Hello there! I had planned on doing a couple of posts recently but got hit with a double whammy of us moving flats and my PC dying. I might get something done using my phone (like now!) when and if I get some spare time after the move on Saturday.
Hello again all.
Obviously the world has been a very weird place since my last post and wargaming has taken a big hit during the lockdown. I have managed to get some stuff done but to be honest having to stay in constantly for 4 months (I have been shielding due to my blood condition) started to get a bit much and a huge wave of ‘cant be arsed’ happened, and picking up the ‘War in the East’ PC game very cheap on the Steam Summer sale didn’t help either!
However, one of the things I have managed to do was to take part in Per’s 6mm Charity paint along thingy which was ace to be a part of. A full rundown of what this entails can be found on Per’s blog (if you haven’t seen it already it can be found here and it is well worth the effort – https://rollaone.com/category/charity-project/ ) but basically the idea is that two identical forces would be split into units and each person signing up would be sent a unit to paint which would be used by Per and his son to fight a battle or two and would then be raffled off and the money will go to charity. The figures were donated by Peter Berry at Baccus which was a lovely touch, but not a surprising thing to happen really as Peter is a cracking person, and we were all sent a rough guide to colours to be used for our units.
After the Covid inspired postal delay my figures duly arrived and I got to work on them straight away. The period is one that I have never had an interest in hence have never painted any figures for it but I must say slapping some pigment on these little fellas was a joy. The figures were nicely proportioned and were a breeze to get done – I even got over the disappointment of having light brown facings picked for me!
I believe the project is virtually completed and I must say seeing all the figures photographed en masse was something special, I’m very pleased to have been a part of it. Anyway without further ado, here’s the finest body of men in the Siarus Army the Fulvhukin’s Regiment of Foot…
Well I’ve not been doing anything hobby wise for the past couple of months and have neglected this old thing again but just wanted to tell you about what we will be up to this coming Saturday from 9:30 am until the early evening.
We will be holding the (hopefully) inaugural SLW Lardy Day called ‘Pie, Mash and Lard’. For those that don’t know what this means, we will be putting on a few games from the Too Fat Lardies rules stable for anyone to come and have a go at. Also, you can chat to rules writers extraordinaire Rich Clarke and Dave Brown whilst you do it as they will be coming along too. The plan is to play a game in the morning and one in the afternoon followed by a few libations and maybe a pizza or curry too afterwards.
The line up for games is as follows:
Me and Dan will be hosting a late war US vs German Chain of Command,
Ian a 1940 set IABSM (lovely kit, seen here and on Vis Lardica too)
Mike and Martin will be presenting a Sharps Practice (sorry not sure on the details but will update when I know)
General d’Armee being put on by Del from the Loughton club
Dave Brown will be running a game of his new WW2 rules: O Group.
So if you are in town and with nowt on pop along, you can find us here:
St. Barnabas Parish Hall
It is Lose NOT Loose. The first is what you do when you don’t win, the second is the opposite of tight.
And if you start a sentence with the word ‘So’ read it back but without the ‘So’, if it still makes sense then delete the ‘So’. Try it out, please.
That feels better.
Well another bit of the old ‘writers block’/lost mojo for blogging so I thought I’d just do a quick update to try and get the juices flowing again and to check in with anyone that still might be interested!
I do have a piece half written about a game back in May at Martin’s which was a lovely ACW affair and I’m due to take part in an Antietam game tomorrow so I reckon next week will be ACW week (there’s another game from Martin’s to write up as well). I’ll be whacking up a brief bit about the Joy of 6 show interfrastically too.
I know I’ve said it before but I really should get back in the swing of doing the Club Night write ups again, if anything they keep me writing and things posted. On the workbench front I have been slowly beavering away on painting some lovely AB WW2 20mm figures for Comrade Noakesavitch (a US platoon and support teams for Chain of Command) which has put the mockers on me doing much else recently but I’m keen to get back onto my 6mm Napoleonic Saxons – I want to finish off a playable force as soon as possible and will be investing the dosh from Dan’s figures into building a Prussian force as opposition. I’ll also be cracking on with some 6mm Modern stuff for my Alt-History project that has been sadly neglected for ages now (I am re-painting the Poles and have some new kit from Jo6 to get started on too).
