Archive for the ‘Operational Games’ Category

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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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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Zis-12 searchlight 01

Again, this will be of more interest to operational wargamers …and will enhance air defence assets.

I’m just going to do a post here rather than a feature on the modelling page as this is a one off … a Zvezda truck plus a lamp from a naval parts range (picked up in the model shop) – everything else is scrap/scratch-built.

Zis-12 searchlight 02(1:100 Zvezda truck with searchlight)

I replaced the Zis bed with the slightly longer one from the Opel Blitz and cut and lowered it but I declined to do a full Zis-12 conversion as it didn’t seem essential to model all features exactly.

I then fabricated a chassis and cradle to carry the light.  As the assembled components are differently coloured it is pretty easy to see how the bits have come together in the WIP photo …

Zis-12 searchlight 03

The lamp I had picked up looks a little smaller than the standard Russian air defence searchlight – but as the example bottom right in the picture below shows, some variations are possible …

I decided to leave the lamp’s plastic lens clear and the interior white – and it seems to have worked … in the photos it picks up the camera flash quite strikingly I think.

Zis-12 searchlight 07

Zis-12 searchlight 04

Zis-12 searchlight 05

I picked up the bits for this quite some time back so this ‘Zis-12’ is another outstanding project ticked-off and delivered.   Although a bit fiddly at times it was pretty straightforward, really and I am pleased with the results.

Zis-12 searchlight 06

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Soviet Artillery

Sov Art 01b(15mm Red Army guns – various makers)

So this week’s tidy up has been basing and painting up gun crews …

A 57mm Zis-2 anti-tank gun,  a 76mm M1902/30 divisional gun, a couple of F-22s, a M1909/30 152mm howitzer, and some big howitzers …

Respectively Battlefront/FoW, Quality Castings and Old Glory/True North.

Sov Art 01ci

The crews are a mix of (mostly) Peter Pig plus some Skytrex and Battlefront.

That QC old model 152mm howitzer has been waiting for its full crew for some time …

Undoubted stars are the 203mm Howitzers, however – Stalin’s famous Breakthrough Artillery …

Sov Art 03(True North 203mm B4 Howitzer from Old Glory)

I’ve done my best to assemble crews … mostly artillery men just stand around waiting to serve the guns.  Not a problem if you are modelling, say, a/t crews for a tactical game – but we need lots of bods standing around for operational games …

Sov Art 04a

Next up, I need to complete the supply wagons for the rifle corps …

Sov Art 02

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CKB 05

All the best to NQM Chris on his birthday.

We popped over for a splendid meal and I took with me 3 15mm Soviet 85mm AA guns which I had liberated at a good price from the B&B table at Colours the other day.   I thought a couple of them would make a good battery at Chris’s chosen scale so gave him a pair which I had assembled up deployed … and I made up one in ‘semi’- transit for my own collection.

CKB 01(Flames of War 85mm Soviet AA guns ready to paint and finish)

So Chris gets to paint 2 of them for the NQM collection, and I get the other one.

True to my ‘new deal’ I have done mine (can’t paint the lead pile overnight but accept it can’t be added to – so anything bought now gets painted straight away and put into service.   Hopefully stuff can be promoted from reserves too, doubling the virtuous consequences😉 … ) …

CKB 02(completed FoW 85mm AA gun with Zvezda Zis-5 truck)

The ‘semi’ notation is because I’ve opted for an incongruous compromise … the gun is secured in transit mode, but I’ve decided to put some crew around it as if it was ready to fire.  I think it’ll look fine on the wargame table even though I suspect you’d never really see one clamped down but with a loader lining up a shell.

CKB 03

I still do like these all metal models and this one goes together OK.   It has the usual inadequate single drawing Battlefront supply in lieu of instructions, but a quick look at some photos of the real thing allows relatively pain free assembly.

So, for the technically minded: I assembled it with ‘Power Flex’ Superglue and mounted it on MDF (with some card shims under the wheels so I could landscape it is without burying the tyres; the gun is undercoated in Humbrol black enamel, dry-brushed in Vallejo acrylic, then blushed with Humbrol and finally dry-brushed.  The crew are mostly enamel with a tinted varnish …

CKB 06

CKB 04

Zaloga tells me that in 1943 brigades of these guns were formed as Tank Destroyer units specially to deal with the new German heavy tanks.   Otherwise they were reserved for air defence.

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Op14 is an operational style game of WWI and interwar conflicts by Richard Brooks … it uses a grid (each square representing 2 Kms) and playing card activation/control.

Here are some pictures from this week’s game hosted at Trebian’s shedquarters …






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Of course the next most important thing to completing a reorganisation is getting the troops into action: and the opportunity came very rapidly in an important Winter Offensive in the Northern sector (in Chris Kemp’s ongoing NQM Barbarossa campaign).

Chris had set up a shallow defensive line of dug-in (hopefully ‘winter’) Germans and put me in charge of several divisional waves of freshly rebuilt heroes of the Motherland (not that we’re taking sides, of course😉 ) …

NQMWO 02(my guys are organised 6 half-battalion sized bases per regiment – and 3 regiments per division)

NQMWO 03(Chris has his as 5 or 6 bases per battalion, but misses a level and represents a division with 3 such battalions)

Which is all quite fascinating as it means we have 3 blocks of about the same footprint with the same number of figures in a Division.   Perfect … just the scale logic getting there is not the same.

So in we went in great force, rolling reasonable dice … and mostly the German’s folded … To be fair to them, there were as many overloads as morale failures (on an Eastern Front Winter there really isn’t anywhere to run to anyway).

NQMWO 04(Classic NQM … soldiers everywhere!!! ) …

I have some tank forces in reserve to boost up this attack but opted to put the rifle men in first, to see if the Germans were up for it.   This was a quick ‘working week’ session – and concluded that there is enough left in the game to give another session (so we get all the toys on the table) …

Meanwhile, we had rattled through about a dozen or so firefights, most of which were followed by an assault, and the Russians had pretty much carried the first line and were engaging the second.

In traditional fashion, I did try an impromptu attack, against to see if the next line of Germans were really committed to hold onto this patch of someone-else’s country.  They were, so the next wave of attacks will, indeed, need to be prepared properly.

Late evening, the Vodka was passed out amongst the men who took the key positions …


Whilst I was posting these pictures, Chris put up the annotated story (so for who was who etc. go to NQM blog/storm forecast )

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