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Tyson brought his Germans in to meet my Brits in practice for our upcoming tournament in Pittsburgh. My list from Blitzkreig Book:

BritInfEW  It’s a pretty balanced list, I think. Eight platoons for deployment with two recce platoons, good artillery, and a Heavy Tank platoon for a lotta lovin’ for the Germans.

Early War doesn’t allow the Brits “Mike targets” for the artillery, but the AT factor of 8 on a turntable based platform that can touch enemy at 24 inches is STILL impressive.

 

 

IMG_3794Tyson, the German commander.

 

 

 

 

 

The German list was from Barbarossa:

TysonList

 

We rolled up Free-for-all, and then set up. I’ll confess ahead of time that we played rather slowly as we were both getting more familiar with our forces and how they interact. We discussed options along the way so the game went more slowly than we both are used to. Two and a half hours goes fast!

IMG_3786 The table was rolling contoured terrain built in so it’s not evident in the picture. A stream ran in the lower corner which we played as delaying terrain only. The town at the top left was to become the focus of the battle. I was the nominal defender for set-up, so chose the North (top) side as my pick.

 

 

IMG_3787 The right side of the map shows one of the placed German objectives. My 18/25pdrs deployed in the high crops. The railroad tracks give cover as a low wall (raised track bed) and may bog vehicles crossing except at the level road crossing. An infantry platoon defends the town to the front of the guns, and a carrier platoon is forward behind the buildings.

Two German infantry platoons deploy opposite, with one British objective on the hill top almost directly across from the German one. A lone 88mm gun set up at the top of the hill near the objective.

IMG_3789 The right side of the board from the German lines show a British objective (blue Newcastle Brown truck) behind a wood. German PaK 38s deploy near it with Nebelwerfers behind. To the far right are PaK 36s.

The British have deployed an infantry platoon near the German objective just north of the church. Two 2pdr AT guns are deployed in the woods to provide covering fire. A carrier platoon lurks near the left behind the village.

 

IMG_3791The Matildas went near the center as did  the German MkIVs.

 

 

 

 

 

The British are the attacker for the first move, so there will be no artillery this round. The left infantry platoon and the 2pdrs dig in, so the left is done. The carriers move to the left to use the buildings to block  the sight of the PaK 38s. On the right, the 18/25pdrs dig in (Tyson didn’t like that roll!), but the infantry does not. There is no other British action.

In the German turn, the Nebs, PaK 38s, and the 88 all dig in. Tanks and infantry move forward on the German left. The PaK 38s fire at the Matildas at long range and score two hits which bounce from the heavily armored targets.

IMG_3795The nebelwerfers drop a double-wide barrage on the Brit artillery and score three hits on artillery and one on infantry. The lucky guns and infantry all save as they are gone-to-ground. The 88 tries to range in on a British gun but misses.

 

 

 

Turn two starts with a familiar beginning as I can’t unpin the guns or infantry, even with a command re-roll. (I AM the Diceman…do not attempt this at home). The mortars and infantry do manage to dig in.

IMG_3797I move my tanks to the right to threaten his advance, but my dice luck continues as one of the Matildas bogs down on entering the woods. The carriers on the right advance to shoot at the German infantry. They score three hits and kill one stand. The Matilda misses the German tanks.

IMG_3796 The mortars range in on the nebelwerfers but score no damage. On the left I try a shot with the carriers against the PaKs but fail to roll a 6 when one save is missed.

 

 

IMG_3800In the German turn, the nebelwerfers recover and target the mortars, killing one. Now with one remaining tube, the mortars are pretty much out of action. The 88 hits a British gun, but bounces harmlessly since the guns were gone-to-ground. On the left, one carrier is bailed by PaK fire. (Tyson and I were both affected by the “can’t roll the firepower” syndrome in this game!)

Turn three continues in my dice-rolling skill: Matilda still bogged, carrier still bailed, infantry and mortars still pinned (infantry with a re-roll!) The artillery, which amazingly I un-pinned, fails to range in on the 88, and the Matilda misses the German tanks again. Good turn!

