Thursday, April 6, 2017

Amusette for Staffeldunkel Jagers

The Jager Corps Staffeldunkel of the Margraviate of Carpania has added some additional firepower - an amusette!  Manned by two volunteers from the corps, the amusette should prove useful to the corps as it acts as part of either the advanced guard or the rear guard for the Carpanian field force.

Amusette 2-man crew with Major Staffeldunkel

Rear view of the amusette

Another rear view with Major Staffeldunkel supervising the firing

The amusette is a Fife and Drum Miniatures piece (# AE-006).  I obtained it from Der Alte Fritz some time ago and have just gotten around to painting it.  The crew are in the green uniform of the Staffeldunkel jagers with Britannian light dragoon helmets procured by the major so the team can be more distinctive.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Order of Tandem Limber Horses?

I am almost finished with the limber and horses for the Fife and Drum AE-005 limber but I'm not sure of the order in which the two horses should be placed.  There is no picture in the Fife ad Drum/Minden web store to help.  Should the ridden horse come in front or should it be in back close to the limber?

Ridden horse in front?

Or ridden horse in back close to the limber?
So, what is the wisdom of the "hive mind?"

Many thanks,


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

First Big WW2 Microarmor Battle

Our war gaming group had its first big WW2 micro armor battle using the Blitzkrieg Commander II rules.  It was set in the North African desert somewhen around the Crusader offensive period.  The battle pitted parts of the German 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions against parts of the British 7th Armored Division.  The troops were supplied by Electric Ed and me and the terrain by me.  We played on an 8' x 5' table set up in my garage.

The British Germans [oops!] had the 5th Panzer Regiment Kampfgruppe (21st Panzer Division) and the 8th Panzer Regiment Kampfgruppe (15th Panzer Division), while the British had the 4th Armored Brigade Group and the 7th Armored Brigade (both of 7th Armored Division).  There were three players per side, including me who also served as the game umpire/manager.

In BKC-II terms, the Germans had some 9690 points and the British had some 8605 points, each divided into two battle groups.  The Germans had four panzer battalions, plus reconnaissance, artillery, and anti-tank guns.  The British had six armored regiments, plus reconnaissance, artillery, and anti-tank guns.  Neither side had any infantry.  Almost all of the vehicles are from GHQ's very nice 1:285 scale range of WW2 micro armor.

The scenario was an encounter battle as both sides sought to reduce their opponents strength and break one or both of the enemy battlegroups.

And now on to the action.  (Note:  All photos taken from the British point-of-view.) [Please click on the photos to enlarge them.]

On the left, British 8th Hussars (Crusader I) maneuver against a German panzer battalion.  The clear stones behind the tank stands indicate action taken during the initiative phase.

In the center, British 2-pdr portee anti-tank guns and 7th Hussar Regiment (M3 Honey), supported by two batteries of 25-pdr field guns,  maneuver against German reconnaissance units and a panzer battalion.  Smoke indicates portees that have been destroyed while small blue die indicates a number of hits on a stand.

Close-up of the burning portees with the battalion command group on the round base.

Back on the left (by the way, this was my command) the 8th Hussars began to suffer from the fore of the German panzers.

A close-up of the initial damage to the Hussars Crusaders with one destroyed and three others hit and suppressed.

A view of the British center and right flank.  In the center (from left) are the 7th Hussars (M3 Honey) and the 44th RTR (Valentine) while the 2nd RTR (A13) are just beyond them.  On the far right are the 6th RTR (Crusader I).
A close-up of the 44th RTR (Valentines) as they advance through a rough area.  This didn't affect the tanks movement at all.

Back on the left, the 8th Hussars are taking more hits.  An understrength squadron has turned to face the German recce units that appeared on the regiment's flank.  One of the Crusaders has taken hits from the German recce guns.

On the right, Ed (commander of the 7th Armored Brigade) points out some of his tanks from the 6th RTR that have either been destroyed or damaged.

Another shot of the action without Ed's hand in the way.  You can see that the German fire has been particularly effective on this side of the action.

A close-up of some of the damage suffered by the 6th RTR.

Back on the left, the German recce units are stymied by the 8th Hussars squadron.  One of the German recce units (Pz II from the 5th Panzer Regiment headquarters) has been suppressed by the British fire.
And a close-up of those three Crusaders.
The German tank and anti-tank fire was very effective, knocking out almost all of the 2-pdr portees, most of the British recce, and a significant number of British tanks.  The battle ended after the fourth (of eight planned) turns with a significant German victory.

