Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Year in Review

It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to read the tea leaves of my blog posting frequency to see that my FOW time during the last quarter of 2009 has been sporadic at best. Juggling work and family and FOW is proving to be a challenge.

Still, my first year of playing FOW I can call a success. I did play games, learn the rules, and most importantly meet great people and enthusiasts. The Realm group plays on Wednesdays and Brookhurst Hobbies started a FOW game day on Sundays. Finally, the Knights of Columbus Hobby Day on the 2nd Saturday of the month brings all hobbyists together. There are plenty of opportunities then to play FOW.

Eastern Front will hit the shelves next month. The Battlefront Board is up to 13 pages of sneak peaks and previews. It looks like the Russians are getting a major boost. It remains to be seen if the T-34 will become viable, versus the T-70 hordes with KV-1 and KV-2.

An Italy book will arrive in the summer. Meh.

Early War kicks off in July. I'd like to get an early start (no pun intended) on a Barbarossa panzerkompanie. I hope the models scheduled for release with EW France will be workable with EW Russia (due out in 2011 or 2012).

For 2010, I hereby resolve to the following:

1) Do at least 1 FOW-related activity a month
2) Complete MW Panzer, LW Jagdpanther and LW Lend Lease Tankovy
3) Start and complete at least one army before the end of the year
4) Have fun

I hope everyone out there had a Merry Christmas and I wish all a Happy New Year and a great 2010!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tumbleweeds dancing across the blog


It's been almost two months since the last post.

Last month, GeekEGuy was very busy completing the tanks for the 654th Jagdpanther Kompanie.

Two platoons of Jagdkitties.

HQ Jagdkitty

The Warrior Noak and his Panther ready to help out


I have two platoons of grenadiers and a mortar platoon. All I need to do is glue them to bases and coat them flat black. I have no plans of painting the figures beyond the base coat until much much later.

RJM has completed the PzIV's and PzIII's of 11th panzer. In fact, he shipped them last September. I'll be posting pictures for the next update. I am waiting on the Pioneer platoon and 8-rads. I was planning on doing a 600-point game with 11th panzer, but the St. Crispin's Irregulars went with a North Africa themed escalation tournament. So much for those plans.

Lend Lease Tankovy is waiting on its IL-2's and Spetsnaz platoon to be completed. I still need to weather and decal 6 Shermans and 3 ISU-122s.

October's painting time was almost nil, sad to say. I hope to find the time in November to at least complete the Shermans and ISU-122s.

Battlefront is unveiling a new project next issue of WI.

The new Ostfront book is coming out in December! Hurray!! In a couple of weeks, Battlefront will update its website with a Sneak Peak - I hope.

All for now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A week of FOW near misses

I had high hopes for FOW this week. Part of my new army had arrived (pics pending) and I wanted to test them out in a small 600-pt game. I had received news the LGS was doing an escalation tourney on Weds, so I was all jazzed to start. Well, it was painting night and with the Labor Day holiday, the other two tables we used for FOW was used instead to hold all the boxes from delayed shipments. Plus I found out the escalation tourney is to be North Africa themed! D'oh! My new force is for Ostfront and I don't have time to build one. On the plus side, I spent 1 1/2 hours talking with the guys talking about North Africa and our armies. The one table in use didn't look like it was going to clear up anytime soon, so I called it a night.

This Saturday was the monthly FOW gathering at the KOC hall. I arrived in the middle of the afternoon and only one FOW table was going. I sat and watched, enjoyed the convo and trading barbs with the players. The game lasted longer than anyone thought. I took the opportunity to meet other people, but couldn't find anyone who had MW forces to play a 600-pt game. Plus two of the tank riders fell off and will need to be glued back onto the tanks. Grrrr....

The KOC hall was very active with other games such as BattleTech, Crimson Skies and AD&D. There was even a raffle of prizes donated by a LGS. Good stuff! Didn't win anything. D'oh!

