IABSM AAR: Stopping the Gap

Another excellent battle report from Carojon of the Devon Wargames Group.

This game was a small fictitious battle from a free scenario designed by Richard Clarke using IABSM. The scenario recreates what must have been one of many similar struggles going on in the closing days of the Normandy campaign in late summer of 1944 as the allies fought hard to close what became known to history as the 'Falaise Pocket'.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: The Second Battle of Tomaszow Lubelski

The last week of September 1939 saw a combined “Northern Front” Polish army join the attack towards Tomaszow Lubelski. Due to bad communications between the different Polish divisions, the result was a series of largely uncoordinated attacks by Polish unis arriving from the north-east, launched in the direction of the city only to be shattered wave-by-wave by the German defenders.

This scenario would represent one such attack: with Polish and German forces brawling for control of the centre of the table. Four objectives would be placed there, with each side entering the table and attempting to take and hold them. The game would end after ten appearances of the Turn Card, at which point victory would go to the side that held the most objectives. If, however, one side managed to hold at any point three of the four objectives, then the game would end immediately, with that side wining the battle.

Click on the picture below to see the extraordinary events that followed…

IABSM North of the Border

A quick trip to Edinburgh to visit daughter #1 at university gave me the chance to catch up with old friend Mr Hodge down at the South East Scotland Wargames Club.

Derek put on a game if IABSM set in France in May 1940, using his excellent 10mm figures.

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That's not me with Derek btw but my opponent!

I played the French: commanding seven H-39 tanks (good armour, but armed with a pop gun), two 25mm anti tank guns (good panzer killers!) and a platoon of infantry.

Facing me were five Panzer 38(t) tanks (excellent at this time of the war), two Panzer IVs, a platoon of motorcyclists, and some other infantry that never arrived or got off their Blinds.

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I deployed my tanks along the treeline and waited for Rommel's boys to attack. This they did, their motorcyclists appearing first: dumping their metal steeds as soon as I hit them with some HE, and then rushing forward towards a nearby field.

Meanwhile his P-38(t) tanks had appeared and advanced towards my line over open ground. My tanks engaged, and a firefight broke out: his five Panzers versus five of my tanks and, soon, my two anti tank guns.

His tanks were considerably better than mine, but stationary and out in the open. Mine were carefully concealed in the edge of the wood, and some lucky dice rolling meant that soon three of his were abandoned for the loss of two of mine.

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When one of his Panzer IVs also succumbed to anti tank gun fire, the Germans decided that they'd had enough and retreated. Victory to the French!

All in all it was a good, if quick, game. My tanks performed much better than I was expecting (one of them proved almost indestructible despite being hit many times) and the tactics chosen by the Germans suited my deployment perfectly.

My thanks to Derek and the rest of SESWC for their hospitality, and I'm already looking forward to the next time I'm up.

IABSM AAR: Push Towards Lowicz

As part of a counter-attack that had already thrown the Germans back some twenty kilometres, the Polish 16th and 26th Infantry Divisions crossed the Bzura river near Lowicz on the morning of 14th September 1939, and the Polish 4th Infantry Division reached the road linking Lowicz and Glowno.

At this point, however, the retreating Germans were reinforced by the 4th Panzer Division, which had been withdrawn from the fighting in the outskirts of Warsaw, and launched a counter-attack of their own against the advancing Poles. This battle would recreate the encounter battle that followed.

A cracking game of IABSM in which a bold coup de main won the day. Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: The Narew Crossing

It was back to Poland for our latest game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum and an extraordinarily exciting encounter that went right down to the wire.

On September 7th 1939, reconnaissance units from one of the Panzer Divisions of General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst’s XXI Army Corps captured Wizna after Polish mounted reconnaissance squads abandoned the village after a short fight and retreated to the southern bank of the Narew. When German tanks tried to cross the bridge, it was blown up by Polish engineers. This game would recreate the German attempt to force the Narew Crossing.

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Grudziadz

Our last game of IABSM was set in the Tuchole Forest in Poland, right at the beginning of the war. Today’s battle would directly follow on from that encounter, and represent the stalwart Polish defense of Grudziadz. Both scenarios were taken from The September War, Part One, one of the TooFatLardies scenario packs that I have written for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!

