Monday, August 22, 2016

WW2 D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio!

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio
The largest  D-Day (1944) living history reenactment in the country takes place in Conneaut Ohio. Featuring over 1,500 reenactors from across the US and Canada perform a living tribute to the veterans of WWII through dress, mock battles, and living history displays. We had the opportunity to be there this year!

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio
There were many demonstrations over the weekend and the mock battles were superb, especially the beach landing!

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, British
Encampments for Allied and Axis forces were filled with relics the reenactors brought to display.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio Germans
And loved showing how these weapons were used in the day.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, Germans
You could meet the real men and women that lived through those times too. Last year the Conneaut D-Day hosted over 150 WWII veterans.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio
Reenacting the capture of the bridge at La Fiére, the Americans gained control of the key crossing of the Merderet River.

Here German light armor advances on the bridge.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio
And is incapacitated as it nears.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio
After the battle, a column of German soldiers head back to camp.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, German 88
There were several "Big Guns" including the feared German 88

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, STUG
and several armored vehicles including a Panzer III, Stug (seen here), M4 and an M4A1.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, M5 Stuart
Also three variants of the M5 Stuart.
D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio,
Georgie's Gal, a B-25 Mitchell, twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation took part this year. It made several passes over the beach on bombing runs. 

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio,
The B-25 was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, although the majority of B-25s in American service were used in the Pacific. The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, Polish
The Polish contingent brought an artillery piece..

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, Polish
jeep to deploy it...

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, Commonwealth
and a nice sampling of arms.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, US Army M3 Half-Track
The US camp held many jeeps, trucks, motorcycles and this M3 Half-track.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, US Army M3 Half-Track
There were a couple more participating in the actual landing. One hauling a howitzer.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, German Armor
The German encampment contained its share of armored cars,

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, German Vehicles
transport vehicles of every size...

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, German Vehicles
and many motocycles.

D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, German Vehicles
Watch the D-Day Cooneaut site for next years event!!
D-Day Reenactment at Conneaut Ohio, US Pressman
You can see additional images from this year on 

Have A Great Battle!!
The Old Crow

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wasteland Terrain & Russian T34/85 Medium Tanks from Warlord Games

Terrain and T34 Tanks
Lately we completed a new batch of custom Wasteland Terrain and worked with David Dinsmore to begin production on some Warlord Games armor. All of these are now listed on Ebay for any who are interested. Look for Battleground-Hobbies on Ebay.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
Each Terrain piece has a hard base made of MDF board and the top is carved polystyrene insulation board. We showed how these are built on a previous blog post.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
Now about the T-34 series, with its sloping armor that changed the principles of tank design during the war. The sloping, angular layout of the T-34 increased the effective armor thickness, and also saw a larger proportion of shells deflected away than penetrated its armor.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
The introduction of the T-34 into action saw German tank design follow suit with similarly angled armor on the likes of the Panther and King Tiger. As German tank design came to the fore, the Soviet war machine once again raised the bar with the T-34/85.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
The T-34/85, the very symbol of Soviet military strength in the Second World War, had a new turret to house the more powerful 85mm ZiS gun. A supremely rugged and reliable tank, the T-34/85 had excellent off-road capability, especially in the marshland or snow of the Eastern Front, and was easy for the crew to operate and maintain.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
The T-34/85's great strength lay in its adaptation of the T-34/76 tank design which preceded it. This ensured a far smoother and faster production line than would have been the case with a completely new design.

Terrain and T34 Tanks
Another major advantage was the sheer number of tanks the Soviet tank factories could produce - by the summer of 1944 the Soviet war machine could produce more T-34/85s in a month than the Germans had Panther tanks in the whole of the Eastern Front!

Terrain and T34 Tanks
With over 21,000 of the 57,000 T-34s built during WWII being T-34/85s, the Russian credo was clearly one of quantity over quality, although it was an unwise Panzer commander who discounted the ability of the T-34/85.

Terrain and Sherman Tank
Now that our history lesson is over, you can see the job David did in painting these Russian Tanks! Here is another he completed, a US Sherman, also ready for sale.

Terrain and Sherman Tank
We'll have a batch of German Armor very soon. Panther IVs, Stugs and a Hetzer are all on the way. If you have a request for a specific piece of armor you'd like painted, please let us know!

Terrain and Sherman Tank
Have A Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

M3A1 Half Track & M5 Stuart From The Black Bull Division for Bolt Action

Here's a couple additions to our 11th Armoured Division, The Black Bull!!

This M5 Stuart represents a supporting Armoured Recce Regiment to our 23rd Hussars Regiment.

He's part of the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry. The British referred to the M5 as the MVI

The model is from Rubicon and is a swell little kit.

With options for this British MVI Kangaroo recce version with the turret removed and a single 50 cal machine gun added.

This M3A1 Half Track is another support unit from the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars. These guys have been slogging through the mud, the Black Bull is barely visible on the front fender.

They were dispatched to France to serve with the divisional reconnaissance regiment of the 11th Armoured Division after DDay.

Hope to have additional models to post soon!

