17 September, 2012

Contest #3 - Inspiration

As I said on Friday, here's the contest in acclamation of my 300th post on this blog.

Over the last few months, you may have noticed a series of posts on inspirational matter I've come across.
I want to know what (if any) posts of mine have inspired you in some way to play something (even if the urge hasn't yet come to fruition!).

As the 'grand prize' for this competition, I have a copy of 'The Raid on St. Michel' - I'll send it (at my own expense) to you. It's brand new so if you want to pass it along to a gaming friend of yours, feel free.

If you're lucky enough to already have this already, or foolish enough (!) to think it useless. How about  €15.00 credit from Book Depository (unfortunately they don't do gift vouchers - so I'd have to do the ordering for you).

1. Follow this blog - if that's not possible, a link on your blogroll will do
2. Write a post on your blog where you select your most inspirational post from Land War in Asia
3. Summarise what inspires you about my post, and give a little detail on what you've done (or plan to do)
4. Post a link to your blog post as a comment to this post by October 1st, 2012.
5. On October 2nd, I will randomly determine the winner, and link to all entrants' blog posts here
6. I'll send out the book post haste!

Thanks all!

14 September, 2012


So, hitting 300 posts came along a lot quicker than expected.

I know, somehow I resisted posting something Spartan!

Around the corner is Gaelcon at the end of October - this time I'll be doing some 28mm Pulp (but without the dinosaurs this time). I'm rewriting some of CS Grant's Table Top Teasers and patching them together into a narrative campaign. Warpcon and Leprecon will probably be Force on Force, though of what flavour I don't know yet.

In November (and probably into December) I'll be playing two solo campaigns:
1. Cold War gone Hot using 6mm figures to play a Memoir '44 variant
2. Modern Special Forces raid using 20mm to play Force on Force.

I've gone back to fortnightly wargaming, so you may see more regular game reports here. Another rekindling is a Cold War ImagiNation game Mr. Kinch and I are planning. Stay tuned for details.

Finally, given the popularity of the favourite figures and wargaming films series a while back I'll be doing a few on my favourite film firefights...

Next up 'll post details of a simple competition for my followers (@154 if you're curious).
In the meantime, any requests/nudges you want to give me for the next 100 posts?

09 September, 2012

Victory at Hill 207.5

Tension has risen to breaking point at the battle - the workhorses of the Kamfgruppe, the Panzer Mark IVs must break the Russian defences as all of the flashy Tigers and Elefants on the other flank have some way to go to breakthrough the refused Soviet left.

Those few defenders still holding out against the killer elite (we're looking at you #231!) stand fast. Don't mind that brave Ivan running to the rear - he's just popping back to the village to grab his officer a fresh cuppa!

Brave defenders.JPG

The mass German amour are funnelled into the gap, little did they realise that they're in the bulls eye of a Soviet registered target point...

Mass German armour funneled into gap.JPG

As the fiercely effective Nebelwerfer strike hits the T-34 company, tank riders jump off and run for cover inside the trenches ahead. They'll bolster the depleted defenders already inside

Tank riders jump off.JPG

On the other flank, the last Soviet tank killer ambushes the leading German tanks. It eschews a chance to fire at the Mark III (thankfully its shell missed the SU-152) and concentrates on the Mark IV behind escorting the flame-throwing tank. It immobilises the tank, but is knocked out by the return fire of the stone-cold crew who stick to their guns!

Last Soviet tank killer knocked out.JPG

The infantry fight on - suppressing another tank that comes into range, but then the Flammpanzer comes into range and wipes out an entire squad - things do not look good for the foremost platoon of Russians...

Flammpanzer fries infantry.JPG

The hordes of Russian tankers burst into action - driving at breakneck pace straight at the clump of Germans ahead. Their fire is effective, mostly suppressing their opponents, they hope to survive any return fire while the flanking moves cull the weakened formation

Stal Stal Stal!.JPG

A sad moment for the assembled Russians, the heroic PO-2 is shot down (by some disgruntled and persistent PanzerGrenadier machine-gunners!)

