Brits are coming!

Despite still having a few things to do for my Russians, making a start on the Belgians, not having touched the Americans or West Germans, I managed to secure some British for CWC off eBay! Two small auctions:

1. Some Challenger 1s, Warriors and other odds and ends. Enough to give me some armour and IFVs. Still need to paint some infantry though.

2. Some artillery support. Some M109s, M110s, some M113s with Wombat (I think) and some Fox recce vehicles.

The latter batch are a lot darker than the first lot but I think a light dry brush with my usual light grey will bring them out a little.

Also managed to get a few buildings as well. Couple of warehouses and two tower blocks. Really need to kick off my modular town project but keep getting distracted painting more vehicles! It would be good to get some scenery sorted so I can get a nice looking game going with my own stuff!

Hedges and hills and roads needed as well. Have plans for all these but as ever, time… I’m hoping I can take a couple of days off work between now and Christmas and get some stuff done. Providing of course I don’t get given a list of ‘jobs’! 🙂

More soon…

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Wallington Model Soldiers…

Despite the rain of yesterday my wife had arranged a day out at Wallington, a National Trust property in Northumberland with our good friends Katrin and Alan and their two kids. This is a regular venue for us and has frequent events, a nice cafe and good walks. And an outside play area that keeps the kids happy for a while! Having visited many times we don’t often go in to the house but today did. The house was the home for the Trevelyan family and the highlight for me is always a quick visit to the dolls house room which also houses the Trevelyan brothers collection of Model Soldiers. Now I’m sure I’ve asked in the past about taking photos and they always said no but today they said no flash but OK! Unfortunately I’d only got my phone with me which didn’t bode well for quality but here a few anyway.

Numbering 3000 plus they are housed in a glass case.

Now apparently the three Trevelyan brothers, George, Charles and Robert, spent many hours as boys refighting battles at the tail end if the 19th Century as is recounted here:

I’m not an expert on model soldiers of this period and the information available at the House is rather minimal, although I’ve a feeling they have a leaflet with more info on that wasn’t available). Although put together for refights of Napoleons battles (especially Waterloo) the vast majority of the figures are obviously of late 19th Century troops. I’ve already apologised for the camera but will do so again here. But the pictures at least give a good impression of what is there:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There’s some lovely little figures there and it would be nice if they had some more info on who made them etc.  However, at some stage the brothers obviously moved on in their gaming and there are also two original Kriegspiel sets:

 

It’s a nice little collection, for which so much more could be done. It’s well worth a visit if you are in the area.

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New Acquisitions…

Although I’m trying to keep expenditure down at the moment I’ve picked up a few odds and ends off eBay and via Boardgamegeek. Best thing for my Cold War Commander Soviets was:

I’d posted on TMP asking for info on this book but not got a response but then saw a good copy on eBay and decided to take the plunge! It’s an excellent book covering pretty well any vehicle I could think of which a black and white photo of them as well as useful text. There are some excellent shots of command vehicles ‘in action’ with all aerials etc. raised which have given me ideas for my HQ stands. There are also some excellent shots of engineering and bridging vehicles in action and some good schematics of BMPs. All in all an excellent purchase.

I’ve had an eye on James Rouch’s The Zone series for a while since it got recommended following my posts re CWC reading on TMP. I’d held off as some of the volumes are still a bit pricey while others can be got for c.£1 on Amazon. Although this latter seems a good deal it falls foul of the Amazon dealer £2.75 flat postage PER ITEM! And dealers won’t (can’t?) combine postage. So I could get four volumes for £4 but it would cost £11 shipping! Bloody extortionate! Anyway, courtesy of eBay I managed to get the first five volumes for £9.15 including shipping. Quite happy about that. Not sure I’ll be able to get the other five volumes as they seem a little pricier. They are available as PDFs but I don’t facny reading on screen.

I’m still looking for a copy of Robert Forrest-Webb’s Chieftains though. Missed one on eBay and still hold out hope of finding one in a charity shop…

Finally a few boardgame acquisitions. Although I’m not playing ASL at the moment I’ve had High Ground 2 from Bounding Fire Productions on pre-order for a while:

This reproduces the two excellent maps from High Ground 1 (shown left below) and adds two more and an overlay plus additional scenarios, but this time all in the new Starter Kit style maps.

The first pack was excellent with some great scenarios and one day I’ll get chance to play them again!

