Monday, October 30, 2023

Swedish Regt Vasterbottens

I am getting close to the home straight with the Swedish Corps of the 1813 Army of the North.  Current activity is painting 50 infantry which I am doing in four batch.  The Vasterbottens are the first batch.  After the infantry there is the Guard to complete.

The uniform is fairly generic, but the flag is identified as belonging to this regiment in 1802.  I could be mean and say it looks like something the Colonel's mother knitted him for Christmas.

The other thing to spot is the repaired bayonets on two figures. The flag pole was also replaced as the original was very bendy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Sleepwalkers

What the Dark Valley does to understand the roots of WW2 this does for WW1.

It is a complex subject and this book certainly doesn't try and hide that.  As with The Dark Valley, the parallels to current events and attitudes are disturbing.  While there is not social media, there is the popular press and public opinion; at times ignored and also used as justification.  Politicians and leaders seemed more focussed on the "good for their country" rather than staying in power, however if you are a monarchy or absolute ruler, the thought of not being in power probably doesn't enter the thought process.

The feeling that time was running out motivated some countries; the belief that war would be a short lived glorious enterprise; the resignation that it was inevitable or that it was in the hands of others; the denigration of some countries importance while building up that of others; wonderful levels of hypocrisy.

I read this two years ago and in looking at Christopher Clark's new book I recalled I might have read something of his before and found this unpublished post.  Published now.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

World in Flames Withdrawal Symptoms - Turn 3

Reinforcements are placed.  1940 additions are added to the force pools.

No change to resource lending, but lend lease aircraft are available.


Axis roll a 5, the Allies a 3 which means Axis retain the Initiative.

First Impulse

The weather roll was a 4 with a +1 from previous Impulse - snow in the Arctic and North Temperate, Rain in the Mediterranean and South Monsoon, Fine North Monsoon and South Temperate.  Marker moves along 2 with a +1 to the next roll.

Germany does a paid land, Italy a free combine and Japan a paid combine.

Japan moves transports around trying to optimising ferrying troops to China. The Italian Red Sea fleet patrols the Red Sea.

Japan conducts four ground strikes needing 1s against a total of 8 Chinese units. One unit is hit.

Germany conducts seven ground strikes against 10 units, but there is French fighter resistance.  There are three air battles.  In the first the French abort the German fighter and get a bounce on the bomber, but end up clearing it through! In the second air battle the French fighter is aborted.  In the third air battle the French fighter is again aborted after it cleared through an enemy bomber.  Three French units were flipped, critically two corps in the same hex...

BUM!  I just realised I made a mistake on the number of available German air moves in a land: it's four not six.  The best they can manage is a +5 attack and at this stage it's not worth the risk.

Japanese units in Hangehow in snow trace supply to Shanghai which counts as 2 hexes, then across the China Sea which doesn't cost, into the port of Tokyo which counts as 1 hex.  Supply on the Asia/Pacific map is a bitch!  This allows the Japanese to shuffle a few troops south.

Germany feeling chastened after its boo-boo, just does one rail and six land moves. However von Bock flips the artillery and one of the FTRs

The Commonwealth do a paid naval, France a paid land, China a free land and USA and USSR both do free combines.

In a surprise move the Commonwealth reduces its convoy lines in the Mediterranean to just a single line.  Escorts are sent out to the main sea lanes.  The Home fleet sails into the North Sea.  In the Air Rebase phase some carrier planes are reassigned.  The Sydney militia stay in Singapore and the London militia stay in Cyprus.  Their transports scurry elsewhere.

France pulls HQs from the front line replacing them with new troops.  Georges reorganises the flipped units.

In China the Lanchow militia head to the front.  They flip, but Mao reorganises them.  They need to get to the front so as to make a ZOC and block the Japanese railing a resource past the front lines.

Second Impulse

And the weather is... a 7 which becomes an 8: blizzard in the Arctic, snow North Temperate, storm in the Mediterranean and South Monsoon, Fine North Monsoon and South Temperate.  Marker moves along 3 with a +2 to the next roll.

Germany does a paid combine, Italy a free combine and Japan a free combine.

German U-boat sails to the Faeroes Gap, but does not search.  The Kormoran sails to the Central Atlantic and rolls a 2 finding the convoys, the escorts roll a 5 and miss the raider.  The Kormoran has 3 on the box and 3 on the dice giving 6 surprise points.  It gets 2 damage and 1 abort against 7 convoys, so 6 are damaged and 1 aborts.  The Commonwealth aborts as does the Kormoran which goes to Rio de Janeiro.

Japan shuffles infantry and planes further south.

Italy waits.

Germany conducts a massive set of ground strikes against the French forces just south of Lille. There will be three rolls requiring 1s and 2 rolls requiring 2s against each of the three defending units. They succeed flipping all three.  The way is now cleared for an attack. The French airforce intervene. The intercepting Luftwaffe fighter is shot down (a roll of 17 on the -2 column). However it meets the same fate (a 16 on the +2 column). Both pilots survive. Rundstedt is committed and it is a +8.3 blitz.  

