The Second World War Project..

The vast majority of my gaming in this period is rooted in the North African campaigns (regimental/battalion level) but I also play the 1940 Fall of France campaign (skirmish level in 15mm)... it all goes back to my first interest in WWII many years ago, when I played with the rules from Don Featherstone's "Wargames", and Airfix/Matchbox plastics...

Sections:

Go To “Game Reports” – what it says on the tin…
Go To “Figures” – figures and model ranges I use…
Go To “Rules” – what rules I have tried, and what I’m using…
Go To “Books” – fiction and non-fiction
Go To ”AOB” – anything that doesn't fit the above…

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Game Reports
  • "Advance Guard" fought on the 74th anniversary of D-Day another cracking scenario from the 'One Hour Wargames' book, this time transposed to the North Africa sphere, for a long overdue outing of the 10mm stuff....  post here [clicky]
  • Just to show that I am not entirely ambivalent about hexes - read on for an account of a Friday evening game [clicky] featuring  a hex mat (gasp!), and a set of Too Fat Lardies rules (double gasp!).... first (and only to date) game of Chain of Command
Somewhere under there is some experimental aviation fuel.....

  • Battle report from the Afrika Korps advance on Tobruk campaign - with pictures!

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Figures:

Nprth Africa theatre:

These days I use 10mm (N scale) predominantly from Minifigs - excellent figures, well proportioned, a good price, and the factory is only just up the road from me..

For my 10mm forces I'm standardising on 30x30 (mm) for  infantry/support weapons and smaller vehicles - anything that doesn't  fit on this is going on a 30x50..  all bases bought from the inestimable  Tony at East Riding Miniatures who gives the best service - the last set of bases were in my grubby hands just a couple of days after I ordered them

The Desert forces are complete (though you never know - something may come along that's tempting!),

1940 France theatre: 

Largely 15mm from tehe excellent Peter Pig ranges.. these forces are also largely complete but I can see me adding some bits and pieces over time...  I would like to re-do the German side completely as they are painted in late WWII camo pattern!

Latest figures to join the ranks:

Anti tank guns..[clicky]

British 2 pdrs for the 15mm project- these are from "Forged in Battle", and bought at Warfare


...and also some German "door knockers"..  same make..


French 25mm anti tank guns, this time from Peter Pig..


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British transport - Zvezda Matadors [clicky]..

I like the Zvezda kits - they may be cheap but they make up into lovely models -  I needed some British transport and although these were used predominantly as artillery tractors it doesn't seem unreasonable that in the maelstrom of Northern France in 1940 a few wouldn't have been "re-purposed"..


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British Rifle Platoon 1940

3rd Section added...   I want to go back and finish the rest of the platoon (only odds and sods to do)...


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Zvezda 1/100 (15mm) Matilda Mk 1 Infantry Tank (A11)

More 15mm Zvezda goodness..  some armour for the British...


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Zvezda Pz 38T [clicky] - for France '40



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Zvezda Pz II [clicky] - for France '40


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Zvezda Hanomags [clicky] - for France '40



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Zvezda Opel Blitz [clicky] - for France '40


Zvezda on the left - Peter Pig same scale/model on the right
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Les camion militaire est arrivee... [clicky] - for France '40

..with a somewhat hirsute poilu for scale..

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Above and below; ready for the next Blitzkrieg Commander game perhaps. Either way, here's some aerial artillery for the Afrika Korps. You can almost hear the air sirens.... this is made by AIM (available through Minifigs, in the UK at least) and is N scale

(10 or 12mm - take your pick)
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I've also started building a small skirmish force of British here and also their armour here and transport here
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Rules:

For rules I have in the past used my own home grown set called "Panzer Grenadier" (and yes I know someone else has used the name, but I had the name first before anyone asks....!). These are a hybrid of AK47, Rapid Fire and Will McNally's AWI rules... sounds strange, but they seem to work... command level is at the company, with one vehicle/model/stand of infantry representing a company/squadron/battery.

More recently however, I have bought and played some games with "Blitzkrieg Commander" and the my view that it had definite possibilities is confirmed .. DG and I are now using v2 of the rules...

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I use these for skirmish gaming - a recent purchase at Salute (2012) - I do like these rules... simple enough to pick up and play almost immediately, with enough nuances to provide tactical challenges whilst not bogging the game as a whole down...

Rules worked well on the whole - albeit it was a fairly limited test in that I didn't have any HE capability, and we never got a close assault in (both are fairly comprehensively covered in the rules, they just didn't occur in the game) The one area I'm not sure about is the morale check... on the whole it works well, but there is no account taken of how many casualties the element has taken overall only in the move that the test is being taken which seems to be a bit of a glaring omission?? I think that for future games I may put in a modifier for "half strength".

The morale status of a unit is easy to track - good => suppressed => broken (very similar to the AWI rules I use, so I use the same pins). The rules are a little unclear on the transition from suppressed to broken and what happens when - one section in the rules makes reference to broken units retreating a move, the very next section states that they are dispersed when broken... I'm assuming a typo, and I played it that an already broken unit failing a morale test would disperse.. seemed to work..

Morale is a key quality differentiator - when you're testing with D6 there is a huge benefit to a morale 2 or 3 player..
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Books:

  • "With Pennants Flying" - a review..  a brief history of the Royal Armoured Corps in the war from the start of the war to the date of publication (1943) 8/10
  • "The Cretan Runner" - a review.. fascinating book, dealing with the war time resistance on Crete.. 8/10
  • "Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man" - a review.. a good general history of the Fall of France in 1940 (a particular interest of mine), in addition to being almost the definitive account of the 'rescue' of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk...  8/10
  •  I thought the book did very well to try and describe what was a complete 'mess' of a battle which ended with Rommel getting his Field Marshal's baton....  recommended ...  8/10


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AOB:

Bovington


Home of all things heavy metal, and no not Deep Purple - during the long hot summer of 2018, DG and I managed to finally make a visit to Bovington the home of the British armies tank corps from the very beginning; a truly fantastic museum and very much recommended..  I shall be going back!

Blog post on it here [clicky]

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'Musee de Blindes' Saumur



While I was on holiday in the Summer of 2006 (and before I had really started blogging as well so unfortunately no dedicated post on the visit)  I had the pleasure of making a trip to the 'Musee de Blindes' in Saumur (France - Loire Valley). Web link is as follows:

http://www.museedesblindes.fr/

Should anyone find themselves within a march of Saumur I would wholeheartedly recommend it..

The museum has a collection of 200 tanks and artillery pieces spread out over 2000 square metres of display space.. the exhibits cover all era's of tank development from WW1 Schneider to the modern Leclerc main battle tank (which being a French museum, they have a specifically French view of, with regard to it's capabilities vis a vis other tanks of the modern era.. J ...not sure I have enough information to agree or otherwise!)

My armoured 'leanings' are towards the early stages of WWII, before the race for weight and size stifled the gaming interest out of me, so highlights for me were:
  • A comprehensive and very interesting collection of WWII French tanks - including Char B2 - absolutely huge!! Also Somua/H39/FT17 etc.
  • A similar collection of German armour - fascinating to be able to stand next to a Pz II and compare it to the King Tiger just four tanks away.. have to say I found the Stug III and the Hanomag most interesting though!
  • As a Western Desert gamer I was also delighted to find tucked away in a corner an M15/40 and Italian Semovente assault gun, and in one of the main halls an honest to goodness Matilda Mk2 painted in that very interesting British disruption pattern (Caunter) I'd love to be able to paint!..

    Wholeheartedly recommended....
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