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SAGA, French Grand Melee 2018

SAGA, French Grand Melee 2018

Well things have become a little quiet lately. Last month I finished a bigger batch of vehicles for my WW II project and right on the heels it was painting extra minis for the SAGA French Melee.

I had been wondering what to play. Out of my Age of Vikings era armies none were really playable under SAGA 2, so I first has to make the choice which army to expand. Only the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons could be done in due time and I was in no mood to play Vikings, so Anglo-Saxons it was.

I decided to play with a mounted Warlord, two points of mounted Hearthguards amalgamated into one unit and 4 points of Levies (3 of them with close combat weapons and 1 with bows).

What gave me some headaches though, was that I had hardly gotten any games of SAGA 2 in since its release… one in mid-August another earlier this month. So I was not expecting much, except for a good weekend.

Game one (standard Clash of Warlords)

The first game pitted me against Andy Lyons’ Welsh. I have to say, this was the game I had been both hoping for and dreading for years. For those who do not know him, Andy has played SAGA Grand Melees and Iron Mans all over the world and won a good number of them. A former U.K. and German champion and the current French champion, he was quite an opponent for the first match. That being said, I have known him for a man with great spirits for years, so no matter what, I was expecting a great game.

Andy was playing Welsh in an all mounted, all Javelin set-up. There was a Warlord, a Priest, 2 points of Hearthguards and 3 points of Warriors. Unfortunately I cannot remember how he arranged them.

Deployment method was A. Andy was first player and decided to take shots with his javelins at my Hearthguards. Which did not go too well. That turn and the next one too Andy rolled below average on his to-hit rolls, I rolled above average on my saves. This resulted in Andy having to keep his troops closer to mine than he would have liked. By the third or fourth turn my Levies were close enough to his troops and spread out enough to always be able to attack one of his units no matter where he put them at the end of his turn. So it was a close call all the time and in the end Andy won by a point.

All in all I was extremely happy with the result, which put me in the midfield and still gave me chances for a good result in the end. But in all fairness, had the dice been more average, Andy would have won by a bigger margin.

Game two (Clash of Warlords variant)

First things first. This scenario was based on the Clash of Warlords, but both players got to place two objectives each (at least L from a long board edge and at least M from another objective). Being in procession (having a unit within VS of an objective at the end of the game, without any enemy units within VS) gave you another two kill points per objective. This game I was playing a very good French player, who’s name I unfortunately forgot [EDIT: It was Dorian.] He was playing Normans. A mounted Warlord and a mounted Priest, 1 point of mounted Hearthguards, 2 points of mounted Warriors (spread into two units of 5 and one of 6 men), 1 point of Warriors on foot with close combat weapons and 1 point of Levy archers.

Deployment method was B and we both put the objectives in terrain in our home corner close to our respective Levie archers. I began in a strong round defense hidden from his Archers by a large hill in the middle, expecting such a mobile army to go on the offensive. Again I was player two and took a heavy beating for it. My opponent rolled well on his three SAGA dice and together with the use of We Obey managed to send his larger unit of mounted Warriors charging into my Hearthguards using two SAGA abilities (Charge and Pursuit) to beef their mettle quite a bit in additions to the benefits from charging with javelins. This cost me dearly, since I lost a total of 7 Hearthguards. My other troops were able to mop those Warriors of his up once it was my turn, but it meant we had traded 6 Warriors of his versus 7 Hearthguards (and I think a Levy or two) of mine. Which left me down four slaughterpoints on aggregate. Not a good start, since I had to go on the attack now to make up for that. So I left the bow armed Levies alone to guard the objectives, while the rest of my army began their journey to attack the enemy positions. All game long the dice were a reversal of the previous game. This time I rolled sub-par and my opponent better than average. But still my troops kept constantly closing the gap. Things still did not look too good until the fifth turn when he tried to take out my Warlord and failed, loosing a unit of Warriors. My counterattacks cost him his Warlord and now I was in the lead. My plan sometime during the game had become to contest his objectives with my Warlord (the only unit mobile enough) on the final turn, but all this fighting had left him with too much fatigue, so I just scrapped that plan. On the other hand my opponent did not manage to contest mine either since he was kept too busy on his flank. So in the end my lead in slaughter point gave me the victory.

Game three (Clash of Warlords variant)

Game three would bring another Clash of Warlords variant. This time one would only score slaughter point in Melee and each time your Warlord took part in a Melee it would be another two bonus slaughter points. There would be no slaughter point for a unit being destroyed completely.

