Monday, August 27, 2012

Lehr in Winter: The Army Painted (Capstone 2)

Well hey there dear reader. Today I'm going to bring you the second part in my capstone series. Why am I calling it a capstone series? Because it's been 6 months since I started playing flames of war, a little more than 4 months since I started blogging, and a major of goal of my early FOW hobby life is about to be reached. My first tournament, NOVA Open which is run by the keeper of the fine blog Itty Bitty Soldiers.

In the last post in this series I went over how I came to decide on the army I'm going to run for the tournament. Now for the fun part. The army itself.

As I said I went for a winter scheme which I created on the vehicles by priming the models in the early war version of German Armor Grey, then essentially washed with a very wet Menoth White from the PP series. This created the opposite of a capillary effect, with the paint shrinking up on it self and creating some cool looking patterns. Over this I did a heavy dry brush of white, followed by fine lining in black ink. The I did the details to taste.

Below is my first real attempt a an army with a cohesive look and theme. I've been painting for a good long time at this point, but flames is my first 15mm game and Late War Germans were my first 15mm army. So, while I think it turned out well, very well in some parts, there is certainly room for improvement and I'm all about constructive criticism.

So there it is, 1750 Panzer Lehr winterized. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stuka Pt 2. or, Wow do I hate this model. (Rant Warning)

I'm going to be short and sweet here. Painting this model made my soul hurt.
No, worse than that. It made painting this:

Feel like I was painting like this:

Me, circa 1989

Feel my shame. Stare it in the face. 
This is, undoubtedly the least fun I've ever had painting a BF model. And here's why: The details were just, completely awful. I can only conclude that Battlefront Hates Airplanes. I really have no other reason to understand why they would choose to build a model the way they did. So. Much. Hate. It fills my soul and keeps me warm.

Anyways. here are the pics, based off of Hubert Polz's Stuka squadron from early to mid Africa, made famous by the snakes they painted on their airplanes:

Read on for more images

Lehr In Winter, The Evolution of an Army. Throck of War Capstone Part 1

(So, I'm coming up on 6 months of being in the Flames hobby and the first big milestone I set for myself, the NOVA Open Tournament, is quickly approaching. As a part of that I'm going to do a series of blog posts looking at how I thought about the army I'm bringing. What I did to paint it up. The Tournament itself and my thoughts overall on the game 6 months in. I'm calling this the Capstone Series as it caps off the first chapter of my FOW gaming life)

The first big goal for this blog was to showcase how me and a group of my friends discovered Flames of War, learned to play, paint and enjoy the historical WW2 war gaming hobby. 

A major part of that for me was setting some goals in terms of painting and competing. I made NOVA open  a major benchmark in my early FOW path, because for me, competitions give me goals and let me get out of my local meta, get drunk and meet cool people. So, I knew I'd need to choose an army, paint it, test it and get to know and love it.

And I've finally done it. I've figured out, bought and painted my 1750 late war army for 2012 NOVA Open.

As you can tell by the name of the post and the giant image, I've settled on Panzer Lehr Panzer Grenadiers.

Why? Well a bunch of reasons. First off, they've got a ton of cool history and were one of the key units of the Normandy Campaign. Secondly, they get all the cool toys. Rockets, tanks, flammtracks, recce you name this mechanized list can pretty much be built to taste. Finally, I think it's a stronger "all comers" list than a standard PzrGren list do to the addition of the tank hunter teams as organic elements in each platoon.

This is my first fully painted, cohesive army. I've only been in the hobby for 6 months and I've painted up a bunch of dudes, King Tigers, Stug batteries and a slew of panthers and panzers. But, this is the first time I've tested and winnowed down a list to what I think I'd like to play and will be most effective.

A classic image from the Korsun Pocket and a key influence in
the visual theme of my army. 
That's a critical balance for me. I could go out and buy and the coolest new toy on the block, paint it up and play. But is that as fun and figuring out my own play style, how to best implement it and then researching the history on the units that best fight that way? To some, sure, to me, most certainly not.

Back to the army at hand. I went with a winter scheme, partly by necessity and partly because I think there's something about German's in winter that just looks sweet. It was by necessity because my original army was going to be a straight Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier army out of Grey Wolf, and I wanted to set it around a Korsun Pocket theme.

Because of that many of my early models were painted in a winter scheme with long coats and unless I wanted to buy new grenadiers/Lehr infantry I was stuck. But that's ok, like I said, winter is fine by me. At first I was a little nervous because, historically, I wasn't sure of Lehr's operational history after summer of '44. But after some (very little :) digging I found they fought under Manteuffel during Wacht Am Rhine/Battle of the Bulge and actually were involved in the fighting around Bastogne.

