It was lovely weather for a swap & sell, and Mrs Funker & Trainee Funker joined me for the drive (although not for the event itself). I didn’t get there an hour early and queue as per normal…Trainee Funker being so full of beans, we were too busy getting him ready and time just slipped away. After parking the car, I was walking up the hill to the venue when good blokes & fellow NWA‘rs Sean and Neil pulled up next to me. We went in together after some light banter and catching up about events at NWA.

The traders were really well arranged – kudos to ESSMC management for doing such a great job with such limited space. Here’s some of what was on sale:

Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 1 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 2 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 3 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 4 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 5 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 6 Mar 2013 s&s other stuff 7

I didn’t find any kits on my Wanted list, but came away with some books: The loot from ESSMC's March 2013 Swap & Sell – I was loaned “Tank versus Tank” two years ago by Kim from NWA and wanted to photocopy the whole thing, so impressed was I by it…but I only copied my legal 10%. To find it on sale was fantastic – even the vendor, just as I picked it up, sung it’s praises and I told him how I’d already read it and loved it…$20 was no problem at all.

The foreign armour book will be useful for doing “Beute” stuff for both my major belligerents on the Ostfront…and “PzKpfw IV” was a mandatory for my personal library.

So, no kits, but some great books. Sometimes it’s like that!

 

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.

 

 

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.

I got there later than I normally would, 9.30am. Already 80 people in front of me:   . I joined the queue, but after five minutes spotted fellow NWA’er, raconteur and all-round good bloke Sean 6 people behind me, so I gave up my spot to drop back a few spots and hang out with him, passing the time shooting the breeze. Here’s the queue ahead of us:  . Now, in previous years I think there would have been more people ahead of us at that time of the morning, but this morning was very chilly…just 5 degrees C, and it  was only 7 degrees by the time I got home at midday. (The warmest it got today was 10 degrees, at 4pm…the sun only broke through the heavy fog at 1.30pm…)

The doors were opened spot on time and the queue moved well, no jumpers from where we were. I said hello to Neil, Jon and Michael as we moved around inside, also from NWA.

Inside was arranged as per normal except there was only one side of tables in the middle of the room, instead of two. This meant that there was actually more elbow room and it didn’t feel so claustrophobic. I must remember to take my glasses next time, as the lighting wasn’t good for me and I was squinting a lot trying to spot desired kits.

This time, there was plenty of 1/72 – but much of it I already had. I did come home with lots of loot, though – here’s a photo of the treasure:  . The first three columns of kits were all from the one vendor. 12 kits for $160.

The Nashorn was only $7 – an absolute steal for an unopened kit, so I bought it even though I currently don’t need it. I was stoked to find another Academy set of US vehicles. As I said before, the Russians loved those amphibious jeeps – see this link.

The little Renault FT17s with 37mm guns are fast-build kits, 2 in the box. They are the beginnings of my Romanian forces!

What was really good about today was to get the 8 Panthers. I need one more of each of those kits to make full-sterngth platoons of each. Then, when complete, they join my already completed full-strength platoon and company HQ vehicles, to make an entire company of Panthers. Grrrrrrraarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

***

PS: For Ben and Stephen, here are the promised ‘drool’ photos in their original 2304×1728 format:

           …and that’s a snapshot (pardon the pun) of what was there…there was lots more…

 

Peter and I were due for our second game last night but it had to be postponed, so I was left with an ’empty’ evening. I’ve been busy every friday night for a while now, and could have gone along to NWA regardless of having a game or not, to say hello to colleagues and see what was going on. I realised, though, that if I stayed home I could actually get some serious hobby work done…as lately I’ve not had much time for my Germans or my Russians. So I worked on prepping the sIG 33 crews and some Pegasus Russian farm houses.

Guests were due this afternoon but didn’t eventuate, so I’ve been able to get a good 4 hours over the last 24. The sIG 33s got a coat of Panzer Grey and the crews had their uniforms and boots done. The Russian farm houses had all undercoating done.

A Hasegawa 251/9 was washed and undercoated…I’ll be assembling it whilst waiting for the paint to dry on all these other things. Then the SU-85s (СУ-85)will come.

It’s been quite some time since I put an animated film up – 2008 was the last time, from memory. Two weeks ago, the President of Nunawading Wargames Association sent an email to some of the regular WWII gamers with a link to a YouTube video on it.

It’s not Eastern Front – it’s Western Front, the Battle of the Bulge. Done with 1/6 scale action figures by Nick Hsu. It nods its head to some classic war films. I think it’s a fine effort and I hope you enjoy it:

 

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.

Tonight at the Mitcham meeting of NWA, two colleagues whom have been assembling, painting and playing 20mm WWII wargames for far longer than myself both commented quite favourably on the star/umbrella aerials that I’d made for the Panthers. These colleagues are people whose opinions I value highly, so for them to admire my work not only confirms that the materials I chose for this second attempt at making star aerials was correct but also that they feel they are realistic enough…in effect, endorsing them.

I’m so proud!

I now don’t have to experiment any further – I’ve got the right-sozed materials and the right technique.

~~~

Peter and I had the best game yet of ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ tonight. The scenario was part of the battle of Kursk.

A battle report / AAR will be coming in the next few days.

It wasn’t just the Germans fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front…German allies like the Italians, Rumanians, Hungarians and Finns were there too.

Here’s a link to the translated recollections of an Italian artilleryman who served on the Eastern Front from August 1941 right through until early 1943. It’s a first-hand account of the terrible mud, extremes of temperatures and some of the events that he witnessed. Wargamer readers may get some ideas for scenarios.

I came across this as I’ve twice bought loose collections of ESCI/Italeri’s Italian Mountain Troops (Alpini) at Swap & Sells this year – at NWA’s Autumn sale night and at Little Wars. I’m going to add to them with some Airfix Italians and one day may get a company of infantry on the table.

****

Tonight is the Leningrad Oblast game, using the rivers and thickets I’ve made. I’m hoping to beat Peter’s Russians, but they’ll be dug in and waiting for me, which will make the job hard.