Tale of 2 Leopards continues into week 4 with Lee and Mark expanding their forces and building on the earlier games.
So, last week’s games taught me that the Leopard 2 is not invulnerable (no surprises there) and that my tactics suck (likewise). In response to that I decided to get the Bo-105P and Marders (plus one of my M577 objective from the US starter) painted so that I could get to my next point break of 75pts. This week, I continue with that effort and put them to the test.
Somewhat complicating this, my airbrush started playing up. Basically its constantly letting air through like the trigger is fully depressed. I still have paint control, although occasionally it seems to blow a small mount of paint through, but it makes everything a little more difficult. Furthermore I lost a couple days to the Farnborough International trade show due to work commitments (then the F-35B didn’t even fly – surprising no-one but taking the only thing I was vaguely interested in off the agenda).
On the plus side, the Battlefront “Leopards” weekend means the templates for the NATO tri-colour are up so I have a better guide for spraying the camo.
As with the last wave, everything got a decent covering of Vallejo NATO Green surface primer. From there I painted the tracks and rotors separately, then turned my attention to the hulls. I used the air brush to apply camo, then picked out vision slits, tools and driving lights by brush. I then sealed the surface with floor polish (one of those odd modeling go-to’s) via the airbrush before applying an oil based wash and transfers.
Factory Fresh Marder with that “new tank” smell.
The Bo-105 has decent panel depth so even without a was the lines are pretty evident.
After that, surface gets sealed once again and European dust gets applied by brush on the lower half, using turps to adhere it. I then made a wash using the pigments and turps and applied it to everywhere where dirt would build up from run-off from the top of the hull down. You’ll remember that last week I had trouble with the pigments not adhering after matt varnish was applied so this time I applied floor polish again which seemed to seal the deal(!).
Finally, Matt Varnish gets applied by airbrush then I lightly drybrush some Iraqi sand on the pigment areas to help bring out the texture. All in all – not bad progress for the week. I still need to apply flock to the bases and finish the tank commanders off but its basically battle ready.
Cue obligatory ‘Ride of the Valkyries’
That set me up for a rematch versus Nathan down the shop. My, still largely un-optimised 75pt force consisted of:
1 x HQ Leopard 2
2 platoons of 2 Leopard 2
1 platoon of full strength PanzerGrenadiers (3 Marders, 3 MG stand, 2 Milan)
1 platoon of 2 Gepards
1 platoon of 2 PAH-1. Mainly to get an even number of platoons.
“Who you calling a ‘glorified civvie helicopter’?”
You’ll note – Infantry. Where did I sneak them in ahead of release? Sadly, I didn’t. I’m proxying them with a few Assault Rifle and Tank Hunter stands from my Volks Grenadiers! The Assault Rifle and MG don’t look too far off but the panzershrek as a Milan substitute may be pushing things!
A first stab at an 80pt force before I realised I could do a legal 75pt force without Jaguars
So, this week’s games. Both versus Nathan who turned up with two companies of 6 T-72, a four strong and 2 strong BMP-2 scout platoons, a pair of Hinds and a par of SA-13 (note, posting your progress pictures on facebook does tend to let your regular opponent know what to bring…).
Apparently travelling across time and space to bring communism to the oppressed masses
First game was Hasty Attack with me attacking. The roll for time of day netted Daylight because of course it did.
An ambushing company of T-72 is hidden somewhere here too.
I elected to start with a platoon of Leo 2 and my Gepards (I learnt with my Abrams NEVER to start without AA), with the aim of advancing up my right flank to cover, thinning out the Russian numbers from said cover, drawing his reserves towards me to leave the left objective open for my reserve Leopard 2 and Marders to dash for.
Nathan kept his ambush hidden but moved up his T-72. His BMP failed to blitz so stayed out of sight. In my turn I moved my leopard 2 into sight, keeping myself concealed. My fire was spectacular with six shots netting me… 1 T-72. Uh-roh Shaggy.
Blitzkrieg it aint
Nathan popped the ambush and suddenly I had 12 T-72 with shots, albeit concealed. Somehow, I only lost my CO! The other 2 Leo were bailed but passed a 3+ check. It works better if you don’t call it fearless!
My turn saw the Bo-105 appear and fail to blitz on so they just lurked. One of the Leo 2 wouldn’t remount (spoke too soon about Fearless) so the survivor popped off a couple shots to disappointing affect (a bail!) before shooting and scooting out of sight.
Is that burning wreck the boss?
Nathan’s shooting failed to do anything to the bailed Leopard 2 and his BMP failed to down the sneakey BO-105. In my turn, my 2nd lot of Leo 2 charged for the objective whilst the first lot remounted and opened up, resulting in another bail and a brewed T-72. The Bo-105 bagged one too. Still, not quick work. Nathan reacted to my Leo 2 on the left flank but just scratched the paint – my luck was holding!