I think that concludes FOW gaming for Sept. She Who Must Be Obeyed is very tolerant of my tank hobby, but the Honey Do List can only be set aside so many times during the month. A LW tourney is upcoming in late October, I think I'll start focusing on finishing the Lend Lease Tankovy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lend Lease Tankovy Platoon Leaders

GeekEGuy has finished the two platoon leaders. At least now the Tankovy has decent looking tanks with Nevsky and the two platoon leaders that will make up for my paint jobs on the other Shermans.





Sunday, September 6, 2009

StuG's for the 654th

GeekyGuy has done it again!!

Check out the StuG's he painted up for my 654th Jagdpanther army list.



Today ends the Army Painter spray can experiment. I've sprayed the 6 Shermans several times now, still getting powdery paint that easily rubs off. In comparison, I built and black primered (Krylon flat black from a hardware store) 3 x ISU-122's (Old Glory), 3 x Spetsnaz SMG teams, 1 x Pz-IVF-2 and a SdKfz 251/1. The Kryon black sprayed evenly and without an issue. I still plan to use the Dip to shade and protect the paint.

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's really, really hot!

Alright, August has come and is just about gone. The heat has ranged from hot to damn hot! Fires are burning in the hills, smoke hanging in the air and you can't breathe without coughing. Why do I say all this? I'm looking for excuses for not doing very much painting the past week and a half. The heat (100+) did exceed the tolerance levels of the paint can, so I couldn't paint this past weekend.

I do have the 6 Shermans base coated. I think I am done with Army Painter, at least its base coat. It took almost an entire can of green base coat to cover up the Shermans. Plus, even after vigorous shaking, I saw small spots spit out of the nozzle to land on the vehicles. :o(

The ISU-122's I bought from warweb arrived late last week. I also did a LGS run and purchased Spetsnaz and an 251/1c for them, along with 81mm mortars for the 654th list.

GeekEGuy is busily painting away. He's uploaded WiP shots on his blog. Check them out!!

Maus Haus II is coming up in October. It's a one day tournament with 3 battles. I am thinking of signing up, but I'd be very nervous since I haven't played many games and certainly not with an entire 1,750pt Lend Lease force. I still have time to decide and get the Lend Lease unit ready should I decide to go for it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dog Days of August

It's 76% humidity today. Definitely stay inside weather, especially for California? Where did the humidity come from? There's been no rain, not a drop of it, on California in eight months.

On the plus side, 6 M4A2 Command Decision Shermans arrive to complement the 3rd Guards Mechanised Corps army I am building and acquiring. I've also ordered 3 ISU-122's. I didn't think to order them at the same time and now get the pleasure of paying $8 shipping cost...twice!

GeekyGuy is on the painting warpath again! Huzzah! He's going to paint the company leaders for the two M4A2 Emcha companies.

Oh and we've both caught the 654th Jagdpanther Company bug! Jagdpanther heaven! Woot! He will paint up 5 Jagdpanthers of the Second Company; he will either take the First or the Third Company. I am also taking the Noak Warrior in his Panther. This gives me the chance of buying and GeekyGuy painting up the PanzerKanone Panther I've been drooling over the past couple of months. Yes!!

Mucho painting to do the next few weeks. I'd like to get the full 3rd Guards Mechanised Corps finished in time for a the late winter tournaments at the Realm, possibly even for October (crosses fingers).

In other news, Battle Front is releasing the updated Africa book. If you would have asked me last month what force I was thinking of doing next, I would have said a DAK force. Things change, especially with the appearance of the 654th Jagdpanther Company list in WI262 and working on the Lend Lease Tankovy. The 654th list just grabs you. The chance to run Jagdpanthers and a Panther in the same list brought me back to the days of the Steel Panthers computer game, which is an all-time classic! My friend and I played several joint e-mail campaigns. He always took the Tigers and King Tigers as the war progressed and upgrades became available. I patiently waited for Panthers (available 7/43) and then the Jagdpanthers (9/44) while he is stomping everything in the ground with his Tigers starting in Oct 42. But I digress. What I am saying is Jagdpanthers and Panthers in the same army list kick ass!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tweaking the Lend Lease List

I played a couple of practice games 2 weeks ago with a small 600-pt Lend Lease force. It was up against a force of 2 Tigers and a Panther. I think I was outpointed, certainly I was outpointed. Nevertheless, I managed to surround a Tiger, but to no avail. I managed to bail one Tiger, but couldn't brew it up. AT 10 versus SA 8, means I have only a 16% chance to kill a Tiger. My force of M4A2's just brewed up one by one as the 75mm shots bounced off the armor.

