WR’s FOW 1/72 or 20mm basing

WR stated way back in YR2004 with his first Flames of war (FOW) game using Version 1.0 of the rules and supplement books. So WR has seen the many little problems which pop up when using the larger miniature and the FOW rules, all which date back to that YR2004 beginning period. Basing the miniatures quickly came to the forefront. WR couldn’t base the same number of 20mm miniature on their 15mm infantry team basing. So, WR had to make different basing arrangements, keeping in mind the larger basing sizes would have on rules and game play. The thought of collecting the FOW 15mm miniatures wasn’t an option. The WWII collection was all 1/72, 1/76. or 20mm, some painted, with many more unbuilt 1/72 kits and miniatures to construct and paint. So WR knew he was going along his own path, as most FOW gamers locally used the Battlefront 15mm miniatures, and hence the standard FOW basing footprint. After some trial and error, WR came up with the following basing system for his FOW WWI, WWII, and his future Korea war or Vietnam war based collections.

Materials: WR uses basic vinyl or linoleum floor tiles 12″x12″ and 1/8″ thick size for his FOW basing material. The common boxed floor tiles found in most hardware stores for about 80 cents per sheet and comes in various shades or texture design. WR purchases the box of 40 sheets and tends to use the lighter shades of vinyl tile thus making writing the unit identification on base easy to see and read on his FOW bases. With the 1/8″ edge, the ability to finger grip the based miniature aids in miniature movement and avoids grabbing the actual miniatures to shift the based miniatures or vehicle tabletop position every turn. Far in the past WR used thick and dense artist board or wood, such as basswood or balsa for basing, but found the bases tended to wrap. Should note the tile material has a bit of weight feel to the basing vs. wood or paper products. If the vinyl tile bases wrap, a little heat quickly bends them to flat state.

Side note: For his naval ship models (1/700 scale) display and textured gaming sea state base, the darker grey or blue floor tile used.

Tools: Pencils, rulers, small band saw, table sander, hand pliers, wide blade hand file, and plastic bowl or bags for tile cutting debris,

Vinyl or linoleum standard tile sheets (grey and light brown here). Hand pliers, wide hand file, his table sander and band saw equipment. Note the sample infantry base at the sander disc wheel.

Process: First measure out and draw the cutting lines on the tile sheet. using pencils and ruler. The basing size templates are written about / noted below depending on the basing unit. After marking the vinyl floor tile sheet with lines, WR cuts the tile piece with a simple band saw. Hand feed the band saw with material and follow drawn lines. Keep the cutting straight with slight adjustments while cutting and keep fingers clear of the band saw blade. WR typically does two to three sheets at a time, placing excess standard large or small infantry bases, or standard 12″ length strips cut to common widths like 1.75″, 2″ etc. into a future use box. Once the basic shapes cut WR then uses the hand pliers to nip off each base corner to a slight degree. After all bases nicked, the bases are corner sanded to smooth the corner curve using his table sander disc. Basically just smooth the sharp double points at each nicked corner by holding the base material against the rotating sanding disc just lightly. The sander can quickly reduce your vinyl bases to uneven shape,, so lightly goes the process. If no table sander available, WR in his past has used a basic wide hand file to round the nicked base corners. Keep in mind the table sander will create dust and fine vinyl particles of material so WR recommends a common mask while operating the table sander in open air. WR “rounds the corners” lto avoid the hard 90′ angular base corner look on the tabletop and avoids base stacking if the base is slightly turned. Keep those small base corner nick material or larger excess trimming material, in a plastic bowl or tub. WR has found many uses for the odd shaped cut offs including creating ruins and fallen brickwork texture on his FOW bases ( link: Military Trains, Tolley, Ruins and Rubble). This completes the base material process, the next steps are painting the base with paint, applying textured terrain, affixing the miniatures, and label the base with unit identification

Same equipment, just a clear view of the equipment. Sander is a xxxx. The band saw is a xxxx. Vinyl or linoleum tile will dull band saw blase after thousand bases so have spare on hand.

Continue reading

FOW France 1944 – Daniel’s First Scenario

This Flames of war scenario, completely designed by Daniel (son) on his own without any assistance from WR, came as a total surprise to WR. He converted an online electronic game scenario to a suitable FOW scenario, drew up the scenario map below by hand, and decided to use the Ver3.0 “Forces” book, part of the trilogy of books packaged with the MRB FOW V3.0 to create the armies of play. Therefore the platoons involved are basic in the ETO France 1944 format but nonetheless fun to game with. The scenario setting has two forces advancing (encounter like mission), meeting near two central tabletop French villages, one on a hillside, the other atop a hill mound, both villages divided by a waterway. The hillsides are covered with woods or orchard at the hill top, while in the flat land, Daniel placed grain fields, hedges, and low stone walls. Overall a great first effort. The only change WR suggested was remove the waterway, as it will divide the table into two halves. The AAR below represents the non waterway scenario. Scenario length set at ten complete turns on the 6×8′ table. Control more objective markers than your opponent for win placed using standard FOW Ver3.0 placement rules.

