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Category Archives: WWII: Germans

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

 

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And another game of Fall of the Reich

And another game of Fall of the Reich

So I am still catching up. This time it is another game of Fall of the Reich. This one was played during the first fine week (weather wise) of the year, so we could actually play outside. But even though this one has not been so long ago, my memory is even less precise than the previous one. I can remember, that the American fox consisted mainly of Shermans and infantry in M3´s, while the German force was mainly PzKw IV´s.

The beginning was not too good for the Germans. One PzKw IV was damaged right at the beginning another one blown up by the allied artillery. The Germans tried to repair the former, but failed, so it was two losses right at the beginning. So things did not look too well, but once the Americans got closer, the tables turned and the Germans could make good use of their position behind the railroad embankment. It became a real turkey shoot and in the end the American broke and the game was over. Unfortunately this is the best AAR I can come up with. Sorry! So I hope the pictures tell a good story instead.

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the German side

Waiting for the enemy

Waiting for the enemy

Bergepanther trying to repair a PzKw IV

Bergepanther trying to repair a PzKw IV

American advance

American advance

American armour in the village

American armour in the village

American halftrack

American halftrack

German defensive position

German defensive position

76mm Sherman on the attack

76mm Sherman on the attack

Hull down PzKw IV

Hull down PzKw IV

SS HMG team

SS HMG team

 

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich Christmas game

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich Christmas game

“Wait?” you will shout… “Christmas game… it is only October!” And rightly so! But, as I have had to say so many times this year, I seem to have huge problems keeping this blog up to date. So, here it is, almost 10 months late:

Between Christmas and New Years last year Julian, Martin and I met up for a little game of Battlegroup Fall of the Reich. Please do not ask for the exact composition of the forces… it has been a while. But if I remember correctly, the Americans had a mix of truck and jeep mounted infantry, M10´s, Shermans and Greyhounds (the burning Stuart was scenery). The Germans were a rag-tag bunch of Panzergrenadiere, a Volkssturm platoon, two Hetzer, a Hornisse, a Luchs, a SdKfz. 251/22 and a SdKfz. 250/9. Both sides had some off-board artillery.

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the German side

Table seen from the American side

Table seen from the American side

We rolled to see who would play which side and Martin got the Americans and Julian and I the Germans. We were playing the Road Block scenario and the Americans were allowed to set up the majority of their forces as far as the river. Martin put the armoured command car on he bridge with the M10s, some of the truck mounted infantry and a Dozer Sherman behind them. The Greyhounds were allowed to deploy on the German side of the bridge.

The German Volkssturm was dispersed throughout the village and one of the fields on the flank. The Panzergrenadiere and Hetzer were hiding inside the village, while the Hornisse was waiting at the edge of the village with the bridge in sight. We took a slight risk as the German players, by not putting any scout units on the table, which meant we would start the game by drawing a chit. In retrospect this was the best decision we could make, since we drew a breakdown counter, which we played on the armoured command car on the bridge, which got an immobilized result. So Martin had to start shuffling vehicles around to get the Dozer in position.

Things are about to get tough

Things are about to get tough

But while he was doing so, the Germans called in some artillery on the bridge, which took out the command car for good and set the M10 ablaze. So when the Dozer arrived, it had to start by pushing the tank destroyer aside.

American starting positions

Getting the other vehicles out of the way for the dozer

Getting the M10 out of the way

Getting the M10 out of the way

But this was not the only problem for the Americans. when it was clear, that the bridge would be blocked for the foreseeable future, the Greyhounds chose to dash into the village to hide. Which proved to be a bad decision, since the lead Greyhound drove past one of the buildings where the Volkssturm was hiding. A Panzerfaust into the rear was a reward, after which it blew up.

American armour burning

American armour burning

First moves inside the village

First moves inside the village

All in all it took the dozer three turns to even get into position to try to clear the command car off the bridge. During that time the came under constant German artillery fire. To minimise their losses, the American infantry dismounted to disperse and get across the bridge.

Sherman Dozer about to clear the bridge

Sherman Dozer about to clear the bridge

American Infantry pushing across the bridge

American Infantry pushing across the bridge

But while doing so, the American infantry became pinned by fire from the Volkssturm in the fields.

Volkssturm firing at the American infantry across the river

Volkssturm firing at the American infantry across the river

And to make matters worse, by now the remaining German armour had arrived on the table and were taking up positions to counter any American moves off the bridge.

