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.

***

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

You would? Well, Peter has placed the most up-to-date version (4th edition, version 1.05) which he and I currently use at a new hosting service.

Click on this link

http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/uploads/7/0/8/1/7081303/panzerfaust_armored_fist_revised1v05.pdf

and it’s all yours, and for free!

WWII rules to cover all theatres of war: Europe, the Pacific, Eastern Front, Western Front, Africa – it’s all here! While intended for 1/72 and 1/76 scale figures and vehicles, you can go smaller. All the major and many of the minor nations (including Belgium, Rumania and Hungary) are included. It even has rules for amphibious, parachute and glider assaults. And currently, it’s FREE!

 

 

Here are photos of the assembled and painted crew for the first of the two Caesar miniatures sIG 33 infantry howitzers I bought – this post is so you can see the poses I chose to assemble my crews into:

– this gunner is actually lifting the handle on the back of the gun, to help move it into position. – I’m not sure if this gunner is turning a crank wheel to elevate the gun, or doing something else…I’m going to have him touching the gun or a crank wheel, so that he is useful. – I’ve assembled him so that he looks like he’s aiming the gun.  – a loader, about to be given a shell.  – a commander. I deliberately gave him the head with the only open mouth. His pose is copied directly from the box art.  – the other loader. He’s on quite an angle and I’m not sure you are actually meant to assemble him actually holding a shell…as you can see, I chose to have him holding one.

Here’s the gun that these six are crewing: .

With the second crew of six – oh, I should clarify something here. You get eight crew with the gun in the box. The Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules class this as a C-size gun, and C-size guns require 6 crew on accompanying the gun on its base. So, I don’t need all 8 from the box.

So, with the second crew of six, I did not have a commander. Here’s the second crew, and I photographed them on different angles to the first six so you can see a bit more of how I chose to assemble them and what the poses I chose look like: – I think this one’s turning a crank wheel to elevate the gun. Why is he resting his left arm on his left leg? – aiming. But why he has his left hand up like that, I’m not sure. If he’s fine-aiming by twiddling a snall knob, his fingers shouldn’t look like that.

– you didn’t see this bloke in the first crew. I’ve glued his arms in a higher position here, so he could be doing something to the gun itself, or helping with shells, or something else useful. – lifting and repositioning the gun, except I’ve glued his arms at a higher angle. Makes his pose more generic, different to the first crew, and able to be doing something else, like touching the gun, in a pinch. – loader, same as the first crew. – loader with shell, same as the first crew. You can see how far he’s leaning over in this photo. I’m not sure why he’s leaning so much, but it does make him look a bit different to so many loaders holding shells from other manufacturers. Lastly, here’s the second gun: .

So, there you go! The options for assembly of the gun crew figures are many.

I’ve kept the surplus two figures from each kit because I am, at some stage in the future, going to need to base some size-D guns, and they require 8 crew figures per gun base. Here are the four surplus figures from the two boxes: – not sure what he’s doing, but he does look animated, which is better than standing straight and being boring. – I realised one of my kits was missing a left arm after I’d opened them. This bloke’s left arm comes from one of Hasegawa’s kits. This gunner is either about to be handed a shell, or is about to remove an empty cartridge. – another commander. I made his right arm vertical. I photographed him from behind so that you could see his binoculars. Yes, this Caesar kit gives you binoculars and matching binocular cases (you can see it on his right hip)!  – horizontal arms. Looks bit like a zombie, but he’s going to be crewing a bigger gun, so his arms should be in an OK position.

What guns will these blokes be crewing? Oh, just some of these: .

Game report: Game 4, 2011

October 31, 2011

This game was a replaying of the game we played back in August. Nothing had changed except that the map/table had even fewer clear lines of sight (LOS) and I was able to put my completed MiniArt Eastern European House on display. Here’s an aerial recon photo: .

A few things had happened inside my army since the last game – after Peter’s explanation of the difference between Digging in and Entrenching, I had some more points to spend:

  1. The AT Rifle teams went out, Early AT Rifle Grenades were in.
  2. An extra PaK40 went in.
  3. I was only Entrenched, not Dug In.

So, to begin, we established the Weather for the day. It was a Clear day with a Moderate Westerly wind.

