Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Panzerwerfer 42 Battery

The 15cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Selbstfahrlafette Sd Kfz 4/1...really just a long-winded Germanic way of saying 15cm Armoured Rocket Launcher.

Pretty clean right now (yeah, what's new...), I might do some weathering, etc. later but for now they're good enough to game with.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sikh Company HQ

Company HQ with two Blacker Bombards, something of a predecessor to the PIAT.

Although the bombards in Indian service never made it to Italy (probably never made it to Tunisia in fact, perhaps only the Western Desert) I obviously did them with the same basing scheme to match other units. A bit pointless otherwise.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

StuG G Platoon

StuG G Platoon from the box set by Battlefront. Lovely models, one of my favourite armoured vehicles from the Second World War. They've been done for a while now, though I'm just getting to posting pictures of the completed thing now.

There is limited chipping, etc but it really doesn't show very well: I probaly shouldn't have bothered apart from the deeper scratches/penetrations on the side-skirts. Mostly, I'm still to afraid to screw thing ups completely, and unlike brush painting fixing major mistakes is a pain and very visible.

For paints, I used Vallejo Model Air Middlestone as a base, then a lighter version with some VMA Sand mixed in for highlights. Green camo is VMC Reflective Green, brown is VMC Flat Earth (= VMA Tank Brown), both used with Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner to thin. The spare track links show up very red in the pictures but aren't quite so bad in real life; still, I should make them stand out less. Lines and details picked-out with MiG Dark Wash, though I now prefer to mix my own with MiG oils.

Germans Crosses by Dom's decals: way better than Battlefront's ones: these at least are centered properly. I skipped any other marking as they're meant to be rather generic in use.

Considering that these represent vehicles No. 5-9 that I have airbrushed....ever...they didn't turn out too badly IMHO and I learn't quite a bit.


Friday, 21 October 2011

Sikh Vickers MMG Platoon

Sikh Vickers MG gunners, two whole platoons worth. I did something a little different with the basing, more of an arid Italy theme, but not too dry, with scattered rocks and grass, etc. I didn't want to do a Cassino theme, more South Italy during the 1943-44 advance by the 8th Indian Division, or something like that.

Two MMG Platoons plus a couple of extra command teams.

Company HQ with Blacker Bombards up soon.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

October FOW Tournament

Another local tournament, fewer players than last time with several being "busy/working/chicken/the usual excuses" etc., which sadly left us with only 6 players on the day. Since we were there though, might as well get some games in.

My list:

British 7th Armoured Sabre Squadron (Reluctant Veteran)
Source: Turning Tide Intelligence Briefing

Armoured HQ – 2 Cromwell IV, add 2 Cromwell IV CS & ARV (270)
Armoured Troop – 3 Cromwell IV, 1 Sherman 'Firefly' VC (325)
Armoured Troop – 3 Cromwell IV, 1 Sherman 'Firefly' VC (325)

Recce Troop – 3 Stuart V (135)
Lorried Rifle Platoon – 3 Sections (140)
Anti-tank Platoon (SP), RA – 4 M10C (275)

1470 Pts (5 Platoons)

...basically building out the one I used before at the June 5 Competition: I added the SP Anti-tank Platoon as I expected more heavy armour, though they are quite fragile. Another Cromwell & Firefly Troop would probably have been better, but I haven't painted it yet.

I haven't added pictures below but they are in an album HERE (my games have hoards of Cromwells swanning about, shouldn't be too hard to spot). This report is almost two weeks late, but I've had other things to do so better late than never.

Game 1: No Retreat vs. JC Lehr Armoured Panzergrenadiers

Played on Table 1, modeled loosely on Battlefront's "Battle of the La Fiere Causway" with a few additions. Me attacking, I massed all but the 2ic and two HQ CS tanks on the left, the latter on the right to keep the infantry platoon in place. With 5 Platoons JC deployed a full-strength Lehr platoon on-table to my right, 3 Panthers in ambush (Lehr Panzergrenadier, 3.7cm AA and Nebelwerfers in Reserve). Oddly, no Kampfgruppe.

