Sunday, June 30, 2019

Panther Tanks in 28mm

Warlord Games Panthers in 1/56 scale

You always need more German panzers right? So don't ask why, but three Panther ausf A are now finished. They are all Warlord Games plastic models with some Rubicon stowage and sprayed with Vallejo model air colours. Some AK and Mig filters and washes were also used, as well as Windsor Newton oils.

Two of the Panthers might be useful in a certain Pint Sized Campaign from TooFatLardies, but we will probably find some use for the third one too.

The camo and appearance were inspired by the Panther tanks in the 1st Battalion of the 12 SS Panzer Regiment in Normandy 1944.























Friday, June 14, 2019

AAR: At the Bridgehead of Arnaville 1944 (Game 2)

A Chain of Command Battlereport






Introduction

This is our second game set at the Arnaville bridehead in september 1944. The first one can be seen HERE.

As mentioned, the Americans had crossed the Moselle river at Arnaville in early september 1944. As their bridgehead threatened the German positions around the fortress city of Metz the 17th SS Panzer Division ("Götz von Berlichingen") was assigned with trying to contain the northern sector of the bridgehead. Under heavy fightning the Americans of the 5th Infantry Division ("Red Diamond") managed to get some support, including armour and tank destroyers, across the river.

Our pair of games is based on the situation in mid September with the American starting to expand the bridgehead and the Germans trying to contain them. In our last game the American advance stopped as they failed to clear a farmhouse from its German occupants.

This second game sees the Germans launching a counter attack against the rattled US troops.

The Scenario

With the American advance from the bridgehead blunted the Germans counter attacked. The Americans had to try and delay the Germans long enough for the Americans to bring more troops to the sector to secure the bridgehead and continue the advance.

For this game we used the A Delaying Action scenario from the Chain of Command rule book.
The defending Americans start their patrol phase in an area roughly along their table short edge while the Germans start their patrol from their own table edge. To win the Germans must capture a US jump off point in the defender's area or drive the Americans off the board. As the Americans are somewhat disoriented they can't select entrenchments, preliminary bombardment or static defences for support.



The Forces

The Germans (Elements of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division) fielded a regular Panzer Grenadier Platoon and picked a 222 armoured car, a 250 halftrack with a recce team and an Adjutant as support.

The Americans (10th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division) fielded a regular Rifle Platoon. Adjusted for platoon ratings the Americans selected a Sherman M4 75mm tank and an extra Bazooka team for support.

We kept our support secret until they were deployed.

The Table




The Deployment


German jump off points in blue.
American jump off points in red, and the objective in white.

The Game


Having failed to take the farm the Americans were now on the alert for a German counter attack. And sure enough, in due time the first Germans re-appeared by the farm. The American soldiers stayed down as the Germans cautiously advanced, first by the wall at the farm and then out in the wheat field.

The first Germans to appear...

...soon followed by others.

The Americans got even lower into their cover as a 250 halftack came clanking down the road, with its MG42 gunner on the lookout for the Americans known to be further down the road somewhere. Keeping the initiative a German squad sprinted across the open ground in front of the farm to a small group of trees next to the road. Knowing that the halftrack ment trouble a US bazooka team in a ditch by the crossroad took aim and fired, only to see its shot go wide. They didn't get a second chance as they both were cut down by murderous fire in return.

A German squad sprints forward...
...as a halftrack enters the scene.

A courageous bazooka team. That failed to hit their mark and paid the price.

With the German infantry by the road now close two squads of American infantry opened fire from the ruins by the crossroad. The Americans were getting the upper hand in the ensuing fire fight but the Germans machine guns also took their toll. The halftrack advanced with its machine gun blazing and was soon joined by a 222 armoured car, coming quickly down the road to even the odds.



Americans open fire from the ruins.






The Germans by the road takes casualties.


The halftrack advance...



...and is joined by the armoured car.


On the other flank a German squad had left the wheat field and advanced unopposed. Their fortune soon changed however as a Sherman tank came up the road to meet them and started shelling them with HE to great effect. It got even worse as the third US squad opened fire on them from the ruins.



