Saturday, September 15, 2012

5PD encounters minor setback in France

Having missed the first week of the campaign, light companies from 5th Panzer swarmed into France, making tremendous progress before being blocked by French forces under Le Nicque (bolstered by a truly unflappable platoon of British Guards, who no doubted caused the Frenchies to perform uncharacteristically well).

This was my first EW FOW game, and I must say I love it!!!! It's truly awesome. Playing the Germans, I learnt (a bit late) that manouver is key to victory. Static units like my 88s need to be carefully deployed as the rest of the force is highly mobile.

As it turned out, I could have deployed those deadly guns better. They didn't get much chance to shoot, but when they did, they easily disposed of their targets. But overall, my light tank company accounted for themselves really well, fighting the Anglo-French force to a standstill before being forced to fallback to regroup (how about that for well-crafted propoganda?).

I was slightly disappointed by my Stukas. French air cover was more effective than expected, driving away my Stukas about 5 times, but the couple of times the Stukas did come in they were pretty deadly.

It was also loads of fun to use the Pz I and early Pz IIC tanks. Being Armour 1 all-round, I really didn't worry at all about enemy firing into the flanks of those formations. The Pz III platoon were playing the role of heavy tank support for the company, and they were pretty effective as less mobile fire platforms.

Pz IIs are awesome! I might just see how I can form 2 platoons of those, as they are really effective tanks. The first kill of the battle (and the first kill by this brand-new army) was by a Pz II sneaking up the flank of a French Somua platoon.

There were a couple of short and sharp point-blank range tank melees. I think it's a valid tactic, but I need to plan and manouver those better next time.

My pioneers played their role really well. They were dug-in in forward positions on the left flank, and advanced with Pz IIIs and Pz IIs after the panzers and Stukas had softened up the enemy. Then they assaulted the enemy tanks, capturing the objective and promptly digging in to hold the objective.

Anyways, it was a blast! Had tons of fun, and learnt a lot from Le Nicque. Now I need to go find more Pz IICs!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Leichte Pionier and Luftwaffe 88 support ready to roll

I'll need to get more pics of this Leichte Pionier platoon up. Really had fun painting these guys, although it's only a small platoon, and I have yet to paint their trucks. The pioneers will lend some much needed engineering support for my advancing panzers, and will also come in handy to hold objectives.

The real fun part about painting this unit is that it's exactly the same as other infantry units, but being early war, I was able to do some different stuff (as opposed to late war). Like having their trousers painted in grey to contrast against the field grey of the tunics. Also, some tiny white markings on the left side of their helmets to suggest the eagle decal which was on Heer helmets in the 1940 campaign. And being pioneers, these guys have black lines on their shoulder tabs instead of the white for the regular infantry.

These Luftwaffe 88s will be sorely needed in the upcoming campaign, what with the expected stiff defence from French and British heavy tanks (and the fact that being a Leichte Panzerkompanie, the guns on my PzII and PzI tanks will probably need some help). These guys and the Stuka support will be most welcome (though don't expect my boys to start cheering Goering too loudly).

I thought I was being clever by repainting my late-war 88s for this unit - until I discovered that the crew are wearing late-war style boots!!! By that time it was too late to change course, and I finished painting the battery in early-war colors anyways, hoping that people won't catch the offending boots (and won't be reading this blog either). The fun bit about painting these guys are the red details on collars and shoulders denoting Luftwaffe gunners, and the little lines on the left side of the helmet to suggest the Luftwaffe eagle.

Anyways, my 5PD detachment is just about ready for the invasion of France. Only the Stuka needs to be finished, and that's almost done. Totally looking forward to the campaign!