Thursday, July 29, 2010

AAR - Nephew versus the 3rd Gv Mech Corps


D my nephew is in town for the next couple of weeks. He's been chomping at the bit to play FOW, going so far as texting me taunts for the past month. His FOW experience started last year when he last came to visit and was immediately hooked.

I rolled up Hold the Line, but D isn't really interested than any other mission that doesn't involve two sides facing off across an open table and blasting away at each other. Taking and holding objectives is unnecessary distraction to the desired festival of slaughter and carnage he wants to bestow on my forces. In short, he likes to blow things up.

D wanted to use his 5 Tigers from the Tigers Marsch box that he painted up. Plus, he bought 3 Stukas and wanted them to be in his force as well. Given that SS-Tigers in the box is nearly 1,300 points and the Stukas at least another 100+ points, he was set. I placed 17 Shermans (CO, 2 platoon of 8 Shermans), 3 ISU-122's and 3 BA-64's to round out my 1,500 points. Basically, I subtracted the IL-2's and Spetsnaz from my force. Sure, I was giving him some extra points, but he's my nephew.

The ISU-122's were deployed on a hill with two good lanes of fire to dominate the center table. The two Sherman platoons split up and took one side of the table for some flanking action. D kampfgrupped his CO and one Tiger and placed them in the center while the other 3 Tigers held his left flank behind the forest.

I took pics, but they more for D to take home with him rather than an extensive Battle Report. He posed with several of his tanks and Stukas to show his friends.

D's Tiger Ace skills are the anti-bogging one and ROF3.

The first game was Stuka heaven. I lost the 1st Platoon on Turn 1. I foolishly grouped them together. He took out 4 tanks, bailed 1 and it promptly failed morale. Sad face for me.

The ISU's destroyed 1 Tiger. They had another chance at killing another Tiger, in fact, I had 2 hits, but my FP roll is snake eyes!! Arrgh! Sad face for me again.

The Stukas showed up again and blew up one ISU. Eventually, they would come again and again and finally remove the only threat to his Tigers.

The Shermans had no chance. The game ended up with 2nd Platoon hiding in the forest. I forced D's Tigers to come get me. The Shermans did manage to get 2 penetrating side shots. Firepower check! One and one. Snake Eyes again! Arrggh! Sad face again!

I made a show of me repeatedly hitting my head on the table and D patting my back, saying "there, there".

2nd Platoon is reduced to smoking hulks. Game over. Only the Company Commander and the Platoon Leader survive the inform STAVKA to send heavier tanks to the sector!

The 2nd game, saw D putting 2 Tigers away and then adding 3 Jpz IV's, a Panther, 2 88's and 2 PaK40's. Again, D is all about getting to use the models he has built and painted. Historically accurate lists only get in the way. D gets Clever Hans again.

I kept my list the same.

This time, I spread out my Shermans. I stretched them to the limit of the 4" command radius. The image of those Stukas smoking a platoon on the first turn is still fresh in my mind. Still, I deployed in similar fashion, albeit with more space between the vehicles.

D put 3 Tigers on the left flank behind the forest. The Panther took the road and the 3 Jpz IV's held the middle behind a hill. The 88's were also in the middle and the PaK40's took the extreme right flank.

I won first turn, the ISU-122's took pot shots at the 88's, but missed. 1st Platoon on the left flank headed up and hid behind the trees. Ditto for 2nd Platoon, though 4 of the tanks turned their turrets to face the menace of the Jpz IV's and the 88's. Finally, I rushed the BA-64's to a bend in the road. My plan was to bait D into moving his Panther. I hoped if he advanced his Panther, 1st Platoon could eventually reach a position for flanking shots.

D pushed his Jpz's forward and blocked the LOS of the 88's! He didn't realize it until he wanted to shoot. The Panther moved up and blew up a BA-64's. The armored car patrol failed to disengage and watched their comrade BBQ inside his vehicle. The Jpz fire was ineffective against the ISU's. The Tigers moved into the trees, bogging one. No Stukas showed up on any of the 5 dice. Whew.

On my next turn, 1st Platoon pushed forward, some skirting around the trees, and 3 tanks going into the trees (no bogs this time, yay!). The platoon was positioned well to shoot at the PaK's and still hide from the Panther. The two BA-64's rushed past the Panther, again providing tempting targets and giving D a choice to shoot them or risk both cars rushing behind his AT guns (either 88's or PaK 40's). The ISU's blew up a Jpz IV. 2nd Platoon bailed another.