Grudziadz was a strategically important town as it housed an officer academy, a cavalry school and the several army staffs directing Polish forces in the Polish Corridor region. It was, however, only lightly defended, with its garrison made up of infantry and border protection corps (KOP) along with supporting artillery. The German attack was launched from East Prussia by 21st Corps, mainly infantry and the reserve 10th Panzer regiment (mainly Panzer I and II).

Click on the pic below to see what happened.

IABSM AAR: The Tuchole Forest

Played a great game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! at the weekend: scenario #08 from the first September War scenario pack covering the invasion of Poland in 1939, The Tuchole Forest.

The battle, set in the Polish Corridor, was all about territory and objectives, and proved a very different kettle of fish from the usual head-on clash.

Click on the picture below to see who held onto what to win the game:

CoC Early War Handbook Available For Pre-Order

Although this site is dedicated to the TFL Company Level games such as IABSM, CDS and Q13, I do like to point out what else is going on in Lardland.

That's why I'm really happy to post that the much-anticipated Early War handbook is now available for the TFL platoon-sized game: Chain of Command.

Having published the IABSM early war books earlier this year, I was also somewhat involved in the production of this work, and can therefore assure you that it is truly epic. Rich has gone back to many first hand sources and original army manuals for the information it is based on.

Here's the marketing blurb:

Advanced Order Deal: This Handbook will, be published on Monday the 17th of September and despatched on that day.  The advanced order deal includes a free PDF edition which will be emailed to you on the release day.

This 124 page handbook provides a comprehensive coverage of the campaign in France and the Low Countries in 1940.  Included is an historical account of the campaign in the West, as well as whole raft of new rules to cover the events of that summer.  New theatre specific rules include Assault boats and river crossings, parachute drops, glider landings, bicycles, horse mounted troops and motorcycles.  We have several new armour classifications for tanks with small turrets, vehicles lacking of radios and unreliable vehicles.  Fancy blowing up a section of the Maginot Line?  Well, you can with our new rules on fortifications and demolitions as well as looking at Francs Tireurs, ‘Shabby Nazi Tricks’ in the form of Brandenburg Commandos, Civilians, Stuka attacks and even the odd drinks cabinet being rolled out to stiffen the stiffest of upper lips.

Biggest of all is the truly massive section on Army lists.  Here we wanted to provide a really comprehensive guide to the period and in doing so we went right back to the book, or more specifically the manuals that the armies of the period issued to their troops.  The French Tableau d’Effectifs de Guerre, the German KsTN lists, the Dutch Handboek vor den Soldat and Officier series and many others issued throughout the 1930s and up to 1940.  These manuals tell us not just how troops were organised, but how their training prepared them for war and their doctrines.  This has allowed us to produce not just Army Lists but introduce national characteristics which make each nation unique in the way they fight.

Belgium

Line Infantry
Reserve infantry
Infantry scouts
Chasseur Ardennais
Frontier Cyclists
Motorised Cavalry
Motorcycle Cavalry

The Netherlands

Line Infantry
Reserve Infantry
Mounted Cavalry
Border Infantry
Bicycle troops
Motorcycle troops
Airfield Defence forces
Marines

France

First Line Infantry
Reserve Infantry
Chasseurs
Groupe Franc
Reconnaissance Motorcycle Fusiliers
Reconnaissance Cavalry
Motorised Infantry
Dragon Portes
Mounted Cavalry
Chasseur Portes
Colonial Troops
Mountain Troops
Ski Scouts
Light DIvision Infantry
Groupe Franc Motorise de Cavalerie

British

1939 Regulation Platoon
1940 Regulation Platoon
Motor Infantry
Motorcycle infantry
Line of Communication troops
Searchlight Troops

Germany

1st Wave infantry
2nd Wave infantry
3rd Wave infantry
5th Wave infantry
7th Wave Infantry
Static infantry
Pioneers
Motorised Infantry
Motorcycle Reconnaissance
Schutzen Type 1
Schutzen Type 2
SS Totenkopf
SS Verfungs and Leibstandarte
SS Motorcycle platoon
SS Aufklarungs motorcycle platoon
Fallschirmjager Type 1
Fallschirmjager Type 2
Luftlande Glider platoon
Gebirgsjager

Italy

Infantry
Blackshirt troops
Alpini

Alongside these lists we have nearly fifty support option lists giving support choices for a huge number of unit types, so if you have a motorcycle reconnaissance platoon you can select support from the different divisions which fielded that unit type.  All in all, the gamer can choose an incredible range of interesting and varied troops types and then  choose supports from friendly forces and allies for forces of almost limitless variety.  But that’s not all.  Each nation has a full Arsenal list for weapons and AFVs as well as comprehensive notes to cover their support options.

