Thursday, April 30, 2020

Kampfgruppe Stickler #4 - Honig's Crossing.

The higher ups had scraped together enough armour for a counter attack but first the engineers had to check to see if the ford was passible for the tanks. Stickler had been sent forward to protect the survey party.
As the engineers plotted the course of the river, Stickler rushed his two infantry sections across the ford, including the newbie Gunter Honig and his home guard, the old men and young boys, stared at each other nervously.

Meanwhile he led his heavy weapon section forwards to the high ground over looking the woodland to the East. The wheeled vehicles could not cross the ford and took the long way round.

To Stickler's surprise Russian scout units appeared on the horizon BA64's rushed forward with Infantry in support. The thinly armoured cars rattled forwards towards the Germans rushing to take up defensive positions.

The new man Honig debussed his rag-tag section as the Russian armoured car rushed forwards, grabbing the only sections only Pz Faust he aimed the anti-tank weapon and knocked out the Soviet tin can. 

On the right flank the second armoured car was having better luck it had caught the defenders setting up their HMG and was rattling away with it's own LMG.

Despite the set back of losing the armoured car the Russian infantry continued there advance.

The BA64 was becoming a problem with limited AT weapons the Germans could only sit tight as the bullets flew. The Radio Operator got Regimental Headquarters on the line and called in support from a battery of 105's a several hundred meters behind the lines.

Massively underestimated the coverage of the Artillery it covered the hill top falling on friend and foe alike. Troops of both sides had received several pin markers, Larrs Kapp's section was caught in the open and lost a number of men to their own shells.

Meanwhile a Russian section succeeded in by passing the German defenders and appeared from the tree line over looking the engineers at the ford. The survey team dived for cover as the Russians stopped them from finishing their work. (The survey team needed to amass 20 points, each turn the Germans roll a 1D6 if not under fire.)

Konig's section moved forward to counter the advancing Russians, the second armoured car having escaped unharmed from the artillery barrage faced off against his militia men. A red mist took over him and he he urged his men forward attempting to throw grenades through the open hatches. But the BA64 was to fast. But it beat a hasty retreat beat back by the WW1 veterans.

The Russian assault was blunted  as Stickler pulled in the halftracks to force the Soviets back.

Meanwhile Kapp's section reordered themselves after the friendly fire and were able to get a bead on the Armour Car ripping open the paper thin armour of the BA64.

The loss of the vehicle pushed the Russian morale to breaking point and the engineers were able to complete their task.

Stickler has lost 3 from both Kapp and Konig's sections but the Soviets had been pushed back. It comes to something when half your casualties are from your own side.
Konig had been a real asset. not bad for an old man.....

Meanwhile back at HQ - the Battalion Adjudant pulled Stickler aside. "Stickler I have a mission for you".

NEXT WEEK - A deadly mission.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Germans in Winter Gear - Kampfgruppe Sticker.

This is a very odd feeling. I have actually completed an entire project, not a single piece of unpainted metal exists for this collection. I was ambushed by these last week when reorganising my storage boxes, they had sat based and undercoated in the box for around 5 years.

The combination of locked down, monthly focus on certain projects and desire to clear 30 years of stored figures finally brings them to the table.

Most of the original units have a wintery feel to them a rag tag bunch of Germans in greatcoats and Volkstrum in civilian clothing, so these represent a more well equipment unit in full winter gear.

I remember reading an article several years ago on Operation Werewolf where the German High Command planned to operate behind allied lines carrying out sabotage and ambushes, with members drawn from the Nazi party, Waffen SS and Hitler Youth.

I figured these could be something interesting to bring into the Kampfgruppe Stickler narrative campaign.

The figures are largely early Battlefront and are based in 12 man sections with a MG34 Team and one single Pz Faust which will give them some defence against the Russian armour in the forthcoming Bolt Action games.

Meanwhile continuing with the winter theme I completed these to add to the winter feel, donated to me by a friend of mine several years ago (thanks Dane.) I never did fancy sticking clumps of foliage onto the branches, but they do make rather good winter trees and will give the table that slushily feel after the a heavy frost or the snow begins to melt.

So there we are. One completed project. So that's that it feels like.

Although the Forged in Battle 88mm's are rather nice and to make the postage up I might as well grab some more Soviet Infantry after all you can never have enough Russians, besides I have some spare bases and I would not want to throw them away. These guys will need some transport and they do a nice pack of three Halftracks which includes a radio car, which would be good for a scenario I would like to try...….. Hell I have been in doors for a month and seen how much we waste on food and 'stuff' I should just go ahead and treat myself....

