Wednesday, 26 June 2013

German Aircrew

I am gradually making some headway into my lead/plastic mountain. One of the items not currently concealed from 'The Master of The House' was a pack of Foundry 'downed' German aircrew. I had never bought from them before, mainly on a matter of principle over what I considered to be excessive postage fees. Having three girls means that aside from the 'Salute splurge' I am normally 'tighter than a crabs arse at 40 fathoms' for most of the year when it comes to buying figures.

On reflection now that they are finished I have to admit that I am pleased with them. The figures themselves  seem to be more 25mm than 28mm but I have friends who are 6'3" and 5'6" and no one complains that they are not 'in scale' when they stand next to each other. I sometimes wonder if wargamers are just a little too fussy at times.  

The issue now us to find a Luftwaffe plane that actually had a crew of 8 justifying the use of all the figures. The most I can find on the internet is 6 (He 177 ). The majority of the painting was completed a week or two ago but I had a rush job on my sentries so I wasnt able to finish these off until recently.

Mixed in with them are my milk churns, more of which later but I intend to use them in the next of our linked series of games, Game 3: The Farm 

I should be able to put the pre read and photos for this next game on the blog tomorrow.


Game 3 - The Farm pre read

This has come through from Ted. It gives an overview of the next game and probable scenario, viz the defence of the farm.  Time to start looking for 28mm cows !

To Hauptsturmfuhrer Martin OIC 13th Paranormal Division
From Sturmbannfuhrer Arno Kliensmann
HQ Prinz-Albrecht Strasse Berlin.


My Dear Hauptsturmfuhrer Martin

Heartfelt congratulations in recapturing the Psychic battery. Professor Stuffenbach has examined it and is satisfied that it contains sufficient dark energy to be suitable for the next stage of the plan. It is now contained in deep storage. The professor is now working on a man portable device so that the battery can be transported by easier means. I wish you to undertake a selection process to find a "volunteer" amongst your elite team. The ideal candidate need not be too bright but should be capable of lifting heavy weights.

It has been brought to my attention that some of the partizans managed to escape. This has put a bit of a damper on what would have otherwise been an excellent operation. It has certainly prevented your immediate promotion!. You must track these vermin down and destroy them. Amongst the dead was one Mime la Bonk. She is known to us as a leader in the French Communist resistance. On her person was found papers indicating a connection with a French professor, Andre le Clerc. He is a physicist with left wing leanings. It is not known at this stage what the communists would want with a physicist but we can infer that they will be up to no good. I suggest you round them up and shoot them just to be on the safe side.

The le Clerc family own a remote farm house in Normandy. This is no doubt where the French were going to take the stolen battery. We will dispatch details and maps to you in the near future. Once you have those I suggest that you draw up an operational plan to deal with this small problem. We have requested that the Luftwaffe operate night fighter patrols in the region of the farm. Not even that fat useless bastard Goring should be able to screw that up


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Game 2 - Firefight

Halfway through the game and I was in an awkward position. My troops were split between the front of the convoy where they were significantly outgunned and the rear where I held the advantage.  I reversed the French lorry backwards away from the mess so that I created some distance and forced Craig and Jo to spread their fire? Additionally their leader Hauptsturmfuhrer Martin was also at the rear of the Convoy and they risked losing him through sheer weight of numbers as I had 6 people still inside the truck. I had some success as I managed to neutralise one of the remaining guards at the rear of the convoy.

The Germans again fired at the Opel peppering it with 20mm holes and creating an even larger fire. They had more luck when a sentry threw another potato masher at Mimi and the driver of the staff car.  A direct hit took both of them out of the game. This trooper and their leader were now the only two Germans West of the Staff car assuming you discounted the comatose smoking sentry who repeatedly failed his recovery tests. Despite this Martin was successful with a long range shot at the gaggle of men surrounding the Opel.

Sheer weight of numbers started to take effect and I had a good round forcing Martin further away from the action and reducing the troops on the south of the road at the cost of one of my men in the Kubelwagen and another to rifle fire from motorcycle troops. I dropped off the remaining maquisards from the Camion and made a first venture 'off road' at which point the Camion immediately stalled? At least it disrupted the line of sight for Martin's sniper rifle.  It was at this point that Jo took out one of the men carrying the psychic battery.

