Advance the Colors 2019

History to Wargames will be at Advance the Colors 2019 and running our Battlegroup Pacific Tarawa Beach Landing.

For those of you who are not familiar with Advance the Colors (ATC) it’s one of our local conventions hosted by the Great Lakes chapter of the Historical Miniature Gaming Society. It’s on of my favorite conventions, small, but well attested and the host are terrific and very accommodating to gamers. We hosted 15 table Flames of War tournaments there way back when.

The event will be very similar to Origins for those of you who missed it with a few tweak to keep game play moving. Since ATC is geared to a historical gaming audience we are excited to see how they react.

We also hope to have some support from Plastic Solider Company again. They provided us with a few boxed sets and plastic sprues to hand out.

More information on attending ATC can be found here.

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4Ground additions

In terms of MDF building currently available I do like what 4Ground has to offer; so with the Pound trading at historically low levels with the dollar and 4Ground offering 20% off along with free-shipping I spent this month hobby allowance on a few new buildings.

We are currently working on a Nordwind mini-campagin and I wanted a few damage buildings to add to the Hotel and Lay Haye Saint.

In terms of ready made details these building are one of my favorites. But be aware, you need to be fully engaged when building them, have clean hands, and ready for a challenge.

Origins Game Fair 2019

Another year and another Origins game is in the history books. I have to compliment Rob and a fantastic Battlegroup demonstration game and Plastic Solider Company for sponsoring us with box sets and sprues of miniatures. Total attendance for the event was close to 20,000 people and many of them walked by our table.

Rob’s Pacific game was epic in scale, no less than a fully loaded Marine regiment was in the water headed to Tarawa. Rob has set up 40 Amtrak’s and each one had a detailed load out based on Marine TOE’s from the period.  

The Japanese were well prepared with extensive fortifications and reserves for a local counter attack. They were also supported by snipers, AAA and possibly tanks.

The Maries were pushing 350 BR vs the Japanese 72 but beach landing are tough so the Marines need every extra point. The Marines were lined up in three waves with the option to send the Amtraks back to pick up more troops. That didn’t happen, it was a long ride back and the Marines were using every order on the beach. The Amtraks were each loaded with one squad of 12 men and a mix of support weapons. The support element included the regular option, machine guns and mortars and special options like demo teams and flame throwers along with officers and forward observers.

The Japanese beach defenses were made of infantry, howitzers and AAA. The also included a few snipers in the trees and some exotic guns Rob had printed up from Shapeways.  In reserve were 5 tanks but they never made it out bullpen. The Japanese suffered from a shortage of orders and the tanks attracted every low ammo, breakdown and mine strike counter the US pulled.

The American moved as fast as they could and had success on the left, right and center of the attack and established a toehold. They took heavy causalities and would have needed a second wave to exploit the gains. On the right the Marines were able to get onto the beach and wipe out the infantry hold forward trenches. In the center the flame thrower team and a small section of infantry were able to capture the center works after burning out the defenders. On the left the Marines were able to clear the sunken freighter but only with great difficulty and push onto the beach.

D-Day Game Set up

With the 75th anniversary of D-Day coming up and falling on our regular gaming day we decided the theme should be Normandy. I didn’t want to set up a beach assault but wanted to stay focused on the day of days; so I began doing a little research in the Green Book: Cross Channel Attack. I was looking for something that told the story of the afternoon where, the Germans and the American were both moving at the same time.  This avoided the one side nature of a purely defensive battle and keeps all the player engaged.  According to the Green Book, the Germans launched several small counter attacks in the afternoon along the road between St. Laurent and Colleville. They ran into elements 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Division; specifically Company G, where they “stopped by firm American resistance.”

Map of Omaha Beach

For the two list I started with infantry; two platoons Armored Infantry, san tracks for the American and three for the Germans. The Americans were upgraded to regular, even though the 16th infantry division was fairly green. I typically take the Amored Rifle platoons, I like the compact nature and packaged deal youu get. The German platoons got a few options to support them, two MG’s, a PaK 40 and infantry gun spread among the 3 sections.

I wasn’t sure what armor, if any accompany the US troops inland that afternoon but to keep things interesting I added two platoons of Sherman tanks. I figured that they could use the fire support and also ride them in a pinch.  From the reading I did the Germans had one antitank company, with twelve self-propelled 75-mm antitank guns attached 916th infantry regiment. I interpreted this to mean Marder’s but the author wasn’t really clear as to makes and models. There were StuG’s in the area in the 1352d Assault Gun Company but they seemed to have gone with the troop counter attacking the British. With that information I took some license and added a platoon of three StuG’s to the German forces and two Marders. I also added a supply truck because these vehicles have limited ammunition.

The table

For support, because this was a meeting engagement both sides would have off-table fire support request. For the Germans, I decided on 3rd priority request, since it was a busy day. The Americans got 2nd.

The area today

In all, it was about 600 points and 50 BR in total; I figured this would give us a large enough force to fill the table but straight forward enough we could finish in an evening.