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.

 

 

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.

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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!!!

 

 

Today was Eastern Suburbs Scale Modelling Club’s swap n’ sell. It was on a beautiful Autumn morning…cool and clear, yet very warm and sunny by the time I left at 10.45am.

It was reasonably well-attended…not quite the long queue of last year or the year before, but still plenty of people turning up to snaffle a kit or two.

Here’s the view from inside, from the middle of the room: .

No kits for me today…I had a shopping list but nothing I needed was present. If I was building up my Soviets on all angles then there were a couple of things of interest, but I’m not doing that right now. There were some 251/1’s at good prices, but I’ve got enough of them for now. I bought 4 books, costing a total of $27, and that was it for me.

What was worth noting is that there will be a swap n’ sell in the outer eastern suburbs in May. I’ll be there!

My thanks to ESSMC for today. I’m glad to see some foot traffic improvements had been made. Looking forward already to next year!

Hello all,

My Dragon Models 1/72 scale Sd.Kfz 251/1 D’s are potentially one step away from being finished: .

When I started them, I thought that I might glue lichen on their sides to represent added foliage, as many German forces did to their vehicles in the last 2-3 years of the war. You can see a historical example of this ‘foliage as additional camouflage’ practice here. I’ve already done this to some of my vehicles, like my 234/3’s and my Hetzers.

Now I’m not sure I want to do this. The 234/3’s and the Hetzers aren’t meant to get so much game use compared to the 251/1’s. If they aren’t getting so much game use, I figure they can be a little more delicate and elaborate! Lichen on them is fine!

But I’m now not sure about adding lichen to these 251/1 D’s. These 251/1’s don’t have good vantage/attachment points to secure the lichen, so it’s possible that I could botch what I do. I don’t want to botch what has gone pretty well! The other 251’s I’ve done or are yet to do aren’t going to have lichen attached…plus it’s only an average of $10-15 per kit at swap-n-sells to get more if these ones do end up looking tatty after a couple of years. To topit all off, I’ve only been averaging 4 games a year lately…

Still, I’m thinking that they are fine as they are and that I don’t have to be so realistic all the time. Maybe I’m lazy and just want them off my table? Dunno.

So, readers, I’m turning this over to you. Do I follow through and add the lichen to them, or stop now?

Dragon SdKfz 251- detailing

December 9, 2011

My progress on the 251s has been very slow…to some degree I’ve actually been avoiding them. Painting over some errors seemed to be bigger in my mind than it actually was. You see, I’d used my version of the Doug Chaltry Technique on the tracks, and then painted the hull afterwards. The Desert Yellow splattered or dripped onto the tracks as I applied it very liberally and inaccurately. Fixing my mistakes using Boltgun Metal had become as big a job as painting the rubber on the roadwheels, which is a job requiring some time and skill.

When I actually got going, it only took 15 minutes to paint over any Desert Yellow splashes with Boltgun Metal…I thought it would take at least 45 minutes, maybe an hour.

This means that I am now up to the second last stage of painting, fixing any other mistakes and finalising details – making the pioneer tools look good; inking around hatches; correcting paint around wheel hubs, etc. The last stage is weathering and mud.

 

 

Paul over at ‘Plastic Warriors‘ has been ripping through terrain pieces lately. He commented two weeks ago that “One of the things I am finding while carrying out my scenery push is you can quite quickly put out lots of items if you just spend 10 minutes here and there.

At the time, I thought that he had made a good comment and moved on to other things. I wasn’t aware of the profound effect it had wreaked upon my subconscious until late last week, when each time I walked past my Hobby Room and felt that I didn’t have enough time to get anything meaningful done, his comment surfaced and screamed at me. So yesterday, I decided to act on this subconscious guilt.

I looked at the new trees I bought some months back that were sitting with some refurbished trees that were awaiting new bases. I thought to myself, “I’ll do them all at once!”. Then I fell into my usual trap of calculating how much time it would take to begin all of them and said to myself, “Nah, I don’t want to spend all that time just on trees”. Then I remembered Paul’s comment and though, “I’ll just start with the seven refurbished ones and only start the new ones when the refurbished ones are done and boxed away”.

