Monday, 11 December 2017

Attack at Gavrishi : Operation Rumyantsev August 1943

Introduced Martin to WW2 6mm with a game very loosely based around my ongoing Rumyantsev campaign. The SS Das Reich Division has pushed north and attacked Krivoshein’s 3rd Mechanised Corps. Near Gavrishi on the morning of 12th August 1943. This threatened to split the 1st Tank Army and the 5th Guards Tank Army. Rotmistrov immediately sent a brigade from the 29 Tank Corps. What resulted was a fearce tank engagement where historically both sides were badly mauled. Only 4 or 5 hours of gaming would see if history would be repeated ?

Overview of the battlefield looking West Das Reich entering from the left
Remnants of the 3rd Mechanised Corps remain close to the village and take up defensive positions on the wooded hills
The ominous armour of Das Reich...smoke can already be seen in the distance as one of the Tiger Tanks claims its first victim
The 29 Tank Corps Brigade arrives with powerful SU152’s and SU76’s
Unsure whether to hold or run the heavy antitank battery of the 3rd MC refuses to obey orders and won’t unlimbers their guns! 
If Stalin founds out it will be Siberia for this lot
German antitank armour moves into position to support the attack 2 Marders dig in in one of the small farms
Suddenly the first Battalion of Tanks of the 29th TC arrive and immediate try to engage the SS division but initially they are outgunned
A view looking East, Russian antitank Battery dug in on the hill
After about an hour of fearce fighting the Russian play their ‘joker’ and a second Battalion attack’s from the flank
a single german Tiger sits in wait
I wider shot....the Russian General appears to be waving a white flag or are they fresh orders from Uncle Joe to hold the line ?
On the German alert flank the second SS Battalion is turning East to travel down the road
Another wide shot..mainly taken to give s ense of the terrain (ps I do need to tidy up the dungeon)
Panzers advance down the road
But they come under fire from the Russian Heavy KV1 Battalion
On the right flank, two Marders and the Tiger have been knocked out and the Russian flank attack is looking very dangerous
two Stugs have redeployed to hopefully plug the gap
Germans are being held in the centre
Finally the german Artillery support has arrived on the battlefield, they deploy immediately to hold the right flank
....but the Russian tanks redeploy around the hill and surge forward towards the gap between the fields
Those fresh orders have finally arrived at the front, and the commander of the Russian heavy artillery has been threatened
with a long holiday in Siberia, they immediately unlimbers and open fire
In the centre the German reserve Tank Battalion (slightly inferior Pz IV’s and III’s) pushes forward
theough the trees towards the village, in the distance many Russian and german tanks are burning 
A wide angle shot of the battlefield at this point both sides are now moving closer to their own break points the 
Russian general well aware that his leadership is lower than the german SS commander.
Through the smoke the Russian flank attack has reformed again when they are threatened themselves in the flank by the company of Wespe’s
At this stage both sides have reached their breaking point, but the Germans in a last ditch attempt to swing the battle rich forward a company
of Pak 40 antitank guns, with German efficiency they are able to limber up move unlimber and fire in a single turn, knocking out a key enemy 
Tank, they then fail their test with a ‘blunder’ and choose to move forward! With their guns.
But it is too late for the Russians who have broken (when you reach break point you have to test at the start of each turn), Das Reich 
have won thought but they have been badly mauled and only their obsessive belief in their commanders has held them on the battlefield.
The guns of the 3rd Mechanised Corps can withdraw knowing that they have held their position and the fearsome SS Panzer Divisions
are not invincible

A splendid game, after a brief skirmish to teach Martin the rules it ran pretty well. Sadly when we play again he may have learnt the true value of the KV-1’s which weren’t put to the best use. So our game reflect the historical outcome.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Crescent and Cross : the First Crusade

A second try out with my Arabs forces, when I originally bought them the drive was the release of the Crescent and Cross update to Saga. So it is great to finally get them onto the table. For those not aquatinted with the Saga supplements the core rules remain the same but the boards which help you to control your force have gradually become more complex and challenging to play. This really suits those with experience but it would not be a good place to jump into the system.
Two of the new Boards, both have an additional layer of complexity 
My Arab Force for C&C
I didn’t capture many photos, the Crusaders mounted knights surge forward
Joined by a mix of warriors and crossbow men
The light but hopefully mobile Arabs prepare to receive the charge
After several turns of heavy fighting the Arab line is severely thinning 
They do have a large unit of Fanatics in reserve
The Crusader lord pulls back to rest before charging in again
I didn’t capture a picture but eventually the two lords clashed , with two such skilled fighters inevitability they were both slain !

