Each team was given poker chips to represent available points to choose and deploy their tanks. In this scenario, each had 25 points to choose three tanks. If a tank was destroyed, the winning team would get that many points in chips – which they could use to either upgrade a deployed tank, buy a new tank, or purchase a Bonus Card. The destroyed tank would respawn in the game. There was a river in the middle of the board, with roughly equivalent terrain on both sides of the board. I said that any tank on the opposite side of the river at the game’s end would count for two times as many points for victory. This gave each side an incentive to move forward.
For initial forces, the Germans chose two Panzer IVD’s (2 for 14 points) and a Panzer 38(t) (one for 9 points), leaving them with 2 chips extra. The Germans passed on choosing a Panzer IIC. The French chose two R35’s (2 for 14 points) and one SOMUA S35 (1 for 10 points), leaving them with one extra chip. While there were StuG IIIA and Char B1 bis vehicles in the inventories, I did not allow either to be chosen initially for reasons of play balance.
At that point the game was called. The French crossed one R35 to the other side of the river and got 14 points. The final score was France 38, Germans 12. It was a good rolling day for the French and a bad one for the Germans. The best tanks did not get to deploy, but both sides needed to use terrain well, and they did. It was nice to have some new players (Leif, Ethan, and Scott), thank you for coming. Everyone had fun, and I will run this scenario again.
French 38 chips:
1 chip left over from initial deployment (1 chip)
Two Panzer IVD’s knocked out (14 chips)
1 Panzer 38 (t) knocked out (9 chips)
1 R35 on the other side of the river at game’s end (14 points)
Germans 12 chips:
2 chips left over from initial deployment (2 chips)
1 SOMUA knocked out (10 chips)
Our next session will be on January 5th at 2 PM at 110 Pleasant Street, East Brookfield, MA. Please follow us on FaceBook at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.
My focus continued to be on early war vehicles. I had enough forces for an early Eastern Front game between the Axis (Germans and Italians) and the Soviets, but I wanted to have more variety in terms of tanks available. My KV-1 platoon needed some help, so I added some BT-series tanks.
My other goal was to build German and French forces for a France 1940 scenario. For the Germans I added a Panzer IIC, a Panzer IIIE, and three StuG Ausf A assault guns to my fleet. For the French, I added two Renault 35’s and three SOMUA S-35’s. All of these came from the Flames of War line from Battlefront Miniatures. I really like their tanks, even though I don’t play Flames of War! I think that I can get some crossover between the early-war German forces for such a scenario and use some on the Eastern Front. Long term, I am also planning on designing a North Africa scenario for the British and the Germans, and some of the figures I got from Battlefront will serve nicely after I paint them in desert colors.
Regarding colors, I also acquired some of the Battlefront paints so as to understand the colors that they recommend. The current Battlefront “Colours of War” line mixes sets of 20 ml and 12 ml dropper bottles, as compared with Vallejo’s 17 ml bottles. It appears that at least some of their paints may have been made by Vallejo, at least in the past. I found them to be good paints that worked well either thinned in an airbrush or a regular brush. At the end of this post, I will share the paints and materials that I used for those interested.
The two Soviet tanks that I added were the BT-5 and the BT-7. An advantage of adding these will be that they also were used against the Finns in the Winter War and against the Japanese at Nomonhan in 1939 and during the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria in 1945. So, I can use them in different scenarios for sure. I followed the same procedure to paint these as I did my previous early war Soviet tanks.
For assembly, I again chose to magnetize the turrets by drilling out the hulls and the turrets and using rare earth magnets. I weathered all of the tanks, as I prefer my tanks to be muddy. I also left the crews out, as I did not like the way they fit in the turrets. Of note, their Christie suspensions (an American invention) would be reproduced with the T-34 series.
I have always had an affinity for the French Army, as I have a French name (albeit of French-Canadian extraction), speak French, and spent time with three different Regiments du Genie (Engineer Regiments) back in the 1980’s.
SOMUA prepped for drilling and magnetizing the turrets
R-35’s in the blister – tiny 2-man tanks!
Assembling and painting these would require new uses of poster tack, plastic plates, and wood screws. This allowed me to both safely handle the tanks in production but also to get the right look of the camouflage. I decided to leave the crews out, as I had little confidence that they would survive the tabletop for very long as the models were designed.
I also got to play with some decals from Battlefront. These did require retreatment with Liquid Decal Film from Microscale Industries before I used their other products to affix their decals. I could not believe that the French roundel decal came in two pieces (the blue dot was separate and had to be affixed after and onto the red-ringed white circle). That was annoying!
