Anyone have any recommendations for Regimental Histories or the like for this battle?
Monday, June 30, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
WelcomePlease give a warm welcome to Henry. I could not find a link to your blog. Let me know if you have one.
TFL Summer SpecialThe Special is out and it is wonderful. There are plenty of items for most interests. My AWI scenario made it and Rich did a fantastic job with it.
So far I am still busy with the 4 (yes 4) Chain of Command Campaigns. One for Operation Sea Lion, one for the Invasion of France, another for late war east front, one for France 1944 and lastly one for Modern Africa. Actually, there is a huge number of things that I really want to do in there.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Taking all the courage he could muster, the boy who was no more than eight spoke finally, "Grandda, can you tell me a story?"
The head barely moved. The eyes tracked to the child. The face was imposing but the boy held his ground. He did not flinch or run from the gaze.
"I don't know any stories," was all he managed to muster.
The boy looked at him and frowned. "No, Grandda, I want to hear about what you did in the Big War. Daddy says you were a hero and did brave things. I want to hear about that." The old man was taken aback. He looked and reconsidered the boy for a moment. He then began a slow nod. "I was no hero, boy. But I did my duty. Your mother would not approve of such a story." "That is why I closed the door so careful Grandda. She does not need to know." The old man gave the boy his first real smile of the morning. He leaned back and looked slowly to the right and left. He then nodded his head towards the kitchen door. "Shut the door James and come here. I'll tell you a story." The boy's face lit with excitement. He quickly moved to the door, carefully opened the screen door and gently closed it with a soft click. Then he eased the screen door closed to make the least noise possible with the grouchy spring that wanted the door to slam. The old man patted his knee. The boy looked dubiously at the old man thinking he was to big to sit on the man's knee any more and took a seat on the edge of the back porch with his eyes glued to his grandfather. The corners of the old man's eyes crinkled with a smile. "OK, what to tell you. I know, It was back in 1941. The battalion ordered us to attack a Japanese position at the far end of some farmland. It was some terrible terrain. We had to cross this large field of Kunei grass to get at the Japs in the far treeline. My platoon moved up the left side of the field while Leftenant Luther and a Matilda CS tank moved up the road on the right."
My platoon Area.
Lt Luther's area.
"Leftenant Luther was senior to me and had a platoon sergeant helping him. He took the side with the road because of that bloody big tank that was supporting us. It could waddle on down that road as nice as you please. We were stuck slogging through that grass."
"I sent out scouts and they managed to press all the way up into the tree line on the far left. This allowed us to get in right close to the Japs. They were a wily lot. Luther's scouts were doing the same on his side of the field. He did not make it to the treeline. His fellows made it just a short way up the road and out in the field."
The old man shook his head remembering, "That grass was miserable. It made the hot day so much hotter. It trapped the humidity. Were were soaked with sweat before we even made 20 steps."
Approximate locations of the jump off points. The Aussies in Yellow and the Japanese in Red (at least I think its red).
"Once the Japs had spotted our advance, they began to move quickly. The first of their troops to appear was a big brute of a man yelling orders and getting one of their strange sections moving. They did not move like we did. We divided our troops into separate teams with the bren gun and a few fellows in one team and several blokes with rifles in the other. That gave the section leader some flexibility. The Japs on the other hand kept everyone together. Their light machine guns had nothing on the bren. But those cagey buggers put bayonets on everything. Even their light machine guns. That was a sight to see when they came close, let me tell you. ...er where was I?"
The boy frowned, "You said their sergeant pushed a section up Grandda."
"Right you are boy. They appeared in the tree line ahead of Luther's boys. They were in amongst some big trees."
"Now, Luther had that Matilda tank come rolling up the field. He kept it off of the road for some reason but it tore its way through that grass leaving an easy trail to follow. Up came a pair of sections to support the tank as well."
"The Japanese ran two more sections forward in reaction to the press of infantry and tank from Leftenant Luther. Now they had a section at the crossroads where the tree line intersected with the road and another section to their left and that first section in the trees."
"Now with the Japanese occupied on the right side of the field, I managed to get two of my sections forward to box them in. One of my sections penetrated the treeline and would remain there for the bulk of the battle. I am still convinced that Corporal Jenkins must have come across a stash of Japanese Saki. His boys held on to that miserable patch of Jungle much harder than I thought them capable." "I came in behind the section I deployed in the grass and pushed them up further and had them get careful as they were getting close to being in range of the enemy." I managed to get two phases in a row! The Japanese were getting rapidly boxed in.
