Monday 19 February 2024

Pfaffing About - part 1


This was another of our 'Cold War gone hot' games set in the early 1980s and saw the debut outing (not counting solo games) of both my Austrian mechanised brigade and my Czech motor rifle regiments.  Above is a Czecho motor rifle battalion - GHQ infantry and Scotia OT-64.  I've owned the OTs for over 20 years but painted them only in 2020.  It doesn't do to rush these things...

The field of battle.  In NBC a hex is 1km across and a stand generally represents a NATO-style company or a Warpact half-battalion.  The game featured units of the Czecho 15 MRD - part of 4th Combined Arms Army - sweeping through northern Austria and up towards Bavaria.  While casting around on Google Maps for suitable terrain I spotted the area of Pfaffing and the scenario name suggested itself!  I ran the game and hosted the Zoom call.  John A led the Austrians while Martin and Michael provided direction to the Czechos.
NATO air recce photos shared with the Austrians showed mechanised columns advancing.  This is a whole motor rifle regiment.
62 MRR trundling on from the east.
The Austrian forces represented their last remaining Mech Bde.  And advance battalion of JagdPanzer Kurassier was soon joined by a battalion each of M-60 tanks and Panzergrenadiers, as well as a battery each of AA and artillery.
The town of Pfaffing was soon swarming with motor rifle troopers.  They were immediately under fire from Austrian infantry just to the west.
The Czechos were very pleased to see their attached T-72 battalion!
Things were soon pretty warm - with the MRB in Pfaffing exchanging fire with the infantry in the marsh - though the latter declined their commander's invitation to close assault - hence the yellow marker.
Meanwhile the Au tanks had deployed on the major road junction and were exchanging fire with T-55s and Sagger operators.
But here come the T-72s!
Another MRB advances.
By now the T-55 btl was losing the battle against the M-60s - would the Czechs be able to concentrate sufficient force to prevent the advance stalling?
In Pfaffing the original MRB was looking very tatty and the engineer co had also suffered (stands can generally take two hits)
While the M-60s had taken a hit...
...the T-55s were down to 50% - but the T-72s were in range!
When the last of 62 MRR had cleared the eastern area, the bridging units came plodding on.  The Czech CO wisely sent them to park up on a side road so they didn't get in the way.

The game was played over two evenings - this brings us pretty much to where we left off on Tuesday.  What will happen next?

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Where Seagulls Dare

 This was a game in the style of a dodgy war film and owes much to Ian Drury's 2005 game The Guns Of Toblerone (I ran it again in 2012 - link) .  WSD was set on a small island off the coast of southern France but filmed for reasons of economy on the Yorkshire coast - hence the name!  I'll not say too much at this point as I've been asked to run it at COW.

The mission involved sabotaging some German secret weapons. The cast er, I mean players were all given individual briefings and then had to select their equipment before being parachuted onto the island.  Meanwhile I set out the high quality terrain and elements of the garrison.

Being a properly rubbish old film, there was of course a Gestapo presence.

entertainingly the players spent several minutes speculating about the location of the
German secret weapons facility.  Then someone
took the time to look properly at the table...

a further cliche was the mountain-top castle.  I built the 'mountain' by draping a sheet over a table...

the German airfield soon attracted the team's attention

the garrison  - of course - included an obviously American postwar tank wearing big black crosses

One of many exciting incidents was the ambush on a mountain road next to the scary ravine.
A most entertaining game which the players entered into with good grace, and which produced several incidents and outcomes beyond my wildest imaginings!

Sunday 11 February 2024

3D Demags - Sdkfz 250 variants

I painted up these models a couple of weeks ago. They are resin 3D prints, in 1/50 scale to fit in with my Solido Sdkfz 251 fleet. 
The print quality is quite astonishing. I painted over my usual black undercoat. Decals were added from stock. 

Monday 29 January 2024

Ageing Hips

While tarting up the batch of helicopters I got to thinking about the history of some of the toys. This Mi-8 ‘Hip’ (one of a trio) is a genuine Cold War veteran - bought ‘pre-loved’ in 1984, it has seen plenty of action. In games set everywhere from Norway to Lebanon, played in Dundee, Sheffield, Cambridge and Northamptonshire.

As PHW commented, “We are lucky we have these friends who have been with us in so many of our incarnations.”  Wise words indeed.