Wednesday, 29 February 2012

CACK invests in some new terrain for WW2 gaming

The club have purchase a couple of new Terrain pieces for our WW2 gaming.  We haven't got them as yet but from the pictures they look great and are pre-painted.

News : Flames of War Version 3 Rule book available from 10 March

Well I have never actually played Flames of War but apparently Version 3 of the rules are available from the 10th of March:

From the Flames of War Website:

All of us here at Battlefront are proud to bring you this, the third installment of the world’s most popular World War II miniatures game. This edition retains all the features that have already given us so many hours of enjoyable historical tactical challenges, while improving the speed of play and how the rules are presented.


News : Wings of War relaunched as Wings of Glory

Wings of Glory is a game system that allows players to recreate aerial combat during World War I and II, using cards and miniatures to represent the airplanes and their maneuvers.
In Wings of Glory players will control one or more airplanes, taking to the skies to engage their opponents in aerial duels, or trying to accomplish a specific mission, such as recon, escort, or bombing.

This WW2 Wings of Glory Starter Set is a complete game that includes everything you need to start playing the WW2 version of the system, but may be expanded with additional WW2 Aircraft Packs and game sets to allow for larger battles with different airplanes.

Wings of Glory is fast-playing and easy to learn. The Basic Rules give you a very simple starting point to start playing minutes after opening this box. After you’re familiar with the Basic Rules, or if you are an experienced gamer, you may use the Standard or Advanced Rules, to make the game more challenging and realistic.

This Starter Set of Wings of Glory includes all you need to play in the WW2 period. Four different airplanes of different nationalities are included: a P-40 Warhawk, a Yakovlev Yak-1, a Kawasaky Ki-61 and a Reggiane Re.2001.

In addition to these planes, you will find a rulebook including Basic, Standard, Advanced Rules; Optional Rules; Scenarios. Moreover, the Starter Set comes with a full assortment of counters, tokens, rulers, and airplane console boards, so that you can start playing out of the box in mere minutes!

The Starter Set may then be expanded by purchasing Expansions, Accessories and Airplane Packs, but it's a complete table-top game in itself.

The Wings of Glory game will debut on the market in March with the release of the first WW2 Airplane Packs featuring four aircrafts (Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Yakovlev Yak-1, Kawasaki Ki-60 and Reggiane Re.2001 Falco), each presented in two different versions. The Airplane Packs, already arrived at the Ares Games’ warehouse in the U.S., are now shipping to North America distributors and will be available in the stores starting on March, 7th. In Europe, the arrival on the shelves is scheduled for the following week.

Each Airplane Pack is a complete painted and ready to play model in 1/200 scale, including a maneuver deck and gaming base.

Monday, 27 February 2012

History : Combat History of the T-26

The T-26 entered active service for the Red Army (RKKA) in 1932; it was used in many conflicts of 1930s as well as during World War II. The T-26 together with the BT was the main tank of the RKKA armored forces during the interwar period.

The T-26 light tank first saw action in the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union provided Republican Spain with a total of 281 T-26 mod. 1933 tanks starting in October 1936. T-26s were used in almost all military operations of the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939 against Nationalists and demonstrated there a superiority over the German Panzer I light tanks and Italian CV-33 tankettes armed only with machine guns. During the battle of Guadalajara T-26s outclassed the Italian tankettes, strongly inspiring the design of the first Italian medium tank the Fiat M13/40 tank.

The first military operation of the RKKA in which T-26 light tanks participated was the Soviet-Japanese border conflict, the Battle of Lake Khasan, in July 1938. The 2nd Mechanised Brigade, the 32nd and the 40th Separate Tank Battalions had 257 T-26s, from which 76 tanks were damaged and 9 burnt towards the end of battle action. A small number of T-26 tanks and flame-throwing tanks based on the T-26 chassis participated in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol against Japanese forces in 1939.

On the eve of World War II, T-26s served mainly in separate light tank brigades (each brigade had 256–267 T-26s) and in separate tank battalions of rifle divisions (one company of T-26s consisted of 10-15 tanks). This was the type of tank units that participated in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 and in the Winter War of December 1939-March 1940. The Winter War proved that the T-26 was obsolete and its design reserve was totally depleted. Finnish anti-tank guns easily penetrated the T-26's thin anti-bullet armour, and tank units equipped with the T-26 suffered significant losses during the breakthrough of the Mannerheim Line, in which the flame-throwing tanks based on the T-26 chassis played a significant role.

