Panzerschreck Design Studio

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Tyranid New arrivals: Classic Lictor, Screamer Killer and Hive Tyrant

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, July 25

I’ve had these for a few months now, but things being what they are between work, ASL and home, I never managed to get some pics ready until now:

Mr Slashy, Mr Rippy and Mr Bitey

Mr Slashy, Mr Rippy and Mr Bitey

Mr Slashy

Posted in Articles, Diary of an Army V (Tyranids and Genestealer Cultists), Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, Tyranids, wargaming, WH40K | 3 Comments »

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.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More pics from the club

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, February 27

Just a few more pics from the club – still without the figures on the table. Apart from more trees, I definitely need a few more packs of roads and especially fields – thankfully coles have a couple more plain mats I can cut up and the haystacks are kinder surprise shells with loose mat fibres glues to the exterior mounted on a steel washer. So I can count on the support of the 7 year old in keeping up stocks of those particular items.

Looking towards the North East - more terrain needed in the foreground

I’m pretty pleased with how this looks for a start, more general terrain clutter and trees would help, plus a lot more hedges and walls. A stream would certainly break up the expanses of green base cloth still apparent. Miniature World Maker should be okay for the streams, I’ll see who does the best value for money re hedges and walls.

The south eastern approach to Little Marienburg

Tree-lined roads would greatly help in breaking up sight-lines here, and maybe an orchard or two just to give that agricultural/rural village feel a bit more. Who am I kidding? I just want a decent wood or forest for large sections of the tabletop. Some wooded hills would kill two birds with one stone and still allow reasonable room for manoeuvre. An idle comment of needing 150-200 trees doesn’t look so far out in size now. Oops!

Southern Little Marienburg - note the expat residents from Shebangabang

Peter Pig and Irregular will be definitely getting some business from me, I need a bunch of dead cattle and horses still, plus there just aren’t enough sheep! I’ll also have to look at making a bunch more cropfields and variations – I want a lot of LOS breakages and obscuration – I hate that single big tank dominating an entire table from the backfield of a large hill.

The western entry to Little Marienburg

Time to look at obtaining a decent Church – there are a few around, but I don’t want something too big, I am missing my old Military Miniatures solid resin pieces now. JR Miniatures and Kerr & King should help populate the table nicely – and next year i’ll probably try for an urban rubble look for a decent section of a table. Nothing too tall, just more about covering areas and breaking up the view from the tabletop.

The Western Farmlets

A few more animals , some tractors, more haystacks and cropfields and I should be okay for a reasonable variation. More trees and in a lot mnore variations – I don’t think I’ll be bothering with more Woodland Scenics though, probably more Noch, Heki and yes even Lifeline Scenics. I do need a bunch of poplars for the roads though, say around 120 minimum.

One thing this has brought home to me, I can pretty much do the set up from Terry Wise’s Introduction to Battlegaming WW2 scenario in 15mm now without too much extra expense or terrain. So apart from some judicious purchases over the next year I’ve got enough to play around with at the club.

Posted in Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet), Flames of War, Gaming, wargaming | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Terrain Listing (ongoing)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 31

So here’s the itemised list of what I have now:

General Terrain

  • Crescent Root buildings – Europe series 2: 15A2, 15B2, 15C2, 15D2, 15E2, 15F2, 15H2
  • 18 x 6 inch hedges
  • 25 assorted trees (and rubberised ‘forest’ bases that trees plug into)
  • ca 4 foot of dirt roads, 4 foot of cobble roads and 3 foot of railway lines (all Miniature World Maker)
  • 5 Hills – 1 large, 3 medium, 1 small (MWM again)
  • 6 ‘fields’ – these are from flocked, textured corrugated card (to look like ploughed fields), artifical grass (crops) and coir floor mats (wheat) – these have all been cut to match the length of hedges and stones walls so a French style patch work can easily be built.
  • 34 x 3 inch sections of stone walls (4 gate sections)
  • Cows, sheep, hay stacks and farm machinery so ‘dressing the paddocks’

Fortifications

  • 6 bunkers (1 5cm stellung, 2 pill boxes, one turreted tobruk and 2 open gun pits)
  • 16 x 3 inch strips of barbed wire entanglements (so approx 8 elements)
  • 3 feet of resin trench lines including gun pits
  • 6 x 3 inch minefield sections (makes 3 elements)
  • 2 x 3 inch anti tank traps (makes 1 element)

Additional Items

  • 3 x A4 based bocage fields (field elevation is higher than surrounding terrain (gives that sunken road feel to the lanes)
  • 2 x GW medium hills
  • 60-70 Noch deciduous trees
  • 2 x coir doormats approx 60cm by 30cm each

Now all I have to do is get painting some more fallschirmjäger – thanks to Alun, he also included the old 2nd edition of Diving Eagles so I’m able to play around with the Camo schemes again. I’m going to be buying more MWM roads and rivers I think, they’re so lightweight I can easily carry a decent amount. As for portability, well I can fit all the terrain in one of those two wheeled shopping trolley bags which is perfect for my needs. I intend to use most of the terrain at the club in February, it should be fun to play again on terrain that has enough density to feel right and prevent the Wall o’ Tanks I detest in any game.  Some more photos of the terrain:

Posted in Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | 1 Comment »

Real Progress

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 30

I was starting to get worried that my current focus on the Tau and 40K in general had completely erased much chance of getting back into historical minis in 2010. But then I saw a rather nice Tiger company for sale on WargamerAU, which I missed out on. However I did get offered an awesome deal on some 15mm terrain. When I saw it included 7 of the 9 Crescent Root buildings I had been after for a while, as well as some Miniature World Maker roads and latex hills, well it was an easy job to get domestic approval for the expenditure. I hadn’t realised quite how much terrain stuff was involved from the initial description:

a pile of FOW scenery – minefields, trench lines, barbed wire, bunkers, hedges, trees and Crescent Root Studio painted European buildings

but I was pretty confident even before seeing the pics that it’d be all really nicely done. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get as good a price as I did, but when the seller states that he’d like to “see it go to a good home”, given I haven’t really done any gaming lately because of lack of terrain, I really appreciated the generosity.

So here’s what it looks like on our 4′ by 3′ kitchen table:

Roads, wire, minefields, walls Buildings, hills and woods Latex Hills and stuff

Rather a lot there, and some extras I wasn’t expecting like the haystacks, the size of the latex hills and notably the Fiesler Storch, a fine addition for my Winter Ostfront FJs and the pillboxes which I really like. There’s enough terrain here so that I can put on a decent game at the clkub straightaway and not be worried about playing on a bowling green with scattered bits of tall cover.

Some more photos of the goodies:

So all in all, a very good place to begin. I’ve still got some bocage fields I’m making currently that will allow me to show sunken lanes/roads and I still need some rivers/streams to break up movement as much as possible, but added to my existing hills and a bunch more trees, I should be at least able to put on some NWE games now, which will mean playing the amalgam of FOW/IABSM/PBI that I prefer.

I expect that as of late February I will have some decent pics of a game at the next meeting featuring tis terrain, probably something with FJs and Cromwells.

Posted in Flames of War, Gaming, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau: The Schedule

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 15

My Tau Schedule

Given the rules of the Challenge, I’m limited to using an RRP Limit of $500.00 plus the initial Battleforce and optional HQ blister. This effectively gives me an RRP budget of $650 total excluding any bits and pieces such as bases, conversion materials and spare parts for conversions which do not count against the budget. In the end I used $636 of the retail budget but only actually spent $350 which allowed me to justify spending the remaining $300 on more Tau (you really thought I’d stop there?) after the Challenge is over.

January 2010: Purchase: Battleforce ($150)

HQ 1a- XV8 counts as Crisis Suit Commander

Troop 1a: 6 x FW

Troop 2a: 6 x FW

Elite1a: 3 x XV25 Stealth Suits

For later use: Devilfish

Troop 3: 12 x Kroot
February 2010: Tau Crisis Commander (RRP$50) – HQ 1b

March 2010: Tau Pathfinders (RRP$22), Shas’Ui Pathfinder(RRP$22) – FA 2              $6 credit

April 2010: nothing bought ($50 put aside)                       $56 credit

May 2010: nothing bought ($50 put aside)                       $106 credit

June 2010: Battleforce 2                                                   $6 credit

HQ 1c: add 2nd Crisis Suit bodyguard

Troop 1b: Add 6 x FW

Troop 2b: Add 6 x FW

Elite1b: Add 3 x XV25 Stealth

For Later Use: 1 x Devilfish

Troop 4: 12 x Kroot

July 2010: Tau Pathfinders (RRP$22), Shas’Ui Pathfinder(RRP$22) – FA 3              $12 credit

August 2010: Pathfinders with RR (RRP$25)                      $37 credit

September 2010: 2 x Piranha (RRP$82)                                    $5 credit

October 2010: 1 x Piranha (RRP$41)                                    $14 credit

November 2010: Sniper Drone Team (RRP$50)                       $14 credit

So at the end, I should have the following:

HQ1:                                       Crisis Commander + 2 XV8 Bodyguard

Troop 1:                                   12 x FW

Troop 2:                                   12 x FW

Troop 3:                                   12 x Kroot

Troop 4:                                   12 x Kroot

Elite 1:                                     6 x XV25 Stealth

Fast Attack 1:                          3 x Piranha

Fast Attack 2:                         Shas’Ui, 3 x Pathfinder, 1 x Pathfinder+RR + Devilfish

Fast Attack 3:                          Shas’Ui, 3 x Pathfinder, 1 x Pathfinder+RR + Devilfish

Heavy Support 1:                    Sniper Drone Team

I’d say that most of the work will be building and painting the vehicles, especially the modular Devilfish/Hammerheads. This army is pretty much complete except for the purchase of a few Skyrays, a couple of Broadsides and perhaps more Sniper Drone teams. Even after adding those I should be able to afford some Forge World Tau models without exceeding the $650 limit (probably some TX-42s or an XV-9).

This would be a pretty sizable army for me anyway, even without adding in all the extra stuff I bought outside the Challenge, but as with all good intentions, I went overboard in obtaining models to practise on  before starting painting.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, wargaming, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau: Themes

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 12

Conceptualisation, Background, Theme & Look

I wanted to somehow link this Tau challenge army in some fashion to my existing Genestealer Cult/Tyranid armies. Manifesting this could be done through matching basing themes, contrasting yet complementary colour schemes, or perhaps directly linked via conversions and integrated objective markers.

However the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to link the two armies via the background theme directly. As I’ve been working on assembling a Genestealer Cult army to work with Space Hulk/Space Crusade and in 40K, when I read a bit more about Gue’vasa and some of the background fluff from the Tau Codices (note I’m very new to 40K in terms of the backstory – it’s not really my cup of tea) I had a minor epiphany.

If I combined aspects of the original Tau homeworld isolation, how Genestealer Cults arise, and Gue’vasa concepts with the Farsight enclaves and Third Expansion, I had something I could work with. Factor in the ubiquitous deus ex machina of a splinter Hive Fleet to set up certain aspects and it all came together like an Ed Wood plot, only with fewer redeeming aspects.

So the short background is that this particular Tau force has been the planetary garrison on a warp-storm isolated world that has needed to fully integrate with the existing population to maintain existence. As a result of a splinter Hive fleet attack, the Tau forces have been debilitated to the point where the native human population has integrated throughout the planetary defence force and equipment has been remanufactured, cannibalised and converted to maintain Tau tactical precepts. Even other xenological equipment has been pressed into service after modification as circumstances and engineering facilities permit.

But behind the self-sufficient, industrious and progressive worldview of Scheherezade IV is a burgeoning evil – a genestealer Cult has established itself since the Hive Fleet was destroyed and it has infiltrated the highest levels of authority on the planet in a manner never before suspected.

Cheesy, definitely dubious and full of holes it may be but it’s a great way to hook a few projects and variations together.

Thematically I took my cues from articles at Advanced Tau Tactica, Tau Online and WargamerAU. I want this to be my showcase army for 40K, as it is more akin to my preferences in sci-fi generally than the crypto-gothica of the Imperium. So I’ll be doing a fair bit of detailing and converting/modifying as per the various articles on ATT/TO.

