Saturday, January 29, 2011

Austria 1946

The last of the games we played over the holidays. We weren't really prepared for a cold war game, so we just improvised with what we had. There were four villages with the winner being the one who ended up with possession of the most of them. I've tried to make the pictures a bit bigger so there is some loss in the detail. Here is my friend Dave reaching for another drink.

The US part of my forces moved quick to capture the town on the extreme right of the allied line to await the Russians. Dave had five battalions of infantry alone, so it was essential that my smaller forces made the most of their carriers and trucks

More reinforcements moving up. Figures are from my Korean War collection and are a mixture of Imex and Revell

Dave wasted no time in moving his heavy armour up, though they were supported only by the tank riders because they advanced so much quicker than his infantry

The British forces tried to stay in closer contact with each other. These tanks are old plastic Airfix Centurions that used to have little road wheels underneath them

Closer picture of the British armour

US HQ units directing mortar fire onto the lead elements of the Russian drive in this area

The second of Dave's five battalions firmly secures the center ground between the two villages most in contest

US recon Greyhound is smoked from long range by a T34/85 despite being in the partial cover of the village

US F86 Sabre, by Matchbox, making its only appearance, which strafed the Russian HQ and disrupted all infantry units in this area for a couple of turns because they were all moving under the one order, and the man issuing that order was shaken by the aircraft attack

The Soviet left of center. Dave grouped his armour here to confront the only US tank platoon in the vicinity, a Pershing. Airfix T34s and Unimodel IS122s

Meanwhile the British advance on the left was stalled by the arrival of the big boys. Here a British support company digs into the wooded area hoping not to be seen

The rear of that position. British mortar platoon goes into action firing on the Russian recon units on the edge of the nearby town - converted A Call to Arms 1950s British Infantry (I'm going to get some more of these)

Without infantry support the Soviet recon platoons were badly out matched, and could do little to stop the British infantry taking control of this end of the built up area. Airfix carriers, and again ACTA figures, don't know about the armoured car but it's a resin one

Another shot of the British side of the town having dealt with the Russian recon units

This British company occupied the top floor of this building for several turns making movement in the streets below almost impossible for the few Soviet infantry platoons detailed to oppose them

About turn 7 the Soviets finally got some air support, and one American company suffered about 2/3 casualties from a single pass; an unusually good result but that's dice for you

Dave assaults the allied line from two sides and the command Centurion is forced from the fight for a couple of turns

US anti-tank platoons on the fringe of the heavy wooded area. They were there to back-up the British tank units but had their own problems from the T34/85 platoons advancing from their right

Turn 9 was a terrible one for the Russians, losing their IS2 company on their right

And both T34/85 and SU122 companies on their left. The US lost the Pershing platoon but the allied forces had now cleared the field of all of the Soviet armour

US troops moving forward now that it was safe to do so, the Mig made another appearance over the same area but made little difference

Second to last turn. US machine gun platoons are firmly in control of the open ground in front of this village and although Dave had two fresh battalions formed up for an assault here the odds were still in US favour and Dave broke off the attack after one cautious advance

Last picture shows the end-game field positions, the British had just begun moving into the small village at the top of the board to add to the Russian's woes

Ten turns. The allies clearly won in terms of objectives secured, and enemy units neutralised, and for a fraction of the casualties. Dave hardly committed his infantry and by the time he did there was no armour left to support them. The historical games that we do don't really create 'results' like these ones, so they are a lot of fun to play, enough so that I've decided to increase my cold war collection forthwith.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tomaszów Lubelski

The second of the three games played over Games Week 2011. This game is from the very northern part of the Polish counter attack, the so-called Northern Front. Our game picks up the action from the 23rd of September

Działanie to ma miejsce od dnia 6

German forces moved much faster than the Poles, thus gaining far better field position on the opening couple of turns

Szybsza niemiecki jednostek zdobyte lepiej dziedzinie stanowisko

German motorcycle infantry stalled the Polish left by dismounting and digging in around the only hard cover available in this area, repeated attacks by cavalry and infantry failed to move them until the last few turns of the game

Niemiecki motocykla piechoty

Polish anti tank battery moving up. The Polish armour was outnumbered by about 3/1 so this was an important unit and needed to get into action quick

German right. The dismounted motorcycle infantry is strafed by the Polish Air force causing a few casualties but not enough to force them to withdraw

One of the first Polish infantry command units to come into contact with German infantry. They were forced to halt a bit short of their objectives due to the casualties they had suffered in trying to advance so quickly - figures are by HaT and Esci
Polskie dane liczbowe z kapelusz i Esci

A couple of German panzer platoons forced out of the fight after a brush with the Polish tankettes and their supporting infantry

Extreme left of the Polish advance. One tank platoon and several infantry platoons are hit hard after a violent encounter with German panzers; despite being vastly outnumbered here they continued their advance long after it was tactically useful

Tankettes continue to hold the road. This unit attracted a lot more attention than they could hope to deal with, and their right flank advance subsequently broke down as they were forced to engage more and more German armour
SPÓŁKĘ TKS gospodarstwa linii bardzo dobrze

One of three German reserve infantry units moving up to the front - figures are mostly Pegasus

