Sunday, March 30, 2014

Battle Report: Chain of Command village attack

Dan and I got a sexy game of CoC in this weekend and we actually managed to take photos (mostly)

The settup was a Soviet assault on a German-held town, some time in late 44'.

For his Germans, Dan took an adjutant and a forward observer. Meanwhile, I in my usual tanky style decided on a duo of T-34s and a artillery barrage to disrupt his deployment.

The layout

After probing each other's lines the Soviets ended up with their jumpoff points concentrated in the forest and the farm in the east, while the Krauts were naturally to spawn in the town.

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Soviets deploying

Tanks rumble on
Rollout of the Soviet forces was suprisingly smooth. Within the first two turns I was able to get two squads and the two tanks down on the battlefield. Meanwhile the Germans kept most of their forces in reserve, only bringing on a single squad in the village, which stealthily moved into the main building facing out of the town.

Germans sneaking on

With some lucky rolling, Dan brought the turn to an end, meaning my artillery barrage abated with precisely 0 effect on the German's assembling. Another squad arrived and promptly opened up on the advancing Soviet squad in the south, killing a rifleman. The Soviet platoon commander arrived and began directing his men in the meantime.

The opening shots

The T-34s, however, were having none of this and rumbled forward, loosing a a volley of shells and killing a couple soldaten, as well as leaving the squad with a few points of shock. The germans withdrew. The Soviets attempted to call in their final squad, but with the LT in play, they had mysteriously gone absent. With an apparent lull in the battle, the southern-most squad began to push up the flank. Unfortunately, the withdrawn Germans had consolidated their forces, and now strengthened and emboldened by the arrival of their final squad and a forward observer, wheeled to intercept.

German platoon wheels south to meet the Soviet probe

As a gunline of Germans materialized out of the treeline in front of them, the Soviet squad faltered briefly before a blaze of fire cut into them. In an instant they lost two thirds of their squad, suffered a wounded NCO and retreated off the board. With such a rapid series of unfortunate events, the platoon morale wavered dangerously low (down from 8 to 5 in a single phase). To add injury to other injury, the FO began the procedure of calling in artillery right on the surviving Soviet front line. A German Panzershreck team also materialized and promptly began to slink behind the church, hidden from the barrels of the T-34s, awaiting opportunity.

The carnage begins

Rebuking German gains, the tanks spoke again and again, pounding the unfortunate krauts (I managed to get 4 subsequent turns in a row). At the same time, fearing the incoming artillery, the other squad sprinted to safety along with the officer, before adding their own report to the German carnage. Finally, the lost Soviet squad arrived in the farmstead, a little drunk, but none worse for wear.

T-34s punishing the Germans

Soviet infantry sprints north to avoid artillery

Under the relentless barrage, the German line began to falter and pull back heavily bloodied. The forward observer found himself the unfortunate recipient of a 85mm high explosive shell to the face. Sensing opportunity, the central Soviet squad pushed the advantage and charged forward, seizing a German spawn point and promptly ending the turn, pushing German morale down to a dangerous 2.

centre squad pours on the heat

Germans pull back in disarray

Centre squad seizes the objective

With resistance in disarray, the Soviets pressed further into the town, fixing bayonets and assaulting the Panzershreck team. Although the team defended admirably and managed to give the squad NCO a bloody nose, their death signaled the complete collapse of German morale. The town was abandoned and the Soviets rolled on towards Berlin.

The Shreck team's last stand

A really fun game where victory was always uncertain. Although I ended up rolling four consecutive turns late in the game, the early gameluck definitely went to Dan who experienced similar fortunes. The unfortunate probing team experienced what it was like to feel several-turn's worth of small arms fire, which caused them to break and run off the board. This played havoc with my morale, forcing me to be extremely cautious as the game progressed. Despite this chaos, there was always a sense in the game that we knew what was going on. The 'controlled mania' dynamic is what really sets this apart from my experience of FoF, wherein an engagement of this size could often leave you as a commander trying to keep track of everyone's activations/diminish levels/casualties etc.

I am looking forward to rolling out the system for Cold War and moderns.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Rounding out the trifecta of "things TB has accomplished this month", I've saved the meanest for last. As previously previewed, I had mated the turrets of the Khurasan T-90A with the hull of the Zvezda T-72BM. which aesthetically is effectively identical with the former's configuration. I also focused on adding essential details to the original BM kit, as it lacked both smoke launchers and an AAMG.

In addition, I added a couple battlefront crew, just for some variety.

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Once again, a mixture of paint schemes, just to keep things interesting.

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Rummaging through my bits box I used some of the Khurasan T-62 fuel tank rails to add some extra detail to the BM and one of the 90s'

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AAMG was thanks to Nic at Eureka, who kindly tolerated my very specific requirements!

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I'm always torn between camo and plain schemes, now that I have figured out how to make flat green look interesting.

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Still love the evil eyes on the 90, although the sleeker look to the BM does have me torn for favorites.

