
Also need to make another 3x barbwire and minefield for the pioneer supply wagon.

I have got most of the models already, just needing  to get the 2x 155mm guns and a Colonial Infantry (Tiralliuers) Platoon to act as my Trucked Spahi for which I also need some Laffly Trucks.  Oh and some more Kepi head sprues as I plan to make all my Legion platoons to have wearing the Kepi hats. Which is a lot of work I know but will make the army stand out and it has a certain cool factor about it.

The  Legion special rules for the force are quite interesting
1) Honour and Fidelity - If you fail your company command check, you then remove all non-legion platoons from table counting as destroyed, and then re-roll the company morale check, if you pass, you carry on as normal, if not game over.
2) Legion is our Homeland - You get to re-roll failed morale checks for all Legion platoons.
3) Mach or Die - Infantry and Man-packed guns get a 16" double move.
4) Kepi Blanc - All Legion platoons get the German mission tactic rule.

Very good movie
You also still retain the normal French special rules (in addition to the rules above) which include,
a) High command - move obj. 4" closer to your board edge.
b) Trench Warfare - Dig in on a 3+
c) Integrated Defences - may exchange 2 HMG teams from your machinegun platoon with 2 R?MG teams from your combat platoon.
d) Artillery rules with Quick Fire and Central Fire control.
e) Resupply Carriers - basically get extra shots with  your AT guns or HMG/RMG teams
f) Colonial Troops rule where you hit in assault on a 3+ but loose the Trench warfare and Integrated Defence rule.


Here is some photos of what I have done/got at the moment - including some units with kepi head swaps in place (which takes forever). As you can see I have not done much, but I plan to take my time on this project so will post updates as and when I do some work on it. Hopefully I will get a R/MG team painted in Legion colours as a test, then will roll on from there.




The Kepi head sprue
My first head swap model - HMG team

 The Veteran Legionnaire Sapper unit with their axes and beards
                                           
                                 

Monday, 8 July 2013

FOW DESERT FORT

All day rain on Saturday had me inside most of the morning, so I used the time to finish off my FOW Desert Fort Andrew had scratch built for me a while ago now. He built it using thin foamboard and 65mm dia plastic pipe. The pipe was used for corners and foamboard for the walls and battlement floor structure. I think it only took him 3-4 hours to complete so not a very long process for him.

Andrew has his own fort, but I insisted he build another one as his is a complete fort (i.e. no damaged walls) and we needed another one with the cheaper damaged wall option. He uses the full fort in his Italian EW Mitraglieri (Machine-gun) company as you need it to get to 1500points!

So as I wanted my fort to have damaged walls on each side, I crafted each wall to have debris and building blocks scattered about to enforce this fact. I had previously sanded the side walls and edges of the fort to give it a textured look, so onto painting. I mostly used test pot acylic paints as its rather large area and would be to costly using my normal model paints. It took a while to get the colours right but I think it turned out rather good. Place some grass tuffs and such about and it looks like its an old disused fort in which my troops have just moved into residence.
Also had to paint in the black Gun port and Rifle port holes, this took some time as they had to be a specific amount and in certain order across the wall's length and most important all even.

Overall quite happy with the final result. Below is some photos, I placed some of my US figures inside it to give it some scale. The whole thing sits on a 14"x 14" (as per rules) MDF base board






I plan to use the fort in my upcoming Early army I have slowly been building up with my play test rewards I get periodically - so taking a while. Should fit in nicely with the French Foreign Legion army I am planning as it has Vet rifle MG teams backed up by big Vichy AT guns - so should be fun for the fort.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

WEDNESDAY BOARD GAMES NIGHT


Had a group of seven last night at Peters House, and as while we waited for Ian and Anne to turn up, we played a quick starter game first up.

Trans America  - you basically have 5 different colored city's spread out in zones on the board and the first to link all their cities together within a rail network wins.
Andrew won
with myself very close behind him
and John and Lance a little off
with Peter very well behind.


