Saturday, April 30, 2011

ARR: First Platoon Forward Action.

Last night my friend Jon and I had the inaugural game at my house. As mentioned previously, we had decided to play Disposable heroes WW2 using the TFL Platoon Forward campaign system. the game was set in 1940 during the invasion of France.

Before hand, I had decided that i was going to track 2 Platoons, one German and one French. They won't always be playing against each other. I decided that wen one rolled up a defensive role and one rolled up an offensive role, there would be a 50/50 chance of the 2 platoon meeting. this means the overall odds of them fighting in the same game are about 33%.  well last night it happened.

the scenario was an exploitation scenario, with the french on the defensive and Germans on the offensive. there german Platoon( had been held in reserve during a company or battalion wide attack. When a hole opened up in the Germans were sent into hte hole and advance to take position in a church behind the french lines. the french, being in somewhat disarray only start with a single squad of infantry, an MG and the platoon NCO on the board.


German Platoon
Platoon command ( LT, Sgt, 3 privates)
3 infantry squads(6 man Rifle section, 4 man LMG section each)
1 5cm Mortar

German Support
1 PaK 38
1 80mm Mortar
1 MG-34 MMG
1 Panzer IV D

French Reinforcements
Platoon command(Lt, 2 Privates, 1 VB grenadier)
2 Squads( 8 man rifle section with VB, 4 man LMG section each)

81mm Mortar team
H-39 light tank( entered Turn 3)
Somua S-35( entered Turn 4)

we rolled up pre-game events and Jon's platoon was in high morale(+1), while my troops were well rested(+1 Movement)

As usual, I forgot to take pics for the first half of the game. but here it is in ha nutshell.  Jon started his forces in the middle third of the table.  I deployed the rifle section in the graveyard(NCO attached), the MG on main floor of the Church and the LMG section in the 2nd floor in the tower window. His first turn of fire pinned the reifle section immediately.  by the end of the turn only the Squad Sgt, VB grenadier, and NCO remained.  The LMG section had lost one of it's members, and the MG had LOS blocked by smoke after it fired.  the rest of the platoon entered on the German far right at the roadway.

2nd turn Jon Killed the remainder of the rifle squad and pinned the LMG section.the HMG section retreats to the far end of the church in preparation for an assault. hte NCO survived and under covering fire from long range of the LMG(which pinned a German rifle section entering the graveyard). he retreated to the gate of the graveyard.  Jon's MG-34 succumbed to superb rifle fire from a section french riflemen.

3rd turn the french advanced a little more taking fire and giving it. the H-39 arrived at the far end of the table from the infantry(German far left), behind a significant amount of cover.  Jon piled more infantry into the church and Jon's P IV having lost it's only recently acquired target(the MG section) moved up the street a little more in preparation for  attack of the H-39. the NCO in spectacular fashion, steadied his rifle  on the graveyard wall and proceeded to do more damage to the German rifle section in the graveyard the 2 squads of french down the road could do over the next two turns.

End of 3rd turn.
In the 4th turn, Jon continued to pile infantry into the Church while i was slowly beginning to realize that retaking the church was no longer possible in the time remaining ( 6-turn game length) . the Somua entered the table, albeit to late to have a real effect on the game. it took a potshot at the infantry in the graveyard but had no real effect.  the NCo continued having the most effect on the game.  the H-39 pulled out to take a shot at the Panzer IV but the shot went wide.  Luckily, so did the Panzer's shot.  a few moves into the 5th turn i gave up and retreated, as i could not make it to the church in the time allotted.

End of 4th turn

During the free-form events that followed the game,  the french NCO who miraculously survived  increased in moral ability, as he held his post against overwhelming odds(in full view of the rest of teh platoon and at least 1 tank) and only retreated when he was ordered to.  the German squad leader who was in hte graveyard also increased his gut score due to his bravery and keeping his squad together in the face of overwhelming fire( 2 full french squads, a mortar,  the NCO and a Somua tank). a the fixed effects yeilded no changes fr the french, but teh Germans get to have an extra Mortar or MG-34 MMG team next scenario, and try were asked by Battalion HQ to deliver a new radio to company HQ since they are out of contact (next scenario for them)

Part way through 5th turn, end of game.

