Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Work In Progress.....April 2015

And just as all looked lost, like darkness had fallen and all the lights in the world had been extinguished….Out Came The Sun.  And the varnish can rattled and the models sparkled in the sunlight and the purchased vs painted total took a great leap towards the black.

The weather turned wonderfully warm, sunny and extremely varnish friendly in April, at the same time as I had an enforced break from work due to post-surgery recovery time.  I was able to put that finishing coat upon the 15mm British infantry and armour I have been working on this year in the attempt to put together a Flames of War (FOW) late war British army.  I also needed some obstacles for a big FOW game and revisited the 3 barbed wire barricades and minefield I originally build back in 2009 but never finished.  A bit more work finally went into the farm building I use for 15mm games; mostly in terms of adding some more flock to it so it blends into the battlefield mat better, but also some drybrushing.  I did buy a box of British 15mm heavy weapons (PSC’s finest) which added an extra 12 bases/figures to my purchased list.

Puchased Vs Painted – 33 British models, 1 random Focke Wulf (1/100 scale) and 4 obstacles painted along with a farm refreshed:
Purchased: 69
Refreshed: 10
Painted: 59

My Flames of War Berlin campaign ended with a decent sized bang this month, with the Russians (or rather the Romanians) claiming the spoils.  I’m thinking of moving on to do Market Garden in June.  Apart from that childrens birthdays and recovery following surgery limited gaming, with my new British also getting a brief outing one afternoon.

Coming up this month:
If I don’t get distracted by returning to the work force, child interaction or general tiredness and lethargy I have more 15mm British to work on.  My Shermans desperately need some air cover and artillery to lay smoke screens so a 1/144 typhoon is getting there, while a platoon of heavy mortars are also hanging around the painting table.  Finally my third, and last, universal carrier patrol might get some paint on it as something different to painting the mortar crews.  In terms of games it promises to be a month of variety with games of Dreadball, Necromunda and Saga already planned.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Flames Of War: British Vs Germans Battle Report - Late War

With my Thursday evening ruled out for this week (apparently small children can have birthdays on Thursdays) I was lucky enough for Peter to offer to give my new Flames of War British armoured company a game.  He had an eye on a possible upcoming Operation Market Garden campaign, and brought an experimental and newly painted grenadier company – plenty of small platoons of infantry supported by a substantial four gun platoon of PaK40’s, some Luftwaffe AA (including a FlaK36) and a confident trained trio of Panthers.  Against this 1500pt force I put my own never before used British; four platoons of Shermans, two patrols of universal carriers and a platoon of infantry, all confident trained.

The venue was my house, and some fields in an unnamed part of France, and the day went not very well for the British in a Free For All mission.  With many fewer platoons I was set up long before the Germans, who were able to position their PaK40’s, AA guns and Panthers directly opposite the bulk of my armour on my right flank beside a farm.  The railway line, with its steep embankment, slowed my Shermans initially, while the hedgerows hemmed in and slowed down my carriers.  An early firefly attempt on the lives of the Panthers was returned with interest and two Shermans brewed up.  Not deterred, and knowing that aggression was key if I was to get anywhere with armour, I stormed forwards through the fields and along the road, with half of my armour providing smoke cover for the rest.  Unfortunately I sent the right hand platoon too close to the enemy AT guns, and not even the smoke could cover them enough to prevent a murderous fire destroying several of them.

My strong right flank by the farm. 
Panthers waiting.

German AA and PaK40 position.

My recon ready for the off.

My initial attack, advancing across the railway line and then the fields - the Panthers have just cost me 2 Shermans on the near side.

Smoke covers the enemy.

Casualties mount thanks to the Panthers again.

By this time I had identified that the left hand objective represented my best chance of success out of the AT guns fire arcs, especially with my smoke barrage reducing the enemy return fire, but not slowing it enough to prevent casualties.  I sent my left hand Sherman platoon, which had been left out on a limb near a hill, towards it and tried to force a way through with my central one along the road.  On my right the Panthers were on the move, and having dispatched the last of my far right Sherman platoon they began to fire into the fields and road.  A slice of luck saw my two fireflies there survive the fire, but their return shots at close range still could not penetrate the Germans armour, and they fell in the next round of firing as the number of Shermans firing smoke became fewer and the battlefield began clearing of smoke and active British tanks.  The road was filled with wrecked Shermans, and my attempts to support my far left tank platoon with the universal carriers saw the carriers hit by light AA gun and mortar fire and they disintegrated; two running from the battlefield and the rest burning.  The last Sherman platoon proved unable to defeat the surprisingly potent light infantry gun platoon defending the objective, and with German platoons closing in all around it was unsurprising that the British CO failed his moral check.

My aggressive attack down the road.

The attack ends in tears, my tears, despite the dramatic side shot by the Firefly at the Panthers.

My last attempt to secure an objective fails due to enemy infantry and infantry guns.

