Hello! It’s been a while. And I have another post to do tomorrow or Friday.

But- this doesn’t mean I’m back. These are some of the intermittent appearances I may make. After all, I haven’t switched off transmissions for good yet…

Peter (co-author of the Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules) finished working on the Plastic Soldier Company 1/72nd Russian 45mm anti tank guns that he purchased some time ago. Here are his proud pics: 1DSCF45mmL66 2DSCF45mmL66 3DSCF45mmL66 4DSCF45mmL66 5DSCF45mmL66 . Look great, don’t they? Better than what I do! He commented that: “The guns had very few pieces, but the crew had to be stuck together, but looked awesome once done. There were four guns and crews in the box, and there were options to do the 45mmL46 or the 76mm infantry gun. Awesome value for one kit”.

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He and I will be having a game of Panzerfaust:Armoured Fist in a fortnight. First game for me this year!

Two years ago I explained and demonstrated (with photos and all) how I made my wargaming smoke markers – if you don’t remember, click on this link. I’ve been very happy with them ever since and they have been serving me very faithfully, with no problems whatsoever.

Well, Paul from “Plastic Warriors 1/76 & 1/72 Plastic Soldiers,Armour & Aircraft” has shared on his blog how his mate Dave makes wargaming smoke markers. I was very impressed! Not only are the materials pretty easy to come by, there are times when a smoke marker having some sort of flat base to correctly position it (or anchor it, if you play outdoors and it’s a bit breezy) is  a great idea. Mrs Funker, like Paul’s wife, would not be happy with using the family oven for drying – I think sun-drying during the summer or indoors for a few days in a quite-warm, low-humidity room in winter would do the job adequately…after all, if not perfectly dry after a couple of days, it’s very easy to just put them outside again during the next sunny spell…

Anyway. This is something I will remember for next time I need to make smoke markers…and I may even ‘base’ a couple of my existing ones using my current supply of caulk, sheet styrene cut to appropriate sizes and shapes, and paint. Thanks Paul, and thanks Dave!

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The blog ‘War and game’ is gone – it ceased being accessible last year, and I mentioned this on this post here.

But I didn’t remove the link and kept forgetting to do so every time I logged in to WordPress.

Realising today that I really need to do a little cleaning up and re-organising around here, I have removed it from my Links…

…and added a new link!

Chris Kemp’s blog “Not Quite Mechanised: Fastplay Operational-Level Tabletop Wargaming” http://notquitemechanised.wordpress.com/ is taking up the slack! It’s a blog about 20th Century wargaming, and one tank model on the table represents a whole company (which s quite different to ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’, which is 1:1). There are great photos, plus progress reports and lots more. So, welcome Chris!

The start of Lend-Lease vehicles – no, not Trainee Funker suggesting that I start assembling a US force and begin gaming the Western Front, but holding the first of many US Lend-Lease tanks I can add to my Eastern Front Russian forces.

 

This last game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist (click this link to get the rules for free) for 2012 was to be an Encounter scenario, using forces most likely to represent reconnaissance forces. The date is March, 1942. The failed drive to Moscow is a fresh and sore memory.

Forces are searching for each other in the regions west of Moscow. For Weather, a 6 was rolled – Clear. For Wind, a 1 – Still.

Here’s the map/board for the night: 1 Map 1 2 Map 2

Turn 1:

The Germans 3 details 1 could already see a company of BA armoured cars that were advancing at high speed. I order to try to reach better positions before engaging, I decided the Germans would all move at Full Movement speed.

More Russians then came into view after my movement, including infantry on horseback 4 details 2 .

The Russians had already set up some anti-tank guns 5 Russian 45mm L 56 ATGs . A 45mm L56 fired on a Pz 38(t) but missed. Being a small gun and at some distance, the Germans couldn’t see its muzzle flash and so couldn’t try to fire speculatively at it.

Russian 122mm artillery is attempted to be called down onto the Pz 38(t)’s. An 8 is required; a 4 is rolled. It’ll come down next turn (Peter did this too late in the turn and so penalised himself by delaying its arrival).

Turn 2:

All German forces continued moving at full speed 6 Germans moving at full .  The Russian 45mm L56 on the hill fired again, missing again. The BA company 7 What the Germans could see  all fire at my Pz 38(t) platoon and all miss. The Russian artillery comes down but only affects a Pz 38(t) on the wing, Stunning it for 2 turns.

Turn 3:

I roll 5 pips for my actions. Good, I need it to get everyone firing at the Communist hordes. I choose to continue advancing the company as a whole (so my two motorised infantry platoons continue to move forward to optimal combat positions) 8 Germans continuing to move at full but I spend pips halting my two armour platoons.

