Sunday, December 26, 2010

Black Death!

WWII Soviet Naval Infantry Brigade, 3 battalions strong with AT, artillery, SMG, Pioneer, and Mortar battalions attached.  15mm Battle Honors figures based for Command Decision Test of Battle (one stand = one platoon/battery).  The Naval Infantryman wore the distinctive black trousers/ dark blue tunic/black peacoat.  Their dark attire and zeal (some unit cohesion and often fighting on their 'home turf' naval base) when committed earned them the sobriquet "black death" from the German Army. 

A good link for some reference material.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

German Forces, 15mm

 New German troops.  Battlehonors/Quality Castings 15mm.  Black primer, Panzer Grey, camo, black ink wash, highlights, lightt brown drybrush, light sand drybrush.  varnish.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Narva 1944, A Command Decision Scenario

Ran a Command Decision scenario this weekend at our local game club.  Went pretty well as a first run so I thought I would make the scenario information available to all.

Narva February 1944

The scenario uses information pulled from Wilhelm Tieke's book "Tragedy of the Faithful" and a sprinkling of information from various other websites and reference books.  You have the III SS Panzer Corps holding the Narva River line under some particularly stressful conditions in February 1944.  The Soviets have pushed infantry across the frozen Narva into a small bridgehead at a critical point near the German supply route.  The Germans are at their improvisational best scraping together a counterattack.  Otto Carius of the Tiger Tank fame leads the 502nd Heavy Tiger Battalion, reduced to only a few tanks, as part of the counterattacking force.

In the game we played the Soviets managed to get up the steep slope and also managed to knock out Carius' Tiger before it could do any damage.  Night time was falling as the game ended in a marginal Soviet victory as the bridgehead still existed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Forest Templates for Wargaming

The last few weeks I've been constructing forest terrain as shown in the "Architect's of War" How-To site.  These are sized for 15mm miniatures using 2 1/2" roofing nails.  Basic process is cutting the the top and bottom templates, spreading caulk on the ground template, securing the nails, adding sand/grit/pebbles and allowing to dry.  Build the canopy template next by hot gluing Woodland Scenics "clumps" to the black foamboard.  Then I lightly spray the clumps with 3M spray adhesive and sprinkle on a little flocking.  Going back to the now dry ground template I paint with dark to light shades of brown followed by dark gray over the "tree trunks" and a light gray drybrush over the rocks and trunks.  Done.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pre-Game Recon Battle

I’m always thinking about ways to add player-controlled variation to wargaming scenarios.   Player-control variation as opposed to random variation is my preference.  Random variation requires no thought or planning input by the player and would include such things as rolling for a unit in a scenario order of battle to see if it shows up or not.  The player has no input to the result though he does have to respond to the condition.  My preference for player-controlled variation would still have variation but would have some input from the players so the variation is not completely random.  One such player-controlled variation method I’ll detail below.
Let’s call this technique a “recon game.”  Other game systems I recall use a “recon game” such as Poor Bloody Infantry from Peter Pig, but the one I’ll describe has Command Decision-Test of Battle (CD-TOB) in mind as the game system.
As with a normal scenario, both sides would have an order of battle and set-up restrictions from the scenario designer or game master.  For this recon game to work, the set up areas for the players need to require main force set-up area  and a recon zone in between the opposing main force areas.  For example, on a  five-foot wide table, the attacker could set up within one foot of his friendly edge and the defender within two feet of his friendly edge.  The two foot area in between would be the recon zone.
The “recon game” would start with each player placing recon markers to denote the area of the pre-battle recon and patrol efforts.
First the defender would then determine the number of recon markers by a roll f a d6 adding one for each recon-rated stand in his order of battle.  The player could modify his order of battle to create patrol stands from full sized stands per the CD-TOB rules.  The penalty being that patrol stands created must start the battle as patrol stands though they could recombine during the course of the game as the rules allow.
The defender would then place the recon markers per his setup restrictions.  The intention from placing the markers is to deny areas to the enemy player for set-up, establish a skirmish or outpost line and screen any vulnerable flanks or attack routes.  The markers would be placed either within line of sight of the friendly main force set up area or within sight of another marker and not in the enemy main force area.
Next the attacker would create patrol stands and determine recon markers the same as the defender.  He would place the markers within line of sight of his main force set-up area or within line of sight of another of his marker and not in the enemy main force area.
Now resolve any conflict where one sides markers are within 8” (line of sight not necessary) of an opposing marker.  Assume fire is simultaneous between the markers and each side automatically achieves a hit.  Roll hit effects.  Ignore forced back results and continue in rounds until one or both markers are eliminated.
The defender can now setup his forces in his main force area and out to a line connected by his recon markers.  The only restriction is that main forces cannot setup within line of sight  or an enemy marker or 4” if the marker is not in LOS.
After the defender sets up, the attacker may set up with the same restrictions as the defender.
I plan to try this out at our next CD-TOB game.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Big, Bigger, Biggest

