Daimlers and Dingos Lead The Way

What can I say… these are truly one of my favourite units in Flames Of War, both on the tabletop and as a painting experience. I couldn’t be happier with how this unit came out. What are they? Daimler and Dingo Armoured Cars and I love ’em!

So why do I love them so much? First things first, assembling them was super easy and they just look cool once built. Painting was easy –  I love not having to paint tracks! Plus the abundance of cool decals that just add colour and interest to the model. Then there is their performance (and points cost) on the table top. They are cheap, pack machine-guns for hunting infantry, and some little pop guns (on the Daimlers) that let them harass enemy armour. Throw in Scout and Spearhead and you have a perfect little package. They really are so much fun I am tempted to paint a 3rd Platoon for my Armoured Car Company (a Command Card option in D-Day: British).

1st Platoon (with yellow Air Recognition Panels)

2nd Platoon (with Allied Stars)

The Complete Company

Are there any downsides to the unit? Probably… having to ride in to battle would be one of them, but commanding them from the back of the table seems like a pretty good deal to me!.

Left – The Company Commander

~Chris

FlamesCon 2020: Chris’ Weekend

Rolling in to FlamesCon this year I was very excited to be getting out to spend some time with the wider gaming community, put some figures on the table, and have a great weekend with friends. I had been painting like a mad man (even taking a week off work to complete some elements for this army and a WWIII: Team Yankee force that has been on a slow burn) and was keen to see how the force went.

As Wayne mentioned in his article, a friend of ours, Phil Petry, had passed away just days before the event and for many it was still quite raw. Coming together as group, laughing and sharing some thoughts no doubt helped with the process. In his honour his friends Ian and John ran his army during the tournament and it was nice to see his latest army on the table.

Most of the elements in my army had never hit the tabletop before and I was looking forward to seeing how the various elements would perform – more on this later…

Round 1 was verses my old mate Ray and his Soviet assault guns. It was a bit of an odd match up as my recce was able to pin his forces in place lest the they sneak in and take the objective. Combined with both of us having units in reserve meant he had to play quite defensively, allowing me to pick off units one-by-one. My M10’s proved the value of 17pdr guns by knocking out everything from a captured Tiger to an SU-100 platoon and his commander in a T-34. 8-1 to me.

Round 2 I found myself up against Brent in a game of Breakthrough. He found himself attacking whilst my recce were pushed back and on to the defensive, dashing around the table trying to stop him from breaking through. He aggressively pushed a big group of armoured PanzerGrenadiers, supported by mortars and SP guns up through the middle of the table, along with his recce. This forced me to counter them with my 6pdrs and M10’s, effectively removing them from the upcoming fight for the rear objective. Luckily it paid off for me with the push being blunted thanks to massed firepower. On the back objective the Panthers came on and took control of the game, whilst having to keep a wary out for flanking recon units with their 2pdrs. I managed to whittle down the Panthers and Crocodile flamethrower his second infantry unit, but couldn’t seal the deal… 3 all for a mutual loss.

Round 3 and another first-time opponent with Andrew and his Beach Defenders in Dust Up. Now I’d like to say I had a plan in this game but his Pak40s and Pakfront 88s combined with an open-ish table threw me. I YOLO’ed forward and rushed the near objective with my recce and M10s, putting him under enormous pressure. With no German forces near the objective and elements of 3 units (and my HQ) now contesting it, I challenged him to shoot me off. Unfortunately, thanks to a combination of poor planning by me and some reasonable dice he managed to kill or bail everything, before finishing off the survivors in the next turn. We ground out a few more turns for VPs before I conceded. 6-3 to Andrew.

Round 4, a new day but an old friend, Scott, with his FE German Grenadiers supported by a Ferdinand, Marders and range of guns. Despite feeling fresh I was struggling to come up with a plan for Scott’s army and decided to split my force a little, to keep control of my objectives and then push the rest in through the centre of the table, allowing me to pivot left or right and strike an objective from there. That is where the plan and the actual result parted ways. Taking a serious of calculated chances I found that the dice just didn’t want to go my way with Scott’s PaK40s earning the player of the day award – not for performing better than average, but for consistently doing what was asked of them – need 3 hits, get 3 hits, need 1 kill, get 1 kill. The Ferdinand that scared me ended up with (possibly) one Dingo kill, whilst the rest of the force just got the job done! In the end I couldn’t even count on my air support (which had earned the “Rare As Fairies” title across the weekend) to help me finish off anything. A disappointing, but very fun 8-1 to Scott.