All in all i like the system. my only grip is that the +1 morale is far better then the +1 movement.  I may adjust to to +2 because +1 jut don't have much impact.  the rules do not specify the actual increase, rather leaving it up to the players to decide since it is a non-rules-specific set.    and now for some cool pics:
Somua takes a potshot at some German infantry

H-39 Begins it's attack

End of game.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More WW2 and a Surprise!

Yesterday I painted a few more WW2 support teams. THis time it was 1 Crusader French 25mm AT gun, a pair of Crusader German ATR teams, and an AGNM PaK 36.   picked up this stuff at Hotlead to add som much-needed AT ability to my 1940 french project.  my Germans were originally built as an early Eastern front platoon(and light on at with only a PaK 38), so one of my planned purchases at the Con was AT weapons. the french also had no proper AT( 75mm mle 1897 not withstanding) so i picked up 2 Hotchkiss 25mm Anti-tank guns.  The other one is still in the back room with the hull MG-less 38(t).

AGNM PaK-36 flanked by 2 crusader ATR teams.
Crusader 25mm Hotchkiss Anti-tank gun

Also, This morning i received an email that quite surprised me!  Eric Roof of Conquest Miniatures has offered to replace the stolen longhouse free of charge!

I've been a fan of Eric and Conquest since I discovered  them while beginning my FIW project.  I've been to 2 Historicons and both times I spent more money at his booth that at any other one(usually about 1/3rd to 1/2 of my expenditures). I also usually spend a while talking to him.  in fact of all the poeple I talk to at Historicon, Eric is one of 3  I always remember( Nick and Rob of Eureka are the others).

Eric is a pretty busy guy, so it really means a lot to me for him to take the time out of his busy day and offer to do this.   If Both of us  make it down to Historicon this year, I'm going to have to shake his hand, and probably pick up 2 regiment packs(1 British, 1 French) if I make enough money selling things.  Eric even coincidentally put together his marching regiment packs to fit perfectly with how I've already structured my units for sharp practice( i do mine as 24 infantry, plus 1 drummer, 1 standard, and 2-3 officers/ncos)!

anyway, Eric is a stand up guy, and excellent to deal with.  Everyone should buy their FIW stuff from him!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More WW2 tanks

A month ago at hotlead i picked up 2 38(t)s and an Somua S-35 from ATGM( via the Five Arrows booth). one of teh 38(t)s was missing a machine gun bit, which will soon be rectified.

Anyway, My friend Jon and I are going to have our inaugural game at my house on Friday. I decided to make it the first game in a campaign using Too Fat Lardies Platoon Forward rules. The actual game rules will be Disposable Heroes, of course.  Dave Hoyt had played a few games with us at the club using his campaign platoon, so I'm already familiar with how Platoon Forward works.

Anyway, we will be setting the campaign in France 1940. I decided i needed to paint up a few more vehicles to add to the variety.  Up to this point, I only had 3 H-39s for the French, and a Stug, Pkmpfw I and Pkmpfw II usable for the Germans.  So I sat down last night and painted the S-35 and  the complete 38(t).

AGNM Somua S-35.
AGNM Panzer 38(t)

 Next up will be a PaK 36 for the Germans and a Hotchkiss 25mm AT gun for the French.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

more HG Walls

I've finished  another H.G. Walls building I bought at Hotlead.   This time it is a German barn:

H.G. Walls German barn with hand-made hurdle fencing.
Show with 28mm  LE TAG drunken Cossack
this peice actually took more preparation then the church did.  For starters, it was a hollow one peice casting, so I went about cutting off the roof. Since i play predominantly skirmish systems these days, I want to be able to put figures into it.  this took the better part of 2 hours as I like to use a hobby knife.  a dremel tool would do it much faster but also cuts away more of the actual model.i find a well-handeled hobby knife leaves a less obvious seam.