For the Germans, I chose to use the Panzer IIC, the Panzer IIIE, and the Sturmgeschutz Ausf A. The Panzer II’s came in a box of 5 – but was missing one tank gun. Battlefront has promised to make this good (and I expect it soon). I chose to make one of the Panzer II’s a France 1940 candidate, saving the other four for a North African scenario that I will complete later on. The Panzer IIIE came in three separate blisters. Ironically, the Panzer IIIE was the worst of the Germans to assemble. One gun was almost split, and the turrets were nearly three different sizes. There were a lot of mold lines to correct as well, especially on the tracks.
I repaired the one gun with green stuff, and chose it for the France 1940 group, saving the other two for North Africa. Lastly, historically it seems that very few StuG III’s made it to North Africa. Therefore, I added all three of the assault guns for my France 1940 scenario.
Panzer II’s prepped.
The Panzer IIIE blisters
The StuG Ausf A box.
Assembled/repaired Pz IIIE’s
Assembled StuG IIIA.
How I mounted the turrets
Mounted turrets for painting
Pz II and III primed
StuG IIIA’s base coated
I was glad to have finished these in time for our club’s monthly session (which I will post about shortly). I will be adding more to my fleet, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed these. Do you have a favorite?
I appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. Thanks for looking!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:
COMMONLY USED ON MULTIPLE TANKS:
Vallejo “Flow Improver”
Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
Battlefront “German Camo Black Brown”
Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
Vallejo Mecha Color “Green”
Battlefront German Camo Black Brown
Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
Vallejo “Natural Umber” (pigment)
Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (weathering)
The Germans moved on first – and one of the T-26’s was able to early on get a couple of shots in on one of the Panzer IVd’s, with the second one knocking it out. This was a fun event for 7-year old Jack Burns who was playing in his first war game ever. He was so excited to knock out the German tank.
The Soviets KV-1a was slow to move forward, and the T-26’s outran it. The Panzer 38(t) moved up to the ruined factory and took aim at one of the T-26’s in the open. It fired, and missed the Soviet. Returning fire, the T-26 hit and knocked out the Panzer 38 (t). Two down for the Axis! Shortly after this, the other Panzer IVd peeked out from behind its brother, only to suffer the same fate from the plucky T-26. Three down now!
Let me add a side note here on my rules modifications for this scenario. What a Tanker does not have rules for either armored cars or trucks. I modified them here for the armored cars, which I made Fast (easier to always move), and Small (tougher to hit). For their Armor, I only gave them a 1, which meant that any hit from a tank gun would very likely be enough to kill the BA-64. As the BA-64 only had a machine gun, I gave them 2 modified Strike dice. The modifications were twofold. First, their range was 24″ (half that of the tanks). Secondly, the BA-64’s would hit on a 6, but the only likely result of such a hit would be to force the target to button up if it was not already. If the BA-64 player rolled double-6’s, I would allow 2 strike dice. So the BA-64’s were harassers at best. I had the Gaz trucks move last, with 2 D6 of movement (no command dice). If they were hit, they were destroyed.
Back to the battle!
At this low point, they got reinforcements in consecutive turns. First, the Panzer IIIN came on in turn 2. In turn 4, the Axis got the Hetzer and the M13/41. The tide of battle was turning.
The Panzer IIIN moved up to the hill, awaiting the T-26 and a truck. The German successively took both out, leaving the Soviets only with one T-26, one truck, the KV-1a, and the BA-64’s. The M13/41 rolled badly, and hid behind the Panzer IVd wrecks for better dice rolls, even taking humiliating fire from the BA-64’s that caused it to have to button up.
The Hetzer moves fast, and tried to move around to the rear of the KV-1a. It succeeded, and missed with its initial rear shot. The KV-1a immediately turned the tables, turning 180°, and rotating its massive turret towards the diminutive tank destroyer. The Soviet again got initiative, firing not once, not twice, but three times – and unbelievably missing on all three attempts! The saving grace for the Hetzer was its Small characteristic, which meant the KV-1a needed a “7” instead of a “6” to hit.
The Hetzer then got initiative and rolled its Command Dice well enough to fire but not to maneuver towards the Soviet behemoth’s vulnerable rear. It decided to take a chancy shot at the frontal armor of the KV-1a. It got 5 hits on 7 dice (needed a “5” or “6” to hit). The Soviet player got zero saves, and the KV-1a was knocked out.
