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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Saga Review NEW “The Crescent & the Cross”

Here’s a link to my latest review – the soon-to-be released english version of SAGA: The Crescent and the Cross….

CLICK THIS LINK

Enjoy!

Saga – Tactics, Swords for Hire, Flemish Mercs and Rus Princes!

It’s a bit of a bonus post for Saga this time. It’s been a while since I mentioned the posts I put up on the http://www.sagatapestry.com website.

Sometime soon the new Crusades expansion will hit the decks, I will be reviewing that over on the WWPD site too!

Here’s a post about tactics in Saga. Good for beginners and interested parties. It’s over at the http://www.sagatapestry.com website.

If you are interested in some swords for Hire models from Gripping Beast, there’s  a post here about Flemish Mercenaries. For a model review on some GB Swords for Hire, see this link… here.

 

And for the Rus Prince battleboard walkthrough… see this link.

Review: Wargames Tournaments 15mm MDF ruined farm

Here’s a kit I picked up on eBay UK a couple of weeks back to give it a try. About 5 pounds and free postage cost in this case.  It was made by Wargames Tournaments.

The kit is pretty small, with no instructions but is a doddle to put together. The parts slot together to help with placement and add a bit of strength. You will need to use a glue (they suggest superglue not PVA) or a hot glue gun.

I decided to remove some of the window coverings and make some holes in the walls (the windows have nicely grained shutters in them but they are not ‘punch out’ friendly having not been cut through completely with the laser cutter). I also used some of the leftover frame to make extra walls and a second floor for inside the house.

I went with PVA anyway and left it to dry. You need to glue the central section where the four pieces join to add some strength.

The kit was quick to build and has some detail. I decided to make it fit an Italy theme so added some “hard as nails” strong filler-glue to the walls, just leaving the brickwork exposed.

Once dry I added some sand to the floor with PVA and then spray undercoated white.

A brown ink wash was used on the model to give it some depth and character.

Finally some static grass was PVS glued on to the floor to make the place look abandoned and to connect the base to the table covering.

Next time I will make the base darker then add the static grass, as it was I had to add some more wash to the base to darken it after the grass was put in place. It looks a bit meh to me.

Here are some pictures of the item and the building and painting…..

 

I quite liked the kit and so ordered some more. I now have a 15mm scale Pegasus bridge, Cafe Gondree and another ruined farmhouse to build!

AAR: Flames of War: Italy – 1500 point Fighting Withdrawal – RTR Amour v HG Panzergrenadiers

Well here is another in the Tanks v. ‘grens grudge matches as part of the WWPD Italy Campaign.

This time the German Herman Goring Panzergrenadiers were tweaked a little more:

Axis:

Eight platoons and  Stuka support!

HQ: 2 x SMG Panzerknackers, 3 x Panzerschrecks (2 go to one infantry platoon, 1 to the other).

2 x Panzergrenadier infantry (Command SMG Panzerknackers)

1 x PAK40 (x3)

1 x StugG (x3) – I left my Stugs behind so used my PanzerIIIM’s as a stand in this game).

1 x Recon (8-Rad x2) (substituted 232/233 for these as the models are on order)

2 x 20mm mobile AA (x2 trucks)

1 x 15cm Nebelwerfer artillery.

Sporadic StukaD support.

Allies: B’ Squadron 46th RTR (Liverpool Welsh)

Allied force 1500 points (6 platoons): HQ (3 shermans), 2 x 3 sherman platoons, 1 x 3 Stuart Recon tanks, Rifle platoon, 1 x 4 M10 Tank destroyers, Limited air (Kittyhawks). Several tanks /TDs with .50 cal MGs.

Deployment:

The Axis put the permanent objective on the road between the buildings and protect it with one Panzergrenadier platoon with a panzerschreck and some Recon 8-rads close to the halfway line on the road.

View from the Allied edge…. their objectives are in the top right of the picture…

AAR It4 (2)

 

The axis right flank, the axis placed objective is firmly positioned in the village!

AAR It4 (9)

The StuGs are kept in Ambush. The rest of the Axis are placed to protect the other two objectives – Panzergrenadiers with two panzerschrecks and 3 PAK 40’s, plus two AA platoons. the Nebelwerfers are hard to place so go in the right corner. The Observer is placed centrally and the 1iC is between the commanders of the two infantry platoons to help both(!)

The axis left flank with the two Allied placed objectives (covered by destroyed tanks) to the top centre of the picture….

AAR It4 (11)

The Allies put all their force barring the 2iC platoon (2 tanks) on the left and decide to go for the permanent objective. They have 8 turns to get to it.

AAR It4 (7) AAR It4 (8)

Turn 1:

Axis Recon finds itself facing a platoon of Sherman and retreats. Bit of a mistake, they should have moved to the gap between the two building on the right to prevent the Allied recon moving up so far.  Allied Recon Stuart tanks got a Recon move with nothing to stop them. They get up close to the Axis right flank where only a couple of MG teams wait nervously.

The rest of the Allies move forward toward the Axis right flank, but keeping in cover. The Rifle platoon goes into a wood…

On the Allied elf,t the 2iC and his single buddy move to oppose the Axis left flank with all those goodies. They go hull down on the hill.

The Axis play their Ambush and put the three StuGs at the backline on the right to slow down the Allied advance.

AAR It4 (14)

The Axis see only one Allied platoon on the left and feel confident enough to keep the PAK40 AT guns in place and let the Panzergrenadiers with their two ‘schreck teams move to the right flank. These guys spend a few turns moving to the big house in front of the objective….

AAR It4 (17)

View from the front…..

AAR It4 (15)

Turn 2:

Allies advance cautiously again and the Recon tanks use Eyes and Ears to remove Gone to Ground from the Panzergrenadiers on the right. Other tanks now open fire on the Axis MG teams out on the Axis right flank. Shot and bullets bounce from walls….

