Thursday 30 January 2020

Couldn’t Help myself: Russian Civil War takes to the air !

With the enthusiasm of the first game we spent some time discussing where I should develop the project.......bad idea as I then started looking on eBay and Amazon !

 I mustn’t get too many but the majority of Planes used by both Reds and Whites were from other European countries. British Sopwith’s and French Nieuport’s. The bad things is many of these are available in 1:48 scale, and if you hunt about they are about £10.🤭 these can fly above the battlefield or act as objectives and terrain.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Russian Civil War : Battle for the Bridge

My Russian Civil War project has finally reached the point where I have enough to field a reasonable battle. The focus for the project is the southern front mainly so I can model the colourful regiments which operated in that area and also the Don Cossacks. The focus has been getting enough units to get the project on the table and to give me the enthusiasm to flesh out the forces. It is likely battles will remain fairly small but will not be based on any real historical situation. Instead it gives me the option to play interesting little scenarios where armour and guns are not overly powerful. I am working on a number of special rules to give a feel for the period and nature of the conflict.

First up then to get things going the Red forces have captured a small but important river crossing they have also secured fuel supplies which the White forces are keen to take back.
The initial setup the Reds on the right. The three objectives are marked with the red dots
The White forces include a mixture of regular infantry in their army green and units from the 1st Gen Markov Officers Regiment. This are particularly strong unit as they consist entirely of officers amalgamated from other disbanded regiments (they play here as veterans)
They have with them the state of the art Austin armoured car !
One of the objectives a fuel tanker 
On the Whites left flank some irregular infantry and a unit of the 1st Gen Alexeyev Partisan Infantry (the guys in white uniforms)
The Reds have dug in along the road, a machine gun operated by the fanatical Russian Sailors, they have also captured a Rolls Royce which they can now turn against the Whites
The whites rush on they only have limited time to capture the objectives, they only need one for a draw two for a win
Another machine gun dug in, in the cornfield
The officers regiment full of enthusiasm rush forward towards the bridge
..........advancing both sides of the church
On the left the fuel dump is protected by not only infantry but a light Howitzer (technically the guns are larger calibre but we wanted to limit them with the size of the table and forces)
After two or three turns the focus of the battle moved to the right, mainly as the White advance had been annihilated in the open ground (photo of blank spaces !)
Things are going better at the bridge where the Officers have reached the objective they have taken casualties but are supported by the Austin and the White Commanding Officer this side of the river
Unfortunately this is a civil war and a group of Partizans hiding in the thatched cottage charge out to slaughter the despised officers, their dead bodies no doubt thrown in the nearby river
It is now getting tight only two objectives are up for grabs. The ‘Red’ sailors exchange fire across the small vegetable field but the whites are not out of the battle yet
Pinned down the officers regiment are holding on, there was some very fierce fighting at this stage as the battle was drawing close to its end
Still a stand off on the right the whites cant quite muster the courage to charge across the field
Still holding the bridge supported by the Austin
....and then they are hit by a mortar shell at least those black uniforms wont show the blood ! Only one objective left to be challenged now
Ha ha last turn and the whites also land a direct hit with a shell killing nearly all the defending sailors who are also heavily pinned down, they must make a morale check to stay and somehow roll a Double 1, humph!!!!!!!!!!
The White Infantry make a last dash for the objective...........
But cant quite make it as the light fades and the assault has to be halted. The Austin is ordered to return to their own lines

We had a lot of fun in this game, the photos dont quite show how the battle swung backwards and forwards towards the end, with both sides desperately pulling any available troops into the combat. But the Reds got it in the end ! I have immediately started working on some more Reds (Elite Infantry). The figures are nearly all Copplestone.

Saturday 25 January 2020

A return to Saga : Dark Age Battle

We haven’t played Saga for what seems ages and ages. So it felt like a time to give it a go, start of the new year and all that. Anyway we enjoyed it so will definitely be having another game soon perhaps with my extended Crescent and Cross figures ?. Anyway onto the action, a small Viking raiding force has found its way somewhere on the east coast of Northumberland, having sailed their longboat upriver they have jumped ship in search of the usual loot, women plunder etc.......not too many photos today

The village is close to the river, Norsemen attacking from the left, the Saxons need bigger units to make the most of their battleboard and need to play slightly defensively, the Vikings are initially reluctant to rush in
A small unit of fearsome berserkers running through the wooded area 
The Saxon lord’s bodyguard are mounted making them very mobile but with only 4 in a unit although they are strong in combat they are culnerable to shooting so try to keep under cover
Come and have a go !
On the left of the village a unit of levy, despite being fairly soft use long ranged attacks and some clever shield play to defeat the first charge, with a large unit of warriors on the left as well this gives the Saxons the advantage
The Viking archers eventually get too close and are charged by the heavy Saxon cavalry, they are pushed back
The berserkers have been seen off, and the Vikings on the far side of the river are reluctant to charge into combat piecemeal, the Saxon levy take the opportunity to whittle the numbers down
....and suddenly the second unit of Saxon warriors appears from the left trapping the marauders, the Viking Bondi charge in death or glory style but the battle is really up, the Saxons can pick the remainder off unit by unit.

A fun game, unusually we always remember the Saxons being rubbish but they did really well today, may just have been luck, need to keep the units large to keep the bonuses. We’ll be back with Saga soon I hope. 

Monday 20 January 2020

France 1940 Blitzkrieg

Those of you that follow Martin’s Blog will know he has recently completed an early WW2 French Army, his report of our weekend adventure can be found here

Rather than our usual single big battle we decided to play three linked battles each of roughly 10-12 units per side. I created a table which could accommodate three different games (with some overlap), the French had already formed up a different list for the first two battles and would take anything that survived into the third. Each battle was to have a different objective and I wanted to make each German force representative of the different type of battle.

