Friday, December 27, 2013

Magach 2 or 3? How about BOTH! Same with Sho't!

Here in the States, there is an old question that is asked:

Ginger or Mary Ann?

The correct answer is BOTH!

For Christmas, I got a boat load of AIW stuff (good thing I preordered it all).  I got 6 Sho't / Centurions, 6 M51 Ishermans, 6 Magach 2 /3, 6 AMX-15, Israeli decals and half track stowage.  Needless to say, I have been an assembling machine!

With both the Magach and Sho't boxes, you have to choose which version of the gun you want to mount.  Because I like to choose "both", I decided to magnetize the barrels for both the Sho'ts and the Magachs.

The Magach is pretty easy to do.  So let's tackle the tough one - the Sho't.

This is what the model looks like when you pull them out of the box:

The tracks are all one piece - including skirts - plus the hull and the turret.  Here is a closeup of the turret:

Notice the hull is flush - this allows the gun to be glued flush.  Take a look at this picture, which shows the back of the gun:
Ignore the magnet for now.  So you simply glue the gun to the turret and off you go.  But we want both barrels to work.

To do the drilling, you will need several different sizes of bits.  I went micro, then used three different bits - but only one was actually "drilled" with my drill.  Here are my bits and drill:

And my drill:

Ok.  Here are the steps.

Step 1 - Turret as is out of the box:

Step 2 - Micro bit

Using the small bit, find the center of the turret and make a small hole.  I found that being slightly lower than center was advantageous.

Step 3 - Next bit (I believe I used 9/32")

Using a normal drill bit and using your hand, slowly rotate the bit to make a larger hole.  Depth isn't important as you just want to expand the hole and take away the outer resin "shell".

Step 4 - Next, next bit

Repeat the exact same step as above, but with the next larger size bit.

Notice the hole is getting larger.  This is exactly what you want.

Step 5 - Drill Baby!!

Now, take the size bit that is needed to make the hole large enough for the magnets.  I used the same magnets that are included in the model for the turrets.  I just took those to my neighborhood hobby shop and found an exact match.  So I bought 30... or 60.

The trick is to start very slowly with the drill until the bit has shaved away all the hard resin.  Then increase the drill speed and apply a little more pressure to the drill.

This is what the turret should look like after.
I was a little "high" on this specific turret.  Now don't worry about it because you will just match up the location of the hole and where you will glue the magnet on the barrel.

You may want to check the depth by grabbing your magnets and making sure that two magnets can fit inside the hole.
You need two to fit inside - one for the magnet that will be glued inside the turret and one for the magnet from the barrel.

That is it for the turret!  Now, glue a magnet into the turret.  Oh, be sure to mark or know which side of the magnet you need to be facing out for the barrel...
So yours should look like the above.

Now, grab a barrel and place it over the hole and try to see where the magnet should be glued.  This is the tricky part.  I have no suggestion other than to eyeball it.  You could stick a piece of chalk to something that can hold ink, but that seemed more of a pain than just eyeballing.  And so far it has worked for me.

Here is the picture from above (again) showing the gun and the magnet:

And on the model:
Notice that those Sho't have different barrels!  That is what we want!

So now you have both barrels and can bring both versions of the tank to the game.

The Magach works the same way, except the whole drilling and gluing of the magnets is way easier.  Each Magach turret has a predrilled hole for the gun.  And each gun has a protrusion exactly where it would go into the hole in the turret.  Just expand the hole using the same process above and cut off the metal protrusion from the barrel.

Here is the finished result:
Now, notice that a portion of the turret bottom got chipped.  Do not worry!  It happened on 5 of the 6 models I have.  And you will not be able to see it when the turret is on the tank.  Want proof?

Here is the underside:

Here is the top view:
And on the tank:

And with the other barrel:

So if you take the time to drill and glue, you will have both versions of the Magach and the Sho't available for you.  I believe it is totally worth it and the results are pretty darn good!  Best of luck and drop me a question in the comments.

Oh, here is my table - just AIW stuff...


Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Season!

Of course, here in the States we do not get a two week break from work.  Nope.  But I am taking some time off from work next week and I have big, big plans for painting.

I have 10 Panzer IV, 5 Panzer III, 7 SU-100s, 6 AMX, 6 Ishermans, 6 Magachs, 4 Sho'ts, 2 Super Shermans, 3 Sherman 105mm, 10 T-34/85 for AIW (need to build) and a bunch of Germans too.  My idea is to get everything assembled so that right after Christmas, I can have a day full of painting.  I only hope the compressor does not burn out on the airbrush!

I hope everyone has a great holiday and safe travels to those that are on the road!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Current Update - painting and US Masters!

Well, the weather has changed here in Wisconsin.  Snow.  Grey.  Blah...  So that means...

Painting Weather!!

So here is a current status on my painting queue.  Truth be told, I have a bigger problem with stuff that is painted, but not decaled or totally finished.  Unprimed metal or resin is not the problem.  So this is where I stand right now:

I am almost done with my first company of Strelk.  33 stands of Soviet goodness!!  I just have boots and some SMGs to finish up, then on to basing!

I have 12 US arty guns (8 155mm and 4 105mm) that I need to base.  They are painted and on the bases, they just need flocking and grasses applied.

All my Shermans, Stewies and Chaffees are painted up.  The just need decals / a few Chaffees need details painted up.

Roos and LVTs still need decals.  I have 6 Roos that are totally done - I used those this summer at Historicon.  But the rest need decals.

Germans that I received from Wilcox for my son need a little bit of loving attention.

I also traded stuff with Joe for Germans and Crab Shermans.  Those need just a little bit of work.

But right now, my focus is on...

AIW!!  I have a bunch of boxes that I ordered for Christmas sitting in my house.  My lovely wife has not allowed me to open them early and get cracking on painting.  I do have a box of AMXs that I will start up on because they are rewards and not part of the Christmas loot!  Now I will be under the pressure gun here because Joe has scheduled an AIW game day at The Last Square for January 25th.  So one month to get a lot of Israelis, Jordanians and UAR tanks painted and ready for public viewing.