Daniel’s first hand drawn FOW scenario map. Set in French countryside, the Germans entered on top edge, the Americans the lower edge, starting up to 12″ from the table edge. Table 6’x8′ size.

Scenario forces: Both 2000 point forces taken directly from the Ver 3.0 “Forces” book. Daniel played the Germans using a Heer Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier company with supports (1990 points). WR used an American Armored Rifle company with support (1990 points).

Heer Gepanzete Panzergrenadier Co. HQ: CoCmd, 2iC SMG teams, 2x Sd Kfz 251/1 [65 pts]. Noted that no panzerfaust or panzerknackers armed teams in use. Two objective markers.

Three Gepanzerte PzGrenadier platoons: Cmd, Sd kfz 251/10, 6x MG teams, 3x Sd Kfz 251/1 each [660 pts].

Infantry Gun Platoon (highjacked from a local Grenadier company I expect): Cmd, 2x 7.5cm leIG18, Obs. team [65 pts].

PzGrenadier AA gun platoon: 2x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm [60 pts].

Heavy tank platoon: 3x Tiger I E [645 pts]. Ouch!

Artillery battery: Cmd, Staff team, 2x Obs. teams, 4x 10.5cm leFH18 [210 pts].

Panzerspah Patrol: 3x Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma 5cm AC [150 pts].

Limited Air Support: Ju 87G Stuka [135 pts].

For the Americans, WR rostered a standard Armored Rifle company (1990 points) with the following platoons:

Armored Rifle Co. HQ: CoCmd, 2iC Carbine teams, Baz. team, Jeep, M3 H/T w/50 cal. Sherman recovery tank [45 pts]. Two objective markers.

Two Armored Rifle platoons: Cmd, 5x Rifle teams, 5x Baz. teams, 2x M1919 LMG, 2x M3 H/T w/50 cal., 3x M3 H/T w/AA MG each [450 pts].

Armored Mortar platoon: Cmd, M3 H/T w/50 cal., 3x M4 81mm mortar [60 pts].

Armored Assault gun platoon: 3x M8 Scott HMC [105 pts].

Tank platoon: 5x M4a1 Sherman [320 pts].

Tank platoon: 5x M4a1 (76mm) Sherman [470 pts].

Field Artillery: Cmd, Staff team, Obs. team, jeep. 4x M2a1 105mm [140 pts].

Field Artillery: Cmd, Staff team, Obs. team, jeep, 4x M1 155mm [210 pts].

Priority Air support: P 47 Thunderbolts [190 pts].

General view of the tabletop showing the raising hillside village at top and mound top village with church below. American on left, the Germans at right in starting positions.

Deployment: First WR’s deployment. From left to right WR deployed one AR platoon in halftracks facing the hillside village supported by his M8 Scott HMC assault guns. Center position the M4a1 75mm Sherman platoon, the Armored M4 81mm Mortars, then the other AR platoon, in their halftracks to their right. Lastly the M4a1 (76mm) Sherman platoon held the right before the mound village and Daniel’s Tigers. Command wise the CoCmd team went with the left AR platoon, the 2iC team with the right AR platoon. Continue reading

FOW Pz Brigade 150 vs. US 28th Infantry

Another game from the backlog files of CoVid YR2020. This Flames of War (FOW) version 3.0 scenario is a home grown scenario. Back in June 2020 we had an early summer like heat wave so Daniel and WR optioned for a “cool” scenario from the Bulge 1944 time period. Since WR had just finished up painting his Panzer Brigade 150 ersatz Panthers and StuG platoons, plus his Skorzeny commandos in their captured jeeps, the choice ready made. An uneven point scenario with the advancing Germans having 2000 points vs. the defending Americans with 1830 points and a patch of Ardennes to defend. All the special rules found in the Battlefront “Devil’s Charge” supplement booklet in play, the “disguises” of captured equipment, some sheet metal, English speaking Germans, rampant rumors, American bulldog rule, snowy frozen ground, and more. Plus bad weather for once.

