Friday, 27 March 2015

Last days of the Reich - The Red Torrent

"The Glorious sword of the USSR stabs deep into the heart of the fascistic Nazi lair under the brilliant leadership of comrade Stalin!" Screams the Front newspaper...meanwhile, back in the real (20mm Rapid Fire!) world, one of Koniev's reconnaissance Divisions punches an unexpected hole in the dwindling German eastern defences and sets an very vicious cat among the exhausted pigeons.
Three columns of armour with artillery support and tank riding assault companies race across the eastern fatherland in an effort to seize and hold all the river crossings on their front. They are expected by their commanders to open the way for the southern sweep around Berlin.
 Two heavy companies of IS2's supported by Katyusha's are the punch
 In the van the ubiquitous T34's with riders plough through the standing crops
 The reliability of Russian equipment tells in this long march...well nearly 10 feet and counting...
 When tanks roll the earth shakes
 The last and best of the German reserve burn precious fuel to plug this ever widening gap
 Two recce companies of Kampf group 'Dryer' (a former coiffure from Bremen) arrive to estimate the size of the problem and prepare to sacrifice themselves to buy time...
 Taking advantage of the brow of a small rise they begin to take pot shots at the advancing units
 the other company tries to secure the most exposed crossing
 First blood to the defenders. The lead T34 brews and is passed immediately
 The company fires till the barrels blister with the heat. They relay the coordinates to their deploying support...
 A Nebelwerfer salvo smashes into the head of the nearest column sweeping away tank riders and churning up the ground.
 The fury of the stonk subsides...
 ...and the Russians don't even pause, they just deploy into a wider attack formation...
 Russian anti-tank rounds tear through the recce vehicles like knives through foil and the survivors pull back into dead ground
 Russian armour passes quickly through the previous beaten zone...
 An unlucky StuH attempts to cover the recce retreat and pay the price of revealing its position to the overwhelming fire.
 The SU's come up. This anti-tank element will hold any vital ground gained along with its supporting troops.
 T34/85's and Katyusha launchers ride shotgun for the anti-tank companies
 The charge is on...
'Wait for it...wait for it...'
Is this the end for the recce troop? Will Herr Dryer ever see his salon again? Are the Russians to sweep the board? Does anyone give a monkey's? Have I forgotten where the full stop key is? Tune in next time to find out!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Dumfries Wargames Show - Albanich 2015

Better camouflaged than Monty's forward HQ (never caught a glimps of Mr & Mrs Albanich) the Dumfries Show was still found by the war-gaming fraternity and well worth the hunt it certainly was. Run by a very small war-game club Dumfries is fast becoming a popular and busy show in lovely surroundings. We of the the Sand and Plastic Petrochemical Corps assisted the Glasgow Tradeston Wargames Club this year in a special cooperative alliance....they had made the scenery and we provided the figures. The venture was organised by Ferdy (Bill W) and the scenery produced by Billy (BTB) and ably assisted by various other Billy's, two Cyril's a Mark and a Colin...

 The set up was as easy as dealing cards in a gale...but, eventually the jigsaw was complete...
 ...and the action could begin. We took Wavre as our battle, seeing as the theme was the 100 Days Campaign...Billy's terrain couldn't have been better, numbered perhaps but not bettered.
 The assault commenced at the wooden bridge at Wavre itself with defence in depth.
 Plenty of Prussians were there to join in the fun....many put quite a gloss on the action, especially the lancers
 At Bierge and, still further away, at Limal the other crossings were also heavily defended
 Grouchy turned up mob handed and the toll charges got exorbitant...
 Many a metal figure player came by to see the extraordinary sight of a show table covered in plastics. The plastic figure has come a long way from the days when they looked like the masters had been chiselled out of brick....
 Limal sees the best attempt on a bridge. Though historically accurate, Limal was assaulted later in the day...but to us time was of the essence
 Billy's scenery of carpet tiles was very effective
 The baggage train watches the attack on Bierge
 Wavre was a traffic jam from the get go.
 Limal got bloody, quickly.
 It looked like the Prussians were going to be successful all along the line
 Bodies float down the river at Wavre itself
 But, in the end, a historical result was achieved and Limal succumbed and the French cavalry poured over the river...The game was declared...something (we'd had a great lunch in a pub nearby by then)
 ...and I trooped off to see what was happening elsewhere in this most convivial of locations...Here are the show winners with the hex terrain...sorry, name escapes me
 Next to us was a very smart 15mm Peninsular War game. Great terrain and extremely well organised and thought out

 Traders abounded...from small one 'person' bands... the 'never-been-to-a-show' new traders like this one. ASM (Any Scale Models - as seen on the internet) was impressive, not just for the resin gear, but the willingness to do requests....a favourite being singing Danny boy during a hand stand...
 Impressive tables this one...
 ...and this one (can you tell I've lost most of my notes?)
 Packing up time came far too soon

 I liked Northumbrian Painting Services & MBM Scenery. I was tempted...
 ...very tempted
But that's it until next year DV. Had a great time and made the greater by the company. Thanks to all.