The look is pretty much set for me as an homage to the 4 colour camouflage scheme used by the Swedish armed forces in the 1970s and 1970s –

I had thought about an anime mecha scheme that I saw on an army that was up for sale but as I missed out on that army,

I decided to go with my instinctive choice. As additional motivation I was going to have to learn to work with my airbrush sooner rather than later and play around with template masking.

It certainly helped my enthusiasm to come across a Tau army that featured a very similar look

and by purchasing that I could start getting to grips with playing Tau while i was building my own army. This is an important aspect for me as I dislike using an unpainted or partially painted army (I don’t care whether my opponent is using unpainted figures/models but I do regard it as poor form on my part to do so) and I paint best with specific examples to have at hand for inspiration.

So now that I had my concept, theme, background and look all worked out I just had to sort out the actual purchase and build schedule for the Challenge.

Posted in Articles, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau – Challenge rules and guidelines

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

The Challenge Rules

Start Off:

  • 1 x battleforce of choice
  • 1 x blister of HQ choice
  • 1 x codex (optional).
  1. Monthly purchase allowance of AUD$50 GW RRP**.
  2. Try to fill out one option from each area of the army list (hq, fast attack, elites, heavy support) before adding a second (except troops which you should be free, nay encouraged, to spam).

**you can buy up to $50 at GW RRP, or buy the same items elsewhere for cheaper, but cannot use the money saved to buy more.

Painting:

Part of this challenge is to paint the army. There are deadlines imposed, but there isn’t any great penalty, though there is an award for having an army fully painted month to month.

The first month’s purchases, the battleforce + HQ, will have a 2 month time period in which to have it painted to 3 colour standard and based to be eligible for some of the ongoing painting awards, all other months will have one month (till the next meet) to be finished to still comply.

Any parts used or purchased for conversion are not restricted, and any paints etc too. This includes buying the codex, you are free to buy anything like that without penalty.

Shipping is not included in allocating RRP of models, so I could buy from GW direct, etc for RRP indicated on the site, wthout having to also factor in shipping on top, or if you buy something that is RRP of $48, but you get it at a discount online for $40 except shipping comes to $11, that wont take the total to $51, because it goes off RRP of $48 as if you were to walk in to GW and take it off the shelf.

Participants will start their army from scratch. Any models already owned by the participant are not to be included (except if broken down for parts for conversion?).

For clarity, black reach and macragge sets will not be allowed as a substitute for a battleforce, nor will resale of items from the battleforce in order to then buy other items. Make do with what you get in the battleforce to start, and if you really dont plan to ever use something from the battleforce then you can sell it by all means, but the money gained doesnt come off the total spent in order to then buy other things with it.

Because of the large variation in points costs, game size will be determined month to month by comparison of maximum points capable for each army*** and the lowest value determines size of game to the nearest 50, rounding up, i.e. lowest points value of army is 575, game size will be 600 (even if all others can make it to 750), and so on.

(*** participants to have lists in a week before the club meets, so that Patto had ample time to go through them and compare totals etc, then inform everyone what the game size will be for that month so they can rewrite their lists accordingly. With lists should come a short write-up of only a few paragraphs describing motivations for your purchases, progress of painting and converting, maybe some tactics you’ve found useful for particular units you’re using – something that would be interesting for others to read if they were considering collecting that army)

One may forfeit some or all of your allowance from one month, in order to purchase a larger item such as a tank that costs more than one month’s worth in the next month, but it was suggested waiting until you have enough points to meet the game size, rather than handicapping yourself in the early months, If someone does this, they will be ignored (go to next lowest) for purposes of determining game size by lowest point total of army, and will have to make do with being severely under-pointed in games, e.g. If you only buy a box that costs say $35 RRP one month, the remaining $15 carries over to the next month, so you could buy up to $65 RRP worth the next month (or less and have carryover once again).

#1 rule is Common Sense. Not only that, but also Good Sportsmanship.

Posted in Articles, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Why 40K and why Tau?

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

Why I’m playing 40K these days

When I moved over to Australia, I’d pretty much rationalised all my wargaming to three key areas, WW2, ACW and  mid-19th Century European wars, all in 15mm. The idea was that I’d finally get some armies painted and actually play scenarios etc at the Corsairs.

That sort of went west after I started attending meetings and met the various reprobates. Flames of War and WW2 15mm is still a very much nascent area for the club and it was going to take me time to build up some painted armies and more especially enough nice terrain to play games I would enjoy.

With the pending release of Space Hulk 3rd Edition and a reawakening interest in Genestealers and Tyranids, I soon found myself with a painted 40K Tyranid army. Sure enough, I ended up with a freaking Hive Fleet all of my own. I purchased a second hand Space Marine army from WargamerAU’s Buy, Swap and Sell just so I could at least play space marines as an alternate to the ‘nids and I thought cool, with Space Hulk as well I’d be pretty much sorted. Then along came Patto and the Challenge.

I found that I actually enjoy 40K as a game, at least I enjoy playing at the Corsairs which has a very similar ethos as my old club, the Manawatu Duellists, in terms of being more about gaming than competition/tourneys.

But why choose TAU?

Very simply, I already had enough Tyranids to last me until 2015 in terms of painting and I wanted something more sci-fi oriented than the bugs. Eldar were out as an option – I just knew I’d never summon up the courage to paint them and the models don’t appeal to me as much as they might to others. Oh and I wanted something a bit more shooty – I didn’t mean to go quite as far to the Tau extreme and have minimal close combat capability.

Posted in Articles, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

Project Tau – My part in the Grand ‘Non-Spess Moron’ *Battleforce* Challenge

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2010, January 11

Project Tau

My part in the Grand ‘Non-Spess Moron’ *Battleforce* Challenge

The Origins of the Challenge

My local gaming club, the Central Coast Corsairs, have been discussing on our forum (http://corsairs.freehostia.com/index.php) ways and means of rekindling interest in gaming generally, but more particularly completing armies and projects rather than flitting aimlessly between the latest game du jour.

One of the club members, Patto, started a discussion rolling with this post (somewhat edited):

Space Marines are a good all-rounder army for a beginner player to collect, because they’re easy to paint, easy to use, and GW releases a new codex with better rules ever 5 minutes (when they’re not drinking Space Marine Cola™ out of their favourite Space Marine Sippy-Cup™, while scratching themselves with their Space Marine Lightning Claw Butt-Scratcher™)

But thats where the buck stops for me. I have grown bored of space marines, both using them myself, and playing against them, and have endeavoured to branch out once more into the deeper reaches of the 40k universe and collecting an army that isnt boring.

If it were up to me, the Imperial Guard would be the centre focus of the imperial forces, and the space marines would have a fringe role as…marines.

I have noticed that there is a very large representation of space marine players within our club, and the hobby at large, and would find it more enjoyable if there was more showing by other races.

Therefore I have decided to introduce this challenge to anyone (marine player or not) to take up, to create an army that is different to what they usually collect, and most importantly, isn’t space marines*.

*no spikey space marines either.

The challenge would start at the beginning of 2010 (January Meet = Day 1 of Month 1), and run all year long, with a ladder kept throughout, till the completion of the year (Nov/Dec) where the armies should be displayed alongside each other and voted for against a series of criteria for categories such as:

  • best painted army
  • most adventurous
  • best converted
  • league winner
  • best and fairest
  • best theme
  • most hazardous army (most injuries sustained during construction)
  • laziest participant
  • most consistent painter
  • always on time (everything painted, every month)
  • just in the nick of time (doesn’t paint anything all year and then manages to get it all painted by December) etc.

I am looking at starting off with 1x battleforce of choice, 1x blister of HQ choice, 1x codex (optional). I am thinking each month to have a purchase allowance of $50 Australian GW RRP**.

Painting. Part of this challenge is to paint your army. There will be deadlines imposed, but there isn’t any great penalty, though there will be an award for having your army fully painted month to month.

#1 rule is Common Sense. Not only that, but also Good Sportsmanship.

The Suckers…er…participants:

Patto – Dark Eldar (BDSM Brigade)
Synicbast (me)– Tau (Nice Guys)
Chiwie – “Manly McBeefington” Eldar (The Conmpensating Much? Army)
Spakka – Necrons (because someone just had to, didn’t they?)
Chadamus Prime – Imperial Guard Marines (Sempur Fidelis)
R3plikate – Tyranids (Gotta be more fun than the LOLbotz)

Overall some good representation of nearly all the factions that AREN’T space marines, my plan is successful so far.

And so it began.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Project Tau, wargaming, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

A quick trip to the shops…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 16

Picked up a few items today at Good Games Gosford courtesy of Fro: some GW dice in black and bone (for the Tyranids); some OOP Citadel paints (Tanned Flesh x 2, Bronzed Flesh, Flesh wash and Red ink) for the Better Half’s Sisters of Battle and  Flames of War standard artillery template, and from Spotlight, some dress-making shears and a good circle cutter for my tree bases, rounded out with a few craftwood rectangular placemats and 90mm coasters for scenery pieces and basing samplers.

A pretty moderate haul in terms of expenditure but necessary (well apart from the dice cubes which were a partial extravagance). While I was at Good Games iIwatched a couple of 40K games – Black Templars versus bog-standard Marines, and the Black Templars once more against a very firepower driven Tau force (a “ninja” tau force I’d run up against before with my ‘nids) that wiped the BTs off the table to the last marine.

So while my Tyranids are definitely the only full army I will build  for 40K, I do have a reasonable selection of Marines and Orks courtesy of the Macragge and Black Reach boxed sets – these I intend to use to hone my skills at painting and basing larger figures. I’ll probably do a variation of the Black Templars scheme based on that of the historical Knights Templar and the Teutonic Knights just for something fun. I can’t see myself ever getting back into early medieval again, unless there are some really good value later crusades models around that I like the look of in 28mm.

Tomorrow I’m going to take some photos of my basic painting set up and the accumulated 15mm Fallschirmjäger that I’ve been promising to finish for the past 5 years. I managed to pick up a couple of boxed sets of the FJ company set recently along with a bunch of 7.5 cm GebG36 to provide artillery support. Between those recent additions and my already sizable FJ collection, I’m pretty much set for FJs apart from a fair amount of artillery crews that are still needed.

Pete

Posted in Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

The Wargames Press – in print and online

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 7

Now that I’m finally settled in Australia, I’m in a much better position to take in new rules, magazines, blogs and forums/bulletin boards. I’ve picked up a couple of issues of Wargames Illustrated (pre-and post-Battlefront purchase) as well as a couple of issues of Battlegames.

Battlegames works very hard at differentiating itself from the other two UK based magazines. Sometimes I think itfalls into unwitting satire of itself, with almost audible hear-hears and self-laudatory commentary. Graphically it errs on the side of de trop with the tell-tale pointers of DTP overkill and form over function. The one criticism I have of Battlegames that resonates with me is that it can look like a Web 2.0 ‘zine on steroids and suffers from a surfeit of Photoshop cleverness. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, Battlegames offers a great deal in terms of the written word. the prose is well-written and edited, with minimal overt editorialising or agenda-pushing and a distinct lack of the petty jealousies and bitchiness derived from envy that pervades online media at sites such as Page Miniatures The. Mike Siggins’ column is equally thought-provoking and incredibly insular in parts. Battlegames is expensive though, at AUD$17 a pop,  but for that you do get the aforementioned good writing, excellent photography and the “Old School Wargaming” tenor.

Wargames Illustrated, well according to some lackwits and luddites, it’s purchase by Battlefront (a successful non-UK wargames company, the cheek of it!) was the pre-cursor of the apocalypse. If one ignores that sort of thing and looks at the mag of late, It’s back to something of the good old WI of old. Sure there’s Flames of War content, but if FoW isn’t your thing, what’s to stop an adaptation of the FoW content from being usable with your current rules du jour. Certainly IABSM and PBI aren’t too dissimilar interms of scale and scope. There are some distinctly off-putting parts – but they may have gone by now – the excruciating faux bonhomie of the pseudo-Siggins is cringeworthy at best and lacking in any content of note. I wasn’t so impressed with the painting guide for the freebie ECW figure, being pure Dallimore in technique and really poorly presented. Sadly it seems that fewer people seem to be aware that there is more than 3 stark colour clashes to painting 28mm.