On June 1st 1941 the Red Army had 10,268 T-26 light tanks of all models, including armoured combat vehicles based on the T-26 chassis. T-26s composed a majority of the fighting vehicles in Soviet mechanised corps of border military districts. For instance, the Western Special Military District had 1,136 T-26 tanks on June 22nd 1941 (52% of all tanks in the district). The T-26 (mod. 1938/39, especially) could withstand German tanks (except the Panzer III and Panzer IV) participating in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The majority of the Red Army's T-26s were lost in the first months of the German-Soviet War, mainly to enemy artillery and air strikes. Many tanks broke down for technical reasons and lack of spare parts.

Nevertheless, the remaining T-26s participated in combats with the Germans and their allies during the Battle of Moscow in winter 1941/1942, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of the Caucasus in 1942-1943. Some tank units of the Leningrad Front used their T-26 tanks until 1944.
The defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria in August 1945 was the last military operation in which Soviet T-26s were used.

In the 1930s, T-26 light tanks were delivered to Spain (281), China (82) and Turkey (60). They were used in the Second Sino-Japanese War by the Chinese in 1938–1944. A number of captured T-26s of different models were used by the Finnish Army during the Continuation War, some tanks served in Finland till 1961. Captured T-26s were also used by the German, Romanian and Hungarian armies.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Models : BKC Command Stand for Early War Russians

After playing a game of Blitzkrieg Commander at CACK on Thursday (Invasion of Poland) I decided that my T34/76 CO didn't really fit in, and so I have decided to make a CO which suits this period of the war a little more.

The T-26 is from Zvezda and the infantryman is a Flames of War figure.  I shall post a further update when the model is painted.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Models : Early War Russian Armour

My Early War Russian Tanks are finish, this now allows me to use my Russian Army from the Invasion of Poland to the fall of Berlin.

T-26 Light Tank

BT-5 Light Tank

The Mighty KV-1

Unfortunately I have just broken the end of the barrel off one of the BT-5s and I can't find it, mine you at £2.50 a model I can buy another just for the turret.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

News : Wargames Factory German Infantry Sprue

Wargames Factory have previewed the sprue for their 15mm WW2 German Infanty.  Looking quite promising so far.  The sprue appears to include Machine Guns and Anti Tank Weapons.


Friday, 17 February 2012

News : Richthofen's Flying Circus

I know, I know, its not WW2 but I want it now!

From the Warhammer Historical Website:

In the years leading up to 1917 the ground conflict of the Great War was proving costly to both sides, and the battles fought in the air were equally as intense as technological advances and better tactics were developed.

The air war reached its peak between 1917 and 1918 as aircraft became fast, highly manoeuvrable machines; each pilot determined to attain a superior position for the fleeting seconds in which a target might pass through a gun sight.
Richthofen's Flying Circus, written by Owen Branham, is a detailed rules set that allows players to recreate this fast-paced aerial combat with one or more miniature aircraft. Each game turn represents a snapshot of the action as the machines move across the aerial battlefield and fire upon their opponent.

This full-colour, 80-page soft back rulebook contains rules for playing aerial combat games with 1/72 scale model aircraft, and can also be used with 1/144 to 1/32 scale models. Scenarios are provided for such missions as Dogfights, Balloon Bursting and Bombing, as well as rules for playing both narrative campaigns or 'top gun'-style leagues. Also included is a technical gallery and aircraft background information.

Check out our downloads section for a Rules Summary, Record Sheet and Manoeuver Cards.
Richthofen's Flying Circus is available to order now for immediate release.

News : Wargames Factory 15mm Germans

It would appear that Wargames Factory are moving into WW2 minis.  Looking forward to seeing the models and hoping there better than their 28mm Dark Age figures, which to be honest wouldn't be hard.

From there announcement:

Wargames Factory announces 15MM WWII Germans!!!

We are always in the midst of designing new sets and are very enthused to share news of our latest and soon to be released kit- 15MM World War II Germans! The kit will contain 84 single-part figures complete with bases & will retail for $19.95.

These figures are being cast right now and our team is blown away by the high level of detail we were able to capture in these little guys! Stay tuned for more photos and information soon- we believe you will be just as excited about these new miniatures as we are.

