Tuesday, 22 September 2020

One Glorious Morning. AWI OHW

 Simon put on an American War of Independance game using a grid based version of One Hour Wargames. I was interested to see how this worked as the bases I've adopted for my WW2 variant are so huge they may as well be grid areas!

I did an early hex version for WW2 but that used a 9x9 grid, whereas Simon went for the very bold approach of using a 6x6 grid.

The British forces were myself (with two line regiments), Graham (with two regiments of Hessians) and Tim G with a regiment each of Light Infantry and Scottish Infantry. The Scots were classed as shock troops and had a morale and melee bonus.

The wicked Rebs were John with two units of rifle armed frontier types, and Tim C with two regiments of continental infantry.  

The scenario was based on one in the OHW book, itself based on an AiW counter insurgency sweep against the 'Swamp Fox'. Tim Cs general was the Swan Fox himself.


Apologies for the poor quality pics, it is how things came out on the monitor. The table from the south. The river is only crossable at the fords the woods are dense and marshy, so our chaps can't go in them. 

Simon used a card activation system for units (so it wasn't IGOUGO like the standard rules). The first unit on was my General figure up in the top right corner.



As time progressed the protagonists all appeared. The Rebels had very unfairly put their riflemen in the 'impassable' woods, so all our chaps could do was stand outside and shoot at them.

Our basic plan was simple. The Hessians would advance south west and take the village via the centre ford to pin the enemy. The Scots would go left flanking and the English regulars would be in reserve to exploit.

The Hessians quickly got engaged in a prolonged firefight with the Rebels and in the image above the Scots infantry are about the assault the right hand ford defended by some Continentals. I have committed one reserve regiment to help to Hessians clear the woods at B3.


The Scots and Continentals duly wiped each other out! This left the ford uncovered as the riflemen were pinned in firefights, and the Lights hastened towards it. Tim C was hideously unlucky trying to activate his reserve Continentals and they were stuck south of the village. Along with the card draws for sequence, units needed to throw a Blitzkrieg Commander style activation throw with various modifiers.


The British lights masked the rebel riflemen in D4 while we continued to plaster B3 with massed volleys. Despite their cover, we were inflicting hits. The game had the novel concept that cover let units take extra hits, but they lost the benefit if they moved out, so it was possible for units to become completely pinned in cover - which is what happened here.


I personally led the reserve British regiment across the ford. Unfortunately one of the Hessians had enough and ran off.


I galloped back to supervise the defeat of the rebels in B3, which freed up the other Hessians to take on the last riflemen. The British were well across the ford and formed up in a neat line, as the Continentals marched cautiously towards them. Having a General nearby gave an activation bonus, so commander placement was fairly important.


The last riflemen were despatched and both regiments of British pushed forward on each flank. The 'swamp fox' pulled his last unit back into a wood near our exit point.



The entire British army surged forward (apart from the Lights who failed their activation roll). The Rebels decided discretion was the better part of valour and melted away. A glorious British victory!


Eagle eyed readers will have noticed that the figures are rather....flat. That is because they are paper cutouts, and very pretty they are indeed. Here are a couple of closeups of the units.

That all went pretty well and it has inspired me to revisit my own OHW variants. I'd already done a hex based WW2 version and it shouldn't be beyond the bounds of human ingenuity to convert my latest WW2 offering to a grid. I am wondering about using squares instead of hexes though, as on such a small table, the hex grid distortion is quite marked and leads, at the most basic, to obvious issues with two units being able to gang up on one automatically, which doesn't seem quite right. Squares solve this as units can only ever be adjacent to one other orthogonally, even though squares have some other issues.




Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Panzers on Parade!

This is a bit of a response to the challenge posed by Chris K on his NQM blog, and taken up by Archduke Piccolo. Matching the ratios of vehicle types in our fleets of toys to the ratios of real world holdings of the Panzerwaffe.

https://notquitemechanised.wordpress.com/2020/06/11/a-proportionate-view-of-german-armour-2/

http://archdukepiccolo.blogspot.com/2020/06/armoured-inventory-ww2-german.html

Chris had looked at overall wartime production of vehicle types, divided by 600 to generate the comparison figures. I chose to focus on my 15mm tank fleet, as I have so many in 6mm it would be hard to count them all, while my 20mm collection is fairly small and curated.

So looking at overall production, it is something like this. Figures for real world production are in hundreds, whereas 'my fleet' is individual vehicles!

