Saturday, 30 June 2012

KGN AAR- Kraut Corner

We had a cracking game of Kampfgruppe Normandy on Saturday 23rd July. The scenario was adapted from a pdf downloaded from here: - there's plenty of useful material on this site for other scenarios on a range of fronts.
This time I was not playing but umpiring or facilitating, partly because there were some concealed deployments, & partly because my son was playing his first game against the Red Rajah, and it would help to have someone else guiding them through the game mechanics & keeping things moving.
It was a pretty cool game overall, and I certainly enjoyed the visual appeal of it. This was the first time the young Sarge had played KGN with us or indeed used his Yanks in battle. The Rajah was given a small force of gritty German veterans who were tasked with holding a ridge and hamlet for as long as possible. The Yanks were composed of a full platoon with support from three Sherman tanks.
According to scenario guidelines, if the Yanks took more than 25% casualties they would have to withdraw- presumably to call in some heavier support & an artillery stonk to winkle the German defenders out. The terrain was real Bocage country, full of places for the German's for the German's to dig in. I made an umpire's decision that the Shermans would have Cullin hedge buster blades but would lose a whole activation to bust through a section of Bocage.

The Germans held their fire until the US squads were right on top of them, to devastating effect. The Yanks managed to supress a couple of German units but in the end the German MG teams caused terrible casualties to US squads, forcing their withdrawal. A panzerfaust firing at close range also accounted for a Sherman. The Americans had taken over the 25% losses and were forced to retreat- I am sure they would be back with devastating firepower to deal with these diehard German defenders.
Despite his losses the young Sarge enjoyed his first game- a great game had by all.

Here's some pictures:

The German end of the table

US end of the table

And so it begins...

US forces start probing forward

US Troops hunting for Germans

US Mortar crew down by the barn, managed to supress a German squad, forcing them to take a morale chit.

Proceed with caution. The squad in bottom left were first to find the German defences & paid dearly for it.

US Platoon command squad probes the bocage

 Yank squad makes its way up the hill using the bocage for cover
 Preparing for the assault
 The explosion marker in top right corner marks where a US squad had to withdraw after being exposed to brutal MG fire from the Germans in the building.
 Germans next to building were actually inside.
 The Assault falls apart- Sherman taken out & another squad has to run for it due to sustained MG fire.
 Veteran Fallschrimjager Mortar crew- all their rounds ended up going astray & having no effect.
 A German Panzershreck team lurks in the next house, and contributes to small arms fire which forced another US squad to withdraw
Another Sherman attempts to flank the German position. 
The Yanks lose a Sherman to a Panzerfaust firing at close range from the house.
German officer watches with glee as the Yanks make their withdrawal. 
Shermans cover the retreating US squads.

Friday, 29 June 2012

I Won a Competition!

I'm blown away, I just found out I won a competition over on Dan Dunbar's blog :

I am not known for winning anything, so I am quite excited by this. Dan has offered to convert something for me- which he happens to be rather excellent at. I am looking forward to see what he comes up with, once I figure out what I'd like.

and many thanks to Dan.

Dan & I have been talking and he has offered to convert a Revell Cromwell into a Centaur,

 plus convert some beret wearing British Commandos which will include a Vickers Team, a 3 inch Mortar and some skirmishing Commandos!!!

Good on ya Dan!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Airfix Bedford QLT & QLD Trucks Completed

Finally finished this set and was quite pleased with the results.
 This is one of Airfix's new generation of kits, and it shows. The kit is clean and crisp & on the whole fits together really well. It has some nice detail without being too painfully fiddly. It is useful for wargamers both as troop transport & re-supplying guns/AFVs- which is allowed for in KGN.
This kit does not come with drivers, and the drivers which I put in were a tight fit as far as height, so a small amount of filling was required.
I found the Bren gun supplied with the QLT to be a bit fine & potentially fragile, so I replaced it with a Sgts Mess metal Bren. The passengers are from the HaT British Tank Rider set. The driver of the QLD is from the Italeri (ex-Esci) Quad Tractor, and the QLT driver is from AB Miniatures.
You may notice I have left out the plastic windows which came with the kit- I did not like them, I found them too chunky & not the best fit. I tried a bit of clear plastic, but wasn't happy with this & in the end opted for a "glass" free zone. Some people may not like this, but hey, it's for my collection.
Overall, a set worth picking up- oh yeah, & the bicycle is  anice touch too.
The decals are a combination of the ones supplied with the kit & some from Dom's Decals. hand painted using acrylic paints & washes. Weathering is a combination of paint and weathering powders.
I hope you find this brief review & pictures useful.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Battlegroup Kursk News...

A cool new set of rules written by Warwick Kinrade, author of "Kampfgruppe Normandy" is being released. The first set will be called "Battlegroup Kursk", and has become available for pre-order over at Plastic Soldier Company.
 There are some great prizes for those in the first 500 to pre-order.
 Should be a great buy even if , like me, you don't play the Eastern Front. I'm looking forward to the pictures, historical backgound, & modelling pages- with no doubt lots of contributions from the talented Piers Brand.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

British "Lorry Riders"...

These chaps are from the HaT "British Tank Riders" set, but as you can see they are riding in the slightly more comfortable Bedford QLT lorry from Airfix. The QLT is not quite finished, still have decals, weathering & basework to do, plus canvas canopy & Bren gun to put on. Before putting the canopy on I thought I'd take some pictures of the passengers. I like these fellows, full of character & generally a very useful set- recommended.

So here they go, those Dorset chaps from 43rd Wessex Division, 130th Brigade- making their way to prepare for the crossing of the Seine. Enjoy:

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