I still blame Simon McBeth whom I later realised was the source of my terrible dice. Each time he passed by during the day they would roll badly!

Round 5, and whilst I was keen to finish the weekend, I was still feeling energised for my final game. I found myself up against Julian and his Soviet Engineer Sappers, IS-2s, captured Panthers and SU-76s. Defending in a game of Breakthrough I pushed a unit of recce with infantry towards the back objective, whilst I focussed everything I had on his initial infantry, SU’s and Panthers, knocking everything out over a couple of turns. The risk I was taking was that I would have too much invested in blunting his initial push and not enough to stop the IS-2s when they turned up almost proved too much. Julian’s IS’s came on at the first opportunity and cleaned out the objective, pushing the few surviving infantry teams away. Luckily for me the long-range firing of the M10s meant he was under some pressure and the slowly advancing 6pdrs eventually gained a line of sight to the tanks, and the Typhoons even made a few appearances. Thanks to a little luck and a lot of firepower I neutralised the tanks and with the infantry under mortar MG fire he was unable to secure the objective. 8-1 to me.

With the weekend finished I found myself somewhere in the bottom half, but with a strong sense of satisfaction that I had really enjoyed myself, played people that I rarely get to play, or have never played, and managed to get a lot of fresh models on the tabletop.

I did learn a few things about my force.

  1. Daimlers and Dingos – yeah boy! These are golden and I will be painting up a 3rd platoon in the future!
  2. .50cal Carriers – I think that the Command Card upgrade will be on my “to try out” list as I could have done with a little heavier firepower in these platoons.
  3. Typhoons – look great… not sure they were worth the 8 points, but will persevere. Luckily with our local meta (only 3 players using air support at the event I think) there was virtually no AA.
  4. Churchill Crocodiles – great when they actually hit.
  5. 3” Mortars – invaluable, but better in 4’s or 6’s

If I were to rock the list out tomorrow at 100 points I might try something like this:

And with that in mind… back to the brushes!

~Chris

Road To FlamesCon 2020: Chris

It probably comes as no great surprise but I am going a little stir crazy. I don’t make it to as many events these days as I used too – things like kids, work and just “grown-up life” seem to get in the way. This means that when I go, I am always excited to be out of the house and playing. Needless to say, this year has been filled with disappointment and disruption for everyone, with events, tournaments and outings cancelled. That is why I am so excited to be heading out to FlamesCon this weekend with Wayne!

The event is clocking in at 80 points rather than my preferred 100 points but I guess variety is the spice of life. Since I strongly believe that a fast game is a good game, I’ve compiled a list that is aggressive, mobile and with a couple of exceptions, fully painted as part of my Big Four Project.

Starting out the list is my British Recce Squadron. The Daimler and Dingo armoured cars were finished over the lockdown and are yet to see the tabletop (more photos of them next week) but should be a lot of fun, zooming around the table and causing mischief. Backing them up are Universal Carrier Patrols, Motor Platoon (still on my painting table as I write this!), 6pdr anti-tank guns and 3-inch mortars. The last two are being borrowed from our Studio collection as my models were lost by DHL on the way down from the factory….
To support this velvet glove, I have the steel fist – 3 Crocodiles, 4 M10s with 17pdrs and a pair of Tiffies (Typhoons). Hopefully they bring enough tank-busting goodness that I can smash my way through enemy armour. With the exception of the M10s none of these models have found their way to a battlefield yet so round one is likely to be a learning experience!

Stay tuned during the weekend for some more images from the event over on our Instagram page, along with an event report next week.

~Chris

The Heavy Hitters Battle Report

With the D-Day: British Live Launch coming up tomorrow, it seemed like a perfect excuse to hang around one afternoon and play a game. Needless to say Chris was anxious to get his Churchill Armoured Squadron of the tabletop for its first game. Casey quickly volunteered to play against him as they have a long running gaming rivalry / partnership that stretches back about 15 years. Casey also saw it as a great change to dust off an old German army that had been sitting on the shelf and take it out for a spin!

The Forces:
Chris had just finished his Churchill army the week before so it was no surprise that the core of the force was based around an HQ and two platoons of Churchills. Since he never leaves home without some M10s they were an obvious choice, especially since he knew Casey would have Tigers. Rounding out the force were Stuarts, Infantry, Carriers and Crusader AA (a cheap option to pad out the Formation and a useful way to cut down infantry).