My SdKfz 222’s roll brilliantly, and cause three BA’s to be tracked. The Pz 38(t)’s hit the same BA’s, knocking the gun out on one and causing the crews to bail out of two others 10 Russians taking hits too .

As a result of this savage fighting, the BA company have to test morale. They are Stunned for 6 turns! But – they can still shoot, it just means they can’t advance – so I still have to be careful.

By now the other Russian 45mm anti-tank guns are set up and open fire, knocking out a Pz 38(t). Another hits my already-Stunned Pz 38(t) causing it to be tracked, then a third hit forces its crew to bail out  . I have to test the Morale of the Pz 38(t) platoon. I roll a 7, which is modified to 5 because of the Russian artillery fire, so we are fine (a roll that ends up being modified to 2 or below is bad).

A SdKfz 222 is hit and the crew bail out 9 Germans taking hits . I test the platoon’s morale – 3 – they are Shaken. I rolled to see how many turns they are Shaken for – 6! Drat.

Now I test my company’s Morale. 7, modified to 6; no problem.

Turn 4:

I move everyone, armour at full speed but infantry at 5cm so that the infantry vehicles (SdKfz 251/10’s) can shoot. Some infantry vehicles have stopped moving, allowing the troops to race into the buildings 11 Turn4 results 1 .

There is mass Russian shooting. A Pz 38(t) is tracked. My SdKfz 251/1’s use their LMGs to wipe out some Russian infantry with AT rifles.

The tracked Pz 38(t) fails his Morale check but the rest of the platoon passes.

Turn 5:

My infantry have all leaped off their 251/1’s and 251/10’s (apart from those needed to operate those vehicles’ weapons). Some are able to swarm into the hamlet’s hall (the game’s objective) and surrounding houses. But they lie low, as the Russians don’t know they are there and the opportunity to ambush is too good to pass up.

My SdKfz 222’s use their LMGs and 20mm cannons on the second platoon of 45mm L56’s, wiping out the whole platoon at once. But it’s not all good news, as the German guns and Russian guns have simultaneous firing times – so the L56’s shoot and score three hits on the SdKfz 222’s, killing the platoon commander and causing the others to surrender to the Russians.

I test my company Morale – 8 – fine.

A 251/10 lands a shell on a BA and stuns it.

My 50mm infantry mortars fail to land their shells on opposing Russian footsloggers. The 251/1’s let rip with their LMGs at the same footsloggers and kill a few 12 Turn5 results 1 .

My other 251/10 is destroyed and that platoon’s Morale fails.

I test the whole (surviving) company Morale – 5, modified to 1…Shaken. I can’t advance, but I’m still in the game 13 Turn5 results 2 .

Turn 6:

We declared this would be the final turn, as it was 11.30pm.

The 45mm L56’s on the hill hit my Pz 38(t)’s and kill the platoon HQ; the game ended right there 14 Turn6 as my Morale was now too low to continue fighting.

So I lost (as usual) but this time did reach the objective and occupy it (briefly). I’m improving each year! 1 win, 3 losses for 2012. Next year, I want to have 2 wins and 2 losses.

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Here are some photos of other games being played at NWA that night:

Other games 1 Other games 2 Other games 3 Other games 4 Other games 5 Other games 6 . Those Warhammer 40K dudes? some of them are Stephen/cheetah185’s. You can see photos of his Warhammer 40K project on his blog, In my own time.

 

 

Still one month to go…

November 30, 2012

…but what a year it’s been. Some great hauls at swap n’ sells, plus purchases from private sellers; enough scenery finished to satisfy immediate needs; interesting posts from my fellow hobby folks (many of whom I’ve linked to…scroll down and see their blogs); two nominations for a Leibster blog award; Trainee Funker recruiting himself into my life.

My modelling output has really slowed and so has the frequency of my posts, so I don’t really deserve the award. If I’m helping people find information, then that is reward in itself. My fellow hobby bloggers have been doing fantastic projects and posts this year and so I really urge you to check their blogs if you don’t, or check one out that you don’t normally read.

Only 3 games of ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ so far this year but aiming for a fourth before Christmas. A few days off between Christmas and New Year, so hopefully I can get lots of hobby stuff done then.

Thanks for reading – keep checking in, but don’t check in daily – weekly is more than enough.

I completed my Soviet Armoured Car Company, bringing it to the recommended strength of five vehicles thanks to finishing the final three earlier this week. The final three are a BA-I (БА-И), BA-6 (БА-6) and BA-10 (БА-10). You’ll recall the first two vehicles of this company, finished back in February, were a BA-9 (БА-9) and a BA-6M. Here’s the whole company:  and from the air:  .

