Category Archives: DAK

2nd Alamein – NQM Squared – The South

44 Inf Div and 7Armd Div

44 Inf Div and 7Armd Div

Having walked through the northern third of 2nd Alamein to see if the real estate fitted (it did), I worked through the head-to-head infantry attack of 44th Infantry Division against Folgore.

Folgore Defence in Depth

Folgore Defence in Depth

The battle commenced with a divisional barrage that put serious disorganisation of 1/3 onto the dug in division (25pdrs M against dug-in infantry M). The infantry then followed this in, winning the firefight and evicting the first line of defences with 100% disorganisation in the close assault.

Ramke Falschirmjaeger Brigade

Ramke Falschirmjäger Brigade

 

I ruled that, being veteran, Folgore could immediately counterattack with its second line of defence, during the second close assault phase and pull its first line of defence out to reorganise. 44 Div were allowed to do the same in the third close assault phase, ending the turn. In future though, I shall restrict immediate counter attacks in the enemy’s turn to veteran troops.

Pavia and Folgore

Pavia and Folgore

This produced a very satisfying to-and-fro battle that left both sides’ infantry at about 50% casualties, with all artillery ammunition exhausted by the end of 4 rounds of fighting.

Folgore and Ramke from Allied Lines

Folgore and Ramke from Allied Lines

Other rulings were that:

Infantry could not pursue beyond their one square range.

Infantry could attack a diagonal square, but only if they were able to attack it orthogonally from the front or flank without interference from enemy on their own front or flank.

In other words, they could not ignore an enemy to their front in order to concentrate an attack on an enemy to their diagonal front, and they can only do this because the one free diagonal move per game turn that they are allowed places the square they wish to attack in reach.

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Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Artillery, DAK, Infantry, Italian Army, Italian Army, Land Battles, NQM Squared, The "Rules", Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

2nd ALAMEIN – NQM Squared – Trial walk through

Advance To Contact 9AUS 51HD 1SA

Advance To Contact 9AUS 51HD 1SA

Suzanne is the uncommonly intelligent kind of girl that H.G. Wells had in mind, in his preface to Little Wars. Her interests gravitate to the people behind the great events, so persuading her to roll dice  involved gin. It also called for a good deal of exposition as to how the 8th Army found itself fighting a set piece battle that would have been familiar to WWI generals, in a desert war that had hitherto been characterised by movement.

51HD Winning the Firefight

51HD Winning the Firefight

Squaring the table off just exaggerated the whole “over the top with fixed bayonets” nature of the battle plan. Suzanne has a wargaming record  that Attila the Hun would be proud of: In the past, her tank famously machine-gunned my supporting infantry off a bunker that we were both attacking. She sacked Northampton and executed any rival claims to the throne, and I regularly get thrashed at GUBs, usually after she has innocently asked

“What does this card do?”

The battle trundled forward as NQMs usually do, when there is no room to manouvre. Thompson’s post was taken, head on by 9AUS, then lost to a Bersaglieri counterattack. 51HD got stuck in. 1SA seemed to be chilling with cold beer and Breifleis; this was a walk through, after all!

51 HD Break into the Advanced Outposts

51 HD Break into the Advanced Outposts

Tonight however, the post – game conversation veered towards wondering which tunes would characterise each of the opposing forces.

We came up with this:

9AUS Welcome to Australia (You might accidentally get killed)

51HD Corvus Corax I would get out of the way if I heard this coming!

1SA  – we struggled with this one, skipped the Spitting Image Song, and thought that die Stem van Suid Afrika was a bit slow if you were marching into the teeth of a German defence, but liked the Piano Guys . The tune that made the final cut for Bashing the Boche though, was this one though – Sorry Arthur!

The Bersaglieri totally rocked this one from 52 seconds in.

The Germans,  Lili Marlene ,of course, but Peanut Girly was tempting.