TURN 1: Three T-70 light tanks came on to do some recon:  . A Soviet mortar barrage drops smoke down on the crossroads  whilst 122mm artillery rain down right on top of my 81mm Mortars, but good dice rolling on my behalf saw them head down in their trenches and safe.

TURN 2: The T-70s advance. Soviet artillery and mortars continue. T-34s now come on to the table. The Soviets can see two PaK40s on their right flank: .

Stupidly my mortar crew got out of their trench or something as I rolled badly and they were all killed.

As it was likely the T-34s had seen my PaK40s, they got to work right away. They killed a T-34 and Tracked another   , a great opening for me.

Having lost my Mortars, I Test my Morale and Pass. His tank crew Fail their Test and Bail Out, with the rest of that Platoon (one tank) fleeing! Sadly, the rest of the Russians held on to their firm resolve to defeat the Fascists.

TURN 3: The fleeing T-34 passes it’s Rally Test.

The two PaK40s are LMG’d into silence  , but in doing so they pop the turret off another T-34.

Having lost half of my AT Gun Platoon, I Test the Morale of those remaining and get a 4. They are Shaken for 6 turns.

The remaining two PaK40s are on the Soviet’s left flank. As a T-70 is within range, they are forced to fire on it – and kill it  .

It’s a tense game tonight. Can I win from here? I’m denting Soviet armour much more heavily than in the previous game…

TURN 4: The Soviets successfully call down 122mm artillery on furthest PaK on the left flank. The other PaK40 sees a T-70 come within 400m of it, so they flee the gun and it’s out of the game. 9 Russian tanks now try to silence the furthest PaK40 and fail! In reply, they kill a KV1-E  . But then the shells from the artillery land into their trenches and they are lost  .

I have to Test Morale twice now. This is where games are usually lost for me. But I roll a 10 for the AT Gun crew and they are fine – I then roll another 10 for the remainders of my Company, and they are fine! Battle on!

TURN 5: The Soviets continue to advance  , racing forward as there seems to be no remaining German opposition.

TURN 6: The Soviets continue to push forward – remember, their objective is to Break Through my lines. The 122mm artillery is now called down upon one of my rifle platoons, but they are safe in their trenches.

TURN 7: It is clear that the Soviet exit point is too far from my rifle platoons with their AT Rifle Grenades  , so I declare the Soviets to have won. Peter shows me his map with the exit point on it and indeed he is safe and thus the winner.

REVIEW: It was a really tense game. I could see myself winning until halfway through turn 4. I thought I had placed my AT Guns well and they performed extremely well.

However, I chose to ignore Peter’s advice from the previous game about landmines – to my detriment. I really could have used them this time to plug some of the holes in my lines.

2 weeks back Peter and I met for our third game of the year. The period was Autumn, 1942. The scenario was Breakthrough, with Peter’s Russians attacking (breaking through) my defending Germans. The sky was clear and there were light winds. Here’s the map: … a crossroads with hamlets and houses nearby.

No-one had any aerial forces, so we got straight into it.

Turn 1: The Russians call down a smoke barrage on the wrecked T-34 at the crossroads, neatly obscuring the vision of the PaK-40 I had dug-in behind it. Some recon forces came on to the table:  – T-34s were proxying T-70’s.

Turn 2: The T-70’s continued to probe forward: .

Turn 3: Now all the Russians came on to the table. T-34/76’s and KV-1’s. The smoke barrage was continuing: so my central PaK-40 couldn’t see them. They rumbled down the main road but also through the fields and trees beside it: – my PaK on the left flank found a T-34/76 going right into his bore-sighted path, so it fired and knocked it out of action .

Turn 4: The scouting T-70 on the far right sights the PaK-40 I placed over there. As the KV-1’s on that side break through the treeline, that PaK-40 knocks out a KV-1, which happened to be a Platoon Commander’s vehicle! Good! But over on the left, the T-34/76’s let rip with their hull MGs and my PaK-40 there is out of action. My mortar section try to rain death onto any tank riders, but their aim is off.

Turn 5: The Russians have to grind on if they are going to break through. One body of vehicles pushes past my dead PaK: .