Models : Zvezda KV-1s and BT-5s

My Zvezda Russian Tanks have arrived and I though I would stick a quick review of the models on there for you all to have a look at.

First up the KV-1 Kit

The Kit comes in 6 parts and is very easy to built.

The model is very detailed and required virtually no cleaning up, just the remove of the little bits where then parts had been attached to the sprue.

Next up the BT-5 Kit.

This one comes in 7 parts and is a little model difficult to build as the tracks are mounted on very thin spindles.

Again the model is very detailed.  It still amazes me that these only cost £2.50 a model, its just a shame the range isn't bigger yet, although I believe they are planning a early war British range.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

History : The Panther

The Panther served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the Russian T-34, and as a replacement to the Panzer III and IV; while never replacing the latter, it served alongside it as well as the heavier Tiger until the end of the war. The Panther's excellent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection served as a benchmark for other nations' late war and immediate post-war tank designs, and it is frequently regarded as one of the best tank designs of World War II.

The development of the Panther resulted from the Wehrmacht's unpleasant surprise encounter with the T-34 during Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia in June 1941. During the first weeks of Barbarossa, the Panzertruppen repeatedly encountered the T-34/76 medium tank. Although in short supply, the T-34 made a quick and lasting impression on the German armored forces through its combination of speed and mobility, rugged reliability, sloped armor protection and firepower. As a result of several encounters with the T-34, especially the mauling sustained by the 4th panzer division at Mtsensk on 4 October 1941, Colonel General Heinz Guderian, leading Panzergruppe 2 in Army Group Centre, requested the establishment of a commission of enquiry into the relative strengths of the tank armies on the Eastern Front.

Although Guderian suggested simply copying the T-34, the report of the enquiry recommended that the main attributes of the T-34 - armament, sloped armor and suspension - be incorporated into a new 30-ton German tank designated the VK30.02. Both Daimler-Benz and MAN (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg) produced prototypes. Despite Hitler's preference for the VK30.02(DB), the Wehrmacht's Weapons Department recommended production of the MAN variant. The Wehrmacht issued a contract to MAN on 15 May 1942 to produce the first pre-production version of the new tank to be known as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther Ausführung D, with the ordnance inventry designation of Sd.Kfz. 171.

The new tank's name was modified on 27 February 1944 when Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral V be deleted from the designation.

After a complex and difficult development program which included problems with the vehicle's transmission, steering, gun, turret and fuel pump, the Panther was readied for participation in the Wehrmacht's 1943 summer offensive in the East. Despite ongoing rebuilding and further teething troubles, the DEMAG factory entrusted with the rebuild programme managed to deliver 200 Panthers to the Eastern Front in time for its operational debut in the Battle of Kursk. The two battalions of Panthers - the 51st and 52nd Panzer Battalions - were attached to the Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier Division on the southern front of the Kursk salient. Inevitably, their troublesome gestation and the limited training of their crews severely hampered the Panthers' contribution to the battle.

The lessons of Kursk, however, were quickly absorbed into the production lines and influenced the later Ausf (Model) Ds, as well as the improved Ausf A and the later Ausf G. Improvements included stronger, lower-profile commander's cupolas, rainguards on the gun mantlet, zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste and, on the Ausf G, a simplified and strengthened hull. Given the production difficulties and internal politics of german weapons manufacture, the Panther tank was inevitably a compromise of various requirements. While sharing essentially the same engine as the Tiger I tank, it had better frontal armor, better gun penetration, was lighter overall and thus faster, and could handle rough terrain better than the Tigers. The tradeoff was weaker side armor; the Panther proved to be deadly in open country and shooting from long range, but vulnerable to close-quarters combat. Also, the 75 mm gun fired a slightly smaller shell than the Tiger's 88 mm gun, providing less high explosive firepower against infantry, though it was still quite effective.

The Panther was also far cheaper to produce than the Tiger tanks, and only slightly more expensive than the Panzer IV, as its design came to fruition at the same time that the Reich Ministry of Armament and War Production was making great efforts to increase war production. Key elements of the Panther design, such as its armor, transmission and final drive, were compromises made specifically to improve production rates and address Germany's war shortages, whereas other elements such as its highly compact engine and its complex suspension system remained with their elegant but complicated engineering. The result was that Panther tank production was far higher than was possible for the Tiger tanks, but not much higher than had been accomplished with the Panzer IV. At the same time, the simplified final drive became the single major cause of breakdowns of the Panther tank, and was a problem that was never corrected.