I also have some Soviets (SU-100), Germans (Panzer III, IV, Kubelwagons and Trucks) and a few Americans (Sherman 105s) that will need to be completed too.  I figure if I am going to airbrush, I might as well paint 40+ vehicles at the same time!!

I will get some pictures loaded up as progress is made.

On the tournament scene, I did not attend Fall-In this year.  I am bummed.  But, I was invited to US Masters!!  I was an alternate and several other guys could not make the event this year (Wilcox, Riha, Leland and a few others), so I actually got the invite!!  Wohoo!!


I could not make it.  Yes, I know.  Unfortunately, while work trips can be convenient (see trip to UK and adding a visit to Wilcox) they can also get in the way.  And ultimately, that was the issue here.  I need to be in Salt Lake City, Utah on the Sunday right after Masters.  To change my flights would have cost me a lot of money ($500).  With such short notice, I just could not make that happen.  But I was totally excited about getting the invite in the first place!  I do wish everyone the best of luck and I wish I was able to attend!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Long Update and Post

So here we are in early November, which means that it is getting cold in Wisconsin and little toy soldiers start calling my name even louder.  Oh yeah, with Christmas around the corner I need to get some ideas in front of my wonderful wife.  So with all that, let's jump into the update!

First, AIW has hit the stores and I am very excited.  I have been drooling over getting the models to paint up and put on the table.  Prudence would dictate that I choose an army and just collect.  But never having met Prudence and I hear she can be a real b@tch, I decided to just buy all sorts of stuff!  For the Israeli forces, I have picked up some Magach (Pattons), AMX, M51 Ishermans, M50 Shermans and Sho't are on order.  I then plan on painting a few Pattons as Jordanian tanks.  And I have picked up more T-34s and some SU-100 for the UAR!  I really want to try painting them and see how they turn out.

As a game supplement, the AIW stuff is pretty good for a first crack.  Yes, I would have loved to have seen Israeli Paras in a list.  But you can't have everything and this is just the beginning (I hope)!  The forces are varied and here is a quick synopsis:

Israelis have all the cool special rules (Mission Tactics, Stormtrooper, SiF, Mounted Assault, etc.) and the cool tanks.  Have you seen the Centurions - err, Sho't!!??  But they cost a lot of points.  So if you want the super cool tanks, you will have only a few on the table to face a horde of UAR.  So from a gaming perspective, the Isherman / Sherman / AMX will end up being a better choice.

UAR is simply a horde.  Just pick the type of horde.  The non-cheese way of doing this is to max out the SU-100 and get something decent in the way of tanks.  The cheese way of doing this is to run two companies of T-34s with SU-100s maxed out.  AT 16 and SiF is a really good combination.  Oh, bring your paint and your wallet.  To run two companies of T-34s, you will need 62 T-34s and 12 SU-100.  Yeah, that is reasonable.

Jordanians are the nice, sweet spot.  Sure they are Trained and sure, you still have Hen & Chicks.  But you get great weapon systems (Centurions and Pattons) plus good to great mech forces.  The price cut for Trained makes the cool toys reasonable in price.

So here is the summary:

If you want cool toys with the cool rules, go Israeli.
If you want a zillion tanks on the board and have the personal wealth to do it, go UAR.
If you want a good list with the cool toys, go Jordanian.

Due to AIW, I am in the process of gutting my painting table.  My first goal is to finish up my Strelk "platoon."  I am getting much closer to this being completed.  I still have 12 US arty guns plus their crew on the table to finish up.  Bolt Action has been set aside for the time being.  And I have a new German list to get painted up.  Then add on that Joe and I conducted our personal swap faire and my list to paint has never been longer.  But I am moving all that WIP into a box to make room for AIW.

Also, I should point out that when the weather turns in Madison, I can get a whole lot more painting done.  So I do expect a big push starting up around Thanksgiving and moving into the holidays.

Historically, I also get some painting done at the end of October due to the schools being out for the 4th Thursday and Friday.  But this year, business took me to the UK for a week and that was a no-go.  I was able to extend the stay for a few extra days and see Bill.  Funny, here are two guys who play a lot of FoW and what do we do?  We play Command and Colors Napoleonics!!  We played several games last January and had a blast.  This time I think we got in 6 or 8 games.  A great break and a lot of fun.  If you are not familiar with the game, I would strongly recommend you check it out.  It is simple to learn but difficult to master - a great combination for any game!  Truth be told, Napoleonics is not really on my radar.  I have never played a miniature game set in Napoleonic era and I am not sure I ever will.  But this game is so good, that I have become hooked.  Maybe I will post a review...  hmmmmm...

So that is what is up for right now.  I just ran my first game with updated Red Bear numbers.  I will say that the Soviets are not dead on arrival anymore!  I expect to see more Soviet Green tanks running on the tables in the future.  I am also excited to see what shows up in Desperate Measures - the upcoming LW East Front book.

Now, back to finishing Strelk so I can get my AIW started!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Arab Israeli Wars for FoW Announced!

In case you missed it, here is an image of the announcement in this most recent issue of Wargames Illustrated:

I can't wait!!

A supplement to the game for 1967!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Historicon Nats and Doubles Mega AAR!!

Mega Historicon AAR

Well after a long week and weekend, I am back in the saddle at home.  I had a great time seeing friends and making new ones.  It goes without saying that the biggest joy I have is seeing everyone!
So let me get straight into the action.

Thursday Doubles:

Round 1:
I partnered with Bill Wilcox.  He ran US 7th Armored Division with Patton and I ran Vet Armored Rifles.  We each had 1,000 points, but we could swap up to 100.  I ran a 910 list and Bill ran 1,090.  There were 40 teams or 80 guys playing!