The British 7th Armored Brigade broke and the 4th Armored Brigade Group was very close to breaking.  On the German side, only the 5th Panzer Regiment Kampfgruppe was very close to breaking while the 8th Panzer Regiment Kampfgruppe was still full of fight.

We enjoyed the rules and the game.  This is definitely a rule set we'll continue to play as Ed and I are still in the process of raising our troops.  Our target is for the Germans to have the 15th Panzer Division and the 5th Light/21st Panzer Division, while the British will have the 4th and 7th Armored Brigades of the 7th Armored Division and the 7th and 11th Indian Brigades of the 4th Indian Infantry Division, reinforced by two armored regiments from the 1st Army Tank Brigade.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

More WW2 North Africa

As I stated in the last post, I do have some additions to my 1:285 scale German and British battle groups.

But first, some additional formations not pictured in the last post:

British 4th Armored Brigade Group command with its headquarters element and two M3 Honey tank platoons

German 5th Panzer Regiment command with its headquarters element and regimental Pz II reconnaissance platoon
Both of the headquarters elements will have more "foot" figures added to the bases.

German panzer battalion motorcycle reconnaissance platoon (one of two in the regiment)

German panzer battalion engineer platoon (one of two in the regiment)

German PaK38 50mm antitank gun, deployed and "limbered"
So far I have two of these sections painted which form part of the 39th Panzerjager Battalion (motorized),
5th Light/21st Panzer Division

And now pictures of the two battle groups.

The British 4th Armored Brigade Group (XXX Corps) was formed particularly for the Operation Crusader in November and December 1941.  I'm basing my main British armored force on this brigade group.  Not all of the formations of the brigade group are pictured, particularly the infantry component, the 2nd Scots Guards.  In addition, the brigade group temporarily includes the 44th Royal Tank Regiment (Valentine infantry tanks) which is actually part of the 1st Army Tank Brigade, XIII Corps, and will eventually be moved to the 11th Indian Brigade, 4th Indian Division, when I raise that brigade.

4th Armored Brigade Group
[front - brigade group headquarters]
[on left - 3rd RTR; center - A Squadron, Kings Dragoon Guards (front) and A and B Batteries, 102nd AT Regiment RHA (rear); right - 8th Hussars]
[rear - 44th Royal Tank Regiment]

The German 5th Light Division/21st Panzer Division was in the midst of reorganizing from its light composition to its panzer composition.  I've taken the deliberate step of "freezing" its organization at the light composition.  Not all of the formations of the division are pictured, only the 5th Panzer Regiment and some supporting divisional reconnaissance, artillery, and antitank elements.

5th Panzer Regiment (reinforced)
[front - regimental headquarters]
[left - 1st Panzer Abteilung (Battalion); center - 605th and 39th Panzerjager Battalions; right - 2nd Panzer Abteilung]
[rear - 1st Battalion, 75th Artillery Regiment]

There will be more added to these battle groups, so stay tuned.

Friday, February 10, 2017

I'm Back with WW2 North Africa

Well, it has been months since I've posted anything.  A combination of a leg injury and a lackadaisical attitude have temporarily stymied my energy to post anything.

But that has changed as my leg is well on the way to recovery and my attitude has been correspondingly adjusted.

Back a number of months ago, three retired friends and I had several Thursday afternoon WW2 armor games using Lord Sterling's miniatures and several sets of rules he wanted to try.  These games pitted Americans and Germans in 1944 Northwest Europe.  They were fun.  Then one of my friends, Electric Ed, and I began to pontificate on how nice it would be to expand into the early North African desert (prior to Alamein).  One thing led to another and we are now building the 15th Panzer Division (Ed) and 5th Light/21st Panzer Division (me) for the Germans and several Commonwealth brigade groups for the British.

I ran a small game this past Thursday to introduce the "Blitzkrieg Commander II" rules.  It worked well I think.  I'll run another one next week and then a larger battle next Saturday for our larger wargaming group.

So far I've organized, painted, and mounted almost the entire 5th Panzer Regiment as well as an armored reconnaissance company, an armored tank destroyer battalion, and an antitank battery for the Germans.  For the British I have three armored regiments (read battalions), a reconnaissance squadron (company), and two understrength RHA antitank batteries.  I'm using the very nicely made GHQ Micro-Armor vehicles and figures.  The British forces will comprise the 4th Armored Brigade Group and the 11th Indian Infantry Brigade.

