Showing posts with label 1/72. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1/72. Show all posts

Game Report - Battle of the Bulge - Bolt Action Wargame in 1/72 Scale


We finally got around to starting our Ardennes campaign last week with our first practice game and in the process baptised our new "sand" table

When were looking around for ideas for a Battle of the Bulge campaign last year, we bought a Battlegroup rules downloadable pdf supplement called "Wacht am Rhein" by Warwick Kinrade for gaming the Ardennes from the plasticsolder.co.uk website.

We used a scenario taken from this supplement called "Ambush at Ligneuville".

It's based on events that took place on December 17th, when Peiper's spearhead encountered their first serious American resistance as they raced into the village of Ligneuville to secure the small stone bridge over the river Amblève.

In the scenario, the Amblève crosses the width of the table east to west across the board with the bridge in the centre. The river is lined with dense bushes, scrub and trees, with various buildings on either side of the bridge.

The scenario we used is part of the larger campaign from the book, so a previous game, and this scenario's result are geared to points later in the scenario book's campaign itself.

This was just a one-off game, so we kept the scenario's main German objective to secure the Bridge by turn 5.

Another of the objectives was to stop the American Brigadier-General "Timberlake" from escaping off the table.

The Americans had to delay the Germans from taking their objective by turn number 5, and in the process either get the Brigadier-General off the table or avoid his capture or elimination.

Over the years our group has gamed with various rulesets, all of which have their pros and cons, but we decided that for this new Ardennes campaign we'll be using the Bolt Action rules by Warlord Games which we've found are ok for fast-action skirmish scenarios like this.

All the vehicles and troops used in the game are as per the published "Ambush at Ligneuvile" scenario, and even though the scenario is geared to the Battlegroup rules, it migrated well for use with Bolt Action.

The game was played on a 1.60 x 1.20m table, and we got to use our new sand table and used four or five bags of cheap table salt sprinkled over the surface to represent snow on the ground (see previous post HERE)


GENERAL VIEW OF THE TABLE



The road leading into the village is the German entry point, top centre is the small stone bridge over the river, and to the left, the large building represents the hotel where the US commander is staying.


TURN 1

The German spearhead thunders into town via the main road, led by "Obersturmführer" Werner Sternebeck in his Panzer IV passing by parked up transports of the American HQ.



Following close behind is a second Panzer IV + two SS Pioneer squads, each in a SdKfz 251.

Brigadier-General Timberlake's jeep was parked out in view of the oncoming Panzer IV so he decides to make haste with his two aides out the back door of the hotel and try and escape on foot.



The rest of the Americans are some 20 odd rear-echelon troops divided into small rifle and BAR teams, a .30 cal MMG and an M4 Sherman.




TURN 2

A bazooka team try and take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV. These are green inexperienced troops and miss miserably (also due to a terrible dice throw). The M4 Sherman also makes a brave attempt to take out the leading Pz IV but misses too.



SS pioneers dismount from the leading Sd.Kfz 251 and head away from the road towards the bridge from behind the cover of the building where the bazooka team are lurking.



The second group of SS pioneers dismount and take out the Sherman with a well-aimed panzerfaust.



Sternebeck's Pz IV blasts at the hidden bazooka team and makes mincemeat of them.

A Panther tank rumbles onto the table from the road and heads toward the bridge following behind the leading tanks.




TURN 3

Reinforcements arrive in the form of two Shermans and an M10 Wolverine coming in from the road on the US side of the river.



Firefights break out between US troops and the SS pioneers heading on foot toward the bridge.





Timberlake meanwhile makes his way through the bushes and rough ground along the riverbank. The Germans spray him with machine-gun fire and his two aides fall, leaving him alone.



Another German half-track appears on the table on the road toward the village, carrying Peiper himself.





TURN 4

As Sternebeck crosses the bridge he meets a Sherman waiting in the middle of the road on the other side.



Both tanks exchange fire, the Sherman hits but fails to penetrate. The Panzer IV returns fire, hits and completely destroys the tank.



Back on the other side of the river, Timberlake is still pinned in the brush on the riverbank and miraculously escapes unscathed from numerous volleys of shots from the Germans.




TURN 5

Sternebeck rumbles into town past the burning Sherman. The small groups of green rear-echelon US troops in the surrounding buildings are powerless to stop him.



The remaining Sherman and the M10 Wolverine both make a vain attempt to take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV, but the "Dice God" intervenes again and both miss the target completely.



