Saturday, April 23, 2011

DBA IV/31 Nikaian Byzantine Army

As previously blogged, last May at the Cangames DBA Open Book Tournament I placed second and won an Essex Miniatures Nikaian Byzantine (IV/31) army pack.  Patrick Laffey provides an excellent commentary of the tournament from the POV of the Chanca (IV/70) Commander in the September 2010 issue of Slingshot (No. 272), The Journal of the Society of Ancients. In the article, I was one the four opponents he faced in the competition.

Nikaian Byzantine Army

With Cangames rapidly approaching I felt I should open the package and make the army battle ready. It will accompany my troops to Ottawa next month and will be made available as a loaner. As per DBA 2.2 the army consists of just 12 required elements, represented by Essex Miniatures by the following figures.

1x 3CV (Gen)  1 EMED43 (Cv General) with 2 CRU28 Bodyguard        
1x3 CV            3 EMED43

2x 3Kn             3 MID10  Kn (Franks) and 3 MID89 Kn (Eastern)

4x 2LH            4 CRU30 LH(Cuman) and 4 MID88 LH (Turkopoloi)  

 1x 4Sp             4 BZA25 (with Psiloi rear rank)

 1x 4Bw            4 BZA26 (with Psiloi rear rank)
2x 2Ps              4 CRU32 (See above photos)

David Kuijt provides justification for expanded army lists for a number of the Later Byzantine Armies.

His variants may be found at Medieval Armies DBA Page

With those comments in mind, I purchased another 19 infantry figures which fellow blogger Sean of,  I was a Teenage Visigoth fame had offered for sale. Check out his blog .

Friday, April 8, 2011

Go West, Young Man! Part III

There is no doubt that the sacrifice of the poor bloody infantry of the Red Army led to final victory in May of 1945.

Platoon CO with Runners

In the words of Churchill ~ It is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army. In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet Armies. (Aug. 2, 1944).

I spent my evenings this past week, when I was not playing Twilight Struggle, painting a WW2 Soviet Infantry platoon.  I bought most of the figures about the same time on eBay and they were mixed when they were primed.  The packages included figures by West Wind Line: Berlin or Bust (by Old Glory) and Harlequin Miniatures (now know as Black Tree Design). Together the two different companies provide a great mix of poses and figures.

1st Squad: 7 Riflemen and 1 SMG and a Sgt

On paper each Soviet Rifle squad would consist of a Sgt, with an Assistant Squad leader, 1 LMG (Gunner and Ammo Carrier) team, 2 SMGs and 6 or 7 Riflemen. Squads were rarely full strength or fully equipped. I have painted three 9 men squads, none equipped with the LMG teams.

2nd and 3rd Squads

The 2nd squad has 7 riflemen and 1 SMG, while the 3rd squad had 2 SMGs but only 6 riflemen.

Note: When I was putting the figures away, in my Soviet War Chest, I discovered I had already painted three LMG teams. I only had to add my yellow dot code so each team was matched to a squad. Now each squad can exercise various manpower  and equipment options.

LMG Teams Added to the Platoon

I still have another 50 primed Infantry figures to paint. These figures will allow me to bring a platoon in winter camo pattern, and a 2nd summer dress platoon up to strength. In addition, to a squad of Combat Engineers that need to take to the field with their flamethrowers and mine detectors, there is a newly arrived mortar section (4x mortars with crews) from BTD Miniatures to paint.

To complete this project I have one pack of BTD (WW2010) Soviet Character Set and four packs of Battle Honors WW2 Soviet Infantry unopened. The first, Russ-7 is a package of 10 tank riders. The second package,  Russ-18 consists of four 2 man Anti-Tank Rifle Teams.

Finally there are two packs of Russ-22 (each with 2 x Maxim MGs and NKVD Crews). If you watched Enemy at the Gates, you know you can't go to Stalingrad without them. It is amazing that despite such criminal encouragement, the heroic soldiers of the Workers and Peasants Red Army advanced into the heart of Nazi Germany.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Soviet Medium Tank Battalions 1943

Back when I was a poor student, my early purchases in the field of microarmour were from Heroics & Ros. I am sure I paid less than 20 cents per vehicle at the time. However I was always drawn towards the much greater detailed miniatures available from C-in-C and GHQ. A few years ago opportunity knocked, and I was able to purchase three boxes of GHQ Combat Command packages at a local gaming store for less than half price. This past week, two boxes were painted.

First Battalion Painted Russian Uniform WWII Vallejo 094 

Second Battalion Painted Russian Green Vallejo 096

Both units were given a black ink wash (1: 20 parts water) to bring out the details and tracks and running gear were painted various earth tones with a brown ink wash.

Each unit at full strength had 21 x T-34/76s and 2 x Stalinetz Tractors (Recovery Vehicles). The Battalion would consist of  two tank companies each with 10 vehicles and  the Battalion CO in the 21st Tank.

I do not know if the recovery vehicles were attached one per company or acted as a battalion asset.