Casey went for a Panzergrenadier force, painted in an SS scheme, but using the normal D-Day: German book. The list was packed with heavy hitting guns including 75mm Anti-tank guns (PaK40s), 88s and Tigers, as well as a local favourite, the Sd Kfz 251 with 75mm cannon.

Setup and Deployment:
The table was set up with a small, rather ruined village off set from the middle of the table, surrounded by roads, woods and hedges. This meant that there were plenty of fields of fire, but they were often limited, and advancing troops could generally rely on some cover.

The mission selected was Dust Up, so Chris deployed in the left corner, whilst Casey had the right corner.

Casey’s Plan:
Normally I’m quite a defensive player, but against Chris’ Churchill list I think I’ll need to be more aggressive and push towards the far objective before Chris gets too many reserves. Hopefully this will disrupt his plans so he has to not attack one of my objectives with the majority of his force.

My plan is to hold my back objective with the Panzergrenadier Platoon. On the other flank I plan to push up through the ruined houses with the Armoured Panzergrenadier platoon, use the Sd Kfz 251 (7.5cm) half-tracks to cover them, and ready to hit the objective once my Tigers turn up.

Chris’ Plan:
My plan was simple. Hold the rear objective with my HQ platoon as the CS tanks and their 90mm guns can engage targets anywhere on the board (with indirect fire). In the centre, my infantry will push up to try and take the church to split the board in to two halves and make it difficult for Casey to send troops back to defend the objectives.

Whilst this is happening my tanks will hook around to hit the back objective. Any reserves that turn up will be well placed to support, or with a quick dash, could head over to reinforce my objectives.

Turn 1:
Casey’s force dashed laterally along the table, seeking the cover of the fields and ruined village, whilst his guns went to ground and waited for targets. His Panzergrenadier Platoon advanced on foot to secure the back objective.

Chris pushed up his Stuarts to start heading for the same objective, hoping to catch the infantry in the open and not dug-in, whilst the infantry dashed up the hedge planning to head for the Church next turn. The Churchills supporting them engaged the 7.5cm halftracks, managing to bail one, whilst the HQ bombarded the dismounted Armoured Panzergrenadiers, killing two teams.

First blood to the Churchills!

Turn 2:

Casey’s Armoured Panzergrenadiers un-pinned and continued their advance up the road, using the ruins for cover. In the middle, the halftracks opened up on the advancing Rifle Platoon with everything they had, but only managed a single kill. The 88s and PaKs tried to knock out some tanks, but found the Churchill armour too tough to penetrate at long range. Meanwhile on the other flank the Panzergrenadiers found themselves too concerned with the advancing Stuarts and failed to dig in…

With infantry in the open the Stuarts blazed away… and only got one hit (which was saved). The Churchills failed their Blitz move so moved up to the hedge line but failed to achieve anything with their fire, whilst the infantry pushed up to the Church, planning to push forward and hit the anti-tank gun line in a couple of turns.

All round it was a fairly unspectacular turn, but did the ground work for both sides to keep the pressure on.

Turn 3:

With no sign of Reserves, Casey decided to be a little cautious this turn, finally digging in his Panzergrenadiers, advancing his other platoon further up the table and absolutely hosing down the infantry in the Churchill, killing two and pinning the Platoon.

Failing to unpin his infantry, Chris found himself with limited offensive options, especially since he too failed to get Reserves. The Churchills pushed up and engaged the 7.5cm halftracks, knocking out three of them, reducing Casey’s options to defend his PaKs if the Rifle Platoon decided to move forward and hit the PaKs, or flank the infantry via the Train Station. The Stuarts kept threatening the back objective but failed to actually do anything substantial.

Turn 4:

Tigers! Casey looked visibly relieved as he moved the Tigers on to the table. They failed to penetrate the tough armour of the Churchills – or more accurately Chris shifted the single hit on to the late Churchill and chuckled as he rolled yet another save. The PaKs and 7.5cm halftracks continued turning the church into rubble, killing another infantry team.

Chris brazenly left his Churchills in the centre of table, confident that the armour that had kept them safe would continue to do so. Their fire knocked out yet another cannon halftrack but failed to hit any of the PaKs. The HQ Platoon decided to advance and harass the infantry and Sd Kfz 251 halftracks, as well as securing the all important forward objective, but otherwise failed to achieve anything. The Stuarts shuffled around and continued to fire their MGs as fast as possible, but other than raining some brass on the ground they failed to even pin the Panzergrenadiers in front of them.