With the flanking German unit diving for cover another German squad advanced through the central group of trees. With the Sherman still driving along the road to get into a good firing position and with one US squad further back, the two other American squads took alot of beating. The preasure eased a bit as a second US bazooka team ambushed the armoured car shooting it in the side at close range. Too close as it turned out, as the following explosion killed both men of the bazooka team. A feat worthy of posthumous medals for sure.


Yet more Germans advance.

The Sherman fails to hit the armoured car.


The 222 advance to put preassure on the Americans...

...only to be ambushed and blown up, the explosion killing the bazooka team!

The Americans were now struggeling. Shock mounted quickly and the Platoon Lieutenant running forward across the road to help restore order was too little too late. Realising the Americans were pinned and under severe stress the Germans moved closer for the kill, with machine guns firing at close range. First one US squad broke and then another, making the Americans retreating from the field altogether. The Americans would have to find another way to get out of the bridgehead.  

The Americans get pinned as they become overcome by shock...

..as the Germans move in close for the kill.


The Platoon Lieutenant sprinting to get to the distressed US squad across the road.

Too late. The Americans flees the field.

Conclusion


Another exciting game of Chain of Command. This one too could have gone either way eventhough the Germans were clear winners in the end. For awhile it looked like the two German squads on either flank was in deep trouble but their vehicles bougth them some time and their officers managed to get them back on track. Also, the American tank - competing with the hardpressed squads for those Junior officer initiatives - failed to find a good position after its initial attack and failed to get to full effect before it was all over.

Our two games reflected history as the Americans didn't get the break out they wanted from the Arnaville bridgehead in september. The American rapid general advance across France came to a stop, with Patton's Third Army fighting for the area around the river Moselle and the city of Metz for months to come. We just might revisit those battles some day, with more of the 5th US Infantry Division and the 17th SS Panzergrenadiers.







Thursday, May 30, 2019

AAR: At the Bridgehead of Arnaville 1944 (Game 1)

A Chain of Command Battlereport




Introduction

In September 1944 the Americans had left Normandy behind and raced across France. As the Americans closed in on the fortress city of Metz the Germans tried to fight back and stem the tide. This time at the river Moselle, close to the French village of Arnaville.

In early September the 17th SS Panzer Division ("Götz von Berlichingen") retreated across the Moselle river. The Americans of the 5th Infantry Division ("Red Diamond") were right on their heels however and managed to cross the river Moselle and establish a bridgehead on the other side of the river, threatening to outflank the German positions in the city of Metz.

After the first days of fighting at the bridgehead, the Americans were able to get some support, including armour and tank destroyers, across the river. Our pair of games is based on the situation in mid September with the American starting to expand the bridgehead and the Germans trying to contain them.

The strategic situation with the US 5th Infantry Division
and the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division fighting over
the Moselle river at Arnaville, south of the fortress city Metz..

The US breaking out from the Arnaville bridgehead.
The small red square marking our table on the map.

The Scenario

As the Americans expanded the bridgehead their scouts reported enemy troops by a farmhouse in the line of advance. The Germans had to be driven off from their position for the attack to continue.

For the first game we used the Flank Attack scenario from the Chain of Command rule book.
The defending Germans start their patrol phase in one quarter of the board while the attacking Americans have the opportunity to start their patrol markers in a flanking position. To win the Americans have to drive the Germans off the board while maintaining a Force Morale of at least 3.

The Forces

The Americans (10th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division) fielded a regular Rifle Platoon. Adjusted for platoon ratings the Americans got 11 support points and selected a .50 cal Heavy Machine Gun (5 pts), a Flamethrower (3 pts), a Pre-Game Barrage (2 pts) and a Wire Cutting Team (1 pts).

The Germans (Elements of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division) fielded a regular Panzer Grenadier Platoon and picked a MG42 tripod MMG (4) as support.

We keep our support secret until they were deployed.

The Table

A 6x4' table.

Deployment

US Jump off points in red.
German Jump off points in blue.


The Game

As the pre-game barrage rained down over the Germans the Americans deployed a squad amongst the trees of their central jump off point, with the intention to quickly send a pair of scouts forward.

The Germans, being concerned of not getting any men on the field in time, managed to get a squad through the barrage and deployed by the farmbuilding, effectively shutting down any ideas of US scouts claiming ground. The Germans were clearly going to have to be attacked in full. This became even more evident as the barrage ended early.

