Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town...

It seems that Santa decided that I was a good boy this year... He brought me a long waited airbrush with couple of things. Unfortunately, he didn't tell me how to use it... Well I have to figure it out myself.

I tried the airbrush out with the Panthers that I am currently assembling. You can see the final effect below. Well, there is still plenty to learn, nevertheless I think they look better if I hand painted the cammo myself :)

Thank you Santa!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Meet my army: Part V - Heavy SS-Panzerspäh Platoon

Actually, I should write about my panzerpionier platoon to make it in the proper order, but couple of additional half-tracks are still waiting to be painted, so I feel justified to skip them for a second ;)

So today, I would like to present the platoon that I recently painted - Heavy SS-Panzerspäh Platoon. It consists of SdKfz 231 8-rad vehicles.

Although the platoon is denoted as "heavy" it is a little bit misleading if you consider the late war period ;) To be honest the SdKfz 231 8-rad is pretty useless in engagement against most of the armored vehicles (OK maybe you can try to knock out half-tracks or mobile AA guns). However, it was not intended to be used for this purpose. I recall the words said by some german veteran who stated that the best recon patrols could be recognized by looking at the muzzles of their vehicles - the one that has no signs of gun powder or soot is the best :) Panzerspäh just should avoid going into combat. It is more important to remain undetected than to burn couple of trucks...

Personally, I plan to use them to support my infantry in assault against other infantry units. They will sneak near the enemy and reveal their position with the "eyes and ears" special rule. They can also provide fire support with their MGs and 2cm gun (ROF 3 and FP 5+ makes them more effective against dugged-in infantry than MGs). I also plan to use them to engage enemy artillery - of course mainly the one that can't fire back ;)

I had an opportunity to try them once against Finns. They were engaging BT-42 with a doubtful success ;) FP 5+ makes it hard to knock out any armored vehicle. Still I like them and I definitely give'em a try :)


The SdKfz 231 8-rad models you can see below were produced by Battlefront. They are really nice models, however, the plate at the front of the vehicle is missing two parts between the plate and vehicle's frontal armor. I made them from the blister cover.

I tried to whether them by adding many small scratches to their armor to reflect the damage that would normally be done by the difficult terrain they have to go through. I also added some foliage camouflage - not much to not spoil the model.

Monday, December 12, 2011

German universal unit markers

I've not been posting recently much, but I am back today with a new sheet of unit markers for Germans. As maybe some of you remember I have small markers attached to bases of my infantry teams to inform about their type and platoon they belong to. If you haven't seen them yet, you can find my previous markers [here].

Unfortunately, the markers were limited to 2nd and 12th SS only. Because of the new books that will be published in few days by BF (covering also SS-units at Eastern Front), I've decided to prepare a new set of markers that are not bound to a specific division. I also introduced couple of changes to them. First of all I removed officer insignia - I think people were not able to see them from the distance, and honestly there are probably few people that could recognize them. I also decreased the size of the marker and tried to emphasize the most important information - the type of team (the icons were not always self-explanatory for the people who were playing with me for the first time).
If you like them feel free to use them in your own forces. You can download markers from [here].

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meet my army: Part IV - SS-Rocket Launcher Battery

Actually, there is not much to say about the Nebelwerfers NW41... It is a must have for any german player.
It is extremely cheap (even for SS companies) option for quite powerful artillery support. Because it is a rocket artillery, it doesn't suffer from range-in penalties. However, your enemy can range-in based on smoke trails, but from my experience it doesn't matter much :)

What you can see below is the content of NW41 blister, plus one additional Kubelwagen as a transport team for the observer.


Meet my army: Part III - SS-Scout Platoon

Although it may not seems so at first glance, the SS-Scout platoon is one of the most interesting units available in Flames of War (Late). It is a little bit expensive, you have to pay 180 (+5) points for the large version of the platoon, but it really pays off. So what do you get for these points? Hmm, only and as much as four stands of infantry ;)
These four bases form one of the most flexible infantry units. In its basic form, the platoon is treated as a recon platoon, which is very useful if you have to attack another infantry company. You get recon movement at the beginning; if the platoon is used correctly, it can prevent from exposing your forces for a nasty ambush; and what is extremely useful it can use "eyes and ears" rule to remove gone to ground from other units. Of course you cannot forget that it has cautious movement ability, which makes it very difficult to hit if you can move in cover (e.g. through fields or forests). To sum up, you can send these boys in front of your panzergrenadiers to prepare the attack.

This is not all, of course. They are even more fun if you are a defender (which highly probable if you are playing SS-Panzergranadiers). You can exchange each MG team with the SMG Panzerfaust team. They loose their recon capabilities, but they become real tank hunters. I rarely use them in that form as a separate platoon, but you may also make attachments to other platoons - what I do frequently. Just imagine... You have two core SS-Panzergrenadier platoons. Each of them has two teams with Panzerfausts. For instance, you can attach two additional teams to the platoon that is defending your front lines and the remaining one team to the second platoon. Assuming that you have your CHQ and 2IC in 6'' range of that platoon, you are able to use six Panzerfausts if someone decides to assault your forward platoon. I don't think there is any tank platoon that can survive such punch :) In order to assault, your opponent will have to spend couple of rounds on softening your defense with heavy fire.  This gives your guns hidden behind your infantry enough time to cause serious casualties in enemy platoons.


Battlefront provides a special set GE819 that contains tank hunter version of the platoon. Mine, however, was composed from the minis that remained from the my SS-Panzergrenadier box, and some random german figures. I added also a blister of Schwimmwagen jeeps and BMW motor bikes as transport.


Here is a whole platoon, with all configuration options:

Schwimmwagens in action...

The recon version of the platoon:

Tank killers:

BMW motor bikes:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meet my army: Part II - SS-Panzergrenadier Kompanie

Front cover of the GBX18 box set
Today, I would like to continue the section called "meet my army", and present the core forces of my company. It was the second box I bought from Battlefront -  GBX18. The box gives you a solid base for the SS-Panzergrenadier kompanie. It contains:

  • 2x HQ with 2x panzerschreck teams
  • 2x SS-Panzergrenadiers platoon (6x MG team and 1x SMG / Panzerfaust command team)
  • SS Light Anti-tank gun platoon (3x 7.5cm PaK 40)
  • SS Heavy platoon (4x HMG) - the one I rarely use

SS-Panzergrenadier company during assembly
The minis are great, you will find soldiers in many interesting poses enabling to compose two types of bases - dynamic and static.

The good point about the box is that if you combine it with a platoon of tanks or assault guns (e.g., StuGs), it will give you a battle-ready company for 1500-point battles. If you add a battery of nebelwerfers you are ready to successfully fight in 1750-point battles.
It's really cost-effective, however, if you are starting your adventure with FOW, I would recommend you to consider it twice before you decide to collect SS forces. They are in fact a nice option for beginners, because they are elite force, expensive in game points - which results in less models you have to buy to field a tournament-level company. However, their uniforms differ significantly from the other German forces, so you will not be able to easily change rosters. It may sound odd at the beginning, but when your collection of models expends you will want to field most of them for sure. If you can live with that, you will be really pleased to see how enemy panzer platoons brake their teeth on your stone-hard panzergrenadiers :)


Here are some photos of my SS-Panzergrenadiers. For sure, you will find many better painted figures at Battlefront forums, nevertheless I feel no reasons to be ashamed :)
SS-Panzergrenadier Kompanie
Company HQ with additional transport teams that are not included in the box set:

SS-Panzergrenadier platoons in action:

PaK 40 teams silently waiting for tanks in ambush:

Heavy machine gun platoon - every yankee nightmare...