The wintery tabletop with Pz. Brigade 150 ready to launch their assault on the American line. On left flank Daniel has his Pumas, SS Jager platoons, heavy SS 12cm mortars and ersatz StuG platoon. The remaining SS 12cm mortar platoon  sets up mid table.

Since this scenario was a “pick up game” there is no hand drawn scenario map for the 6×8 table. A typical Ardennes countrywide with forest, narrow river waterway and crossroad villages, all draped in snowy ground was laid out. Unlike many Bulge scenarios which WR has played over the years, this one has weather. Lots of cold temperatures, cloud cover, and ground fog to keep any pilots home in their warm cots and American artillery observers seeing German panzer shadows.

Forces: The starting line up for both sides, first the Germans with their Pz. Brigade 150 force under Daniel’s control (2000 points). Pz. Brigade 150 SS teams are all rated Fearless Trained (FT) unless noted.

Pz. Brigade Tank Company HQ: Co. Cmd SMG Pzf., 2iC team SMG Pzf., both with captured jeeps. [75] pts.

Skorzeny Commandos: 4x Skorzeny Commando jeeps rated Fearless Veteran (FV) [200] pts.

Ersatz Panther platoon: 3x Ersatz Panthers [550] pts.

Ersatz StuG platoon: 3x Ersatz StuG [285] pts.

Two SS Jager platoon: Cmd/Pzf, R/MG Pzf, 6x R/MG [420]pts.

Two SS Heavy Mortar platoons: Each with Cmd, Obs. team, 4x 12cm mortar teams [2×160] pts.

Ersatz Panzerspah platoon: 3x Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma [150] pts.

On the right Daniel started his ersatz panther platoon with plans to shift towards the central town at upper left. WR set up two of his Outpost platoons to guard the upper right roadway.

WR’s American force represents the “Bloody Bucket” or 28th US Infantry taken from the same “Devil’s Charge” FOW supplement. WR deployed his Perimeter Outpost fortified company miniatures to try and stem Daniel’s advancing Panzer Brigade 150 ersatz panzers and SS infantry. Perimeter Outpost and support teams are rated Reluctant Veteran (RV) for this scenario report unless noted: Continue reading

FOW Cole’s Charge 1944

This Flames of War (FOW) scenario came from the former “What Would Patton Do (WWPD)” blog site several years ago. WR saved the scenario file for a future game and this last summer, Daniel and WR set up the game scenery, pulled WR’s WW2 FOW miniatures, and played out the tabletop action. Cole’s Charge is based upon an actual June 11, 1944 battle at Ingouf farm in Normandy, between the 3rd Battalion 502nd Parachute IR and their counterparts in the German army… 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment. Read the full scenario file below for more details and any internet search under “Lt. Colonel Cole, Ingouf farm, 502nd Parachute Regiment in Normandy, Purple Heart Lane” should access additional historical background material.

What Would Patton Do (WWPD) written scenario .pdf file: Coles Charge 1944 

With WR’s 20mm miniatures in position and table snacks within arm reach, the scenario opens with the fallschirmjager position shelled by several batteries of American off table 105mm artillery. In FOW 3.0 MRB terms a preliminary pre-scenario start bombardment action. Every tabletop deployed German team rolls their fate 6D, except for warrior teams, and survivors end the bombardment pinned to the ground. A roll of 4+ removes the team.

Opening scenario scene. The American artillery pounds the German Fallschirmjagers positioned around the farm and orchards.  Then switch to smoke rounds to cover the American advance.

Continue reading

FOW Western Desert 1940

This past week the warren theater of operations changed from the Russian front to the cold December 1940 desert of western Egypt. The British, for background, have started Operation Compass, seeking to dislodge and repulse the Italian invasion of the Egyptian western desert region since September 1940. For weeks the Italians have remained stationary in their “fortified camps” after a short advance period, strung across the open desert, loosely linked by occasional patrols and rear support formations. Seeing this general inactivity, the British and Commonwealth forces under General Richard O’Connor started their local offensive to dislodge the Italians. First day operations went all too well, with the overrunning of several camps. WR’s Flames of War (FoW) scenario below is somewhat based upon an Italian fortified camp being assaulted by British and Commonwealth units, while giving the Italian a chance with the introduction of a localized Italian counterattack…. some Italian armor, such as it was in late 1940. The scene unfolds with the British and Commonwealth infantry and supporting armor deployed to assault the Italian lines. Matildas all gassed up, while Vickers light tank mkVIIb heard gunning their motors to race forward. For the allied infantry, Daniel’s choice was Indians or WR’s painted “Gurkhas” on the tabletop, painted years ago and never been used till last week. should note Gurkhas are a bit early for appearance in the desert war but basically Indian army in structure, so they will fit the platoon organization requirement to represent the Indian 4th Division. For the Italians, WR assumed the command. Positioned in their prepared wired and mined trench lines, the Italians were Posizione di Fucilieri infantry manning the trenches with a counterattack force of M11/39 and the “dune buggy” CV35 tankettes held in reserves. The possible showdown of CV35 vs. Vickers mkVIIb awaits it seems. Scenario starting position set up based upon “Hold the Line” scenario mission template and provides the victory objective conditions.

