And now for something completely different…..

In between Flames of War games the boys have tinkered with Desperadoes, a Wild West skirmish game for 28mm figures. A few games later, and I bought some “heroic scale” 32mm figures from Knuckleduster Miniatures.

My favorite western movie is probably 1993’s “Tombstonewith Kurt Russel, Val Kilmer, and the recently-passed Powers Boothe.  The figures that arrived were pretty good copies of the movie characters. I also picked up “Wild Bill Hickok” and a Wells Fargo “Shotgun Messenger’ (’cause you GOT to have a guy with a shotgun!).

A few weeks later, here they are:

Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp

Johnny Ringo and Curly Bill Brocius.

Wells Fargo agent and Wild Bill Hickok.

These are great figures…now i have to order the rest of the Tombstone characters!


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US Glider Rifle vs 512. German Heavy Tank 1775pts

Allentown friend Dan W. (RT on the FoW forum) came to town for our tournament at Legions Hobbies this past weekend. We got a quick practice preview game in Friday night. Dan used his fave “big kitties” and I had US “glider riders”.

His List:

My list:


The scenario was No Retreat. Dan’s Germans were “always defend”, so I was the attacker.


The Germans deployed on the North of the board with infantry forward, 150mm werfers in the upper left, and mobile AA in ambush.


My three infantry platoons were well forward, pioneers on the left. The three 57mm AT guns were in the center. 75mm artillery in the wheat field to my right. 105s in the town square on the left. The M10cs were hidden behind the town buildings. The Recon jeeps were in the center on the road.


TURN ONE. A pair of Typhoons arrived and spotted tanks below. My recon move was shortened by the German deployment, but they got close enough to try to lift gone-to-ground, which they fail to do, of course.

A 105mm barrage on the town defenders hits an infantry stand which saves, but misses all the vehicles. The 75s, using the AOP spotter plane, range in on the werfers and get a hit, but the werfers save.

The Tiffies fail to range in and fly away.

Another Jagdtiger arrives from reserves. Dan reveals his Wirbelwind AA tanks, hoping to give his troops some air defense for my turn.The German werfers unpin (as did the infantry) and hit the advancing GIs, killing one infantry stand. Carius shoots and misses two infantry stands. The 2ic Jagdtiger kills one.


TURN TWO and the 75mm barrage fails to hit the werfers. Three planes arrive.

The 105s don’t do much better. Their TOT hits infantry, a half track and a Wirbelwind. My big chance to kill two vehicles evaporate as I roll 2 and 2!

  The flight of Tiffies spot a big target lurking near the woods and their volley of rockets kill the Jagdtiger. Tally Ho…target destroyed!


In the German turn another Jagdtiger arrives on board. Carius works his magic and kills two infantry.

The werfers hit the  pioneers and guns near the industrial park, but all save.


TURN THREE. A single Typhoon arrives and targets the werfers. Two of the jeeps lift gone to ground on the German infantry. The remaining jeeps and nearby infantry fire and take out two defenders and pin the platoon.

Time on Target from the 75mm battery gets no hits. The 105s fail to range in.

The Typhoon flies through a sheet of flak and goes down in flames (4 hits, TWO kills!).

The last of the German reserves, a Tiger II, arrives on the board edge.

The werfers zero in on the 57s after a Jagdtiger misses and destroy one.

Carius misses two infantry targets, but one falls to another Jagdtiger.


TURN FOUR. Three Tiffies fly over and dive toward a big Jagdtiger trying to hide near some.woods  The M10c platoon doubles on the left in a risky move, preparing for flanking shots on the following turn.

  To help the air attack, I target the Wirbelwind with the 105s. I blow the resulting TOT, rolling a pair of 1s on the infantry and AA that were hit, so only bail the Wirbelwind.  A recon jeep bails one of the half tracks with accurate .50 cal fire. Advancing through the factory buildings, the GIs take two hits from defensive fire but kill the observer team directing the werfers.

AA fire downs two of the three attacking planes who only manage one ineffective hit on infantry, missing the Jagdtiger completely.

In the German turn, Carius moves to hit the M10c platoon. Due to his slow movement rate, he could only spot one of the tanks (which I had hoped for) and MISSES his two shots. (Two shots because I doubled the platoon in movement).

The werfers did much better, destroying one M10c and pinning the infantry with a near-miss.

TURN FIVE and end. Due to time constraints (dinner time at Burgatory!) we make this the last turn. No planes to help. I try for points here….the M1oc shots kill two Wirbelwinds, but Dan robs me of a point when he rolls morale!

105s range in on a JT but do nothing. The 75s try for half tracks and infantry but only get a bail result on a track.

Suicide charge time! GIs charge the infantry position and are stopped dead in their tracks by 7 hits, losing two stands.

Dan takes it 5-2! Thanks for the game, big guy….

