The D-Day Global Campaign

with Andrew Haught (Battlefront NZ)

This week we take a closer look at the D-Day: Global Campaign Battlefront and the crew over at OnTableTop are running later this year. We have done several campaigns with OnTableTop in the past for Team Yankee and those who played in those will recognize this campaign- even though there are a few key differences. The campaign itself will have players fighting their way through the battles of Normandy taking over Routes and securing Areas that will earn their side a bonus when fighting in that route during the next week.

This Global Campaign kit is flexible and can be played during the online campaign, linking both your store’s campaign and the online campaigns together; or it can be played offline at any time using just the campaign kit. Each kit will have a ruleset, a campaign map, recruitment posters, and a set of stickers to mark your progress.

The online part of the campaign will link gaming communities from across the world together to fight over a global map. Along with recording your games and adding your side’s victories you can also write up your battle reports and share them with the online community, earning cool achievements and giving your side even more of an edge.

Did I say edge? Well, here is a non-obvious segue way into talking about Tactical Edge cards! Those who are participating in the Hobby League you will earn Tactical Edge cards to use during this campaign. These cards give you a one use boost for any game you play during the campaign, giving you an “edge” in your games. If you didn’t take part in the Hobby League then you don’t have to worry about these cards, unless your opponent has, then be afraid! Be very afraid!

Just kidding, the cards are cool and have cool effects, but none of them are game-breaking on their own, so if you don’t have them and your opponent does it’s not the end of the world.

Well that’s it for our first look at the Global Campaign, later on we will go even more in depth on what’s in the campaign kits and we will go over how the campaign will work. For now why not join in the global discussion over on our Facebook forums and let us know what side you will be representing in the global campaign.

Alex’s Luftwaffe Feld-Division

with Alexander Nebesky (Battlefront NZ)

My first Flames Of War army was German, my Fortress Europe army was German, and when Hobby League started up and everybody had gravitated to the other three forces it seemed like I was destined for Germans again. Luckily for me, with D-Day: German on the horizon I was able to take a deep dive into all the exciting German forces and pick a unique and colourful force to work on.

The key to embarking on any project, Flames Of War or otherwise, is to latch onto something you find interesting. For me, that meant the opportunity to either modify units in my force or paint a colour I haven’t painted before- because after two lots of grenadiers in Field Grey, I was frankly not that interested in doing it a third time around.

A tabletop approximation of 16. Feld-Division (L) in Normandy, 1944, offers me both of these chances— an opportunity to paint Luftwaffe blue, and an opportunity to modify a few grenadier uniforms to reflect the very swish LwFD camouflage smock.

Having spent an afternoon spitballing with Phil and Andrew, I came up with a list representing 16. Feld-Division (L) roughly as they were during Operation Goodwood, supported by bits of 21. Panzerdivision.

I’m working out of the very exciting D-Day: German, which isn’t out yet—but then again, what’s the point of hanging out at the Battlefront Studio if I can’t get a little early access. With this in mind, here are my first 50 points:As I’m sure you can see, my first 50 points give me a playable formation, but it is also all infantry, which is something of a mountain to climb in only a month—especially since I’m also hoping to pull off some figure modifications to make the miniatures

A Brief History of Luftwaffe Field Divisions
The Luftwaffe Field Divisions were raised from the ranks of regular old Luftwaffe ground crew. They weren’t the most exceptional troops on account of having never signed up for infantryman duties, and their inception as dedicated field divisions was more a response to suggestions that the German Army could do with a few hundred thousand more warm bodies than it was the establishment of a military unit full of guys who found their natural calling as foot-sloggers after making a brief detour into air force work (kind of like switching your major at university mid-degree because you found out anthropology was really more your thing than law). In any case, the LwFDs kept their organisation and remained under the leadership of Luftwaffe officers until late in 1943 when they were reorganised and transferred to the Heer.