Here are the three recently completed vehicles together:   .

Here’s the  BA-I (БА-И) by itself:  . Now the BA-10 (БА-10):  . Lastly the funky-looking BA-6 (БА-6), first from the side  and then three quarter profile:  …great idea, just to whack the tank turret from the T-26 onto the armoured car body…

I really like this camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that I got from this link: “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941″ – it’s lots of fun to paint.

If you look closely at those trees in the background, you might recognise some of them from this earlier post of mine.

So, in the space of a few months I’ve added two more companies to my Soviet forces. That’s enough for now, as they are not my primary army. It’d be good to pick up a couple of Airfix T-34s (as kits or assembled) so I could complete my company of T-34/76s, but I’ve not seen any at the swap & sells this year…funny, as there were plenty of them around in the previous few years.

Now, strictly speaking the rules state that all vehicles in a company must look the same so they cannot be confused as others. I’m going to argue that they all have the same basic body and will play all as the same type, even if they actually are different models that I have. A whole company for $50 as opposed to having to pay full price for the same UM kit new…$225 for a company?! Sorry. I’m on a budget,these trainees aren’t cheap to train.

I’ll reiterate what I said about rubber tyres from the SU-85 kits (those were UM kits; these BA’s are UM kits too and they have real rubber tyres) – great if you can do them perfectly, but I cannot and so I have to paint over them, sometimes numerous times…and the effort to get them onto the hubcabs is a nuisance too. I’m happy with plastic tyres.

 

 

 

Need WWII Russians?

September 15, 2012

Anyone modelling or wargaming the WWII Eastern Front (Ostfront) will need WWII Russians and plenty of them. This morning I’ve just read very high praise indeed for a new set of 1/72 Russians, Zvezda’s Set 8077, Soviet Infantry Platoon. Now, these figs are not intended for any particular wargames ruleset (although Zvezda do publish a ruleset called Art of Tactic) so you can use them with any ruleset, such as ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’. After all,  ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ is a platoon level and company level game – Zvezda are selling you a whole platoon. Or you could just use individual figures for modelling dioramas.

Plastic Soldier Review has given this set of 38 figures four 10/10’s and one 9/10. Their review concludes: “The positive aspects of this set are many, and we have already gushed enough about them here. The negative points are limited to this being a time-consuming set to put together (some will see that as no great loss, and of course many will enjoy the experience anyway), and the noticeably well-equipped and neat/uniform appearance of the men – a feature that is hardly uncommon of many plastic soldiers in this scale and beyond. In a word – excellent. In two words – buy it!”

So – there you go.

The scenario was Breakthrough, where the attacker attempts to break through the defender’s defenses and exit via one part of the board. So, Peter and I decided to recreate the breakouts the pockets of Russians tried to make after Operation Barbarossa and before the end of 1941. Here’s the board for the night:   and from the other end:  .

TURN 1: A Russian armoured car company (BA-6’s, from memory) comes onto the table:   . Two Russian152mm artillery batteries rain down fire on two map references,  indicating where the Russians were hoping to exit from. Platoon 1 of the defending German infantry company were in the radius of the explosions, and a Section was lost straight away. Morale held, though. Having seen the armoured cars, a PaK 38 got a shot off at them  but missed.

TURN 2: The armoured cars advance. All three PaKs open up on them  and one is knocked out. The Russians pass their Morale test, so they keep coming. German artillery doesn’t kill any of my entrenched infantry. TURN 3: The PaK platoon claim two more kills and a Stun result: . The cowardly armoured car commander flees!  (Poor Morale test result). My infantry keep their heads down as the artillery continues to rain down.

TURN 4: Russian FAOs try to shift one battery’s artillery fire down onto the PaKs – but fail. The cowardly Ivan armoured car reaches the edge of the board and is removed from the game. The other artillery battery now kills Section 3 of Platoon 1. I test Morale – I roll 7, which is modified down to 2.We are are shaken for…I roll a 1…one turn and must withdraw if any Russians come too close.

TURN 5: The FAOs can’t get the fire to kill my PaKs  . My infantry suffer no losses to artillery. Russian tanks are on the move   but the Germans can’t see them.

TURN 6: 2 companies of BT-7s burst out of the woods, moving at full speed!  The PaK 38s swivel so they can fire at them.

