Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking back to 2010 and forward to 2011


Whew! The heavy rains have come and gone. Unfortunately, the rains saturated the phone lines, wiping out my DSL. Service says it may be a few weeks before everything is back to normal. Ugh.

In other news, another year has come and gone. It's that time of year to pause and reflect on the year that was 2010.

Here are the FOW goals I set for myself at the end of 2009:

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

Resolution 1: I think I did very good and met it. I went to The Realm several times on Weds and made many of the Game Day's on Sat. I didn't always get a game in, but I did get to talk shop with other FOW'ers. I played in my first FOW Tourney in April (Lion's Den I) and did well for a noob.

Resolution 2: They are all complete. I received the mortars and Sturmoviks to finish the 654th Heavy Tank Hunter Battalion and the Lend Lease (Sherman 75's) from Hammer & Sickle from Carlos T. Great work, Carlos, thanks! RJM you still javascript:void(0)owe me a Kfz 70 truck and 2 stands of pioneers.

Resolution 3: Epic fail. I started a Panzer Kompanie for the upcoming Barbarossa book. I complete 4 Pz IV E's, and need to weather 3 Pz III E's. I have to build 6 Pz III F's (Old Glory). I also traded and received 2 platoons of Grenadiers to give the Barbarossa force some infantry. I didn't bother with any other force for the whole year, instead focusing on Lend Lease Tankovy for LW and MW.

Resolution 4: Yep, had plenty of fun this year and met some very fun people.

On the side, I created more Excel Army files (hosted by Hien) for MW Mittlerepanzerkompanie, HG Panzerpioneer and SE Lend Lease Tankovy.

I made several trades through Bartertown. I've decided I'm an Eastern Front kind of guy and traded away Dogs & Devils sourcebook and equipment for more Soviet-type tanks and infantry.

Bruce O created two pieces of art that I use for objective markers (July 2010 post).

Took the plunge and got not one but two FOW Bags from Battlefoam and love them!

Carlos T built and painted King Tiger 214 for my nephew in 2 days. Thanks Carlos!

Battlefront released Eastern Front, Dogs & Devils, Blitzkrieg, Stalin's Europe and the D-Day compilation. That's 5 books (6 actually since D-Day is 2 volumes) to feed the hungry FOW-player. 2011 we'll probably see EW North Africa, a Monte Cassino book for Italy and something for MW. I don't see 5 books being pumped out in 1 year again. That's a big hit to anyone's budget.

A great year!!!

For 2011 resolutions, I'm going to weenie out and not make a specific resolution (well, except for 76mm Sherman Lend Lease cough cough) and just do as much FOW as I can and have fun. Hopefully the DSL will be back and running soon.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you. Thank you for visiting this blog. Thank you for any and all comments. I appreciate the support and feedback.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Fighting Withdrawal that Wasn't


I played Michael K last month on Game Day at the Knights of Columbus. It took awhile, but I downloaded and resized the pictures and can now share them in an AAR.

I pulled out 1,500pts of 11th Panzer Division. Michael though wanted to go to 1,750pts and use his Panzer Pioneers. I was cool with that and I selected Priority Air Support to get close to 1,700. Michael also had 7 Dice of Air.

My Force:

CiC, 2iC - Pz III L/M
1st Platoon - 4x Pz III L/M
2nd Platoon - 3x Pz IV F-2
3rd Platoon - 7x R/MG Pioneer Stands plus Goliath
4th Platoon - 2x 8-Rads
Priority Stukas

Michael's Force:

Very vague (it's been over a month), but he has 2 platoons of 3x Pz III N's. A Ferdinand. A Pioneer Platoon. Another foot slogging platoon with a puppchen. Priority Stukas.

We rolled up Fighting Withdrawal. As the armored force, I get to attack.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quick photos of Rapid Fire game

I'm compiling the 30+ photos of an AAR against Michael's MW panzer kompanie. Or was it his pioneer kompanie? It was that type of game for both of us.

While Michael and I were flaying fruitlessly at one another, Frank the Building Maker was playing Rapid Fire. I own two Rapid Fire supplements. They are both PDF's and cover the German and Russian forces from Barbarossa to Kursk. I find them to be good research resources when designing FOW army lists.

