Posted by: T.A.G. | 30/09/2017

The First WW2 Practice Game

Finally, I have managed to bring the 10mm WW2 concept to the wargames table. After more than two years of planning, collecting and false starts, the dice have been rolled!

This was a “learning game” and meant to be little more than to put some figures on the table as an opportunity to gain some familiarity with the Crossfire rules, their flow and to begin to appreciate their subtleties and nuances. My opponent seemed particularly impressed with the absence of tape measures and with how the game turns are variable and flexible, being controlled by combat results rather than a rigidly defined turn sequence as is the case with many other rule sets.

The game itself was set up with a British force of an infantry company augmented by a Vickers MG platoon and supported by a 3” mortar platoon attacking a weakened German company, augmented by a HMG platoon and supported by an 8cm mortar platoon. Actually, this is pretty much the totality of the troops I have available so far. A basic terrain was laid out and off we went.

Slowly at first but ever faster we moved and fired, fired and moved, learning quickly that the rules punish any unit caught moving in open ground (which is the way it is in real life).We found that the rules begin to have a rhythm such that, whilst there is no set sequence for doing specific actions, it is better to undertake certain actions early in the turn and better to leave others until later. We made good use of smoke rounds, fired by the mortars, to screen tactical movements especially across open ground, which is something that, using other WW2 rules sets, we haven’t previously done in quite this way. The rules then drive the players to think carefully and look to safeguard their soldiers whilst working towards gaining that crucial advantage from which victory will be secured.

A good, fast game played in a compact space and set up, played and packed up in around 3½ hours. My erstwhile opponent is enthused and I think another game will take place quite soon. This is a good outcome because, having invested heavily in something new, I was concerned that my gaming circle would not embrace the new approach and scale (we normally game in 25mm/20mm rather than smaller scales). Phew!

Some photos from the game are below.

T.A.G.

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Posted by: T.A.G. | 14/09/2017

German Infantry Company

The latest addition to my 10mm WW2 collection is a company of German Wehrmacht infantry. The company comprises the company HQ containing a commander and two snipers, three rifle platoons, each comprising the platoon HQ, three rifle sections and two panzerfaust anti-tank weapons.  Fire support is available in the form of a mortar section of two tubes (one model) plus observer. The mortar section was not always present in the order of battle due to the exigencies of fighting a war on three fronts (Russia/Eastern, Italy/Southern and France/Western) beginning to stretch the Germans’ logistic capabilities beyond their ability to function effectively.

The significance of this unit is that my 10mm WW2 wargaming concept is now viable with both sides, at long last, having sufficient forces to begin gaming. I am hoping to hold the first 10mm WW2 game during October…

The Germans are not that easy to paint. Their equipment is intricate and the colours are both drab and lacking in contrast, meaning that there is no exciting change to the figure (that is to say, when a new colour brings the figure to a new appearance of “almost-completeness”) until quite late in the painting process. The motorbike and mortar team were fun though. I had never before appreciated that German mortar bombs were painted an unusual maroon colour.

Pictures of my new Germans are below.

T.A.G.

Posted by: T.A.G. | 24/08/2017

The First of the 10mm Germans

I have now finished the transport for the WW2 German infantry company that I am currently painting. Here are some photos of an Opel Blitz truck.

T.A.G.

Posted by: T.A.G. | 13/08/2017

Introducing B Company…

Well, after 8 days of splashing paint around, my first 10mm WW2 infantry company is varnished and in the box, where it awaits the completion of a German company to oppose it.

My “new” 1944-45 North West Europe WW2 project has been “slow burning”. I am amazed to realise that I’ve been at it for almost two years. Now, after a couple of false starts, it is properly underway.

This company is organised and based for the Crossfire rules which I’ve played a few times and think are superb. The company has a HQ, comprising the company commander, a 2” mortar and a Jeep, as well as three rifle platoons, each comprising a platoon commander, 2” mortar, PIAT, three rifle sections and a 15cwt truck. Each section is represented by three figures giving nine in total of which one is a Sten SMG and one a Bren LMG. Having seen the technique used elsewhere, I’ve trialled putting labels on the bases to avoid having to pick up bases to find out where, organisationally, they belong. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the look of them.

The trucks featured in my previous post have now gained their unit serial numbers, in this case “green 62” which indicates the second battalion within the infantry brigade attached to an armoured division or the third battalion of the second brigade (of three) in an infantry division.

Some photos of the finished company are below.

T.A.G.

