Showing posts with label Winter Wargame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter Wargame. Show all posts

08 May 2021

Shiloy Tshernez, the Spanish Blue Division in Russia, 17 January 1942

Shiloy Tshernez, the Spanish Blue Division in Russia, 17 January 1942

Uploaded a compilation of photos to YouTube from a game using a scenario adapted for use with Bolt Action wargame rules by one of my regular gaming buddies, Carlos. 

If you click on the video image below it will open in a new window

The scenario that Carlos adapted was written by Richard Baber and can be found on the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers (SOTCW) :  It's really worth taking a look, well researched and easily playable.

As always, we used 20mm (1:72 & 1:76 scale) figures, vehicles and scenery, and it was gamed using a sand table.

The scenario is  based on an actual action fought by elements of the Spanish "División Azul" ski company  on a combat reconnaissance patrol,  reinforced by 40 Latvians from the German 81st Infantry Division. Moving through snow, eventually coming to Shiloy Tshernez. The Spanish and Latvians tried to outflank and surround the village and to converge from all sides.

A good well-balanced scenario, and a game well played, thanks to fellow gamers who played this scenario, Carlos, Alejandro and Juan.

05 March 2019

Game Report - Battle of the Bulge - Bolt Action Wargame in 1/72 Scale

We finally got around to starting our Ardennes campaign last week with our first practice game and in the process baptised our new "sand" table

When were looking around for ideas for a Battle of the Bulge campaign last year, we bought a Battlegroup rules downloadable pdf supplement called "Wacht am Rhein" by Warwick Kinrade for gaming the Ardennes from the website.

We used a scenario taken from this supplement called "Ambush at Ligneuville".

It's based on events that took place on December 17th, when Peiper's spearhead encountered their first serious American resistance as they raced into the village of Ligneuville to secure the small stone bridge over the river Amblève.

In the scenario, the Amblève crosses the width of the table east to west across the board with the bridge in the centre. The river is lined with dense bushes, scrub and trees, with various buildings on either side of the bridge.

The scenario we used is part of the larger campaign from the book, so a previous game, and this scenario's result are geared to points later in the scenario book's campaign itself.

This was just a one-off game, so we kept the scenario's main German objective to secure the Bridge by turn 5.

Another of the objectives was to stop the American Brigadier-General "Timberlake" from escaping off the table.

The Americans had to delay the Germans from taking their objective by turn number 5, and in the process either get the Brigadier-General off the table or avoid his capture or elimination.

Over the years our group has gamed with various rulesets, all of which have their pros and cons, but we decided that for this new Ardennes campaign we'll be using the Bolt Action rules by Warlord Games which we've found are ok for fast-action skirmish scenarios like this.

All the vehicles and troops used in the game are as per the published "Ambush at Ligneuvile" scenario, and even though the scenario is geared to the Battlegroup rules, it migrated well for use with Bolt Action.

The game was played on a 1.60 x 1.20m table, and we got to use our new sand table and used four or five bags of cheap table salt sprinkled over the surface to represent snow on the ground (see previous post HERE)


The road leading into the village is the German entry point, top centre is the small stone bridge over the river, and to the left, the large building represents the hotel where the US commander is staying.


The German spearhead thunders into town via the main road, led by "Obersturmführer" Werner Sternebeck in his Panzer IV passing by parked up transports of the American HQ.

Following close behind is a second Panzer IV + two SS Pioneer squads, each in a SdKfz 251.

Brigadier-General Timberlake's jeep was parked out in view of the oncoming Panzer IV so he decides to make haste with his two aides out the back door of the hotel and try and escape on foot.

The rest of the Americans are some 20 odd rear-echelon troops divided into small rifle and BAR teams, a .30 cal MMG and an M4 Sherman.


A bazooka team try and take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV. These are green inexperienced troops and miss miserably (also due to a terrible dice throw). The M4 Sherman also makes a brave attempt to take out the leading Pz IV but misses too.

SS pioneers dismount from the leading Sd.Kfz 251 and head away from the road towards the bridge from behind the cover of the building where the bazooka team are lurking.

The second group of SS pioneers dismount and take out the Sherman with a well-aimed panzerfaust.

Sternebeck's Pz IV blasts at the hidden bazooka team and makes mincemeat of them.

