Monday, 27 October 2014
I needed a Heer sniper team for the Battle Group Ponyri campaign so I raided the plastics box for inspiration and I found the chaps in the photos. They are both soft plastic figures from my childhood that I'd kept. I believe they are both Airfix. The chap aiming is a Mountain trooper and the chap I am using as a spotter is Wehrmacht from the 1960's. Now the spotter chap actually predates my childhood as it was purchased by my Dad to play with his younger brother probably in the mid to late 1960's.
I'm really proud I can use such a vintage toy in my games today especially one with such a family connection.
I also field a Stuka which still had string on it from hanging from my bedroom ceiling as a kid. Unfortunately it didn't see action over Ponyri but has supported my forces in other games for many years.
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Today I paid a visit to the Conwy Wargames club, an informal group of like minded individuals. Some of the chaps I knew from my youth in the old LLADs days (Llandudno and District Wargamers Club). Some of them remembered my Dad who'd been a member. They meet every last Sunday of the month at roughly 12pm at the Colwyn Bay Sea Sports and Social club. Bigger games are played at players homes.
I didn't play because I mainly just wanted to introduce myself, and the rules they were using I wasn't familiar with. I forgot to take photos which was a shame as the Saga war bands looked great, and the ACW skirmish figures were pretty. The rules being used for the ACW skirmish were WRG's Fire and Steel.
I found them a very friendly bunch open to playing any rules and interested in most of the periods I like, and they've played most of the rules I like and use the rules I fancy trying. I look forward to getting some games in.
For an overview of the whole weekend and more lovely pictures go to Ironfist Publishing's website and download the Ponyri report pdf. Here's the link to:
Ironfist Publishing Ponyri campaign report
Ironfist Publishing Ponyri campaign report
Saturday, 25 October 2014
After an adventurous Saturday evening where we learnt that road works can make you hotel a lot further away than you thought combined with 'everything looks different in the dark' despite SatNav resulted in a very late meal and missing the pub meet up.
Sunday morning found me refreshed and raring to go. I'd learnt a lot Saturday and I was keen to put in to action.
I took a different force Sunday as it was a meeting engagement scenario where the Soviets were on the counter attack. I therefore took a more defensive force and included a Ferdinand for fun. The scenario rules were adapted like Saturday to get the forces on quicker. 2d6 from turn 2 for both sides and the weather was fine if you were using aircraft.
BATTLE GROUP ORGANISATION CHART Platoon German
|Total Points 602|
|Total BR 35|
|Pts||Forward HQ (L,AFS)||BR||Men|
|24||FHQ 251/1 (r) (SnrO, AS,U)||3||3|
|26||LAC kubelwagen (r) (O,3+AiS,U)||1||2|
|18||Forward Signals truck (r) (Comms)||1||3|
|100||Pz Grenadier Plt (r)||11|
|5||Pz Gren Plt Command (O, MS) (At gren)||6|
|15||3 x Squads AT Gren||15|
|3 x MG34||9|
|Pts||Tanks (R,E, L, S)||BR||Men|
|150||3x Pz IV H squ (r) (1 x O, MS) (U, Un)||9|
|72||Off table 2x120mm mortars||0|
|15||1x Sniper & Spotter||1||2|
|18||Motorcycle recon patrol ( r) (s,ms)||1||3|
|8||1 x Med truck (i) (rsp, un)||1|
|111||Pz IV H squ||HE||2|
|112||Pz IV H squ||HE||2|
|113||Pz IV H squ||HE||2|
I didn't take notes so my write up is based on memory. All faults as usual are mine.
My opponent for the last game was Jonathan a local gamer with a lovely painted collection of Soviets. We had a great time chatting just as much as playing which swung this game in to my favorite of the weekend.
Jonathon gained a SU122 from the Soviet pool. I think I was unlucky to face both reserves out of 3 games. This increased Jonathan's overall BR, as did his d6 roll for taking an NKVD officer.
Unlike Saturday I was out scouted, by a neat trick of taking lots of snipers. Snipers had the advantage of not counting towards BR when destroyed. A trick Jonathan picked up from Guy my regular opponent!
