BoB/RCW: White Russian Shock Troops

During WW1, and for the Brusilov offensive, the Russian army experimented with new tactics for infantry in order to break through the Central Powers’ lines. They ended up developing techniques very similar to those used by the German Stormtroopers and certain British units. Most joined the White cause in the RCW.

During the Brusilov Offensive of 1916, the Russian general Aleksei Brusilov developed and implemented idea of shock troops to attack weak points along the Austrian lines to effect a breakthrough, which the main Russian Army could then exploit. The von Hutier tactics (infiltration tactics) called for special infantry assault units to be detached from the main lines and sent to infiltrate enemy lines, supported by shorter and sharper (than usual for WWI) artillery fire missions targeting both the enemy front and rear, bypassing and avoiding what enemy strong points they could, and engaging to their best advantage when and where they were forced to, leaving decisive engagement against bypassed units to following heavier infantry. The primary goal of these detached units was to infiltrate the enemy’s lines and break his cohesiveness as much as possible. These formations became known as Stosstruppen, or shock troops, and the tactics which they pioneered would lay the basis of post-WWI infantry tactics, such as the development of fire teams.

The figures are by Brigade Games from their Storm in the East range (BG-SIER030, 31 & 32). They come with the Adrian pattern steel helmet.

Sadly this is not modelled with either the Imperial Russian Eagle or the deaths head the shock battalions usually had on their helmets.

Mark Plant commented on TMP:

More importantly, helmets weren’t worn in the RCW because they were more hindrance than help. It’s not that they didn’t have them, but they didn’t wear them even when they did. No amount of the Brits shipping them to the Whites would persuade the troops to wear them. Lots of RCW troops wore British kit, but the Russians kept their knee boots as long as they could, and used the caps almost exclusively.

Helmets were invented for troops under constant artillery fire in trenches. Since the RCW was largely devoid of this, the helmet was just a huge weight on a man’s head, keeping him too hot in summer and too cold in winter, for virtually no protective benefit. So they discarded them.

From all the RCW photos I’ve seen, there are precious few helmets being worn, and for the reasons given I tend to agree. However, for table top purposes and to distinguish these troops from other Guard/Officer units the figures are useful practically and have a semi historically plausible root. Indeed, it is intersting to note that the British troops in Baku (and throughout the Middle East) did not use the steel helmets either relying on their Wolsley helmets made out of cork or pith.

I’ve done the command squad except for the standard bearer which needs some remedial treatment by Uncle Richard’s Pinning Service (TM).

The figures are nicely sculpted, but lack some attributes like the rolled up greatcoats, and extra grenades that they should hvae on some of the models. The command squad could also have been a bit more dynamic in their poses, but otherwise are really good. they certainly add a new and different unit to the table top which is always useful when you are fielding hordes of drab khaki clad figures ! The figures are compatable with Copplestone BoB figures, even if they are slightly shorter and more slender. I’m trying to get hold of some more stick grenades from the plastic Warlord German Infantry sets to improve their kit, and maybe wil add greenstuff for extra baggage and rolled up greatcoats for a second unit.

(L-R: Copplestone Ragged White Infantry; Brigade Games Shock Trooper; Copplestone White Russian Infantry)

My other comment is that the metal used is softer than the Copplestone one, and so the gun barrels do need a bit of straightening as can be seen in some photos of the bayonets in particular. However its also worth noting that there is some variation in size of the Copplestone range itself.

I re-iterate however, these figures from Brigade Games are compatable and well worth the money to increase the diversity of RCW, BoB and WW1 Russian forces.

BoB/RCW: Cossacks II

Well I painted some White Russian Cossacks before, but here they are with fur caps (Copplestone BU36).

Actually its very useful to have a different set of Cossacks so you differentiate units.

One unit of 10 have caps, another unit of 10 has fur hats, then the third is a mixture. 😉

Next up some Shock Troops.

Rules: God of Battles to be published

Well back in late September I got hold of God of Battles at Colours. Since then there has been a deathly silence about the rules as if they had not been released…which pretty much sums the situation up. They hadn’t and somehow I’d stumbled on a pre release copy (?).

Well today I noticed an anomalous number of viewers (thanks) and tracked it down to a web site it was the author Jake Thornton’s own web site. Sometimes having web stats is actually useful !

Like it says in the title, God of Battles finally has a date set for its official release: the 1st of March 2013.

