Category Archives: World War 2

Flames of War – North Africa

I had my first game of Flames of War at the club for a very long time.  I played against Phil, he took Mid-War Africa Corps whilst I took Mid-War Brits.  Both of us took infantry companies.

We played a scenario which neither of us had attempted before which was Attack/Defend.  Phil had the middle of the table whilst I had the two outer short edges.  I had to capture one of two objectives which were situated within the centre.

Once Phils had deployed his troops (except for one platoon) I deployed my forces and Phil then revealed his last platoon (armoured platoon).  All troops started the game dug in and concealed, which given that most of Phils troops were veterans meant that I stood little chance of hitting anything if I was outside 16 inches.

My fist turn entailed me bringing forward all of the infantry on one table edge along with the supporting matildas.  My other flank force advanced to take position on the hill providing sight to the enemy armoured cars and artillery.  My first turn achieved little more than bailing out one armoured car.

Phil responded and pushed his armour forward against my advancing infantry whilst his armoured cars at the other end attacked my ports on the hill which had failed to retreat in my turn.  His aircraft came in an attacked my matildas.  I lost one portee and a couple of infantry stands to the armour (the infantry became pinned – a state which they were to suffer from for the majority of the remaining game).  My dug in Indians lost one section to the anti-tank fire.  The aircraft achieved very little.

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Turn 2

My second turn saw the armoured cars succumb to my portees which did managed to ‘tip-and-run’ back behind the hill this time.  My machine gunners advanced towards the enemy lines whilst on the other flank my infantry continued to advance with the Matildas.  We removed a couple of light guns and pinned an infantry platoon.

Phil again brought in his aircraft and this time tackled the portees., but to little effect.  His armour continued their advance on my left force, again hitting my infantry and attempting to address the matildas (to no avail).  His armoured cars made a mad dash towards my mortars but failed to achieve much against the dug-in troops.  He had now brought up his mobile artillery to help out.  His dug-in infantry opened up on my advancing infantry platoon and removed a couple of bases and pinned them.

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Turn 3

My Matildas and infantry unpinned and continued their advance towards the nearest dug-in enemy infantry.  My artillery and mortars offered support and a couple more bases were removed keeping the unit pinned.  My portees meanwhile sought out Phils mobile artillery and managed to double bail one of them which then failed its moral test and was destroyed.

On Phils turn he brought his artillery to bear and destroyed one of the Matildas.  His armour continued to advance around my infantry whilst targeting the other Matildas but achieved little.  His armoured cars rushed back to support his ailing infantry before I over-ran them.

Turn 4

I threw my Matildas and infantry platoon forward to assault the platoon holding the nearest objective.  My other infantry finally unpinned and attempted to assault the German armour around them, but this time failed their moral test to assault.

My machine guns, mortars, and artillery lay in fire to support keeping the enemy around the objective pinned.  My Matildas went in and removed some infantry but unfortunately they passed their moral and assaulted back and succeeded in removing a second tank.  I then failed my moral test to assault back, then again failed the moral test to keep the tank in the game.  My infantry quickly assaulted and took the position.  Now all they had to do was hold onto it for one turn….

Phil threw everything at the infantry holding the objective who valiantly tried to hold.  Most of his shots missed so he didn’t pin the unit.  Eventually he threw in the armoured cars for the assault.  The combat went back and forward with him removing a base at a time.  Unfortunately I was unable to successfully his and damage his cars and failed a moral test (even with British Bulldog and a C-In-C) and I was beaten off.  Given that I didn’t have any further troops which could effectively try and take either of the objectives Phil was the winner,

All in all a great game.  There were a lot of rules which I had forgotten, (and there are still rules which wind me up) but it was great seeing the troops back on the table after so long.  In our club there has been a real dearth of 15mm WW2 games over the last year, some do get okayed occasionally but nothing to the extent they were a few years ago.  Maybe the campaigns proposed later in the year will change this.

Chain of Command – US Armoured Rifles vs German Paratroopers

I played a attack defend game of Chain of Command the other day against Glenn.  I took my American Armoured Rifle Platoon and he tried out his elite German Paratroopers.  This gave me a significant point boost which I used towards an armoured car and mine field.

From the points rolled for the scenario Glenn took a Pz3(N) and I took another bazooka team.

The scouting allowed me to pin Glenns infantry about half way along the table but given his elite status they were able to deploy 9″ forward of his drop off points (something I hadn’t quite appreciated at the time 🙂 ).

The initial few phases saw us bringing on our infantry and manoeuvring towards each other.  Initially my Americans were doing OK by wounding two of the section junior leaders but Glenn quickly brought his senior command up to the front line and brought his units back into the game.  My Machine gun section did some serious damage to his left flank infantry section but unfortunately failed to break any teams.

