Friday, April 17, 2015

Strelets-R 1/72 Finnish army 1944: Summer uniformed Finns for your Continuation War project.

I noticed Strelets made a box of plastic 1944 Finns last year so naturally I had to get a box to see what they were like. The advance reports were not promising so I didn't expect too much. If nothing else, they would be cheap as a box of 52 figures costs less than 10 euros.

Strelets box art is quite unique :)
The box doesn't take much space and contains four of these sprues:

Each sprue has an officer with a pistol, two riflemen with panzerfausts, a Light Machinegun, three SMG's and six vanilla riflemen. You should get two boxes to field a full rifle platoon as there are too many SMG's in the mix in relation to the riflemen.

The plastic is soft and the casting is bad. It is as expected. I saw the master models from the Strelets site and they're not that bad, actually. The molds and the plastic clearly dont do the figures any favours. The worst offender is the LMG, all the sprues have the MG bent like this:

That machinegun has been fired A LOT!

The thing is, if you want to do summer uniformed Finns in 1/72, and my gaming group does as there are already suitable soviets painted up in that scale, there are pretty much just two options. These ones or the ones made by CP Models, and they're not that handsome either. If you know others, let me know. I think I'll have to mix the two to get a force I can game with. Good thing vehicles and guns are pretty much German hardware or stuff captured from the Soviets.

Here's a rifle squad painted up. I didn't spend too much effort on them as they're pretty mushy where it comes to detail:

In the end I'd say they look ok for wargaming. They look appropriate from a wargaming distance and shouldn't raise any eyebrows. Unless you take a closer look:


K-k-kill me!

Well, at least they paint up quickly. I'll aim for a platoon sized force with some supports so I can game some fighting by my countrymen in the Continuation War.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chain of Command Market Garden campaign game 3

For the third game in the Chain of Command Market Garden  campaign I introduce some new terrain I've been working on. The roads on this table have been made by applying a acrylic caulk/paint/sand mixture on the backside of some brown wax cloth. The cloth has been cut to shape once dry. I think it worked out pretty good, although there's a bit of warping going on at the ends of the pieces. I wonder if I should store them compressed or glue bits of wire to the ends to keep them flat? What about the colour, do you think I should give it a drybrush?

Anyway, here's the game, commentary embedded on the pictures as usual:

In a nutshell, a big firefight developed on the open area of the map. The Germans had the upper hand at first but the brits rebounded (perhaps aided by us playing the shock reducing rules wrong). The British made a flanking manoeuver forcing the Germans to deploy a portion of their force in opposition, but this fight never got off the ground as the German force morale disintegrated.

A third loss for the Germans but this was the toughest game yet. Now the British started to take an appreciable amount of casualties as well, and not a moment too soon! The next game will be the last in the campaign.

Playing a Green force versus an elite force is definitely tough. The difference in firepower is great and only by a significant terrain advantage (troops in buildings versus troops in woods in a firefight) was I able to stall what seemed inevitable again. The Green force gets loads of points for support options to make up for the difference but the difference in Force morale means that the Green force will still be easy to rout in comparison and even with plenty of support choices the lower amount of activation dice means it is more difficult to take advantage of the greater numbers.

For casual Chain of Command play I recommend sticking to a maximum of one "level" of grade difference. Greens versus regulars or regulars versus elites.