Saturday 31 December 2022

Plans for 2023

 Plans for 2023

As some of you might know I`m not your usual wargamer/collector. I tend to be very disciplined and organised with my hobby, I don`t buy on impulse and have never owned a huge stash. 

Now during 2022 I planned to run one game a month and have suceeded which was very satisfying.

November was a very productive month for writing and I actually created no less than Nine (9) tabletop games plus I have another one with the historic background done, which is pretty good, so I`ll continue with this through next year.

One of my plans for next year is to expand my Mexican Revolution era scenarios to include cross-border incidents into the US proper. That nice man Alan Hamilton has sold me a considerable number of plastic cowboys and indians, so painting and organizing these into Apaches/Yaqui and US towns folk will be a major task. I already have some more 1916 era US Cavalry in Montana cap, Villaistas and cowboys from Raventhorpe, Shellhole Scenics and others to add to the forces I already have also.

I`ve also decided to create a battalion of Republican People`s Army as these were by far the most common units employed on all fronts fighting Franco`s rebels from 1937.

That should keep me busy 😂

Sunday 11 December 2022

End of Year Totals 2022

 End of Year Totals 2022

Not a record breaking year, just steady progress adding bits to the various core projects, all 20mm: 

Planes - 5

Terrain pieces - 5

ship - 1

Vehicles (tanks, trucks, etc) - 20

Small vehicles (Jeeps, CV33s, Trailers, etc) - 8

Foot figures - 84

Mounted figures - 9

Horses (no riders) - 4

Of course the largest part of my hobby this year has been the writing historic articles, creating tabletop scenarios and of course actually playing with my toys 😁 

This year I have actually played 12 games which may be a record since my 20s!

North West Europe - 4

Operation Torch - 3

Mexican Revolution - 1

Rif War - 2

Spanish Civil War - 2

Polikarpov I-16

 Polikarpov I-16 

Was a single seater fighter aircraft designed and built by Soviet Russia. At the time it was quite revolutionary with retractable landing gear.

The Russians supplied around 300 of these aircraft to the Republic and for a while they dominated the skies until the arrival of German Bf109Bs.  One of the main complaints about the aircraft was lightly armed with only two 7.62mm machine guns, later models were up-gunned. 

The Rebels (I hate calling them Nationalists) called the I-16 "Rata" (Rat) while the Republicans called it "Mosca" (Fly). 

Revell plastic kit



Raventhorpe Ready to Roll model, 2-part resin kit (turret and hull) with a white metal barrel. No flash, not bubbles - very easy.

Pictured with one of the Pegasus ones I did a few months back 


Thursday 8 December 2022



Ardennes, December 17, 1944

My 12 th game of 2022

 As December 17th wore on 26th Volksgrenadier Division poured troops across the Our River into the 110th Infantry Regiment`s 3rd battalion sector forcing the defending companies back into their village strong-points.

As 39th Fusilier Regiment quickly overran the platoon from I Company which was out-posting Walhausen, but as it attempted to work its way around Weiler and bi-pass the town it ran into problems. The Americans had deployed FOO teams along the high ground of the Walhausen/Weiler Road; from there they called down accurate, adjusted fire onto 39th Fusilier`s troops moving through the woods north of them!

 In an attempt to stem the fire the 39th`s commander ordered his 2nd battalion still without its heavy weapon companies which were still struggling across the Our, to probe towards the town and clear the ridgeline.

 What started as a simple operation got more and more involved as the inexperienced Volksgrenadiers committed more and more men to the “attack” on Weiler instead of dispersing the forward observers and then bi-passing the town as per their original orders. By evening on the 17th Weiler had been overrun, but 2/39th Fusiliers had wasted a valuable day fighting there and as a result were not available to assist operations north or west!

