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Building and painting the BF FoW UBX31 M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon

The Battlefront Flames of War Tank Destroyer box set UBX31 contains four resin and metal M-10 tank destroyers in 15mm scale.

There are options to add extra armour to the turret to upgrade it to top armour 1.

After deciding to build it with the extra armour and the smaller turret counterweight (not the duck-bill option) I also added an MG to the rear of the turret.

Other parts in the set are some metal stowage items (I fitted one piece to the rear of the command tank to identify it). Also there are 8 small magnets that allow the turrets to be magnetised to the chassis).

After that, painting was straightforward using Vallejo’s Game Color Olive Green. Once dry the vehicles were dipped with Armypainter. About 20 hours later the dip was dry. I used GW matt varnish to tone down the glossy finish. Four quick light coats across each side were enough to achieve this.

Finally, I added some of the decals to the tanks. One job I have not done yet is to add some camo netting in a roll behind each turret to add some flavour.

Here are the pictures…

AAR – Battle Report – FoW – 1750 pt LW – US 3rd Infantry versus German Grenadierkompanie

Another game of Flames of War – 1750 points Late War  – at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport but this time against Hammy. I hadn’t fought a game versus Infantry before so this was going to be a big learning curve. Hammy did not spare the punches in this game.

The lists:

US: (Confident Veteran Infantry from Dogs and Devils)

HQ with two bazookas.

Assault Rifle platoon

Rifle platoon (only 2 sections)

HMG platoon with 2 bazookas

81mm Mortar platoon (6 mortar teams)

AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns and 1 bazooka)

Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)

M10 Tank Destroyers (act as mobile artillery in Dogs and Devils not Tank Destroyers) platoon.

Jeep/Infantry Recon (3 Jeeps, 1 AA MG – can dismount to 3 teams of carbines/rifles).

German: (Confident Veteran Grenadierkompanie from Grey Wolf)

HQ –SMG and Panzerfaust SMG teams

2 x Grenadier Platoon (1x Panzerfasut SMG, 6 x Rifle/MG teams)

MG platoon (4 x HMG)

Mortar platoon (2 x 81mm plus observer)

Pioneer Platoon – cmd team, supply cart, 9 pioneer rifle teams inc. 3 flamethrowers.

Panzer 4H x 4 platoon

Marder 3M x 4 platoon

AA battery platoon (2 x 3.7 cm armored)

Panzerwerfer rocket launcher platoon (3 Panzerwerfers, command and observer)

Setup:

After setting up the great looking scenery on one of the 6×4 tables the mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Breakthrough (rulebook p. 286). As both sides were infantry we tossed for attacker and I lost. I had to deploy into two opposite table quarters.  The attacker got to send half of his troops into one other quarter and his reinforcements would arrive later in the opposite quarter. The Defender has to get into the Reserves quarter and take one the objectives but only on Turn6 or later when they go ‘hot’.

I placed my rifle and pioneer platoons and HMGs in a way to make a line across the table in a sort of diagonal. I then put the dismounted ARP platoon near to the objective in the woods as I could. My aim was to double time to the woods and defend the objective for when then Reinforcements arrived.  I put my AT gun platoon on the little hill with a line of sight to the part of the board where the attackers reinforcements would enter after turn 3.  The mortars went into a position behind the ARP platoon where their command team could see the objectives and be within range of any reserves that entered. My own reserves were the M10’s and the Jeep recon.

Action:

What followed was a great lesson in how to attack a defended area. The Panzerwerfers opened up on my AT guns for two turns and destroyed them to a man. They then proceed to kill two M-10s, the 1ic and a rifle team in the rest of the game. For my part, two M-10s came in from reserve and managed to kill tow of the panzerwerfers before they all died.

The German infantry crept up on the US dug in pioneers. All the US could do was hold on and fire their mortars. Casualties were light from the mortars but at least they kept some of the German grenadiers and HMGs pinned.

The Marders and some of the grenadiers were used to keep me occupied in the centre of the table by threatening to sweep south of the road and head for the objectives. In reality, Hammy was just playing for time with the troops on the table (IMO).

What really did it for me was the arrival of the German reserve Panzer 4H’s and the Pioneers with their flamethrowers. Hammy had put his objective in the wood in his reserves quarter. my US ARP platoon was supposed to counter any attack with their MGs and bazookas. Hammy used his flamethrowers to kill three of my front team, pinning me and then assaulting me.I could not take advantage at first as I could only see 6 inches into the wood at best. So, the Pioneers assaulted the objective and made mincemeat out of the ARP.

