Tuesday, 21 January 2014

20mm Eastern Front debacle at the Uni!

Its important, I think, when writing a Batrep, to come up with your excuses for an epic fail early on in the piece...

So here's mine - the idea of this game, held back in late December '13, was to revisit the old WRG 1925-1950 rules. I have long been searching for a workable set of rules to use for 20mm gaming, and in desperation, and hearing that Mark was also familiar with these, they seemed ripe for dusting off...

But here's the thing - Mark had misunderstood and turned up with an even older version of the WRG rules - I'm not saying they were written on parchment, but they certainly didn't get published too long after the printing press was invented...
So my excuse for liberally bestrewing the table with burning T34s? Well of course since Mark, it now transpired, was not familiar with the 'latest' WRG rules (its all relative), of course I would have to do his calculations for him - obviously leaving insufficient brainpower to apply the usual Sparker tactical brilliance to the scenario! Convinced?
No? Well the rest of the club wasn't either - fortunately they were too engrossed in their game of HOTT for much more than a little token sledging - but Mark made up for that...

We didn't spend too much time worrying about points or anything - basically for the Red Army I had a company of T34-85s with tank riders supported by a platoon of SU85s

and the standard Soviet issue of artillery - lots!

My four 76.2 L51 Dual Purpose guns would provide some direct fire support and possibly act in the anti tank role if Mark's Germans counter attacked early on;

Whereas my six 122mm Howitzers would provide a crushing weight of indirect fire, at the very least suppressing the German anti tank screen so that my T34s could get up close and personal before the Huns could start picking them off at long range - at least that was the plan...

Unfortunately I don't have any shots of Mark's fearsome forces, too well camouflaged, suffice it to say he had a smaller but well balanced force - a platoon of Panthers, a platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in tracks, two Stuggie type things, and an 88mmL56 and a PAK43 Barndoor thingo - roughly half my level of points on the WRG points scale.

Things started to go wrong for me right from the outset as the Red God of War proved to be distinctly fallible as both my artillery batteries consistently proved unable to locate and register, much less suppress, the German anti-tank guns...

With the inevitable consequences - those anti tank guns were out there all right - and they soon managed to find the range all right Comrade!

To add insult to injury the German artillerymen were on top form, and soon managed to pin down my now dismounted tank riders...

My T34s would either have to regroup whilst under effective AT fire, or press on without infantry support...

They pressed on, inevitably receiving more knock outs...

Things were not going quite according to plan...

Nevertheless, by dint of a combination of peasant stoicism and Soviet daring the remains of the company put the pedal to the metal and reached the ridge where the German AT guns were situated.

Now was the time for some pay back!

And with my T34 company all but destroyed, I only had one consolation...

Yes comrades, we managed to knock out one - one! - of the damned Panthers!



  1. Beautiful looking army mate. You should give Battlegroup rules a spin.

  2. Thanks mate. As a matter of fact the Battlegroup rules are next on the agenda...I found it hard working my way around the Kursk set, but now I have a copy of the stripped down generic ruleset they make much more sense and I am hoping to test them out with the lads at the uni in a month or so...

  3. Stunning table...and pictures...and minis...well, in fact, excellent post, really beautiful!

  4. Reminded me of many old games with these rules - always lots of burning T34/85s.......

  5. Really, really great table! What did you use as a gaming mat? Looks like big old felt blanket with few paints sprayed on and some flock glued. I would like to make one of those so guide/tutorial how to do it would be much obliged.

    1. Thanks Mate - the ground cloth is all Mark's work, and he is even more of a technophobe than I am so its unlikely he will come on here and tell you all about it. All I know is that its not 'teddy bear fur' as such, but originally started off as a towelling type of material which he has put a lot of time and effort into getting this result. The undulations are made up of successive levels of foam, covered in a thick single layer of felt underlay, about an inch thick, then the cloth.

    2. Thanks for fast answer. I noticed on one of pictures that under-layers of foam are used for making all the hills and valleys. My error is that i thought that top layer is from one huge sheet of some felt material that is treated with paint and flock. Now when I look at the pictures again it looks like top layer is multi part wargaming mat, which is better for transportation and storage I guess. Still, I plan making one big wargaming mat for my basement gaming room, just need to find right recipe. :)

  6. Wow - that's a breath-takingly huge battlefield!

  7. Great looking table! I remember lots of burning t34 from the old days with these rules too.

  8. Thank you all very much for your kind comments Gents!

  9. That game looks excellent, top notch figures, AFVs & Terrain.

  10. WRG 1925-50 a blast from past indeed I played a lot of 6mm games with them back in the day. Was it the 1973 or 'newer' 1988 version you used ?

  11. Hi Sparker.

    What an amazing set up you guys have produced.

    May I also comment on your personal experience with Basher Bains. If it is the same WW2 vet, then he was in the UK in 1943/44 as CO for the 79th Armoured Division. I have lots of photos of Basher Bains in his role. Perhaps we could talk more about him?