Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Market Garden Campaign: Turn Two

I was able to get another game in at NorCal's second Market Garden game day, this time against Russ and his British 1st Airborne force.  This time I would be attacking the Apeldorn Road in an attempt to cut off retreating Allied forces after the Germans successfully retook Deelen Airfield in the previous game (which I was forced to miss).  The mission would be Breakthrough, and Russ would receive a Para platoon in support, while I would have no extra troops.

I'm outnumbered!
Russ had a Para platoon deployed right in the center and it was pretty isolated so I aggressively moved right at him with my larger platoon.  After some fire from my mortars pinned them, I went in for a successful assault, destroying half of the unit and driving it back.  My second platoon advances through the field behind the town, but failed a Follow Me to get closer to the vineyard.
There was a Para HMG platoon hiding in those vines, and they let me have it!  I lost half of my platoon, and they were force to move elsewhere.  My 2cm FlaK guns would spend the game firing on the HMGs and keeping them from redeploying.
I assaulted the Paras again, this time destroying the unit and half of the HQ unit, which retreated towards the other side of the board.  Russ had another Para platoon nearby, which moved into the shelter of the cratered road in order to keep the objective contested.

Russ' reserve Para unit quickly made it onto the board and to the second objective, with a pair of 17 pounders sighted in behind them.  My StuGs arrived from reserve a bit later, but would concentrate their effort on the Paras in the craters.
A pair of Recee Jeeps made their way over to distract my guns from firing on the HMGs, and threatened my mortar battery, but the weakened FJ platoon saw them off.
Russ' artillery and a pair of 6 pounders arrived late, and would have little effect on the game, save for knocking out my PaK 40s, which were too close together.  
On Turn Six I made another assault, this time on the nearby Paras, clearing them back from the objective for an 8-1 win.
I had another really fun game that has kind of restored my enjoyment for Flames of War, as when the forces are smaller and more evenly matched, it makes for a better game.  MidWar is a mess right now, and the tournament "Meta" has left me behind, but I'm really having fun with this casual campaign.  This time the Germans have airfield in the north and have mostly secured the area around it, but he Allies have made advances in the south.  XXX Corps is finally moving!


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Market Garden Campaign: Turn One

NorCal recently began a Market Garden Campaign using the old Firestorm Campaign from Battlefront, and ten of us gathered to play a pair of games that would affect the over-all map.  We would have 1200 point forces, but could be given additional units from a commander's pool.  I was tasked with defending the Weert Road with my Fallschirmjäger against Hal's 11th Armoured Shermans.  I was assigned a FJ platoon in support, while Hal was bolstered by a battery of 5.5 inch artillery, and a battery of Sextons.


I would be defending in Hold the Line.

I mined the approaches into town, but Hal's Shermans were able to sneak around through the outskirts.  The Sexton Battery moved forward on the other flank to put fire onto the objective's defending FJ platoon.
A dozer-bladed Sherman cleated a path through the mines, but my PaK40 platoon ambushed the tanks once they got close, knocking out several and slowing Hal's advance.  Some FJs with Panzerschreks added to the fire.
Hal swung his tanks through town and away from the anti-tank guns, but my FJs, supported by StuGs from reserve, were able to keep the tanks far enough away from my objectives that I would win on turn seven.
An 8-1 win, but had Hal closed the gap earlier the score would have been different.  Luckily his artillery never made much of a difference, even though he had three batteries!

In game two I would be tasked to defend Eindhoven from Chris' Guards Armoured Cromwells.  Chris was assigned a battery of Sextons in support, while I would have a Bridge Defense AA unit.


Again, I would be defending in Hold the Line.

My Bridge Defense unit of AA guns would vanish before the guns of Chris' advancing tanks, never able to fire a shot.  I had mined the bridge, forcing his tanks to cross several streams, negating his speed advantage.  A PaK40 ambush would keep one unit of tanks busy, but wouldn't do much damage.
StuGs and FJs would come in from reserve to defend the rear objective while several assaults by tanks into my forward FJ unit would prove unsuccessful.  2cm AA guns assisted in keeping the Universal Carriers at bay until the StuGs chased them off.  I would again hold long enough to seize victory by turn seven, losing the PaK40s and Bridge unit, for a 7-2 win.
Both of my games were victories by forcing the attacking forces back from the center line.  Large units of infantry were able to keep smaller units of tanks at bay, and artillery wasn't very effective in either match.  So far, the Allied Airborne troops have been quite successful in the north, while the German forces have been holding off the Armoured advance from the south.  We will be continuing the campaign later this month.

Campaign Status:

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sd. Kfz. 250/7 8cm Mortars

The last unit for my Großdeutchland Aufklärungs force is a pair of 8cm mortar-armed Sd Kfz 250/7 halftracks.  Each company had two of these as part of its heavy weapons platoon.  I've always been jealous of the US version of these little guys, so now I have some of my own!

(I noticed while putting these up that I forgot the unit mascot, now added!)

I used some spare 8cm mortars and replaced the ones that came with the halftracks.  They were super small and the baseplate was chipped on one of my examples.  Models by Battlefront.
New baseplate and I made a tarpaulin for the back out of heavy tissue paper.
Second vehicle with a headswap and slight change to the gunner's pose.
I kept the weathering light on these as well.
Still drifting!
That's it for the GD boys for awhile, next up are some long-overdue PaK40s for my Fallschirmjäger!



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sd. Kfz. 250 Halftracks

I repainted four Sd. Kfz. 250 halftracks for a Gepanzerte Aufklärungs force that I wanted to take to LVO but time didn't allow for it.  These used to belong to my old Afrika Korps troops and I stripped the paint off and got the airbrush out for the Kursk front.  The 250 isn't officially in V4, but they'll sub for the 251 which is basically the same except larger.

Command halftrack with 3.7cm PaK36.  I tried to keep the weathering light on these.
All old Battlefront resin and metal.  This was a Rommel 'Greif' model but I removed the antennae.
This unit all seemed to make the same modification by adding fuel cans along the fenders on all of their halftracks. 
Großdeuthland's recon troops were originally from their motorcycle unit and kept the tactical symbols even after becoming an armored unit.
I couldn't get all of the primer off of this one so it became a chipped front end.
So tiny! It was a trick getting any crew in at all.
Hopefully I still get a chance to use these in a game now that their done.
Uneven front wheels have always plagued Battlefront's halftracks.  Now with drifting action!