D reply was to blow another BA-64 away with his Panther and bails the other. The Tigers trundle on into the forest. The bogged Tiger remains bogged. His Jpz IV remounts and joints in getting 2 hits on the ISU's. They both bounce. The 88's get a clear shot at a Sherman and blow it away. Stukas fail to arrive.

The Jpz IV platoon evaporates under the combined fire of the ISU's and Shermans. So do the 2 PaK 40's, thanks to 4 tanks of 1st Platoon. The platoon leader and 2 other tanks risk bogging and exit the trees, and see the beautiful flank of the Panther. The Panther brews up. The sole surviving BA-64 rushes to flank the 88's. Part of 2nd Platoon reverses to pull away from the trees, anticipating the Tigers.

Stukas don't show up on 3 dice. D is getting frustrated, wondering if his guys are drinking too much Schnaps. Two Tigers get to the edge of the trees and they kill one Sherman. The 88's bail another.

1st Platoon, freed from the Panther threat, charge up the left flank and aim at the 88's. 2nd Platoon moves around the corner of the forest, away from the Tigers to concentrate on the 88's.

Game is pretty much set here. I'm trying to get D to fail Company morale, rather than destroy his Tigers. This happens in the next 2 turns. His Stukas do show up (2 dice), but he misses both shots. =(.

D's elation for the night is somewhat deflated because of his Stukas. I say it happens and airpower can be unpredictable. D says he spread his forces too wide. It's the good general who can recognize his mistakes after the game. I'm proud of him.

Good and fun games though.

D announced his German army is complete. He then bought himself a M4A1 Sherman, a Sherman 105 and an AOP Grasshopper. His next army is going to be American. =) D is happy again at the prospects of his next force.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Pics - Bruce's Objective Markers & Ryan's Panther Ausf G

Bruce O's objective markers arrive two days ago! I was also happy to receive Ryan M's completed Panther, Pioneer Platoon and 8-rads!

They are some of the best FOW painters out there, along with Sentinel and GeekEGuy.

My daughter allowed me to borrow her lamp and she was kind enough to use a white backboard to create the pictures below.

Ryan's Panther is one he modified from a regular Ausf A. The chin mantlet, machine gun portals and hatches were all sculpted. It isn't an old Battlefront Ausf G. Amazing work!


Bruce's work took 2nd place in the objectives portion of the Iron Cross painting competition at Historicon 2010. Check out the attention to detail and creative inspiration.

An unhappy crewman trying to save the air recognition flag.

A happy bunch of Germans posting in front of a monstrous KV-3!

The KV-3 dwarfs the Panther Ausf G

Family is coming into town. One of the younger members has his own FOW collection of tanks. I'm looking forward to bringing him to the LGS where he get a few games in.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

SU-152 Assault Guns

Maus Haus III is coming up this Labor Day Weekend (Sep 4-5).

It's a 1,750pt Mid War tournament. In order to boost the 229th Separate Tank Regiment from 1,500 to 1,750, I've added two SU-152 assault guns. There is much debate on the usefulness of Conscript SU-152s. If its gun hits anything, it's dead. Even Tigers will need to give it respect. I plan on using the unit for overwatch and just to give an opponents armor something to worry about.

I used Model Master's spray can of Medium Green. My can of Army Painter dark shade "went bad", so I used Games Workshop's Badab Black for a wash. I hand painted (did a poor "K") the cyrillic. It roughly translates to "Bite Me", in honor of Bart Simpson.



Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: Eisenhorn


Hello readers. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. I certainly am. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are going on evening walks for exercise and because it's the time of year when the weather is great and the neighborhood kids are outside playing and friends and neighbors are BBQ'ing, walking dogs or simply enjoying themselves. A wise person once offered this advice: "Take a turtle for a walk."

I'm making a more concerted effort to do more reading this summer as well and cut down on the time I spend on the computer (non-work related) or staring at the TV screen. By the time I'm home from work, my mind needs the time to wind down and relax. Reading is very relaxing to me. I picked up Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn Omnibus on Memorial Day weekend for some reading material that I can chew on an hour or so an evening.

The Eisenhorn omnibus clockes in at 700+ pages and tells the story of Imperial Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn in three volumes, Xenos, Malleus and Hereticus. I chose the Eisenhorn series over the Gaunt's Ghost novels (I picked up an Ghost omnibus this weekend because I finished Eisenhorn), because I was intrigued by the story of an Inquisitor rooting out threats to Mankind on the various systems rather than on the battlefield.

