Sunday, March 28, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 18

The USSR captures Harbin, Communist Chinese close in on Peking.  Germany sends yet more troops to winter in Norway and Italy gets a bloody nose in Sudan. In a further proof of Murphy's Law, partisans turn up in Iran.

1941 - J/A EOT Greece and Palestine Conquered
The session kicked off with the Axis 2nd Impulse, weather a 4, mostly clear, rain in the N Monsoon. GERM takes a combined, sails its Tpt and Amph into the Baltic sea and embarks an INF and two Arty units (3 and 4 factor) - destination Oslo and then off to the North to hammer the Brits in Trondheim. With a free move the Atlantis leaves its secure base in Portuguese Angola and hunts for the Convs in Cape Basin, rolling a 1 to find, yes, a 1 with an 8 from the British Royal Navy, The 8 – 1 split, the first rolls of the night sees 3 Convs sunk and 2 aborted – the Atlantis aborts back to Angola having achieved an almost perfect result, one she was designed for. On land GERM forces advance toward the Greek Capital Athens. Italy took a no cost land and attempted to GS (Terror Bomb) Athens – no inversions and Italy moved its land units in Europe and the East. The 4.3 INF in Italian Somalia seeing the capital of Sudan, Khartoum empty and responding to the insatiable appetite of Mussolini’s empire building, advanced capturing the city and flips (off map hex). Japan’s no cost Comb and a WP MIL is finally shipped to Truk – it is now garrisoned J/A 1941 in preparation for the inevitable US entry into the war. In Southern China the Japanese line is consolidated as several Japanese units step away from the front line (Withdraw) to safety and double stack in the southern mountains.
Allied 2nd Impulse and the CW takes a naval now that the Storm has cleared in the N Monsoon as its Tpts delivery badly needed reinforcements to the ports of Sudan, Aden and British Somalia in an attempt to slow the Axis advance. Convs are aborted and reinverted, units are spread across the empire. In Greece the Armoured Cruiser, the G Averof sails int the E Med, alone, to challenge the Italian fleet and Axis Nav air hoping for a split to sink the Italian Conv – it searches but no finds. Russia takes a no cost land and adjusts it frontier and rails several more units to Manchuria, including an Arty, enjoying the freedom that land actions allow. China readjusts its front line advancing into the recently vacated hexes in the South, reclaiming its lost territory.
Axis 3rd Impulse Weather 5 again mostly clear, storm in the N Monsoon and Italy decided to take a combined and attempted another Terror Bombing of Athens and again missed its target. A Conv and Nav enter the Italian Coast to re-establish the Sardinia link, they search for the G Averof, and again no finds. The Italian HQ Balbo is railed to the city of Aswan in Egypt to put the inverted 4.3 INF in Khartoum back in supply, now that British reinforcements have arrived in Sudanese ports and are threatening to retake the capital. GERM reinforcements from Oslo, including the two Arty Divs march North to the frontier to threaten the British in Trondheim. The Japanese Mil in Manchuria abandon the Iron Ore mines as they are likely to be lost to the Russian next impulse, and the unit is more valuable. Another Mil in a peaky fit of exacerbation attacks the 2.3 PART in Korea and are ambushed and decimated as they roll a 3! They at least get a Cadre point as they were adjacent to a Jap HQ. With that roll it was just as well that the Jap HQ did join in the assault, as it would have been lost as well, and that would have been a disaster.
Allied 3rd Impulse, the CW takes a combined as Canadians arrive in the UK and then she launches an attack, not against the inverted 4.3 Inf in Khartoum, but the inverted Italian HQ in Aswan, with only two units attacking there is risk, including the loss of both units, including the Indian 7.6 Mech. But in a welcome change of luck for the Brit, at 4:1 and an average assault of +10 they roll a nice ‘13’ to destroy the HQ for no loss and no inversions, Finally, Churchill has some good news for the Times and the British people, - it could have gone very badly with a reasonable chance of losing both attacking British units. In India, Indian corps finally cross the Burma frontier on an anti-partisan sweep, trying to clear the Burma road which has been closed for over a year. The Russians advanced to the capital of Manchuria, Hainan Harbin, capturing the recently vacated resource on the way, they redeploy acft as the pressure builds for an attack against the Manchurian Capital.