In other news I have been over to visit Jonathan in France and we had a couple of big FFT3 games, one of which we tried out a random activation mechanism which didn’t quite work but I think I know why so will be doing a quick piece on that too – as the club will be closing for the annual summer break soon it is good to have something in reserve!
Anyway, enough of this drivel here’s some pics of Dan’s new Yanks (as it seems I’ve improved somewhat I’m going to have to re-do my own German figures now!).
I’ve been putting off doing this post since I got back from Jonathan’s.
Jonathan mentioned that Oradour was quite near Limoges and as we were going to the airport there would I want to visit and I said yes, and to be honest the closer we got the less sure I was of doing so. For those of you who don’t know what happened there this is from Wiki.
‘On 10 June, Diekmann’s battalion (I/4th SS PzGren, 2 SS Pzr Div) sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane and ordered everyone within to assemble in the village square to have their identity papers examined. This included six non-residents who happened to be bicycling through the town when the SS unit arrived. The women and children were locked in the church, and the village was looted. The men were led to six barns and sheds, where machine guns were already in place.
According to a survivor’s account, the SS men then began shooting, aiming for their legs. When victims were unable to move, the SS men covered them with fuel and set the barns on fire. Only six men managed to escape. One of them was later seen walking down a road and was shot dead. In all, 190 Frenchmen died.
The SS men next proceeded to the church and placed an incendiary device beside it. When it was ignited, women and children tried to escape through the doors and windows, only to be met with machine-gun fire. 247 women and 205 children died in the attack. The only survivor was 47-year-old Marguerite Rouffanche. She escaped through a rear sacristy window, followed by a young woman and child. All three were shot, two of them fatally. Rouffanche crawled to some pea bushes and remained hidden overnight until she was found and rescued the next morning. About twenty villagers had fled Oradour-sur-Glane as soon as the SS unit had appeared. That night, the village was partially razed.’
It is one of the most truly affecting sites that I have ever visited, at first you walk along a road past a few wrecked houses and it feels bad but then as we turned into the main street it was truly shocking. And I mean in a real sense, the sight of the ruined street with the tramlines running off down the hill and the knowledge of what happened there was both physically and emotionally shocking to me. I was going to try and be silent (there’s a large sign asking for Silence as you enter) but by the time we got halfway down the road I just had to say something to Jonathan (I did do so in a whisper though) as the mixture of disgust, sadness and anger was just too much to hold in any longer. Pretty soon we were by the church and I told Jonathan that there was no way I could go in, in fact I didn’t want to get any nearer than we were at that moment as I was going to lose it completely. After that we walked the rest of the village but, to be honest, I think I had really had enough by then, not in a bad way, I just felt drained and slightly numbed.
Having said all this if you are ever close enough to visit this place, you must go. We must never forget.
And the next time you see someone at a club or gaming event wearing a Waffen-SS formation t-shirt or badge smack them in the mouth. Hard. Them give them one for me too.
P.S. I had planned to take a couple of pictures but it didn’t seem right to do so, there’s plenty on the web.
There were two firsts for me in this game put on by Ian on Monday. First game of 6mm Napoleonics and it would be the first time I’ve ever commanded Russians so I was really looking forward to it.
The scenario was nice and straight forward, the Russians had to advance and secure a village that commanded a gap in the line of hills that the French were in possession of. To do this I had under command an Infantry Division, a Grenadier Division and a Brigade of Light Cavalry, my Infantry Division had a battery of 12 guns and the Cavalry had a battery of 6 guns attached. The French were in about a Division in strength with no visible Cavalry.
