Tuesday, 29 October 2013

21st Panzer Division - Normandy - Kampfgruppe von Luck

The last battlegroup, KG von Luck.

Stab Pz-grenadier Regt 125, CO/HQ in Kubelwagen, pioneer platoon in S307, motor-cycle combination recce platoon and Pak38 with Laffly tow.
II Batt/Pz-grenadier Regt 125, front right HQ in ex-French half-track with 8 Schwere Ko behind with 2cm Flak 38 in U304, 7.5cm Pak 40 on S307 and 8cm Reihenwerfer on S307.  To left, 5 Ko, three infantry stands plus one MMG and four ex-French/Itlian/British truck transports.
6 & 7 Kos from II Batt/Pz-grenadier Regt 125, as 5 Ko above.
On left, 3 Pz-gren Ko from I Batt, Pz-grenadier Regt 125.  On right 4 Ko from I Abt Pz Regt 22, 3 PzIV platoons.  Behind them are a stand each of Reihenwerfer on S307 (10 Werfer Ko - Pz-gren Regt 125) and a 15cm Lorraine SPG (9 SiG Ko - Pz-gren Regt 125).
 I Batt Pz Artillerie Regt 155, 1 battery of 10cm K18 and 2 batteries of 12.2cm FH396(r), all towed by Laffly prime movers.
 Stug-Abt 200, in centre HQ with Lorraine half-track, with 2 stands of 2cm Flak 38 on U304s behind, surrounded by 5 Kos, each comprising a 10.5cm Lorraine SPG, a 7.5cm Pak40 on S307 and a Pzbeobacht Lorraine FAO.  Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten the 2 stands of pioneers in S303s that should go with the HQ.

So, that should be it for the three KGs as they appeared on D-day, assuming I finish a couple of pioneer stands plus transports for Stug-Abt 200.  For completeness, I've yet to finish off Pz Aufklarungs Abt 21, but they only became available to von Luck late in the day of D-day.  More importantly, I need to put together the six stands of Pak43/41s for Pz-jaeger Abt 200 for defending the approaches to Caen, the SP Flak 38s and Flak 41s for Heer Flak Abt 305 and a R-Vielfachwerfer on S307 for 10 Werfer Batterie of Pz Artillerie Regt 155.

I'm not aware of anyone making a Vielfachwerfer, so might have to cannibalise a Katyusha rocket launcher to mount on a S307 half track.  Alternatively, I might just use a Reihenwerfer vehicle as it would historically provide KG von Luck with off-table fire support.

I think these should be able to keep the paratroopers at Ranville busy for a day or tow.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

21st Panzer Division - Normandy - Kampfgruppe Rauch

Next up, Kampfgruppe Rauch.  Still plagued with poor light problems for photography, unfortunately.

Stab Pz-grenadier Regt 192, motorcycle/sidecar recce and CO/HQ, pioneer stand with S303 transport and Pak 38 with Laffly ex-French softskin.
 I Battalion Pz-grenadier Regt 192.  At the back HQ with S303 transport and Lorraine 10.5cm SPG. In the foreground 1 and 2 Kompanies, each three infantry and one MMG in U304s.
 The rest of I Battalion, 3 Kompanie as 1 and 2 above, and 4 Kompanie with one stand each of U304 with 2cm Flak 38, S307 with 7.5cm Pak 40 and S307 with 8cm Reihenwerfer.
 II Battalion Pz-grenadier Regt 192, with HQ with unarmoured ex-French half-track at the front, with 5 and 6 Kompanies, each three infantry and one MMG stands in captured softskin transports (various British, Italian and French trucks, plus some ex-French half-tracks.
 7 Kompanie,as 5 and 6 Kompanies above, plus 8 Kompanie as 4 Kompanie above.  At the back are 9 and 10 Kompanies, one stand of a Lorraine 15cm SPG and an S307 Reihenwerfer.
 Panzer Pioneer Battalion 220, 2 Kompanie at the front, three pioneers, an MMG and 81mm Mortar stand with S303 transports, and 3 Kompanie at the back, as 2 Kompanie but in softskin transports.  On the left is the CO in S303 transport.  1 Kompanie is detached to KG Oppeln.
 II Battalion Panzer-Artillerie Regt 155, batteries 4, 5 and 6, of 2 10.5cm and 1 15cm Lorraine SPGs, each with a Pzbeobacht Lorraine FAO.