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Thats it for now, stay tuned for some space dwarves Khurasan has had me paint up :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crossing into Crimea

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Over the past few days we have seen what may be the first semi-somewhat-partial-combat deployments of the BTR-80A in Crimea. So far these vehicles have essentially been used as markers for the expansion of Russian influence and tools of intimidation. Hopefully this will remain the worst examples of their use in Ukraine/Russia (whatever your political leanings may be). What is interesting is that their presence on the ground shows that the BTR-80A has progressed beyond a simple tech demo and actually been disseminated to field units of the Russian Federal Army.

A few weeks ago I showcased my attempt to mate the Zvezda BTR-80 hull with the QRF BTR-80A turret. Here they are now with some paint on em.

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These guys represents all the APCs I need for my CoC modern Russian force, and short of someone putting together a BMD-3/4 or a BMP-3 kit, I an unlikely to add any more battle taxis.

Next up, we will see what became of the tank hybrids.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

....endless waves of T-62s....

One of the (numerous) projects I am working on at the moment is a late 60s/early 70s era Soviet unit for Chain of Command. Some time ago I purchased the company-pack of Khurasan's T-62s, so I decided to do up three in a tasty green scheme, ready to be blown up by French AT.

Not too much to say about the kits that I haven't already said - Khurasan has done a great job with these, my only minor niggle are the tracks are cast in resin and are a major paint in the ass to clean up, although I have been advised that future sets will be released with metal tracks, which should address this issue. Other than that, they generally kick ass.

I also picked up a Battlefront PT-76 after seeing one posted over at Fawcett avenue conscripts. I don't quite know what it is about battlefront tanks, but they seem to just radiate a 'badass' factor I can't quite quantify. The PT-76 is a fine example of this - it just looks hard as hell. This is particularlly odd, because every other example of the kit I have seen in 15mm just seems to scream 'lame'. Anyway, he got the same treatment as the '62s.

Next time we shall take a look at what became of the BTR hybrids...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

More modern Aussies

Another small batch of modern Aussies to fight....something...I dunno; maybe Russians?

This time around there was a mix of special weapons and I did a few uncovered helmets, too.

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And here are the whole lot of them together so far

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I realise webbing tends to also be in Auscam but I feel the khaki helps to add complexity to the overall aesthetic and break up the figures a bit.

Eureka Russians: ready to ruin geopolitical norms in Europe

So it appears the Russian Fed is in the process of upsetting European stability. My colleagues and I have been generally puzzled about the goals of this action for the past week or so, as we tend to subscribe to the realist school of international relations and the benefits of violating sovereignty in the Crimea certainly don't appear to outweigh the the long-term negatives.

Regardless, we know one thing: this is a good excuse to paint mandollies.

One thing I've noticed about the 'digital flora' camo uniforms we've seen on display in Ukraine is that they appear to effectively fade to a monotone. Pictured here you can see a fellow with what appears to be newly-issued helmet cover and plate carrier, contrasted against a more worn in jacket and pants set.

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Shemaghs: apparently ubiquitous military issue, regardless of geographical location

This left me with a bit of a dilemma. At 15mm the nuances of such a subtle color palette would be so miniscule as to barely warrant attempting to actually paint it as a camouflage scheme. As such, I decided to represent digital flora as simple monotone green, without worrying about attempting to reproduce the pattern itself. I also decided to add some variance by painting jackets and helmet covers in the 'partisan' pattern. On top of this, I sculpted on balaclavas and knee pads to most of the figures, as these appear to be fairly ubiquitous in the contract soldier ranks.

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As with Eureka's ADF range, the details on the Russians are simply stellar. The variance of Sphera and regular helmets in particular really is a nice touch  There is little to critique about the range apart from a decided lack of RPKs (all the MGs are PKMs which I don't believe are actually as common as the former at the squad level) and ATGMs (of which I have discussed with Nic who has said he will likely get either a Kornet or a Metis-M sculpted in the near-to-mid future).

Given the Chain of Command ruleset we will be using to field these guys I also need to do up some assets. I've been playing around with a few ideas.

First up, combined the Khurasan T-90A with Zvezda's T-72BM kit. I was quite impressed with Khurasan's offering from the outset, but the hull always seemed a bit too squat for my tastes. I'm not a rivet counter, by any stretch, so I can't comment on the authenticity of the measurements. However, aesthetically I wanted something that loomed a bit more, so the Zvezda hull seemed to be the appropriate way of counteracting this.

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I also updated a couple gaps in Zvezda's BM kit - mainly the decided lack of AAMG and smoke launchers. Here I used a Eureka NSV cut down from its tripod and scratch built the launchers. I also added some empty fuel barrel cradles from the Khurasan T-62 kit

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Finally, I wanted to beef up the Zvezda BTR-80s a bit. The easiest option seemed to be upgrading them to the A model with a 30mm autocannon. Here I took QRF's own BTR-80s and scrapped the hulls; combining the turret with the Zvezda hull. I also retooled the barrels, as they were a bit 'iffy'

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The end result should be 3 BTR-80As, 2 T-90As and a T-72BM to outfit the platoon.