Welcome to mind of a Wargamer.
I guess I am not finished after all.....

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Russian Reinforcements - Bolt Action 15mm

I blame my poor dice throwing for this purchase..

How many times in these solo adventures have I rolled on the Platoon Forward blind chart for the Russian MMG's to appear. So a quick order to the guys at Peter Pig and the Soviets have yet more support troops to throw at Stickler.

I might have over done it with the MG's - 4 HMG teams...

Two extra 120mm mortars.

Much like the Germans from the previous post, Observers and Radio Operators to bolster the command choices for the Russians together with a couple of senior command stands which I found languishing in the draw and needed a make over and wintering up.

Let's hope Gunter Honig lives to tell the tale and the Russians need these extra casualty markers.

Not a bad haul and turned around within a week.
I am getting seriously worried that I am now buying and painting new purchases, what will we all do without the lead mountains to talk about :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dispatches from the Front VII

Another week in lockdown it's desperate times for the kids as they are forced into playing games with dad...

So a family game of Zombicide people hinding in doors looking for food whilst the infected are running around in the streets definitely not practicing social distancing, what does that sound like?

Meanwhile the club Diplomacy game keeps the club talking, it looks like history is repeating itself with the French pushing into Spain, the Italians cruise around the Med and the Germans attack the low countries. Meanwhile the peace loving Turks hold there own in the corner of the board :-)

Well that's frustrating..
Having sold this Warhammer supplement 6 months ago, I find myself buying the very same copy off E-bay, I recall it having some really good segments on the Hittitie Kingdom and New Kingdom Egyptians which will be useful for the summer ancient project. 
Next time I must remember to scan a copy before selling off.

It appears Warlord have been inspired by my Elizabethan Zombie games as they have published some extra rules for Werewolves and Vampires you can down load them here.
Definately some tweaks needed to me evil creatures.

Elsewhere in gaming land a few of us tinkered with scouting mechanisms at table top level, its surprising how your game play changes when you can only see a few feet in front of you. Suddenly hills become really important and behind every hill is an enemy.

In this scenario I was a detachment of 7th cavalry and surprise surprise behind the hill was a war party.

The game got me thinking about revisiting one of my first ever projects which was the Sioux Wars, having played it before in 15mm Frikorps and 28mm Dixons, I not sure how I feel about repeating the exercise over all over again albeit 20 years ago in the same scale.

Then chatting it through with a fellow club member he sent me this.

We are in the final stages of layout and planning.   The rules themselves will be a stand-alone project done outside of Baccus.   The rules are generic in terms of figure scale, originally being staged using 15mm castings and they will be aimed at the whole wargames market, not just 6mm.   They will be funded by subscription and pre-order.   I will be posting more information and details in the next few weeks as the project takes shape.    Alongside this however, Baccus will be releasing a full Pony Wars range.   These will be based directly on the requirements of the rules and provide all the colourful bits and pieces demanded to play the game.   I am also working on getting a range of game-specific scenic items produced.   The aim will be to allow anyone to play this spectacularly fun game on a reasonably sized table for a reasonable cost.   The theme will be Hollywood rather than History….the prime source material will be John Ford films, Wagon Train and the Lone Ranger.   I hope that this will delight more people than it disappoints.

I could be tempted.... But 6mm cavalry..hhhmmmm. I think it must be a touch of cabin fever.
But it would certainly give that sense of open plains and expanse which you might not get in 15 or 28mm.
It looks like a project several years in the making I shall be watching with interest and if the joy of six happens who knows,

Finally as I continue to clear down the various 'fillers' I found myself making a couple of web purchases from the likes of Timecast and Ironclad with a 21 days wait for some of the goods it will give me a chance to clear the decks before they arrive.

Until next time..... Stay in doors and keep painting.....

Sunday, April 19, 2020

German Reinforcements - Bolt Action 15mm

After the last couple of outings for Stickler I figured it was high time the Germans received some reinforcements or perhaps I finally got to the last of the lead mountain for the WW2 Project. Over recent weeks I have reorganised many of my various armies and unearthed several 'mothballed' projects or hidden packs.... Yes I am a wargames hoarder... 

The last of the German Armour, a Battlefront metal kit and some additional AT support for the Germans. I am not sure how it will stand up to the Russian JS2's.

