Friday, December 31, 2021

Return to 15mm WWII - Blitzkrieg Commander 4 - Ebay Purchases and Re-basing

Recently my friend John has got me interested in 15mm WWII by introducing me to Blitzkrieg Commander 4th edition by Pendraken Miniatures. In the past I've played a lot of Flames of War, but eventually got out of it as it was more played as a competitive rule set than for general multi-person historical battles. Having sold off a lot of my armies, I was in the position to have to get some late-war German Infantry to go with the late-war German tanks and Kradschutzen platoons that I still had.  

The group of infantry shown to the left I acquired on Ebay, and they match my existing collection's basing quite closely. I didn't think I needed to do anything to them to put them straight onto the table.

That solved my infantry problem, but I was still short support weapons, heavy machine guns (tripod mounted MG-34/42), mortars and especially some Pak-40 anti-tank guns. I picked up an additional three smaller auctions but those figures needed some re-basing to be used with the rest of my collection.

Here are the two Pak-40 anti-tank guns. The guns themselves were nicely painted, but the figures needed some touch-ups here and there. Also the basing was very crude. It was simply sand painted brown and dry-brushed. There were craters where there were empty holes in the pre-made bases. I filled the holes, and re-based with static grass, tufts and foliage clumps.
This 37mm Anti-Aircraft gun was based in just sand, but in an emplacement. The sand looked appropriate in the dugout, but I added bushes and static grass to the outside.
Here are the tripod-mounted MG-34/42 stands. A couple of these were missing the actual weapon, it having previously broken off. I replaced them from my spared box and repainted. The figures also needed some touch-ups. The bases had the same dark brown sand basing. Re-based with static grass, foliage clumps and grass tufts as well. The front three stands look like they may have originally been painted by the GAJO miniatures service.

Mortars. Although these all look like 81mm mortar models, the two different figure manufacturers make the rear two stands tubes look a lot smaller. I could possibly use this to call the front stands 100mm mortars I guess. Similarly to the MGs the front three stands look like they might be GAJO-painted minis. Same re-basing was required here. 

The rest of these figures are of my existing collection of vehicles and dismounted crews for the motorcycle and kubelwagon teams. Many of these have been featured earlier on this blog.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

28mm WWII German Fallschirmjagers

I picked these German Fallschirmjagers up from Ebay for a very nice price. They were well painted in general but I did do some touch ups. The flesh was a touch too bright so I gave the faces and hands a flesh wash. The gunmetal was non-metallic grey so I gave those areas a quick touch-up with some gunmetal. Finally I did some washes on some areas that seemed a bit monochromatic. 

Short post, just to make sure everyone know I'm still alive.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Tobacco Factory game at Adler Hobby

My friend Gordon at Adler Hobby asked me to run my Iron Cross Salerno Tobacco Factory game at his store to kick off an Italy WWII campaign he was starting there. I can't resist the chance to break out the scenario with all of the custom buildings I made for it, so it was an easy 'yes' from me to run the game. An additional benefit would be letting Gordon finally get to play the scenario himself.

The scenario starts at 10am the second day as the Scott's guards attempt to re-capture the complex after the Americans were driven out on the first day. Both sides start with some listening posts in the complex from the overnight probes, but both have to rush to the scene to attack the buildings, the Germans having withdrawn overnight (as they did during the actual battle). 

Two players were British.





Three were German, including Gordon.



The British started on with their mortar team and infantry streaming to the buildings. Their armor and anti-tank guns held in reserve waiting to see where the Germans put their heavy assets.

