As seen via the wonderful Plastic Soldier Review.

They don’t have to be tank riders, they could also be passengers in softskins or AFVs like the SdKfz 251/1.

And 8 AFV crew sticking heads/bodies out of hatches? Awesome! Having supplies of Platoon or Company Commander figures for AFV formations is a doddle from now.

 

 

 

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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: .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!!!

 

 

Still 4 weeks of Spring left, but today is the second day of over 30 degrees…in fact, looking at the MelbinYewni real time temperature graph, today got to just over 34! This means it’s time to think about doing lots of wargames terrain / wargames scenery, as there will be the heat to cure and dry everything thoroughly and promptly.

I’ve made a start: the three telegraph posts from an old ESCI Diorama Accessories set have been assembled, based and given some lumpy earth around their bases…ready now for painting.

I finished off a platoon of PaK 36 anti-tank guns with crews, plus that ICM Krupp truck, so that they wouldn’t bother me and so that “Operation Barbarossa” next year will be a reality. The PaK 36s are from Fujimi, the crews are the one worthwhile figure from the Fujimi set the gun comes in, a chap from the  Revell  Fallschirmjägers and one of the two ESCI / Italeri Sd. Kfz. 251/1 crew. Photos: PaK 36 teams & truck PaK 36 gun & truck .

Some more comments about the ICM Krupp L2H143 Kfz 70 kit…it turns out pretty well and looks great painted. I opted to have the MG 34 on a pintle mount in the rear tray option, to fit in with the Kubelwagen Type 82 which also had pintle-mounted MG34. I don’t like the decals that ICM provided for this kit, though. There is too much excess clear decal surrounding the rear number plate, and even drybrushing with Kommando Khaki as a coat of dust didn’t help…in fact it made it worse and drew attention to the excess. There was also far too much excess on the front number plate – which is meant to wrap around a front bumper bar which is probably only a milimetre wide. Stupid! It wrapped but wouldn’t glue. I know some modellers add a special glue under any decal they apply, but I don’t have that glue and don’t think it should be necessary. The front number plate decal’s glue didn’t hold and so the whole thing popped off during drybrushing. A shame. Sorry ICM, sorry Roden, but I’m not having much luck with your decals.

Now, Fujimi’s product is meant to be 1/76 scale, but it isn’t. Let me clarify…the house probably is, but the figures and PaK gun supplied with it are definitely 1/72 scale or even larger…possibly even 1/70 scale! Anyway, only one figure from that product is worth using with the anti-tank gun because the others are even worsely sculpted and moulded than the figures Hasegawa provide with their WWII AFVs. Hence why each PaK 36 base I’ve done has figures from other manufacturers to make up the two-man crews that Panzerfaust: Armored Fist requires.

Lastly – a couple of Battlefield Accessories wall sections (enough to make two simple houses) have been assembled and are being painted, along with a Faller German, Austrian or Swiss log cabin that I bought at a model railroad shop.

Oh, and there’s a Wespe and that other Kubelwagen still in Tankoberg…but I’m feeling the time is nigh to make a caulk creek / stream following the laws laid down by Nikolas Lloyd.