IMG_3801The German push on my right with infantry and tanks. The werfers target the guns..two guns and an infantry hit. The infantry and one gun save and Tyson misses his firepower roll to kill one. The 88 misses the guns totally. In the center the pesky PaKs target the Matilda and gets a bail when I roll a 1 for armor save!

IMG_3805The Germans push…

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3804The bailed carrier on my left is not so lucky any more as the PaKs finally connect.

 

 

 

 

Turn four begins with the guns still pinned (with re-roll….sounds familiar). The Matilda is still bailed but it’s companion frees itself and advances, hoping to get a shot at the panzers. Carriers from the left move toward the center. The pinned guns are now in direct fire range and the panzers go up in balls of fire with four hits. I can’t land a barrage worth a crap, but these gunners know how to shoot over open sights!

The Germans now go defensive. All the infantry digs in. The PaKs, after advancing into the stream, kill the mobile Matilda with a flank shot. (I screwed up and should have faced the guns with my hull and rotated the turret to the right. Then I would have had a chance that he struck front instead of flank. Note to self…remember for the tournament!) The werfers target a carrier platoon, but all targets save.

IMG_3806The bailed Matilda is then killed by the 88. No tanks for either side remain….

As a side note, the big red poly-sided die is the turn marker.

 

 

IMG_3808 The werfers target a carrier platoon, but all targets save. Here you can see how this board is contoured. The left carrier is higher than the rest of the platoon.

 

 

Turn five starts “The Big Push”. Time will make this the last turn for both of us. Neither will be able to win unless we break the other’s army, so this turn will be for victory points. The guns and mortar remains pinned (with re-roll, naturally!) but the bailed carrier re-mounts. My infantry advances to try to knock out a German platoon. MG fire from the carriers and infantry all fail to pin the enemy…having a barrage would have helped here!

IMG_3810 The whistle blows anyway and the Brits charge the railway station. Return fire is massive as the Germans score 11 hits! The plucky Brits only lose one stand, though, but are forced to break off. They then take cover behind the buildings.

 

The Germans need three stands to cause the Brit infantry platoon to check morale, so set up to try and get a point for that. The 88 hits a gun but the gun saves again.

IMG_3812 The last chance: Infantry MGs take out two. The werfer barrage targets the Brits, needing only one kill for a morale check. One hit on a carrier and four on the infantry. Can I make the saves???

 

 

IMG_3813 Sorry, Tyson..the carrier brews up but the infantry all make their saves.

Post-mortem: two well-balanced lists faced off in an even scenario. With all troops on table it would be hard to capture an objective, although Tyson tried hard. My fire was very ineffectual for the first three turns, so I had no hope of capturing an objective. Being continually suppressed, my barrages never silenced his 88 or the werfers. The Matildas had to hide from the 88 and missed all their shots at the panzers and infantry. My idea was to eliminate or smoke the 88, destroy the panzers, then assault through the infantry with carriers, tanks, and infantry. Tyson did much better and almost succeeded in his plan. If we played longer he may have secured his objective.

Good game, Tyson!

 

 

 

A few weeks ago Stephen brought his Germans to face my British infantry in an Encounter mission in the desert.

Stephen in the desert

Stephen in the desert

His list was:

Confident Veteran Leichte Panzerkompanie
HQ- 1Pzr III G
1st Plt 3 Panzer III G
2nd Plt 3 Italian M13/40 tanks
3rd Plt Panzerschutzen Plt
             1 commander SMG team
             6 stands MG teams
             1 light mortar team
             3 Sd Kfz 251/1 half track
4th Plt Heavy Panzerspah 2 8rad
5th Plt 1 8.8cm rate of fire 3
6th Plt 2 15cm SiG33 guns
1500 pts.
………….
My Confident Veteran Brits:
HQ with 2 3inch mortars
2 Rifle platoons (1 short) with Light mortars and AT rifles
2 recce carrier platoons including 2 AT rifles
1 platoon of A12 Matilda Seniors
1 AT platoon of 2 QQF 2pdr guns
1 Field Btty  of 4 18/25pdr guns
1500 pts.
Left side with objectives and deployment.