This KG provides the infantry support for KG Oppeln's armour, allowing ground taken by the armour to be held by the supporting infantry.

I've almost wrapped up KG Von Luck and I'm still working on Stug Abt 200, Pz Aufklarungs Abt 21  and some smaller elements to complete the Division.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

21st Panzer Division - Normandy - Kampfgruppe Oppeln

We're planning a big D-day game at the next club gaming weekend in mid-November. I've spent the last couple of weeks finishing off a 21st Pz Div project that I started several years ago, but never completed.

So, here is Kampfgruppe Oppeln, based on a core of Pz Regiment 22.  I should apologise for the pictures, they seem to be plagued with poor depth of field due to low light levels, so I'll have another go at photographing them once I've finished the whole thing.

Stab Pz Regt 22, front row l-r PzIII recce, PzIV CO, Bergepanzer III, rear row, 3 stands of Flakpanzer 38t.

1 Abt Pz Regt 22, rear PzIII recce, PzIV HQ, 1 Komp, 2 Komp and 3 Komp (each three stands of PzIVs).  3 Komp may be reduced to 2 stands based on a strength return just prior to D-day.  4 Kompanie is detached to Kampfegruppe Von Luck.

2 Abt Pz Regt 22, rear PzS35 recce, PzIV HQ, middle 5 Komp (1 PzIV and 2 PzS35), 6 Komp (1 PzIV, 2 PzS35, 1 PzH39), front 7 Komp (1 PzIV and 2 PzS35) and 8 Komp (1 or possibly 2 PzIV B/C).  For D-day action, there seems to be a lot of debate about whether the French tanks made an appearance or not.  If not, then the entire Regt is represented by a 4 stand composite PzIV Kompanie.

I Batt, Pz-gren Regt 125, rear HQ and 15cm Lorraine SPG, 1 Komp and 2 Komp (each 4 U304 transports, 3 stands of infantry and 1 MMG stand).  3 Komp is detached to KG Von Luck.

1 Komp Pz-pioneer Batt 220, 5 S303 transports, 3 stands of pioneers/engineers with flame, 1 MMG stand and 1 81mm mortar stand).

III Batt Pz-artillerie Regt 155, 2 10.5cm Lorraine (7 & 8 batteries) and 1 15cm Lorraine (9 batterie) stands, each with a Pzbeobacht Lorraine FAO stand.

So, there you have it, the armoured fist of 21st Panzer - 2 armoured battalions and 1 armoured infantry battalion, made up of infantry and pioneers.  Of course, if the French armour was withdrawn as 2nd Abt personnel were withdrawn to be re-equipped with PzIVs, then the force is down to one armoured battalion and one armoured composite company, plus the equivalent of an infantry battalion.  These will be up against the 3rd British Infantry Division pushing inland for Caen on the afternoon of D-day.

Most vehicles are Heroics and Ros, except PzIVs without bazooka screens which are from Irregular.  Infantry are mainly Adler, with one or two Heroics and Ros, mainly mortar men.  Bases are a mixture of ERM and Minibits.  All paints are Vallejo.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 18 October 2013

First tabletop outing for the 6mm ACW project

Last night at the club Rick and I gave our 6mm ACW armies an outing.  Rick had 5 regiments of infantry and 2 artillery batteries ready, to which we added the 4 regiments of Zouaves from my collection.  That left me with 12 regiments of infantry and 4 artillery pieces.  Rick suggested I come up with a scenario, so I scouted out the free stuff on the Fire and Fury and GHQ web sites and took a look through the Gettysburg scenarios in the recent Wargames Soldiers and Strategy magazine.  In the end I came up with the "Assault on the Iron Brigade" scenario from the GHQ site, supported by additional information from the WSS magazine.  As we were using Black Powder, I pinched a trick from Will at the club and totalled the number of troops present and divided by 400 to get similar sized units.  Surprisingly, this gave the Union and Confederates the same number of troops, 2 brigades of 4 regiments each, with the Union having one additional regiment in reserve, coming onto the table on move 6.  The Rebs got 4 stands of artillery, while the federals only got 2 stands.  Each brigade commander, Meredith and Cutler for the federals and Archer and Davis for the rebs, were rated a leader 8, as was Pegrum the reb artillery commander, while the divisional commanders Wadsworth and Heth were rated as 9.  The game started as the rebs advanced out of the scrub and wheat fields lining Willoughby Run, either side of the Chambersberg Pike.

