Friday, 25 October 2019

15mm Battlefront Sdfkz 234s

Another purchase from a couple of years ago, this time the Battlefront Sdkfz 234 pack.  Six vehicles and able to be built as the 1, 2, 3 and 4 marks.  I decided on 3 234/1s, and one each of the 234/2 (Puma), 234/3 and 234/4.  Enough for a heavy recce platoon with some late war AT ooomph!

The 234/3 Stummel mounting a short barreled 75mm howitzer.

One of the 3 234/1s mounting a 20mm autocannon and coaxial MG.

The 234/2 Puma with platoon commander exposed in the turret hatch.

The 234/4 mounting a 75mm PAK40, only available during the later stages of the war, but should be able to give the Allied armoured cars and light tanks a shock or two.

The whole group from the rear.

A great set -  a shame the new "improved" packs from Battlefront don't appear to have the same versatility - their loss, my gain I guess.  Even more versatility in this pack is that there are enough turrets to reconfigure each Puma as a 234/1 and vice versa, so lots of options!  Now to find some suitable Humber armoured cars in 15mm, both for my plucky Brits and to have one as a beute version for Graebner in an Arnhem scenario.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Battlegroup Kursk 15mm club game

Last Thursday night saw Pete and I slugging it out between two 650 point evenly matched battlegroups.

My German Panzer Division battlegroup was spearheaded by two Tiger Is, supported by a platoon of Pz IVGs and a panzergrenadier platoon with PAK40 and HMG team.  Recce comprised a 250/1 with 4 man recce team and a 222, with off table support from 80mm mortars with an on table observer team.

Pete's Russian Infantry Division battlegroup included 2 T-34 platoons, plus a platoon of KV-1s, an infantry platoon, recce foot patrol and sniper team, plus numerous observers and an off table Katyusha battery,

We decided on a simple meeting engagement between the spearheads two thrusts, no objectives, d6 units plus scouts on table and 1d6 reinforcements from turn 2.  With equal scouts, I was lucky to win the initiative as well as having a slight edge with three units plus scouts on table vs two plus scouts for Pete.  I opted for a Tiger, Pz IV and HMG team to supplement the 222 and 250/1 team.  All moved to hull down positions on the subtle crestlines of the low hills in fromt of me, except the PzIV, which advanced into the woods on the right.  Pete brought on a KV-1 and a T-34, while his sniper team unsuccessfully tried to draw a bead on the HMG team.

In the next couple of turns, the Germans won the reinforcement race and soon had quite a gun line hull down along the line of hills and were trading shots with the Russian T-34s and KV-1s as they appeared on the left flank.  By the stage in the photo below, I was coming off pretty poorly, as I lost a Tiger to rocket artillery and two Pz IVs to T-34 fire, although I had KO'd a KV-1, 2 T-34s and immobilised a third.  My sole surviving Tiger was getting the range and starting to hurt the enemy.

On the right flank, my Pz IV on reserve move in the woods was in a stand off with Petes KV-1 on ambush fire.

Not long after, a lucky double 1 immobilised my last Tiger, leaving me one running tank.  However, the Tiger could still shoot and, in a rush of blood, Pete tried to KO the Tiger by rushing it with his remaining T-34s and a KV-1.  Sadly, I had a PAK 40 in defilade behind a hill in front of my main line of defence, which took flank shots at Pete's armour, while the Tiger, receiving multiple non-penetrating hits, managed to roll beyond the call of duty tests successfully and fired back out of turn, KO'ing all the remaining running tanks. 

This left just the single KV-1 on the German right in the stand off with the Pz IV.  I reserve moved the PzIV to the edge of the woods, but out of sight of the KV-1 behind the hill, which forced Pete to move onto the hill and, in the trade off of shots, the KV-1 came off worst.

Meanwhile, on the German left, infantry scurried forward past the burning Russian tanks and whittled away the Russian infantry and command.

Pete's battlegroup eventually broke under the sustained losses.  Due to some really fortunate chit pulls, my chits weren't even at the 50% level, so a German victory.  It all seemed a bit pyrrhic though as I was left with only one running Pz IV, although I'm sure the Tiger could be patched up and got back into service once the Russian force broke.  All in all a great game, rather attritional and some interesting swings in fortune.  Those 12 dice from a Katyusha battery can cause havoc, thank goodness they only arrive every third turn.  This was the second outing for my early war German infantry, although the Pz IVs and Tigers were on their first tabletop appearance, so have broken their beginners curse.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

15mm Winter Stug IIIGs

I picked up two boxes of Battlefront Stug IIIGs at the bring and buy at Joy of Six 2018 - total cost a tenner.  During a major tidy up of the stash, I assembled them over the summer and painted them up in a late war 3-tone scheme.  Once varnished, I set them aside to fully dry out, before applying a snow/frost effect, using a paste mix of Vallejo off-white, PVA glue and baking soda.

Both sets, one from each buttoned up and the other with hatch open and commander exposed.

Earlier version with MG34 pintle mount, from the front.

And rear.

Later versions with automated MG42, front view.

And from the rear.

The whole group again.

Detail of the later version commander with tin hat, wearing a white snow smock, gloves and face obscured by a woollen scarf, all heavily frosted.

Earlier version with detail of commander, similarly attired although he isn't feeling the cold as much as his face is more exposed.

So, with the Panthers and these Stugs, I've got enough winter armour to fight scenarios set in the last two winters of WW2, especially the Bulge offensive.

I've not posted much recently as I've been working on an early war 15mm German army.  During the stash sort out, I rediscovered various kits for Pz IIs, IIIs, IVs and Stug Bs, as well as boxes of Plastic Soldier early war German infantry and support weapons.  More of these in a later post.

Thanks for looking.