I've never played the game before, but the 28mm models look great!

At this point in the fight, the Russians are wondering what happened to all the area terrain.

The only thing missing for this PaK 40 crew is hot dogs.

Soviet infantry hide behind burning T-34's. Not a good idea in a real battle as T-34 tended to suffer internal explosions and send shrapnel in all directions.

Holiday time is coming up and hopefully I'll get a couple of games in. AAR report to follow next time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MW AAR: 229th Sep Tank Reg vs Finns

Daniel and I played Roadblock last month.

Initially I wanted to play 1,500 pts, but Daniel would have none of that and wanted 1,750pts. I threw in 200pts of Sporadic Sturmies to bring my force up from 1,495 to 1,695. The night was getting late and I didn't want to bother with the other 55pts.

Here's my force:

229th Separate Tank Regiment
HQ Sherman
8x Shermans
8x Shermans
3x BA-10M's
2x SU-152's
Limited Sturmoviks

Daniel ran the tank Finn force.

By memory he had:

2x KV-1E's
4x T-28's
4x T-26's
1x Platoon of Pioneers
2x BT-42's
1x Platoon of mortars
2x Flak vehicles

I'm sure I am forgetting the rest of his force.

Onto the battle. Roadblock has the attacker select a platoon to ambush. Daniel pleaded and whined and finally I decided on the T-26's. The T-26 and T-28 had the same gun, so I went with the platoon with weaker armor to wipe them out.

The Shermans ambushed, while Daniel had the KV-1's escort the T-26's.

The Road

Friday, November 19, 2010

WW2 in HD: The Air War


I taped this History Channel show a couple of weeks ago but just this week had the time to sit down and watch it.

Before I comment on the show, I need to point out that I'm really critical when it comes to the History Channel when they do WW2 subjects.

I have a tendency to nit-pick and find errors in the show's narrative. Sometimes I wonder if the writers for History Channel get all their information on historical personalities, battles and equipment from Wikipedia. This is especially true when the subject is World War 2 air combat. My start in miniature wargaming began with a 80-person dogfight over the Pacific at Origins '86.

Since then I've read hundreds of aviation books and seen virtually every aviation war movie. I was also a researcher on a series of volumes devoted to the Eastern Front air war.

...and you know what, I liked WW2 in HD: the Air War. I thought it was really well done. The images and pictures and sound is spectacular!

The program centers on a 100th Bomb Group bombardier, a 4th Fighter Group pilot, a B-17 pilot and journalist Andy Rooney. Andy Rooney was one of the first Stars & Stripes journalist allowed to fly with the fledgeling 8th Air Force. Actors provide voice overs when their letters are read. All 4 men also give interviews and speak about their experiences.

Few people know that the 8th Air Force suffered more war dead than than U.S. Marine Corps. When a bomber was shot down, it knocked 10 airmen out of the war. Escaping from a stricken bomber at 25,000ft didn't give much chance of survival. Fighter pilot also suffered when they went "to the deck" and conducted strafing.

The air battles covered were: Blitz Week in Jul-1943, the Regensburg/Schweinfurt raid in Aug-43, and the 1st raid on Berlin on Mar 6, 1944.

What I liked:

Color film - I've seen most of the footage, but in HD it has new life.
Sound - Instead of using the old film sound, new digitized sounds of Merlin engines, B-17 engines, .50 cal firing and a slipstream all add life to the images.
The Vets - I liked hearing about their feelings. How the grizzled veterans knew it all boiled down to luck, while the rookie pilot was gung-ho and had no idea what was waiting for him at 25,000ft.
The Show - Emphasized the men and their sacrifices. No tales of glory. These men served their country and did a job.

What I didn't like:

Clip Repeating - in the first hour the same bomber was shown going down many, many times. I know where the clip is from - the Bremen raid documented for the Memphis Bell wartime film (no, not the cheese ball movie from the 90's).
Wrong Clips - Footage from a B-29 raid over Japan. I know the clip.
The Ger-Mans - Showed 109's from the early Battle of France and not the more common 109G's.

None of these subtract from the show at all.