My plan was quite simple. Des would take the advanced guard consisting of the Jager and Cavalry Brigades with the Horse Artillery and engage the French in the village and on the hills on the right. I would take the rest of the Infantry Division (2 Brigades of 4 btlns each) and take the hills to the left where the French forces looked weaker, I could then roll the position up from that side. Ian would take his Grenadiers (once they arrived) and support the Jager, they were also to be the reserve in case any problems arose or to deal the coup de grace once my attack had developed. The French were led by Andy and Martin and, as mentioned, seemed to have the bulk of their forces either in the village or on the hills to the right – both of their batteries were posted in these locations too. On the left flank it seemed as if they only had a couple of battalions and no artillery which augured well for my planned attack on this side of the field.
So we commenced and Des immediately sent the Hussars and Uhlans of his Cavalry Brigade off to the right to engage the French posted on the hills to pin them in place. The Horse battery went with the horse hoping to cause discomfort to any squares that were formed and, if possible, to enable the cavalry a chance to charge home. His Jager Brigade advanced gallantly towards the village, throwing out a screen of skirmishers as they went consisting of a company from each battalion. I started my advance on the left when I arrived on the field and then the French started some long range artillery fire against Des’ command which resulted in some casualties due, no doubt, to Andy’s famous blue ‘devils dice’ that always roll well (a 9, 10, and a couple of 11’s wasn’t it Des?).
Apart from a message from Ian telling me that his Grenadiers were going to be delayed a while things seemed to be developing well, Des had forced the French infantry on the hill to either form square or retire and his Horse battery had commenced battering one square that guarded the flank of the battery there. The Jager had started trading shots with the garrison of the village and the French suffered a setback when Andy’s dice failed him (allegedly because Martin had used them) and came up with snake-eyes when rolling for the battery in the village which meant that they were now low on ammo. Over on my side of the field I was having to pass through the defile caused by the woods but my advance rolled on even though it was slowed down a tad. I also dispatched half of my guns to the Jager to help take on the French batteries.
It was about this time when a large cloud of dust appeared behind the village which by its volume and could only mean one thing, French cavalry had arrived. Never mind, we would stick to the plan as it seemed to be going ok, indeed Des now launched his Hussars against the decimated French square hoping to break it and carry on onto the battery behind. Unfortunately this didn’t come off quite as planned, the French infantry did break and retreat but the Hussars bounced back to the Russian guns enabling the French guns to make their escape. The French cavalry then put in an appearance, moving to counter the Russian horse, with one of their Dragoon regiments starting a charge up the hill which the Uhlans countered with a charge of their own the result of which was that both units refused to contact each other! A cloud of dust could be seen moving rapidly across the rear of the French position to the left flank so it was obvious that the French had another brigade of cavalry. Things had started to look a bit more difficult for us, however, the Grenadiers had now arrived and were marching rapidly to the front to support the Jager.
The French then seemingly became emboldened with both the failure of the Russian cavalry to charge home and the arrival of their own heavies. The battery that had retired on the hills returned to their position and began taking the Jager under fire again, the heavy cavalry brigade then started a series of advances and charges that didn’t give the Russian horse time to rally and effectively took them out of the action, pushing them further and further back. I had finally reached the hills to the left of the village and as my first Brigade advanced to engage the retiring French infantry my second Brigade started to march around the extreme flank of the enemy position.
It was now that the French infantry from the hills on the right and the village assaulted the Jager to their front, who had been suffering from artillery fire, before the grenadiers arrived to reinforce them. This attack was carried out with the usual French elan and it succeeded in pushing the Jager back. I then discovered that the French did indeed have another Cavalry brigade and had to stop the outflanking manoeuvre of my second brigade and put them into square. At the same time my lead battalion in my first brigade was forced to retreat due to a devastating volley from two French battalions and I was having trouble making the other battalions charge home, (couldn’t manage to change the brigade orders to assault).
