Panzerschreck Design Studio

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Archive for the ‘Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger)’ Category

Building an FJ force for 1944 Italy/Normandy from go to whoa – Panzerschrecks Galore!

Little Marienburg – The German Defence II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

And so we continue the pre-game deployment walk-around:

From this shot, it looks bad for the Germans...

Until you move back and see these...

These were placed on table because they took up horrible blank space, and because I could.

The forward platoon really aren't sure what they are doing up here, and those 152s look more like 16" naval guns from front on at this range

Because every Fallschirmjäger army has StuGs around somewhere - these are actually in reserve unable to move until Turn 2 at the earliest

Unfortunately after setting up the terrain, taking photos, setting up the figures, taking more photos, handling the club finances and general admin stuff, there wasn’t enough time to play a game if I wanted to get it all packed up and catch a train home at a reasonable hour. I should have been at the club earlier but I really did need the leisurely start to the weekend. Plus setting up and packing the terrain took a lot longer than I had hoped. I was pretty sure that there was an opportunity for a fun contest there, the soviet horde can do some nifty things in late war, and those 152s are vicious beasties at clearing out infantry.

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Little Marienburg – The German Defences I

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

And now for the German response, a few Fallschirmjäger platoons, a couple of lightweight Anti-tank guns and a Jagdpanther. Maybe the last is overkill, but there are two Svierbois and three KV-1Es  to contend with, and the FJs are pretty lightweight in the handheld AT department. I was going to add a few tigers but given my Soviets are still understrength tank wise, that would have been cruel.

The Northern Flank - FJs in slit trenches waiting for the juggernaut

10.5cm LG40s in ambush guarding the NW exit road - I don't think they're going to do that well against KV-1Es

Just because there are two AT guns guarding one exit, there's nothing to prevent the Hunting Kitty from guarding the main road

A better shot, right down the road between the trees - nassty russki hobbitses

A third shot, which is probably all this Kitty will need.

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Little Marienburg – The Soviet Initial Wave

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

It would have seemed a waste of time to set up all this terrain without putting the models on it. Unfortunately no Brits were available so I had tro make do with my winter Soviets – a different look but rationalised by substituting East Prussia for Normandy in the description 🙂

T34 advance on the Northern flank - I'd like to field at least 30 of these suckers

Soviet Combined Arms, T34/76s with desantniki and an SMG company

The KVs enter the town with a modicum of infantry support

Meanwhile the SU152s prepare to support the assault infantry into the south of Little Marienburg, something rather brutish about this particular force.

The remaining company of Infantry advances down the railway line, looking to gain their first objective, the area of the crossroads on the left hand side, but they better watch out for the dug in FJs, even if they aren't too keen on facing 6 inch shells from the Zvierbois

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At The Club

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 21

Made my way to the Corsairs’ meeting yesterday for a first game with my new terrain using FoW. I had hoped to set up a nice themed delaying, fallback defence using Fallschirmjäger versus Welsh Guards but it was not to be as Tyler was unable to make due to a conflict of commitments. I don’t think I’ll be schlepping the terrain collection to the club more than 1 in 3 meetings – it’s a fair whack of stuff along with armies and necessary peripherals. I really do need to get my ‘Straya drivers licence and buy a decent 5 door hatch or stationwagon.

Anyway I set up the table ready for a game with Soviets taking the part of the Welsh Guards (hey both were Guards and Armoured) and it was pretty heartening to get some good comments re the terrain set up. I still need to buy a shed load more trees as you’ll see from the scarcity of decent wooded areas. I think Miniature World Maker will be getting some business out of the FoW gamers after the comments re the roads and tracks. Certainly the quality and portability impressed other club attendees. The Crescent Root buildings were as usual oohed and ahhed. Now if i could figure out a way to set up a table more quickly I’d be a happy chappy. I’m still short a few road and rail sections to provide real flexibility, and I’ll need to finish creating fields and forest bases. but generally a very decent amount of terrain was on the table. No more billiard table although there were a couple of impressive sightlines.

View from the North West

View from the North West

The table size at Corsairs is actually 6 feet by 5 feet rather than the usual 6 by 4, which exacerbates any minimalist terrain setup – only reinforcing my view that the WH40K guideline of 25% terrain is woefully understrength and the usual FOW table I see is criminally flat and open. However the other problem I often see in FoW tables are heights that provide far too dominant table sightlines. Selecting hills to provide cover but not dominate the entire table means lower hills and more LOS blocking/obscuring terrain is not positional terrain itself.

