I recently posted up a competition on the http://www.sagatapestry.com site for a painting contest. the aim is to create a Saga wargame “legal” base for a Warlord. Basically, at least a 28mm scale miniature painted and based how you will.
The article is here if you want to have a read…. link.
You can enter by posting here… link.
While I can’t win a prize, you can’t stop me from getting the painting bug and having a go. Its more of a little vignette really. Tell a story in 3D !
I started with a Conquest Games plastic Norman Knight “casualty” figure. I then added a Wargames Factory plastic Anglo-Saxon Thegn. Finally, a bit of green stuff putty to a make a cape and flesh out the Warlords Arms and add strength to his one foot on the ground. To help keep the Warlord in place, he is holding a spear which is glued into the Knight’s belly (!) Each scene tells a story, I guess in this case, the Knights horse got killed by an axe to the neck and trapped him underneath. You can make your own mind up if you think the Warlord killed the horse or he just took advantage of a prone enemy…….
The base is a 2mm mdf 50mmx60mm rectangle, covered in “hard as nails” epoxy type glue to keep the horse and stone (Warlord is standing on a real stone!) in place and add some texture.
At the end of the Pick and Mix FoW event my last opponent, Dan, offered another 1750 point Late War matchup against my slightly adjusted Herman Goring list. As usual we played at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport the following Tuesday. After the last match, Dan had come up with some suggestions for helping to balance out my list a bit. I reduced down the Wespe’s as they contribute little in my experience except expensive smoke. I took out the panzer IVH to cut down costs. I added another platoon of PAK40 AT guns (one of my favourite units) as the HG lists allow you to have another one (from Divisional support). I then added a light recon patrol and a pair of Self Propelled AA guns. After the last game with Dan the lack of AA showed so I found a way to help with this. I also now had 9 platoons which is really helpful in the game. I made a 2ic Kampfgruppe with the Panzerschrecks to make 10 platoons.
My force was the Herman Goring Heavy Recon mechanised regiment from the Dogs and Devils book.
Axis: (from Dogs and Devils, Confident Veteran)
HQ (plus 3 Panzerschrecks)
Wespes x 2 (no observer)
Pioneer MGs (with supply truck – minefield at the ready!)
Motorised Aufklarungs MGs
Panzers x3 (2x 3M, 1x3N)
PAK40s x 3 (these were represented by two infantry guns and one US 57mm gun tacked to larger grey bases – sorry – the new AT guns had not arrived by this game!)
PAK40s x 4 (one is part painted only – sorry again).
Recon Light Panzerspah patrol (Kfz223, 223 x2) (note: the 223 car was missing its radio mast while BF send a spare support”)
SP AA gun platoon (2 x kfz 10/5) (the guns on these beasties are crap – they twist and break off very easily).
US: (from ‘Blood, Guts and Glory’, rated Confident Trained)
2 x Sherman platoons
SP Artillery platoon and observer
a 2nd TC platoon I recall.
Aircraft (ground attack)
(I don’t have a list from Dan to work from, just photo’s and memory – sorry to Dan if I missed out something out)
Scenery was already set up on one of the 6×4 table with a village slightly to one side, roads, a few woods and hills. The mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Encounter (rulebook p. 277). The objectives placed onto my side were one in the centre right in a narrow wood and one on the right (a grey large FoW base) near the road out of the village. I placed 5 of my platoons on the table. One unit of 3 AT guns on the left to cover the left and centre of the table. The Aufklarungs MG unit in the centre behind the hill (out of observer LoS and to help protect to the left or to the right). I placed the Panzerschrecks in the small wood around the objective to discourage tanks from going for that one. I then added to the right of the wood the Pioneer MGs to cover the grey objective. On my right in the woods, I placed my unit of 4 PAK40s to cover the approach from the village. It seemed pretty defensible. Only one issue, I had nothing on the table to go forward and attack with. It was a defensive setup.
From the outset, I tried to get dug in and see what came while waiting for the (scattered) reserves.
This wa not really the best plan. Scattered reserves are one of my pet hates. Early on, Dan’s plan seemed to be to get his recon out into the filed to probe my defences. At the same time he used his artillery and AOP to spend a few turns taking out my supply truck and a bag full of dug in veteran pioneers. Dan seemed to not want to try to go across the centre ground or through the village for fear of the PAK 40s. I can’t blame him.