Jeff Flint / SonBae on the WWPD Forum had already called us out for Round 1.  He ran a StuG Batterie and Michael ran a Panzerspaeh list with 8-Rads.  Mission was Blind Domination.  If you are not familiar, check out the mission!  It is on WWPD in the scenario section.  Basically, there are Domination Points and not objectives on the board.  You claim the points like an objective though.  Table has 12 points and first to 8 wins (after Turn 6).  The wrinkle with Blind Domination is that you have to choose your entry point (long table edge broken into 12” corridors) before the game.  Then you see how it all develops, but you can’t change the entry point!  Turn 1 you get Recon.  Turn two you get 1 platoon, Warriors and Observers.  Everything else on Turn 3.  In Doubles, it means you each get a platoon on Turn 2.

Turn 1.  Cav Recon comes on and gets to a 2 point objective.  8-Rads get several points right away.  No shooting.

Turn 2.  I put Arp on left middle and place them behind a hill.  But they could be targeted by the 8-Rads if they moved aggressively.  Bill put Shermans on right middle.  8-Rads do move aggressively and race towards our points.  This causes them to sit on a huge number of points.  8-rads shoot the ARP and kill one track plus 2 stands.  They pass motivation to hang around.

Turn 3.  Game changes quickly.  We get out platoons on and we had put Shermans in the same slot as the ARP.  We kill the 8-rads on my side of the table by shooting them to bails and assaulting them with ARP.  Middle has the exact same thing happen.  Right sees the 3rd patrol die from shooting.  Company Morale.  Germans pass.

Turn 4.  Cut to the chase – 1iC is killed and Panzerspaeh Company runs, thus ending the game 6-1 us.  But Bill and I now own 10 of the 12 Domination Points.  And for tie breaks, it matters.

Round 2:
Mission is Free For All and we play Marcus and Al.  Marcus is running JagPanthers or something large and nasty with crazy AT and FA.  The Company was literally a 1iC of this thing, with two platoons of 1 Jagwhatever.  Al is running Grens, SturmTigers and StuGs I think.

The board is rubble city on left and woods / hills / fields on right.  ARP goes on the left in tracks.  Arty is on left with ARP.  ARP on right with Cav Recon.  All Shermans are on right.  Spearhead gets us well forward.

I can’t remember the exact turn sequences, but my left ARP ends up sitting in a niche of rubble, still in the tracks.  This forces Al’s Grens to be very careful.  There is a Jagwhatever in support.  So my 295 point is holding up about 700 points.  This let’s Bill move his tanks on the right and go after the Jagwhatevers.  Swirling battle ensues and we take the objective on the right.  6-1 us.

Round 3:
Mission is Dust Up and we play Erin / Joe Lewis.  The details on this one are even fuzzier.  The one thing I remember is that my 105s got Time on Target for something like 6 turns straight.  Bill and I kill a bunch of stuff, but we can’t break either company.  We assault the objective, but we just can’t pull it off.

But our performance was good enough to get us 2nd place!  Riha and Barnes finished in first – I think one point ahead.

It was a great day and an awesome tournament!  See my picture wearing the “Cheetos Eater” T-Shirt I had made up!


Now to the Nats!

I brought my trusty Canadians to the tournament.  2 Infantry platoons with Roos, 6pdrs with carriers, 25pdrs and 2 Canadian Armoured Recce platoons (2 Sherman Vs and 2 Fireflies – all with .50cals).

Round 1:
I play Jason Roshon, who brought US 7th AD (Confident Trained US Armor).  I can’t remember the exact list, but he had Shermans with Easy Eights (2 platoons), 1iC in an Easy Eight, 2iC in a Jumbo, Cav Recon, Armored Mortars, Trained ARP, 5 Stewies and other nastiness.  Mission was Encounter.

Since Encounter does not have Prepared Positions, I am not subject to Armored Reserves.  With the list I was facing, I went with the two CAR platoons and the 6pdrs on the board.  The board had a rubble town on the right.  It also had trees that would allow Jason to get his tanks fairly close to the objectives and be totally out of LoS.  He put the Stewies, Mortars and Cav Recon in Reserve.  Early turns see me dig in and wait for the attack to develop.  I was also waiting to see what would happen with the Stuarts coming on from Reserve.  Jason moves the Shermans up and stays behind woods.  But along the way, the CAR takes out a Sherman from the left platoon.  We start getting our Reserves (Delayed) and I bring infantry on the far left and the 25 pdrs.  Jason moves the Armored Mortars into fairing range, but he leaves a guy sticking out where my observer can spot him.  I range in and end up causing the platoon to run.  This causes Jason to move into the woods on the left and engage me.  Unfortunately, he bogs a dude along the way.  He does claim a Sherman, but he cannot take the return fire.  I kill or bail everyone and have the infantry ready for the follow-up assault.  I now shift all my CAR to the left, throw everyone in Roos and go Stuart hunting.  Jason now has to respond and starts to move the other Shermans on the far right to the left, but arty hounds them along the way.  I end up wiping the Stewies, Cav Recons and cause a Company Morale, which Jason fails.  It took a decent number of turns, but once the shooting started the game pace picked up.

Result:  6-1 to me.
Round 2:
I draw Caleb Vicks.  He is a CGR Painter guy and super nice.  He had Brit Lorried Rifles.  Two platoons of rifles, UCs, a two mortar tube platoon, a platoon of two 6pdrs with carries, two platoons of Cromwells and Challengers (one had 2 Croms, the other had 3 Croms), a platoon of Achilles M10s and a platoon of Bofors SPAA.  9 platoons.  Mission was Cauldron.  I chose to Night Attack.

This board was total BS.  Horrible board that really sucked for both of us.  There were four sections of narrow trees literally (and we measured it too!) going down the middle of the board as measure from short ends.  So for Cauldron, this forced the game to be played on two halves (left and right).  Oh, there was a break in the trees – that had a building taking up the space perfectly.  This is a BF board too!  Ok, back to the game.

I placed the objectives pretty far apart and on each of the two halves.  Infantry goes on each.  Short Crom deploys with a Cromwell in the woods on my left and looking out the left half, with the other tanks on the right half.  The long platoon is in Immediate Ambush.  Rest are in Delayed Reserves.  Random Deployment sees my infantry on the upper right, CAR in lower right and CAR in lower left.  25pdrs, 6pdrs and infantry are in Reserves.  Immediate Ambush goes on the right half.

