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Marvel Crisis Protocol Avengers, Defenders and Midnight Sons

Marvel Crisis Protocol Avengers, Defenders and Midnight Sons

So, without much further ado… the last instalment for this year.

I have some mixed feelings about this mini (or rather the two of them). They do their part and they certainly fulfill their comic looks. But they are fairly bleak when it comes to detail and even those few folds that are in their clothes seem to be in the wrong places. I personally wish I had painted her after the Disney+ show had released since I rather prefer their colour choices over the comic one.

I personally would have liked Sam Wilson to be depicted as Falcon and not Captain America, but alas, I am really happy with the mini. It has great detail and was a joy to paint. If anything. The original pose was a little too compact for my taste, so I folded his wings into a straighter shape using boiling water and now you get a much better view of Sam himself.

This one was another fabulous job, although a very complicated one to assemble. Actually the first MCP mini where I needed the instructions to assemble it. It left me a bit “scared” before I started, since the whole mini is essentially different shades of metal and gun metal which all needed to be shaded as well, but in the end he was a real fun experience to paint.

The Hulkbuster Ironman is maybe the most impressive mini in the whole range. It took ages to paint (maybe 1 ½ weekends), but I really like the results. The shading looks more dominant in real life.

Luke Cage

For Luke Cage I had been thinking about giving him a t-shirt from a rap / hip-hop group like in the TV show, but his arms block out so much of his chest, that it would have been unrecognisable, so I just went for classic colours. I went for a very washed out look for his jeans, since I felt this gave the mini a better contrast.

The Iron Fist was fun to paint and most importantly fun to paint. Simple mini with a great pose. I did the Iron Fist as blue energy, since I felt it made the mini stand out, even though I think this was never used in the comics.

Blade proved to be a more interesting mini than he would appear at first sight. While he is mostly dark colours, there is enough variation in colours and little details that really make the mini quite piece. And the misty spectral hands really added contrast to the mini. While I usually try to keep the street theme of the AMG bases as much as possible, I felt this would simply not work here, so I added a headstone from Perry Miniatures and some weed tuffs to give it a derelict cemetery look.

The same holds true for the base on Moon Knight. While I,would assume, he has his right foot on some ornamental piece of a building, it was just to low (in my opinion) to make it look right. So I gave the base some kind of park look.

I am starting to develop a liking for painting minis with lots of white, but I felt he needed some contrast so I gave him the black face mask from the early 1980s (Even though the rest of his costume is in 1990s style).

And this is it for now. In this sense I wish you all a very happy new year. May it be filled with good health and peace for you and your families!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2022 in Marvel Crisis Protocol, Uncategorized

 

Marvel Crisis Protocol Criminal Syndicate & Spider Foes

Marvel Crisis Protocol Criminal Syndicate & Spider Foes

Keeping up with the catching up, today I give you Criminal Syndicate and Spider Foes.

Up first is Black Cat. In a game that is filled with great minis, she is rather the black sheep (bad pun intended). The mini is actually doing a backflip and one looks rather off. I repositioned her head and glued her to an iron grinder, making her look like she is dropping off a highrise building. Not perfect, but I like her better this way.

Omega Red was great fun to paint. Assembly was another thing. While I had no problem fitting his head (which seems to be a common problem), to this day I have no idea if I fitted the tendrils to the right sides or in the right orientation, but I am happy with their placement.

Not much to say about him, except, that it is quite a nice mini I struggled a bit with the leopard loincloth.

Lizard is in a way a simple mini, but what it lacks in terms of items on the mini, it makes up for with great animation. And it was a real joy to paint a Crocodile again after roughly 15 years. One change I made to the mini was sinking the manhole cover he is jumping out of I to the base.

Carnage is an extremely lovely mini. Really magnificent animation. I tried something new in the sense that I basecoated the mini a light terracotta and then painted the mini with fresh and congealed blood effect paints. Hope this gives him a nice gory look.

