31 August 2012

This Week's Painting

Got the Micro-Armor done that came in last weekend. This completes, done, finished my Polish Motorized Rifle Regiment and a third West German Battalion.

Of course I have enough left-over Warsaw Pact infantry to put together an Air Assault battalion and probably will, hate to waste the miniatures.

I'm working on Ziggy to plunk down for some US Marines. The force we put on paper is a very strong 3-battalion force that can be done for $66.00. Why not, right?

Ya'll have a great Labor Day weekend, and to my overseas visitors, have a great weekend! I'm going to try to get in another game of Shipwreck tomorrow.

Good Gaming!

27 August 2012

Flames of War

Wow. Big game weekend for me. Two, count-em TWO major game events on successive days! MSH Saturday then FoW on Sunday afternoon. I dragged my Rangers up to Morningstar for a game with whatever random opponent showed up. The random opponent happened to be Mike, who I've met and spoken with many times before but never gamed with. He has a Hell's Highway Irish Guards tank list, so it sort of turned into a pre-D-Day training exercise. We set up terrain and ended up with "Counterattack" as a mission.
My List:
HQ + 2 bazooka
2-platoon company
1-platoon company w/ 60mm mortar
1-platoon company w/ 60mm mortar
Corps Cavalry patrol
TD platoon (2 M10s)
Tank Platoon (4 Sherman M4s)
FAB (towed 105s)
Full AFAB (6 Priest)
Limited P-38s
1735 points

Mike's list (mostly guesswork):
2 HQ Shermans
3 Shermans w/ FF
3 Shermans w/ FF
4 Sexton Battery
3 UC Recce Patrol
1 Infantry Platoon
1 Infantry Platoon
2 AA trucks
One of those tank platoons may have had 4 vehicles...

I deployed most of my stuff in the woods around the objective I placed. My FAB was out in the open and the TDs were hidden back, ready to run for the far objective.

I just realized I made a big mistake. I was so focused on the "mobile" part of the reserves that I forgot to keep the right number of platoons in reserve. I kept 3 off, should have been 4. Dammit!

Not what the battery was hoping to see. Fortunately the gunners were cold and the battery survived to fire back.

The Air Corps makes its first appearance, destroying a Sexton and a tank-riding PIAT.

And the artillery gets a kill right before the tanks kill one of the guns! Things are going well.
One of my Ranger platoons Truscott-Trotted towards the woods by the second objective, accompanied by the M10s.

A beautiful reserves roll! Two platoons early in the game. The Shermans and Priests set up camp around objective B and the Rangers snuggle in a bit too. Operation "Tough Nut" has begun in earnest.

The Brits creep forward while their tanks take out another 105. Bah, a stupid 2-tube battery... the FAB did try to smoke the OP tank on the hill on the picture but failed to range-in. Grrr..

The Guards break out of their encampment and begin their push to the second objective.

The damned Sextons managed to range in a smack the observer for the Priest battery, pretty-well neutering it. At least its ranged-in marker was in a useful spot to hamper the British advance on that side of the field.

The US Army digs in around objective B while the British tanks set up on a hill to start taking shots.

The Field Artillery is run off.

And an American Sherman live up to its reputation.

The British tanks get off the hill since their lines of sight were pretty-well gone. I re-aligned my surviving tanks and scooted a Priest out a bit to give the AFAB better LOS. They weren't going to fire anyway. 

Two UCs move into the gap

And the Cavalry makes them regret the decision with its .50 cal.

There's a lot going on in this blurry picture. What happened was this...The British tanks moved up to the edge of the tree and bailed two of my M4s. British infantry also moved into the woods to the right of the objective. On my turn, an M10 brewed up one British tank. The other M10 spun its turret and machine-gunned the infantry coming through the woods killing a stand. The AFAB got ranged in on the tanks in the woods and bailed one.

Return fire was pretty nasty, finishing off my Shermans and killing an M7s. You can see I moved my M10s through the woods to machinegun the infantry some more. Mike had been terribly fortunate with his difficult-terrain rolls all game, but managed to get a "1" while trying to back his Firefly in the woods out from under the Ranged-In marker. The 2IC did manage to move back. The bailed tank remained bailed.
One more bombardment later... The bailed one flubbed his motivation test.

My M10s set their sights on the tanks on the hill, destroying one. The return fire blew up an M10.