After having had to play two armies that were either completely or mostly mounted I had been hoping for an all foot opponent. My wish was granted, but one should always beware what you wish for. Emmanuel (who came second overall [EDIT: He came third overall]) was playing Pagan Rus and this was not the kind of game I had hoped for.

He fielded a Warlord, 3 points of Hearthguards (amalgamated into two units of six), 2 points of Warriors (fielded as a unit of twelve and four mean respectively) and a unit of Gall-Gaedhil mercenaries.

Set-up was according to method B once more. Due to the Pagan Rus ability Frozen Winds my units were fairly spread out (but they still suffered from it for the first three turns), while my opponent deployed fairly compact.

I can no longer remember who was player one, but it did not really matter. Emmanuel made heavy use of Blizzard, Long Winter and Biting Cold all throughout the game, which over the first three turns meant that except for a volley by my archers against his large unit of Warriors I did not get any charges or volleys in.

So I simply positioned my units where they would be able to either attack next turn or force my opponent to withdraw. And I made sure I always had Valiant Hearts actived and had a mix of Defenders of the Kingdom, Closed Ranks and Clash of Shields on my board. Which paid off. His large unit of Warriors attacked my Levies with bows in rocky ground and took a heavy beating. Virtually the same happened when his Gall-Gaedhil followed up. They were now attacked by one of my Levies to my advantage. Now I was leading on slaughter points and his board became oriented towards the offensive which meant I was actually able to get two charges of my own choosing in. His attacks met a similar fate as before. But until the end of the game I was unable to attack with my Warlord. His formation was too compact to risk that and the easier targets were situated within ruins, making them too hard to attack. We had to finish the game after the fifth turn due to us taking a little too long, but the result was a solid victory for me.

Fourth game (Clash of Warlords variant)

The second day began with yet another Clash of Warlords variant. Every turn from the second turn onwards, one would get an extra slaughter point for every unit that was completely within the opponents half of the table.

I was facing Simon who was playing Normans as well. His force consisted of a mounted Warlord and Priest, a point of Hearthguards three points of mounted Warriors (spread out in a number units of six, five and four men) and a point of archers.

I was aware that to win this one, had to prevent my opponent from getting on my side of the table as long as possible, since I would hardly be able to contain, let alone catch, this many mounted units once they got to my side. So I tried to make the centre of the table as restrictive as possible by placing a large wood on the right flank, a swamp on the left and a field in the centre. I was player one and rolled a four as our deployment method (method B), but chose to shift that to method C. Due to his large number of units and the large cavalry bases he was using he had to spread his units out a lot, placing some of them either behind terrain the had to move around or at the very edge of the table. All in all this meant that during turn two and three I had more units on his side of the table than he had on mine. Special praise has to go to my Hearthguards who held on to my left flank on their own versus three units of Warriors and later on the Warlord and Priest. I had to laugh when Simon put a lot of effort into attacking them with a unit of Warriors aided by the Charge and Pursuit abilities only to find I still had Valiant Hearts active and had Defenders of the Kingdom and Clash of Shields on my board. All in all this fight cost me nothing while he lost his whole unit. But I also made a stupid mistake when I became greedy and had my last remaining Hearthguard attack his exposed Priest later on only to die in the process without doing the Priest any harm.

Only in turn four and five did the number of units on the opponents side shift substantially in his favour. But during the whole game I had done my best to both keep him back and bring his Warrior units below the four men threshold for creating SAGA dice. Which meant I was in the lead on real slaughter points. In the end he had slightly more points for units on the opponents side than I had while I got more from the kills. Again the game had to be called after turn five and we were equal on points. The tournament did not allow for a draw and since I still had vastly more men left on the table, I it was a minor victory for me.

Game five (Clash of Warlords variant)

This variant would give each player two extra slaughter points at the end of each of their own turns per unit for every unit partially within M of the table-centre.

This time my opponent was Jan who also played Anglo-Saxons. He fielded a Warlord on foot, a Priest on foot, a unit of Gall-Gaedhil mercenaries, 3 points of Levies with close combat weapons and 1 point of Levies with bows. I was expecting this to become a very bogged down game given the defensive orientation of the Anglo-Saxons.

Again, I was player one. I have to say, I did not care much for terrain, except that I wanted a field on my side of the table partially within M of the centre where I could place my archers and that the rest of the terrain I deployed (a hill) did not restrict the movement of my cavalry too much. Jan placed two small woods on his side of the table, also partially within M of the centre, one of which I moved away from the centre. Deployment was according to method C again.