Turn 5:

BOOM goes the Churchill! Good dice can only keep your tanks alive for so long and eventually a high speed 88mm round (or two) punch through, killing one and bailing another.  Casey also found his Pumas coming in from reserve and they quickly pushed up the road to distract the HQ Churchill Platoon, and prepare to threaten both objectives simultaneously. It wasn’t all bad news for Chris though as the late Churchill continued to find fire being moved onto it where its armour could easily stop PaK 40 rounds.

They say it is always darkest before the dawn and it was certainly feeling that way for Chris, but luckily a platoon of Churchills arrived to support the Stuarts, considerably changing the odds at that end of the table. Their combined fire knocked out an 88 (Casey would comment later that perhaps that platoon had been under utilised but hindsight is 20/20). In the centre the Rifle Platoon continued to hide behind the solid brick walls of the church and remained pinned down, the Churchills decided that Tigers would win any gun-fight and attempted to withdraw back over the hedge, although one did fail it’s cross check.

Turn 6:

The arrival of Chris’ Reserves pushed Casey into action, knowing that he was running out of time to overrun the defending forces. The Pumas stalked the Crusader AA tanks, knocking them out, whilst the Tigers tried (and failed) to finish off the Churchills in the centre. On the other side of the table things went from bad to worse as the 88 ran off, forcing the PaKs to try to push their way through the small woods to put fire down on the Stuarts and Churchills.

Chris was certainly feeling the pressure on the far flank (especially since he failed to kill anything with the combined fire of the two platoons) but he knew he had Casey on ropes on the other side as M10s and Carriers turned up to really double down on the poor Panzergrenadier Platoon sitting lonely and isolated around the objective. Despite all the fire they only managed to kill a single team, but with the stage now set for an epic Turn 7 assault, time was running out for Casey unless he could kill the Stuarts that were now within 4″ of the objective!

Turn 7:

Knowing that it was now or never, Casey launched a desperate attack on the HQ Platoon guarding the objective. The Tigers failed to kill anything, but the Armoured Panzergrenadiers still went in for the assault (after both of their flank shot Panzerfausts bounced off the Churchills armour!). Chris looked excited at the opportunity to gun down the infantry in the open, but was less enthusiastic when he only got three (yes 3!) hits. The infantry knocked out the two CS tanks with their ‘fausts and forced the remaining tank to back off. The objective was now in Casey’s hands, assuming he could keep it for a turn.

Of course it wasn’t all roses and chocolates for Casey down the other end of the table… Yes, he had managed to knock out a Stuart with the fire from the PaK 40s, but with so much incoming fire, and then a pair of assaults from the Churchills and Stuarts there was only so much the Panzergrenadier Platoon could do. They found themselves pushed back, leaving the Stuarts contesting the Objective at the start of the turn, and holding it at the end…

Chris (and the Churchills) Win!

Casey’s Thoughts:
Churchills are really tough, especially if your opponent only rolls 5s and 6s for armour saves (Chris literally chuckled as he read this comment by Casey). If the Tigers had done a bit more damage on turn 4 or 5 I would have been able to launch my assault on the objective a turn earlier.

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was how good Panzerfausts are!

All in all it was a close, fun game to play. I think I’ll have to paint some Churchills up for myself at some stage.

Chris’ Thoughts:
I was probably (definitely) quite lucky with a few of my dice rolls here. I think Casey’s comments about being a defensive player probably cost him the win here. A bit more aggression, or just pushing up a team a bit further to contest the objective prior to the assault could have made all the difference.

Not sure I used my infantry particularly well, I had a plan for them, but in hindsight I could have just parked them on the objective and really lowered my mid-game stress levels!

I will say though… Churchills for the win! They really were awesome, and the ability to upgrade one model per platoon to the late version was excellent. Front Armour 11 leading the way definitely saved me a couple of casualties during the course of the game.

Everyone Needs A Stretch Goal…

With two companies of tanks already planned, as well as a pile of support options, I thought it might be fun to add an extra company to the mix, if for no other reason than I like the new plastic Daimler and Dingo models, but also because all the cool kids are running Armoured Car Formations I thought I might give one a go too!