Project Research
Up until their transfer, Luftwaffe Feld-Division boys were outfitted with the traditional feldblau Luftwaffe Uniform, making them a distinctive blue on the battlefield, quite obviously different to the feldgrau of the Heer. After being subsumed into the army structure, the LwFD boys were outfitted with regular feldgrau Heer uniforms as their original blues ran out. This will give me the opportunity to paint a mixture of Luftwaffe and Heer uniforms and equipment for my force, as by 1944, there would have been a good mix of kit and uniform. A great source for uniforms is this here 18th Luftwaffe Field Division https://18thluftwaffefielddivision.weebly.com/our-kit.html> reenactment group (who don’t appear to have any info on their ‘About Us’ page, so I can’t thank them), and there is a full list of kit I could apply to my LwFD (you can follow the link and see the list yourself) and there is also this handy tidbit on the subject of mixed Heer/Luftwaffe uniforms:

“Very frequently we can see, especially as the war progressed into 1944-45, the use of Heer uniforms and insignia within the ranks of the LwFD. Not only was supply of uniforms and equipment transitioned to Heer supply, but also the replacements of men. It is for these reasons that we find such variance in equipment and uniforms through to the end of the war.”

Smock and Roll
One of the key features of the Luftwaffe field boys was their iconically formless and ubiquitous camouflage smock. The picture at the top of the article shows a man of the Luftwaffe Field Divisions in one of these splinter-camo smocks. The plastic grenadier kit doesn’t happen to be wearing these smocks. If I were playing my LwFD as kitted fully in Heer or fully in Luftwaffe standard service uniforms this would be no problem, I would just paint then feldgrau of feldblau or a mixture of the two and be on my merry way. But no, I’m going to model a selection of my figures in this iconic smock—and that means Green Stuff.

The simple recipe is to trim off the bottom of the uniform jacket, slice off any pockets, and then with a rubber clay brush (as tiny as you can get it) start spreading the green stuff around the waist of the figure and down to just above his knees. The Luftwaffe camo smock did not have any breast pocket, so you could either shave those off the figures or very thinly green stuff around them to hide them, but in most cases there is enough webbing and extra bits of equipment already covering them. The smock did have a pocket on either thigh which you could model with two tiny squares of green stuff.

After priming, I painted the smock according to the instructions in Colours Of War, a mixture of German Camo Beige and Green Ochre, then highlighted with German Camo Beige. To separate my Luftwaffe camo pattern from the Heer I picked a slightly different colour combination, using Vallejo Panzer Aces Splinter Blotches I & II, which give a brighter colour palette and are a good colour choice for FJs too.

The guys in blue also benefited from Colours of War, as I followed the Luftwaffe Jaeger instruction in the book to get that bright blue I was so looking forward to painting.

The Rest of the Stuff in the List
My 50 points of modified Luftwaffe infantry is certainly a bit ambitious, but it’s comforting to know that the following months will see me painting only a handful of tanks, so it’s not the end of the world. The 10.5cm guns in the support are being modelled as captured Russian guns from the Eastern Front just to add another point of visual interest to the list- they are close enough in use and effectiveness that it’s not beyond the pale to use the 10.5cm Unit Card for those models. 

The elements of 21. Panzer that backed up the Luftwaffe in Caen will be represented by a pair of Tiger tanks, a handful of three or four StuGs, and a captured Sherman Firefly. Instead of keeping the list strictly to 100 points, I’m actually painting up a few more points worth of things so I have the option to switch and swap the odd unit or two to give the force a lot more modularity.

Make sure you check back on the Hobby League page each week to see what the gang has been up to, and to see how you can get involved with the Hobby League in your local store or club.

Wayne’s Big Four Germans

with Wayne Turner (Battlefront NZ)

The Big Four Of Late War is a four-man journey through Late War starting with an army box each and working through every Late War release of V4.
With everyone in the Big Four selecting one of the four major Flames Of War Late War forces, it fell to Wayne to work on a German force which you can check out here on the Big Four Website…

Be sure to regularly check out the Big Four website during the course of the Late War journey- as you can see from the quality of Wayne’s painting here, the Big Four put a lot of effort into presenting exceptional armies.

Follow the Big Four on Instagram here…

 

 

 

 

D-Day: German Reviews and Write Ups

You can read a collection of community content ranging from reviews to force overviews, battle reports to Command Card forces from the great Flames Of War community.

D-Day: German Reviews
Awake the Fuhrer, the German D-Day Book is Spoiled
– D-Day: German Forces- Oberbefehlshaber West
Flames Of War- D-Day: German Review w/ Command Cards
Preview D-Day: German!

D-Day: German Command Cards
D-Day Germans Command Cards
German D-Day Command Cards- Going Off-Book

D-Day: German Forces and Units
– D-Day: German- The Thin Grey Line
– 
D-Day: German- Aufklarung and Panzerspah 
Es ist Tigerzeit! Panzer Formations in D-Day: German
– 
Learning the Lehr: Panzergrenadiers in D-Day: German Forces
– D-Day: German Forces- Stug Life
List-Building for Beach Defence and FJ Kompanies 

D-Day: German Spotlight

with Phil Yates (Battlefront NZ)

In early 1944, the situation in France was clearly the quiet before the storm. An Allied invasion would come, probably in the summer, but until then it was a quiet place to rebuild divisions shattered in the desperate autumn and winter battles on the Eastern Front behind the ‘Atlantic Wall’ fortifications lining the coast.

The challenge faced by the German commanders, Rommel and von Rundstedt, was how to combine these disparate forces into a battle-winning force. Should the panzers support the beach defences closely? Or should they operate with complete freedom, seeking to strike a battle-winning blow to cut off and destroy the Allied armies once ashore? What would be the best way to handle the massive Allied superiority in numbers, artillery, especially heavy naval gunfire, and aircraft? They made their choices and failed. Can you do better, defeating the Allied invasion and saving Germany?

What’s In The Book?

Beach Defence Grenadier Company

  • Plenty of cost-effective firepower, with lots of ways of getting even more.
  • Grenadier platoons can increase their firepower with more machine-guns, added heavy machine-guns, and Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons.
  • Poorly-trained family men, limited skill, weak in assaults, and easier to hit than most German troops.
  • Lots of anti-tank and artillery options with 5cm or 7.5cm anti-tank guns, 8cm and 12 cm mortars, and 7.5cm and 15cm guns.
  • Good for holding ground, but don’t expect too much from them.
  • Easy to convert from Grenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Fallschirmjäger Company

  • Large platoons of fearless, high-quality infantry.
  • Platoons can get extra firepower with heavy machine-guns, and Panzerfaust, and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons.
  • Well defended against tanks with both Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons and 7.5cm anti-tank guns.
  • Lots of mortars 8cm and 12cm guns.
  • Good for holding ground, even better for taking it.
  • Exciting new addition to Late War.

Fallschirmjäger StuG Assault Gun Company

  • StuG assault gun has better front armour and the same gun as a Panzer IV medium tank, but has no turret so can’t shoot targets to the flanks, and is less effective when assaulting infantry.
  • StuH assault howitzer has a brutal gun with 2+ firepower for knocking out enemy guns and infantry.
  • StuH assault howitzers operate in a separate platoon and can fire as artillery to support StuG platoons or grenadiers.
  • Company can include an integrated Fallschirmjäger or Beach Defence Grenadier Platoon to protect the assault guns.
  • Work well with infantry. Assault guns provide fire support. Infantry cover vulnerable flanks.
  • Easy to convert from StuG Assault Gun Company in Fortress Europe.

Panther Tank Company

  • Medium tanks with enough armour to stop any Allied anti-tank gun and a gun that can easily penetrate any Allied tank, and fast to boot!
  • Thinner side and top armour make more vulnerable than heavy tanks like the Tiger.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft (including Möbelwagen quad 20mm on Panzer IV chassis) help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out platoons of Panther tanks for a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks and a platoon of Panzer IV medium tanks.
  • Easily outclasses all opposition, just watch out for your flanks.
  • Easy to convert from Panther Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Panzer IV Tank Company

  • Baseline medium tanks. Good armour and better guns than Allied medium tanks.
  • Protected ammunition storage and bazooka skirts limit effectiveness of US Bazookas, British PIATs, and Soviet anti-tank rifles.
  • High-quality crews give tactical advantages.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft (including Möbelwagen quad 20mm on Panzer IV chassis) help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Flexibility. Can swap out a platoon of Panzer IV tanks for a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks or Panther tanks.
  • Gives you the numbers to match the Allies, while still exceeding them in quality.
  • Easy to convert from Panzer III & Panzer IV Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Tiger Tank Company

  • Elite heavy tanks with thick armour and powerful guns, yet more mobile than most medium tanks. Ploughs through terrain without a problem.
  • Almost immune to medium tanks, artillery, and infantry.
  • Integrated self-propelled anti-aircraft to help keep Allied aircraft at bay.
  • Expensive quality, but still cheap enough to field a good-sized company.
  • Easy to convert from Tiger Tank Company in Fortress Europe.

Armoured Panzergrenadier Company

  • Armoured Sd Kfz 251 half-tracks for battlefield mobility, even under fire.
  • Infantry can assault while mounted in their half-tracks to overrun light opposition.
  • Half-tracked heavy weapons, including 8cm mortars, 2cm AA, 7.5cm guns, and flame-throwers. Grille gives integrated 15cm heavy artillery.
  • Flexibility to take dismounted troops. Save points by leaving the half-tracks at home.
  • Fast and mobile with plenty of firepower in the attack, solid with massive firepower in the defence.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Panzergrenadier Company

  • High quality infantry.
  • MG teams give plenty of firepower.
  • Can add Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck anti-tank weapons and 7.5cm anti-tank guns to keep tanks at bay.
  • Plenty of integrated weapons, including heavy machine-guns, 8cm and 12cm mortars, 2cm AA, and 7.5cm and 15cm guns.
  • Option to include half-tracked heavy weapons for a mobile attacking force.
  • Flexibility to take a platoon in half-tracks as a mobile strike force.
  • Plenty of firepower to cover attacks or break up enemy attacks. Trained for clever, aggressive attacks and tenacious defence.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Reconnaissance Company

  • Armoured panzergrenadiers mounted in smaller, sneakier, faster Sd Kfz 250 half-tracks.
  • Up to 7 half-tracks per platoon for maximum mounted firepower.
  • Sneaky scout versions of 8cm mortar and 7.5cm gun half-tracks.
  • All-new armoured including:
    • 2cm, Puma 5cm, and 7.5cm eight-wheelers.
    • Light 2cm half-tracked armoured cars.
  • Armoured cars are integrated into formation.
  • Flexibility to take armoured and dismounted panzergrenadier platoons.
  • Can be integrated into armoured and dismounted panzergrenadier companies.
  • Sneak into position, then hit hard and fast.
  • Easy to convert from Panzergrenadier Company in Fortress Europe.

Support

  • New Jagdpanzer IV tank-hunter. Cheap, effective, mobile.
  • Super-deadly long 8.8cm anti-tank guns on cruciform turntable have all-round field of fire.
  • Plenty of AA options to counter Allied aircraft. Self-propelled single and quad 2cm, or ground mounted 2cm light or 8.8cm heavy AA guns.  
  • Lots of artillery choice, with Hummel 15cm and Wespe 10.5cm self-propelled guns, 10.5cm howitzers, and 15cm Nebelwerfer rocket launchers.
  • Allied air superiority prevents any German air support in Normandy..

How Do the Germans Play?

The Germans in Normandy have three distinct styles, although they can be profitable mixed and matched for even greater customisation to match your approach.

The first style comes with the Beach Defence Grenadier Company. This formation has a hard crust and a soft gooey centre. It relies entirely on firepower to keep the enemy at bay. If the enemy ever gets through your wall of fire, you will suffer badly. On the other hand, since everything is so cheap, that wall of fire can be very imposing.
The second comes with the Fallschirmjäger Company. This formation is the exact opposite. These guys are hard right the way through! Although they can turn on the firepower, particularly with plenty of mortars, they really shine when they get up close and personal with the enemy. Their deadliness is lethal to infantry, and almost as scary to tanks, thanks to their bazooka-like Panzerschrecks and short-ranged Panzerfausts.

The panzer divisions provide the third style. Whether tanks or panzergrenadiers, these troops have the best equipment in the world, and are highly skilled and won’t quit. Fighting cleverly, these elite troops can tackle greater numbers with ease.

Combining these different styles can also be profitable. You could back your beach defence troops with a hard-hitting armoured battlegroup, or use beach defence troops to hold an objective while your panzers pivot onto the enemy flanks. Your Fallschirmjäger can benefit from the compact firepower of the panzer divisions supporting their attacks, or provide the panzers with a core of shock troops to assault the objective.

In summary, a successful German force will use their superiority in equipment, training, skill, and cleverness, combined with a good dose of aggression, to keep the initiative, hit the enemy in their weak spots, while minimising the enemy’s opportunities to hit them back.

Normandy Campaign Missions

D-Day: Greman includes three new missions and a linked campaign. The first mission is Armoured Fury, a mobile battle where the attackers must push past an enemy spearhead to seize objectives deep in enemy territory, while at the same time preventing the spearhead from pushing on further. It recreates both the German armoured counterattack late on D-Day that pushed between the British spearheads to reach the sea, cutting the British sector in half, and the desperate German counterattack at Mortain, trying to reach the coast and cut off the American breakout.

The second mission is Outflanked. Here the defenders must extend their line to avoid being outflanked by the attackers, reflecting the battles in the week after D-Day before the lines solidified as both sides sought to find an open flank.
The third mission is Breakout, which allows you to refight the desperate German attempts to escape encirclements at Roncey, Falaise, and then Mons. The attacker is trapped between the encircling defenders and the troops closing in behind them. They must breakout or die.

These three missions are linked together with two standard missions from the rulebook in a simple campaign where the outcome of one battle has an effect on the next. If the German player can breakout from encirclement in the fifth mission, they win the campaign.

Who are the Warriors

The D-Day: German command card pack includes six warriors: Friedrich Adario, Heinz Auert, Wilhelm Bäder, Heinz Deutsch, Hermann Droppman, and Kurt Knispel. These tough fighters were all awarded the Knight’s Cross, one of Germany’s highest awards.

Kurt Knispel, veteran of years of combat on the Eastern Front, led a platoon of Tiger heavy tanks in Normandy. As the highest scoring tank ace, Knispel rarely missed his target, and refused to leave the battlefield until the task was completed.

Wilhelm Bäder and Hermann Dropmann led grenadiers into battle. Bäder, an ex-artilleryman, made good use of his formation’s mortars and infantry guns, while Dropmann, despite being a colonel in charge of a whole regiment, knocked out five tanks in close combat in a single day, for a career total of at least fifteen tanks.

Friedrich Adario and Heinz Deutsch were both deadly efficient anti-tank commanders. Adario’s long 8.8cm guns were deadly when striking from ambush, destroying well over one hundred British tanks from long range in the Normandy campaign. Deutsch led a StuG assault gun platoon, and ended the war with a claim to 46 Allied tanks destroyed.
Heinz Auert was a real fire eater who commanded a reconnaissance company. Rarely waiting to give the enemy time to prepare, or time for his supporting troops to arrive, Auert attacked, catching the enemy by surprise as they were preparing their own attack.

Command Cards

The command cards introduce a new concept, title cards. These cards have the title of a division and a special rule giving the division’s flavour. The key is that you can only have one title in your force. Beach defence troops gain five different varieties from fast bicycle troops to specialist assault battalions, from reluctant ‘volunteers’ from the prisoner of war camps to the higher-quality 352nd Infantry Division. Your beach defence troops can also enhance their firepower with cheaper, but not as well-trained, artillery, anti-aircraft, and anti-tank options.

The Fallschirmjäger paratroopers add three different titles from the barely-trained 5th Fallschirmjäger Division to von der Heydte’s elite 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment. The panzers round out their options with three more divisions to join the basic Panzer Lehr. These range from the superb 2nd Panzer Division which adopted night attacks to avoid Allied firepower to the barely-trained 116th ‘Greyhound’ Panzer Division.

Other ways in which you can customise your force include crewing your Tiger tanks with aces, allowing your assault guns’ escort platoon to operate as true tank riders, upgrading your infantry to pioneers, armouring your self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, allowing your heavy anti-tank guns to fire as artillery, and creating fortified defences with MG and anti-tank nests, dug-in tanks, and misplaced and forgotten minefields. You can even cause the Allied heavy bombers to score an ‘own goal’, delaying their own reserves!

There are also a few new formations, such as scout companies equipped with various armoured cars.

Last, but not least, the Lucky card gives you a useful one-point filler, giving you that critical re-roll just when you need it.

Andrew’s Rangers Lead the Way

with Andrew Haught

Wayne and I sat down to play a game of Flames Of War and we wanted to do a beach landing. Since I was still working my 29th Infantry Div beach landing Assault Company I decided to do something a little different than what I normally play for this Beach Landing game. I wanted to play Rangers. Rangers in V4 are incredibly cool. They are assault monsters and if they can get in close they will kill everything with their +2 to hit in Assaults.

Now, when brewing up a list for a Beach Landing mission, as an ally force you want to focus on the units that will cycle back onto the table: the infantry units, so I want at least 3 units, but the way the Rangers work I only get two per formation so I need to bring two formation. This is one of the strong aspects of the Rangers since their formations are small you can get multiple company commanders to help motivate your troops and keep your forces moving. With the core troops I wanted to add some artillery in the form of Mortars and Naval Gun Support. And since we are going D-Day let’s get some Duplex Drive tanks via the DD Sherman Command card.

Here is the list I ran against Wayne in our game:|
 Ranger Company 1

Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Mortar platoon with 6 guns

Ranger Company 2
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 4 tanks 14 Points

Command Cards
Lucky 1 Pont
Naval Gun Support 12 Points
Sherman DD 0 Points

If you add it up you can see we were playing below the normal 100 point level, at 75 points. This was due to the fact we were playing in a recorded battle report and we wanted to keep it short. But 100 points is where the game truly shines and if you wanted to add 25 more points to this list I would add the following,

Ranger Company 3
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Add a fifth tank to the M4 Sherman Platoon +4 Points

That gets you to 100 point easy and you will have even more troops on the table to harass your opponents.

Wayne and I were playing the FUBAR mission found in the D-Day: American book, we wanted to show off the basic mission and give players a look into how the mission is played. We could have played the Pointe Du Hoc Variant rules that would have let us play the beach landing the Rangers ran into on D-Day. Both missions work as FUBAR is a great representation of the Omaha beach landings.

I won’t tell you how the game went as you can watch our battle report video to find that out but I will go into the basic tactics of this list.

This list is all about attacking, you move your infantry in and you overwhelm your target with sheer numbers. During the FUBAR beach landing mission you have to take both objectives but your opponent’s resources are quite limited so try and mass up on both objectives. Your Shermans are limited resources so be careful with them and get them up the beach quickly and have them focus on taking out bunkers, start with the AT bunkers and once they are dealt with move on to the MG nests.
Something else to keep in mind when building non-Ranger Tank forces, Rangers formations are cheap point wise to add to your force. For 21 points you get two full units of Rangers and an HQ, so you get re-rolls and some of the best Assaulting units the Americans have to offer. Its easy to build a well forces list and slot the Ranger platoon in, for example,

M4 Sherman Company
M4 Sherman Company HQ with 2 Tanks 7 Points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman (76) Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 23 points
M4 81mm Armoured Mortar Platoon 2 Points

Ranger Company
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support 
Priest Artillery Battery with 3 Priests 8 Points
Sherman OP 3 Points

There is a hundred points and the Rangers are the perfect include, if you have to defend well you get two full strength Ranger platoons to dig in on the objectives, with their 3+ moral rating they will rally and stay in the fight longer than most other American infantry units. Add in their 2+ to hit in assaults and you have a defending unit your opponent does not want to assault into.
Ranger weakness to keep in mind, they are easy to hit, so HMGs and other high rate of fire hostiles are a big threat, you want to use your tanks and artillery to deal with those threats before the Rangers move into the assault.

To see the video of our game click here…

Well that’s it for this Army Spotlight, hope to see you on the battlefield,

Painting US Airborne- Evan’s Guide

with Evan Allen

All my figures are painted with the Vallejo range of paints. These are my personal suggestions only so please treat them as a guide and not “gospel”. I’ve also refrained from my usual technique of adding a little Deck Tan VP986 to the basic uniform colour and drybrushing highlights so you can see the actual colour more clearly.

The M1942 Uniform
The first combat uniform issued to US Airborne troopers, the M1942, was purpose designed for Airborne troops by Maj. William Yarborough (who was also the designer of the US Airborne parachute wings). The design included features such as pockets cut on the diagonal to allow easy access while wearing webbing equipment and large, expanding, bellows style leg pockets that became a trademark of the wartime US airborne trooper. The M1942 uniform was used only by Paratroopers and wasn’t issued to Glider troops. The Paratroopers taking part in combat jumps in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy wore this uniform and even one battalion that jumped during “Market Garden” in Holland was still wearing this uniform.

This uniform was made from light cotton that was a pale greenish-tan colour and I must admit to spending an awful lot of time experimenting to achieve, what I hope to be, the closest match possible. I try to avoid mixing different colours to achieve my basic uniforms but this uniform seems to bring on my OCD (Obsesive Colour Disorder) to get it closer than just plain Olive Drab (887 gets).  The Olive Drab (887) is close but a bit too dark for my taste so, eventually, I settled on a 50/50 mix of Khaki (988) and the Olive Drab (887)

The other colours I chose are:

Uniform Piece Vallejo Colour
Webbing & Equip. Green Grey (886)
Helmet US Olive Drab (887)
Helmet scrim Khaki (988)
Weapon Furn. (wood) Beige Brown (875)
Jump Boots
E-tool handle
Pistol holsters
Flat Brown (984)

The M1942 uniform was practical to wear in combat when it was warm but it offered no protection from the elements when the weather turned nasty. Also, being made from lightweight cotton, the knees and elbows tended to wear out quickly so many an airborne trooper bribed his unit parachute rigger to sew patches over the elbows and knees. The material commonly used for this was cotton duck from old parachute packs and was green in colour. I’ve painted patches on the elbows and knees of this figure over an otherwise standard M1942 uniform with US Dark green (893). You could even mix these with “unpatched” troopers for a bit of variety.

The Glidermen
The Glider borne troops were basically standard infantrymen who woke up one day to find themselves called Glidermen, there were no calls for volunteers here! With a job equally as dangerous as their Paratrooper brothers they were denied the extra “jump pay” until just prior to the “Market Garden” landings when, finally, they achieved official recognition of the hazardous nature of their job. The uniform worn by these intrepid airborne soldiers was almost exactly the same as the “leg infantryman”. The only allowance for airborne duties was the issue of jump boots to a few fortunate troopers and, other than those few, they are the same as an ordinary infantryman in the M1941 uniform.
The colours I chose are:

Uniform Item Vallejo Colour
Jacket/leggings Khaki (988)
Trousers USA Field Drab (873)
Webbing Green Grey (886)
Helmet US Olive Drab (887)
Boots
E-tool handle
Flat Brown (984)

The M1943 Uniform
After the US Airborne forces were withdrawn from Normandy they were refitted and brought back up to strength ready for the next mission. This included the widespread issue of the brand new M1943 olive drab uniform to the veterans of the 82nd and 101st divisions. This wasn’t just a paratroop uniform but the beginning of the US Army’s push to standardize the combat uniform. All airborne units received the M1943 uniform, even the Glider troops, but the paratroopers were quick to modify theirs by adding bigger
leg pockets.

The new airborne divisions arriving fresh from the States already wore this new uniform and it was the

uniform seen dropping from the sky, or climbing out of a glider, during “Market Garden” in Holland and
“Varsity” over the Rhine and into Germany proper.
This figure is painted as wearing the new M1943 olive drab uniform. The uniform colour I used is US Dark Green (893). The rest is the same as for the earlier paratroop uniform colours details. For all the airborne equipment, like mortars and bazookas etc. US Olive Drab (887)

as the US Army used pretty much the same colour of Olive drab on everything.

 

 

 

 

I hope I’ve given you enough to help get you started on painting your airborne force and also a feel for the kind of troops that you’ll be leading, I’m sure, to tabletop success whether from the sky or as elite “leg infantry” with a bit of Armour in support.