So while they were not going to be painted in a classic, summer '44 Lehr scheme, they would be at least arguably accurate in a winter look. Having decided that, it was time to build the army.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Totally Jazzed for the new Open Fire Set (Updated)

So if you haven't been over to the Flames of War website yet since yesterday, do so.

They've got a pretty excellent teaser of the of the new Open Fire starter set.

Now I can't find a cost anywhere but all in all the set looks pretty darn cool.

Update: Wayland Games has this up on their website for 50 Pounds UK, or about 80 bucks here in the US. (thanks to the WWPD forums for the tip!)

Here's what you get:

A starter German Grenadierkompanie (Heer) from the V3 Fow Army Book which I pointed out to around 810 points as:

That's not a bad starter german list at all. And the models on the site look great! (I'm posting them below as well)

Well, I'm less enthused about that. I've always wanted a billion shermans... No really, they're totally quality in their pre-BG&G form *headdesk*. I know the points look like they're skewed in the Allies favor here but really?

Updated: My partner in crime Rotny makes a good point. You can build a similar list to the Hell's Highway one out of V3 FOW List Book for 870 points if you give all the tanks .50 cals (never a bad option). Thanks!

I think to equal players would see the Germans win out.

You'll also be getting a sweet looking V-1 rocket set, 20 dice, the rule book and *GASP* Terrain! I HEART terrain. Really, I know it's made out of cardboard, but I can always use more terrain. Yeah, I'll have two and sell the tanks, thanks!

Stolen from
Seriously, if anyone wants the StuG's, Sherman's, or Firefly's let me know. I have like no use for them.

And I gotta say, the back of the box says "finely detailed models" and at least for the infantry that absolutely seems to be the case. These guys look awesome in the pics I've seen so far. Have a look:
GAH! So cool! (Stolen from the wwpd forums)

I mean, those look straight up awesome. (All images from this point forward blatantly stolen from, I mean I didn't even try and hide it...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BF Stuka Unboxing, Model Review and Build

I'll be painting mine up to look like this. It'll be a challenge
But I think it will be worth it. 
So I did it, I finally figured out what my first list is going to be for mid war: Fallschirjagers! To get started I picked up the company box of figs and one of the new Battlefront Stuka's.

Needless to say I was totally jazzed. Fighters and Bombers are possibly my favorite part of World War 2. And, for those of you who know your history, you know that the Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka" was a superb dive bomber.

The Stuka served in multiple variants from the Spanish Civil War, as part of the famed Condor Legion, right up through the  end of World War 2.

Like much of German aviation this guy saw his hay day during the Blitzkrieg, the Battle of Britain and North Africa.

Before picking it up I hadn't yet had a chance to play around with any of BF's plane models. And... I kind of have to say, at least in this case, I'm a little disappointed. My first big complaint is the proportions on the plane are seemingly off all over the place. The tail is too short (based off a proportional measurement I did to the canopy height from fuselage), the nose/propeller cone is too stubby, and the dive flaps on the trailing edge of the wing are  too small. Oddly, they decided to add the struts on the rear on of the aircraft under the horizontal stabilizers (rear wings :) and the posts on the front wheels, but they omitted the rear gun, the posts on the wings and antenna post  coming off of the canopy.

BF puts plenty of small breakable fiddly bits on their models, why choose to remove a few pieces that define the silhouette of this one?

But my biggest gripe is this: The definition of detail on the model is just awful. For a company known for it's, what I think are great, over exaggerated proportions on it's infantry figures and mostly crisp detailing on it's vehicles, why on this plane are the details so understated? It seems that the lines that make up the panels on the fuselage and wings of the plane are just whisper deep and a hairs width thin, almost to the point where a few coats of paint will cover them up. The only place where this isn't the case is on the canopy.

Not only does this lead to difficulty picking out details but it's a headache to paint (as you'll see in the next Stuka post).

Perhaps I'm being overly critical and I'm willing to admit this. But, compared to what I've seen from BF's line of vehicles and infantry, I feel like I bought a model from another company.

