Thursday, May 17, 2018

New Toys - Gaming Models

Gaming Models

The more I get of the Gaming Models products, the more I like them. My most recent order included 1x T-35, 3x BT-5, 4x T-20 tractors, 3x 45mm ATG and 3x T-26 w/37mm gun. These were a few items I needed to fill out the missing gaps in my Chain of Command supports for my 1941 and 1942 Soviets.

I also ordered some of his blowout packs. These are models that were not quite up to standard when they came out of the mold. I picked up a pack of each, T-34, BT-7, T-26, Panzer II, Panzer III and Panzer IV. I plan on using these for battlefield wrecks. The only disadvantage to these are that you can't specify which version of the tank you get. So my order arrived with much of it being late war kit (with the exception of the BT-7s and T-26s which are only Early War).

Honestly, the wrecks are in good enough shape that it would not take much modification to make them into regular tanks for your tabletop. The most noticable issue with them is that the post under the turret is missing. One could easily be fashioned for them. I am very pleased with this order and will be making another shortly for some more T-26s (need some twin turret types) and for an SDKFZ 232 8 Rad (he said this is under development now).

The price is definitely right on these models. They lack some variety that other manufacturers may have but you can always add your own stowage.

Things from the Basement

Having read a review of their 15mm Russian buildings from VisLardica's website, I had the urge to order their village set. I had some book royalties laying around and used it to buy the buildings. Everything arrived well packed and in great shape. He threw in a freebie as well, a nice freight pallet. The village pack came with some nice additional buildings. A blacksmith shop and tool shed, two farm outbuildings and a well, two log cabins, two houses and a church make up the pack.

I have yet to assemble any of it, yet. I may take some time tomorrow to get to work on a few of these just to see how they look. I now have enough terrain projects to tie me up for a while now. All of these will be useful for the Second Kharkov campaign. I really hope that he makes more 15mm items. He sells some 28mm kits that look really nice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Second Kharkov Campaign

I have been making some progress on the new campaign supplement. Thus far I have it broken down into two campaigns so far. The first campaign covers the Soviet offensive on May 12th and the attack of the Soviet 36th Tank Brigade and 226th Rifle Division against the positions of the 294th Infantry Division. Among the changes I am looking to add to the campaign is a support option for the Soviets on the advance based on a reference from William Russ on his book of the battle.

"there is heard a loud and cheerful conduct, with lots of liquor distribution."

This was from a report from the 79th Infantry Division. The officers apparently were getting the men drunk before the offensive to improve morale. I am thinking about a support option. It will be a level two support option that will raise Soviet force morale by 2 points for a given battle. It can only be used for one of the initial battles and then discarded. I need to test this out a bit before actually including it.

I have also been preparing my armor for it. The first campaign features no armor for the Germans and plenty for the Soviets. It is possible to play the game with a Soviet tank force that is supported by infantry. The 36th Tank Brigade was largely equipped with lend-lease equipment. It began the battle with 17 of the new T-60 tanks, 10 Matilda IIs and 20 Valentine IIIs.

There are several instances in the battle where the tanks outpaced the infantry and assaulted German positions without them. This proved to be very costly as the Germans used field artillery aimed over open sights to engage Soviet armor to great effect. But ammo shortages caused the gunners in most cases to spike their guns and leave.

The Germans will be equipped with mainly infantry forces. Each ladder rung will result in the Germans having a mix of troops made up of soldiers that had fallen back from the forward outposts and thrown together to blunt the Soviet attacks.

The second campaign will be the German counterattack launched on May 13th by the 3rd Panzer Division. The 3rd Panzer Division was undergoing refit at the time of attack. It was a veteran unit that had been fighting since the invasion of France in 1940. The division had only a single battalion of armor that was combat effective and a single battalion of panzer grenadiers. These infantry were largely truck mounted rather than in half tracks. They were supported by a reconnaissance battalion of mostly motorcyclists. They possessed towed anti-tank guns and some artillery.

The tanks of the 3rd Panzer were 5 working Panzer IIs, 34 operational Panzer IIIs (both 37mm guns and 50mm guns combines) and 6 operational Panzer IVs (all short barreled versions f1 or older).

The paths of the two campaigns cover much of the same ground. The 3rd Panzer swept up from Kharkov and sped straight towards the 36th Tank Brigade in Nepokrytaya. This was also the town where the 294th Infantry Division had the last stand of Kampfgruppe Winkler.