Some of my British vehicles are pictured below:

Three different British tanks - left is a Crusader I, center is an M3 Honey, and right is a Valentine II

Crusader I of the 8th Hussar Regiment, 4th Armored Brigade Group

M3 Honey of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 4th Armored Brigade Group

Valentine II Infantry Tank of the 44th Royal Tank Regiment, attached to the 11th Indian Infantry Brigade
Marmon-Herrington Armored Car (Boys ATR & MG) of the Kings Dragoon Guards, 4th Armored Brigade Group

Marmon-Herrington Armored Car (Italian 37mm ATG) of the Kings Dragoon Guards, 4th Armored Brigade Group
Daimler Dingo Scout Car of the Kings Dragoon Guards, 4th Armored Brigade Group

2-pdr Antitank gun portee of the 102nd Antitank Regiment, RHA (Northumberland Hussars), 4th Armored Brigade Group
And some of my German vehicles are below:

Command Tank (Panzer I chassis) of the 5th Panzer Regiment

Panzer II F of the 5th Panzer Regiment

Panzer IV F1 of the 5th Panzer Regiment

Panzer III F of the 5th Panzer Regiment
SdKfz 222 Armored Car of the 3rd Panzerausklarungs Abteilung

SdKfz231 (8 rad) Armored Car of the 3rd Panzerausklarungs Abteilung

Panzerjager I of the 605th Panzerjager Battalion

Flak 36, 88mm ATG, with SdKfz 7 of the 1st Battalion, 33rd Flak Regiment
 As you can see from the above pictures, I've added unit identification labels to the back of each stand.  The British labels include the regiment (or battalion) name or number, the squadron/company/battery letter, and a number designating the vehicle within that unit.  The German labels are a take-off of the German regimental identification system.  Since all stands represent a grouping of 3-6 vehicles (platoon or battery) then the label will indicate exactly to what organization the stand belongs.  Two examples are:

British -- 1st Troop, Battery A, 102nd Antitank Regiment

German -- Company Command, 5th Company (2nd Battalion), 5th Panzer Regiment

Maybe tomorrow I can get some panoramic pictures of the two forces so you can see the extent of my newest madness.  More later!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Play Test of "For King and Parliament" Rules

Simon Miller (of BigRedBat's Shop) is working on a "variant" of his "To the Strongest!" ancient/medieval rules to carry them into the 17th Century.  The Jackson Gamers obtained a copy of the first edition play test rules from him and finally were able to play the scenario included with the rules - The Battle of Montgomery in 1644.

We used my 15mm vintage English Civil War armies augmented by a few additional leaders from Lord Sterling's equally vintage forces.

The rules are very similar in structure to Simon's "To the Strongest!" rules but do have  new and interesting close combat sequence.

The scenario pitted a small Royalist force (5 foot regiments, 4 horse regiments, and 1 dragoon regiment, with no artillery) against a smaller Parliamentary force (3 foot regiments and 3 horse regiments, with no artillery, but a reinforcement of two horse regiments on or after turn 2).  This scenario was taken from Bob Giglio's English Civil War Wargaming Scenarios, Volume 2.

I was the game master and my other three Thursday lunch and game buddies played the Parliament and Royalist forces.  We had a good time learning the basic rules and actually playing the game.  Each side had 9 victory medals.  The Parliamentary forces won the game 9 to 0, destroying three Royalist horse regiments and a foot regiment, while loosing none of their own.

Here are a few pictures of the game:

Simon's picture of the scenario set-up.  The battlefield is 12 blocks wide and 8 deep.

During the first turn the Royalists advanced, forcing the left wing Parliamentary horse regiment to fall back (foreground) while attacking the left wing Parliamentary horse with their two first rank horse regiments (background).

The action on the Parliamentary left/Royalist right as both sides horse collide.  The off-board Parliamentary horse represent a foraging command that can't return until starting on Turn 2 and only if a D6 roll is less than the current turn number.

Arriving on Turn 4, the off-board Parliamentary horse crash into the Royalist flank.  Now here I made a mistake and let them charge in from off-board.  That should not have happened so the Parliamentary forces may have gotten a slight advantage.  But the way FKaP (and TtS!) are played, a unit or group of units can activate as many times during a turn as they are able.  Bringing them on properly would probably only delayed them the draw of an additional card.

With one Royalist foot and two horse regiments already destroyed, the final nail was put into the Royalist coffin when the red-coated Parliamentary horse unit attacked the already disordered "Polish crimson" Royalist horse to their front, giving them a second disorder and destroying them.
We'll try to do another play test, maybe next Thursday, before Simon comes out with his second edition of the play test rules.  Stay tuned!