Axis 4th Impulse Weather 6 again mostly clear, rain in the N Monsoon, Italy takes a Comb and attempted and search for the G Averof, and again no finds – indeed a lucky ship, it must be flying an Italian flag. GERM takes a land and attempts another GS of Athens, no effect but in a coordinated attack by land and air, they assault the City on a +13.6 but roll an ordinary 7 and loose an SS DIV and a half invert, but importantly take the city – their time line remains intact. The Greek convs flee the city and try to slip through the E and W Med, only 3 of the 10 manage to escape, a small bonus for the British Merchant Marine. The 2 GERM Arty bombard the British, but achieve only 1 inversion of a Corps, the Brits breathe a sigh and remain safe for the moment, entrenched in the mountains of Trondheim. Japan takes a no cost Comb, conserving oil and drops off another MIL into China, redeploys some more acft in preparation for the Defence of Harbin.
Allied 4th impulse, the CW takes another Combined and sails 3 Conv to partially fill the gap in the Sea of , as it now attacks the OOS and inverted 4.3 black print Italian INF, destroying it without needing to roll - Khartoum is liberated and there was much rejoicing. The HQ Alexander is railed down from Archangel to Iran to conduct training exercises on the Iraq border, strengthening the new Shar’s prestige. The new Shar, Mohammad Reza coming to power after the Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi. The Russian takes a land and launches its assault against Harbin, it fires its Arty into Harbin and inverts one defending Corps, and with cries of Huzzah, Huzzah, and ably led by GEN Timoshenko they roll a 15 on a +8 attack capturing the city for no loss, overrunning one Jap bomber caught on the Capitals aerodrome. Russia and Japan committed acft to the battle over Harbin but with both sides rolling multiple 9’s on the A2A table it was mostly a no event, with only 1 Japanese factor being cleared through to aid the defenders. To add to the Japanese woes, the Chinese Communist Cav canters into Manchuria and occupies another Iron Ore mine, denying another resource to the Japanese. The Chinese communist aided by several partisans attack the single 3.1 Corps in mountains at +2 and roll a 17 with a 2/1 loss ½ invert, losing two Partisans for the 3.1 Jap Gar was a welcome exchange for the Chinese. The combat result was a direct opposite roll with the Japs attempted attack against the Korea Partisan the previous impulse. Typical for the Jap at the moment, he rolled a 3 and now the Chinese rolled a 17 – got to love the 2D10 table. The Commies advance to occupy the Mountain line and capture yet another resource off the Japs – Japanese build down to 8 BPs.
EOT roll by the Russian successful with a 1 (2 needed), ending an interesting turn, not a happy one for Japan. The PART roll was another soft roll for the Axis (no China – again) and a failed roll by the Russian sees a PART occupy the oil city of Bandar Shahpur as a 2 Part turns up in the Mountains – apparently the CW was supposed to be looking after this oil field but was distracted by the events in the Sudan. US entry and what the Allies have been waiting for – the US Senate declare War Appropriations – the US war machine gears up.
EOT - Greece and Palestine conquered becoming GERM territories. It will be interesting during this Conquest phase if Japan surrenders Manchuria, thus forcing a Pact with Russia. This will mean that Russia will revert back to neutrality, be restricted to combine’s again and be unable to store additional oil, and all her Res/Mil will be removed from the map and returned back to the Reserve. The end of the first Russia-Sino war will allow Japan to reorientate to the Pacific and prepare for the Pacific Campaign, especially now that War Appropriations has been taken and the US could start making DOW against attempts as early as next turn (S/O 41) probably on a 3 or a 4. Japan would not have to be distracted by the Russian for the next two years. The Jap units in Manchuria will be relocated back to Japan to arrive for the N/D campaigning season – an interesting decision that will no doubt be discussed at length in Tokyo and Berlin over the next few days. This session has seen Japan suffer again with some unlucky rolls, with his only attack being a 3 and the Allies attacks (x3) being all over 15 including the speculative 1:1 attack against the 3.1 Jap Garrison. With a reduced build at only 8 BPs she will struggle to fight both the Russian and the US, she must clear the Partisans off valuable resources, hold off the Chinese and most importantly capture the NEI oil fields before they become occupied by the Allies. Some big decisions for the Axis before our next session. With the N Monsoon campaigning season about to start it would seem that Japan must DOW v NEI/CW either this turn S/O or next N/D 41 – any later and it will be probably too late – War is coming to the Pacific.