View from the South East massif

As you can see, the lack of trees is a definite concern. I would like to have enough conifers and poplar types to line most of the road network as well as some deciduous types to populate wooded areas and cultivated land. Much of the open space will be eliminated in other ways by more crop fields and a few more smaller buildings.

View from the South West

One last shot for now of the terrain from the POV of the Soviet side, with the central village showing off the Crescent Root buildings nicely. I should have placed the village closer to thecentral sector of the table, but I had assistance and in the heat of a 30+ degree day, I was not up to much more fiddling around.

Little Marienburg

Little Marienburg

It looks really sparse in that photo, which is not what it actually looked like, partcularly at table top sightlines.

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I come from a land downunder (Shebangabang)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 14

Ever since I saw this ad, it has never failed to crack me  or my partner up. I guess now I’m an expat kiwi in Oz, I’m far less thin-skinned about certain topics. Of the expats over here I know, almost all of them now refer to enzed as shebangabang. I think I’ll have to get a T shirt screen printed with Team Shebangabang for ASLOK.

In gaming news, not much progress of Project Tau or the Fallschirmjäger. With the pre-reg pack now ready for ASLOK, getting things in synch for that is taking all my attention for the next 4 weeks. I’m hoping for my annual work bonus to help out a little here as I’ll be booking my ASLOK room asap. There are a few things in the pipeline to be delivered from MMP as soon as they recover from the “Snocalypse” that seems to have shut down the Eastern US which will allow me to sort out a decent international ASL travel pack:

Plus there are a couple of still outstanding pre-orders for Journal 8 and Action Pack 6 due to arrive later this quarter which I’m really looking forward to. Having priced some Raaco lately, I think I’m going to have to wait until after ASLOK and get them for Xmas.

Posted in Advanced Squad Leader, ASLOK XXV, Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Project Tau, WH40K | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fallschirmjäger: Organising Figures

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, May 20

As I settle into my new digs in Australia, I’ve finally had the opportunity to start the process of sorting out the various FJ figures I have into discrete platoons and companies.

It’s a daunting task really, as I’ve managed to accumulate a fair slew of the original Battlefront FJ minis over the years and there are still more on the way. So far I’ve filled out one 1940 company of three full strength platoons plus a pioneer and glider assault platoon including an all optioned Company HQ and two MG platoons, one 1944 company equipped with FG42s and the optional Sturmgewehr 44 units, an MG platoon and all Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust options. Those are the complete units. I still have sizable cadre forces for my 1941 Crete, 1941-43 Russian Winter and 1943-44 Italian Theatre Fallschirmjäger companies, plus surplus amounts of 10.5cm and 7.5cm Recoilless (so many I would have to buy another three or four companies of FJ).

Lots still to do and a lot more to buy – basically I’m reconstituting my modelling toolbox from scratch – this is not going to be cheap or that much fun – but it offers the opportunity to concentrate on proper processes and function over expediency.

I may even get around to taking photos of figures and models rather than wildlife and scenery.

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Reference materials and Reading list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 23

I haven’t restricted myself to buying just models lately, I’ve also picked up a few books:

The first is a  biography of Freyberg by his son, which has been on my Holy Grail list of books for some time. It’ll make a nice counterpoint to the rather facile criticisms of the Cassino battles by some of the more acerbic British and American authors (Fred Majdalany being a notable exception) and will also compliment my collection of Crete references perfectly

Freyberg VC 

The second book is another one that will sit by my workbench at all times, and will hopefully aid me in my quest to improve my modelling skills:

The Handbook 

The third book should be no surprise to recent viewers, given what i’ve been buying lately:

How to Build a Tigger 

I had thought of picking up the Greenland Ospreys on Panzers etc, and may still do so, but this should give me a starting point with the detailing.

The last book I bought lately was to get me started on the various 2nd Edition Flames of War supplements. I finally completed getting all my 1st Ed Flames of War books (somehow I now have 3 copies of the early Diving Eagles book though) apart from Stars and Stripes, but that will be easy enough to find. The real book I wanted was the initial 2nd ed army book: Festung Europa:

Festung Europa 

So that’s my current reading pile, no real relaxing reads, but enough to generate some real ideas.