The Pioneers secure the bridge while the Panther gives covering fire from the riverbank.



At this point the bridge is now secured and Timberlake, still pinned and unable to escape, finally falls under a hail of fire.



CONCLUSION

Victory for the Germans and a crushing defeat for the US defenders (until the next time that is .... )

Sternerbeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules
Sternebeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules 
The game played out well, the Germans took the bridge, as they did in reality.

Timberlake didn't escape, though in reality he drove off in his jeep when he heard the German tanks approaching and escaped, The fact that he tried to make it off the table on foot was a big mistake.

The Americans had the disadvantage of being classed as "green" and the Germans had the positive modifiers associated with SS troops and it was going to be difficult for the Americans to win a decisive victory.

That said, the Americans could have at least done a little better, but on this occasion the dice throws meant they didn't have the ability to hit a barn door.

Even though we gamed on a heavily snow covered table, when this skirmish took place on 17th December 1944, from all accounts it wasn't snowing at that point in time.

The scenario was well written and it plays out well. It was easy to use "as is" using all the vehicles and figures mentioned in the scenario, and adapts well to the Bolt Action rules. It would be nice to play again maybe with some other ruleset.

All in all, a very enjoyable time with two of my regular gaming mates Alex and Carlos who aptly played the winning Germans.

Youtube video : Winter wargames sand table using salt as snow


Decorating a new sand table for wargaming using fine-grain salt to simulate snow.

This was for a 1/72 scale wargame but the technique can be used for games in any scale.



After uploading the video I realised that the sound is very muffled, but the images speak for themselves.

There are subtitles on the video, to see them you'll need to open the video in Youtube itself and on the bottom bar, look for the “Closed Captioning” icon “CC” and click on it.

More videos are planned for youtube so if you want to subsribe to get updates, just click on the subscribe button below



Hope you enjoy it.

We baptised the table on Saturday with an Ardennes game, photos and game report to follow soon.

Figure Conversions . WW2 Elderly Berlin Policemen with Shakos


A couple of the scenarios in the Berlin campaign that our wargame group gamed some time ago needed some squads of "elderly policemen", many of whom had to be armed with just handguns.



These are figures from various sets of Germans - Revell, Airfix, Caesar, HaT, and even some of Orion's sets of cops-n-robbers and gave them heads with shakos taken from the HaT Industrie 1/72 scale WWI German Jaegers.








Disposable Heroes - Latest Game in 1/72 Scale


On Saturday afternoon my mate Alejandro invited us to his house and we got together with another of our gaming buddies, Juan, and managed to get in a good skirmish game using the the Disposable Heroes ruleset by Iron Ivan games.

We've only recently got back to using these rules, maybe the last time we gamed regularly with them was about 4 - 5 years ago, so there were a few things we'd forgotten, but we remembered the basic mechanics and with the rulebook at hand we got in a good 1:1 skirmish game (the rules are about 15 years old, and there's a version II recently released which we'll maybe give a try soon).


The scenario was taken from the "Go Forward Together" British / Commonwealth armies list


It's set in Normandy 1944, British attacking with numerical superiority against a smaller force of SS Panzergrenadiers.


"Montgomery is determined to tidy his lines as part of the drive on Caen. He sends heavy attacks driving around the town to capture vital positions before launching the major operation designed to take Caen itself"


The British have to take the majority of the scenario objectives to win.




General view of the table




Sherman close-up (Airfix kit with "extras" to hide the undersized turret)




British advance





Pz IV Straddles the road





And takes out a Sherman on the 1st turn




The PAK 40 took various pot-shots but missed miserably




German troops regroup behind a barn




More Germans emerge from a field




And successfully immobilise a Sherman too eager to advance without infantry support




A Churchill "races" along the right flank to take one of the objectives




Meanwhile a brave PIAT team (actually a bazooka wielding ancient Matchbox 1-76 Brit) move ahead and spy the Pz IV straddling the road.




Boom ! - A lucky shot from the PIAT and the Pz IV goes up in flames.


Despite the numerical superiority of the British, it was not easy for the attacker, they (ie : me and Alejandro that is) made the mistake of not going full-out to reach the objectives.


We found it was a good balanced scenario and the Germans SS and have a higher morale rating but less units and so less activations, and it was hard to get them pinned.

The British had some luck with a 3" mortar and the PIAT, but they only reached one objective, which was really their own fault for dawdling around given the limit on the number of turns.