The Battle of Norway is beginning - but so is winter

The last British Bastion - The Rock!

Atlantis Raider - excellent hunting this turn, it raided, sank 3 Conv and then aborted back to Angola

British reinforcements finally arrive - just in the nick of time AND Italian losses will help the Allies hold off the Axis

The shrinking Japanese Empire

To keep Manchuria or give it to the Russia as a peace offering ?

The USE Pools - lots of chits and War Appropriations already sanctioned by the Senate

Losses - mounting Japanese and Italian losses

The new Shar, Mohammad Reza coming to power after the Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi. A supporter of the Allied War effort.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Carthaginian versus Indians 300pts

After playing a lot of Basic Impetus, Dave and I decided to go back or forward to Impetus Second Edition.  We thought starting off with just 300 points would be a good way to ease ourselves back into this more advanced rule set.  

You don't get a lot for 300 points, 
close to the same size army as you get with Basic.

First turn and the Indian longbow start to score hits
and the Carthaginians start to fail Cohesion Tests.

My C-in-C is downgraded.
Later he threw a double six, but that was just the dice Gods being cruel.

By the end of Turn 2 the Carthaginians had been able to launch full on cavalry attacks,
on both wings of the Indian army.
Unfortunately they were not very successful.

Turn three and the Carthaginian Second Command breaks.
Their First Command is locked in combat.

Turn four and it is all over.
The Carthaginian cavalry did get round the Indian's right flank,
but just couldn't score a hit on the elephants.
If they had it would have been a different story, maybe.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Hummel, Wespe and Marder

These were Xmas presents and once I got stuck into them I got them done fairly quickly in between other projects.  They were a bit fiddly, but once I settled on a camo scheme they finished up quick.  No problem with transfers here.

The business end of these war machines.


(Although I always liked the Matchbox 1/76th scale kit)

Marder with flash above and without below.
It was a bright sunny day.

The Tamiya Desert Yellow is actually darker, 
but the green I've used is quiet washed out and I like that look.

Apart form being nice to have, these models can be used in a number of Rommel scenarios, once I get all the other kit sorted, Collecting these was part of that getting sorted process.  On, on, on!

Three M5s

PSC make some lovely kits, I just wish they came with transfers as I had trouble obtaining some and what I did get I feel are a tad small, but they at least fit and didn't break up like previous transfers I have struggled with.

These had been completed some time back, it just took me a while to get psyched up to do the final application of transfers and dry brush step.  In fact, so far back did I do these, I've now forgotten what Rommel scenario I wanted them for!  Doh!

Red Star White Eagle - Campaign Part 4

The mechanics of this game are relatively simple, but the planning required for each turn can be complex.  I also have to admit to some rash actions that have served me poorly.

Both sides pulled back in the north.
In the south the Soviet offensive, which briefly captured Lvov, has been smashed.

In a foolhardy move the Soviets press forward down south.

The West Front (northern part of the campaign) is gathering strength.
The South West Front has been split and partially surrounded.
My bad.

The West Front closes in.
The South West Front (or what's left of it) withdraws.

A spoiling attack by the Poles on the West Front smashes a hole.
The South West Front will cease to be, 
as its major component, the Konarmiya,
has to be withdrawn in two months.  
While that is eight turns, it has to be rebuilt to meet the minimum strength requirements.

Monday, March 22, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 17

Soviet and Communist China cooperate to bring the war to Japan and the partisans close to capturing Peking.  The Mediterranean has become an Axis pond.  Germany has now switched its attention to Norway.