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Some not really new additions

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, January 19

I’m gradually assembling  couple of long term project forces bit by bit outside of my main focus. Yes they’re German, and yes they’re late war. One is SS but that’s more a case of the vehicles limiting the choice to a specific unit. Anyway the other unit is late war Normandy/Holland and these are the particular vehicles I’ve been wanting to get hold of for a while (no longer in production – the only alternative was QRF – been there done that, not really willing to pay for the experience again):

 

The first Bambina

 

I bought two boxes worth so I now have four dinky little alternatives to Kubelwagens and Schwimmwagens to swan around the lanes and villages of North Western Europe. Now all I have to do is load the back seats up with Panzerfausts, ‘schrecks and teller mines. Muahahaa. I don’t think I have enough of them yet though – I probably need another 8-12 to be satisfied.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | 1 Comment »

An Update of Sorts

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, November 19

WW2 Projects Update:

Late War British:
I had hoped to attend the FOW NZ GT in Auckland this weekend, but unfortunately work requirements and the need for $$$ prevented me taking the trip up. Good thing too, I’m almost finished redoing my Cromwells from 7th Armoured Div to 11th Armd, and I’ve just got to get the bases finished on the Infantry after that.

Late War Fallschirmjäger: Organised and ready to be started once and for all. I’ve sorted out the mix of figures, Camo schemes and what supporting armour they’ll have available to them – a mix of Panthers, a Tiger IE and the usual Stug IIIs (albeit with Saukopf mantlets of which I prefer the look). I had pondered using my 4 Panzer III ausf Ms but I’ve deceided to use them for a Winter 43 project based on the very nice artwork on the Squadron Signal SS Armor in Action.

Early War BEF: Very slowly progressing now, although the basic uniforms and webbing are done for all the figures now, just the small arms, boots and flesh to be picked out. Once I get the full Infantry company out of the way I’ll be able to go to town on the Cruisers – The Matildas will probably wait a while as I’m still not sure on how far I want to go with Infantry tanks – I’ll probably end up needing a lot more Matilda Is and a few more Matilda IIs to obtain the look I’m after.

Other periods:
Ancients:
I’m hopefully getting hold of a second hand Freikorps Ancient British Chariot based force that will serve nicely as a counterpoint to my Spanish and Romans. Yes the Ancient British panzer division will ride again – there’s something about fielding 21 Chariots on the tabletop that appeals.

Napoleonics and ACW: I’m in the final stages of offloading my Napoleonics – they just weren’t getting used and I can put the money towards the move to Australia. I’ve not sorted out whether I’ll be angling for an ACW army in 15mm in partial trade but it does appeal, which will flesh out my existing ACW forces nicely. I’ve been helping troubleshoot (I wouldn’t call it playtesting – I’m that poor a gamer that I tend to break  most rules sets through my ineptitude) a locally written set of Grand tactical Napoleonics rules which are set above the level I’d normally enjoy but work really well – fast play but enough plausibility in results and flavour enough to suit. Of course it helps that Evan and Kelly have gone nuts with regard to painting some AB 18mms  – some of the nicest figures I’ve seen and the painting is worthy of the sculpts. I’m hoping to grab a few decent pics of a game in progress as it really does look rather good.

Boardgaming:
Very little activity these days, as between work hours and personal commitments I really don’t have the time or space to set up anything and the last thing I want to do is face an extended session on the PC after 8 hours at work.

So there you have it, very little actually getting done, and it’s unlikely to change between now and May 2008 when I should be ensconced in Aussie. Mostly I’ve been doing a little reading (mainly Lachoucque’s History of the Garde Imperiale) or watching some classic documentaries and series (The Beeb’s The Great War, Stalag 17, Colditz Story, Paths of Glory and The Wooden Horse come to mind).

Posted in Diary of an Army I (1944 British), Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Gaming | Leave a Comment »

Diary of a Late War Fallschirmjäger Army Part 3

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2007, April 17

There are three parts to the core makeup of this army:

  • Mediterranean/Italian theatre Fallschirmjäger painted by Wayne at Battlefront
  • Normandy Fallschirmjäger painted by Andrew “Hunter”
  • all my unpainted Late War FJs

Initially my first thought was I would need to rebase Wayne’s figures as he couldn’t remember which paints he’d used to do the bases. Now while most of his FJs have the tropical tan trousers, I can live with that to a certain extent – particularly if I end up having a Cassino themed army. The real issue was the basing scheme which in typical Wayne fashion is very well done. Thankfully I’ve managed to match the paints he used with the aid of some Resene Paint charts and so the thought of using expensive model paints for basing is no longer needed.