Left side with objectives and deployment.

Right side deployment with objectives.

Right side deployment with objectives.

The British win the attack roll and dig in the 18/25pdrs. The Infantry didn’t receive any shovels, so they fail to entrench. The carriers move closer to the enemy, taking cover behind the buildings. Stephen moves the Panzer III platoon to the left and calls transports up for the 88mm gun.

Carriers take cover.

Carriers take cover.

Can't see any targets! Move the big gun!!

Can’t see any targets! Move the big gun!!

On turn 2 the Matildas move to shoot and misses. The infantry still hasn’t gotten their shovels so remain unprotected. The artillery tries to hit the 88 with a barrage and fails to range in on the juicy target. The Germans are similarly unable to dig in on their turn…perhaps the desert ground is too hard! The Panzer IIIs with commander double to the left.

On turn 3 the carriers and Matildas take position to shoot at the German tanks.  A “warning shot” from the carrier bounces off the lead Panzer III. The infantry finds their shovels and hides in their new foxholes. Two 2pdr AT guns arrive from reserves and station themselves near the left flank objective. It looks like Jerry is massing to go for it! Once again the artillery fails to hit the 88…how can they miss it???

IMG_3721

Right here, lads! Cover this spot….

Carriers to the left with tanks up the middle.

Carriers to the left with tanks up the middle. We have to be cautious as that 88 covers the gap to the left of the buildings.

The Germans also roll for reinforcements….a platoon of heavy infantry guns take station near the 88 on the right. The infantry finally digs in. The startled Panzer fires back at the carrier…perhaps too quickly as a bail is the only result. All other shots miss.

A little too cheeky, mate. Good thing it didn't hit anything major!

A little too cheeky, mate. Good thing it didn’t hit anything major!

Turn 4 starts with no reinforcements available. The 2pdrs dig in. The plucky carrier recovers but the Matildas all miss their targets. The artillery targets the newly-arrived German guns and finally manages to range in on their second attempt. A gun takes a clean hit and is eliminated.

Incoming!!

Incoming!! Scratch one gun.

In the German turn a platoon of armored cars arrives in the center. Another carrier is bailed by the commander’s tank…maybe I should get them out of there before their nine lives are up?  Half-tracks come forward to pick up the infantry. The 150mm gun tries to kill the Matildas, but the single gun only ranges in on the third attempt and misses.

Turn 5…the mortar platoon comes in on the left. The carrier remounts and the platoon retreats to better cover. The 2pdrs fire at the advancing tanks but miss totally. A barrage hits the half-tracks and also misses. I’m starting to wonder if the heat is throwing off my aim…but the Matildas come through and destroy one half-track along with a crewman,

One half-track is down!

One half-track is down!

In the German turn some Italian tanks show up on the left just where they are needed.They rattle forward and manage to knock out one of the British mortars.  The PzIIIs pull up to their right but their fire is ineffective. The 150mm gun digs in and then slams a barrage on the Matildas again. Luckily, I roll a 5 and the heavy round has no effect. Whew!! The 8rad platoon has a run at the artillery park, hitting with 20mm and MG bullets, but the artillery bounces everything. Unfortunately they fail their Sturmtruppen move…

Turn 6 and another carrier platoon arrives just where I need it and takes positions near the artillery. The artillery gunners fire directly at the German armored cars and brew one up.Artillery versus armored car...

Artillery versus armored car…

On the left, the 2pdrs fire at the Italians and their 5 hits result in two dead tanks. The platoon makes it’s morale roll and soldiers on. The Matildas are not so good in aiming and only bail a MkIII.

Two Italians on fire!

Two Italians on fire!