Just before we called the game, I got these two pictures. My M10 died noisily. I'm pretty sure the British 2IC survived.

We had been playing for 3 1/2 hours or so and were both kind of beat. It was a very enjoyable meat-grinder of a battle. I lost four platoons, my Shermans, FAB, Cavalry and TDs. Mike had lost a tank platoon, Recce and an infantry platoon. Since non-Ranger losses don't affect my breakpoint, I really wasn't close to a company morale test. We decided it was a draw.

His AA trucks were extremely useful  and certainly points well spent.

Mike, if you read this, sorry I fouled up the Reserves thing. I'm really looking forward to our next game of whatever.

Good Gaming!

26 August 2012

Modern Spearhead

Z and I got a chance to play Modern Spearhead yesterday evening. We toned things down a bit since our last game, focusing on 1) just getting everything right and 2) getting town sector combat down pat. The MSH rules, although a far cry from Star Fleet Battles, still require a few plays-through to really get comfortable with and this is only our 5th or 6th game.

I took command of the better part of a Polish Motorized Rifle Regiment - two battalions of motorized rifles and one battalion of T-54s. I also had two batteries of 2s1s backing me up. Ziggy was driving a German Panzergrenadier battalion, with a company of Leopard 1s attached. He also had his ubiquitous Bo105s and 3 batteries of M109s.

We gave the Polish force 9 turns to capture the town. You can see my orders map above. 1st and 3rd battalions would basically push straight ahead toward the town while the tanks of 4th battalion would attempt a flank move around the woods southeast of town, preventing the defenders from simply massing their firepower in one point.

Our setup. I cordoned off a 4' X 4' area for the game.

This guy may have been much of the problem. Next time I write up orders while sober!

The Poles move out.

By turn 2, 1st battalion was close enough for the Germans to start taking pot-shots. One destroyed and one suppressed right from the get-go.

At this point, I tried a change orders on both motor rifle battalions. 3rd battalion succeeded but 1st did not. 3Bn now became stationary for two turns, waiting for the T-54s to round the woods. I was going to try to synchronize their movements a bit. 1Bn, having taken fire, failed their change orders and kept plugging away towards town.

Ziggy's one real mistake. He's always placing the helos waaaay too close to their targets. 18" is close enough to spot that many tanks! He suppressed one platoon, and the mass of MGs forces one of his whirlybirds to take evasive measures.

First battalion makes it to the outskirts.

And between the artillery and two platoons of Leopards occupying the outskirts, I could not manage to push through. 1Bn's battalion commander did make it through to a round of close combat before being dispatched quickly.

Third battalion arrives whilst the tanks are still mucking about, getting shot up by helicopters and one stand of Leopards.

Nothing like rolling your email address! I'm sure this was yet another attempt to suppress a platoon of Leopards on the east edge of town with artillery.

And by the end of turn 6, both the tanks and 1Bn had taken considerable casualties. Morale checks were taken and failed for both. I still had a very strong battalion left and the helos were about to disappear but high command ordered a halt to activity and ordered the attack to cease.

We both enjoyed the game tremendously. Zig could not believe the success he had, being outnumbered so severely. He should be used to it by now. If I had to do it all over again, this is what I'd change:
1) Swap the positioning of 1st and 4th battalions. The motorized rifles are faster and would have cleared flank much more quickly. They probably would have been ignored by the helos. The German helicopters would have been much more exposed to AA fire as well.

2) Roll the order change with the battalion that had taken fire first. Since I wanted both to do the same thing, I should have taken the tough roll first (requiring a "6"). As it stood, I had a big battalion sit still and wait for the flankers and a smaller battalion push on through and get picked on until it was gone. Sitting still or moving, I think I'd have been better off if they had both been doing the same thing.

Either way, it was fun and will be very simple to set back up and try a rematch. Good gaming!

24 August 2012

Quick Update

Boy, submarines are easy to paint.

The transport / cargo ships are being worked on and shouldn't take much more work.

Obviously, I've made considerable changes to the look of the blog. I'll probably change a few other things with it before long. No accounting for taste.

I'm sure I'll have some sort of game and post this weekend. Ya'll have a good one!


Got those cargo ships finished up as well. Thank you, Axis and Allies!