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Diary of a 1944 Normandy Fallschirmjäger Army Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, November 1

References:

  • The Green Devils, Histoire et Collections
  • Fallschirmjäger in Combat, Squadron Signal Publications
  • Painting Fallschirmjäger, Evan Allen, Battlefront Miniatures
  • Diving Eagles, Battlefront Miniatures 2003
  • Diving Eagles v2, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Festung Europa, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Flames of War, 2nd Ed, Battlefront Miniatures 2006
  • Fighting In Normandy, Ed. David Isby
  • Various emails, posts and forums Too many to count or list individually. Thanks for the help

Next Instalment: The Painting begins

P-J

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Diary of a 1944 Normandy Fallschirmjäger Army Part I

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, October 31


Rationale and Inspiration

I’ve always been interested in building a late war Fallschirmjäger army, mostly as a result of reading about their exploits in Carentan, Cassino and the defence of Aachen. It helped that along the way I’ve played three tourneys using a 1942/43 Flames of War FJ army (Evan Allen’s original Battlefront one as featured in Diving Eagles) and that inspired me to paint and model a unit as it would have appeared in Normandy.

For me, it’s not the armour that fascinates me in a late war German army but the rich mix of weaponry, equipment , uniforms and organisational changes betweren the various service branches. Such distinctive weapons as the FG42, the Sturmgewehr 43 and the Panzerschreck always seemed to epitomise the Fallschirmjäger in Normandy, a view reinforced by the various Dragon 1/35th scale figue sets, particularly in association with the heavier weaponry like the LG40 Recoilless Rifles and the GebG36 mountain guns.

A force based on the Normandy campaign wiould allow me to model all these variations in kit yet depart from the FOW canon in terms of absolute adherence to the Diving Eagles TOE as there was very much a make-do/can-do attitude to equipment usage in June-September 1944. In this case I feel justified in using PaK 97/38(f) guns instead of the PaK 38s to equip the Anti-Tank Platoon as by setting the unit in France/North West Europe usage of such second-line equipment is plausible given the execrable logistics at this stage of the war in terms of equipment allocatiion. I’m also looking at using a mix of Civilian, captured French, appropriated Italian softskins and some of the more style point friendly transports such as schwimmwagens and Horch cars instead of the usual Opel Blitzes. If anything building this army will mean a veritable smorgasbord of options for transport models.

One of the defining factors in choosing this army was the availability of figures. I already have a sizable number of the first generation Battlefront FJ miniatures to complete 90% of the units and with a bit of judicious and enterprising selection and purchase of the more recent FJ minis, I should be able to fill any major gaps. This also allows me to dedicate some funds from the budget template for this army towards a few smaples of the Peter Pig Fallschirmjäger range as well as fully populate the vehicles with full crews and passengers to get that lived-in look that can really distinguish the army from its peers.

Following on from this, I can also look at constructing Pinned and Entrenched status markers that look better than the Gale Force equivalents and don’t detract from the aesthetics of the tabletop. Thus my dug-in FJs will actually look dug-in rather than standing behind berms and chest high sandbag walls. A lot more work but something significantly more impressive to look at.

Composition and Organisation

This is about the only area that is plain vanilla FOW for the most part. I’ll be taking this army to Natcon or Panzerschreck VII initially (I think my Late War Brits are looking more likely to be ready for Natcon anyway) so the first core part of this army will be arranged into a tourney-legal, 1500 point ground force and I can play around with the canon stuff beyond that one-off event (I’m thinking of the PaK 97/38s here in particular).

So here’s the initial force:

Company HQ: 55
Upgrade to Panzerfaust Teams: 10
Add 3 x 8.8cm panzerschreck teams: 135
Add 3 x ‘Stummelwerfer’ GrW42 8cm: 120 320 points

Fallschirmjäger Platoon I (3 squads) 280
Upgrade 6 teams to StG44: 45
Upgrade 3 teams to FG42: 30
Upgrade all to Panzerfaust teams: 50 405 points [725]

Fallschirmjäger Platoon II (3 squads) 280
Upgrade 6 teams to StG44: 45
Upgrade 3 teams to FG42: 30
Upgrade all to Panzerfaust teams: 50 405 points [1130]

Fallschirmjäger MG Platoon I (1 section) 105
Upgrade to Panzerknacker team 5 110 points [1240]

Fallschirmjägerpionier Platoon (1 squad) 140
Upgrade to Panzerfaust 20
Upgrade 2 teams to FG42 20
Upgrade 1 team to Flamethrower 30 210 points [1450]

Sniper 50 50 points [1500]

