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.

 

 

 

Nunawading Wargames Association (NWA) is the wargaming club I belong to, and have done for almost two decades.

I toddled along to have a look at what my fellow members were demonstrating for the annual Open Day, which is six hours of participatory and demonstration games for the public to take part in.

To be fair to my blog, I’ll only show you WWII Eastern Front, which was being run by my good colleague cheetah185, and whose blog In my own time I have already linked to (see my set of links to other blogs). Cheetah185 and mates were running a Stalingrad game. Here’s their explanation to the public of what is being presented:  . Here’s the map/board:    – notice all the aircraft? Russian fighters and German bombers. Here are photos of the action:      .

I did some shopping – I had to! I bought a Raupenschlepper Ost with Flak kit by ACE Models and I bought four resin Russian shacks from Mike Parker @ Battlefield Accessories:  . The Russian shacks will serve as animal pens, wood sheds, farm worker’s shelters, hunter’s lodges or whatever they are required for. Here are photos of the details of these shacks:    and for scale purposes, here’s a BA armoured car parked right next to/in front of one:  .

 

 

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.

More purchases…

July 1, 2012

Chris K., a private seller I’ve had some trade with over the last 7 months, turned up at NWA on friday night, to sell off unwanted model kits, both unassembled and assembled.

Here are two photos of most of what he had on offer:   – most of what he had because some very speedy NWA members had already snaffled a few things! You’ll see a good colleague’s hand on the right in the first photo, choosing his purchases…

I bought three more Soviet armoured cars, so now I have a complete platoon of five, which is a suitable recon group. The three I bought were the BA-1, the BA-6 and the BA-10, all by UM Models. I’ll be playing all my Soviet armoured cars as the same type, even though they are all actually slightly different. At $10 each, I can’t afford to be too choosy! Oh, and longer-term readers to this blog will recall the first two BA armoured cars I completed back in February…these latest purchases will be painted the same way.

Final Sd.Kfz. 251/9

May 14, 2012

On saturday, I completed a Hasegawa Sd. Kfz. 251/9 that I was doing on the side:     . I know have two sections of two vehicles each, or one platoon of four vehicles. I actually only need two (a section of two vehicles) but at the time I did the first two I had a third, and did it up at the same time. I got this fourth back in January via a private sale and the price was fantastic, hence why I bought it.

(Plus, a platoon of fire support that can also transport some footsloggers…worth trying even if I sell the second section off later).

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Weather was pretty horrible for the rest of saturday and all yesterday, so I wasn’t able to Dullcote and photo some buildings I’m working on…

 

 

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!!!

 

 

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: .

Plastic Soldier Review has just reported that there is now a box of figures available to help you! Go have a look at their review of Orion’s Soviet Artillery Crew.

No more cutting guns off figures or doing body-part swaps…get a box of these and you can crew those guns that come crewless! (No, I’m not being paid by Orion).