There is no dedicated Armoured Car Formation in the book, but thanks to Command Cards we have the option for one and to my eye it looks pretty interesting. Haven’t played it myself but why let that get in the way of a little enthusiasm.

The Formation has an HQ Daimler, 2-3 platoons of Armoured Cars, more Universal Carriers than you can shake a stick at, and a small portion of ground pounders – a Motor Platoon, 6pdr anti-tank guns and a Mortar Platoon. The way I see it, there are Armoured Cars for some flash and dash, Carriers for sneaky-sneaky, whilst the units with legs can do a pretty decent job of holding an objective. It also gives a me a good reason to actually get my infantry painted (bonus points!). For around 30-35 points, depending on options and upgrades, I can get a Formation that has all the minimums, along with the guns, infantry and mortars. This still leaves me with plenty of points to run a second Formation, or a few “Black Box” support platoons (Shermans, Cromwells, Churchills etc) and some Divisional level assets too.

A quick bit of Google-foo led me to another reason why I need to build and paint this Formation… the 11th Armoured Division was supported by the Inns of Court Regiment, also known as the Devils Own. Where did they get the nickname, I hear you saying? Well, and this is where I turn to Wikipedia and just pull a “copy-and-paste”.

The Bloomsbury and Inns of Court Volunteers was reformed in 1797 during the Napoleonic Wars. It was shortly afterwards that the regiment gained its enduring nickname. During a review by King George III in Hyde Park in 1803, the King used his dislike for lawyers – particularly ones carrying arms – to name the massed ranks of the Law Association as “The Devil’s Own”. “It is understood that the King was in high health and excellent spirits at the time. When the ‘Temple companies’ had defiled before him, his Majesty enquired of Lord David Erskine, who commanded them, as lieutenant colonel, what was the composition of that corps? ‘They are all lawyers, Sire,’ said Erskine. ‘What! What! ‘exclaimed the King, ‘all lawyers? all lawyers? Call them the Devil’s Own, call them the Devil’s Own!” “And the Devil’s Own they were called accordingly.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inns_of_Court_Regiment

There is something appealing about unleashing an army of lawyers on an unsuspecting opponent!

So that makes three Formations from the new book that I am very keen to paint – each one gets to look different from the others, and each one will give me a very different gaming experience, even if I keep the supporting elements largely the same.

At this point I should probably stop digging through the book and Command Cards in case I find anything else interesting, and just starting painting some models…. Hmmm, some M5 half-tracks are awfully tempting to add as a Command Card to my Motor Platoon or 6pdrs!

~Chris

We Shall Be Worthy*

When I think about the British in Late War, I group their tanks in to (generally speaking) three different types; Shermans, Churchills, and Cruisers (Cromwells/Comets). With a Sherman force completed, and the Churchills underway and on the painting table, I am already starting to think about how I would build a force based around Cromwells.

I initially thought about painting up a Desert Rats force. Phil has had some success in the past running Cromwells with little red Jerboas on them, so they must be good. However, with the strong 11th Armoured Division feel to my army, and their distinctive yellow and black divisional markings looking so good on the tanks I didn’t want to break the colour/markings scheme. Luckily for me, the 11th were supported by the 2nd Northhampton-Shire Yeomanry and then the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars, working as their Divisional Reconnaissance Regiments, so I could keep the theme running through all the models I paint!

Looking at the Cromwell Armoured Recce Squadron list, it will be easy to start painting up the basics and building upon the models I already have! Starting with the HQ, much like the Churchill force, I can have a pair of Cromwell CS (95mm) tanks, along with a single Cromwell (75mm). This will give me some nice light artillery, and a small amount of painting variety.

I can then fill out the Squadron with four (or five) more platoons of three Cromwells, alongside a platoon of Stuarts and the always useful, Crusader AA platoon. All of this comes to 96 points, so doesn’t leave much left for Divisional Support, assuming I want to run LOTS of Cromwells!

Keeping my options open and looking back to the Desert Rats Cromwell Armoured Squadron you can build and HQ with two 75mm tanks and two CS tanks, and then up to four platoons of Cromwells, each with a Firefly included! A full-strength HQ, and four platoons, plus the Stuarts and Crusader AA do come in at an unfortunate 101 points, but by dropping a platoon you pick up enough points for a variety of support options. Sounds interesting!

I’ve already painted up a couple of test models for the book and unit card photography.

