Thursday, 31 January 2013
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Having mastered (sort of) the rules on small games, I umpired a big Kursk '43 battle down at my local club. I set up the position at the end of the Großdeutschland Division's run north towards Kursk when they were down to ad hoc battlegroups of reconnaissance troops. The terrain is a track running between a largely destroyed Russian town and an agricultural complex. The German objective is to blow a hole through. The Germans deploy behind low ridges and cornfields on the open steppe.
The Kampfgruppe consists of reconnaissance vehicles (armoured cars, a Pz II and an assault troop section in a Hanomag) and a well understrength debussed motorised infantry platoon stiffened by a Panther and a Stug III. They have an AA vehicle but no artillery or air support. All troops are veteran.
The Soviet battlegroup is from a mechanised army. It is a full strength platoon reinforced with mortars, MMGs and AT-rifles, all rated as regulars. They also had a battery of dug in AT-guns and small field guns. Armoured support consists of a T34/76, and SU-76, a KV-1, a Churchill 6 pdr, and a BT7. The armour is regular for firing but green for morale.
Special rules: to keep the game under control as there were only two players, each side only had six order markers to use each turn.
The Germans got off to a bad start. The armoured cars ran onto the guns of the T34 and SU and were smashed. The Panther and Stug kept missing their shots. Tim decided to use his superior mobility to concentrate on the right flank.
The above pic shows the two commanders considering their options. Oberst Tim (left) rolled eight ones in a row to take the prize for the most dismal die rolling performance in the history of gaming. Commissar Graham showed much greater skill in this department.
On the third turn, Oberst Tim rolled his first six and hit something. He was so elated that he insisted that I photographed the die for posterity. His roll to convert the hit into a wound was inevitably a one. C'est la guerre!
The assault troops formed up behind the Panther and made a decided thrust into the village. The Panther swept the building clear of Soviet infantry but the assault troops suffered horribly from mortars and MMG fire. The surviving Russian infantry in the buildings rushed the Panther with anti-tank mines and came close to blowing it up (just one more hit). The BT charged the German infantry spraying hot lead from its machine gun - I have always wanted to write that - only to be ambushed by the Pz II.
What was left of the German infantry made it into the village but was forced to retire by unrelenting mortar fire and Soviet counterattacks. The German tanks masked their retreat then followed.
A clear Soviet win. The road to Kursk was closed tight shut.
A bigger battle removed the problem of the single over mighty tank because there was so much else going on. The German tanks chewed up the Soviet but it didn't help.
The scenario unfolded very like the last attacks of the Großdeutschland Division.
Restricting the command counters worked rather well.
Neither player was familiar with Bolt Action but they picked it up straight away.
Both players and umpires enjoyed the game.
Monday, 28 January 2013
Sunday, 27 January 2013
Thursday, 24 January 2013
They also offer a set of scenario rules for free here that are well worth looking at. Fighting within the hives, spacecraft, fortresses is such a component of 40K that am surprised we don't see it more often.
Doubt that I will buy the floor tiles at £25 each but I like the scenary.
For those that like a laugh, my Illuminati 'veering towards Slaneesh because he's the devil with the best tunes' Chaos Warband is on show in the window of the Bluewater Shop. I post the warlord here to show the colour scheme.
Of course this meant entering the Dreadful Place and I was twenty Quid down and clutching a box of Raptors when my wife marched me out.
Still I treated her to lunch at Harry Ramsdens so marital bliss was restored.
The stall next door to HRs in the fast food hall was attempting to sell Indian street food. A couple of British Indian girls looked at it suspiciously before joining the queue at KFC.
The only customer I saw there while I was waiting for my fish to cook was an English Lady-Who-Lunches clutching a Guardian.
Funny old place, Southern England.
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
More conventional pics of my Alpha Legion core force of Warlord, Dark Apostle, and six Chosen. I envisage an infiltration army with lots of 'operatives' and 'cultists'.
Sorry about the thin depth of field. It is very dark here on the roof of the world with snow laden skys and a sun that barely makes it over the horizon. Roll on summer.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Monday, 21 January 2013
Citadel Fine Cast model of a Dark Apostle painted as a member of the Alpha Legion, the Hydra Lads. The base is a resin model from an independent that I have had laying around for some years waiting for the right model.
Praying to the Dark Gods.
Sunday, 20 January 2013
The Germans relied heavily on Czech tanks at the start of the war. The Czech are one of the great engineering nations of Europe. The (t) 38 in particular was a decent light tank in 1940 that could function as a medium.
This is a platoon of Warlord Games resin models. The centre tank is kitbashed, a (t)35 turret fitted to a (t) 38 hull. By the Russian campaign of '41, the Germans were horribly short of spares so I thought this type of mash up might have happened - :)
The (t) 38 hull soldiered on as an SPG of various types for the rest of the war. The (t) 35 was less reliable and was retired after Barbarossa.
Saturday, 19 January 2013
I have an extensive Vraks army and have meant to model the warband of Arkos the Faithless for some time. The Alpha Legion uses operatives and cultists so fits the new Chaos Codex well. Purchasing Dark Vengence finally gave me the spur.
Here is the first model, good 'ole Arkos himself. The Alpha Legion uses basic metallic blue washed with green and trimmed with silver. I have added bright metallic green to give a splash of complimentary colour and given him a matching purple cloak.
