Saturday, November 28, 2015

ZSU-23-4 Shilka (FOW Cold War)

Today is my first update for my Soviet forces for Battlefront's Team Yankee game. It is a Cold War gone hot scenario and I have excitedly pre-ordered lots of Soviet T-72 tanks from BF. However with the delay in the game and my overall excitement, I went with some other manufacturers for some of the support weapons. I have finished the Shilka's below, a battery of Gvozdika Artillery and some BMP-1 scouts.

For this update I will look at the Soviet ZSU-23-4, the Shilka anti aircraft vehicle. My favorite thing about historical wargaming, or in this case hypothetical wargaming, is learning things I didn't know. So for Team Yankee I chose the Soviets because I knew little about the Russian military in the 70's and 80's. Now half a dozen Osprey books down, I feel much more informed about the time period.

The Shilka has four 23mm cannons and a radar for targeting aircraft, the vehicle could also be used against ground targets as well. The miniatures are 1/100th scale Zvezda plastic kits. These kits are great, even if the guns are a little fiddly to assemble. I picked them up on the Warstore for $7.99 each.

The color is a little darker than I wanted it to be so I will likely lighten it for the later vehicles. I hope to get another camera for Christmas so I can get some better pictures in the future. Stay tuned for more 15mm Soviets for Team Yankee!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

(FOW) Israelis vs Jordanians in Pincer

Today Rob and I were able to get a rare game of Flames of War in, and we went with some Six Day War action. We settled on 1500 pts and rolled Pincer as our mission.

I brought a Israeli Armored Company with an HQ Sho't, a platoon of 2 Sho'ts, 4 M51 Ishermans, 3 120mm Mortar halftracks, and 4 anti tank jeeps.

Robert brought a Jordanian Armored Company with an HQ of 2 M48 Pattons, and 12 M48 Pattons in four platoons, and 3 anti tank jeeps. (The Pattons were a mix of M48 and M47 miniatures but we used the M48 stats for all of them).

Israeli deployment.

Rob, as the defender, chose a short table edge to defend and we both placed an objective in that table half. He then had to hold half of his force off the table in delayed reserves, but the had his two Patton platoons in ambush, that meant the only thing on the table to start the game were his two command Pattons.

I don't often use the Sho'ts because of their cost, but they are really effective tanks.

I deployed my entire force on the left side of the board with my mortars back to provide smoke when his ambushes showed up.

Just hanging out, wondering when the rest of the force will show up.

Rob's commanders are feeling a little lonely..

Looking towards the closest Jordanian objective.
I moved up all my units on the left towards the closest Jordanian objective.

Then the ambushes came out...
Some M47's or should I say M48's pop out of ambush in the palms.

Rob brought both Patton platoons out of ambush.

Commanders are not feeling so lonely now.

One platoon ambushes from the village.

A Sho't burns as does a M51 with another Sherman bailed out.

Village ambush!
Rob brings out both ambushes, one in the village and one in the stand of palms. They combine to knock out a M51 and bail another, and then knock out a Sho't. I can't afford to lose many Sho'ts as they are not just the most expensive tanks they are also were most of my firepower is located.

M51 Sherman's push forward to get to close range.

Two of the Patton's in the village are smoked by the mortars.

In my turn I remount the M51 and push into the Patton's in the palms to get to close range. The Sho'ts remain stationary to support the push, as do the AT jeeps. The 120mm Mortars drop a smoke bombardment on two of the Patton's in the village to keep them from pounding my tanks with their semi indirect fire while I focus on one platoon at a time.

The M51's and Sho'ts knock out two of the Patton's guarding the objective and the third runs. The AT jeeps bail the commander of the second platoon of Pattons that was not smoked.

I fail my Stormtr... I mean Few Against Many roll with the Ishermans so I cannot get close enough to contest the objective this turn.
Smoke conceals some Pattons on the village.
Robert then moves his HQ tanks up to fire on the Ishermans but misses. While his bailed command tank in the village fails to remount so the two other tanks in the platoon cannot move up to contest the objective. They do move back out of the smoke, towards their command tank and take a few shots, but just bail an Isherman.

Israeli tanks on the hunt.
 I rushed the Ishermans and AT jeeps up to take the objective while the Sho'ts move up and engage the Jordanian HQ tanks. I the shooting step the Sho'ts take out both the CiC and 2iC, but his CiC does jump into another tank.

HQ tanks burn in the Village.

Jeep contesting the objective.

The bailed platoon command Patton that held up the Jordanians just log enough for the Israelis to take the objective.
Turn three starts for Robert with the biggest roll of the game... delayed reserves. In Pincer the defenders reserves come on from either side of their deployment zone, in other words behind me. Which could be very bad for me.

However, Rob fails the roll and no reserves show up. That means he will have no teams that can get in range of the objective to contest. His CiC takes over the last Patton platoon and moves up but cannot contest or get line of sight on the AT jeeps, no shots hit and the game ends with the Israelis taking the objective on turn four.

A fun game that really hinged on the Jordanian ambushes, while the two ambushes knocked a few Israeli tanks out, it was just not enough and I was able to focus on the two Patton platoons separately. And lastly missions with delayed reserves are tough on the defender when the attacker is aggressive, something I knew I had to be.