Mysterio is my favourite mini of this set. Again a great animation. Greens and purple that nicely complement each other and were fun to shade. My favourite is his fishbowl helmet. My original idea (painting Shaders by Ammo over a chrome base), did not turn out as I planned, but it provided a great base for the paintjob. In the end I painted the other colours over it, having very little paint on the brush, almost like a selective drybrush.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2022 in Marvel Crisis Protocol

 

Marvel Crisis Protocol Convocation & Dark Dimension

Marvel Crisis Protocol Convocation & Dark Dimension

It has been a busy few months and (as usual), I did not manage to post a thing. So I am trying to catch up (as usual). When it comes to MCP, I think the last time posted something was in 2021. So there is a lot of catching up, which I am going to break up into lots. Starting with Convocation and Dark Dimension.

Baron Mordo

Starting off with the mini I liked the least. Baron Mordo. All in all he is a nice mini, but he had a limited palett and I was struggling with his face, so he did not really tick my boxes.

Clea

While Clea had a just as limited colour selection, I really liked painting her. The combination of black, purple and pink was really nice to combine.

Good

Hood ended up being a really fast paintjob and one that I really like. Over the years I have started to like shading reds and I a, real happy with how his jeans turned out.

The Ancient one was a real joy to paint. The combination of black and yellows took some time to paint, but I really loved it. And I am quite happy with her magic effects. Which really made me wish I had painted the the magic on the original Doctor Strange this way instead of replacing it with translucent plastic.

Speaking of Doctor Strange, there was a new mini for him, the Sourcerer Supreme version. I kept the some colours Imhad chosen for his first version, but went a bit darker. As Jessy and Chris from Fury´s Finest often say, Strange worries about getting things done first and only thinks about dealing with the consequences later. As a result I feel that with his rising powers he becomes a darker (but not more evil) character, so darker colours felt right. What I really like about this mini is his base. The portal to the Dark Dimension was a neat idea on AMGs part and was nice to paint. I went a bit overboard and tried to create a 3D effect onto the concrete around the portal. Not sure if I succeeded, but I like it.

Another mini I really enjoyed. Unfortunately the highlights on the black do not really show on the these photos, but in real life there is a great contrast between the black, the white and the bright reds and greens. And I am much happier with the skin tone on him.

And last for today is Dormammu. Completely lovely minis. Really liked shading the crimson and grey. What I really liked, was the fact that the panels themselves were smooth, which allowed me complete freedom painting him. For his face I went with the looks from the first Doctor Strange movie, giving him a Technicolor look. It stands out a lot on the mini, but I still like it.

So, this is it for today. Next instalment coming before the end of the year.

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2022 in Marvel Crisis Protocol

 

World War II 1940 Dutch

World War II 1940 Dutch

In recent years I have developed quite a liking for wargaming the early years of WWII. And with it also for the „minor“ nations or smaller parts of campaigns.

One of those nations are the Dutch for May 1940. The biggest appeal of them is their lack of armour, combined with the fact that the German formations used against them did not feature the toughest armoured nuts (like PzKw 38(t)) or were actually lighter formations like Fallschirmjäger or infantry divisions. So that should allow for a nice break from the battles for Poland or France.

The minis chose are from the May40 Miniatures range. All in all the minis are fabulous and I have to say the photos on their website do not fully do them justice.

While the Dutch wore uniforms that were officiall labelled to be fieldgrey (although I feel more blue-greenish than the German uniforms of the same name), it seems the dyes faded fast and often ended up quite light. So I chose to do mine in a very faded bluegrey.

Forward Observer
Infantry platoon HQ
Schwarzlose MMG team
81mm mortar team

After taking the first picture, I noticed that the barrel had been bend during basing. Unfortunately I did not think about taking another photo. 🙄

I know that under the Battlegroup rules, that Solthurn only has a two men crew, but the team looked too good as it was. So I based them as a team of three and we will have to remember the smaller size during play.

The beauty about a force like those is, that it only took about four weekends and a few afternoons to paint it and it is is fairly complete already. All that is left to add is an armoured car (already on my painting table for when we return from Scotland), some artillery and a few odds and ends like artillery and medics (which I know will be released in the not too distant future by May40 Miniatures) and the whole force is done.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2022 in Battlegroup, Blitzkrieg, May 40, Rules, WWII, WWII: Dutch

 

I just wanted to do some rebasing…

I just wanted to do some rebasing…

… and went over the top. And build more. And repainted a lot.