In my turn, the Marder arrived and moved to support the Leo 2 on the left flank (mainly by providing anti-helicopter fire), with the Infantry heading to hold my solitary objective. I returned fire with the Leo 2 to no result so scooted as much behind cover as I could but the pair on the right flank bagged some more T-72. Things were not looking too bad.
1 Leo 2 for 5 T-72 – seems a fair exchange!
Nathan’s helicopters and 2 tank scout platoon arrived. The Hinds gunned for the left flank whilst the BMP made a run for the flank shots on the Leo 2 on the right flank – Nathan’s signature move! The T-72 killed a left flank Leo 2 but the autocannon fire from the Marder bagged one of the Hinds, surprising both of us. Not bad considering its only a shot a piece. Even better the survivor missed then ran! The flank shooting BMP-2 bailed one Leopard 2 (I should note that the T-72 had been firing since turn 1 and either missed or I saved!).
“East pickings Iva…what the hell was that!”
It wouldn’t be a game of Team Yankee without the BMP-2 flank shot!
The left flank surviving Leo 2 bagged a pair of T-72 but I cocked up my shoot and scoot move and left him inviting a dashing flank shot from Nathan – who is never one to squander an opportunity – promptly bagging it in his turn. One Bo-105 was lost to the newly arrived SA-13 but the survivor stuck around, bagging another T-72. Milan fire from the Infantry saw off the BMP-2 flankers.
Shoot and Scoot – sometime getting you in trouble – not just getting you out of it!
Having weathered all the Soviets could throw at them, the right flank Leo 2 claimed the objective. Whilst Nathan could have kept the game alive by throwing a SA-13 forward, it would have been unlikely to change the log-term result so we decided to reset for a new mission. Cautious Aggression and a healthy dose of luck for the win!
Game 2 was Breakthrough, me attacking at dusk (like any game lasts that long to get night fighting). If last game was “Cautious Aggression” then this one was full “Leeerrroooyyy Jenkins“. One Leo 2 unit dived down the centre (one bogging in the trees – great start gents), one swept wide, aiming to envelop the near objective. By doing so I exposed my ass to an ambush of BMP-2 but thankfully they only bailed two Leo 2. The T-72 bagged the unbogged Leo 2 in the woods but the bogged survivor held his cool.
Fortune favours the foolish!
At this point I should have thanked my lucky stars, held tight, and use the Gepards to deal with the BMP-2 whilst the Leo 2 sniped the T-72 before reserves arrived. The Gepards stayed on mission, shredding the BMP-2, but the CO led the accompanying two Leo 2 down amongst the T-72, admittedly nailing all six T-72 but leaving the ass exposed for a second time – this time to a freshly arriving T-72 unit…
Hear that? That’s hubris about to drop his trousers…
the surviving Leo 2 tried to hide on the objective but the Hinds, braving a hail of poorly aimed Gepard fire, bagged him and won Nathan the game.
You can run, but you’ll just die tired…
Hilarious fun, but reinforcing that cautious aggression is the way forward.
So, plan for next – touch wood Marders and Infantry should arrive at the shop (hahaha) and I will prioritise on the Infantry to round out the 75pts without proxy. If no new toys at the shop then it will just be the case of painting up two more Leo 2 and some M-109G.
See you next week – onto Mark!
This week has seen quite bit of progress on the army’s development. Firstly, my goals have changed slightly, rather than doing 50, 75 and 100pts, I have now arranged to supply the Germans to play the 3 x scenarios at the back of the book. This will need 62, 98 and 114 pts. A rather odd number but it’s what the scenarios have been balanced for. With that now set in my diary for Saturday I have got down to some serious painting.
First up is the 2 x Tornados, which I have managed to get custom 617 Sqn RAF marking for. I know they weren’t in the cluster munitions role in that time period, but they are an iconic Sqn and really appeal to me. I got Mustang Decals to create me some custom decals for the jets and they have done a great job. They have also done some German flags for my inf shoulders however I haven’t got around to that yet.
Next up are 3 x Jaguar 2s. I will eventually have 6 Jags in my all comers list however for now I’ve gone with Jag2s because they can be included in both and Marder and Leopard 2 company. AT21 vs FA16 is nothing to sniff at either!
The AA is being supplied with the mighty Roland, ROF 3 FP4+ with the range to reach out basically anywhere means they have to be respected, sure they can’t scare BMPs like the Gepards but hey they are there to do AA and they are loads cheaper. Plus, I worry about Gepards when attack or defending a long table edge because of their shorter range.
Finally we have the Marders and Leopard2s the staple of most companies. I was actually not expecting the Marders but my order from BF shipped and arrived last Wed. Kudos to BF for beating their release date! These form a anti BMP screen and also keep Hinds honest with their ant-heli rule. With 3 platoons in my all comers list they should be seeing plenty of action. The Leopard 2 is just a laser beam of doom, and I will normally be fielding 4 backed up by loads of missiles, arty, air and AA.
Well thats where I am up to. I have 4 Lars, 4 Luchs, 3 Fuchs, 2 helis and 4 Leopard 1s to paint for the weekend. I better get back to it…