Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Miniatures - East Front WWI Russians

Just purchased my first World War I figures the other day. OK. Not entirely true. I have some French and German figures that I got from Minifigs USA before they disapeared but I was extremely disappointed in them and did nothing with them.

The new figures are a pack of Peter Pig Russians. Seven riflemen and a pistol waving officer were in the pack. The pack contents probably makes sense with their Square Bashing rules but they are not nearly as helpful for someone looking to use them for TFL's Mud and Blood.

I really like the figures. I managed to put them on a painting stick and prime them. I received some painting advice on the Lead Adventure Forum but it was from painters far more skilled than I who utilized a much more multi-layered approach than I would attempt. Lets face it, I am a lazy painter who is color blind. I need something closer to color by numbers for me to get close.

So, if anyone has any recommendations, I am all ears. I normally paint with Vallejo paints. I am looking to model a force for the 1914 to 1917.

Anyway, it is one more thing to distract me from my East Front WWII scenarios and painting my Italians for it. Once it is primed black, does it still count as an "Ooohh Shiny" moment?

Down on the Farm - An IABSM3 AAR

I was able to get in a half a game of IABSM on Saturday night (1/21/2012) and completed the game on Sunday night. Needing a scenario, I grabbed scenario 1 from the rule book and used it. Never one to leave well enough alone, I modified it to change the British to Germans, the Germans to Soviets and set it in the Ukraine in August of 1941. The table layout was the same but much of the fields were cut off as I had a short 5' by 4' table to work with. This would cause a number of early casualties. If I had to do it over again, I would drop some of the collective farm and leave the fields. Also, I need to make some fields. Anyway....

Our Story
August 1, 1941: The 11th German Army continues to push toward the Bug River. In an effort to surround the Russians in a Kessel of their own, the 11th Army sends out men to find the enemy and attempt to herd them towards the river to pin them in place.

One such expedition was undertaken by Hauptmann Hermann Schmidt of the 285th Regiment. Hauptmann Schmidt has three fully manned platoons at his disposal. His Company headquarters is reduced as it only has one full strength squad. Each platoon has a light mortar. Ordered to advance upon a collective farm, the company has advanced through harvested wheat fields towards the collective.

The Collective farm was defended by elements of the 469th Rifle Regiment of the 8th Soviet Army. The soviet commander is joined by a commissar, two maxim machine-guns (this forms his headquarters) and two platoons of three 10 man squads.

The Germans entered through the fields and quickly found and began to engage the Russians deployed in the first set of trees. The distance from the table edge to these first hedge/tree line was way too close. Most of the troops counted as auto spotted. The Germans attempted to close assault immediately with two squads from the first platoon. Both were repulsed but suffered no shock. The second two squads decided to soften the Soviet positions up rather than follow the fate of their peers.

The next platoon to arrive attempted to turn the flank of the Russians in the initial tree line. It took several turns for them to do so as they advanced much more cautiously than the first platoon. Eventually they were successful.

Once the Germans were in the trees with the remnants of the Russian platoon, they were able to roll up the Soviets and destroyed two platoons to a man.

The German third platoon and had a much longer distance to travel. The Russian's moved their headquarters to attempt to intercept and halt the German advance. Unfortunately for the Russians, this did not occur until they had already lost their first platoon.

Once deployed, the two Soviet MMGs with the headquarters were able to cause significant trouble for the third platoon. For several turns they managed to pin or suppress two squads until they were broken. The remaining two squads laid fire down on the Russian second platoon while the headquarters squad flanked their position as well.

It was at this point of the game where my three year old decided he wanted to play the game too.

By this point the Russian troops were pretty much destroyed. The casualties were very high on both sides. Starting the game too close together leads to a very bloody game. For a first game of IABSM 3, it was a fun learning experience. I am looking forward to the Early War supplements to be released and see if my assumptions of force structures match. I used the cards and the markers for the first time. I was dubious of the markers when I first saw them. Now, I really like them.

Next game.... armor.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Coming Thunder Reaches 50...

... sales that is. Fortunately, it was pointed out to me that Blogger did something odd with the page for "The Coming Thunder." The text was wiped out and replaced with... nothing. That should be fixed now.

I have just received a copy of Charge!(Issue 34). Scott Mingus did a nice recap of the scenario supplement. Thanks Scott. Hopefully, this will generate a little more traffic.

Following on with this, I have been making some real progress now on the East Front Supplement for IABSM. This morning, waiting on my desk at work was not only Charge!, but also IABSM version 3, the IABSM Card Deck and the IABSM tokens. All very, very nice. I am a very happy gamer. Hopefully, I can get some time and put a game together this weekend. Possibly.

On the Bag the Hun front, progress continues on the second desert supplement. Hopefully, I will have more on this later.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Weekends Work

Surprise, Surprise. I actually was able to get some painting in this weekend. I managed to paint up 25 East Front Italians, a single 65mm gun and a staff car.

This was quite productive for one night's work, especially considering how slowly I paint. I still have to use the Army Painter dip, dull coat and base them up. But that is the easier part for me.

In other parts, I finally received my Christmas present. Håkan Gustavsson's awesome book "Desert Prelude: Operation Compass." This book should help me finish off my second Western Desert Campaign book. I was having difficulty with the scenarios during Operation Compass. Now I should be able to knock that out without difficulty. If you are interested in the air war in 1940 over the Western Desert, his two books on this period are probably the best there is on the subject. For the wargamer, you will not find a more detailed reference on individual battles to create scenarios from. He also has a fantastic website devoted to biplane combat in the second world war. Please check it out if you have any interest. He is also a very nice guy. He has responded quickly to any inquiry that I have sent him and been very helpful with the supplement. I was glad I could finally get his book.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Slow Start

So far 2012 is having a slow start hobby wise. A little work has been done on the Italian supplement for IABSM. I found a really nice overview in English. Patrick Cloutier's book "Regio Esercito: The Italian Royal Army in Mussolini's Wars 1935-1943." For my purposes, it provides a very nice overview that utilizes both Russian and Italian sources.

Turns out he just released a second edition last month but Barnes & Noble only had the first edition. Now I need to buy another copy. Fortunately it is much cheaper on Lulu.

More later. I might just get to paint tonight.