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Category Archives: WWIII

Modern French

Modern French

Over the past few days I needed a slight break from Napoleonics. Amongst other things I finished the AT team and the vehicles for my modern French, thus completing the unit. Some words on them first. I wanted to be able to use them together with my modern Germans, so I decided to have them depict men from the “Deutsch – Französiche Brigade” / “Brigade Franco – Allemande”. In that sense they wear the blue barrets of the Brigade. Since the French fighting units of the Brigade are the 3ème Régiment de Hussards and the 110ème Régiment d’Infanterie and their vehicles are quiet light.

So I chose two Véhicule Blindé Léger [VBL] and one Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé [VBA] for them. While the former is part of the HQ or Recon elements, the later is part of the infantry elements. None the less I did not feel that they would not appear on the battlefield together, so I shall use them side by side. The models themselves are Schuco die-casts. I touched up some parts and airbrushed some dust on, but that was it. One of the VBL´s got a Milan launcher and spare rocket from Eureka. Before you ask… yes it fires to the rear on the real life vehicle as well (now I can see jokes coming there).

French VBL (Milan Version on the right)

French VBL (Milan Version on the right)


French VAB

French VAB

Now on to the infantry. The minis are a mix of Dadi & Piombo (D&P) and Eureka Miniatures. I have to say I liked the later better. D&P only have four poses and just the basic squad weapons. The Eureka minis have more variation, mortars, rocket launchers… and they feature more kit, giving them a real life look. Sizewise they mix real well though, so I did not care too much.

One thing I noticed when cropping the pictures for this post… I really need to go back and touch up some of the eyes. They did not look half as bad IRL, but the camera is unforgiving. Anyway… here we go:

French Command

French Command

French LRAC AT team

French LRAC AT team


French Sniper team

French Sniper team

Now all the minis aboce are Eureka. I am going to mark those by D&P accordingly.

Modern French Squad # 1

Modern French Squad # 1


Modern French Squad # 2 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 2 (D&P)


Modern French Squad # 3

Modern French Squad # 3


Modern French Squad # 4 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 4 (D&P)


Modern French Squad # 5

Modern French Squad # 5


Modern French Squad # 6 (D&P)

Modern French Squad # 6 (D&P)

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Modern Marines Part 1 (Force Recon)

Again this has been an awfully quiet month so far. Why? Well I had to work long hours a lot lately and during the summer my painting is geared to be done outside on the balcony. Except that the weather has been bleeping poor lately and I was in no mood to set my stuff up in the kitchen. So essentially I hardly got anything done lately. Well this is not completely true, since my Brandenburg Uhlanen are about half-finished, but they are nothing to show yet.

But I decided to take out some of my old minis again to keep you entertained. In this case my modern USMC. Since I have quite a large force there, I am going to split this into 3 posts and I will later follow-up with vehicles and choppers. So first up are my Force Recon Marines and ANGLICO.

So what kind of units are these anyway.

Now the Marine Corps has two kinds of soldiers refered to as Recon by the public. One is the Force Recon. They are a platoon of Recon Marines under the command of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force [MAGTF] commander, they are employed with a focus on the MAGTF area of interest. As a result they are usually tasked with the SpecOps style missions or act as a general reconnaissance support to the force commander. Since their parent command is Marine Expeditionary Force [MEF], this platoon is commonly referred to as the “Force” recon platoon. And this is the first unit I want to show today:

Force Recon Marines

Force Recon Marines (Eureka Miniatures)

Force Recon Marines (Eureka Miniatures)

Force Recon Marines (Eureka Miniatures)

Force Recon Marines (Devil Dog Designs)

Force Recon Marines (Devil Dog Designs)

Marine Force Recon Sniper

Force Recon Marines sniper (Eureka Miniatures)

Now the other unit is a small ANGLICO detachment. ANGLICO [Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company] is a Marine unit that specializes in coordinating artillery (both ground based as well as naval gunfire) and close air support [CAS] for the USMC, Navy, Army and foreign allies. Whilst a separate unit, they are an asset available to the MAGTF commander.

ANGLICO (two minis on the left are Devil Dog Designs, the one on the right is a converted Infinity miniature)

ANGLICO (two minis on the left are Devil Dog Designs, the one on the right is a converted Infinity miniature)

Now that is it for today. I will try to post the next installment ASAP. Those will be command as well as other platoon or above assets.

 

Post Crisis AAR

As I said yesterday… we did a slight variation of a the Crisis game a few weeks later. We had to make some changes. While my table is quite large (2m x 3,5m at maximum expansion) it was not quite large enough to fit the whole Crisis table. So we traded the river for a railroad cut. The Russians were allowed to deploy far closer to the Recon/ANGLICO detachment. The Marine reinforcements had a longer way to go, but were allowed to deploy with their Abrams tanks on table. I deployed the Recon/ANGLICO Marines inside the railroad cut where they had good cover. My tanks started at full speed to reach them as fast as possible.

USMC Abrams and Amtracs charging

USMC Abrams and Amtracs charging

The Russians made a slow and meticulous advance, keeping the T-62´s behind providing covering fire for the rest of the troops, while they advanced.

Russian start line

Russian start line

Now this time the Recon/ANGLICO troops proved their worth. As elite troops they picked their targets carefully. Virtually every sniper, NCO or light machine gunner that came into sight, fell prey to their fire. All the while they were quite safe. Their position gave them good cover and their losses where extremely light. In the end this frustrated the Russians so much, that they charged their BRDM ahead trying to run them over. Fortunately most of them were able to jump out of the way. Before the BRDM could turn around for another run, one of the Marines fired an AP-grenade at the rear of the vehicle, hitting its engine and setting it on fire.The resulting disorder inside the railroad cut did not help, the Russians too much, since the LAV´s had reached the bridge to give their comrades the necessary support.