So things had not turned out so well for us: the cavalry was in full retreat on the right pursued by French cavalry, the infantry attack on the left flank was stymied by the presence of the other French cavalry brigade and our inability to close with the bayonet on the weak French infantry. It all hinged on us breaking through in the centre. The French infantry attack here had caused the artillery to retreat and did manage to break a Jager battalion and force the remainder back. However, the Grenadiers were finally in position and they launched a counter attack on the lead French battalion, surely this would see us embark on a glorious counter attack that would sweep the enemy from the field. Alas, it was not to be and so with that final throw of the dice failing we decided that there was no use continuing with the attack, we would have to try again another day (we had run out of time too!).
All in all it was a great game. Things were in the balance for a while, I really did think we were going to win for most of the game and it is the small margins that decided the outcome: taking the French battery on the hills, being able to assault the infantry on the left, not having two brigades of heavy cavalry turn up, that sort of thing. As usual it was a pleasure playing with the gents and an absolute joy to be using Ian’s 6mm kit, very nice indeed and does suit Napoleonics so well. Thanks all round.
Daren was interested in having a bash at FFT3 so I duly obliged. Daren pinged me a list of what Soviet kit he had and I knocked up a force out of it for him to use whilst I would be using my alt-history Poles. We decided on an encounter battle, chucked some terrain down and diced for which side we would be arriving on and got to it!
Daren had a couple of Regimental sized units with a Recon Btln which were in no way near a ‘real’ TOE but as this was a training game really and it was what we had we made the best of it – lets say it was an ad-hoc force made up of surviving units from an earlier battle sent out to secure an objective on a flank?
1st Regt (BMP):
- Cmnd BMP-1
- 120mm Mortar + Truck
- 1 zsu-23-4
- 1 brdm/sa-13
- 1 brdm/AT-5
- BMP Btln: 3 Inf + BMP-1
- 3 Inf/Spigot atgm + BMP-1
- 3 inf/SA-14 manpad + BMP-1
- Tank Btln: 9 T-72
- 1 Cmnd 4k-7f apc
- 1 Striker
- 1 Blowpipe Manpad team
- 1 Spartan
- 1 4k-7f-GrW81 sp81mmM
- 2 Inf Coys @ 1 Inf/Bantam
- 2 Inf (3 ar, rg, lmg, law, maw)
- 3 4k-7f-20 aifv
- 4 Tank Coys @ 3 Vickers mk.3
Armoured Cavalry Regt
- 1 Cmnd LandRover
- 1 Striker
- 1 4k-4fa- GrW81 sp 81mmM
- Inf Coy @ 1 Inf/Bantam
- 2 Inf
- 3 4k-4fa
- 2 Lt Tk Coys @ 3 Scorpion-90
- 1 Tank Coy @ 3 Vickers Mk.3
So the forces were quite evenly balanced with roughly equal amounts of tank stands each and off table artillery but with the Sovs far outweighing the Poles in terms of infantry and with better ATGM in the infantry platoons.
Then things swung Daren’s way with him managing to roll up his first reserve unit and decided to bring on the BMP/T-72 Regiment and they came on in usual Soviet style in a menacing looking phalanx of steel. Facing this onslaught was 2 companies of Scorpion-90’s and a Striker platoon. Luckily for me Daren belied his Royal Artillery training and had trouble calling in his artillery during this phase of the game so I didn’t suffer too badly from it, my gunners were doing better and I managed to slow him down a bit with suppression but he soon got his SP atgm BRDM into play and I began to lose a couple of platoons to tank and atgm fire causing the remains of one company to fail its quality check and do the bofski.
I had been contacted by a new member at the club who wanted to try out Fistful of Tows and as it had been a while since I played I was happy to oblige. Alex was bringing down a Soviet BMP Motorised Rifle Regiment and I was going to try and stop the red horde from steaming through Austria with my Austrian kampfgruppe. We didn’t use my activation/command and control rules but did add Div and Corp artillery – they are rolled for in the usual way but are harder to call in (-1 and -2 to the dice respectively), usually means that they aren’t available but can be great if they are – especially for the Soviets!
