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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flames of War projects past, present, and future

The Flames of War forums are down, and I'm bored. This post is for anyone else just grasping at anything to fill the void left in the forums' absence!

Finishing up my last 6 Grants bringing me to 16.
Need to paint some AT Guns for motor infantry to round them out.
1 blister of riflemen so I can run my Motor inf as regular rifles.
Need to buy some desert infantry tanks (Matildas and Valentines here I come!)

Need to paint 5x Panzer II Fs to scout for my panzers
Want to buy and paint another panzerkompanie that is less '43 and more '42
Need to pick up some static AT Guns

I have around 2000 points of unpainted Bersaglieri. I want to order 16x M14/41s as well.

Picking up a Paratrooper box set so I can be ready for Market Garden
Want to throw together an Armored Recon company for the hell of it

Starting a Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier company with Lehr options
Need to finish My Panzer IV H company
Want to start a Stug Company w/ Begleit riders


Desert Brits:
Crusader Light Armoured Squadron
Grant "Heavy" Armoured Squadron
Sherman "Heavy" Armoured Squadron
(Lorried) Motor Infantry
-->most support options represented

Deutches Afrika Korps:
Panzerkompanie (III Ls, III Ns, and IV F2s)
-->most support options represented

Armored Rifles
Infantry (combined with some stands of ARs can also double as Rangers)
-->Most support options represented for mid and late war

Late War Germans:
-->Decent amount of support options

In all I have probably 5,000 points for each of my major factions.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Return to Africa

battlefront has spilled some info about the new North Africa book. North Africa is easily my favorite theater of WWII, so I absolutely cannot WAIT for this. I need to get out the Afrika Korps and 8th army, and paint some more tanks!

In the spirit of my excitement, here are some very old pics from a game my father and I played a few years ago. Pardon the crappy photoshop work.

More desert love after the break!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Glen Burnie Tournament (A Brief AAR)

Despite having been up all night before at the Emergency vet for a dog that ate way too much clumping cat litter (ewww), I had a phenomenal time at the very well run Normandy Invasion tournament in Glen Burnie MD.

Kudos to Shan for yet another very well run event, and to all my opponents who were all stellar guys. We Richmonders love every opportunity to get together with the MD crew. I think it's high time Richmond hosts a tourney!

I ran 2nd Armored Division Armored Rifles.
2x Combat Platoons
Armored Mortars
5x Stuarts
4x Shermans
Priests w/ AOP

My first game was a Road Block vs Pete Torres' grenadiers.
From memory his list was something like:
3x Grenadier Platoons
3x Stugs
3x jagdpanzers
8.8 battery
Limited Stukas

He ambushed my shermans with his stugs. My 2nd platoon on the board were the Stuarts. His ambush completely whiffed and not a single sherman was harmed!
He also deployed his jagdpanzers, 105s, and 8.8s on the board opting to leave all of his infantry in reserve.

Through careful use of my Spearhead move my Stuarts managed to flank his stugs on turn one, and with combined fire from the shermans knocked them out on turn 2.
As the game went on, I was able to dig an AR platoon in on both objectives. My Artillery + Stuarts + Shermans knocked out his Jagdpanzers next, followed by some serious MG death when my Stuarts caught a grenadier platoon that moved at the double.

Pete's planes and artillery had absolutely abysmal luck. I think in all I lost a handful of infantry, 2 Stuarts, and 1 shermans.

As I had lost no platoons, the game was a 6-1.

Second game was another Road Block vs Pete Ellis' Panzers.
His list was:
8 Panzer IVs
1 Tiger IE
2x 7/1 SPAA

Pete chose to ambush my Shermans with 3x Panzer IVs. He also deployed his Panzerwerfers + SPAA.
Again I started with my Shermans and Stuarts on the board. And again my Shermans escaped unscathed! Someone was looking out for those brave tankers!

Pete had a pretty rough time of this game. Heavy Bocage + reserves on a 6 meant I was really able to put insane pressure on him. On turn 1 Stuarts + Shermans + an armored rifle platoon coming on from reserve knocked out his ambushing Panzer IVs.
On turn 1 he rolled for reserves and brought on his Tiger.
Turn 2 saw me bring on the priests + balls to the wall charge towards his positions.
On his turn 2 he assaulted my AR across the bocage with his Tiger. He scored a few kills, but finally I got a bazooka up to him and knocked out the tiger. The consolidation put me very close to both his AA and his panzerwerfers.
At the top of my turn 3 I realized he had forgotten to deploy his HQ + 2iC Panzer IV. Since things were looking very grim for him I said he could deploy them on his turn as if they were in ambush. Unfortunately, he never saw another turn :(
My Armored Rifles assaulted his panzerwerfers and knocked them out (after a surprisingly bloody battle- one panzerwerfer killed like 5 teams). My Stuarts MGd the jebus out of his AA and knocked them out.
So he started his next turn with nothing on the board and we called it.

Pete was an incredibly gracious player, and despite such an abysmal situation he was easy to get along with. I look forward to more games with Pete in the future!