Having arrived on the battlefield in 1943 at a crucial phase in World War II for Germany and been rushed into combat at Kursk before its teething problems were corrected, the Panther tank thereafter fought on outnumbered in Germany's steady retreat before the Allies for the remainder of World War II. Its success as a battlefield weapon was thus hampered by Germany's generally declining position in the war, with the loss of airpower protection by the Luftwaffe, the loss of fuel and training space, and the declining quality of tank crews. Nevertheless, the Panther tank was respected by the Allies as one of the best all-round tanks of the war, and its combat capabilities led directly to the introduction of heavier Allied tanks such as the Soviet IS-2 and the American M26 into the war.

Models : Russian Anti-Tank Guns

Well my Russian Anti-Tank Guns are finally taking shape.  All the base colours are on and the models are based.  Unfortunately my Army Painter Dark Tone has had it and has been thrown in the bin.  Ive used my light tone but it hasn't really done the job.  Time to crack out the Devlen Mud I think!  Anyhow, I have attached a photo below.

As you can see the figures are still shiny from the dip, they will need a matt varnish to take the shine off.  As mentioned above the light tone hasn't really worked and hasn't picked out the detail of the faces etc as the dark dip normally does.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Models : Plastic Soldier Company Panther Kit

Plastic Soldier Company have just released there Panzer V Panther Kit.  The kit allows you to build the Panther Ausf A, D and G models.

As you can see from the photo's, the sprue is packed with bits including the necessary hulls for the A/D and G models.

I have build one of the models as a Panther A.

I've included below a couple of comparison photos to compare between the PSC model and the Forged in Battle Panther which is disguised as a M10 Tank Destroyer.

You can't really tell from the photo but the PSC model is a good bit wider.

The side profile shows how much nicer a model the PSC kit is, in particular the tracks and wheels are so much better.

For £16.99 the PSC models are fantastic and amazing value for money.  In my opinion this is the best 15mm Panther model on the market.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

Models : Zvezda Panzer III and Panzer IV unboxing

I have bought some of the Zvezda Panzer Kits (from Mr Model in Birmingham via eBay) to add to my Early War German army which is still very much a work in progress.  But as my Zvezda early Russians haven't arrived as yet, as is the case with my order of sand to base my Russian ATG's, I have decided to build a couple of these.

As you can see from the photo above, the Panzer IV comes in 7 bits and the Panzer III comes in 9 bits.  At £2.50 each these are amazing value and are simple to build.  They also look very good and are a decent quality.

I can highly recommend the Zvezda kits.  It makes doing a Early War Army very affordable.


Friday, 10 February 2012

History : The Russian M42, 45mm Anti-Tank Gun

Well as I am still awaiting some sand to base my ATGs I though I would have alook for a bit of info about the Weapon itself:

The M-42 was a 45-mm Soviet light semi-automatic anti-tank gun. Full official name is 45-mm anti-tank gun model 1942 (M-42). These guns were used from 1942 until the end of the war.

The M-42 was developed by the Plant 172 in Motovilikha as an upgrade of the 45mm M1937. The gun received a longer barrel, shells with more powerful cartridges, and a thicker shield (7 mm instead of 4.5 mm), but of hinged construction as a need for reduced profile, requiring the weapon to be serviced by crews while kneeling. Some minor changes were also introduced in order to speed up production.

These guns were used from 1942 until the end of the war. In 1943, due to its insufficient anti-armor capabilities against new Nazi tanks such as the Panzer IV Ausf H, Panzer V Panther and Panzer VI Tiger, the M-42 was partially replaced in mass production by more powerful 57 mm ZiS-2 anti-tank gun. The M-42 remained in production, however as it was quite effective against lighter vehicles and could pierce the side armour of Panther and Panzer IV Ausf H. Fragmentation shell and canister shot gave the gun some anti-personnel capability.

Mass production of M-42 ceased in mid-1945. The total number of guns produced is 10,843.