The roll is 6.8.  One loss each and the Germans are very glad they were not doing an assault.  They lose the Berlin militia and gain a cadre point.  The French lose an inf and plan to shuffle units to replace it.  They get a cadre point too.

The Commonwealth takes a paid naval, France a free land and China, USA and USSR their usual.

The Commonwealth adjusts convoys as best it can and repositions the Home fleet in the North Sea beefed up with three additional battleships to stop any attempt by the Kriegsmarine to escort Swedish iron ore should the weather stay bad. The Glorious CV makes a dash for home thru the Med.

The Commonwealth then launch strategic bombing missions against Essen, Cologne and Stuttgart.  All targets are missed.

France fixes it lines and China moves forward some militia.

The turn can end on a 2.  It doesn't.

Third Impulse

The weather roll is a 2 plus 2 which is Snow in the Arctic, Storm in the North Temperate and Fine everywhere else except South Monsoon which is rain. Advances by 2 with a +1 to the next roll.

Germany decides to do a naval, hoping to surprise the Home fleet in the North Sea during storm so they can get the Swedish iron ore resources through (having just realized they missed out last turn - and have now been adjusted by dropping one Militia build as a result).

Japan does a paid land.

The German fleet sails, searching the North Sea.  They roll a 3 - they find with four battleships.  The Commonwealth roll an 8.  The Southampton is surprised and damaged, but the Gneisenau aborts.  The next round... both sides roll 7s so no find.

Not to be out done, the U-boat in the Faeroes Gap searches.  Nothing is found.

Japan tries two ground strikes.  They miss. They calculate the best attack they can do is a +4.8 assault and think better of it.

The turn can end on a 5, but it doesn't.

The Allies would have preferred the turn to end, but the show must go on.  They all do free combines.  The USSR would really like to invade Iran, but the USA says no.

The Commonwealth initiate a search as their one oil free move in the North Sea.  They throw a 1.  Germany rolls a 4.  The Home fleet are free to pick a box.  They pick the three remaining German battleships in the top box and have 2 surprise points.  The Commonwealth have 43 factors  in 11 ships (the three CVs are screened), the Germans 13 in 3 ships.  The Commonwealth use their surprise to lower the Germans outcome to 2 damage and inflict 1 sink, 2 damage and 2 abort.  The Sheffield is damaged and the Nelson aborts.  The sink goes on the Scharnhorst which is damaged, the Blucher is damaged, the second damage is applied to the Scharnhorst and its roll of a 1 sees it sunk.  The damaged Blucher survives the first abort, but the Hipper aborts.

The Battle of the North Sea.

The Germans decide to stay as their rule lawyers say the Commonwealth can't initiate another search as they are only allowed one free oil move and that was for the first search.  I say let the dice decide.  The Commonwealth throw another 1.  The Germans throw a 4 again.  The Commonwealth picks both boxes containing German ships, 4 ships with 12 factors while the Commonwealth have 9 ships with 33 factors and 3 surprise points. Again the Commonwealth reduce the German result to 2 damages. The Rodney is damaged (roll of a 1), but the Renown survives, but will abort. The Graf Spee is sunk, the Schl-Holstein is damaged, the Schlesien aborts, but the Deutschland survives two aborts.  The Germans seeing this as their luck changing decide to stay.

The Commonwealth roll a 4, the Germans a 2.  The Germans have 1 ship with 3 factors and 2 surprise points, the Commonwealth 7 ships with 20 factors.  The German inflicts 1 damage, while suffering 1 damage and three aborts. The Repulse survives and aborts home as does the Deutschland.

After all that naval excitement the French despatch a sub to the Italian Coast.

The Commonwealth rail the NEI territorials to the oil fields at Palembang.  The London militia occupies the resource on Cyprus and both France and China shuffle forgotten militia to their respective fronts.

The Turn can end on a 7 and it doesn't.

Fourth Impulse

The weather roll is a 1 which is adjusted to a 2 which means fine weather everywhere except for Arctic and North Temperate where there is just rain.  The Swedish iron ore will get through after all!

Germany does a no cost nothing.  Italy does the same in Fascist solidarity.

Figuring they can do at least a 8.7 attack now, Japan goes for a paid land.

Yamamoto leads the attack and...

The die roll is 14.3 TOP OF THE TABLE

The Chinese lose an Inf and a Div, gaining 1 cadre point and having one unit go to the spiral to return next turn.

And still the Turn doesn't end (8 needed, 10 rolled).  China pleads for the Allies to Pass and they do.

End of Turn Stage

Partisan roll is a 9. Burma sees partisans take over the oil fields and in China a partisan appears in the mountains near Foochow, but maybe not for long as it is zero strength.