Opening scene on the desert. British and Commonwealth infantry at right. The Italians trench lines at left. Weather clear but cold for time of year, it is December 1940. British objectives placed.

The forces for each side in the upcoming tabletop scenario. For the British and Indians Daniel uses the British Rifle company list, found in FoW Hellfire and Back book, with special use exception granted for the Vickers light tank company [1800 points]:

Rifle Company HQ: CoCmd and 2iC teams. [25 pts.]

Three Indian rifle platoons: Each wit Cmd, 6x R/MG teams, ATR, lt. mortar team. [3x 175 pts.]

Mortar 3″ platoon: Cmd, Obs, four 3″ mortar teams. [110 pts.]

Royal Artillery troop: Cmd, Obs, Staff, four 25lb mostly off table except for observer. [395 pts.]

Matilda troop: Cmd. Matilda, and Matilda mkII. [475 pts.]

Vickers mkVII company: HQ platoon with Cmd mkVII, 2ic MkVII and one more mkVII. Then two armored platoons of Cmd MkII, two mkVII tanks. All total nine Vickers mkVIIb tanks organized in three platoons. [90 +180 or 270 pts.]

View from the opposite table edge. Allied on left, Italians on right. The Vickers mkVIIb gun their motors to race ahead, followed by the Indian infantry teams (three platoons worth).

For the Italians WR rostered the following units from the Hellfire and Back Posizione di Fucilieri list [1745 points]. Several platoons start as delayed reserves or ambush position and so marked below in list:

Italian HQ: CoCmd, 2iC teams. [25 pts.]

Three Fucilieri Posizione platoons: Cmd, six rifle/MG teams, 47/32 nest, HMG nest, trench lines, 2x barbwire and 1x mines. [3x 285 pts.]

Mortar platoon: Cmd, Obs., three mortar teams w/gun positions. [80 pts.]

Anti-Tank platoon: Cmd, four 37/45 A/T guns (as foil for Vickers mkVII company exception above). In ambush position at scenario start [120 pts.]

Demolisher platoon: Cmd, six Pioneer rifle teams, two lt. mortars. In delayed reserve status. [145 pts.]

Howitzer battery: Cmd, Obs., staff. four 100/17 cannon held as off table artillery w/gun positions. In delayed reserve status [205 pts.]

Medium Tank platoon: Cmd M11/39 and four M11/39 tanks. In delayed reserve status [215 pts.]

Tankette platoon: Cmd L3/35 with three L3/35 tankettes. In delayed reserve status [100 pts.] Continue reading

Станция 19 (Station 19) FOW

One week after playing out the Flames of War July 1944 Soviet breakthrough vs. German blocking force scenario (Eastern Front at home), WR and Daniel (son) had the opportunity to play another FOW scenario. This time the scenario setting was a continuation of the Soviet breakthrough theme during 1944, but deeper in the German rear area around a village, a train station numbered 19 (Станция 19), and Sicherungskompanie (Security) compound. Soviet tanks have broken through the German shattered front line and Soviet STAVKA has ordered airdropped paratroopers to link up with the local organized Soviet Partisan brigades to lead the partisans in disruption and destruction, thus aiding and expanding the Soviet breakthrough.

Station 19 Scenario Notes (.doc) file: Station 19 Scenario notes

Daniel’s Soviet Partizanskiy Brigada (Partisans) consists of the following companies and all rated Confident Conscript (CC) unless noted [Red Bear book pg. 112, 1505 points in total]:

Partizanskiy Brigada HQ: CoCmd, 2iC team, and three light mortars. [65 pts.]

Three Parizanskiy companies: Each of Cmd, komissar, and 21x rifle teams. Up to three rifle teams in entire force can be exchanged for ATR teams. [3x 220 pts.]

Partizanskiy mortar company: Cmd, Obs, six 82mm mortars. [90 pts.]

Partizanskiy MG company: Cmd, six HMG teams. [115 pts.]