As this was the second time this had been dropped or struck a test had to be made, which I failed dismally. A further dice role gave no respite and it was announced that a green gas was now leaking out of the canister. All figures within close proximity were required to test and several, French and German alike found that their skin started to fall away from their faces and they became devoid of life, starting to shamble along in a Zombie like stupor.

It was now clear that a new 'enemy' was amongst us. A frantic fight ensued with French and German figures fighting zombies rather than each other. Unknown to either Craig and Jo was the fact that one of the figures affected was in possession of the photos I needed to keep hold of. Fortunately I was able to 'terminate' the unfortunate and recover the photos. It was then that Craig started to move the armoured car from it's starting position and it took out another of the Zombies by ramming it as it threatened the troops on 'his' side, north of the road.

The unfortunate smoking sentry arose from his slumber on the Camion at precisely the wrong moment and immediately suffered for it. The Germans cleared the area north of the road and the French the south. It was clear that my photos were going to make it off the table but that Craig and Jo had prevented me from succeeding in my primary mission. Given the significant losses I had incurred (including the loss of  both of my leaders) honours were even if not slightly to the advantage of the Germans.


I was lucky, I should have lost the game. Craig probably kept his best weapon (the armoured car) stationary for too long. He could have cleaned up if he had moved a turn or so earlier. However we are still playing around and learning the rules, early days. A good evenings entertainment and on balance a fair result

Monday, 24 June 2013

Game 2 - 2nd Checkpoint

The table design did not change much for the second phase of the game. The bunker was taken away and was replaced by Grubers 'little tank' (an Sdkfz 222). I also decided to swap the German speaking driver of the Opel Blitz for the Officer in the staff car thinking that the officer would be 'spoken to' at the checkpoint.

The aproach went OK and my convoy stopped at the checkpoint although poor dice rolls meant the sentries were suspicious and were entitled to question three of my figures. For some reason Craig and Jo decided to speak to the French leader, 'Stella' in the Kubelwagen and the the Officer in the staff car. Don't you love it when a plan comes together! Unfortunately Craig also decided that he would speak to the driver of the Opel Blitz as well. The moment his first simple greeting was met with a dumb vacant expression he turned and shouted 'Alaaaaarrrrmmm !' whilst firing off distress flares as per standing orders. One unfortunate sentry was far less alert than the others and found himself standing in the middle of the road smoking a cigarette. Oooops !

With the alarm raised the resistance had no choice but to try to force their way through the checkpoint. The Kubelwagen  smashed through the barrier with ease, forcing the sentries either side to jump out of the way. However three of the tyres blew as it ran over a 'stinger' anti vehicle device and the Kubelwagen slewed to a stop.

The Opel Blitz had even less luck and became trapped in the debris of the checkpoint with the driver stalling the truck in panic right in front of Grubers armoured car. The staff car tried to follow as did the Camion. The latter 'collected' the sentry  in the road who miraculously escaped severe injury and was thrown onto the roof of the Camion.

Quick thinking on the part of Leutnant Gruber resulted in a series of 20mm cannon shells disabling the Opel, setting the engine on fire. This also meant the battery was jolted  in the rear of the truck and all figures in close proximity had to take panic tests. The resistance passed their tests and bailed out onto the passenger side of the vehicle taking the battery with them. However the German guards nearby all failed and started wandering around aimlessly. There is clearly more to this battery than we have been told!

At the same time the LMG team leapt out of the back doors of the Camion hoping to set up in the fields nearby and were cut down by alert sentries. Injured in the stomach and leg they crawled to the side of the road only to fall into a concealed pit. The partizans in the staff car bailed out at the same moment as one of Jo's sentries threw a potato masher grenade, stunning them both.  In his haste to evacuate the car, the driver had left it in gear causing it to shoot foward into the rear of the stricken Opel as the other passengers dived out of the opposite doors.