I had really set up to charge in the next turn. Within range of the German platoon  defending the forward objective were elements of three infantry platoons, one of pioneers. A smoke barrage from the 75s would have been used to help the assault, shot in by the recon jeeps and 57s. 

Shoulda, woulda, coulda,…..





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US Glider Infantry vs Ersatz Pioniers 1790 pts


I met with Mark M. (sorry for the blurry picture, Mark!) a few weeks ago at Legions Hobbies for a battle to test my list for an upcoming tournament. We rolled Dust-Up for the mission- a fair fight. Mark picked the left corner for deployment, so I got the lower right..

Mark’s List: Ersatz Pionierkompanie-5

My list: US GliderInf1790

Mark set out Hummels, a Tiger II (with Schnell skill) and pioniers and I countered with two infantry, the 105s and the M10cs (British Achilles with 17pdr AT guns). This US list models 17th Airborne and uses British support.


TURN ONE and Mark moves his forces closer to the center with no combat.

My infantry moved toward the enemy. I received air support in the form of a single patrolling Tiffie (British Typhoon with rockets) who spots the Tiger and approaches for an attack. The spotter plane reports Hummels in the woods but the artillery fails to range in. The diving plane ranges in on the tank, but the erratic rockets fail to hit the tank and a nearby infantry stand.


TURN TWO begins with the Hummels ranging in on the M10s on the third attempt. I roll a big six to save the tank destroyer but an infantry stand is not so fortunate and is eliminated.

My turn is pretty uneventful. The infantry platoon can’t unpin from the barrage even with a re-roll from the CO. The artillery fails to hit the Hummels after ranging in. Another Typhoon appears, ranges in, but misses the Tiger again!


In TURN THREE, von Saucken re-rolls the reserve die and gets a battery of 88s which deploy near the board edge with a great field of fire. Evidently they unlimbered too quickly as they completely miss their targets!

The Hummels re-deployed to avoid the artillery template.

I did little movement in my turn with no air and no reserves.

But the artillery FINALLY hits something and destroys one of the 88s.


TURN FOUR and von Saucken gets some Panthers (one is behind the farmhouse)! The remaining 88 digs in. Hummels fail to range in.

The mighty Tiger finally gets to shoot and explodes one M10, but the Panthers all miss.

I get no plane and no reserves again. The 105s FINALLY dig in and manage a Time on Target strike on the Hummels and bail one. (Mark rolled a 5, but had to re-roll because of the ToT and managed to roll a big four.) My M10s get their first shots  and kill one Panther and bail another.


TURN FIVE and German pioniers arrive. The 88 limbers and advances. One of the Hummels bogs as it changes position in the woods to avoid the artillery.

An M10 is tagged by the Panthers and erupts in flame.

No planes arrive for me, but the Recce jeeps and pioneers appear from reserves! The .50 cals on the jeeps destroy one of the Hummels and an infantry stand defending the objective. Pioneers charge the position and capture the bogged Hummel. The remainder of the battery then quits the field. The poor 88 receives a perfect ToT barrage, but amazingly dodges the shell bursts (Mark rolled 6, then 5!!!). My second infantry platoon moves towards the objective to help the pioneers.


TURN SIX and end.  The Panthers move to kill the rest of the M10 platoon but miss with snake-eyes. The Tiger moves back towards the thinly-held objective.  

I get mortars from reserves who target the German infantry defending the objective. With infantry fire added, the Germans take TEN hits, and two stands are killed. The lucky 88 lives on when the 105s MISS.

In the big shot of the game one of the M10s hits the Tiger from the rear flank and the 17pdr shell works it’s magic and kills it’s target!!

At this point we call the game because of time (it was almost 10pm). With the death of the Tiger, Mark had one  near half-strength  platoon on the objective that was pinned. Everything else was too far away. US Pioneers  and infantry were within assault range.

6-1 for me… all because of one lucky shot!

Thanks for the game, Mark.   Better luck next time!                        





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Bulge Attack: US 99th Infantry attacks Volksgrenadierkompanie (12.)

img_9956 Early last Friday Tim McClelland brought out his Amis for a practice game before our tournament at Legions on Dec 17. We rolled No Retreat and I won the defender die.

Tim’s list was 99th US Infantry:


My list was an infantry unit from 12. Volksgrenadiers:


I grouped one panzershrek with the 2iC to get an eighth platoon and deployed the sturm platoon (with the other shrek added); the pioniers, the NW32 rockets and held the PaK40s in ambush.

img_9957 The pioniers went down first with wire placed in front of the town buildings. Tim’s objective was in the second building from the left and the “puffs” on some of the pionier stands showed they were flamethrowers. The mid point of the board is the far front edge of the church. My troops and ambush all had to be placed behind that line.

img_9959 The site for the spotter for the rockets was obligatory…top of the church steeple! The sturm platoon was to the right. Rockets were to the rear in a wood, guarding the objective I placed.

img_9960 Tim deployed all his forces for the attack. His right was weighted with the infantry. The mobile security section for the TDs , Chaffees, and the Recon unit were to the left. The TDs shown at bottom left were held for deployment. We played on an 8-foot board so the back of the table was free storage for our crap.