Partizanskiy Scout platoon: Cmd, 4x SMG teams. These are the airdropped paratroopers who joined the partisans. Fearless Veteran rated (FV)[165 pts.]

Tankovy company: Cmd T34/85, 4x T34/85, all with cupola for better vision, as the part as the breakthrough train chasing column of tanks at scenario start. Confident Trained rated (CT)[410 pts.]

Peaceful German Sicherungskompanie (Security) compound watches as the security train arrives at the station 19 (Станция 19) Soviet village.

German Sicherungskompanie HQ at Станция 19 hears the outpost phone ring. Soviet T34/85 tanks are approaching the village from the east, following the rail line and chasing the arriving security train. Calling all the Sicherungs platoon sector outposts, the platoon lieutenants report seeing advancing partisans from the northern and southern sectors as their soldiers man their foxholes, their security team dogs* barking loudly. The security train has two Sicherung platoons on board, hoping to disembark before the Soviet tanks open fire on the slowing train and join the village defense. Calling the nearby aerodrome, the Sicherungskompanie commander requests air support with some Ju87 Stukas, mainly to deal with the Soviet tank column as his local A/T unit asset is worn out captured T34/76 tanks. Nearby, a local motorized artillery battery is also contacted, as they had dinner last night in the village, while passing through the area in transit. For reasons untold, their observers stayed behind till this morning to leave.

WR’s Sicherungskompanie compound structured with the following platoons and rated Reluctant Trained (RT) unless noted [1260 points]:

Sicherungskompanie HQ: CoCmd, 2iC team, two HMG teams, and two 8cm mortars kampfgruppe with a “recruited” observer team, and 2iC team to command them. [100 pts.]

Four Sicherungs platoons (Lithuanian, Latvian, and two Ukrainian): Each of Cmd, 6x rifle teams and maybe a “dog* team. Two start in village compound, two start on board the rail security train. [4x 80 pts.]

Sicherungs Scout platoon: Cmd, 4x rifle teams each with dogs.* [110 pts.]

Sicherungs Armored car patrol: Cmd Sd kfz 221 and two more Sd kfz 221. [60 pts.]

Sicherungs Infantry gun platoon: Cmd, Obs. team, two 7.5cm LeIG18 guns. [45 pts.]

Feldgendarmerie platoon: Four Feldgendarmerie teams to attach out. These teams are attached to the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Ukrainian Sicherungs platoons and act like Soviet kommissar team. [40 pts.]

Captured tank platoon: Command T34/76 and one other T34/76 mod 1942. [95 pts.]

Motorized artillery battery: Cmd, two observers, staff, 4x 10.5cm leFH18. All teams off board except for two observer teams. Confident Veteran (CV) rated. [210 pts.]

Air support sporadic: JU87 Stuka with bombs. [100 pts.]

Two dog handler rifle teams. See notes below on use.

The rail security train has the locomotive, two infantry cars (four passenger MG, two per side) for the boarded Sicherungs platoons mentioned above, and two light artillery cars with one 7.5cm cannon and one 2cm Flak38 AA in each. Each train car and locomotive has improvised armor level 1 for limited armor protection. [120 pts.]

Security rail bound Armored car patrol: Cmd Panhard 178 Cmd., and one additional additional Panhard 178, rail bound only, arriving as delayed reserve. [60 pts.]

  • Note: The two independent dog teams are attached to the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Ukrainian Sicherungs platoons. The Sicherungs Scouts teams each have dogs. These “dog” teams give the infantry team the same capabilities for “Eyes & Ears” rules out to 16″ distance.
  • Scenario notes file has map details and deployment information.

Lurking nearby in the surrounding woods, massed Soviet partisan companies creep forward before the alarm is sounded. This view shows “southern” sector with two partisan companies and HMG.

Aerial view from the western table edge and west bound security train chased by Soviet Tankovy column starting the scenario. Soviets will have first movement and importantly, first firing.

Aerial view of the “Southern” sector crawling with two Soviet partisan companies creeping into jump off position. A returning Ju87 flies overhead, radioing in they will be back.

Opening positions: From the “northern” side the Soviets have deployed one Partizan company, their 82mm mortar company, the arriving T34/85 company following the railroad and security train into the village, and lastly the paratrooper scout platoon around the partisan HQ group with light mortars. On the opposite or “southern” flank to the station village, two full partizan companies and supporting HMG company await the flare signal to attack. Continue reading

FOW 1944 Eastern front at home

Last weekend, WR and his son Daniel faced off across the socially dividing wargame table. The scenario gave WR a break from his month long isolation of miniature painting and organization effort, toss stale dice, and just game out an unrecorded Flames of War 20mm battle set someplace on the Eastern front during Operation Bagration (July 1944). Having decided which Soviet or German force structure to choose from and pointed out the respective forces, Daniel set to work to place terrain on the 6’x4′ tabletop. WR in the meantime located the required 20mm miniatures from the respective Soviet or German storage boxes, organized the platoons or companies, and placed them on a nearby side table before deployment.