More panzers arrive near the fighting, it was hoped that these would drive left-of-center, as the Polish left was starting to make a little headway, no such luck however, Dave threw them head on into action in the only place the Poles weren't already outnumbered 2/1
Polskie siły zbrojne są danych przez 2/1 z jego przybycia z tych niemieckich czołgów

Polish 75s firing in support of infantry still pressing their attacks. These actually engaged the some panzers over over sights a bit later on with some success
75mm artylerii

When available, the Polish Airforce did all it could to strengthen any attacks still making ground. Here the German regimental gun company is strafed by mg fire, pinning them for a couple of turns - we know the Polish never used Bristols.
Ataki polskich członka niemieckiego broni palnej spółki-proszę pretekstem do Bristols:)

This anti tank gun company did well against the German armour but not enough to keep the attack moving forward in this area - scratch built guns and crews

Turn 9. Polish infantry taking cover behind a wrecked tank. This was the only area still moving forward but it was getting harder and harder as more German armour and as yet uncommitted infantry arrived to secure this part of the battlefield
Zbyt wielu Niemców do kontynuowania idąc dalej-ataku straganach

Last turn, 10. Most of the gains the Poles made were checked, there was no flanks left to get around and everywhere they were engaged it was a best even, so further attacks would merely have meant more casualties, which doesn't look good when you're deciding the outcome. This one was a draw, but if it had carried on a few more turns they would have lost. I thought this was a good outcome because the disposposition of my infantry and armoured elements was decidedly stretched. Wouldn't mind doing this battle again, but starting it from start or middle of the event, rather than near the end.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pegasus French 2

HQ Company



2nd LMG

1st Company, the Caesar officer figure has had his base removed for a better height match, but otherwise fits really well in style and proportion to the Pegasus ones

2nd Company

3rd Company, again Caesar figure with base removed for command platoon

Full battalion
Very nice figures with excellent sculpting obvious and zero flash, highly recommended. One or two minor engineering issues proved a bit of a challenge and I shall be making sure these are squared away properly on the Great War set before I start painting those. Whilst the multi-part nature of this brand can prove difficult to assemble well, the variety and quality of the figures makes it well worth the effort in my opinion. A most excellent addition for the gamer or collector.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Messines Ridge

One of the games played over the last few days, the Battle of Messines 1917. This depicts the attack of the New Zealand Division against the actual village of Messines itself.

Swayne's Farm on the right of the German positions, this was held by a reinforced rifle company, and largely unaffected by the detonation of a huge mine in this area.

One of the few intact German pillboxes, this one guarded the communication trenches between the farm and the village

The forward slopes of the ridge on the right-centre of the German line

Part of the second wave of New Zealand troops leaving their start line

Germans in the ruins of the village, extreme German right of this position

Some of the defenders of Swayne's Farm. This was an important position as it guarded the very thinly held German right

New Zealand support units fire at the village from extreme range; Lewis Guns were less useful in this role

6" Newton Trench Mortar attempting to suppress the German pillbox to the left of the village

Third wave of New Zealand troops heading in the general direction of the farm area

German support position on the extreme left of their line, although elevated they were too far from the general fighting area to provide much support

Damaged German platoons in the forward village area, they suffered quite heavily to continual allied 4.5" howitzer fire that was pre-registered on their position

One of the few supporting tanks lumbering its way up the forward slopes towards the village proper

Extreme German left with tank and infantry held up by a pillbox

Pressure mounts on the farm defenders. They were holding out quite well until a tank arrived and started smashing things up; as it did historically.

More Kiwis directly in front of the village. The German casualties in the fore were the defenders of the frontline trenches that were obliterated by the mine explosion, only a couple of damaged platoons made it back into the village

German commander attempting to rally a section of the village defenders

And direct what was left of his meagre reserves into the forward battle area

This is from about turn six, most of the farm position has been cleared with just two German platoons stubbornly holding out

A single tank and two or three infantry companies on the very edge of the village

Same time and place, just showing more New Zealanders moving into the village where house to house fighting was going on

This German company (or what was left of it) held the front left hand corner of the village long after the rest of it had been over run
The tanks attracted a lot of small arms fire which allowed most of the infantry units to arrive in the village area largely intact

This tank broke down early on and had to suffice itself with a machine gun duel with the pillbox for the rest of the game

Kiwis damaged and a little shaken but firmly in control of this section of the village, they had no trouble beating off the token German counter attacks in this area

German LMG platoon attempts to stop the New Zealand infantry flanking this part of the village

Demoralised German units attempt to rally towards the rear of the village, crucially this was one of the few areas safe from support artillery fire

The Germans attempted counter attack to recapture Swayne's Farm is stopped dead by the damaged tank and its supporting infantry, this was the last of the small German reserve force available for such tasks

German command units linking the farm area with the village right are over run

Slightly damaged New Zealand troops begin to move into the village from the now vacant Swayne's Farm area

We played nine out of the ten turns allocated for this game, the Germans didn't really have enough undamaged anything to bother playing the last, and 3/4 of the village was in allied hands by this stage in any case. The house to house fighting still going on was not going to affect the outcome, so we called it at this stage. Good game.