And some goodies showed up from C-in-C. The FRG Mixed Battalion will be complete soon as will the Polish MR Regiment.

22 August 2012

Mid Week Update

Poached the ol' Axis and Allies box again. Turn out the boats in it are pretty damn close to 1/3000. Close enough to proxy some subs and transport ships.

Those subs will turn into a Libyan Foxtrot-class and something else. Maybe the Libyans actually had two functioning subs? I'm no rivet-counter... they're close enough.

I was yellow.

Finally got around to ordering HOTT-sized bases earlier this week. Maybe my Narnians will be usable before Summer is gone. I also ordered the rest of what I needed to finish off my MSH Polish Motor Rifle Regiment and a West German Mixed Brigade. I had enough left-over Germans from the Panzer Battalion and Panzergranadiers to where finishing the Mixed Battalion would only set me back about $15.00. Kind of a no-brainer really.

19 August 2012


I finally managed to get a game of Shipwreck under my belt Saturday. I've been slowly assembling forces and have finally gotten them to a usable state.

The situation: Gulf of Sidra, March 1986
US ships have been ordered to cross Qaddafi's "Line of Death" extending from Misratah to Benghazi to exercise America's Freedom of Navigation rights. Libyan reconnaissance has picked up the two destroyers heading south and dispatches a force to run them off.

We started with three players, and finished with four. We diced for forces. Ziggy won the roll and took the Kidd-class destroyer USS Scott. My son chose the Libyan forces (in their entirety), and I ended up with the USS Caron, a Spruance-class destroyer. The Libyan force consisted of 4 Nanuchka missile boats, a flight of MiG-21s and a flight of Su-22s. 

I apologize for any blurry pictures that end up in this batrep. Apparently the camera on my phone doesn't like large blue backgrounds - it has done this before when using the blue sheet.
Our starting positions. The Caron has just crossed the Line of Death. The Scott is about 30 miles behind it. The Libyan missile boats are entering the map, coming from Misratah.

The Caron's helo gets airborne. The Libyan Nanuchkas get a move on to intercept.

You can see that I got around to putting rotors on my helos. I really need to put more helos together. 

T+30 minutes. The Libyan MiGs arrive to sweep the skies. 

Minutes later, the bogeys locate the USS Caron's helicopter and have gotten within 12 miles of a US ship. US rules of engagement stated that we weren't allowed to fire first unless enemies got within 25 miles. Two RIM-7s leap out of their launcher and one finds its target, exploding a MiG. The helo in the above picture is from the USS Scott.
The surviving MiG turned its cannons on the helicopter and shot it to shreds. 

The Scott's fore SAM launcher loosed two SM2MR missiles and destroyed the second MiG.

The US fends off the initial engagement well enough but will take a big hit in the world opinion department for firing first and losing a helicopter to a 20-year old plane.

The Libyan command staff. Junior has taken control of the Air Force, while my neighbor Nigel has assumed command of the Navy. They were working on their best Arab "photo stern faces."

Cap'n Ziggy of the USS Scott

Cap'n Ski of the USS Caron - Butcher of the High Seas

"Shit gets real." The gloves are off and both sides' ships unleash swarms of cruise missiles. I made a grave error when assembling only 19 missiles. I need to make about 20 more.

Three Harpoons about to impact. Wave 2 of SS-N-9s has just been launched. (The missile swarm sitting behind the boats)

Caron's AA capability isn't exactly "world-class" and the crew prepares for impact. The fore Mk45 gun is destroyed.

The Harpoons do their damage. One ship is destroyed outright. Another loses its 76mm multi-purpose gun.

No more photos for some reason... :(
     The 10-missile volley that the Libyan's had just launched was aimed squarely at the Scott, which was able to defeat all incoming vampires. The Su-22s arrived shortly and made a run at the Caron, but a RIM-7 ran one off and a Standard from the Scott destroyed the other.
     The US ships each released the last of their Harpoons, which found their marks shortly, destroying two more Libyan vessels, leaving one undamaged boat heading back to Misratah.

All in all, the game was a blast. It was a bit of a turkey-shoot for the Americans but we kind of expected that. I imagine if the Libyans had massed a larger volley, they could have really fouled up the Caron certainly, with its weak AA and possibly could have overcome the defenses of the Scott. We'll add more planes to the Libyan side for the next battle.