Online the usual suspects feature. PMT is becoming more and more irrelevant as it descends into self-parody with each month. By searching through some of the more focused forums around, one finds better advice, more trenchant opinion and often much more up to date news bereft of agenda-pushing and stalking horse commentary. The interface is as archaic as ever and the censor’s knife is wielded with the finesse and reasoning of a dull mattock. I tend to spend most of my online time these days at WargamerAU, despite its Fantasy/Sci-fi leanings, as there’s much to be picked up in terms of c0nversions, modelling and painting in an easily accessible format. When I’m not there I look for inspiration to the Guild, and other such forums. I avoid the heavy traffic forums like FoW, Daka Dakka or Frothers while the SOTCW forums are following the same path and featuring some of the same names that dissuaded me from paying much attention to TMP – sad really as SOTCW would do well if they would actually broaden their horizons beyond the few rules sets they do actually bother with. Again insularity rears its head in the case of the SOTCW. Will I rejoin? Possibly, but only because I don’t have all the back issues yet.

This may seem a tad negative in outlook as a blog post, but I’d like to stress that I see much to be positive generally.  I’ll spend more time paying attention to the various podcasts that are out there especially with 3 hours of commuting each day. There are also a few eZines and club forums that are worth searching out. I’ve given up on Yahoo groups for the main part, only Perfidious Albion continues to be a constatnt, mainly because of the varying content and a take no prisoners attitude to the Prima Donnas of the boardgames hobby.

Pete

Posted in Boardgames, Gaming, Rants and Raves, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

The Portable Battlefield – A return to necessities

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 7

As I do not currently own a motor vehicle, use public transport to commute, attend Corsairs meetings and will likely continue to do so for the next couple of years, the one major restriction on my gaming is setting up a tabletop terrain that caters to my aesthetic sensibilities  and still be able to transport it to and from the gaming venue without risking a hernia.

I once developed a quick list of what a portable setup might entail on this blog several years ago, but nothing surpasses theory so much as the exigencies of reality.

Convenience has triumphed over economy and in turn value over aesthetic ideals. I’ve obtained one of the cloth backed GW battle mats, which I find suits my needs for the meantime. it’s well made, durable, and lightweight and generally very good value for money. With free time being a distinct limitation, the idea of making a whole bunch of portable terrain took a deserved back seat. The addition of some ready made lightweight hills (GW funnily enough) and a good number of Noch deciduous trees to begin with gives me a good starting point to work from.

If I make a few judicious purchases and add a couple of commercial pieces I should be able to bring a decent terrain set up to the club by rail and not feel like i’m playing on a billiard table or a cricket pitch. If anything it’s trees and particularly buildings that will take the most space and effort to take along, so initially I’ll be playing in rural wildernesses bereft of habitation, as long as there are sufficient amounts of broken and LoS blocking/obscuring terrain.

In 15mm, it’ll be easy to add a few scratchbuilt structure from foamcore and the like, and most of the other scale specific terrain will easily fit within acceptable load limits. 120 or so trees should allow me to have enough cover on the table and break it up nicely in concert with a few hills and maybe the occasional cropfield (coir mats FTW) anmd flexible roads/river networks.

I’ve seen exquisite portable 15mm terrain carried around in old Kodak photopaper boxes to know it can be done and that I could fill the average 6′ by 4′ tabletop with enough hedges, fences and walls to look good. So all in all I feel pretty confident about being able to take along the army du jour and enough terrain to at least get a passable rating in terms of cover and aesthetics.

Pete

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From Space Crusade to Tyranids – A fall into the dark side of gaming

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2009, July 7

Really, the subtitle should be “a project that evolved or mutated way beyond the initial direction” if I’m going to be honest.

A few years back, I’d bought a couple of sets of Space Crusade (including Mission Dreadnought) and was on the lookout for copies of Advanced Space Crusade and 1st edition Space Hulk with the intention of building a full tabletop version. That project died stillborn with the move to Australia and I offloaded my copies before I moved as part of my rationalisation of stuff. I utterly regret that decision now as I’m going to have to acquire it all over again.

When I first started attending the Corsairs meetings it was with the intention of playing Flames of War, some ACW games in 15mm using Johnny Reb and Fire & Fury with a sideline in 28mm ACW and 15mm Napoleonics. What i intended and what occurred in reality are quite different. Personally I blame the startup of Good Games Gosford, the enthusiasm of the Corsairs and the helpful and friendly denizens of WargamerAU for what has happened.

I hadn’t played 40K for some 20 years, indeed I hadn’t really thought about the game in that time. I pretty much left 40K behind about the time of 2nd Ed. A couple of games and gamers in wellington in the late 80s pretty much decided me against it as something i’d enjoy. Space Hulk/Crusade were as close to the genre as I wanted to get and even then they were very much beer & pretzels gaming themes.

However, as it happens, new country, new relationship, new gaming group. My partner collects/is interested in Sisters of Battle (Nuns With Guns – you get the idea) and Iwas looking to collect enough old style Genestealer models to recreate the old Crusade/hulk games properly.  I picked up a few ‘stealers from WargamerAU’s BB&S forum as part of a larger Tyranid force and once they arrived i was pretty muchj on the slippery slope. I made the decision that I’d build and play a Tyranid army but it would be purely for fun at either Corsairs or Good Games. No Tourneys, No Competitions, No Leagues. I’m interested in Tyranids through backstory, Space Hulk et al, not for 40K. This would get me gaming until I had my Flames of War winter Sovs and Normandy Brits finished and then I could get back to what I really enjoyed – WW2 gaming. You can see where this is going to end up can’t you?

One purchase lead to another, and another until now I’m at the point where I can almost field two complete separately themed Tyranid armies – one with lost of Monstropus creatures like Carnifexes and the other all about the rending, ripping, tearing and…oops got distracted there.

The classical ethos of Tyranids as a primarily close combat force appeals to me not only because of the Alien inspired creature design but also because it is diametrically opposed to my usual historical preference of army. This in itself is a refreshingly different appraoch for me to take and may well be why I’ve been able to regather some of that enthusiasm for actual gameplay that I’d lost along the way.

I may be showing my biases here, but one of the things that really sold me on the idea of building a tyranid force is that I could use it as a stepping stone to developing my painting in terms of technique and skillsets for larger 28mm models. As I’ve mentioned previously i’m primarily a 15mm gamer and painter. The last real attempt I made at painting 25mm or larger figures was when I owned and painted a Teutonic Knights army of Essex and Military Miniatures figures in 25mm back when I played Gush’s WRG Renaissance rules a lot in the early-mid 1980s.

I can”t put my finger on the appeal of tyranids beyond that although I must say I’ve become enamoured of the old Genestealer hybrid plastics and the story of the Genestealer hybrid army that featured around the time of 2nd Ed 40K. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve kept my expenditure to a minimum so far, and if I can resist the Ooh Shiny! aspect of this, I may well stay within a slightly expanded set of parameters. Definitely Space Hulk as a pure tabletop game is the primary goal still, but a genestealer hybrid and classical tyranid army for friendlies and scenario driven games is the other.

Pete

Posted in Diary of an Army V (Tyranids and Genestealer Cultists), Tyranids, WH40K | Leave a Comment »

ASL: Valor of the Guards is finally here!

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, July 17

Happy VotG day to me!

Happy VotG day to me!

Exquisite timing from Milsims sees Valor of the Guards arrive at my door on my birthday. Even though I was Pre-order #22 or so back in 2005 and knew then what VotG would contain, seeing the contents in reality still managed to impress me. There’s a lot included in the box: 17 scenarios, 4 campaign games, 780 1/2″ and 352 5/8″ counters, two mapsheets and 36 pages of rules. When I showed Kirsty what the box included, even she was impressed! It helped that I trotted out the old saw, “ASL. It’s not just a game, it’s a lifestyle!” which brought a laugh. At $77 plus P&H, VotG is very much a bargain.

What strikes me after just a brief look at the package is how much more play value I’ll be getting compared to Red Barricades. Don’t get me wrong, I loved RB, but I’ve pretty much run the gamut of playing all four Campaign Games and all 11 or 12 scenarios that I know of that use the RB map and to be honest, RB can become a chore at times to get through.

Of the 17 scenarios in VotG, I’d hazard that I’ll be able to get through 14 of them before the end of the year in Face to Face play without overdoing it, and the three remaining are the larger scenarios that will reward taking the extra time to get familiar with all the new rules and the various aspects of the terrain. Once I’ve finished playing through all the scenarios as both sides then I’ll definitely be looking to play the various CGs and the extra scenarios that have been published already in Dispatches From the Bunker. This should take me right up until the end of 2009 and yet still leave me time for more casual ASL play.

Thankfully with regular attendance and availability of other ASL players at the Paddington Bears in Sydney, my days of solely playing ASL via VASL/ PBeM are history.

Not only is this a stellar day for me ASL wise, but it’s kickstarted my interest in other things Stalingrad. I’ve picked up a few more books on Stalingrad from Jason Marks et al, and some generalist Eastern Front histories that piqued my interest. I’ve also received some more Flames of War blisters that will now allow me to assemble the two Stalingrad themed forces I’ve always wanted to field – a Shturmoviye Gruppiye based force and the requisite German opposition –  T34 and KV variants, StuIG 33b SPGs and landser.

Last but not really least, Ithe quick perusal of the VotG chapter has allowed me to revisit the much-maligned Critical Hit Dzerhezinsky Tractor Works/Grain Elevator HASL modules. Just from this, I’m pretty sure I can come up with a much more workable version of the DTW and GE campaign games as well as sorting out the various scenarios. Just as with my Flames of War projects, this is not something designed for the rigours of competitive play but is more along the lines of a historical study game – purely for the interest in seeing how the history plays out on the tabletop or the mapsheet.

It’s been a very good day.

Posted in Advanced Squad Leader, Boardgames, Books, Flames of War, Gaming, History, Reviews, wargaming | 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.

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

Crossing the Ditch

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 27

The movers are picking up everything tomorrow, so I’m going to be offline for at least the next two weeks without update possibilities. I’ve pretty much sorted what I’m going to be taking with me painting wise until all my stuff arrives in late June.

For simplicity’s sake, I’m just going take over a selection of Fallschirmjäger so I can get started on the 1940-41 figures. This means I only need to take over a few bottles of Vallejo and a couple of brushes as anything else I need I’ll get from Spotlight or direct from BF via mail order (bases mainly). I’m also going to take the opportunity to buy some Foundation paints once I’m in Aus so I can experiment with an alternative way of doing German Dark Yellow on some of the Mid-Late War FJ vehicles I have: Kettenkrads, M/C Combos and Kubels/Schwimmwagens.

So the plan is to have quite a sizable backlog of photos and progress reports ready for posting once II’m back online. Because of the timeframe before I take up my new position (early in June) I’ve about a month of free time to get organised and get into a nightly painting regimen with the support of Kirsty. It’ll be slow going initially no doubt, but If I stick at it, the simple nature of the paint scheme for the Fjs should mean I can get a fair amount done. The real kicker is going to be gradually accumulating all the DFS230s and Ju52s I require but I have a plan in mind for those.

Kirsty mentioned she was out of plain Black and White so I’ll also be taking the opportunity to see how Derivan compares to Vallejo, particularly in regard to black as the Vallejo black is one of the smoothest paints I’ve ever come across.

Back in a few weeks,

P-J

Posted in Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

The Timing is Right

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 21

As I potter around organising everything for the movers to pick up in 7 days time, I’ve been considering the limits on ‘net traffic as a regimen I’ll be introducing once I have a permanent new connection as from June. A couple of hard decisions need to be made regarding what sites I’ll continue to peruse for mIniature news and updates but I’ve pretty much whittled down the discussion forums I ‘ll be frequenting to no more than five.