I did not roll too well on those three initial SAGA dice. So there was no way I could do him some harm and I settled for two defensive abilities to get me through the first turn and moved two units of Levies and my Warlord within M of the centre. My opponent tried to expel as many of them as possible (and succeeded on the two close combat Levy units) and tried to kill my Warlord (which he did not, but which left my Warlord with three fatigue).

The next turn my Hearthguards together with two units of close combat Levies managed to push the enemy back, giving them a heavy beating. My Warlord was still very exposed, had two fatigue and had three units of Levies within S of him. Which made him a tempting target (both as a kill and due to the fatigue the other units within S would get upon his death). So Jan tried to brush one unit of Levies away with his Levies and Gall-Gaedhil (which he managed) and kill my Warlord with the later (which he did not). But this had left his Mercenaries with three fatigue and they were wiped out by my Hearthguards without any losses of my own the next turn (I used two of his fatigue to raise my armour to seven). My Levies regained their position against their oposites and the dollowing turn my Hearthguards about faced and pushed another unit of Levies out. From then on it was only securing my position (gaining ten slaughter points per turn) and harressing the enemy. In the end I won by a margin for 39 points, for a superior victory. What really made me happy was that in this very last game, my Hearthguards were able to enact their envisioned role of shocktroops for the first time.

The results

All in all I ended up with 62 tournament points and made fifth place overall. With which I am mighty happy, given both my lack of preparation and the quality of the opponents.

The later was really amazing. I have played in a number of tournaments over the years and always have I had one opponent that only gave me an easier game. Not so this time. They were all very good players and there was not a single game that one could just play it home easily. Even the very last game was much harder than the result would suggest. The general sportsmanship, not just in the games I played but also what I saw on adjacent tables, was very good. Being provided with lunch on both days and dinner on the first day as well as cake was a huge bonus.

So all in all, it was a very taxing, but friendly and enjoyable weekend. One I will certainly try my best to repeat as often as possible in coming years.

Merci beaucoup!

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Posted by on September 25, 2018 in Anglo-Saxons, Medival, Normans, SAGA, Welsh

 

Panzerkampfwagen I Platoon and more

Panzerkampfwagen I Platoon and more

So to keep up the dark grey theme… here are some more.

They nice thing about the early war period is, that you can get virtually every vehicle in my preferred scale, 1:48th. There are a few exceptions and the PzKw I and it’s variants are one of them. Those are only available from small companies with small production runs and cost a lot. At first I had planned to use some 1:56th scale model after all, but when Martin got himself a 3D printer another option became available.

PzKw I platoon

PzKw I platoon

While one can see the layers and the detail could be higher on some parts, they still do a job, and to be honest… just looking at the cost of the material, these five tanks cost me less (probably half as much) than one of those from a small company would have cost me.

PzKw I platoon

PzKw I platoon

Martin was not sure if I wanted a command version with or without the antenna assembly, so he printed both and one hot pressed into service as an armoured ambulance.

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

Over all I was surprised by the 3D prints. I would have thought that the layers would have been more visible after the wash and filter. I know they stand out on these photos, but when not enlarged as much as they are on our screens you hardly notice.

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

PzKw I command and ambulance versions

 

Kradschützenplatoon (part 1)

When I was school, there was a real good 4 part documentary about the war on the eastern front on German television. One picture that stuck to my mind was a short clip of a  Kradschützenzug riding cross-country. So when I saw that Battlegroup gave the option have one for the Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa era, I was something I had to do.

In the end, it almost drove me mad. Just cleaning mold lines from all the minis and motorbikes / sidecars took the better part of a week. Do not get me wrong, none of these are bad minis, it is just that they all have so many parts that need to be cleaned up.

Kradschützen Platoon

Kradschützen Platoon

And in addition to the platoon not even being finished yet (I will need to do the command unit, an AT-rifle and HMG team each plus some rear seat riders for two of the current LMG teams). So lots of work here.

The minis are a mix of Warlord Games (the LMG teams and the mortar team) and Wargames Foundry. Scale wise they mix quite well and given the fact, that the Warlord bikes are all BMW R75s and the Foundry ones are all Zündapp KS 750s, minor differences in scale will not stand out.

Not much more to say really, so I will leave you with the pictures.

