Archive for December, 2015

Moscow 2015 01

Here’s a quick photo diary of our Christmas NQM episodic Eastern Front game in the new extended Chateau K …

I’ve subtitled it Festung Moskau as that’s the way it seems to be going … we played about 5 days of the operation and it looks as if Moscow will be cut of as comrade Stalin has ordered …

Moscow has been in German hands for years, and the front line runs along the Volga canal – the Germans seem to want to hold it over the Winter …

Moscow 2015 02

I joined the game for a few days as crumbling attacks wore down the enemy all along the front with 1st and 3rd shock armies poised to break through weakening sectors.

I am sure more precise details can be followed on the NQM blog … it is all carefully managed despite its freewheeling appeal …

Moscow 2015 03(Chris gives the operational briefing on the big magnetic map)

So, here’s a player’s flavour of what happened …

Moscow 2015 04(Moscow suburbs and Gorky Park in the background … attacks fix the Germans in place … ) 

Meanwhile to the South Army Reserve Breakthrough Artillery move up to prepare the attack …

Moscow 2015 06(everything including the kitchen sink – well, including a speed boat flotilla for when the ice melts – pulls up to the start lines)

Meanwhile a gap had appeared to the South allowing the Guards Division to flood through and assault the airfield …

Moscow 2015 07

… and the static front started to tilt in the Red Army’s favour …

So the cavalry then broke through and the Tank  Divisions were unleashed … The Germans started pulling worn units out of the line to reform them …

Moscow 2015 08(Armoured Train and air units give support)

Moscow 2015 09(breakthrough!)

Over the next day or so, reserve units move up to support new attack into the city ..

Moscow 2015 10(Female soldier on point duty managing traffic at the bridgehead)

… and a bloody attack completed this phase of the operation …

Moscow 2015 11

… the sector was very well supported so Vodka and Accordions were brought up to bolster the troops for the coming struggle …

Moscow 2015 12(morale boosting at the captured airfield) 

… and at dawn the concrete began to shatter under dive bomb and howitzer bombardment before the firefight and attacks went in …

Moscow 2015 13(Festung Moskau: Red Guards take the South East suburbs)

Whilst the gravity was shifting in the South, North of the city more artillery and Sturmovik attacks were pummelling the defenders …

Moscow 2015 14

… progress remained slow …

… and the defenders in Gorky Park remained steadfast …

Moscow 2015 15(Festung Moskau: stand off at Gorky Park)

To Be Continued … thanks Chris, great game so far – and Happy New Year to all you P.B.Eye-Candy regulars …

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Christmas Games 2015 04

I may not get a chance to post again before Christmas so seasonal greetings to you all – many thanks for indulging my PBI Candy and here are some pictures from our holiday game the other day …

We were returning to Return to the River Don … and I played a Red commander trying to keep control of the station while the engineers got that train running so we could move it off.

Christmas Games 2015 07(I scratchbuilt the Putilov Garford otherwise all the kit is Peter Pig RCW painted and prepared by Trebian)

The armies were marching to the engagement and major actions broke out across the table .. particularly the woods to the left, the station and a cavalry action in the open spaces …

Christmas Games 2015 05

Christmas Games 2015 06

Red forces deploying off the road around the woodland …

Christmas Games 2015 09

9 on a D12 was good enough to see off the more numerous White cavalry … here fleeing broken from the fight …

After much good natured wargaming, the train was able to get up steam and chugged away from the station.

Fortuitously an unexpected dice avalanche saw the defenders finally succumb just in time to wave goodbye – a positive note to finish on for a White force that had seen no rub of the green .. And who now found themselves pretty much trapped in their own objective following the retreat of their supporting units.

Christmas Games 2015 08

Great game – full of period flavour (and who doesn’t like to see an armoured train on the table?)

Full AAR on Treb’s Wargaming4grownups/Christmas

Merry Christmas ..

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Dec 2015 01

Back to the Rostov project and some tidying up in the German boxes …

I’m publishing some pictures despite the basing not being fully brushed and tufted because I may not get much more done now before Christmas other than playing some games and sharing good cheer.

There have been some Zvezda Opel Blitz trucks waiting to fill the services role … so we have an ambulance for 22PZ and a repair truck for 5th SS Motorised

Dec 2015 02

(we can add these in the fullness of time to that open-ended topic: what can you do with Zvezda trucks?)

It is also about time that I crewed up 22PD’s integral artillery (Panzer Artillery Regiment 140) which is represented by the 15cm FH18 model ..

Dec 2015 03

Dec 2015 05

The gun is Skytrex and the crew figures are by Peter Pig

Dec 2015 04

Oh – and I bought a Zvezda Panzer III whilst making my first visit to Battlefield Hobbies so I had to make that up (as is the rule with any new purchases – plus, there seem to have been a lot of Panzer II’s at Rostov and I was doing Germans … ) …

Whilst I was fiddling around I also added a couple of Russian air drop markers .. the parachutes are from an old Airfix set and have been pending for a while – so I tidied them up.

The parachutists are from PP‘s AK47 French FFL with headswaps and the weapons removed so they can drag in their chutes.  I think the marriage is a good one.

Dec 2015 06(Russian generic parachutists)

The FFL have webbing like parachute harness and little in the way of identifying kit other than their weapons so make good generic paras.  I chose to swap ushankas onto them rather than flying caps as it makes them less period specific (NB my Ice Station cold war game) and, anyway, most Russian WWII airborne ops seem to have been Winter missions.

Dec 2015 07

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TnBnP 01

Well, just boats and planes – and little ones for my ‘Big Ships’ game …

I’ve made some progress with the ‘Sink the Bismarck’ scenario forces (based on the Airfix 1:1200 set of that name) …

TnBnP 07(Airfix 1:1200 HMS Ark Royal with Irregular 2mm biplanes on deck)

In all honestly I coated the Ark Royal’s deck with thick gloss varnish intending to spray it matt later but I’m quite taken with the striking ‘wet look’ so am currently minded to stick with it.

The Swordfish are generic 2mm biplanes from Irregular slightly adapted and, a little overscale, they seem to be a good fit …

TnBnP 06a(2mm Swordfish on Ark Royal’s deck)

I’ve tried the same finish on Prinz Eugen and it certainly brings out the details.  Given how I’ve laboured over those excruciatingly tiny and badly fitting parts it’s kind of nice to be able to see them.  And the North Atlantic is pretty wet most of the time …

TnBnP 04(Airfix 1:1200 Prinz Eugen)

Hopefully readers will notice the very fine balkan crosses on the spotter plane and the neatly achieved swastikas.

They are decals … I mostly paint this sort of thing and generally don’t like using decals but these have worked very nicely … I got them from Minibits at Warfare, and there’s a short feature on the reviews page.

TnBnP 03(Irregular 2mm 4-engine bomber adapted as a long range Condor  patrol aircraft)

Given these things are tiny I think they work well and are much better than I’d expected.

I’ve bashed the Atlas and Revell Prince of Wales models together to quite good effect to provide some battleship solidity to the Royal Navy but these have not had the wash and varnish so look a little bland compared to the other vessels …

TnBnP 09a(Duke of York, Prince of Wales and Cossack)

I’m currently working on some new search and destroy scenarios for Big Ship Battle and the 2016 versions of the game should look a lot more polished than the 2014 prototype.

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