Friday, 21 August 2015

THE LAST KINGDOM - TV SERIES


Great news, ever since I had seen the Vikings series on History Channel (love this programme) I was hoping that this would happen ! I had watched the trailer for this earlier today and it looks fantastic.  "The Last Kingdom" which is a upcoming new TV series based on the Saxon Warlord series by Bernard Cornwall (one of my all time favourite books)

Here is a link for the viewing (sorry, unsure how to place vidoes on here directly) so click here instead and watch the trailer - so good to see a proper size shield wall in there.

I started reading these books over two years ago. It was one of the reasons why I picked to use Anglo-Saxons for my first Saga Army, I think I even did a blog post about it on here somewhere, well I have recently finished the Empty Throne book which is the 8th book in the series. The ninth is due out late next month called Warriors of the Storm, should be a great read


For those of you who dont know what I am on about, it is story that takes place in the ninth century and follows Uthred of Bebbanberg who is born to a Northumbria Lord, but as a young boy he was taken and raised by the Danes. After living with them for many years an incident happened between two rival Danish Lords that ultimately led Uthred to live with Anglo-Saxons with which he forms a bond with Alfred the Great. Uthred leads the Anglo-Saxons to many victory's, with Uthreds main goal to claim his homeland and be the Lord of Bebbanburg.

The writing style for the books is written in the style so that Uthred as an old man is telling it, for which I like, he also sympathizes with the Danes and believes in the Danish gods and beliefs which can lead to a many funny situation between Alfreds Priestly advisers and himself. Its a great read, so heres hoping for another great TV series to follow, the Programme is due out late October this year - cant wait !


Friday, 14 August 2015

FRACAS AFTER ACTION REPORT

Back from another great Flames of War tournament last Sunday being "Fracas" one day 750points Tank Only lists.  So very early Sunday morning I was pickup by John Fletcher and Warren Hart, then quickly around to my brothers house - and after waking him up !,  we set off to Wanganui via Shannon to pick up fellow wargamer Bob Pearce. After much amusing banter and discussing the amount of heavy tanks in the tournament, we arrived with moments to spare before the first round .

GAME 1
First round was a Hasty Attack mission against Aliaster Mundell who was using a Red Bear Tankovy list. Al is one of those players who is a laid back easy going player so was good to get another game against him. He chose a rather brave list choice with a mixed platoon of T-34 76mm and 85mm , with Su-85 and KV1-s tanks .  I was an auto defend and with the table fairly open I plopped down my two Volksturm on either side covering objectives and Co King Tiger and Panzer crew platoon down in the middle, with the other King Tiger in reserve.

The first few turns saw Al move the T-34 up the the right flank using cover hiding from the Tiger, but shooting up my Volksturm platoon. His Su85 tanks arrived and moved up the left with hill cover and with my Co conveniently showing his flank they manage to bail him. My other King Tiger arrived from reserve on the right and killed one T-34, but then over the next two turns the T-34 was able to skip around my flanks and kill it, meanwhile my faust infantry failed to unpin and my Co King Tiger failed to remount his tank making him an easy target for the SU-85 ..... The KV-1s managed to assualt my Volksturm but I managed to bail 2 on the way in so stopped them , but Al passed his morale. Next turn the right side saw my demise as my company broke. A good 6-1 win to Aliaster

GAME 2
It was a free for all against a Wanganui local Savvas Regus who was running a JagdTiger list with 2 JagdTigers and Tiger 1e (with re-roll misses Tiger Ace skill)
The table had a very large wood in the middle on the left side and rather open but hedge lines scattered about. I deployed my Panzer crew with CO tank and Volksturm platoon to the left and they advanced up in the woods, with my Co tank quickly bogging down ! (so over this overloaded lark) my Tiger on the right moved up the center while the other Volksturm moved up while taking a few causalities on the way. My infantry were in position so I moved my CO KTiger out of the woods and bailed his Tiger 1 , I also moved my infantry in to assualt, but failed their tank terror. Next turn Savvas bailed my CO and without his vital reroll the infantry kept failing their tank terror for another 2 turns, I eventually passed and killed both his Tiger 1 and Co JagdTiger tank and then bailed the other with fausts.
So a 6-1 win to me.

GAME 3
A Cauldron mission against Kim Stiles - I think he was a local
Kim was running a Stug Co with 3 Stugs, 2 Panthers and some German Infantry. The table had two forests in the middle so I plonked my Volksturm in them protecting the objectives.
and then my KingTiger in a wood also.  My Co had only room to be placed on the edge of the wood. First turn my King Tiger (after got bogged down moving in the wood) got killed by Kim's Panther platoon in the flank .. LOL.
Then his Stugs moved in from the other flank from reserve and bailed my other Tiger. My Volksturm got assualted by his Grenadiers and they actually won a combat killing 4 of them and the rest running away, Kim then moves his CO Stug into assault, I killed it in defensive fire !! From their Kim whittled down my infantry to force a company break.
So was a good 5-2 win to Kim

GAME 4
Free for All against good mate John Fletcher who was running a near identical army to mine but had 2 Panzer IV in the list instead of my Panzer crew platoon
John has already done a after action report on the game on his blog site, so click here to see. He has got some photos of the game as well... I will one day think to bring a camera to these tournaments ... :-)
This was a fun game with every element bar one of Johns LMG teams and 4 of my Volksturm stands getting up and moving at some stage of the game - good example of pushing the game for a win instead of some the stalemate draws you see so often in a free for all. The result was a 5-2 to John

GAME 5
It was a Hasty Attack against another Wanganui local Peter Thompson who was running a
US Sherman list with some Easy Eights and 2 Jumbo's thrown in there.