 American Defenders

“I” Company, 3rd Battalion, 110th Infantry with:  

Company HQ

CO, 2IC, NCO, RTO (can act as FOO for battalion mortars) #1, 2 runners, FOO team (687th Field Artillery) #1

2 infantry platoons (1st platoon was at Walhausen)

10 men (inc BAR)

Support weapons platoon

.30cal team, 60mm mortar team, Bazooka team (3 rockets), 4 ammo bearers, NCO

“M” Company, III/110

.30cal MMG team

3rd Battalion anti-tank platoon

2 x 57mm AT guns plus crews + tows #2

Ad-hoc infantry platoon (cooks, clerks, drivers, etc)

NCO + 9 men (small arms only) 

All troops start prepared, they can be in buildings or dug-in 
The US commander has mined both plowed fields - these low density fields with only anti-personnel mines (any figure entering has to dice and becomes a casualty on 1-2 on 1D6)


Turn 8 – NCO + 4 men (stragglers)

Turn 25 – M4 Sherman (707th Tank battalion) from the west

German Attackers

2nd Battalion, 39th Fusilier Regiment, 26th Volksgrenadier Division #3

Composite Battalion HQ

CO, 2IC, 2 RTO (can act as FOO for battalion 120mm mortars).

Infantry platoon (10 men inc Panzerfaust, LMG)

Panzershreck team


Pioneer platoon (10 men inc flamethrower)

3 infantry companies with:

Coy HQ (OC, NCO, RTO, 2 runners)

3 platoons with: 10 men (LMG, Panzerfaust)

The German player gets 3 rounds of 105mm artillery (2 tubes) randomly dropped onto Weiler before the game starts


Turn 15 – No8 Company of 2/39 finally arrives across the river with:

2 x MMG teams, 2 x 80mm mortar teams, CO, RTO, NCO + 10 ammo bearers, pack horses, etc

Turn 25 – Stug IIIG company along the road

Special rules

#1 There is a high demand for US artillery/mortar support up and down the line, the US player can only get 3rds of fire support once called (5-6 on D6). He must then call again!

#2 The US 57mm guns have limited supplies for HE ammunition – 4 rds per gun, once used its gone!

#3 The German commander can only commit one company at a time to the attack! He can only send in additional units once the last is stopped! After the initial company he can reinforce further companies with his pioneers and/or Panzershreck team. If he has to commit his 3rd company he may elect to lead this company along with the battalion reserve platoon (one last throw of the dice)

 Victory Conditions

If the Americans can still bring targeted artillery/mortars down onto the road or ground north by turn 25 they have done very well can consider this a strategic victory!

 If the Germans manage to drive the Yanks out of the town and away from the road without committing all the companies of 2/39 Fusiliers this would be impressive and considered a strategic victory.

 If the Germans clear the town using all their infantry (plus No8 company), this would be the historic outcome and the game is drawn.

 My table

Note the stream is easily fordable by men on foot (half movement) but impassable to vehicles

The German 3 turns of random artillery was (as expected) pretty hit-miss, the first shell wipes out the US companies 60mm mortar and the last lands smack dead centre onto the aid station killing a few wounded and medics and wrecking the ambulance! But otherwise the shelling did little other than wake up the Americans to the incoming German attack.

 The German battalion was planning to use the depression and stream bed north of the village to assist it bi-pass the defenders, this becomes their jump-off point.


Game turn 1, both sides dice to contact their off table support, the German FOO makes contact straight away, neither US attempts succeed. The German battalion begins its advance out of the stream bed.

 Turn 2 The US artillery FOO contacts his battery and calls down a salvo centred on the ruined farm, one gun is immediately on target causing casualties among the advancing Volksgrenadiers!


Turn 3 the US artillery drops shells all over the farm causing more grenadier loses

The grenadiers spread out, but keeping moving forward. The German FOO calls his mortars down onto the church where he can see a medium machine gun which has opened up on the advancing grenadiers.

Turn 4 the US artillery FOO tries to correct fire onto the advancing Germans fails and so the US artillery drops its shells around the ruined farm where there arn`t any Germans now! The Med. Machine gun exchanges fire with the nearest Germans takes a couple but loses its No2; the German mortars drop around the church to no effect.

The lead German platoon is engaged by a .30cal but it fails to hit anyone, the response by the German MG42 is impressive!

The US company commander finally gets through to battalion mortars and calls them down on the road, the first bombs land wide.

