Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Stalingrad! All-Day Christmas Game (Part 3)

With the central building between the Russian held factories now firmly in German hands, Hauptmann Schewardt's pioneer platoon began to form up for their assault on the vulnerable Kraplinov Tractor Factory.
First of Schewardt's squads begins their assault
With an attack also coming from the sewers, the Russians are forced to face off against two opposite threats

Germans enter the Krapinov coming under an intense hail of machine gun fire.
 The unfortunate lead assault in to The Kraplinov blundered into the naval troops' specialist defence unit. Thirteen troops each equipped with an SMG. The ensuing combat pitched The Russian defenders on a massive 77 dice against the encroaching Germans on only 16!

The attacking German section is wiped out to a man.
 As you'd expect the German assault ended in total destruction, but exacted such a heavy toll in Russian leader casualties that Komrade Kapitan Leitchiski's naval troops Force Morale plummeted to ZERO and the Kraplinov fell to the invader.
Butcher's bill for the first factory.

Hauptmann Seebrucke's platoon emerges from the sewer to destroy fleeing Russian stragglers in fierce hand-to-hand combat under the crane.
Germans signal the capture of the central building to the Luftwaffe

A minor inconvenience as disproportionate losses force the Pioneren temporarily back into the sewers.

Germans in the Kraplinov office block also signal their capture to the Luftwaffe.
Surrounded on three sides, morale falling rapidly and in the knowledge that The Kommisar had perished in the attack on the neighbouring Kraplinov Tractor Factory, The remaining Russians holding out dissolved away to seek out reinforcements for tomorrow's inevitable push to reclaim this particular part of Hell. 

Marking the ruined roof of The Viagra Chemical Plant with their swastika the German victory, at least for today, is complete.
But who knows what tomorrow will bring? URAAAH!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Stalingrad! Christmas All-Day Game (Part 2)

The Russians deploy Svetlana Bosseyedovic, a sniper trained by the German Sniper School at Zossen, in a vantage point up in the tower crane. THIRTEEN shots later, she makes her first kill.

Blissfully unaware of the Germans below them, Russian Sailors deploy to the upper storeys of the Kraplinov to provide overwatch cover for the troops before them in the trenches.

While their Infantry colleagues do likewise in the Chemical Works covering the ruined fuel storage.

As casualties mount in the Fuel Silos, the Russians consider withdrawing having achieved their goal of holding up the German advance.
After softening up the defenders, Schewardt's Pioneren assault Russian positions in front of The Kraplinov Tractor Factory.
However, their left section are ambushed by an HMG as they skirt the signal box.
Despite losses from the HMG ambush, The Pioneren sweep the Russians from their entrenchments.
Russian dead litter the trenches, as the survivors retreat in disarray back toward The Kraplinov.

Desperate measures. Before: Up steps the Kommisar to stem the tide of retreating sailors.
Desperate measures. After: The Sailors shock is reduced by only ONE point.   

Succumbing to heavier firepower and confident that The Kommisar is elsewhere, the withdrawal begins in the fuel silos.

Waiting until an optimum opportunity presents, The Russians unleash their flame thrower in ambush on the pioneren moving through the central sewers. The attack results in only minor disruption and the German advance continues.

As they withdraw, Russians take unexpected fire, Downing their Kaporal and thinning both sections.
The unexpected fire is from the MMG with a sweeping view of the whole Russian withdrawal.
The German Pioneren assaulting from the central sewer clears the sailors from the forward building between the factories, severely weakening the Russian left flank. Both Pionere platoons mass to attack the Kraplinsky.

Having only just made her first kill, Svetlana is spotted and slotted by German LMG fire.
As Russian forward resistance ebbs away, the Germans turn their 75mm Infantry Gun in preparation for the final assault on the factories.
With the impending threat of assault, the Russians in the Viagra Chemical Works stiffen their defences in preparation.

As outlying troops begin to swarm back in from their forward positions the noose tightens around the Russians necks. Can they hold the factories long enough to receive reinforcements?.....