MMP have also announced that the great Map Bundle (all ASL maps in new style) is imminent. I’ve very tempted by this but it is a tad pricey and I intend to buy each of the new re-done modules as they come out anyway, so will get most of the new maps then. So, at the moment, something I can’t justify…

Other boardgames en route are the Strategy and Tactics mags containing BAOR, Donau Front, Fifth Corps and Berlin’85. The latter is standalone but the former, when combined with Hof Gap, form the Central Front series and apparently link together. Intention is that they provide a ‘campaign’ structure playing Cold War Commander.

That’s all for now. I’ll update with links in a bit but for now I have a two year old with a nappy that needs changing!

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CWC – The War Begins

In the Summer of 1986 the tensions between East and West increased as the technological advances in the West posed a threat to the previously ‘invincible’ Soviet forces in Europe such that the constant threat of a Soviet wave crashing through Europe with little resistance became less and less of a reality. Powerful influences within the Soviet Military pushed harder and harder for a ‘first strike’ while there was still chance for the great Soviet military machine to roll forward, unstoppable, like the great Red Army of the last war.

As the customary Summer exercises started a plan was hatched to use these as a launchpad for a real offensive. Although NATO forces would be on heightened alert as usual during this time they would not expect the attack, and the element of surprise would allow the breakthrough needed and keep NATO on the defensive as rear echelon forces, not part of the exercises, were rushed forward to the offensive.

The key forces involved, two Soviet armies and and East German force would face off against British, West German and American forces. As the Soviet exercies suddenly became a real threat as troops rushed across the border, NATO forces rushed to meet them but with no time to prepare the defences they would need to face the overwhelming odds. At three key towns, the Soviets pushed along major roads as three armies prepared to meet them and hold them as long as possible.

4th Combined Arms Army – Commander Petya Sergetov 
Report to Military High Command
6th June 1986
The 4th CAA was tasked with driving a West German force from the town and surrounding countryside and force a breakthrough to threaten the flanks of the nearby American and British forces. Two tank battalions, two mechanised rifle battalions, a detachment from a motorised rifle battalion, regimental and division artillery assets and anti-aircraft support were designated to lead the attack. The West German forces had deployed their infantry and anti-tank weapons in the town and woods while the armour was still hidden behind the southern woods.
As the advance elements of the 4th CAA entered the area the scheduled artillery attacks began to land on the woods and town and on the hills to the West.
Intelligence reports had indicated the Germans would deploy on the hills and consequently the heaviest batteries were concentrated there, to little effect. The intelligence officers responsible have been ‘reassigned’.
As the bombardment continued the first elements moved forwards. T-72s were to push forward on the southern flanks with BMPs and supporting armour heading for the woods. Anti-aircraft forces deployed on the southern hill. 
Two more combined T-72 and BMP units were to push through the center but one units failed to arrive on time forcing the other to deploy on the northern hill to await its support. The northern flank was left to two companies of BTRs and a company of T-72s. 
Although reconnaissance units had pushed forward down the road and into both woods they did not provide adequate information for the advancing units causing them to falter after their first advance. Although the southern MRR units advanced rapidly, the main armour force on their flanks was not aggressive enough.
Soon the West German forces began to react and the lack of aggression from the southern armour commander saw them subjected to intensive enemy fire, suppressing them before they were able to come in to effective range and engage. Finally the second MRR battalion caught up and rush down the road to engage the enemy occupying the town.
Under pressure from Command the armour and BMPs pushed forward on the Southern flank but again were faced with heavy fire as the German Leopards finally deployed close to the woods to face them. The continuing scheduled artillery bombardment had some effect in the town and one battalion of 152mm was reassigned to attack the German armour but the hasty change of target resulted on the bombardment landing too far south to have any effect.
Meanwhile, on the northern flank the T-72 company pushed forward to distract the ATGW armed infantry in the woods and town to allow the BTRs to advance.
 
Things did not go well on the southern flank. Faced with accurate and persistent fire from the German Leopards both the T-72s and BMPs started to take casualties and the attack started to falter. In an attempt to address this I moved my command forward to the front line but was almost overrun by withdrawing tanks and saw panic in the MRR battalion as confusing orders resulted in friendly fire destroying almost a company of BMPs along with their passengers. Not a glorious way to die for the Motherland.
 