PO-2 shot down.JPG

The SU-76s, led by some brave T-70s try to hit the German's flank - the light tanks target the German engineers with their machine guns while the mini-tank killers work their angles to some effect

SU-76s try to hit German's left flank.JPG

The Germans break off the road and spread into the wheatfield to avoid the Soviet artillery and blunt a flanking manoeuvre from the other side. The Borgwards have some effect here, knocking out several T-34s

Germans spread out into wheatfield to avoid Soviet artillery.JPG

The Soviet nerve centre is under threat - the Gaz truck with quad-Maxims sees off that Stuka again. A bout of confusion leads to one of the Katyushas driving off.

Soviet nerve centre.JPG

The Soviet KV-2 inches forward and takes aim at a German tank in the distance. It misfired and is destroyed in a blazing response from the Tiger ace

KV-2 takes aim.JPG

The three T-34s in reserve nearby surges forward, they has seen a Panzer get ahead of its support and they kill it with some concerted fire. In the following turns though the main German attack at the trenches turns into it and destroyed this spirited local counter-attack

T-34 reserve hits out.JPG

On the other side of the battlefield, the close-range tank battle develops. The initial success of the Soviets is destroyed by the uber-efficient German command, and the Russian attack never gets it second wind after this

Close-range tank battle.JPG

An interesting duel in the wheatfield - we imagine the Russian commander is put off (either by rage or confusion) by his chance to kill the German T-34 with a point-blank flank shot! The German gunner makes no such mistake

T-34 vs T-34.JPG

A Sturmovik drops its bombs in the centre of the ravaged German tank formation, but its' too little to stop their advance and too late.

Il-2 drops bombs on panzer formation.JPG

With the impetus of the attack dieing out the German infantry finally catches up

German infantry finally catches up.JPG

The German commanders take stock - the Russians are broken, but there are still defence lines to overrun

Platoon command takes stock.JPG

With time run out, the Soviets were within a hairs-breadth of their break point. The Germans had taken a bloody nose, but were not is such bad shape in those terms.
However they had not taken any of their objectives. Depending on your point of view this local German victory may have been too slow to have an effect, or the breakthrough's impact might have been toothless given the losses taken.

We retired for drinks, post-mortem, some good-natured banter and talk of the next big bash! Many thanks to the guys down in Kildare for hosting and to all the travellers from abroad for making the trip.
Kudos to Piers for running the game, and commiserations that the Hill never got used!

05 September, 2012

Photo Finish

While I was busy uploading photos from the Kursk game, the Solo November poll closed.

Talk about making things up as I go along - despite the Cold War option taking an early lead, the Special Ops caught up in the last few days: both finished on 13 votes apiece!

Napoleon vs. Austria, Mob vs. Marines and Battle of Saipan were all in joint 3rd place with 5 votes each.

So I guess that means that I'm just going to have to play two solo campaigns this year...For the Cold War gone Hot campaign I already have something sketched out - using some scenarios from Programmed Wargames Scenarios by Charles Stewart Grant.

For Special Operations I'm going to put on my thinking cap, either something based on The Revenge of the 47 Ronin or maybe even use the Raid on St. Michel. If you have any preferences or other ideas, please leave a comment below.
Anyway, I noticed as I went to add this that I've reached post #300! That means a State of the Union is imminent and maybe even a competition from my devoted following.

02 September, 2012

Struggle for Hill 207.5 continues

With the Germans finally within reach of the most-advanced Soviet units, our resolve would be tested. BUt on the other hand with commanders straining at the leash and the possibility of morale flagging, a decision was made to unleash some of our heavy-hitters

On the left flank, the two SUs in the village rush out to engage the oncoming Panzers. The SU-152 misses entirely, despite the close range, but the SU-122 gets a better result, knocking out one of the Panzer IVs. Both are knocked out in shockingly-routine fashion by their German opponents, who didn't really look worried for an instant!

