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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Italian Compagnia Carri vs US Rifles in Encounter


Tonight Joe and Jaime battled it out at Sidhi Bou Zid. I didn't take too many pictures, but here's what I did get.

Tonight, Jaime commanded an Italian Compagnia Carri. Joe ran US Rifles. The battle they rolled for was Encounter.

Type your summary here

5x M14 (CT)
5x M14 (CV)
5x M14 (CT)
Bersaglieri (CV)
AB41 Armored Cars (CV)
Semovente 75s

HQ + 2 bazookas
Weapons Platoon
4x M10 Battery
Full Combat Engineers w/ Sherman Dozer
105mm Battery
5x M5 Stuarts

Captain Joe.

Capitano Torres

The board. Torres started with his armored cars, bersaglieri, and one platoon of tanks. Joe started with his 105s, a platoon of rifles, and his Stuarts.

Armored cars roll out.

And immediately open up on Joe's infantry!

Joe's 105s range in on the Italians, knocking 2 cars out.

Stuarts move up to make some M14s think twice about their flanking move.

The AB41s continue the advance!

Their MGs spell doom to the Us infantry!

An elefentino AT gun knocks out a Stuart at range!

Stuarts reposition to knock out the armored cars. The platoon leader heads for the hills!

But Joe accidentally left his flank unprotected! Jaime contests the objective early!

Joe just barely remounts a bailed out Stuart and is able to contest the objective- with no reserves arriving, failing to remount would've cost Joe the game!

Jaime's M14s are out for blood!

105s range in on the carri, bailing one.

Spaghetti loads of Italian reserves arrive! M14s on one flank…

And on the other!

An elefentino knocks out a US rifle team at long range putting them below half strength!

While the freshly arrived M14s knock out another Stuart, putting them below half!

Joe then proceeds to fail his infantry platoon's morale check, and attaches his company commander who runs off with them! To make matters worse, Joe then fails his Stuart's motivation. With just the 105s on the board, and no Commander, Joe's company breaks giving the Italians a 5-2.

Joe had abysmal rolls for motivation AND reserves. 6 dice for reserves in total, with nothing arriving. 3 failed morale rolls in a row- a single one passed would've kept him in the game.

In 6 games, the Axis have really pulled ahead, stalling the allied advance!

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

15mm DAK Panzer IV Painting Tutorial + Gallery

I'm adding an early/mid war panzerkompanie to my DAK, and decided to start with some IV F1s. I also decided to document my process, and maybe help someone somewhere out with this tutorial.

The goal of these tanks is to get them done very quickly- I spent very little time on these guys but they look great on the tabletop!

So, off we go! Read on to see my tutorial!

The tools of the trade:
Various sizes of paint brush, Xacto knife, clippers, and an "artist pen". I use Faber Castell S, black. All paints mentioned are made by Vallejo.

Step one is, of course, make sure you have all the parts! Now it's time to clean them up. Using the Xacto and the clippers get rid of all the flash

Next, I spraycoat them. I just use cheap 99c Wal-Mart flat black spray paint and it's worked fine for me for 5+ years. Note I also went ahead and glued parts to the turret, but I did not glue the tracks to the chassis. I find they are too hard to work with when attached, and prefer to glue them together later.

Now I slap on the paint! It's okay to be haphazard, just cover the whole darn model. For my DAK equipment I use IRAQUI SAND.

After the base coat.

Now it's time to do the tracks. First, I just drybrush the road wheels and running gear as they're way too annoying to try to paint individually.

I do this for all of the tracks.

Then I go in with my small brush and hit the suspension. Note that I have left "black lines"- for the rest of the tank I do this with the artist pen, but for the tracks it's easy to just get in a groove and just do it by not painting the "seams".

Once the inner stuff is done, go to town on the rest of the tracks. Make sure to paint the "visible" areas of the backside of the tracks! After that's done, I drybrush GUNMETAL GREY on the treads.

Now that the tracks have been knocked out, it's time to put the tanks together. Hey look, we are starting to have a tank platoon!

Now comes the most tedious but (in my painting philosophy) the most important part: black lining. With the tip of the artist pen, I just cover all of the "seams" on the tank. Anything where two panels meet at an angle, or where there is a deliberate indention gets black lined.

End result of black lining. It really is not as much work as it looks.

Now that that's done, it's time to apply decals! I couldn't get my hands on any DAK decals so I just did some white turret numbers and iron crosses. Prior to putting on the decals, I painted the area GERMAN GREY to simulate the crews painting around the markings as they did early in Africa.

Weathering is up next. We're almost done now! See how easy this has been? I liberally drybrush the whole model with DARK SAND which both highlights and weathers these desert colors.

Now it's time to pick out the details- go back with black paint and hit all of the tools. I also dryrbush all the guns with a little black at the tip at this stage. This is pretty ahistorical since barrels never really looked all that dirty, but I've always liked the look so I take some artistic license :)

I then paint the tool handles FLAT EARTH and the heads and Co-Ax MG GUNMETAL GREY.

All that remains is the platoon commander. I chose to do him in infantry uniform using RUSSIAN GREEN. The color is just FLESH, his hat is IRAQUI SAND, and the radio is GUNMETAL GREEN.

The next step is to go kick some Tommie ass.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

8th Army Sherman IIIs knocked off the to do list!

This finishes my Sherman Squadron (at 11 tanks, 3 squadrons of 3, HQ, and 2iC)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bersaglieri vs Heavy Armour in Encounter

Sean and I have an ongoing grudge match between the British and the Italians. When last we battled, he came out on top with the Motor Infantry vs my Bersaglieri. This time we rolled randomly to see what lists we'd use and in what mission. We came up with BERSAGLIERI VS HEAVY ARMOUR IN ENCOUNTER.

