Thursday, September 29, 2011

Final Prep

Had my last game before the tourney on the 8th of October.  Brought the newly based and painted Brit Paras for a spin as I think this is the list I will field.

I played a young player named Ben.

We rolled up Fighting Withdrawl.  Since I was infantry and Ben was infantry, we rolled to see who would be attacker.  I "lost" and was defender.

Rough idea of Ben's army (1,500 pts MW):

3 Platoons of infantry (grens probably)
1 Platoon of pak40 guns (2 guns)
1 Platoon of Armored Nebs
1 Platoon of "Baby Brumbars" (two tanks) - I think Stiigs or something??
Limited Air


Ok, realize this is the first time I have ever been defender in FW!  Suffice to say my deployment left quite a bit of room for improvement.  I covered each of the three objectives with one platoon of paras.  Yes, the objectives were pretty spread out.  My left objective also had the platoon of HMGs.  The AT guns were in ambush.  My 8 gun 25pdrs were spread from left to middle and were also helping out on the left objective.  Spotters were far left and far right.

In hindsight (and with great help from Mike who debriefed my for about 45 minutes after the game), I should have placed my objective in the far left and caused a "shift" to his objectives.  Remember that no two oblectives can be more than 48" apart.  Second mistake - I should not have placed all para platoons literally on the objectives.  I should have palced at least one in between two objectives.  Third, having the 25pdrs, the HMGs and a platoon on one side was a bit of overkill.  Again, after discussion, I think the strategy of leaving the center objective weak is sound because you can reinforce from either (or both) flanks.  Food for thought.

Anyway, my deployment stunk and Ben chose the far right objective to bull rush.  Great plan!!  I knew I was in for a world of hurt.

Short AAR:

Turn one - with less than a 1% chance to pull it off (.925% to be exact), Ben killed my observer right away.  Concealed, GtG, BPC target, rifle MG team firing and FP 6 - he rolled a 6, I failed my save, and he rolled another 6.  OUCH!!  But speaking bluntly, that was the highlight of the execution of his plan.  He learned later that assaulting two platoons of FV Paras is a quick way to die.  The reason he assaulted two para platoons was that he allowed me to shift my entire force to the right.  6 turns in and he had yet to fire a shot from the armored nebs or the pak40s.  In addition, he only fired the baby brumbars once.  He is young and will have to learn.  Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice my 6pdr AT guns to prevent an assault, so I ended up losing one platoon.  5-2 victory that would have been a 1-6 loss to an more experienced player.

Feelings going into the tourney:

Well, I am excited for the 8th.  There will be about 30 players in Madison.  3 will qualify for Nats.  I don't have a chance in hell.  I have only played my list 3 times and I have yet to learn the finer points.  But we will see if study can make up for a few games of experience!!  I do like my list and I think it will stand up well against others.  I am afraid of the hell known as cavalry.  All I know for sure is that I will have fun and I will learn a lot!!

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I have completed my Brit Para Company!  Wohoo!!

They are painted and based.  I do need to dullcoat the stands and I will probably have to use some pigment / powders on the bases.  For one platoon, I used the King & Kerr Urban Bases.  On the other two, I used the Battlefront Rubble Bases.

I do like the bases.  My only problem is filling the cracks.  I am not talented enough to mold green stuff in there, so I used model railroad ballast to simulate rubble.  It looks ok, but I will need to do something to improve them.  Unfortunately, it really does cover up the work I did on the bases themselves.

When I put the whole company together, I admit I had the thougth of "that's all!??!?!  All that work and that is it!!!"  Each platoon is 7 stands, plus CiC and 2iC and three PIATS.  26 stands.  Lot's of work for 26 stands.

I did start the early work on the para HMGs.  I also bought (on sale) 6 pdr AT guns.  I am going to "steal" the crew from my 17 pdr and use those instead of painting more.  I need to 6 pdr for the tournament and I can always paint the other crew and use on the 17 pdrs.

So that means I will only have to borrow Joe's 25 pdr arty for the tournament.