The German return fire knocks out both 2pdr guns but the platoon commander remains in action amid his destroyed battery. The Panzer crew rallies. Infantry heads for the British artillery. A barrage targets the British artillery park and only bails a carrier. Sounds familiar…

The artillery is safe in it's entrenchments but the carrier is bailed.

The artillery is safe in it’s entrenchments but the carrier is bailed.

Turn 7 is very uneventful for the Brits. The Germans can attack this bound, so I hoped to do some preemptive damage. The turn results in a bailed MkIII and a half-track shaken when an ATR round bounces off. One hit with 8 dice rolled versus the tracks! Ackkk!!!

Crunch time. The Germans attack on the left with tanks and on the right with infantry.

The German tanks roll into the British infantry.

The German tanks roll into the British infantry.

Five stands die in the assault. The Brits were too dazed to hit anything, and are swept from the field when they fail morale. The loss of the AT battery had sealed their fate the turn before.

The German infantry assault falls back in a hail of defensive fire.

Turn 8 and the infantry and artillery are still pinned. I advance the Matildas in a last-ditch chance to kill the MkIII platoon now controlling the objective….and miss a bail chance. On the right, the carriers attack the infantry in the open and the combination of prep fire and assault kills all except one stand…and the platoon passes morale. The Brits go down to defeat! Stephen the Desert Fox wins 6-0.

German infantry before they are decimated.

German infantry before they are decimated.

The final score was really strange. The Matildas were a total waste, only killing one half-track in the whole game. The artillery was ineffective as well. The key to the game was my missing saves on both the AT guns and Stephen converting them both to kills. Stephen had FIVE 1-stand platoons left at the game’s end but I couldn’t get the last stand of any for a point or two! Good show, old man!

December 13 was the Flames of War  Christmas Fest at Legions Games. In the “spirit of giving” for this time of year, this event was a little different. From the event description: “Make a Mid War list of a MINIMUM of 600 points that is the absolute worst list you can come up with. You will be giving that to your opponents to use. Your opponents will give you their list for you to use. Your force composition only needs to have one Combat platoon (instead of the usual two). 600 points is the minimum number of points that you can bring. You could go over if you want, but remember, you will be playing against your list for all three rounds.

The event will last for three rounds. Every round will be Free-for-All and will be played on 4’x4′ tables.”

So it’s “screw yer friends for Xmas!!!” Bah, Humbug!! I love it!!

My “gift” was:

FoWXmaslistSince the AT guns are “no HE” weapons, they function as very expensive rifle teams (although the portees do have a vehicle MG).

I had three fun games using crap Soviets (one unit had NO rifles!!), Germans and American OSS. I won with Soviets and Germans but lost with the OSS. My army was crappy, but not as crappy as Shane’s!!

Here’s some pics:

IMG_3673Captain America objective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3675IMG_3677IMG_3684IMG_3679

The FoW gang met at Legions Hobbies on Nov 22 for Tanksgiving! This is a free-for-all battle where each participant fields a tank-only (must be fully tracked and have at least “0” armor) list of 750 points all from one nation. For example, I fielded a Tiger II, 2 Jagdpanzer IV (long), and 2 Veteran tank hunter Raupenschlepper Ost with PaK40. One of the Jgpz IV was trained, all else veteran. Most of the players were very conventional with several Tiger IIs, “Jumbo” Shermans, Panthers, a Super Pershing and a JgPz VI (“cheater” Tim!), but Neal fielded a colorful unit of mixed tanks from “Girls und Panzer”, a Japanese anime feature. (Sorry, no pics!)

The bad weather (rain and ice) prevented three of our guys from the South of Pittsburgh from arriving due to many accidents on the roads, including the TO Tim McClelland. The bad weather was all south of us, though, and the two guys from Erie had no troubles. Tim called and said they were OK, but not being able to make their way to us. Since we had enough to play, Tim Hladon stepped up ably ran the event.

Basically, the players pick an edge of the 8’x 8′ table to setup on. The order is determined by a card pick from a regular deck of cards. Each round the players move and shoot when their random card is drawn. The only restriction is that on the first turn you may not shoot at either of your nearest neighbor. After that, all bets are off and it’s kill or be killed. Last man standing is the winner!