I learned why Abnett is my favorite Black Library author. Abnett's descriptions leap off the pages of the book and set the tone for each dramatic encounter. I know an author is good if he can paint a picture in my mind; Abnett does that for me. I was really struck by his description of the Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marine who appears in the first volume. We all know Space Marines and their Traitor brethren are larger than life. They are demi-gods in their own right and can unleash unholy terror and bring death and destruction. Yet, we as gamers see them mostly as small 28mm plastic and metal play pieces to move on the board only to remove them when we fail to make an armor saving throw. Dan Abnett always brings his Space Marine characters to life with how he describes them. I think he spent a page or a page and a half describing the monster and its effect on Gregor and his companions. It's one of the highlights of the book for me.

The first volume is good and sets the stage for the second volume. Sadly, I think the third volume is very anti-climatic and deserved more pages. There was plenty more story that should have been told before the Final Battle. I know I'm done with a book when I'm skimming over paragraphs to get to the conclusion. Xenos and Malleus I did no skimming. Hereticus I was waiting for it to end. Maybe even Abnett got tired and wanted it to end too.

Despite Hereticus shortcomings, Eisenhorn Omnibus is a great book to pick up. It offers great insight into Inquisitors and the various orders. There are great characters who Gregor uses. Yes, I do say "uses". Gregor's not a pillar holy virtue. I like flawed characters and Gregor has many flaws. Eisenhorn is an outright moron at times in the book. I regret Abnett not exploring the Gregor-Bequin relationship. I think he missed a grand opportunity of star-crossed lover storytelling.

Like I mentioned earlier, I picked up another Abnett omnibus at the LGS. It's back to the battlefield with Gaunts Ghosts. I'm sure it'll be just as good as the Horus Heresey, Legion and the Eisenhorn Omnibus.

One last thing, if you live in Spain, or a fan of the team, congratulations on your World Cup 2010 victory. The Netherlands nearly mugged, grabbed, held and kicked way to a win, but Espana held true in their belief that is soccer is a beautiful game when players of talent, like what we saw on the field yesterday, are allowed to work their magic. Plus, Spain earned a few yellows of their own, so maybe skillfull ball movement backed up with physical play is the new template for soccer.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Objective Markers for Historicon 2010

Historicon, US FOW National Championship, starts tomorrow.

It's in Pennsylvania. Maybe one day, I can qualify for the tournament and arrange a family vacation to attend.

In the meantime, Bruce O. is entering the Iron Cross Painting competition. One of the objective markers he is doing for my Eastern Front forces is a bogged armored car.



He's also turned a massive KV-5 from the MidWar Monster series into an objective marker.



Good luck, Bruce!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

229th vs Pete's Panzergrenadiers - Turns 6 and Conclusion


Only Pete's grenadiers stood in the way of the objective once the AT ambush was eliminated.

Pete was free to pull his Marders away from the removed objective and he did so last turn. The surviving Shermans of the Right Flank Platoon moved their 6", trying to get a clear LOS at the Marders between the small hill and the trees. Two tanks had good LOS. Amazingly one Marder was hit and destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Left Flank platoon moved up, managed 2 Main Gun hits and 2 MG hits on the dug in grenadiers. Pete made all his saves.

Assault phase.

I won't add any more pics. It was back and forth and back and forth.

1st round, I don't kill anything. Pete passes tank fear and charges.
2nd round, I kill 2 stands and Pete's Panzerknacker kills 1 M4.
3rd round, I kill 1 stand, Panzerknacker kills another M4.
4th round, I kill 1 and Pete kills 2 M4's. (this is getting ugly)
5th round, I miss and Pete's bails an M4.
6th round, I remount and kill 1 stand. Pete bails another M4.
7th round, I kill 1 stand and he bails. I fail motivation and break off.

I think Pete's CO with the Panzerknacker killed or bailed all the tanks except 1.

Conscript tanks need more than 6 tanks before assaulting dug in grenadiers.

Pete rolled extremely well, though, he admitted. It didn't seem that way to me. I thought Pete's dice rolling was right about average during the assault.

Left Platoon is wiped or captured. Right Platoon is in no condition to contest the far objective.

Game over.

Good game, Pete!

I do hope visitors enjoyed the AAR using Battle Chronicler. I'm sure some of you would have preferred the AAR all in one post. Perhaps in the future when my AAR skills improve. I took copious amounts of notes and pictures to build the maps and then to describe the turn by turn action.

I think Battle Chronicler is a great tool and I'll certainly try to do another AAR with it soon.

Thanks for stopping by.