10 April 2024

Norwegians for Chain of Command


As most of you know, I am really quite interested in the central and Eastern European theatres in WWII. I also like winter wargaming. The Lard Magazine put out a Narvik campaign in the 2023 annual and since that I have been tempted to paint up some Norwegians. Actually, I have been tempted to paint up some Norwegians for a much longer time that that as there is also the Road to Dombas campaign in one of the terrain books put out by Pat at the Silver Whistle. My friend Graham had recently put in some orders to EWM and added a pack of Norwegian infantry for me. I have been quite good recently, in respect to my lead pile, and had no unpainted primed figures sitting around. I cleaned up the figures, primed them black and then slap chopped them with white.

There was a bit of a challenge to discover a painting guide for them but I have found when you cannot find something check the Flames of War site and you will find it. I also got some very useful help from a Norwegian CoC player Olve Kroknes who had written the Narvik campaign for Lard Magazine. 

In photos are prints the Norwegian Infantry uniform looks greenish but most written descriptions describe a grey-blueish tinge to the cloth. Olve suggested a blue wash, and I was quite pleased on how this worked out. I initially did the wash after the first uniform colour application and then dry brushed it but I found that the blue wash should be the final step. Once I got this down it ended up being a pretty simple paint scheme as follows:
  • Slapchop
  • VMC German Field Grey-Uniform
  • VMC Flat Earth-Leather
  • VMC Khaki-Canvas Bags
  • VMC Green Grey-Anklets
  • VMC Black-Boots
  • Followed by highlights of the same slightly lightened with VMC Stone Grey or Khaki
  • Washed with Citadel Drakenhof Nightshade
  • If overcoats you can do them VMC Dark Prussian Blue
  • If there are anoraks you can do them VMC Green Grey
In respect to the EWM figures, they were Ok. I am not overly fond of their sculpts but they have improved over the Chasseur Ardenais figures I got from them some years ago. The poses were good and varied in the pack and all the necessary weapons were available for a basic platoon, I also have to be cognisant that EWM does do a great job of putting out figures for minor nations in WWII which no one else does.

Some confusion also about Norwegian platoon structure, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I would go with the following structure. Always happy to be corrected, as I do appreciate that this is not the alternate platoon structure described in the Narvik campaign.


Platoon Structure

Platoon HQ: 2 SL (Captain and Lieutenant) with Pistols + JL (Platoon Sergeant) with a rifle
Sections x 4:  9 men (1 Corporal with a rifle, a 6 man rifle team and a 2 man LMG team with a Madsen m/22 LMG)

Alternate Structure

Platoon HQ: 2 SL (Captain and Sergeant) with Pistol and Rifle Respectively
Sections x 4:  8 men (1 Corporal with a rifle, a 4 man rifle team and a 3 man LMG team with a Madsen m/22 LMG)






I have decided to try to do a better job on terraining. The biggest challenge is to decide to go with "Full Winter" as I have done with the Finns or "Snow on the Ground" as I have done above. I have decided to go with the latter for my Soviets as they have all just been rebased but not yet terrained.

04 April 2024

Serafimovich- A New Chain of Command Campaign



A week ago, I got together with Dan at the Abyss for the start of a new Eastern Europe campaign. Dan has been a gamer for years, but I only started to game with him a few months ago. After a game of CoC, he put together what I believe is his first 20mm WWII platoon...and he picked a somewhat unusual force from the Armata Italiana in Russia. He decided to have both a standard infantry platoon as well as a motorcycle platoon. He has subsequently added lots of supports and is now adding a German supporting force. After a bit of searching around with the help of my friend Eero in Finland we found a suitable campaign: Battle of the Sunflowers, Serafimovich 1942.  The battle is part of Fall Blau, the German summer offensive in Russia in 1942 and focuses specifically on the attempt to take the Serafimovich bridgehead by the Italian Celeri division with their supporting German regiments. This campaign was put out by the Dunfermline Wargames Club, I have played 2 of their pacific campaigns and they do a very nice job.