I’ve been spending lots of time grabbing ideas and inspiration from GWP and The Guild, no matter that there are a couple of anal retentive types who nitpick sometimes for the sake of their egos. However it’s easy enough just to ignore them as people do stay on topic and the eye candy is spectacular.  Whereas at TMP, the dross significantly outweighs any benefits, and to be honest recent developments in subject matter make me very wary of having anything to do with the site now, particularly in regard to having my business linked even indirectly to it, let alone my actual name.

I can get my news elsewhere, usually from discussion boards, club mailing lists and alternative dedicated miniatures gaming news sites. Secondly I’ve no real desire to interact with many of the regulars on the TMP discussion boards. Very little appears that is of use there and the interface is as moribund as it was in 1999 when I first bothered registering.

Instead I’ll be looking at groups with a real sense of community, groups that don’t indirectly put my family relationships at risk through association with certain subjects, and groups that are proactive and supportive yet don’t take too much time to visit or discover information.

And as for the business side of things, I’d feel a lot more comfortable about putting my small advertising budget towards such groups as The Guild and GWP because of the benefits I receive from them as well as the support network.

It may be time to go back to the old days of mailing lists for specific rules sets  and topics rather than looking at generic everymans guide type sites. At least in part, because I will need to keep a tight focus.

P-J

Posted in Rants and Raves, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Starting from Scratch

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 14

With the big move happening within 3 weeks now, there’s little or no opportunity to do anything other than work on packing. Now that I’ve finished my contract, I’ve got a little time  to think and ponder the opportunities this move is providing me in terms of a fresh approach to gaming. For years I’ve been one of those hoarder type gamers, never playing, just accumulating. However with the need to cull as much of the “one of these days” miscellanea being paramount, and the prohibitive cost in space and weight of terrain, I’m effectively starting with a clean slate.

What does this mean in terms of the hobby for me? Pretty much it allows me to focus on quality over quantity, aesthetics over anarchy and frankly a desire not to put up with makeshift and makedo games. There’s a developing focus now for everything. Oh of course there’s the “Ooh Shiny” factor to take into account, but I’ve managed to limit that to products that fit in with already established goals and armies rather than drifting off into esoterica.

It’s been very helpful revisting the Guild for inspiration, and incredibly it’s helped to achieve that focus as well. I’ve been religiously perusing the tutorials and completed galleries there, restricting myself to those subjects that are relevant. This has meant that I’ve been able to give proper consideration to what I want to achieve, the processes and materials needed, and how I want to get there in terms of timeframe.

It’s meant a rationalisation of projects, a return from the far edges of my gaming cloud-cuckoo-land, and an awareness that I’m far more likley to find enjoyment from a few completed projects than a whole raft of things that will never be completed.

Thus there’s been a fairly significant rethink:

Boardgaming:

I’m going to pretty much stick to four core groups of games now, with almost no ppurchases outside that quartet.

Advanced Squad Leader: Too much time, money and enjoyment invested in this to let it go and I’m far more likely to get lots of gaming face to face in the future than I ever have before.

Victory in the West Series: The Killing Ground and Overlord are probably the last games of this ilk I’ll have bought.

SPI classic monsters: I’ve only got Wacht am Rhein and Highway to the Reich to still obtain now. Decision’s redesigns have forced me to consider that I can live with the issues of the earlier versions and get a lot more enjoyment out of the simpler systems than fixing the abominations that have been published lately.

Area Movement: I’ll consider continuing on with these now, but very much on a subject matter basis as there are some topics and levels that don’t appeal. It also means I’m likely to get more games played of each title.

Roleplaying:

Two systems only: Shadowrun 1st through 3rd edition and Twilight 2000. There’s nothing else that appeals and I’ve already got 95% of both systems. Plus I’m far more likely to be active in only two systems on a monthly basis. A no-brainer these days. Kirsty already has Fantasy RPGs covered with her AD&D 2d Ed collection which means I can get my fix of dungeon crawling if needed.

Wargaming:

Here’s where the fun really starts and the culling hurt, an awful lot. But reality can bea very bitter intrusion and the budget just doesn’t look like allowing me the dreams I once had.

Ancients:

Two armies in 28mm – funnily enough all because of the rise of plastics. Romans of some kind, and probably Celts of some kind. Almost certainly British themed and probably towards the end of the Roman presence in Britain.

The 15mm stuff is still fluid, but now that I’ve sold all my existing armies, the opportuunity to complete one army per year using the figures that appeal to me the most means I can assemble a nice slection of armies over a period of time and not get bored or frustrated.

Medieval:
Nothing is going to happen here – I’ve killed all thoughts of doing 1066 and all that in either 15 or 28mm and the crusades are just too much work to assemble two matched armies, no matter how much I enjoy the spectacle of the military orders.

Renaissance/Pike and Shot:
Nothing here eithere – unless I am able to buy completed armies that require as little work as possible.

Napoleonics:
Nothing here either at least nothing laid down in stone except for one thing – I won’t be painting them.

American Civil War:
Johnny Reb in 28mm thanks to the plastics and Fire and Fury/Johnny Reb in 15mm. Gettysburg for the 15mm is pretty much the only project I’ll be looking at now. No Shiloh, Bull Run or Chickamauga. Focus is everything.

19th Century:
1859 – 1871: Just need to add the Prussians and some 1870 French and I’ll be sorted. The armies/figures are there, I just need to sort out what type of games – probably the most closely aligned period to the Charles Grant Tabletop Teasers series.

World War Two:
Pretty much as tabulated on these pages: one or two tourney armies for Flames of War, the rest are all for scenario games and ongoing projects. Normandy, Arnhem proper and Stalingrad pretty much say it all.

Posted in Gaming, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Santimonious Muppetry

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 6

A bit of a Rant

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Rants and Raves, wargaming | 1 Comment »

Beginner’s Choice, Part VI: The Fallschirmjäger options

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 6

The Fallschirmjäger

It was time for a long hard look at my options for my various Fallschirmjäger proposals. When it comes down to it I’m well catered for in everything except the heavier mortars and Anti-tank guns. Vehicles are simple enough to add from existing stocks especially softskins where I’m blessed to be able to field as many Horch field cars as I should ever require. I am however a bit short in regards to the Opel Blitz type lorries.

As a rough calculation I can field three full strength FJ platoons for each of the four armies I have in mind, with the addition of at least 4 MG platoons. Other support weapons are a tad skimpy except for my horde of LG40 7.5cm Recoilless and LG42 10.5cm Recoilless rifles. As always the artillery has been the last on my list to obtain and nothing has changed in that regard.

0ne of the areas I should have little or no issue providing is supporting armour. Even the early war FJs will have their own matching Panzer IV platoon as help in the form of four Panzer IVDs. The later war FJs will naturally enough be able to call on armoured support from my mid-war/late war germans (notably stuff like Marders, StuGs and any tanks I can justify – there’s a reason I bought quite so many Tigers and Panthers) with some degree of plausibility.

Perhaps the simplest army of the lot to build, given its meagre supporting resources, will be the 1940 army with it’s almost complete reliance on infantry and man-packed heavy weapons. No recoilless rifles, Mountain howitzers or even light AT guns available for the Holland jumps after all.

The real centrepiece of the Holland campaign FJ army will of course be the gliders and JU-52s. I expect to spend a fair bit tracking down decent 1/144th scale JU-52s, Bf 109s, and 1/100th DFS-230 and Gotha-242 gliders.

Where this army will shine perhaps outside of the logistic components is that I will need to look at how I represent the various iterations of Pioneers, assault troops and specialist FJ troop types. I’m still going to use the original Diving Eagles source book as a guide for the early war organisation. Because Flames 2nd Ed has only really been worked up for Mid and Late war so far, and as I’m not looking to ever play the 1940-41 FJs in tourneys or even in points games per se, I’ve got a lot more leeway in how I organise them as a fighting force.

The basic premise for the 1940 FJ force is that it’s purely air assault. It’s not a ground based unit with heavy support except as a relief type column, so I can focus on the actual teeth arms.

  • Kompanie HQ: Company CO Team, 2iC Team, AT Rifle (PzB785s) section, light mortar (50mm) section
  • FJ Platoon 1: Three sections
  • FJ Platoon 2: Three sections
  • FJ Platoon 3: Three sections
  • FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
  • FJ MG Platoon: Two sections
  • FJ Mortar Platoon: Three Sections (81mm GW34Kurz)
  • Heavy Mortar Platoon: Two 10.5cm Mortar sections, one Anti-tank Rifle section
  • Light Artillery Battery: Two gun sections
  • FJ Pioneer Platoon: Three sections with three optional Flamethrower teams
  • FJ Glider Assault Platoon: Three sections with the option of three Flamethrower teams and one HMG team

That’s pretty much it for the initial force. I’m thinking that the composition of the Relief Column for 1940 Belgium and Netherlands would be along the lines of maybe one platoon of tanks or an Armoured car troop, accompanied by some grenadiers on Bicycles or an aufklärungs motorcycle/sidecar unit, all of which I can easily accommodate from existing stocks. Given that the linkup for Rotterdam was made by elements of 9 Panzer, it’s pretty much straightforward to assemble the following force:

  • Scout Platoon: Three Sections of 6 MG teams + Cmd MG team on M/c combos and a Kfz 15
  • Recce Platoon: One patrol of 2 Sdkfz 222 and 1 Sdkfz 231(6rad)
  • Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer IVd
  • Tank Platoon: 4 x Panzer II
  • Krad Platoon: Three sections as per scout platoon

Optional Unit taken if only light Tank platoon of two used:

  • SP Inf Gun Platoon: 2 sIG33 auf Pz1 Bison

Now the interesting points of Motivation and Experience crop up. For Holland 1940, the FJ were effectively untried while the units of XVIII Korps were almost all reserve units or even third wave. For that reason, I’ve decided to rate the FJs as fearless trained while the Relief unit being from 9 Panzer had at least been blooded in Poland and was one of the few front line units in Holland and thus are Confident Veteran. If I was using a non 9th Panzer Unit I’d be using either confident trained or conscript depending on whether it was one of the third wave reserve units. I know one thing, Bicycle mounted Germans would be a tad interesting if they were the infantry support for the panzers.

Next up some thoughts on the Crete force.

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Cromwell vs StuG (with a Big Cat in support)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 4

A rare event indeed. I played Derek Forrester (the guy who did the airbrushing of my Panthers, Tigers and Jagd panthers) in a non-tourney, non-playtest game. I think this is about the third such type of game I’ve played using Flames of War since 2000. In fact outside of playtesting, almost all of my games have been at Panzerschreck or the NZ GT.

Derek and I had agred to field real Armoured forces rather than the lip service Armoured companies one sees a lot on the Tourney scene. My force was primarily Cromwells with Fireflies, supported by two Achilles IIC and my token rifle platoon. I was facing two platoons of Stugs, a recce platoon on Motorcycles, 2 Armoured Cars and a King Tiger.

As for the table layout it was neither sparse nor dense, probably one of the better mixes of rural terrain although there was little room to hide from the KT. The usual issue with FoW did crop up in that the deployment zone for reserves lacked any kid of terrain so all four objectives were pretty difficult to hold and Infantry would have been very easy to dislodge.

The Setup pretty much determied the flow of the game. Derek sat the KT up on a central Hill in the backfield (I rolled three straight ones for choice of board edge, deployment and movement) deployed his StuGs in a right flabnk heavy posture, commanding the flank he intended to thrust.

If there was one area I thought I could exploit after deployment it was that by Kampfgrupping his HQ 2ic Stug with the fourth StuGs from each platoon, and proceeding with such a heavy flank force his Company CO was all on his Todt (couldn’t resist sorry!) out on the left, which also happened to be the flank where I intended to utilise the speed of the Crowells to force the KT to ponder maneuvering.