German halftracks staging inside the village

German halftracks staging inside the village

Getting into position

Getting into position

Luchs and Hetzer securing the flank

Luchs and Hetzer securing the flank

With the bridge cleared, the Americans finally managed to get their own spotters to a place where they could actually call in effective artillery fire on the German spotters killing them, but it was too little, too late. By now the Germans were in positions where they could target anything moving across the bridge from three sides.

Hetzer moving to the front

Hetzer moving to the front

By now the American force was close to breaking to breaking anyway. And when the Dozer started to push the command car, i was hit by an eighty-eight shell from the Hornisse.

Turkey shoot

Turkey shoot

At this point no coordinated push would have been possible anymore and the Americans withdrew.

 

WWII German Jagdtiger

WWII German Jagdtiger

Following up on yesterday’s post, here is my next (Theme Round) entry for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

This weekends topic was “Epic Fail” and it gave me some headaches at first. I could only count out a Leman Brother Bank, since we are not allowed terrain in this Challenge.

Then I thought about the Death Star, but my better half insisted we had no space for a PS 2014 from Ikea.

So it was back to the drawing board. But then I had an idea… World War II produced so my tanks, there must have been one that was an epic fail, at least in my eyes.

In my humble opinion, this had always been the wrong type of tank for the time. It was very heavy and thus suffered from the same problems as its turreted brothers, the Königtiger. As such it took huge resources to build, was a nightmare to transport by train, had problems with terrain due to its high ground pressure and guzzled so much fuel, that the Germans did not have at that time. Even worse yet, most of them seem to have been used on the western front, were its 122mm gun was the overkill for any opponent, while on the eastern front where it might have been useful vs. the JS-2s and big ISUs there were hardly any.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

But what really underlined its status as an epic fail was an incident that took place when a Jagdtiger from the 512. Panzerjägerabteilung (the unit depicted above) attack an allied column near Holzwickede in Germany, which incidentally was less than 10 kilometer from where I used to live until a few years ago. This Jagdtiger fired at a Sherman. By that time Germany had no smokeless ammo anymore and after the first shot, at maximum range, the whole tank was shrouded in smoke. Seeing this, the infantry accompanying the tank though that big beast had been taken out and ran. Without any support the Jagdtiger was forced to retreat as well. So in essence, the big tank, which should have instilled calm in its troops and could have taken out the enemy without them ever having a chance to fire back, had broken the units morale with a single shot. As such this was my epic fail.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Not much to say about the model here. It is a 1:48th scale Tamiya early model Jagdtiger straight out of the box.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Looking at period photos I found that most of them seem to have been painted in a simply soft edged three tone camo. So I went with a Dunkelgelb base with, red primer and green camo airbrushed on. Some chipped paint effects and washes & filters to enhance the worn look as well as the soft edged effect of the camo. Also added some rain marks to the superstructure to round off the slightly for look. (I do not like my tanks if they look like they have not been cared for for months.) Unfortunately I ran out of time, otherwise it would have received a slight coat of dust with the airbrush, but that will be easy enough to add in the future. While painting it, I remembered, why I usually hate to paint Königstiger or Jagdtiger. All those tow chains and spare tracks are a pain in the behind to paint.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Hope you like the final results.

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

Jagdtiger

 

Our game at Crisis 2015: Battle of Berlin

Our game at Crisis 2015: Battle of Berlin

So, after keeping you all excited for days now, here are the game shots from our Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich  demogame at Crisis this year.

To be honest, it is hard to make a coherent game report out of the game, due to all the chatting with people, explaining the mechanics, answering where the vehicles and models came from and so on. But I will at least try for a very short synopsis:

The Germans were a mixed Battlegroup formed around a nucleus of a Volkssturm platoon, beefed up, by a squad of Hitlerjugend tank hunters, a squad of SS Panzergrenadiere in a halftrack, some Wehrmacht Pioniere, a SS sniper team, a Pantherturm, 8.8cm Pak “Scheunentor”, a Borgward Wanze, a Panther and a Tiger II (Commander).

The Russians had a Platoon of rifles, with Maxim, Ratsch-Boom AT-gun and AT-gun team, an artillery spotter team for their onboard mortars and heavy artillery, a squad of Assault Pioneers, one of Scouts, three T34/85, two JS-II tanks and a lone T-34/76 (Commander).