A fun game and the new boards give a fresh look at the game😀

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Crusades Begin : Lion Rampant

Regular followers will know I have been slowly working through creating a small moorish/Arab Force for both Crescent and Cross (Saga) and other medium sized skirmish games. Finally they got their first run out on the table this evening. A couple of fun games of Lion Rampant with an x colleague from work. Nothing too serious but I took a couple of photos. The Arab Force narrowly won both games we played and it has encouraged me to bump some more closer to the top of the painting list.
The bulk of the Arab Force, mainly light troops
A small unit of elite foot
Elite camel riders charge forward to mail clad Spanish foot knights
Spanish cavalry move from the flank into the centre of the battlefield
The camels push forward but are eventually ‘blown’ and hacked down
A final shot of Arab archers about to be crushed under Christian knights!

Fun games, both very close...more to come hopefully trying out the figures with Saga at the weekend.🎅🏽

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Median Cavalry

Feels like ages since I completed a unit. Like all cavalry units these seemed to take ages and I could probably do a bit more but they are ready to game at this stage.
Not particularly armoured but with shields so I guess they will play as medium cavalry. They are Wargames factory figures. When I opened the box I discovered you get two sets of horse heads. The smaller ones are truely awful but these are designed as Persian/median cavalry with a suitable topknot and slightly more ornate bridle. The shields are from a different box. The spears are metal replacements as they are more robust. Based in pairs for ease and flexibility 😀

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The 18th Army Drives North : Barbarossa June 1940

After the initial bombardment the 18th Army under Generaloberst Von Kuchler is tasked with driving north up the Lithuanian coast. The leading elements include the 11th, 61st and 291st Infanterie Divisions. They all make rapid progress against the scattered soviet 10th Rifle Corps. The defence is peacemeal and concentrated at small urban centres or river crossings. For our latest Barbarossa battle we have chosen one such contested river crossing.
A small detachment of Russian troops have been told to hold the main river crossing whilst reinforcements are brought up. For the Germans speed is everything and the rapidly advancing Infantry of the 61st ID are supported by much needed armour.
The scene is set the main river crossing in the centre of the small settlement a single unit of infantry and an anti tank gun hold the crossing. The river has two other potential crossings and both sides will fight to control them
The 61st Infantrie Division surges forward towards the river
In 1941 the Czech 35(t) remains a powerful support tank, just behind it can be seen a unit of well armed pioneers
Soviet reinforcements are order upto the river full of patriotic fervour 
No shortage of men to defend mother Russia 
The Germans are well armed and intend to brush the defence out the way, a Panzer IV infantry support and an early Stug in the distance
Siegfried Haenicke the commander of the 61st ID orders a flamethrower forward to clear the bridge 
The Divisions reconnaissance regiment, Kradschutzen, move quickly towards the eastern crossing
On reaching the river they come under fire and quickly dismount
On the high ground Russian infantry open fire and push forward
The Russian reinforcements are deploying either side of the road
Siegfried appears in two minds whether to push straight for the bridge, his indecision may be costly
Russian infantry is now dug in at the bridge supported by a BT7
The Kradschutzen having dismounted are assaulted before they are able to take cover or dig in and are wiped out
More Germans infantry is on hand but having watched their komrades being slaughtered they are reluctant to charge in
The german pioneers are pushing slowly towards the bridge but they are met by a hail of bullets
Clearly the invasion of Russia is not going to be that easy, rather than holding their position Russian infantry is ordered to assault across the bridge armed on.y with light weapons!
Russian infantry prepared to die for their country 
German supporting artillery is now in place and firing ineffectively at the troops and armour over the river, the Panzer IV begins to drive forward to clear the bridge...........
Unbelievably the Russian political commissar has order the troops to assault the tank, despite some redimentaty anti tank grenades they have no effect on the heavily armoured tank
Not all Russian infantry is so brave, these guys will find themselves in Siberia soon enough !
After exchanging fire across the river the
The German pioneers attempt to make it to the bridge but a random events forced them st the last minute to search the nearby building for vodka 😡
The commissar is either brave or so indoctrinated, that he is leading from the front he is encouraging more infantry to charge across the bridge ..... not surprisingly they are reluctant to move
One man does however earn the first ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ by single handedly charging the German Pak 36. His mother would be proud 
The defenders remain in control of the crossings 
On the far left flank German mountain troops have been badly mauled by fire from across the river so they choose to make their final advance using the stug as cover
Finally the remaining German infantry make a dash for the crossing
Infantry still take pot shots at each other across the village but both sides lack the numbers to make a decisive move
The panzer IV has charged across the bridge pushing the Russian infantry out the way, it will leave the infantry to mop up any defence
On the left with the stug support the Germans have also pushed across the river, the commissar can be seen ordering the infantry to attack the tank..... but his threats go unheeded and they slip away to fight another day.

Hard to describe this as anything other than a fantastic game. The Russian put up a fantastic spirited defence. We gave it as a minor victory to the Germans but they don’t need too many victories like this one 🧐 our campaign is shaping up nicely with loads of options for the futute😋