Have A Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bolt Action Battle Report: Market Garden Crossroads, British and US vs Germans

This Market Garden Crossroads scenario represents the Allied push into Holland roughly in the manner of Operation Market Garden.  We didn't have any allied Airborne forces, so that element is not represented.  However we attempted to recreate the British Commandos and armored forces which were a critical part of the allied liberation of the Netherlands.  The United States Army here is meant to represent some of the non-airborne forces involved and balance out the armor-heavy British army as well as provide Air support.

Fallschirmjäger forces were present in the German defense including the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment which also fought at Carentan in France.  The Fallschirmjäger lacked a lot of really heavy weapons to counter allied armor and so here they have only a light squeeze-bore AT weapon.  Interestingly enough, Oberst Von der Hydte, the commander of FJR 6, did manage to commandeer a halftrack-mounted flak gun on his way to the battle.  The second German army represents what heavy armor and equipment was available to the German counter-attack.  We'll see if the lone Tiger I supported by a Hetzer can break up the numerically superior allied armor.  
The map represents the Dutch countryside approaching key allied strategic goals.  One heavily damaged building resides at the raised crossroad which is objective number one. There is a small supply depot on the left flank and a German communication hut on the right.  

The game will be slightly over 4000 points (1000 British, 1000 USA, 1000 German Fallschirmjäger and 1000 German Army) and will be Point Defense with the Germans defending.

An Approximate Army List will be included after the battle report.

Turn One:
The opening barrage from the British Artillery kills the German sniper team and adds pins on almost all German units on the table. Most of the large German units were held in reserve.

The British commander and US Sniper team move on to the board first along with the US half track which fire fires it mortar and misses. The Sherman advances but has no target. The Stuart arrives and fires a smoke round which successfully lands in front of the Hetzer and blocks its view.

The Cromwell moves on to the right side of the board, fires at the German Machine Gun Team and causes a pin. German mortar team fails their morale test. German Machine Gun Team and Panzerbüchse advance.

Additional US and British forces pour onto the board.German Vespa moves onto board and fires at US half track but misses.

German half-track advances and Fires at the Sherman it also misses but the German rifle Squad disembarks and heads for the ruins in the center of the board. The German SDKFZ 7 Flak Half-Track enters, fires on the British rifle Squad, hits and kills two commandos

US Infantry, US Air Observer and British Artillery Observer all enter the battle on the left side of the board.

Final German forces enter. US and British both had an infantry squad in reserve for flanking. The German Tiger and British Firefly both remain off the board.

Turn Two: 
The US smoke screen dissipated at the start of turn two. The German Flak Half-Track fires at the British Rifle Squad again, this time killing three. US Infantry Squad that disembarked the truck takes the ruins in the center of the table, fires at German rifle Squad and killed three. German MG hits US Rifle Squad and the US lose one man.

German armored car advances and Fires at rifle Squad killing two including the NCO the US rifle team had taken a pounding but stand fast.

Cromwell advances fires at the Panzerbüchse and kills one of its crew and the US Rifle Squad take additional hits.

German Wespe heads across German side for a better view and the British Rifle Squad advances to the fence line near the ruins.

The Sherman advances on the left flank and fires MG rounds at the German Panzergrenadier unit holding the crossroads. The German Half-Track retreats to pick up the Lt near the depot and the Artillery Observer calls in a barrage (represented by the bottle).

The US truck advances to provide cover for the British Rifle Squad. German Artillery Observer calls in a barrage (represented by the bottle).

The Tiger finally enters the game and fires at the Cromwell!!

Thankfully for the British, the shot missed!

The US advance on the left.

Both artillery Observers and the US Air Observer all call in fire to end turn two.

Turn Three:
Three begins with artillery. The British cause pins to four German units...

the German artillery pins 5 units and kills the British captain!

The US air strike arrives and the fighter bomber fires and destroys the German Wespe.

German machine-gun Nest fires and kills two more of the US Rifle Squad in the ruined building. German armored car moves and fires killing two British Commandos

The German Fallschirmjäger advance and fire both Panzerfaust at the Cromwell unfortunately for the Germans, both miss. The US Rifle Squad takes another hit. Then the German officer fired and killed one additional US Rifleman in the building leaving only four.
The Sherman tank advances and hits the German Grenadiers killing two and adding additional pins up to five total. The Stuart once again adds a smoke round to cover the Sherman. The US rifle squad on the left advance across the field and fire at the Grenadiers. They hit but failed to wound.

The Tiger, knowing the Sherman is there, fires at US armor but due to the additional cover, misses its mark. The Cromwell Fires at the German MG again and kill one more. British rifle Squad Fires at the German officer but miss. The Hetzer misses the Sherman, German Squad advances and fires on British but no wounds and the German Lieutenant gets in the half-track which then advances and fires on the Sherman immobilizing it.

Turn Four:
It's any armies game at this point as we enter Turn 4. Sherman fire is its machine guns at the German Rifleman killing one and fires its main gun at the German armored car which uses its recce move to back into the smoke.

German half-track fired its rear machine gun at US Infantry Squad killing two.