Seems my review is one of the few (only?) reviews of his new rules sets God of Battles. Now I’ve done a solo game and it certainly lived up to my expectations since I’d written the review in September. So another solo game and maybe a multi player game will be in the offing.

The rules themselves will be published in March, but as yet no announcement on the Foundry or TMP websites.

AGW: Boris Johnson and the Dunning-Kruger effect

One thing that always strikes me about loud mouthed AGW deniers is their total comnfidence that they know more than all the scientific institutions of merit on the planet do, and that their anecdotal pontifications are more important. Prompted by Boris Johnson’s unsicentific outburst in the Torygraph this week that the “Big Freeze” feels like the beginnings of a new mini Ice Age, I was reminded about the Dunning-Kruger effect:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Happily though I also stumbled across a more witty and concise version of this issue:

I mean, snow in winter, in the northern hemisphere ? What is so surprising about that ?
One comment did make me laugh:

Wow another example why the public school system really provides the best education money can offer!

Yup, he may have been to Oxford, but that doesn’t give BoJo the education or insight to comment outside his chosen domain of expertise. I wouldn’t go to my dentists for an opinion about my car’s engine for example.

And yet the armchair scientists feel free to condemn and malign the climate scientists, the ones actually practising and publishing the science, day in day out.

The AGW deniers really are dumber than a sack of spanners and they don’t realise they’re being taken for an ideologically inspired ride by a bunch of charlatans who have no scientific training, experience or Evidence(TM).

WHFB: Carnosaur

Before the GW Bitz service went the way of the Dodo, I indulged in getting some kits for projects that were over the horizon, over the hills and far away. Well as commented previously I found a box of these in the playroom and in preparation for the Storm of Magic game took the Carnosaur to Uncle Richard’s Pinning Service (TM), as I knew it was going to be needing pinning as it is the metal version of the model.

In yer face !

I painted it in shades of green to fit in with my DE Cold Ones, as this is the main army it will be deployed with, rather than the GW theme of red and sand.

I originally had in mind this model as a mount for an Amazon General, but that is years away (?) and doesn’t really fit with the ideas I have for that army, but I’m sure with some tinkering and magnets, a solution for that could be found.

Anyway, its a nice model and another figure (5 points!) painted rather than residing in a box in bits.

2013 Plans & Motivation

On various chat forums the question has been asked as to what your plans are for 2013. I’ve certainly found keeping the painting log and this blog going a good incentive to actually carry out the plans I had each year. A quick chat with the local GW manager this morning also helped spur me to write this post, and to identify what 2013 will see in terms of buying, building, painting and playing with my toys.

For AVBCW:

  • Round out my BUF command units
  • Finish off the Cavalry
  • Add something odd for the BUF
  • Complete the MHC infantry and commands
  • Do their cavalry
  • Add a quirky unit for them, no idea what just yet.
  • Organise a Big Game in February (underway)
  • Play more games !

That way I have two complete armies for AVBCW: the BUF Three Counties Legion; and the quasi Royalist MHC.
Currently I will have to break through my painter’s block on the BUF cavalry. As I commented to JP last w/e, I really can’t stand the thought of painting more black, and more horse.

For Back of Beyond:

  • Finish of my White Cossack Cavalry (should be done by February)
  • Shock, Guard and Ragged Infantry to be painted
  • Command, HMG and field Guns to be finished to round out the equivalent of two armies
  • Similarly finish off Chinese army with support and command units
  • Similarly my Mongols could do with a few more elements to their army
  • Complete at least one of every armoured car and tank model I have (yeah the second armoured vehicle park I have)
  • Organise a Big Game !

This should give me a total of 3 White armies to mix and match, a Chinese and a Mongolian army. I’d like to say I’d start my Reds and British-Indian armies but lets not get too hasty !

For Laserburn:

  • More infantry and characters – I struggle to furnish 3 gangs with appropriate figures, so I’ll take a swipe at this
  • A few more vehicles
  • Some emplacements and heavy weapons
  • A few more quick wins on the scenery front – buildings
  • Play at least 3 games in one year !

I’d like to see JP’s scenery in a game.

For Warhammer:

  • The Completion of the last couple of DE Infantry units
  • Chariots with heroes
  • Monsters ridden by heroes
  • More Cold One Knights
  • Start a new Army….could it be Dwarves, Hobgoblins or Amazons… ?