The Recce Troop made full use of their reconaissance deployment move, going 16" forward, then another 16" to basically be on the objective and preventing an ambush on the immediate hedgerow. Rifle Platoon doubled forward, Cromwells and the rest followed normally.

Not able to deploy on the hedgerow immediately behind the objective, JC deployed the Panthers behind it and drove up to it, firing at the Recce Troop but missing. The Panthers then "Stormtroopered" back from the hedgerow. In my bound (turn 2) the first Cromwell Troop pushed foward to make contact with the hedgerow the Panthers had recently pulled-back from, firing DF smoke at the beasts, while the Recce Troop held fire (Cautious Movement) and hugged the same hedgerow.

The next few turns saw reservs arrive for JC (Lehr Platoon, Nebelwerfers, 3.7cm AA) and the Panthers missing everything while Cromwells swarmed around the flank. A Firefly shot penetrated one but I failed FP, only to see it never remount and the rest of the Panther platoon get blown away the next turn. The infantry on JC's right stayed pinned for eternity, babysat by the 2ic and HQ CS tanks. Nebelwerfers and the 2nd infantry platoon soon followed the Panthers and I held the objective uncontested. 6-1 to me.

Game 2: Breakout vs Rudy Grenadiers (Rudy's Table)

With one mobile platoon, Rudy deployed 2 Grenadiers, Black Pioneer, 3 PaK 40s, Mortars and 2 Tiger Is (Re-roll Misses!) in his quadrant. With 5 Platoons, I deployed a Crowell troop in each with the HQ and 2 CS tanks in the lower right-hand corner. The objective were in the centre (obviously) with a village for cover and numerous BF cover stone walls/barricades: perfect infantry defensive country almost taylor-made for this mission.

Rudy did the usualy move for the objective, the Tigers decided they wanted to tangle with 7 Troop and its Firefly, KO'd one tank and the 2iC before the Firefly put an end to them. Sad face. PaK 40s KO'd a tank from 8 Troop, but lost a Pak in return.

Turn 3 and lack of reserve was remedied as the Recce Troop, M10s and Infantry came on. Two M10s died the following turn to a fluke mortar bombardment (I rolld two 1s, he rolled two 6s for firepower) and the other two to long-range PaK 40 shots. 8 Troop had their revenge as they gunned-down the PaK 40 (turned too far, no gun shields and in the open), the rest of the army poured fire into the Pionerers who, after the usual "run out with flame-throwers" move found they could't get an assault in and did nothing but bail a few tanks. They soon broke under the wieght of fire from CS tanks, 7 Troop and the CinC, taking the German CO with them. My infantry were pinned by mmortars, never unpinned. 8 Troop meanwhile killed-off Grenadiers, the Mortars and the PaK 40 Command team, and with 5 Platoons out of six destroyed and no CO, the British held the field. 5-2 to me.

Game 3: Cauldron VS. Ian's Grenadiers (Hill 112-inspired table)

Defending, Ian deployed Grenadiers and 4 x StuGs on-table, Pioneers in ambush: Grenadiers, Mortars, mixed Panzer IV and Panzer III platoon off-table, and something else (scouts?). I started with 2 Cromwell Troops and the HQ, the rest in reserve.

Pioneer Immediate Ambush was really a re-deployment. Game saw me taking 3 turn to kill 3 StuGs (too many failed FP). Ian's Panzer Platoon came on and killed 7 Troop's Firefly, my return fire (6 shots needing 4+, 12 needing 5+ with re-rolls) saw ONE hit scored, which was saved. Damn. 7 Troop died the following turn to stationary Panzer IIIs and IVs.

Turn 4 and things are looking a bit iffy, still no reserves. 8 Troop manages to kill a Panzer IV, fends off an assault by Pioneers and then destroys them with the help of the HQ Troop. The Panzers are eventually mostly dealt with, though one and the last StuG survive. Turn 6 my first reserve platoon arrives while Ian has all of his: typical. An assault by the HQ troop pushes Grenadiers off an objective. Turn 7 and as I hold it, Ian tries to do some damage before assaulting with Grenadiers but his dice go cold (about time!), all shots miss and the Grenadiers decide staying put in an orchard is preferable to assaulting tanks. 5-2 to me.