The US Entry Option is Edward R Morrow reports from London.  This causes tension.


China 4+1 BP 1Gar and 1Inf

Commonwealth 17 BP (had to use 6 oil) 1xInf HQ, 1xMil (Glasgow!), 1xCVP0, 1xCVP1, 1xFTR2, 2xPilot, 1xSCS1(rep), 5xCP(rep)

USA 12 BP Build 1xMar, 1xCVP1, 1xPilot, 1xNav2, 1CV2(rep)

USSR 14 BP 1xArm, 1xInf HQ and 1xInf

France 6+1 BP 1xMil, 1xGar and 1xInf

Germany 18 BP 1xMil, 1xArmHQ, 1xPilot, 1xGar, 2xFtr2

Italy 5 BP 1xNav3, 1xPilot, 

Japan 12 BP 1xMil, 1xInf, 1xPilot, 1xCV2(fu), 1xCVP1, 1xFtr


No way!

Start of Turn Four

The Home Front

The Far East

The above images are after reinforcements have been placed.

Friday, October 20, 2023

More tiny tanks

At the club I participated in this game hosted by Simon (all his delightful terrain and kit).  Olivier and I went the British breaking out from Normandy to fight the Germans commanded by Carl.

British deployment.
Three formations.
German panzers appear and a long range firefight ensues.

The British armour gains the advantage,
but the infantry have been held up.

British armour now swings to support the infantry attack on the woods.

The final attack/defense of the right most objective.
British infantry now have armour support.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Nr.1 Dragoner-Regiment Koningin

Another unit of Prussian cavalry re-lifed.

A top down view to show I have revised the basing.
Movement trays will be required.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Barbarossa Turn 33

In our last session we completed Turn 32 and and Turn 33.  Game plays quickly when there is bad weather.  Here is the situation at the end of Turn 32:

Turn 33

For 25/26 August 1941 the weather was mud and storms in both the north and centre.  Only the south had fine weather and this allowed Army Group South to make some attacks.

Expanding the bridgehead

Tightening the noose on Odessa
and clearing the way to the Crimea.

At the end of the 26th the situation is as follows:

Baltic front is static, although the Soviets have been able to reinforce Talin.

Leningrad mini-map.

Leningrad mega-map.
The Soviets have been able to assemble units to threaten AGN's flank
and combined with two turns of mud,
the Germans are yet to fully react to this development.

The area between AGN and AGC.

The critical area before Moscow.

AGS and the Kiev front

Odessa and the approaches to the Crimea.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Senno July 1941 - Take Three

With the 18th and 14th Tank Divisions respectively, Stephen and I tried to defend the Motherland from Simon's invaders (7th Panzer Division).

Last played in February although I was getting it mixed up with a previous scenario.  That is my excuse for getting my tactics screwed. Previous games' AARs and explanatory notes can be found here and here. Recognition that this scenario came from the wonderful hexes and miniatures site.

The Soviets are counterattacking and Stephen throws his tanks into it straight away.
This is on the Soviet left.

This attack is in the centre.

The Germans immediately strike back in the centre.

The fighting continues on the left for the victory location,
the effect of the woods sadly overlooked.

The Germans continue the attack in the centre and Soviet left
(the left and right respectively in the above image).

Now the Germans attack on the Soviet right
where my tanks have emerged from the forest. 

Soviet reinforcements, 1st Motor Rifle Division, arrive from their left flank.
We had mistakenly placed them in the centre as a welcome relief,
as nasty gap had appeared between the two tank formations.

More fighting on the Soviet left and actually making progress.

A doomed strike towards Senno in the centre.

And an attack on the right.
There is fighting all along the front!

On the left the Soviet newly arrived motorised force,
runs into the newly deployed German reserves.

The Germans pushing on in the centre,
where a sizeable gap now appears.

The Germans push very hard against the mauled Soviets in the centre.

The fighting on the left is now looking dangerous for the Germans.
If the Soviets succeed they will be in the German rear.

On the Soviet far right flank,
the Germans are counterattacking against some enemy infantry
that is attempting to infiltrate through a swamp.

They make sure to eliminate this risk.

Back in the centre and the Germans have almost broken through.
How much can one little car take?

This is the breakthrough.
The Germans have now reached the Soviet rear lines.

But the Soviets keep pushing their own advantage
on their left against the German rear.

The Soviets attack on their left in order to keep the pressure up.

The Germans mop up Soviet remnants in the centre.

The Germans intent on widening their penetration.

However the Soviet attack on the left is gathering strength,
but the armour finds it hard going in the soft ground.

And they push forward.

Final German attack fails in the centre/right.

The Soviet rear area was saved by the Germans diverting to seize the victory location on the left.
This gave the Germans victory by holding four of the six states,
they also had the majority of kills, but it was a bloody affair on both sides,
much like our referendum.