After watching this show, I feel the need for a game of CY6! or Mustangs and Messerschmitts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Affordable Housing FoW Style


This past Saturday, it was Hobby Day at the Knights of Columbus Hall. I was there early and saw Frank busy making buildings from corrugated boxes. I found what he was doing fascinating and wanted to share it. Frank is one of the more creative people I know, he should be he was an art major, and always has cool scenery ideas.

What follows are the steps Frank takes to create a building.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Roadblock Mission


I wanted to write about this mission before the posting the Roadblock AAR. The set-up for Roadblock (from Das Book) is very interesting and the game could be won or lost after the first ambush in most cases for those who aren't prepared for it list-wise or mentally.

As a cavaet, take whatever comments about this mission with a grain of salt. I've played the mission once and I'm not the most experienced FOW player out there. But, over the years of wargamming, the following truths are apparent even to one with limited tactical acumen such as myself. These truths are as follows:

1) More guns shooting enemy = good
2) Large numbers of enemy guns shooting back = bad

My take on wargamming is to get the most firepower aimed at the enemy, while reducing the amount of his firepower directed back at me. In most wargames, this basic formula holds true. The trick is doing it; therein lies the realm of tactics.

Now the Roadblock missions offers the chance to put LOTS of guns on the enemy at the start of the game without any maneuvering!

In the Roadblock Mission the Defender gets to cherry pick an Attacker's platoon as the subject of the ambush. The Attacker then nominates a platoon (and a third platoon is company is > 7 platoons) as escort. This opens up all sorts of interesting choices for the Defender.


Take the typical LW German Panzer Kompanie. Let's assume HQ 2x Pz IV's, CP1 3x Panthers, CP2 4xPz IV's, SP1 4xBrummbars, and SP2 8-Rads for a grand total of 1,490 pts. Hmmmm...what to chooose? Oh, look! I see 3 Panthers at a cost of 560 pts. Oooh, they are FA10 with AT14 nastiness, but only SA5. I want them gone!

Let's further assume I am running my LW Lend Lease Tankovy with Sherman 75's. My force looks like HQ M4A2 (Nevsky), CP 8x M4A2, CP 8xM4A2, SP1 3xISU-122, SP2 Short Spetsnaz and Sturmies. Okay, my M4's are AT10, FP3+. I could select the ISU-122's with their AT15 gun, plus they get the Volley Fire rule, allowing misses to be re-rolled. On the other hand, AT15 is like using a sledgehammer against a bug (Panther's SA5). I'm also not rolling many dice when trying to hit a Veteran unit.

Switching over to the M4 company. I can fling 16 AT10 shots at the Panthers using eight M4's. I don't want to go MathHammer on people, but a few educated guesses can give an idea of what 8 M4's ambushing 3 Panthers might look like.

Okay, 16 shots needing 4's (50% chance) to hit (Confident Vet Panthers on the road and in the open). Assume the dice rolls are slightly less than average and yield 7 hits. The Panther player is now facing AT10 vs SA5 and needs 5's to tie and 6's to bounce, so basically the Panthers will save 1/3rd of the hits. When I say "save", I mean there's not chance for the Panther to be destroyed on that particular hit. We'll assume the Panther player makes 2 saves. That leaves 5 FP "to destroy" tests for the Sherman player. Needing 3's or better, the chances (67%) are that even with below average dice, 2 Panthers will be dead. In most cases, there will be 3 burning Panthers and a menacing component of the German player's list is gone with the added hurt of being down 1 VP.

Basically, a company of 8 Sherman 75's costing 410 pts can wipe out a Panther platoon worth 560 pts at the start of Roadblock. There's also a chance a German player won't recover because they are so used to relying on Panther's near invulnerability on the board.

Am I wrong in thinking Tankovy is going to have a better than puncher's chance of destroying Veteran units due to the sheer volume of fire from one company? British or Americans can "only" generate 8 shots from a standard 4-vehicle platoon. In those cases, I'd guestimate 1 dead Panther and 1 bailed Panther. A good result, but the platoon isn't even forced into a morale check.

M10's and Marders are going to be beasts in Roadblock. They get to "Tee-up" against what they are designed to destroy and have the guns to overwhelm a target's side armor so that removes the save from the kill equation. Plus, if the escort platoon destroys the ambushing platoon because of the M10 or Marder's paper-thin armor, it doesn't cripple the Defender's force. Who'd be willing to trade a platoon of M10's to wipe out 3 Tigers? Or perhaps 3 Marders in exchange for 3 dead IS-2's or ISU-122's?