The ARP were pushed back and reduced. They made their morale tests and hung in, but the Panzers were cleaning up the HMGs near the other objective. There was no AT left to take out the German tanks. Inevitably, the US were beaten in turn 7 when Hammy took the game on a handshake as I only had two ARP teams left to cover two objectives against pioneers and panzers.

German victory 6-1

Lessons:

Hammy was helping me to understand the game mechanics and strategy. He and Dave had some good advice about how to keep your infantry away from the edge of the board where you could easily succumb to flamethrowers and the like. In the end, this just delayed the inevitable. The German forces on the table kept hitting me from afar waiting for the time to move forward (when the reinforcements arrived). At that point I was crushed even more mercilessly. I should have kept my AT guns out of LOS of the observer for the Panzerwerfers and moved them at 4 inches per turn behind the village to wait for the Panzers. I should also have moved another platoon of infantry with the HMGs attached to cover the more central objective. I would have stood a better chance I think. As it was I left too much for one platoon to do (the ARP).

Hammy is a veteran player and played the perfect game (IMHO). He was surprised at how well the Panzerwerfers did. They were the star unit of the game, notching up kills at least twice their points cost. (180 for three vehicles that count as 2 each plus an observer team!) Bargain.
Here are the pictures:

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AAR – Battle Report – FoW – 1750 pt LW – US 3rd Rifles v Soviet Tank horde reprise

I played another game of Flames of War – Late War  – at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport against Fraser. Last time out with that Soviet list he beat me hands down.

The lists:

US:

HQ with two bazookas.

Assault Rifle platoon

Rifle platoon

HMG platoon with 2 bazookas

Sherman platoon (3 M4/M4A1 tanks)

AT gun platoon (2 57mm guns) (2 bazookas that didn’t seem to make it to the table?)

Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)

M10 Tank Destroyers (act as mobile artillery in Dogs and Devils not Tank Destroyers) platoon.

Soviets: (Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Batalon – Red Army)

HQ – 1 x T35/85 obr 1943

Tank platoon 1 (10 x T34/85) obr1943

Tank platoon 2 (as 1)

Tank platoon 3 (4 x SU-100)

Recon platoon (3 armored cars – BA64)

Setup:

After setting up the great looking scenery on one of the 6×4 tables the mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Pincer (rulebook p. 281). I got to defend one short edge of the table, the attacker got to send all his tanks out across the length of the board at me. Two objectives were placed by each player in the defenders half. I chose to put the dismounted Armored Rifles in a wheat field to defend one of the objectives. The further back objective was left to the Tank Destroyers. A unit of AT guns was put in Ambush. The HMGs were all combat attached out. The rest of the force was put in delayed reserve.

Action:

The large block of T34’s and the HQ tank went straight down the road with their recon platoon nearby. This carried on until they got to striking distance of the M10-s. Despite their best efforts the M10-s were not enough against this horde. To assist, the AT guns came out of Ambush with a side view to the T-34s and tried to help. The firepower was not enough. The ARP platoon was being forced to keep the other objective closed down to the 4 SU-100s. If they moved away they would be easier targets and the SU’s would move on their objective. All they could do was to look on while their bazookas did not have the range to do anything.

My US reserves were slow to enter and a lot of my shooting poor. The best I could do was bail a number of the T34’s. The M10s died in defense but a reserve of pioneer rifles hot footed it onto the table to 4 inches of the objective. The objective had been contested by just the 1iC at that point until he died (too late for the Russians to win that turn).

After that it was looking like n US disaster. The Sherman’s came on the side and tried to get a quick kill on the Soviet armored cars. They failed to do anything. The T-34s tore them apart – 270 points wasted. The US rifles came onto the table edge to back up the Pioneers. At this point, things started to turn in the favour of the US as the T-34s looked weaker from bazooka fire.

One platoon of T-34s no had only 1 survivor who was hidden away from the action. The other platoon broke away to make for the second objective. The SU-100s now moved in on the ARP who looked very surrounded.

The other US platoons now moved across the board to pincer the T-34s between them and the ARP.

It’s fair to say that the game went on a long time as the sides got whittled away. The T-34 platoons and the BA-64’s armored recon for the Soviets managed to stay intact due to wasted opportunities and some bad dice rolling on my account. The Soviet HQ was destroyed but the US could not force a Company morale check.