Additional shooting at the Kubelwagen was responsible for the immediate deaths of Stella and the other rear seated passenger whilst German motorcycle troops who had been stationed either side of the checkpoint put paid to more of the resistance. By the end of the first few turns  of real action I had been forced onto the backfoot and lost the initiative. Not only that but almost. Third of my strength was either dead or wounded.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Game 2 - 1st Checkpoint

Here is my convoy at the edge of the table. I have two German speakers in the Kubelwagen together with the deputy of the resistance cell, Stella Artois, who is seated next to a non German speaking partisan dressed in German Uniform  in the rear seats.

The Opel Blitz has a driver who speaks German as does the staff car. The battery that I have to deliver is in the Opel Blitz, the photos are in the jackboot of the 'German Officer' who is in the staff car.

No one in the French Camion speaks German although the front passenger is in German uniform.  The partisans are split between the Opel Blitz and French Camion, 8 each in the rear. For game purposes I placed my figures 'off table'  on a card representing the vehicle they were in and their exact position. My sole LMG Team were in the back of the French Camion

This is a view of the first checkpoint from the German side. It was also my first sighting of it as my plan was based solely on the map Ted had provided. I knew that to have any hope of getting through to the Farm I would have to bluff my way through this first checkpoint. I had no idea what support Craig and Jo could call on or the number and level of  troops

I was a little fortunate in my dice rolling for Linguistic skills. Three of my men spoke passable German whilst the driver of the Kubelwagen in the front could barely string a sentence together. Fortunately the German sentries were unobservant and the convoy approached the checkpoint, even passing the 'pothole' tests for the poor road surface.

Craig and Jo decided to 'interrogate' the passenger of the French Camion.  Dressed in German Uniform the poor guy plainly had no clue what was being asked of him as he spoke no German whatsoever. Fortunately I had a contingency in place should he be questioned which involved quaffing a bottle of salt water and then emptying the contents of his stomach over the guard dog as it approached the passenger door of the truck. The ploy was explained by the Feldwebel in  the  Kubelwagen who explained that the Camion had been Liberated and held only the most comatose of the drunken platoon. Any necessary  'cleaning' could be done by the French. The scene as the dog approaches the lorry is shown below.

Craig also wanted to question the officer in the staff car , but was informed that he was a 'real swine' and wouldn't want to be woken up. Again I was fortunate in that I had thought of this possibility.

More tests were taken and the convoy was waved through without further incident. 3 Victory Point in the bag for me !

 After the game was over I discovered that the bunker held an MG42 HMG team. If I had been forced to fight I would have really come unstuck. This part of the game was predominantly role play and acted as the preamble to the second checkpoint. By passing it without raising the alarm the French now had a chance of success. Things went a little 'pear shaped' later on

Game 2 Schwarzenadler Plan

I have just returned from tonights game. Attached is the Map I was provided with.

I played the French Resistance and my aim was to make my way through two checkpoints together with a new psychic battery and photos of the same that I had stolen/liberated in the last game.

I gained victory points for getting through the checkpoints with either one or both items. Craig and Jo had the job of stopping me.

I only had 4 German speakers but 7 uniforms as well as my remaining partizans and I had to nominate exactly where they were in my little convoy.

The game started at 6am. My plan was to pretend that we were a platoon returning from a night out in town just prior to being shipped out to the Eastern Front.  The fluency or otherwise of my German speakers was diced for at the start of the game. I hoped to bluff my way through the first checkpoint at least and then try to repeat it again when we approached Grubers 'little tank '.

In the plan I submitted to Ted (the Umpire) I said that any non German speaking  but uniformed partizan would appear drunk and that the partizans not in uniform would be split between the two lorries.

My partizan leader 'Stella Artois' was in the Kubelwagen playing a lady of ill repute as was the Communist Laison Commisar  'Mimi le Bonk' who was in the staff car.

I prepared a few contingencies and arranged my order of march.

I had one LMG Team. The remainder of my partizans had rifles, Mimi had a Sten and Stella a pistol. I had one Teller Mine and three Panzerfausts. I nominated which figure had which by sticking a label to the underside if the relevant figure base.

All I knew of the opposition was that they had sentries at the first checkpoint which was by a bunker and an armoured car (Grubers little tank) at the second.

We played the game 'down' the table 9' x 5'.