Let’s start from the beginning. As the long time followers will know, we used to play WWII games using the „The Face Of Battle“ rules. Those were skirmish rules in the classic sense and worked really well with individualy based crews for crew served weapons.

Roughly a decade ago we switched to Battlegroup since we wanted something that catered for bigger games and was a little faster. Battlegroup does not really care much for the basing. So neither did I. But when I started adding some completely new forces in recent years (my 1939-41 Germans, late war Fallschirmjäger and Poles) I started basing crews served weapons and some small teams on multi bases. And I really liked the looks. So I made the decision to do everything new fitting that criteria this way and slowly rebase the old stuff. My Americans already got the treatment two years ago (man I could have bet that was last year), it was now time to start with my Germans.

Up first is a Bandai Pak40 in 1:48th scale. Which is a bit of an oddball in my collection these days. The roughly 50 year old Bandai kit is the only model kit on the market these days. You can also get a PaK40 in 1:48th from Blitzkrieg, but that is about it and then you you need to crew it.

About the only options for a seperate crew that some to my mind are Victory Force and 1st Corps. Which essentially means a very limited variety. So I decided to go with 1:56th guns (for those guns where I will essentially need multiples), mainly on account of Warlord games offering a choice for virtually any force and setting and secondly because I have some guns with crews from other manufacturers (Empress, Heer46 and Offensive Miniatures) for some of the more odd forces / settings like Gebirgsjäger, Volksgrenadiere, Charkiv and so on.

Why am I telling you this? Well since it is going to be my only PaK40 in this scale, I wanted to pick a setting that limits the chances that I will have to put two of them on the table at the same time. So I went for very late war SS. I already had a crew from Victory Force painted up in a mix of Pea Dot and plain uniforms ready so they would only require a repaint of the helmets to match them to the gun. But then I decided to repaint on the gun as well. Back then I used a green that was too dark and applied the camo with a brush. Unfortunately the paint had been a little thick, so the camo formed a slight raise on the model. I wanted to equalise this with a new coat of camo and some varnish. At least that was the plan. I decided to go for a Resedagrün base and apply a hard edged camo over it by airbrush. What I did not realise back then, was that the masking putty started to flow that day (it was the first heatwave here in Germany that day) which led to extremely raised edges. So essentially I had the same problem as before. I felt it was half as bad after two coats of varnish, but looking at the photos now… I think I will apply some heavy camouflage to the model. So you might see more photos of this one in the future. The crates and loose ammo are from the Rubicon offering below.

Up next is a PaK40 from Rubicon in 1:56th scale. My old system meant, that I could get a way with very few gun models by simply having different crews to place besides them. These days it means that I have more crews than guns. Like a Wehrmacht crew with a strong mid war vibe. Since this is a setting where I could imagine two PaK40 on the table I went with Rubicon here. (There will eventually be another gun from Warlord to add to it.) The gun is completely new, while the crew is one from Victory Force I painted ages ago. Most of the crew are converted from their tri-pod HMG set, only the gunner himself is from the dedicated PaK crew set. Again the helmets were repainted to match the gun, as were the ammo containers (which actually come from the Bandai gun above).

The next gun, a Pak43 is 1:48th scale again. Quite an expensive model from Gaso.Line. But worth it. I repainted the gun, but to be honest, I cannot really say why. I think it was because I did not like something about the camo pattern. The crew is from Victory Force once more. In retrospect I am not really sure about the gunner. While kneeling poses seem ok for the rest of the crew he is very much dwarfed by the gun, which makes him look strange. But Inwould imagine the crew operating the gun under fire, so he might try his best to keep a low profile. And it is a huge gun, which is why the German troops called it Scheunentor (= barn door). Which is also why I put it into a prepared position to break up its outline from the front.