Battle of the Sunflowers July 30, 1942

Italian Attackers- 3rd Bersaglieri (FM 8)

Bersaglieri Motociclisti Platone #1 (Superior Regulars FR -1)
1 Senior Leader
4 Squadras of 8 men, lead by a JL with 3 MC and 2 teams (3 man Breda LMG, 4 man Rifle)

Supports 7
Brixia 45mm Mortar Team
Car
Cannone da 47/32 Team with JL


Soviet Defenders-154th Rifle Division (FM 10)

Platoon #1 (Regulars FR 0)
1 Senior Leader
4 sections of 11 men, lead by a JL  (no teams, LMG with 3 crew and 7 rifles)

Supports 3
M1937 45mm ATG


The Game

The game was scenario 2 from the main rulebook, The Probe with victory conditions as written.
Patrol Phase
Russian JOPs
Italian JOPs if you look carefully
This was my second game of the day so maybe a little tired so only one photo taken during the game. Dan came on pretty quickly mostly on his left flank with a car towed IG on his right flank with a Mortar team. I set up in defence my ATG with a section in the top right of above photo in the forest. You cannot see another Soviet section but they were deployed in the my centre on the far right of the photo behind a stone fence looking to the northwest. I initially put the section in the centre of the photo on the other side of the fence but had to jump over as Dan was moving an Italian squad to the south along the wall. I placed my final squad in the farm compound but they were only in soft cover as this fence was wooden. I actually took a lot of attrition and I remember Dan having quite a few double phases. But eventually hard cover favoured the day and I was able to drop the Italian FM down to a point where they withdrew. This was Dan's first campaign game and maybe only his 3-4th CoC game, he was quite a challenging opponent so the campaign should be quite interesting.

Dan however added a few phots which illustrate some of the positions.




The Butcher's Bill

Italian Platoon #1 (FM4-2 dead, 1 missing next game)
4 figures lost
CO -1
MO -2
Outlook Happy


Soviet Platoon #1  (FM6-1 dead, 2 missing next game)
3 figures lost
CO +1
MO +1
Outlook Relaxed

Well that is the last report I will have to post after this round of games. I will not be in Montreal for at least a couple of weeks but we will have a lot of games planned.

02 April 2024

Caesar's Camp-Chateau on the Hill


 

Last Wednesday, myself and Graham got together for our 6th turn in our Caesar's Camp campaign. This was the penultimate turn in our 6 table campaign. It was somewhat of an important table as it was going to decide whether the Germans can gain a minor victory. They will still have a chance on table 6 if they can hold it but it will make things difficult. As Graham had no loses in the first game in the campaign he used that platoon for this game. I also brought in a fresh platoon. This scenario was played as the Attack and Defend scenario from the main book.

 German Defenders-217th Infanterie Regiment (FM8)


2nd Wave Infantry Platoon #1
Senior Leaders
3 squads of 10 men, lead by a JL's, one squad with a MG08/15

Supports 12
3 barbed wire
1 minefield
Extra squad


Scottish Attackers-The Cameron Highlanders (FM10)

British EW Infantry Platoon (A Company)
2 Senior Leaders
2" Mortar Team
3 sections of 11 men, lead by Junior Leaders

Supports 18
FO
MMG team
2" Mortar
Extra section
sniper
MO


The Game
I felt Graham got the better of me in the Patrol Phase
As you can see the Germans laid out 3 sets of barbwire anchored by a minefield. Graham was cautious in deployment and I had 2 sections, a MMG team and a 2" mortar on the table in the first couple of phases.
And most importantly the FO
The FO calls up the mortar and requests an aiming shot, followed by the mortars in a 12" square. I wanted to block LOS from the house so I could advance the section on my left flank towards the house. The action got quite heated here so as usual I forgot to take photos. The Germans then got an amazing number of double phases as well as quite a few CoC pips. The section on my left flank got chopped up by a German squad that was deployed behind the hedge on the German right flank. Graham ended the turn to remove the smoke up I was able to keep the mortars going. More German double phases and with these Graham deployed 3 squads on his left flank, ended the turn yet again. I only had 5 pips so was stuck....... 
As you can see my 3 section in the middle were getting pounded and my FM was dropping rapidly. It looked like I had lost the game as I would have to withdraw. I decided to throw my CD one more time. I got a 1, so I called up the mortar a second time and was successful. I got pounded yet again by the Germans, but no double phase for them. I rolled the CD again, another 1 (SL can not activate an FO with a telephone connection, he has to do it himself)......
......I carefully decided where I should place the mortar, I new an aiming shot would be prudent but my centre was about to break, I through caution out and decided to call for HE, I rolled a 9! I caught 3 German squads in the barrage.
and this was the result over the next couple of phases, the Germans were shattered, their FM dropped to 4, and they withdrew from the chateau.


