Monday, December 16, 2013

Disposable heroes AAR: Soviets vs Germans 1941

On December 7th I got together with my friend Martin Jensen and played a game of Disposable heroes.  I have not played a game in quite a while so it was a nice diversion before heading into an intense exam schedule.

Unfortunately  my pattern of forgetting to take pictures until the game is well along has not been remedied by my long absence.

The scenario was Germans attacking a small Village defended by the soviets. the German force was part of a sweeping action to cut off a larger soviet force, and this village and its stalwart defenders are dead in the path.  The Germans were to take the majority of the buildings in the town to achieve a victory. the Russians were to hold out against the German onslaught.

Martin played the Germans and had:
1x Platoon command w/attached LMG
3x 10-man infantry squads(each pslit into a 6 man maneuver setion and a 4 man MG section)
1x 6 man recon squad
2 80mm mortar
1 50mm mortar
1 50mm Pak38
1 panzer 2 D
2 panzer 3 Hs

The Soviets(played by myself) had:
1x platoon command(3 figures)
1x Political officer
4x  12-man infantry Squads( each deployed in an 8 man  maneuver section and a 2 man MG team)
1x Maxim MG team
1x 80mm Mortar
1x ATR team
2x T-34/76A

Martin and his Germans deployed on the quarter of the table seen in the trees below. My Soviets started on the far side of the crossroads in the village. 

the first turn was mostly maneuvering for position. i pushed across the crossroads into a few buildings. Martin spread out along the width of the table, finding cover behind hedges, in the trees, and behind the closest building of the town.

on the 2nd turn, Martin managed to kill a T34 form the front with a lucky shot.  being the ever-stoic soviets they are, the troops ignored the loss and contained fighting.  later that turn 2 of my maneuver sections let loose a devastating volley for their buildings, killing 8 Germans(4 each form 2 German maneuver sections) martin took refuge in the closest building, and we both dropped smoke to continue the advance.

for a turn or 2, we traded fire from buildings. the soviet ART team took some potshots at the PZ 3 and also at some infantry in the woods, but failed to hit.

Martin advanced a Pz 3 up his right flank. it looked like it was going to be a bust for him, as he consistently either failed to spot or failed to hit. I decided to Assault  him with a  one and a half maneuver sections. this turned out to be the worst thing that i could have done, as i failed 2 improvised assault in a row.  martin just ran an entire maneuver section down, and i had nothing to show for it but dead soldiers. good thing I'm a soviet commander!

In the last turn I managed to pile enough fire in to the building martin had occupied to force the lone survivor to retreat. I also hit and penetrated the PZ2 but  only killed one crew member, and the crew passed their check.

and the end of the game, i took stock of the losses on both sides.  i had effectively lost 3 whole squads of infantry, my Maxim, and a T34.  the Germans had lost a similar amount of their force, though still had all their tanks. fortunately, my last push and force Martin completely out of the town.

Martin has some stunning luck with his tanks.  i could not kill them to save my life.  I successfully continued using the massed fire of the soviet rifles, ans was quite lucky with  the fire from my maneuver sections.

In the soviet list, the MG teams are too small and die to fast, so I focus on bringing my maneuver section to bear.  While playing Disposable heroes, i have noticed a lot of people tend to focus on killing MGs early because they think MGs do the most fighting.  This tends not to be true of the soviet lit the way it is set up.  It usually takes people completely, by surprise but martin was up to the task.

it was an very enjoyable game, with plenty of ups and downs to keep you on your toes.

and now the pics:
Soviet positions turn 2
Blaster germans killed my T34!

German push on right flank.
Soviet improvised assault in full swing.
recon squad  bloodied but not beaten.

Final positions.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Map of the Electorate

well, yesterday I finished the last exam of what has been the most Exhausting semester of my post secondray career.  but I've been thinking for a while about making a more detailed map of the Electorate of Lustigzollern-Großgesaß. this was spurred by a friend inquiring how to make maps and various mapping programs. since I'm done school for the rest of the year I decided to sit down and try my hand at finishing off a map i had previously started.  all of the following has been done in adobe Photoshop.

A revised version of the original map that i had posted previously.

I had originally zoomed on one the electorate on the larger map i had made. i drew in the boarders and placed names of the provinces that make of the Electorate.

Today's Staring point.
 Starting from this point i went looking on the internet for something i could used as terrain.  i found a jpeg of hand-drawn mountains, forests, grass and hills, as well as building icons on it was in the resource section of a group over there called Cartography-Guild. the artist's name is Star Raven, and he is by far more talented then I when it comes to hand-drawing things.

I tossed this jpeg into Photoshop and began cleaning it up to use as bits for my map.  once on my map, I split everything into layers by type(Hills, Mountains, Forest, Trees, Grass, roads, individual place names, etc). I do this with everything. it makes making changes far easier later on. at the moment i have 45 layers in the end product.

once all the icons were in place i used blending options to make the hills and mountains solid black, and i made the trees overlays and tinted them green.  I used the pencil tool in a separate layer to add all the roads, and applied a pattern overlay and an external glow to make it pop. i di the same thing to all my text to differentiate it from the backgrounds.
the map after adding the modified Star Raven terrain art & Roads.
 at this stage i decided i wanted to make it look a little more like an actual map on parchment. from the same DeviantART group i snatched some generic parchment and overlayed it on to the entire project. i also snagged a nice  map rose.   I then went to a City and Town name generator that I found online to generate names for different countries.

the completed map of the Electorate

I used Austria as the country to get the names for the electorate cities and towns.  for Ungar I used Hungarian and Croatian names.  for  Lagerlichhutland I used Germany and for Aquilonia I used Welsh. some specific places were required to have preselected names, such as Köztársaság(home of my Pandour regiment)  and  Lustigzollern and Großgesaß.  for the rest i just generated 50 place names and picked the ones I liked(which were often the hardest to pronounce).

I'm very happy with how this map turned out.  My Machinations do not always pan out, but this one did quite nicely.  I'll probably end up doing a few more for the other nations i have on the map(Arsaryan turks and Polish haiduks).

 I will eventually be doing  contingents from both Aquilonia(Consul's Highland guard, regulars) and Lcgerlichhutland(perry Hessian Jagers).

I have a backlog of stuff to post(mostly from the last 2 weeks), that will hopefully make up for my school enforced absence this semester.