A T34-76, a T34-85, and an ISU-152 are ready for battle.  Minis are 15mm Quality Castings.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lend-Lease Arrives!

Finished some M3 Grants in Soviet markings.  Quality Castings 15mm minis.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Re-arranging the Work Area

 So this week I was feeling that my work space was cramped and badly organized so I pulled all the stuff out, cleaned the area, put up another shelf and added a organizer for parts bins.  Now I have everything within reach and a larger space to work.  Materials and tools and chemicals to my left, workspace, lights, and brushes to my front, paint to my right.  Much better.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

British Napoleonics in 15mm

Photos of recently based Brits for Napoleonic period.  All minis are AB 15/18mm except for the Highlanders of unknown manufacture.  The nicely painted Brits I picked up from Dragon Painting Service, the Highlanders I picked up off eBay, and the cav and the infantry behind them I painted.

The figures are based 4 per stand for Age of Eagles rules and suitable for many other.  The larger bases are for Volley and Bayonet.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

15mm WWII German Flak Vehicles

It would seem the Germans managed to stick flak weapons on every vehicle bigger than a motorcycle.  Here is a sampling.  The vehicles are from Battlefront except the 2cm SdKfz 10 which is Quality Castings/Battle Honors/Old Glory 15/19th Century Miniatures (whew!).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

15mm Fallschirmjager

Here is a side by side shot of Peter Pig and my recent Resistant Rooster German Paras.  The Roosters are noticeably larger even with the thinner base they are on.  The Paras look ok against a 15mm vehicle, but I don't think I would field the Roosters with my other 15mm collection (largely Battle Honors, Peter Pig, and Old Glory).  I'll sell these painted paras at a flea market some time along with the unpainted bags.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

15mm German Fallschirmjager in the Works

Picked up some Resistant Rooster 15mm Fallschirmjager from Scale Creep Miniatures a few weeks ago.  The picture shows them with the base coat on and a brown wash.  Next I add light shading and camo pattern (Luftwaffe Splinter), then highlight, then matte varnish.

I'll base these for Command Decision and should have some final pictures in a couple weeks.  And I've got a few more bags to go!

I generally have avoided the Resistant Rooster miniatures due to their slightly larger size compared to my Battle Honors and Peter Pig 15mm figures.  But the miniatures are good castings, nothing wrong with their quality and price, and I'll keep them if the fit in ok with my other minis.  Otherwise, they will be sold.  Guess I better make up my mind before I base them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Historicon 2010 at Valley Forge Conference Center

I had a nice long sleep Monday morning to recover from all the late, late nights at Historicon.  I found Historicon 2010 at the Valley Forge Conference Center (VFCC) to be a very good convention.  No disasters at least on the logistics and admin side.  Whether or not it was a financial success will require a report from the ConOps/HMGS-BoD.  I certainly hope it was a success financially because I would like to see future Cons at the Valley Forge Conference Center.

The con was laid out between the club gaming areas under the Radisson, the seminar rooms in the Scantilon, and the big gaming areas and dealer hall in the main conference center.  Travelling between these locations was a time-wasting chore until I was informed of the "service corridor" (aka "secret tunnel") that was a direct route between the Radisson and conference center areas.  Layout was not an issue after that.

The VFCC needs to do a few things to get used to wargamers as conventioneers.  First, keep the water stations filled until late at night.  Second, make sure their elevators are in good condition to handle the "extra-capacity" that wargamers present to mass-movement.  And third, keep restaurants open Sunday morning.  The VFCC has a largely captive audience and we can fill any and all eating venues that are open.