Well that was a very close run thing. I thought I was done for, on to the last game in what has been an up and down campaign.

The Butcher's Bill

Germans Platoon #1 (FM4-6 dead, 3 missing next game)
12 figures lost
CO -2
MO -7 (-1FM)
Outlook Methodical-Now Dangerous


The Camerons Platoon #1/A Company (FM6-4 dead, 2 missing next game)
8 figures lost
CO +1
MO-3 (-1FM)
Outlook Concerned



01 April 2024

Pillage-A New Dark Ages Skirmish Game

Last Monday evening, myself and PY had a game of Pillage. This is a relatively new ruleset from France that PY had told me about some time ago. The game is set in the Middle Ages and is set at the skirmish level. The game is published in French although I thought I saw somewhere that there was a pdf available in English, I could not find it. PY sent me the QRS with which I good get a good sense of the game play with my rudimentary French.

PY had set up a beautiful table, which was defended against some invading Vikings by the indigenous Bretons. I felt it only historically accurate that I was the attacker. We played the Pillage scenario where I had to collect loot worth 10 points in 10 turns.
The Table, I was attacking from the foreground
The Bretons started with some troops in the village 
The Vikings advanced up the centre as well as on the right and left but there main attack was on the right with a planned move to the centre
Moving back to the centre
Massive combats! we totalled up the points and PY and his Bretons had defended their village!

I had a lot of fun with this game, I believe we made a few errors especially with the multiple combats but the game was quite quick and I believe we finished in a couple of hours. It was nice to play a Dark/Middle Age game that was not competitive, I have recently found that SAGA which I had enjoyed playing was becoming less and less fun because of this. I would enjoy playing it again.

For those interested here is the main website for Pillage and it's Facebook page. 

31 March 2024

Dracula's America The Spawning Pools

 

Last Sunday we got together at Luis's to play the second game in our Dracula's America Forbidden Powers campaign. In our first game Swamp Ambush, I won but Luis really did well in the post game which is quite an important aspect of the campaign. I went with the same posse as the first game without adding any Nephilim or Guns for Hire but Luis stocked his up with some new Cultists.
In this game there were Deep Ones spawning at 5 areas in the swamp, all classed as veterans. Victory points were achieved by killing Deep Ones and Destroying their spawning pools. As is usual Luis set out a terrific table. 

Well unlike our last game I got slaughtered losing half my posse in the first 3-4 turns including my boss. Unlike the last game though I did quite well in the post game process recovering all my posse and ending up with just one extra wound. Luis played quite a good game and here is his posse for the next game already set. As you can see he has 3 veterans now which will give him a distinct advantage.
I have yet to select any new items or posse members for our next game but here is where I stand after this game.

Wish me luck in the next game, I will need it but I have lots of money to spend!


30 March 2024

GdA-Albuera Day 2

Myself and Graham got together last Saturday to finish off our first go at GdA2. I have played maybe a dozen games of GdA in the past but have never actually went the full number of turns as recommended by the scenario. As previously noted, we decided to play the Albuera scenario from the GdA2 rulebook. We had put in a little over 2 hours and left the figures on the table.

So it was with some anticipation, we continued our game. We had 11 turns to go, you will remember that I was playing the French and Graham the Anglo-Spanish.

Game Progression

 

Unit Photos
Casualty Markers


This was a well played game and Graham was able to hold off the French and thus be victorious! This session which took about 5 hours really cemented my opinion that this is a brilliant set of rules. We were slowed down a few times in the game to check things in the rulebook as we had several multiple charges and combats in this session but I was really pleased to actually finish a game. I am quite confident that I could get most 16 turn games done now in 4-5 hours and with more experience probably to 3-4 hours. By the end of the game we were quite used to the QRS and could find things rapidly.