As it was, my luck with reserves was to run out after the first set. My AA guns appeared early on and set up a position such that Dan’s aircraft could not really try to hit my troops without exposing him to at least 4 shots from AA. One of his attacks did get shot out of the sky.
Dan kept his AOP away from the AA guns and concentrated on the only targets for it and his artillery, the PAK40s in the woods on my right. At this point, Dan seemed to go for an attack on my right flank. There was one weakness in my defense, I had nothing to cover the PAK40s in the wood on the right. The PAKs could not see straight up above the wood only out across to the village. Dan took advantage of this by moving a sherman platoon across the back of his table side so I could not get range on it. HE then brought it down the table edge toward the wood with the PAK40s in it. Meanwhile, he kept just enough coming through the village to keep the PAK40s busy. Add to this his AOP and artillery and I was literally stuck in the woods with just PAK40s. If only I had those Panzerschrecks in the right hand wood, or the pioneers. Still, what can you do, if I had put one of those units on the right, Dan may have chosen to drive round the back of the village and take the centre objective. It’s all a bit scissors, paper, stone…. (photo’s AAR34 and 35 tell a lot of the story – keeping the centre and my right under pressure from shermans, while the TD platoon kept out of harms way but able to threaten me if I were to try to move any armour up my left flank).
Add to the misery of the PAKs in the wood as they came under attack by shermans in the woods and my reserves being all over the place… it was not going well for Herman’s Germans.
Dan pressed the attack on the PAKs, choosing to hold off at first and shoot at the PAKs then going for the assault. It didn’t go all his way, as he lost a tank or two in defensive fire. The PAKs found themselves pushed back. meanwhile, I tried to bring on my panzers, hoping they would come on along the back edge or the right hand side. I had a 66.66 percent chance…. and they landed on the far left! Had I been able to put them in the right hand side wood up against the Sherman’s and helping the PAK’s it could all have been a different story….
As it was, my nebelwerfers turned up in the right hand wood so all they could do was hide at the back of the wood. The Wespes I think came on the left hand side and the scout cars I brought on in the middle with the protection of the hill. I just couldn’t do enough to stop the armored onslaught against my right flank. The only saving grace was that the central objective in the small wood had enough protection to keep Dans troops away from it. They tried a little but then left it alone.
Dan pressed the attack and took out the right hand PAKs. With all but no pioneers left and a short-range on the panzerschrecks, the Panzerspah, AA guns and Nebelwerfers could only look on as Dan took the game after about 10 turns by holding the right hand side objective on my table edge.
Well done Dan. 6-1 to him.
Dan played in a thoughtful and careful way, waiting to see what I would and could do. He pressed home his artillery where he could and looked for a weakness in my defence, which he found. Always keep something to cover AA guns and Artillery pieces! I could have put the pioneers more into the wood and then out across to the grey objective on my right, rather than putting my troops out in the open in between both objectives. Even without any anti tank weapons, Sherman’s being counter assaulted by German pioneers with AT3 would not be a walk in the park.
Overall, I think i did a lot better than out previous game. Flames of wAr is a constant learning process, I hope I keep learning! Next job will be to work out how to go on the attack as well as defend to try to win a game by taking an objective.
Photos: (apologies, i had to use my phone cam)
Here’s are the results of the three games I played for this one-day (Saturday the 8th) Flames of War tournie at Stockport’s North West Gaming Centre just off the A6, Stockport, Cheshire, UK.
Late War, 1500 points. Three 2.5 hour rounds. Random first round, match up on points after that.
My force was the Herman Goring Heavy Recon (6 platoons) from the Dogs and Devils book.
HQ (plus Panzerschrecks), Wespes x4, Pioneer MGs, Aufklarungs MGs, Nebelwerfers x3, Panzers x4, PAK40s x 2. On refelction this is NOT a good tournament force, but it was fun to try to a change from my US 3rd ID!
Round 1 – “Dust Up” v. Brian’s US 7th Armored – score 6-1 to Brian. We played on the “Russian” table (wooden huts and pine trees and from the light on the photos close to a window in the early morning Winter Sun!)
Round 2 – “Hasty Attack” v. AndyGI’s German StugBatterie – score 4-3 to Andy (I defended) (played on the “western european” table with the little village).
Round 3 – “Fighting Withdrawal” v. Dan’s US 7th Armored – score 6-1 to Dan (I defended) (played on the “river runs through it” table with plenty of blocking hills and woods and riverbanks).