I will try to get some pictures taken and loaded up.  But right now I owe my lovely wife whatever she wants because she really let me paint and base this weekend to get them done.  Love you honey!!  (she never reads this, but I will thank her anyway!!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Be Kind - Pictures!!

Ok.  I have all my paras ready for the final camo.  I ran about 9 through the camo phase to see how they turned out.  I took some pictures.  Some are fuzzy, but hopefully you can see how they look.  Comments welcome as I have another 110+ ready to repeat the same step.

I need to go back and paint the wood part of the gun.

Another pose.

Other side.

So I hope this gives a little flavor to the guys.  I also hate the look of the super zoomed in dudes.  Of course, unless you are CdC!!

So let me know if they are good, passable or nasty!

Decision Time!

Ok.  Played last night and I went with the "Plan B" list.  While I like the list and I like the way it plays, I am going full bore on "Plan A."  Brit Paras - MW.

I have found that the Brit Para list lets me play infantry, but also be aggressive.  I am concerned with the relatively small size of the platoons (I am used to American Armored Rifles), but FV allows you to absorb a large number of shots without taking a ton of damage.  I had a discussion with Rob (new player), who loves his American Paras.  The issue with American Paras in MW is Tank Assault of 2.  They don't get 3 until LW.  Brit Paras however get Gammon Bombs, so TA 3 in MW!

I am fairly certain that at least one player will bring cavalry.  This could be trouble for my guys - especially getting "run down" if they fail assaults.  I hope two gun sections of 25pdrs (8 guns) plus all the special rules for Brit Arty will make Trigger and Flicka take an early trip to the glue factory!!

I am not worried about armor lists, as my playtest last week went really well and against a good opponent.

So now I need to get my units painting one way or another!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brit Paras - coming along, but a bit slowly

Due to weather, I was able to get some good painting done this weekend.  Too bad a quick trip (2.5 hours) to the vet emergency room was needed and caused a bit of a diruption.

But here is where I now stand:

My Brit Para Company is coming along.  I did pull out the light mortar stands (2) and the flame thrower stand (1) as both of those are not needed for the MW tourney.  I have 30 ready for camo, but also in need of boots being painted.  I have the rest of the box in a similar position.  They just need boots, weapons (except PIATs - those are painted) and camo.  I am hoping to be ready to base the guys this upcoming weekend.

My bases will be a combination of King & Kerr and the FoW urban rubble bases.  I have decided to model 4 units on a base.  Technically, NA book has 4 and 5 making a squad, but aBtF has them with two stands of 4.  I will go with the aBtF list, since that is really what the guys are suppossed to be.  Of course, it cuts down on the painting, so it is a win-win!

I will still get the Stewies based and painted as well.  I may actually run that list again this Wednesday to see how it plays.  I really like the para list and in a Defensive Battle, it will be a seriously strong list.  TA 3 is a blessing in MW, plus the PIATs make for another strong anti-armor defensive option.  But Mobile Battle could be a prolem.  The tourney will either have 2 DB or 2 MB, which will be decided at the time of the round.

Now that some ideas for the LW tourney are being released by Joe, I am thinking about the next list too.  LW - 1,750 and a quick LW 1,150 tourney are being done the first weekend in November.  The quickie are all Domination based rounds (3), with two being Blind Domination.  Due to the 2 being BD, I am thinking about a recon list.  But we shall see.

I know I need to get some pictures put up here and hopefully I will get that done shortly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MW Brit Para Lite AAR and Update

Regular gaming last night at The Last Square.  My dad was in town and came along for the ride.  He has joined us in the past and does like to watch the games.  My father and I played Squad Leader when I was younger, so we have dropped a number of dice against each other.  Unfortunately, he really doesn't want to play a game since he doesn't know the rules and doesn't really want to learn the rules.  Anyway, he came along and watched the proceedings.

I ran a MW Brit Para list that I am thinking about using in our upcoming tourney.  I think the benefit of playing the list before vastly outweighs anything learned about the list from others.  It is all good, clean fun!

