Preparation Operation Overcast FOW 1945

Along with the Battle of Saalfeld 1806 napoleonic scenario, WR and Daniel have arranged for a larger post war May 1945 scenario called “Operation Overcast” 1945. This scenario is a different mold for WR’s normal Flames of War (20mm) scenarios; not historical but a hypothetical scenario with possible combative action between former allies the United States and their opposite number the Soviet Red Army, with scenario goals not necessary combative but the seeking of former German military technology itself, and most importantly, their inventive human technicians. Toss in the streams of German refugees, escaped concentration camp population, fanatical “Nazi SS” diehards to cause trouble, models representative of the advanced German technology on the tabletop, and the horrors of post war German still under the deaden atmosphere of the war’s end.

WR intends to use this updating blog post to show some of the steps WR completes to bring a convention level Flames of War (20mm) scenario to life. Each week WR hopes to update this blog article with news of forward progress towards the Operation Overcast scenario, the unit miniatures needed or painted from bare plastic or lead, reference material collected, scenario written up, model and terrain construction, and the long list of small but incremental steps towards a “hoped for” successful scenario game. At the same time, another concurrent running progressive blog article will cover the Saalfeld 1806 scenario planned for October 1st, at the same convention.

Forward then…. the time start line for Operation Overcast scenario is the final German surrender document ending all the active combative operations. Signed at Reims France on May 7, 1945, the Second World War ended on May 8th (or 9th in USSR). Before this date the major power; USA, Britain, and the Soviet Union all had active special operations in progress, with their forward armies, and behind the German lines. These special operations; small fast moving columns of light vehicles, well armed soldiers, and veteran hand picked officers regarded for their military and scientific knowledge, comb the open and enclosed German countryside for hidden technological hardware and the scientific brains behind the wonder weapon design.

The May 7, 1945 surrender document signed at Reims France. There was other regional surrenders before and after this date but this document ended the active fighting universally.

General situation May 1945 when peace came. Only the white zones controlled by German army. The red zones occupied by allied forces during the last two weeks of active war.

Post 8/4/17: Some high brow background material. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the first secret recruitment program, called Operation Overcast, and hence the name for this scenario, initially “to assist in shortening the Japanese war and to aid our postwar military research.” The term “Overcast” was the name first given by the German scientists’ family members for the housing camp where they were held in Bavaria. In September 1945, the JCS established the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) to directly oversee Operation Overcast and later Operation Paperclip. In November 1945, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip by Ordnance Corps (United States Army) officers, who would attach a paperclip to the folders of those rocket experts whom they wished to employ in America. President Truman formally approved Operation Paperclip in a secret directive, circulated on September 3, 1946.

The later Operation Paperclip was the secret United States Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians (many of whom were formerly registered members of the Nazi Party and some of whom had leadership roles in the Nazi Party) were recruited and brought to the United States for government employment from post-Nazi Germany (after World War II). The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was for the U.S. to gain a military advantage in the burgeoning Cold War, and later Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union. By comparison, the Soviet Union were even more aggressive in recruiting Germans; during their Operation Osoaviakhim, Soviet military units forcibly (at gunpoint) recruited 2,000+ German specialists to the Soviet Union during one night and sent them east. WR will add more dated scenario background material on future updating posts below.

Final military operations at war end. Soviets have taken Berlin. American armies surging into southern Germany, then Austria. Canadian and British take the North Sea coast line.

Early predetermined occupation zones circa 1944 into early 1945. The final zonal borders shifted with discussions between the allies. Note Austria also had several occupational zones.

The purple zone became Russian controlled after the western allies retired back to their established occupational zones.

This Flames of War (20mm) scenario has a large “build and paint” list of projects, especially compared to the other napoleonic Saalfeld 1806 scenario which has the majority of the terrain on hand (in collections) and miniatures painted. The list and expanded details of completion will be regularly posted to this updating blog article as WR and Daniel finish them: Continue reading

Preparation for Saalfeld 1806

Today is August the 1st. In two months WR is scheduled to GM, with his son Daniel, the 28mm Battle of Saalfeld 1806 napoleonic scenario at the regional HMGS-PSW Fall convention, held in Fullerton CA (CSFU) on Sept 30th-Oct 1st, and in conjunction with the International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS) convention at the same location. Full convention details found on scanned flyer at end of this updating article. HMGS-PSW

WR intends to use this uupdating blog post to show the many steps WR completes to bring a convention level napoleonic scenario to life. Each week WR hopes to update this blog article with news of forward progress towards the Saalfeld 1806 napoleonic scenario, the unit miniatures needed or painted from bare lead, reference material collected, scenario written up, and the long list of small but incremental steps towards a “hoped for” successful scenario game. At the same time, another concurrent running progressive blog article will cover the other planned Flames of War (20mm) post war May 1945 scenario planned for Sept 30th at the same convention.