I didn’t do so well, but my mission to do better than 3 points was at least achieved on my first ever tournament (5 points!)
Interesting to note that with only 8 players in the FoW part of this tournament there were two players drawing forces from the US 7th Armored list….
A big thanks to Hammy for organising the event – there must have been at least 50 players there, mainly not playing FoW (FoG and other events). I didn’t win a box of sweets with a gold painted figure on top (aww), but the mince pies were welcome!
Big thanks also to Darren for hosting at the NWGC. If you are in the area its worth taking a look.
Game1: I put my Nebs, PAK40s and the MG platoon on the right to defend that objective. The Panzers, Wespes and Pioneers were to move in on the left flank and across to the objectives on the hill. That was the plan. The US tanks swung around to toward my right flank and after some cautious moves they took apart my force on that side. On my left flank my attack was hindered by some poor dice rolls. I then lost the Panzers and Wespes. By then the game was over as the US had taken my right flank. Game to Brian.
Game2: This seemed a lot more balanced. The right hand objective with my pioneers and panzerschreck guarding it was removed at the start by Andy, leaving my left flank to bear the brunt of the onslaught of the Stugs. The PAK40s were the men of the game, taking out a number of Stugs (I think they killed off a whole platoon and a couple more besides. They were destroyed by the sheer numbers in the end. The panzers and Wespes tried to hold the line. The Wespes were appalling. Still, they stopped the attack long enough. In the end it was my Pioneers on the right that had tried to go for the enemy objective, then had to fall back. They tried to cover the central objective from advancing infantry and recon elements. In fact they killed the enemy Recon platoon in one turn of MG shooting. However they were pushed back and eventually just as time was called, the enemy Stugbatterie managed to hold the central objective with seconds to spare. It was a really great game. Thanks Andy!
Game3: Dan entered this one having been beaten in both previous games. I got to deploy first as it was a fighting Withdrawal. His force was capable of moving across the board quickly, so i spread out. I made the mistake of not realising how potent his force was. I only put the MG platoon on the left flank to cover that objective. Thinking that the PAK40s in ambush and the panzers in the centre would help in defence of either side of the board. As soon as we kicked off I realised i made a big mistake. Dan put a token force (SP artillery I think) on my right facing my Pioneer MGs. He put most of his force opposite my left flank and made for the objective on my left (with only the MGs guarding it). He did three things that really screwed it up for me. First, almost all his force was hidden from me by the large wood on my left. The rest of my force was cut off from this objective by the river. Second, he had got a recon move on me and was already pushing on that objective in his turn 1. Third, he had a spotter plane (AOP) using Column Security. I have never come across this thing before. I couldn’t place my PAK40s covering the objective on the left. All I could do was put them in some distance away behind the river. This meant that on turn 2, Dan was basically pushing on the objective and clearing it. All I could do was try to take out his token push on the left objective with PAKs, and got lucky with an artillery strike on the rear of his tanks – I took out his 1ic!. Other than that by the end of my turn 2 he had pushed back my MG platoon and was sat on the objective with my PAKs more than four inches away from it. Much more! He won the game at the top of turn 3. About 40 minutes and the 2.5 hour game was over. A well executed game for Dan and an object lesson in how to put a good force together AND make use of terrain to win a game. Well done Dan. We spent about an hour or more discussing what I could have done and what kind of force would help. This was really good advice and enjoyable.
END: The day ended and Brian (my game 1 opponent) taking the prize for best score at Flames of War.
Here are the pictures… (all 3 battles in order with turn marker dice)
More Flames of War goodness – 1750 points Late War – at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport. This time a rematch against Dave’s German Infantry.
US: (Confident Veteran Infantry from Dogs and Devils)
HQ with two bazookas.
Assault Rifle platoon
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas (all attached out to the rifle platoons)
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas (all attached out to the rifle platoons)
AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns)
AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
M10 Tank Destroyers (act as mobile artillery in Dogs and Devils not Tank Destroyers) platoon.