The Axis get a couple of Stuka’s to come in but Allied air bounces this in a hail of fire….

AAR It4 (19)

AAR It4 (22)

Axis infantry continue their move to defend the right flank….

AAR It4 (21)

Axis StuGs move out of sight of oncoming Tank Destroyers ….  and one gets a bail on a Recon Stuart on the far right…

AAR It4 (20)

Turn 3:

Allied rifle platoon launches an attack from the backyard!

AAR It4 (24)

One dead Axis MG team!

Axis counterattack and lose another team. They then break off.

Allies consolidate back over the wall into the garden for cover. AAR It4 (32)

Axis withdraw the 8-Rad platoon.   Axis move over to the right again….

AAR It4 (28)

Turn 4:

Axis enter the house to reinforce….

AAR It4 (34)

Allies move in…. Axis gunfire can’t do anything….

AAR It4 (37)

The Axis left flank is all quiet…. so the furthest PAKs move forward. The Allies move their 2Ic platoon back over to the other flank.

AAR It4 (36)

Allies move into the next garden…. then take the house….

AAR It4 (35)

Turn 5:

AAR It4 (38)

Now, two forces face off – the end walls have no windows or doors…..

AAR It4 (44)

The Allied TD’s move and use their combined firepower to kill a StuG….

AAR It4 (42)

Allied air finds a new target as the Axis AA had to withdraw…..

  AAR It4 (41)

The command team is killed….

AAR It4 (43)

The Axis withdraw the PAKs.

AAR It4 (40)

Turn 6:

The Allied air goes after a PAK40….

AAR It4 (46)

A StuG finally kills the (Still!) bailed Stuart recon tank.

AAR It4 (50)

Allies use Recon to remove gone to ground then tanks move in on the house…. they lose a tank and get one bailed….

AAR It4 (49) AAR It4 (48)

Turn 7:

PAK40s now withdraw…  The Axis StuGs are pretty trapped….

AAR It4 (54)

The Allies move in – even of they can’t win they go all out on the AA platoon and kill it from tow sides….. AAR It4 (55)

Turn 8:

Allies go all out and use everything to fire on the house… two Axis MG teams are lost….

AAR It4 (57)

The Allied rifle platoon assaults. They drop one Panzergrenadier platoon to below half but it stands!

The Axis counterattack and kill 7 of 8 Rifle teams… The Brits are forced to fall back….

The Axis turn…. no Allies near the objective… end of game now…..

AAR It4 (58)

Summary:

5-2 to the Axis…

This was a close games, as the Fighting Withdrawal mission tends to be IMHO.

The Axis were lucky to keep their platoons at or around the break point and keep their act together long enough to deny the objective to the enemy.

The Allied player couldn’t do enough damage to break the Axis and take the day.

If the Axis could not have reinforced the right side with the second infantry platoon then I think the Allies would have taken the objective and won 6-1.  The way to stop the infantry moving across would be IMO to have put another tank platoon on the Allied right flank instead of just the 2iC platoon. As it was, the Axis felt the PAK40’s were enough threat to deal with the 2iC tanks, which freed the infantry to move laterally to help the threatened axis right flank.

Keeping the StuGs in Ambush was i think the right move (not the PAKs) as they kept moving behind the wood on the axis right flank to keep themselves alive and the Allies tanks at bay.

Possibly the Allies could have moved in a little quicker to the objective…? They seemed to stall as they had one rifle platoon versus two MG platoons from about turn 5.

The bulletproof cover of the building really helped the axis troops. Lucky the axis took that side of the board and that the objective placement area was bounded by two large houses!

A really good game, thanks to Dan.

Visit to UK Games Expo 2014

I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks because the calendar has been a little busy. The last weekend in May saw my family head down to the Midlands to visit the UK Games Expo at the National Exhibition Centre.

We liked the visit last year so much that we decided to stay over at the Hilton hotel this year and make a weekend of it.

Have to say, it was VERY bus on the Saturday. Apparently attendance was in excess of 6000 unique visitors. For a large hotel based venue, that is a heck of a lot.

The Expo filled the hotel space this year, with what seemed like a lot more game space (lots of people playing lots of games). The Traders seemed to be very busy. Between us we bought a number of games, including the Dust Tactics starter sets (Axis and SSU) and a copy of ‘Forbidden Island’

The kids loved the costumed characters. Lots of Star Wars and Doctor Who plus Vikings and superheroes. A real mixed bag. All in good causes, they raised a lump of cash for charity.

The way the venue was laid out was a lot better than last year as well, food was in one location and service quick. The food hall was good value with places to sit(!)

On the down side, the Expo and a number of vendors we bought from were only taking cash. It’s 2014 guys. If you are a one man band fair enough, but for the Expo charging 40 pounds for a weekend family ticket, taking cash or cheques isn’t on. You need to get plastic guys!

Another point was the lack of any signage outside. There was no Expo sign on the car park gate (free parking for this venue if you get the right car park!) and no signage to show you the entrance to the hotel for registration. How about an arrow for the entrance to the Expo reception guys…?

The hotel facilities were ok. Have to say the restaurant in the evening was slow and the food not overly special (for the price). The high point was the kids finding Chris Barrie (the special guest) on the next table at the end of the evening! That made up for the slow food service.

It was quieter on the Sunday. We got to watch some Flames of War being played (organised by gaming buddy ‘Hammy’.  There were a lot of seminars but time did not allow us to do more than one (the lighthearted quiz with special guests and cosplay characters). You could have gone and listened to speakers about kickstarter and game design and production.

All in all, a good weekend and we want to go there again next year! Whether the venue will be big enough is another thing.

Pictures… (not many as they would mainly be similar to last years)…