In the end after 14 or 15 turns, the SU-100s were left to try and win. The objective in the wheat field was fought over time and again but in the end the Soviets were forced to retreat and the ARP and 1iC consolidated and the game was over.

4-3 win to the US 3rd ID.

Lessons:

I need to work the troops together more. I have a habit of sitting on my backside waiting to react to a threat. That puts your opponent in charge of events. Attack may well be the best form of defence. Fraser did a great job of commanding the Soviets. He kept his force as intact as he could. Tried to take an easy victory v. the M-10’s – only the intervention of the 2ic and reserves saved the US bacon.

As for my play, the consensus seemed to be that I should have put the rifle platoons up near the centre half of the table to stall the tank attack, making use of bazookas to stall any attacks. This would give the tanks, TD’s and AT guns more time to whittle away the tanks. the ARP would have made a useful backstop in reserve after the Soviets game plan became clear.

An enjoyable game if VERY tiring.

Here are the pictures:

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Wargames Factory plastic 28mm Saxon Thegns unboxing

Another unboxing this time of plastics. This release from Wargames Factory contains 32 x 28mm Armoured Saxons with a variety of heads, weapons, arms and shields.

The stacking mechanism used for the sprues in the box is not one I have seen (with GWs plastics anyway) and was quite impressive. The sprues stack table-like together keeping the pressure off the parts. Simple and clever as it helps avoid crush damage. Some thought went into this – I like it.

There are only four body types which appear quite similar. One appears to be running or about to jump, the others are fairly static. This is a bit disappointing but what can you do with chainmail clad warriors?

There are LOTS of arms and you will only use a fraction. Most are designed for right hand holding a weapon fairly upright, the others for holding a shield close in on the left hand.  There are enough shields to allow some variation, but not enough round shields to avoid kite shields altogether. There are also eight pairs of arms designed for holding a 2 handed axe.

The axes have hafts that are not overly long and look a little weedy (IMHO). The weapons are a mix of swords and spears and a few axes. You will need to remove these from the sprues carefully with clippers to avoid damage, then clean them up carefully with a craft knife.

There are 16 heads with helmets, the other 32 are bare-headed or with caps. For this box set I would have thought caps were less Hearthguard and more Warrior or Levy style….? I don’t have the Saxon Fyrd box yet so I can’t compare. I am guessing that the weapons sprues are probably the same in both boxes.

To round off there are 8 bows in the set and a couple of standards should you wish to use them.

Overall, the quality of the components is high, detail is clean and the mix of parts decent enough. Like anything, you always wish there were more of some things.
Here are the pictures…

Gripping Beast Saga Welsh Starter Warband unboxing

Another unboxing this way comes… this time the contents of Gripping Beast’s Saga wargame Welsh Warband.

The Welsh set comes in a plastic carton with a full cover cover that protects the contents in transit.I guess you could use the box again for dice, fatigue counters once the figures are assembled.
The box contains 33 metal 28mm scale models and enough Renedra plastic bases for them all. One base is 40mm round for the Warlord and the rest are 25mm round. Thes bases have no raised lip or tapered edge (unlike the ones for Hordes or GW40K).
The figures appear to be reasonable castings, wthough many of the figures have oversize hands (IMHO) to accomodate the metal spears that come with the warband. The 12 levy troops only come in four types so there is some noticeable repeat of figures. The castings are not bad and pretty free of flash as far as I can tell. I think I prefer the look of the metal Viking set compared to this one. Once painted I am sure they will look just fine.
The Warband is neatly packaged and contains a good base for a larger Warband.

Here are the pictures….

Gripping Beast Saga Viking Starter Warband unboxing

Just wanted to share my pictures of the contents of Gripping Beast’s Saga wargame Viking Warband.

The Viking set comes in a plastic carton with a full cover cover that protects the contents in transit.I guess you could use the box again for dice, fatigue counters once the figures are assembled.
The box contains 25 metal 28mm scale models and enough Renedra plastic bases for them all. One base is 40mm round for the Warlord and the rest are 25mm round. Thes bases have no raised lip or tapered edge (unlike the ones for Hordes or GW40K).
The figures appear to be good castings, with little or no repeat of figures and very little flash to pick off.
The Warband is neatly packaged and contains a good base for a larger Warband.

Here are the pictures….

The new W40K Dark Vengeance set – at Warhammer World

Here are a few pictures of the new plastic models from the Warhammer 40,000 6th edition ‘starter box’ set. These were featured on the demo table at the GW shop inside Warhammer World in Nottingham. Unfortunately the light level is fairly low in this area…