TURN ONE opened with the infantry doubling on my left…Tim reasoned my pioniers only had rifles and wouldn’t do much damage as only three could effectively fire (where the hell are all the MG34s when you need them?). The recon and security section moved at normal speed ahead on my right. Tim had rolled for two  P47s and my Focke-Wulf Fw 190s were nowhere to be seen.

img_9961 Between the planes and the mortar barrage both German infantry platoons were pinned, but no casualties were taken.

img_9962 Baier’s rolling good! The JgdPanzer V’s arrive on the first turn! They take quick shots at the Recon platoon who evade with no damage. Six shots from the pioniers get two hits on the jogging Yanks and kill a bazooka team. (At TRAINED troops in the open…all I need is a 3 or better…)

img_9964 Maybe the 30cm rockets will do better…the spotter in the steeple does his magic and the heavy shells fall into an infantry concentration. Infantry, mortars and anti-tank guns are under the barrage. When the smoke clears, two infantry stands including the platoon leader and one mortar team are obliterated. (I took the heavy rockets because of the 1+ Fire Power. I figured that if Tim missed his save it was an automatic loss).

 TURN TWO. The infantry and AT guns unpin. The AT guns fail to dig in. A lone Thunderbolt heads for the Germans, but a flight of 190’s chase him away. (I rolled a SIX!). In the center, the I&R platoon tries to lift Gone-to-Ground on the sturm platoon but fail.

img_9966 The mortars target the pioniers again and pin them. All hell breaks lose as the Amis unload across their front with tank fire, machine gun concentrations and rifle volleys! Baier again rolls well and after all the many hits are rolled for only a single pionier stand is lost. Field telephone reports from the observer claimed that he took a shot through the helmet that creased his scalp and the bullets hitting the bell in the tower were killing his hearing…

img_9967 My luck continues (yes, sometimes I do roll well!) and two platoons arrive from reserves. The AA platoon deploys on my right, hopefully keeping the light recon troops back. The Schutzen platoon goes left to shore up the pioniers. The Jagdpanthers miss, rolling 2’s. The sturm platoon’s MGs get three hits on the I&R platoon with no effect. Tim’s saves were all good.

img_9968 The 30cm rockets attempt to fire but only one responds (Superheavy rockets may fire if they roll their skill level if not fully re-loaded). The barrage hits the I&R jeeps but does no damage other than deafening some of the passengers. Tim again saves them all. The Schutzen platoon storm-troops but the Jagdpanzers fail.

TURN THREE. Two P47s fly over but the 190s again appear to drive them away. (Wow!! ANOTHER 6!). The shell-shocked jeeps remain pinned and Tim’s dice woes continue with the mortars failing to range in and the recon again missing their skill check to remove gone-to-ground. Once again all the Ami units fire and get the same effect–one dead stand for the sturm platoon. The  combat engineers charge over the wire and all six cross (they re-roll their skill check to cross). Three hits from defensive fire do nothing and the GIs kill two stands. The assault ends with no Germans able to respond so the Americans consolidate on the position.

In the German turn the last unit arrives near the center and moves forward. The AA guns   appear to have misplaced their shovels in the baggage train so do not dig in.

img_9970 The PaK40s enter the party and knock out a Chaffee and bail one of the M20s.

img_9971 The pionier flamethrower sneaks up on the Amis who assaulted the town and fry two. The sturm platoon  kills a bazooka and the Engineers pass their morale check. The rockets were too busy re-loading to shoot.

img_9972 The Jgdpanthers storm-troop and, in a more normal roll for me, BOTH bog as they try to enter the woods.

TURN FOUR. The shaken engineers fail to dig in and the hapless mortars again miss. Mulligan must be sleeping again! “Wait, Kelly, wait. Will you listen to me a second? Will ya listen to me! It’s not me, I tell ya, it’s not me! I – I can’t tell one shell from another, they all look alike! They all look alike. If was me, if I could tell, would I be here? WOULD I BE HERE?! I wouldn’t be here, Kelly!”

The I&R platoon spots the enemy but to no avail…six hits are dodged by the defenders. One is a near miss when the fire-power roll fails. The deafened spotter in the steeple has no more worldly problems after a 57mm HE shell detonates on the bottom lip of the church bell, sending a large piece of bronze into his back.

img_9974 In the midst of the chaos one of the rifle platoons charge over the wire toward the objective. Five out of six stands cross but withering defensive fire throws them back with six hits, killing one.