The Germans pulled no punches and dropped down their Pak-40 along the northern edge of the table with the Hetzer charging forward.
The Germans occupied some buildings on their side, but also blew a hole in the buildings in the middle of the complex and established a stronghold there. This gave them the edge in amount of the complex occupied; the primary scenario objective.
The British brought in their 17 pounder anti-tank opposite the Hetzer but failed to destroy it, instead driving it back. It would later return over the rubble, safe from the 17 pounder. The British brought in their Sherman 1 (75mm) to try to counter it, but the Germans got the best of the exchange taking out the thin-skinned Sherman with the Hetzer's main gun.
The British tried to come into the complex on the back side, similar to the Germans by using some TNT to blow a hole in the rear wall. The Germans met them there and again got the best of the exchange. Things looked bleak for the British at this point. It was time for more desperate measures by the British.
On the far side of the complex the British took advantage of a streak of activations in a row and dashed across the open ground in the middle of the complex. They first attempted two separate PIAT shots at the German's SdKfz 222 armored car, eventually deciding to bypass it and dash directly into the German buildings. Some fierce close assault fighting ensued with the British coming out on top. From here they spread like locusts across the complex.
In the middle of the complex the Hetzer was still causing all sorts of havoc. A second hard push from the British failed to take it out and again they dashed to the safety of the buildings. The Germans tried several times to rally their troops with their company commander, but he was ineffective at the task. The pendulum had swung. At the end of the day the British had a firm grasp on the majority of the buildings. At dusk the Germans would again have to withdraw. Result a solid British victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.


This was an amazingly fun scenario to run. In my local group players tend to play in a very calculated and conservative manner. This works well when we play in the local group. At Adler hobby, all of the players played much more aggressively. It showed me how mobile a force can be in Iron Cross and how using mobility can be an effective tool. I appreciate all of the players having fun and playing with the utmost sportsmanship. I won't hesitate to host another game at Adler, or game with any of these players again.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Pikeman's Lament 30 Years War Game at Ed M's

I got together with fellow Bloggers Ed M and Mark D (click their names to see their blogs) for a game of Pikeman's Lament that Ed was hosting for Mark and I. Both Mark and I are relatively new to playing the rules and Ed wanted to polish up his hosting skills for the rules. 

As you can see, Ed hosts a beautiful game. The scenario was a meeting engagement in the 30 Years War with mirror forces (for ease of teaching the rules). Mark and I both got up to speed fairly quickly. Mark's ran afoul of the dice in shooting and I in activation throughout the game. It started off with me blasting one of Mark's cavalry units with musketry, then mark did the same to my pike block. Mark followed this up with an aggressive push from his pike drawing my gallopers into charge range, which they failed to resist and went into the pike to their detriment. 

The following turns I got some activation dice (finally) and shot up mark's Dragoons and turned his flank threatening his pike with caracole and musketry which it wasn't well prepared to defend against without his dragoons. I also did a number on his commanded shot with my own commanded shot and musketeers. 

This was a fun game. It's definitely a bit of beer and pretzels. General dice matters as much as tactics and strategy that's for sure. Have a game then pop off to the pub as the Brits would say. Thanks for the fun afternoon to both of my fellow Northern Conspirators and bloggers.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Iron Cross Game - Kampfgrouppe Counter Attack Scenario

I'm running an Iron Cross game at our club's September game night. This game was a play test of the scenario to insure the September game went smoothly. I adapted the "Kampfgrouppe Counter Attack" scenario from Brigade Games "Skirmish Campaigns Normandy '44 - Monty's EPSOM' campaign book. I stayed true to the map and scenario objectives, but I scaled up the order of battle slightly and removed the variable attachments in favor of pre-selected ones of my own choosing. 

Byron and Bob were the British defenders. Their plan was straight forward. They put one section of their advance platoon in each building and would react to the German's initial advance.  The Brits had two platoons of infantry, a 6 pounder AT gun, a Vickers MMG and a depleted armor platoon of a Firefly, a Sherman 1 (75mm) and a Humber armored car.


Rob and Ralph were the attacking Germans. The scenario calls for SS, but I substituted my Wehrmacht Panzer Grenadiers instead having no SS troops in my collection. 

The germans had two well-armed infantry platoons with MG-42 MMGs attached, a headquarters command with a section of 8cm mortars, a 7.5 cm Infantry gun and a full platoon of assault gun tanks: two Hetzers and a Stug IIIg.

