27 January 2018

Australia Day and AHPC entries

Couple of small terrain entries this week.  For the second year in a row I have set aside the figures carefully prepped before the challenge in order to follow (willingly, it must be said) Alan into another project of opportunity :-) So just a few small terrain offerings from me this week in the interim while I build a prep the new models.

First up is this 28mm Stone Bridge by Warlord. A nice plastic model with lots of lovely detail and useful for pretty much any period.  Very happy with how it came out.

Secondly, a 15mm desert building. Found it in my spares box, manufacturer unknown. Offered here as a hint of the project to come...

Together these models fill most of a "terrain cube" (the AHPC patent pending unit of measurement) so 20 points the total.


And for all my antipodean brothers and sisters: Happy Australia Day - I hope you had a great one, whatever you did!
Aussie essentials - Champagne & Orange, lamington cakes, big hat, flag and great views of Sydney Harbour!

23 January 2018

AHPC 8: "BFG" Bonus round - FIW 12 pounder

My entry for the BFG round is an emplaced Royal Artillery field piece to support my British FIW army that I painted in AHPC VII.  Now Alan's French and Canadiens will have to contend with bombardment, ball and shot while my ranks of Redcoats advance with cold steel!

I know what you're thinking - 'nice, but is it really "Big" for a BFG Bonus round?' Well big is a relative term and in the FIW campaigns along the frontier, there wasnt a lot of artillery.  Most were emplaced in fortifications or brought up for specific sieges but in general, columns didn't have guns attached.  So dropping a 12 pounder onto the table makes it a BFG indeed!

Figs are by Front Rank and I have used a large sabot base from Charlie Foxtrot models, which gave me the space to do a nice dioramic front with the gabions.    The crew of 5 is for Sharpe Practice - our FIW rules of choice. Front Rank also impressed by providing alternate barrels for the gun carriage.  In the pics above the larger 12 pounder barrel is shown.  Here is the smaller alternative they provide in the pack, allowing me to field it as a 9 or even a 6 pounder.

After time away from painting Lace Wars era uniforms, I found these a bit of a struggle - not sure how I managed 50+ of them last challenge!

Notes to self on colours used:
Gun Carriage - GW Blue Grey
Uniform: Blue- Vallejo Prussian Blue with GW Asurmen Blue wash; Red-  GW Scarlet with Army Painter Red Tone wash; Coat d'arms Sunburnt Flesh

In toto thats one field gun (10 points), 5 crew (25 points at 5 points each) and the 50 bonus points for a total of 85.  That takes me to 305 points and past the halfway point!

AHPC entry is here:

UPDATE: Pleased to announce that after voting my FIW artillery got a Runner Up position! 
Thats two such results during AHPC 8 - WoW!

So one month down and my progress rate compared to previous years is up there, but that will drop off shortly as I start some significant travel with work (thus my 500 point target).

18 January 2018

AHPC 8 - Week 3 Terrain submission

This week I have laboured to complete the Ukrainian village of Ostrog for the Battlegroup Barbarossa Campaign that Alan and I are enjoying:  3 more small houses (1 damaged) plus a wonderful partly destroyed church.
The fruits of my labours this week
Like the two buildings from last week, these are lovely resin models by Mk IV Miniatures. Wonderfully crisp sculpts with no bubbles or flash, they are a delight to paint.  The battle damage is particularly good - not overly done but still quite evident both inside and out.  The interior detailing is also lovely (all roofs are removable) though took quite a bit of extra time to do justice to it with the brush.

Its been great to finish off the total of six buildings from a standing start i.e. when a mate comes over, tells you your painting table priorities are all wrong, informs you we need a new 15mm village finished ASAP for our games, and points to the buildings in the lead pile looking all forlorn in their packets...  

That said, I bought them at Fall-In in 2015 (where I met Miles) so its good to finally give them the attention they deserve.

Next up are 4 MG bunkers - resin Battlefront models. 3 have Maxim barrels and 1 has MG 34/42. These were fun to paint up.

Overall, the 3 houses and the larger church are three 6inch terrain cubes, totalling 60 points. For the MG bunkers I suggest the same as a 15mm infantry figure, 2 points, for 8 more; a total of 68 points for this submission. Now to get back to some figures!

The village of Ostrog, which I have completed in the last fortnight

Altogether, that inches me 68 points closer to my goal and my total now stands at 220

15 January 2018

Battlegroup Barbarossa Campaign - Day 2

To: Commander 309th Motor Rifle Division
From: Commander 381st Rifle Regiment


Comrade General,

The Fascist invaders advanced strongly against Ostrog from the North throughout the day, but we are holding and the defensive line remains intact.  The Germans attacked from the East in strength at Dawn.

Morning attack – Eastern Approaches to Ostrog
Soviet Defence line - ready to meet the Invader

Not One Step Backward!
A Dug in AT Battery with accompanying Infantry, HMG and a reinforced 120mm Mortar Battery in support
Fascist tanks concentrate for a left flank schwerpunkt
And crash into the Red Army line

Tanker heroes advance!

To the German invader the Russian steppe brings death 
The sacrifices of the tank corps will never be forgotten - under heavy pressure the Germans withdraw

Following additional manourvres and reinforcements, we were attacked again from the North in the late afternoon.  Both enemy attacks were defeated, though with significant casualties to the defending units - the supporting tank elements in particular.  Wide use of reinforced defensive positions has been pivotal to holding. I continue use of the local populace as a labor force to fortify the city under the supervision and motivation of the NKVD.

Evening attack – Northern Approaches to Ostrog

Outlying buildings made for perfect defensive positions... and 4 AT guns!