Granted, I wasn't very good with my tactics and I'm still learning to use the force, but I definitely need a bigger AT kick for the 1,750 version of the force. Hen and Chicks doesn't help when facing big AT Germans.

FOW's weekly update had this article.

Anti-Tiger Tactics:

That's all fine and dandy, but again it's AT 10 versus FA 9 and SA 8. After speaking with the guys at The Realm and a board post, I've decided on using ISU-122's and complimenting them with IL-2 Sturmoviks. I like the combination. I like the models. I like the idea of Big Cats forced to react to the threat of ISU-122's and air at the same time, rather than just sit back and pick tanks off with their big guns.

I hope to complete the Lend Lease force before X-mas. I've ordered a second batch of Command Decision M4A2's (6 in all). The rest will follow after I've Army Painter'd those tanks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recap of 2nd 7-29-2009 battle at the Realm

After the first game (FFA), Paul and I decided on a Hold the Line with him defending with the same forces in the first game.

Paul sets up his Stugs behind a Village

Paul's PzIV's conceal themselves in the local trees

The 3rd Mechanized Corps assemble for the attack

The Scout Cars try an end around


Panzers take up Overwatch positions on a small rise

Silly Hills and roads can't stop us!

Key moment of the battle. Paul fails a Stormtrooper roll. I stopped my line and opened up with ROF 2 with 7 tanks and scored several hits. Unfortunately, the FP rolls aren't as good and Paul escapes with only two lost tanks.

Scout cars continue onwards to the objective

Shhhhh...maybe the stug won't notice us

Whoops, lost tanks to bogging. Germans in retreat!

Paul's reserves arrive


Gap in the photos. Many were blurry. Paul skillfully stormtroopered, defended the objective and then picked apart my forces from concealment. My dice couldn't hit anything after the first key moment when Paul's forces stalled on the hill. My tanks are burning and it's game over. Good game, Paul!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

First battles at the Realm

Where did the month of July go? I'm happy to say July wasn't an uneventful month. The M4A2's of my fledgling Lend Lease army were bloodied in two battles against Paul at the Realm on 7/22. Apologies for blurry pics. I didn't have a tripod and at times I forgot to remove the flash on other photos.

Battle 1:

I have enough tanks to field 600 pts. My force consisted of 8 Emchas and 3 BA-64 armored cars from H&S. Paul had 2 Stugs and 5 Pz IV's. Since this was my first game playing FOW, we decided on a Free for All mission.

Initial Deployment

Paul Deploys

BA-64's make a run for an objective.

First Blood to the Red Bear

Uh-oh, armored cars get noticed


Paul fails a Stormtrooper Role and gets whacked

Trading armored cars to occupy the Stugs

Paul Pz-IV's fails a motivation check and flees the field. Victory!

Pz-IV's and Stugs versus M4A2's is a fairly even match. A few die rolls either way influenced the outcome of the battle. The Lend Lease tanks made several crucial armor saves and Paul's failed Stormtrooper roll left his tanks vulnerable in the open and not concealed.

Paul is a pleasure to play against. He is also a good and patience teacher, accepting defeat from a newb with grace and dignity and a shake of the hand.

Battle 2 follows next time and the following update will discuss fighting Tiggers and the plans to expand to 1,750pts. I also hope to have a positive update on 11PD soon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weds Night at the Realm

I finally made it out to Flames of War Weds Nights at the Realm. It was the day of the grand re-opening after the Realm moved 1.5 miles east to a new location. The new store is to say the least cramped, especially when you have 3 gaming tables laying claim to 1/6th of the space. Oh yeah, the a/c wasn't turned on yet and it was the first day of July. Can you say hot hot hot!