I end up killing the Cromwell sticking out fairly early.  I get Reserves Turn 2 and put the infantry on the table on the left, protected by hedges.  These move towards the objective.  Night Lifts top of 4 and shooting really begins.  We swirl for a few turns, but I am able to kill the 2 Crom platoons, then kill the mortars from Reserve and the Bofors.  Realizing that the Achilles were next, Caleb shakes hands.  We then spend a good thirty minutes talking tactics and list building.  Wilcox comes over and joins the discussion too.  That was a blast, and yes I bought Caleb a beer.

Result: 6-1 to me.

Round 3:
I draw David Danner.  Super, super nice guy and a great opponent.  I can’t say enough!  His list?  I don’t have a copy because it was the exact same as mine.  He had come up with the same list, but wasn’t 100% sure about it until he read my article that I wrote for WWPD.  So it was a mirrored list game.  Mission was Pincer.  We both opted to Night Attack.  David had the Maple Leaf dice and rolled a 5.  I shrugged, knowing that I had to defend while I rolled my Brit Para dice.  I rolled a 6.  Wohoo!  And that basically sealed the fate for David.

Our table had a hill in the middle and a lot of woods on the right.  So he made the right his deployment zone.  Nice choice for David.  He puts his objective in the middle (perfect spot) and I put mine as close as I can to my area, but closest to where I happened to be sitting.  You see the hill created two avenues of attack for me and I chose the avenue closest to me.  And there was a field there for me to use.  So everything rushes down that axis.  David chooses to deploy his 25pdrs on the close objective with CAR support from behind.  6pdrs are in Ambush (I know that will hurt).

Under the cover of night, I move out.  With Spearhead and Turn 1 movement, I am now 8 inches away from the close objective and in assault range of the arty.  David knows what is coming and decides to pop the Ambush.  He rolls for sight and he can see one of my CAR.  He lights me up, but I survive.  I arty him back and kill some guns.  I also shoot with the CAR, but can’t kill them all.  I assault the guns with the infantry and they are destroyed.  I am now on the objective, but not dug in.  Bottom of Turn 2 sees the 6dprs finish off a CAR platoon.  His CAR now has to get into assault range to contest and David decides to assault me.  While I can’t stop the assault, I can certainly swing back.  I do and after two rounds of assaults, I end up bailing every tank.  I am now on the objective without anything contesting and win at the top of Turn 3.

Result: 5-2 to me.

After Day 1, I am sitting with 20 points (you get a bonus for the win).  That made me tied for 1st with Tony Davis.

Day 2:

Round 4:
Tony Davis and I face off!  He has a Canadian list, but with Crocs, UCs, Wasps and 2 Breaching Groups.  The mission is Counterattack.  I Night Attack Tony.

First, I know Tony.  I have talked, emailed, broken bread and shared beers with Tony.  I like Tony.  He can be misunderstood on the forums at times – or not misunderstood at all – but in person he is a nice dude.  I had a wonderful game.

Table (again) was rubble village on right and woods / fields on left.  The details are sketchy / it would take way too long to describe, but basically I got on the wrong side of the power curve and Tony was able to knock out both CAR with his reserves.  I was able to assault into the objective in the village, but I could not hold it.  It was a much closer game than the result states, but Tony schooled me pretty well.  I did learn quite a bit during that game and I look forward to the rematch!

Result: 1-6 loss.

Round 5:
Now I continue to my roll of playing excellent opponents.  I get Phillip Messier and his US Glider troops from Nuts!.  The mission is Hold The Line.  He has 2 platoons of Gliders, HMG platoon (he CAs them into the infantry), two Hellcats platoons, two 105 platoons, 57mm AT guns and one more that I am forgetting.  Since his list looks to be weak on the attack, I decide not to Night Attack and we roll for it.  And to be honest, Night Attack would not have been a huge benefit.  I “won” the roll and had to attack.  After the game, Phillip states that he would not have won if he had to attack.  I have to agree.

The game details are boring, but basically I move forward, TDs pop, they have subpar shooting, I can’t make them pay for it, attack bogs down, I shift attack axis, get an assault into the objective, but I am cut down the next turn.  His Hellcats are down to just a few vehicles, but I can’t run the platoon until very late in the game.  I shake hands.

Result: 2-5 loss.

Round 6:
I draw Charlie Clay.  So I have three straight games against solid players.  This will be tough.  Mission is Free For All.

Charlie has Vet US Armored Rifles with Hellcats, Scotts, Shermans, Abrams, Recon, AOP and Limited Air.  Table is rural (no ruined towns!!) with a hill in my area, a hill in Charlie’s, some trees and a rural house with a stone courtyard in his area.  I have trees in mine and roads are in both of our areas.

I put CAR, 6pdrs and 25pdrs and infantry on the left objective area.  CAR and infantry on right.  Right CAR is in a hull down position in the hill.  Charlie loads up my right side with ARP, Shermans, Scotts.  Middle has ARP and Recon.  TDs are on the left.  Charlie goes first, so no air.  He moves aggressively towards me.  In my turn, I mount everyone up on the left and blitz the TDs.  I arty the ARP and do some damage.  CAR shifts slightly.  Turn 2 sees Charlie get air, but only one plane.  He pops the TDs and kills a Roo, but only kills one infantry stand.  The TDs also get a carrier, but the gun lives.  On the right, he doubles the ARP into my LoS, moves the Shermans and the Scotts.  Shooting results in a smoke round on the CAR.  My turn, I destroy the TDs, assault into the rural house with the court yard to kill the 2iC.  On the right, I destroy – to a man – the ARP that doubled.  I think I may have nailed a Scott.  That left the left objective wide open, with Charlie moving Recon in that direction.  Based on the look on Charlie’s face, we decide on a 5-2 for me and call it a game.  I might have gotten the 6-1, but we both did not want to sit and roll dice for another 2 hours.

Result: 5-2 for me.

