Saturday, 17 July 2021

Twelve Mil Musings

I've previously blogged about my delight at the burgeoning Victrix 1:144th scale WW2 range. https://www.victrixlimited.com/collections/victrix-games As hurriedly as I painted them, I'm still very happy with the my finish and painting of the vehicles that are being brought out.

With this scale, the decider for many people is the quality of the infantry figures. Well I've now painted up a few Brits and Germans, and I'm also very happy with them, although not so happy with my attempts to catch them on camera!

Spot the infantry squad in the picture below!

I suspect this scale will come into its own for me when I retire, and thus with downsizing, lose the incredibly privileged wargaming complex I now enjoy, and have to content myself with a 6 x 4 table.

Retirement still a few years away, my progress in this scale has been slow, since the Victrix range is expanding slowly, not surprising given the current Covid climate!

However my good friend Stephen incredibly generously sent me over from Canada his entire collection of 1:144 scale minis from the Dragon Mini Armour series. 

This has obviously reanimated my interest, particularly since he sent over a lot of Russian AFV's, unlikely to be released by Victrix anytime soon..


Aside from the downsizing imperative, I think this scale anyhow lends itself to recreating titanic struggles fought over the wide open spaces: the steppes of Western Russian and the Ukraine, and the Western Desert.


And this is where this particular scale really comes into its own - just about large enough to be photogenic and have impact on the table, yet allow a real sense of distance and long range armoured engagements...


I'm still in a quandary over basing though - two of these scale AFVs fit nicely on a playing card size base for Rommel operational scale battles...


But that would hamper using the same models for Flames of War. I suppose at this scale they are cheap enough to double up - especially when they come pre-painted and free - thanks again Stephen!

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Bolt Action Tank War: Roadbound

As my second lock-down solo game I wanted to test a scenario reflecting the common German Ostfront late war defensive tactic of flooding large areas, thus channeling the Soviet advance to roads and high ground.

Its a challenge to set a balanced scenario whilst reflecting the huge offensive-defensive imbalance on the Eastern Front in '44-45.

The Germans had approx 1500 points, with a Tiger II, PaK 40, 

and Luftwaffe Flak 36 involuntarily serving in the ground defence role.

The handful of German infantry was mechanized and liberally provided with Panzerfausts.

The Red Army attackers, with 3 x IS2s and 6 x T-34-85s, all inexperienced, and having outdistanced their Motor Rifles, had approx 1900 points.

The catch was, all movement was largely confined to the road and track network, which obviously channelled the Red Army advance...

Whereas the defenders had enough time to position their fields of fire from covered positions.

And allowed the infantry to infiltrate forward within Panzerschreck range...


They say a short game is a quick one - well then this one was excellent! With the IS2s struggling to get into the game through the flooded fields, the T34s sped forward on their own - right into the German kill sack!


I suspect I need to revisit this scenario once I have some Soviet dismounts and artillery painted up!

Thursday, 1 July 2021

FOAN: Golani Dusk

For this 'lock-down' solo Fate of a Nation game, I wanted to use the Golan Heights Clash scenario from Oil War, which is a scenario played at Dusk.

We are revisiting the scene of many intense armoured actions, the key crossroads between Merom Golan and Kuneitra which lies on the dusty plateau between Spot Heights 1211 and 1171, Mount Hermonit and Booster Ridge respectively. The Syrians are making a major armoured incursion, short of all-out invasion, to interfere with Israeli irrigation work in the vicinity of the Bental Reservoir. Winter 1970, during the long War of Attrition.


A few rocky outcrops and the ancient irrigation channel form the only ground of tactical significance. Transferring the scenario from a 6 x 4 to a 8 x 6 sized table, the 2 objectives the Syrians had to gain by Turn 6 were spread proportionally further apart:

The Syrian elements of the 70th Armoured Brigade (Assad Republican Guard) are centred around 2 x T-55 tank companies and a T-62 tank company. The spearhead is provided by a detachment of PT-76 light tanks. A company of Motor Rifles with attached ATGW platoon are also present, as is ample rocket artillery support. 143 points:


The defenders of Merom Golan are the active duty reservists of a company of the 8th Armoured Brigade (Hativa Shmoneh) principally armed with M51 Shermans.


However, they are a well balanced force also consisting of infantry, artillery teams, with fast air support, and, almost as an after thought, have a detachment of recoilless rifle armed jeeps on active duty and on-station - these would prove to have undue significance! Altogether 144 points:


One of the platoons of M51s was deployed in ambush, another, along with a platoon of Magach 6's, and the SPs, were in immediate reserve.


With nowhere obvious to place them, the recoilless rifle jeeps were placed adjacent to the objective nearer to the Syrians, sheltered in the dead ground of the irrigation channel...


For their part, the Syrians gave rather more thought to the positioning of their artillery assets...



And made full use of the Spearhead potential of the light tanks:


The two T-55 companies, closest to the camera above, would concentrate on the nearer objective, whilst the T-62s and Motor Rifles would await developments advancing along the MSR.


The winter sun's last rays provided enough illumination for the Syrian tankers and Sagger missile operators to close with...


and obtain first hit kills on the thin-skinned Israeli M-52s, which had been left too little time to spring their ambush...


However the survivors gave back an eye for an eye, and a protracted tank shoot out transpired. Whilst the Ishermans were firing two volleys for every Syrian, they were outnumbered and their armour outclassed...


However the Sagger gunners up on the hill behind the Syrian tank force was something the Israeli's could do something about - a flight of 4 A4 Skyhawks appeared...dodged the Syrian MAPAD SAMs...


Ranged in...


And cut loose with their cluster munitions...


No more Saggers to worry about!


Meanwhile astride the MSR, the T-62s were also hunting for prey...



And were forced to deploy early to deal with some pesky Ishermans on their flank...


Ideally before the Israeli reserves made their presence felt - these Magachs actually have useful armour!


Wasting no time, the Magach's raced to form an anvil with the ancient Ishermans...


Forming a nice little kill sack full of T-62s...


With predictable results!


The action as a whole was'nt going well for the Israeli defenders though. Whilst the further objective now looked safe, their were far too many T-55s swarming near the far one for comfort...


And they had taken a toll of Ishermans...


As the last of the Israeli reserves rolled into line - the SPGs...


Dusk fell...


Having cleared the left flank of T-62s, the Magach's raced over to help secure the other objective.


Which was now only being defended by one lone Isherman and the recoilless rifles!


And the artillery crews in direct fire!


Sensing victory, the Syrian tankers pushed onto the objective...


However the Magachs had now appeared onscene...


And adding their fire to the recoilless rifles and direct fire artillery...


All the Syrians on the objective were destroyed - a close run battle!