So, where does that leave me now? Well, I am definitely going to paint up enough models for a full HQ and four platoons of three Cromwells, each with a Firefly. Here however (please don’t judge me) is where I am going to diverge from history, for the sake of having a nice looking and thematic force. I’ll paint the whole force in my usual way, but when it comes to the markings I am going to go a little rogue – the Cromwells will have 11th Armoured Division and 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars markings, with white triangles for the Armoured Recce Squadron. My Firefly tanks will get the usual 11th Armoured Bull markings (along with bridge weights and serial numbers), but that may be where I leave it, with no Regimental Flash or Squadron markings…

It is all a little hinky and the purists may not like it, but with this plan I get the best of all worlds. I can field them as the his historically accurate 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars, but I will also have the extra models so I can field them as a different Formation from the book – and when I have a painting plan for the D-Day: British book that is around 60+ models, what’s the problem with adding another four!

~ Chris

 

*Merebimur (We shall be Worthy) – the moto of the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars

Touch Me, And You Burn*

The upcoming release of the D-Day: British book has me looking over some lists I’ve never really thought about running before and the Churchill force, in Late War, is definitely at the top of that list. Looking at it, I’ve no idea why it’s never appealed to me in the past – the tanks have great armour, a reasonable gun and have that tendency to strike fear into their opponents.

A Churchill Armoured Squadron can field plenty of Churchills, and at 18 points per platoon, or 20 if you upgrade one to a (late 75mm) version, you can easily fit 4 platoons in a Force whilst still having a few points left over for some supporting elements. I’m thinking that in this particular case that is a bit of overkill and I’ll just paint two platoons, I can always paint up a 3rd one later after I’ve played a few games. This also means I have plenty of points available for a full-strength HQ platoon along with a couple of Churchill CS (95mm) tanks, and one Churchill (late 75mm).

With so many models of Churchills available in the list, it’s easy to get confused what each one is for…. The CS tanks give me some light artillery and can also still knock out Panzer IVs and guns with direct fire. The Churchill (late 75mm) tanks in the HQ and platoons have the advantage of 2 extra points of front armour taking the tanks up to FA11 – my whole plan for these is to try and move hits over to these tanks where possible, thereby minimising casualties, hopefully. There are also Churchill (75mm) tanks and Churchill (6 pdr) tanks – these are the same tank, they just change their guns – the 75mm gives AT 10, FP 3+ and Smoke, whilst the 6 pdr has an extra point of AT, but drops the Firepower by a point and looses smoke. I’m going to paint up one of each in my platoons mainly for looks, but how I choose to field them will be something I need to figure out after playing a few games.

Inside the Formation I’ll also take Stuarts and Crusader AA tanks. They are both useful, cheap and help fill out the Formation making it a little more durable. Rounding out the army will of course be M10s (don’t leave home without them!), Carriers (gives me another Scout and Spearhead unit, and I only just finished painting them!) and a Rifle Platoon (hold your laughter, I am going to get around to them!).

On paper I feel like this list has a bit of everything, it can defend (if forced too), should be strong on attack, can deal with infantry and tanks and has enough models to let it hang around even once it starts taking a few casualties.

If I feel like adding more Churchill based goodness to the force, I can always drop out the infantry, M10s and Carriers, and replace them with some Crocodiles and maybe even AVREs!

~Chris

*Fear Naught Qui s’y frotte, s’y brule (Touch me, and you burn) – the moto of the 9th Royal Tank Regiment

Upgrading from Fortress Europe to D-Day: British

With the D-Day: British book due out shortly, I thought I’d take a quick look back at my original painting plan and then have a quick review of what the next few months might hold for me.

My original list was simple, lots of Shermans along with some supporting elements. You can find the list here… With the Universal Carriers finished recently I can happily say that I actually managed to get the whole 100-point force painted. I even managed to paint up the Churchills that came in the army box and whilst they have been pretending to be earlier models, with the release of D-Day: British they will be able to hook up their trailers and turn into Crocodiles. The Typhoons weren’t on my original plan either, but the idea of painting something different (i.e. not green) really appealed.

Where I did fail was the infantry – whilst these were not in my initial painting plan, I had good intentions to paint up a couple of Motor Platoons. Painting the artillery crew for the 25 pdrs I wasn’t entirely happy with how they came out, so I kept putting the infantry further down my to-do list. This is something I will have to rectify.