That left me with 29 points total.  Edited - I now know the results and I finished tied for 11th place.  While I fell back on Day 2, to finish that high with 106 guys playing makes me happy.  I had great games and enjoyed the time!  And as always, learned new tactics that will make me a better player next time!

Congrats to James Gains / Chaos45 for the overall victory.  And congrats to my good friend Bill Wilcox on Best General!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Normandy Tournament AAR

Normandy Tournament

This past weekend, Joe hosted a Normandy themed tournament at The Last Square.  We originally wanted to support the new books from Battlefront.  Unfortunately, we were unable to do so with the delay in the book release.  So we went with Turning Tide and Earth and Steel as the books.

The format was interesting.  You had to have a base force of 1,500 points.  Then you could make an “A” list and a “B” list – each adding an additional 280 points.  In Round 1, you chose A or B.  In Round 2, you had to run the other list.  In Round 3, Joe would roll and we would run either the base force or A and B together.  This made the players really think about their lists and think about potential matchups on game day.

For my base force, I went to my old standby of Task Force A.


HQ – 2 Greyhounds
Platoon 1: Armored Recon
Platoon 2: Armored Recon
Platoon 3: Hellcats
Platoon 4: Hellcats
Platoon 5: Engineers with zooks, PSV and Dozer Sherman
Platoon 6: Sherman platoon – 4 Shermans including Pool

Add Armored Recon and Priest Battery

Add Stuarts (4) and 5th Sherman

Round 1:

Joe had announced that a Defensive Battle would be the first mission, but the actual mission would be randomly drawn.  He rolled Pincer.

I faced Robert B. with his Grens.  For this matchup, I went with the “A” list and proceeded to totally forget about the Priests and left them off the table.  Ouch.  Lucky for me that it did not impact the game.  I don’t have Robert’s specific list, but it had two gren platoons, a heavy platoon, nebs, flame throwing half-tracks and other nastiness.  Since I am Always Attack, I got everything on the board and Robert had Delayed Reserves.  Robert also chose to defend in the upper half of the board.

Robert put a gren platoon in Ambush, the heavy platoon on the close objective (I put mine in the field on the left side just above the middle) and the nebs near his objective (upper right).  I placed Shermans, Engineers and one recon platoon on the far right and everything else in the gap between the tree line on the left and the river / behind the tree line.  I was able to Spearhead everything – the Engineers got just short of the road on the right, with the recon getting to the bridge.  The left side saw the Sec Sections of both TDs come out – one headed to the buildings and the other along the tree line.  1iC shifted to the right, 2iC went between buildings and trees on left along with the other recon.  Turn 1 saw Shermans move up to a firing line with LoS to the Nebs.  I moved Engineers up to the bridge and got a few across.  TDs popped and everything unloaded on the Heavy Platoon and the Observer that was placed in a building.  Observer was killed with .50cals and the Heavy was pinned.  AOP was placed to really prevent the ambush.  Turn 2 saw the grens deploy in the orchard to the right of the road (green felt missing the actual trees).  Robert then moved them out to support the Heavy platoon.  I was able to kill a Neb (Nebs killed a Hellcat in Turn 1), I ran the grens and assaulted the Heavy off the objective. Robert then failed the Company Morale at the top of Turn 3.  6-1 to TFA.

Robert is a nice guy and was fun to play.  But he is still in the learning phase and this was a tough matchup for him.

Round 2:

Note: Lower right is a hill

Joe rolled for a random Mobile Battle mission and Counterattack came up.  With a 6-1 under my belt and the fact that I finished the game early, that paired me with the top ranked Axis player from Round 1 – Dan Larson.

I have played Dan twice before in tournaments, with the first time being difficult for both of us.  However, we had an epic game last year (Dan got me 4-3) and that really healed any wounds from our first game.  Dan is a very good player and specializes in running German armor.  As a Masters Qualifier, he is considered to be one of the strongest players in our region.  This would be a tough matchup for me.

Dan brought a Panzer list chock full of Panzer IVs.  For the record, 14 Panzer IVs.  He also had a recon platoon of 3 halftracks and an infantry platoon (grens?) with command shreck and a flamethrower.  Since he had to defend against Always Attacks, he was subject to Mobile Reserves.  He chose to defend the quarter that is the upper left, with my objective going in the lower left (in the field about half way up inside the field).  His objective was in the upper middle of his deployment area (about 4” from the crest of the beach).  With so few platoons (he could only have two) this caused him to be deliberate in his platoon choices and placement.  He went with the infantry in the woods to the left of the small creek (bog check and slow going) along with the 2iC.  This blocked off the road for my Spearhead move.  The 1iC was around the corner and tucked in a little niche of the same woods – just above the fields.  A Panzer IV platoon was in Ambush.  Two Panzer platoons were in Reserves, along with the recon. I placed the Engineers across from him, but with a few teams able to move behind the building in Spearhead.  Everything else (I had Stewies in this list) went to the right edge of my deployment area.  TD Sec Sections were able to Spearhead below the orchard, Stewies went with them.

Early turns saw me lift GtG on the infantry and kill a stand.  My infantry was able to get into the building and move forward.  Dan pulled his infantry back fully into the woods.  The 2iC bogged pulling back into the woods and was killed the next turn.  Dan placed his Ambush on the far left edge of the board and moved them down behind the field and just above the road.  His long shots at my Shermans were ineffective.  Next turn I popped my TDs (one platoon in the orchard to the left of the building and the other in the orchard to the right.  With 16 total shots, I got 4 hits which resulted in a bail and two dead Panzers.  Ouch, return fire was going to hurt.  Over the next few turns, Dan got Reserves as was able to kill both Hellcat platoons.  However, I killed the original Ambush platoon, 1iC, 2iC and reduced one of the other Panzer IV platoons to half.  My Shermans were in good shape, along with the Engineers.  I did run a recon platoon around the top of my deployment area to try to threaten the objective.  But with his infantry pulling back and deciding to stay stationary, I shifted my axis of attack and went for the objective with the Engineers, 1iC, 2iC, Shermans and recon platoon.