The table before we set up:

20141122_124135

 

 

 

 

And another view:

20141122_124447

 

 

 

 

Now we started to pick setup areas:

image1

 

 

 

 

 

Fitzi’s Panthers hide in the woods…

20141122_124417

 

 

 

 

Scratch one Sherman!

20141122_125447

 

 

 

 

The mayhem went on for several hours until we called the game with 3 players remaining. At that point, Larry Stone with a Super Pershing and regular Sherman left) had the most points and couldn’t be caught by the rest (Larry Chaban with one Jumbo; and yours truly with a Tiger II, vet JgPz IV  and a RSO). If you wonder why I had so many still alive is because I spent most of the game BOGGED in the woods! I couldn’t shoot, but no one could shoot me. I swear I rolled 8-9 1’s to bog my tanks….

Larry Stone…the Tanksgiving Champ! The big prize he’s holding is a gift card for Legions.

20141122_164853

 

 

 

 

Thanks for all who came and played…it was a lot of fun! And big thanks for our photographers Rob Gerdich and Larry Chaban….

On Friday Nov 14, Bill Thompson brought out his Fallschirmjagers to match against my US 101st Airborne at Legions Hobbies.

Bill Thompson and his 1750pt list:

IMG_3619Falls1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My list was Parachute Rifle Company (101st with 11th British):

Para101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill chose the SW corner of the heavily wooded terrain to defend in. The Belgian woods were interrupted only by roads and clearings. No towns were located in this area. I chose to attack from Bill’s right. This pic shows Bill’s deployment area in the upper right and the two objectives in place. The sticks placed in the left of the picture are the limits of my deployment area.

IMG_3617

 

Bill put his 3 StuGs in ambush and left one infantry platoon off-board for a reserve. These decisions proved to be key in the following battle.

He attached one HMG to each infantry platoon to beef up their firepower.

 

 

His deployment is shown:

IMG_3618

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My deployment:

IMG_3620My plan was to use the tanks and mounted infantry to take the objective to the NW.

The Recce troop dismounted into entrenchments to remove his Gone-to-Ground status. I thought I needed that edge as his infantry was all Veteran and I had the first move. As it turned out, it may have been a better choice to use them with the tanks. Try to get tricky and get screwed…

 

 

 

The British Heavy AA guns deploy near the center.

IMG_3623

Turn One began with the arrival of two P47s. The Recce removes GtG on the 1st infantry platoon and the PaK40s…a good beginning for me! But next I had to shoot (and roll dice.) The tanks moved toward the objective, wary of the still-hidden StuGs.

 

 

 

 

The P47s go for a target-rich environment:

IMG_3625

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combination of my infantry platoon, all my LMGs, and direct-fire mortars resulted in a grand total of ONE dead infantry stand and ONE PaK40! The 105s range in on his Nebelwerfers, landing on the THIRD attempt and pin the platoon and nearby AA guns. To top it all off, the plane gets shot down!!

Bill rolls to hit the plane:

IMG_3626

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then to kill the plane:

IMG_3627

I can see it’s going to be one of THOSE games!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his turn, Bill unpins everyone. His werfers target my 105s and takes one out:

IMG_3629

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heavy mortars target the infantry platoon with no effect as I make all my saves.

IMG_3630

His rifle and MG fire does kill one stand after the barrage lifts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Two starts with me unpinning all units and getting two more P47s, who target a heavy mortar which is out of sight from the AA. The mortars and infantry fire are all fails, as Bill saves for all targets hit. The remaining 105s continue to fire at the werfers and take one out:

IMG_3632

The P47s scream in on the mortar and spot it in the tree line. A bomb on target takes it out.

 

 

 

 

 

The German turn sees the arrival of an infantry platoon from reserves, who take cover in a small woods surrounded by a lot of open ground. Those British tanks to the left  and the Engineer MGs at the bottom of the picture are pretty menacing…..

