Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Russians are coming...The Russians are coming!!!

Yep.  The Hungarian in me is cringing in fear and dread.  I have been very busy lately.  Since I have been out of work due to a car accident I supplement  that desire to work with painting and modeling. 

I have some of my DbA Greek Athenian stuff done.  The beauty of this game is that you only need 12 stands to have an army.  I suppose I need to add a few camp / stowage bases.  My goal for now is to finish these hairy, oily Greeky guys.  When I finish we can all have a big barbecue with food and ouzo liquor.  
So far I have a stand of light horse and a Psiloi bowmen stand completed.   Psiloi is a fancy word for a group of Skirmishers.   Those horsemen will double as a horse archer stand in my DbMM Athenian force.  I know they have javelins.  Bows were supposed to be rare in this Era of Greek warfare.  I will try to use a suitable archer stand for the other units. 
I actually had a stroke of inspiration with my Greek cavalry.  The Athenian force uses Regular Cavalry Inferior.  It is abbreviated Reg Cv (I).  The game de bellis magister militium (DbMM) has a unique rating system for the 15 or 20 units in the game.   The are rated as regular or irregular.  It has to do with command and Control issues.
Units range from Spears, Pikes,  Blades, Bowmen, Psiloi and many more.    Some units cannot be irregular or regular due to type.   An example of this is warbands.  Warbands HAVE to be irregular.   Think of a bunch of frothing Wisconsiners screaming "We're going to dairy queen!".  That is the amount of control you could have over a warband.  There are different quality ratings for each regular or irregular unit.  They range from superior, ordinary,  inferior and fast.  They each have different effects in combat.  Fast moves more quickly but fairs worse in Combat.  Inferior are even more brittle and while cheap tend to crumble in combat.  Commit them at your own peril.  Superior are well, superior.  These guys know what matters most in life.

             "Crush your enemies.  See dem flee before you.  Hear de 
               lamentation of de wimmen".

I got a bunch of these Greek horsemen with the floppy hats and the spears.  The Athenian is able to take Reg Cv (I).  I did not have enough of the more heavily armed Greek cavalry for a Thessalian DbA force.  I decided to use the light horsemen as Cv inferior!  Greek horsemen in this period were rare and not Hungarians in the saddle.  I see that as the horsemen being unarmored and not well motivated.   They are not willing to commit to an engagement and are fairly skittish.
I got so many light horsemen in the army pack that I was afraid I would never use them.  Now I can field a Thessalian DbA force with 3 cavalry units and proxy them as Light horse (you get to pick 3 Cv units or 3 Lh units).  One unit gets to do triple duty.  They are light horse and cavalry units in DbA.  They are also Reg Cv (I) in DbMM.  Hooray.

I also have the first batch of Hoplites finished.  I am waiting to do the shields because I want to do all of them at once.   I have around 120 guys to paint.  This batch before you is 21 strong.  It took me all day to finish.  I should get faster once muscle memory sets in.

I have finally gotten around to painting my 3mm ww2 stuff.  They are mounted on 30mm x 40mm bases.  I find the shape of rectangular bases to be more pleasing to the eye than yucky old square bases.  This batch represents an almost complete early war Russian independent tank brigade.  I am missing a KV1 stand and the brigade command teams.  Each battalion had a kv-1 platoon, a t34 platoon and two platoons of t26s or bt-5/7 tanks.  Bear in mind that some units were in short supply of vehicle at the start of the war.  Some units had no tanks at all.  I would hate to have been one of those tankers.  I could probably substitute the kv1 stand for a t34 stand. 

I want to dispel the myth of German tank superiority.  When Germany launched operation Barbarossa in '41 they were deficient in the armor department.  The KV 1 tank was a monster for the Germans to handle.  The tank was almost unstoppable against the guns the German tanks had when they crossed the border.  As time went on German tanks were continually up gunned and improved.  In '43 the Panther was issued to front line units as a response for the t34 problem.  I consider this thr first real heavy German tank.  There were some Tiger tanks floating around in the early war but I think there were not enough of them to make a huge diffrence.   The workhorse of the German army was the Pz III.  It started the invasion with 37mm gun and went up to at least a higher velocity 50mm gun.  I think I went higher but for me I ignore the tank after the pz III J.  This was a good tank that accounted well for itself.  In the early war the Germans had to employ better training and doctrine to defeat the Russians.  Stalin really hurt the officer corps by purging all the good officers.  They were replace with politically sound but untested officers.  He also did away with vehicle radios.  Soviet tank doctrine was to button up all your hatches and watch the lead tank through the view scopes.  I guess they fired as they had time.  Tanks were seen by Stalin as nothing more than metal cavalry.  They drove across the field in giant waves hoping to overwhelm thr enemy.  This might account for why there were so many soviet tank losses. 

I do want to add some labels to more easily identify the units.  I feel like the stands pop.  It always helps to have quicker IDing of units. 

I also painted some 3mm trucks on 25mm circle bases.   Spearhead allows infantry platoons to be carried in trucks.   Once the infantry reaches a certain point they dismount and continue on foot.  In the rules the trucks go to the rear and the infantry is on foot for the rest of the game.  Instead of making infantry with trucks based together and stands with no trucks I decided to make the trucks attachments.  An infantry battalion has the trucks piggybacking on the infantry bases.    They give the infantry truck movement until the infantry takes Fire or dismounts.  Infantry mounted in armored fighting vehicles will have the half tracks mounts on the stand.   Those vehicle linger in the rear giving support with machine guns, etc.
I have not decided whether to mount support teams with trucks or do the attachment thing.  Their transport does not go away like Infantry transport. 
I am waiting on more bases.  I have a lot more 3mm Russian models to base.  

Thanks for watching.  I hope I was not to boring.  Please feel free to nicely correct me of any of my facts are wrong.

The last pic is my work cart.  I found this in the dumpster.  It was taped up.  I think someone moved and decided to toss it.  I wiped it down and use it all the time.  The misses likes it because i do not clutter the table with my stuff.

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