Monday 7 December 2020

Soviet 76mm infantry gun - part 2


Not much progress to report I’m afraid but the kit has at least had a black undercoat and some of the main colours applied  

Sunday 15 November 2020

Soviet 76mm Infantry Gun - part 1


It feels like - and probably is - months since I last built a kit, so today I dug out this tatty box and set about the contents.  I knew it would probably be a bit fiddly as the gun uses the same carriage as the 45mm AT gun (itself a development of the German 37mm).  Gun aside, the appeal of the kit is that it also includes the limber, a pair of horses and five rather nice crew figures.  

Two hours later and the build is largely complete.  I have, of course, dispensed with several of the more delicate parts including many of the bits of harness. But so far so good. 

Sunday 8 November 2020

Remembrance Sunday

Despite the restrictions of  COVID, I’m pleased to report that Sara and I were among a couple of dozen people who attended the understandably short and rather low key ceremony in our local churchyard. 

I always feel uncomfortable about taking photos at such events so I offer instead pictures of a war grave Sara spotted in the churchyard. Aircraftman K Kent died in 20 December 1942 at the age of only 20.  That means he was born a mere 43 years before me - not much in the sweep of history. Makes you think.

Friday 6 November 2020

German armoured train

 The lack of recent posts was due to being mad busy with work and two family house moves (fret not, I’m still safely installed at Megablitz Towers) but happily my weekly games by Zoom/Skype have largely continued. Unfortunately. With so much of my work time and all of my gaming time being online, when I’ve come to compose blog posts, motivation has been sadly lacking. 

So here to fill the gap, and following on from the popularity of my Polish armoured train are some photos I took of my 1/300 German WW2 armoured train.  There are all Heroics & Ros castings.  The lead flatcar has been adapted to mount a ‘captured’ T-34 turret while that at the other end carries a Somua S35, again not in the colours of its first owner....

I wonder if I’ll ever use the whole thing in a game.  

Friday 18 September 2020

BAOR Mechanised Battalion

I churned out this Mech Btl - or most of one - a while back.  CinC FV432 and GHQ infantry.  I can steal the support elements from my Warrior mounted btl as I'm unlikely to be fielding them both at once.

Saturday 5 September 2020

Virtual Conference Of Wargamers 2021

Virtual Conference Of Wargamers – February 2021

What is it?
When is it?
Where is it?
What will it cost me?

VCOW 2020 comfortably exceed the expectations we had for the event when our traditional Conference Of Wargamers was cancelled. That the well-educated Anarchist collective that is WD managed to pull off a weekend of innovative and entertaining gaming and discussion is a testament both to the underlying strength of the organisation and to the hard work and dedication to the cause of the membership.

VCOW featured participants from four continents and welcomed many new and returning members, many of whom had in the past been unable to share in the COW experience. The post-VCOW participant’s survey revealed overwhelming support for the event and a desire to repeat the experience.

Given that the global pandemic shows every sign of being with us into next year; that VCOW widened participation and encouraged many new members to join us; and that the event was such a success, the virtual committee has decided to host a similar VCOW event over the weekend of 5-7 February 2021.

VCOW 2021 is not a replacement for COW. We are planning to hold COW as normal in July 2021. If circumstances make this impossible, we will look into running a second virtual event in the summer of 2021, however this is a backup plan only.

We look forward to seeing you all.   

Details of sessions available will be posted on the VCOW blog and this will be updated as more information becomes available.

Attendance at VCOW is open to the following:

Members of Wargame Developments

Guests invited by WD members

The cost to attend is a mere £5 – the Paypal link can be found on the VCOW blog.

Numbers will be limited so book now to avoid disappointment!

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Mokra 1939 - part 3

The final part of the action commences with 19 Uhlans wandering about in the open.  Behind the German front line but still - is it wise?

Meanwhile in the woods, I/Schtz Rgt 12, having fought through one position turn SE to confront the other half of the Polish rifle battalion and a stray cavalry squadron.  More blood is spilled.
One of the game's more exciting moments was the attach by III/Pz Rgt 36 on the Polish armoured train.  The Poles fought bravely....

...but the new technology triumphed.  A predictably tragic first outing for my train.

Martin had gathered the remains of Pz Rgt 35 into a single detachment and led them in person against 2nd Mounted Rifles.  Who were in fact dismounted.  Clear?  Good.
Blood flowed freely on both sides.
At this point we decided to draw to a close.  The Poles had carried out a determined defence but were being pushed back and had lost control of the railway line.  They'd lost their 'armour', a cav sqn, train  and infantry btl, and a further two cav sqns were looking a bit ropey.
On the other hand, 4 Panzer Div had suffered least the 150 tanks disabled in the historical engagement.  Leaving it with about two Panzer btls and a schtz btl.  Ouch!
For fun we resolved the fight between Pz Rgt 35(-) and 2 Mounted Rifles.....
In which Martin's brave lads prevailed!  A most enjoyable game (in my view) and a broadly historical result - both side managed to do slightly worse than their historical counterparts!
A quick note on the troop representation.  I gave each of the Panzer Rgts three battalions  - they should in fact have two larger btls each.  This was something of a contrivance to force the Germans into the piecemeal attacks which 4PD actually carried out.  Sure enough it resulted in some very shot-up units.  The Polish cavalry regiments were a challenge, composed as they were of four smallish squadrons and a MG sqn.  I decided to represent them as two fairly chunky stands per rgt.  They were quite tough due to high morale, good training and wide issue of a fairly dangerous AT rifle.  Dangerous to the the tin-foil armour of 1939 panzers at any rate.  Finally, the train had two artillery cars, each with 2 75mm guns, and a company of infantry so I treated it for combat purposes as a weak artillery unit with similar close-combat capabilities as an infantry stand.