Game 4: Breakthrough vs Charles (my brother) and his US Paras

I sent the M10s on the flank march/reserve, rest on-table. Took on his 57mm ATGs, little bugger passed 3 gun saves for 75mm hits though an MG hit at least got one. Return fire was largely ineffective thankfully. TOT by the Glider 105s killed a Cromwell and bailed 2 others and a Stuart. Tank fire followed by an infantry assault clerared the ATGs, after which we pushed on to the objective, MG'ing anything that moved. AOP and 105 fire proved annoying, but actually did very little after that first bombardment.

My Rifle platoon meanwhle had a decent assault into a Para Platoon in an orchard near the objective, putting them below half (they passed) before pulling back. 105 fire then put my infantry below half and killed a Stuart, though the infantry passed their 5+ morale...twice (Cheap Fearless!). M10s came on bound 5 or 6, were assaulted by Para Enginners, lost an M10, counter-attacked and killed a few, then lost another bailed and I decided continuing was unfavourable, so pulled out. The Airborned Engineers then breakthrough assauted onto 8 Troop (w/attached CS tanks) and killed 2 CS tanks, I pulled the rest back and in my bound assaulted and killed of the Enginners w/Para CO. 4 out of 6 dead US platoons with no CO and nothing near the objective to contest = 6-1 to me.

Game 5: Free-for-All v. Nick's French Expeditionary Corps

Terrible mission for fighting Cromwells with Infantry. Basically game saw me deploy heavinly on my right, use Recce troop and Recon move to get as far foward as possible, then push forward with Croms and Stuarts to MG anything in sight. By turn 3 is was all over, though Nick's P-47 manages a pair of tank kills, M10s another befor disengaging (away from the objective...) and Croms, HQ and Stuarts overwhelmed an infantry platoon and 57mm ATGs on the objective. 6-1 to me.

So, 28 Pts from 5 games...OK-ish, though I felt bad for running over everyone. Even the promised Tigers and Panthers did little as their users are still too inexperienced using them. Without wanting sounding like a braggart, playing a game where you win easily becomes tedious after a while and this is the situation I face at the moment: I like challenging games, win or lose. My enthusiasm for painting and the like has improved, but not so much for gaming at the moment. I can't really thing of any way to help except perhaps use less formidable armies and just keep on with the teaching? Any thoughts on the matter (i.e. teaching new-ish players) is of course appreciated.

Hopefully in 6-12 months the standard of play locally will improve, and hopefully the more experienced players will put more effort into attending events...you know who you are.

Back to painting now. Will post again soon.



Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool

The Flames of War US Tank warrior from Cobra or Turning Tide, Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool. Unlike all too many FOW "Warriors", Pool actually existed and had a distinguished career.

Lafayette Pool in a 1949 picture
Pool served in 'I' Company, 32nd Armored Regiment, US 3rd Armored Division, serving from 1941 to 1944. As part of the 'Spearhead' he saw combat in France, Belgium and German, leading 21 full-scale attacks during some 81 days of combat service. He and his crew were credited with destroying some 258 enemy vehicles, including 12 tanks, as well as accounting for over 1,000 enemy personnel and capturing more than 250 prisoners. During his career he was twice-recommended for the US Congressional Medal of Honor, though never awarded. He was however awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, as well as the Belgian and French Légion d'honneur.

Pool served in three different Sherman tanks, the first being a 75mm-armed M4A1 Sherman, the second and third being up-gunned M4A1 (76)W, as depicted here. All his tanks were named 'In The Mood', the first and third vehicles were KO'd by enemy action, the second by USAAF P-38s mistaking US tanks for German. Serving in the third M4A1 76mm near Stolberg, Germany, on September 19, 1944, 'In The Mood' (No. 3) was hit by German fire and Pool was severely wounded, later losing a leg. A good summary of Pool's tanks can be fond HERE.