Since I wanted to get my central PaK into action, we had a look at the rules about traversing infantry guns during a game. We were surprised to see some infantry guns could be fired whilst their crews were trying to shift them into new positions! We had to clarify the rules there and then for traversing mid-game: for a size B gun, the first 30 degrees of traversing is free…you can movie it and fire it without penalty. If you traverse it between 31-45 degrees from the original position, you can fire it but you suffer -2 penalty to hit. If you are trying to move the gun more than 45 degrees from it’s original  position you can do so but cannot fire it that turn.

So, back to the game; my right flanking PaK-40 hits a KV-1 and Stuns it, but is LMG’d to death by the rest of the KV-1 company. My mortars on the left flank wipe out a squad of tank riders through some accurate aiming. My infantry kill a few more. My remaining PaK-40 – the middle one, who was trying to traverse so that they could be useful – have to check Morale due to the losses of my other AT guns and fail, so they surrender to the Russkies.

Turn 6: Soviet movement is strong . They push hard and run over the dug-in Germans. All the Germans can  do is try to kill tank riders and weaken Russian morale. For the central force of Germans, their AT Rifles are useless against these medium tanks’ side armour so all that they can do by is pick off Russian infantry riding on the passing tanks. The Russians lose another squad as the Germans do so, but their Morale holds and the tank MGs cut down German infantry.

