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.

 

 

 

The UM Model armoured cars (Бронеавтомобиль) are done!

I mentioned in my previous post that I was getting carried away with how much weathering/how much of a ‘dust coat’ I drybrush onto my vehicles…these photos show that I had gone overboard with these paticulr two kits. If I buy more of these kits to make a platoon, the rest will also be heavily coated like this…but no other kit , regardless what Nation they are for, will get this dusty in the future. It’s too much, methinks.

The kits paint up well, as you can see. I think they would benefit from adding on some extra stowage…I added a toolbox onto the right rear mudguard of one…but I guess some more research is really needed before committing to that recommendation too seriously.

Also, I finished painting up the building and industrial chimney/smokestack I bought at a model train sale back in November. I applied plenty of black as soot and plenty of black ink as fine soot/smoke: . Here’s the building by itself: and here’s the chimney or smokestack by itself: . Together, they could represent some sort of a furnace or smelter, a coal-fired electric power station or any other sort of industrial plant requiring the burning of lots of coal or wood. The colour scheme used was heavily based on that used for the Airfix engine sheds I finished last year.

I also completed an Italeri StuG III, much needed for tomorrow night’s game: .

I have a bare hobby table for the first time in months and I’ll try to keep it bare until Saturday arvo…have a bit of a rest from it all, so I can start some other kits with a clear mind.

***

I decided to put all this finished stuff into a little diorama. Russian recon forces are about to find something that might well prove fatal… .

 

 

I did the camouflage schemes for the UM BA-6M (БА–6M) and BA-9 (БА-9).

Here they are with a base coat of Kommando Khaki and primary camouflage pattern of Catachan Green:

Here they are with the secondary camouflage scheme of black (done here with Chaos Black): .

I reckon that’s a pretty fair go at recreating the camouflage on the “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941″ .

I could only glue on a few tiny bits & pieces onto these models until I got up to the wheels. Now, the instructions state that the rubber tyres (and yes, they are made with real rubber!)  should not be glued into place, but simply fitted onto the (plastic) wheel hubs and then left alone. The completed wheels can then be glued onto axles etc.

I decided that I didn’t want to undercoat the rubber during undercoating of a completed vehicle  in case the rubber was affected in some way (I’ve had bad experiences with this with rubber terrain). I decided to undercoat everything, assembled and unassembled, before fixing the tyres onto the hubs. So, everything got undercoated.

The remaining assembly took comparatively little time. Here’s how they look, undercoated, assembled and awaiting a proper paint job – first the

BA-6M (БА–6M) and BA-9 (БА-9) together: .

Here’s the BA-6M (БА–6M) by itself: . This armoured car (Бронеавтомобиль, in Russian) is the more useful of the two to me, so during assembly I checked each sprue of both kits carefully and, if some parts on one sprue were more poorly formed or in worse condition than others, I made sure this kit got the best parts.

Now for the BA-9 (БА-9) by itself: . From a distance, this vehicle looks OK. A closer inspection shows the hull-mounted smaller machinegun is ‘bent’ in the middle. This was because the remaining light machinegun available on all the sprues (as one was missing) useable for this kit was broken in two, and this was the best I could do to repair it. Closer inspection also shows that the only accurate towing hook is attached to the rear right…the other three towing hooks I took from surplus Roden Opel Blitz sprues, so this BA-9 is being kept in operation by salvaged parts.

The next stage is a proper paintjob.

The lazy option is just to do overall Russian Green. Since so much of Russian stuff is already Russian Green (and a fair proportion of the unassembled stuff will end up Russian Green too) I decided to do some internet research to see about more interesting paint schemes/camouflage schemes.

Via the RKKA in World War II website, I found some useful stuff, most importantly a whole page on the BA-6 & BA-6M, featuring some recreations of actual camouflage schemes. Fantastic! The “BA-6 from the Separate Recon Battalion /1st Tank Division/1st Mechcorps, The North-western Front, Krasnogvardeysk (Gatchina) region, August 1941” looks like one to try! Oh, and back at the top of the BA-6 page, you can see a BA-6 camouflaged with twigs and branches on the move…

It’s an interesting camouflage (камуфляж) scheme, that one for the 1st Mechanised Corps – it’ll be a good challenge to reproduce. The Russians did camouflage some of their stuff, so always having boring Russian Green paintjobs/camouflage can sometimes be bypassed by us wargamers…just do a little research first.

 

 

 

 

I visited a private seller who was clearing out unwanted model kits last week. Whilst browsing through a lot of Soviet light tanks, I found a BA-10 (in Russian, БА-10) by UM Models . Being fairly impressed with previous UM kits, I decided to buy it…$10 was a reasonable price and it would make a start towards building up Soviet recon stuff, of which both Peter and I are lacking.

I was pleasantly surprised, when I opened it, to find two kits inside: .

Both are two-thirds assembled. I’m hoping each bag has been labelled correctly! There are no instructions for either, but I can get them from Henk of Holland’s wonderful repository.

I decided to start with the bag labelled BA-9: . I’m unfamiliar with Soviet armoured cars (or Бронеавтомобиль in Russian) – it looks like it has a light-calibre main gun, maybe even a machinegun or automatic cannon instead of a normal cannon: . Some reading courtesy of the English version of The Russian Battlefield website confirms that it is a machinegun, a 12.7-mm DK machine-gun, and that this vehicle is a BA-9 (БА-9 in Russian) . For Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist purposes, a 12.-7mm MG is a HMG.

Now for the BA-6m (БА–6M). It’s in a similar state to the BA-9:  . Looking at it’s main armament, it does seem to have a 45mm cannon, like most later BA armoured cars do: . Both the BA-6M and the BA-10 had the same armament, so this vehicle also seems to be correctly labelled.

So all up, a good deal! A cheap, useful purchase actually yielded two useful, even cheaper, purchases! As Paul from “Plastic Warriors” says, “model on!”

As both have been partially assembled, I have decided to finish assembly of both before undercoating them. I’ve been doing some research about Russian armoured cars so I’ll be sharing more about them with you over the weeks and months it takes me to finish.