Mr. Churchill in 1-72 Scale


This photo of "Mr. Churchill" was originally posted on the Miniaturezone blog before it was unfortunately hacked and the whole website was wiped clean last year.


The figure is original vintage from the 1960s, from the old Airfix Civilians set first issued in 1961 and I think he bears more than a passing resemblance to Churchill.


There was a fair bit of flash that needed cleaning off before painting him, but I could have left it I suppose, painted it as a glow of some kind and claimed it was Mr. Churchill's "aura of self-confidence" :-)




1/72 US 105mm Field Howitzer Conversion


A few years back I saw an article on Paul's excellent Plastic Warriors Website on using a cut-down Airfix 88mm Flak to make a 105mm US howitzer

http://plasticwarriors.blogspot.com.es/2010/06/m2-m101-105mm-howitzer.html

I needed a couple of these for my WWII US forces and inspired by Paul's original idea, I decided to put a couple of old Airfix 88s I had in the stash to good use.


The barrel of the 88 has been cut down and the shield comes partially from an old Airfix 6 pounder AT gun and the rest was made using some cut-down clear plastic sheeting.

The axle and wheels are from a trailer that comes as an accessory with a die-cast Altaya M16 Half-Track. The trail legs are flat plastic cocktail sticks.


Yep, it's a crude "representation" and it would probably raise a lot of eyebrows at an IPMS meeting, but I think once it's painted and on the table it maybe won't look too out of place.

I'll try and get this painted up and will post a couple of shots soon.






Battle of the Bulge - Keep Moving


Since the last post, things have kept on moving - not as fast as I would have liked, but at a fair pace.

The HaT / Armourfast M4A3 76mm tanks after having been base-painted, washed/highlighted, and mud-weathered, were given a couple of white stars on the turrets courtesy of the decals spares box - the Armourfast tanks unfortunately come with no decals.


They are also very sparse, no tools or any other kind of stowage, and the hatches are moulded shut, but in spite of looking very bare they are fine for gaming and are now ready for table 




The old Hasegawa M5 High Speed Tractor and 155mm Long Tom that were dug out of the old stash have now been repainted and are also ready for action.

As with the Shermans, after repainting the M5 also received a good dose of mud on the tracks.


Below the finished tractor and Long Tom, the Armourfast Shermans and a GPA Amphibious 1/4 Ton 4x4 Truck that was also on the painting table. 


I stuck a figure in there wearing a thick overcoat - he's from the Revell US Ardennes Infantry set.



While I was at it, I took a shot of that now finished 1/4 ton amphibious "Seep". It's from the Academy "WW II Ground Vehicle Set -6". I trimmed down and added a few figures to fit in there.


So a fair amount of progress, and more to come.

And to finish off, a taster of what's on the table at the moment.


We've got die-cast Altaya / Amercon self-propelled artillery, a Fujimi M30 Cargo Carrier, and trucks of various makes and from various sources - all of which will be repainted and might be finished shortly.


So come back soon, as time permitting there should be another update with work in progress.


New project - Battle of the Bulge

I had been meaning to start this project for a few years and finally, after much procrastination, I made a start.

We plan to get a campaign going and we have a fair supply of suitable German stuff already built and painted, but the US forces were unfortunately sadly lacking.

But, I do however have a large amount of WW2 US vehicles and tanks that I've accumulated over the years.

The problem is that the stash is made up of lots of unmade kits, various diecasts that need repainting, and a fair amount of old stuff & wrecks that need work to bring them up to standard.

First off some Shermans


The two Shermans on the left were already built and painted, I just want to "muddy" them up a little.

The top left-hand M4A1 76 is quite old, made many years ago and is an Esci M4A1 with a Matchbox (Revell) Sherman turret.

The other Sherman below was built and painted by a friend (Eli from La Rana Bucanera Website) who kindly donated the vehicle (and some others too that I'll show in a future post). I believe it's a Dragon kit

The two partially painted Shermans on the right are Armourfast M4A3 76mm. Very simple snap-together models, but nice and sturdy.

I also dug out these two old veterans from the stash which are in need a bit of care and attention and will both be getting a new paintjob  - a Hasegawa M5 Tractor and 155mm Long Tom.




We plan to game the campaign, using the Warlord Bolt-Action ruleset, and the their Battle of the Bulge Campaign book which I recently bought.




So, work in progress pictures will follow with the next updates shortly.

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