It was a pleasure to meet Tim, Andy and Larry, who greeted me warmly and welcomed me into their FOW group. I still do not have an army yet. Progress on the Lend Lease forces continues with 4 M4A2 hulls painted and another 3 Old Glory M4A2's on the way.

Allow me to point out that BF is mixing resin and metal parts. One of the model's metal gun mantlet is screwed. Too much extra metal. The shape of the mantlet, even after an hour of filing, won't fit snugly to the turret. I'm experimenting with liquid epoxy I picked up at a local hardware store. It worked wondrously well for the tracks. I will just add extra epoxy to secure the deformed mantlet to the turret - I hope.

Here are some pics. Tim and Andy were up against one of Tim's sons and a fellow whose name I didn't get. It was a 2,000pt game with reinforcements arrives in drips and drabs. Interestingly enough, Tim and Andy panzer force consisted of captured Shermans. So we had captured Shermans versus British Shermans and Crocs!

I hope to make next week's game. I have a box of miniatures to trade. Plus, Tim said just do up a 600pt force to start and learn the game. At the rate I paint, building a 1,750pt force will take months.


Shermans gone over to the Dark Side defending a village.


The Dreaded Bog Check claims a Commonwealth Sherman. Crocs and Shermans continue to advance.


Commonwealth infantry and AT guns defend an objective.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Random Musings

I think many Flames of War bloggers and fans are suffering through withdrawals with the Battlefront forums down for maintenance. The message says they are switching over to a new system. I hope so. Recently, the Forum has been very slow, requiring me to hit the REFRESH button several times before getting to a post I want to read.

Nevsky has arrived!! Thanks GeekEGuy for the paint job. He did great work. I invite all of you to visit his Blog (see blog list on right). It was almost a tragic comedy due to an address mix-up. Luckily, a very nice lady and a hunch on Saturday rescued Nevsky from US Post Office limbo. He's sitting inside the curio cabinet in the living room. A small 15mm tank surrounded by She Who Must Be Obeyed's collection of angels and fine ceremics. =o)

I took a second look at the BA-64's and they aren't total disasters. Certainly good enough to plop onto a gaming table and push around.

Today I ordered rare earth magnets from

GeekEGuy put magnets on Nevsky and they work great! He was kind enough to provide a link and instructions. Battlefront has a section on rare earth magnets to connect the turret and the hull. Look in Modeling under the Hobby section.

I also ordered another batch of 4 M4A2's. I'm keeping the orders small because I don't have the time to sit and build 8 or 16 models at once.

On the 11.Pz.Dv front, I've heard from the Master Painter and he has promised to get the bulk of them done by early August. I'm very excited with the development. I do have preliminary pictures of a couple of tanks, but they aren't complete so I won't post them until they are done.

The new Africa book looks fantastic! I am an Ostfront guy. I'm afraid if I buy the book I'll want to start on a desert army. Ugh.

I also have an idea for a Late Late War German unit. It will have to work for 2 years or so. I say 2 years because Battlefront needs to work through Market Garden and then the Bulge before it delves into Gotterdamerung (Berlin). The idea has a force composed of Reluctant Veterans Germans just trying to survive the war and protect what they can of their Homeland from the Soviet onslaught.

I like the Panther in the PanzerKanone box set. It'll make for a great CiC or 2iC or Platoon Leader.

I subscribed to WI. My first issue is to be 261. Yesterday I received the free kit - PaK43 88mm. It arrived within a week of subscribing. Good job Battlefront USA!

Finally, the LGS has moved to a new (bigger?) shop. It's still close to me. I'll need to convince She Who Must Be Obeyed and visit the guys for a couple of hours tomorrow.

Peace, out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kapitan V I Nevsky

Check out GeekEGuy's work (his blog in linked to the right of this blog).




Doesn't he look great?

I am reconsidering how much I am going to paint of the 1st Mechanized Corps from 1944 Bagration. I might have GeekEGuy do up the ISU-122 unit.

My thoughts have changed after the BA-64 fiasco. I used the Magic Dip, forgot to wipe off the bottom of the wheels so they stuck to the cardboard! I am fortunate the wheels didn't snap off. The BA-64's are passable. If I do commission a work, then I might have them redone because they will pale in comparison to the rest of the painted force.