The German pioniers unpin and the remaining flamethrower kills two stands from the riflemen in the street.

img_9975 The German rifle and MG shots ring out and get 9 hits on the GIs huddled in the street. Two more stands fall and the platoon commander dies. The engineers take a casualty, too,  but make their morale roll again. Things are looking grim for the Americans…at least the Jagdpanthers are still stuck in the trees.

TURN FIVE:  The low growl of the big Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine of the approaching P47 is drowned out by the two  diving FW190s who again intercept the air threat.

img_9976 Mulligan’s mortars miss again. The Chaffees kill two defenders, wounding the sturm platoon commander who moves to better cover. The HMGs get two hits on the pioniers and Tim gets a chance when I roll snake-eyes for saves but can’t roll his firepower. The I&R MGs account for one more sturm stand and the AT guns kill another pionier, which make their morale test and stay on the field.

Once more into the breach! The last intact infantry platoon charges into the depleted defenders who only manage two defensive fire hits but kill one. Tim whiffs on the combat roll and the German counter-attack kills four, pushing him back from the objective.

A second charge goes in from the other platoon, but seven hits from defensive fire kill three and halt the attack like it ran into a brick wall.

The pioniers, reduced to the command team, have had enough and retire. (Failed the sole survivor test). The Schutzen platoon gets three hits on the platoon that assaulted first last move and kills two and the PaK40s get another.

img_9977 Big rockets fall into the tank platoon but Tim rolls off sure death and bails one. One of the JgdPz Vs frees himself but misses his target. The half-strength sturm platoon kills one of the second assaulting platoon and forces a morale check which Tim passes.

TURN SIX AND END. The last infantry platoon capable of charging fails to unpin, so the Germans hold the objective.

Thanks for the game, Tim. The dice FINALLY went my way. When one side is rolling good and the other rolling below average it sure helps.


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Polish Infantry 1939

I finished the majority of my Poles for a recent FoW tournament in Pittsburgh:

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Battle of Medina de Rio Seco l4 July l808. Order of battle

Especially for Neil, and a plug for the Nafziger Collection (tell George I said “Hi”)

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Fitzi’s “Pile o’ Commies” fight Polish Infantry

IMG_8310Getting ready for our upcoming Early War Tournament, Aaron Fitzgerald (Fitzi) faced off with my newly-painted Polish forces.


My list:


IMG_8302 The mission was “Hold the Line“, and I deployed on the left half of the board with one infantry company(platoon) with ATR, both artillery batteries, and the 37mm ATGs were held in ambush.

IMG_8311The artillery was to the rear with 75s on the left. The infantry was forward, deployed around the objective. I also nominated a cavalry company as a Bypassed Company, a special Polish Rule that simulates the rapid advances of the enemy which left isolated units behind the front lines.

IMG_8309 Fitzi deployed with his 122 mm gun battery hidden behind the hills and T-28 tank company to the right. Masses of infantry screened both and prepared to advance.

IMG_8316TURN ONE: The entire Russian army front grinds slowly forward. The heavy guns thunder and immediately hit the infantry near the objective, killing one and pinning the unit.

IMG_8317 After unpinning my infantry, I send my artillery regards back…the 150 mm guns range in on a packed target (good thing he’s Conscript as you can see from my ranging in attempt!). The barrage only managed to bail one tank as all the other targets saved. The 75s ranged in on the other infantry company but do no damage other than pinning it.

TURN TWO and Fitzi’s stunned infantry both need higher motivation to move forward so the Commissars of each company have to “make an example of the shirkers” and each shoot one stand to recover.  The ATGs, seeing the demonstration of morale, promptly recover. The tank, probably thinking Commissar bullets can’t find them, does not. The Russian artillery fails to hit.

IMG_8319 The Polish 150s target the tanks but only kill a nearby infantry stand. The 75s pin the other infantry company.

TURN THREE: The right company recovers but the left infantry company needs more “encouragement” and the Commissar does his duty. The tank still cowers, but everyone continues to advance. The Conscript Russian artillery misses again…..

IMG_8324In the Polish turn, the 150s miss and the 75s land on the THIRD attempt, so do nothing.

IMG_8326The 37mm ATG battery is revealed near the left hill facing the tanks, and get six hits. One tank erupts in flame and three others are bailed.

TURN FOUR. Two tanks and the infantry recover and press the attack. Infantry get four hits on the ambushing ATGs but can’t roll firepower to kill anything.

IMG_8328 The 122s try now and pin the guns and infantry.


IMG_8333The cavalry arrives on my turn and I actually roll a “5” so they swarm menacingly around the 122mm gun battery (they can’t charge home on the arrival turn). They fire from the saddle and unbelievably kill one of the guns. I actually DID roll a “6”!

After everyone unpins, 37mm guns shoot at the armor and only manage to bail two tanks with EIGHT hits. The 150s range in and take out two more tanks and two infantry. Polish infantry fire gets six more hits on the Russkies but only kill one. The barrage is too much for the tankers, who flee the battlefield. Fitzi had used up his big dice on the magnificent string of tank and infantry save throws…

IMG_8334TURN FIVE and it’s crunch time. For once all the Russians unpin and the attack is on!