The Defender's choice of what Attacker platoon to ambush is where the meta-game of Roadblock will come in play. Is selecting the Panthers to ambush the best choice? What about the PzIV's or the Brummbar's? What if the German list had Tigers instead of Panthers? Maybe the Tigers are a better platoon to select and that means I should use the ISU-122's in ambush because a Tiger's sA8 is going to bounce a 75mm AT10 shot with annoying frequency.

I think most Defending players will look at the Attacker's list and select a key platoon. In the case of the Panther platoon, it's a highly effective and costly platoon with a few vehicles, meaning there's a good chance of removing that platoon from play. A Defender may look across the table and see armored artillery. Maybe that's a good platoon to ambush, removing smoke barrages, pinning barrages and a direct fire threat from the Attacker. Or maybe your list has Priority Air and the opponent has invested in AA. Select the AA platoon and wipe it out. There's all sorts of options.

I'll have to play the flip side of Roadblock and experience what's it is like when a large blob of tanks is ambushed. With my LW Lend Lease list, I have a feeling the ISU-122's will be selected for "Special Attention". If I was running Panthers or Tigers, that's what I'd do.

When I first started writing this post, I was going to complain that I thought Roadblock heavily favors the Defender cherry picking the Attacker's list. It may still turn out to be the case in the future, but it's too early to tell. I think any player planning to attend a Tourney with Roadblock as one of the missions should take a good hard look at their list and figure out how they are going survive with the loss of a key platoon before the beginning of Turn 1. Or maybe the player brings a more vanilla list with several good, not great, multi-role platoons that can perform a variety of functions (Pz IV list with no big kitties for example) after the ambuscade.

Remember, I'm a relative "noob" to FOW in terms of games played. My thoughts, theories and assumption could be totally offbase. Hopefully you, the reader, can set me straight. I look forward to hearing about other's experiences and thoughts about Roadblock.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Walking Dead TV Series Premier


Last night was Halloween. While I was handling out 1,000 pieces of candy to the swarms of kids coming to the door, the DVR was busy taping AMC's new show, The Walking Dead. I haven't read the comic books series nor the graphic novel compilations. While I wait for people to show on FOW Day at the Realm, I have skimmed the Walking Dead graphic novel and thought it was a good read.

Well now the story is on TV for all Zombie-philes to enjoy. Jawballs @ The Blood Angels sums up the thoughts of many zombie movie/tv/book fans.

Hollywood has noticed that there is a large market craving (brains any one?) zombie flicks. In recent years, zombie fans have been treated with a plethora of zombie films. A small sample of the one's I've seen recently.

Resident Evil series (3 out of 5 brains) - Mila Jovovich and lots of firepower! The zombies take a distant supporting role to Mila. Not many people, dead or alive, can distract me from Mila.

Zombieland (4 out of 5 brains) - A great, fun, comedic film. You get Woody Harrelson (e'nuff said), the talented Jesse Eisenberg and Bill Murray. I'd give the flick 5 stars if it focused solely on Eisenberg and Harrelson's and their dynamic relationship.

Dead Snow (4 brains) - Nazis Zombies! Fun, bloody and buckets of gore.

World War Z is reportedly in script finalization phase and Brad Pitt is cast for the lead role.

Now we have AMC's The Walking Dead. I watched it last night and was captivated from the start. AMC didn't skimp on production. It looks like the folks behind the show really want to make a good zombie show. We're introduced to the characters and get to watch them deal with a world gone over to the zombies. The show starts like 28 Days, but apparently the Walking Dead comic and 28 Days movie came out at the same time, so the two writers had the same opening sequence in mind. It's not a case of the Walking Dead writer borrowing from 28 Days.

The show will be about the characters. Sure, there are very cool zombie effects, but the emphasis will be on the people left to pick up their lives while coming to the reality that if they make a wrong turn or open the wrong door, there's a dead person who thinks you're their Value Meal!

I've identified with the lead character and the father and son. I guess it's good I didn't read the comic or graphics novel because I don't know their fates. It'll be that much more of a shock when the zombies get them.