BRDM-2 trying to run over the Marines

BRDM-2 trying to run over the Marines

All the while the Russian tanks were paying a heavy price, too. The T-62´s were easy targets for the Abrams tanks. With their modern targeting systems the stationary T-62´s were sitting ducks and their weak armour provided no protection against their 120mm rounds. At the same time the TOW Hummer took care of the T-72 trying to block to bridge over the railroad cut.

Burning T-72

Burning T-72

By this time the Amtracs had reached the railroad cut as well and started discharging their troops. The Russians saw hat their time had run out and began to withdraw, which eventually ended the game.

Russian troops

Russian troops

American losses were minimal, so eventually this was a clear Marine victory.

LAV-25 Callsign "Scimitar", Imprint models with Mongrel Miniatures Crew

LAV-25 Callsign "Scimitar", Imprint Models with Mongrel Miniatures crew

Russian grenadier (TAG Miniatures)

Russian grenadier (TAG Miniatures)

 

Crisis 2010

I know it has been quite a hiatus lately, but life has been somewhat hectic. Nothing new to present from the painting front (painted less then one hour over the last two weeks) so I thought I should show you some pictures from the game we presented at Crisis in Antwerp last year.

We presented something from a period we like to play from time to time… hypothetical WWIII. Now I think this needs a few words to give you a perspective. I like (ultra) modern warfare, but I feel that wargaming things like Somalia, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq or Afghanistan is simply too close to home. So I felt that pitting Russia against NATO is a good alternative. The setting is somewhere in the earlier half to middle of this decade, with a Russia that is starting to prosper due to the rising prices of oil and gas and that has been able to rebuild its military. NATO has expanded to the east, taking former Warsaw Pact members up. But NATO is also committed on its missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nuclear arsenals have been reduced and neither side can hope take out the others arsenal with a nuclear strike.

In this situation someone sets up Russia and NATO against one another. Yes I know… Tom Clancy has had the same idea, but one can always borrow a good idea! So Russia decides to avenge itself and launches an attack at Central Europe, where forces are stretched thin due to the War on Terror. Poland and the Baltic Republics are the first to fall.

The only NATO nation that would be able to send forces to help Poland would be Germany, but the right-wing government on Warsaw fears a repeat of 1939 and refuses help. After having dealt with the Poles, the Russian forces push the German vanguard back to River Elbe, where they are stopped with the help of British, French and US Army forces.

The Baltic Republics had to fall, since Russia could not ignore a threat in its flank. Being isolated they did not have the forces necessary to put up resistance for long and were invaded.

With the Russian troops being stalled and in places being pushed back inside Germany, NATO decides to open a second front and sends II Marine Expeditionary Force to liberate the Baltic Republics.

And this is when this scenario takes place. A Force Recon unit together with an ANGLICO squad had infiltrated during the night to secure a bridge over a river until relief arrives from the beachhead. Shortly before this happens, they come under massive attack by a Russian force consisting of tanks and lots of infantry.

Now the Russian force 2nd or 3rd tier force dedicated to garrison duties. There is a high number of recruits amongst their infantry, they lack APC´s or IFV´s (the best they have is a BMP-1 and a BTR-80 and their tanks are outdated (T-62´s and T-72´s without major technological updates).

The Marine relief units consist of two scout LAV-25´s, two Amtracs and two Hummers (one with a .50cal, the other with a TOW). There are two Abrams that will arrive later, since these have been held up clearing some resistance along the route.

Our table Crisis 2010

Our table Crisis 2010 (viewed from the USMC side)

Now as you can see from the picture, we played this on a massive 4,5m x 2m table, with the river alone being almost 1 meter wide.

Victory conditions were quite bloody. One point for every soldier killed or incapacitated or vehicles put out of action. The Recon and ANGLICO soldiers were worth 3 points though. Even though players knew this and even though they were allowed to deploy them inside the buildings or on the rear of the river bank, the Recon/ANGLICO detachment was mostly deployed in the open, which meant they took a heavy toll from the very beginning.

The Russians tried to keep their force on the move to reach the river as fast as possible. They soon found out, that their T-62´s were no good at shooting on the move, so most of the firing was done by the T-72´s.

Part of the Russian force

Part of the Russian force

In the meantime the LAV´s sped across the bridge to give support to the troops on the other side, destroying the BTR-80 on the move. Unfortunately there was not that much they could do. Due to their poor position, most of the Recon/ANGLICO detachment had already been wiped out by the time the LAV´s rolled into the village.

Scout LAV-25´s

Scout LAV-25´s

All the while the Hummers had taken up position behind the bridge and the TOW armed of the two was exchanging shots with the T-72´s. It took out one of them, before it was destroyed itself. Meanwhile the Russian infantry suffered a lot from the Amtracs. These had entered the river on the left flank and were swimming over to the other side firing their .50cal / MK19 combinations on the move. A lot of the Russian infantry was crossing the ridge of the small hill at this time and were subjected to this fire.

Amtracks crossing the river

Amtracs crossing the river

After some skirmishing we got lost in talking to the players and eventually called the game a draw. While the Russians had lost more men and vehicles, the Marines had lost just too many men from their Recon/ANGLICO unit.

We played a variation of this game a few weeks later and I will try to get some shots up tomorrow.