Julian and I started the game in quite classic fashion. The Germans waiting for the Russians to run into the traps they had laid and the Russian tanks trading were shots with the Tiger and Pantherturm at long-range, while waiting for the infantry to catch up and protect them from the pesky Panzerfäuste.

During this time not much happened. Much like the Demo last year, both of us managed to alternate at rolling bad so we did not take out much with our long-range shots. (The funniest exchange was between the Pantherturm and JS-II who had problems spotting each other and one of the JS finally did and hit, he got a snake eyes for the penetration roll [he would have needed a three on two D6] only to roll a twelve the next round.) The most impressive exchange was the Russian sniper and one of the SS snipers killing each other, which left the lone German sniper to kill one the artillery spotters, pinning the other. When the Russina infantry command was also pinned, this effectively rendered the Russian mortars and Artillery useless (especially since the the participation gamers would continuously forget to unpin them). We also found out that a fanatic squad of Hitlerjugend can well take out a squad of Soviet elite scouts at short-range with their SMGs and a little help from the Panzergrenadiere. And that even with our gods eye view of the battlefield, it is easy to drive a T34 around a corner only to find the road blocked with Czech Hedgehogs and becoming a prime target for a PaK as a result.

Obviously things really picked up once the first participants came and played along, driving their tanks and infantry on without regard for losses. At that time tanks started blowing up all around the table and infantry perished left and right. This was also the first time I saw man-pack flamethrowers in use in the game and boy are they deadly assaulting buildings, especially on a squad sporting a fair amount of SMGs! All in all we had a cracking day and I hope the players had one, too. I will leave you with the pictures!

Der Russe kommt!

Der Russe kommt!

Hitlerjugend tankhunter squad besides destroyed Tiger I

Hitlerjugend tankhunter squad besides destroyed Tiger I

Pantherturm and Volkssturm MG-08 team in the front, Tiger II in the rear

Pantherturm and Volkssturm MG-08 team in the front, Tiger II in the rear

AT-gun position with the Volkssturm command looking on

AT-gun position with the Volkssturm command looking on

SS sniper in one of the tall buildings

SS sniper in one of the tall buildings

The Panterturm again

The Panterturm again

LMG position

LMG position

JS-II advancing

JS-II advancing

T-34s advancing

T-34s advancing

Hiding behind the rubble

Hiding behind the rubble

Hitlerjugend about to take out the Soviet scouts

Hitlerjugend about to take out the Soviet scouts

Russian Pioniere about to assault

Russian Pioniere about to assault

Enemy at the doors

Enemy at the doors

Volkssturm advancing

Volkssturm advancing

The 8.8cm PaK

The 8.8cm PaK

T34-85 taken out by the PaK

T34-85 taken out by the PaK

The end of the Pantherturm

The end of the Pantherturm

Tiger II waiting behind the barricades

Tiger II waiting behind the barricades

 

Battle of Berlin infantry… scraping the barrel

Battle of Berlin infantry… scraping the barrel

So in the effort to catch up with all the stuff done in recent weeks for the battle of Berlin game, here is the first step… the last additions to the German infantry.

After having played WWII for well over a decade now, I have been in the comfortable position not to need too many new miniatures for this years game. Having nearly 300 Russians and more again when it comes to Germans (regular Wehrmacht and SS), there was not much to do there. Except for some of the more uncommon troops that were sadly thrown into the meat grinder during the last weeks of the war.

I know many people have reservations about using these units in their games and for some time I contemplated this as well. But as sad as the use of children and the elderly in fighting units may have been, it is still a part of history. And at the same time, very few of us (as long as we play ancients) have reservations playing Spartans, who were taken for training as soldiers at a far younger age, or Romans, who would eventually sell their vanquished foes as slaves. So I made the decision to use units of Volkssturm and Hitlerjugend in the game as well.

Before I start with the pictures, please note, that some of them have been edited (blue dots) to be in line with German law. Here it is a criminal offense to show certain symbols in public on models and such.

Up first are a few Volkssturm I did about a decade ago, which formed the nucleus for the force (and which I wanted to show for completeness sake). These are all Victory Force miniatures. The NCO wears the uniform of an Allgemeine SS NCO. Probably someone who managed to evade being send to the front all war long and now finds himself leading a squad of Volkssturm during the final days. And who will probably disappear to “get some orders at HQ” when the bullets start to fly. This model is a Wehrmacht mortar operator with his uniform repainted. All the rest of this squad are from the French Resistance line. Some had their headgear converted to make them look less French and more German and all have had the Volkssturm armbands sculpted on.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

Up next are a bunch of vintage Bolt Action Volkssturm miniatures. Always loved the guy with the old WWI Bavarian helmet and was very pleased to finally paint them up, after they collected dust for ages. The guy with the Greatcoat came unarmed, but I felt he did not look like a medic, so he got a Panzerfaust from Victory Force.

