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Monday 29 March 2021

A Beating At Bikkelheim Farm

 You may recall from a previous post that a beleaguered platoon of Volksgrenadiers were tasked with stemming or at least holding up the Red tide descending on the Reich, although inexperienced buoyed by the promise of the long awaited Wunderwaffe and that they would be supplied with automatic weapons, and anti-tank gun support backed up by a Jagdpanzer IV with the 75mm  L70 gun hopes were high.

The Germans set up dug in around the farm, an infantry squad, PAK40 and 75mm infantry gun, another two squads, a panzerschrek team and the Jagdpanzer IV were left in reserve to avoid any Soviet bombardment. The Germans relied on a minefield on their right and the boggy ground and wood on the left to deter any Soviet flank attack, but there was no need the Soviets chose the usual sledgehammer approach  anyway and steamed forward on a broad front towards the farm.

M - Minefield, 1- dug in squad, 2 - PAK40 and 3 the infantry gun, red arrows show the Soviet thrust.

The Germans got off lightly from the Soviet bombardment with just a few pins, was their luck in, it appeared so when the PAK40 set fire to and immobilised the lead T34, unfortunately for the Germans the crew put the fire out. Never mind the next shot would finish it, but no, the turkey shoot feared by Comrade Georgi was not to be, it would fail to hit again for two turns before being knocked out by combined gun and mortar fire.

Although the dug in squad survived and rallied after the bombardment their nerve was rattled, machine gun and rifle fire resulting in them keeping their heads down and they were finally wiped out by a Soviet close assault, a squad was sent to reinforce them but was caught in the open, their inexperience showed and they too were wiped out. Perhaps the jagdpanzer could turn the tide? No, every shot bar one, and that bounced off, missed!

Surely the German luck could not be that bad and the troops on the left would help win the day with infantry gun, panzerschrek and automatic rifle fire, no prizes for guessing the answer to that folks.

Turn six saw any German hopes dashed when the cheeky little T70 slipped past the jagdpanzer and took a side shot, KABOOM! it was all over, an overwhelming Soviet victory.
It all looked good on paper but the German troops were just not up the job in hand, the Soviets edged ever nearer to Berlin.

Head over to Georgi's blog for the Soviet view. Despite my usual abysmal dice craft it was a great game that with better luck could easily have gone more in the Germans favour.

Until next time keep safe and KBO.

Saturday 27 March 2021


 At last the final? unit for the post Roman Britannia project. The second unit of Arthur's cavalry arrive.

Footsore Miniatures on 60 X 50 bases from Warbases.


Wednesday 24 March 2021

The Road To Bikkelheim

 Sunday I will be hosting a Bolt Action game via Zoom for George, it will be an Eastern front game 1945 using my 20mm collection played on a 4 x 4 table, a Volksgrenadier rear guard will seek to delay the Soviet advance on Berlin.

Scenario Details

The Germans are not expected to win this scenario, the level of Soviet success will be measured, after 6 (or 7 turns) or if the Germans are destroyed, by the remaining strength in points they have. They will start with 320 points and if they succeed in exiting an infantry squad and a tank off the German table edge they will add 50 points to that total.

They can also choose to dice for a preliminary bombardment but this will reduce their points total by 20 points.

The Soviets first wave will enter the table on turn one with at least half of their units and must be given either a run or advance order, any remaining units not entering on turn one will come in on turn two with an order test minus one.

Success Levels

50% or more points remaining is an overwhelming victory, you will be a hero of the Soviet Union.

25% to 49% a solid victory, the Boss will be pleased.

24% or less a narrow victory, better do better next time.

In the unlikely event that the Germans win, well……………………..

The Soviets Scouts Sketch Map

To be continued........................................................


Sunday 21 March 2021

Bikkelheim Farm

 Another EBay purchase painted, this time a farm building with attached barn. Again brush painted with various washes and dry brushing.

I am hosting a Bolt Action game via Zoom for George next Sunday, depending on the scenario it may get its table debut.


Wednesday 17 March 2021

Die Brücke

 Matt kindly agreed to join me in a game of Bolt Action via Zoom at the week end, we played the Hold Until Relieved scenario from the rule book.

Matt took command of the defending British platoon which was supported by a Cromwell tank, I would be the attacking Germans with a Volksgrenadier Sturm platoon, well equipped with automatic and anti-tank weapons supported by a Stug III, but lacking in experience.