I think I will have the first campaign largely complete before the end of the week. The 3rd Panzer's campaign will take a bit longer as I am trying to get more details on their actions. I have a good history of the division but it doesn't give many details that are useful for scenarios.

I put together a map of the areas that the campaigns will cover. There is a great Russian language site that has excellent WWII maps of the Eastern Front, especially the Ukraine. http://freemap.com.ua/karty-ukrainy/nemeczkie-karty-vtoroj-mirovoj-vojny-3-x-kilommetrovki The maps are taken from maps Y50, Z50, Z51 and Y51 on their site. These were German operational maps.

I need to do some work on making sure I have enough armor painted up. I have everything that I need but just need to get them smartened up a bit. They all have rather basic paint jobs on them. That is the update for now.

One idea I had for this campaign book was to provide enough of a map for each portion of the battle for folks to be able to move the battle to a place that they have terrain for. For instance, there are two scenarios that take place in Federovka. The first is on the outskirts with the Germans having defensive positions in a balka (dry ditch). The second is the fall back positions in the town itself. I found a great period 1/50,000 scale map of the town and its environs. I am providing enough of that map for the player to say, I don't have a church but I do have homes with gardens and trees. They can then use the map to move the location of the battle to match it with the terrain that they have and still be in the historical context of where the battle took place.

That is the update for now. Will probably post more later. Been trying to get stuff off the paint table that has languished for too long.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Action At Ustilug - Updated

I have a few issues that I just sorted out with the scenario book. They were not significant but if you have the older copy of the supplement, I will pass on the changes here.

On page 8 - There was a sentence that was truncated. It should read, "The town contains major roadways needed by the Germans to push further east."

On page 10 in Scenario 1, the black lines between houses represent short, waist high wooden fences.

I added information about what type of cover the buildings provide in the scenarios.

Scenario 1: Most of the houses are wooden and will provide light cover. You may pick one building in the center to be of stone construction and provide heavy cover.

Scenario 2: The church is a stone building and is heavy cover. The other larger buildings are of brick or stone construction and are heavy cover. The remainder are wood and are light cover.

Scenario 3: The buildings provide light cover.

Scenario 6: The buildings provide light cover.

Please let me know if you have any other questions on the scenarios. I will be happy to update the supplement if it needs it.

Also, if you have played any games from the supplement, I would love to see some pictures of the game and read some AARs. Please share them if you can.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Soviet 1941 to 1942 Chain of Command Forces

As with the German Forces, I needed to sort through my Soviet forces.

This is mostly a placeholder as I need to do some painting.

We will start with the 1941 list published from the TFL Website.

Soviet Rifle Platoon June 1941 to December 1941

Base Platoon
UnitMakeupPictures
HeadquartersLeytenant, SR, Pistol
Starshina, ISL, Rifle
Mortar Team 50mm Mortar Team w/ 4 Crew
Squads 1-4Serzhant, JL, Rifle
LMG Team w/2 Crew
Nine Rifle Men
One Grenadier

Note: Missing Rifle Grenadiers
Support Options
LIST ONE
2x PPD-40 SMG 
Painting
2x SVT-40 Rifles 
Painting
Satchel Charge
Need Picture
Medical Orderly
Modifying miniatures
Mine Clearance Team, 3 men
Wire Cutting Team, 3 men
Demolition Team, 3 men
Minefield 
Barbed Wire 
Entrenchments for one Team
LIST TWO
50mm Mortar, 3 Crew

Missing extra crewman
PTRD ATR w/ 2 Crew
Commissar
Pre‐Game Barrage
Off Table
Flamethrower Team, 3 men
T-20 Komomylets
Purchased
T-37
T-27
BA-20
Painting
LIST THREE
Sniper Team
Maxim MMG Team w/5 crew

Missing Extra Crew Members
10 man Rifle Squad
Need Picture
T-26 with 37mm
T-26 Twin MG
Ordered
T-38
LIST FOUR
45mm ATG w/ 5 crew
Ordered
76.2mm IG w/ 5 Crew
Need Picture
Engineer Section
Regular Infantry Squad
Need Picture
BA-6 
Need Picture
Ba-10
Need Picture
T-26 45mm
BT-2
BT-5
Ordered
BT-7
Need Picture
BT-7a
T-40
LIST FIVE
KhT-26
KhT-130
T-28
T-35 
Ordered
LIST SIX
T-28E
T-34 M1940
T-34 M1941
LIST SEVEN
KV-1
LIST TEN
KV-2
Need Picture