Late turns saw Dan move the infantry out of cover and to the hill crest.  By that time, I had so much fire that I was able to kill the platoon dead and take the objective on the top of Turn 7.  4-3 win for TFA.

This was a good game and Dan played as well as I expected him to play.  After the game, he thought he made two mistakes – the placement of the 2iC and the movement of his ambush platoon of Panzer IVs downward.  I agreed with the first, disagreed with the second because that mistake did not hurt him.  I thought the biggest issue was the movement of the infantry.  I would have put them in the top edge of the woods and fed one stand at a time to the objective.

Round 3:

This round would be a Fair Fight and Joe rolled Free For All.  In addition, we played with just the base list.

My opponent was my good friend Mike Jacobs.  He won his first two games and this was the Number One table for Round 3.  Mike brought Panzer IVs (platoon of 4 and 3), 2 Tigers, 3 Pumas and the 1 and 2iC in Panzer IVs.  As the “Attacker”, I chose the left edge.  I put one objective on the road and the other down by the creek – just off the picture.  Mike put one in the town and the other in the field – lower left.  For deployment, Mike put the short IV platoon in the woods on the hill top right.  He put the other IV platoon just below the road.  He put the Pumas by the village.  Tigers went in the woods on the bottom.  1 and 2iC ended up down low too.  I had placed (you alternate, so I am speeding it up) my Engineers in the village, Shermans hidden by the buildings in the lower left portion of the village.  Everything else was lined up above the creek but below the hill.  Spearhead saw everything move forward that could.

Early turns saw Mike win the roll for first turn.  He shot up a Sec Section, but did not destroy it.  Pumas moved around the village, full IV platoon began cautiously moving down.  I popped all the TDs turn one, with 3 from one platoon focusing in the 1iC (just above the woods at the bottom) and all the rest plowing into the Tigers.  Mike attached 1 and 2 iC.  I killed a Tiger and 2iC.  Bailed 1iC.  Pass morale.  Tiger shoots and kills two Hellcats (he had Every Shot Counts and For the Fatherland).  During Stormtrooper, the lone Tiger bogs.  In a mistake, I left my now still full TD platoon to fire at the 1iC when I should have moved them off the hill and below the woods to focus on the now bogged Tiger.  Instead, I shoot 6 shots at the Tiger and Mike passes all armor saves.  I aggressively move the recon up to contest the objective on Turn 3.  Mike is now moving the IVs down and I have a chance to win by killing the closest IV to the objective (assuming Tiger stays bogged).  I can’t seal the deal…

Late turns saw Mike finally unbog and his IVs plus Pumas are able to take out my Shermans and Poole.  The lone Tiger is successful in killing another Hellcat.  As I start to realize I am very exposed, one Hellcat platoon is destroyed by the IVs and the Pumas.  While I have inflicted damage on almost every platoon, none are below half.  I did kill 1 and 2iC.  With 2 Hellcats left, I am now pulling back.  Recon units are engaging the Pumas, but I can’t make them run.  Mike kills off the last Hellcat and Recon, causing me an auto-fail Company Morale in Turn 8.  1-6 Defeat for TFA.

So Mike wins the tournament!  He played a great game and went 6-1, 4-3, 6-1 for the win.  I had a great time myself, played three fun games and came away feeling pretty good.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

2nd Annual Cheesehead Championship Update

This past Saturday was the 2nd Annual Cheesehead Championship, held at The Last Square in Madison, WI.  Mike Jacobs hosted the event again and acted as TO for the tournament.  Due to the odd number of players, he also had to jump in and drop dice.  The only "rule" for the event is that you have to live in Wisconsin.  Think of it as a state tournament.

I won this event last year by winning my last round game and submarining up to first place.  The goal this year was to simply not embarrass myself!

I decided a few months ago that I would try my hand at the Canadians from Market Garden.  I ran a Canadian Infantry Company that looked like this:

HQ - 1iC and 2iC
Infantry Platoon with Roos plus .50cals
Infantry Platoon with Roos plus .50cals
Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies plus .50cals
Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies plus .50cals
AT Platoon of 4 6pdrs plus carriers
Arty Battery of 4 25pdrs
1,780 points.

I am pretty familiar with the list and I thought it would do well.  I was very worried about facing a Patton led 7th Armored Division list or a Panzers to the Meuse list.  The PttM list is by far the strongest German armored list for LW.  It is an aggressive and in your face list - in fact the kind of list that I like to run!  Oh, I am always worried about the US 2 ID list...

I helped Mike setup the boards on Friday night and we left two boards for the BF Ranger group from Racine, Wisconsin to setup.  With one of the boards in the front of the store, we decided that we would try to have a local player on that board in case store visitors wanted to ask questions.  So for Round 1, I ended up being placed on that table.

Round 1: Free For All
Opponent: Ryan Pecore with Estonian Infantry

I did not get to keep a copy of his list, so here it is from memory:

Fearless Vet Estonians
HQ - 1iC and 2iC I think with Fausts
Infantry platoon
Infantry platoon (short?)
Infantry platoon upgraded to recee
HMG platoon
3 StuGs

Confident Vet
2 Tigers

Fearless Trained
4 gun arty (105 equivalent)
2 88 AT guns with extra crew
2 or 3 AA Flak guns

We rolled and he got to choose the table side.  Based on the picture just below, he chose the right side to deploy his troops.

He placed his objectives on the left (my zone) just above the road closer to the woods and below the road in the fields.  I placed mine trying to spread out his guns putting one objective at the top right just below the top road and the other below the road on the lower right.  While we alternated deployment, I will summarize:

He put an infantry platoon and the arty on the top, the Tigers in the fields on the top, the StuGs behind the woods just above the middle of the board, the recon behind the plowed fields, then all the other guns and infantry around the bottom objective.

I countered with an infantry platoon mounted in Roos behind the trees on the top left, the 6pdrs and a CAR (Canadian Armoured Recce) in the woods alternating a gun and tank in a semi-circle all with shots towards his zone.  I then put the other infantry on the objective in the fields, with the arty in the fields (we played all fields as giving concealment) and the CAR in the fields.  With the CAR getting Cautious Movement, I knew I could move in the fields and still be GtG.  Meaning his nasty 88 would not be able to hit me.