The Americans started to build a base of fire over at the ruined buildings, deploying a Heavy machine gun and a rifle squad. The Germans responded by having a tripod MG42 opening up from a farmhouse upstairs window.

The US leading squad moves carefully closer through the trees.

The US fire base.

The German tripod MMG upstairs in the farmhouse.

The German machine guns took a heavy toll on the US fire base, as the US assault squad moved closer out of sight amongst the trees. With casualties mounting the US deployed its Lieutenant by the fire base to keep up the fire and rally shock. The Platoon Sergeant joined the assault squad, together with a flame throwing team.

A flanking US squad appeared which started to put covering fire on the German machine guns to lessen their effect. This triggered yet another German squad to appear. With a third German squad moving upstairs in the farmhouse both platoons were now fully deployed.

The flanking US squad.
More Germans appear.
Both sides took some severe punishment in the continued fire fight. At the hight of the battle the US assault squad moved up to the treeline and the flame thrower fired on one of the two German squads outside the farmhouse to great effect. At the same time the remaining US troops fired on the other German squad outside by the wall, pinning them. This was the critical moment - the US assault squad closed in for the kill with hand to hand combat over the low wall. The German squad was wiped out but many - too many - Americans fell as well. The flame thrower got one more shot off before it was eliminated by the Germans. The victorious US assault squad also found itself very exposed and took fire from the Germans in the farmbuilding. The pressure got too great and the US squad broke, falling back across the field only to be shot down as they run. With that the US Morale got too low to complete the mission and the attack was called off.




The US Heavy machine gun tries to keep the pressure on the Germans.

The US assault goes in, with devastating results for both sides.
Conclusion

A great game! The Americans had a tough job getting at all those German machine guns in good cover. As the barrage ended early the Americans had to build their attack gradually. The right moment appeared eventually but the assault proved too costly also for the exposed attackers so they weren't able to get a foothold in the farm. In the end the German machine guns cost the American Force Morale too much under the build up to the assault so that when the attack finally was launched the US Force Morale was already dangerously low. Good and tense game though! With the American advance blunted the Germans just might do what they very often do: counter attack! More of that in the next AAR: At the Bridgehead of Arnaville 1944 - Game 2!












Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A first time at Salute and the Battle of Danholm 1807 (Part 1)

Salute 2019 - Part 1

Northern Wargaming - in the shape of Andreas, Joakim, Robert and Mattias - all visited Salute (an epic wargaming event, hosted by the South London Warlords) for the first time this year. And what an experience it was! To meet some of our heroes of the wargaming community - like the Perry brothers and Rich of TooFatLardies - was simply fantastic. Also, to have the opportunity to say thank you in person to traders like Empress Miniatures, Warbases and Bad Squiddo Games for putting such great products on the market for us all to buy. :-)

Also, Andreas and Mattias - together with Michael from the Dalauppror blog and many other great guys - put on a display game of the French making a surprise attack on the Swedish held islet of Danholm outside Stralsund, in 1807. Its in Swedish Pomerania, present day Germany, with Prussia and Russia knocked out of the war. With the British leaving to attack Copenhagen Sweden was alone againt the French in northern mainland Europe. The French laid siege to the Swedish fortress city of Strasund. In August the Swedes had to abandon the city itself and move to the islet of Danholm in the Waters outside of Stralsund. The scenario portrays the French surprise landing on Danholm, with the 3rd French light infantry regiment and Sailors of the Guard leading the attack. 


It was a true joint effort with contributors from Sweden, Finland and England. For the game we used the newly released Rebels and Patriots rules written by Michael together with Dan Mersey and published by Osprey Publishing.

Between the two of us our contribution was to paint - and convert - just shy of onehundred French miniatures as a part of the assault force. Chasseurs and Voltiguers of the 3rd Light infantry regiment, Sailors of the Imperial Guard, Sappeurs and Mineurs. We also brought some add on terrain for the table. It was a true pleasure to see it all finally come together on location Saturday morning - a beautifully made table with so many skilled contributors adding trees, buildings, a fort, boats, pontoons, civilians, prisoners, casualties, soldiers, a destroyed bridge, it just goes on... A true testament to what a combined effort can achieve.




















 

Andreas with our heroes.

Mattias summarizing the day.

The Roberth Bothwell Memorial Award for Best Historical Game