Soviet Rifle Platoon From Jan 1942 to July 28, 1942

Base Platoon
UnitMakeup
HeadquartersLeytenant, SR, Pistol
Squads 1-4Serzhant, JL, SMG
LMG Team w/2 Crew
Eight Riflemen
Support Options
LIST ONE
Satchel Charge
Mine Clearance Team, 3 men
Wire Cutting Team, 3 men
Demolition Team, 3 men
Minefield 
Barbed Wire 
Jeep or Car
Entrenchments for one Team
2x PPD-40 SMG 
2x SVT-40 Rifles 
LMG for one squad
LIST TWO
50mm Mortar, 3 Crew
Roadblock
Flamethrower Team, 3 men
PTRD ATR w/ 2 Crew
BA-20
Pre‐Game BarrageOff Table
Commissar
LIST THREE
Sniper Team
Maxim MMG Team w/5 crew
37mm ATG w/ 5 Crew
Regular Cavalry Squad
LIST FOUR
Engineer Squad
Regular Infantry Squad
DSHK 12.7 HMG w/5 Crew

Missing additional crew
76.2mm IG w/ 5 Crew
45mm ATG w/ 5 crew
76.2mm IG w/ 5 Crew
M2 or M5 Halftrack
BA-64
BA-6 
Ba-10(t)
T-70
T-26 w/ 45mm
Tetrarch
Valentine III
LIST FIVE
BT-5
BT-7
BT-7A
Scout Squad
SU-76
Zis 2 57mm ATG w/ 5 Crew
T-60
M3 Stuart
LIST SIX
Churchill Mk I-III
Matilda II
KV1E or S
LIST SEVEN
Churchill Mk IV
T-34 M1940-41 76mm
M3 Grant
LIST EIGHT
OT-34/76 (Autumn 42)
SU-122
KV-8
LIST NINE
SU-152
LIST TEN
KV-2

Soviet Rifle Platoon From July 29, 1942 to December 1942

Base Platoon
UnitMakeup
HeadquartersLeytenant, SR, Pistol
Squads 1-4Serzhant, JL, SMG
LMG Team w/2 Crew
Six Riflemen
Support Options
LIST ONE
Satchel Charge
Mine Clearance Team, 3 men
Wire Cutting Team, 3 men
Demolition Team, 3 men
Minefield 
Barbed Wire 
Jeep or Car
Entrenchments for one Team
2x PPD-40 SMG 
2x SVT-40 Rifles 
LMG for one squad
LIST TWO
50mm Mortar, 3 Crew
Roadblock
Flamethrower Team, 3 men
PTRD ATR w/ 2 Crew
BA-20
Pre‐Game BarrageOff Table
Commissar
LIST THREE
Sniper Team
Maxim MMG Team w/5 crew
37mm ATG w/ 5 Crew
Regular Cavalry Squad
LIST FOUR
Engineer Squad
Regular Infantry Squad
DSHK 12.7 HMG w/5 Crew

Missing additional crew
76.2mm IG w/ 5 Crew
45mm ATG w/ 5 crew
76.2mm IG w/ 5 Crew
M2 or M5 Halftrack
BA-64
BA-6 
Ba-10(t)
T-70
T-26 w/ 45mm
Tetrarch
Valentine III
LIST FIVE
BT-5
BT-7
BT-7A
Scout Squad
SU-76
Zis 2 57mm ATG w/ 5 Crew
T-60
M3 Stuart
LIST SIX
Churchill Mk I-III
Matilda II
KV1E or S
LIST SEVEN
Churchill Mk IV
T-34 M1940-41 76mm
M3 Grant
LIST EIGHT
OT-34/76 (Autumn 42)
SU-122
KV-8
LIST NINE
SU-152
LIST TEN
KV-2

Friday, May 4, 2018

Supports for 1941-1942 German Chain of Command Army

I am working my way through the support elements of my Germans for Chain of Command. I want to complete out my force options. I have a number of them but I never sat them down to figure out what I had.

We will start with the 1941 list published from the TFL Website.