The Commandos assault German infantry at the ruins, killing two including the NCO they lose one commando in return and route the Germans which allows them to move into the ruins.

US half-track advances Fires at German Fallschirmjäger killing one and adding another pin. In return, the Fallschirmjäger assault the half-track but fail and regroup on the other side.

Finally, the British Firefly moves on to the board and fires a long shot at the German Flak Half-Track which destroys it. US truck moves to block line of sight from the tiger to the Cromwell.

Stuart again lays down another smoke round ending turn four.

Turn Five:
The turn commenced with the German Fallschirmjäger moving, firing and killing the British sniper team. The US assault the German half-track, they also fail and regroup on the far side. Sherman tank fires MGs and hits unit at the crossroads killing one German then fires main gun at half track causing it to be stunned.

Commandos in building move and fire at German Panzerbüchse, they hit but caused no wounds.

US half-track advances, fires and hits Fallschirmjäger adding a pin but no kills. US Mortar Team fires at Panzerbüchse hits and kills one leaving only one crewman.

The Tiger prowls forward looking to make a difference, fires and destroys US half track. US sniper team fires at German unit in Crossroads. He fails to score a kill but hits, adding up to ten pins they fail their morale check break and run.

British flanking Commandos enter left side of the board and take the Supply Depot objective. US flanking rifle squad enters on the right and take the German communication post. The US also fire and kill the German artillery Observer. This is a key moment in the game, gaining two objectives, the game swings too the Allied side.

Turn Six:
This could be the final turn unless a roll adds a seventh turn. It opens with the British artillery Observer retaliating and firing at the German lieutenant but fails to cause a wound. British Firefly advances and uses his machine gun to attack the officer covering the crossroads and they kill him.

Sherman fires and misses Hetzer...

the Hetzer advances and kills the Sherman! British Commandos finally kill the Panzerbüchse unit. German mortar team in a final flurry, kills US mortar team and German half track attempts to fire at Commandos on Supply Depot but the lieutenant had gotten out of the vehicle so there is no one manning the gun! The Stewart fires an HE round and destroys the half-track.

The Commandos assault the German armored car they do take one casualty from fire on the way in but they destroy the vehicle.

The large US Rifle Squad takes the central crossroads thus the Allies secure all three objectives. The roll to see if the game continued failed and the game was over.

On the allied side, the Sherman tank did a great job at holding up the entire center of the board including the Hetzer, the large Panzergrenadier Squad, German half-track, armored car and even distracting the Tiger tank. On the German side, the Tiger failed to cause an impact but the SDKFZ 7 Flak Half-Track with quadruple light auto cannon posed a much larger threat to the infantry and the entire right flank. The US flanking unit could have been thrashed if the German vehicle remained. As it had posed the largest threat, the Firefly chose it versus the Tiger for its first shot. The game was fun for all involved, despite the failed German rolls, and for the first time in several games the attacker was the victor. We welcome any comments or questions and check the approximate army list below.

Have A Great Battle,
The Old Crow

Allies 2,203 points and 17 Order Dice

U.S. 1,103 points and 10 Order Dice
Captain Regular 110 points
Air Force Forward Observer Regular75
2 ½ Ton Truck with HMG Regular 64 points (Transporting one Squad)
Jeep with HMG Regular 46 points (Note, not recce)
M 21 Mortar Carrier Half-Track Veteran 114
Squad 1 Regular (NCO with SubMG + 11 men with 2 BAR) 133 points
Squad 2 Regular (NCO with SubMG + 11 men with 2 BAR) 133 points
Sniper Team Veteran 65 points
M 4 Sherman 75MM with Pintle HMG Veteran 195
M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage Veteran 168 points

British 1,100 points and 7 Order Dice
Captain Veteran 125 points
Cromwell Veteran 234 points
Sherman Firefly Veteran 366
Commando Team 1 Veteran (NCO with SubMG + 9 men with SubMGs ) 145 Points
Commando Team 2 Veteran (NCO + 8 men with rifles and 1 with LMG) 165 points
Sniper Team Veteran 65 points
Artillery Observer Regular free

Axis 2,183 points and 16 Order Dice

Fallschirmjäger 1,118 points and 9 Order Dice
First Lieutenant Veteran 90 points
Forward Artillery Observer Veteran 115
SDKFZ 251/10 Regular 156 (Note: Command Vehicle)
Squad 1 Veteran (NCO with SubMG + 9 men + 8 assault rifles + 1 panzerfaust) 178 points
Squad 2 Veteran (NCO with SubMG + 7 men + 2 panzerfaust + 2 LMG) 157 points
Panzerbüchse 41 Veteran 60
Machine Gun Team (MMG) Veteran 65
Wespe Regular 145
SDKFZ 7 Flak Half-Track with quadruple light autocannon Veteran 152

Panzergrenadier 1,065 points and 7 Order Dice
First Lieutenant Veteran 90 points
Tiger Regular 395 points
Marder Regular 165
Sniper Team Veteran 65 points
Medium Mortar Team Regular 50 points
Panzergrenadier Squad Veteran approx. 150 points

Panzergrenadier Squad Veteran approx. 150 points