IMG_8335 The guns, knowing they will be attacked by the Polish Uhlans, dutifully try to suppress the point of attack for the army. They miss the guns but do kill an infantry stand.  The battery commander shoots at the cavalry but does no damage.

IMG_8336A brave pioneer flamethrower roasts one of the guns. The charging infantry add five more hits but kill nothing. The set-up is complete as both Polish units are now pinned.


IMG_8337 Defensive fire takes out four stands but can’t halt the attack. The onrushing Russians fail to kill anyone and the Polish counter-attack kills two. The Commissar again “encourages” the troops by execution and take out three infantry and an antitank gun!. Surging back, the Poles destroy SIX. He returns and kills three and I do the same. The decimated Russians check their assault and flee.

Now it’s the second company’s charge from my right. Three hits in defensive fire are shrugged off and one Pole dies in a town building. I counter-attack with two  stands and take out a Russian element. The Russians fail to counter even after “encouragement” and pull back. The near-destroyed Poles make their morale check and hold their position.

Finally, a tank platoon arrives from reserves and motors forward to shoot at the Russian infantry. All units unpin, and the combined firing kills three infantry stands.

IMG_8338 The 150s and 75s get THIRTEEN hits, but Fitzi’s dice get hot and he only loses one.

IMG_8339 Defensive fire hits two of the charging cavalry stands but it’s my turn for big dice…6 and 6 saves both! Surging horsemen then overrun two guns and the battery commander. The rest of the battery is then captured and eliminated.

TURN SIX and the Russians finally get a break…..the Strelkovy Wave Attack succeeded and the destroyed infantry company is put back in play as a second wave!  They move forward and the ZIS guns target the Polish armor, hitting with 5,5 and 6! Of course Fitzi follows up with a 2,2,2 for firepower so all three are only bailed. The pioneer detachment turns to face the victorious cavalry who now menace the Russian left.

IMG_8340 The Polish infantry unpins and the cavalry moves toward the Russian flank. Two tanks recover and rake the Russians with machine guns, killing three. A platoon of HMGs arrive from reserves and get one kill, pinning the Russians. The Polish infantry rifles claim two more stands.

IMG_8341 The 150s blow up one of the antitank guns. The 75s range in and gets five hits on the twelve stands under the template and kill two. The Russian morale holds.

TURN SEVEN and end. The Russian infantry units both unpin but the AT gun is not so fortunate. It shoots at a Polish tank but misses. A flamethrower hoses down an occupied building but ALSO misses! The cavalry loses two stands on four hits.

The infantry charges my positions near the objective and defensive fire takes out a stand. His attack kills one of mine but I charge back and kill three. He returns the favor and kills two infantry and the ATG battery commander. I counter-attack and whiff. His return kills an infantry stand and the last ATG. My shaken infantry, now down to two stands,  had enough and leave the battle.

The second Polish infantry company arrives and things look real bad for the Russians. I try to get tricky and move one of the tanks so his only target is a flamethrower and get ONE hit (needing a 2 or better!) which he saves. The other tanks kill four. The now stationary HMGs unleash hell and get 16 hits out of 18 dice. Fitzi obliges and looses six stands. The infantry refuses to continue and runs.

Now it’s the cavalry charge….the pioneers kill one but can’t stop the charge. The lancers kill four, including the 2iC. They run away to a safe refuge in the woods.

The Polish defense holds today! The shattered Russians can not continue and pull back to re-group.

Great game, Fitz!! I think we set a record for dead infantry in this one. Big infantry units against big infantry units tend to get bloody.

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Brit Paras assault German Security Infantry (1420pts LW)

IMG_7353Long-time friend John Loy came in to play in our tournament the following day at Legions Hobbies and needed some practice so we “threw down” Friday afternoon with our tournament lists.

We rolled up “Counterattack” and I chose a night attack to help John ( and me!) get familiar with those  rules.

My Brit Paras from Arnhem:


Their artillery special rule is that continuing barrages hit with the effect of 5.5″ artillery as the Medium guns are considered to add into the bombardment. Once they land…move!!

John’s list:


IMG_7331   John deployed in the bottom left quarter and I set up in the top left. I placed an objective to the NW of the farm buildings near a small hill in the bottom right quarter of the board.

IMG_7332  His was positioned behind the rural farm near the windmill.


John deployed a heavy MG section in the windmill, three infantry platoons across the front, weighted to his right, backed up by two 88mm gun platoons to the rear of the board. Mortars were behind the buildings and the Tigers lurked in the rear. The SturmTigers were in mobile reserve.