I didn't have a car at the VFCC and didn't miss it.   Next conference, I'll take more deli meats and cut back on restaurant expenses.  Though I must say the restaurant prices were "hotel-sized" but not anything I hadn't seen before.  The food stands set-up in the gaming areas were also reasonably priced for a hotel convention.

My fellow AoCM'ers and I played lots of Volley and Bayonet and Command Decision, mostly courtesy of Jake Strangeway, a gamemaster extraordinaire. Kevin's "Charm City Convention" game went off well; the Society of Destruction succeeded in the game by opening their convention , "A Gathering of Friends" to compete with the (fictional?) HMGS-GAMA sponsored "Historigins" Convention.  The Charm City Con game was a spoof of the angst and consternation and bumbling surrounding the intended move of Historicon from the pits of the Lancaster Host to the apocalyptic setting of the Baltimore Convention Center, as only a Baltimore denizen could conceive.

Registration saw an increase in the amount of goodies in the "swag bag."  That's good.  Game CD's, plastic miniatures (ECW and WWII), and sample magazines were included. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

German Armor 1/56th Scale

Built and painted two each Pz IVH and Sdkfz 234/1 from JTFM [1/56th scale compatible with 28mm figures].  Excellent models to assemble, lots of detail on them models and plenty of camo rolls, jerry cans, and spare tracks provided for further detailing.  Decals and crewman are also from JTFM.  Camouflage was with airbrush, I still need to get a better nozzle to get a finer line.  Maybe a better compressor.  I need to dull down the shine on the decals, I see.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Battle for Minsk 28 June-3 July Pt IV

Terrain and Kupkri Station Scenario


Google Earth is the first place I go for terrain study. Unfortunately, Belarus lacks the high detail imagery available for other areas. But looking at what is available, you can see that broad rolling hills fill in between the river systems and otherwise the terrain is flat. From maps in the reference books, the Berezina River had wide swampy areas on both sides with roads and towns located along the drier patches. Numerous streams. North of Borisov, the terrain is generally swampy and wooded. Not ideal terrain for off-road manuvering but this is where the CAV-MECH OMG crossed the Berezina, which indicates German resistance was fairly light.

Kupkri Battle, Evening 28 June

3rd Guards Tank Corps has a sharp engagement with the 505th Tiger Battalion. The fighting continued into the night and at 0700 29 June, the Soviets capture Kupkri Station. Leading Soviet elements skirted Kupkri but ran into the 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion guarding the bridges over the Berzina at Borisov.

Forces are 10th Guards M/C Battalion, 18th Gds Tank Brigade (Turn 2), 1823rd SU Regiment (Turn 2) and for the Germans the 505th Tiger Battalion, 1./89th Panzer Pioneer Company, 2x Police Companies.

The battlefield will run NE (Soviet friendly edge) to SW (German friendly edge). Germans will occupy wooded and open positions up to 2/3rd of the tabletop back to their friendly edge. Their objective is primarily to hold the main NE-SW road/rail to Minsk and secondarily to destroy Soviet units and prevent their exiting off the SW edge. The Soviets will start close to their friendly edge and need to advance and exit off the SW edge. Their should also be a secondary NE-SW road with roads connecting the two routes. Numerous wooded patches, light and heavy, and a few hills should cover the tabletop. Kupkri Station should be represented as a small town on the railroad about the middle of the tabletop. A road should connect Kupkri Station to the South edge and to the secondary NE-SW road. The primary road/railroad will offer cover to units defending behind the road due to the railroad embankments but will not block line of sight.

The Soviets will have a tough time trying to stand up to the German Tigers with their Shermans. The SU-85's can hurt the Tigers but they will be primary targets for the Germans. But the Soviet objective is not to kill Tigers but exit the battlefield. Stretching the Germans out and making them cover multiple advance routes will help the Soviet player.