Now Mister Nippon did not take kindly to getting boxed in like that. He took that first section he deployed and turned them to jump my boys in the bush. Corporal Jenkins told me he heard them coming up and saw them hunker down on the far side of a small clearing but they were being cautious."
"While they were crowding my fellows in the bush, they also sent forward a section out into the grass across from Leftenant Luther's men. This would be a fatal move for those men. Luther told me afterwards, that they moved into the grass and went prone. They really never did anything but die after that. Their other section in the crossroads took the first shots of the battle. Not sure what happened but we did not hear anyone cry out after those Arisaka's spoke."
The first shots of the battle all missed.
"For an infantryman, the best sound I ever heard was the chatter of a Bren gun. One of Leftenant Luther's bren's responded to the Arisakas. That is when I knew the first casualty took place. I heard a Japanese boy cry out."
The Japanese suffered one kill from bren fire with no shock. The next Japanese phase had nothing happen.
"Now Corporal Jenkins had his fellows pitch a couple of grenades and fire on the section that was facing them. Let me tell you, if you have to throw a grenade in the jungle, don't get your hopes up. With all of the plants and trees, they rarely go where you want. The only good thing is it makes the bangs a bit quieter. The boys marksmanship was a bit better than their pitching and Jenkins said he saw two enemy fall from this opening volley."
The Japanese section suffered 2 kills and one shock from the volley. Grenades did very little in this game.
"Now I could see the Japanese moving some fellows around out in the woods but I was not too clear on what was happening. The fellows in the road began to return fire on the bren team. Their section out in the grass also tried to move but really did not go anywhere."
The Bren team took 2 shock.
"As an infantryman, I really like tanks. For one, they take much of the attention off of you. Next, they can make a real mess for the enemy. That tank moved to the road to get a clear shot at Japanese at the end of the road. The bren was just pouring fire down range. He must have kept his loaders hopping. The tank began to fire that big main gun. Now I spoke to the tank commander after the battle. He told me that the entire crew of the tank was hungover for the entirely of the battle. Tanks back then were not for sissies boy. They had no air conditioning. It was hot, noisy and not a place to be with a hurting head. ...er... do you know what a hangover is?"
The boy smiled brightly, "Yes, Grandda, its a headache you receive from the over use of alcohol the previous day. Ma once yelled at Daddy for having one last year. While he said his head would split open it never did. I watched for it. I think he was just saying how it felt not what was going to happen."
The old man grinned even bigger. He leaned forward and tousled the boys hair. "You are a sharp one. Well that tank's first shot blew the top off of a tree. I could see it from where I was in the grass. Completely useless. Take my word for it, gin is not your friend. Ever. That bren kept on chattering. The gunner was magnificent. He caused three casualties among the Japs while the tank was shooting trees."
The Japanese took 3 killed and 3 shock on the force in the road from the Bren gunner. Mark would have 3 phases in a row. Great die rolling on his part.
The old man spit in disgust.
"Now, the tank redeemed itself on its second shot. That one hit in the right place and you could hear screams following the explosion. The Bren gunner added his fire and the Japanese started to run backwards."
The section caused two kills and one shock. This broke the section. They were restored by the senior sergeant. Actually this part is a bit fuzzy in my memory.
"The Japs looked to be on really shaky ground at this point. They started to move their sections around and getting cautious in general. I had a Vickers MMG team assigned to my platoon. The battalion adjutant pushed them forward to give us a hand. I was pleasantly surprised to see them behind me. I took to shouting and got my third section to show up as well. The ones in the bush cheated forward a bit and the ones in the grass did the same."
"Grandda, where were you when all this was happening?"
"Me, well I was standing up in the grass. To make sure my boys could see and hear me I was standing and jumping, yelling and pointing. Now that I think about it, I really should not have been carrying on so."
"Oh," said the boy with a measure of disbelief.
"Now where was I, oh yes. The Japanese across from Corporal Jenkins got all worked up. They had moved a machine gun up with their section and commenced to fire on Corporal Jenkins. Despite their best efforts, amazingly we only lost two men to that brutal fire."
"But Jenkin's did not get the worst of it. The Japanese in the grass got pounded. In a couple of seconds of firing, they were reduced to a single man and the sergeant. Those two did the most sensible thing that I saw in the whole battle, they ran screaming back towards their lines."
The Japanese used a Chain of Command die and avoided the morale roll. The Japanese in the woods caused 2 kills and 2 shock on Jenkin's section.
"The tank bellowed again to no effect. The top of one of the palm trees exploded. A large coconut landed at my feet."
"Grandda! That didn't happen, did it?"
"Well, he did kill another tree," he said with a frown. The man was grumpy that his embellishments were not holding water with the child. He better stick to the truth.