My Achilles were deployed to get some first time shots at long range versus the Stugs, with one Troop of Cromwells seeking to demonstrate on the left to keep the 234s from marching on a very exposed objective on the first turn. My second troop of cromwells and the firefly would be moving right up the middle under cover of a densish wood which would allow a protected route for the Firefly to threaten the KT’s supporting StuG platoon. My third troop was deplopyed on the far right amongst the Rifle platoon. The deployment offered two alternate routes, one diagonally against the KT and into the teeth of the HQ and Recce, or a wide looping route out of sight into the German backfiled which would definitely net me some precious rare shots against the KT.

Turn 1 was less than auspicious. I lost a Cromwell straight off the bat and discovered that I really had underestimated the evils of the KT in the middle. Thankfuly Derek’s shooting dice were atrocious and only the one Cromwell burned.

In Turn 2 I had a Firefly bailed (it may as well have brewed as it took no further part in the game – Reluctant Veterans are annoyingly hard to recover from a Bailing result) but started to cause some damage to the Germans myself KOing one Stug and notably forcing the Geramn Recce back into hiding. I also Smoked the KT but unfortunately it pretty much was a non issue as non-bombardment smoke doesn’t block LOS it only obscures it – something in all my FOW games I’d not realised. I really did need that second CS Cromwell VI after all.

Turn three was where I took some hits, losing my first platoon in the centre but managing to wax not only the 234s who got a bit too bold and never grew old, but also vaped the German Oberst himself as he was isolated. This meant I only needed to kill two Stug Platoons and the recce to force an auto win, and as the recce were amount to eat copious streams of lead from three cromwells in turn 4 I felt reasonably confident. My confidence was bouyed after a 4th Turn where I forced the Tiger off his hill with the threat of 17pdr AP to his side armour and manged to force one Platoon of Stugs out of the game as well as KOing another Stug. If I could only get another platoon of Stugs to I’d be set.

But it was not to be, I got cocky myself, and ended up losing a platoon of Cromwells, and having my Achiles section halved in strength. The 5th Turn was pretty much inconclusive, neither Derek nor I were able to force a Company Morale check and neither of us really had the forces to force the issue.  So we scored it as a Draw, with both of losing two platoons for Victory point purposes, a thrilling and enjoyable 3 -all draw.

The only downside for the game was that I never got aropund to taking any photos – I got too engrossed in the game and forgot all about my camera.

Thoughts on my force: 1500 points doesn’t work that well for 7th armoured they need Artillery and a little recce to really do anything. I was pleased to be as aggressive as I ws throughout the game as I’m usually a much more defensive oriented player – this bodes well for games with my Soviets. I was pleased with the way my initial plan of a right hook almost won the game by both threatening a sudden death Objective win or the Attrition win. It was fun to field the Cromwells and I really apprciated the speed of maneuver they bring. There’s something very scary about the way they can zip around the place if really needed and they’re not too shabby all-around, paricularly in a game where Line of Sight is so vital.

I misused the Fireflies throughout the game, but I can put that down to inexperience fielding them with the cromwells. I still have some real issues with a) the flanking rules  and b) the 180 degree arc of fire of SP guns. My thoughts on a more restrictive arc really hit home last night facing the StuGs. I alsop think that as with most Late War situations, where hits = KOs primarily, there’s much to recommend an alternative to the fixed iniative system, even if it’s a roll of for who goes first each turn rather than my prefferred interactive activation by platoon option.

All in all a good solid game, lots of intense fun and importantly it only took 2.25 hours to play. That to me is why I like FoW for my social gaming, it’s fast and furious. I hope to get at least one more game in before I leave for Australia, probably against one of the Forrester Clan – but this time I may revert to a proper Armoured Recce company rather than the full on Tank Company with Fireflies, particularly with regard to a 1500 point game.

I think the Cromwells could be a really nice 1750 point army at tourneys if one is prepared to really go for it. Even as Reluctant veteran there’s some real backbone in the force. I do need that second CS option though, and to rememeber to take photos during the game.
 

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part V: German

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 2

Now we come to the OpFor for all three preceding armies.

I’ve already stated my opinion on the comparative strength of this force as written by Shaw and in relation to that this doesn’t really fit my view of a cobbled together mixed kampfgruppe in terms of equipment mix. I’ll probably drop one of the Panther platoons for a PzIVH platoon, keep the Heavy Tank platoon but use Tiger Is (I have enough of the suckers now), have the A/T platoon use Jagdpanthers cause I have them ready, and substitute the 105mm Arty with Nebelwerfers. So let’s see how that pans out:

German Armoured Kampfgruppe 1944
Battlegroup HQ
2 x Sdkfz 251 Halftracks, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with quad 20mm    140pts
Armoured Recce Troop
1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9                    115pts    ( 255pts)
Armoured Recce Troop
1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9                    115pts    ( 370pts)

Mixed Company
CHQ 2 x Panther, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with Quad 20mm            420pts    ( 790pts)
Platoon of 4 x Panther G                            750pts    (1540pts)
Platoon of 4 x Panzer IVG/H                        380pts    (1920pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in 4 x Sdkfz 251            285pts    (2205pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers in 4 x Sdkfz 251            285pts    (2490pts)
Platoon of Panzer Grenadier Heavy weapons in halftracks     220pts    (2710pts)
2 x 81mm Mortar, 2 x 75mm short
Heavy Tank Platoon
4 x Tiger I                                    860pts    (3570pts)
Heavy A/T Platoon
2 x Jagdpanther                                 530pts    (4100pts)
Artillery
3 x Nebelwerfer 41                                130pts    (4230pts)

Just looking at the points differential alone is enough of a pointer to the skewed nature of the German force.  But jeez this would look good on the tabletop. Really I think I’m going to have to buy Shturmoviks, Thunderbolts and Typhoons along with boosting the Soviets with a full God of War Artillery complement and drop the Japgdpanthers and halve the amount of Tiger Is.

As for what I require to field this army, I still need to buy the 250s, the AA halftracks, and 9 or so 251 variants. Everything else is bought and mostly painted.

So here’s the washup in terms of points values:

British Armoured Recce:    2970 + Priority Air Support of Typhoons @ 220         = 3190
US Army Combat Command:    3135 + Priority Air Support of Thunderbolts @ 190    = 3325
Soviet Tankoviye Corps:    2720 + Katyushas @ 155 and Shturmovik Il2M3 @ 290    = 3165
German Mixed Kampfgruppe:    4230 – Jagdpanthers & 2 Tiger Is @ 960            = 3270

I think I’ve got the mix right now. But really it come down to what feels right on the table top, not reigid adherence to points values,  especially as points values have no bearing on the victory conditions of a game.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part IV: Soviet

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, April 1

The Soviets are probably the easiest to get ready to field now that I’ve grabbed Kelly’s old Sov army. There are a few things that need to be changed: for example, the SU100s have to go, as they really only saw battle in ’45 and anyway, the SU152s look more styley and are more useful against dug in infantry. I’m not sure I want to field a complete 85mm equipped T34 force anyway as that will limit me away from the whole 42-43 era which my Sovs definitely will be used for.

This army is one where it should be the most canon, but I’ve disagreed with Phil on several levels about Soviet force composition many times and so I’m probably going to stick with what feels right to me unless I’m playing tourney or strict canon games.

Soviet Tank Corps 1944
Battlegroup HQ
1 x T34obr42 with desantniki, 3 x 12.7mm DShK AA on Truck 130pts
Scout platoon
4 x BA64 armoured carS 110pts ( 240pts)
Medium Tank Company
10 x T34obr42 with desantniki 630pts ( 870pts)
Medium Tank Company
10 x T34obr42 with desantniki 630pts (1500pts)
Tank Rider Company
3 x Platoons, 1 x MG platoon 325pts (1825pts)
Guards Heavy Tank Company
5 x KV-1e with desantniki 435pts (2260pts)
Guards Heavy Assault Gun Company
2 x SU 152 with desantniki 220pts (2480pts)
Assault Gun Company
4 x SU76M with desantniki 240pts (2720pts)

I’ve dropped the 2 SMG companies mainly because I don’t have the figures painted and to be honest my SMG infantry are destined for my Stalingrad themed army rather than this particular force.

The one glaring issue with this army is the absence of any real artillery. The army I currently have does at least have two Katyushas. To fill this out I still need to buy 10 T34obr42s, 4 SU76Ms and the BA64s, but my mid war version has BA-6s and the Katyushas. But the main thing is that my Soviets are ready to play.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part III: American

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 31

The US Combat Command is the only one where I actually have far more of the Footslogger component ready than I do of the armour. In fact, this army is going to require some significant acquisition of vehicles which is scary. I’m actually rather looking forward to the release of the M4A3E8s – I have some of the original Easy Eights that BF made and I’m sure I can easily bring them up to scratch with some judicious acquistion of new suspension units.

U.S. Army – Armored Combat Command North West Europe 1944
Higher Command Team                                                  50pts
Cavalry Recon Platoon                                                  175pts    ( 225pts)
Patrol 1:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Patrol 2:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Patrol 3:        1 x M8, 2 x jeeps
Medium Tank Company
CHQ:            2 x M4A3(75), 1 x M4A3(105mm)                            210pts    ( 435pts)
Platoon 1:        5 x M4A3(75)                                        345pts    ( 780pts)
Platoon 2:        5 x M4A3(75)                                        345pts    (1125pts)
Platoon 3:        5 x M4A1(76)                                        445pts    (1570pts)
Armored Infantry Company
CHQ:             1 x M3 halftrack, 1 x jeep, 1 x Bazooka                     40pts    (1610pts)
Platoon 1:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (1850pts)
Platoon 2:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (2090pts)
Platoon 3:        5 x M3 Halftrack, 5 x Bazooka, 1 x 60mm Mortar                240pts    (2330pts)
Anti-Tank Guns:    1 x Jeep, 3 x M2 Halftrack + 57mm ATG, 3 x Bazooka            135pts    (2465pts)
Tank Destroyer Platoon
1 x Jeep, 2 x M20 Scout Car, 4 x M18 Hellcat                335pts    (2800pts)
Artillery Battery
HQ:            1 x Sherman OP, 2 x M2 Halftrack, 6 x M7B1 Priest            335pts    (3135pts)

If anything I actually have more infantry than is needed to field this force as I have the 81mm Mortars, the I and R recon platoons and the MG platoons for both a rifle company and an Armoured rifle company. What i am sadly lacking in are the vehicles. Oh I have numerous M3A1 and M3 halftracks but I really should look at grabbing a full company of Shermans at some point. I’m not struck on the using the Hellcats in place of the M10s. I like the M10 models more, and there’s something about a fully crewed M10 model that works better for me aesthetically.

So looking at what I still need:
11 x M4A3 Sherman 75s, 3 x M4A1 Sherman 76s, 4 x M18 or M10s, 3 x Priest, 1 x M20, 5 x M2 halftracks, 3 x 57mm ATGs, 2 x M8 Armoured Cars. So a fair bit required still.

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Beginner’s Choice Armies, Part II: British

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 30

There was no way I was going to be able to or even want to match the exact force composition of each army, particularly given I’ll be using Flames of War and trying to remain as Canon as possible, but as an exercise in planning an army including purchasing, it’s certainly interesting.