Another 6-1.

At this point I was going into the last round tied for 1st place with Keith Shur.

Me and Keith set to face off on a very bocage heavy board with a very difficult creek running diagonally through it. Keith was running a very well set up Festungkompanie, and as such would be defending against my breakthrough.

keith's festungkompanie (from memory)

3x Grenadier Platoons (Confident vet with MGs)
3x Stugs
10.5cm Artillery
3x Pak40s

2-4 barbed wire sections (can't remember exactly how much he had)
2 minefields
2 tobruk MG bunkers
1 7.5cm AT bunker
1 Tank turret bunker
1 37mm AA bunker

After Keith deployed his entire force in a 4x4 area, with cleverly placed fortifications, I felt sheer terror. My army thrives on mobility, and fortifications + bocage were totally eliminating that advantage.

So I did what I had to do: I deployed both my mortars and Priests across the volga. Then I put my Stuarts and one armored Rifle platoon in my flank attack. So I started the game with only 2 platoons! shermans and Armored Rifles.

My Shermans really didn't do much this whole battle. Mines, bocage, pak 40s, and Stugs abounded and they never really got out of their deployment zone. My original Armored Rifle platoon was likewise little more than a spotter for my mortars, though they did put pressure in one zone of the map.

The real star of this battle? My L4 grasshopper. My priests were able to slow his forces moving towards the objectives through pinning, and soften them up in preparation of the flank attack.

And then the flank attack came on turn 3. An armored rifle platoon rushed on and knocked out a stug and large chunks of grenadiers. On the following turn they weathered whithering return fire from his 10.5s. He tried to assault with some grenadiers, but the AR pinned them and ran them back. Turn 4 saw my Stuarts also arrive. In one fell swoop the Stuarts + Shermans ran his Stug platoon, knocked out a pak 40, and decimated 2 grenadier platoons.
At this point Keith lacked the mobility to contest the objectives and conceded.

Another 6-1. Keith is a great opponent, and I cannot believe how lucky I was with my reserves. I'm also so glad I chose to drop the 3rd Armored Rifle platoon for the priests + AOP. That really won me that game.

In all a very enjoyable tournament. Look forward to seeing all those guys again!
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Omaha Beach

On Saturday, my father and I played out a Hit the Beach Scenario to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. He ran the US 1st Infantry Division, and I commanded the beach defenses.

The US force was comprised of 4 Boat Sections, Engineers, and Mortars from the Big Red One, and 3 Shermans and a Priest Battery from V Corps.

the German list was a 2 platoon company, HMGs and a scout platoon as well as the HQ mortars backed up with a 10.5cm battery from 352nd Infanterie Division. They were supported by another grenadier platoon from 439th Ost Battalion.

Ultimately the battle wound up being a tie. Technically the Germans won 4-3, but I realized later we forgot to do the Preliminary bombardment and that may have seriously made a difference so we decided to call it a tie. The US had cracked the outer defenses of Fortress Europe, but at heavy cost.

Plenty of pictures and a brief breakdown of the battle after the break.

the early turns saw the US making abysmal rolls for landing troops. 3 out of 4 landing craft were delayed in the initial landing, seeing just a single boat section hit the beach.

Finally around turn 6 the wire was breached, but the US company commander had difficulty keeping the troops moving. By the end the US had solidly captured the near objective, but were just too far away from the 2nd.

Overhead view. The objectives are the ad hoc command center in the rear bocage area, and the right-most building.

The beach

P-38s initially did quite well, but their effectiveness quickly tapered off.

The German positions are hammered by artillery and air.

Casualties begin mounting.

View from the German positions

Finally the US are able to mass on the beach, but their bunching leads to numerous casualties from mortar fire, and convincing many of the GIs to keep their heads down rather than advance.

Finally the US are able to make it to the wire.

Shermans from V Corps come ashore and neutralize the German HMGs.

Wave after wave of Americans pour ashore.

the GIs prepare their bangalore torpedoes to gap the wire.

The Shermans continue to pummel the German lines.

In a heartbreaking moment, both boat sections who were preparing to clear the wire are lost, costing the US 2 crucial turns and possibly the entire game.

German positions are continuously hammered by artillery, and shermans.

Finally the mortars are on the beach and unpinned, and drop a smoke barrage on the defenders, clearing the way for the boat sections who have finally cleared a section of wire.

The Shermans claim more kills

Despite having a gap in the wire, the US are still pinned to the beach

The mortars continue laying a blanket of smoke


The 5cm bunkers are unable to do anything to the shermans.

US Forces clamber up the bluff, and prepare to assault.

A US flame thrower floods the German position, forcing the remainder of the platoon to flee.

A massive force of Americans are ready to pour inland, but it may be a day late on dollar short!

The forward most boat section claim the high ground.

At the end of the battle, the US has landed a huge mass of troops on the beach, but many brave men lost their lives.

And in closing, to all those who really did lose their lives on such an epic and noble undertaking: thank you.

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