Saturday, 20 July 2019

PSC Pak 36

The PSC 15mm Early War German Heavy Weapons set is excellent value as it includes not just MGs, mortars etc, but no less than four 75mm LeIG and four 37mm Pak 36 guns.

Here are three of the guns. I didn't assemble all four as I fancied having a go at doing one as a late war one with the big AT blob thingy on the front. I'll do that one day.

The size of the crew shows how tiny these guns really are. Very easily manouverable and easy to conceal, advantages which kept the Soviet 45mm on the same chassis in service right until the end of the war.

The breech and trails. Being plastic this went together so much easier than horrible fiddly metal AT guns (yes, I mean you Skytrex).

View from the business end.

And there we have it, a very useful addition to any German force. Back in the day I would have painted these panzer grey, but I recently found that they were painted RAL 6006 a.k.a. Field Grey. I've seen a couple of examples of 75m LeIG painted in RAL 6006 too (one in the artillery park at Shrivenham and the other with a re-enactment group), so I did these in Vallejo Field Grey with a light tan drybrush to pick out the highlights. Job done.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Conference of Wargamers 2019

Another second weekend in July, another Conference of Wargamers. That is the twentieth in a row I've been to now, and it never fails to deliver with pleasant company, delightful surroundings and an eclectic mix of gaming experiences.

Rather than do a lengthy report here,all my session reports will be in the Wargames Developments Journal 'The Nugget', available by subscription to WD (or via PDF on the website once the current subscription year has ended).

Anyway, here are a few teasers:

Knuston Hall bathed in sunshine as usual.

The comprehensive timetable. A number of extra sessions were added during the weekend as well! 

The Egyptian team planning their offensive over the Suez Canal during the massive 40 player committee game of the Yom Kippur War (and trying to avoid WW3 breaking out). President Sadat and General Mubarak look suitably determined.

Tims Scary Space Spiders in 54mm.

The very scary Space Spider with glowing eyes. This ate several jeeps and even a tank during the course of the game.

John runs 'A Bridge Too Far', our show participation game for this year. It covers the XXX Corps drive on Arnhem. It was so popular that eager players ran it themselves multiple times over the course of the weekend.

Va t'en Ecosse, Graham Evans take on Culloden in 20mm.

A tiny Coehorn mortar with a huge ammunition cassion. Flanked by Airfix AiW infantry painted as Hanoverians.

Over the Hills and Far Away. Wayne Thomas's gridded, divisional level Napoleonic game, set at the far end of the Bussaco ridge.

Massed French infantry wait to advance, led by their gallant General.

Alan Paulls 'Mission Command Normandy'. A British regimental battlegroup tries to push the Germans back. The British command team pores over maps and strength returns.

While the tactical players fight over a key objective. 

Spain on the Plain. Tims 54mm Spanish Civil War game which was sadly rained off the lawn and played indoors instead. This is Tims small collection of 54mm SCW tankettes, armoured cars and light tanks.

Gandesa on the Ebro, defended by a 54mm battalion of Spanish Foreign Legion.

A Republican Brigade lines up to attack them behind a massive air and artillery bombardment.

The air battle rages over Gandesa.

Phil and Graham's  'Battle of Edgecote'.

The Rooks. John Bassets career game covering Soviet SU-25 pilots over Afghanistan.

Tim reads up on the flight characteristics of the Frogfoot. It didn't really help as player losses mounted in the face of ever increasing opposition.

Toms '2018 Section Commander', a military training game covering modern counterinsurgency operations. Here is the AO for our section and individual character sheets.

A close up of the area of operations. This is in Helmand province.

The compound we were supposed to clear after dodging various IEDs on the way. Walking in the front door proved to be a bad idea.

'Zirkus'. German players peer at a map of Normandy during Johnathan Crowe's game covering the D-Day landings.

The Allies pour ashore after a massive air and naval bombardment. The game covered the entire 6th June at regimental level.

21st Panzer holds Caen at nightfall with elements on the coast at Lion Sur Mer. 12th SS has just arrived and will go into action tomorrow.

RPG7. Our highly sophisticated infantry anti-tank simulator. This is the firing range.

Highly advanced equipment to issue to the players.

Elite conscripts from the Knustongrad Military District grapple with the advanced weaponry.

AK minus 47. Phils wintery wonderland of Cold War arctic warfare.

Opposing forces battle over Ice Station Zebra. Where is Patrick McGoohan when you need him?

The Cyber Game. Toms cyber warfare game. Here, cyber attack option cards are laid out over the target installation after the players have conducted electronic and social engineering recce to find the weak spots.

So, as ever a great weekend and some memorable sessions. The only disappointment was the rain on Saturday afternoon which meant the planned SCW lawn game had to move indoors. It was sunny the next day so we managed to run RPG7 outside, which was great.


Sunday, 7 July 2019

Commando Raid

John put on a command raid game based on a scenario in one of Don Featherstones many books. This was an excuse to don a very dodgy array of greenish berets.

The situation. Our chaps need to get ashore and blow up that bunker in the middle of the German base line.

My fellow commandos (Jerry and Tim) contemplate the German defences.

Our landing craft (just) managed to dodge being seen by a German patrol after drifting off course on the way in (well, it was night).

We split up into three groups, planning on at least one getting through. Jerry's section stumbled onto a German LMG position, luckily the sleepy Germans didn't spot us.

All seemed quiet at the bunker.

Jerry and I rushed the LMG position with our commando knives. The Germans put up an unexpectedly fierce resistance despite being outnumbered 3:1!

Tims section meanwhile focussed on the objective. Some Germans came into view, but they didn't see the stealthy commandos.

There seemed to be quite a lot of Germans.

The LMG team was finally subdued, but unfortunately the sounds of the struggle were detected and various Germans appeared in the village.

The garrison starts to wake up. At this point we all opened up on the exposed Germans standing on the bunker with our Tommy Guns,wiping them out.

Jerry set off to secure the escape route, and engaged in a firefight with the German patrol. Tommy Guns had three firing dice, but jammed on a double. We threw an awful lot of doubles.

Eventually the survivors piled onto the landing craft and made our escape.

The bunker blew up with a satisfying BOOM.

And the startled German garrison was left to clear up.

That was really good fun, and the very tight time constraints made it a real race against time. The combat mechanisms were very simple (Charles Grant style) but combined with the scenario made for a very enjoyable game.