With Ian and Anne turning up 15 minutes later, we then split up into two teams of 3 and 4 with Peter, Anne and Lance playing a rather long game of Legendary (as it turned out)

While John, Ian Andrew and myself played a game of Kreta, a game which is a cross between Citadels and Catan but without dice rolling, as you have certain cards that only be allowed played once that help you influence the board to get points, the King card allows a card action to be used twice. The most points in areas prior to scoring is the object of the game obviously.

Andrew managed to win with John only two points behind
Ian closely followed not to far off the pace
but I was dismally 20 odd points behind them all, as I had a strategy that went badly wrong, as I loaded up on forts on the high scoring areas but having no area numbers coming my way.


After this we played a game of Linie 1 (Streetcar), which I enjoy playing but can never quite manage to get the grips of. The game is street cable car game in which you each get a secret set of trolley stations and mandatory stops, players then use track tiles to build a network where each builds a path that goes from their terminal to their required stations. First one to do so, then races their trams down and first one to complete wins.

John won with Ian one turn behind.
Andy and I had all sorts of problems as John played havoc with placing two horrible tiles in our way, so we both ended up having help to the finish a number of turns later with Me coming in a well deserved last place as I stuffed up my route something awful.



We then joined forces as John went home, leaving us a six player game of Around the world in 80 days. One of my favorites at the moment for six player format.
I came first with 67 days
Peter only one day behind on 68 days
Ian and Andy in the mid 70's
with Anne and Lance not finishing

So another great night of board games

PANZERSHREK DOUBLES TOURNAMENT IN JULY

My Next FOW tournament this year is Panzershrek 2200pts Doubles Event. in Palmerston North



So as not disappoint Andrew and I will be teaming up again, as have had most fun in the past - firstly with a 
huge LW T-34 army, then a LW Romanian army with R2 tanks and TACAM T-60's running around, and then last year we took a MW USA OSS army

So Andrew and I will taking a somewhat large force this year which will be mostly made up of very small platoons, so we are not predicting  to do very well as we will be bleeding points all over the battlefield. We both are planning on having more of laugh with this army rather than placing well - hopefully mid pack will suit me.

So will be using Andrews Germans , and as usual will be taking the German Armoured Train as this will be fun to play with and well why not.
Our respective 1/2's of the company are:

SICHERUNG KOMPANIE -  MARKS FORCE (INFANTRY COMPANY) Reluctant Trained

Headquarters CO and 2IC (RT)
Von Saucken Higher command

Sicherungs Platoon  (RT)
Sicherungs Platoon  (RT)
Sicherungs Platoon  (RT)
Sicherungs Anti-tank Platoon with 3 x 3.7cm Pak36 guns 
(RT)
Armoured Car Patrol with 1 x BA10M 
(RT)
Captured Tank Platoon
with 4 x T34 obr 1942 tanks (RT)
Captured Amoured Train with Locomotive, 2 Heavy Artillery cars and 2 Tank Hunter cars 
(CV)
Veteran Tank-Hunter Platoon with 3 x 7.5cm Pak40 auf RSO
 (CV)
Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platoon with 1 x 8.8cm Flak 36 gun with extra crew 
(RT)
Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platoon with 1 x 8.8cm Flak 36 gun with extra crew (RT)

SPERRVERBAND KOMPANIE -  ANDY'S FORCE (INFANTRY COMPANY)

Headquarters CO & 2IC  (RV)
Sperr Pioneer Platoon with 3 squads
 (RV)
Sperr Platoon with HMG added (RV)

Sperr Platoon with HMG added (RV)
Sperr Mortars with 2x 8cm Mortar teams
(RV)
Sperr Assualt Gun Platoon 
3 x StuH 42 tanks (RV)
Support Motorised Artillery Platoon with 4 x 10.5cm leFH 18 guns (RV)
Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platoon with 1 x 8.8cm Flak 36 gun with extra crew (RT)
Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Aircraft Platoon with 1 x 8.8cm Flak 36 gun with extra crew (RT)

Here is the overall view of all the platoons, Andrew and I still have some painting to do for it, mostly the Artillery guns and a couple of infantry stands (on the right side) but overall its looking really good.