Saturday, August 31, 2013

Can It Be? More Fallschirmjagers!

I just finished up another 23 28mm Fallschirmjagers.  This is in addition 12 I did a couple of months ago (and failed to photograph and post).  This brings the collection to more than 100 of these guys!

These figures are a mix of Foundry, Black Tree and Crusader.  This addition brings me to 6 full squads and a couple of dozen extras.  I have lots of support options done now but I still have a few team left to paint.  I still need to add a PaK40 and maybe a Nebelwefer.  I also want to add some motorcycles and a kettenkrad.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plastic Soldier Company Panther

For my Kursk German army I am going with the Panther Company.  Since I am, no, no...sensible, I am going with the Plastic Soldier Company Panthers.  I really love the PSC models and I recommend them highly.  This set allows you to build any of the three versions of this tank - ausf D, A or G.

Like all of these kits the Panther kit is really well designed.  It is amazing to me how you can get such a nice model from so few parts.  As nice as this kit is it is not perfect.

The trouble is with the instructions.  This kit suffers from the common confusion with the Panther version numbers.  Unlike other German tanks the Panther did not start with the A model.  The A was actually the second model and the D was the first.  This means that the instructions start with the A but it is actually the D and the D is the A.  To make things worse, the version that should be the A is really the early A that was built for about a month.  To build the most common version of the A you will need to do some converting.  The G version in the instructions is the later version that was available in 1945 so to build the more common G you need to do some converting.

The key to making this kit work is to do some research and take the instruction with a grain of salt. 

I have 10 of these built so now I need to order some decals and get to painting.  Stay tuned for more.

Monday, August 5, 2013

El Guettar Campaign Complete

I meant to do this post a couple of weeks ago while event were still fresh.  Tim and I played game 11 of our El Guettar campaign a couple of weeks ago.  We both knew that this might be the last game and if not there would only be one more game after that.

I was really unsure as the force I should take for this battle.  I knew Tim was unlikely to leave the Tigers out and my previous infantry force had no answers for them.  I guessed the he would stick basically with the half-track heavy panzer grenediers.  With this in mind I decided to build a force to kill the half-tracks and just ignore the Tigers.  I took basically the following.

2 M3 Stuarts

Combat Platoons
5 M3 Stuarts
5 M3 Stuarts
4 M3 Lees

4 M10
4 T19
Limited P40

Fortunately, Tim did stick with the panzer grenadiers and as expected he brought two Tigers again.  He did make some significant changes, however.  He dropped the artillery, AT guns and air support to add a 4 tank PZIII platoon.  This was going to be a little tricky.  The scenario we rolled up was Fighting Withdrawal and Tim would be the defender.

As the defender Tim left the half tracks off the table.  He had to cover three objectives, one on his right and two close together on his left.  I place both the of these objectives with the idea that if one got pulled late in the game the other one would be just a few inches farther away.  Tim seemed OK with this objective placement as it allowed one dug in pz grenadier platoon to cover two objectives.  Tim placed his Tigers in the center of his line and as far forward as possible.  He wanted to dominate the center of the table.  On his right he deplayed three platoons to cover the one objective.  Part of this, I think, was due to this objective being in a small village that provided excellent cover.

My plan was rather simple, I would focus the majority of my force against Tim's left towards the two objectives held by the single platoon.  I would send the 2iC and one platoon of Stuarts in a feint against Tim's right, hoping to keep the PZIII platoon from shifting to reinforce against my main attack.  The main attach consisted of a platoon of Lees, a platoon of Stuarts, the CO, a recce platoon and the TD security section.  I planned to keep the Tigers occupied with artillery and air power until the M10's could get into a good spot and may be do some damage.

My plan, I must say, worked much better than I expected.  The M10 platoon deployed on turn two and knocked one of the Tigers.  Within another turn the Tiger platoon was destroyed and the German infantry was pushed off the objective.  Americans win 6-1!  Here are the final numbers for the campaign.

US - 7
German - 4

Victory Points
US - 43
German - 34

US - 174
Germans - 99

Vehicles lost
US - 62
Germans - 51

Guns lost
US - 7
Germans -7

I really liked the format of the campaign.  It was very simple and it favors the side with the initiative in the campaign, in our case the Americans.  But it provides a reason for the games and a way to track some interesting info about the battles.  Tim and I have already chatted about how we might change the system to add more detail and about where the next campaign will be set.