Kradschützentrupp 1Kradschützentrupp 2

Kradschützentrupp

Kradschützentrupp

Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen mortar team

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen messenger

Kradschützen medic

Kradschützen medic

 

 

Run out the guns

Run out the guns

For some time I have been a fan of artillery in our Battlegroup games. This was only enhanced last year when I tried out something new during a game set during Kursk when my heavy soviet artillery annihilated the German tanks virtually on its own. Unfortunately heavy artillery is hard to find for 28mm minis so my best option was the Schweres Infanteriegeschütz 33 (SiG 33) from Warlord which will have to stand in for other heavy guns.

SiG33 battery

SiG33 battery

The models are essentially out of the box, but I replaced some of the crew (at least those not holding the shells and charges, with those from the Warlord 105mm guns to add some extra variety to the bases.

There is also some AT-guns I did recently and those are a pair of 3,7cm PaK 36s. I was at first sceptical of the PaK 36 having played only mid to late war games over the past decade where the 3,7cm is not exactly the big start. But Martin wanted to give his French Army a game last year and I have to say I was more impressed by their performance than by the short barreled PzKw IVs. So while I had originally planned to do just one and use it as an AT-gun option for the infantry platoon, I now plan to use them both as a tank hunter unit of their own. Only need to finish their Krupp Protze tows.

One is the current Warlord offering, the other a vintage Bolt Action gun that was still sold by Bolt Action until about a year or two ago. With the later, you can clearly see that this is one of Paul Hicks earlier offerings, as the poses are more wooden and the faces less detailed than what he sculpts these days, but none the less, once based and on the table it looks just as nice as the new one.

And up last some fire support for the infantry platoon by means of a 8cm mortar. Again the minis are by Warlord. Not sure how good it will be in the game. Having to pay a n order to spot for just one mortar seems excessive, but maybe it plays out well.

8cm mortar team

8cm mortar team

 

German Infantry for Poland to Barbarossa

German Infantry for Poland to Barbarossa

Now this is part of a big project I have been working on since last fall. A complete German army for use with the Battlegroup rules for the period from the invasion of Poland (Fall Weiß) up until the first months of the invasion of Russia (Operation Barbarossa). Given that this would also make them suitable for the invasions of Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France and Greece, this will make them extremely versatile. That being said, this will also make them a huge project, since except for a couple of PzKW 38(t) and PzKw IV I have nothing suitable for it. This will mean, that I need command units, an Infantry platoon (there were extremely large for the invasion of Poland) with both truck and half-track transport options, a Kradschützenzug (motorcycle platoon), PzKw I, PzKw II (in two different versions), at-guns, artillery, specialist vehicles and aircraft. With such a daunting project you have to start somewhere. For me this was actually the Kradschützen, but since only the soldiers are finished but not the motorcycles, my second step will be the first shown to you… the infantry platoon (still without their transports). For these photos I have arranged them according to the TO&E that was in effect during the invasion of Poland. For later operations, some of these subunits would have been bigger or smaller, but there is enough models for all possible TO&Es. I would only have to rearrange some minis.

All these minis are by Warlord Games. Most of them plastics (some of them slightly converted) and a few metal ones mixed in.

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa infantry command

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa infantry command

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa medic

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa medic

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa light mortar team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa spotter team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa sniper team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa sniper team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

The LMG team above is my personal favorite from this platoon. Most likely, since I converted it to look like this. I always loved the looks of the LMG being fired over the assistants shoulder from a kneeling position. Since there was no such model available, I had to build one myself. What I found very funny is, that the assistant is actually a running pose, but it turned out, this was the easiest to convert into a kneeling position.

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa MG32 team

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

Blitzkrieg to Barbarossa rifle squad

 

A handful of StuGs and a StuH

A handful of StuGs and a StuH

One of me favorite German vehicles of World War II has been the Sturmgeschütz. Lots of punch, good armor, low profile and usually cheap to get. So a battery of StuGs was a must. I already had a G model with Saukopfblende from Tamiya, so when I decided to do a full battery I only ordered two more. But when I started painting them, I decided, that I would rather like all models in the battery to be the same. So I already have a third that I have not painted yet.

The models are by Blitzkrieg Models. I weathered them like the Jagdpanther and PaK shown the previous days. I added some converted plastic Warlord Miniatures German infantry as crew.