Weight Combat: 625 kg (1,378 lbs),  Travel: 1,250 kg (2,756 lbs)
Shell – 45 x 386 mm. SR
Calibre – 45 mm/ 68 (1.77 in)
Carriage – Split Trail
Elevation – 8 to 25 degrees
Traverse – 60 degrees
Rate of Fire – 15-20 rounds per minute
Muzzle Velocity – 870 m/s (2,854 ft/s)
Maximum Range – 4.55 km (2.84 ,mi)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Models : 45mm obr 1942 Anti Tank Guns

I ordered these models from Battlefront to add a defensive option to my Russian Army. Although they are the 1942 version of the Gun, I intent to use them to cover all periods of the war.

As you can see the Guns are built, and there very nice models, im quite impressed as FOW stuff can be a little hit and miss IMHO.  Once I manage to get some sand to base them I will get them painted up.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Models : Red Army for BKC

Well as mention previously here is my Russian Army for BKC.  The initial plan was a late war army, but ive decided to make it cover the entire war.

So first up, my late War Heavy Tanks.  1 ISU-122 and 2 IS-2's (these are all Flames of War Models):

T34/85's, these also have interchangeable 76mm turrets (These models are from the Plastic Soldier Company and are really nice kits):

Six Infantry Units, 4 Maxin Machine Gun Teams and a SU-76 Assault Gun (The Infantry Units and SU-76 are Flames of War, the Maxim Teams are Forged in Battle):

3 Shermans (These models are from the Flames of War Starter Set):

2 Katayusha Rocket Artillery Trucks (These models are from Zvezda, they are clip together kits which are really nice and fit in well with the rest of the army):

And finally my Commanders:

So to make the army usable for Early War I have ordered Some KV-1's, BT-5's and T-26's from Zvezda.  I will post a review of those models once received, but if the Kats are anything to go be, they should be very nice.  


Sunday, 5 February 2012

News : Forged In Battle Ratte

Forged in Battle make some lovely models.  I was stunned to see they are making a model of the Ratte.  Blimey its big:

And from another angle


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Games : Blitzkrieg Commander Game - 02/02/12

January 1945 – Eastern Front

Scenario 4 Deliberate Attack

Jason and Simon and Oli – 2000 points Late War Germans – Defenders

Robb and Justin – 3000 points Late War Russians – Attackers

This is a set-piece attack with the aim of capturing a terrain feature such as a hill, village, or a area of a town or city. The attacker has 50% more points available than the defender and may purchase assets for scheduled artillery and air support. The defender deploys first up to the table centre, may purchase one artillery asset per off table artillery unit, and may purchase field defences for fixed defence. The attacker should deploy opposite the defender using static deployment.

The attacker should occupy the objective within 12 turns to achieve a minor victory and within 9 turns to achieve a major victory. The game is limited to 12 turns with the attacker taking the first turn.

The German High Command    


The German defensive line starting their left and moving right

the centre, the hub of the German defense

and on the right, mostly infantry

All good positions, using cover but IMHO the tanks were too close to the front (and in the case of the Tiger on the hill, too far back) and invited defeat in detail, which is precisely what the Russian plan was.

Russian attack, we decided to throw everything at the centre and overwhlem the German defenders. There was also a nice road taking us straight to the hill (our objective) at the back of the table.

The Russian forces were simple, just tanks with tank riders on the back (they would have looked silly being balanced on the back of the tanks, so you will have to imagine them).

The plan is going well with the IS2s heading down the road and already 2 German tanks are burning, whilst another has been suppressed and forced back from the hedge into the wood. The Tiger on the hill is shooting at us but has so far proved ineffective.

The plan goes horribly wrong when the advancing Russian tanks get their orders confused (roll a blunder) and instead turn on the road trying to destroy the German infantry but blocking the road and exposing themselves to flank and rear shots.

Its a mess, the Russian attack has stalled and under a hail of mortar fire and a German counter-attack (with the lone remaining PziV) Russian tanks are burning and the Russian infantry are being mown down by German machine guns.

But the hill is clear, the Tiger was hit, suppressed and forced to fall back, straight off the edge of the table. The Soviet objective is clear, all we have to do is get there.

Game over (I think it took 5 turns), we did not get to the objective but the casualties the Germans suffered meant that their forces broke and we won the day. On to bigger and better games next time.

Thanks to Justin for the photos and Battle Report.

It was an excellent game and im really looking forward to the next one.