Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode V - Combat Attachments

One thing some players find very confusing is combat attachments. I've seen the most experienced player get this wrong, or not even know that they could do this. The silly thing is the rule is pretty much one of the very last rules in the book.

Take a look at a HQ section in any Intelligence book.

Almost every one has something you can attach. Lets look at the Eastern Front Strelkovy. This is a great example. There are 6 groups of attachments here.

There are a couple of things you can do with these. Lets say you take the anti-aircraft platoon.

#1 - You can field them all as one leaderless platoon. Of course they have to start in command, so they would have to start near the HQ or 2iC. Through the course of the game you can attach the HQ or 2iC if you want them to move.

This platoon does not count towards deployment when counting platoons for reserves or platoons in ambush. They will deploy at the same time as independent teams. But are not in themselves independent teams.

They also do not count for purposes of destroyed platoons for Victory Points or Moral checks.

#2 - You can attach them to other combat or weapons platoons. You can attach them all, or you can attach them on a team by team basis. A lot of people don't know this. Using the Anti-aircraft platoon, you could attach 1 each to 3 different Strelkovy Companies.

The catch is they act like transports. They do not count towards your total number of units in the platoon, but they do count towards losses.

However, in the case of the Soviets they do count towards the number of units when calculating the Quality of Quantity special rule.

There are also certain weapon platoons that can attach. For example German HMG platoons or Soviet Flame thrower Companies can usually attach to other combat platoons.

NOTE: You cannot make combat attachments to Support platoons. Sometimes people can forget this in cases like the Anti-aircraft platoon. Lets say your strelkovy takes a T-34 company as support. Well you might think to attach your anti-aircraft platoon to the T-34 company because they are also tank teams. But you cant'

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In The Pipe 5 by 5

Can anyone tell me what move that is from?

Anyway, in case people don't peruse my site, i'd like to point out a few new pages and show some previews of whats coming down the pipe.  The new pages are on the tabs at the top.

Paint Guide -
I've finally got around to getting my paint guide.  This is more for airbrushing.  For me I hate Vallejo paint going through my airbrush.  So, I've had to find an alternate brand.  Tamiya is absolutely fantastic for airbrushing.

The only one (so far) I find isn't really close is the Khaki for Russian uniforms.  But its close enough. 

There were about 2 or 3 web sites I always had to go to for equivalency charts.  And some I didn't agree with.  So, I made my own.  Figured I might as well share it.

I have also included the mix ratios that work best for me in an airbrush.  These are in a constant state of flux as I always try to improve.

Watch this page often for updates.

Kursk Campaign -
I've always loved this Kursk Campaign that was on the FOW site by Craig Courtis.
But, I always thought there were a lot of lingering questions, that made it almost not worth playing. Especially the meaningless game at the end if the Germans loose 2 battles. No game should be meaningless, otherwise that defeats the purpose of a campaign.

So, what I'm trying to do is improve on it and maybe add something to it.

One noticeable change I made is that instead of having the Germans start with 500 points more then the soviets, the Soviets start wtih 500 points less then the Germans.  Whats the differance you ask?  Well, I'll tell you.

One thing that always bothered me was that the Soviets start with 1500 then the Germans start with 2000.  But at a certain point during the campaign the Germans had to come back down to 1500.  Well with axis of attack, this doesn't make much sense.  Do the Germans have to build a 1500 army and then just add 500 points of extra units?  Or could they just reorg their whole army?  Especially if you wanted to have panthers in your army.  They are so expensive, in mid war but should be part of Kursk.  Now, since the Soviets reorg their army from Strelkovy to what ever they want anyway...they go from 1500 to 2000.  The Germans stay at 2000, and now have way more room to include panthers.

Its still a work in progress, and I hope you enjoy the changes.  I also will take some suggestions into consideration.  Thanx to Craig Courtis, who did all the original work on the campaign.

Finally here is a sneak peak at some of the things I'm painting.

I'm sorry everyone.  I've decided to redo the Ferdinand.  I agreed with everyone, the lines were ok, but that one spot where the airbrush splattered just bothered me to no end.

I'm working on 3 Panzer IV H's.  These will be the 20th panzer Division used for the Firestorm Campaign.

Finally, I'm working on the Flak Nests.  These have be a load of fun.  I haven't done any buildings before.

We put magnets into tank turrets, so I thought...why not AA guns?  It worked like a charm.  I drilled a hole into the base, and put a magnet in there.  And then snipped off the bottom of the AA and put it in there.

I decided to paint these guys like Luftwaffe, so I found that XF-18 was the closest blue.  I'll have to put that into my chart.  But, that is a cool looking blue.

I really think these are going to turn out super nice.  I'm going to try and finish them this weekend, or get very close anyway.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode IV - Assault Basics

I don't think I will go into assaulting too much here.  Just a few quick notes.  Mainly because I came across a few players that didn't know a couple of things.