- Recon Coy
- T-72 Btln
- 3 x BMP-1 Infantry Btlns
- Regt Artillery Btln
- Divisional Artillery Regt
- Corp Artillery Btln
- M60a1 Pzr Btln
- PzrGren Btln
- Landwehr Inf Btln
- SK105 PzrJager Coy
- Landwehr 85mm PaK Coy
- M109 Btln
- Corp 105mm Btln
- Army M-59 mrls battery
Once again due to going through rules and needing to check them myself (big thanks to Terry here, it is amazing what you forget if you don’t play regularly!), I again forgot to take many pictures. What is worse I forgot to take one of the whole battlefield to help with this AAR, I really do need to get a grip.
Anyway I had set the terrain out so that it had a valley running along the widest axis roughly half way in the table, a road ran across the short axis meeting the lateral road at a small town. This road junction was near one edge of the table about a foot and a half in. There were some woods and a few farms scattered about to break things up further. We diced to see where the Soviets would come in from and they came across the table along the short axis. We decided that the Russians had been tasked to control the valley, I marked my units on a map and we got to it.
Alex started by running a MR Btln along the road heading for the town where I had put my Landwehr with the AT guns deployed in the wood to its right covering the road, these opened up when Alex’s recon elements got close and then got targeted with Artillery for their efforts and were supressed. I wasn’t too bothered as I wanted to channel Alex onto the other side of the town to where a Kurassier company had the road covered, which I duly opened up with.
A second BMP Btln was coming round the left flank as well past the farms at the end of the valley. I had positioned 2 tank companies and the other Kurassier company here though so was quite confident that I’d be able to hold this sector. As soon as the BMP’s got close enough I opened up with the Kurassiers, their overwatch fire causing quite a few casualties. The Soviets replied with their BMP’s and a mixture of ATGM (both from the BMP’s and their SP ATGM platoon) and canon fire resulted in the PanzerJagers losing 2 platoons – the third did pass its formation check but withdrew behind the hill they were on to avoid any further attention.
Alex was hitting me with as much artillery as he could call up , although he had left the town alone, on all the positions that he knew I had units in which was doing a good job in supressing me. He had also brought on the remaining BMP btln across the middle of the table through a large wooded hill whilst launching the T-72 btln forwards to support the stricken BMP btln and as soon as they came into effective range I opened up with a M60 company positioned in a wood to the right of where the Kurassiers had been. This company managed to cause some damage but then suffered from a near full battalions worth of 125mm fire plus attention from the ATGM platoon and although one platoon survived unscathed it failed the formation check and legged it. With their work seemingly done here the T-72’s then moved across into the wood in the centre.
The next phase of the battle saw Alex put in an infantry attack on the town which in usual FFT style was a bloody affair, especially as the Landwehr defenders hadn’t been softened up first (actually Alex did have quite rotten luck all night calling in his artillery), and although I had lost a couple of companies they took about the same number of Soviets with them. Alex was about to put a better attack in on the left hand wood where my tanks had been – he had softened the defending Panzer Grenadiers up a bit first with artillery and BMP fire – but we had run out of time.
It was good to play FFT again, I had forgotten in the past couple of months Chain of Command madness how much I enjoyed these rules. Alex said that he liked the rules so hopefully we might get some more games in in the future, and it was a shame that we ran out of time as the game was poised at a critical point, we both had uncommitted units to throw in and I was thinking about a counter attack! Daren had sat in on the game as well as he was interested to see how they played out and he was a fan too, and we will definitely be having a bash sometime soon.
I think I might have had too much Austrian kit to be fair, maybe losing the extra Kurassier or AT gun company and maybe also the Landies might have balanced things up a wee bit. I had added them as the Austrians are hamstrung somewhat by their lack of missiles, which is actually what makes them such an interesting Cold War force, also they had a hugely inferior amount of artillery – maybe if we do this again I’ll try it out.