It's a big day for my nephew. He made it. Congrats Class of 2009!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Carrying Case

Now that I am building an army and expect another one to be included in the future, I thought it was time to find a carrying case.

The Flames of War Forum has a good discussion about carrying cases:

I also met the folks of Battleform at the GAMA 2009 convention in Las Vegas. Nice people with a great and customizable carrying case. They will cut out the foam to your specifications.

After reading the forum post, I took a trip to WalMart and found a Plano case. I knew right away it would work. Check it out.


Notice the 3 plastic trays that slide out.


Top opens and provides a spot for paints, brushes or gaming dice. Large bases of infantry and vehicles can go here too.


Blurry picture of a tank. Foam from the blister packs provides a cushion.


I can get anywhere from 12 to 15 vehicles in each tray. The Lend Lease army has 25 vehicles, while 11 PD has 15 vehicles. I think the Plano case will be able to hold all of them plus infantry.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nevsky preview

To my surprise, Battlefront is coming out with a Nevsky M4A2 Sherman. At the risk of exaggerating and stealing the 1980's NBA slogan - It's Fantastic!



The complete write-up on Nevsky and more photos can be found on the FoW website:

I've commissioned GeekEGuy (see link to the right) to do Nevsky. All those cool stowage is beyond my painting capabilities and I really want Nevsky to be a step above the other M4 "Emchas".

I realize I haven't posted the composition of my Lend Lease unit. Ditto for 11th Panzer. I'll have to post those soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finished the 1st M4A2 "Emcha"


There it is! It's the first ever FoW anything I have ever tried and attempted to paint.

I was so into painting I didn't take any other pics between the stages of primering, weathering, decaling and then applying the Magic Wash.

ArmyPainter Matt Varnish is sprayed atop everything. There's a few small areas I missed, like the bottom front of the tank, but it did a great job. The picture makes the finish look glossy because flash was enabled due to a lack of a good light source.

Lessons Learned:

1) You can see the outline of the decal. I applied the Magic Wash after the decals because I wanted the numbers to look weathered. Instead, the Magic Wash highlighted the edges of the decal. I'll apply the decals after the Magic Wash and then lightly dry brush smoke and black for weathering.

2) I need a straight brush the size to handle the decals.

3) I will leave the tracks off the hull. They will be primed and weathered and then glued to the hull.

4) Learn Magic Wash. I might just dip the next tank into the jar and let it drain. I had a few small bubbles develop on the right side of the hull from unnoticed air pockets.

5) I like how the Flat Brown "rust" look works with Magic Wash.

I can't argue with the results. I am VERY happy with Army Painter.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Detouring away from treads

I found time today to start working on the treads. I was using a Vallejo gunmetal grey, but after a few swipes of the brush, I didn't like the look of the color.

As if to add commentary to the color, the right set of treads broke off the hull and I had to reglue them. It seems I also missed primering the bottom of the treads.

All in all, I applied the primer once again to the tracks and the gunmetal grey.

I forgo the gunmetal grey and use Red Brown and drybrush the tracks. Then I'll apply the decals.

It's frustrating, but this is the test model to figure out what I like and don't like. I'm just getting impatient to get the M4A2 done so I can order the next batch.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I primed the M4A2 Emcha. I'm very happy with the results, so much so that I wanted to post the picture.


The Army Painter Primer Green turned out very nice! I don't own an airbrush. Using a spray can is the next best alternative.

I stopped by the LGS and picked up Vallejo Matt Black and Red Brown. The next step is to paint the treads grey, .50 AAMG black and then weather the treads and vehicle with Red Brown to simulate rust. Afterwards, it's decals and the Magic Wash.

I am running into the bane of all modelers - time!

What a difference in pictures! What led to the higher quality photos?

Check this link out: http://www.weetoysoldiers.c htom/wp/?p=439

It's one of the best if not the best article to help in taking pictures of miniatures. What's the point of spending all the time and effort on painting and detailing if you can't take a photo and share it with everyone else?