The Battle for Minsk, 28 June-3 July. Part III

And here is the Soviet Order of Battle for the forces opposing 5th Panzer Division. Quite an impressive list even with all the artillery left off. I neglected the artillery as most of it was back at Orsha and along the line of march. A minor amount of 76mm and 122mm artillery would be available to the rifle corps in a prepared attack. The SU's, mortars, and rocket artillery will the primary support available to all units. Note also the large amount of stuff attached to 11th Guards Army. This was typically Front level assets but attached to a single army. The Front, 3rd Byelorussian, still had its own full allotment of artillery, tanks, and SU's. In a straight up fight, this of course is more than the Germans could handle but the objective with the scenarios with the 5th Panzer Division is to capture the more fluid fights as the exploitation forces (tank and mech corps, m/c regiments) advanced. If the 5th Panzer holds in place too long, they get hit with a mountain of infantry, tanks, and artillery. If they strike hard and shift positions to strike again, they can halt and wear out the advancing armor.

Soviet Order of Battle

11th Guards Army
--8th Gds Rifle Corps
----5th, 26th, 83rd Gds Rifle Div
--16th Gds Rifle Corps
----1st, 11th, 31st Gds Rifle Div
--36th Gds rifle Corps
----16th, 18th, 84th Gds Rifle Div
--2nd Gds Tank Corps
----4th, 25, 26th Gds Tank Bde [T34/85]
----4th Gds Motor Bde
----401st Gds SU Rgt [SU85]
----1500th SU Rgt [SU76]
----273rd Mortar Rgt [120mm]
----1695th AA Rgt
----28th Gds Mortar Bttn [BM13]
----79th M/C Bttn [w/tank co.]
----51st Sapper Bttn
--120th Sep. Tank Brigade[
--35th Gds Hvy Tank Rgt [IS-II]
--63rd Gds Hvy Tank Rgt [IS-II]
--148th Tank Rgt [T34/76 & T70]
--517th Tank Rgt [Flame and Mine T34]
--345th Gds Hvy SU Rgt [ISU-122]
--348th Gds Hvy SU Rgt [ISU-152]
--1435tg Hvy SU Rgt [SU-85]

5th Guards Tank Army
--3rd Gds Tank Corps
----3rd, 18th, 19th Gds Tank Bde [T34/85]
----2nd Gds Motor Bde
----376th Gds SU Rgt [ISU-122]
----1436th SU Rgt [SU85]
----1496th SU Rgt [SU76]
----266th Mortar Rgt [120mm]
----324th Gds Mortar Bttn [BM13]
----10th Gds M/C Bttn
--29th Tank Corps
----25th, 31st, 32nd Tank Bde [T34/85]
----53rd Motor Rifle Bde
----1223rd SU Rgt [SU76]
----1446th SU Rgt [SU85]
----108th AT Rgt [76mm]
----271st Mortar Rgt [120mm]
----747th AT Rgt [85mm]
----75th M/C Bttn
----409th Gds Mortar Bttn [BM13]
----14th Gds Hvy Tank Rgt [attached IS-II]
--1st Gds M/C Rgt
CAV-MECH Operational Manuever Group [Front Subordination]
3rd Guards Cavalry Corps
--5th, 6th Gds Cavalry Div
--32nd Cav Div
--1814th SU Rgt [SU76]
--144th Gds AT Rgt [76mm]
--3rd Gds AT Bttn [85mm?]
--64th Gds Mortar Bttn [BM13]
--3rd Gds Mortar Rgt [120mm]
3rd Guards Mech Corps
--7th, 8th, 9th Gds Mech Bde [M4A2 Shermans]
--35th Gds Tank Rgt [IS-II]
--1510th SU Rgt [SU76]
--1823rd SU Rgt [SU85]
--743rd AT Rgt [85mm]
--129th Mortar Rgt [120mm]
--334th Gds Mortar Bttn [BM13]
2nd Gds M/C Rgt
271st Motor Bttn [amphibious vehicles]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Battle for Minsk, 28 June-3 July


So looking at the front of the Soviet 11th Guards Army, here are the orders of battles for the German side. Paul Adair's book, “Hitler's Greatest Defeat” has a good outline of the battle groups formed by 5th Panzer. Still a rough estimate for the Gottberg Gruppe.

