Tuesday, 20 November 2012

British paratroopers

Well, I've been progressing the Adler 8th Army troops that I purchased at World Wargames in October.
However, in the meantime, I was invited by Ian Shaw to join Deeside Defenders, which I did last week.

Last week, Ian and I fought a Normandy scenario, using Blitzkrieg Commander II (BKCII) involving a British Paratroop  Brigade, plus divisional supports and an attached Churchill tank regiment, taking on a three batt German Panzergrenadier Brigade plus a batallion each of Panzer IVs and Tigers, plus relevant supports.  The scenario, I was British, involved a Paratroop batt holding a town and river bridge, with the remaining Paratroop batts and Churchill Regt coming on board to relieve them.  Ian chose to place two of his Panzergenadier batts as a screen on hills across the moddle of the board, with his armour and armoured Panzergenadiers attacking the town and bridge.  Both the German attacking force and British relieving forces came on table using mobile deployment at random points decided by a dice throw, the Germans close to the town and the Brits on the opposite side of the board.  We only managed c. 4-5 turns, with Ians Panzers forcing their way into the outskirts of the town, despite some nasty artillery deviation onto his own Panzergrenadiers, with my Churchills and Paratroopers more or less eliminating one of the screening Panzergrenadier batts, chiefly through the extensive use of artillery and some good old Paratrooper close assaults supported by Churchills.  This left the way clear for the Churchills to advance into contact with the flank/rear of the Tiger batt taking on the village.  I think we were fairly liberal with the rules as written, but it made for an enjoyable game and my first in many years against a real live opponent.  I was astonished to discover just how devastating artillery barrages were in the game, something which compares well with actual accounts (e.g. John Keegan's "Six Armies in Normandy").  It was a fun game, played in a friendly atmosphere - the Deeside Defenders are a great bunch and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I didn't take a camera along to the game, which is a pity, but I have pictures of my forces involved.

The whole battle group, rear left Paratrooper Batt tasked with holding the town and bridge, rear centre and right two Paratrooper Batts tasked with relieving the defenders.  Front left, Churchill Regt spearheading relieving force, front right 6pdr AT battery plus two stands of 75mm Pack Hows.  Centre, Brigade CO, FAO and FAC.

Typhoon air support - Tigers beware!

Churchill Regt - these guys are tough - flanks don't reduce the armour save - I still managed to loose two to long range AT fire from a PAK Co - they paid for it with a strike from three 25pdr batteries.

 1st Paratroop infantry batt - the defenders of the bridge.  These are the most recently painted and I'm pretty happy with the results - I used a white gesso base coat and this seems to make the uniform colours really pop.  Compare these with the 2nd and 3rd batts, where I used a black base coat.  Rear row are two 3" mortar and a Vickers MMG platoon.  Middle rows are 9 paratrooper infantry platoons in three Cos and front left is a pioneer platoon, the HQ and a Paratroop recce platoon.
 2nd Paratrooper Batt - black undercoat
3rd Paratrooper Batt

 6pdr Airlanding AT battery
 75mm Pack Howitzer support

 From left to right, Forward Air Controller (FAC), Forward Artillery Observer (FAO), Naval Gunfire Support Observer (NGSO) and Paratrooper FAO.
Divisional Co, Defence platoon and Brigade Co.

OK, so the 8th Army are progressing and at least some should be photographed soon.  I'm also thinking of looking at Cold War Commander and putting together an East German Motor Rifle/Panzergrenadier Division.  The guys at Deeside also play Dux Bellorum, which I've ordered from Amazon so might be dabbling in the Dark Ages again soon!

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