[8/1/17] Why Saalfeld 1806? Well, about a decade ago WR acquired small Prussian 1806 28mm collection. At the same time, found on the Ebay world, someone was selling a collection of 1809 era unpainted (raw lead) 25mm Old Glory Saxons, which for a very cheap price, found a new home in the WR miniature ranks. About four years ago, just before moving to the new gaming warren, WR spent several winter and spring months painting up the 25mm Saxon collection for future 1809 campaign battles and also covering the 1806 era organizationally. WR is aware that the Old Glory miniature backpacks are French inspired and not Prussian look for the 1806 Saxons… but for this scenario, their gleaning white ranks will suffice unless Dan M and his “1806 correct uniform” Saxon miniatures make the tabletop. Either way, the Saxon army portion on the tabletop Saalfeld battlefield is miniature covered.

Required Saxon units for Saalfeld 1806 are: Saxon Hussars, KurPrinz Regt, Pz. Clemens Regt, the Xavier Regt, and a Saxon foot battery. All are found in the Saxony box below.

Saxons ready to go. The line cavalry is stored in another box but only the hussar regiment was at Saalfeld.

For the Prussians a lot more work is required by WR. Thankfully at Saalfeld 1806 the Prussian contingent is small and includes the following units: Schimmelpfenning Hussars, von Ruhle, von Pelet, and von Rabenau Fusilier btns, several Jager company sized detachments, the von Muffling Regt, and two Prussian artillery batteries. From the various Prussian miniatures groups pictured below, the Prussian contingent will take form during August.

Lots of basing and unit touch-up work required in the three early 1806 Prussian boxes.

Mixture of 1813-15 Prussian Landwehr and early 1806 Prussians (hussars, uhlans, and grenadier btns.). At least the majority are based into units.

Four Prussian musketeer regiments, three jager battalions, and three small fusilier battalions. The Prussian artillery is found in the common Prussian artillery box not pictured.

For the French 5th Corps (Lannes), WR has a large collection of bicorne republican and early imperial era French infantry and artillery to select from, including the actual numbered French ligne regiments. The painted French cavalry collection is more 1809-1812 era regiments but for the early Imperial campaign battles is little changed from an elevated eye viewing distance. WR will have to paint up the two French hussars regiments (9th and 10th) as they have distinct uniforms.

Massed early Imperial French regiments are needing their standards and some rapidographic black line work.

Continue reading

Scouting Christmas

Having been sent photo copy of the recent Christmas reconnaissance mission, it has come to WR’s attention that a change of shako or hat is required for future successful terrain reconnaissance near the local interior forest.

spqfjl

For all,  the best of the holiday season,  with friends and family,  and a Merry Christmas finding carrots under the tree.

Michael aka WR

 

P.S. Does some company make rabbit white snow coats?

 

Been Five Years…

Today, before midnight chimes on the wall clock, June 21, 2016 is the five-year anniversary for the Wargamerabbit warren news service. What made me decide to start writing about the trips and tales of my historical miniature gaming is even to this day unknown, I made no mental or written notes back then. WR can present several thoughts, all which could have been the final decision maker, changing this meek uncommunicative historical gamer into a written word rabbit, with all his poor Queen’s english skills. My former English teacher Miss Cox (4th grade) would never believe it…. write something down in the english language? Little does she know that spellcheck can be a friend or enemy and this isn’t written in penned longhand either.

The susceptive thoughts, in no particular order or subject:

  1. A place, like a diary, to record the actual fun games and events in my primary hobby; wargaming, painting miniatures and collecting historical military uniform books. Other pastimes include ballroom and latin dancing, sailing, driving the “big carrot” 2007 corvette (ten-year member of local corvette car club), and reading the occasional old dusty record of some past forgotten tale, historical in nature of course. For example, my grandfather, who was a stationed as a pilot on the WWI western front during 1917, also flew over the Palestine 1918 front lines then late in the war, flew north over Mediterranean Sea to Greece (Salonika) and onwards into the Russian Civil war on the White armies southern front. Won the Cross of St George for some hair brained mission which WR still has, along with his other awards from the war and WWII. See scanned copies below for an interesting history tie in.
  2. Write up the monthly scenario and any pick up games with detail and pictures, so WR can read the flow of battle and remember the scenario in his old age. There are favorite blog posts, including the tabletop disasters, which still received their time on the blog. WR can track those elusive dice too.
  3. Mention his fellow gamers, some who has since travelled away or in the case of minority still, past on to rolling dice with a higher authority. We all are getting older.
  4. A place of file storage, off the warren home computer, Storage for completed scenarios. and share them with whoever is interested. WR’s unpublished scenarios (a long list indeed), in time, will make the published stage. Storage of the club… group’s…napoleonic rules,  as they are slowly written down. The old Version 1.0 typed pages have been scanned and placed on the WR. The current Version 2.0 is on again, off again project. WR places the work on the rules near the bottom of every list… since the group gamers known them to heart… some what…. maybe. Which brings up #5…
  5. Force WR to write and record in one open sourced public site the napoleonic rules, charts, tables, game design notes, forms and templates, pictures, diagrams, video links (YouTube), rule changes or improvements (quicker way or shortened form), and anything else connected to the group’s napoleonic game. Soon to be posted for the gaming group after several months of work, WR just finished a complete list of the French Republican and Imperial napoleonic French generals (1790-1815), attached any portraiture file WR had to each listing, and evaluated their game tabletop ratings, all in several .xls spreadsheet workbooks format. There are 1050 listed names and most have portraiture (small ,jpg file) attached to each name for the roster forms. Next will be the Austrian, English, Prussian and Russian commander lists, plus several of the minor states on the side. Except for Bob keeping alive the Version 1.0 charts, no one in the group has stepped up, supported, or lent a direct hand on this huge challenge. Seem we are all growing old…. and foggy minds are… shall we say, forgetting or changing the rules. With a set of written rules, in chapter by chapter format, diagrams, photographs and all that, we can have a standardized start point and know the interface differences of Version 1.0 and Version 2.0 rule formats.
  6. Have a discussion point and written out commentary, with supportive data, including pictures or diagrams, to cover the aspects of the napoleonic wargame systems and rules in their current format. All recorded on WR for future use and reference. Document how to play the napoleonic game, in its basic form, with examples of play and give a visual image to support the written narrative.
  7. A place to record the large miniature collection with photographic record. WR paints to a good basic level for all his miniatures, unit details etc, with simple but effective basing. He is no fine artist compared to many in his chosen hobby. As WR completes a “collection army” to his satisfaction, or at least useful on the scenario or “free play” tabletop, his WR plan is to feature that army collection on the WR blog. The number of miniatures in WR’s collection is… to say “large” may be an understatement, with many future years of blog posting ahead. WR’s 25/28mm painted historical napoleonic miniature collection numbers over 23,000 in 20+ nation states. In second place are the 25/28mm ancient armies, which leads to the Polish late 1600’s, WSS, SYW, and Dark Ages (or post-Roman world) collections. Generally a 25/28mm miniature painter, but 15mm ECW, TYW, and ACW collections stored in the warren. Then there is the WWII 20mm collections of tanks and infantry teams, a small WWI 20mm collection, and finally the 1/3000 modern navies collection, geared to the old “modern time” of the 1960-2000 era / period. Major benefit of this work… WR’s estate executor will have some supportive record to start the process of identifying the collections, supported by the spreadsheet accounting, and WR’s habit to labeling everything. Reichsarmee anyone? That unit is the Bayreuth Cuirassiers 1760 era…..
  8. A place to write down and record the many local California historical miniatures conventions and fellow gamer home visits. Describe in basic terms what the convention offered, a game description of the games WR participated in and commentary. A common theme are the visits south to Bob’s garage on the 3rd Saturday every month. Bob continues the monthly meeting date after WR ended his YR1988 to YR2007 staging of monthly napoleonic and FOW WWII 20mm games. A new scenario every month was WR’s goal during his years in the garage trenches. Flank assaults, delayed arrivals, unbalanced scenarios, actual victory conditions vs. line up and charge forward scenarios, surprises, special event on the tabletop. The gamers never truly knew their fate till the evening hours. Pity WR blog wasn’t around then…. those scenarios were sometimes real beauties. Some were month to month games with the tabletop scenario left up (in place) and continued game play the following month. Another favorite trip is the ancient Clash of Empires 28mm or WWII Over the Top scenarios at David’s, or the trips to St Crispins group in Anaheim (2nd Saturday), or HMGS-PSW local or regional game days. Links to all are on the WR Future event tab.
  9. Write ups on WR’s occasional foray into tabletop terrain construction. Commonly needed for a special or unique piece mentioned or required for a historical scenario which WR has dreamt (researched) up. A “how did I do it” piece of questionable literature work.
  10. While digging about for historical material for a specific historical scenario, a place to post the links and material for those following WR’s footsteps, enabling them to save time and effort to arrive at their own effort and conclusions. Same for designer notes on how to construct a tabletop scenario or present a varied presentation of scenario designs to mix up the dull routine of group gaming found in some gaming clubs.
  11. Hey, WR has come up with 10 reasons… better than I thought starting this blog post.

