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.

 

I’ve been working on an Airfix Willys’ Jeep (proper name for the Willys’ Jeep being Willys MB US Army Jeep) that I bought at a swap ‘n sell at a non-swap-‘n-sell price (in other words, regular retail price). I also opted to do up its trailer, inspired by some of Paul from Plastic Soldiers‘ work with the same kit last year. Here’s what my interpretation looks like: . A little dustier than intended…I need to watch that. I’ve been getting carried away with dust lately…a post coming up in the next week or so will help you see what I mean about excessive dustiness on my kits.

This is bigger than the existing Willys’ Jeep that I have, leading me to suspect that the existing one I have is a Matchbox kit.

What purpose will this Jeep serve in my games? Well, as a target for my Germans when I’m playing Germans; as a HQ vehicle or recon vehicle if I’m playing Late War Soviets (when they had lots of Lend-Lease stuff like Willys’ Jeeps).

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As for what’s on my Hobby Table right at the moment, here are the vehicles currently under production: .

 

This was a return to infantry vs. infantry, but with one side being mobile…in this case, Peter’s Soviets were a Guards company and they were riding in Lend-lease U.S. M3 Halftracks.

Here’s the map, looking from East to West: Map – a kolkhoz on the very edge of the Soviet Union or a hamlet somewhere on the Eastern Front,as the Germans slowly withdrew back to Germany. Date: 1944. Nine buildings, with the roofless building with white walls (and black floor – a terrain item still being painted) being the objective for the Soviets.

A 6 was rolled for winds – Gale force winds! No smokescreens today, then. The winds were heading to the East (direction was diced for using a purpose-made polyhedron).

TURN ONE: The Guards Company came onto the board from the Northeast and immediately began deploying some artillery. Those Guards riding in halftracks quickly sighted Germans: Guards sight the enemy early

This was my Third Platoon, who had a 81mm mortar section attached to it. I needed 8’s to hit the Soviet artillery with the mortars 81mm mortar section killing some Guard artillery – I rolled a 9, a 15 and an 8 – one of four artillery guns was thus wiped out. Peter tested Morale, but was fine.

TURN TWO: The closest halftracks raced in, Moving into CQC trying to get into close-quarters combat (CQC).  The others advanced. Third Platoon got to shoot as the Soviet forces approach.

Each section in the platoon could fire a Panzerfaust 100 each turn. At point-blank range a 10 is needed, modified to 11 because my troops are Veterans. Only one of three hit; for damage, a 13 was rolled – an Immobilizing result (if I’d rolled 14, it’d be destroyed!) Panzerfaust hits! . The halftrack’s crew and passengers roll low for Morale and so bail out – the rest of the Soviets’ Morale is fine.

The Guards now returned fire Guards begin to open fire . 5 LMG bases and 8 SMG bases is a total of 58 fire factors. Peter then rolls a 4. The Germans are prone but not in cover. 4 German teams are lost.

Overall, the Germans lost 5 teams and the Soviets lost 4 teams.

The surviving squads of 3rd Platoon now test Morale – one is Shaken for 6 turns, the other is Shaken for 4 turns. The whole platoon is then tested and the result is that the whole platoon is Shaken for 1 turn, but that doesn’t over-ride the individual squads’ tests. This means the troops who count most are pinned down for a long time while the rest of the platoon is only temporarily hitting the dirt.

All Soviet Morale is fine (as is usual).

Both my mortars and his artillery fail to add to the carnage. Here’s what Third Platoon now looked like on the board: Bitter CQC severely weakens 2rd Platoon . A few individual teams plus the mortar section.

TURN THREE: I mused aloud my strategy for this new turn – Peter kindly reminded me that the M3’s had HMGs (heavy machine-guns) on them – thus I decided that Platoons 1 and 2 would stay put and wait for the Soviets to come to them…they wouldn’t leave their positions to try to assist the remnants of 3rd Platoon. 3rd Platoon commenced its forced Withdraw 3rd platoon are forced to withdraw but more teams are gunned down, including one of the two mortar teams.

I had to test Morale again for these latest deaths and it was going to be even more important I succeed, because a whole platoon of mine had now been  destroyed. I roll a 4 – the whole company is Shaken. Normally, I would botch this more dramatically – but Peter confirmed that once his AFVs come within 40cm of my troops, they would Flee. Since that would be next turn, it was Game Over at the end of Turn Three.

I did better this time – but should’ve purchased a FAO for my mortar section prior to the game. Silly oversight on my part. Overall, I’m improving.