The AAR and photos will follow tomorrow

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sentries ready for the Friday game

I have actually got my painting mojo working at full speed at the moment. I have managed to paint this small team of German Sentries in less than a week. I painted them in an ''early' war vein, mixing and matching Field Grey and Standard German Uniform. I figure that most rear echelon sentries are unlikely to be prime troops in the latest equipment  anyway. The fact that Foundry sculpted one having a cigarette and another asleep (yes it is possible to fall asleep standing up) supports this theory.

The checkpoint and barrier are from 4Ground and went together quite easily. The only minor issue was the gaps that had to be filled from the MDF lugs. But the price is right (I.e. cheap) so I'm not complaining.

I hope to take some pictures this Friday and provide the start of an AAR this weekend

Monday, 10 June 2013

Briefing - upcoming Schwarzenadler WW2 Game

The next game in our Schwarzenadler linked series of games/campaign is in two weeks time.
Ted has sent me the pre read and in addition to finishing painting my German Checkpoint and laying some acrylic colours on my Foundry German Sentries (assuming they arrive in time) I have to come up with a 'cunning plan'.

I am playing the brave members of the French Resistance, Craig is the dastardly Germans and Ted will Umpire and ruin all our best laid plans


In the last game my resistance fighters were able to destroy a strange form of experimental 'Tesla' tower and pinch a new type of battery that a German professor had been developing. All this took place at night during a thunderstorm where a lightning strike  activated the tower and generated strange 'goulish' creatures from a rock pool. These creatures laid waste to many of the German troops guarding the laboratory and it seems that the German intention was  to generate these creatures. However the Professor appeared to be unable to control them. Plaudits go to the three SOE troops I had been 'given' to assist me. Without them I would have been lost.


I have the battery and photo's of the installation that I took when it was raided. I have to get both of  these  to a French Physicist who is waiting for me in a Farm. 'London' is sending an RAF Lyslander to collect the Physicist, the battery and the photo's and take them to England. My job is to
A) get the equipment to the farm
B) mark the landing site at he farm
C) defend the site long enough for the Physicist and the equipment to leave by plane


I have been able to 'liberate' an Opel Blitz truck, a Kubelwagen, a German Staff Car and a Camion Ancien (old French bread lorry). I have also got enough German Uniforms for 7 of my resistance fighters although only 4 speak German. I have another 19 brave Maquis on call. I have to decide who goes in which vehicle and more importantly where I put my German speaking men. As Rene Artois (hero of the resistance) is unavoidably detained at his cafe, the Maquis will be led by his sister Stella.

This is my flying column. Please note the ancient lorry just waiting to break down at the rear

I have recently been advised that Mimi le Bonk (French Communist) may be able to assist although if she and her fellow revolutionaries are controlled by Ted I doubt it ! I am not sure if the Communist Leader 'Citizen Camembert' will be with Mimi

I have been told that I will have to pass through two checkpoints, the first of which is a guard post and the second is manned by Leutnant Gruber in his 'little tank' before I get to the farm.

Obviously the issue for me will be to get through the checkpoints without raising the alarm. I assume that Craig will have his Fallschirmjaeger rapid reaction force and they will doubtless have transport. They are all better shots than me and have better equipment

I have 3 panzerfausts and one teller mine. If I can't bluff my way through Gruber's checkpoint I will have to be careful as to how I use them.

Where did that pillbox appear from?  Lt Gruber's 'Little Tank' is in the field opposite

All I have to do now is formulate my battle plan.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Bill's cycle quest

Not strictly gaming related but one of my members of staff will start cycling 'uphill' from Lands End to John O'Groats on Sunday.He is a youthful 58 and will be accompanied on his quest by a 65 year old former PE Teacher, plus support car.

He doesn't want the pressure of doing this for charity despite the fact that we all wanted to support him as he says 'there is always the possibility that we might stay still for a day or two to unwind if we find a really nice pub'.

They are looking at about cycling  60 - 70 miles per day. The office has invested in maps to chart his movements and I will update the blog on Bill's progress if he can work out how to use his mobile phone.

I know he will at least reach the St Austell Brewery ! Where he goes from there is anyones guess