In 1948, now with a prosthesis, Pool rejoined the US Army to train the next-generation of US tankers, serving in the Korean War and until 1960 when he retired at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2. Pool died on June 1, 1991 at the age of 71 and is buried at the military cemetery of Fort Sam Houstan in Texas

(Taken mostly from the 3rd Armored Division Site, Pool index HERE, and a few other sources. Sources may differ as to numbers, though I've gone with those from the 3rd AD site.)

Battlefront's Lafayette Pool Model

Battlefront sells Pool in an M4A1 76mm version, and in game terms this usually makes the most sense. I've done this model to match with the previous 76mm Shermans I've done, but added the name 'In The Mood' to the sides of the hull. It's much larger than the real name was and done free-hand (with many touch-ups!) as I didn't have any suitable decals, but it looks alright I think. Front star decal and serial numbers are from BF, turret stars with broken circular surround by Dom's Decals

The real thing...

...and my attempts.

The rest of the tank I kept fairly uncluttered as I much prefer clean lines, so no extra track-links, etc., and limited stowage.

To me, Lafayette Pool exemplifies the spirit of the US Armored Division during WWII. Reading the exploits of individuals such as Pool and others who go largely unnamed, one can only be inspired by what they achieved. Battling against hardened opposition they succeeded in spite of the German's superior armoured vehicles: their stories should be required reading for all "panzer fanboi's". The accomplishments  of likes of Barkmann and Whittmann sitting behind 4+ inches of armour and superbly armed might be impressive, but they simply don't compare in my mind with the likes of S/Sgt Lafayette Pool, Tpr Joe Ekins, Lt. G. K Henry, Sgt W. Harris, and so many others who fought without such luxuries


Friday, 22 July 2011

US Combat Engineers

US Combat Engineers, figures again by Battlefront.

Command team, 6 x Pioneer Rifle teams, 2 x M1917 HMG teams and 3 x Bazooka teams

I'd be interested in getting some Forged in Battle casts to see how they compare with the old BF range which is still IMO the best US WWII infantry range (don't get me started on the "new" range). Despite my liking for these figures, I still feel US infantry are a little under-represented in 15mm, which is a pity as they are an interesting subject.


US Recon Infantry

Battlefront figures, enough for an Armoured Rifle Recon Platoon or the Cavalry Recon dismounts. I'm not too happy with the pics, they are quite washed-out and the highlights on the jackets hardly show.

I detest that officer figure.


Monday, 13 June 2011

Painting WW2 Hungarian Infantry

As part of a new-ish project for me, I thought I’d detail how I intend painting my WW2 Hungarian Infantry Company. I started out with the intention of building a Motorised Infantry Company for Mid-War, though the local trend at the moment is to mostly play Late War, thus it needed to be “morphable” to both periods, something Hungarian infantry is particularly good at. All that really needs changing from MW Eastern Front to LW Stalin’s Europe or the Hungarian Infantry PDF is the support weapons, the basic infantry structure and equipment changes only slightly.

The guide below therefore shows collar tabs for the Motorised Infantry: I wish I had gone standard green for the regular infantry divisions now, but I already had a platoon completed with the blue so they stayed. Apart from the small details such as markings, I’m led to believe there is very little difference in appearance between Motorised and Regular infantry. The figure below is from Battlefront's Hungarian infantry range.

Starting over a black undercoat, I painted VGC Tan over the flesh areas, followed by a VGC Dwarf Flesh block-paint, leaving the Tan in the recesses (eyes, mouth, nose areas, between fingers, etc.). The figure’s bread-bag was painted VPA Canvas, while the rest of the figure was painted VMC USA Olive Drab

After this had dried (I usually paint a group of figures to the above level, then leave to dry overnight and work on something else) I block-painted the belt, ammo pouches, strap on the rifle and boots with VPA Leather Belt, the uniform with VMC English Uniform, the bread bag with P3 Hammerfall Khaki (any khaki will do). 

Wood on the rifle was painted with VMC Flat Earth, metal areas P3 Thamar Black. The helmet was painted with a 1:1 mix of VMC USA Olive Drab and VMC Brown Violet, leaving a line where the rim splays outward and another fine line under the helmet, between the face and helmet. The flesh areas were then highlighted with VGC Elf Flesh, after which the helmet strap (annoying thing) was carefully painted VPA Leather Belt.