This game was played in heavily built up town with rows of houses so very much suited my defense. I went on to win the game mostly due to the buildings but I did loose my King Tiger in the flank and almost lost CO Tiger as well being bailed out. The result was a 5-2 win to me. Those Jumbos are a pain in the bum aren't they ! - was the first time I have played against them and found them to be very effective at taking hits.

This game was sort of a mini tutoring game on my part as I had helped Peter through some of the steps, mainly that his Sherman tanks could shoot both his main gun at full ROF and with his Hull MG and Co-ax MG and also his 0.50cal MG making up 5 dice a tank at my infantry in a building he quickly found out they are very good at shooting RC infantry, I also give him some tips about combat and to avoid the 4" building zone with Panzerfaust infantry in them as they will have a field day with that situation - needless to say he was very grateful.


So how did I like taking this army I choose , nah not my cup of tea to be honest, the Volksturm were great to plop down on the table with half on and half off missions but apart from that they were rubbish !!! being Reluctant Conscript and also having the Company commander in a King Tiger tank (which had a habit of being out of range for the important re-rolls needed) Once they were pinned down they stayed that way, and tank terror - forget it.   I would take them in a infantry force with a bigger point limit - perfect for LW doubles !!
I didnt think too highly of the King Tigers either. maybe Russians next year at 750 points

Right down to the results then :
Andrew Karl 26pts
Brian Trott 25pts
Bob Pearce 25pts
Rob Shirley 21pts
Warren Hart 21pts
David Hobbs 20pts
John Fletcher 19pts
Stuart Mosen 19pts
Mark Anderson 18pts
Carl Muskee 17pts
Mark Stanton 16pts
Kim Styles 16pts
Derek Forrester 15pts
Savvas Regus 15pts
Julian Harkness 15pts
Andrew Stanton 15pts
Julian Emmett 15pts
Peter Thompson 13pts
Alastair Mundell 10pts 


So in about middle which I am happy with. Brother Andy had a more of a hard time using his Cromwell list and he also copt a bye round as well, which I think was a tad stink for a travelling player to have to do, but overall a great little tournament 

Hopefully next year they somehow limit the amount of heavy tanks, maybe only one top armour 2 in the list, or better still have a mechanised only list at 750 points, now that would be a great laugh. 


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

FRACAS - TANK COMPANY ONLY TOURNAMENT

FRACAS 2015

This Sunday is Fracas ... a well known NZ one day tournament in Wanganui, which I have attended multiple times in the past. This year it is a 750 point limit with Tank company's only. The conditions are that you have to take at least two platoons, with at least one being a combat platoon.
I have never taken the King Tiger tanks before so I thought this might be a perfect chance to use them, the list I have decided on is a Always Defend Reluctant Trained 510 Schwere Panzer Company from Ramagen Bridge book.

My list has 2 King Tigers in it  .. they don't have any Tiger Ace skills but for 215 points each who cares. Also I have taken a Panzer crew platoon which are armed with Panzerfausts.  Also couldn't resist taking two platoons of Volksturm Infantry which always count as being on the table (doesn't count towards reserves) and they always start dig in ! These guys are also armed pzfausts, but with them being rated Reluctant Conscripts might not be as effective as the Panzer crew Platoon. So with 4 platoons my only reserve would be the single King Tiger, the Infantry will be all on the table with the Co King Tiger in charge ... not much direct AT but with 3 platoons of faust infantry sitting on the objective what can go wrong ... he says confidently in jest !

I think the King Tiger and also the Volksturm is proving to be a popular choice, now know 3 people that are using them for this tournament ! Should be interesting.

I will have to borrow some King Tigers off mate John Fletcher and also borrow some German Infantry off my brother as well, but I am looking forward to it. 5 games in total over one day and another good 3 hour road trip each way

My list as below:



My brother Andrew has gone for a light British tank company, deciding on the 11th Armoured Division from Market Garden book. With a total of 7 Cromwells and 2 Challenger tanks, and to make up points he has placed in the Cromwell recovery tank.

These tanks should be fun to use being light tanks, zippy and racing 16" around your flanks .... all depends if he can get there in sufficient numbers while the Challengers sit back and shoot at range ... well that's what I think at any rate, is anyone's guess what Andy has in mind.

Andy too has to borrow models for this list , as he is using our brother in laws Shep's models for the tournament... Shep has done some excellent work on these tanks, applying the camo netting (unsure of its proper name) so thought I would share some photos of them.






Until next time chaps .