IMG_7337 I set up with an infantry platoon and 6pdrs far forward on my right. Mortars were slightly behind. Another infantry platoon was on my left with the Vickers guns to their right. Artillery deployed in cover to the rear. The Jeep patrol started on the road behind the crops, ready to move out. The second 6pdr battery was placed on my left, hoping to hinder the arrival of the SturmTigers and prevent flanking moves by the Germans.

IMG_7341TURN ONE sees a general British advance. No firing as I wanted to get as close as possible. One of my clumsier blokes must have tripped over a rock or something and the MG gunners in the windmill blazed away with seven hits on the infantry (still needing a 5 or better due to darkness!). Three stands fell to the fusillade of bullets. One of the 88s also managed to spot and kill a recce jeep (of course I missed the roll to evade!)

IMG_7343Next the mortars chimed in and knocked out one of the Vickers guns… this “darkness” didn’t seem to hurt the Germans! Note that in night the vision range is rolled for each observing platoon. Range is four times the die roll in inches…so John rolled well! To add insult to injury, the SturmTigers arrived from reserve on the first turn….

IMG_7344TURN TWO. The advance continues but one of the 6pdrs bogs down in the dark woods. But  I get to shoot at the now-revealed German positions. The 75s range in on the 88mm guns and kill the battery commander, pinning the guns. The recce jeeps rake the windmill with MG fire and the 3″ mortars add in,  getting five hits and destroying one of the guns.

IMG_7346The Germans respond in their turn and unpin the 88s and the MGs in the windmill. The tanks still can’t see anyone…too many trees in the way, but the MGs and infantry in the farm knock out two of the recce jeeps. The last one leaves the field….”I’ll get help, lads! Back in a jif!” The mortars fail to range in.

IMG_7347TURN THREE and the heavy whistling 100-pound shells of the 5.5″ guns spell death for the 88. The 6pdr stuck in the woods unbogs, then re-bogs in a different part of the woods! The Vickers aces eliminate the MG commander in the bullet-ridden windmill. The right platoon shoots at the farm defenders, getting two hits, but they make their saves. The 3″ mortars target the windmill and pin the remaining stand. A 2″ mortar tries to smoke  the Tigers  but can’t spot them! (Two 69 TON beasties thrashin’ through the Dutch countryside can’t be seen!!!!)

The German turn is uneventful for once. Day has not broken, so it’s still pitch black. The Reluctant 88s , MGs, and infantry all remain pinned even after the CO intervenes, and miss all their targets. The tanks still can’t see anything.

TURN FOUR and it remains dark. The unlucky 6pdr repeats last turn. (Maybe the Sjt should move it IN THE OPEN next time??) Vickers try at the windmill again, getting one hit but the MG saves. The paras hose down the farm defenders, getting two ineffective hits. One section of 75s targets  the other 88. The other section observer finally spots the Tigers and calls in a barrage which dutifully arrives on target. My big chance as John rolls a 1 results in me rolling a 1 also! At least the tank commander wet himself…

IMG_7349 Next the assault goes in! The pinned defenders get 2 hits, killing one stand. The paras take out two. The Reluctant Germans who couldn’t shoot roll a 6 and get off a counterattack that takes out three para. The plucky paras get two in their phase. Asking Reluctant troops to counterattack twice is asking a bit much…they fall back, abandoning an 88 to the Red Devils. The Paras make their morale test but the Germans do not.

IMG_7350 Daylight finally breaks, but all the Germans remained pinned. The Sturmtigers now see the 6pdr commander and obliterate him…nothing left except a very big crater! (Sorry, my “barrage” marker is WAY too small for the effect of an 800lb 38cm projectile!). The Tiger IIs machine-gun some paras on the left with no effect. The mortars range in but fail to hit. The 6pdrs on my right are hit twice, but suffer no damage. Everybody else unloads on the paras now holding the objective. One dies out of nine hits and the Germans charge in, saving on three defensive fire hits. All the paras fall to the charge except the platoon commander. The demoralized paras fail to counter-charge and then fail their morale test (THREE 1s and 2s).

IMG_7352TURN FIVE and the artillery has targets! One more 88 is smashed by 5.5″ guns and the other section tries to range in on the farm objective defenders but fails. The last German MG in the windmill finally is destroyed by concentrated Vickers, mortar  and infantry fire.

The Germans are running low on options. The Sturmtigers kill an infantry stand. The Tigers shoot up the left platoon but all save.The mortars range in on the 6pdrs and infantry but get no hits. The infantry fires at the 6pdrs, getting two hits with no effect.

IMG_7354TURN SIX. The 75s range in on the last 88, getting three hits but all are saved.

IMG_7355 The other section ranges in on the farm defenders, managing SIX hits with one death. Good thing they dug in last turn! The second para platoon charges from the left and saves on two defensive fire hits. They kill two and the Germans pull back again…their perimeter around the objective is getting real small….