I know assaulting seems complicated.  I still have to look up the rules most of the time.  But the way the rules are written really make it more confusing then it really is.  I still think phil should let me rewrite the rule book...phat chance, right Phil?

I'm doing this at work so I'm sorry about the lack of pictures.  I can do more when I do a more in depth one.

NOTE: Ignore that stupid covering fire section.  All that means is teams that fired their full ROF can't assault.  That whole section is dumb, and just causes confusion.  There technically isn't any covering fire in the game.  

Step 1 - Move 4" towards the enemy platoon.  At least 1 team has to have started within 4" of an enemy team.  If not there is no assault.

Step 2 - Defensive fire:  This is a common mistake I see.  People only fire with teams within 4".  You can actually fire with anyone within 16", as long as that shooting team belongs to the same platoon as a team with in 4" of the assaulting platoon.  So, you have to be careful.  You could inadvertently draw more then one platoon to conduct defensive fire against you.

Step 3 - Make a skill check with all teams within 2" of enemy platoon.  Success' are automatic kills, no saves, except against armoured vehicles.  Not even bulletproof cover saves you.

Step 4 - Did you win?  If there are no enemy teams with in 4" you've won the assault.  Go to step 7

Step 5 If you didn't win - enemy platoon makes motivation test, then break's off or counter assaults.
Step 5a - if counter assault, then go to step 1 and skip step 2.  The assaultie becomes the assaulter.
Step 5b - if fails motivation test or chooses to break off go to step 6.

NOTE:  This is where i've seen the common mistakes happen.
#1 - You can have an infinite number of assault rounds.  It goes until one side wins, breaks off, or is dead.
#2 - There is only EVER one round of defensive fire.  You don't get defensive fire every time a new assault round starts.

Step 6 - Break off.  Move your full movement directly away from the enemy platoon.
Step 6a - If any teams are still with in 4" of the enemy platoon they are destroyed (captured).
Step 6b -  I've seen players do this step after the assaulting platoon consolidates in order to get within 4" and capture those teams breaking off...this is incorrect.

Step 7 Consolidate OR Breakthrough.  You can't do both.  I've seen players consolidate 4" and then move another 4" to do a breakthrough assault.
Step7a Consolidate - move 4" in any direction - assault done!
Step7b Breakthrough - start a brand new assault with step 1.  Yes, it can be against the same platoon that just broke off.  And becasue its a brand new assault there would be defensive fire again.
Step7c If you are the original defender you cannot Breakthrough.

NOTE:  A few other things to remember is that tanks can't assault tanks, and infantry must make motivation tests to assault tanks.

There...easy peasy.  Granted there are some complicated situations, but as the title says, this is just the basics.
This should get people through most assaults.

If there are situations you would like better explained or see photo's for...let me know.
Someone has suggested video but, i'm not sure i'm ready to be a movie star yet!

Monday, August 22, 2011

German vs Soviets - 1500pt Mid War

I was unable to make it to the tournament this weekend, I decided to actually play a game.  I've been trying to convince my friend Andrew to buy his own army, so I invited him over to play.

I'm sick of Late war, and I love mid war, so we decided to play 1500pt Grenadiers against Strelkovy in mid war.  I don't play infantry as much as I'd like to becasue I'm so slow at painting them.  You can so a lot of our armies aren't painted...mostly all the infantry.

Scenario - Encounter

German Grenadiers - Andrew
Grenadier Platoon - 4 squads
Grenadier Platoon - 4 squads
Artillery Platoon - 4 - 10.5 cm guns
HMG platoon - 4 guns
Anti-tank Platoon - 3 - 7.5 pak 40's.
1 Tiger Tank. 

Soviet Strelkovy - Me
Strelkovy Company - full 3 platoons, HMG, 3 light mortars
Strelkovy Company - 2 platoons, HMG, 3 light mortars.
Artillery Company - 8 - 76mm, 4 - 122mm guns.
Tank Destruction Company - 4 - 57mm guns.
Tank Killer Company - 4 - SU85's.

I had to declare my reserves first, so I decided to start with my biggest strelkovy Company, and the Red God of War Company on the board.

Andrew has played this quit a bit, but is still inexperienced.  And he shows it by the platoons he chose.  It will come back to haunt him in the end.  He decides to start with both grenadiers platoons, and the Artillery.  I would have either attached the HMG's or start with the HMG platoon on the board.

Now ever time I play strelkovy, or play against strelkovy, i'm remineded that the board for FoW is way to small.  On a 6x4 table strelkovy can hardly ever make all their units fit on the table to start.  That is the only reason I choose encounter.  because half my units start off the board.  I couldn't even imagine playing hold the line with this army.