I firmed up one or two questions in principle about defence zones of control – necessary in something as stylized as this:

  1. Infantry only close assault stuff in the square that they are in. To enter a defended square, they must win the firefight across the boundary with the next square. No Diagonals.
  2. Infantry, tanks and anti-tank only fire at stuff in the square that they are in. They can place their defended location across a boundary and defend two squares. Of course, this means that they can be shot at from two squares at once. No Diagonals.
  3. For ranged artillery, squares are three kilometers across.

To conclude, ALAMEIN is a goer at this scale.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, DAK, Italian Army, Land Battles, Rules Examples, The "Rules", Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

2nd Alamein – NQM Squared – The North

Allied 9 AUS - 51 HD - 1SA looking North

Allied 9 AUS – 51 HD – 1SA looking North

Before committing too heavily to squares, I set up this scenario as a TaGWiT (Tactical Game With Toys), to see what the real estate looked like, and to see if 2nd Alamein fitting into 22 squares from top to bottom was a realistic proposition.

The top third of the battlefield (7 squares) fits three Commonwealth divisions – 9 AUS, 51 HD and 1SA, and a third to half of MITEIYIRA RIDGE. This gives two squares or 6Km per division, which is fine, as the frontage of 51HD started at just over a mile wide and spread to about 2.5 miles.

el_Alamein_51HD advance

el Alamein 51HD advance

Axis North Front Line at 2nd ALAMEIN

Axis North Front Line at 2nd ALAMEIN

It all looks very crowded on the tabletop, but like KURSK, this was a head-on WWI-style frontal attack with little room for manoeuvre.

2nd Battle of El Alamein - 001

2nd Battle of El Alamein – 001

 

An Allied division fits nicely into 4-5 squares. I have some work to do on the look of contours, they are  too high-rise at the moment and Iwould like to avoid the square platform with cliff-edge look. There is nothing wrong with that approach – I’m just not fond of it. My first attempt was to just take a band saw to some of the squared cowboy terrain pieces that  seen little real wargame use over the past five years.

7 Bersaglieri in Thompsons Post Looking East

7 Bersaglieri in Thompsons Post Looking East

 

Thompsons Post and Breakout

Thompsons Post and Breakout

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, DAK, Italian Army, Modelling, Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

33 and 3 Motorcycle Battalions DAK

33 Kradshutz Abteilung

Thirty third and third motorcycle battalions, belonging to 15 and 21 panzer divisions respectively, were attached to Panzer Armee Afrika. In NQM terms, each battalion should comprise 6 strength points as shown above.

They are most usefully employed as recce, in single strength point elements to cover the front on the move; but there is no reason why they should not be amalgamated into two 3R elements per battalion to fight with more endurance if desired. There is also no reason why they should all be mounted on motorcycles; the orbat included Kfz 11s and 18s (and probably 15s for all I know).

Most troops were mounted in sidecar combos,  single motorcycles appearing at headquarters. A company had about 11 motorcycles and 60 M/C combos at full strength, and they did not stay at full strength for long.

 

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, Motorcycles, Orbats, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

QRF 15mm Review – Motorcycle Combos

IMG_7777

These are actually my two favourite models, even though they display all the usual QRF faults, namely miscasted locating pins, excess flash and nothing quite fitting or square. It seems to matter less on these lively sculpts as they lurch across the wargames table, festooned with three crew, an MG and four panzerfausts! I can just live with the stupidly wide handlebars and too-short wheelbase. Peter Pig does it  better on this one, in my opinion, but QRF just pips it for composition. See also YesthatPhil’s review on his blog.

German Motorcycle Combos

QRF don’t specify the motorcycle. That’s fine, as I can’t tell from the sculpts, but £3.50 gives me two models for my recce and motorcycle battalions.

Zundapp KS750Zundapp KS750

I’m going with it being the BMW R75 on balance rather than the Zundapp KS750, as the Z’s distinctive ‘A’ frame is absent, even though the distinctive Beemers twin horizontally opposed cylinders are modelled as a single vague lump. I have fond memories of my old Beemer R75 tourer, and less fond ones of my Cossack Dnieper (I managed to burn holes in both piston heads, the metal was so poor!)