The German turn goes quickly. Mortars hit 6pdrs and infantry four times under a barrage but do nothing. Infantry fire cuts down a PIAT team and one of the 6pdrs. The SturmTigers make the observers foxhole a little bigger with a direct hit!

TURN SEVEN and end. The section of 3″ mortars gets 5 hits on the infantry and mortars trying to hold the objective (note that this 2-gun section had to confirm all the hits!) and kills 3. The 75s range in for no effect. The Vickers gun kills one more and the Germans fail morale. With the objective in hand and the tanks too far away, the Brits claim a 5-2 win (John killed two platoons but I started with nine).

Post game analysis: John said he should have been more careful with the entry point of the SturmTigers. He played too cautiously and where he entered did not have a lot of sight lines, even after day break. The Tigers were for the most part ineffective and might have been better placed nearer the objective. The HMGs in the windmill were outstanding warriors, well worthy of the posthumous Iron Crosses going to the families. Playing Reluctant troops is HARD!

For me, the artillery and mortars paid off—killing all the 88s and causing much grief throughout the game. Pins on Reluctant troops are sometimes as good as kills, and I only failed to range in once. I didn’t expect the losses on my first para infantry platoon, but John’s crucial winning counter-attack showed me to never forget the dice, either for Fearless OR Reluctant troops!

Thanks, John for the good game!



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Battle of the Bulge Tournament

Battle of the Bulge Tournament held at Legions Hobbies, Pittsburgh, PA

1,850 point Late War Tournament
Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Lists are accepted from the following sources only:
-Devils Charge
-Panzers to the Meuse
-No fortified companies will be allowed.

Special Rules that will be in effect.

Rounds #1 & #2 the German player will always attack. In case of a German vs German game then you dice off normally.

Rounds #1, #2, #3 the American Engineering Company will always defend and will always have prepared positions.

Fog rules from Nuts on rounds #1, #2, #3 will be used

Note: The FOW Site has errata for both the Devils Charge and Nuts boo.


Pics from the tournament are from my Flickr album. Click on the picture and arrows appear for navigation.




1.  Chris (top overall score)
2. Rich
3. Jeremy
4. Larry
5. Jim N
1. Bill Sr.
2. Fitzy
3. David
4. Howard
5 Bill III, James, Nate

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Firestorm: Caen British Airlanding attacks German grenadiers

From Rust and the City:

Allied forces at Sword Beach have been battered by attacks by the 21st Panzer Division. The airborne troops that held Breville have been pushed back to the beachhead. Desperate to protect their shallow beachhead, the Allies have launched a daring attack directly into the German defenses around Caen.

Mission: Breakthrough
Terrain: Bocage

Allied Firestorm Troops: 4 AGRA-AOP, CT Command team, observer, staff team, 4 BL 5.5″ artillery battery (or 200 points)
6 Airborne Division-FV Rifle platoon with Command Rifle/MG, 6 Rifle/MG teams, 1 Piat team (all have gammon bombs and section mortars) (or 200 points)
Axis Firestorm Troops: 21 Beute Stug-3 CV 7.5 cm (Sf) 39H (or 200 points)
III Flak Corps-RT Luftwaffe Anti-Aircraft Command SMG, 4 8.8 cm Flak36 guns with extra crew (or 200 points)

Friday at Legions Morgan’s Germans set up to defend against my British airlanding company. His company:


The MGs were attached out to the infantry platoons but the extra Firestorm units still left him with ten platoons.

My airlanding company:BritParaOverlord
I had 11 platoons with the Firestorm units and elected to put the Royal Engineers and the Firestorm Para platoon in reserve.

IMG_6239 The battlefield looking to the South with the British deployment zone marked. The Germans could deploy in the quarter directly opposite and to my left. All enclosed fields were treated as hedgerows.

IMG_6240 The objectives were placed in the empty corner as shown.

IMG_6243 To my left, the Germans deployed an infantry platoon, mortars in the hedgerow field (shamelessly subbed for by unpainted infantry stands!) and the Luftwaffe 88s.

IMG_6244 From the German side on the South were the PaK40s, a Grenadier platoon, and the Lehr platoon (without halftracks deployed) on the road. The MkIVs, StuGs, and Beute StuGs were all in reserve.

IMG_6242 I deployed with the two Priest sections forward behind two airlanding platoons. (Yes. I also shamelessly subbed two Kangaroos and two Semoventes for Priests as I had left one section home on the painting table!) The 6pdrs were to the left, tanks hidden behind the bocage and the 5.5s to the rear. My plan was to use the artillery to suppress the infantry in the town so I could assault with the two airlanding platoons. Afterwards the artillery would attack the PaKs and 88s.


IMG_6247TURN ONE starts well for the British (bad omen!) as the smoke barrage covers the train station. The airlanding platoon gets 5 hits on the defenders, killing two and pins them just like the textbook says. The still-potent defensive fire from MG42s and rifles get two of mine but the assault carries the station building. One defender falls and the Germans pull back. The other airlanding platoon takes cover in the town buildings now vacated by the Germans.

