Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Sales: 28mm Prussian Army

Nothing to see here folks! 

These are just some pics of my 28mm Prussian Napoleonic Army to assist with selling it off, and, subsequently, for nostalgia purposes! (Reluctantly having to down size! - you can't do it all, right?). 

Calpe metals and Perry plastic and metals:

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Bolt Action: Comets!

Rubicon have recently released their long awaited 1/56th scale A34 Comet tank model. For once, it seemed Australia was included in the initial ship-out of a wargaming product, and the great blokes at War and Peace games had it available straight away, and 3 of these beauties were waiting on my door step in record time!

I painted mine up as belonging to A Squadron 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry. The Comet was an excellent final iteration of the 'Cruiser' tank concept, fast, with some armour, and powerfully armed with a cut down 17 Pdr '77'mm main gun. Unfortunately for its place in

history, it arrived too late, Sept. 1944, to have a major impact on the war and was overshadowed by its immediate successor, the first in the 'Universal' or Main Battle Tank concept, the excellent Centurion. But having been gifted a dog-eared REME 'EMER' or maintenance manual for this vehicle for Christmas when 'nobut a lad' - and I were grateful! - to me it has remained the archetypal British tank of WW2. I also enjoyed the autobiographical novel 'Warriors for the Working Day' by Peter Elstob, which ends with his experiences in the final stages of the war: finally commanding a worthwhile tank, but fighting a losing battle against PTS. (I don't call it PTSD - its not a Disorder, its a normal reaction to abnormal experiences!)

I assembled and painted the tanks in record time and set up the table to play out a couple of Bolt Action games. The idea of the table was to represent north western Germany in the early spring of 1945 - so a good road network, carefully managed pine woods, some early spring rye and oat crops starting to sprout, and timber framed buildings, some ravaged by bombing...

Initially the opposition consisted of three Panther tanks, manned by inexperienced crews. The stats for the Panther and Comet are the same, so this was necessary to give the attacking British the necessary edge, and was probably fairly historical by 1945....

I also included a token German infantryman - I've been very remiss in painting up any 1/56 infantry for whatever reason, but a late war scenario is incomplete without Panzerfausts!

The Fife and Forfars, having fought hard and wide since D-Day, advanced cautiously making full use of the ample cover...

Whereas the inexperienced young Panzertruppen, confident behind their thick armour - were bolder!

After a swift exchange of shots, the results were predictable...

Having enjoyed an exciting, if one sided, game, I lost no time in setting up for another...so you have to image that the Fife and Forfars have motored ever deeper into the Reich... 

until 'intelligence suggests enemy forces are coalescing ahead.' The Yeomanry emerges upon another area of wooded plain remarkably similar to the last skirmish...

In this case the intel is spot on, as an ad-hoc small but experienced force of a Tiger I, Tiger II and accompanying infantry tank hunters are intent on blocking the way...

Whilst the Troopie and Troop Sergeant's tanks duel at long range with the Tigers from the shelter of the woods, the Troop Corporal's Comet is sent far and fast through the town to work around the German flank. Lets hope the panzershreck men are not at home!

Unbeknown to the good Corporal and his crew, the rest of the troop have come second in an exchange of fire with the Tigers - its now all up to them! However, they have found a good covered position and are steadily pinging bits off the King Tiger - turret jam, immobilised, and piling on the pins! Unfortunately they are themselves being stalked by a determined Landser and his Panzerfaust...

This distracts the Comet somewhat and the Tiger I comes up in support of the damaged Tiger II and, in a first round hit, knocks out the last remaining Comet!

A pair of cracking games which has reinforced my liking of Bolt Action as delivering entertaining games with credible outcomes. 

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Flames 12: Wargaming Flames of War in 12mm


Fairly limited in range as yet, they promise great things, including infantry at some stage.

I'm not sure how I'm going to use these though. Straight transfer to down scaled Flames of War;  Rommel operational level rules; or Two Fat Lardies forthcoming operational level rules O Group? Really not sure yet! So last night, having rush painted a dozen Cromwells and half a dozen Panthers, I thought I'd see how I got on with a Flames of War scenario...

Given that these are much smaller than their 15mm brethren,

I had to adjust the distance scale of the FOW rules. At first I thought that halving everything would be easy, but for some reason it didn't look right, so I reduced everything by two thirds, excepting artillery impact zones and orders ranges, in the interest of photogenic dispersion.

That would still make my 6 x 4 foot game mat a relative 9 x 6 footprint - pretty grandiose!

I though that putting up 1140 points of Cromwell's up against 1120 points of Panthers in a No Retreat scenario would provide a balanced game - how wrong I was! The Cromwell squadron made full use of the space available to concentrate on a covered approach up the middle and a detached troop heading for the secondary, distant objective.

Playing in this scale certainly allowed more scope for tactical approaches and seemed to look the part. 

The Cromwell squadron seemed to take an age to eventually reach the wooded area to set up for the rush onto the near objective - playing in this scale has its drawbacks too! As soon as they reached the edge of cover, the Germans sprang one platoon of Panthers that were in ambush on the brush covered banks of the stream. 

The initial salvo wasn't too bad, but the second and third salvos were decisive. One remaining troop of Cromwell's felt that a bold dash for the objective, with the aim of getting behind the Panthers, was the only hope for survival, but further casualties ended that plan. 

The same tactic of racing heedlessly over on the hillside was initially impeded by problems crossing the stream, but once the reinforcement Panther platoon was up...

and had found the range, proved equally ill-advised!

A resounding defeat for the Cromwell Squadron within 4 moves. However, they may do better with the full all arms mix of infantry and artillery once these are released - and a handful of Fireflies or Challengers wouldn't hurt either!

I look forward to the opportunity to test that theory - but not to painting the infantry in this scale! However, once they produce T-34s and the like, I imagine this scale will come into its own when trying to recreate actions on the rolling steppes out East!