So first blood to Jonathan.
|T34 platoon rolls on board to support the snipers|
|Snipers reach the outskirts of the village|
|Artistic shot of the T34s|
|My first move. What you see is the PzIV platoon command left to call in the mortars and the forward HQ in the half track which can also call in mortars.|
|Jonathan contemplating his 40 plus BR of forces.|
|Move 2 and the Soviets take me by surprise covering so much ground. The T34 has a special mobility rule that enables it to go over most terrain without all the normal penalties. The coloured cotton wool is the objective for both sides.|
|Ambush fire orders|
|My 120mm mortars destroy a T34. Huzzah!|
|Soviet snipers infiltrate the village. This chaps lips were painted. I say this to illustrate the level of detail. I did make the faux par of asking if he was one of the dreaded Soviet female snipers|
|A Sturmovik arrived and attacked causing me to take a chit. I think it's useful to take some air assets just for the automatic taking of a BR counter.|
|More Soviets pour on. An infantry platoon and some T70s and more T34s.|
|Soviets dominating the village|
|My troops before the start of my turn 2.|
|The Ferdinand pinned result is courtesy of the T70. Cheeky blighter but good tactic. Spot the T34 ready for a flank shot|
|My mortars strike again destroying a T34|
|The T70s take the objective. Another BR chit for me.|
|My infantry reinforcements heading for the right hand woods and the hidden T34|
|This turn I failed to get my 120mm mortars in to do more damage. All Soviets are now on table, with 2 German still to come on - the supply truck, and the LAC.|
|My Ferdinand target 2 T34s just out of shot centre bottom and ...|
|My Ferdinand misses a point blank side shot at a T70. My 120mm mortars come through and destroy a T70. Another T70 having survived an ill advised area shot from my PzIV (should have fired direct AP) moves in to attack from the side... and misses|
|Atmospheric shaky shot|
|The final move. My infantry continue their assaults on the T34s in the left hand field to no avail. Lots of poor dice here with no results except I lose a squad.|
So a loss for Germany again. Consistent play by me. My tale of the game misses out the heroic actions we managed to get, but neither of us managed to do something worthwhile with them that I remember.
A great game but I made a few errors not least mixing my troops up. I should have brought the Ferdinand on first go and made the most of its long range. I should also have moved my tanks through the woods rather than going around as they could have engaged the T34s frontally. Like Saturday I learnt lots, this time about taking force choices that make you take chits!
Thanks Jonathan for a great game.
Sunday, 19 October 2014
The best laid plans of mice and men. When I booked a place in May for myself and my mate to attend the weekend Ponyri campaign game as put on by the Battle Group rules chaps at Stafford Games venue it seemed so far off that I could move house and prep my German force I needed at leisure. Well the move was delayed, my troops were already packed (for the move not the campaign) and I couldn't find all the unpainted stuff I needed. The radio truck wasn't found till Wednesday night while desperately looking for the Battle Rating counters. The final flock went on Friday and the HS129 plane that I managed to spin around my drill bit while making a hole to fit the stand was fixed and packed to dry just before loading in to the car. Not the leisurely start and excited anticipation I was looking for, although I had fun playing about with force lists before the mad rush took over.
A very stressed wargamer turned up Saturday morning to a very friendly welcome from like minded gamers and I began to relax.
The campaign was set over 2 days, with 2 attack/defence games on Saturday and a meeting engagement Sunday. Both scenarios were slightly modified to get the action going quickly e.g. weather was fine and reinforcements came in earlier and more dice to bring them on quicker.
As a German player I attacked day 1 and in theory attacked day 2.