The BA-64 ramming attack did nothing to the Hetzer, which dispatched the armored car with one shot. Meanwhile, the Italian M13/41 took out the last truck. The surviving BA-64 was destroyed by the Italian, leaving the Panzer IIIN and a damaged T-26 in a showdown. With the loss of the trucks and the KV-1a, the game was called an Axis victory.
The game was a fun one for winners and losers, with highs and lows for both. Next time, I will probably give the Soviets a second KV-1a.
The next Mass Pikemen’s gaming session will be on Saturday, December 1st from 2-8 PM, at 110 Pleasant Street in East Brookfield, MA. This is a change from our previous 3-9 PM time slot. We will be playing What a Tanker again!
Please join us, and share your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!
I have been working on getting a fleet of tanks for the What a Tankergame from the Too Fat Lardies company. It’s a great game and has been a true hit with my gaming club, the Mass Pikemen. I have been working on building up a flexible group of tanks, and so far I am up to 71 tanks in 15mm/1:100 scale – not including ones needing assembly and painting.
My sources have been eBay, hobby stores, and Facebook. If I waited to paint them all, I would never do another project, so finding some mostly painted resin (and reasonably priced) models from Wargame Models in Ohio has helped shorten the process. Mostly I just washed and varnished the ones I have gotten from WMIO.
One group acquisition was from another source on eBay – it was a resin Soviet KV-1 platoon consisting of 5 KV-1’s heavy tanks, 2 T-26 light tanks, 2 BA-64 armored cars, and 2 trucks. I do not know the manufacturer. They had been given some sort of dark brown coating with splashes of lighter brown. They color-wise did not look particularly like Soviet tanks from 1941. This platoon is the main subject of this blog post.
It was necessary to use a Sharpie to mark one end of the 1/8″ magnets such that I inserted them in the correct alignment (I did not want the turrets “blowing off” prematurely!). I glued the magnets into the holes with Gorilla Glue.
I needed to find a way to paint the figures without damaging the paint, and tanks were new to me. I decided to take advantage of the magnets on the turrets here. I used small nails inserted into styrofoam blocks (the kind used for flower crafts). For the hulls, I masked the tracks for secondary painting, and such that I could hold them safely.
I airbrushed/primed the figures with Vallejo “Surface Primer – Russian Green”.
I then gave the figures an airbrushed base coat with a thinned coat of Vallejo Panzer Series “Camouflage Olive Green”.
These looked too drab, and not very Soviet green looking. I moved on to adding Vallejo Mecha Color “Green” with a light airbrushing. Next, I used a brush to dry brush Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Green” on the figures. I was able to then give the figures an appropriate light green by using Citadel “Biel-Tan Green” as a shade. It worked!
At this point, I removed the masking and painted the tracks. I then wanted to add some mud, dirt, and dust with pigments. I used several Vallejo pigments and binders (all listed at the end of this post). These models are small, (about 3″ long by 1½” wide by 1¾” high so I wanted to give enough weathering without overwhelming them.
This was my first attempt at painting any WWII tank models. I think I can do better, but early war Soviet tanks are pretty simple, as they had not usually added any markings. It will not be my last, and I am hoping that I get better with more tries. This project also is my first submission for Azazel’s November Community painting challenge – Mechanical November ’18. If you have not checked out his blog, it’s worth a look. Also, my next few posts will showcase tanks, so I hope you enjoy.
Now for some eye candy!
I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please let me know your thoughts and feedback below in the comments section.
The H.A.W.K.’s held their BARRAGE convention in Havre de Grace, Maryland at the end of September 2018. They had over 70 gaming events, and it had been on my “hoping to attend” list for most of 2018. Also on my wish list was to be able to run my “Attack of the Warbots” game using the Combat Patrol™ card-based system. I was hoping to attend but was unsure (for several reasons) up to a week beforehand as to whether I was going to be able to go or not. In the end, the stars aligned, and I also got to run my game! Box checked!
There was a lot going on here – and I saw a lot of great games. The following is just a snippet, through my eyes, of the experiences that I had. The games and the game masters that I saw did an incredible job. Truly impressive. Certainly, the H.A.W.K.’s put on a great gaming convention and my kudos to all of them and the other game masters.