Friday, May 8, 2009

1st M4A2 Emcha assembled

Apologies for the blurry photograph. My digital camera isn't very good with close ups and I didn't use a tripod to stop any of the normal "shake" when the shutter it depressed with the finger. The next pictures will have to be taken a further away. Hopefully I'll be able to then zoom in the photo and get a closer look at the miniature.


Curiously, the turret is "stuck" to the hull. I tried an exacto blade, a small screw driver and other small tools to "pry" the darn turret off the hull. It's like the turret was welded onto the hull! I e-mailed BattleFront's customer service department, so I'll see what they say. Their customer service has a good reputation.

I had no other major issues with the M4A2 Emcha model. I had to trim one side of the tract connectors - the connectors that are glued into the pre-cut slots on the side of the Hull. Those of you who build Shermans will know what I'm talking about. A few turns of the exacto blade enlarged the pre-drilled hole for the .5o AAMG. The frozen turret was by far the biggest issue and I'm sure it's an isolated case.

In any event, I then used the Army Painter Army Green primer, stuck turret or no. This Sherman model is the "trial-and-error" piece where I can practice using Army Painter and learning how to apply those small 15mm decals. I'll still use the tank as part of the Lend Lease Mechanized Corps, don't get me wrong. It's just that I hope my skill with building and painting the tanks improves with each one.

The Sherman is in the garage, drying. I'll try to take better photos and post them tomorrow before I apply decals and then the Magic Wash.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Army Painter Arrives

I have to say the WarStore is a great outfit. You place an order and receive 4 or 5 confirmation e-mails detailing your order, the amount of the order, UPS tracking information, estimated day of delivery and then a thank you.


I never thought decals could be so small!!! Arggh, it's going to be fun -- not!

The other day I realized I no longer have my favorite card table to model. I could use the antiques of She Will Be Obeyed, but it will be hazardous to my health. I need to make a trip to Target and see what they offer. I need wire strippers anyway for a different project.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Egawds! I'm going to paint!

Yes, you read it here first. I'm actually going to give painting miniatures a try!

Years ago. No, decades ago. One of my best and childhoods friends was very skilled at model building. His models always turned out the best. These days, we'd call his models professional quality. On the other hand, my models were a monument to a lack of patience and talent. I stopped building the models and started giving them to him to build. At least this way, my WW2 or WH40K miniatures were presentable on the battlefield.

I haven't picked up a paintbrush in decades. I had no intention of doing so, until I attended an expo and saw a demonstration of Army Painter. I saw an amazing demonstration of a WH40K orc army assembled and painted in less than 48 hours! It wasn't a sloppy paint job. Each figure was completed and painted in high quality.

I was inspired. I've decided to build a Lend Lease Russian FOW army based around M4A2 Shermans and ISU-122 assault guns.


I placed an order with the WarStore.

Here's what I got:


The Quick Shade is the key.

You apply the base coat primer in the color you want -


This brings out all the detail. I call it Dip-and-Rinse. For someone like me who doesn't have the skills to do the highlights and detailing, the Quick Shade might just be the trick.

I ordered a single M4A2 "Emcha". It'll be my test vehicle. I'll post the progress when the paints and models arrive next week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

River of Heroes


Here it is! It's the third and final Bagration book - River of Heroes.

My local gaming store or LGS obtained a preview copy of the book, which is due to hit the stores in mid-May. Here are the highlights:
  • Assault gun company - Fearless Trained
  • Sappers - Fearless Trained
  • 3rd Tank Corps T-34/85 company - Confident Trained
  • SS-Totenkoph - Fearless Veteran
  • SS-Wiking - Fearless Trained
  • 501st King Tiger - Confident Veterans
Russian engineers are nasty. They get to use panzerfausts to bunker bust and have a variety of equipment available to them.

The Russian hero, S.A.Rat is a nice one, in my opinion. He developed a zig-zag tactic, which allowed his unit to approach defended areas and not get picked off by the long-distance gunnery skill of the Germans. Rat thought that since the German were very disciplined with their gunnery, they would have a hard time with vehicles moving in unusual patterns. Apparently, he was right because many times his unit suffered little to know casualties, while other tank assault regiments were gutted. S.A. Rat's unit gets a die roll when hit to see if the zig-zag tactic works and forces a miss. S.A. Rat himself is able to move and shoot at full ROF. Sweet.