Axis 4th Impulse, GERM takes a Comb, Italy and Japan take a no cost Comb. The GERM Tpt/Amph sail into the Baltic and embark the 9.3 Hvy Inf and a Mtn unit which they promptly disembark in Norway – it looks like the push is on to secure Norway and maybe even kick the British out of Narvik. In the E Med the Italian finally puts a Conv out and the last Italian Tpt remaining at sea flips an Italian CA in Syracuse at the end of the impulse. This Tpt has been at sea for 8+ continual impulses and has survived ‘not being found’ by the British on nearly every one of those impulses – certainly, a lucky ship – the Italian and the ship’s crew will breathe a huge sigh of relief when they finally returns to port at the end of this turn. Japan’s no cost Comb sees little activity other than a line reorg and another Ftr arriving on the front to counter the increasing Russian bomber threat. The German and Italian move several land units, and rebase acft – a quiet impulse as many units are inverted and the weather is poor although the GERM Africa Corps advances and captures Jerusalem. Disappointingly for the Allies the Axis do not roll EOT – 3 needed.
Allied 5th – Whether roll is 8 + 2 (10) clear and with little to do the CW takes a no cost Comb, as all its navy has sailed in previous impulses, they shuffle several land units and rebase acft. In the Far-East some activity prompted by a lucky 1 in 10 roll by Russian acft that successfully GS an OOS supply Jap 4.3 black print Inf on the N edge of the Jap defensive line – yep, he rolled a 1 and inverted the unit. The Communists suddenly aroused launch an attack at +10, roll a 15 for a ‘top of the table’ result destroying the hapless INF Corps – the first attack by the Chinese player for the game. EOT roll by the Russia of a 2 ends the turn, initiative track advances to the +2 Axis. The Partisan roll and the Axis are let off again as an 8 rolled – Japan delighted – no Parts in China; Japan’s build is still hurting as she has not attacked last turns Part who are sitting on valuable resources – distracted as they are by the Russian DOW and intervention in Manchuria. Japan’s build is still only 10 BPs. However India is unable to suppress an uprising as a PART turns up in central India.
Rebase, Builds and reinforcements. Of note, not wishing to trigger a search in the W Med the Med fleet rebases to Malta instead of Gibraltar. GERM commences building its first plant - Japans first Synth plant arrives in Japan next turn. Another chit is added to the Jap pool and the Senate is very quiet as no US Entry options are taken – the deduction here is that the US has enough tension to do War Appropriations (No options taken), and now just need extra chits to bring each pool to the required 34.
1941 - J/A DOW Greece is at War
The Axis is very keen to win the Initiative as Malta is very vulnerable, the Italian determined to show his contribution to the Axis war effort helps the Axis immensely by rolling a 10! no contest the Axis take the impulse. The weather is an 8, clear mostly as you expect but storm in the N Monsoon. The Axis open the J/A turn with a DOW against Greece which aligns with Britain. No interest from the US as the GERM rolls a very safe 5 – 3 needed to lose a chit. The Italian takes a Naval, GERM a Land and Japan a no cost Land.
The Italian fleets sail into the E and W Med with their subs searching for convs, again with no luck finding convs or subs. However, in the Med the Italian successfully finds the Malta Conv rolling a 2, and typically the CW rolled a 7 – the Italians, target the Convoy, sink it and Malta is OOS the British did react its acft to the 1 box with a Nav air so it needed 2’s to find. Having found the Conv and sunk the Conv, they push their luck buoyed by success they search again, risking their lone CA with no air cover in the 4 box and are rewarded with another 2, the CW a 10 – another huge split the CW is hugely annoyed as yet again Lady luck crucifies the CW. The acft have too abort, and the W Med is solely occupied by the Axis.
Worse was to come, a lone GERM Nav attempts to GS the Malta Garrison and rolls another 2! Malta Garrison is now OOS an inverted – lots of hoots and patting on the back as the Axis plan comes together. Malta is invaded with 1 Div and a GERM Para supported by SB form Italian BS in the E Med. +16 attack, 17 rolled – Malta falls. The Med fleet is overrun and has to rebase to Gibraltar and, typically a 3 is rolled by the Axis finding the fleeing Med Fleet. The CW rolls a soft 4 and with one shift an air combat sees the single Italian NAV air cleared through to attack the Med fleet as the CW roll another 11. Yet again return fire by the Italian destroys another CVP – 3 out of 3 air combats has seen 3 British CVP’s shot out of the sky for no loss to the Axis. 17 points of AA drive, lowest 1 of 3, sees 2 of the 3 factors fall harmlessly at sea and the fleet suffering an abort escapes to Gibraltar. The Axis failed to react four other Navs from Sicily into the interception combat which would have cost more ships sunk or damaged, depending on the AA result – a rush of blood perhaps after all the successes. Still the Axis are well pleased, Malta is taken as the British Med fleet is forced to flee and is inverted in Gibraltar as are all the British Acft in the W Med – there will be no interference from the British this turn. The Officer’s messes in Malta are full of despondent Brits drowning their sorrows in G&Ts marveling at the success AKA skillful rolls of the Axis partners.
Allied 1st Impulse and Britain takes a Naval, still in shock with the loss of Malta – Churchill is not happy as yet again a sequence of lucky dice rolls has seen him loose strategic pieces of territory, he laments not building up the garrison Malta earlier, especially with WP Gar/Inf, but the Norwegian Campaign and supporting Russia has cost him valuable actions and time. Gort HQ arrives in Norway to bolster the defenses. Russia takes a no cost land and shuffles a few units in the Far-East and adjusts his GERM border. China does the same and the US does its mandatory no cost Comb.
End of Session - Axis 2nd Impulse, weather a 4, clear, rain in the N Monsoon.
Another harsh day for the CW, the loss of the initiative – which was likely, could have been contested but for the Axis rolling a definitive 10! The multiple finds by the Italian rolling 3 x 2/3’s with the CW rolling 2 x 10’s AGAIN. And in the air combat another CVP shot down on a roll of 5 with the CW player rolling multiple 9, 10 and 11’s to clear through enemy bombers and let the Axis bounce against Brit acft. A bad session for the Allies means a good day for the Axis – funny that, as they take Malta, shut down the British and will conquer Greece this turn allowing them to align Yugoslavia which is always a significant bonus for the Axis – extra build, HQ, units, acft and no Partisans. The rule change now has changed the historiography of WWII as we now never see the invasion of Yugoslavia, rather its alignment by the Axis. Perhaps the USE dice roll should be higher possible 15 and certainly cost the Axis a Russian resource – point for discussion. So far this turn (still early days) there are no losses to the Axis despite the opportunities that were there to hurt them, mainly in the W Med. On a positive note for the Allies, the CW convoy lanes remain intact, the fleeing Med Fleet of mostly CV’s could have suffered more, as they escaped the trap that was Malta, Russia and China are ‘cooperating’ to harass the very stretched Japanese. The US look like they will be declaring War Appropriations at the end of this turn which will see probable DOW against Japan in S/O or N/D 1941 depending on the numbers – which will time very nicely for operations in the N Monsoon theatre. However, still tough times ahead for the CW at the moment but then, GERM and Italy have little else to do until the US enters the war or they DOW against Russia – either cannot come soon enough for the Churchill. It is becoming an interesting game – one of our first for a while that has not followed a predictable script where GERM has not DOW v Russia in 1941.