BMW R75 MotorcycleBMW R75

With this amount of detail (accurate or not) hitting the eye, the model hides its faults well, so I reserve my right to be inconsistent and to recommend this model, despite its flaws.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, Modelling, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

Humble Pie is Delicious!

Having ranted about the Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) 6 pdr in my last post, I put the model together and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong! Next to a Peter Pig (PP) 6 pdr, the PSC offering actually looks slightly smaller, wider and thinner. Next to a 1/76 model it is obviously 1/100.

IMG_7760 (2)

From top to bottom: Airfix PP, PSC 6 pdrs

A correctly-scaled standing figure should be able to rest his shirt pocket on the top of the gun shield and crouch down to see through the gunsight, but as the PSC gunshield is 14mm off the ground, and the PP is 13mm neither is possible. However, as the PSC gunner is 11mm to his eye when kneeling, he must be a Guardsman, making the gun look smaller than it really is! Others have already commented that Flames of War models are exaggerated in the vertical axis to compensate for the thickness of the figure base, as common FoW practice is not to base tanks. Olicanalad’s excellent basing shows why this should not be an issue.

6 Pdrs

I fished my Airfix 6pdr out, and it is noticibly larger than the PSC 15mm jobbie, but here’s the thing; the PP overscale barrel looks more like the picture below to my eyes than the PSC offering, which is visually a little thin but is probably to scale (I don’t have a micrometer handy)*.

Desert6Pdr

With the 3.7cm Pak, the situation is reversed. Here, the PSC offering is visibly higher (15mm) and longer than PP (12mm). (The gun is listed as 1.17m tall).

37mm Pak 36

In appearance however, the PP 3.7cm Pak 36 looks too small, but this is due to the thickness of the figure bases, as I was too lazy to do what YesthatPhil does, which is to shim the gun up. I looked more closely at the crew figures on the PSC sprues to find a visible difference in height and bulk between different figures on the same sprue – so I’m still not entirely happy. At least I can use the PSC 6 pdrs! Previously, I never really cared about this sort of stuff; must be getting old.

37mm Pak 36 (2)

*We’ve been here before.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Artillery, DAK, Modelling, Western Desert, WWII

On the Workbench – 90th Light Division

Stuff that has been lying around for a while had a reshuffle and some work as 90th Light (Afrika) Division* is assembled. Some familiar pieces of equipment are standing in until the correct models are purchased. A trawl of my spare infantry boxes by General Heldenkleber raised enough grenadiers to fill a softskin-mounted regiment, but a few more trucks are needed – can’t have too many of them y’know. The last two 250s have been cobbled together for the gepanzert battalion**

On the Workbench 001

Yesthatphil has pimped the surplus Steyr Kfz70*** that I gave him, which prompted me to fill mine with a few PSC seated infantry and a spare tank commander who should probably be standing on the rear parcel shelf to get that extra bit of height in the desert. Phil’s Italian crew have decided that their mount would look better with a Breda cannon, racing stripes and cool shades for the crew – that sort of thing. My HQ staff have just added some clutter and spread themselves around on the back seats a bit.

90th Light Afrika Division WIPInevitably, with the changing orbat of this division that only lasted for 2 years in the desert, my orbat is a composite.

*90th Light Afrika Motorized Division (Nafziger, 2001):