Click on to get to the unboxing and (quick!) build.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Throck Of War Charity Tournie, AAR

Who put this shiny odd Roundel in the middle of a battlefield?
That was awesome. Yesterday we put on our first tournament and I gotta tell ya I think it went off awesomely. We had 12 players (just enough!) with one guy traveling all the way from Ohio. Whodathunk right? I made a little exception that the armies didn't have to be fully painted but the ones that were looked great all around. And most importantly, not only did we have a great time, we made about $150 worth of donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Surprisingly, at least to me, is that the Brits were very well represented with Orne Commandos, 50th Infantry, Canadians, and Lorried Rifles all representing on the day. Germans brought it with KG Peiper, Sturmkompanie and 150 Ersatz Skorzeny Craziniess. We had two Russian Players both with forward detachments and a couple of yank Armored Rifle Companies and a Yank Tank Co. from BG&G.

Many thanks to Eagle and Empire for hosting and providing the prize support.

A couple of things I found out from running my first tournament:

1) Not everyone knows the rules all that well, be prepared to make a lot of judgement calls and look up a ton of stuff. But this was great for me as it really helped my own rules comprehension.
2) Not everyone has been to a tournament before and may not understand how scenarios work. I understand at the larger tournies this may be less the case, but I was running a friendly local thing and some of the guys here didn't even understand how to score a round. Which leads to...
3) Always bring enough copies of the scenario rules for each player. They're going to be flipping through their rule books enough anyways looking up stuff, this will let them have a quick reference for the current scenario right on the table.
4) 2 hours seemed to be a good length for the rounds, although I can see how 2.5 would be better. For each of the scenarios except fighting withdrawal people finished close to the 2 hour mark and it felt a little bit rushed. FW actually ended early in all cases but one.
5) I'm not super in love with I-95 scenario we used. I like the idea of tie breaker/domination points, we used front line domination and I'm just not sure how solid it is. The one thing I did like most about it though was how it pretty much forced folks to start a knife fight from turn one.

But what you really want to know is who won? AMIRIGHT? Well, read on after the break for the topline results and a ton of pics!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

STUG LIFE PT 2. And then they got painted

Yes, that hot. 
Howdy there boys and girls. I gotta tell ya. There's something about August that makes me lazy as hell. The number of posts is woefully low for the first half of the month and, well, I think it's because of the ball melting heat, i just kind of . Yeah I said it. But it also means I've spent some serious time indoors.

Over the weekend you saw my first attempt at a StuG Batterie from Grey Wolf and I freaking loved it. I know it's not a perfect list, but it's fun and has StuG's, lots of them, so how could I go wrong?

The clear answer is I couldn't. Thanks to a sage buy by yours truly at historicon I came into 12 StuG's for right around $75 bucks. A great deal! That meant all I needed to get was the riders and I'd be off to the races. So I headed down to my FLGS and ordered me up some Beigliet Assault Company platoons, they came in yesterday and like that, I was ready to go.

I started on the StuG's on Sunday, and have focused solely on them over the last five days. Here, you'll see my first attempt at airbrushing and pea dotting with, I kid you not, a single bristle from a broom. Honestly, I think they turned out quite well. I'm very interested to know what you all think and remember, keep living the StuG LIFE.

StuG Batterie Assemble!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bat Rep: StuG Batterie vs. Peredovoye Otryad

From the fine folks at
We're back with another bat rep! This time around I need to apologize first. Rotny and I both are trying out new lists with some new models so the bulk of what you'll see is unpainted.

Have no fear though, the battle is fast a furious and those models, especially the stugs for me and the infantry for Rotny are next up on the painting queue.

Well hello readers. We decided to try something different in terms of lists. I, throck, really have been wanting to try out a StuG battery, and Rotny is going for something a little more mech and speedy in with Pere Otry. We're fighting it out at 1750 points in a fighting withdrawal scenario.

Rotny's Peredovoye Otryad
  • HQ: 1x Cmd Rifle, 2x Jeep, 1x T-34/85, 1x Komissar
  • Combat Co 1: 7x T-34/85
  • Combat Co 2: 12x SMG Team, 1x Maxsim HMG, 1x Cmd SMG
  • Weap Co 1: 3x SU-122
  • Corps Support 1: 1x ISU-122
  • Corps Support 2: 8x Rifle/MG, 1x Cmd Rifle/Mg, 5x Capture Half Tracks
  • Corps Support 3: Spetznaz 2x SMG, 1x CMD SMG, 3x Capture Tracks
  • 1750, 6 Platoons
Throck's Stug Batterie (StuG LIFE!)
  • HQ: StuG G
  • Combat Plt 1: 3x Stug G w/Tank Escorts
  • Combat Plt 2: 3x StuG G w/Tank Escorts
  • Combat Plt 3: 3x Stug G
  • Div Support 1: 1x Konigstiger
  • Div Support 2: Short Sturm Platoon
  • Div Support 3: Short Sturm Platoon
  • Div Support 4: 3x Neb 41's
  • 1750 Pts, 7 Platoons


The Board

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"Not One Step Back!" Rotny's Russian Rifles (Part 1)

(Throcknote: Rotny's first solo post! Welcome him to his big boy pants!)