Now the next one is completely new. A PaK97/38. Years ago I saw a painting by Giuseppe Rava and somehow it made me want to model that gun with a SS crew. The model itself is from Rubicon. The gun commander and loader are from the old Bilt Action rules (before they were sold to Warlord Games). I think they originally came with a PaK40, but I always loved them since they are so very dynamic. Since there is only two crew and the PaK97/38 requires a three men crew in Battlegroup, I build a gunner from the Warlord Games plastic SS set and I feel it turned out good. This also gave me a chance to try out a new recipe for Oak Leaf camo.

Speaking of trying out… I also bought some new paints for Italian camo that I wanted to give a try. Stössi’s Heroes have a nice set of Sturmmann Otto Funk & Grenadier Klaus Schuh, who served as a MG team in the scout section of the 12th SS in Normandy. The photos of them in Rots are amongst those most used from the fighting in Normandy. Now the minis depict them while the photo was taken and on that occasion they both wore overalls made from Italian camo fabric. The minis are actually really nice, but have two slight „defects“. For one they are a bit short. So glued another thin base onto the slots bases I use to make them about as tall as the other minis I use. The other is that the miniature of Funk is carrying post war NATO ammo boxes. So these had to be replaced with boxes from a Warlord plastic set and some filling with green stuff.

And last are the only minis that were (almost) just rebased. My Wehrmacht artillery spotter team. In a recent game the upper part of the Scherenfernrohr had broken of. When I repaired that, I had to remove the tripod and cut the parts where it broke flat. This lead to some damage to the paint and to make sure it was all uniform, I repainted the whole thing. The spotter and his radio operator where based together as well.

 

Late Romans (Western Empire)

Late Romans (Western Empire)

Compared to the last few posts we are now going back in time quite a bit.

One of the armies I have always wanted to do was a Late Roman Army for the Western Empire. So a couple of years ago I bought some minis from Footsore Miniatures, but never got to paint them. But every year the German distributor (and publisher of the German translation) of SAGA runs what he calls “Die Heerschau”. All in all you need to paint a point worth of troops per month for six months plus the Warlord sometime during that period. Essentially it is a motivator at the beginning of the year. So this year I decided to get myself motivated and to finally paint those Romans I had lying around.

So let’s start with the Levies. I decided, that I wanted a Balista, which means you need to trade half a point away in return for the Balista. I feel you get the best deal with the Levies. So it is half a a point of Levies with close spears and a Balista. I always loved the poses of those late Romans crouching behind their large shields, so half the unit is depicted this way. I wanted to make the units easy to distinguish. So every class got a different uniform and shield design. The Levies got white tunics with simple red patterns and red shields with a yellow serpent. The only body armour they have are helmets (at best).

The normal foot troops are by Footsore (as will be the rest of the troops with the exception of the Balista), while the Balista is by Gripping Beast. Back when I bought these, the later was the only Balista option on the market. I think less than a month after I bought it , Stronghold here in Germany announced theirs, which is far nicer. But alas I did not want to buy another one. The shields are all by LBMS except for the one on the Balista base, which was hand painted to match the rest.

The Warriors are slightly better equipped with chainmail or boiled legged vests and helmets for everyone. These guys have dark green tunics with red trim and red shields.

Up next are the two points of Hearthguards on foot. While their armour does not get much better, their clothing are more expensive Blues and their shields feature elaborate designs.

These are also Hearthguards in horses. I went for the Cataphract Models planning to use them either as Cataphracts or regular Hearthguards. These models did not come with shields or visible tunics, so there is not much that could show them off as Hearthguards here. But their massive armour should do the trick. But the sheer amount of armour made them a bit dull to look at. Since I absolutely hate leather dyed in bright colours I decided to give them painted lances (which I also hate but no near as much) to add some colour to the minis.

And last are the Warlords. I feel this Warband could work with both. warlord on foot or a mounted one I did. up both options. Colour wise I went with the Hearthguard colours for their companions.

The mounted Warlord is actually King Arthur from Footsore. The animation of the mini is simply great and the armour fits the period, so he seems like the perfect choice. In those Case the shields were hand painted. I have to admit, I should have (tried) to imitate the more elaborate Hearthguards shields, but these days mounted minis tend to bore me fast and I wanted to get them over with.

There are still a unit of Levies with bows and a unit of mounted Warriors to do, but I hope those should be done fast over the winter.