The three different scenarios were a Breakthrough mission, classic Blitzkrieg style for the Germans, a reconnaissance battle where both forces would probe the enemy to capture a central objective and a final assault on a small village/town. I don’t have any French specific buildings (and wasn’t planning to get any in 28 mm) so I printed some new shop signs and posters to give the French feel and used what I had at hand.

The three separate battlefields are outlined on the overview above, the coloured arrows showing the route of advance or attack for the Germans, each time the French would come on directly opposite them. The three scenarios were as follows:

1: BREAKTHROUGH - the Germans moving on rapidly would need to break through the quickly created barbed wire defences and if possible breakthrough to the road, the blue hatched area is the French deployment zone.
2: RECONNAISSANCE - here both forces would attempt to capture a central objective, represented by the Red Cross Kubelwagon which was placed at the orange dot on the picture above, the French would start this battle from just outside the town.
3: ASSAULT - hopefully having been driven back the French would make a last stand in the town, the Germans bringing in their heavy armour would attempt to simply break into the town.

All three scenario were limited to 6+1 turns so this applied pressure. We didn’t total up points so played in the correct spirit amending rules where necessary. Not surprisingly this post is a little picture heavy 🤭


The rumble of a Pz 38(t) with German infantry ready to jump out
The Stuka made an appearance providing an initial barrage pinning but not destroying anything
The French were mainly dug in, on the hills, in the orchard or held back at the road
A lovely opportunity (too rare) to get the German cavalry out galloping forward past a Pz35(t) more infantry in armoured carriers and Panzerjäger but the cavalry are hit by mortar fire and forced to dismount ☹️ I had been thinking about a charge of the light brigade event !
The German troops start to dismount to assault the woods on the hills
Unopposed the Pz 38(t) cuts off the road
Local French lady watching the German advance
The French manage to knock a tread off the 35(t) immediately causing a road block, this wasn’t supposed to happen
The 35(t) heads uphill to capture the right hand hill
Plenty of French dug in here who have barely fired, keeping their heads down
The German commander is in the Panzer I and he foolishly advances too far, infantry can be seen in the middle ground attempting to unblock the road
Time for the French to either dig in deeper or run ?
Crossing the path of the French howitzer which we thought was being withdrawn the commanders tank is immobilised!
It falls to the kradschutzen to remove the road block, more German infantry can be seen moving onto the hill where they have dislodged the defenders, there is  still a strong force in the orchard
The final thin green line !
But the 35(t) has rolled through the infantry and over the hill crashing directly into the howitzer as the French were attempting to pull it off the front line
The Panzer pushes Ona manages to get a direct hit on the French tank on the road
Road block removed the way is open but it has taken an extra turn to get this minor victory


The German force for the second battle is highly mobile a full unit of kradschutzen supported by an 8 Rad sweep down the right flank
An Sd Kfz 222 Armoured car moves towards the objective with a Panzer II and another unit of cavalry moving down the left flank, the antitank gun has set up with a view down the road with trucks delivering more infantry looking to capture and hold the orchard
The French force consists of Senegalese Infantry and heavy French tanks, they line up on the road for the charge but seem reluctant
The Germans are already deploying close to the orchard
Kradschutzen moving towards the small farm
But the French tanks have focussed all their effort on knocking out the German antitank gun and seem reluctant to move forward, one is then immobilised, the Senegalese infantry final gets moving towards the farm buildings
But come under fire from the 8 Rad
Germans digging in in the orchard close to the objective
Finally they show their metal the Senegalese are fearsome in combat and overwhelms the kradschutzen they then dip into the barn
But come under heavy fire and ultimately there are too few and they are wiped out when the barn is assaulted, and close run battle but the Germans have squeezed a victory again


With two remain Senegalese Regiments pulling back into the town they are supported by remaining French infantry from battle one and a collection of the remaining armour, the German objective is simply to force a way into the town at which point we agree the French would surrender or run
But they do have some of those heavily armoured tanks
For the final battle the German have brought in the big guns, we played special rules for this 105mm Howitzer the French killed their spotter early on so we randomised what it might hit, it blew up one tank which was enough so it stopped firing when the Germans got close to the town.
Ooooh a Panzer IV advancing on the right
A Panzer III down the middle (very powerful at this point in the war) and a Stug  III in the distance, the Germans have also thrown a unit of elite fallschrimjager into the assault
Not surprisingly the German infantry takes a battering from the French who are dug in in the on the left
The fallschrimjager assault and knock out a field gun in the wrecked building but then get pinned down receiving heavy fire
The German commander realises this isn’t going to be a walk over and sends the heavily armoured PzIII forward
On the right the Germans secret weapon a flamethrower, a dangerous and unpredictable weapon it immediately wipes out the Senegalese infantry who were dug in, in the little park area
The PzIII has broken into the town but can knock out the remaining heavy French tank
Finding he has fuel left the flamethrower turns he attention to the smaller French tank which also bursts into flames
Things are now looking bad for the French although there are limited turns remaining
The PzIV is sent off on a wild goose chase after an antitank rifle crew !
The remaining French infantry prepare to make a stand
But the PzIII turns its attention towards them and opens up with its machine guns across the square.....this is too much and in the distance more German infantry can be seen entering the square, the town is lost !

A very fun time, all three battle felt close although the Germans had the upper hand, but hey that is history. What did we learn, French tanks are tough but don’t move around much, I have a lot of Germans as this isn’t all of my early Germans. The French May have been a little obsessed about blowing my antitank gun up rather than capturing the objective. Flamethrowers are awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading this far 👍