One thing that strikes me is the long moments of silence. I mean it makes sense. In a dead world and civilization crumbled, all the noise of cars, jets, voices, radios, iPods, TV, newcasts, the rush rush rush of people coming and going is Gone. Simply Gone. We, as a society, never realize how much noise there is until we get away to the mountains, the countryside, an empty beach, a hillside and hear nothing but the wind.

I can't recommend this TV series highly enough. If zombies are your "thing", find a way to watch it or borrow a DVD copy from a friend.

Daniel and I played Roadblock last week. I have 28 pictures to sort through for the AAR, or maybe I'll just post all 28 of them. =) I'll have the AAR up in a few days as well as comments about the Roadblock mission.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WI277 - Sneak peak of Stalin's Europe

Wargames Illustrated #277 arrived at the front door today. I was very happy to see the cover and a Battle Report about Stalin's Europe inside.

I haven't been this excited about a new sourcebook since Hammer & Sickle over 1 1/2 years ago.

I snapped a few photos of the cover and the inside contents.

The Cover

German list from the Battle Report

Russian list from the Battle Report - Shermans!

Finally, a bio of the Russian tank hero - Dimitry Loza

Those M4A2(76) Shermans are expensive! My 229th and 3rd Guards Mech Corp run companies of 8 Shermans. I think for an M4A2(76) company, I may want to run them in groups of 7 to save points.

What the heck is the Emcha Gunner special rule? Is that why the A2's are so expensive compared to T-34/85's (taking into account Protected Ammo for the Shermans)?

In other news, I looked over Das Book. It's the size of the Open Fire mini rulebook. There are 9 missions in the book. Hasty Retreat, Roadblock and Cauldron are some of the new missions - is Cauldron a new mission? I don't know, I haven't played it before. Absent from the mission choice is No Retreat. It was an easy mission to set up, but you wanted to be the defender because the defender won 75% of the time (so say the postings on the FOW boards).

Nation Arsenals are up to Stalin's Europe. Although, Blitzkrieg unit stats are NOT in Das Book.

I don't use the amphibious rules or airborne rules, but for $8, it's hard not to pick up the book with the new missions. BF really should have put the EW stats in the book, though.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battlefront Pz IIIE's - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


The Good

wargmer of Bartertown has been offering individual EW vehicles for $12.50 (no shipping charges or sales tax) by breaking down the EW army boxes. This is great since the Pz-IIIE blisters don't appear to be scheduled for release until after November.

I ordered three Pz-IIIE's for my Barbarossa 2012 project and received them within a week. All tank components were there. Thanks wargmer for the prompt service! You can order EW vehicles individually at

Next, I was presently surprised to see that Battlefront pre-drilled the hulls for magnets. Take a look.


The rare earth magnet is 1/4" x 1/32" and fits perfectly! I did have to drill holes into the turrets, but with the hulls already done, it cut down the drilling work by 50%. Thank you Battlefront.

I found it odd though that Battlefront drilled out the hulls but then didn't include any rare earth magnets in the Light Panzer Company box.

The Bad

Here's a close-up of what I consider clean lines on a turret.


Now here's an example of a "bad" turret. Note how the molds for the turret MG's didn't come out as good as the first turret.


The detail on the track stowage, such as tools, spare road wheels, etc, is also hit and miss.

This roadwheel looks like a smashed danish treat.


And this is just plain poor quality. The roadwheel sucks and so does the towing line etched onto the track guard. Wait a second, there is NO towing line. It's gone!


The best track of the bunch.


It's difficult to see in the picture below, but one of the tracks didn't fit flush to the hull. I checked for any blemishes or raised mold lines that would cause the track not to fit snugly. Nope. The hull mold didn't come out correctly and there's a gap between it and the track piece.


The Ugly

I didn't take any pictures of this bit of quality from Battlefront. The main gun is a metal piece that is intended to go into the cut out square (see close up of turret above). Well, the main gun is too big. It didn't fit. I had to cut a portion of gun base down in order to fit it into the square.

At $12.50 a piece, I expect things to fit reasonably well and not require me snipping off a portion of the gun base. =(

Nobody else has reported this problem, so maybe I received a bad batch of Pz III's.