As I took control of the center the situation started to stabilise. As the T-72s came withing effective range the superior gunnery skills of the Soviet tanker began to tell as Leopard after Leopard was destroyed.
However, the German infantry in the town, armed with Carl Gustavs were taking their toll of the central MRR battalion. A company of T-72s were lost and several companies of BMPs were picked off at long range, both by infantry and by the remaining Leopards. The German flank was weakening as their armour fell, but continued accurate gunnery suppressed many of our units as German Phantoms launched several attacks on the supporting units. Our artillery, although called upon regularly, was having little effect but still the remaining Germans held on.
The Germans still held the town and woods and although close to breaking they inflicted many casualties, especially on the southern flank.
It was at this point that the Germans started to falter. Although they still held the field they were on the verge of breaking. There was little left of the German armour but the infantry in the towns would still take time to force out.
Although the 4th CAA was staggering under its own losses it was only a matter of time before the Germans would be forced to withdraw leaving the way open for the advance to continue.
It was only through my presence on the front line that the position stabilised. Those commanders who faltered in the service of the Motherland have been replaced and the 4th Combined Arms Army is ready for the next stage of the offensive.
Petya Sergetov, Commander

Meanwhile, on other fronts. The East Germans finally drove the Americans from the field after concentrating its armour against the Abrams and destroying several.
 
The other Soviet army, facing a staunch British defense was still continuing its assault.
 

Comments
This was only my second proper game of CWC and I found it quite difficult to put together a list. It was decided that for the opening attack the Soviets would have 8000pts vs. NATOs 4000pts. As this was a surprise attack NATO had no prepared defences although the Soviets did not know this and so came prepare with mine-rollers, engineers etc. Well the others did. I haven’t painted the models yet so didn’t bother! This was my list:
 1 CO (CV9)

 7 HQ (CV8)
 3 FAO (CV6)
 1 Recce Unit (BRDM)
 2 Recce Unit (BRM-1)
24 Infantry Unit (Conscripts)
 9 Infantry Upgrade (RPG-7)
18 IFV Unit (BMP-2)
18 Tank Unit (T-72)
 1 Air Defence Unit (AA, ZSU-23-4)
 2 Air Defence Unit (SAM, SA-6)
 6 Artillery Unit (122mm, 2S1 M1974)
 6 Artillery Unit (152mm, 2S3 M1973)
 4 Transport Unit (BTR-60/70)
24 HE Assets

I organised the armour/BMPs in to:
6 x T-72
3 x T-72 + 6 x BMP-2
3 x T-72 + 6 x BMP-2
3 x T-72
4 x BTR
The AA assets were all part of one command with some supporting RPG infantry as guards. All artillery was off board. The 24 HE assets were used on turns one and two and not really effective. I think I should have gone for maybe one more turns worth and added some smoke.
The AA units were a miscalculation. I’d picked two SA-6s for their range only to find that they need LOS to the actual hit point of an air attack! This wasn’t a particularly crowded board but I couldn’t see how they just couldn’t see loads of bloody aircraft flying across the table!
I’d wanted to go for accurate TO&E but to do either a full Tank or Mech regiment left too little for the supporting arms they would have needed for a successful attack.
It was a good, fun game and shows how much I still need to learn (and paint!) for these rules! Stuart, my West German opponent, got his revenge for our last encounter and it would have been nice to play another turn or two. The Germans had hit their breakpoint and I was only five off mine so although I needed to push to get the final breakthrough I stood a good chance of breaking myself.
I look forward to the next encounter, this time with 6000v5000pts, sometime in November.
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ID these please?

Well, although I’ve started my Belgians I’m still putting together some reference material about the vehicles and organisation. I know there will be a lot online but some pointers to get me going would be a help.

The large Belgian force I bought recently (on top of the large one I already had!) has a number of things I don’t recognise off hand. The leopards etc. are no problem but some of these I just don’t know. And there are at least a dozen of each in the force. So….what are this lot, please?

Belgian 1
Belgian 2
Belgian 3
Belgian 4

I’ve got a few ideas on some but this lot are a different make to what I have and there are some differences that I’m not sure are make or actual type.

Oh…and just to make sure I don’t run out of troops I picked up a small British battlegroup off eBay. Twelve Challenger 1s, 20 Warriors (which puts me late 80s) and an assortment of odds and ends that again I’m not sure what and where they fit in.

Brit 1
Brit 2
Brit 3

Any help identifying the above lot would be much appreciated. Especially the manufacturer as well in case I need to add to the force. On which note… when did the British change helmets?

Thanks in advance. Andy

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Belgians, Man!