Success! Then I saw the barbed wire fences that have waited for two years. I won’t do them all at once, I’ll just do two each time, amongst all the other things like painting 251/1’s and  assembling SU-85’s (СУ-85), until all are done. Thanks, Paul!

 

The IPMS Swap & Sell yesterday was quite an event. I was there at 9.05am, 55 minutes before opening at 10am, and there were already 50-80 people ahead of me. By 10am, the queue stretched the length of the building. Here’s a photo as I went up the escalator of the queue BEHIND me:  – you can see it stretching all the way under that roof up to the bright daylight in the distance. How many people is that lined up? 500? 800? I don’t know. But I’m glad I got there when I did and will be there earlier next year.

I already mentioned part of my wish list last post. I think Santa must have been listening:

  • 2 x Revell Panzer III – platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Panzer IV – platoon completed!
  • 1 x Dragon 251/2 D – The 251/2 by Dragon can be built as a 251/1, so that’s a platoon completed! Also, it’s technically not a 215/2 – the 251/2 had a mortar replacing the front MG. This vehicle is actually a Sd.Kfz.251/1 Ausf. D mit 28cm Wurfrahmen.
  • 4 x Revell Panzer VI – a platoon in one purchase! Sure, they are slightly different models of vehicle, but who cares? Many of the earlier ones with air cleaners on the back never went to the Afrika Korps.
  • 1 x Dragon 251/7 mit 2.8cm sPzB 41 – an engineering vehicle with a meaty gun; will be fun for Late War reconnaissance games where it can join the one I bought back in March.
  • 1 x ICM Sd.Kfz 222 & 1 x ICM Sd. Kfz 223 – a full reconnaissance platoon completed!
  • 2 x Revell Tiger II – half a second platoon started.
  • 1 x Revell Ju 87 D – all I needed for the air warfare component of the rules.

15 kits for $226…that’s $16 a kit if I add in petrol money and entrance fee. Now to find some time to assemble and paint them, and who to start with first? Decisions, decisions…probably the halftracks…

The IPMS Model Expo started today.

Monday is the great big Swap & Sell. Monday’s Swap & Sell is often very, very good for me.

I’ve even compiled a list of extra-special things to look for, mostly to make complete platoons of vehicles or complete platoons+matching HQ vehicles. I’ll lay a bit on you:

  1. 1 more each of ICM’s Sd.Kfz 222 & 223.
  2. 1 more Dragon 251/1
  3. 2 more Hasegawa 234/2

…and of course there’s more.

What’s different to previous years is that I’m also looking for a Focke-Wulf FW 190 G-3 or a Junkers 87 B-1 or a Junkers 87 D-1. Yes, aircraft! Pete and I want toget aircraft into our games.

 

 

 

As well as Truck Month and that shed, I did have some Sd Kfz 251/1s on the go. As of today, everything is completed and Dullcoted and getting stored in boxes whilst they await a chance to be played with in a game.

Time to show you photos of the lot. With flash and without.

Here’s the resin 8-rad Sd Kfz 231 that I got in those two big eBay wins last year:    . I think it’s 1/76 scale.

The Roden Opel Blitz – you’ll see I did include the perspex window panes:   .

Italeri’s 251/1 (I’ve had these sitting around for probably two and half years now – and I’m thinking a softskin troop carrier month may be in order sometime this year as I have some Dragon ones to do too):   .

Lastly, the Airfix engine shed. Both sheds have turned out a little differently (not withstanding the wooden end room being a different colour) but I like them both. Here it is:      .

Good to have all things off the tables and shelves and ready to be used.

The next things to be worked on are two Italeri StuG IIIGs and two Revell StuG IIIGs plus there will be new episodes of the continuing saga of Hob-e-tac, as I use it to make thirteen trees.