The Germans really needed to push forward but sadly I was far to timid, once the crossing at the wood on the top right was found I should have pushed across with all two squads, with hindsight I should have put all three squads there, leaving the MMG team and the Panzerschreck team to cover the bridge and leave the Stug back on the road on its own. As it was only one squad was pushed on into the village where they were outnumbered and destroyed, the same fate befell their comrades supporting the Stug. The panzerschrek team appeared to get lost in the woods and when they finally turned up they spectacularly missed the Cromwell and were cut down with fire from the British before they could take another shot. I will let the photos continue with the sorry tale
The Stug with its supporting infantry advance towards the bridge.

The Cromwell advances to support the squad across the bridge while the 50mm mortar fires covering smoke

The platoon feldwebel watches the effect of the LMG squad when he really should have been leading it across the river.

The lone German squad attempts to work around the British flank

A further British squad advances down the road while the other squad deploys into the building

The Cromwell and Stug trade ineffectual shots while the squad in the building make short work of its supporting infantry despite the cover of the hedge, the German grenadiers inexperience shows here

The British creep up on the unwary German grenadiers

They're behind you!

Endkampf, the feldwebel surveys the objective from afar his platoon decimated

The British hold the bridge

A decisive win for the British, if you pop over to Matts blog here he has taken and marked up some screen shots where you can follow the action.

A splendid and enjoyable game to keep the spirits up.

Until next time keep safe and KBO

Saturday 13 March 2021

In To The Reich

 With several of our latest games seeing the Soviets thrusting into Germany I thought it time to source some relevant buildings, luckily the likes of Faller, Kibri et al provide plenty of HO buildings which are eminently suitable and can be picked up relatively cheaply on EBay. So the last couple of months I have been trawling the listings and have bagged several ranging from 99p to £8.

First up is this, variously listed as a stable block, dairy or workshop but to the 20mm WWII wargamer it is a non descript industrial building. This one was not in the best condition reflected in the price of 99p which wasn't an issue as I wanted to put an hole in the roof and the missing door irrelevant as the wall there would be blown out I replaced the missing guttering where necessary with Wills building accessories, a sprue of which I had in the bits box.  

Below is another one I have in better condition so you can see what it look likes prior to the ravages of a wargamer, this one was bought with a farm building and if you half the cost worked out at £6.50.

 I have planned a 28mm WWII game with Matt tomorrow over Zoom using Bolt Action, AAR will follow in due course.

Locked down but not out.


Wednesday 10 March 2021

Be afraid.............

Of the latest addition to my Soviet arsenal.

The BA64 was the only Soviet car to be manufactured during the war years, it was based on the GAZ-67 jeep, more than 9000 being produced by the time production ended in 1946.

It was only armed with a 7.62mm light machine gun in an open turret, confining it to scouting and liaison work.

The model is from SHQ Miniatures whilst the crew figure is an old FAA gun crew figure from the spares box..

Until next time.


Friday 5 March 2021

Roma Victrix

 Having recently made my Goth warband bases larger rather than adding an additional base at the back I thought I would give them a run out, again using the deep warband amendment to Neil Thomas Ancient and Medieval rules. In the first outing their use was less than auspicious but then again so was Dave's dice rolling, we would see how they fared with all four warbands upgraded.

As this was a solo affair I decided to use my To the Strongest chits to activate the units, if a one was pulled that sides turn would end, having a general attached to the unit attempting to activate would allow a redraw.

 The Battle Lines Are Drawn

The first turn saw a general advance of the Gothic line, in their turn with their left flank anchored on the forest and no cavalry support the Roman auxillia advanced against the lead Goth cavalry to protect the lanciari on their right, the Goth noble cavalry had failed their activation and remained in the rear.

In their turn the Goth archers let loose on the Roman light infantry.

Meanwhile a Goth warband charges the Thunderbolts and pushes them back!

Emboldened by their neighbours success the adjacent warband charges the Jovani, who are made of sterner stuff and hold their ground.

The Goth archers on the left are left on their own when the Roman cavalry charge their supporting cavalry leaving them easy prey for the Roman auxiliaries who do seven casualties.

The cavalry fight it out.

In the centre the Legions and Goth warbands slug it out.

Over on the Roman left the lanciarii who are engaged in combat with the Goth archers are charged in the flank by the Goth noble cavalry, luckily they had been joined by the general and were able to do a redraw when they initially drew a one. This was to be the only unit that the Romans lost.

However with the warbands in the centre and the cavalry on the Goth left in flight the game was up for the Goth forces.

A most enjoyable game, I may use the chit draw in future it certainly gives a command decision challenge, do I activate A first and risk drawing a one or do I activate C first and risk the same, which would be the best benefit for success and at the beginning of the turn which unit should the general join to ensure a successful activation?

Until next time.