"The Jap platoon has a whole section dedicated to their 'Knee' mortars. They have three of them in the section. They appeared in the tree line and commenced to bombard Leftenant Luther's squad in the grass. Also arcing up from the trees came a rifle grenade. The combined fire cost his squad two men down."
They also took five shock.
"I continued to push forward the Vicker's team and the squad next to them to ambush the fellows picking on poor Corporal Jenkins. Jenkins moved his men back a bit to get some distance from the Japanese."
"The Japanese knee mortars continued their barrage of the squad in the grass. From what I understand, they accomplished very little. At some point the bren team that had done such excellent work against the Japanese lost a member and eventually took enough fire that they broke and fled for better cover. Up to that moment, Leftenant Luther said they were well on their way to the military medal. Once they run he could not recommend it but he did shelter the men from getting criticism for running from battle."
"The battle was started in the afternoon and we were rapidly running out of light. I managed to close my men in on the Japanese in the woods and exchanged fire with them. I lost a man but the Japanese lost more. As it grew dark, the firing dwindled and both sides took their wounded and left the field. I lost 4 men that day. Leftenant Luther lost but two men dead and two fled. The Japanese as far as we can tell lost close to 16 men. It was hard to be sure but they were not beaten." The boy had hung on to every word but both grandfather and child ceased all talking as they heard footsteps inside the house. The mother's voice was heard calling for breakfast.
What a great game of Chain of Command. Mark and I each took a platoon of Australians and attacked an understrength Japanese platoon run by Brian.
Brian examines one of his Japanese figure while Mark talks about his his Australian figures. Other than being in 20mm, they are fantastic.
We had separate force morale for each platoon and Brian got 4 Jump off points while the Aussies got 3 per platoon. At the end of 28 turns (which would have gone faster if we did not get distracted and chatty) left all three sides still in fighting shape. I lost 4 men but my morale was the same 9 that I started the game with. Mark lost 2 morale points but was still at a 7 by games end with a mere two men lost. Brian, while suffering 16 killed only lost one morale point putting him a 9.
Had the game continued a bit longer, I think we would have broken the Japanese. I was pretty sure I was going to shatter the one squad with three squads surrounding it and a Vickers team. The Japanese squad was well on its way towards breaking. Facing Mark, he only had a near ruined squad and some mortars to contend with that could not hurt him much. Mark had advanced his squad inside both the rifle grenadier and Knee mortar's minimum range. The Japanese did have a sniper but I got too close and ran him off. They also had an anti-tank team but they needed to move into contact with the Matilda CS tank to do any good. Given that he was vastly outnumbered, Brian earned the draw result.
There are some subtleties of the game we all need to learn a bit better but it was sure fun to play.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
BloggerNo clue what the fine folks at Blogger are doing but my reading list now consists of a single entry and the view more does not work. Apparently, I am not alone in this. I saw a post on the TFL Yahoo group and there is a Google Group talking about it too. I hope they straighten this out soon as it is really annoying.
Two games of CY6Yep, you read that right, I got in two great games of Check Your Six last night. I met Mark at Gigabytes lat night and got in two East Front games.
This was set in late 1942 with the Italian Air Contingent running a patrol over the skies of Stalingrad. My Italians were flying a flight of four MC200s. They encountered a flight of four Soviet Petlyakov Pe-2s. (At least I think that is what they were)
I divided my aircraft into two two section flights. They started at speed 3 at an altitude of 8. I think the Russians entered at an altitude of 7. I forgot to make note of that.
We pre-plotted the first three moves as the visibility was poor. In the initial pass, I had timed it wrong and ended up passing in front of the Russians instead of to their side or behind. The MC200 is a very fragile aircraft. I think I failed almost every save by over 4 and thus the first aircraft fell to Mark.
As the aircraft closed on one another, a intense combat ensued. i landed a few hits that were shrugged off by the durable Pe-2 aircraft and Mark landed a solid hit on another MC200 which sent it down in flames.
Being rather sensible about it and the remaining pilot having no interest in a Russian Gulag, they power dive and begin their getaway. The Russians had been executing tight turns and lacked the speed to catch up.
The dive worked and the remaining Italians made good their escape. Time for a glass of Chianti in remembrance of lost friends. One more fleeting shot taken by the Russians but they were far out of range and the remaining Italians got away.
The game ran for a total of nine turns. I lost pilots at turn 4 and turn 5. It was a great game that went differently than I expected. First, the Italians were all +1 pilots. The Soviets had a -1 pilot and a couple of 0 pilots. Yet they still destroyed me. Well done Mark.
