Wednesday 11 April 2012

21st Panzer Division update

Well, my 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe is coming on... very slowly, but at least progress is being made. Most of the vehicles for the 1st battalion are nearing completion. I'm just waiting for some half track stowage packs to arrive to add a little extra detail to the sides of some of the vehicles. I've also made a start painting one battalions worth of figures. My intention is to mix and match a battalions worth of figures from Skytrex's Panzer Genadiers with some Peter Pig figures that are wearing the zeltbahn. Hope that they should look the part on the table and this will help to distinguish them from my German Division of foot sloggers.

While I've been slapping a little paint on here and there, I've also been trying to finalise which units should make up my 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe. Also what each unit should consist of and if I require to make any further purchases. Over the past few months I have become a little confused about the 21st Panzer Division. Historical information and different rule sets OOBs for the 21st Panzer Division all seem to differ slightly. Differences, not in which units were present but, in what each unit consisted of. I realise that there has to be a modicum of adaptation to the scale that we use on the wargaming table but some OOBs state totally different vehicles. I would like to represent units from this division as accurately as possible but then I don't want to field a division that will not conform to the rule set (Rapid Fire) that I regularly use. After much juggling and mulling it over about which vehicles I should include and what is available, I think I've made a decision of sorts. The following link is to a pdf of my proposed selection of units and their make-up; Link to my 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe

I'm still open to ideas and suggestions. If anyone reading this blog has a different view/idea about the 21st Panzer Division's units during their European campaign please let me know.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Progress with Major Becker's funnies

Since the last game, I've found some enthusiasm to work on a few of the 21st Panzer vehicles. I feel they are coming on. I'll get these few based before tackling some more. All the painted models (4 x U304(f), 1 x U304(f) PaK 36, 1 x S307(f) PaK 40, 1 x U304(f) 2cm Flak) are from Flames of War the two unpainted (8cm schwere Granatwerfer 34 auf Panzerspahwagon AMR35(f) and a 4.7cm PaK(t) auf Panzerkampfwagen 35R(f) ohne Turm) are from QRF.

I wonder if I'll actually get all of my proposed 21st Panzer Kampfgruppe finished this year..?

Sunday 29 January 2012

Bottoms up, Trousers down

This was the title that Mark had given our recent game. The brief I was given follows:

You are a battle hardened officer, who has served on all fronts and the proud recipient of the Knights Cross with swords, presented by the Fuhrer himself. You are currently involved in the fighting retreat back to Germany. After being forced back again you have found yourself in woodland looking out towards an occupied town. You have been able to carry out forward observations unseen whilst at the same time swiftly over coming any British forward dugouts without alerting the enemies main force. Convoys were seen passing through the town approximately every 3-4 hours. As far as you can tell there is armour in the town, though no sign of any Sherman's or artillery. There appears to be at least one battalion within the town, maybe two. Other than the convoys there has been hardly any activity, but you don't know why.
You find yourself with two choices;
1) Dig in as strong defensive position as you can as you are bound to be discovered when the forward dugouts are relieved.
2) A swift strike against the town hoping to achieve one last defiant act for the fatherland and your honour.

A 12 move game, time of day being daybreak, woods passable to all at reduced speed. Distance between woods and town approximately 18 inches (3 full moves for infantry).
Size of force - 700 points (old Rapid Fire rules points value).
Major victory if town liberated.
Victory if 2/3rds of force leave the table in good order after 8 moves.
Defeat if broken.

I decided to follow the theme and field, as my main force, an infantry regiment, minus a company in each battalion and reduced heavy weapon companies. Then a secondary force a much reduced infantry battalion of stragglers, that had joined my small Kampfgruppe with a reduced heavy weapons company. The only support companies that had survived the retreat were a 120mm mortar company, a 150mm infantry gun and anti-tank company of a few Panzerscheck teams. I added to this my recently paint Hetzer that would support the stragglers and two PzIVs supporting the main infantry regiment.

Marks scenario for the British was a motorised battalion had passed though the town with a supporting supply convoy. Only the last company and the support company where left in the town and were about to leave as a lorried battalion had arrived late the previous night to secure the town. There was 2/3rd of a squadron of tanks being refuelled (1 Cromwell & 1 Comet). Points value 570 (old Rapid Fire rules).

The table was very simply laid out with a town on one edge made up of nine buildings, many ruined, and woods on the opposite edge.

I knew nothing of the British deployment nor size of force but decided that attack is the best form of defence. The game progressed well. I was able to lay smoke down and quickly get two companies of infantry to the edge of the town riding on the two PzIVs. Under covering fire from the heavy weapons companies, 120mm mortar and infantry gun, the the rest of the main forces infantry scampered across to the town with minimum casualties. At this point in the game Mark was having more than his fair share of ones on the dice throws. On about move 5, once it seemed that most of the British in the town were engaged, I unleashed the secondary force on the other flank. The game was over by move 10 with the German infantry occupying most of the town and what remained of the British force were in tatters. I'd lost my Hezter to an attack by the Wasp from the British machine gun company but the German stragglers were able to overcome this company. The two PzIVs were miraculously unscathed whilst the British Cromwell was knocked out and the Comet heavily damaged.

The dice were very favourable to the Germans. It's not often an attacking force come away with minimal loses when faced with defenders all in hard cover. A good game enjoyed by both of us and we have promised to meet up more regular basis. Sorry there are no pictures but I'd forgotten my camera.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

A Hetzer

Well we're actually going to have another game.... wonders will never cease......

After a full year of no painting and very little gaming both Mark and myself have agreed that we must do better this year. Which does sound very much like my old school reports. Let's just hope that, unlike my efforts at school, we can do better.

To re-introduce myself to painting again I thought a little Hezter would make a good start. I normally would only paint one, at best two colours per sitting/evening. So to get this simple model painted and based over the weekend is, for me, a little bit of a breakthrough......

Not a brilliant job but it will serve its purpose on the table.

The scenario Mark has written for our first game of the year is based in 1945. Hence my thought about having a Hetzer as support for my infantry. It was not until after I'd finished the model that I realised, in the Rapid Fire rules, this little Jagdpanzer packs the same punch as a Tiger I with the same armour rating. Cum on you little beauty...

I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.