I won the roll to go first.  I basically dug everything in and did not shoot.  He moved the Tigers up.  His arty started a duel with my battery that would last the entire game!  My Turn 2 saw me shoot the Tigers with everything I had and missed.  He returned the favor by mission his shots!  While this was going on, Ryan started to move the StuGs toward the crossroads and through the woods.  Turn 3 saw me kill a Tiger and bail the other, resulting in a failed Platoon Morale for the Tigers.  His turn saw the StuGs and the other CAR start a duel, but he bogged a StuG in the woods in a really bad position.  Basically, I was able to get the top CAR and 6pdrs into action on one of the three StuGs.  After moving to keep the 88s with no targets, I was able to destroy the StuGs.  I then called my other Roos forward and everything except the 25pdrs were moving towards the top objective.  After seeing what was about to happen, Ryan called the game after Turn 5 or 6.  Basically my entire force was mobile, he had 1 arty gun left and a single infantry platoon on the objective.  Now he was moving another infantry platoon up there, but the Roos were about to unload into them.  Both he and I knew the game was over.

6-1 Win for me.

As a note, I did not get a picture of Ryan's army, but he won Best Painted.  They looked amazingly good!

Round 2: Counterattack
Opponent: Ben Aehl

Confident Vet German Armor
HQ - Tiger and Bergepanther
Platoon 1 - 2 Tigers
Platoon 2 - 2 Tigers
Platoon 3 - 3 Panthers
Platoon 4 - 2 SPAA

Here is a picture of the board:

Ok.  Now Ben is a young and very good player.  He is also super familiar with my list.  I have played his list several times including once last week.  In fact, we played Counterattack and I defended resulting in a 6-1 win for me.  But I have also won in Breakthrough using a Night Attack against Ben.  So I just jumped at the decision to Night Attack and I really didn't think this through.  And it cost me dearly.  What I forgot was that based on linear obstacle rules, if you are against it you see though it and the enemy is not concealed.  But you will be concealed to return fire.  Oh, I should mention we did NOT play the board as bocage, but rather high hedges with a simple bog check.  So I decided to Night Attack and that put him with just two platoons on the board.  He decided to deploy in the upper right, with the lower right holding the other objective.  I had to deploy top left.  He put 2 Tigers and the 1iC to the right of the road, at the intersection of the two hedges (across the road from the dark brown house.  Now I made mistake number 2.  I loaded everything on the top and decided to cross straight ahead as the objective was in the open area on the top right.  But Ben placed it making sure he could contest if he was below the left to right hedges just above the grey house.  I should have used my Spearhead and moved out down the left side of the picture, then cut to the right on the road and go after the other objective.

Suffice to say that Ben played a great game and got a very, very timely roll of shots (got the distance needed with the Night Shooting Range roll, with 5 shots, he got 3 sixes, 2 gun tanks and 2 FP rolls to kill 2 Fireflies at night).  That put me on the wrong side of the power curve and I simply could not recover.  I mean I threw everything I had at him, but he just knocked me down time and again.  The game ended with me failing Company Morale on Turn 9 (having passed the previous turn).  I had the entire arty platoon still alive.  And the 1iC.  And that is all.  And I killed one Tiger and a Bergepanther.

Great win and well played by Ben.  The mark of a good player is that when you make a mistake, they make you pay for it.  I did and he did...

1-6 Loss to me.

Round 3: No Retreat

Now I am back to the middle of the pack.  But local players Ben, CJ Thode (Canadian list!!) and Joe Abrisz (PttM) were all perfect with two 6-1 wins.  With tiebreakers, CJ and Ben faced off.  Joe faced off against a Cromwell list.

Opponent: Rick Gearhart (Lead Racine Ranger)

Confident Vet Panzers to the Meuse
HQ - 1iC and 2iC Panzer IV J or whatever the PttM version is...
Platoon 1 - 4 Panzer IV
Platoon 2 - 4 Panzer IV
Platoon 3 - Full Arfkalung
Platoon 4 - Short Arfkalung
Platoon 5 - Puma Patrol
Platoon 6 - Whirblewind SPAA things
Platoon 7 - 3 Nebs
Sporadic Air

Here is the table:

Now I ask you...  If you had to defend, which short table edge are YOU taking??  The top with a building, orchard, a river and trees on a hill?  Or the fields, hills, trees and buildings on the bottom?

I defended from the bottom.  Now we had said at the beginning of the tournament that no bridge could become blocked - vehicles would always be able to move over the wrecks at slow going with no bog check.  Right as the game started, Ryan wanted the bridge on the left to be high enough to block LoS (the bridge arcs up several inches).  I agreed and we also decided that the one on the right would not block LoS.  Oh, the camo pattern areas are all woods.

My objective was placed in the middle of my area, in the woods just below and right of the road intersection below the building.  Rick put his on the road that connects the two bridge roads.  It was just below the field that extends across the middle of the board (yellow and greenish - furthest right).  I deployed my infantry on that objective, but placed two infantry stands as far forward to the left and right as I could.  I did this to block his massive Spearhead move (4 platoons!!).  I put the CAR in the left dark green field.  6pdrs are in ambush.  Second infantry, CAR and 25pdrs are in Reserve.

Rick deployed the 1iC, 2iC, Pumas, Full Arfkas and both Panzer platoons on the left road just even with the woods on the hill (his deployment line). He was able to get the small Arfkas on the far right, just below the river. I was amazed he could fit them in there, but he did!! Very creative! He put the SPAA on the hill below the woods. Nebs were upper left corner. Observer was in the building.

Spearhead saw everything move as far as they could until they got into LoS.