Anyway I pretty much had to start my Red God of War across the entire back of the board.  Its the only way they fit.  Remember my rules can't stack them side by side or they can't rotate.

Then Andrew follows suit, and sets up his artillery.

Next I decide I'm going to go balls out, and just charge the hell out of my biggest strelkovy company.   So I line them all up right in front of his object that I placed in the open.  I love playing strelkovy becasue newer German players totally panic when they see Russians.

Andrew then places both his grenadiers in front of his objectives.

Andrew rolls for first turn.

he decides to dig in his Grens that are infront of my strelkovy and his guns.  he makes both rolls.
he then marches his other Grens forward, as nothing is protecting my right flank, except a couple of 76mm's.

Next, I double move my 32 stands of strelkovy, leaving the HMG behind to cover the objective and artillery.  I can literally see the Germans shaking in their boots.  Then I bombard the Grenadiers the moved into the open.  Again, new German players panic as I pull out the double wide template.   But what they don't realize is that Soviets are shitty.  they can't hit anything.  I managed to pin down the platoon but didn't kill anything.

2nd turn, Andrew gains some confidence.  He continues to move his Grenadiers towards my right flank.  He then opens up his artillery, and is extatic about how many stands he can fit under the template.  Yup Russians are good for fitting lots of guys under the small template.  What Andrew didn't know is that artillery and aircraft do not get double dice when a unit has moved at the double....good for me!  Andrew rolls a lot of hits, 8 or more I think.  As I said, he is gaining confidence....maybe these Russians aren't so tough...I just smile.  I rolled my 8 saves and rolled six 6's and 2 5' kills.  "What a waste of good rolls", I tell him.  But I'm pinned.  Luckily they are still more then 16" away from his dug in Gren's.

My Strelkovy start my 2nd turn pinned, and....of course I fail my motivation to unpin them.   But that's OK.  My local NKVD Officer was close at hand, and Comrade Stalin says not one step back.  The commissar shoots one of his own units, and this time the Strelkovy make it and they are back on the move.  But this time only a normal move.  A few are able to shoot but don't do much damage are the Gren's are really dug in.

My Red God of War, turns and fires at the Dug in Grenadiers and German Artillery.  Even with the double wide, the Germans are so well lead that I can only it 3 infantry teams and 1 gun.  I do no damage but both platoons end up pinned.

Turn 3, Andrew rolls for his reserves.  He is thinking he is going to need something soon.  He is right...but fails his roll.  However he does make both his rolls to unpin his artillery and Gren's.   He continues to move his Grenadiers down the right flank,  and I think he is able to get a few shots at the 76mm guns there, but the gun shields protect them. 

His artillery pins down the advancing strelkovy, and manage to kill a few.  And his dug in (and gone to ground) Gren's also shoot at the incoming hoard....this is a rookie mistake.  Although I think he also managed to kill a few, and they are pinned down again.

My 3rd turn, I also fail to bring on any reserves.  But that is ok, I believe the game will be over before I need them.  This time my strelkovy make their unpin roll on the first try.  And they continue to advance.  This time they are with in assault range.  But I need to pin them.  Because I moved and I only have a ROF of 1, I need 6's to hit.  If Andrew had not shot at me, I would have needed 7's, and I would not been able to pin him except for an artillery bombardment.  I shoot at him with my strelkovy, and I only manage to get 4 hits.  this time I will split my Artillery fire and direct fire because Soviets can do that.  I turn my 122's to fire a bombardment at the Germans on the right flank.  I hope this will slow them down enough for me to take the objective.  I get a few kills and pin them down.  Then I'm able to direct fire a few 76mm at the dug in Gren's.  I don't kill anyone, but I get that 5th hit that pins them down.

Now my strelkovy assault.  I believe I still had some 22 stands left at this point.  Now that they are pinned he is only able to muster 7 hits in defensive fire.  Enough to pin any other platoon in the game, but not Strelkovy...he needed 10.  Had he not shot at me during his turn, I may not have been able to pin him, and he would have had double the fire power.

After the first round of assaults Andrew decided to break off to protect his platoon.  This is another rookie mistake and the beginning of the end.  His only chance is to hope he gets his reserves.

Turn 4...he fails both reserve rolls.  I manage to hold off the right flank, and I take his objective.

In the end, when we were discussing his mistakes, i found out he didn't realize, there was no more defensive fire after the first round.  He was afraid I was going to get defensive fire with 22 stands of infantry.

I was also talking to my friend lance the other day, and he didn't realize there can be multiple rounds of assault in the same turn.  Maybe time for a new Rules Nazi Corner...on Assaults.

All in all it was a fun game.  I've been playing Germans far to much and neglecting my soviets.
I think if Andrew had started with his HMG's, and not shot until he had to, my strelkovy might have been slaughtered.  We didn't even see the Tiger tank, or my favorite guns in the whole game the 57mm's.