Initially Ralph pressed his command up towards the orchard separating his jump-off area from the ruined farmhouse. With him a single Hetzer for support and the Stug III in reserve. The mortar FO positioned itself in the hedge line.

Rob's German right flank with his MG-42 deployed (mostly hidden from view) with three sections of infantry preparing to assault the white farmhouse. Rob's Hetzer starts shelling the center ruined building initially.

In response to the initial German advance, Byron brings in the British Firefly and tries to get off a surprise round into Rob's Hetzer. Unfortunately the round didn't hit home and Rob's Hetzer returned fire and hit home with a non-penetrating hit. Still it was enough to stun Byron's crew and over a couple of turns the Hetzer was able to blow up the Firefly.  Not all lemons for the British, Bob was able over two turns to take out Ralph's mortar F.O. with sustained fire from his Vickers MMG.

Progressing on into the mid-game, Ralph advanced one section into the orchard. This drew significant fire from the British pushing the German squad back out of site to recover. A significant outcome of this exchange was the British brought up two more of their sections on the right side of the battlefield. Meanwhile Rob's assault on the white farmhouse on the left, along with help from Ralph's Hetzer drove Bob out of it and allowed Rob to occupy the abandoned building.

As Rob's assault and Ralph's support of it became clear, the British were attempting to respond by bringing up their Sherman I and also trying to shift their infantry left to defend the white farmhouse. Meanwhile Rob's Hetzer and MMG beat up the defenders of the middle rubbled house. Bob vacated that section and replaced it with fresh defenders. 

The last turn ended up with a 'weird' clumping of activation chits coming out of the bag. The British loaded up early on activations and were able to re-take the white farmhouse easily eliminating Rob's occupying German section. In the second half of the turn the chits came out all German and Ralph's massed force was able to both put enough fire on the farmhouse to eliminate occupying British section and just be able to occupy the farmhouse themselves before the end of the turn. Result: German victory.

I'm looking forward to running this again at game night this month. There's a lot of options for both sides to win the battle.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

28mm Roman Mounted Officers

These are six mounted Roman officers that I've recently completed. Four are mounted to be used with my Hannibal at the Gates Republican Roman army and two will be used with the Saga Age of Hannibal rules. In all honesty I probably could have mounted them all the same way and used any for either set of rules as all are on two inch circular bases. 

These are Old Glory figures. Usually Old Glory figures have good facial expressions, but several of these figures have very rough facial features. Either the casting is too soft, or they were sculpted to look quite ape-like. Either way I've done my best to make them look as human as possible considering the sculpts.

These two will be used for Saga Age of Hannibal. I'm particularly happy with how the fur came out on the cape. This was done with several different applications of various shades of GW Contrast paints. Quick, easy and looks great.






Two of the Hannibal at the Gates figures.

The final two figures.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

2021 Basing & Re-Basing Part 6 - Napoleonic French Cavalry

More progress on the 2021 Re-Basing project. These two units of French Napoleonic cavalry were purchased on 2020 and kept in their original shipping boxes for my move to my new home. Now that I can laser-cut bases, I've mounted them up for use with my Electronic Brigadier rules as well as for use with my friend Charlie's rules, Napoleon's Rules of War.  Both of these were Ebay purchases from one of the usual suspects from China.

This unit of Hussars didn't fare very well in shipping to me originally, and suffered additional damage in the move. Nearly all of the riders were knocked off the horses. Several of the pelise coats were also dislodged and there was a lot of chipped paint - mostly the black areas. It's obvious that these are primed black and any black areas are simply left in primer. They've been re-glued and retouched as well as based up. Even with the repairs, it's a sharp looking unit.

The chasseurs fared much better during shipping and the move. Minimal touch-ups were required although I did have to re-glue on the standard. The way the figure is holding it I'm expecting this to be a problem in the future. Next time it gets knocked off I think I'll replace the standard's shaft with something long enough to have two points of contact on the model for strength.

Eight more bases in the 're-based' totals for 2021.