Hurdle fencing before painting.
The next step was the hurdle fencing  i used cut-down match sticks for the posts  and weaved steel wire until i had the right height. then i glued the wire to the matchsticks. then i made the gate the same way as i did for the church, using split match sticks. this would have only taken 45 minutes, but  the first time i tried a larger gauge of wire, and although i liked it, i only got about 75% of the height i wanted before i ran out.  So i unwove it and started over with a smaller gauge wire, and it took another hour(because i needed to weave more of the smaller gauge stuff)

Hopefully with my involvement in the cub winding down all the recent turmoil, and having been sick,  i can get back to a more productive  painting schedule. in the next week or 2.  I guess only time will tell.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Items Stolen

At my (soon to be former) gaming club, there were a rash of breaking and thefts over the last little while.  Last week I lost 4 items pictured below:

AGNM T-28.
One of the MG turrets fell off so i still have that

JTFM German Neubaufehrzeug NbFz IV
Not normally on a base, I mounted it on one to match my AGNM collection.
Conquest miniatures pre-painted small longhouse, Unbased

One of the rock outcroppings pictured here.
I don't have a specific picture of the one stolen,
but it is one of the vaguely triangular outcroppings.

If anyone happens to see any of these around the internet, sound the alarm and let me know. Along with 1 or 2 other items stolen , it creates a rather random set of items. I suspect it's a rather strange mix of items so i suspect the culprit was grabbing things to sell. I've been looking around  on Ebay, TMP marketplace & exchange, Bartertown and Kijiji for my city(Hamilton, Ontario, Canada). 

I can't really afford to replace most of this stuff right now, so I would really like to catch this bastard red-handed. Any help anyone can give to that end would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Of Grenadiers and Orchards...

We had family staying from out west(alberta) this week so despite being out of my figure-painting rut, my output this week was fairly low.

Wednesday night I painted up the Kurfurst regiment's Grenadier company.  the Electorate forces use combined grenadier battalions in the field,  so these will be fielded in a formation with the Kurprinz grenadiers when I get around to ordering that 2nd infantry regiment.

Kurfurst Grenadiers defending a wall

I also finally got around to assembling and finishing an orchard I've had kicking around my back room since the beginning of last December.   it is 16"x16" and has 9 removable trees, and a hand-made front gate.  I cut matchsticks in half and then split them lengthwise to get the right thickness.  I glued them open so that I can get a 25mm-30mm base through.  I got lazy and decided not to put a gate on the back.  Despite the trees being removeable, I decided to leave enough space between the wall and the tree bases to fit a 60mm movement trays or a 50mm base(which our Napoleonics are on).

Orchard being guarded by the Kurfurst Grenadiers

Shot of a removable tree and the and-made gate
Having previously scrounged or bought all the materials needed, I assembled and painted the orchard(and re-flocked the trees) in about 8 hours(with glue & sand drying over night).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Church time!

I finally got around to getting the church i bought at Hotlead done this past weekend. I managed to snag this OOP H.G. Walls church in the Bring & Buy for only $20!!  I decided to incorporate one of GW's old  Urethane foam Graveyards onto the church's base  I sanded down the bottom of the graveyard so that be base was not so thick, and then glued it down.  I built a simple wall on the front of the church, and i added a wooden gate at the back between the church and the graveyard wall. I then cut off a few skulls(surprisingly few for GW!) and repainted the graveyard to match the church,

H.G. Walls church along with some Electorate defenders

the Church in pieces

a close up of the graveyard
Eventually when I have more money I'll finish the inside of the church.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Laffly S-20 WIP Test render

Just a quick update on my CGI model of the Laffly S-20 truck

Last night a did about 6 hours work on the Laffly S-20.  It's not done, as I need to add axles and most of the undercarriage.   The truck bed is  separate(you can see the seam if you look closely) this is how the truck was manufactured.  I'll be able to ordere one tab/undercarriage and the 2 differnt back, and cast up the 2 common versions of the truck.  I'll also be able to take the 47mm SA-34 AT gun and mod it to the back for the uncommon tank hunter variant of the truck.

1/56th Laffly S-20 Troop Transport

A quick screen capture of WIP SA-34 47mm at gun
back at the beginning of January

I'm quite happy with how the truck is looking. I need to touch up the back wheel well and add the small runner wheels(after the undercarriage is in place)