I started on Friday with running my latest iteration of “Attack of the Warbots” with my Archive, Mega Miniatures, and Wargames Supply Dump figures, all of which are OOP. I had seven players, with three on the Warbot side, and four on the defending side. Of note, I was lucky to have had as players both Buck Surdu (my old West Point buddy and the author of the Combat Patrol™ rules) and Dave Wood (my old West Point roommate who introduced me to tabletop gaming in 1982). I also had the good fortune to have Greg Priebe playing alongside Buck – and Greg wrote the Star Wars supplement for Combat Patrol™. Buck is very fond of ducks (in a good way of course), and was in command of Duck Wader and some Star Ducks, while Dave was on the Warbot side with a couple of Mark 1 Sphere tanks. Greg commanded the Aphids and the Frinx. A few other players were there but I did not get their names (sorry). The Warbots needed to recapture a lost Mark 1 before the defenders could repair it and get it off the board.
I then turned into a player, and decided to try a Lion Rampant game ably run by Philip Jones. We were the Vikings who had seized prelates, monks, and treasure in a raid, and were trying to escape to their longship, while being pursued and blocked by Welsh troops.
Our casualties mounted! The game points were tallied, and rightly called for the Welsh. I did find the system fun, and Philip ran the game in a very fun way.
After this, I was walking around, and was recruited for a “What a Tanker” game run by Brian Lipscomb. It was set in North Africa, 15mm scale, with the British set against the Germans and Italians. Brian asked if I wanted to have a German or Italian tank. Being a sucker for a challenge, I of course said Italian. I was given a Fiat M13/40 tank.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed this game and the mechanics. Brian is a superb GM. More on that in a bit…but this was a fun way to end Friday!
On Saturday, I had really looked forward to playing Buck’s Sea Lion game. There weren’t enough players, so it was called, BUT I wanted to share the unbelievably beautiful game set up. Buck will run this game at Fall In and you can read about a play test of the game here.
So again, I wandered around, and saw another Brian Lipscomb “What a Tanker” game, this time set on the Eastern Front. After Friday, I was happy to give it another go. I was teamed with two others who had not previously played the game. We had a certain number of points, so I volunteered to take a lesser tank (a T-70 light tank) so that they could have better ones – in this case a T-34 and an SU-76.
At this point, Don Hogge and Buck Surdu visited the table put up a dollar each for anyone to kill me! Talk about motivation! We were being outmaneuvered by the Germans at this point, so I moved back and used my kill points to upgrade my T-70 to an SU-85.
The scenario that Brian devised also had infantry (controlled by him as the GM and using a random events chart) – with the town as an objective. I used the SU-85 to hammer the German infantry as Soviet infantry was arriving. I killed four stands and got a bunch of kill points. I reminded my teammates that I had started off as a T-70, and they gave me one extra kill point, which allowed me to get a monster ISU-152. At the same time, the Germans were reinforced with a Jagdpanther and a Sturmgeschutz III.
Immediately I maneuvered the ISU-152 to hit more infantry. The Germans decided to try to get me with their Jagdpanther and the Sturmgeschutz III. I moved my tank destroyer next to a building to face the Jagdpanther down the main street. He fired.
I returned fire and destroyed the German tank destroyer.
At this point, the Sturmgeschutz III was maneuvering to get a flank or rear shot on me. As the ISU-152 is very heavy and slow, I was only able to spin to face the Sturmgeschutz III. It was a question of initiative – and I got it, hit the German assault gun, and got kill #6 for the weekend (and the $2 bounty on me!).
I then participated in a play test for a near future warfare scenario using cyber warfare with the Look Sarge No Charts system. It was run by Dave Wood and was interesting to do.
Every BARRAGE there is a pickup WWI air combat game that is a hoot. I’ve never managed to get a kill in the game before, but I did this year as a German. Eventually, I got shot up and had to glide home.
The last tabletop game that I played in was a First Boer WarCombat Patrol™ game. I was on the Boer side and we had to defend our wagon from being seized by the British. The game was fun, but there was a low point. We had a couple of players from New Jersey who vanished mid-game without so much as a notice that they were leaving. I think they hated defending. Anyways, we struggled on and ended up winning the game. The other players were great sports, and were great company.
After this game at the end of the con, I got to play in the traditional LARP pirate game. I had a nerf crossbow (treated by the GM as a musket) that took out Buck with a shot to the glutes. My weapon later misfired, and the resultant damage took me out. That LARP is always a fun game though!
The flea market presented many vendors and items for sale. I grabbed a Verdun game that I had last played with a gaming club in Monterey, CA in 1985! I’m not sure when I will get to play it, or with whom, but it was OOP in 1985, so a nice find! Buck and I visited the Verdun battlefield in 1987 or so, so it was nice to get this game here.
I must congratulate again the H.A.W.K.’s on a well-run con. Little Wars TV attended and filmed so you can see more of the convention here.
Thanks for looking and as always, I love any feedback!