Thursday, 25 February 2010

Raus, Raus

We played the first scenario of my '6th Panzer Division in Russia' mini campaign yesterday. This covered Kampfgruppe Raus and its rapid advance to the Dubsya River in Lithuania on 23rd June 1941. The Russians are essentially static targets in this one, so it seemed easier for me to play them (deployed hidden) while Tim Gow and Jon Armatys played the Germans. The only real tweaks to RKKA Commander I'd made was to simplify the morale rules (back to a D6) and to modify the requirement for pre-assault morale checks so that tank units only take a morale check if the enemy have effective anti-tank weapons. This makes a very big difference in early war scenarios as tank units can simply drive over units without anti-tank guns (and they are then also subject to the penalties for tank shock). For this scenario I used random morale for the Russians, so they could be anything from nervous to fanatical, which models their historical behaviour in this period.

The 'tank shock' and random morale rules worked very well, two battalions of Russians surrendered to overunning German tanks, however another battalion located in the town of Rasseinie rolled up fanatic morale and fought to the last man, inflicting heavy casualties on one of the German motorised infantry battalions. The Russian gunners fought to the last man, one battalion eventually being destroyed by counter battery fire, whilst the other was overrun by a panzer battalion from KG S coming up the main road, but not before knocking out some tanks firing over open sights. The Russians also sprang an effective ambush on the track coming in from the west, cunningly waiting until the leading elements had passed then bushwhacking some motorised infantry in their trucks. Unlike their real life counterparts, they failed to make their escape as the Germans vengence was rapid and overwhelming.

The Germans eventually crashed to victory, elements of KG R taking the bridges over the Dubsya as the sun was setting, in both cases manging to capture them intact. The first bridge failed to blow and an entire battalion of Pz 35(t)s forded the shallow river and smashed the covering engineer platoon before they had a chance to try again. At the second bridge a detached company of tanks managed to surprise the engineers who promptly surrendered as the panzers burst in amongst them. The commander of this latter company was awarded the Iron Cross First Class as they'd also single handedly overrun and forced to surrender a Russian infantry battalion.

I thought the game went pretty well and I was pleased with how the scenario turned out, so we'll probably have another trip to the east in a few weeks to se what happens next.

Otherwise I've been doing a bit of painting, finishing off some Cromwells I got last year. I had an unfortunate black wash disaster as my black ink had dried up so I made up a wash of water, black acrylic paint and washing up liquid. It all looked fine at first, but I obviously hadn' t mixed enough washing up liquid in as suddenly the 'wash' extended all over the vehicles and they dried black! Oh well, back to layers of drybrushing, which retrieved something from the disaster. Must buy some more black ink.

I've also developed a sudden enthusiasm for the WSS in 2mm, a period I've put off for decades due to the compelexity of all the different flags and what passed for 'uniforms' in that period. I suddenly realised that in 2mm I didn't have to worry, so I need to do some shopping lists for Irregular, maybe pick the up at Triples. Tim is bringing his 2mm stuff to the club in a couple of weeks so I can have a closer look at some of the different strips.

No gaming next week as I'm away, but hopefully 2mm ACW the week after.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Finally got to play something

Despite the weathers best efforts (snow every day this week, but luckily it hasn't settled much) we managed to play the game we'd postponed last week. A quick outing to the Sudan using Bob Cordery's new nineteenth century rules. Fairly fast and furious with a 'bang you're dead' type style, I can see it working for the ACW or similar but some of it could do with a bit more work to make it specific to Colonial warfare as the combatants are so asymmetrical and the terrain rather less dense.

Otherwise we had a chat about the next impending WD Display Team (North) game, with its debut in a few weeks at Triples. We don't seem to have quite managed to do the map, or the toys or the rules yet, but it does at least exist in everyones heads! I expect we have a bit more work to do on that yet.

I've also been having a look at early Eastern Front WW2 scenarios, one of my particular interests about ten years ago, so I have tons of stuff for it in 6mm. I've come up with a linked scenario mini-campaign (similar to the Tarnpol 1944 mini-campaign I ran a couple of years ago), but in this case following the exploits of 6th Panzer Div on its summer tour of the Baltic States. Got the first scenario sorted, although I had to rebase and repaint a few toys for it. Hope to run that at the club in a couple of weeks.

Now I've finished my WW1 French, I've been slightly casting around for a painting project. I've got some undercoated WW2 20mm tanks I could do, but I suddenly feel strangely drawn to 2mm WSS. I might actually stand a chance of getting the uniforms right in 2mm, as I really can't be arsed to paint them in any bigger scales, one of the things which has put me off painting any figures for the period for the last 30 years. Anyway, I'll have a little think about that, if I'm still keen in a week or two I'll order some Irregular 2mm stuff for collection at Triples. To fill in the time I've discovered I got the DVD boxed set of the 1964 BBC 'Great War' TV series that I'd quite forgotten about. The soothing tones of Marcus Goring now fill the air in the evening. Great stuff.

No trip to the club planned next week (the main hall is in use), so not sure what I'll be writing about then. Probably will have decided to do 40mm Star Wars or something.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Bad weather delays the attack again

Not much game playing this week. We'd planned on trying out Bob Cordery's nineteenth century rules with out Sudan figures at the club, but snow started hitting the ground at 4pm and Sheffield instantly collapsed in gridlocked chaos so we decided to give it a miss. Shame as I was looking forward to it. Anyway, the stuff is all packed up for next week.

I finished off basing my 20mm WW1 French, and they've come out OK. I otherwise felt a bit wargamed out WW1 wise as it has been full on Western Front since late last year, so a trip to WW2 last week was a nice diversion. I've jotted a few notes down specific to German offensive operations for Drumfire, but otherwise I was wondering what to do for a game in the next couple of weeks. I waded through Jentz's Panzertruppen Vols 1 and 2 over Christmas and felt vaguely inspired by that, so an outing to the Eastern Front I think. I pulled out my book of Spearhead scenarios but none of them particularly grabbed my imagination, well maybe one of them. Anyway, I'll have a think about it, probably end up somewhere in 1941 I think.

In an exciting development I bought a new ruler for measuring the bits of magnabase I'm endlessly cutting to put on bases. The old one was completely worn out, and as I'm a cheapskate and insist on using 8mm strip, I need to cut perfect 8mm squares to go on the back edge of the bases. I also bought a new tube of polystyrene cement. Will wonders never cease.