Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Rommel 2mm - Reinforcements

Progress is slow but steady on the Irregular Miniatures delivery I received a couple of weeks ago.
All the figures & vehicles have been based and painted and are now awaiting the addition of a bit of clump foliage to represent trees and bushes.
I've created Allied & Axis supply tiles. I chose the hexagonal mdf bases (50mm) so they stand out on the table and do not get confused with fighting units. Each contains a selection of tents, fuel tankers, tank transporters, spare vehicle models and an anti-aircraft gun emplacement. I'm quite pleased with how these have turned out. It was a shame that one of the AA emplacements (on the left hand base) was miscast, but once painted you don't really notice.
Whilst I was at it, I created an airborne landing marker using the new Irregular Miniatures Horsa Glider model (60p each). I know it's not actually a requirement of the rules, but I thought it would be nice to indicate landing zones in any D-Day type games. I will need to produce a few more, but again, I'm pleased with the prototype.
These are my Allied Armoured Infantry - indicated by the addition of an M3 Half-Track per base. The right hand base is a 25 Pounder Battery.
Up until now, my Allied Armour consisted only of Cromwell tanks. Now I have the choice of a Sherman equipped brigade as well.
I've also added some Achilles Tank Destroyers (3 bases each with two models to differentiate them from tank bases), additional Cromwells to make up a full brigade and a Sexton battery (well M3 Priests really).
Finally I bolstered the Panzer Lehr Division with additional Panzerjager bases (2 x Jagdpanthers per base), a Tiger I platoon (nearest the camera) and a self-propelled artillery battery (2 x Wespe + Sdkfz251 Half-Track).

As well as this I've two more BUAs nearly finished and I added an Sdkfz251 to every Axis infantry base to indicate that they are all armoured.

Each base has had a sheet of self-adhesive ferrous paper attached ready to receive a magnetic data label. Hopefully by Xmas these will be ready to venture out onto the table.

'til next time....

Friday, 8 December 2017

Rommel 2mm - Reinforcements

Whoopee....reinforcements have arrived from Irregular Miniatures!
Oodles of 2mm goodness.......
I've ordered a "Town/Suburb" and "Riverside town" terrain pieces to make two new BUA terrain tiles (each 60x60mm) which you can see to the right, top corner of the picture. These come in at a whopping £2.40 each, but make the production of the tiles simplicity itself. All I need to do is smooth around the edges with a bit of acrylic modelling paste, to blend the castings in, and they'll be ready to paint.
A mixture of Sherman, M10 Tank Destroyer & M7 Priest models ready for priming
I've also ordered sufficient miniatures from Irregular's range to build my Rommel forces up to Divisional strength. I will now be able to field a 1944 British Armoured Division with either Sherman or Cromwell as their main AFV (modeled on the Guards & 7th Armoured Divisions) and a 1944 Panzer Division (modeled on Panzer Lehr & 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjungend)
I've been knocking together some organisation tables to help me remember who is in which element using colour coding that I'll then apply to the base tags. This is an early draft, but you'll get the drift.

I'd better get on with painting these little beauties up.....

Monday, 4 December 2017

Rommel 2mm - AAR Encounter Battle part one.

Time to try the rules out in anger for the first time….solo.

I opted to go for Scenario 3 in the book – Encounter. 
 This is a simple battle, length ways (narrow edge to narrow edge) across the table. Both sides have two objectives each and to win must control at least 3 objectives by the end of the 12th turn.

Before beginning, both forces are divided in half and one half deploys in the first three rows whilst the other is held in reserve. The reserves get to come on when a combined score on 2D6 rolled at the end of a turn, is less that the number turn you are on.

I used what forces I have – so probably smaller armies than the scenario required. The British force was 52 points and the German 62 points. This exercise was more about trying out the rule mechanisms and learning how the game plays, than replaying a historically accurate event.

I diced for the terrain and laid it out in as balanced a way as I could, either side of a centrally placed river with 6 crossing points.
Once the terrain was set I deployed the two armies and I was ready to go. Starting positions were as per the photograph below.
TURN 1: The Brits won the dice-off for for first move and opted for a swift right flanking move with a small battlegroup (top right corner) intending to take out the nearest German held objective (top left corner).

Two Ops bought me a road movement of 6 squares, crossing the bridge along the way. To delay any attack on the British objective (bottom right corner), the armoured unit supporting the holding infantry company, advanced two squares to the bocage area to their front.
TURN 2: The Germans also spent 2 Ops and advanced via road movement to cross the river just to the front of the defending British armoured unit. Here they waited (tipped)  for infantry support to catch up.
TURN 3: Saw the British right flank advance come to fruition with a successful flanking assault on the German dug-in Company at Objective 1. I'd found the mechanisms for combat to be simple to learn and the QRS contains just about all you need to play. I do find it helpful to have a pen and paper handy to work out the opposing combat factors though!
TURN 4: The German Panzergruppe was now ready to pounce. They moved into the attack against the British Armour and although they were tipped and at a disadvantage they succeeded in causing enough hits to  destroy them. This was largely at the cost of spending a large number of Ops on a 2nd round of tactics and then paying for shifts in the number of hits to ensure success.
TURN 5: Having left an Infantry Company behind to hold Objective 1, the British armoured units advanced across the table (Behind enemy lines but not isolated) and prepared to assault the second German Objective.
Once again the objective fell reasonably easily even though the armoured units were tipped. The flanking attack + out-numbering made all the difference! As you can see from the picture, the German artiller was still tipped from supporting the previous turn's attack, so couldn't support the objective.

So at the end of turn 5 the British forces held all 4 objectives, but the Germans were closing in on the 1st British position.
Things were looking Ok for the German forces until the British rolled an 1 and a 3 at the end of turn 5....allowing their reinforcements to deploy in the first row of the British table edge.........

I'm sure I'd probably missed some things in those first few moves, but the rules are very straight forward. The use of Ops to buy events and tactics gives you plenty to think about along the way. Do you just keep buying and taking your 6 (hopefully) new Ops each turn? or do you take a chance and reset the Command Post to free up the most useful Ops again but risk not having enough Ops to pay for them....what a conundrum! Loving it!!

To be continued.