The advanaged Soviet Peredovoye Otryad (Forward Detachment) tank company force (from FOW Red Bear p.76) represented a breakthrough column seeking to seek and disrupt the German rear area, control critical avenues of advance, and cause general havoc when possible. The German force was chosen from the Sperrverband infantry company (Security) organization found in Grey Wolf (p.94). Their task was to confront and block further Soviet advance by their Peredovoye Otryad/ Forward Detachment. Scenario to last eight turns, Objective control count to determine scenario winner or draw.

Soviet Peredovoye Otryad/ Forward Detachment (All are Fearless trained unless noted, 1910 pts.):

Force HQ (FT): Battalion Cmd. team, 2iC team, with two personal vehicles. [30 pts.]

Motorstrelkovy company (FT): Cmd, 21x SMG teams of three platoons, and two Markin HMG teams. [420]

Motorstrelkovy mortar company (FT): Cmd, Obs team, 6x 8cm mortar teams. [125]

T34/85 company (FT w/hen Chick)): Cmd T34/85, 4x T34/85 tanks. [440]

IS85 Guard company (FT): Cmd IS85, 4x IS85 tanks. [645]

Motorstrelkovy artillery battery (FT): Cmd, Staff, Obs. team, 8x ZIS 76mm cannon deployed on the tabletop. [250]

German Sperrverband company (Reluctant veteran unless noted, 1735 pts.):

Sperrverband Co. HQ (RV): Co. Cmd, 2ic team, two panzerschreck team. [90 pts.]

Sperr pioneer platoon (RV): Cmd (pzf), 6x R/MG pioneer teams. [200]

Sperr platoon (RV): Cmd (pzf), 6x R/MG teams (HMG teams replaced with two additional R/MG teams. [140]

Sperr platoon (RV): Cmd (pzf), 6x R/MG teams as above. [140]

Sperr platoon (RV): Cmd (pzf), 4x R/MG teams only. [110]

Panzerpioneer platoon (CV): Cmd, 6x MG pioneer teams with pioneer truck (carrying minefield). [230]

Speer Assault gun platoon (RV): Cmd StuG G, 2x StuG G tanks, [255]

Speer A/T Platoon (RV): Cmd, 4x Pak40 7.5cm A/T cannon. [185]

Luftwaffe Heavy AA platoon (RT): Cmd. 2x 8.8cm Flak 37 cannon. [185]

Offtable Motorized artillery battery (CV): Cmd, Staff, 2x Obs. teams, 4x LeFH18 10.5cm cannon. Only the two observer teams deploy on the tabletop. [210]

Soviet deployment on left, Germans deployment at right. See text for platoon commentary. Hills are minor, Woods are bog skill check. Low stone wall and crop fields slow going and give concealment for foot/A/T teams only.


Initial Deployments: First the Soviet (Daniel’s) deployment. Mortar company behind the far left hill with single tree. On left low hill towards the road the IS 85 Guard tank company. In center near roadway the ZIS 76mm battery in rear line, then the Motorstrelkovy SMG company and T34/85 company. Soviet HQ with Motorstrevlkovy teams entering right flank woods. Continue reading

Military Trains, Trollys, Rubble, and Ruins

WR’s Festung Breslau April 1945 scenarios required lots of building ruins and their rubble for the 20mm Flames of War (FOW) miniatures to transit, give cover to, and charge across. Adding some rubble to all the Volkssturm platoon team bases creates additional demand for linoleum discarded scrap pieces, Breslau has several trolley lines branching out from the city center plus railroads heading to the train station and rail yard…. so rail tracks, some abandon train freight cars, city station, and trolley infrastructure to complete the tabletop. So, here is how WR fulfilled the rubble requirement and tabletop trolley trams. Later in this blog posting, WR will cover his FOW military and supply train construction for future rear area battles between the German security forces and Russian and Balkans partisans. Lastly, a quick detail on his heavy Flak Train construction for those interested readers since this blog posting is train themed.