For the second game, I played the Romanians in late 1941. I had two groups of aircraft to keep track of. The first is a bomber group consisting of two SM.79JRs. These were Italian aircraft with two German motors instead of three Italian ones. The center motor was replaced with a forward gun mount. The second group consisted of four Romanian IAR-80 aircraft (I think).
I positioned a pair of fighters at altitude 8 in front. The two bombers were behind at altitude 7 while the tailing fighters were at altitude 6.
This game had better visibility. My force was considerably more varied in quality than the first game. Each pair had a plus one pilot and a zero pilot.
The Romanians were a very different kettle of fish. I really liked these aircraft. They had more guns and it did not hurt that I had better luck with the dice.P> The Soviets entered with the flight of four Yaks. Not sure what variant these were.
We began the game farther away and it took several turns to close. The Plus One fighter pilots all spotted the enemy and began to turn towards them while the sprogs continued straight ahead. The bombers were moving terribly slow (2) and the rear group of fighters were matching speed with the Bombers. The lead group of fighters were just going slightly faster (3).
In the first pass, both of my lead aircraft dove on the lower flying Soviets (Altitude 6). The Soviets were climbing up to engage the bombers. In the first pass my lead pilot managed to score a kill on his first Yak. His wingman scored a hit on a second that left it with airframe damage.
The sprog who scored a hit managed to get on the tail of his victim and pursue him directly into the bombers. Mark had his best shot at the bombers. The angle was bad but he was coming from a direction that was not covered by a gun. His two planes fired on the sprog bomber and managed to kill one of the gunners. That was the end of turn 4.
Turn five had my sprog still on the tail of the Soviet and managed to kill the Yak underneath the second bomber. The dying fighter managed a few shots at the second bomber but did not score a hit. With only two aircraft left in the fight, the Soviets doggedly attempted to pursue the bombers.
Somehow this picture was before we removed the stricken fighter. It is seen still smoking in between the two bombers.
Turn six was a bad time for the second bomber. One of the Yaks lined up with an excellent stern shot and put fire into the bomber. He scored a critical hit and a fuel leak. He also managed to kill a crew member. The crew was on their game and managed to stop the fuel leak. The stricken bomber had to drop its bomb load to keep from loosing altitude.
The plus one pilot from the lead pair of fighters found itself separated from his wingman and far away from the bombers. But very close to a Yak fighter. He scored a kill on the third Yak of the day. Mark was having difficulty getting a save and I was rolling some really good damage.
Turn seven saw the last Yak off as two of the Romanian pilots shared a kill on the fighter. Mark was unable to finish off the wounded bomber and this left the State Vodka Works an open and unopposed target. What else would keep the Soviets so doggedly in the fight to the last man?
With all of the enemy driven from the sky, the sprog bomber reaches his target. The State Vodka Works was successfully bombed. It was said that the infantry on the front lines could see the explosion and the skyline was unnaturally bright well past midnight that night.
Three Romanian pilots came home with claims. The lead pair of aircraft claimed two each (the sprog had a shared victory). It was a good day to be Romanian. It was a second great game in a row.
The robustness of 1 of the IAR-80 definitely helped out. Having a Robustness of 0 for the MC200s meant that any hit was potentially deadly. I really want to work out a campaign with Mark using Squadron Forward on the Eastern Front. Air games can flow pretty quickly and you can get in more than one game per night. If I only could get in more games normally, this would be great. Now where is that Romanian name generator.....
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I did finish the first draft of it though. I will be trying this one out next week some. What I lack is the dense urban terrain that is needed for the scenario. Seeing pictures of the terrain in the refugee camps, it had to be a nightmare for the IDF to try to fight their way through such a sprawl.
So, what I have decided to do is post the scenario up here once I get a chance to tune it a bit. I am leaning heavily on Rock the Casbah for the stats and function of quite a bit of it. It should be interesting to see how this works out.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Let me know if any of these sound more interesting than the other. I will focus on that one to make sure it gets completed first. Hopefully the muse has not struck too late and something can make it before the cutoff.
Monday, June 16, 2014
GiveawaySean is doing a giveaway at his blog for some Splintered Light Miniatures. These are for some of their fantasy Rat Men line. You can read more about it here. His blog is well worth a visit too. I do like his older banner though with the viking toddler on it.