We rolled off to determine matchups and I "earned" Mike (Mr. Best German General at LW Nats).  He wanted to play a "fun" list, so he brought SS Panzers, with a platoon of captured T-34 (42).  Here is what I recall of his list, but I may have him with an extra tank or two:

1 Platoon Panzer IV (4 tanks)
1 Platoon Panzer III (4 tanks)
1 Platoon Captured T-34 (3 Tanks)
HQ - Panzer III (2 tanks)
All Fearless Vets - Midwar

I think that is about right.

I placed the following Brit Paras (Italy) list:

HQ + 3 Piats
Full Para Platoon
Full Para Platoon
Full Para Platoon
Mortar / HMG Platoon (chose HMGs)
Para AT Gun (4 6pdrs)
8th Army Arty (8 25pdr - 2 gun troops)

We decided to run No Retreat since it will be a mission in the tourney and I had actually never run the mission before - go figure.

So Brit paras defended.  Since this is a "lite" AAR and this was my first try at this list, I will just jump to the "findings" (btw - 6-1 win for the Brit Paras due to Company Morale):

1) Fearless Vets are AWESOME!!!  I am so used to Confident Trained US Armor, that I never really got to experience Vets.  Concealed, Gone to Ground and in Bulletproof cover is a new experience for me.  And I like it very much!  It absolutely makes the attacker have to get within 16" for armor even to stand a chance.  And even that needs a 6 to hit plus firepower to kill failed saves.

2) Brit Paras rock in assault against tanks.  I was told they did, but when you actually expereince it, well it was a sight to see.  Reminded me of stories when I was 16 years old about [CENSORED - THIS IS A FAMILY BLOG].  It was so much better than the stories!  Ok, back to the game.  At TA 3 and TA 4 (piats) and top armor of 1, I just need 3 hits to kill one tank (armor save of 1 kills and 2 bails, which in assaults can basically be a kill).  Yes, I need to pass motivation to assault, but Fearless helps that!  For the game, I killed (either outright or captured due to bailed) 6 tanks in assaults - 2 T-34s, 3 Panzer IIIs and 1 Panzer IV.

3) Taking learnings from EW, I tried out one of the 25pdr gun troops as AT guns and not arty.  Tactic was sound, the dice were not.  But 8 shots of AT 9 coming at FA 6 are decent odds.

4) Smoke works for the Brits just as well as for the Americans.  Smoke and assault.  Just like Salt and Pepper (the spice, not the female rap group, errr - not the spice girls either, but you know what I mean).  My last assault into the Panzer IVs and the CiC was in smoke.

5) Don't be afraid to move at the double.  I had to do it twice.  Took shots once, but I survived just fine.

6) Don't leave you platoon commander picking his butt in a field when he should be back inside that building 4" away.  Dumb a#@ move of the game for me.

7) TAKE PICTURES!!!  We have great terrain and everyone does a good job painting.  We should be showing off our boards and battles!!

The midwar Brit Paras are a good list.  It now puts a lot more pressure on me to finish the painting!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

List Creation

Not much painting happening due to family visiting. Plus the weather is perfect right now. But what I have been doing is focusing on list creation. I am still working on my upcoming MidWar list. I am pretty set with my two options. But I did start to work on a LateWar list and that is where the fun is happening. I have a list for Medium Armor (US 3rd), Light Armor (US 3rd), Brit Rifles (50th / T&T), Devil's Brigade and Brit Paras. And I just created a list for American Rifles with all templates. This one is just for fun and not for anything else. I just want to try having 5 or 6 platoons that have templates. Of course Easy Army makes this a lot easier to do that the old paper and calculator. And I am really waiting for Easy Army to get the US and Brit lists up for North Africa!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not much of an update

The holiday weekend travels, plus family visits are really going to put a stop to my progress.  Unfortunately, October 8th still moves forward and I have a lot of painting to do.

I have 30 guys ready for the camo and another 30 are started with good progress.  I have also decided to model them on stands like the new LW lists - one stand of 5 one stand of 4.  So the BF rubble bases will handle the 5 and my King & Kerr Urban Bases will handle the 4.

Even if I don't finish, Joe has the stands I will need so I can field the list.  But I am also still interested in the Plan B list too.