Between the 2 of us we had 6 platoons in reserve.  Only the Su-85's made it on in the last turn.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Answers: First Skill testing question.

I guess maybe I should say this is only my opinion about the picture.  But it is my belief the caption is completely wrong.  So, here we go.

"Panzers of 23rd Panzergrenadiere SS Division, Nederland, in East Germany (1945). They seem to be Panzer IVF1, the short barreled 75mm version for infantry support.(Thanks Mr. Bosscher)"

Lets break it down.

"Panzers of 23rd Panzergrenadiere SS Division, Nederland
- I can see where the original caption and nathanfagan might think that this is the 23rd SS panzer Division, but its not.  Its the 14th panzer Division.  The unit symbols are very close.
14th Panzer Division

23rd SS Panzer Division

Clearly Not the 23rd SS division.

in East Germany (1945).
First clue is that these tanks are Panzer Grey.  In 1945 I doubt there were any tanks still in panzer grey in 1945.   And now knowing that this is the 14th Panzer Division, they never made it back to Germany.  They were trapped in the Courland Pocket, in the Baltic states.

Based on the colour and type of tank (which I'll get to) and the lack of leaves on the trees, my guess puts these tanks some where between Kiev and Rostov in the Fall of 1941.  Maybe, near Stalingrad in 1942.

They seem to be Panzer IVF1
"They" would imply that all 3 tanks are Panzer IV F1's.  They are not.  In fact none of them are.  The one in the foreground (I believe) is the Panzer III N G.  It had the exact same gun as the Panzer IV f1.  So I can see why the confusion.  But the mantlet is completely different on the Panzer III.

The ones in the background are definitely not Panzer III N's.  I believe they are Panzer III J late.  Although the middle one looks like a Panzer III hull with a T-26 turret.  That could just be the light and shadows playing tricks.   

Very cool picture, but the guy who posted obviously didn't do any research.

Which is a great lesson in FoW Modeling as well.  I've found decal sheets with the wrong unit designations on them.

So, what lesson have we learned?  Always, always do your research.

If you wish to contest my theory on this picture by all means. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Skill Testing Question

Recently, I've been doing a bunch of research on Panzer IV f1's. I am repainting my platoon. They were the first tanks I tried the Tamiya mud stick out on. I loved the mud, but I kinda went overboard and they didn't look that great after.

I've been finding a lot of sites with incorrect info about pictures. Thanx to this hobby, I can tell you what almost any tank in WWII was. So, I thought it might be fun if I post some of these pictures I find, and see if you can find the same mistakes I did.

Here is the first one.

"Panzers of 23rd Panzergrenadiere SS Division, Nederland, in East Germany (1945). They seem to be Panzer IVF1, the short barreled 75mm version for infantry support.(Thanks Mr. Bosscher)"

Name me what you think is wrong with this picture and its caption, and why. 
Shouldn't be too tough.  Lets see how many of us have learned something.

I'll reveal my answers at a later date.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marder Make Over

One of my very first FoW purchases was a German Grenadier Company Box Set. It came with 3 Marder III M's, and I think I bought a 4th. These were some of the very first vehicles I painted.

Before I discovered airbrushing, I was having a lot of problems with aerosol primer and varnish. 9 out of 10 cans of primer would go on gritty.  And I tried several different brands.  Once I perfected my airbrush technique for priming I decided to wipe the slate clean, sorta speak, and repaint any of my old models that didn't turn out.  This included the Marder III m's.

Here are a few pictures of the old paint job.  If you look close you can see the gritty surface that the primer left behind.  Ignore the crew, i'll be repainting those as well.  I waited so long to repaint these Marders that the paint has worn off the crew because I never really finished them.

Now here are the new Marders.

I also painted up some Opel Maultiers and a German HMG platoon for my German Ersatz Company.

I may have gone a little overboard on the matt varnish mixture.  Some of the detail disappeared.  And I'm still working on settings with the new camera.  Its almost too good.

Next I'll finish my Flak Nest Buildings.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Does the Ferdi Die or Survive? Its Up To You!

Well, I thought I was getting pretty good at airbrushing. But this is by far the hardest thing I've tried. I wanted to try something like this picture with the thinner camo lines. I even used a 2mm airbrush. It was so hard, and in the end my lines turned out way thicker then I expected.

So, I thought I would try something different and leave the choice up to my millions and millions of fans. For those who don't paint, this is far from finished. It has no detail, or wash, or highlighting.

I know I can do a lot better. On the other hand its starting to grow on me. With some detailing and highlights it might not be bad. Especially at 15mm the thicker lines might be OK. But there is that one glaring spot on the hull that splattered. can you see it?

Let me know what you think. Does this Ferdi die or Survive?
Vote on the left.