Posted by: T.A.G. | 06/08/2017

New World War 2 Project in 10mm Scale

Some years ago, World War 2 was a popular period within my group of wargamers but more recently the old 20mm equipment has not seen many outings. I recently had the opportunity to play a 10mm WW2 game using the Crossfire rules. These rules are amazing (at least compared to what we used to do in 20mm) and I have acquired a set. I have also been acquiring a collection of (thus far unpainted) figures and models from Pithead Miniatures and Pendraken Miniatures but with some embellishments from the ranges of Magister Militum and Minifigs. Having sought and failed to commission someone to paint the evolving collection for me (time is precious these days and my eyes are not what they used to be), I have bowed to the inevitable and begun to paint.

The images below are of a Morris 15cwt truck, which is the trailblazer for my 10mm WW2 collection. This model is the “experiment” that I’ve used to decide what painting style I shall use and what my bases will look like. It won’t win any painting competitions but should work okay on the table top. It still needs some transfers for various vehicle markings but otherwise it’s complete and two more trucks and a Jeep are not far behind. I hope you like the photos of my efforts.

T.A.G.

Recently, I was invited to join an aerial campaign based around the Battle of Britain in 1940. Each of the participating players has been asked to select an RAF fighter squadron and the premise is that, chronologically, the air battles of the selected squadrons will be played out using the Wings of Glory WW2 gaming system. I have selected 43 Squadron RAF which was equipped with Hurricanes and based at Tangmere. Tangmere is located between Portsmouth and Brighton on the South coast of England.

43 Squadron’s first action was against a group of bombers escorted by fighters. The bombers were of two types, Messerschmitt Me110s and Heinkel He 111s (but due to no He 111 models being available, these were substituted for Dornier Do 17 models). The German fighters were Messerschmitt Me 109s.

As four Hurricanes from 43 squadron vectored in to engage the enemy aircraft from a higher altitude, they saw four Me 109s in finger four formation slightly ahead of and above the bombers, two Do 17s astern of the fighters and 4 Me110s loaded with bombs flying also in finger four formation in between the other two formations and flying at a slightly lower altitude.

43 Squadron matched the altitude of the Do 17s, attacking the rear right quarter of that German formation. The leading pair of Hurricanes engaged the trailing Do 17 and shot it down with a critical hit that caused the bomber to explode in mid-air.

The Hurricanes then closed in on the second Do 17, now supported by a third Hurricane and engaged it but were in turn engaged by the Me109s that had turned and closed the distance to 43 Squadron mush quicker than anticipated. The second Do 17 was shot down but the combined fire of the German aircraft critically damaged the leading Hurricane causing the pilot to bail out into the English Channel and also badly damaged the wing man’s machine.

However, the other two Hurricane’s now closed in and the in the ensuing dogfight three Me109s were lost in exchange for another Hurricane down and the remaining two heavily damaged.

The flight of Me 110s continued on its way but without fighter cover as the surviving Me 109 was forced to return to base for repairs. The two surviving Hurricanes broke off the engagement and returned to Tangmere for repairs. 43 Squadron will fly again…

The pilot that bailed out was my own personality figure so his fate was determined as being picked up from the Channel by a rescue boat. His injuries were minor and so would not prevent him from rejoining 43 Squadron and continuing to fly sorties.

T.A.G.

During a recent weekend break, I visited the museum of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) regiment in Winchester. The museum is excellent, being very well laid out and highly informative. The museum has a current operations section for the modern and recently amalgamated regiment nowadays titled The Rifles but its other galleries tell the story of the modern unit’s antecedent regiments: the 43rd  (Monmouthshire), 52nd (Oxfordshire), 60th (Royal American) and 95th (Rifles) Regiments of Foot as well as their successor units: the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the Rifle Brigade, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and the Royal Green Jackets.

This post is going to focus on the recently refurbished diorama of the Battle of Waterloo that forms the centre piece of the Napoleonic gallery. Laid out on 25 square metres of table, the diorama comprises over 30,000 20mm soldiers and horses at an approximate ratio of 1 figure to 9 real men and represents all of the key events of the battle rather than just a single moment.

Originally created over 50 years ago, it was recently restored,, reopening in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. A son-et-lumiere show, narrated by Kate Adie, takes the museum’s visitors through the battle, highlighting step-by-step the key events and bringing the diorama to life in a way that conveys a lot of information in an engaging, entertaining and very impressive manner.

Perhaps the best thing about the diorama is that it is a three dimensional model of the battlefield as it was, which means that it shows the landscape before it was altered by the creation of the Lion Mound near the crossroads of the Brussels and Ohain roads. Having stood on the battlefield and ascended the Lion Mound, I was startled by how very different the battlefield looked in 1815.

The photos below show various parts of the diorama. Please accept my apologies for the poor quality of some images – using a new camera to take zoom pictures through glass in low light at high is my only excuse.

Grateful thanks to Mrs T.A.G. for use of her photos from the visit.

T.A.G.

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