This emphasis on heroes will mean a lot of more detailed painting, which should offset the khaki hue of AVBCW and BoB. I hope. This should complete my DE army and I’ll have to take a panoramic photo of it as it will include c200 infantry, c80 cavalry and much more besides !

General:

  • Tidy up the play room
  • Paint and deploy the detritus I find !
  • Sell the rest
  • Continue this blog !

I aim to break the 3,000 figures painted barrier mid year, which with all the other painted figures I have should take me to well over 4,000 painted figures which will be nice.

Maybe someday I’ll get to the AWI project that is stacked up !

Share your plans for 2013 and we can see how we progress.
🙂

Motivation

Well so along with the paint log, and the manifesto outlined above, what else am I going to keep myself motivated in 2013 to churn out a precession of hopefully well painted (to wargames standard) miniatures ? Well the GW store manager also invited me to take part in his store’s monthly painting contest which is not about perfection (allegedly) but about novelty and getting people to paint stuff. The Carnosaur (upcoming) is probably not my best paint job its sufficient for the odd times it will come out, but I think i might actually indulge in entering a competition for the first time. So I reckon I’ll use this as a chance to motivate myself to build and paint fully one of my DE heroes on mount – maybe a manticore as some of them are close to being ready for a lick of paint.

Somehow I’m guessing a non GW model won’t cut any ice in the competition.

Anyway this is an interesting idea, and I’d like to know what keep you motivated to build, paint and deploy models.

Is the use of blogs, and social media forums a good way of maintaining your motivation ?

Answers please.

🙂

WHFB: Storm Of Chaos

Well we’ve had the book since it came out, but it was only the week before last that we managed to get round to playing a battle using the rules. This is a woefully late report on the battle. Set up is a sper normal except you have the Arcane Fulcrums, and you deploy magic users onto them before the main army deployment.

I used the Chaos archway, the Tindalos monument and the actual arcane fulcum, along with a huge tree I’;d got – another aquarium item bought from the local pet shop.

Now I’d read the book, but this was the first game I’d played. So I stocked jup on bound creatures, 5 Cold Ones, a Carnosaur and a giant mostly so I could get some models I’d had ins torage out and in battle. Other than that a fairly vanilla DE army with one main tweak.

Byakhee Jim, didn’t go for bound creatures, instead going for items, so it was an interesting contrast.

Initially I seemed to do well, and then made some disaterous and self inflicted mistakes in retrospect. Including deplpyment. My idea was to flank him on both side which went well to begin with and then it all unraveleld rather quickly due to my mistakes in the magic phase and some luck on his part (and good deployment).

Magic phaeses were not as much fun as I’d expected. yes you get buckets full of dice to roll.

But so does your opponent, and in Jim’s case he’d min/maxed to get more dice than I did. So magic didn’t really make a huge difference.. yes I got one key spell off that ahd the Carnosaur magically lifted to the rear of their flank (that set of Night Goblin Fanatics) but it didn’t make a battle winning move.

The Cold Ones, frenzied as they were, were also no match for the 25 Orcs Jim deployed against them, and he also managed to unbind my Giant which was the back up I’d intended for the Cold Ones.

Under the rules, the Giant ahd to go against the nearest enemy, not the nearest enemy he could see, so rather than wading into the Orcs, he did a 90 degree turn and waded into a large Night Goblin Unit.

The Carnosaur suprisingly bounced off the Orc Shaman atop an Arcane Fulcrum – they have significant advantges !
The Cold One Knights got zapped by a big spell and the Goblin Shaman blew themselves up, but this left a magical vortex on the loose.

And then my Sorceress imitated him and another magic vortex was on the loose – in both cases behind my lines.

The Cold One Knights charged into combat and did a lot of damage against the night goblins (finally hurrah) but not enough to break them so we set in for a war of attrition.

Ultimately, Jim’s central units came into close combat with my DEs including a rathr odd move of charging the COB which finished off my army.

It was certainly not the usual game of Warhammer, and certainly does require subtely different tactics to be used in both choosing the army list and in deployment.

The Storm of Magic element was fun, even though it strangely seemed to have not that much effect, though we did only play for 3 rounds IIRC and in one of those I miscast and drained all the magic (and fun) from the battlefield.
I am keen for another go though. I suspect that we just didn’t use our spells wisely as we are SoM newbies. (assume Darth Vader voice) “Of course last time I played, I was but the learner, now I am the master” {cue lightsaber sound effects)….does Warhammer have a lightsaber spell?

A shed laod of photos are here.