Oh and to top it off, when I primered the vehicles, I sprayed too far away and the guns received a flaky layer of primer. Arggh! I scrapped the flaky parts away and will just blast it with the German grey and hope for the best. I hope this doesn't mean the gun barrels are cursed and I'll never make a FP roll in future games. LOL

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Greatcoat PzGrenadier Commander

I despise painting infantry. I'm too methodical. I'm too much of a perfectionist. I cringe when I make an "error". My painting skills make cute kittens weep.

Okay, okay, I might be exaggerating a little. =)

My point is, it will take me awhile to paint up an infantry platoon of any size. When I see the infantry that Rich "GeekEGuy", Steve "indierockclimber", Carlos "Sentinel", Bill "Gothmog", Ryan "RJM Miniatures" and numerous other great painters out there I just sigh.

They are great painters and it's a joy to see what they come up with when they post samples of their work at the FOW Gallery.

Still, I've had a blister of greatcoat grenadiers sitting in the bin for months. I finally decided I should paint them. I have my daughter to thank for kicking me in the rear with motivation. Okay, she guilted me into starting by saying I was hurting "their" feelings leaving them all alone in the blister. Or maybe it was the fact she got hired to paint a squad of 40K Termies (more on that later with pics).

Here's the commander. He turned out alright. What I struggled with the most is drybrushing the german grey (with white mixed in) for highlighting. I messed up the brush work and it gave the coat a dust-look. I went back and hit the recesses with german grey again to provide shading.



The one area I'd like to do better is the faces. Instead of dots for eyes, I want to paint a "T" and "U", leaving the black primer to give definition to the mouth and nose.

It took me 2.5 hours to paint this guy, doing about 20 - 30 minutes at a time. At that pace, I'll finish 7 stands of infantry by 2012! LOL

On a side note, I want to shout out Steve over at WWPD. His blog is "Blown Up". He's also a featured writer at Bell of Lost Souls, writing about FOW. Now, he and his buds are planning a monthly podcast!

Great work, Steve! You're an example of the FOW community needs to keep this great game growing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random pics of D-man vs Paul

I took these pics awhile ago; actually I took them back in August when D-Man was here.

In honor of D-Man's b-day, I thought it appropriate to finally put them up. Okay, I admit, the pics got lost in the Photobucket shuffle. Sorry D-Man! =)

First of all, before you go and try to analyze what force D-Man is trying to model, save yourself the time. D-Man never met an Army List he didn't ignore. The battle for D-Man is how many big cats he can place on the table. LOL

The pics do memorialize the special day when D-Man brought KT 214 out for its first test spin. I've posted the pics recently of the King Tiger Sentinel painted for D-Man on a rush order.

It's also the 2nd game. D-Man blew up my tanks rather quickly in the first game. I lasted long enough for Paul to arrive to take the next shift. Paul's a great guy and put his Soviets up against D-Man's cats. The Mission parameters was basically line up the tanks and start shooting - - just what D-Man likes. =)

Here's the pics of the game.

A small sample of D-Man's cats.

Paul's scary white legs and a line of tanks.

Paul sends a big platoon towards Pz IV's and StuGs on the left flank.

They die gloriously!

Paul calls in the VVS for air support!

IS-2 get in on the action.

KT214 goes up in smoke to the VVS! There was much cheering and D-Man covering his face in shame and disgust.

KT 214 and Dedov share a vodka after the battle.

A fun game was had by all and a great way to send D-Man home. Thanks to Paul for being on the receiving end of several 88mm shells.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Smartphones and FoW

Last week the wife and I switched over to Verizon Wireless after being with our carrier for years. Our home happens to be in one of the old carrier's "bad areas" or "no coverage areas" and the wife finally had enough and demanded a switch. It didn't help the old carrier's cause because she hated their phone as well.

Now have each have Samsung Fascinate's (aka Galaxy). It's my first truly smartphone and the 4.3" screen is a big bonus for my eyes (along with the wife's) and I LOVE the touchscreen.

Back in May, WWPD did an article about the Ipad and wargamming (read it here).

It got me thinking about how to use the Fascinate for wargamming, especially when compiling After Action Reports. Would referencing the phone slow the game down? What about using a dice generator? How about looking up rules or army lists? Is the camera quick and easy to use?

