Here at History to Wargames we are eagerly awaiting the release of Battlegroup Pacific. Rob and I have already played a few games using his lists for Marines and Japanese. We have also been using the Battle of Tarawa for our historical point of reference. The battle, fought over three days in November of 1943 was the first American offensive central Pacific region. It would also be the first time in the Pacific that the U.S. faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. On this tiny island, just above sea level 2,600 defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared for the 18,000 Marine on the attack. Rob based the Japanese off of historical TO&Es and French weapons from the Blitzkrieg book. Marines are based off of Overlord load outs and historical TO&E’s.
Gaming a beach invasion is tricky work with lots to think about on both the attacker and defenders side. Most of our games have been big affairs too, with 250 BR on the Marines side at one point. We have since come down to 100 BR against 35 BR on the Japanese side. The smaller games make for faster conclusion and less stress on the players.
Rob has also been working on terrain! He has recently
dropped bunkers and wrecked vehicles!
We are also looking forward to early war games too and my T-26s
are ready to charge the plains of Mongolia to route the Imperialist aggressors.
Almost done! The first section of the DEVGRU are almost ready for the table top. These guys were surprisingly easy to paint; at least once I got over my fear of Multi-Cam.
Maybe I never
got over my fear of multi-cam and I’m not sure I even got it to look ‘accurate’
but it’s done and I am pleased with the overall look. I never could settle on a
theme, be it desert or woodland so keeping with my ‘no place but any place’
theme I just went for a dark green uniform and tan webbing.
The guy with the map.
I did some
reading on how best to achieve the multi-cam look on scale miniature and there
are a number of ways, tooth picks, small brushes but the idea I liked best was
sponge painting. This seemed like the fastest way to get the paint on and would
give me the small and random patches of color. I already use the technique for wreathing
too so this wouldn’t be a completely new experience either.
The base color is Games Workshops’ series of greens;
starting with a shot of Death Guard spray paint, a follow up coat of a darker
green by brush and working up to lighter hues from there. GW’s paints are nice because
it is easy to move to one shade lighter just by looking to the right on the
paint shelf. In between coats of paint I also added Vallejo and Mig washes of
green and brown to add depth and definition.
Once I was happy with the uniform I started sponge painting process. Looking
at a current US uniform I picked out four colors brown, a dark green, black and
buff. It appeared to my eye that brown was the largest of the blotches, green
next, the black and finally a few buff places. I added the paint in that order
trying to keep with that pattern. I wasn’t that successful, but there is some variation
in there and I topped off the whole process with a nice dry brush and wash.
To help hide the uniform from the eye and keeping with my
theme of ‘no place but any place’ I picked Vallejo Green Ochre (70.914) for the
web gear and other equipment. This is one of my favorite colors, it appeals to
my eye and takes washes, inks and dry brushing very well. There wasn’t much
fancy here, paint, wash, dry brush and edge highlight.
The rifles and faces were the same process but I used a dark
color, wash, medium highlight and light highlight and finally a thin wash to
bring it all together.
With the cammo crew done the next step will be to finish the
‘civis’ crew. These guys are in their tactical gear but with civilian cloths.
It has arrived! I have been awaiting my copy of Battlegroup Spring Awakening since it was announced.
One of my focus within WWII is the Eastern Front and Spring Awakening fills in gap in the late war period. It covers those German divisions earmarked for attack on the eastern front.
For those of you familiar with the Battlegroup series this book contains all that you would expect from Warwick Kinrade’s Battlegroup series including excellent background on the period, pictures of miniatures, historical photographs, new list for the period, scenarios and of course the linked campaign.
For those of you who might be new to Battlegroup this is the 10th book published and the 3rd campaign book in the series. Spring Awakening, which needs to be paired with the theater book ‘Fall of the Reich’ and the rule book brings into focus the fighting in western and central Hungary in January – March of 1945. It covers two German offensives, Operation Konrad 1 – 3 (January) and Operation Spring Awakening (March) itself.
What makes Spring Awakening unique is the lists represent the best the Germans have left. Unlike ‘Fall of the Reich’, which represents the ad-hoc battle groups composed of Volksgrenadier and Volkssturm the units in Spring Awakening are the last of well-equipped divisions. So, the German player has access to all of the Tiger IIs, half-tracks, and air support they want.
For those of us feeling adventurous or who fielded Hungarians in earlier parts of war and wanted to get them back out, Spring Awakening also includes complete list for them. The list, at their core not much different from the Barbarossa list but now include a few of the heavier options to give the Hungarians some staying power. One of the great things about the Battlegroup series is things are balanced enough that Hungarians should be able to give it a go.
The Russian list is not much different than ‘Fall of the Reich’; you will need to refer to a copy of it to make the list. Only a few things change, some minor adds or removes to restricted or unique units.
There are a few special rules to reflect the fighting in the region, ‘mud bound’ and ‘low cloud’ cover come to mind and the ‘End Kampf’ counter is ignored to reflect the fighting sprirt of the German troops. Others remain, so expect fuel problems and the occasional dud Panzer Faust
One thing I did like about this campaign book in particular was the smaller size of the scenarios. It felt like Kinrade was really pushing the size of the games down to fit smaller collections and faster games. For those of you familiar with Kursk, some of the scenarios use 30 T-34s; I have a lot of T-34s, and big table but not 30 big. These scenarios, while still full of flavor and historical feel feature a few squads or a platoon. The adaptability Battlegroup, is one of the things I really approve of, games can vary greatly in size, down as low as 20 or 25 battle rating.
So, for those of you on the fence about Spring Awaking it’s add great to the collection and an excuse to get out all of those big late war cats. Though narrowly focused on Hungary the list could be used to simulate fighting between any well equipped Germans on the Eastern Front. Beware, the Russians still have their cat killers but you do have local superiority in tanks and air power, so use it.
We are eagerly awaiting Battlegroup Spring Awaking here.
HUNGARY, 1945: The Red Army has invaded and pushed the Axis forces back west, driving them beyond the Danube river. Budapest is under siege and its garrison is fighting a desperate battle. To save them the Axis armies launched three relief operations. Unable to break through, a larger offensive is planned for the spring. Utilizing the last of the panzer divisions, Operation Spring Awakening will try to drive the Red Army back over the Danube and secure Germany’s remaining oil supply; without it, the war will be over.
• BACKGROUND A general overview of the war in Hungary in 1945 which is viewed by the Germans as their priority. From the siege of Budapest, through relief Operations Konrad I, II and III, to Operation Spring Awakening and the large Russian counter-offensive that would drive Russian tanks all the way to Vienna.
• ARMY LIST Designed to be used with the Russian army lists already published in Battlegroup Fall of the Reich, this book contains two new army lists, the last German panzer divisions and the Hungarian army, as well as alterations to the Russian Fall of the Reich army lists, to better recreate the battles in Hungary in the winter and spring of 1945.
• SPECIAL RULES New special rules to adapt the core Battlegroup game to the Hungarian battlefields of 1945. The special rules recreate the character of the armoured clash, with the last of Germany’s forces, aided by Hungarian troops face the powerful Russian Tank Corps. All take place in the winter snows and spring thaws, in the largest clash of late-war heavy armour. This book requires Battlegroup Fall of the Reich to use in full, including its Battle Rating counters.
• CAMPAIGN Six new historical scenarios in a detailed narrative campaign for 1st SS Panzer Division’s hard-fought assault along the Sárviz canal during Operation Spring Awakening.