 

Normandy Terrain part 2… the farm

Normandy Terrain part 2… the farm

Continuing with the Bormandy theme here is the farm I did at the same time as the church. The model itself is a set of 3D files from a British guy called Alan Hamilton. I know he was thinking about making them available commercially, but I am not sure if he did. His Facebook profile is very idle as well.

In all fairness, I know that there are tons of Normandy farm files out there for 3D printing (and I have couple of those) but there is something about these that I really liked, so I decided to for these.

These files were printed out on my Anycubic Vyper. I think these were actually the first ones I printed on it and I am really pleased with the quality.

These were painted exactly the same colours as the church in my previous post. Just this time I did not pick out individual stones, it rather airbrushed different stone colours over the IDF Sand Grey base in soft edged patches before hitting it with the wash and Shaders. What I still need to do is glue some tabs under the roofs and floors. It did not seems necessary to me, but looking at these photos, one can see that they shifted without be noticing, so I guess it is necessary.

I wanted a cobble stone look for the inner yard. The fastest and cheapest way forwarded seemed to be wallpaper embossed with a cobblestone pattern, so this is what I did.

I added some barrels, a milk can and a cart to the yard to breath some live into it, but still allow lots of space for minis and vehicles. While the barrels and can are glued down, the cart is not to allow it to be moved around.

There is also a stack of firewood, which is simply dried and cut up twigs.

The models are based on a large piece of MDF. The space outside the walls was decorated with static grass and a mix of sGrass, flower and weed tuffs. I painted this a couple of weeks ago, when we had the first spell of warm weather here in Germany. At times I left it in the sun to dry faster between steps. Which is when I made the unfortunate experience that PLA seems to warp when left in the sun. So in two spots the wall segments actually split where I had glued them together. I placed some vines over the walls to cover that up and liked the looks so much, that I added more to the model in other spots.

I wanted a small side gate. Since the set only included the arched gate I used the small wooden gate from the Warlord Games stone wall set, which actually fits pretty well.

And while I was working on this and the church, I also worked on two small walled allotments.

The walls are from Warlord Games, the fields are an IKEA doormat, up to size and slightly drybrushed .

The method of painting was exactly the same as with the farm.

I have to say, I have slightly mixed feeling about the stone wall set. It is basically nice, but as far as I know it is simply a scaled up 1:72nd scale Italeri kit. The parts are meant to be assembled either as straight walls or corners. When you look at the corners you will see that the teeth are not engraved on all sides. I think this might work out in a smaller scale and one will probably not notice this when viewed at a normal playing distance, but I still found it annoying.

And this is it for today.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2022 in Terrain building, Warlord Games [WG]

 

Normandy Terrain, part 1 … the church

Normandy Terrain, part 1 … the church

About four years ago I did the church from Commission Figurines and honestly thought I was good when it came to European churches.

But then Charlie Foxtrot released their eglise and I fell in love with that one, too. So after some thinking if I could justify buying another church (yes, as wargamers we all know there is always a justification… we just need to find one that sounds sensible 😉) I decided that the Commission Figurines one will eventually be modified for winter settings and that the Charlie Foxtrott one will be used for Normandy (and other parts of Western Europe set during the warm months).

As you can see it is an absolutely massive piece that will provide a great centrepiece for any French village. But with the roofs and the belltower coming off, it will be easy enough to store.

I went with a base coat of Vallejo IDF Sand Grey primer for the sandstone look and picked out about 80 – 90% of individual stones using the paints from the Life Colour stonewall set. One word of advise for anyone wanting to do it the same way… the kit is designed in a way that the large wings do not need to be permanently connected to the central tower. Leave them off during painting even if you want to have one coherent model in the end. I could have saved a couple of hours had I painted the church in smaller, more manageable pieces. And this would also have allowed me to use an airbrush instead of a regular brush, which would have saved another few hours.

Afterwards I hit the whole model with dust filters and washes to blend the colours in. I would usually do further weathering using oil paints, but felt that with the engraving in the MDF this might pick out the wrong spots, so I reserved those for the roofs and airbrushed on some Ammo Shaders in Starship Filth and Green colours to depict rainmakers, green decolouration for water damage and so on.