Note: There are Soviet HQs at Vladivostok and under the 1-5 motorised div.













Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Generisch Grenadier Battalion

Along with Stan's Austrians, which I have now re-based, there were 14 unpainted Austrian Grenadiers.  I am building an army for Marengo using Napoleon's battles and need a unit of 16 and 24.  In a stroke of good luck, the recent purchase of a pack of Old Glory Austrian German Grenadiers provided 26 figures.  Better still that were the same castings.  Phew!

Only thing is I found they are in the early war uniform, but wait on, I am doing them for Marengo.

The second unit I will be doing will be the Typisch Grenadier Battalion.  I will probably go for yellow or maybe some shade of blue facings.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Arab Conquest Army for Basic Impetus 2.0

It has already been on the table top twice in two very close run encounters, but I figured it was time to do a post on this army for my blog (which is meant to be not just a record of games played, but also of my miniatures collection).

The background to this army appeared in this post.  What I have down is rebase, repair, flag, face and base.  The biggest action was a black wash which has given this army a mean edge.

Nomad Light Cavalry.
The one closest to the camera was not really rebased and these figures I did little work on.
The other unit I just rebased and added the flag.
In retrospect I would have preferred basing them more spread out like in the following image.

These are the Nomad LC mounted on camels which is an option in the list.
These guys had very little work done to them, except for basing and the flag.

The skirmishers with all options - javelin, bow and sling.
While this army is built on Tin Soldier figures, 
I'm not sure that goes for the slingers and maybe some other, similar, figures.
Slingers are the way to go in Basic Impetus 2.0.
The army can have two units of skirmishers.

Two units of archers.
I did a bit of work on these.

The warriors or fanatics.
These guys had a bit of work done on them like the archers.
Three impetuous large units of heavy foot.

Same guys, but with the order reversed.
Later armies in the Islamic Conquest lists have the warriors convert to spearmen.
It is my intention to build out the remaining figures from my purchase 
so I can run all the Islamic Conquest armies (and then some).