Model (total Production)
43
War
Toys
Notes
Pz I
0
16
8
Incl 1 x PzBfl
Pz II
0.5
18
5
(plus 4 unbuilt)
Wespe
5
6
1

Marder II
4.5
7
0

All Pz I/II chassis
10
45
14

Pz 38(t)
1
14
6

Marder III
10
12
2

Grille
2
5
1

Hetzer
0
30
0
So many!
All 38(t) chassis
13
64
9

Pz III A-H
1
29
5
Plus one unbuilt
Pz III J2-N
16
27
3

Stug A-E
0.5
8
2

Stug F-G
33.5
55
6

StuH 42
2
12
1

All Pz III chassis
53
132
17

Pz IV A-F1
0.5
9
2
Plus two unbuilt
Pz IV F2-J
34.5
74
9

Stug IV
10
11
0
I use stugs
JagdPz IV
15
19
2
Plus 2 x 20mm
Sturm Pz IV
2.5
3
1

Hornisse/Hummel
7
12
0

Pz IV AA
2
3
1

All Pz IV chassis
71.5
131
15

Pz V
18
58
11
Incl 4 x Corgi
JagdPz V
2
4
2

All Pz V chassis
20
62
13

Tiger I
6.5
13
3

SturmTiger
0
2
0

Tiger II
0
5
4
1 x Porsche
JagdTiger
0
1
1

Ferdinand
1
1
2

All Tigers
7.5
22
10


I have to say I'm not convinced by war production as a metric as the operational consumption of vehicles rose so sharply in the war. In 1944/45 German AFV production was at its highest ever level, but so was its loss rate. The production figures for Pz 1 look a bit low here too.

Another metric to consider is actual inventory at a point in time ie stock of tanks to hand as a comparator of sensible vehicle ratios. Fortunately Jentz saves us the bother of trying to work this stuff out. I struggled to find comparable inventories for SP guns, I did find some for Stugs, which will have to do.

Tank inventory at June of the specified year (hundreds)
Model
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
My fleet
Pz I
14
10
9
7
-
-
-
8
Pz II
12
9
10
8
3
4
-
4
Pz III (37)
1
3
4
1



0*
Pz III (50,75)
0
0
10
23
14
8
5
8
Pz IV
2
2
5
7
12
23
15
11
PzV
0
0
0
0
3
20
21
11
Tiger I
-
-
-
(1)
2
7
2
3
Tiger II
-
-
-
-
-
(1)
2
4
Pz 35
2
1
2
-
-
-
-
0**
Pz 38
1
3
8
5
2
2
-
6
Stug III/IV




18
28
18
9
*I cheat and use Pz IIIG as Pz IIIe
**I cheat and use Pz38s

I think this gives a much better idea of vehicle ratios. The real standouts for me are the vast numbers of Panzer I right into 1942, the small numbers of Pz IV until 1944 and the large number of Panthers in 44/45. Some vehicle types are over-represented in my collection (esp Tigers) and others under-presetned (SP artillery, Marders) but by and large I was collecting vehicles with a view to one stand = one platoon type games and the mix more reflects company and battalion organisations at particualr points of the war than anything else. I am a bit light on Pz IIs for the 1939-40 period, but that is why I have four unbuilt.

Anyway, enough tables, lets have some pictures.



Here are my Pz Is. A mix of QRF and SDD. The one at the front is sporting Nationalist colours for the Spanish Civil War. I have actually used these a fair bit in various early war and SCW games. They are fairly under represented in other scales, the only 6mm ones I've got are command vehicles, but I do have a few Jagdpanzer 1s.



On an early war theme, here are my various Pz 38s. Half a dozen Zvezda 38ts, fairly plain so they'll do for German, Rumanian and Slovak. I've also got a couple of BF Marders and a QRF (or maybe BF?) Grille. I've also got  moderate numbers of these in 6mm, as well as various Marders and other SP guns including Hetzers.

I don't have any Pz 35s, although I do have a fair number in 6mm in both German and Rumanian service.


Panzer IIs. The tanks are all Peter Pig, and the some of the few survivors from my 15mm desert forces. These were repainted panzer grey and have fought in 1940 France. Handpainted markings, which I'm not sure I could manage now. I also have four Zvezda ones unbuilt, which I must assemble at some point. I have quite a few of these in 6mm, in both panzer grey and desert sand.