Gallant Rush by SUs.JPG

Nearby though the Germans were about to taste some Soviet malice-aforethought. A Russian mortar barrage forces some Panzergrenadiers out of their half-tracks, and they draw the fire of a brave Soviet sniper hidden in the rail station. The pair have kept quiet and hidden as the German Panzers rumbled by. The squad assaults the building, taking several casualties in the process. Across the way with the firefight breaking out, the Platoon HQ scarper into a ruined building. It's booby-trapped but luckily for them they only take one casualty going up the stairs.

Snipers revealed.JPG

The Soviet defenders hold firm, as their emplaced guns trade fire with the stalled German advance

Defenders hold firm.JPG

More Soviet artillery rains down on that German column - a timed barrage of 122mm guns from behind the lines hits those very same German tanks, pinning the entire formation (except for the leading Tiger) and knocking out a Stug

Stug knocked out.JPG

This smaller column of Panzers keeps outside the rail line, escorting a flamethrowing tank directly into the Soviet lines of defence!

Flammpanzer escort.JPG

On the other flank, the Soviet armour reserve kicks into gear, T-34s rolls past their dug-in compatriots

Armour reserve kicks engines into gear.JPG

-70s break off from their larger brethren, advancing up to the village in the centre of the lines

T-70s head into the village.JPG

Finally, the Germans nerve fails (or at least their common-sense kicks in!) as their advance unit veer away from the anti-tank ditch

Panzers veer away from ditch.JPG

As the mass T-34s dress the lines just behind the trenches on-call Nebelwerfers from Corps hit them, knocking out one and injuring a few of the tank riders. The German's solve 'registered target point' was aimed at the machine-gun bunker just ahead of them - to be honest the infantry in the trenches alongside got it worst of all

Nebelwerfers hit T-34s.JPG

On the other flank, the Stuka tries to support the German tank rush (this pilot is possibly the least effective we've ever seen - he's not put in a single attack so far). The Tiger is racking up some kills, everything from a dug-in T-34 to a long-range flank shot on an SU-152

Stuka supports tank rush.JPG

The main Soviet tank reserve in the village (two SU-152s and a KV-2) is severely disrupted as the (stationary!) SU-152 triggers a mine and being destroyed!

SU-152 triggers mine in village.JPG

Back at what we can fairly call the main action now, previous zeroed-in Soviet artillery hits the now-bunched up German advance, knocking out a tank and suppressing several other vehicles

Soviet artillery zeroes in.JPG

German command doesn't seem to be worried - whatever number they lose in the gap, the remainder will be enough to take care of poor Ivan

German command not worried.JPG

Having done sterling work all day calling in heavy mortars on the Germans, the PO-2 finally gets hit. It's a small miracle that it's survived this far, given the amount of fire being thrown at it (including some scratch PanzerGrenadiers who've given up the advance and are firing their MGs at it!)

PO-2 finally has to take evasive action.JPG

With the onslaught of Panzers nearly upon them, the Russian infantry (along with an over-confidant wagon carrying ammunition resupply for the SUs) withdraw from the hill and rush back to the main trench lines

Pulling back from the hill.JPG

The Zis-3 on the hill, gives a good account of itself. Despite all the high explosive and artillery being aimed at it, it's still going

Zis-3 crew avenge their comrades.JPG

As the Zis-3 falls silent, the defenders in the trenches wish they had a chance to dig in a bit more. With just a single emplaced gun left now, they only have a few T-34s and a KV-2 sitting in reserve. The SU-152 has gone forward to hide in a copse of trees and ambush the first German tank who rounds that particular corner

Second-last ditch defence.JPG

Back on the other flank the two massed tank formations are finally ready to clash - everyone feels that this is going to be titanic

Head on armour collision imminent.JPG

But the Germans want a five minute break for discussion...

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