German: (Reluctant Veteran Sperrverband) [apologies if some of this list is incorrect]
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG
Warrior 2iC Pioneer Panzerfaust SMG Windgruber
2x Panzerschreck team
Sperr Pionier Platoon
1x Cmd Pioneer Panzerfaust SMG team
6x Pioneer Rifle/MG team
1x Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
4x Rifle/MG team
2x MG42 HMG
1x Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
4x Rifle/MG team
2x MG42 HMG
Sperr Mortar Platoon
Cmd SMG team
2x Observer Rifle team
4x 8cm GW34 mortar
Sperr Anti-tank Gun Platoon
Cmd SMG team
2x 7.5cm PaK40 gun
Sperr Infantry Gun Platoon
Cmd SMG team
1x Observer Rifle team
2x 7.5cm leIG18 gun
Panzer Platoon (Confident Veteran)
4x Panzer IV H
Veteran Tank-hunter Platoon (Confident Veteran)
Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon (Reluctant Trained)
1x Cmd SMG team
Kfz 15 field car
2x 8.8cm FlaK36 gun (Extra crew for ROF3)
2x Sd Kfz 7
Scenery was already set up on one of the 6×4 tables and the mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Counterattack (rulebook p. 287). As both sides were infantry we tossed for attacker. The Germans won the roll and chose to attack. I had to deploy in a table quarter of my choosing. The Attacker would then have to deploy in the quarter opposite me. His objectives were in his opposite quarter. My reserves would arrive in the quarter opposite my deployment zone. This is no easy mission. A decent part of Dave’s force is motorised giving it the edge in this “land grab” mission as I like to think of it. I kept my rifles and AT guns on the table to start with, creating a defence around the objective in my quarter. The job for the defender is to protect the other objective in no-mans land. My ARP was kept in ambush.
The Germans hid most of their force behind their hills. Leaving the PAK 40s and an infantry platoon ready to come over the hill into my main deployment area. From the position of the rest of the force, I could see that the tanks and motorised troops were going to try to take on the long hill and come around into my opposite table quarter behind the village and onto the empty objective. I was already hating this mission / terrain / deployment.
In turn 1, The Germans pushed ahead with troops and PAK40’s toward my main deployment zone. These were the distractor, there to keep me pinned to the objective. The real goal for the Axis was to push on for the deserted quarter with a nice little unguarded objective.
The US forces deployed their Ambush, the ARP rolling onto the board and toward the empty table quarter as fast as possible. Reserves entered in the form of the Tank Destroyers,doubling down behind a wood near the objective until it was time to strike….
Turns 2 and 3:
Very little in terms of shooting happened with the German mortars trying to pin the US on the left flank. The US rifles fell back on the left flank so as to surround the left hand objective. On the right, the German tanks moved over the hill and behind the village. The US Tank Destroyers kept their silence. The ARP got out of their half tracks and ran to the objective. This made them easier to hit, but would stop an all out win in Turn 4.
Turn 4 and 5. The fighting all took place on the right. The US AT guns in the centre could only help a little and not enough to stop the German Hetzers in the village. The Tank Destroyers could not do enough damage to the German panzers eventually losing 2 of their number. No reserves arrived for some time and then only as The US Armored rifles were cut to ribbons by the gunfire and assaults of the Germans as they tried to take the objective in “no mans land”. Eventually, the mauled remains of the ARP and TD’s could only watch from a distance as the Axis held the objective on Turn 6.
Result: 6-1 to Axis.
What can you say. From the outset, the US should probably have chosen the opposite side to deploy on. The US side of the table had too few fields of fire, making it easy for the Axis to pick their approach and take the objective. Second, the US underestimated the size and mobility of the Axis threat to the open table quarter. Putting the ARP in Ambush was a mistake. The ARP should have been in reserve, able to quickly get to the open objective with less fear of the Axis tanks than the few Tank Destroyers had. A unit of AT guns or even just Rifles would have been better in Ambush.
I think the US put too much defense on the left hand side and left themselves with too much to do on the right hand flank. Infantry forces just can’t redeploy without trucks or heavier equipment. Maybe I should try to go for 10 platoons, with 4 on the table, 1 in Ambush and 5 in reserve? Overall, the hills I think would be a better bet for placing AT guns and HMG’s to try to stop the Axis. As it was, I got everything wrong. Next time….
I am not a fan of this mission, it is not easy for an infantry force to defend with only half their force on the tbale and having to pour resource into an empty table quarter. This is one that seems biased towards a mechanised attacker.
Note: on reflection I am not sure if I just put the ARP on the table at the start rather than in Ambush as that would have broken the 50% rule on reserves, then started them running from the back of the table across to the open objective with the half tracks where needed.