A further visit to Poland may be in order in a few weeks.

Sunday 30 August 2020

CTS Type 97 medium tanks

These were painted some months ago but for some reason I never got round to posting the photos. They are simple plastic models - no assembly required - by CTS in about 1/35 scale.

Friday 28 August 2020

Mokra 1939 - part 2

Having played through the first few turns on Tuesday evening, we gathered (virtually) again the following night. It was a sufficiently busy evening that I will spread the remaining report over two posts.

This btl of Pz Rgt 36 got off to a good start by getting stuck into the Polish armoured car squadron.

In a bloody exchange the Poles died heroically, taking the remains of the PzII company with them.

Meanwhile Simon had arrived at the helm of Schtz Rgt 12.  Here are the chaps climbing out of their trucks on the road.

Having killed off the armoured cars, the plucky PzI co found itself in range of the armoured train's guns!
More gratuitous train porn
Having reinforced the front line the Poles were looking pretty solid... it was all down to the infantry.  Simon had deployed both battalions ready to assault the Polish infantry positions.

The attack of I/Schtz Rgt 12 went rather well and  - at the cost of a company-worth of casualties they carried the position.
II/Schtz Rgt 12 on the other hand were not feeling it.  On being ordered to attack they promptly failed their morale check and fled back to their furious Rgt HQ.
But help was at hand - or was it.  The Stukas reappeared and maintained their unbroken record of not hitting anything.  Another triumph for the Polish air defence technique of shouting and waving cavalry sabres!
Encouraged by the German reverses, Jerry saddled up 19 Uhlans and trotted SW.

Part 3 coming soon!

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Mokra 1939 - part 1


Mokra is a battle which has long interested me, so it was only a matter of time before I revisited it for a WW2 Brigade Commander game.  Getting the terrain right was tricky - I tried three versions of the layout before I was happy with it.  Mokra, for those of you unfamiliar with the battle, was fought on 1st September 1939 between the Wolynska Cavalry Brigade (plus some hangers-om) and most of 4 Panzer Division.  It wasn't the walk-(or rather drive-) over that the Germans were expecting.  Part of the appeal of the battle is the variety of kit.  In the grey corner all the trappings of what will soon be called Blitzkrieg - two Panzer regiments, motorised infantry and dive bombers.  Versus horse cavalry (mostly fighting on foot), tankettes and an armoured train!  The latter can be seen in the first two photos.  It's the Heroics & Ros model (I've had it for ages but only painted it at the weekend) which fits nicely on my plastic Bandai ZZ Gauge track.

As regards the other toys, the Germans are mostly H&R with some Scotia Panzer I.  Scotia also provided the Polish cavalry. Polish vehicles & guns are a mix of the two manufacturers.  All infantry and gun crews are H&R.

The field of battle.  Each hex is c800m.  The railway runs on an embankment which blocks line of sight.  The players were as follows:
Germans - Martin (acting DHQ and Pz Rgt 35, Simon (Schtz  Rgt 12), Pete (Pz Rgt 36)
Poles - John (Brigade HQ & reserves), Jerry (19 & 21 Uhlan Rgts, AT Battery), Graham (Armoured Train 35 Smialy).  Broadly the Germans need to get off to the east, while the Poles need to maintain road & rail links from N to S.
I ran the game and players joined via Zoom.

The game commenced at 1000 or after the first panzer attack, so some of the units of PzRgt35 were already a bit shot up.  In turn 1, the panzers again surged forward, overran the cavalry from 21st Uhlan Rgt in the now empty hex centre right but suffered in the process, so they and their chums further north fell back in a disorganised state. The Polish AT battery bottom right proved very dangerous.
2nd Mounted Rifles Rgt moves up east of the railway.  The Brigade had four cavalry regiments, each represented in the game by two stands.
The defenders of Klobuck look on in wonder as John's armoured striking force trundles past.  A squadron each of TKS tankettes and w34 armoured cars.
An overview.  Pz Rgt 36 has arrived in the West.  As the train puffs north....

The Polish er 'armour' crosses the railway and advances to the West.
The Mounted Rifles arrive in Mokra II 
A tank battle!  Well nearly.  The opportunist Poles seize the opportunity to kick I/Pz Rgt 26 when it's down.  This splendid Polish victory is followed by....
...a counter attack by the now very cross II/Pz Rgt 36...
...and the battered Poles are driven off.  Entertainingly, this left the panzers within range of the armoured train which promptly pasted their positions with 75mm shells.
Turn 3.  After the panzers broke into the positions of the by now rather battered 21 Uhlan Rgt (that's them with a single stand weighed down by a casualty marker and a disorganisation marker...) the 12 Uhlan Rgt did the only sensible thing and charged the tanks!  If only there was an Italian journalist in site to report this.
Excitingly, the Poles had the better of the assault and panzer numbers dwindled accordingly.  At this thrilling point Simon finally joined us, having been delayed by house building matters and with everything still to play for we drew a veil over proceedings until the following evening.