A Panther tank rumbles onto the table from the road and heads toward the bridge following behind the leading tanks.


Reinforcements arrive in the form of two Shermans and an M10 Wolverine coming in from the road on the US side of the river.

Firefights break out between US troops and the SS pioneers heading on foot toward the bridge.

Timberlake meanwhile makes his way through the bushes and rough ground along the riverbank. The Germans spray him with machine-gun fire and his two aides fall, leaving him alone.

Another German half-track appears on the table on the road toward the village, carrying Peiper himself.


As Sternebeck crosses the bridge he meets a Sherman waiting in the middle of the road on the other side.

Both tanks exchange fire, the Sherman hits but fails to penetrate. The Panzer IV returns fire, hits and completely destroys the tank.

Back on the other side of the river, Timberlake is still pinned in the brush on the riverbank and miraculously escapes unscathed from numerous volleys of shots from the Germans.


Sternebeck rumbles into town past the burning Sherman. The small groups of green rear-echelon US troops in the surrounding buildings are powerless to stop him.

The remaining Sherman and the M10 Wolverine both make a vain attempt to take out Sternebeck's Panzer IV, but the "Dice God" intervenes again and both miss the target completely.

The Pioneers secure the bridge while the Panther gives covering fire from the riverbank.

At this point the bridge is now secured and Timberlake, still pinned and unable to escape, finally falls under a hail of fire.


Victory for the Germans and a crushing defeat for the US defenders (until the next time that is .... )

Sternerbeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules
Sternebeck and Timberlake discuss the finer points of the rules 
The game played out well, the Germans took the bridge, as they did in reality.

Timberlake didn't escape, though in reality he drove off in his jeep when he heard the German tanks approaching and escaped, The fact that he tried to make it off the table on foot was a big mistake.

The Americans had the disadvantage of being classed as "green" and the Germans had the positive modifiers associated with SS troops and it was going to be difficult for the Americans to win a decisive victory.

That said, the Americans could have at least done a little better, but on this occasion the dice throws meant they didn't have the ability to hit a barn door.

Even though we gamed on a heavily snow covered table, when this skirmish took place on 17th December 1944, from all accounts it wasn't snowing at that point in time.

The scenario was well written and it plays out well. It was easy to use "as is" using all the vehicles and figures mentioned in the scenario, and adapts well to the Bolt Action rules. It would be nice to play again maybe with some other ruleset.

All in all, a very enjoyable time with two of my regular gaming mates Alex and Carlos who aptly played the winning Germans.

27 February 2019

Youtube video : Winter wargames sand table using salt as snow

Decorating a new sand table for wargaming using fine-grain salt to simulate snow.

This was for a 1/72 scale wargame but the technique can be used for games in any scale.

The sound is very muffled, but the images speak for themselves.

There are subtitles on the video in English and more videos are planned for youtube so if you want to subsribe to get updates, just click on the subscribe button below

Hope you enjoy it.

10 October 2010

Action at Collective Twin Farms - Wargame Report

Yet another replay of Charles Grant's "Action at Twin Farms", this time in a Winter setting, late on Saturday afternoon against my arch-enemy Carlos.

Russians were defending the Twin Collective Farms with a Rifle Squad, Maxim Team, PTRD Team & 120mm Mortar.  The Germans had 3 Grenadier squads  with 2 x 251s + light truck as transport

Rules used were Disposable Heroes from Iron Ivan Games.

Scenario used 6 turns max. German objective to oust the Russians from the farms - Russian objective to avoid German Victory conditions.

We played the scenario twice over a period of 3 hours and switched sides - on both occasions the Russians were victorious.

We plan to game the scenario again shortly, with some tweaks.

There were also some reindeer hiding out in the forest, but they were passive observers to the action and wisely stayed well out of the way

09 May 2005

Counter-Attack, Russia - Winter 1941

A quick Saturday morning game, the scenario was decided on the spot based on the figures, vehicles and scenery to hand - A Soviet counter-attack on a rail-station supplying the Axis forces on the outskirts of Leningrad.