German Order of Battle, 28 June 1944

Kampfgruppe von Saucken
--Kampfgruppe von Gottberg group of security and SS units, included: 
          ---Kampfgruppe Anhalt (ad-hoc group of police and security units) 
          ---Kampfgruppe Flörke (ad-hoc unit based on remnants of 14th Infantry Division and others)
          ----Engineer Training Battalion
          ----Eight security, police, and alarm battalions
--Kampfgruppe Mueller [elements, XII Army Corps Commander]
         ----elements of 31st and 267th Infantry Divisions. 11Th Infantry Regiment of 14th Infantry Division

--5th Panzer Division
----13th Panzergrenadier Regiment
----14th Panzergrenadier Regiment
----31st Panzer Regiment [available 1 July]
----505th Heavy Panzer Battalion [attached, 29 Tiger I]
----89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
----5th Panzer Recon
----Field Replacement Battalion

During the fighting the 5th Panzer formed kampfgruppe of changing compositions but on 2 July, this was their organization:
Kampfgruppe 1 (Krasnoe-Molodechno on 2 July)
--II/14th Panzergrenadier Battalion (halftrack)
--Field Replacement Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment
--elements 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
Kampfgruppe 2 (Radoshkovichi on 2 July)
--13th Panzergrenadier Regiment
--main body 89th Panzer Pioneer Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment
Kampfgruppe 3 (Logoysk on 2 July)
--14th Panzergrenadier Regiment (minus II/14th)
--505th Tiger Tank Battalion
--elements of 31st Panzer Regiment

Infantry companies in 13th and 14th Panzergrenadier Regiments were down to an average of 35 riflemen per company.

The Kampfgruppen of 5th Panzer Division were somewhat fluid as the units were just arriving on the battlefield. The 89th Panzer Pioneer, 5th Panzer Recon, 13th Panzergrenadier Regiment and 505th Tiger Battalion were among the first to arrive and de-train in the Borisov area. Some Panthers of 31st Panzer Regiment also de-trained at Borisov.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Battles for Minsk, 28 June- 3 July 1944 PART I

For my next Command Decision game, I want to put together a scenario of the German 5th Panzer Division desperately trying to slow the Soviet summer offensive as their columns closed on Minsk and entrapped several German divisions. Now normally you could hit the highpoints of a battle and put something together quickly and easily that is representative of the numerous clashes around Minsk. But I like to go a few steps further as I enjoy digging into the details of a battle. Out of the information I collect from various sources, I can build several “historically accurate” scenarios. But the big plus for me is that know I am more conversant on a series of key battles.

So, this lengthy article shows the process I use to build a historical scenario.
First reference up is Osprey's "Bagration 1944."  This work lays out the fighting between 29 June to 3 July as 5th Panzer covers the approaches to Minsk.  The German forces include 11th Panzergrenadier Regiment, 5th Recon Battalion, 31st Panzer Regiment all of 5th Panzer and supported by elements of three SS Police Regiments, 505th Tiger Battalion, and 31st and 267th Infantry Divisions.  The Soviet forces include the 11th Guards Army, 3rd Guards Mech Corps, 3rd Guards Tank Corps, 2nd Guards Tank Corps, and 29th Tank Corps.

29 June:  elements of 11th Guards Army are encountering 11th Panzergrenadier Regiment in front of Borisov [Kostritsa area]
29 June:  29th Tank Corps tries to bounce the Berezina River [near Studenka] and is rebuffed by 5th Panzer Recon north of Borisov.
30 June:  11th Guards Army pushes across the Berezina in front of Borisov [Kostritsa area]. 3rd Guards Tank Corps exploits and Soviets are in Borisov by evening.
1 July: Tank battle north of Minsk near Pleshchenitsy to keep open rail lines. 31st Pz Regt, 505th Heavy Panzer Battalion vs. 29th Tank Corps and 3rd Guards Mech Corps.
1-2 July: Germans evacuating Minsk.
3 July: 4th Guards Tank Brigade [2nd Guards Tank Corps] with infantry on-board captures Minsk.
3 July: German troops are pocketed east of Minsk.

Terrain Notes: The vigorous defense by 5th Panzer along the Minsk highway prompted Chernyakovskiy to shift the bulk of his armored force [29th Tank Corps and 3rd Gds Mech Corps] through the forested but lightly defended area north of the city.