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Stalingrad! Christmas All-Day Game (Part 1)

This year’s all-day at Earlswood Club was a bit extra special. After drooling over it since it’s completion in May, we finally got to game over Al’s UNBELIEVABLE Stalingrad terrain.

Our game pitched three German platoons with 20 support points attacking factories held by two Russian platoons with 14 support.

Kapitan Deaconev's Infantry Platoon (me) was defending the Viagra Chemical Works on our right flank

As Russians we had chosen in support 1 x 76mm Infantry Gun, 1 x man-pack Flame-Thrower, 1 x 12.7mm HMG, 1 x Sniper and for a bit of fun, 1 x Commisar.

Kapitan Leitchiski's Naval Infantry platoon (Bob) was defending the Kraplinov Tractor Plant on our left flank

Our German opponents commands lined up as follows:

Hauptmann Schewardt's Pionere Platoon (Al) took their right flank opposite Bob
Hauptmann Seebrucke's Pionere Platoon (Vlad) was in their centre
While Hauptmann Speiche's Infantry Platoon (Spike) was opposite me in the chemical works
The Germans chose an extra Senior Leader for each platoon, 1 x 75mm Infantry Gun (attached to Spike), 1 x man-pack Flame Thrower (Vlad) and 1 x MG34 MMG (Al). They had also clearly hatched a devious plan while Bob & I were despatched to make drinks in the kitchen.

Russians deploy two sections into forward positions among the ruined fuel storage
While sailors take up position in the upper floors of the office block and the forward trenches by the rail lines.
Hauptmann Speiche's Infantry begin a prolonged firefight with the Russians in the ruined  fuel storage (their orders had been to distract the Russians from the hidden advance through the sewers against their centre).
Meanwhile on the right flank Hauptmann Schewardt's Pionere begin their assault on the forward Russian trenches. One section advancing toward the signal box, another right-flanking while a third took up overwatch positions in the ruins behind them. 

As the advance toward the factories from both flanks began, Hauptmann Seebrucke's Pionere platoon, accompanied by their flame-thrower support advanced unseen through the central sewer toward the vulnerable gap between the defending Russians......

Monday, 4 December 2017

Resurrection and a Challenge.


That was some year I tell you.

After a false start getting the blog back on track caused by a mere malaise bought about by hobby change, I actually had a REAL world problem that nearly ended more than my blogging!

Completely out of left-field I developed a major heart problem. My Mitral valve catastrophically failed resulting in open heart surgery in January of this year. I underwent an emergency repair, fortunately (for me at least) averting my impending demise, however, that has subsequently failed and now I'm due back in Oxford in the new year for a brand new shiny metal replacement valve which will hopefully put an end to it all.

My attentions to my blog have been (understandably I think) averted. Nonetheless I shall apologise and assure anyone taking the time to pick back up on all things BBaL that I'll be making maximum effort from here on to keep up my posts.

I owe the inspiration for getting back to blogging to my new, great chum Curt of http://analogue-hobbies.blogspot.co.uk/. We met courtesy of a Sharpe Practice game at good mate Jim's (follow him on Twitter at @ltharrystocracy) in late October and he recently invited me to take part in the forthcoming http://thepaintingchallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/the-eighth-annual-analogue-hobbies.html

L to R: Curt, Jim & Phyllion (of http://infrequentwargamer.blogspot.co.uk/) gurning around our game of SP2

I have committed to painting 400 points over the three months that the challenge runs which, although is a small amount, takes into account that I'll have a break from mid-January for an unknown period.

I'm busy prepping figures (which is permitted) prior to the challenge starting on the 20th December. So plenty of cleaning up, undercoating and spraying ahead. The next few posts will focus on what choices I've made, but suffice to say there may be a few surprises in store which will reflect on the cataclysmic hobby changes I've made over the last 18 months.

Here's to bothering you far more frequently over the next few days!

Monday, 23 May 2016

It's been a while, but.......

Tentatively opens up one eye....



Scratches arse....

Steps into the sunlight rubbing eyes.....

Pours coffee.....

Flexes fingers.....

Sits before keyboard......

Tap, tap, tap.....

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Action Station!