TURN 7: 152mm artillery shells begin to fall onto the German anti-tank gun positions as the anti-tank guns fire on the BT-7s. One BT-7 is hit and brews up. The artillery kills the middle PaK, the platoon commander, so it’s time for a Morale test. I roll a 5 but then a -8 modifier is applied, the outcome being that the remaining gun crews flee. I now have to test the whole Company’s Morale. This is where I normally lose games. I roll a 7…that gets modified to 4 – that’s fine. I thought I’d break and run, with the game ending then and there. Now I felt that battle was really joined – I was in with a chance to win. After all, the Ivans only have a few more Turns to get 50% of their stuff off the board…

Some BT-7s are close enough to my infantry to use their anti-tank rifle grenades against them  . The two teams in the white hut fire and both hit the same tank. One grenade penetrates but only produces a Stun result…the other hits the tracks and the tank is Tracked. This is too much for the crew who test their Morale, fail, and bail out.

TURN 8: The BT-7s grind on to their Breakthrough point, which is behind the little village  . 2 T-26s run into a minefield my troops had laid earlier  – this is the first time I’ve used landmines and I’m keen to see what they can do, since Peter has used them against me a few times with deadly results. I need to roll a 7 on 3d6 for each tank (I have chosen a medium density minefield only) – I roll a 10 and a 13 – no good, the tanks are safe. Back at the village, a BT-7 drives right over my entrenched troops! 2 anti-tank rifle grenades hit it, one of them Stunning the vehicle for two turns (hence the blue die showing “2” next to it, in this German aerial photo:  ). The Tank Desant (Ivan tank-riders) on the back are shot up by the German platoon HQ  – one of two Ivan teams are killed, the other surrenders to the Germans.

TURN 9: More BT-7s move, some getting safely off the board at their Breakthrough point. The Russian FAOs attempt to shift artillery fire again, but fail. The Stunned BT-7 is finished off by the nearby German infantry (their prisoners having been made secure)  but that doesn’t affect Russian Morale at all.

TURN 10: One artillery battery now brings down fire on Platoon 2 and in the process, finishes off the remaining non-HQ teams of Platoon 1. Platoon 1’s Morale roll of 6 is modified to 0, so Platoon 1 (now just comprised of the HQ team and the HQ Rifle support team) begin to flee  .

Now Peter and I stop to assess where the game is at. It’s a 12 turn game (Breakthroughs normally an’t be achieved in a 10 turn game). Peter can see the rest of his stuff can’t get to the Breakthrough point in time  , being all T-26s with lousy Cross-Country speeds. Peter has 1499 PV of Armour to get off the board (we excluded the BA armoured cars as we were uncertain as to whether they would count or not). Peter managed to get 736 PV off the board – he needed to get 749.5 PV off the board to win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By gum, I WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

A rare occasion for me.

The lesson learned in this game for me – landmines are AWESOME, but remember, you are rolling 3d6 for them to hit, not 2d6. I bought medium density minefields because I thought I only needed to roll a 7 on 2d6 to hit with them. Peter’s advice was to buy dense density, because then you need to roll 9 on 3d6 to hit, which is a 50% chance.

 

Aren’t Peter’s tanks great? Some are his father’s work, some are his own. The T-26’s have great-looking mud splattering and weathering on them.

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In real life, I don’t think land mines are awesome at all. I am a supporter of MAG, the Mines Advisory Group, who do fantastic work getting rid of landmines, bombs, cluster bombs, other unexploded ordinances and live ammunition so that ordinary people can try to live ordinary lives once battles and wars have gone.

Yesterday was the first of what will hopefully become a regular swap ‘n sell in Chirnside Park. Mrs Eastern Funker joined me for the drive and we arrived here: .

When I got inside, there were a number of different traders with something for almost everyone.

Here’s the view in one direction in the main room: and from the other direction: . In the next room: and in the last room: .

AFVs, boats, planes, trucks, cars, space vehicles (actual, not sci-fi), submarines and of course books about all of those and more. Well done Model Art Australia, Yarra Ranges Council and Rainbow Meats Chirnside Park – I hope to come along again next year.

Now, I’m sure some of you are asking, “Well, what did Eastern Funker get?”

Here’s my loot: Chirnside Park swap n' sell 6 - the loot!. The FAMOs were a steal at $10 AUD each and shall be used in some more distinct scenarios to some of those that Peter and I currently play. The StuG and Panzer III commence filling up new platoons, the US stuff is for more distinct scenarios and the JU-88 is for Panzerfaust’s bombing rules.

For the second game of 2012, I decided to try using a different camera to record the action, as I’m feeling frustrated with the age and technological contraints of my 2004-2005 Ricoh. So, the photos you see on this post were taken using Mrs Eastern Funker’s 2010 Olympus.