Troop Strengths: 5th Panzer with the 505th claimed to destroy 295 Soviet AFVs during the week of fighting. By 8 July, 5th Panzer had been reduced from 125 tanks to 18 and all the Tigers were lost.

Turning to David Glantz's translation of the Soviet General Staff Study, we find the following notes:

Troops involved: German troops mentioned; 5th Panzer Division, 24th and 26th SS Police Regiments, 2nd SS MG Regiment, 201st and 286th Security Deivisions, 260th Infantry Division's 470th Regiment

28 June: Cav-Mech Group arrives at the Berezina. New Stavka orders require 3rd White Russian Front to aim for Molodechno [right flank forces] and Minsk [center and left forces].

29 June: 3rd GMC crosses and advances 5-10km beyond the Berezina and turns South along road towards Minsk. About 50km North of Minsk, approaching Pleshchenitsy. 3Rd GCC having a tougher time crossing Berezina south of 3rd GMC and north of Borisov. Partisans cooperating with leading forces. 11Th Guards Army encounters covering forces on Kholopenichi and Krupki road. German covering troops consist of elements from 5th Panzer Div, 14th and 95th Infantry Divisions.

30 June: 35th Guards Tank Brigade [3rd GMC] captures Pleshchenitsy, 8th GMB 10-15km from Logoysk approaching from Zimbin. 3Rd GCC crossing Berezina in Studenka region. 11Th Guards Army reaches Berezina and crosses it on its southern wing. Enemy counterattacked several times in the Borisov region and further North. German aviation becomes more noticeable. Soviet aviation active along the Borisov-Pleshchenitsy and Borisov-Logoisk roads.
1 July: 11th Guards Army 83rd and 5th Guards Rifle Divisions enter Borisov in the evening from the south and southwest. Cav-Mech Group elements cutting the Pleshchenitsy-Logoysk highway.

2 July: 11th Guards Army captures Logoysk by attacking by the northeast with itsright flank. 2Nd GTC attacks and captures Zhodino and Smolivichi

3 July: 2nd GTC units supported by rifle corps of 31st Army, captured Minsk at 0900. Minsk pocket formed. 2Nd GTC advanced a further 10km west of Minsk. 5Th GTA units (29th, 2nd Guards, 3rd Guards Tank Corps) advanced NW of Minsk and halted on the Zaslavl and Ratomka line having encountered enemy resistance. 36Th GRC of 11th Guadrs Army is located in the Logoysk region.

From these sources and maps it is seen that 5th Panzer Division, operating in widely spaced kampfgruppes and poorly supported by ad hoc units and security battalions, fought a series of delaying and blocking actions northeast of Minsk and was either pushed back each day or “strategically relocated” to the rear as other Soviet forces outflanked them.

Mitcham's “German Defeat in the East, 1944” provides detail on the German forces and movements.

5th Panzer Division [Decker commanding] had seventy Panthers (though it is not clear the Panther battalion was with the division) and 55 Pz IV's. 505Th Tiger Battalion attached with 29 Tigers. Gruppe v. Sauken (former 4th Panzer Div commander and soon to be commander of rebuilt 39th Panzer Corps) charged with holding Minsk and its approaches open to allow troops to escape.

Elements of 5th Panzer posted at Kupkri Station. 31St Panzer Regiment had not arrived but v. Sauken did have the 505th Battalion, 89th Engineer, 5th Panzer Recon, 13th and 31st Panzergrenadier Regiments of the 5th Panzer Div. Gruppe von Gottberg (SS Lt. General) was also part of Gruppe von Saucken and consisted of police battalions, security units, strageelers and other odds and ends. Gruppe Mueller is part of Gottberg and has eight battalions, panzergrenadier battalion from 5th Panzer, and the 505th Tiger Battalion. Combat Gruppe Ahnalt with ten police and security battalions held a sector that reached out to Smolivichi and covered Minsk from the North. At Smilovichi, SE of Minsk, Gruppe Florke with three regiments screened Minsk from the south.

28 June: 3GTC ran into v. Sauken's force near Krupki station on the evening of 28 June. Tigers knocked out many tanks, including M4A2 shermans. Soviets kept attacking into the night.