It was actually pretty funny when Paul hicks passed by the table at Crisis and actually spotted some of his old Volkssturm and Russian minis.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

Now I needed some numbers to field them as a complete Volkssturm platoon under the Battlegroup rules, so more minis were needed. These days this is easy, with the set from Warlord, although I still needed a Wehrmacht LMG team. So all the minis in the following pictures are by Warlord. Some of these are regular SS or Wehrmacht soldiers, but those either served as NCOs for the platoon or as part of the Panzergrenadier squad also used in the game.

And these later minis are up first. I had some bad luck with the fat SA officer, since the mini was slightly miscast, but Warlord send me a replacement in time. The battle never got close to him on Saturday, but if it had, I bet he would have joined the Allgemeine SS NCO from above to get some new orders at HQ. The NCO in the middle and the soldier with the Luftfaust to his right feature heads from West Wind productions. At one point I had used up all the not-so-cartoonish heads from the Warlord set and had to find something proper. The gas mask on the Luftfaust seemed proper. I know some soldiers operating the Panzerschreck without the blast-shield would wear gas masks to protect against the backblast, so it seemed sensible for this mini as well.

Volkssturm (leaders and NCO)

Volkssturm (leaders and NCO)

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

SS Grenadier with curved barrel attachment on his StG-44

And now the regular Volkssturm.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

The guys on the left and right got field cap heads from Victory Force. Again, I had only the cartoonish faces left for the set, so this seemed sensible. Plus if you look at the guy on the right, he is sculpted in a way, not a single helmeted head would have fit him. Even with this one, he still looks a bit like Quasimodo. Anyway, between these three, the one in the greatcoat for the vintage Bolt Action set and the one from Great Escape games (see below), there is almost a whole squad in greatcoats, which is nice, too.

Volkssturm

Volkssturm

The platoon also needed a HMG and I loved the option to give them a MG-08. Rummaging through my boxes of minis, I found a WWI HMG team from Renegade Miniatures. The size of the minis was right and since they were lying on their bellies, no huge difference in their uniforms could be seen. So I just took their heads off and replaced them with ones from Victory Force. At first I had decided to just paint them in the brownish Feldgrau uniform, to represent the cheap uniforms made with cheap dyes late in the war and given to the Volkssturm. But with their regular headgear and a lack of rank insignia (the lowest Volkssturmmann would not get any) I felt they could still be mistaken for regulars, so the armbands were a late addition.

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

Vollkssturm MG-08 team

And last, some Hilterjugend (and Flakhelferinnnen). 6 of the boys and girls would form a tank hunter squad, with the rest of them (and the Volkssturmmann) beefing up the numbers of the Volkssturm.

Up first is the set from Great Escape Games, which was easily my favorite from all these minis, for all the character put into the youngsters.

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferin

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferin

And the remaining minis come from the Warlord set once more.

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferinen

Hitlerjugend and Flakhelferinen

 

Borgward Wanze

Borgward Wanze

As I said in yesterday’s post… Virtually all the vehicles for the Battle of Berlin game were done ages ago. But one I defiantly wanted was a Borgward Wanze. The Wanze was a typical late war stop gap solution of the Third Reich. The vehicle itself is based on the Borgward B IV Ladungsträger (SdKfz. 301).

wanze_02

Borgward-B-IV-Ausführung-mit-RPzB-54-Wanze-7

0_8f63e_308f3087_XXL

Germany had some stocks of these vehicles left. It was the heaviest of the Ladungsträger in use, but it had some drawbacks. The biggest was that the driver had to drive it close to the target and get of. From that point on it was radio controlled to the target. Due to its larger size, it provided a better target than lets say the Goliath. In 1942/43 it’s armour no longer was sufficient to protect it. The vehicle had already proven to be useless in its intended role as an ammo carrier and mine clearer, so they were pulled out of service.