Now highlighting begins in earnest. The leather areas are highlighted with a 1:1 mix of VPA Leather Belt and VMC Light Brown, including the helmet strap which has a fine line painted toward the front of the strap. The helmet was highlighted with VMC Brown Violet, the uniform with VMC Green Brown and the bread bag was highlighted by mixing some white into the khaki previously used. The metal areas were painted VMC German Grey, followed by edge highlights of GW Codex Grey. Wood was highlighted with VPA New Wood.

Painting the M1935 Rifle

Battlefront’s Hungarian infantry range appears to be armed largely with the Mannlicher 35M rifle (to me, as opposed to the later re-chambered 7.92mm version, the 43M), so I painted it as such. The basic detail on the rifle is somewhat obscure: during clean-up I used a blade to cut away certain sections to better define the rifle. Don’t get too carried away with this or you’ll make the rifle too weak.

When painting weapons in 15mm I don't try to re-create them exactly, just paint a representation of the weapon emphasising the main elements while ignoring the more minor ones. This simplified approach captures the "feel" of the weapon without the need to go crazy

Now I got a little carried away.

For extra definition on certain areas, I applied edge highlights. Thus on the helmet rim I painted a fine line with a 1:1 mix of VMC Brown Violet and VMC Green Grey (886, not the other one) and a round area on the top of the helmet. The uniform was similarly given some extra highlight for definition, particularly on the edges on prominent folds, etc.., with a 2:1 mix of VMC Green Brown and VMC Buff. The bread bag also received a few extra lines for definitions, painted by adding yet more white in to the lightened-khaki used before. Lastly, the collar tabs were painted with a dark blue, followed by a medium blue as a highlight and to be more visible.

(Click for larger version)

The figures look pretty good close-up, but definitely also "pop" when on the table-top. Adding the extra highlights does take a little longer (of course) but I like the effect. I completed a single platoon some months back but haven't had time to do anymore for ages. Over the next few months I hope to expand the number of painted units until I can field an entire company and support weapons.

All for now.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A Local Tournament Report

On Sunday, June 5th I attended a Flames of War tournament hosted at the local club, Warzone in Kensington. The period was Late War, 3 games, 1250 Pt armies on a 6 x 4 table using the Missions Encounter (booo!), Fighting Withdrawal and Breakthrough. A number of new players attended which was nice to see, though on the day only 8 players showed while the two regular Soviet-players were absent....rest assured, Comrade Stalin has been informed. Pick it up slackers!

Disclaimer: The events described below cannot be independently verified, except by me. Good enough.

Knowing beforehand that I would be helping out with rules questions and the like (a lot...), I took an army designed for quick, fun games where I would either win quickly or die quickly trying. In reality the entire event was more to get some games in with different players, not to be super-competitive. Thus 'B' Sqadron, 1 RTR took to the field for its first few games. I fielded a Cromwell Squadron out of Villers-Bocage (no Turning Tide yet) and went with:

British 7th Armoured Squadron (Reluctant Veteran)
Source: Villers-Bocage Intelligence Briefing

Armoured HQ – 2 Cromwell IV, add 2 Cromwell IV CS (300)
Armoured Troop – 3 Cromwell IV, 1 Sherman 'Firefly' VC (325)
Armoured Troop – 3 Cromwell IV, 1 Sherman 'Firefly' VC (325)

Recce Troop – 3 Stuart V (135)
Lorried Rifle Platoon – 3 Sections (135)

1220 Pts (4 Platoons)

I could have added an ARV, but I still need to get one. Wouldn't have used it anyway.

The Tables

(Click on pictures to expand)

The Eastern Front table:

Somewhere in Normandy:

North West Europe:

North-Eastern backwater district of Somewheristhan:

I forgot to ask for army/force shots, ah well...