Now some might say, who cares about CT T-34/85 company. Remember, the Hammer & Sickle T-34/85 company was a Guards company. Now, Russians players can field CT units with the great T-34/85 tank and at less cost then a Guards company.

King Tigers? Wow. Tiger-philes will be rejoicing. They have been clamoring for this tank for years and now they get their hands on it.

They also get their hands on the Sturmtiger! 12/8/2 of nice armor and AT 6, FP 1+ of boom boom goodness.

I think folks will find the Totenkoph Biermeyer Hero interesting. There is an option to field a Panzer company that is reckless and daring. However, if the Hero is destroyed, their rating starts to decrease. Biermeyer and his platoon is hit as if he was Trained. If he goes poof, then the whole platoon goes from Fearless to Confident Trained. Biermeyer's platoon must assault if they can and if they can't, must stormtrooper as far as they can towards an enemy unit or objective. These guys are nuts! The platoon Biermeyer panzers costs less than normal because they are madmen.

Oh yeah, if you think Kommisars are harsh when they start shooting stands, wait till you see what Totenkoph infantry will do when forced to take motivation checks. Oiy!!

For Wiking, they don't have a specific hero, yet their panzer platoons get to roll for Ace skills. They are called Panzer Kanones, because there were several tank aces in Wiking. A Panzer Kanon replaces a panzer platoon's command team.

All in all, I'll rank Hammer & Sickle, River of Heroes, and then Stalin's Onslaught as my favorites in the Bagration series of books. There are some that say a year's worth of Russian books is too much. I say, it was well worth the time and shed light on an important campaign. C'mon, D-Day got 6 books. Less than half that number devoted to the Eastern Front isn't asking too much.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

All about the photos

As I hinted at with my last entry, I found a picture that threw a monkey wrench into my planned FOW army for the 11.PD.

Here is the culprit.


caption: Capt Finkelmann in ation with his panzer III.

Originally, I had decided on being somewhat of a lemming and equipping my Panzer Kompanie with a mixture of Pz IV F-2's and Pz IIIN's. And why not? Upgrading to Pz III Ausf N's costs an additional 15 pts, compared to the whopping 60 pts for an Ausf F-2. What is there not to like with a short barrel 75mm? FA 6, AT 9, RoF 2, FP 3+ and range of 24". Plus, I was going to equip all the N's with schurzen (skirts) to make on heck of an infantry assault force.

Just one problem....the picture shows a long (lang) barrel 50mm on a Pz III.

Okay, alright, we can handle this.

I'm not a panzer expert and can't snap identify a tank by just looking at the photo. The best I can do is see the long barrel and know it's not a Ausf G or Ausf N. The Pz III Ausf J (late) was known to the "Mark III Special" by the British troops in North Africa.

On the other hand, the Pz III Ausf L were introduced in June 1942 and served until December 1942. Front armor increased from 30mm to 57mm. Many of the L's received turret and hull sideskirts. Now we're talking!

Here's a link with nice Pz III info:

By going with Ausf L's, I'm giving up FP 3+ and going to FP 4+. I'm assuming, I don't know, but can hazard a guess that FOW does the FP rating on the size of the shell. 75mm has more explosive charge than a 50mm shell. Makes sense.

I can't argue with AT9 for either the 75mm KwK L/24 or the 50mm KwK L/60. Check the armor penetration table here:

Switching to Ausf L's changes the upgrade value from +15 pts to +25 pts. Ouch! I had to change my recon element to 8-rads from Luchs. I think this is a good thing since I haven't found any source that says 11.PD had any Luchs. I believe Luchs were with the 4.PD. I did find info on WWII message boards saying that by the start of Barbarossa, 11.PD had retired its 6-rads and went with 8-rads.

Next entry I'll post the Panzer Kompanie. It's not point efficient, but I like it and it fits the historical 11.PD, which is what I'm going for.