I didn't keep a detailed photo log of the games or notes but the following is what I remember:
BATTLE GROUP ORGANISATION CHART Platoon GERMAN
Total Points 604
Total BR 33
Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS)
56 FHQ Pz IV H (r) (SnrO, AS,U) BR 3 3 men
26 LAC kubelwagen (r) (O,3+AiS,U) BR 1 2 men
18 Radio truck (r )(Comms) BR 1 3 men
Pts Infantry (R,E,S)
199 Armoured Assault Plt (v)
Pz Gren Plt Command 251/16 (O, MS) 6 men
3 x Squads 3 x 251/1 15 men
12 3 x MG42 9 men
15 include 3x Mine Sweepers
Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S)
150 3x Pz IV H squ (r) (1 x O, MS) (U, Un) BR 9
Pts Recon Units
30 2x Sniper & Spotter BR 2 4 men
18 Motorcycle recon patrol ( r) (s,ms) BR 1 3 men
Pts Artillery (AFS)
72 Off table 2x120mm Mortar
Pts Logistic Units BR Men
8 1 x Med truck (i) (rsp, un) BR 1
R01 FHQ Pz IV H (r) (SnrO, AS,U) HE 4
111 Pz IV H squ HE 4
112 Pz IV H squ HE 4
113 Pz IV H squ HE 4
251/16 Flamethrower 1 3 shots
Flamethrower 2 3 shots
I played a gentlemen called Chris who'd come up from Brighton with some other chaps. He confessed he wasn't experienced in the game which suited my frazzled state and rustiness from not having played for some time. So we took it slow and steady referring to the rule book a lot make sure we were getting it right.
The board was 6x4 with the base edge on the 4. Chris as Russian was defending the outskirts of Ponyri which were on the board and he placed his 6 defences he'd selected ( 2 trenches, 2 dug in T34s, dug in AT gun, and 1 command bunker) across the centre.
In addition Chris received one of the few SU152s randomly from the umpire. Germans could get a Tiger.
I out scouted him so scored the first blood by making him take a BR token.
|The coloured cotton wool are the 2 objectives, 1 placed by me in the Russian 1st 3rd of the board and the 2nd by Chris in the Russian 2nd 3rd of the board. I chose the pig sty as my objective as everything tastes better with bacon!|
|The church is on the edge of our board, after that it is the next board being fought over.|
|My initial troops|
|The PzIVs and the much searched for radio truck painted for the weekend especially!|
|1 of Chris's nicely painted infantry squads started off in the field|
|I really liked these trenches|
|White cotton wool shows the pinning effect of my mortars|
|My first casualty as a PzIV brews up, unfortunately it was my senior officer. I forgot to take a 2nd BR token for this chap. Sorry Chris.|
|Mid way through the action things are hotting up. I've now lost almost all my tanks and 2 officers. My main attack is now being pressed by my pioneers!|
I went on to lose most of the half tracks and but I did take out more Russian infantry and T34s but not enough. A solid victory for the Russians. Later games would show we made some errors in the rules and I should have taken BR tokens for the objectives Chris was holding and the motor cycle side car vehicle. This didn't change the result. I lost 2/3 pf my BR but enjoyed the game.
Other first games
|My mate, also playing Germans facing hordes of T70s. Lots of destroyed Russians later and victory against the Germans.|
|Games in full flow|
|Carl on the right winning against PSC Will. Carl went on to be the highest scoring German player.|
|The rule's writer himself , Warwick stepping in to play for a missing player|
My second game began after lunch, with myself urgently re-hydrating due a school boy error of wearing a jumper in a hall which then became very hot and not drinking any water. Luckily I had a comfy seat to wedge myself in to hide the shakes and an understanding opponent James.
|Initial set up with first blood to me out scouting James|
|The wooden box off centre was the strategic toilet objective. The 2nd was just off camera bottom right.|
|Nice view of the command bunker and dug in AA gun being used in the AT role..|
|Maxim gun dug out defended on the outside by a squad of Russians|
|Yours truly fully recovered from his embarrassing dizzy spell, smiling with the knowledge that it hadn't detracting from is normal generalship.|
|Go --- bang|
|I advanced further this game but allowed myself to get bogged down trying to take a central wood wood which would allow me to take out the Russian infantry in cover then the AT gun.|
|James takes the German objective!|
|The central wood showing the carnage from multiple attacks including a katyusha strike right in to the middle of both sides pinning most of my forces as well as some Russians. Ruthless Soviets!|
Despite another solid victory for the Russians I enjoyed the game, and it was fun to play against Grants.
Overall I enjoyed the first day. Met some great people and learnt a lot about tactic and the rules.