Game 1: Encounter vs. Ian's FE2 Grenadierkompanie

Ian, from memory had something like:

Grenadier HQ w/Panzerfausts (& Sniper)
2 x Grenadier Platoons w/Panzerfaust
2 Sections of 8cm Mortars
4 StuGs
2 Marders (of some sort)

My left deployment
He deployed the two Grenadier Platoons on-table, though should have at least put on the StuGs in place of one IMO. My Cromwell CO and two Troops massed on the left, 2iC w/Cromwell CS tanks sat on the right objective. Very simply, the left platoons quickly moved forward, MG'd any infantry in sight (only a couple of kills though) and then assaulted on turn 2 putting the opposing platoon under half, though they held.
The Cromwells swarm
The Grenadiers' last stand
The 2iC and the CS tanks also went forwards, MG'ing the right-most Grenadier platoon, then assaulting, killing a base but losing one Cromwell CS to a Panzerfaust before being forced to break-off.

The 2iC goes in...
...but Panzerfausts KO a CS tank.

Turn 3 and no reserves arrived, while Ian's right-most platoon was now simply shot to pieces, though they managed to contest for turn 3. Turn 4 again saw no reserves for Ian and with nothing near the objective to contest, game over, 6-1.
And then there was silence...
After the battle we had a chat about which platoons might have been better deployed (i.e. the StuGs on one objective) and the possibility of forming a Kampfgruppe to get to six platoons. From personal experience, I tend to favour deploying my most pivotal/expensive unit on-table, simply because my reserve rolls have been so awful for ages that if I don't, very often that unit does not see action at all. But then, my reserve dice are horrible. Nonetheless, Cromwells are nasty for infantry in a Mobile Battle scenario.

Game 2: Fighting Withdrawal vs. Rudy's FE2 Panzergrenadiers

Rudy had something like:

Panzergrenadier HQ w/Panzerfaust
2 x 2-squad Panzergrenadier Platoons w/Panzefaust
MG Platoon (1 or 2 sections, can't remember)
2 x PaK 40s
Infantry Scouts (of some sort)
3 x Panthers (joy...)

As a Tank Company, I would be attacking. Rudy deployed the Pak 40s in Ambush, the Panthers hull-down on the hill to his centre-left, Panzergrenadiers in the centre and his right, MG platoon on his left and Scouts somewhere at the back.

My Left deployment
My Right deployment
Panthers. At 1250 Pts. Great...

I used the cover of the hill on my left to deploy my Stuarts, Cromwell HQ and one Troop, Rifle Platoon in the centre, and other Cromwell Troop in the centre hoping to keep the Panthers honest. The Stuarts used their recce move, then another 16" to push far ahead, hopping to draw the PaK 40 ambush or prevent it's deployment. The HQ and Cromwell Troops followed. The Rifle Platoon advanced slowly in the centre trying to draw a little attention while hugging cover. The 2nd Cromwell Troop went forward but were able to stay out of LoS thanks to the buildings to their front.
The ambush...they missed!
Despite the Suarts puching forward the PaK 40 were still able to deploy, though a little back. They missed with the first two shots and two Stuarts from the Recce Troop succesfully broke-off out of LOS. Cromwells then moved up and unleashed a hail of fire, but numerous 75mm hits were saved. Return fire killed a Cromwell CS and bailed a Cromwell IV. Panthers moved to their right to KO my 2iC.

A hail of (ineffective) fire.
Return fire is more effective...

With the Panther re-deployment my 2nd Cromwell Troop motored 16" (12" for the Firefly) forward to engage the Panthers in the flank. Two hits were scored, both penetrated, and I rolled...1 and 2 for Firepower. Joy. On the other flank the Cromwells poured fire into the PaK 40s, but all hits were either saved or I failed more 3+ Firepower tests...this is becoming annoying. A single MG hit managed to get through and I rolled a luck '6' to at least kill one PaK 40. Go figure.
2 hits, 2 penetrations...2 bails.
Casualties start mounting.
The Panthers swiveled turrets to return fire on the flanking 2nd Troop, but only succeeded in KO'ing one Cromwell. The PaK 40 then KO'd my CO (forgot Warrior save though). In response I fired more rounds into the Panthers' flanks, though my shooting was poor and I again failed several firepower tests to result in 1 dead and 2 bailed Panthers. They passed motivation.