Turn 7: A lucky German infantryman kills the Soviet infantry company commander who’s riding on a tank: . The Russian Infantry check their Morale and are affected -they are now Shaken. But they are on the backs of tanks, so Shaken effectively means nothing for them. The Russians grind on to their breakthrough point and begin to exit the table  – they’ve won . My infantry are unable to stop them. Another victory to Peter.

~~~~~

It was also scenery-making night at the club that night. Here’s a mate making terrain for Stalingrad and the Eastern Front…burnt-down Russian hovels, where only the chimneys remain… .

I had a game of  Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist against Peter back on Friday (17 June) at Nunawading Wargames Association. It wasn’t Eastern Front (Ostfront) and I will put a brief description with photos up very soon.

Today I wanted to show you an Eastern Front game being played on a table across from us. It’s written by some club members and shares a common ancestry with Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist . It’s played in 1:72 or 1:76 scale.

The Luftwaffe pound some ground targets:  .

Russians break through the first line of Germans:   .

Some heavier German forces await their time:  so heavy Russian SPGs try to sneak around their left flank:  .

A very nicely presented table.

This game was a little unusual in that there were four platoons per side. This was because when we were going to play this game back in January, it was going to be two players per side. On the night it was just Peter and me with a lot of vehicles and a lot of firepower on the table. Peter was playing the Americans for a change; I was playing Germans.

The scenario was a second trial of a reconnaissance encounter. A medium-sized village somewhere near Germany in the late Autumn of 1944. A gale-force wind was blowing. Both forces are trying to see if the train station and railyard are clear…since that is where most cover for armour would be. Here are some photos of the table:   and here are three close-ups, going from right side to left:    . As you can see, there was plenty of terrain to block LOS and provide hiding spots as well as slow up any gallant cavalry charges.

So to the game! Turn One was plain movement. Each player moved one platoon and then their opponent moved a platoon until all platoons had been ordered to do something. \Such is the way of resolving movement with an Encounter scenario in Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist. Here you can see some M8s coming on board:  .

Turn 2: more movement. Peter’s M8s and a platoon of Chaffees are making the most of no hostile fire:  .

Turn 3: I choose to move full and get some of my men into optimal positions. Sadly, as they do so they sight enemy armour –  – they see Chaffees trying to conceal themselves by sticking as close as possible to a small brick house past the railyards  . Now, as I’d moved full movement that turn, I couldn’t shoot. However, Peter could and did. His Chaffees open up on a 234/3 and knock it out. They also try to hit a 234/2 but miss – it had only just come into view and they hadn’t properly trained their guns on it. I have to make a Morale Test for my 234/3s – I roll a 10 – they are fine.

Turn 4 is when it got hot. Both forces are fully aware of each other. I have to make a desperate gamble to save my Panzer II Lynxes from the very powerful guns of a second platoon of Chaffees. I bring around my platoon of 251/9 Stummels to do so. It is at this juncture that Peter asks me if I have purchased HEAT ammo for all my guns, which I have neglected to do…damn!

My forces try to manoeuvre into good firing positions while using as little Movement to do so and Peter does the same, boldly racing his M8s down the road to flank me.

A 234/2 Puma gets a good shot off and tracks a Chaffee  and in retaliation a platoon-mate of the stricken Chaffee shoots and hits a 251/22, destroying it completely:  . True to my luck, or form, or character, call it what you will! – that 251/22 wasn’t just any 251/22 but my Company’s Command Vehicle. This was bad. To ease my concerns slightly another 251/22 knocks the gun out of action on a Chaffee and the Chaffee crew bail, but regardless it still means I have to make a Morale Test for the whole company and the there is a good chance the game will end right then and there. I roll a 7…after extensive modifications it is a 2, which means the whole company is Shaken. I roll a single D6 to see how many turns they are Shaken and get 2. Not so bad. Across the table a 251/9 is hit and brews up – the armour they have is no defence at all to a Chaffee gun. A 234/3 who had turned 90 degrees is able to knock out an M8  , even though it was racing along the road. End of a tumultuous turn for me.

Turn 5. Due to so many enemy AFVs being within 400 metres (40cm) of my forces and my forces currently being Shaken, my troops must all withdraw. Peter checks the rules and realises that there is no discussion of what speed my men must withdraw at, so I can withdraw as slowly as possible. Two more 251/9s are destroyed  and the Morale Test gets a flee result. I then have to test the remainders of the Company and they too fail Morale, so my bloodied and battered troops flee the scene. Just as well, as at the rail yard the Americans had massed for a big push:  .

This game was played with 1/72 and 1/76 scale forces. Most of my forces were plastic, but the Lynxes were resin and some of Peter’s were resin.

I lose again and once again my badly placed commander dies too early. I don’t know how I can fix that situation apart from play ‘out of character’ and put my Commander at the back of the force.

I realised during a game of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist last year (last year being the year ended last night, 2010 – Happy New Year 2011 to regular readers!) that when I deploy my beefy 120mm Mortar Platoon, I’m meant to have a Fire Control base accompanying it. I decided to get rid of some loose figures by making up the required base, plus use up some of those Italeri German motorcycles by making up bases of FAOs on motorbikes.

They were all finished yesterday – the 40 degree celsius heatwave we had here drying out the last paintwork extremely quickly. Here are some photos of all three bases together – front:  and now rear:  .

Close-ups of the Fire Control base – front:  and rear:  .

Motorcycle-riding FAOs – front:  and rear:  .

Glad to finish them…they’ve been sitting around taking up space and effort.

The figures are a mix – Italeri, Revell and Pegasus Hobbies.

The logs that the binocular-wielding FAOs are propping themselves against are worth mentioning. Regular readers would know that I choose real sticks & twigs from nature, paintstakingly saw them using a tiny sawblade and then use them unpainted in my bases and terrain. This time I decided that I couldn’t use twigs from nature as I didn’t have anything suitable in my hobby room and aren’t sure at the moment where to look for fresh supplies. Also, if I did find real twigs they were going to have to fit under the height of the raised leg of the FAO figure – even harder to ensure. I wondered if the two plastic logs supplied with the Hasegawa kit MT30 ( 31130 – GERMAN INFANTRY ATTACK GROUP) would suffice…

I dug them out of a spares box and found that the middle of the big log from that kit would be suitable! I cut the big log into two, filed its bottom so it would sit nicely on the bases and then added the rest of the features. Painting the log to make it look realistic was going to be a real challenge…wood that’s fallen is different in colour to living wood – so I used both a fresh wood base colour, then an aged wood greyish-brown and finally a drybrushing of plain grey. Then I glued some bright green flock onto one side to represent moss (you can’t see it very clearly in the photos above, unfortunately).

They turned out really well and look great in real life.

***

I’m over halfway done with those Matchbox 1/76 Wespes I won on Ebay last November, plus some railway buildings I’ve tinkered with over the months. The decals for the Wespes went on an hour ago and then it’s cammo time. Next come the final fiddly details, then weathering, Dullcoting and at last they’ll be ready for war.