Thursday 29 June 2023

The Battle of Krasnik, August 1914

One of the early engagements in the east, we'd had a go at a cut down version of Krasnik during lockdown.  That game hadn't been a great success, so I was very keen to run the 'full-fat' version of the battle.  We used Richard Brooks's OP14 rules with my (mostly Irregular) 6mm toys and Hexon terrain. Six players were assembled - Martin, Tom and Russell as the Emperor's representatives, while John, Pete and Lloyd upheld the Tsar's interests.  Photos by me, Russell, Pete, Martin & Russell.

The field of battle.  Each hex is c2km across.
Early positions.  The A-H forces are on the right, while the Russians are coming from the left.  But you knew that from the flags, right?
One of the A-H corps still in it's boxes.  Four stands represent a brigade, two brigades a division.
Austrian and.....
...Russian air recce flights.  They successfully managed to not find anything.
Most of the players.  Scary, eh?
The Russian 'steamroller' trundles forward
The Austrian left flank
Russian cavalry skulking in a wood.  Quite a lot of that went on.
The Austrians in control of the ridge line.
Views from the Russian side.

No game is complete without some pointing.
More Russian views...

On overview of the battle late in the game.

An Austrian combat roll.  Low scores are good.....
The crumbling Austrian left - even a cavalry division has been thrown into the line.

Over the course of a couple of days' fighting, both sides essentially wore themselves out, with the Austrians under pressure to withdraw and the Russians in no shape to pursue them.  A most enjoyable game to run which has inspired me to look at other battles suitable for the OP14 treatment.

Monday 26 June 2023

Betrieb rostiger Zenturio - part 2

 We rejoin the action as the DDR columns stream westwards.  Did I mention we had a LOT of toys?

The umpire endeavours to explain something to the equally confused players.

Russell's chaps making  frontal assault.
DDR recce probes along the main road...and finds the enemy!
But their rejoicing was short lived as the Brit infantry platoon scored a lucky hit.

British recce scouting

Some ominously large aircraft heading west...
Surely this West German police detachment was just that?
Martin didn't think so and fire was soon exchanged.
The transport aircraft had landed paras, complete with tiny ASU-57 SP guns.  They were no match for the Centurions!
The only correct quantity of T-55s is 'a lot'.
Hull down Centurions sniping at the DDR armour.

So what happened?  DDR forces penetrated the Brit first line but then became rather bogged down with river crossing.  That said, there were enough of them to put the Brits under real pressure.  The scattered para drop caused consternation and delayed the Brit reserve battalion but was eventually contained.  When the Sovs got wind of what was going on it was passed off as a rogue faction in the DDR military.  Lucky that sort of thing doesn't happen now, eh?

Great to get so many toy s out - especially as they weren't all mine. Well done to all the players for making it such a great day's gaming.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Betrieb Rostiger Zenturio - part 1

Operation Rusty Centurion was a Little Cold Wars game played a couple of months ago.  In brief it's 1961 and the wicked East Germans are using the distraction of Berlin Wall construction to launch an incursion into the British sector of West Germany.  With seven players and in total almost a division worth of kit, I believe this was the largest indoor LCW game to date.

The air forces gather.  All 1/72 models provided by Pete and I.

The players.  If you'd bought toy soldiers like the you'd send them back.  Anti-clockwise from front left: Lloyd, Matt, Martin, Tom, Russell, John and Pete.
I provided most of the toys but Russell brought his own DDR regiment(-).
Planning was done in advance using scans of BAOR maps.  
The British brigade.
DDR forces amounted to two and a bit tank regiments, plus various assets.  Nearest the camera is the Stasi detachment.
The British defensive plan.  We'll see how it worked out next time.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Stasi Museum

The Stasi (Ministry for State Security) museum in Berlin is based in the former Stasi HQ.  It felt very familiar from books and TV series such as the splendid Deutschland 83.  Which I'll now have to watch again.
In the entrance foyer is this Barkas B1000.  It may look at first glance like a delivery van and I suppose that's pretty much what it was. The deliveries in question were suspect comrades being delivered for questioning.  The rear compartment is apparently fitted out with five cells (they must be tiny) and space for a guard.  The curtain is a homely touch.
What a great wargames table!
Minister for State Security Erich Mielke's office.  Very welcoming.

I liked this photo of a Stasi official with his collection of model aeroplanes.  I'm sure this means they were all nice chaps - right?