17 March 2018

AHPC VIII Reflections - Part 1: Facts and Figures

Another Painting Challenge comes to a glorious end this week.  While there are still a few days to run, I've entered my last submission and its time for me to tally up:

AHPC VIII: Target Acheived!
Challenge target: 500 Initial, Stretched to 600
Total Points Achieved: 679 - Stretch Target Achieved!

I knew I would have difficulties this year with significant work travel scheduled for Feb-Mar, but preparations and a sensible total allowed me to crack it in AHPC VIII

Scale: Combination of 28mm and 15mm, with more of the latter.

Bonus Rounds: did them all, and got two Runner Up positions this year, making it a PB.

Genres: I took advantage of the new terrain category this year, with the remaining submissions mostly being WW2 (15mm DAK) with a touch of FiW and Fantasy thrown in.  I had prepared a stack of 28mm Fantasy figs but a last minute club focus to WW2 Western Desert gaming caused a mid challenge switch!

So that completes my fourth AHPC and brings my aggregate total throughout all four to 2817 points of a summed target total of 2350.  Yes, some individuals crack that for each challenge, which astounds me

And yes, I'm already thinking about what I might keep aside for AHPC IX!  :-)

14 March 2018

DAK '88'

My 'Monstrous' themed round for AHPC 8:

For WW2 Allied tank crews in the Western Desert (and beyond) there was nothing more monstrous than a German '88'. This famous FlaK gun with its high velocity and flat trajectory became one of the most feared anti tank weapons of the war.

British accounts include anecdotes of tankers bailing out after watching a near miss 88 round skip past their machines; they knew the next round would not miss and its effects would be catastrophic.  Cyril Joly in his excellent book Take These Men grimly described the impact of an 88mm round on a British tank:

“As I spoke I saw the flame and smoke from the German gun. In the next instant, all was chaos. There was a clang of steel on the turret front and a blast of flame and smoke from the same place, which seemed to spread into the turret, where it was followed by another dull explosion. The shockwave, which followed, swept past me, singed my hands and face and left me breathless and dazed. I looked down into the turret. It was a shambles. The shot had penetrated the front just in front of King, the loader. It had twisted the machine-gun out of its mounting. It, or a jagged piece of the torn turret, had then hit the round that King had been holding ready – had set it on fire. The explosion had wrecked the wireless, tore King’s head and shoulders from the rest of his body and started a fire among the machine-gun boxes stowed on the floor.”

A British tanker taken prisoner in 1941 is reported to have complained to his German captors that "In our opinion it is unfair to use 'flak' guns against tanks".  Just not cricket apparently!

So for the Monstrous round I present an 88, painted up for desert service in the Africa Korps in 1941.  This is a Forged In Battle model and in Battlegroup terms the unit includes the Gun and 4 man crew, an additional 3 man loader team, and the Sd Kfz 7 tractor team.  Unlike my other DAK units I have made this one a less battered and more recent arrival to the theatre.

I estimate this to total 30 points for the tractor (6), gun (4), 7 crew (14), a driver (2) and the limber pieces (which I costed as another gun sized model for 4 points), plus the bonus points. And that should get me over the line for my extended 600 point target!