StuH 42

StuH 42

And while I was on it, I also painted a Sturmhaubitze. This one is also from Blitzkrieg, with a Warlord commander and weathered the same way. But I chose a slightly different camo pattern for this one.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2018 in Battlegroup, Rules, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

Some Vikings and a Norman Warlord for SAGA

Some Vikings and a Norman Warlord for SAGA

With the second Edition of SAGA, I had to make some changes to my Vikings. I have always played them with Jomsviking mercenaries (Jarl Sigvaldi and is Jomsvikings) and heavy on Hearthguards.

With the former now costing one point instead of two under the first edition, this means, that I will now have one more point available. So this meant I had to paint another point.

Shield Maidens

Shield Maidens

So I painted 4 Shield Maidens to use as Hearthguards. These models are by Stronghold Terrain here in Germany. And they are really nice. I decided to paint them with varied coloured clothing, as I did with all my previous Vikings. But, while I do know that it is far from historically correct, I decided to nod my head at the TV show Vikings and gave them the same shield design as Lagarthas Shield Maidens from the show. The minis themselves are really nice, but I really struggled with their faces.

Rollo

Rollo

Rollo

Rollo

Now with SAGA 2.0 playing any faction so heavy on the Hearthguards like I did might not be a wise idea. So I am thinking of amalgamating two points of my plastic Gripping Beast Hearthguards into one point of Warriors. For this I will need another 4 minis. Having a few Berserkers lying around, I decided that this would be a point for Berserkers. This Rollo, also from Stronghold, was originally bought to be part of a Warlord base with his brother Ragnar, Lagartha and Floki. But while those three come in poses that rather look like they are surveying the battlefield, he looks more combative. With Stronghold also having released a minis of Björn, I decided to base him individually as par of a unit instead. I like this mini for its face. It looks a lot like the actor who plays Rollo in the TV show. Unfortunately, the pose is a little awkward.

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

Norman Warlord

And last is a Warlord for my Normans. The mini is also from Stronghold and a really nice one at that (if you disregard the depression in the shield toward the head of the mini). The big letdown though is the way it is meant to be mounted onto the base. The two hooves touching the ground have round taps coming out of them. This would be great for the old Games Workshop cavalry bases, but is a nightmare with the thin bases commonly used with SAGA. So I had to build up Green Stuff around these taps and later blend them in with the rest of the base.

I wanted him to look like a leader from the time of the Norman invasion of England. So I chose a shield design that is a nod towards their origins in Normandy and painted a Fleur de lis onto the shield.

 

8,8cm PaK 43 auf Kreuzlafette

Playing late war games in a World War II setting, especially on the eastern front large-caliber Panzerabwehrkanonen (PaK / anti-tank gun) are a must to give you some edge over the heavily armoured tanks like the JS-2. The long-barreled PaK 43, both on a Spreiz- and Kreuzlafette are perfect for this.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

Playing in 1:48th scale, the later is not too easy to get. But some years ago, I had the good luck to get my hands on the, now long OOP, Verlinden model. It is a very nice model, but even by modeling standards it is not an easy model to build. So I had to make some modifications to the connections between the gun and the shield to make it work out and stand the rigors of game play. But even that way, it will better be picked up by its base and not the model itself. Fortunately I have decided to base all my future AT-guns and indeed put all my old ones on bases for Battlegroup, so that will not be much of a problem.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

Like the Jagdpanther, this was a testbed for the new weathering methods and I have to say… I feel it turned out exceptionally well on this model.

The crew itself is the 8,8cm FlaK crew by Warlord. It is a bit small even for their own 1:56th scale models, but I feel it still looks OK. While the gun was painted this winter, the crew was done about 15 years ago. I only redid the skin on the minis. I think that is where my technique changed the most during that time and I wanted them to blend in with my current models.

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

8,8cm PaK 43 (Kreuzlafette)

 

Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers

Ok, so let’s get the party started. For those of you playing Battlegroup, you will know that many scenarios require objective markers. Usually something between one and four. So far I did three for Berlin or other late war urban settings. Obviously that is too few even for that setting. So one more was needed. And while I was on it, I did a few more.

Battlegroup objektive marker

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich)

Battlegroup objektive marker (image edited to comply with German law)

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich) (image edited to comply with German law)

Up first is another one for Fall of the Reich. When Germany went about conquering virtually all of Europe as well as large parts of Russia and North Africa, they looted whatever they could, including many acheological artefacts.  When the Allies entered Germany, the Nazi high ups wanted to move many of these items out of the way, preferably into their own private collections. And I wanted one of these items, that could not be moved fast enough.