From a gaming perspective also realised that my 3 tank platoons were just too fragile. Part of me thinks I should grab another 4 Shermans so I can max out the platoons, but the other part of thinks that with Cromwells and Churchills coming in the D-Day book, I should just paint those instead.

So now that I have opened the door, what am I likely to be painting from the D-Day: British book, other than some infantry!

First up will be Churchills. A small company of these, along with some AVREs, will look really interesting, play quite differently from my Shermans, and be a nice self-contained project that works alongside everything else I already have.

Next will be the Cromwells. In my mind I think of them as fast Shermans, but I am sure that once I get them on the table the differences in stat lines will make me have to play them quite differently. I’ve also wanted to build a Cromwell force ever since James upgraded the old resin and metal models with individually sculpted versions. I’ll need to look into how to replicate his hessian strips!

After this I should probably work on the infantry… but it is highly likely I’ll be doing some more vehicles. A Daimler / Dingo Recce company (Command Card) is really appealing, perhaps a support Churchill Formation from Fortress Europe, or some 6 pdr AT guns, definitely some Crusader AA, maybe some Bofors too, and perhaps another platoon of Carriers… Of course, there are also Paras!

So many choices!

~Chris

Carry On Sergeant

It feels like it has been a very long time since I’ve put up a post talking about what I’ve been painting and with such a big gap it would make sense that whatever I’m showing today should be impressive, have lots of models, and be very complex!

Yeah… well… about that. Today I am happy to share that I have finally finished my Universal Carrier Platoon. Yep, that’s right, a whole Universal Carrier Platoon of three vehicles. Now it isn’t that these were hard models to build or paint (quite the opposite in fact) but rather I’ve kept having other projects pushing in front.

These three models are a definite must have in any British force so I really should have knocked them out a bit sooner but I was getting distracted by all the tanks.

Now that they are done I can look forward to painting some more Churchills – everyone needs a company of them right. Of course I will need to paint up another Platoon of Carriers at some point because the D-Day: British book and Command Cards have some interesting options that mean I will want another unit.

~ Chris

Dreaming of Churchill

Round the office we are still discussing our games at FlamesCon, even though it was almost two weeks ago. These discussions often turn to looking at what armies our opponents fielded and what we thought of them. One of the themes of the weekend, for Wayne and Victor at least, were “how many Churchills can I face over the course of the weekend?”

This lead us to taking a second look at the trusty Churchill tank. Whilst a fan favourite here in the office, none of us had been excited enough to build an army featuring this heavily armoured beast – yet that is…

Since I’ve been working on the British, I thought it might be a good time to start looking at whether or not I should amend my painting plans and add a few of these in to the schedule. The way the Churchill stands under Fortress Europe, I only have the Italy Churchill Squadron as an option. This is not a problem though as the list looks pretty rock solid on paper with a nice mix of Churchill and Sherman (with Firefly) tanks, along with Stuarts, inside the basic Formation. The Churchill packs a useful 6pdr that is AT 10, Firepower 4+, but where it really shines is Front Armour 8. This means it can duel it out with Panzer IVs with a slight advantage (PzIV shooting at the Churchill is AT 11 vs FA8, whereas the Churchill shooting at the PzIV is AT 10 vs FA 6).

So on paper, it looks like an option, however before I start painting or assembling anything I thought I should draft a list as a starting point for some Theory-Flames discussion round the office.

The list looks great at first glance. Plenty of Churchills to do the heavy lifting, pushing towards the enemy and soaking up fire, as well as 17 pdrs on the Firefly and M10s to do the tank killing. Best of all the Sherman platoons are full strength as I still feel I underestimated the importance of this when it came to casualties and loosing platoons after a single kill and bail result.

This still leaves a few points to give me an all important Spearhead platoon in the form of some Universal Carriers, and a utility unit- 9 stand Rifle Platoon  – that can dig in and defend, or move up and assault.

Looking forward to D-Day: British there will still be plenty of uses for the Churchill, after all the plastic kit makes a whole variety of models that saw service in Normandy and beyond so it is safe to say that I will get plenty of gaming value out of the company if I do choose to paint it up.

So at this point the question really is… should I stop pontificating and finish my Carriers (which only need some crew painted) or should I get distracted and start assembling Churchills?

With no deadlines to currently aim for I guess the answer will be “whatever I feel like” the next time I head out to the garage to do a little Big Four hobby time.

~Chris