At that end of that first appearance for my British I learnt a few things, and had the chance to try out some of the ideas I had had beforehand –Armoured companies are best used aggressively, with their manoeuvrability key to hitting one point of the enemy line.  I tried to use my four Sherman platoons together, with one moving while the other provided covering fire, and managed this to some extent, although I had split off one platoon to the far left when I would have been better bringing them all together before the attack went in.  In the end I took too long working out which was the right objective to attack and lost too many tanks moving over ; poor deployment really.  The use of smoke from the Shermans was very effective, although I negated some of its benefits by stopping too close (within 16”) when firing.  The width of the smoke markers was also a pleasant surprise.  The universal carriers were ineffective because they only had one machine gun each so didn’t cause any damage to the dug-in Germans, and they didn’t have much chance to practice their eyes and ears ability, while my infantry scared off a sniper, but did nothing else.  The companies ‘Trained’ status made them horribly vulnerable to enemy fire (that was a real shock when I’ve played with veteran Germans for years!), and the PaK40’s, FlaK36 and Panthers carved through them with ease.  I think some artillery capable of laying down smoke and some air support would really help this army, and then its down to practice and tweaking, fortunately despite my defeat I was greatly entertained and pleased with my armies aesthetic appearance.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Flames Of War - Battle for Berlin Campaign Update

The Flames of War campaign I have been running has ended this weekend just gone.  The Russians swept into the centre of Berlin in an unstoppable wave with the Romanians to the fore.  The Germans managing to fight the Allies to a standstill to the West of the city, restricting them to the open and wooded areas outside of the urban areas, and even managing to break through to the West to open an escape route.  However they had no answer to the Russians in the East.  The war is over, the Russians control Berlin and much of Europe and Churchill’s fears have come true.  The Cold War is here.

Big battle report to end the fighting:

Campaign Turn 4 report:

Monday, 6 April 2015

Work In Progress......March 2015

No Sleep.
15mm British transfers.
Nothing bought, nothing sold, nothing varnished.

As you were, 15mm British army starting to look good.

Puchased Vs Painted:
Purchased: 57
Refreshed: 9

Painted: 21

Dreadball Season 2014-15: Round 4 Results

Avalanche All At Sea

A mostly comfortable outing for the Carbis Bay Buccaneers saw the corporation team pick up near maximum points from their two games against The Avalanche and remain top of the league.  With the away leg first it was The Avalanche, also a corporation side, that opened the scoring with an instant 1pt strike.  However, it was a false dawn for the home side as the Buccaneers swiftly went into the lead with a 4pt strike by ‘Mad Jack’ Dalhgren after guard Al Giordino had subtly cleared a path to the strike hex.  The Avalanche netted a 2pt score immediately afterwards, only for Carbis Bay star man Dirk Pitt to pop up with a 4pt hit to make it 5-0.  The home side had their own star man; No.7, and he scored a 3pt strike which ‘Mad Jack’ equalled moments later, covering up some of Al Giordino’s embarrassment as his attempted slam went horribly wrong – ending with Al sitting on his backside looking confused.  Clearly stung by this humiliation Giordino launched into an ill-advised foul right in front of the referee which saw him dismissed for the rest of the match.  Dirk Pitt was, as usual, unperturbed by this, and in the middle of the uproar following the dismissal scored a 4pt strike which took the score to 8-0 on turn 8 and ended the match.  With 6 fan cheers to the Avalanches 3 the Buccaneers captain Rudi Gunn was named Man Of The Match.

The return leg with Carbis Bay as the hosts got off to an even quicker start with Hector Barbossa slaloming through the opposition to score a 4pt starter, although it was a bitter sweet moment for the Buccaneers as guard ‘Admiral’ Sandecker misjudged a slam and was knocked out for a number of turns.  Unlike the away day this match was destined to go all the way to the final whistle.  The Avalanche was fielding a number of journey men, drafted in to help a team with a vastly inferior rating and only around 5 fit players.  It was one of these, a journey dwarf, which flattened the Bucaneers defence with ease to let in star man No.7 to score a 4pt strike and equalise.

The Seasiders adopted a classy manoeuvre to reply; Giordino removing No.7 from the game before the prettier side came out as Barbossa threw the ball to a running Jack Sparrow who sped in to put 3pts on the board.  Barbossa was on the receiving end soon afterwards; flattened by an opposition guard as the ball bounced wildly.  The Avalanche thought they had it only for ‘Mad Jack’, called from the bench, to steal it away to make it 6-0.  The away sides star man No.7 returned from the treatment room to bring the ‘Bay down with a thump and a 4pt hit, the blatant Dwarf foul being missed by the referee.  The sides traded 3pt strikes before, with time running out, Sparrow managed to fumble the ball on the half way line.  With the score at 2-0 and several strike hexes open the Avalanches hero No.7 stooped to pick it up on the run only to fall flat on his face as the final whistle went ushering in a Carbis Bay Buccaneers 2-0 win. 

Round 4 Fixtures:

Mythos Maniacs (Adrian) Vs. Hawarden Heartbreakers (Paddy)
The Avalanche (Dave) Vs. Plague Bearers (Mark)
Unknown (Dafydd) Vs. Carbis Bay Bucaneers (Rick)
Hollywood All-Stars (Andy) Vs Iron Giants (Tom)
Deff To Humanz (James/Paddy) Vs. Vs. Dwarf VIII (Simon)
Skaven Foundation (Ian) Vs. Unknown (Pete)

And a word from the tournament organiser:
There is still one game left in the current round, but the result of this will not effect the draw for the final round before the semi finals and finals.
The only teams safely through to the semis are Mark's, Paddy's and Rick's. So there is still everything to play for at this late stage.

Good luck to all except the rats! 

Games to be completed by the end of April please.