Sunday, 23 November 2014

Dover Castle

Visited Dover Castle last week while the air was still. It was built largely between the Thirteenth and Fifteenth centuries with another burst of fortification in the Nineteenth. This is one of the old gatehouses to the outer bailey.

The main gatehouse to the inner bailey.

Inside the tower.

The 'throne room'.

One of the chapels.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Review Bolt Action, The Last Levy Volkssturm

I showed off the Hitler Youth Squad and the man-portable AA rockets from Warlord Game's Last Levy boxed set a few days ago. Today it's the turn of the Volkssturm, the 'dad's army' that defended Berlin in the final battle. 

First up is the officer, a Golden Pheasant. They were the Nazi Party bosses who wore brown uniforms tinted with red and gold. Most of them sent the Hitler Youth out to die and then pissed off to the American lines with their mistresses and boxes of portable loot. But a few stayed to fight. They were of course, useless.

This one has chosen a blonde German  Bund Deutscher Mädel (Band of German Maidens) as his aide. She is wearing a Hitler youth uniform with a brown party overcoat.

The Boss wears a Party armband while the maiden has a Volkssturm band.

This is the Volkssturm section kitted out in a variety of uniforms from civilian sports clothes to Heer field grey. Some wore brown party overcoats. they were supposed to have been dyed field grey but many weren't. The wearers could be shot as spies by Soviet troops who assumed that they were infiltrators disguised in copies of Red Army uniforms.

The section wears a variety of armbands. The simple white and yellow were early forms which were replaced by the red and black horizontally striped armbands. Some Nazi Party members wear Party armbands'

And finally a sniper with a gun that shoots around corners.

This is a great set of colourful characters: highly recommended.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Song of Shadows & Dust Romans

A few more Foundry civilians for my Song of Shadows & Dust games by Ganesha.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Bolt Action - Fliegerfaust AA

In 1944 HSAG in Germany designed a shoulder-launched AA missile system called the Fliegerfaust - plane-fist. It fired up to nine unguided spin stabilised AA missiles in a ripple up to 500 metres. Around 80 were produced (from 10,000 ordered) in 1945. At least one was used as there is a picture of expended missiles in a photo taken in Berlin.

The models are from Warlord Games 'Last Levy' collection.

The weapon was insufficiently tested and ineffective but the principle was sound.

This is the latest British shoulder fired AA missile, Starstreak. The missile releases three kinetic penetrator high velocity submunitions which beam ride on a laser to the target.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Bolt Action: Medway Charity Wargame

The Medway Club meets on a Tuesday  - and last Tuesday was the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year twenty fourteen.

Accordingly, we decided to hold a charity wargames day with all club-subs plus any additional donations to The British Legion.

We had a great turn out for such a small club on a miserable night. The younger players set up two games of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K  and a Lord of the Rings scenario while those gamers of, shall we say, more mature years played a Bolt Action Tank War Megagame designed by club member Michael Valls-Russel.

We intended to play Falaise '44 but it ended up more like Goodwood as every one brought so many 28 mm AFVs that we couldn't get them all on the tables!

I played a Chuchill company in the centre supporting a British infantry attack on a French village at a key road junction. We had British and American armoured on each flank in support.

Michael gave each player a private victory condition in addition to the team victory.

Mine was that I had learnt from René Artois, Hero of the Resistance, that the painting of the Fallen Madonna with the big Boobies by van Klump was hidden at the Chateaux with the Gateaux. We agreed to 'acquire' and 'protect' the painting until the end of the war.

Unfortunately the Chateaux with the Gateaux was on our left flank in an American attack sector.

The British bombardment got off to a good start by blowing up a Hanomag on the German left flank and pinning a Tiger company.

And similar good results were achieved on the German right flank.

An early success for my Churchill company, I immobilised a Tiger advancing up the road with a 6pdr shot into the side. A Firefly from the armoured squadron on my right promptly brewed it up with a 17pdr shot right through the front armour.

Woop, woop.

The German left flank was soon in tatters with brewed up Hanomags and pinned Tigers.

I and my infantry partner had a worrying moment when a Panther troop came up the main road under the cover of an '88 and a quod-AA gun to reinforce the German centre.

Note: the white slip in the centre is one of Michael's secret personal victory conditions.

Then something very odd happened. What looked like an ice-cream van made a run down the road across the British centre. I raked it with MG fire from Churchills until it burst into flames. This was unfortunate as it apparently contained the German regimental pay chest which had been 'liberated' in the confusion by  Unteroffizer Schmidt .

The Reichmarks were all carboneezy. Ah well.

The carnage of armour on the right flank was unbelievable. A German Pak hidden in a wood knocked out a number of our Shermans with side shots before it was comprehensively crushed.

The British secret weapon, the deadly Typhoon, sweeps across the Panther troop laying down a barage of rockets.

You can just see what's left of the German pay chest burning in the foreground.

The Americans capture and comprehensively loot the Chateaux with the Gateaux. Damn!

The right flank became completely obscured by smoke from burning tanks so I disengaged my Churchills and raced (OK ground very, very,  slowly at the speed of a British infantry tank) for the Chateaux.

I had only lost one Churchill with one immobilised. They may be only armed with pop guns but they do have decent armour.

On the left flank the 'Tigers are Burning'.

I motored a Churchill up to the Chateaux and after a free and frank exchange of views with my American allies, involving loading the 6 pdr with HE, I acquired the bratwurst sausage in which was hidden the painting.

The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by van Klump was auctioned at Sotheby's after the war by an anonymous seller after being mysteriously 'found' in a scout hut in Kent.

Incidentally, we raised £112.50 for the British Legion.

Special thanks are due to Michael Valls-Russel who designed the game and Mik Hollands of Gladius Game Arts whose energy drove the whole evening. Well done guys and kudos to everyone who showed up and donated so gererously.

We might do this again next year, and in a public venue.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Bolt Action SA 64 Armoured Car

The Soviet Union seem to have based this design for a light wheeled scout car on the German equivalent. Nearly 10,000 were manufactured from 1942 to 1946. The problem is that wheeled vehicles had very little tactical use in the Soviet Union as they really needed roads on which to operate. The Germans had switched to half tracks and light tanks for recon. by 1942.

The model is 1:48 scale from Tamiya.