Read on for more!

2x Full Strength Bersaglieri Companies
(sans SOlothurns, but with Passaglia bombs)
5x M14/41s
Full Semovente 75 Platone
75mm Cannon Battery
2x Lancia 90mm Heavy AA Trucks

HQ (2x Grant I)
3 Troops of 3 Grant I each
2 Crusader Troops of
2x Crusader III and 1 Crusader II ea
Scout Troop w/ .50 cals
Full Motor Infantry Platoon
Sporadic Hurricane IID

Sean rolled as the attacker.

Brushing up on my tactics to lead the glorious armies of Rome to victory.

THE SETUP: Sean started with a platoon of Grants, Crusaders, and his Scouts on the board. I started with my cannons (confident veteran), my Lancias (Confident Veteran), and my Bersaglieri (Confident Trained).

My objectives are in the bottom center, and on the right by the buildings. His are in the top center and the top right, both near the ridges.

Romulus deploys with a long view down the road on an objective.

The cannons cover the central objective.

An elefentino watches the horizon.

The Italian line.

Grants and the CiC cover the British left objective.

Crusaders and the 2iC cover the central objective.

The scouts make an aggressive recon move.

The Italians don't do much besides dig in and wait.

The Cannons prepare for the onslaught.

The Grants skirt the table edge, avoiding the Lancias.

Crusaders and scouts push forward.

2 Hurricane IIDs come screaming in over the battlefield, cannons blazing!

The scouts continue racing forward, now deep into Italian territory.

The Lancias shoot down both Hurricanes with ease.

British tanks nose their way into range of the Italian Cannons.

The Scouts make a wide flanking move and approach the Italian board edge.

The British 2iC opens fire on the cannons, and knocks one out!

The cannons fire on the Crusader troop, knocking out 1 Crusader III.

And immediately follow up by knocking out the 2iC.

The Italian flank

Three Hurricane IIDs swoop in! The Lancias can't shoot them all down!

Another cannon is knocked out by long range fire from a Grant Troop fresh from reserve!

COlumn, Advance!

Despite 2 Hurricanes being shot down, the last one presses home the attack and knocks out a Lancia!

The board.

The Germans send their Dachshund division, but she has no will to fight today.

6 Grants bear down on the weak Italian flank.

And a 3rd cannon is knocked out!

The battery is down to just one gun, but they valiantly man the gun in the face of heavy fire!

Finally Italian reserves arrive! The Semovente (Confident Trained) come racing on, but their shots are wild and they

only bail one Grant.

On the other flank Bersaglieri (Confident Trained) pour in from reserve and are immediately hounded by a single Hurricane.

Grants and scouts surround the Semoventes. .50 bullets pepper the Italian armor as 75mm and 37mm shells explode everywhere!

The Bersaglieri weather the storm fairly well, taking only moderate casualties.

One Semovente is knocked out, and one is bailed.

When suddenly the M14s come racing on!

The lone cannon bravely faces the Grants. They exchange shots for several turns!

The Bersaglieri advance!

The other Bersaglieri move out to contest the central objective in the face of overwhelming firepower being

concentrated on the cannons.

The Grants are knocked out!

British reserves arrive and prepare to dig in on the objective.

The ridge separates the advancing Bersaglieri and the freshly arrived Motor Infantry.

The left flank is a furball!

The British CiC peeks out and MGs an elefentino gun.

Crusaders and Grants finish off the Semovente.

The brave Italian artillery crew continue exchanging shots with the Grants!

The light elefentino guns get lucky and pop the British C/O!

Finally the last cannon is gunned down. Inspired by the crew's bravery, the platoon leader and staff team stick

around, vowing to hold the objective till the last.

Things are looking grim for the M14s!

The british pick apart the M14s. The remaining tanks promptly fail morale and flee.

In the same instant, 2 Hurricanes swoop in and destroy the last Lancia!

The Italians are now down the Semovente, the M14s, and the Lancias. The cannon platone is mission killed, but 2 teams hang in there. One more platoon and it's company break check time for the Italians! The British are down a platoon of Grants and the Scouts, but have no C/O.

The Italians move up and set up their gun teams to cover the British. The British elect to dig in.

Grants advance on the objective, but are peppered by fire from 2 elefentinos, bailing all 3 tanks!

HMG, elefentino, and rifle fire pin down the British defenders!

British tanks are on top of the objective!

The Bersaglieri move out, preparing to assault the lone British tank!

The Italians move up and prepare to assault! It's all or nothing for the Italians now!

Concentrated fire from the Elefentinos knock out the Grant platoon!

AVANTI!! The British score 4 hits in defensive fire, not enough to stop the legion!

The British miss EVERY SINGLE skill check in the counter attack (6), and the Italians punish them for it. At the end

of the assault the Italians are left well above half strength, but the British are down to 2 stands.

With 2 platoons of Grants, and the Scouts dead, losing this Motor platoon will put the company below half strength, with no C/O!

And with that the British break! 4-3 for the Italians.

WOW! Another really really close game. My Italians were hammered! I had some pretty crappy "8 Million Bayonets" rolls, but that's no excuse. I have to give it to Sean, he displayed the superior tactics. He loaded up on my weak flank, and was rolling me up. I spent the game trying to stop that advance. I wound up winning by sheer luck as my "hail mary" move of charging with the Bersaglieri had a slim chance of succeeding. I love when FOW games come down to the wire like this!

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