Borgward-B-IV-Ausführung-mit-RPzB-54-Wanze-3

capwanze

When the Allies got ever closer to Germany, a tank was needed that was small and agile (to operate in the ruins of German cities), yet pack a lot of punch vs. enemy tanks. So the drivers compartment and gunners position got some extra armour and it was fitted with 6 Panzerschreck 88mm AT rocket launchers that were linked to fire a single volley. It would then have to withdraw quickly to reload. Hardly any reports exist on its effectiveness, but I felt it was a must have vehicle.

Borgward Wanze (front)

Borgward Wanze (front)

Borgward Wanze (left)

Borgward Wanze (left)

The model itself is from Warlord Games. It is actually a very nice kit (only the bolts on the rear deck seem somewhat sloppy) with virtually perfect casting and nice detail. The only real problem I had with the kit is the arrangement of the drivers and gunners position. On the model the gunner is to the right and the driver left. On all photos I found online, the arrangement was the other way round, but I can live with that.

Borgward Wanze (rear)

Borgward Wanze (rear)

Borgward Wanze (right)

Borgward Wanze (right)

For the paintjob I wanted a look that represented the history of the vehicle. So the body was done in a Sandgelb with green camo like one would find in 1942/43 in Russia. The new plates were done in a anti-rust paint colour. I also added some welders markings to the plates. I guess any welder worth his money would rather cut on the markings than besides them (= they would disappear while cutting), but I wanted them anyway. Weathering wise I just went with some panel highlighting with my airbrush and heavy use of filters. After some tests with filters on my Sci-Fi vehicles this winter, I felt comfortable enough to use them in my historical models so this was the first go.

Borgward Wanze (top view)

Borgward Wanze (top view)

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Wehrmacht, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

Preparations for the Battle of Berlin

Preparations for the Battle of Berlin

The time has come to prepare everything for this years game at Crisis in Antwerp. The obviously theme for this years Crisis is Waterloo, in line with this years bicentennial. Am I going down the same road? No. The Battle of Nations game two years ago was largely ignored (even though it was the bicentennial as well) and I would have been hard pressed to get all the minis painted in time. So what was my choice? The Battle of Berlin, after all that one has its 70th anniversary this year.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

So where to start? Since most minis and vehicles for that were done years ago hardly anything remains to be done except for the scenery. Last year I already did  few test pieces and the lessons learned from that were put to use this time.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

Again all the buildings are by Commission Figurines, with some added rubble (homemade from foamcore, sand, matchsticks, wooden strips and bricks cast from plaster), wallpaper and doll house furniture. As I did last time, I also added an extra floor to some of them using coffee stirrers and matchsticks.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

What I changed were some of my techniques. Last time I applied virtually all the paint by hand. This time I only did that for the outside walls, windows / doors and stonework applications. All the rest was airbrushed. I deliberately over-sprayed the bricks a little bit to create an impression of brick-dust in the spots where the plaster had come off the buildings. I also over-sprayed the rubble to create the impression of a heavier layer of dust around the rubble heaps. All the buildings also got a slight dusting with the colors I used for the rubble, to create a general dirty look.

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

Ruins (inside)

But there are also a few more lessons I learned. First I glued some tile and wooden floor imitations to the base, just like I did with the pieces last year. The more I do that, the less I like it. A lot of that gets covered up by rubble anyway and there is always a chance of warping. So in the future I will probably just cover up the whole ground floor with rubble.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

The other thing is, that I must pay better attention to the floors that come with the buildings. For some reason I picked floors, that were all oriented the same direction. Obviously, that meant, that they did not fit for two of the corner pieces and I had to clip them down to prevent them from touching. I can not be helped anymore (and it eventually means that I will get the same problem on a mother two corner pieces later on), but I will have to make sure I do not botch up once more.

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

1st complete Berlin ruins city block

Up next will be some minis (actually tomorrow I will post some pictures of a Borgward Wanze), but then it is back to more ruins.

 

Battlegroup Kursk

Battlegroup Kursk

OK, it seems the process of catching up is not over yet. This is a game report of a game we (Julian and myself) played in May. This time it was Battlegroup Kursk (in 20mm). The scenario was the “Counter-Attack at Vinogradovka”, but with alternative forces.

 

Before I start, please let me say, that it seems I have waited a little too long writing this report, since my memory seems a little fuzzy by now. Be that as it may, I will try to give my best report.

The Germans (played by Julian) had a PzKw V Tiger, three PzKw III, accompanying infantry (if memory serves me right, about a platoon of them) and some off-board artillery.