Unfortunately my printer is having some driver problems right now. So instead of printing out some stained glass onto clear foil, I simply painted broad stripes onto some clear foils using whiteboard markers and glued those into the windows. But the are only glued in quite loosely, so I can always replace them later if I want.

If you wonder… the church itself is perfectly flat… the two boards it is placed upon do create a slight bump under it.

The churchtower will provide a nice spot for snipers or spotters and inviting target for the enemy artillery.

I will probably do a few more things here. French churches are often in the centre of town / village, so I will most likely do a nice cobblestone base for it.

As a byproduct of the church being in the centre of town, the cemetery is usually seperate from the church at the edge of town. So I will have to do a seperate cemetery as well. In all honesty… I would have done that in one go with the church if I had found the cemetery walls I bought together with it. So I will probably have to buy them once more (and probably find the original ones a week later) or cut some from foam. Let’s see how that one goes! 😉

Oddly enough… I think Colin from Charlie Foxtrott was inspired by the church in Tilly-sur-Seulles when he designed the church (although that one has a small annex behind the altar and some doors are placed differently). And this is one of the few churches that have an attached cemetery.

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2022 in Charlie Foxtrot, Terrain building

 

Woods for the trees

Woods for the trees

While I have not been busy posting this past year, I have at least been busy doing a few things. So trying to catch up, this is something I did last summer.

Now the vast majority of my trees have for about two decades been by K&M Trees. They are mounted on resin tree stumps by Snapdragon Studios. Do not bother searching online for the later… they have unfortunately been out of business for around 1 ½ decades.

I always wanted to be able to arrange them into a forest in a way that their bases formed a continuous area, to allow people to tell, what is a forest and what is only a single tree. To achieve this, I glued them onto hexagonal card coasters. Those were cheap (got them for free at a liquor store) and allowed them to be arranged as a continuous area.

But as you can hopefully see in the picture above, this caused a few problems. For one, when you placed the trees with the bases touching, they were unrealistically close to one another. It also meant that you had problems placing infantry in between the trees. If you lifted single trees out, you would always disturb the ones next to them. This would lead to me hardly arranging them this way. Also, with just static grass the bases looked a bit uniform, dull and unrealistic. And last, the edges would curve up over the years, which always made the edges of the bases stand out.

So over the years, I started craving for an improvement. It would have been easiest to simply get me some laser cut MDF hexagonal bases with a larger diameter and do some more groundwork on them, but I wanted to take it a step further.

So I decided to go the sabot way. A base for multiple trees (called the forest base from now on) into which you can place the individually based trees. These are available on the market, but I decided against those for various reasons. Since I wanted to use my own trees, those that came with tree models or did not have the right diameter were ruled out. Same goes for those made from resin, which are generally quite expensive, ruling them out for my needs. In the end nothing generally available did fit my needs. So I turned to Warbases and asked them for some custom forest bases. Which they were able to provide fast and cheap (and as an added bonus with holes for magnetising).

I asked for a very basic almost rectangular design that would either hold three bases with my large trees or six for small model rail road trees (representing saplings or young trees). Since the forest bases are two layers of 2mm MDF they were quite thick which would in turn make them stand out. But everything else was perfect meaning the only preparation still required was adding magnets and sanding the edges down. To speed things up, I used a sanding disc on a disc grinder… very messy work.

So after removing the old bases, filler, static grass, the trees were rebased, a forest floor flock and static grass as well as flower tuffs and bushes added. I did not take photos of the progress, so here are the final results.

As you can see, I also bought some large model railroad trees (birches and popular trees) to break up the monotony as well as a bunch of smaller birches to create some forests more typical of some regions in Russia.

As mentioned before, the trees can be removed to allow easier placement of minis or even tanks.

I also did some bases with just some tree stumps in case I want some bases to appear more open or to hide those brown sabot areas. More bases like these will follow. Those will simply feature some flowers bushes and maybe small mossy rocks.

Above are a few bases to show the individual details. There are three or four trees that were to large for even the large version of the forest bases so these were just based as individual trees, but in the same style.