Finally, we have five new scenarios types, Going with a Bang, Strike from Above, Swift to Support, Hasty Defence and Blitzkrieg to bring the 1940 campaigns to life.  All in all, a huge addition to your Chain of Command library in both hard copy and PDF.

IABSM AAR: Anzio #13: Aprilia

Cracking game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum fought this weekend just gone.

We used scenario #13 from the Anzio: Wildcat to Whale scenario pack featuring the action on 8th/9th February 1944 as the Germans advanced on Aprilia (the Factory).

Click on the picture below to see all:

SdKfz 247 Ready for Action

Regular visitors will remember my post of a week or so ago mentioning that I had found somewhere (Heer46) that produced a model of an SdKfz 247: the command car used by some of the German armoured car regiments in the battle for France.

The two I ordered arrived quite quickly, and immediately jumped to the head of the painting queue.

There are two possible variants: one with a canopy over the rear compartment, and one without.

Lovely models of an uncommon vehicle that paint up very nicely. Another piece of kit that I can't wait to get onto the tabletop.

15mm SdKfz 247 Now Available

Those of you who are building an early war armoured car company from a panzer division's reconnaissance battalion (page 63 of the Blitzkrieg in the West: The Germans theatre supplement for IABSM) will have been almost immediately stymied by the need for the Big Man in the Company HQ to ride around in an SdKfz 247, as no one seems to make one.

Well I have some good news for you.

The figure manufacturer Heer46 now have an SdKfz 247 model available in 15mm. It's the Auf. B version with four wheels, as opposed to the Auf. A model with six wheels, and looks like a cracking bit of kit.

I've ordered two of the little blighters, even though I'm unlikely to ever need to field more than one.

The only problem, by the way, is the cost. In common with anything wargames related from Europe, they cost a comparatively enormous amount. The model is €11.80: which is about £10 or $14! That's about five times what you'd pay for a plastic SdKfz 222, making the SdKfz 247 the Ferrari of the German army!

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #11: Bardia/One

Some great desert action from Tony Cane, as he and friends play the eleventh scenario from the Operation Compass scenario pack: Bardia/One.

The scenario covers one of the Australian assaults on the Italian-held town of Bardia as Compass turns from raid to army-beating campaign.

Click on the picture below to see what happens when you underestimate the opposition...

IABSM AAR: Blenneville or Bust! #5M: Chemont

Another great battle report from the excellent blog of Sergeant Steiner. 

Here, he and his friends play scenario #5M: Chemont from the Blenneville or Bust! scenario pack: involving a clash between Fallschirmjaeger and US armour.

My enjoyment comes as much from working out which BoB scenario the game is taken from as reading the report itself! Blenneville or Bust!  is a pyramid campaign involving five levels, so there are thirty-one possibilities in all. There's no mention of the name of the village in the report, but only the village of Chemont has a layout like that shown in the picture below. That means it's one of #5B, #5F or #5M. Only #5M involves German Fallschirmjaegers, so scenario #5M it is!

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust! #4A: Holm

Another great I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! AAR from Sergeant Steiner's marvellous blog, this time also supported by the comments of the Duc de Gobin, author of the epic Warfare in the Age of Cynics blog.

This time, The Sergeant and the Dice Demon, Steve, are playing one of the scenarios from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack for IABSM: scenario #4A Holm.

What's quite fun for me, as the author of Bashnya or Bust!, is working out which exact scenario they're playing from the photos. On this occasion, I knew it was Holm immediately (distinctive terrain!), but which one. Well the only one with that exact number of T-34/85s and that exact number of Panthers is 4A...so hopefully that's it!

Anyhow, click on the pic below to see all. Recommended...along with a quick visit to the two blogs this comes from as well. Excellent stuff.

 

As usual, I hope that neither of the gentleman mentioned above objects to me re-posting their text and pictures. It is genuinely intended as a way to spread awareness of both IABSM and their excellent blogs rather than anything else.