Right off the bat, I'm going to import my Army Lists (along with their stats) into the phone. Now I don't have to dig and rummage through legal pads to find an army, nor into the sourcebooks to find stats.

Here's my MW 11th Panzer Division list viewed with the SheetToGo ap.

I downloaded the Adobe Acrobat ap and lo and behold, it's a RAM hog just, so I quickly deleted it. I thought I was screwed with PDF readers, but then I found that Samsung has Open Office ap already loaded and can read PDF's. Sweet! Here's the Soviet Intelligence Briefing cover page.

Inside the Soviet Intelligence Briefing. The Samsung phone has the "pinch" function, so you can zoom in and "draw back" with ease.

FOW's Quick Reference Guide. A must for any game.

Dice Generator

What a horrible roll! 10 dice and 3 hits versus Veterans in the open. I'm not sure I'll use this ap. I like the feel of rolling dice, especially when you pick up 30+ MG dice and wink at my buddy before I blow apart his dug-in infantry. =)

The ap only lets you roll 10 dice at a time, so that's not very useful for a player who has a Soviet Army. Besides, many people place dice next to the units hit during allocation and it's also useful to know which units need to make saves.

There's a Note Taker ap that allows a person to put notes on a photo, which is a very useful thing for creating AAR's. I'm sure there's more aps out there that can aid a game of FOW.

I need to learn how to multi-task on this phone, so I can quickly go from Army List to Quick Reference Guide to Intelligence Briefing and the Mission PDF's without slowing the game now.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

King Tiger 214

The nephew was out last month for a visit. Last year, I got him hooked on FOW. I know he's hooked because he shipped his tanks in advance of his arrival rather than having to check them in as a carry-on at the airport. =)

Anyway, the nephew showed great restraint at Brookhurst Hobbies, despite wanting to buy everything in the store. He resisted because he knew there were upcoming trips and he wanted to save his money, that he earned from mowing countless lawns back home, for the remainder of his visit. I was rather proud of his mature decision, so I fired off an e-mail to Carlos of Sentinel Miniature Painting to see if he can do a very quick commission.

He did! The photos are KT 214, which Carlos managed to complete in 2 days and have them arrive the next day. A 3-day turn around is pretty darn impressive!!

Thanks Carlos, you made a kid very happy!







Wednesday, September 8, 2010

M4A2 Shermans with two different washes

I received a couple of M4A2's, so I painted them up for the 229th / 3rd Gv Mech Corps.

I didn't use the Army Painter dip. Instead, I wanted to try Badab Black and Devlan Mud washes.

Sherman 02 is washed with Badab Black. Sorry, the camera flash distorts the color, but the green is much darker in better light.

Sherman 03 is ashed with Devlan Mud. I liked how Devlan Mud can weather the decals. Also, I think it takes several coats or layers of Devlan Mud for it to be effective.

The turrets and hulls are magnetized. If I get more Battlefront M4A2's, I'll remember to stop putting the main gun at a raised elevation.

Hull decals still have that faint outline, despite using Micro Sol and Micro Set, plus liberal use of Testors Dullcoat. The camera picks up every detail with 3X Zoom, so I can't be too harsh on myself. The decal outline is barely noticeable without focusing on it.

I'm at a crossroads though. The prices of individual tanks is eating my gaming budget. I may decide to just strip and repaint the Old Glory M4A2's. Doing so will put two armies out of action though, so I'm a little reluctant to do it right now with modeling time limited.

The other thing I have to consider is after the Budapest books is out and there are M4A2(76)'s available, how much is it going to cost to equip? If I go with Old Glory, then I'd want to use the Old Glory M4A2's, because they're the same scale. Battlefront minis are slightly bigger.

I guess I'll wait until Budapest is out later this year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mid-War AAR: 229th vs Mittlere PzKp

Paul invited me over to his place for a game of FOW. It took a couple of weeks for a weekend to free up, but we got a game in two weeks ago.

Hold the Line was rolled for the mission and Paul "won" the dice roll to attack.

229th Separate Tank Regiment
HQ Sherman M4A2
8x Sherman M4A2 w/tankos
8x Sherman M4A2 w/tankos (reserve)
2x SU-152 (ambush)
3x BA-10M (reserve)

I'm not 100% solid on Paul's panzerkompanie.