IMG_6251Now the Germans retaliate. The 88s, with superb gunnery (two 6s in six dice), kill one Priest and bail another. MG fire hoses down the train station with no effect. A mortar barrage catches two stands in the streets and eliminates them ( I can’t seem to make any saves so far).

IMG_6252The werfers then target and kill one of the 5.5s, pinning the battery. The Lehr grenadiers double-time to the British left. A good first turn for the Germans, too! (Another bad omen…)

TURN TWO. The infantry unpins but the 5.5s do not. The Priest remains bailed.

IMG_6253 I try to repeat the first turn. Smoke duly covers the farmhouse, and the infantry goes in. This platoon can’t shoot as well and get no hits going in. Fortunately the surprised Germans only get two hits with defensive fire, killing one stand. The Brit charge takes out two defenders and occupy the farm house when the Germans pull back. (Morgan can’t roll counter-attacks and I can’t roll saves…)

IMG_6255 In the German turn, the PaKs destroy one of the Priests on my right. A lucky 88mm shot takes out a stand in the smoke-covered farm building. Hell is unleashed on the train station with about 24 dice get five hits and pin the platoon. Mortars on the farm kill two stands, and the rockets get another in the train station. (I could be good in this game if I could roll saves….) The platoon makes its morale roll and hunkers down. The Lehr grenadiers take up position near the British entry point.

TURN THREE sees the arrival of a Para platoon which will immediately charge the German position. The decimated platoon in the farm building remains pinned and the Priest is still bailed.

IMG_6257 105s rain around the 88s, but I can’t roll firepower so do no damage. The 5.5s fail to hit any of the PaKs either. The para assault is stopped dead with 6 hits netting two dead.

The 88s remain pinned in the German turn, but the infantry all recover.The PaKs miss Priest targets but bail the observer Sherman. The MGs again rake the railroad station, getting NINE hits and killing one. (I actually failed four saves, but it’s hard to get firepower rolls from rifles or MGs).  To the Southwest, the para take six hits and 4 die (no saves again). One 88 fires at Priests and misses, but the other hits the farm building and kills another infantry stand. The infantry adds in and kills two more with 6 hits (ACK!!! All I need is 3 or better to save!!!)

IMG_6267 German mortars target the Priests and pins the 6pdrs. The werfers hit the train station, kill one and the platoon breaks. (Can you see a trend? No save, then roll a 1 for morale on a Fearless unit….). The Lehr platoon overruns the last of the Paras in the South.

TURN FOUR. This is looking grim. No reserves arrive. The sole survivor in the farm house leaves the field on a 2 and I’m now down three infantry platoons.


The “magic” 88 rolls TWO sixes to avoid destruction under the continued barrage of 105s! One of the PaKs is not so fortunate and disappears under the 5.5″ gun barrage. The Vickers gun removes an infantry from the village. Two Priests move into the outskirts of the town but can’t hit any of the Germans with .50 caliber fire.

To continue my luck the Germans get TWO platoons in from reserve this turn. The beute StuHs take up firing position near the PaKs and kill one Priest. The observer Sherman is brewed up by the PaKs, who easily unpinned. A platoon of MkIVs come in near the 88s and move forward. Another Priest falls to an 88. (With 9 dice, Morgan managed 3 hits…all needing a 6). To add insult to injury, the mortars bail a Priest (6!), and kill a 6pdr (6!). The werfers kill another 5.5 (another 6!!!).

TURN FIVE and end. My last platoon arrives and engages the Lehr platoon in a desperate attempt to get a point and have some hope to take the objective. Both Priest platoons make their moral points and continue, but the 5.5s remain pinned.

IMG_6269 The Sherman platoon, which had moved forward last turn, kill two of the beute StuGs in the wheat field. The Priest hits another 88 in bombardment, but fails to roll firepower. The Priests try to kill infantry in the town with breakthrough guns and MGs, but I roll a 1 for firepower and come up short.


Last chance now….the flamethrowers of the Engineers incinerate two infantry stands and pin the Lehr platoon. I lose two to defensive fire and kill one. The Germans fail to counterattack and pull back.

I do manage to roll morale on the Engineers, but we call the game at this point. Morgan still had a StuG platoon in reserves which would arrive this turn. The beute StuGs make their morale point, so I get no points in a 1-6 loss.

This one really showed how hard it is to get points when one side consistently rolls bad and the other does the opposite! I can’t fault Morgan’s tactics and his Germans performed magnificently.

Looking back, I probably should have brought my Shermans in as additional reserve troops, but I stupidly counted on my TWELVE artillery pieces to do more. It didn’t help that the infantry took too many losses to be a factor after the second turn.

Good game, Morgan!

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