As one of my sections bit the dust and I took a hit on my force moral I got one last hurrah when I removed one of his right flank sections as they sought to outflank me.   Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to bring his force moral down far enough to impact his command dice.

The end arrived when he took out my armoured car which exploded killing one of my senior leaders near by.  With that one shot my platoons moral collapsed and glenn took the game.

It was a great game with the extra command die on Glenn’s side proving to be a very effective mechanism to reflect the different sides troop quality.  It meant that he was more likely to get follow on phases as well as increase his Chain of Command Dice which whilst not total game changers did have an interesting impact on the game.

My Americans did very well, and if a couple of the Force Moral tests had been slightly better for me against the Germans it would likely have been a very different game.

Again, another game to recommend the rules though I am still a bit reluctant to to agree that all of the force lists are balanced, or that the incremental unit points reflect real game balance.  It is this aspect which we will likely ‘tweek’ between us. (I still cannot understand the value of unmanned half tracks).

 

The Gurkha Museum

Along with my recent visit to the Royal Green Jacket Museum I also got the opportunity to explore the Gurkha Museum which is located at the same site just around the corner.

As I mentioned before this is a great site to visit as it has 5 military museums all located within half a mile of each other with easy parking and a small cafe near by.

The Gurkha Museum is a fantastic resource for researching details about these interesting troops.

There are a lot of small dioramas and vignettes from the Gurkha military history as well as an array of full sized mannequins in uniforms from throughout.

Incident during Indian Mutiny – Delhi 18572014-10-02 11.14.35

Assault on Delhi 1857

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A Close up of the assault on the Gates2014-10-02 14.14.54

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Mannequins between protagonists during the Mutiny 1857/82014-10-02 10.58.49

I believe this was a diorama of the Chin attacking somewhere on the Northwest Frontier (but happy to be corrected)2014-10-02 12.04.10

There is a great shop which has a selection of books as well as an excellent series of amateur pamphlets which have some fantastic information on some more obscure campaigns – well worth having a look through.  If they aren’t immediately visible on the shelves do ask one of the staff who will probably be able to find extras behind the counter.

For further details check out their website;

http://www.thegurkhamuseum.co.uk

The Royal Green Jackets Museum

I took a day out lat last year and visited the Royal Green Jacket Museum in Winchester.  The Museum is situated in the old depot for the Regiment along with 4 other regimental museums and makes an excellent day (or two days) out.

Unfortunately for me significant elements of the museum were closed last the time as it is being refurbished for the Waterloo anniversary, but the ticket does give you free visits back within a year, so I’ll be heading back after the 25th March when the refurbished parts re-open.

Of particular note for the Napoleonic buffs (and those who just like lots of toy soldiers) they have a fabulous Waterloo diorama which is part of the refurbishment program.  Here’s a sneak little picture to whet your appetite, but please appreciate that this is fairly poor picture and doesn’t do it any justice.  Diorama is 24.5 square metres in size and isn’t all captured in this photo.  Visit their site to find out more about the restoration of this large diorama.

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I recommend visiting the museum as it includes the history of the three main regiments which went onto form the Green Jackets, from their formations, through to the various campaigns which they were involved in.  So if you are interested in the

  • The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
  • The King’s Royal Rifle Corps
  • The Rifle Brigade

this is a great place to start.  If you are looking to do research on these regiments then you should approach the Museum for help.  Taken from their website . . “The Museum also has a substantial collection of archival material – letters, diaries, maps, documents and photographs – which may be viewed by appointment. Museum personnel are sometimes able to undertake research on behalf of those unable to visit.”

If you’d like to find out more or even visit then check out their website for more information.  The staff their are very friendly,and some are incredibly knowledgeable about their regimental history.  There is also a shop where you can stock up on books and memorabilia.

http://www.rgjmuseum.co.uk/home.asp

 

Some WW2 Scenario Links

I mentioned previously that I’d found some useful sources for WW2 scenarios so I thought I’d post them up.

The Miniatures Page has a whole host of scenario links over multiple pages;

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/topics.mv?id=211

There are a useful mix on the Fire and Fury website split by theatre;

http://www.fireandfury.com/scenarios.shtml

On Sgt. Perry’s Heros blog site he has some great one page scenarios designed fro Bolt Action.

http://perrysheroes.free.fr/spip.php?rubrique167

More Chain Action Rules Fusion

Following the interesting fusion game of Chain of Command and Bolt Action Phil and I had a short chat about where to take it for the next instalment.