Best guess -

Mittlere Panzerkompanie
HQ Pz IIIJ, Pz IVF2, Famo
3x Pz IVF1
4x Pz IIIJ
3x Pz IVF2
4x Pz 38(t)
2x SdKfz 7(20mm Flak)


The battleground with me defending the close table edge. Paul slapped his objective on the other side of the river bend. I thought I was screwed when he did that because the whole area was open. I considered if I made the right choice for table side to defend.

I place my objective in the trees. Paul painted the objective as a smoking Su-152; I hoped it wasn't a bad omen.


And away we go! Game starts. Paul starts by bogging 2 of this tanks in the forest. FAMO trundles over, avoids a bog, to help out.


Panzer III platoon says "Cya!" to the bogged tanks.


I doubled my Sherman platoon into the village, hiding behind buildings and seeking concealment. See the group of 3 tanks facing the building? Okay, now look at the middle tank. That boy didn't move the rest of the game for various reasons. It got crowded and there was no place to put him without putting him in the open and losing concealment for the rest of the platoon. That tank didn't shoot or move and the crew just picked their nose the whole game. =)


Pz 38(t)'s making a dash down Paul's right flank past the 2iC burning tank.


Paul second point of attack reaches the road. I manage to pick off a tank using the 32" range of the Sherman 75mm. It's a big difference versus a T-34's 76mm range of 24". Pauls Pz III's can't hurt me at 32".


Paul's cat, looking for belly rubs between turns.


At this point I realize I have nothing to contest an objective once Paul's tanks reach it. I send the dismounted tankos out into the open and racing towards the objective. They suffer heavily, but rally from pinning and proceed towards the objective.

Paul's F1's smoke a couple of my Shermans, while the Pz 38(t) go for the flank. This first platoon of Shermans did yeoman's work, scored good kills on Paul's forces.

It's been about 2 turns, no reserves for me and I'm holding onto my ambush.


Paul sneaking to the edge of the village. We try to snipe one another. Paul leaves a couple of tanks in the open, which means no concealment.


Reserves arrive. I form a gunline. This formation is bad news if artillery or airpower is present.

Tanko survivors hang onto the objective.


Paul's forces take a withering fire. Not shown in the screen is the decimated Pz III platoon with its lone survivor fleeing the board. Paul picked up the burning hulks because he knew the end was near.

What's not apparent in the photos is how close Paul is to winning. His AA flak platforms kept blowing apart the tankos. I had nothing to contest that objective. I waited too long to pop my ambush, otherwise the Su-152's would be in that forest.


The Pz 38(t)'s eventually sneak into the forest (I back 4 tanks into the forest - bogging 1 - after this photo to counter the flanking maneuver) and get side shots on the Shermans. He finds out that AT6 versus SA4, doesn't work too well. I make my saves and then rotate the turrets and blow apart the 38t's.

What slowed down the 38(t)'s were the BA-10's, who skirted around the other side of the forest to threaten them. It cost Paul a couple of turns to deal with them (making them Disengage twice).

I pop the Su-152's on Turn 4. They blow up the CiC with FP1+. Paul is down too many platoons and auto-fails.

Game to the 229th!

I'm getting used to the 229th. The trick is to make sure I am focusing all my fire on one platoon at a time. I want at least 5 tanks firing. When the platoon is stationary, I was rolling 10-14 dice at a time. Even if I need 6's, I'm going to get 1 or 2 and with FP 3+, there's a good chance a panzer is going to die.

Another thing I learned - the tankos aren't sacrificial lambs. I was close to morale checks with the 1st platoon. If Paul killed a couple more tankos, I ran the risk of the Sherman platoon failing morale and leaving even though they only lost 2 tanks.

The 2nd platoon's gunline was devastating. 16 dice of goodness roaring down range made short work of that flank and kept the objective from being claimed.

Paul also failed all of his platoon checks. A bit of bad luck there. There's also the matter of a couple of failed Stormtrooper rolls that left the F1 and IIIJ tank platoons in the open and exposed.

Paul's fun to play with and his fiance was gracious enough to cook a Thai meal. Yum!!!