Return to the Green Nile - Play Test

On Saturday, Sep. 17, I ran a play test of my scenario for November's Colonial Barracks.  This is a convention held in the New Orleans area that only uses rules written by Larry Brom or derived from those rules.  This year's theme is The Queen's Wars, 1837-1901.  My scenario falls about 1895.  It uses the 20th edition of "The Sword and the Flame" rules.  Infantry are organized into 20 figure units, cavalry into 12 figure units, and guns with 4 figure crews.

In 2001 and 2002, we played a five game quasi-campaign that started off with an Imperial advance up the Green Nile branch of the Nile River.  This game posits that an Egyptian/Sudanese force was sent east towards the Red Sea to occupy a strategic oasis.  They were almost immediately besieged by the Emir Tubeir and a motley force of Dervishes, Beja, Tuaregs, Arabs, and others (basically almost all of the painted native troops I have).  An Anglo-Indian relief column under Leftenant Colonel Manly-Jones has been sent to relieve the garrison and destroy the Emir's forces.

The Egyptian/Sudanese garrison of the oasis had one Egyptian infantry platoon, one Sudanese platoon, one Egyptian gun, an infantry company commander and senior sergeant, and a senior Egyptian commander (who was killed almost as soon as the attacks started).

The Emir's forces had 12 infantry units, 4 horse units, 2 camel units, and 2 guns, organized into four individual commands and a reserve.  Each command had a senior leader plus there was a figurer for the Emir.

The Imperial relief column had two Highland infantry platoons with a company commander and senior sergeant, two Punjabi (Indian) infantry platoons with a company commander and senior sergeant, a Bengal lancer cavalry troop, an Indian mountain battery with 3 guns, and a 2 gun Royal Navy Gatling gun detachment, plus a command figure (plus 2 man escort) for Lt Col Manly-Jones.

Now on to the action!

The battlefield showing the oasis being besieged by the forces of Emir Tubeir - Arabs, Tuaregs, Beja,
Dervishes, and others.

A close-up of the Tuareg camelry. Although impressive they didn't do much damage to the Imperials during the battle.

A close-up of the Arab command's cavalry also showing where some of the native force was hidden and the Imperial entry area.
Initial advance of Indian command gets hit by previously hidden Baluchi and Sudanese forces while the Arab cavalry watches for an opportunity to charge.

The Dervish command lines up to attack the Sudanese and Egyptian defenders who were protected by a thorn zariba. The Dervish commander on the far left was quickly picked off by a lucky Egyptian shot (an Ace was drawn and he was in the fire cone.).

The Arab command's infantry line up to attack the oasis. They are to the right of the Dervish in the preceding picture. The one Egyptian gun can barely be seen on the far right curve of the oasis.

Initial Arab, Tuareg, and Dervish attacks on the oasis tried to overwhelm the garrison before the Imperial relief column could reach them. But the plucky Sudanese and Egyptians were able to hold them off.

Another picture of the Dervish and Arab attackers closing the zariba.

A little further around to the left another Dervish unit closes the zariba.

The Indian command moves further forward but exposes its guns to attacking Sudanese infantry while an Indian platoon beats off the Baluchis with rifle fire. In the background the Arab cavalry and Bengal lancers tangle while one of the Highlander platoons awaits to pour fire into the Tuareg camelry.

Another shot of the native force attacks on the Indians. The Sudanese were able to kill most of the Indian gunners and capture two guns, but later the Indian infantry forced them off with rifle fire and recaptured the guns.

Here is a picture of the victorious Sudanese capering around the newly captured guns. The Bengal lancers and one of the Arab cavalry units fight in the foreground but for some reason the other Arab cavalry unit (green coats) never joined the melee.

Another view of the cavalry battle showing the reserve Tuareg cavalry and the location of the Royal Navy Gatling guns. While one gun initially jammed, both were able to shoot up the Tuareg camelry and cavalry.

The two Dervish guns, captured Egyptian Krupp pieces. The left gun was singularly mismanaged during the attack and kept trying to load the shells backwards (through a 6 meaning they couldn't fire). Eventually both were able to fire at the oasis but didn't do too much damage.

Dervish riflemen reveal themselves by firing at the Egyptian defenders while the Dervish and Arab attacks continue.

A final shot of the attack on the zariba. Finally one of the Dervish units was able to fight its way inside. In the background are the two Beja infantry units finally joining the assault.
So, how did the fight end? Well we judged that although the native force infantry would have been able to take the oasis, the Imperial relief column was just too strong to be defeated by what native forces were left.