I will now leave you with some photos of them arranged as larger forests. More can be seen in the previous post from our last game.

I will probably put some iceland moss at the edges of the forests in the future. You usually have more undergrowth at the edges of forests (where there is the most light) and this will both signal the edge of the forest and blend the bases in at the same time.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2022 in Terrain building, Warbases

 

Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich, April 1944 Thuringia

Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich, April 1944 Thuringia

About two weeks ago, we finally played a big game at my place again.

I still have a lot of love for the late war period and I felt that Fall of the Reich would be a good change from all the early war and Pacific games we played at Martin’s place during those two years.

Table seen from the American side

I did not want the usual urban fighting or hoards of T-34s you often have with these games, so it was Americans fighting the Germans on the eastern front in Thuringia.

Table seen from the American side

The Americans would be a war weary bunch from an infantry division. A commander in a 76mm Sherman, a radio team, an artillery spotter for some off-board howitzers, a truck mounted platoon of infantry, a Sherman platoon (three 75mm versions and an Easy Eight), a M-10 Wolverine and a Greyhound.

Table seen from the German side

The Germans were led by a commander in a Panther l, radio van, dispatch rider, artillery spotter for two (on board) howitzers (banned by a few Fallschirmjäger cut off from their parent unit) by was a platoon of Panzergrenadiere on foot, a platoon of StuG IIIs, some bicycle mounted fusiliers. The big hitter was a PaK 44 (K81/2). I know these did not see action in that part of Germany, but I wanted to give it a spin.

Table seen from the Geman side

The mission was for the American to break the Germans by turn eight. Anything else would be a German victory. We had two objective markers. One close to each deployment zone. The Americans would start on the forested hill, while the Germans would set up in the village.

When rolling for starting forces the Germans were really lucky, getting everything on the table except for two infantry sections, one LMG team, all the StuGs and their supply truck. The infantry was spread out over the buildings and the orchard on their left flank. The large PaK was also deployed at the edge of the orchard with its flank covered by a building. The radio team and artillery hid behind builings, while the Panther, fusiliers, and a Panzerschreck team formed a mobile reserve inside the village.

The Americans were faced with almost the exact opposite. They hard to start with their scout forces (Greyhound and a sniper team) and only two additional units (the artillery spotter and one of the Sherman’s).

The Americans decided not to push their luck moving down the road covered by the PaK, but went down a fire break in the girrest instead. They came under some inconsequential artillery fire by the Germans. Both sides managed to secure their objectives on the first turn. Unfortunately the American player drew the Endkampf counter. With the Germans being forced to draw five counters they had lost about 45% of their Battlerating on turn one.

The second turn was mainly an artillery duel with the Americans pining the PaK and some of the supporting infantry while the German artillery took out the American spotter. Again the Yanks got lucky on their chit, drawing a breakdown counter, which they played on the Panther. Now the Germans were past the halfway mark when it came to their battleratind ad lost their only tank.

With a steady stream of reenforcements coming in for the Americans and the PaK being temporarily out of action, they pressed their attack. The American commander, now taking care of spotting, had problems getting in contact with their artillery which lead to a short lull in the fire. The German spotter had problems getting in contact with his artillery , inspire of the presence of the radio van, but the dispatch rider took care of that. But it seems, that the coordinates were already out of date, since the German artillery proved ineffective.

The Yanks kept on pressing forward along the road now. The PaK did its best to keep them at bay, but seemed unable to hit the broad side of a barn.

Only when on of the American trucks dropped infantry off in the field infront of the PaK did things heat up. They had missed the LMG hiding under the roof of the house next tonten field and had to pay a heavy price for that. Especially when the riflemen next to the gun joined in.

Between their fire almost a complete fireteam perished, while the other and a .30cal team got pinned. While one fire team managed to mount an ineffective attack later on, the rest of the game would see them pinned and slowly worn down under the crossfire.

Now the Americans would try to press into the town with their tanks. But the advance was piecemeal, due tongue drawn out arrived of troops on the table and the fact that both the force and tank platoon commander had to call in the artillery.