288th Sonderverband Panzer Grenadier Regiment
155th Motorised Infantry Regiment
580th Reconnaissance Company
606th Army Light AA Battalion
361st Afrika Artillery Battalion, with 3 Batteries of 4 – 105mm Howitzers each
1 AA Battery with (12 – 20mm AA Guns)
Fallschirmjäger (Parachute) Lehr Battalion (700 – 1,200 men in Martuba, 360 present on 1/6/42)
90th Light Afrika Motorized Division (Feldgrau, 2015):
155th Rifle Regiment
200th Motorized Infantry Regiment
361st Africa (Infantry) Regiment
361st Artillery Battalion
190th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Motorised Recce Company 580
Motorised Signals Company 190
Heavy Infantry Gun Company 707
Heavy Infantry Gun Company 708
Nafziger G., (2001) The Afrika Korps: an Organizational History 1941-1943, Nafziger Collection.
Pipes, J. (n.d.) 90.leichte-Afrika-Division http://www.feldgrau.com/leInfDivAfk.php?ID=1  [Accessed 21 July 2015]
**288th Sonderverband Panzer Grenadier Regiment had no armoured transport. These guys are just standing in on their way to Russia until more trucks arrive.
*** Phil can tell a Steyr from a Horsch, even if I can’t.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, Modelling, Orbats, Trucks, Western Desert, WWII

Panzer Marsch!

15th and 21st Panzer DivisionsIt is some time since 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions shook out into march formation on the desert sands. Here is progress to date as they form up ready to attack:

15th Panzer Division - 1

New additions to 15th Panzer Division include a new SdKfz 10/4 at bottom right protecting the divisional headquarters and an SdKfz 11 towing the 7.62cm PaK 38 (r) at top left. My SdKfz 250/10 is now in the gepanzert grenadier battalion at middle left.

21st Panzer Division - 1

Similarly,  21st Panzer Division sports a new SdKfz 10/4 at bottom right  and an SdKfz 11 towing the 7.62cm PaK 38 (r) at top left. The gepanzert grenadier battalion at middle left has a new SdKfz 250/11, with a 250/3 for the regimental commander.

15th Panzer Division - 2

3 Chenillettes are still standing in for limbers and an ambulance.

21st Panzer Division - 2

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Sd Kfz 250 “Alte Art” replaces “Neu”

SdKfz 250/3 Afrika Korps DAK

PSC Sd Kfz 250 AlteIn common with the entire WW2 wargaming world, I too am sticking “250 Alte” together and enjoying the plethora of extra bits. The five mortars were chopped down and went straight into Gebirgsjäger and Landser battalions. Adding deployed trails for the SdKfz 250/11 sporting a sPzB 41 was an inspired touch by PSC, as are the total of 8 crew. No complaints there*. The ’41s should really go into Gross Deutschland, but for the time being the example I have flung together can sit in DAK

PSC Sd KFZ Alte Mortar

The lack of a radio frame antennae on the sprue was expected, as they have no use in FoW and other Taccie games, so I made my own. It has been bent a bit by the crew using it as a handrail for jumping in and out  when they are in too much of a hurry to use the back door. A few extra crew crowded in, which is just as well because it hides their unnaturally proportioned lower bodies. As usual, they are in too much of a hurry to go to war, and are tearing off to DAK in their undercoats. Another box may well come in handy for ambulances and limbers, as I only  need a couple more 250s for the grenadier battalions.

Russland, Schützenpanzer »Div. Großdeutschland«

The two displaced 250 Neue will continue to do sterling service in one of my Eastern Front divisions. They will be in plenty of time to put their “retreat gaiters” on.

PSC Sd Kfz 250 Alte

*My only complaint is that the front axle cannot fit into its socket if the wheels are to fit under the mudguards, unless it is done first before the wheels are stuck on.

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Ramke Arrives in Nord Afrika

I have painted enough Fallschirmjäger to begin to put the Ramke Parachute Brigade together.

Fallschirmjaeger RHQ with TransportRegimental Headquarters with Recce and an Airfield Security Detachment

FallschirmJaeger RHQArtillery and Anti-tank Batteries

Fallschirmjaeger AbteilungFallschirmjäger Abteilung x 3

Ramke is having to borrow  equipment from wherever he finds it at the moment, but I am sure that it is not going to daunt a dynamic chap like him. Troops in boxes close to him are doubling the pickets on their vehicle parks, just in case!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, German Airforce, Infantry, Modelling, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII