Das Reich, Forward

with Casey Davies

When Chris and I were first talking about playing a big game I had the thought of taking a Tiger company to take on Chris’s Soviet T-34 horde, but thought that it probably wouldn’t be a fair match-up.

(I’m still planning on painting this army at some point as I love the Tiger and new Panzer III models)

Instead, I decided to brush off my Das Reich T-34s and give Chris a rematch from a version 2 game we had, where my T-34 tanks were overwhelmed by the sheer number of T-34s that Chris was fielding.

My Army is based off the Captured T-34 Command Card. I won’t go into too much detail about the command cards here as Victor is going to write an article about this later.

I have 10 T-34s painted, so I decided to split these into 2x platoons of 3 tanks and a platoon of 4 tanks. These are led by a Panzer IV and a Panzer III. I’m just going to use my Grey Panzer III & IV tanks for the moment, until I get a chance to paint some new ones.

To back up the T-34s I’ve added a single Tiger, again mainly because I love the model.

I figure the Tiger will anchor one flank and my T-34s will deploy en-mass, strength in numbers.

T-34 Company HQ card I whipped up for my game against Chris.
and a Captured T-34 card for Das Reich.

Iron Crossover

or: Using an Iron Cross formation with Ghost Panzers Support Units
with Mike Haught

All four of the mid-war Eastern Front books were designed together. There was a lot of crossover between units in both books, so we wanted to make that cross support possible between books. For instance, in the German case, we wanted to make sure that you can take your Grenadier infantry forces from Iron Cross and back them up with Ferdinand and Brummbär heavy tanks from Ghost Panzers, just like what happened in Model’s 9th Army attack on the northern front of the operation. Of course the reverse is also true. You can field a Ghost Panzer formation with Iron Cross support, such as an Armoured Panzergrenadier Formation with your early panzers and StuGs to represent the half-track mounted troops involved in the 1942 summer offensive.

Let’s take my Grenadier company from Iron Cross as an example. Here’s the 100pt Grenadier Company I’ve been using:

Grenadier Formation
2pts Grenadier Company HQ
16pts Grenadier Platoon, 9x teams +2x MG34 HMGs
16pts Grenadier Platoon, 9x teams +2x MG34 HMGs
14pts Assault Pioneer Platoon

Support Units
14pts 10.5cm Artillery Battery (4x Guns)
2pts Panzer II OP
27pts StuG (early) Assault Gun Platoon (3x StuG long 7.5cm)
9pt Ju 87 Stuka Dive-bomber Flight

I originally modelled this force as an assault unit involved in the 1942 summer blitzkrieg attacks. It’s got some defensive power, but has an offensive footing with flame-throwers, submachine-guns, and Stukas.

I’m excited about the upcoming release of the Ferdinand, so I’m going to convert this force into a Citadel-themed one so that I can include them. However, I also want to retain as much of the tactical flexibility from Iron Cross as possible, such as artillery. I can achieve this by using my Iron Cross Formations with Ghost Panzer support units. I have to choose which book to draw support from, I can’t do both, so I need to drop my StuG assault guns because these early versions are not available as a Ghost Panzer support unit. On the other hand, my artillery and Stukas are both available in Ghost Panzers, which means I can bring them across.

Dropping the StuGs earns me back 27 points which goes a long way towards getting me a pair of Ferdinands. However, I still need to find another 7 points, which I can get from reducing my Grenadier platoons to 7 teams each and taking out an HMG somewhere. So in the end, my 99pt Citadel Grenadiers will look like this:

Grenadier Formation
2pts Grenadier Company HQ
13pts Grenadier Platoon, 7x teams +2x MG34 HMGs
11pts Grenadier Platoon, 7x teams +1x MG34 HMG
14pts Assault Pioneer Platoon

Support Units
14pts 10.5cm Artillery Battery (4x Guns)
2pts Panzer II OP
34pts Ferdinand Tank-hunter Platoon (2x Ferdinand)
9pt Ju 87 Stuka Dive-bomber Flight

So with just a few small modifications to my army I can field my tried and true Grenadier force in Operation Citadel battles using a pair of mighty Ferdinands.

Going Big for Red Banner

with Chris Townley

A few years ago I painted up a T-34 Battalion for Late War, putting myself under a bit of pressure to knock out the 21 models over 28 day. You can find out more about the army here…

As a deadline painter, having a definite finish date helped me to focus and actually get the job done on time.

Five years later with the release of Red Banner I thought it might be fun to dust off the army and challenge Casey (my office nemesis) to a big game where I got to put the entire battalion, plus a few Mid War models borrowed from the work collection, on the table for a big tank smash.

Since we wanted to keep it “all about the tanks” I chose not to add any infantry or “pad out” the Force with any Formation Support options. I did however have a look through the Command Cards and found a few fun ones to add in.

Guards Tank Battalion (1 point) – this increases my chances of remounting to a 3+. Seemed like a great way to spend a point, especially since I need all the vehicles moving or firing.

Desperate Heroism (1 point) – I really don’t have a plan for this. I figured it was 1 point and it might be situationally useful to be able to guarantee that I passed a Follow Me Movement Order.

Ram Attack (2 points) – Once again, I don’t have a plan in mind here as the chances of pulling off a successful ram attack vs a Tiger is pretty darn low

T-34 Passing a Skill Test 33.3%
Tiger Failing to Avoid 33.3%
Chance of Winning the Dice Off* 8.3%
Kill Chance (failure means a Bail Out) 50.0%
0.462%

*to win the Dice off I need to roll a 5 or 6 and the Tiger needs to roll a 1 (or a 2, if I roll a 6)

However, an almost 1% chance of killing or bailing a Tiger in the front is significantly more likely than the 0% chance of killing (or bailing) it through the front with the T-34’s 76mm gun. Seemed like an implausible but amusing way to spend 2 points.

The real question is, how am I going to use the army to beat Casey? I know he is bringing Tigers and Panzer III escort tanks so that means I’ll have a couple of different types of targets to destroy. Luckily for me the disparity in their armour means whilst I am closing to flank (and kill) the Tigers, I can shoot up the Panzer III tanks.

I suspect the match up will come down to terrain as much as anything else because Casey will be using it to protect the flanks of his Tigers, whilst trying to stop me from advancing up behind it and avoiding his fire.

May the numerically superior army win!

Kursk Live Launch is a Go!

Good morning, everyone!

Over the next two days, the Auckland studio will be launching Ghost Panzers and Red Banner. These two books will give you lists and units to field during the Battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front.

Keep and eye on the blog over the next two days to see battle reports, list building, modelling and painting, and a whole lot of other neat stuff.

 

Ghost Panzers/Red Banner Landing Page

Over two days in November we launched our two Mid War Kursk Books, Ghost Panzers and Red Benner. You can check out all the Launch Action below:

Previews and Releases
Kursk Books live on Digital
Kursk live on Forces
Iron Crossover
Human Waves to Storm Groups (Part 2)
Firestorm: Kursk
Eastern Front Battlefield in a Box Terrain

Forces and Projects
Going Big for Red Banner
Das Reich, Forward
Building a Battlefield – Prokhorovka
Victor’s ‘Das Reich’ T-34s
Grey Panzers Follow-Up
Panzerjager I Unit Card
I&R Platoon Unit Card
Semovente 37/42 Unit Card
Chris’ Red Banner List
Painting the Red Army
If I Could Turn Back Time…
Gareth’s Ghost Panzers
Andrew’s Speedy Assaulters
Casey’s Waffen-SS
Beutepanzers- Modifications and Markings
From Stalingrad to Kursk
Wayne’s StuG Force

Battle Reports
Allies at War
Dave vs Brian T-34s vs Panzers Battle Report
How Long Does a Turn Take?
TANKS! The Battle for Prokhorovka
Tank Invaders

 

 

Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates Live Launch Landing Page

On the 23rd and 24th of August we had the Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates Live Launch. During this time we updated the website with plenty of information, lists and pictures and a fun day was had by everyone here. Check out all the content we posted below.

Previews and Releases
Eastern Front Books Live on Digital…
City Fighting 101…
50 Shades of Feldgrau…
The Block: Stalingrad. The War Starts Here…
Firestorm: Stalingrad Preview…
Eastern Front on the Flames Of War Website…
Human Waves to Storm Groups. What to Buy…
Forces Of War Comes to V4!…

Studio
Auckland Studio Getting Started…
Lunch Comes But Once A Day…
StuGs About Town…
Sniper War – Intro Article…
Casey’s Eastern Front Table…
Tanks at the Door (Part 1)…
Tanks at the Door (Part 2)…
Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday…
Building My Sniper Hide…
Sniping On The New Double-sided Gaming Mat…
Finishing Up The Live Launch (for now)…

Army Planning
Fighting For Mother Russia!…
Fighting For Mother Russia! Army Planning…
Two Armies, One Week…
Stalingrad to Berlin and Back Again…
Stalingrad to Enemy at the Gates…
Back in the Saddle Again…
Za Stalina to Enemy at the Gates…
Fighting For Mother Russia! The Debrief…
Painting the Black Death…
Hauptmann Lonnie of the Panzer Korps…
From Ostfront With Love!…
M3 Lees with Yellow Stars?…
Victor Consolidates and Paints Panzers…

Videos
German Armour Plastic Rotational Video…
Soviet Plastic Vehicles Rotational Video…
Beasts of War talk Eastern Front…
Bonus Launch Content… Plastic Katy Speed Build!…

 

Bonus Launch Content… Plastic Katy Speed Build!

We grabbed some of the writers and graphic designers of the Auckland Studio team and gave them the new plastic Katyushas to assemble.

This was the first time any of these guys had built the model.

We also gave the old metal and resin version to Evan (who sculpted it many many years ago) to build at the same time.

Can the veteran modeler and sculptor beat a group of people building the new plastic Katyusha for the very first time? Stay tuned for the drop tests at the end…

Finishing Up The Live Launch (for now)

Hi everyone. Whilst we have a few things that we still want to share next week, including our overdue Q&A session, the time has come for us to go home.

We hope you enjoyed all the content and are as excited about the new books as we are. There is plenty of great information, lists, pictures (and more) in Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates so please head out to your FLGS this weekend to check them out for yourselves.

Don’t forget to have a look at the new Forces website, there may be a few little bugs lurking in the system but we’ve been doing plenty of list noodling (we mean testing….) and it is a great tool to quickly build a list.Finally, make sure you swing by the Beasts of War website over the weekend as they have some Eastern Front Flames Of War content coming, along with a series of videos over the coming weeks.

Hobby on!

~The Battlefront Team