More Midwinter Reflection

Phil's Soviets all fit in their boxfilePhil’s Soviet infantry all fit in their box file.

After any large NQM game, the armies involved undergo a period of rearming, refuelling and reorganisation. Simply putting everything back into its box took the best part of a lazy midwinter day.

I make notes as I do this to help with the building and painting plan. Units that fought well may advance up the painting pile. Poorly performing units may find themselves disbanded to reinforce other units.

Lost troops eventually find their way home (this happens quicker now that the boxes are catalogued online). New units are built – sometimes with a seeding of veteran troops from other units (read … rebasing!) Importantly, ersatztruppen are replaced with proper models as they become available, and are moved further down the orbats to re-equip second line units – more of that in later posts.

Points to ponder from the latest game:

  • The Pot Plant pin markers work nicely; they don’t stick in your fingers and are large enough to handle. I shall still use Party Balloon pin markers when occasion demands.

KV1 of 16 Motor Rifle Corps Breaks in

  • The First Aid Post pin markers failed the “are they actually used in a big game” test. It is easier to use pot plants or party balloons. The bases will be recycled as first aid posts for divisional headquarters.
  • I need markers for gapped minefields. A square of ply with some panel pins in ought to do it, with perhaps some cotton tape to mark the gap. Pontoon bridges should likewise be easy to fabricate from cork
  • YesThatPhil commented some time ago that there are too many infantry bases in NQM, which is fair enough. Whilst I like the flexibility that this brings, I don’t like the logistic embuggerance of moving them around – hence the sabot tinplate stand for a six base battalion.

Wehrmacht Fusileer BattalionOriginal battalion 75 x 50mm tin sabot fitting 6 strength points is the same as …

Battalion of two stands, each of three strength pointsA split battalion of 75 x two 25mm tin sabots totalling 6 strength points

  • There is no reason why an infantry battalion should not be modelled as two half battalion stands of 3 strength points each, to come into line with tanks and halftracks*. It speeds up combat as there is less moving around of individual bases.

Infantry Battalion of two Stands, each of three Strength PointsInfantry battalion of two 25 x 50mm stands, each of three strength points. One can no longer count the bases, as the battalion is equivalent to two FoW medium stands …

A stand of three strength points… Without the coins, the stand of three strength points looks like this.

  • As most WW2 gamers seem to use Flames of War (FoW, 64 by 50mm or 32 by 50mm) bases or Peter Pig 30mm bases, there is no reason these could not see service. A 30 x 60-75mm stand could replace  three round 25mm NQM coin bases or a couple of PBI bases. I don’t plan to rebase any of my old stuff, just snip out a few 25-30mm by 60mm tin sabot bases to accomodate them.** Happily, NQM does not care much about base sizes.
  • I am also coming to the view that, as the war progressed, the distinction at battalion level between fighting and support bases is irrelevant. Machine and anti-tank guns would be parcelled out to companies as required. Mortars would be sited to cover companies within the battalion, so I can ditch that distinction and model a battalion as two half-company stands of three strength points, with support weapons on the stand in representative quantities, and light anti-tank weapons integral to the stand, if the battalion has an anti-tank capability. This should make it easier for non-regular NQM players to use whatever they own to model infantry battalions***.

Infantry Regiment of two Battalions and an RHQInfantry regiment of two strength six battalions and a strength two RHQ using FoW medium sized stands.

Soviet regiment with two strength five battalions and an RHQSoviet regiment with two strength five battalions and a strength two RHQ using coins on a tin sabot.

That’s January sorted then!

*Megablitz has always had battalion stands from the very start.

**LittleHitler’s siren voice is wheedling that he could stretch three coin bases on a twenty five by seventy five millimetre stand to two bases on a thirty by sixty. It would eke limited German manpower out even further; you can’t fault him for trying. Reducing the density of lead in some of the infantry divisional boxes might be beneficial too. It would give Phil’s Gebirgsjäger division of nine Jäger bases, four and a half full-strength battalions instead of three half-strength ones. Roll on 1945!

***SmallStalin thinks this is a good idea too; his infantry strength is growing even as the German strength shrinks. Urrah!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Logistics, Modelling, Orbats

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