German Infantry Platoon June 1941 to December 1941

Base Platoon
UnitMakeupPictures
HeadquartersLT, SR, Pistol
Feldwebel, SL, SMG
Mortar Team 5cm Mortar Team w/ 3 Crew
Squads 1-4Obergefreiter, JL, SMG
LMG Team w/3 Crew
Rifle Team w/ 6 men

Support Options
LIST ONE
Satchel Charge
Need to Paint
Medical Orderly
Need to Modify Figures
Mine Clearance Team, 3 men
Wire Cutting Team, 3 men
Need to Modify Figures
Demolition Team, 3 men
Adjutant 
Off Table
Minefield 
Barbed Wire 
Roadblock
Unpainted
Kubelwagen
Two solo motorcycles 
Motorcycle and side‐car
Entrenchments for one Team
LIST TWO
Panzerbüchse 38/39 Team, 2 men
5cm mortar Team, 3 men
Pre‐Game Barrage
Off Table
LIST THREE
Sniper Team
Flamethrower Team, 3 men
2.8cm  heavy  ATR w/ three crew
Panzer IB
SdKfz 221
SdKfz 223
SdKfz 251/1A‐C
LIST FOUR
PaK36 3.7cm ATG w/ 5 crew
leIG18 w/ five crew
Engineer Section
Missing Figures
Forward Observer
MG34 w/ 5 crew 
Panzer 35(t)
Panzer 38(t)
Pz.III E‐G
Panzerjäger I
Befehlspanzer I
SdKfz 10/5 AA
Sdkfz  222
StuG III A‐E
LIST FIVE
Regular Infantry Squad
Flak 30 or Flak 38 2cm AA gun w/ five crew 
Need To Buy
PaK36(t) 4.7cm ATG w/ 5 crew
Painting
PaK38 5cm ATG w/ 5 crew 
Painting
Motorcycle Aufklarungs Squad
Sdkfz 231 (8 Rad)
Sdkfz 232 (8 Rad)
Need to Buy
Pz.II A‐C
Panzer II H or J
Experimental Models Not Needed
Pz.IV D‐F
LIST SIX
Panzer II D Flamm
Panzer IVF1
sIG33  15cm  w/ five crew
In addition, I had some extras as well. Including spare infantry and a couple of surrendering/shot guys.

German Infantry Platoon January 1942 to June 1942

Base Platoon
UnitMakeupPictures
HeadquartersFeldwebel, SL, SMG
Squads 1-4Obergefreiter, JL, SMG
LMG Team w/3 Crew
Rifle Team w/ 6 men

Support Options
LIST ONE
Add 2 SMGs to 1 Squad
Need to Paint
Compound Charge
Need to Paint
Medical Orderly
Need to Modify Figures
Mine Clearance Team, 3 men
Wire Cutting Team, 3 men
Need to Modify Figures
Demolition Team, 3 men
Adjutant 
Off Table
Minefield 
Barbed Wire 
Kubelwagen
Two solo motorcycles 
Entrenchments for one Team
LIST TWO
Roadblock
Unpainted
PanzerKnacker Team, 4 men
Unpainted
Senior Leader
Unpainted
Pre-Game Barrage
Off Table
5cm mortar Team, 3 men
LIST THREE
Sniper Team
Flamethrower Team, 3 men
Green Infantry Squad w/ JL
Unpainted
Regular Dismounted Cavalry Squad
Unpainted
Mount a Cavalry Squad on Horses
Unpainted
PaK36 3.7cm ATG w/ 5 crew
Flak 30 or Flak 38 2cm AA gun w/ five crew 
Need To Buy
LIST FOUR
leIG18 w/ five crew
Forward Observer
MG34 w/ 5 crew 
37mm AA Gun w/ 5 Crew
Panzerjäger I
SdKfz 10/5 AA
PaK36(t) 4.7cm ATG w/ 5 crew
Painting
PaK38 5cm ATG w/ 5 crew 
Painting
LIST FIVE
Regular Infantry Squad
Motorcycle Aufklarungs Squad
Pak40 7.5cm w/ 5 Crew
Painting
LIST SIX
Marder II
Marder III
Panzer II D Flamm
LIST SEVEN
Regular Engineer Section
Missing Figures
Panzer III Flamm
Stug III F
LIST EIGHT
Elite Engineer Section
Missing Figures
sIG33  15cm  w/ five crew
Stug III G
Panzer IV f2
LIST NINE
StuH 42
LIST NINE
Tiger I