Orders & Initiative. We both liked using the Bolt Action dice from the bag initiative mechanism with the addition of the 2 extra End of Turn dice (must ensure that the extra 2 dice have the same size and feel as the Bolt Action dice…).  The turn would end as soon as the second non-player dice had been revealed and all dice returned to the bag to start the next turn.  This did force some prioritisation of ‘command emphasis’ since there was no longer the luxury of knowing that every unit would get a turn.

Core Combat Rules. We’ll go back to using the main Chain of Command rules for movement, shooting and combat, as well as section and force moral.  The lack of overall force moral in Bolt Action seems somewhat contrived so we’ll go back to the CoC Force Moral schedule being eroded down.  We’ll continue to use the BA dice per unit though and remove these as the units are lost.  We’re still in two minds about splitting sections into fire teams for order dice but will likely work something simple out to address this.

Lists will be driven from the CoC core platoon principal (no filing for small sectons).

Scenarios.  These will either be engagement types which will likely use the CoC scouting mechanism which seems to give a better flavour for units contacting but just use initiative dice to bring units in.  For other scenarios we’ll either use the pick ups in Bolt Action or more likely draw them from a historically based scenario – these are readily available online so with a bit of effort shouldn’t be beyond even me to work one out.  I’ll post some links up to some good resources for BA and similar scenarios.

 

Chain of Action or Bolt Command

I had a WW2 game this evening against Phil using a bit of a combination of Bolt Action and Chain of Command.  We are still looking for a set of rules which we both like but whilst Bolt Action and Chain of Command both have elements which we like they each also have aspects which we’d rather do without.

To this end we have been looking for a way of taking the bots which we liked from each set and merging them into a common set.

this time around we used most of the Bolt Action rules but based the forces upon the Chain of Command lists and scenarios.  the slight change to the Bolt Action rules was to add two extra dice to the command dice initiative bag but these were of a third colour.  Dice would be drawn as normal for commands, but once the two different coloured dice had been drawn the turn would end and all of the dice would be returned to the dice bag.  This was to introduce an element of friction to the game so players would have to prioritise what they did in each turn since they couldn’t guarantee  that every unit would get to move each turn.

We used the attack and defend scenario, with me attacking with the German Rifle platoon and Phil defending with the British Rifle platoon.  I took a Sdkfz 210, along with an MMG team and an extra officer.  Phil took an MMG team.

The battle was across a small farming hamlet with Phil set up 18 inches in from his table edge.  I had to advance in from the opposite table edge with the Germans and force the British to retire without being broken myself.

The Germans star to advance on the British positionsIMG_20150204_203659-2

The Germans and Brits face off on the left flank across a field.

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On the German right flank both sides advance into the ruins.IMG_20150204_210230-1

A view from the British position in the ruins.IMG_20150204_210300-1

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The British centre

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The Germans advance around the hamlet in the centre

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Meanwhile on the German right flank the Germans continue to keep the British section pinned and out of the fight.

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The Germans advance to catch the British in the ruins in a crossfire and quickly great the infantry hiding there.  Unfortunately the British were able to bring up support and do the same to one of the German sections…

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With the end in sight. The German section in the centre is suffering from the British under Sergeant Wilson but the remainder of the British troops are forced to retire.

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15mm/18mm Nissen Huts

I’ve just seen some fantastic nissen huts from the capable hands of Andy Cummings suitable for most things from FOW 15mm WW2 back to All Quiet on the Martian Front up to more recent conflicts.

The models are made of resin and are gorgeous.  I’m unsure of the measurements but from my poor memory would say around 6 inches long and 3 inches wide (happy to be corrected).  They come in various formats with door and window combinations.

They will be available for sale through Mike at The Scene.  I think that they will get their first showing at Penarth tomorrow (31st January).  I would imagine that these will go fast because they are such a versatile model.  For an early view check out the background scenery on this post for the All Quiet on the Martian Front game…

http://www.sadwargamers.com/aqotmf-game-saturday-24th-jan/

Hopefully I’ll be able to pick some up for myself.

… and back onto the WW2 Americans

Now that the Germans are in hand I’ve gone back to trying to finish off my American Armoured Rifle platoon.

I need to get the MMGs finished for the Machine Gun section, as well as a few additional riflemen and BARs just in case I was to use the force as an American Rifle platoon.

The figures are all based and base coats applied, so now I need to add the detail and shading (likely to be the old faithful Wilko Dark Oak Quick Dry Acrylic Varnish).  After that I’ll just need to unify the various sections through making the base dressing more consistent. I probably ought to make it look similar to the German infantry as well since they’ll likely be used against each other.

Hopefully I’ll get these finished this week, especially since this Friday evening is a painting session.

Photos to follow