The Panzergrenadiers are forced back

On my left the last PaK 40 finally died and I assaulted into the woods, first with Stuarts (lost a tank to a Panzerfaust, then had to break-off) and then with the Cromwell Troop which succeeded in destroying the remaining Panzergrenadiers and their CinC. I consolidated onto the objective. In the German half the Panthers remounted, moved to fire on the contesting Troop but missed. In the following turn (Turn 5) I held the objective with no enemy teams contesting. Despite several burning tanks I had really only lost the CO, 2IC, the Cromwell CS tanks (HQ Platoon). 6-1 to me.

Just too far away...

Note to self: when you catch Panthers in the flank, pass your bloody Firepower tests.

Game 3: Breakthrough vs. Nick's US Rifles/Vichy French masquerading as Free French

Me attacking, though on the same table again...sucks. I put the Rifle Platoon in reserve, Cromwells massed to my left with the intention of over-running his 105mm battery, Stuarts to the centre to keep his infantry honest.

Massed armour on my Left.
Recce Troop, keeping the infantry in place.
Wait for it...
Bye bye 105s
The Cromwells duly swarmed forward, firing at the 105s though gun saves again thwarted my intentions. Return fire bailed a Cromwell CS, though it later remounted and an assault promptly finished off the pinned 105s. I also traded long-range shots with a pair of 57mm ATGs, though again gun saves mean only one died after several turns of firing.
A P-47 fly-by
Nick's aircraft (P-47s) make an appearance, but really are just a minor annoyance, claiming one tank only over the course of the battle.

The Recce Troop swans through the town, unopposed...
...only to get assaulted...
...and destroyed.
The Recce Troop meanwhile went on a joyride through the town, catching the flank of Nick's Engineers and reducing them almost to half. In the subsequent turn the engineers would have their revenge: pursuing a bit too far, I get assaulted, fail to pin with 11 dice (4 hits) and destroy half the remaining Engineer teams with defensive fire. I then get one Stuart bailed, and stupidly decided to continue with the assault (2 Engineer bases left) and lose another destroyed, the remaining tank breaking-off, then failing its Reluctant motivation test and departing the table. Thankfully, the Engineers also break after seeing the extent of their losses.

"The Great Swan"

In the following turn the Cromwells begin to arrive on the objective to support the newly-arrive Rifle Platoon. With no teams close enough to contest, the following turn sees me hold the objective unopposed (US infantry just an inch too short, should have moved to contest earlier).
End Game
I really shouldn't have lost the Recce Troop in this game. Breaking off after losing one tank would have been better, I just got a bit carried away: there were only 2 Engineer bases left, but I happened to miss with my assault rolls. Didn't really impact the game, though I lost a point because of it. Lessoned learned. 5-2 to the Desert Rats.

So 6-1, 6-1 and 5-2 put me in first place. Not that I really cared, but it was great fun using something that wasn't infantry: I've been foot-slogging for a little too long now. The Cromwell & Firefly Troops are awesome, very fast and versatile, but Reluctant can be a pain (obviously). Recce Troop Stuarts always fun. Rifle Platoon never fired a shot in anger over the three games, but given different opponents/missions they would undoubtedly have proved useful.

Picture album HERE.

From memory, the full result was:

Me/7th Armoured Squadron: 6-1, 6-1, 5-2 = 17 Pts 
JC/German Panzergrenadiers: 6-1, 3-4, 6-1 = 15 Pts
Nick/Free French: 6-1, 6-1, 2-5, = 14 Pts
Colin/German Panzers: 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 = 13 Pts
Charles/US Glider Rifle: 6-1, 4-3, 1-6 = 11 Pts
Dave/7th Armoured Squadron: 1-6, 1-6, 5-2 = 7 Pts
Rudy/German Panzergrenadier: 1-6, 1-6, 2-5, = 4 Pts
Ian/German Grenadiers: 1-6, 1-6, 1-6 = 3 Pts

Thanks to Nick for organising the competition, and to all my opponents for the games. Hope everyone learned something, I certainly did.

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