IMG_3633

Bill unpins everyone except the werfers . All his other fires result in pinning the lead American platoon and killing one stand. The HMGs come close to killing the Recce .50cal, but he fails the Fire Power roll.

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Three begins with a single  P47, and the infantry unpins. The 105s continue to bombard the werfers but all shots miss:

IMG_3635 The P47s target the reinforcing platoon. The tanks and Engineers move within close range and also target the platoon. When the dust clears, the plane failed to see the infantry but the MG fire cuts down two stands.

 

 

 

 

 

The German turn sees some movement toward the Americans still moving toward the objective. The StuGs remain hidden. The heavy mortars range in on the American mortars, killing one mortar and the platoon commander…the remaining mortar saves with a 6 for morale…whew!

IMG_3636Bill’s HMGs and infantry fires take out an infantry stand and a Recce .50 cal with an impressive bunch of 5’s and 6’s needed to hit.

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Four gets 2 P47s. (Wow!! I NEVER get this many planes in a row!!) My fires this turn are totally ineffective..the continuing barrage misses as do all other firing! At least the plane succeeds in taking out one of the German HMGs:

IMG_3637

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill fails to unpin his HMG platoon, but all else is combat-ready. The pinned HMG takes out a bazooka, and the HMG attached to the infantry rolls 4 6’s and kills a stand. The moving Second platoon (near the objective) loses a stand also. The deadly 120mm mortars land again on the American mortars but miss when I save with all my rolls. His werfers try to hit the tanks after a moved PaK failed to penetrate the Firefly and bounce off the tanks when I roll a 5 and 6.

IMG_3638

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn 5, 2 more planes (OMG!) The planes target the PaK40 which tried to snipe the Firefly. All my fires prove that I’m using bad ammo…EVERYTHING misses. The planes hit the PaK40 and an infantry stand. I miss the infantry by rolling a 1! The PaK , of course, makes his save…

IMG_3640

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Germans move in their turn to secure the objective, and bombard the mortars and Heavy AA guns to no effect. The reinforcing platoon takes out one of the Engineer stands, though.

At this point we called the game 6-1 in Bill’s favor, as I thought I couldn’t take the objective with the time remaining in the game. If he had not contested the objective during his move I would have won.

As I mentioned earlier, I think I would have had a better chance if I had kept the Recce platoon mounted to help shoot the Germans away from the objective. My inability to hit the reinforcing Germans over three turns was also critical as I spent too many resources to try to get a point. Bill’s ambush was never revealed, and this threat also hampered my attack. The 105s were singularly firing bad ammo. Consider that there were 2-3 stands under continual barrage for SIX turns which resulted in only one stand eliminated and one turn of pinned werfers.

Well played, Bill!

At Fall-in I picked up some of Eureka Miniatures’ Gurkha figures to add some variety to my Battlefront Flames of War troops. There are 1-4 figures per pack, with 26 different codes available! This extensive range allows you to model these troops from Early to Late War and support weapons (Vickers HMG, AT rifles, 2″ mortars) are included. Infantry prices are 65 cents each, Vickers and crew  or 2″ mortar and crew for $2.70.

IMG_3572

 

 

The Eureka figures compare in size very well with Battlefront as shown to the left in a blurry photo (sorry!)

 

 

 

 

Detail is good, and  is apparent on this photo below 223a, White European Officer of Gurkhas

IMG_3576

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the figure are here:

IMG_3568Battlefront figure for comparison; European officer; Infantry with slouch hat and Mk4 rifle; Gurkha officer; and Radio operator.

 

 

 

More of the line:

IMG_3570 Infantry with Mk4 rifle and khukri knife; NCO with Sten; and Infantry with Thompson SMG. Most figures have slouch hats or helmets as choices.

 

 

 

Here’s a closer view of some from above:

IMG_3575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My verdict:

Great figures which will easily mix with Battlefront to give some good variety to existing platoons. Five stars out of five!

Figures are available at: Eureka Miniatures USA