A very small force but then again I’m not looking to field this exact force except at a tourney and only the one time. It’s all a matter of style, I expect to get hammered in terms of results but wow them with painting hopefully. Beyond this initial core I intend to flesh out the platoons to full strength and add a 3rd FJ platoon; a Light Gun (7.5cm LG40 plus 10.5cm NbW35 mortars) platoon; two heavy mortar (12cm) platoons; an Anti Tank (PaK 97/38) platoon; an Anti-Aircraft (2cm FlaK38) platoon; and a Artillery Battery (4 x GebG36 7.5cm/LG40 10.5cm) along with one Tank-Hunter Platoon (Stug III). No doubt I’ll add some variations as I’ll not be constrained by the tourney canon either but that’s the workload for the next 9 weeks with priority given to the tourney force.

Aside from the GebG36s, Flak38s, the various Mortars, PaK 38/97s and the StuGs, everything is first gen Battlefront FJ. These figures match nicely with the newer scuplts by Evan and fulfil a very important criterion; they’re effectively costing nothing from the current budget as I already have them here. The StuGs will feature Peter Pig StuG crew with replacement Battlefront FJ heads while the pinned markers will feature casualty figures from both BF and Peter Pig. The good thing about buying the PaK 97/38s is that the standard Heer crew minis will go straight into the spares box where I’ll be able to use them for future projects and order lots more FJ crew figures to fill gaps.

Naturally it being a 1944 force there will be lots of Panzerfaust armed figures sprinkled hroughout the bases (Given I have around 80 PF figures already this is not an issue). Of course the Command teams will look the part with panzerknacker figures and SMGs added although the FG42/StG44 is an easy option to add as well. Because I’ll not be bothering with Air Support for this army anyway, I can even do a non-canon Recce Unit mounted in softskin vehicles for sheer variety (hence tracking down Fiat Topolinos whereever possible).

Unlike previous armies where I went for a very plain and nondescript basing scheme, this is the start of a new era in basing for me, with a concentration on a much more verdant technique that better reflects the way the veteran FJs made use of every scrap of available cover in Normandy. Of course this means I’m really going to have to doll up my existing wargames terrain to match, which is needed and a worthwhile project in and of itself.

Next Instalment: References and some more thoughts on constructing the army

P-J

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The Next Army Update

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2006, October 11

Now that I have a definite date for the start of my new contract (November 20th – a bit of a later start than expected but all good) I can finalise my choice. The only problem with the polling was not so much the lack of responses (I ended up with 6 respondents) but having to recall them rather than easily accessing them on this blog. The funny thing was that most people went for the Winter War Soviets, an army that will force me to practice and experiment with techniques as well as being the one army selection I’ll need to purcahse a fair bit of stuff for. I think some of you chose it because of the voyeuristic schadenfreude possibilities myself.

But you’re out of luck, in so far as immediate gratification goes. With the confirmation of the new contract I will be able to fast track my plans for that army. So it may well get started as the next but one choice.

The winner for the November Army is…
Late War Fallschirmjager (Normandy

Camo smocks, StuGs and Pak 97/38s galore. I have enough late war figures to do two companies if I get too enthuisiastic and efficient, plus it ties in with my terrain building projects for November and December.

As for the other armies, they’re gong to be put on the secondary level of completion, restricted to weekend painting time rather than weekdays which hopefully will result in some serious progress by the end of the year. The new contract involves 7.30am starts so I will be home by 5pm most days leaving me plenty of daylight hours to paint, and if the weather is good enough I’ll be able to sit on the porch and paint. Can’t beat that for peaceful environment.

The projection for the other armies is pencilled in as follows:

  1. Late War Brit Paras
  2. Late War US
  3. Early War Soviet Summer
  4. Early War BEF
  5. Early War Fallschirmjäger(crete)

And the extra surprise projects I’m going to be doing are:

  • Reviewing, painting and building QRF’s FCM 2C model in multi-colour french camo
  • Edit: Added QRF’s Renault D2 as it’s newish and the only one availabe in 15mm plus it actually has a reasonable photo that doesn’t make it look too crude. And it’s another from the Dali-Picasso school of style over substance in design and camo scheme.
  • Reviewing, building and painting QRF’s British Medium Mark II in Desert caunter camo
  • Reviewing, building and painting Stronghold Miniatures’ German Nbfzg V
  • Plus a review of either a Peter Pig, Resistant Rooster, True North or Legions East Infantry selection (TBD)
  • Lots to go on with, and I’d say that most of it will be completed by the end of the summer, including the articles and photography.

    Ciao for now,

    P-J

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