Rubble: Over the years WR has saved the FOW linoleum base corner trimmings just for this purpose. The question quickly arose how to reduce the “standardized corner clipping” of several years to a more ragged and blasted look. Thinking on the project task over several days, WR one morning was pounding nails…. then thought about the impacting process…. pound the debris pieces with same hammerhead. Process worked… but quickly scattered the pieces in all direction with each impact. Hence the old wash cloth covering. WR pounds the pile covered by the worn wash cloth, which holds the pounded debris material under the worn fabric. Linoleum title makes great rubble since it has a flat surface like most concrete walls, using cat litter doesn’t give the same look and texture since it is more rounded in general ragged shape.

Rubble materials. Floor tile (Linonulm scrap pieces) used with FOW basing, old hand cloth to cover the rubble during hammer pounding, and piliers to break into into rough / ragged pieces. Bagged or container for holding the scrap pieces.

Staining the wood cut boards. Basically thinned Tamiya paint (XF-10 Brown). Dip into thinned brown wash, then dried on wax paper. Remember to separate the stained boards while drying.

Gluing pounded rubble mix to former Zvezda bases saved from 1/72 sets. Typically takes two or three gluing stages to mound up rubble for height. Then add several finger pressure broken wood scale boards. I use the fingers to break the small boards for the broken end look.

Ruins: Over the years WR found he was collecting the old Matchbox 1/76 scale kit display bases. Many of these display bases had one wall from a ruined building for model display background. So, playing around with the single wall building displays, WR hit upon the concept of gluing three or four of these walls to form a defined ruin building perimeter. Apply some linoleum created rubble in the interior and just outside the wall ruins. Glue to a shaped linoleum floor tile and terrain flocking as needed. End result is a ruins zone, excellent for FOW 20mm gaming. Also these ruin zones could be used for WR’s future Blood and Plunder gaming, a new side project started last Christmas. Examples in photos below.

Two Linoleum 12′ square tiles from Lowes (84 cents each), ruins with rubble project from old 1/76 Matchbox kits mounted on linoleum tile base, Lastly, Volkssturm platoon based with rubble.,

Trolleys and trams. These are old San Francisco trolley car tourist trade models painted in Breslau tram deep red or green colors taken from old cityscape photos. N scale train / tram clip together tracks. Sample Zvezda bases for rubble markers and street barricade rubble linear piles.

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FOW Festung Breslau 1945

As WR works on his long overdue Almonacid 1809 scenario AAR write-up, a growing backlog of subject material to type mounds up, noted by his lack of WR posts during the 1st quarter of 2019. WR should mention the lack of posts for the readership also is due to his “overdrive for painting” 1st quarter effort (really February into April) towards dozen+ platoons of Flames of War 20mm miniatures, including their basing. When the miniature painting bug bites…roll with the urge says WR since painting tends to come in waves of sustained effort. Lastly, the tabletop gaming in the Winnetka warren continues; several FOW games, two pick up napoleonic scenarios, one HMGS-PSW convention and preparation for same, and some enjoyable vacation trips about California, all since the Mexican Riviera cruise last January. So, to fill some of the WR posting backlog, here is the Festung Breslau April 1945 Flames of War scenario GM hosted at the recent HMGS-PSW “Victory Day” convention held March 23rd in Van Nuys CA National Guard armory. Full scenario design, sources for scenario, maps, and German / Soviet 1945 platoon forces covered at end of ARR. cc

As WR was GM and playing in the Festung Breslau April 1945 scenario, the play by-play action report is limited to the photos taken during live action. Hopefully the reader can follow the images for scenario timeline. To set the pregame stage….. The Soviets have broken though the German Eastern Front Vistula river defenses back in January and surrounded the city of Breslau by February. The ordeal of the fleeing German civilians from Breslau before the final Soviet encirclement close is just tales of winter horror, tens of thousands just died frozen. Fleeing German shattered formations retired from the city, leaving an “ordered few” regiments / battalions/ companies of German panzer grenadiers, Volksgrenadiers, SS formations, Luftwaffe, Hitlerjugend, and raised volkssturm to hold the Festung city and surrounding countryside,  Successive Soviet divisional and corps level assaults during the February and March months have reduced the perimeter held by the German garrison to the city’s outlying built up area. The sole airport and aerial supply route was taken last month, leaving the German garrison with just their improvised and cleared “Kaiserstrasse” roadway for light planes to fly in. Even at this late date in the war, the Germans still tried to drop nighttime parachute supplies into Breslau, with the massed Soviet AA batteries shooting up the night sky. Still, being a depot supply hub during the late war period, the city was well stocked with food, some fuel, and small arms ammunition, except for the needed A/T rounds, larger artillery shells, and medical supplies.