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The setting for this game was somewhere near Stalingrad, in cold conditions…I rolled a Northerly wind of Moderate Strength using the Winter in Northern Europe table, but we decided that there wasn’t going to be enough snow or mud to impede movement.

Here’s the map/table for the night: . Peter had brought along his gorgeously painted ruined buildings, which you can see here: . They were fantastic – we need to use them again sometime! It was pretty obvious that two of them were going to become the Objectives for the night, so we selected these two in the middle of this photograph as the Objectives: .

So, I was a German infantry force, on the attack. Peter was the Soviet defenders.

TURN 1: Peter doesn’t move, so I bring my whole army on to the board at once. No Soviets can be seen at all.

TURN 2: 122mm artillery rain down on my Mortar Platoon in their trucks  . The rest of my troops all advance unmolested, but my Mortar Platoon suffers terribly  with four of the six trucks destroyed. The Mortar Platoon is comprised of 3 sections…2 are lost. I test Platoon Morale – they Flee.

I can cope without the Mortar Platoon, but I am now forced to test my company’s morale. I roll a 4, which with modifications becomes a 0, so the whole company flees. I only have one company, so that’s it. Game over right there. Once again.

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Why is it I can’t roll well for Morale??? Good reader, look back at previous game reports through this blog and you’ll see a consistency to my Company morale tests – more often than not, I roll poorly. Damn.

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Well, with the game over after just 10 minutes, we decided to continue from the same point, but re-roll the Morale test. This time, I was Shaken for 3 turns. That means I defend my current position but can’t advance.

It also means that I can start to move on turn 6…leaving me with less chance of even physically reaching the Objectives, let alone trying to capture them.

TURN 3: Peter tries to shift the 122mm artillery onto my platoon of 6 Wespes – and fails.

TURN 4: Ditto.

TURN 5: Ditto.

TURN 6: The Germans recommence their advance and leave the treeline .

The 122mm artillery still aren’t firing.

TURN 7: The advance continues. The 122mm artillery still aren’t firing.

TURN 8: My primary assault platoon in 251/1’s drive over a minefield. They are AP mines, and Peter has had them planted in Dense thickness: . Each 251/1 (there are 4 Infantry ones and a FAO vehicle, for a total of 5) is diced for and each is unlucky enough to set off some mines. Now each vehicle is diced for to see the effects of the mines. Mercifully, no vehicle is damaged, as 251/1’s count as Light AFVs and it’s nigh-impossible for AP mines to hurt AFVs. If it had been my trucks that had run over the mines, more than likely they would all have been destroyed, as AP mines tear softskins apart.

On the other side of the town, the Wespes have found the buildings to be defended and Molotov Cocktails are flung at them: . Molotov Cocktails in volume and over time can be deadly to closed AFVs – they are even more effective against open-topped ones like the Wespes and the other 251/1 that are down that end of the table. Sure enough, the 251/1 is hit and destroyed.

TURN 9: My assault infantry in their 251/1’s move into position and disembark next to one of the Objectives: – but that objective is defended and the defenders are revealed: .

At the other end of the town, more Molotovs are flung at my Wespes, and one is hit. For now, though, it’s not enough to cause trouble. But more hits on the same vehicle will get me into trouble.

Soviet MMGs can see my infantry still advancing across the fields and railway line and let fly. A section’s worth are killed, leading to a Morale test (joy!). The Platoon are Shaken – for one turn only.

My Wespes decide to demolish some of these buildings the way they do best – with 105mm shells  . A salvo is loosed and carnage ensues amongst the Soviets using them as cover, but it’s not enough to force the Soviets to lose Morale.

TURN 10: More Molotovs hit the ignited Wespe and it is eventually Destroyed  . At the first  of the two Objectives, more troops are visible behind the building: . My platoon burst in and it’s time for Close Quarters Combat (CQC), which Peter and I have only had once before in all the years I’ve played against him. The outcome of it was that I kill two teams and he kills 1. The remainder of the section are forced to flee and thier 251/1 is destroyed. Some of the Soviets are forced to flee from the objective as a Wespe shells it from the other end of the town. The other Wespes wreak havoc on the buildings closest to them.

That was the end of the Game. I wasn’t securely holding one of the Objectives so I effectively lost. Twice in one night.

Here’s some photos of the town at the end of the game: .

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I’m pretty happy with Mrs Eastern Funker’s camera for recording games. It has a better flash and I’ve had to touch up these photos far less than my old Ricoh. However, it didn’t handle close-ups so well. That might be a problem. Still, I think it’s time the Ricoh was decommissioned. Mrs Funker’s camera plugs straight into the new PC, too, unlike the Ricoh…so I can decommission the old PC as well. Good – more room for model kits!!!