Turn 1 saw everything move into my area.  The Pumas ended on the road about even with the two buildings (my observer was in the taller one).  Panzers are on the bridge and the short Arfka was behind the field, but still in the tracks.  While he was aggressive, he was not aggressive enough with the Pumas.  Even with the 8" recce bubble, I was able to place my 6pdrs in the woods to get shots (but not all guns had shots).  Rather than the gory details, I will basically summarize:

I was able to catch the short Arfkas in their tracks with Semi-Indirect Fire from a Sherman.  Two hits.  That killed a track, bailed a track and killed a stand.  But he was forced to dismount.  He was not able to dig in and in the next turn I lit him up with CAR MG fire and got him to 3 stands.  His Pumas tried to break off from 2 6pdrs and while successful, I was able to kill one before it got away.  I also got Reserves and brought the CAR up the road that all the Panzers were trying to get down.  Between the Reserve CAR and the SiF of the other 3 CAR tanks, Panzers got lit up.  Over the next 4 turns I killed every Panzer that crossed the River.  I also killed the last Puma.  Down three platoons, he went with the f#ck it move and tried to assault with 3 Arfka stands and the now remnants of the other.  Neither really worked and we shook hands.  All told, I lost 1 Sherman V to air, and 2 or 3 infantry stands.

6-1 Win for me.

So with bonus scoring for victories (+.5 for 6-1, +.25 for 5-2 and +.1 for 4-3), I ended with 14 points and was tied with Joe who lost 1-6 to Cromwells.  With tiebreaker I finished 4th.  But Ben won the event by beating CJ 4-3 in a nail biter!  So that took the sting out of getting a 1-6 posted on my head!

It was a great weekend and after clean up, Joe and I went out with two other players and had a good dinner!  I hope to see everyone back for next year's event!!  It was a great success again!

Here is a photo dump of the tables:

Rural Eastern Germany
Soviet City
Italy (there were hills molded in the boards)
Dutch Village / French Village / End Scene to Saving Private Ryan
Snow / Bulge Board (played snow as hard packed and no movement restrictions)
French Village (All my BF buildings!!)
Ranger Table #1
Ranger Table #2

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tournament Season Arrives

I have been a big slacker this year.  By this time last year, I had played in several tournaments and had some solid results.  This year?  Nothing.  Nada.  Just haven't been able to make it happen.  I had a golden opportunity to head to Wolfkrieg and was not given the 1iC green light.  Adepticon was EW and I am not a fan.  I was planning on going to Little Wars outside Chicago the following week, but real life got in the way.

So I find myself in the middle on May with zippo tournaments.  But the tide is turning!

This weekend will be the 2nd Annual Cheesehead Champioship Tournament.  Mike came up with this idea last year.  Basically, it is open to any FoW player from Wisconsin.  We had a good turnout for Year 1 and Year 2 looks to be a lot bigger!  It is LW 1,780 and will serve as a good warm up to Historicon.

For all to see, here is my list:

Canadian Infantry (CV)
Market Garden Book

HQ - 1iC and 2iC
Platoon 1 - Full infantry, with Roos plus .50cal
Platoon 2 - Full infantry, with Roos plus .50cal
Platoon 3 - Anti-Tank Platoon of 4 6pdrs plus carriers
Platoon 4 - Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies
Platoon 5 - Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies
Platoon 6 - Artillery Battery - 4 25pdrs

Solid list.  Not 2 ID solid, but solid enough.  I want to run the Canadians in a tournament and see the results.  Friends have run a list like this (I gave them the idea) to great success on the east coast.  We will see how it works in Cheeseland.

Depending on the way the list plays, I will either bring something like it to Historicon or go back to 2 ID.  We will see...

Here are some progress pictures from the very large painting queue:

Family photo:

Canadian Shermans, Achilles, Crocs, Roos and 2 ID bazooka team.  Now there are three Crocs total, 8 Shermans, a full division of 2 ID and 12 Roos!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Update - no foolin'!!

One of the benefits of working in an accounting firm is that no one and I mean zippo folks do anything for April Fool's.  We are just too busy to mess around.  Which is good for me because I am pretty darn gullible!

I am still trying to get my painting queue under control.  Unfortunately, my spending is still happening (ooooohhhh, shiny new toys!!) and that just makes the queue worse.  I am also trying to get several new armies on the table and that makes for slow going too.  So here is a status:

US 2nd Infantry Division

I have my Winter Rifle Company all painted up and put onto a base.  I will be basing them in snow.  I have chosen to delay the basing, so the stands are all tucked away safely in a box.  I also have Towed TDs that will see the same basing effect.  And I have two platoons of Chaffees that I will do a white wash on.  Those are all on hold right now and not considered to be "on the table."


This one is more of a long term plan.  But I have the foot sloggers to be able to pull this off.  I will not buy any arty until I get the infantry finished.  Or so he says...

British Commandos

If you have seen earlier posts, I have the LVTs base painted, highlighted and washed.  But I stopped here and pulled them from the table.  I also have three platoons of Commandos still in the blisters.  This will probably end up coming before the Strelk and maybe the 2 ID.  It really depends on whether or not I buy 12 Sherman Crabs.

Canadian Rifles

These are on the table right now.  Well, the support units are!  The infantry themselves are still in a box...

I have on the table a section of 25pdrs, 6pdrs, 12 Roos, 9 Universal Carriers and Shermans.

Off to the left are all the Roos.  In the background are the 25pdrs, the 6pdrs and the Carriers.  The infantry are the crews for the 25pdrs, 6 pdrs and the Roos.

My Carriers are ready for decals and fixing up the bases.  These have the molded bases on the vehicles, so I have to paint them and put some grasses on them as well.  But the driver is painted and in place!

The 25pdrs and the 6pdrs are finished.  I am now working on the bases for the 25pdrs.  These are the molded bases that come in the new box.  The 6pdrs are also finished.  The crews for both are completed, but I need to paint the bottom on the model to reflect the color of the bases.

The Roos...

Crew is in place on this one.  I am not sure what to paint the "interior" of the Roo, so I only did this one.  I am waiting for the last minute to put the .50cal on the Roo.  I will also do another round of dry brushing the highlights.  The details don't yet "pop" as much as I would like.  Then it will be on to the decals and prepping the bases.  All the crews are finished.

Then it will be on to the infantry...