Monday, July 30, 2012

The dangers of flying (CRU)

So the following are a few photos of my Crusaders by Legio Heroica.

A group of Knights of Jerusalem with Arabized helmets.

I had no intention of buying any 15mm ancients, but sometimes fate intervenes. I happen to live near a small town in Alabama named Scottsboro, nothing particularly interesting other than a little place called Unclaimed Baggage. For some reason whenever you lose your baggage flying into the U.S. your stuff ends up in rural Alabama at a huge warehouse store.

Wandering the aisles of this store you never know what you will find. One day while I was perusing the selection of scuba masks, mp3 players and jewelry I found a shelf full of small bags, bags that contained tiny toy soldiers. Hoping I had found the mother lode of Flames of War miniature I was surprised to find dozens of bags of beautifully sculpted Crusaders and Muslim minis. I gathered them all together and found the price of fifty cents a bag reasonable, so twenty dollars later I have the makings of two whole armies for ancients.

After looking up the prices online, I found that I had bought around three hundred dollars worth of miniature for twenty dollars, bazinga.

First up are a few of my Knights Hospitaller.
The Knights Hospitaller force as of now, I based the army for use with Field of Glory.

Armored crossbowmen and spearmen.

Hospitaller spearmen.

Unarmored crossbowmen.

Knights of Jerusalem.

Now the Muslim Army.

So far this force is gorgeous with all the colors, I need to add more banners.

Armored Ayyubid lancers.


Bedouin command.

Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb aka. Saladin

Turcomen horse archers.

I've only painted about half of both armies.

Overall these Legio Heroica miniatures are amazing, I would recommend them wholeheartedly.
I even plan on buying some more to finish both forces out, I just hope them don't get lost at the airport.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kursk Mega Battle (FOW)

The gaming group in Auburn got together and fought a midwar mega battle just before FOW v.3 came out. (Yes I know that was a long time ago, but I'm just getting to posting this report) Each Side consisted of 3 players, each commanding certain types of forces, tanks, infantry, artillery, etc.

The battle was fought on the northern edge of the Kursk Salient with the German 9th army attacking fortified Soviet positions. I decided to run this game after finishing a book on the 4th Panzer Division.
So the German force contained a company of Panzers from the Panzer-Regiment 35 and a company from Panzergrenadier-Regiment 33, with a few Brummbars the break the fortifications. Its my intention to get another mega game together for Prokhorovka in the south.

3000pts of Germans doesn't look like much in MW.

These Mk IV's are where most of the points went.

I would be running the PzGren's in  the game.

The Pioneers to help get through the minefields.

The Soviet players deployed a Strelkovy Batalon in three lines of fortifications and a Tankovy Batalon. The Strelkovy was entirely on the board the Tankovy was in delayed reserves as a counterattack force. The Soviet players decided against deploying a company of tanks in gunpits, they were afraid of the preliminary bombardment.

Now 3000pts of Soviets looks like a lot.

"Sir, what do we do against the fascist tanks?"

"Don't worry they won't get past the AT guns.

The mobile reserve, there are a few odd tanks out there.

The mission is a revised version of the big push mission from V.2. The Germans had to capture one of the objectives on the Soviet side of the board, located around a small village
I tried to match the terrain to accounts from the actual battle involving the 35 panzer regiment

So nice and peaceful.

Or perhaps not.

Three defensive belts, we ran out of trench lines and had to improvise.

Above are the Soviet defenses in three lines of fortifications after the preliminary bombardment, a few guns and infantry were destroyed but no major losses.

Now thats an attack force.

Brummbars lead the way.

The German force pushes forward.

We ain't scared.

Smoke the 57mm AT guns.
The first trench line is devastated by massed tank fire, but still repulses an assault by the Brummabars and capture one of the beasts.

The infantry in the first trench line didn't last to long on their own.

The PzGrens are in the trenchs, not on a road.

However another assault my the panzergrenadiers and Brummbars route the first defense line and move on towards the more powerful second defense line.