Hello all! Rotny here, and after a sufficient does of shame from Crazy "Lightning Brush" Yank and Throck on the painting front, I decided this blog needed some decidedly less bourgeois miniature soldiers. So I bring you the first platoon of painted Russian Riflemen from my Strelkovy Battalion... one part of my ever growing 3rd Ukrainian Front themed army of a melange of Czechs, Poles and Russians... Lions, Eagles and Bears, Oh my!

These are made up of the Russian Infantry in Summer Uniform from PSC, and painted with a mix of ranges. Army Painter British Armour Italy basecoat (sprayed on), followed by a drybrush of GW Tallarn Sand (slightly lighter, gives a subtle highlight), then pick out packs and bags in GW Rakarth Flesh, Rifles in GW Boltgun Metal, and Helmets and Canteens in GW Castellan Green... then the obligatory wash of Devlan Mud/Agrax Earthshade.

I always welcome constructive feedback, so I'd love to hear your thoughts! Glad to finally join the 'Show and Tell' series!
Strelkovy Company, First Platoon on a stroll

Monday, August 6, 2012

American TD's by Crazy Yank and a TD rant

Wait... not that kind of Wolverine. 
The man is a machine. He just can't stop painting! Today, Crazy Yank, our intrepid American player has delivered a bevy of tank killing goodness. As part of his BG&G armored rifles he's painted up the security section and M-10's for his tank destroyer platoon.

Here, Yank used the M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon from Battlefront and the TD Security Section from the same.

<rant begins>
I know there's been a ton of discussion around the intarwebz about the TD Company but honestly, while I think it's very very good it's not unbeatable and, sure, it will wreak havoc with tank companies if they're not deployed carefully and don't use recce options. But, infantry and mech infantry have less to worry about right?

Those TD's can scoot up into my DZ all day long but they'll be facing an infantry assault vs. top armor 0. What I'm saying folks is this, yes the TD Co or just TD platoons are scary, and definitely deadly in the right hands. But I think they're not game breaking, just a cool new (well, not so new now I guess) army we have to think about.

When I build a list I think "What can I solve for? What threats are highest risk? And how do I meet the game objectives on my terms?" Tank Destroyers in full company, or just platoon form, are another threat, and depending on the list I'm building pose a variable degree of threat.

Plus, the models look freaking cool

Remember, it's not that TD's are off the table, they're just hiding behind things, like bushes or hay bails, or perhaps other TD's.... 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Throck of War Charity Tournament UPDATE

Hey All,

We're Full Up! Please drop me a line if you're interested in being an alternate. And now, officially, a qualifier for Nationals 2013! That's of course, if 5 people don't drop out between then and now :)

We're just a few weeks away from the first Throck of War charity tournament on August 18th. I've talked with Scott from NOVA open and we'll be using the NOVA Open mission primer and rules. This is a departure from the  original set up I was thinking of, but I think it's a good departure. We've got 10 players signed up right now and room for 16 total players. Once we hit 12 we'll be a 2 slot qualifier for nationals tournaments so drop us a line at to get signed up!

On the day, sign up and check in begins at 10:30 with first round starting promptly at 11. Please remember to bring enough copies of your list to give one to each of your opponents and one to your tournament organizer.

The Three missions will be as follows:
Round 1: Frontline Domination(for domination mission rules see here)
Round 2: Hasty Attack
Round 3: Fighting Withdrawal

All missions will be fought on a 4x5 space. The Tables at E&E are 5x5 and the depth of deployment that allowed would favor certain armies over others. This means there will be 6'' of free space behind your deployment zone for placing models, dice and other bits.

The tournament will be held at:
Eagle and Empire
Belle View Shopping Center1520 Belle View BoulevardAlexandria, VA 22307

Roster (As of 8/7)
1. Ben G. 
2. Rob K 
3. Allen
4. Will S.
5. Andy 
6. Sean O 
7. Sean S. (?) 
8. Ron M. 
9. Tim G. 
10. Mitch R. 

11. Craig
12. Bill W. 
13. Nathan L. 
14 Rod B. 
15. Richard D. 
16. Eric O.