 Turn 5 sees the German lead platoon moving towards the village, the second platoon exchanges fire with the med. machine gun by the church again losing men but they do kill an infantrymen trying to replace the No2, so the MG can`t fire next turn. German mortars once again drop around the church to little effect. US mortars bracket the road causing casualties among the German 3rd platoon who are also engaged by a BAR.

 Turn 6 German mortars bracket the church scoring a direct hit on both the tower (killing both the FOO and his RTO) and the med. machine gun wiping it out!

The remaining US troops near the church abandon it and withdraw back towards the village.

The lead German platoon continues to move towards the village, second platoon now free of fire from the church move to support 3rd platoon who are duelling with the BAR team whilst ducking incoming mortar rounds which cause a few more casualties this round.

 Turn 7 the lead German platoon stumbles upon one the US 57mm guns and quickly wipes out its entire crew.

In doing so they expose themselves to nearby US infantry who inflict several casualties including the platoon NCO, so they are forced to retreat back the way they came.

The other two German platoons combine to wipe out the BAR, they take no further casualties this turn.

The US 2IC starts to get the company reserves moving forward

Turn 8 the German company commander moves to re-organise his 1st platoon, 2nd and 3rd are now advancing towards the village.

A group of US stragglers arrive in the village and are urged to move and assist the defence by their NCO

 Turn 9 Under the company commander`s watchful eye whats left of 1st platoon and the company HQ move into the nearest building.

Back in the stream bed the second German company backed up by a pioneer platoon enters the table.


Turn 10 the German company commander and what`s left of his first platoon move into the building, just as the US company commander and his RTO flee out of the front door.

The combined remnants of 2nd & 3rd platoon move along the road towards the village.

The 2nd German company move along the stream bed.

Turn 11 The US company commander re-organizes what men he can find to resist the potential advance of the 2nd German company.

The remains of the German 2nd & 3rd platoon come under fire from village, they respond with LMGs and continue their advance. The German company commander realises he can`t move out from the house he occupies with what was left of 1st platoon, so they dig in.

Turn 12 Good turn for the Yanks, their 57mm fires HE over open sights killing several members of the advancing German 2nd/3rd platoons, these added to small arms casualties cause a morale check!

The US company commander calls down mortars on the German 2nd company causing casualties


Turn 13 The German 2nd/3rd platoon fail their morale check and retreat to cover and having no platoon leaders left they are out of the fight.

The German 2nd company exchange fire with the American defenders, US mortar causing more casualties forcing one platoon to go to ground.

 Turn 14 Combined fire from a fresh German infantry platoon, the company HQ and part of the pioneer platoon virtually wipe out most of the entrenched Yanks, leaving just those in the buildings blocking their advance. The German company commander rallies the platoon who failed their morale last turn.

 Turn 15 the German 3rd platoon in attempting a flanking move climbs into an unmarked mine field losing nearly half its men as casualties!

The rest of the German 2nd company is hotly engaged with the Yanks in the buildings and even though the Germans take casualties, they kill the American company commander and this causes a morale check!

 Turn 16 the US troops in the houses fail their morale check and abandon their positions. The Germans advance unopposed except for the US mortars who continue to drop.

Turn 17 the US troops exit the buildings exposing themselves to fire from the HQ of the German 1st company, this fire kills the NCO and RTO.

The 2nd German company has now reached the buildings which overlooked the stream bed.

 Turn 18 the Americans rally and prepare to defend the village square. The Germans move through and around the buildings.

 Turn 19 the US troops engage the Germans, but are confronted with a flame-thrower which causes casualties and a morale check!

 Turn 20 half the US troops in the square withdraw from the flames, the rest are hotly engages by German infantry and pioneers, another burst from the flame-thrower ends their resistance!


Turn 21 seeing their comrades enveloped in flame and knowing their flank was turned the remaining US troops are forced to make a morale check which they fail - badly! I rule they abandon the village heading south away from the Germans and will try and filter back to US lines.

As per our scenario victory conditions this was a strategic victory for the Germans. Historically only a few of the defenders managed to get back to allied lines after their solid defence of the village.