The "snowy" wastelands were made from a 2m x 1m white cotton sheet (bought that same morning), spread over some hills and adorned with chunks of cork, pines and a little sand. The trains and rolling stock are from toy-sets, repainted to look dirty and full of grime

On Friday afternoon (the day before the game) I tried to buy a white bedsheet, I scoured the bedding section in a local hypermarket, I tried the "homemaker" sections in departments stores and they come in all colours under the sun, with flowers, nice pretty patterns, Spiderman designs, but white ? - No way, sorry, that's just for hotels it would seem.

So, before the game we ended up early in the morning searching for a warehouse where they sell material in bulk and found a roll of just what we were looking for. (Now they also had some nice khaki and green colours too ........ we'll be going back)

El Brazo de Nelson
Wargames Tenerife

Axis Player : Carlos
Soviet Players : Alberto & John
Rules : Hit The Dirt (see
Scale : 1:76, 1:72
Figures, Vehicles & Scenery : Alberto, Carlos, John

The Soviets began their advance with Alberto's infantry on foot under cover of the forest on the eastern flank of the railway line. Figures are mostly Revell Soviet Infantry & Siberian Rifles, with a few Esci figures.

Meanwhile on the western flank, my tank riders on two lend-lease Matildas (Airfix kits) trundled across the snow towards the railway station.

A small section from the motorized troop began setting up a Maxim HMG in a copse to cover the advance.

Only to be immediately wiped out by mortar fire directed by Carlos' German Forward Observer.

The German defenders (a mix of Airfix, Revell, Esci/Italeri figures) now with the Russian HMG out of action, charged out of the forest to try and capture the copse, under the guarding eye of a brave Sd.Kfz.231 (8-RAD) (Roden kit)

But it wasn't to be, they were sent scurrying back into the forest under a hail of gunfire from the Matildas who suddenly appeared from behind the copse.

The first Matilda was immobilized by salvo from the German armoured car's 20mm gun blowing off on of it's tracks, while the second Matilda floundered in the in snow and mud and threw a track (one of my unlucky dice throws !), thus effectively halting the Soviet advance on the western flank.

Without a bark but still with a bite, the two Matildas respond with a heavy dose of 2pdr shells, leaving the German armoured car a burning wreck (just look at the Esci figure below on the left, cheering ecstatically)

The motorized infantry dropped off the tanks, one section heading off into the copse to await a troop of T-34s in reserve (who never came throughout the game, due to more of my powerfully low scoring dice throws....... ) while the other section advanced on foot through the snow, only to be decimated by gunfire from the Germans hidden in the woods.

Meanwhile, over on the eastern flank Alberto's Soviet infantry were now pouring out through the forest to attack the outer limits of the station head on.

They were met with fierce resistance from riflemen, infantry and vehicle-mounted MG42s, inflicting heavy casualties.

The Soviets manage to get to two of their men to the station outhouses, potential grenade-throwing heroes !

One tried to lob a grenade into an AT gun-emplacement - a captured soviet 76mm AT gun (SHQ metal gun, manned by some Airfix hard-plastic figures and an "unidentified" metal figure), but fumbled the throw and dropped the grenade at his feet .........

Another grenade through the window of the outhouse to take out an MG-42 position was quickly picked up the Germans who threw it back, out the way it came, exploding harmlessly in the courtyard.

Not much luck there.

However, on the other side of the outhouses, Alberto's Soviets had much more luck, destroying a Half-Track and crew with a grenade lobbed right inside, while a PTRD man with a well-aimed shot took out a Pz III single-handedly (no damned photos of those burning wrecks !!! - too much excitement)

My Russians in the copse, becoming increasingly nervous at my dice-throwing ineptitude and seeing that those T-34s would never come, decided to make one last desperate attempt to flush out the Germans in the forest charging across the snowy wastes, suffering (surprisingly) few casualties, to engage the Germans in fierce hand-to-hand combat.

But at this point, sadly due to a time limit, we had to leave the game for another day.

Result / Conclusions ?

The Germans had lost a Pz III, an armoured car and one half-track, and a small handful of troops, but they were still holding onto the station, they still had a AT capability (a StuG III and a captured 76mm AT position), and a mortar position safely emplaced well out of sight of the enemy.

The Soviets had reached the edge of the train station but had no armour nor HMGs to support them. The human wave assault had made some impact on the edge of the train station, but at the price of heavy casualties. The reinforcements (two of my old wrecks below) never actually got onto the table and without any armour support the Soviets had no chance of making any further impact.