Here’s the British Force converted to Flames of War with points calculations done purely from an academic standpoint:

British – Armoured Reconnaissance North West Europe 1944
Higher Command Team                                                                                                 50pts
Motor Infantry Company
– Company HQ 2 x White SC                                                                                         30pts       (    80pts)
– Platoon 1 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     (  200pts)
– Platoon 2 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     ( 320pts)
– Platoon 3 4 x M5 Halftracks + 3 Sections                                                            120pts     ( 440pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                             70pts      ( 510pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                             70pts      ( 580pts)
Carrier Patrol:    3 x Carrier                                                                                              70pts      ( 650pts)
Armoured Car Troop 2 x Daimler AC, 1 x Daimler Dingo SC                           90pts      ( 740pts)
Armoured Recce Squadron
– Squadron HQ 2 x Cromwell, 2 x Cromwell CS                                                    285pts      (1025pts)
– Troop 1:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1255pts)
– Troop 2:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1485pts)
– Troop 3:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1715pts)
– Troop 4:  3 x Cromwell                                                                                                    230pts      (1945pts)
– Troop 5: 3 x Cromwell                                                                                                     230pts      (2175pts)
Recce Troop: 3 x Stuart VI                                                                                              155pts       (2330pts)
SP A/T Troop:  4 x M10 Achilles IC                                                                             260pts      (2590pts)
Artillery:  1 x White SC, 2 x Sherman OP, 8 x Sexton                                           380pts       (2970pts)

To field this currently, I’d use my M3 halftracks to sub for the M5s until such time as I obtain enough M5s. I’ll need to buy another 7 Cromwells, 3 Stuart VIs, 3 x White Scout cars, 4 x Sextons. And if I really was smart I’d not do Armd Recce per se but do a 7th Armoured Div Armoured Squadron, which would allow me to drop the 5th Troop of Cromwells and add 4 x Fireflies. It’s a very realistic force to think about completing given how much I already have.

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Beginner’s Choice WW2 Armies: Part I An Overview

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 29

I had thought I’d outlined my plan for the late war armies somewhere in the mists of time but it doesn’t seem to have survived the various domain shuffles, hard drive crashes and now the packing of all my data backups.

Years ago when I was still doing 1/300th WW2 and thinking seriously about dabbling in 1/200th (for what reason I cannot remember) I often used Ian Shaw’s TTG army lists as a convenienty way of picking a force for a game. As I delved more into the esoterica of OOBs and TOEs I found there were issues of interpretation and research.However it was more the move away from gaming WW2 locally that consigned the army lists to the bookshelf.

It was only when I started collecting WW2 in 15mm that I returned to Shaw’s book. It wasn’t the army lists per se, but the little appendix of Beginners Choice armies. These armies were designed to “give any of the others a good fight, whichever set of rules is used.” and were “not balanced in points”. What struck me as I started working on Flames of War was just how similar the force sizes were to the upper limit of armies we were fielding at points in the playtest.

The four armies were:

British – Armoured Reconnaissance North West Europe late 1944
– Battlegroup HQ  (4 x Dingos, 2 x M5 Halftracks)
– Armoured Car Troop (2 x Daimler AC, 2 x Dingos)
– Armoured Recce Squadron (15 Cromwells, 3 x Stuarts, 4 x Challengers)
– Motor Infantry Company (3 halftrack platoons, 1 x Carrier Platoon)
– SP A/T Troop (4 x Archer)
– Artillery (8 x 25 pdr)

U.S. Army – Aemored Combat Command North West Europe 1945
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x M3a1 Halftracks, 2 x Jeeps)
– Recon Troop (3 x M8 Armored Cars, 6 x Jeeps)
– Medium Tank Company ( 12 x M4A3 Sherman 75/76, 1 x M4A3/105, 5 x M4A3E8 Sherman 76)
– Armored Infantry Company (20 x M3 Halftracks, 3 x jeeps, 3 x 57mm ATG)
– Tank Destroyer Platoon (4 x M18 Hellcats, 2 x M20 Armored cars)
– Artillery (6 x M7 Priest 105mm)

Russian (sic) Tank Corps 1944
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x T34/85)
– Scout platoon (4 x BA64 armoured cars)
– Medium Tank Company (10 x T34/85)
– Medium Tank Company (10 x T34/85)
– SMG Company (3 Platoons)
– SMG Company (3 Platoons)
– SP Platoon ( 4 x SU76M)
– Tank Destroyer Company ( 5 x SU100)

German Armoured Kampfgruppe 1944
– Battlegroup HQ (2 x Sdkfz 251 Halftracks, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with quad 20mm)
– Armoured Recce Troop (1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9)
– Armoured Recce Troop (1 x Sdkfz 250/1, 2 x Sdkfz 250/9)
– Mixed Company
 CHQ 2 x Panther, 1 x Sdkfz 7/1 with Quad 20mm
 2 Platoons of 4 x Panther
 2 Platoons of Panzer Grenadiers in Sdkfz 251
 1 Platoon of Panzer Grenadier Heavy weapons in halftracks (2 x 81mm Mortar, 2 x 75mm short)
– Heavy Tank Platoon (4 x Tiger II)
– A/T Platoon (4 x Jagdpanzer IV/70)
– Artillery (4 x 105mm)

My personal viewpoint is that the German force is far too strong for any of the others and would make mincemeat of the US and the Soviets in short order given the preponderance of long 75s and the four Tiger IIs coupled with the lack of any Artillery of note for the Soviets.

However what immediately comes to mind is just how close I am to being able to field all four armies almost to the exact mix of vehicles. Obviously a few tweaks and substitutions are required, but when one takes into account what I already have, I’m pretty well set already.

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Another year, another game to play

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 28

It’s almost time for the annual hosting of Panzerschreck, the original Flames of War Tourney. Normally I’d be just starting to play my one or two games of FOW in preparation. However this year I’ll be already in Aussie, so Panzerschreck VIII is out.

However in light of the fact I’ve played none of the other club members in 8 years, it’s time to arrange a couple of games – one against Derek F, the painter of my Tiggers and Panthers, and one against Derek B, he of the very nicely painted Soviets and Brits and talented Balsa carver.

Derek F and I agreed that we should at least play one game with primarily vehicles (the ubiquitous tank army) and for our second game choose our composition privately.

Because it’s late war, I think I might run with a modified version of my Panzerschreck VII army…dropping some of the Recce and perhaps concentrating on Cromwells rather than the infantry I had. Also by not doing 11th Armoured, I get to use my Fireflies!

I suppose I should actually work out a decent 7th Armoured Div force this weekend.

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Diary of an Army IV (1943-44 Soviet): Part 1 The start

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 28

I missed out on this the first time around, but it came up again and I just had to grab it.

Winter Russkies 

I paid a wee bit over the odds than I was comfortable with, however when I found out they were originally Kelly G’s army, I was stoked. Kelly is one of those machine like painters one admires for their output and craft, and what’s more for once he actually finished some basing 🙂

I’m pretty happy not having to paint oodles of Russkies myself (although somewhere I actually have about 120 more Old Glory and 1st gen Battlefront partially finished) and I can flesh out both the KVs and the T34s with the ones I have sitting around spare. I also have three BA-10s I can add as my “puma bait”. For me though the winter camo look is exactly what I wanted.

The main thing is that I now have all four armies I wanted to complete as my core gaming forces: late War ‘murricans; Late War Pomgolians; Late War Fascist bullyboys and last but not least Godless Commies. These will probably be the four armies I use at Tourneys over in Oz because they’ll be mostly canon archetypes.

Returning to the Russkies, I’m very happy to have them with Tankodesantniki because that’s the way I intend to field them anyway. But having a mix of KVs, T34s and SU152s as the backbone as well as a decent company of puddlesplashers  means I can really look at concentrating on the ancillary supports and take my time about upping the infantry quotient. Expect to see some 45mm obr1942 anti-tank guns added to the mix, plus I have all the excuse I want to add the Artillery as and when I feel like it.

Here Kitty Kitty 

Okay so I only have two of these beasties but that’s enough for now. I can always add a couple more and practice getting the whitewash look pat.

Swarm Them! 

Being able to field a full strength company of these is very useful. Given I already have another 4 in the spares box, I’ll probably experiment with fielding two 7 Tank companies relatively soon. Plus I actually like painting T34s, they’re nice and simple to work on.

12.7mm DSHk Goodness 

I just know I’ll run into some aircraft at tourneys but I like having these bods around anyway. Plus having the option of some 12.7mm death spitters for the inevitable infantry assault is a little more flexibility which for me is paramount when fielding the White Horde.

And now for the ubiquitous roadkill … er Infantry:

Da Boys 

A little tidying up of the basework, some TLC on the edging and I should be fine. This will probably be the first army to see action in Australia – something different to what I normally field and hopefully something a little less Soviet Amorphous Mass than is usual.

All in all, I’m very pleased with the decision to grab these. The Soviets were always going to be my bête noire in terms of assembling a painted army and now I can put that issue to the rear of the queue again.

 

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Thank you Donald Featherstone

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 21

Thank you for all your years of promoting the hobby and stressing the Fun over the Pseudo-science.  Thanks to  you, Charles Grant and  Terry Wise, I’ve managed to stay in this hobby for 35 years. It’s been a tad traumatic at times, notably so when I forgot the object is to participate and have fun. I was just commenting on the way home from the club that the last ten years have seen a welcome return to simplicity over systems, and that the idea of a evening’s entertainment is now the paramount  objective rather than some dull as ditchwater chart-consulting factor fest.

Thank you again

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Naval Gazing

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 21

Played my first game of Victory At Sea last night at the Duellists. I found it a simple game mechanically, but not at all simplistic. What attracts me to it is that it’s short sweet and to the point. there’s no aecane consulting of charts ad infinitum, the onus is on the players to think  on their feet and it plays really fast, even with aircraft, torpedoes and some optional rules in the mix.

I was not impressed with the physical quality of the rulebook however which is incredibly poorly bound  for a hardback. Every copy I’ve seen of the rules is falling to pieces completely.  Not a great incentive to buy the game,  but it’s really noticeble how cheap the binding quality is compared to Field of Glory.

Nevertheless VaS is on my list of games to buy – particularly as I can assemble a decent sized fleet in 1/3000th scale from Navwar via Spirit Games.

Returning to Ancients for a moment, I managed to sell off the last of my armies last night at the club and the best thing was, I saw two of them getting use on the tabletop. Kelly G had done a brilliant job with the Essex figures he grabbed and they looked superb under new management. I’ve demanded pictures to show off what happens when someone with aptitude and industry gets hold of my stuff. 🙂

A bit of a sad night though really as I’m probably only going to get 2 more meetings in before I leave Palmy. I am looking forward to attending The Corsairs meetings regularly but it’s the end of a pretty spectacular phase in my wargaming life and I’m really going to miss the camaraderie and banter of the Duellists – and the opportunity to participate and discuss new initiatives in gaming.

It seems only fitting that I was able to browse through the latest FoW handbook, Cobra in one of my last meetings. It was very nice indeed, somehwat understated in places, but the overall package is again up there. The best bit is, I hardly need to buy anything further to field a decent US army as I have oodles of US models sitting waiting for sucgh an opportunity. The scenario I had a look at looked very good to me, and typifies the development away from pure Tourney gaming into situational gaming that is closer to my preference.

I should get back to packing everything for the move.

Posted in Field of Glory, Gaming, Rules, Victory at Sea, wargaming | 1 Comment »

Terrain: Some Thoughts, Ideas and a Plan Part III

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 15

Trees:

For years I’ve been looking to obtain a decent amount of trees to use on the tabletop. I’ve never been a fan of the usual scraggly felt surmounted by one or two lopsided, dilapidated pine trees. Admittedly I’m influenced by the years of playing 1/300th moderns and World War 2 games with hundreds of trees on the tabletops, tree lined roads and lots of greenery breaking up lines of sight. However I’ve always thought that too many wargames have a dearth of terrain that obscures or interrupts line of sight, thus exacerbating the problems of omniscience with the issue of an artificially target rich environment and far too much freedom of action.

I had been looking at getting K and M trees from Essex Australia but it would seem they no longer import them and frankly I’m a bit loath to deal with EA anyway as their word of mouth reputation hasn’t filled me with a great amount of desire to spend hundreds of dollars with them.

From what I understand the Games Workshop trees are pretty much rebranded K and M trees but they lack the autumn shades and variations I really am looking for. I may make do with a couple of packs to start with, particularly with my need for some 25mm ACW terrain. However failing that I think Noch and Heki will suffice particularly if I can obtain some of their value packs – I’m not a big fan of a multitude of pines so may offload those to defray shipping.

Hedges:

Commercial hedge models tend to look far too artificial for my liking so I may just suck it up and scrtachbuild a several linear metres of ordinary and Bocage hedgerows. There are some very interesting tutorials floating around on the ‘net anyway, and with the quantities I want for 15mm, it’ll be much cheaper to do them myself.