The tanks were deployed on their right, the infantry in the centre and on their left (where the majority of their infantry was.

The Russians (played by me) brought 6 T34-76, three T-70s, two guns (IIRC a Zis-2 and a Zis-3), two medium mortars and infantry (again about a platoon worth plus a sniper team) to the fight.

One three tank group of T-34´s each were deployed centre and right, as was all the infantry. Only the T-70s were deployed opposite the German tanks.

Throughout the game, the Germans only rolled average when it came to the number of commands per turn. That being said, with one exception, the Russians rolled very low.

Almost from the start, the game turned into a heavy slugging match. The Germans activated first and pounded the Russian positions with their artillery and Tiger (since all other weapons were without range). They failed to do much damage to the infantry and gun crews they hit (IIRC only one dead), but two infantry sections and one of the AT guns were pinned. Some of the German infantry advanced as well.

The Russians returned fire with the other AT gun and the T-70s, firing at the PzKw IIIs, but the most they did was pin one of them. The T-34s in the centre started their advance towards the German tanks. At the same time the Russian that had been pinned by the German fire unpinned.

From this point on, things turned more and more into a gunfight between the tanks of both sides and the AT guns. Both the T-70s and PzKw III died pretty quick. The biggest problem was the Tiger. It slowly kept on taking out the T-34s. It is not like they did not fire back, but all they did was pin it from time to time. So by the end of the game, all that was left from the tank battle was the Tiger.

On the only thing that went somewhat well for the Russians was their right flank. Although they were subject to heavy fire and close attacks from the German infantry, they managed to dislodge them from the hill on that flank. Even better they also managed to take out the German spotters, which meant no more artillery coming down on their positions.

In the end it was too little though. I managed to always draw the high chits when unpinning or taking losses. So by the time they cleared the hill, the Russians had taken too many losses and had reached their breaking point and the Germans won the day.

 

All in all a very pleasant game, that was somewhat diminished by the bad dice rolling whenever it really mattered!

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

PzKw IIIs

PzKw IIIs

T-34s moving out of the village

T-34s moving out of the village

The beauty of the Russian countryside

The beauty of the Russian countryside

Tank engagement

Tank engagement

The Germans tanks

The Germans tanks

T-34 scaling the hill

T-34 scaling the hill

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Kursk, Wehrmacht, WWII, WWII: Germans, WWII: Russians

 

Some Waffen SS (5th Entry, 5th AHPC)

Ok, the end is neigh (regarding the 5th installment of the AHPC) so I felt it was time to get some points added to my tally and fast. So looking through my massive lead pile I found some SS troops that I will need for a demo at a show later this year. That is one thing I like about WWII (compared to Napoleonics or as I had to find out even SciFi minis)… they paint up fast even if wearing camo and even if they have lots of insignia on their uniforms.

SS troopers

SS troopers

Up first are some additions to my infantry. These are not the first SS I have painted, but I had a certain lack (and still do to be honest) with some types of minis. One are normal riflemen without the face late war G43´s or StG-44´s. While most of them are geared towards late war, those weapons still were an exception and not the norm, so here are two soldiers with K-98 carbines (one of them also carrying a magnetic mine). There is also an NCO beefing up the numbers of squad leaders. and last there is one machine gun assistant loaded up with lots of ammo to feed into a a Hitlers buzzsaw (already had that one painted but minus the loader).

SS troopers

SS troopers

I wanted a distinct late war look. So they are wearing Erbsenmuster camo clothing. Now to enhance the rag tag looks many German units had to take on in 1944 and 1945 they are wearing a mix of both mint and faded clothing as well as a mix of camo clothing and field grey clothing.

Another area where I have a distinct lack of minis are gun crews, so I painted up a gun team for a PaK or other light field piece.

SS PaK Crew

SS PaK Crew

 

Again they are wearing a mix of camo clothing in various states of fading and field grey uniforms. This team will eventually see more men in Eichenlaub smocks added to the team (not sure if that will happen during the challenge though). This will add yet more variety to their looks and enable me to field them as a large team. Even though we are using 28mm we play the Battlegroup set of rules which work out really fine at larger scales as well. In Battlegroup a large crew for a gun gives you a chance for an extra shot per round, so that is a nice option to have.

SS PaK Crew

SS PaK Crew

All the minis in this post are from Victory Force and scaled at 28mm.