The stats for Arkos are given in one of the Vraks books: see below. They are now obsolete but are easily modified. I assume that the S+2 from the dark sword are already included in the stats line as he has a Strength of 6, the same as a daemon prince. Eight would be ridiculous. The DV model has a plasma pistol instead of a combi melta but that's OK. No doubt Arkos had access to various weapons.
Next up an Alpha Legion Dark Apostle.
New Arkos Rules
Arkos the Faithless, Scion of Alpharius (IA7: The Siege of Vraks – Part Three, p199)..............................................................................170 points
WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv
Arkos 6 5 4 5 3 5 4 10 3+ (5+)
• 1 (Unique)
• Infantry (Character)
• Power armour
• Dark blade
• Frag grenades
• Krak grenades
• Independent Character
• Son of Alpharius
• Counter Attack
Warlord: If Arkos the Faithless is your army’s Warlord then he does not roll on the Warlord Traits table, but instead receives the following unique trait:
Devious Tactician: A player using Arkos the Faithless as his Warlord may re-roll the dice when determining which player will select a table half to deploy in and when attempting to Seize the Initiative.
Son of Alpharius: Any squad joined by Arkos gains the Counter-attack special rule. If Arkos leaves the squad or is removed as a casualty then he no longer provides them this benefit.
Dark blade: The Dark blade is a power sword that adds +2 to its wielder’s Strength score.
Arkos the Faithless is a HQ choice for a Codex: Chaos Space Marine army or Renegades and Heretics army.
The latest Campaign Supplement for Warhammer 40K is Crusade of Fire, depicting a chaos-based campaign on the front cover which is why I bought it.
The book is not cheap at £25 but it is hardback, OK not much more expensive to produce than soft cover but does give enhanced perceived value, and full of great colour photographs.
However, my disillusion with my purchase set in very quickly upon closer examination.
The book is very similar in style to White Dwarf, that is lot of pretty pictures and damn all in the way of wargaming 'meat'. It is divided into articles that look as if they were lifted straight out of the pages of White Dwarf. For example, a number of GW staff write a few words about their army under a nice big pic - many of which I have seen before.
The campaign is childishly simple and any wargamer could devise something similar while on a train ride. One peculiarity which I have also noticed in Black Library stories is a complete ignorance of basic GCSE-level astronomy.It irritates the hell out of me and ruins the suspension of disbelief: comets whose 'orbit' crosses galactic distances in a few thousand years. For the record, comets orbit stars and move considerably slower than the speed of light.
The book is bulked out with two new tactical games. The first is a sort of 40K gladiator system, Arena of Death, and the second is a supplement to the 6th Ed. aircraft rules, which are so absurd IMHO that they cannot be rescued by a few 'special card' rules.
Very, very, disappointing.
Rating: two stars out of five.
Saturday, 12 January 2013
This is a Bolt Action scenario set at the Battle of Kursk in 1943. It represents a Russian hasty block on the road against an advance unit from Kampfgruppe Shaun, Grossdeutschland PzGrd Division. The Red Army has a Churchill with 6pdr, a light tank, a 45mm AT gun, and a light field gun with infantry support hidden in the woods.
Heart of the attack is a Panther, a StuG III Special, an armoured car and a Hanomag with an infantry platoon.
The battle starts with an engagement between the German medium armour and the Soviet guns. The field gun on the Russian ight flank is taken out almost immediately and the Hanomag races forward carrying an infantry section to exploit the situation.
The Russian infantry on the right flank hill are taken out by the deadly Spandeaus of the armoured infantry. The Churchill foolishly charges into the wood to rectify the situation and is close assaulted with AT mines: kaboom.
All should not be lost as the Soviets are still blocking the road with infantry supported by a medium AT gun, mortar, MMG, AT Rifle and a light tank with a medium AT gun.
However, it is a massacre. The Germans hold off at long range and the two tanks smash up the impotent Russian defence.
The German medium armour is invincible so why in the real world did all tank formations fail miserably?
Some thoughts on fixing this problem next time.
Friday, 11 January 2013
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Monday, 7 January 2013
I have been going through my Bitz Box and assembled this from spare bits: the left arm is made up of components from three seperate models.
I have in mind to pait a new army for the Alpha Legion so have painted this model so it would blend in.
Sunday, 6 January 2013
Thursday, 3 January 2013
I blogged a little while back on cadcam impacts on wargame miniature production. Here is an example from Plastic Soldier. Here are a Russian AT gun and a field gun in two scales, 28 mil and 1/72 (roughly 20 mil). The models are identicalexcept for size; look at the guy with the outstretched hand.. I believe they also do the same miniatures in 15 mil.
Once you have the design sorted any scale can be produced.
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
I don't buy many 40K books as they are mostly not too my taste, too much like fanfic for my liking but Gav Thorpe is an exception.
I enjoyed Ravenwing a great deal. Thorpe is not the most technically proficient writer in the world. His sentence construction can be a little clunky but he is a wonderful story teller and that is far more important.
He has an old fashioned ‘dark. approach to 40K that matches my take on the universe. He portrays the Dark Angel version of Churchill’s dictum well: in wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.