Walls and fences:

Walls are something I really will end up having to shop around for, the variety and pricing means I’ll hbe able to go for some serious amounts and with some major stylistic differences. Much of my walling will actually be hardmounted into existing terrain pieces as I’m loathe to lug around a whole box of free standing walling all the time.

Fences are a difficult area, as I’m definitely in the market for some region specific fencing such as Snake, 5 Rail for the American Civil War and the ubiquitous post and rail types, the problem being I’ll need a serious amount of all three types just to get the look right even on a 6′ by 4′ table.

Crops:
Too many variations here, but probably a combination of the infamous floor mats, Teddy bear fur and maybe some of the BTA Cornfields for that quintessential North American look. the latter being probably the most expensive of all my terrain purchases particularly if I go ahead and do a modular terrain version of Gettysburg or Shiloh.

Posted in Articles, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rants and Raves, wargaming | 2 Comments »

Terrain: Some Thoughts, Ideas and a Plan Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 15

Tiger Terrain is a new producer of terrain that I’m looking at. Referenced by members of The Guild  and Gentlemens Wargames Parlour  some of the items appeal as a means of breaking up the lines of sight, and hopefully avoiding the curse of FOW games – way too much open ground in the area of effective range band – 15 to  60 cms.

These are the particular products I’m looking to add as they will fit in nicely with the Crescent Root and Kerr and King items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only downside to the Tiger Terrain stuff is a combination of the price (somewhat on the high side for now) and the fact they require PayPal with no credit card facility  and having been badly burned by PayPal previously, I’m probably going to have to sort out an alternate means of obtaining them indirectly.

JR Miniatures offer a very low cost alternative and also some interesting alternatives to the previously mentioned manufacturers. Admittedly they’re cruder in terms of finish and somewhat more robust (read chunky) but with a bit of work, attention to detail in painting and some judicious application of extra material they have the possibility of really bringing a table to life.

The main selections I’m looking at are these three:

 

I’ve also been advised of Battlefield Accessories USA  and I’ll be picking up a couple of sample pieces to see how they work as well, notably:

 

This will fit in very very well with the Kerr and King Roadblock, I can see a few being bought for some urban slogfests.

So that’s the buildings sorted, now on to ground cover, hedges, walls, fences and trees…

Posted in Articles, Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rants and Raves, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Terrain: Some Thoughts, Ideas and a Plan Part I

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 8

With the move to Australia, I’ve offloaded all my bulky and heavy resin buildings and scenery. This has meant I’m effectively making a fresh start in terms of scenery for my tabletop games.  

In a perfect world I’d be able to construct, store and use custom-made terrain modules in the same manner as this: 

 

Road To Messina 

 

However time, space and personal circumstances currently conspire against me and I’m planning on a modest, easily portable setup I can take to the Corsairs each month by Train until I have my own transport. 

To this end I’ve been looking around at the newer ranges of resin buildings and terrain features for items that suit my requirements. I’ve found lots of inspiration in the buildings and terrain that grace the pages of the various Rapid Fire books, 

RF Table 

RF Buildings 

but as they’re a) designed for 20mm b) extremely expensive to obtain in this part of the world and c) not particularly suited to my actual playability requirements, this meant that I’d be looking to scratchbuild 15mm versions. In itself this would not normally be a bad thing but again my living situation prevents such projects for now. 

Instead I’ve decided to go with a selection of ready-made terrain pieces, based on a combination of style, ubiquity and pricepoint. I’ve seen a couple of the pieces in the flesh so to speak and was impressed enough but the clincher for some of the suppliers is the freighting cost, always an issue with overseas terrain orders. 

Kerr and King were always going to be one of my go to places, as I’m intrigued by their FOW bases anyway and they have some interesting designs, particularly the Tram Road Block  

Kerr & King Tram 

Kerr and King View 2 

which I’m sure I can feature in more than a few scenarios. It helps that K & K offer free shipping worldwide.  So that’s the urban terrain aspect taken care of, particularly with this as the starting point: 

Urban Terrain Deluxe 

Crescent Root offer a really nice selection of Rural and village type farmlets, walled estates and a church to die for that are perfect for my North Western Europe requirements: 

 

 

 

 

 

And if I’m particularly honest, the idea of ordering the pre-painted versions has some appeal, particularly for that initial population of the gaming table. One thing I particularly like is the whole look of each model, fully self contained and with enough room to place my elements in nicely, this becomes important with regard to my 19th Century figures as well as FOW. 

P-J 

 

Posted in Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rapid Fire, wargaming | 1 Comment »

Redeployment and Refocusing

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, March 2

Just as with Friday’s post, a bit of a generalist musing over a fair range of topics today.

I’ve been reading through the rest of Freyberg’s biography the last few days. Now I’m almost certainly biased in this respect, but for me the criticisms of Auchinleck ring very true, insofar as the debilitating effect of his adherence to a mode of warfare that had been palpably shown up as an abject failure in the face of even moderate enemy competency really was rather striking. Freyberg had an arrogance about him, but that arrogance wasn’t exactly born of youthful enthusiasm as opposed to practical experience and contrary to some authors’ views, it wasn’t as if Freyberg was someone recently promoted to staff rank – sometimes I wonder if the authors actually appreciate just how high ranking a Lieutenant General really was in terms of field armies. So far it’s been a damned interesting read, particularly regarding the inquiries into Crete and Greece that were effectively suppressed, and Freyberg’s willingness to take on board Hargest’s criticisms of his hands on command style as testified by Hargest himself did do a fair amount to make me reconsider my view of Freyberg’s ability at the level of Divisional commander.

Out of all this I’ve also found an area of the desert war that really does interest me at a level I don’t think I’ve looked at before: the relief of Tobruk in December 1941. Overshadowed by the events elsewhere and Rommel’s gallivanting around, the operations of 2 NZ Div are quite striking and will reward further study both at the tactical level of Advanced Squad Leader and Flames of War, but also at the operational level of Simonitch’s The Legend Begins. I wonder if there’s a genesis of an idea in looking at using a development of the VITW/Typhoon system to focus on that particular episode solely. Perhaps in view of the above heading, it might be better to just stick with TLB and ASL for now. Certainly it’d save me having to start a FoW desert army which could take years to finish.

Cassino looms large on the horizon right now as well, so I may take a break from Freyberg and the Ferns once the Alamein chapters are done to assemble a decent reference library again.

Overhanging everything at the moment is the move to Australia. I’m now at the stage where I’m going to have to make some very hard decisions about what to take with me and what to leave with family. This is complicated by the issue that family storage issues prevent me leaving too much behind and budgetary constraints affect how much I can actually ship across.

Thankfully I know I can safely take most of my modelling gear across with me, it’s the boardgames and roleplaying that need to be well organised. Given that I’m not a games collector thses days, and what titles I have are very much for playing I’m probably going to bite the bullet and eliminate the wasted space of the boxed games by ziplocing many of the titles and look at reboxing once in Australia. The Roleplaying material is limited to one system  these days but there’s a lot of it and not easily replaceable.

As for this blog, I’ve got a plan in mind for the period March through June. March will tend to be general musings, with some filler articles and photos of my armies as I continue to pack them away. April is where I’ll very much be reliant on pre-prepared posts to keep the body alive and thus there’s likely to be more posts of the rants and raves variety than photo-ops. May is where I’ll effectively be posting from Australia for the first time which hopefully means some photos and reports of my initial forays into the Australian gaming scene. I expect to attend at least one Paddington Bears game meeting in the early days of my arrival which should mean I get to demonstrate my incompetency at ASL in public. If I’m really smart I might even get a game of Storm Over Arnhem in which means no chance of dubious victory.

I’m looking forward to taking a bit of a relaxing holiday from work in May, as I’m very much at the end of my OT rope. The money’s nice but it’ll be fun to rediscover the two day weekend and I think that I’ll be happy to sit and paint during daylight hours for a change, without real time pressures although I should really look to have the Late War British finished ready for the first Central Coast Corsairs meeting I attend. Budget wise I’ve had to look at exactly what I’m going to be purchasing in the way of minis for the next 12 months, most of which involves tabletop scenery and modelling supplies.

And so that’s it for the first post of March. February looks to have been a very productive month for this Blog, not quite up to the level of January but still very pleasing to be one of the top three months since I started this iteration. Perhaps if I actually sat down in May/June and wrote up some more reviews I might get some commentary response 🙂 Yes I’m an attention starved fool.

P-J

.

 

Posted in Books, General, Modelling and Painting, Rants and Raves, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

The end of the month…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 29

My copy of Paul Freyberg’s biography of his father arrived earlier this week. It’s a little battered, but still very serviceable. I’ve managed to get through to the first stage of the Crete battles and it’s reminded me that there is still so much to look at. Crete is one of those WW2 battles that I feel can only be really looked at with a line drawn through much of the scholarship of the pre-Ultra release era. So much was unable to be said, so much commentary without a core understanding of the realities.

What did strike a chord, and is still occasionally discernable in certain operations today, was  the total lack of understanding of British Higher command towards the commonwealth troops. The treatment of Freyberg and Blamey in Greece was not just poor, it was criminally reprehensible and Wavell and Wilson’s handling of the matters should have seen them sacked with the full weight of prosecution.

Wavell certainly comes across as a complete noserag.  I’m looking forward to reading more of Freyberg’s Italian Campaign recollections. Yes, the aurtthor is somehwat too close to the subject, but then again, having the source on tap and most importantly willing to talk about matters helps. Paul Freyberg himself being a soldier brings a degree of polish and understanding to the prose, yet he doesn’t fall into the trap of talking down to his audience.

Glad I finally got hold of a copy. Now to pick up a few more recent books on Crete and Greece.

In other news, the Tiger Abteilung arrived as well. Given it worked out at $15 per tiger , I’m well pleased.I had a quick glance through the little FOW handbook that came with it and I don’t think that much of the actual historical pieces. There’s something definitely offputting about the section on Wittman. Not overtly Nazi Fan-boy, but the hagiography reeks of Agte and phrases such as  “he died a soldier’s death”  make my skin crawl.

The models are ver’ pretty indeed.Definitely staying in the can until Australia though. I want to be much better with the airbrush by the time I tackle them.

Posted in Books, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, History | Leave a Comment »

More Feline Goodness Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 26

the last lot of photos of the Germans until Derek sends me more…

Panthers 4 

I’ve got so many crew figures to play with I might take my time selecting the right figures for the commanders.

Purty Putty Tat 

The dark yellow is actually a mix of Tamiya Dark yellow and Desert Yellow with a little bit of white added. It’s not quite as pronounced as this picture might have you believe, and nothing that a light dusting of buff or yellow grey can’t tone down. It’ll be interesting how the magic wash works on the overall tone, I’m thinking even if it darkens the overall scheme, I’ll not be too worried. What does thrill me is that I’ll have a nice consistent look across the platoons. Makes for a nice homogenous looking force (a tad dichotomous for a bunch of camo schemes but it’s the aesthete in me that cares).

Bye bye Kitty kats 

I’m not sure when I’ll next get the chance to post a lot of pictures – but hopefully I’ll sort something out soonish. In the meantime I  really should set out my late war brits for a mass photo shoot before I pack them away for the move.

P-J

 

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

More Feline Goodness

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 24

Derek’s been a very busy lad it would seem. When I originally asked him to do some airbrushing, we hit upon a scheme that featured a fairly sparse coverage of olivgrun and rotbraun over the dunkelgelb base colour. Derek managed to alter those parameters slightly and I’m glad he did because the results are pretty damn good.

Panther G 

The thing that impresses me is that there’s very little I’ll need to do to get these to a level I’ll be very happy to field on the tabletop. I’ve got a fair amount of stowage and detailing I can and will add along with the markings and some subtle weathering.

Panthers 2 

I can see I’m going to have a bit of fun with Micro Sol and Micro Set. I’m also going to need to decide on exactly what unit I want to represent, as I’ll need to see what decals are available to get the look just right. And I still haven’t settled on a decent technique for the trackwork. I also have to think about drilling out the muzzle brakes…

Bergepanther 

The Bergepanther is probably where I can experiment the most with weathering, mud and paintchipping techniques as subtlety isn’t as paramount for a recovery vehicle as it would be for the teeth vehicles.