The initial positions of the troops viewed from the south - McPherson's Ridge on the right, with Meredith's Brigade in column behind and Archer's Brigade astride Willoughby Run..
 View again from the south showing one of Cutlers Regiments around the McPherson Farm, with the federal artillery between the road and railway cut, and the rest of Cutlers Brigade beyond, facing Davis's Brigade which starts on the federal side of the Run.
 Meredith's Brigade on the reverse slope of McPherson's Ridge keeping out of sight of the rebel artillery.
 The situation at the end of turn 2, in the foreground Archer has lost a regiment, while another has fallen back across the Run.  In the middle ground, one of Davis's regiments has routed the federal artillery, while the rest of the brigade have charged home into Cutlers advance regiment on the ridge.
 Davis's brigade with Heth charging up McPherson's Ridge.
 Archer's Brigade hard pressed by Meredith.

 Archer stabilises the situation with the assistance of the rebel 4 stand battery.
 Cutlers advance regiment has broken
 Davis's lone regiment south of the railway cut advances on Cutler's lone regiment around McPherson's Farm.

And I'm afraid that's where my picture taking stopped.  Cutler's regiments on McPherson's ridge charged into Davis's brigade, but were repulsed shaken while their lone regiments south of the cut traded volleys, each becoming shaken.  Meanwhile, the rebel artillery and Archer's surviving regiments were able to shake all of Meredith's Brigade.  This meant that both Union Brigades were broken by turn 5, resulting in them retiring from the field.  The confederates were, themselves, almost bled dry, with each brigade represented by a single viable regiment, all others being shaken.  To follow up the federal retreat would require reinforcement and Archer and Davis would need to spend considerable time rallying their Brigades to get them fit enough to carry on the fray.

All in all a fun game and the figures looked the business.  We completed the scenario in c. 90 minutes, so I lent my rebs to Red and we played out the scenario again.  Rick tried some innovative march moves, one which worked, to move some of Meredith's brigade around behind McPherson's Farm, and the other which didn't, to reinforce at McPherson's Farm with Cutler's brigade - they were hard pounded by the rebel artillery and charged, still in march formation, by Archer's troops.  So, another Reb win, but again a close run thing.

All in all, I felt the game played well and will certainly be adding more forces so that we can lay out some larger and more challenging games in the future.  I am even considering a venture into Naps at this scale sometime in the future.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Battle of Leipzig refight pictures (part 2)

Todays play at the Defenders club.  Pictures cover the game period from 12 noon to 3pm, ending with the thwarting of Napoleons plan to break the allies.  So, we managed 8 turns on Saturday and 6 turns on Sunday - needed to allow pack up time on the last day.

Battle of Leipzig refight pictures (part 1)

This weekend was one of the Deeside Defenders gaming weekends.  Will put on a refight of the Battle of Leipzig 1813 (Battle of the Nations).  The action was to take place on the southern front and to represent the first day of the battle on 16th October 1813, so 200 years less 4 days from the first day of our refight.  I was lucky enough to take part, my dice throwing handing me command of the French forces, although thankfully Martin turned up at lunchtime to take over the left flank.  Will and Ian took on the Austrians and Russians/Prussians respectively.  It was a hard fought game with lots of tooing and froing of fortunes, although the outcome was pretty historical with the French failing to breakthrough the coalition forces.

There was so much going on that I can make no claim to remembering details, but then it was the biggest battle in Europe until the First World War.  I remember the despair of watching three brigades break, two in the centre and the Poles on the right flank, although the situation was easier to recover on the right than in the centre.  I also remember watching 6 units of cuirassiers repulsed by Austrian Hussars.  There were some highlights, mostly breaking Prussian battalions and one particular French brigade beating off successive waves of Russian cuirassiers.

All in all a great game and a big thank you to Will for letting me get involved.

Here are the pictures I took of the first day and they follow game events from 8am to 12 noon in game time.  For more details of the game special rules and scaling, as well as other pictures and a post-action report, see Wills' blog