I've also got a BF Wespe but no Marders on Pz II chassis. Again, I have a fair number of Pz II SPs in 6mm, including some SP 150mm infantry guns, Marders and Wespe


Early war Pz IIIs. The tanks are all Peter Pig Pz IIIG/H although I use them as IIIe as well. More survivors from the Afrika Korps in different colours. They are supported by a couple of Zvezda Stug IIID, which are lovely little models.

As might be expected I have quite a few of these in 6mm in various colour schemes.


Later war Pz IIIs. I've got a few Pz IIIL (converted from Zvezda flammpanzers) and several Stugs. Good job given the Stug inventory figures. The Stugs are a mixture of PP and PSC with a range of mantlets, various confgurations of side skirts and including one StuH. Being a terrible cheapskate I also use these as Stug IVs and early Jagdpanzer IVs as they all look much the same. 

I am rather more selective in 6mm.


Early war Pz IVs. These are Peter Pig Pz IVD I think. The last of the Afrika Korps. I have a couple of Zvezda ones unbuilt too. The numbers of Pz I, II, III, 38t and IVs I have are able to model various combinations of early war panzer battalions at one stand = one platoon. The 15mm early war tanks have seen more action in 1940 France than anywhere else as I'e mainly been doing the 41-42 eastern front in 6mm. That may change as I've got more 15mm Russian stuff now.


Later war Panzer IVs. I have quite a few of these from various manufacturers. The tanks are BF, PSC and PP, with varying combinations of turret and side skirts. Models range of PzIVG to PzIVJ. There are also a couple of Jagdpanzer IV/70s (QRF, lovely little models) and a BF Brumbar. Essentially there is enough stuff here for a late war panzer battalion at one stand = one platoon, using a Pz III as a command vehicle. The Jagdpanzer IVs are there for the Panzer IV/70 companies in late war tank battalions as well as divisional panzerjaeger battalions. The largest number of these I hacve used was in our game of Periers Ridge which featured half of 22nd Panzer Regiment.


Panthers! Again, I have a fair few of these, enough for a late war panther battalion at one stand = one platoon. Models include D, A and G, manufacturers being PP, Zvezda and some dodgy Corgi diecasts.  There are also a couple of Zvezda Jagdpanthers to serve both in indepedant panzerjager battalions but also the ersatz Panther companies such as the one Panzr Lehr used in the Battle for the Reichswald and also featured in the battles for East Prussia and Silesia. The Germans had a lot of Panthers in the last 12 months of the war. I also have a vague hankering to run Grossdeutschland at Kursk with its brigade of 200(!) Panthers. The most Panthers I used in a game was one of the Sandomierz Bridgehead in 1944 when I used a whole (weak) battalion, as well as the 107th Panzer Brigade at Veghel.
  

Tigers. The Tiger 1s are all Peter Pig, each model is slightly different with various combos of wheels, damage and stowage. Very hefty pieces. Enough for a company (or a battalion at one stand per company), I've had these for some years. The Zvezda Ferdinands are relatively new additions, mainly bought for some occasional Kursk battles, but they would do for Elephants later in the war as well.

I don't have huge numbers of 6mm Tigers, but I do have quite a few Elephants. A second hand purchase which included some oddities. I also don't have a 15mm SturmTiger, but I do have a 20mm one, converted from the Airfix model. I've never used more than three of these at once, and gernally only one or two.


More Tigers! I have quite a few Tiger IIs, partly due to finding a shop selling off a job lot of Roco Henschel turret Tigers. I used to use them to mark unspotted German vehicles, as in 'Pattons Best', and like the Tiger 1s, enough for a company (or a battalion). Later war Tiger Bns were predominantly equipped with these . I picked up the Porsche turret one later, handy for Operation Goodwood, and avid readers may recall its exploits in our Bulge game last year as it assaulted St Vith with all its pals. Finally, there is a Jagdtiger, converted from a TII which I have yet to repaint. Not a very common vehicle, but there was a battalion in the Bulge and they later hung around in the Battle of the Rhineland.


So there we go,  a whistlestop tour of my 15mm German tanks and SPs. I've only been collecting these since the late 90s, so it isn't a bad haul. A lot of my 6mm stuff dates back to the mid 1970s, and there really is an awful lot of that. I think I've got at least 20 Panthers and countless hordes of Pz III and Pz IV.