More pics later today but for now I’m just going to see where the Germans are in terms of a game-ready force.

P-J

 

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Books, Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, History, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

It only took one day…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

…to add more tigers to my collection courtesy of a bargain on Trade Me:

Pretty Kitteh 

and hopefully i’ll get them looking like this:

Very pretty kittehs 

I’m doomed. And now I just now I’ll need to buy the Wittman boxed set because it has a schwimmwagen!

 

Doomed I tell you. And this just after I bragged that I had more Cromwells than Tigers to show I wasn’t a panzerporn fanboy…oops, not true anymore.

Oh well at least I’ll be able to do a reasonable review and comparison with the second generation ones I already have. Now to explain this particular purchase to the other half.

P-J

 

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

The list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

here’s the list of German models I have right now:

German tanks and other vehicles

2 x Tiger II (1st gen – painted ambush)
2 x Tiger II (2nd gen – unpainted)
4 x Jagdpanther (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Panther G (1st gen – painted 2 and 3 colour)
5 x Panther G (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Tiger I (2nd gen -unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
1 x Bergepanther  – base coat by Derek Forrester
3 x Panzer IV G (unpainted 2nd Gen)
4 x Panzer III L/M
2 x Pzjgr Ferdinand (1st/2nd gen painted)
1 x Sdkfz 250/1alt (painted)

7 x Horch Staff car
2 x Kubelwagen
2 x Schwimmwagen
1 x Sdkfz 10/4 AA
3 x Krupp Protze
16 x Motorcycle/sidecars
4 x Pak 40 + crew
1 x pak 38 + crew
1 x leFH18 + crew
 

3 x Grenadier Platoons, 2 x MG platoons, 1 x 81mm Mortar platoon.

All I really need to add for my purposes are some Armoured cars (yes Pumas), Sdkfz 250s and 251s plus the ubiquitous StuG platoon and maybe a unit or two of Jagdpanzer IVs (JgPz IV/48s, JgPzIV/70s and IV/70As)

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

Where The Tigers Are…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

So here they are, the first lot of big cats to be airbrushed, courtesy of Duellists club member and all around nice guy Derek F. Derek’s opinion is that the Tamiya Dark Yellow is actually too green tinged for his liking, and although I can’t see it myself (I do think I have issues with the green/yellow /brown spectrum of military colours) I’m going with his call to use a mix of Tamiya Desert Yellow and Dark Yellow. I’m very pleased with the way the red-brown has a vibrancy that captures the look I was after along with the understated amount of the contrasting camouflage colours. Now all I have to do is work on the details and the highlighting before applying some form of Magic Wash/Pinwash shading. Thinking about it, I’ll probably err on the side of less is more in terms of weathering and highlighting and just make sure that the details are done to the best of my ability. Aerials and the bow MG, plus a couple of crew  will probably do more to set them off nicely than any amount of chipping etc. I’m still wondering whether to use some of the seafoam foliage Derek generously gave me but I’ll probably make my decision once I’m in Aussie with a complete painted force. 

 

 

the First step 

 

 

The best thing about all this model acquisition is that it’s actually been coherent, I’ve worked to a plan and the best thing is that it’s actually mirrored the exact purchase plan I had in mind when Flames of War was still in early playtest. What I have to do is avoid the temptations of the Gentlemen’s Wargame Parlour and The Guild discussion groups with their evil eye-cady personal projects and diversions into the “Other” scale (20mm), although I do have a hankering to do something Twilight 2000 related just because it’s so attractive to play around with 1980s/90s era European equipment.  

   

Where will it all end? Probably never. Much of my impetus at the moment is rationalising my collections so that I can turn up to the club in Australia with stuff that fits the type of games I want to play and offer. Hence the retrenchment away from Ancients and Napoleonics until I’m fully settled, and the concentration on my two main interest, ACW and WW2.  

   

With all my purchases of late, I’m pretty much ready to spend the balance of 2008 painting all of it, with no need to do anything else in terms of miniatures acquisition. Given my partner is supportive, encouraging and understanding of my hobbies, I’m happy to just concentrate on that aspect and leave further acquisitions to the areas of paints, tools and reference materials.  

   

Of course there’s also the sorting out of various things I’ll need to do in the meantime, i.e. scenery, terrain, and the occasional bit of scratchbuilding/conversion.

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting | Leave a Comment »

It’s started…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 18

So yesterday Derek Forrester picked up the first lot of German panzers to be basecoated: 4 x Tiger 1s, 4 x Jagdpanthers, 5 x Panther Gs and 1 x Bergepanther. I just have to rememebr to pick up some Tamiya Dark Yellow and maybe some buff to take the green edge from it for him. The cool thing is this will be a collaboration of sorts. Derek does the initial 3 colours and I spend my time doing the detailing – something i find I’m okay to do. I’m going to be working with a version of the magic wash/pinwash for the panel lines and some moderate highlighting.

Next up I’ll get him to do the Panzer IVs and the remaining two Henschel Tigger IIs. I’ll probably end up doing the dappling for the ambush schemes myself as I’m avoiding the dot version and going for the tickmark variant which I prefer the look of, plus you can get away with fewer tick marks compared to the tendency to overdo the spotted ambush look – sometime one sees a KT looking more like a refugee from the measles ward.

With regard to markings, well I may actually have the KTs as part of sPzAbt 506 Hummel of Arnhem infamy just because they’re a Wehrmacht unit rather than the SS types, and I’ve got enough SS troopers to to do some 10th SS grenadiers to accompany them.

August September means the autumn scheme for the Germans which suits me just fine, I don’t like the look of the bright greens of the spring version, the russets and browns work better for my eyes.

And because it’s Arnhem, I suppose I better think about grabbing some Para Recce Jeeps – Peter Pig or Battlefront? Probably a mix of both, depending on what sort of deal I can get from Martin at Peter Pig if I buy enough, as I’d like to do a comparison between the two without the input of some of the more virulent PMTers like Hodge or Cartwright.

I can also go ahead and finish off my old Panzer IIIMs (okay they’ve got schürzen which the ones in Then and Now didn’t have) but they’ll at least be more use than a Kursk army I’ll never end up completing.

Posted in Articles, Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, Rules, wargaming | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 10

With all these nefarious Germans soon to arrive, I’ve arranged to do a partial exchange of services for models. I don’t actually need the Panzer IVs right now, so a local club member who’s got the time and interest right now to do some airbrushing for me is going to do some 3 colour airbrushing base coats on the big cats, so I can concentrate on the detailing, weathering and dealing parts.

The issue I have is that I really do need to look at what particular scheme I want to use for the Panthers and Tigers. Ambush scheme is out for now, mainly because I’m not going to ask the guy to do that sort of work in an exchange deal. I quite like the idea of the sPzabt 101 three colour scheme for my tigger 1s, as that will allow me some versatility and also there’s Hill 112 to be considered.

As for the infantry, well that’s one area it’s going to be very measured and planned. I’m going to see just how motley I can get the uniforms to look, and this may see my first experimentation with green stuff for the zeltbahn ponchos etc, given that I won’t be too concerned about stuffing it up using the older gen figures.

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

Here Kitty Kitty (the latest additions)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 6

Tiggers

1st Gen Sculpts again, but nicely finished . I have to get rid of the Balkankreuz on the Turret sides at some point, but as I know the exact shades Evan used when he painted these all those years ago, I’m pretty comfortable with being able to do so. Some highlighting and detailing plus decals and markings to bring them up to scratch.

Tiggers!

Mreooow!

Panthers

I paid a bit of a premium for these first gen Battlefront Panther Gs, and my reasoning was they certainly looked nicely done from the pics. The ambush scheme was the clincher for me really. I wasn’t disappointed in the flesh, although I will have to either replace the old style narrow tracks with newer ones obtained from Evan, or disguise them by basing them which is a serious option for me these days (I used to find basing the bigger vehicles a biit dubious but these days I prefer to have them based for storage purposes particularly if they’re going to be taken to club meetings or such. I may end up replacing the gun barrels anyway but they do fit nicely with my Tigger IIs (see above). I’ll probably give them a coat of magic wash to accentuate the detail before a very light highlighting and decals to finish with a good varnish. And yes I have fixed the misapplied hatch.

Ooh Kitty cats

Panther G / 3 Colour

Panther G 2 Colour

Panther G Ambush

 

Panther G 2 colour #2

More Germans

One of the more glaring gaps in my WW2 collection has been Germans. Sure I have a bunch of Fallschirmjäger but in terms of general wehrmacht line infantry – nothing. At least until now. So they’re mid-late war with the anklets rather than Jackboots but that just means they’re ideally suited to my Normandy and Holland theme. I now have a decent bunch of AT guns to work with as well, important given the scenarios I have in mind. Plus Pak 40s are way more styley than the overrepresented 88mm.

Panzergrenadiers

  • 1 x Grenadier Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Company HQ
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier MG Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Mortar Platoon
  • 1 x Fallschirmjager MG Platoon (like I need any more)
  • 2 x 7.5cm anti-tank gun (to add to the two I have already)
  • 1 x 5cm anti-tank gun (one of my favourite AT guns)
  • 1 x 10.5cm field howitzer (I’m sure I can find a use for this)
  • 70 + other miniatures, mostly older (rectangular base) Battlefront minis which will flesh out the infantry sections along with the Grenadier Platoon I already bought last week.

German Vehicles I

A bunch of vehicles including some older softskins to match my existing ones, along with a couple of very welcome Jagdpanthers.

German Support Vehicles

 

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Horch Kfz70 (I already have oodles of these, but I still have need of some)
  • 1 x Krupp Protze (Again, I needed a few more anyway)
  • 2 x Kubelwagen (just like Jeeps, I never have enough)
  • 2 x Schwimmwagen (very useful for Recce teams)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm Flak halftrack (a bit of a luxury but my FJs need a few)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 11 3t halftrack (bonus vehicle here)
  • 2 x Jagdpanther (yeah baby, yeah)
  • 4 x Sd Kfz 251/1D/10D halftrack (I just need to get some seated Germans to populate them)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 251/9 7.5cm halftrack (I need more)

German Vehicles II

I couldn’t resist picking these ones up as a complement to the previous lot. I wanted at least 4 Jagdpanthers,and the additional Tiggers were very welcome. Even though these models are not the latest sculpts from BF they match my existing ones and are still very serviceable as far as I’m concerned. I did pay close to retail but these are worth it especially as the Jagdpanthers are no longer available.

Lots of Heavy Metal late war panzertruppen

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Jagdpanther (almost a full platoon)
  • 3 x Tiger 1E (Zimmerit) (now I have four of them)
  • 2 x Kingtiger (Henschel Turret) (that makes four as well)
  • 1 x Jagdpanther (there’s my four Jagdpanthers – can you sense a theme?)
  • 2 x Panther G (Okay so added to the four above plus my original G and D, that makes Woot! two platoons)
  • 1 x Bergepanther (because one should always have a recovery vehicle)
  • 3 x Panzer IV H (I’ll always find a use for Panzer IVs, but I really do need another 5 or so)

Summary

In one fell swoop I’ve accumulated almost the Late War Kampfgruppe force I wanted to do in 15mm. Just need to add some more Panzer IVs and perhaps some recce vehicles (234s of various types or 250s) and maybe some more Flak or ATGs ( Pak97/38s appeal for novelty value).

One of the reasons I was happy enough to go with buying all these older gen models is that I can practise my airbrushing on them, which I’d be nervous about with the more expensive recent German armour. I’ll probably try for some cohesive camo schemes though, it’s always easier to get into a groove when you’re working with the same parameters. Probably a 3 colour scheme similar to the first Panther G rather than an ambush tick/dot scheme or the broad swathes of colour. Somehow I think Panzer Colors 1, various Squadron Signals and Histoire et Collections books are going to feature on my reading list soon enough.

Posted in Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

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 »