The Panzers advance...

...against the steely eyed defenders of the Motherland
First blood to the Red Army!

The hits continue and more fascists pay for their crimes

Taking significant casualties in the first turn, the devastated Germans withdraw

Separately, Red Army defensives east of the Rozrazh rail bridges have not seen significant activity since yesterday's attacks but I continue to hold the area with significant forces.  Additional German elements have arrived over the last 24 hours, including a Pioneer unit which I expect to commence bridging operations shortly at the ford location between Ostrog and Rozrazh.

My operational priorities or the next 24 hours are: Defend the township of Ostrog, maintain the defensive line for the Rozrah rail bridges, counter attack likely German bridging operations.  Engineering reinforcements are expected to arrive overnight and I intend to commit their flamethrowers and demolition charges to the counter attack.  This will be the first offensive action the Regiment has undertaken and will be a true test of their fortitude.

Comrade Commander Paulinski 

12 January 2018

Battlegroup Barbarossa Campaign - Day 1: Intelligence Supplement

The following images were retrieved from an enemy Friseler Storch reconnaissance aircraft that crashed in the Ostrog Sector PM 27 June 1941. They are submitted for analysis by the Divisional Intelligence section.

11 January 2018

Battlegroup Barbarossa Campaign - Day 1

Over the Christmas break Alan and I have been playing "The Last Line" campaign from the Battlegroup Barbarossa book. The campaign centres around the June 1941 Russian defence of the township of Ostrog and the critical river crossing sites in its vicinity.  I Command the Heroic Defenders of the Motherland against Alan's Fascist Invaders.

Each day is broken up into 3 strategic turns (AM, PM, Evening) and we have now completed day 1.

To: Commander 309th Motor Rifle Division
From: Commander 381st Rifle Regiment


Comrade General,

The Ostrog sector has been heavily engaged throughout the day and with one minor setback, has held up well to enemy probing attacks. Fascist recon units have made a number of thrusts, particularly to the North of Ostrog in an attempt to seize the rail bridge at Brodivs'ke.

The morning saw my infantry blocking force deployed in the vicinity of Khoriv where they encountered motorised reconnaissance elements of the 11th Panzer Division.  The enemy's more mobile elements were unable to penetrate our defences despite using heavy indirect fire support and withdrew in good order.  Their attack resumed in the afternoon after being heavily reinforced by at least two tank platoons.  After significant fighting throughout the afternoon, the enemy was again repulsed with heavy losses.

Late afternoon saw an separate enemy recon force attack further south at Rozrazh. Despite the deployment of two tank platoons the enemy was able to force the position but we inflicted significant casualties upon them.  Notably, Luftwaffe dive bombers had complete dominance in the air.  I reiterate my request for anti-aircraft guns and Sturmovik support.

I wish to bring to your attention the acts of heroism performed this day by Comrade Serjent Alaninski, who commanded a T-26 Light Tank in the Rozrazh action.  While bravely advancing against more numerous enemy forces, Serjent Alaninski's tank came under fire from a much more heavily armed German tank. Despite being hit and immobilised, the Serjent continued to fight his vehicle, destroying the heavier Panzer as well as a heavily armed scout unit at very close range. Only when his position was untenable and after direct orders did the Sergeant abandon and disable his vehicle to rejoin the main force.  For his courage and heroism against overwhelming odds, I recommend Serjent Alaninski be awarded the Order of the Red Banner. The appropriate paperwork will be forthcoming in due course, should I survive.

While the enemy now hold the approach to an area assessed suitable for bridging operations, German engineering units have not been detected in this sector.  In  the meantime, the bridges at both Ostrog and Brodivs'ke remain in our hands and are strongly defended. Additional reinforcements are expected to arrive in this sector overnight.

Attached to this report are photographs of operational activities which may be of use for propaganda purposes.

Comrade Commander Paulinski 

Morning action at Khoriv

The German avenue of approach
Panzer Recon elements cautiously advance
Panzerkommander Alan consults his feldmanual  to request artillery support
Vorwarts! Angriff!
A hidden Russian AT gun strikes hard!
Red Army Infantry reinforcements arrive
As does an armoured behemoth  

Heroic defenders of the Rodina in action!

Afternoon action at Khoriv

The Germans return to Khoriv - with heavy armour! 
German mortars zero in on the defending infantry who heroically did their duty and stayed at their posts
The battle is not to be one sided as the Panzertruppen were to find out!
Fascists pay the price of their Imperial ambitions

Afternoon Action at Rozrazh
Scene of the late afternoon meeting engagement 
Recon 222s led the German advance
But Soviet Heavy mortars quickly take a toll
Luftwaffe intervention inflicts retribution 

Red Army light tanks advance to met the Invaders

And a swirling engagement ensues on the steppe

Comrade Serjent Alaninski in heroic action against the Invaders!
The detritus of war litters the battlefield
(this awesome game which came down to what chits we both pulled in the last turn.
Alan pulled a 1, me a 5 - it was that close!)
 Overall, I have found playing the Red Army in 1941 to be quite a taxing experience.  I can select only from the Rifle Division force lists, with some additional restrictions imposed, and then have some some challenging command and control restrictions.  As a result, it feels like playing with an army you don't want and then not being able to employ that army that way you want; So a very historical recreation :-)  Not that its not a fun game, just a damn hard one!

Most enjoyably, I have been using a certain Comrade Commander Stepan Patrovich gifted to me by Steve W a few years ago.  Ivans have Landed!

With a Day 1 record of 1W-1D-1L I think he is doing well compared to his 1941 predecessors!