In this case I simply took an Egyptian artefact from Crocodile Games Wargods of Ægyptus range and placed it inside a wooden crate (build from plasticard) and added a helmet and G-43 from a Tamiya 1:48 scale infantry set.

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive markers

From left to right these are a wayside cross (1:48th scale scenery item), an Western Allies fuel dump (barrels and jerry can from a 1:48th scale Tamiya accessory set with the Tommy Gun being from Warlord Games) and a simple tattered scare crow (matchsticks and tissue paper soaked in white glue).

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive marker (Spring to fall)

And another three ammo or fuel dumps. Again, weapons are from Warlord Games and the rest is Tamiya 1:48th scale.

I tried to keep everything on the two photos as generic a possible. Only the two German fuel dumps are painted for an early and mid to late war period. But all in all, there are two markers (cross and scarecrow) that could be used virtually everywhere in Europe or Russia for any period of the war. With the those two and a mix of a German objective and an allied one (depending on the opposition) I will always have at least four options.

Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers (Winter)

And last a few for winter settings. Left to right these are a snowman (sculpted from Greenstuff with snow flock added after painting), a “V” that someone peed into the snow, a stack of barrels and a jerry can covered by a tarpaulin and snow (again Tamiya items and white glue soaked tissue paper) and a simply scare crow (done like the one above). Now I have to admit, that these are kind of a reserve, for right now these are my only winter scenery items.

All of these were done last winter.

 

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

Pegasus Bridge, a Horsa Glider and other things

As you may know, we wanted to host Pegasus Bridge at Crisis in Antwerp this year (and eventually we did so). Between the three of us we already had a lot of buildings, hedges and so on. But this still required some more terrain.

Not many buildings for the vicinity of the bridge were required, but I wanted some more variation. Since I still had the château from Sarissa Precission around, so that seemed like the natural option. It had been a nice kit to assemble and was a nice kit to paint. If I was to do it again though, I would probably leave the first floor windows and shutters off for easier painting.

French Chateau French Château
French Chateau French Château

But we also needed a Horsa Glider for the game. Martin had a model by Grand Manner around. Martin was unsure if he could give it due credit, so I painted it up. I Ieft the landing gear off to me the model fit the scenario since the Gliders used for the attack on Pegasus Bridge all had rough landings and ripped their landing gears off. It was nice enough to airbrush up, but I think the dimensions are somewhat off. The lower hull and underside of the wings were painted in a dark green, the top in camouflage. So I started by doing the camo and then taped the edge off. Which is when I realised that something was amiss. For example I used the forward doors and tail wings as a guide, but under the main wings the lines ended up too low. But I felt this was acceptable, since people could hardly see this spot. So the lower half of the glider was painted in dark green and filters and washes applied. Now I taped off the invasion stripes and again, I noticed that something was not quite right, for there was too little space on tail. In the end the RAF roundels on the tail ended up overlapping the invasion stripes for that reason. To finish things off, I placed chalk markings on the flank saying “Lady Irene” to make it match the glider Major Howard landed in.

Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider
Horsa Glider Horsa Glider

And up last, the most importer building for the game… the bridge itself. Again this was a Sarissa kit. I had been too lazy to assemble the model, so I bought a model that had already been build and sold my kit on. In retrospect, this did not make things that much easier, since it had not been assembled as clean as I would have done, so I had to do a lot of sanding and so on.

I wanted to keep it in the very light grey of the original, but in the end, this seemed a little bleak to me. So I added rust marks to the model, which gave it a lot more character.

Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge
Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge

If you want to see some more detail shots of the bridge, those can be found in my post about the British Paras.

In the, it turned out to be quite a nice game. We used the Battlegroup Overlord rules and they worked very well even at this small size. It was especially interesting to see how different tactics played out. If the British went for a defense in depth, it usually went well for the Germans, since they could usually wipe out the British first line of defense (after stumbling into it) and then using the superior range of their SP gun(s) (,depending on how many survived the PIAT,) to destroy the rest. If the British went for a strong first line of defense, the Germans were too weak to protect their SP guns sufficiently and took too many loses to take the bridge. It will be interesting to see how future games play out.

So I am leaving you with a (very) few pictures from the game at Crisis.

Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge table
Pegasus Bridge game Pegasus Bridge game
Pegasus Bridge game Pegasus Bridge game
Pegasus Bridge Pegasus Bridge table