Having started the latest pint-sized Chain of Command campaign "Old Hickory" against new oppo Ian (this time I get to play as Germans), I saw in one of the scenarios there is a train station. I've already got a lot of Normandy buildings for 15mm but don't have a station so I set out to add one to the collection.

I had in mind what I was looking for. The building at the top of this photo is the station in Bayeux, Normandy. On previous trips many years ago I'd stayed in the Hotel de Gare (bottom right) and the view each morning from my attic window was of the station some 50 yards away.

Searching on eBay turned up this Auhagen kit in TT scale. There were many other stations but many of them looked too German while this one was near enough. Unsure exactly now suitable TT was for 15mm I decided to jump in with both feet. I was NOT disappointed!

The kit arrived next morning from Wales & I set about putting it together.

I quickly got the main structure assembled but decided to leave the windows and detailing until after I'd painted the main building.

I cut a base (which would eventually include an enclosed stock yard) and gave the whole building a rough and ready base coat of chocolate brown craft paint to add some depth to the finish.

Next came a heavy drybrush of the walls. The windows with the kit came in white plastic, but remembering that the ones I'd seen were green I sprayed them and all the other fittings before drybrushing them too. Paul had given me some white Wills picket fencing in HO scale when he moved out so in a lightbulb moment I resolved to use them for my perimeter.

After working up the roofing and stone areas I added the doors, windows, gutters, fencing and the clock on the platform. Heavy drybrushing again to the base area made of hardboard. I like the pseudo-cobbled effect it gives so I use that a lot now. When finished I fixed the building down with No More Nails and added the grass.

Finished station with some 15mm paras for scale.

Another scale shot with a DD Sherman crossing the line.
I'm really pleased with the final outcome. It fits in a treat with my other buildings. Having been time consuming and relatively expensive (this kit was £18) I'd only recommend going this route when specialist structures are needed, But I'd definitely confirm that TT scale stuff is a great match for 15mm!

This should see its' debut within the next week or so in Mortain.

Friday, 12 June 2015

OML3 The Post 20th Century Games

Moving on to the games from the turn of the 20th century......
First up is Stu Surridge's lovely Russo-Japanese War encounter based on the battle of Shaho 1904 using Through the Mud & Blood. Both morning and afternoon games were apparently bloody affairs and remarks were made about not wanting to be a leader as they nearly all died!

Morning session of Shaho. Sid Roundwood & his opponent Douglas McMillan receive their pre-game briefings. You can read Stu's own coverage here: http://dusttears.blogspot.co.uk/

I ran my version of Sari Bair Ridge-Gallipoli using Chain of Command. Morning and afternoon produced very different but equally knife-edge games. I'll expand on this in a future post.

The Custard Guzzlers from down Devon way put on a Big CoC game based around events from the 6th June 1940, where the British & French joined up to try tol hold the Weygand Line. You can read more over at Jason's own blog: http://welshwargamesdevon.blogspot.co.uk/

Rob Avery stepped up like a hero at the last minute to put on an IABSM late WW2 Russian Front game. Rob ran this in the morning before partaking in Rich's afternoon Fighting Season. while Geoff Bond ran the afternoon session. Here Rob (grey shorts) briefs Noddy & Ralph (Russians) as German commander Jamie (red hoops) looks on. Full AAR at: http://www.vislardica.com/blog/2015/6/9/iabsm-aar-bashnya-or-bust-4e-holm-again

Nick Overland brought along his Cold War adaptation of IABSM. West German forces were tasked with trying to stop the Red Army's advance into their homeland in this one, over some natty new terrain. Originally part of the "Lard Approved" program, this was I Ain't Been Nuked Mum's third annual visit. Hopefully it will see publication in it's own right later this year.

Last, but by no means least, is Rich Clarke's pre-cursor to his forthcoming release "Fighting Season". Set this time in Afghanistan's Green Zone. The scenario, rather aptly for the event, involved capturing that lovely, shiny red tractor! My son Connor had a go in the morning and now wants me to invest in a complete set up for this "'Cos it's ACE!" but then again what would you expect?
Next up, a more in depth look at the Sari Bair-Gallipoli game I put on at OML3