We will see!

So count so far:  17pdrs are ready for basing.  30 guys are ready for camo and basing.  30 more have denison base completed and another 80 have just been started.  I also need to paint HMG platoons and 5 Stewarts (Plan B).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lite AAR and Painting Update

Got a game in last night (as usual for Wednesdays).

Since the LW Nats are done, we are switching gears to MW.  Our tournament is on October 8th at The Last Square.  ALL ARE INVITED!!!

Game AAR:

MW - 1,500 pts.

I decided to test a list I am calling "Plan B".  It is a US Armor Light Tank Company List from North Africa.  The list is basically:

HQ - 2 Stewarts
Platoon #1 - 4 Stuarts
Platoon #2 - 4 Stuarts
Platoon #3 - 4 Shermans (75mm)
Platoon #4 - Armored Rifles, with one rifle squad
Platoon #5 - Armored Mortars (3 tubes)
Platoon #6 - One battery of Priests
1,495 pts.

It is a "standard" build and I just need to finish painting 5 Stuarts to get this completed.  No problem.  I am still leaning towards Brit Paras and I am painting like a man possessed, but I need a Plan B.  Hence the name!  : - )

Played Ben, who is a good young player.  He did really well (won) our most recent tournament, but he can still make some mistakes.  He put down 2 German FJ / Pio platoons (full), 2 AA guns, a Tiger and a Pzr III and Priority Stukas.

We rolled Breakthrough and he was defender.

He decided to place all units on the board and had nothing in ambush.  While he started in prepared positions, he had to move to get to the objectives.  I decided to place 1 platoon of Stewies in delayed reserves.


I was able to smoke the Tiger on the first turn.  I then pressed forward with my Stewies and Shermans.  My AAR did a loop on the board to get around a flank.  My Priests bascially could not range in to save their life for the enitire game.  I literally got one round of firing in over the 6 rounds of the game and finally gave up and moved them forward as a machine gun platoon.

Ben became obsessed with the Stukas and targeting my Shermans.  He knew the Sherms were the only unit that could touch his Tiger and he wanted them gone.  Unfortunately, I closed the gap on the infantry to within wave-off distance.  In a brain fart / poor decision, he decided to double the Pios to get out of range of the planes.  He did get out of range and the Stukas took out 1 Sherman.  But I decimated the platoon on the next turn and by turn 3, the platoon was gone from the table, along with the 1iC.  I will admit that Ben had bad rolling at bad times - like failing Fearless tests.  By turn 6, all he had was the Tiger (Pzr III was long gone) and a reduced platoon of FJ Pios.  Once the objectives went live, he could not be in both places at once and he called the game.  6-1 win.  I ended up losing 2 Shermans and a Stewie.

So I like the list and it plays well, but again it is fairly standard.  While I like the Priests, I miss the AOP.  I will need to think long and hard about the Priests and whether or not I can drop them completely or sub them for standard 105mm.  That will be a play test coming up.

BTW - Stukas are just mean.  If they hit and you fail the armor save (likely outcome), they kill.  Period.  But as with all aircraft, they are fickle.  You simply cannot count on the planes killing stuff.  But it does dictate movement!

Painting Update:

I am painting like my hair is on fire (which it is if I want to get them finished in time).  My Heavy AT Platoon is done.  I "just" need to base them up.  I will be modelling 2 for Arnhem and 2 for Pegasus Bridge.  I have dirt from both locations, so those will go on the bases.  For the tourney, I will use them as a proxy for the smaller AT guns.  I have 30 paras painted and ready for the camo part.  I have emailed with "Bengo" on the FoW forum.  He is the one who came up with the process I am using to paint my paras.  Good stuff and he really got me going.  He did the same thing - painted a gazillion in a relatively short period of time, so he can sympathize.  I hope to finish the 30 tonight and start the next 30.  I have just over 5 weeks to get everything completed.  If I don't, and that is a big possibility, I will either field the "Plan B" list or borrow paras from Joe.  If I borrow, I will take my units out of the painting competition since I did not paint them.  But I am hoping to get mine done in time!