Finally finished my first unit of Belgians. Looking at the 17th Armoured Brigade as a basis for the force and this is the 1st Guides Battalion.

 
 

With their HQ:

And their Recce Troop with its Scorpions, Spartans and Scimitars:

 
 

I need to do the same for the 2nd Guides and then add the Mechanised Battalions and the Brigade Support. The Mech may be a bit fiddly to sort in to CWC form but we shall see.

Oh..and as I had them left over from my recent eBay sales:

You can never have too much Soviet artillery!

And just to add to the mass of micro-armour, I’ve just grabbed some Brits off eBay which should arrive tomorrow! No idea what I’m going to do with them!

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Derby 2010

Really enjoyed Derby this year. Well, I enjoy it most years but this was a good one! Traveled down to Birmingham on the Friday afternoon and had a good journey alternating between snoozing and reading Sword Point by Harold Coyle (I WILL NOT be doing Iranians for CWC!!!). Met Billy at New Street and first port of call was to be Ian Allan books….which seems to have moved! So no money spent there. Apparently they’re just round the corner now but we walked a different way and didn’t see them…. Then on to the games shop in the little arcade – Dragon’s Forge or something? – which it was good to see still there. Managed not to buy anything 🙂

Friday night was spent with a visit to the Fella and Firkin on Erdington High Street with Billy, Eileen, Trevor and Richard. Good to see friends I don’t see as often as I’d like! Fortunately only for one pint as it is still one of the scarier pubs I know! And then a curry at the Gate down the road. Very slow service but excellent food and a complimentary vodka at the end! Being my first night away from the family for a while I was hoping for a good nights sleep but it was not to be. Maybe it was too quiet, maybe I had indigestion, maybe I missed the kids. Either way, I was awake roughly on the hour every hour and totally knackered in the morning!

We’d talked Richard in to going to Derby as well so he gave myself and Billy a lift and we got in just as setting up was finished and immediately hit the cafe for a full breakfast – always the hightlight of the morning for me! It’s likely not done much for the diet I’m on but was bloody good!

I gave up on the idea of photos as my phone is not good and come end of year and contract I shall be getting a better one! So, what were the highlights?

Met up with John (Levied Troop from WD3) to trade a can of Testors for lunch and had a good natter. Likewise met Eccles and his mates.

Had planned to sell some 1/144 tanks for a guy from the BKC/CWC/FWC forums who turned out to be someone I knew/gamed with at the Birmingham Oktober Club back in the 90’s! Nice to catch up anyway and good to see he’s still gaming.

Really liked the VBCW game by the Border Reivers Club with an attack on the Vickers Works. Very nicely done and a friendly bunch. Must try and get to their club one Wednesday.

And it was good to meet up with Ruarigh and the Rather Large Towton Project and their Battle of Northhampton. I know Ruarigh both from my ASL past and via Archaeology. He still digs. I gave up when my back and knees gave up!!!

There were a lot of demos on, some seen at other shows, and the standard was pretty high. I have to admit I spent more time chatting around the stands than look at the games!

It’s always a good show and as I’ve started attending more over the last few years it’s good to get to know some of the traders better and have a natter with them. Always a friendly bunch.

So…. purchases. I tried to be restrained here. I’d got a few Russians (T-72s etc.) to collect from Skytrex and some stuff for Ian to collect from them and from SHQ. The bring and buy was not too impressive for me. There were some good 15mm deals. I nearly cracked at some 10mm WW2 for BKC but they went before I got back to them! Which was a good thing really 🙂

Here’s the summary:

  • Ospreys – Bradley M2, M113 plus another book on the T-80
  • Scotia – just a BTR60PBU
  • H&R – Soviet bridge layer.
  • Adler – some very very nice Dark Star vehicles and flyers
  • Timecast – their new petrol station and some flats and shops
  • Some resin SF buildings
  • Warbases.co.uk – some MDF bases. Excellent service as ever as I’d only emailed him with sizes on Thursday!

And finally a duck/bathtime based game which I’m hoping my daughter will like and not get too stroppy when I beat her at it!

I nearly bought a proper copy of FWC as I only have the Lulu one and I want the pretty colour pictures! May still do that…

So all in all a good trip. Now I need to find the time to paint what I’ve bought. I feel my great Painting Master Plan as failed miserably as the whole CWC diversion has taken hold, rapidly followed by a minor FWC one!

It’s the nature of the hobby…. 🙂

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