29 June: 3GTC capture Krupki Station in the morning but at great cost. Soviets attempt crossing at Borisov and run into ambush by the 89th Panzer Engineer Battalion. Trying further North to cross the Berzina, the Soviets (29th TC) ran into the 5th Panzer Recon Battalion. 11Th Gurads Army leading detachments began arriving along the Berezina and were thrown into action near the village of Kostritsa held by the 31st Panzergrenadier Regiment. By nightfall, Soviet 29th TC and 3rd GMC had outflanked 5th Panzer Division and crossed the Berezina north of Borisov. Glantz shows attacks on 5th Panzer at Borisov by 32nd Tank Brigade [29TC], 25th TB [29TC], 2nd GMB [3GTC], 3rd GTB[3GTC], 19GTB [3GTC]. Decker orders 31st Panzergrenadier to cross Berezina at Borisov.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wargaming on the iTouch

Tall Ships - Age of Sail is an action-packed game simulating naval combat in the age of sail. The player commands his ship and fights in a series of campaign battles set in the Mediterranean Sea during 1805. As the campaign progresses, the player will take command of larger and more capable ships while fighting an even more capable enemy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Terrain Items

Just built several barbed wire obstacles (Spanish Rider or Knife Rests or something like that . . . ).    Used Battlefield Accessories barbed wire and bass wood sticks.  Base is plastic sheet with Durham Rock Hard putty mixed with suitably sized gravel.  Wood structure stuck into putty and when it dries it holds the "X" shaped rests.  I wrapped the barbed wire around the lateral beam and glued the beam down.  Painted wire with black gesso and then a rusty shade of brown.

Hay stacks were my other creation.  I'm working with some faux fur for fields (say that real fast several times) and what I shave off the fur can be pressed into a ball, sprayed with varnish, stuck to cardboard and shaped some as the varnish dries.  Cover the cardboard base with your choice of basing materials.  One other tip, I dry brush the fur with a highlighting paint to not only highlight the fur field but also to make it easier to shave or trim.  Otherwise you have the fur sticking everywhere.  Painted, it tends to clump together when cut and that is where I got the idea of making hay stacks.

Battle for Ogledov August 12 1944

Played a Command Decision Test of Battle game recently.  Game went well. The battle was Ogledow Aug 12 1944. This little fight was the debut of the German King Tiger, a Panther on sterioids with faulty mechanics just like the Panther. A battalion of the Royal Tigers left the rail yard in Poland, 11 made it to the battlefield, the rest broken down in transit. A single T34/85 KO'd three of the Tigers and a mix of T34's and JS-2's defeated the remainder. The Germans were attempting to counterattack to reduce the Soviet Sandomierz bridgehead over the Vistula. That was the historical battle.

The battle on Sunday saw the JS-2's playing king of the hill with the Tigers. The Tigers left the road to get within striking distance but started bogging down. The Soviet infantry "battalions," really just a strong company by this time in their summer campaign, were roughly handled by a company of StuGs with grenadiers supporting them . But with the JS-2's holding the central hill, the Germans couldn't break a tough nut.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

JTFM 1/56th Scale (28mm) Vehicles

Just painted up 2 each US Shermans and German halftracks.  Posed in front of some Normandy-style buildings I also just completed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Things to do while it snows

Wow, it's been 3 months since an update.  Things got a bit hectic in my basement lab this winter.  Water service broke under the house and partially flooded the basement.  Luckily the plumbers and restoration folks moved quickly and damage was minimal.  I had to replace padding under the carpet and my Ikea Billy bookcases were damaged from the water.  But as I store everything in plastic bins, nothing in my wargaming stuff or my wife's yarn stash was damaged.  Did have to move it all out to the garage while the basement was restored.  Everything is dried out, no mold, carpet is back down and new bookcases have been installed.  While I had everything moved out, I relocated my painting area.  Several years ago I had made a craft space for my wife in a 12x12 alcove in the basement.  The "Handmade Afghan Project for Our Wounded Soldiers" took over several years ago and she had not been using the space and my eye kept wandering to it.  Being the lovely person she is, she let me move in to her space.   What a gal!

But now it is snowing buckets outside, I'm home from work and will likely be off Monday too.  So I must paint.  Just finished KGL Hussars from AB Miniatures and I think I'll start on British Rifles next.

Got to get back to taking pictures too, now that the basement is back in order.