General view of the Breslau tabletop scenario. Table 12×6′, most of WR’s building collection is seen in play. Soviets set up at right, the German hold the center towards the left in photo.

Left end table from German view. Most of the German teams are hidden in the building off-table on the specific building underlay mats. Visible is the StuG IV platoon. Soviets upper left corner.

Center view from German side. Seen are the two 8.8cm cannon entrenched with Volkssturm platoons in support. With little open space…. Soviet planes used open ground pending their use.

German right flank view. Volkssturm Pioneer platoon at left. Two Tiger I tanks, Another Volkssturm platoon with Pak 40 platoon support in ruins. Large buildings hold entire platoons.

Soviet left flank at start. Hero Strekovy platoons, Hero mixed Assault guns and t-34/85 companies roam the open roadway. Note the 203mm howitzer attached to Storm Group company at right.

Soviet center table. T-34 (OT-34) flame tanks, more Stretkovy companies, and “temporary” Soviet aerodrome to hold the Soviet plane models. Appears no photo of the Soviet right flank taken…..


Plans and set up: Soviet player team set up on a broad frontage to pin down the German front lines. As scenario progress made, the Soviets had two axis of advance. Down their left flank with HQ group, two Hero Stretkovy companies, a Hero SMG company, Hero Tankovy company (T-34/85), and Assault Tank mixed company. In the table center Soviets field a Hero Shturmovye Group (Shock) with 203mm howitzer attached, two Stretkovy companies, and Flame tank company. Their job is to destroy the 88mm position and support either flank advance with detached companies. The right flank advance as the second major push, with the other HQ group, two Hero Stretkovy companies, a Hero SMG company, the other Hero Shturmovye Group (Shock) with 203mm howitzer attached, a Hero Su-76M Assault gun company, and the final Hero Tankovy company. Attached to the two Shock groups are the Soviet FT teams (two each). On call, with their observer teams deployed, the two off-board artillery batteries prepare bombardments and the ever-present Soviet air force buzzing overhead. Overall, the Soviets has the edge in total points…. 5000 vs. 4200 for the Germans. Continue reading

FOW Stoumont 1944 AAR

As WR finishes his Almonacid 1809 Peninsular war battle AAR, his Battle of the Bulge Stoumont Flames of War 3.0MRB game, played over the recent President’s Day weekend at Strategicon – OrcCon LAX, is presented for the readership. This article follows on the recent Stoumont Dec 1944 post which details the former Rapid Fire scenario and conversion to FOW 3.0MRB format. If interested, WR refers the reader for additional notes on the scenario via the provided blue link.

Americans start on the tabletop with all platoons on tabletop except for one platoon chosen for ambush deployment. Player team USA choose the Towed Tank Destroyer 3″ A/T platoon to lie in ambush, thinking their lurking threat to the German panzers will make their movement guarded. One rifle infantry platoon outpost positioned near Rouat hilltop village to satisfy the deployment restriction, otherwise the balance of the American platoons and command groups, including the ambush towed A/T platoon, start in the Stoumont half of the scenario tabletop. Germans all enter at Point A table edge marked on the map, with initial platoons and their following reserve platoons. It’s winter, so the muddy / snowy ground slows off-road team movement to rough going, basically 8″ for tanks, worse for wheeled vehicles. Germans have first movement and weather is foggy (like smoke) for the first turns then random dice roll lifting.



The scenario AAR: Quick coverage on the American chosen Stoumont deployment. There is no specific deployment positions, just a zone given per scenario notes. The 90mm heavy AA gun is sited to cover the entrance road to Stoumont (historically near the church), along with a rifle platoon in woods leading to Stoumont and the initial buildings. Second rifle platoon positioned in rear half (up road) of Stoumont with Co. HQ CinC team. Weapons platoon detaches the .50cal and LMG teams to each rifle platoon’s forward platoons in Stoumont to increase their firepower. The wepon platoon remaining M2 60mm mortars plus 57mm A/T gun joined by the single 60mm from company HQ, positioned behind hedge on road to Rouat. M4 Sherman platoon hidden in Stoumont center and behind the buildings. Lastly, a single minefield section placed across road at village entrance.

The tabletop and American deployment as mentioned in written text. Germans will enter at lower left table edge. Stoumont at top of photo and Rouat at lower right up on hill.

Center of Stoumont showing the two rifle platoons plus the M4 sherman platoon hidden behind the building. Company HQ team in foreground building.

Another view of Stoumont before the German arrival. Note the sole heavy 90mm AA gun in woods lower right. Rifle platoon in woods and first building of Stoumont covering road minefield.

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