I recently caught up with my gaming buddy Kieran (6mm Wargaming), and he brought round his completed 1/72 scale Italeri European Building kitsets he has done for his 1944 Normandy terrain. Kieran’s been taking a break from Crossfire and playing a lot of Kampfgruppe Normandy and has been steadily working on his terrain and new 20mm (German & U.S.) armies for that theatre. The Italeri buildings are the Country House, House With Porch, and the Stone House; and Kieran has gone to reasonable efforts to detail them with window shutters, walls & gates (some scratch built, some commercial), and other features – I think you’ll agree they’ve come out looking very good! I’ll be looking to achieve similar with my kits when I get around to them, and may have to talk Kieran into doing them for me since he’s done such a good job of his own! Continue reading
Dragon Armor has announced in the last few weeks the release of several of their new models planned for the 2011-2012 period, as many will know the Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go and Type 97 Chi-Ha have both been released (there are now 2 colour schemes available for the former and 3 for the latter) along with the U.S. LVT-A(1) with 37mm gun turret, and various German light vehicles such as the SdKfz 222 Light Reconnaissance Car and SdKfz 251/22 Half-Track with PaK40 on board. Most recently has been the release of the Neubaufahrzeug from Panzerabteilung z.b.V.40 in Norway 1940. Now due in early 2012 are the German SdKfz 231 Heavy Reconnaissance Car in early war Panzer Grey (a much missed model from all ranges), and a British Infantry Tank Mk.IV Churchill Mk.III (the 6pdr version that served from Dieppe in 1942 until the end of the war in Italy and to a lesser extent in NWE.
Over the past 18 months I’ve regularly looked at the models buildings and wagons (and the Berlin Tram) by Najewitz Modellbau in Germany – they look fantastic in the photos and I’ve always been keen to take the plunge – however the description of the material has always had me a bit wary – the wagons & tram and some of the smaller scale buildings being laser cut Finnpappe which they describe as “…no word for it in English dictionary is a product made of ground wood pulp. To say it is cardboard is the wrong title for it. It´s more similar to MDF, quasi ‘MDF-light’.” However the larger 1/72nd and 28mm buildings are kitsets of a resin material, the type isn’t clearly specified on the website – but I took the plunge recently and ended up ordering a selection of the 1/72nd scale buildings…
Following on from my order from Lancer Miniatures I previously posted about, as mentioned I had ordered buildings from several other manufacturers as well, and my order from Area 9 arrived a couple of days after the Lancer one. Area 9 is a comparatively new manufacturer that’s started up in 2010 – in fact I only stumbled over them a couple of months ago thanks to a post on the Crisis In Alcovia blog earlier this year! They have some very nice looking stuff, and in the 20mm range I couldn’t resist ordering one each of their three buildings, and an assortment of wooden paling fences…
Right now my 20mm WW2 & Modern era buildings are rather bare on the ground – I have a couple of very nice larger 15mm TimeCast buildings (a Belgian Townhouse and a Petrol Station), and a 20mm bombed out German HQ Building from ESLO. Otherwise I have some plastic kits awaiting completion (Airfix Jungle Outpost & the 2 Italeri Farmhouse & Manor kits) and a 20mm resin Jungle Building from Frontline. So my existing Western Europe and new Eastern Europe theatre troops desperately need buildings for their games – not to mention long-term Mediterranean/North African and more Pacific/Burma stuff! Consequently I have been purchasing several new Western & Eastern European buildings from about 5 different manufacturers (i.e. Lancer, Area 9, Hovels, TST, Sentry) – and where possible have chosen to purchase them pre-painted to save time, and get some terrain (especially Eastern Front) usable as promptly as possible. The first of these to arrive are from Lancer Miniatures in the UK, which arrived promptly in NZ just 1 week after ordering.
My friend Wayne has been expressing interest in Crossfire for gaming WW2 and Vietnam – it’s all part of his WW2 Wargaming revival (see “A Bit Of WW2 Wargaming & Some Nostalgia“) – and as he had reason to be here in Auckland the last couple of days we got together for a bit of a Crossfire introduction and training session… We played a couple of simple generic scenarios with about a company a side and the following is a brief summary and some photos of the games…
A friend of mine recently sent me some pics of some of his WW2 Wargaming terrain – we used to wargame together in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and his stuff has been mainly in storage for the last 15 years – but he’s been cracking it out recently as well as starting to work on some new pieces.
John Lander’s group once again put on an impressive 1/35th scale Crossfire game in the UK – The Oosterbeek Cauldron (1st British Airborne Division in Market Garden, September 1944) – and you can see more photos at the Wargames Society Forum (scroll down to images 314 to 317). John’s Crossfire demo games & his models are fairly well known in the UK, and have previously been featured in Wargames Illustrated Magazine (issues 221 & 222 from March & April 2006) with Operation Goodwood.
Kieran and I had arranged to play a “Hit The Dirt” scenario with Errol Hooker (who was coming down from Whangarei for the day), so we selected ‘Scottish Corridor’, as we had played it previously and knew it was a suitable medium-sized scenario that had a little of everything (Tanks, Infantry, Indirect Fire, etc). I had also recently started work on some new terrain (3D fields and Bocage style hedges) so we had slightly better terrain for it than the previous occasion. I also got the ridge right this time with the reclining slope on the back of the ridge, and we endeavoured to get the table to even more closely match the map. Unfortunately Errol couldn’t make it at short notice, but Kieran and I continued on, and we had another Auckland Wargamer (Grant Brown) present as an observer interested in Crossfire.
Kieran and I decided to play yet another “Hit The Dirt” scenario, so we selected ‘Scottish Corridor’, as a suitable medium-sized scenario that matched our available forces on the day. Before going further please note that all hedge lines and such in the scenario are Bocage, however in the photos we have only used normal Hedges and Lichen to represent these, so bear that in mind when viewing. Note we also got the map slightly wrong in the North-East corner (top right), we misread the contour as a further elevation rather than the reclining slope on the back of the ridge it should be – however this was to have no impact on the game.
In the scenario a Company of the 2nd Argyle Highlanders is holding an exposed bridgehead during Operation Epsom, and is subjected to repeated but poorly managed counter attacks from the 10th SS Panzer Division who have just arrived in Normandy.
Kieran and I have had copies of “Hit The Dirt” for sometime (in fact I have had a copy since it was published) and had not made a serious attempt to play any of the scenarios. However we recently decided to work our way through the book and play the scenarios as best we could with our available forces. Deciding to start from the beginning we selected Green Hell, the very first Scenario in the book. In Green Hell a well supported German Company must overcome a larger (but poorer) Soviet Force in a large forest in Poland in 1941. Our troop availability (at the time) dictated a move to 1944 and North-West Europe or Italy (we chose the former) with British and German forces.
Saint Lô & Falaise, France, August 1944 – Light US forces press forward against the encircled Germans…
Mid-August 1944, central France, the German front is collapsing (although they haven’t realised it) and Hitler is insisting on an armoured thrust west from Trun to counter the U.S. advance. The U.S. XV Corps has already broken through into empty country beyond Saint Lô and General Bradley has now ordered the Corps to swing east to hook round behind the German armour and trap it – preventing a retreat north & east to the Seine river. American forces are pushing forward as far and as fast as they can to keep the Germans guessing, and secure vital objectives for the ongoing advance!