Continue reading

Trip to 4077th M.A.S.H site

Time to exit the warren, put down the painting brush, enjoy the temperate California spring day, and take a hop. Having hiked in to the old M.A.S.H. filming site many years ago, WR felt that a return hike into the Santa Monica mountains was needed. Details on the M.A.S.H filming site are all over the internet, several YouTube videos, and internet links posted at end of article.

The old M.A.S.H. filming site is located in the Santa Monica mountain near Los Angeles and only 15 or so miles from the warren in the San Fernando Valley. Easy drive on the northbound 101 freeway till you reach the Las Virgenes Road. Exit the 101 Freeway and head south towards the ocean and beaches. After you cross Mulholland Highway look for the park entrance on the right or western side of the road. Parking was $12.00 at the park entrance, use the paypoints in the parking lot if no ranger at the toll booth. There is parking outside the park, some WR understands on Mulholland Hwy which just increases your hiking distance by another mile round trip.

IMG_8396

Entrance to the staging parking lot off of Las Virgenes road.

From the parking lot inside the park look westward for the trail head entrance. There are several trails at this conjunction of the park. Look for Crags road or signs. The trail is westerly in direction so going any other direction will lead you astray.

IMG_8395

The trail head on a busy Sunday morning. The dirt ramp at left was easier to walk down compared to the steps at right… go figure.

If you have no clue as to your bearings… there are several posted maps in the park viewing boards near the entrance. Coming down the steps or ramp will led you to a concrete weir over or across the small stream. At right is your first distance and direction sign as seen below. Only 2.3 miles to go. Make sure you have carried water with you. Phone service was spotty in places. For those in the cavalry branch of service by riding horseback you have the right of way over the foot infantry. Artillery wasn’t mentioned on the sign post.

IMG_8392

The route is sign posted in some degree. This is the first sign with 2.3 miles to go to reach the M.A.S.H. filming site.

Continue reading

WR has moved!

WR hasn’t blogged or gamed much for the month of May or early June. Sort have been busy with…..

“Moving…..also referred as weight lifting with added benefit of walking up and down stairs with heavy arm loads on a very hot Southern California day.”

Didn’t need much gym time with all the miniature boxes and library collection either. Fourteen full car loads plus the typical U-Haul rental truck for the bulky furniture.

WR has moved into a new warren recently remodeled by WR himself and contractors. Flooring, new library shelving, some wall demolition work, new drywall plastering, paint, ceiling lighting over gaming table zone, and remodeled attached bathroom. That’s completes the living quarters leaving the miniature boxes garage storage situation (aka “the pile”) still to be completed later this summer, hopefully during cooler weather.

Chairs and sofa for watching the action or ports, a movie, or just unwind before the television.

Chairs and sofa for watching the nearby tabletop action, sporting event, a movie, or just unwind before the television. Note that WR likes ballroom and latin dancing, hence the wall posters.

Continue reading

HMGS-PSW WWII January Convention

Just back from the HMGS-PSW January 2015 WWII themed convention held in Anaheim California with a brief summary report.

WR’s two Flames of War scenarios were joined by a host of other 20th Century gaming: Bolt Action (two tables), Check Your Six, Warhammer Great War WWI, Blitzkrieg Commander, BattleTech (on another planet), even some DBA medieval gaming to round out the field.

The Flames of War (20mm) scenarios featured the “String of Pearls” and “Roncey Pocket” Normandy July 1944. Both scenarios taken from the Cobra FoW supplement. Additional information on these scenarios can be read from my recent WR blog post (link): HMGS-PSW FoW scenario. WR is currently in the process of writing up the picture heavy AAR for both these scenarios .

Update 01/23/15: String of Pearls AAR posted: String of Pearls AAR

Update 01/30/15: Roncey Pocket AAR posted: Roncey Pocket AAR

Genarl view of the starting position String of Pearls FoW Normandy Cobra supplement using 20mm miniatures.

General view of the WR’s ‘String of Pearls” FoW Normandy Cobra supplement scenario using 20mm miniatures. Read the soon posted AAR for complete scenario game details.

Roncey Pocket scenario showing the Northern German column and American defenses at left.

Follow up “Roncey Pocket” Normandy 1944 scenario opening turn. Shows the Northern German road column and American armored defenders at left. Off photo at top is the German Southern column and the surprised American artillery company. Scenario is fought at night.

A convention favorite seems to be David K’s Warhammer Great War with hundreds of lovely painted 28mm miniatures. French poulu infantry in red trousers, French cuirassiers, English khaki infantry, German pickelhaube infantry and the tabletop hosts of light artillery and machine guns. Allied “over the top” advance during the Battle of the Marne 1914 scenario.  Continue reading