Monday, February 10, 2014

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything : W. Britain's Toy Soldiers!

Today, I turn 42, hence the post title. Hard to believe - in fact, it's probable that I actively resit believing it!

My girlfriend surprised me with the Wehrmacht Panzerfaust Team from W. Britain - a birthday present I was allowed to open on Friday:

I couldn't let their arrival go unheralded, but I had no scenario in mind, nor did I have any idea what rules I'd use. So, I basically played this scenario, but this time, I controlled the Germans and brought some more toys into the mix.

For rules, I used Featherstone's simple WWII rules from War Games: Battles and Manoeuvres with Model Soldiers (I have the John Curry reprint), rather than DHC7B, because I'm rusty with the latter, while the former is brain-dead simple. 

Feathersone uses 10-figure companies in the book, so, you could say that it was 1 company per side. In my head this was a platoon or company as much as it was individuals - something I think Featherstone's, and other old-school individual figure rules support, even if unintentionally.

The German OOB:
1 Kublewagen w/MG
1 Sd.Kfz. 251 w/MG + carrying one Anti-tank squad
1 10 figure unit of infantry

The Soviet OOB:
2 x T-34/76
1 10 figure unit of infantry

The kitchen table was off limits, and since the arrival of a puppy in our household a few months ago, my cat, Pumpkin, has been taking her meals on my table, so space was at a premium. I broke out two sheets of squared green poster board and squeezed it onto my table between the cat-food and the hobby supplies.

I modified the measurements in the rules to be multiples of 5" so I could use the grid to speed measuring.

Here are some pics of the battle:
This is after turn 1 I think - both sides made it onto the table.
The new guys ride in style. Jake the Dog is photo-bombing!
If it wasn't for those damn woods, the Sdk's MGs could have wiped those Ruskies from the table.
Fire fight in the Seussian Forest!
The triumph and tragedy of war.
Don't ask what my plan was with the kubelwagen was, it was't a good one. Clearly.
A rather ignominious debut for the panzerfaust crew. The grey dice represent the saving throws for the two Germans. A 5 or 6 was needed.
End of game.

It was not a good day for the Germans, to say the least.

 My plan to have the panzerfaust team flank the tanks behind a screen of infantry was an epic failure. That screen was decimated and the crew raced back to the road to disembark the transporter in hopes of getting at least one shot at the lead tank, at which point they were mowed down by some Soviet SMG-armed troops. 

In retrospect, I'm not sure why they I didn't just have them shoot from the Sd.Kfz.

On the last turn played, the transporter was the only thing in the way of the Soviet's exit - I had one infantryman left, and a lot of good he'd do me without any anti-tank weapons, so, I conceded the battle to my worthy opponent: myself.


  1. Kindly allow me to wish you a most happy birthday, sir. May it be filled with love, joy and good health.

    And a new Ever-Expanding-Dungeon delve too perhaps.

    -- Jeff

  2. Unlike some of your gaming, I hope your Birthday isn't celebrated solo!

    Happy Birthday!

  3. Yes, happy birthday, indeed! All the best!