The VGs are from Empress Miniatures and are really lovely figures, these troops were prominent during the Battle of the Bulge and also fought on the Eastern Front in the last months of the war although if you Google them you inevitably get the troops involved in the former. They have a winter look about them wearing mainly camo smocks, zeltbahns and greatcoats but as wargamers we would probably use them from December '44 til the end of the war and it was cold during those months. I put a little white on the smock hood to show they were reversible smocks, the camo is splittermuster using German Camo Beige, Cam Olive Green and Flat Earth, non camo is simple Fieldgrey and the greatcoats various shades of grey or grey/green, these differed a lot in quality. For the equipment I googled each piece and used an appropriate colour, all the paints are Vallejo.
The organisation I took from Andy Duffell's list at Tiny Hordes, the list as far as I can see follows that laid down in regulations, the only question players have is should the HQ section mirror that in the regulations i.e. contain a medic, or/and the messengers. Now the messengers you can abstract but the use of an integral medic is a good question, how real do you go? I have not added one so far.
I set up a game last night against Simon's Russians, I was tempted to use the VGs as green but chickened out and made them Regular, this meant I handed some support points to Simon but I thought with so little support available I could not take the chance. I also deliberated about whether I should take a second Senior Leader or an LMG team, I went for the latter and then promptly forgot all about them during the game. The Germans were the defenders holding back the Soviet Hordes somewhere on the borders of East Prussia, I thought this appropriate for a late war scenario. Simon had thrown for Support and got a measly 4 on two dice, so there were in fact no Soviet Hordes and I think this crippled Simon's chances of victory in Chain of Command.
|Support squad with the annoying JOP.|
I put down two squads, one infantry and the other the support squad with two LMG's, the former protected the right flank and the latter the left, I decided to leave the rest of my men until the Russians had shown their hand, or if they ever got near their objective, a Jump Off Point well in the rear of the front line, to deploy them to protect it. Simon very soon had all his forces deployed, a full platoon supported by a Sniper and a T70 light tank. During the firefight which then ensued things went well for the Germans as the Russians ran into a wall of fire and rifle grenades, the T70 did not really enter the fray as command dice were used to activate the infantry or remove shock. Both of us only had one Senior Leader so multiple rolls of 4s were not very helpful, we also seemed to roll a lot of 5s with the odd 6, which again lessened the amount of control we had over our forces. We deliberately took the game slowly but even so nothing really happened, Simon managed to run one squad along my left flank but I still had one squad to deploy along with the forgotten LMG so their chances of getting to the objective were pretty slim. As we packed up a defeat for the Russians.
|The Russkies prepare to run for the trees.|
In this case the Russians really had to close with the defenders and this suited the Germans, especially as the range closed until the assault rifles came into their own, as the support role had been very low they were up against it from the beginning, perhaps in this kind of scenario the support costs should be set at a certain level from the start. Neither of us had a lot of luck with the command dice and quite a few times we both hardly managed to do anything we wanted to do. I did learn not to put my JOPs too near fences etc. as this stopped me lining the damn things as the JOP was in the way, duh.
Next week we are taking another run at IABSM as Dan is running a second game, this Sunday I have a couple of War and Conquest games and another the Sunday after, on both occasions my opponents will be bringing my old enemies the Normans, boo.
No sooner had I put the full stop in above than mate Rob turned up with a nice present, an Empress Miniatures LMG team for that extra support the VGs need. You meet some very nice people in this hobby.