ProgressIn the early quiet hours of last Saturday morning, before the rest of he house woke up, I managed to start painting some 15mm DAK. I nearly go the first color on when the rest of the house got up and brought my painting to a quick and decisive end. On the plus side, my five year old asked when we could play miniatures again. With any luck, I shall reclaim the kitchen table once more. If I am not too tired tonight, I think i will paint a bit more.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Liebster AwardI was just nominated for this by Joe over at Platoon Forward. I really enjoy Platoon Forward and am pleased that he would think to nominate me. It is interesting to ponder. It seems a good way to promote some lesser known blogs out there but it does seem a bit self congratulatory. But it was still nice to be thought of.
I have seen this popping up with a great degree of frequency lately. From my understanding there are some rules associated with this.
1) Copy and paste the award on your blog linking to the blogger who has given it to you.
2) Pass the award to your top 11 blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
3) Sit back and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes that knowing you have made someones day!
4) There is no obligation to pass this onto someone else but it's nice if you take the time to do so.
This is very difficult as many of the blogs that I follow are already nominated or have way more than 200 followers.
My nominations are:
1) Jay's Miniature Enterprises - Jay has a really neat science fiction story going on with his blog that is very entertaining to read. He had tied in his miniatures to the story very well and gives you snippets of what is going on. It is well written and generally funny and entertaining. Well worth a visit.
2) A J's Wargames Table - Love this site. He has had some fantastic battle reports from his colonial Sharp Practice Games. I always look forward to his posts.
3) Kreig's Corner - Not sure if he qualifies but I can't find a public follower count on his blog. This is the blogging home of a fantastic painted. I found Troy a long time ago when I was looking for a set of WWII rules to use with micro armor. I stumbled on his Schwere Kompanie rules and really liked them. I always marvel at his painting skills. If you find pictures of his 6mm miniatures, they are absolutely amazing.
4) This War without an Enemy - Another great site with some fun battle reports on it. He is a solo gamer but that does not stop him from enjoying some great games. He has been getting in some games of Chain of Command for the Spanish Civil War. I am jealous.
5) Solo Napoleon - Since the sad demise of Larry Leadhead, I have been wanting a war game themed comic. I recently discovered this guy and I have a new favorite.
6) Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist - I am pretty sure he has been nominated already but I like his stuff. Often not directly wargames related but it is still interesting.
7) Tides of War - This is just one of those places where you look and marvel how do you do it. The man has put on games that are spectacularly huge in 28mm. He has more miniatures on the table than many large 6mm games that I have seen. His city of Troy is amazing.
8) League of Augsburg - This place is just pure eye candy. The main problems of looking at great painters and their toys are it makes me want to throw mine out.
9) alea iacta est - This is a German blog that was nominated back in 2012. He has some fantastic French and Indian War stuff on his painting bench and due to the magic of Google Translate, even I can read it. Great place.
10) Jugando con Munequitos - Juan makes my life easy in that he posts in both English and Spanish. His blog has plenty of interesting content and plenty of beautifully painted miniatures and scenery.
11) Mad Padre's Wargames - A fun and eclectic bunch of game reports and miniatures. I can't wait for him to post a game report with his Ottoman Turks.
There are plenty more I should nominate as well but this is what I was able to get together now.
In addition, it seems that there are some Questions. I just copied the ones from Platoon Forward as I am far to tired to think up my own.
1. Why did you start blogging?
Honestly, it was to keep track of my projects and what I was doing with them. I started to catalog what I had and the amount of unpainted lead depressed me.
2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?
Nothing really. I am enjoying the hobby and especially meeting with people from around the world with similar interested.
3. Do you read Battle Reports and what makes them inviting to read?
Yes, I love to read others reports. Mostly because I don't get to game as much as I would like. I really enjoy the ones that are built into a story.
4. Is figure painting a chore or pleasure?
Both. When I start working on a project, I love it. But after painting the same thing over and over, it can become a chore. Say painting a company of Soviets or a battalion of British Napoleonics. But I flit from project to project enough to keep from getting too bored.
5. Napoleon once was quoted as saying he preferred a general that was lucky over skilled. In gaming, are you lucky or skilled?
Neither. I feel blessed to get in a game.
6. Could you limit your gaming and collecting to one period and one size? If so, what?
No. I enjoy too many different things. I am down to mostly one scale - 15mm. I have some 6mm stuff about but it has not seen the light of day in a while. I have some 1/144th aircraft and some more in 3mm scale. The 28mm miniatures that I have are things I have won from give aways and contests. I might actually paint some up.
7. How do you deal with burn out?
I'll let you know when I figure that out.
8. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?
Interesting question. Peter Pig does much of what I game. But there is no one manufacturer that does it all. Old Glory does quite a bit. But without the bounty of options that are available today, I think my miniature collection would be poorer for it. We are Blessed and Cursed with choices. In general, its a good thing.