Taking shelter against the hill, seems like a good idea.

Yes a really good idea.

The Panzers push hard on the left flank but decide to wait on the Pioneers and Panzergrenadiers to gap the minefields.

I had hoped to roll right through the second line, not to be.

The Soviet tanks come on in full force.
A hasty assault by the pnazergrenadiers and Brummbars on the right flank fails in the minefield an the infantry are cut to pieces by the Soviet defenders. Things are not so easy for the attackers.

"Drive them back!"
Stuarts move up to support the weak third line.

The Soviet armor begins arriving in mass the stop the German attack.

The mobility of the Germans came into play.

They could reposition very fast.

The poor pioneers struggled with their minefield.
The Pioneers and Panzergrens struggle to gap the minefield with the Soviet defenders pouring fire into them. (the pioneer really failed four attempts to gap the minefield) However the volume of tank fire eventually thins out, then breaks the Russian defenders.
When the tough second line collapsed so did the Strelkovy.

Both sides daring the other to move on top of the hill.

And all the while the Brummbars trudge on.

They even nab a T-34 or two.
With one last push all across the front the Germans break through the last defense line on both the right and the left flank. The two opposing tank forces finally meet in a violent melee around the objectives. Both infantry forces are spent and its the tanks that will win or loss the battle.

The panzers make the first move.

Things look bleak for the Soviet armor.

But their armor is still tough.

The Stuarts surround the Brummbars, but with old hen & chicks can't fire.

The next few turns saw the Brummbars move past and shoot the stuarts, then the stuarts moved up 6 inches and go for a flank shot or two. But the Soviets ran out of stuarts before the Brummbars.
And though harassed and eventually knock down to just one vehicle by the pesky stuarts the Brummbars take the objective and complete the attack. But just like in reality the German force is entirely spent, the Panzergrenadiers are decimated and the panzers depleted to the point of ineffectiveness. The Soviets lost the defenses but exacted such a heavy toll that the offensive in the north is done.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Panzer Walkers (DUST)

Here are a few more walkers for Dust Tactics.
They continue with my Afrika Korps theme.
I tend to collect more of the lighter panzer walkers since I figure Africa is a less important front and doesn't receive the best equipment. My force is based around a siege of Tobruk, pioneers and armored infantry for the siege work and recon to keep the desert free of enemies to the rear. But a few heavier walkers have made it to the sands of North Africa.
Including a venerable old MEDIUM PANZER WALKER ''LUDWIG'', nicknamed "Old Bones" that is a common sight around German lines. (I rarely play a game without a Ludwig in my list)

"Old Bones", one of the first panzer walkers built.

The 88's of the walker tend to be used against fortifications rather that enemy armor.

Sand and the elements have been the biggest danger to the walker, so far.
Recently received by the Afrika Korps are some of the new laser weapons, both in infantry form and walker mounted versions. High command wanted to see how the weapons work in hostile environment of the desert. The Light Panzer Walker "Hermann" mounts a large laser weapon but has proven less than useful is the siege warfare around Tobruk, its limited range and danger of overheating have relegated it to second line service. (In game terms the Hermann is my least favorite version of the light panzer walker)

The Laser Weaponry of the Herman make it a danger to enemy tanks and walkers.

But allied walkers are in short supply in the desert.
 As they have been doing since the first days of the war in North Africa, the maintenance section of the Afrika Korp have been keeping vehicles running however they can. This often leads to cobbled together vehicles and armor. One of the earliest walker modifications was the "Heinrich Mk II" they place the 20mm AA guns from the "Heinrich" on the lighter chassis of the "Hans". The anti-aircraft walkers were thought to not need the added armor, since they were not intended for the front line. So all anti-air walkers in the army are now based on the "Hans" chassis freeing up the better armored walkers to be armed with better weapons.

Heinrich Mk II with quad 20mm cannons.

Additional targeting equipment was added to the "Hans" hull.
 The DUST miniatures are still some of my favorite 28mm stuff on the market, and the price is definitely right. Stay tuned for more DUST in the future.