A collection of Radio Operators, Spotters and Pin Markers. These never made it to the table before but the recent Bolt Action games increased the need for forward observers for calling in the artillery or rare air support. Figures from Peter Pig's German range casualties from their AK47 range.

A pair of 120mm mortars to give some much needed support to Kampfgruppe Stickler. Just realise how out of focus this pic is... :-(

Fresh meat for the grinder. Pretty pleased how these turned out and completed in under 2 days.

Damn just as I thought I had finished the Germans then tucked away in another box is two fresh sections, it looks like this project may have a few more weeks to go. But at least Jerry has some extra infantry to slow the Russian tide.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Kampfgruppe Stickler #3 - OP Post 23

It had taken a company of Panthers to finally stem the Russian advance, Stickler having been blamed for the breakthrough and was stripped of a number of his support elements and was ordered off to a backwater with a couple of squads to man OP Post 23.
This concrete building used to be regional party headquarters but had been abandoned when the Russian war machine got within range of the town.

It had been quiet for a couple of days when Russian scouts were spotted to the front.
(The Green dots, one was a dummy but would only be revealed once a hit had been scored )

Not knowing which was which. Stickler positioned his men defending the old party headquarters with men on both floors and an LMG team in one of the burnt out shells covering a potential blind spot to the west of his main position. Stickler did nor want Russians entering the outskirts of town.

The Russians had 7 potential units - 4A'a and 3 B's.

Turn One and the Russians raiding party is revealed. A couple of sections with supporting Machine Guns. They rushed forwards and grabbed cover amongst the fences and farm house facing the party building.

But the German defenders had not been idle and with a direct telephone line to Battalion HQ enabled them to call in supporting artillery which was ranged in on the farm house. HE shells peppered the advancing Russians and whilst casualties were minimal it did serve to slow them down with a number of shock markers.

Meanwhile Stickler called Larrs Kapp forward he and his squad rushed down the road in their 251 looking to flank the Russian position before they could skirt the Op Post.

It could not be going better for Stickler the Russians dice all came out first with minimal effect on the German defenders. Stickler could make his move without fear of Russian interference.

Kapp and his men rushed towards the shell damaged farm house that was only defended by a single LMG team. In the background the Russian Infantry could be seen sheltering behind a wood preparing to advance.

Sneaky Ivan tried to sneak up on the old party headquarters advancing through the long grass.

But Stickler was waiting and personally directed the supporting HMG team who pinned the adancing Russians in the field. Things were looking good for his command his reinforcements were sweeping left to roll up the Russian flank and he had his men in good defensive positions.

However the game was about to turn.
Fubar - Thinking the Russians are all around them Kapp's section from within their halftrack saw red's in every shadow and seeing heads popping up in the ruins let rip... killing Sticklers own LMG team holding the left flank. (a roll of double 1 and a friendly fire incident within Bolt Action)

The Russians under Captain Kelsov advanced pouring fire into the Nazi headquarters.

Albert Breslau's section tried to return fire but were forced down as the Russian fire rained down on his position. Meanwhile under covering fire the Russians charged OP Post 23. A bitter struggle followed Breslau and his men were defeated and the Russians controlled the ground floor.

Meanwhile Kapp had brought his men back under control and having cleared the farm house of defenders attempted to break the Russian attack with their own flank attack.

For Stickler it had worked before so why not again?
Having heard the firefight down stairs and realising that his escape route was blocked Stickler grabbed his trusty M40 and rushed down stairs to see a room full of Ivans. He and his two men blazed away but there he was seriously outgunned as his men fell in a blaze of Russian bullets, Stickler dived through the broken window and slipped away as smoke filled the room (proper comic book stuff.)
OK he should have been killed but the games are rather fun and I am growing rather fond of old Felix although i worry he is starting to turn into Herr Flashman :-)

Kapp's section rushed back but it was too late OP Post 23 had fallen to the Russians and he mounted his APC and headed back to headquarters to report the Russian attack.

I really thought the Germans had this one, but a couple of poor activations and a risky charge took the game away from them and another victory for the Russians.

With Albert Breslau and his squad killed Kampfgruppe Stickler will need to be reinforced for the next mission however the pool of reinforcements is getting rather thin and the group can only draw on a Green Squad.

Gunter Honig until last month was working on the railway and now commands a depleted Volksturm section of 6 inexperienced old men and young boys.

Not quite what Felix Stickler had hoped for.

Will Honig survive his first taste of combat? Find out NEXT WEEK !!!