10 may 1940, Germany invades the Netherlands as part of the second world war. Starting with the bombing of different airfields, the first airborne assault on different bridges and airfields. And a mass bombardement on the city of Rotterdam, which did force the Netherlands to surrender after 5 days.
Alltough the Netherlands is quite a small piece of land, and did have a small army, it did put up quite a resistance which did have impact on the complete war. Germany did lose a lot of air transport capabilities, hindering further invasion plans of England.
A lot of stories can be told about this short period of 5 days. And a lot of different scenarios are possible. Therefore as a Dutch citizen, a very interesting period to model and turn in to a wargaming subject. For this period I hope to create two armies. The first one is the Dutch airforce, mostly consisting out of fighters, Fokker DXXI and Fokker G1, to create some interception and scramble scenarios. I also have some reconnaissance planes in the form of some Fokker CV. The second force is the German invasion force. Some fighters, Bf109 and bf110, different bomber fleets, do17, ju88, ju87 and he111. And as last some transport planes for dropping parachutes and landing on airfield or beaches to deploy troops.
This leads to the following lists (Number in brackets are already in lead pile):
Fokker D.XXI (4)
Fokker G.1 (4)
Fokker C.V (4)
Messerschmitt bf-109 (4)
Messerschmitt bf-110 (2)
Dornier do-17 (3)
I have included some additional planes, in the form of Dutch bomber to recreate some other odd scenarios of this short war. There are enough plane have to be ordered, but my first aim is to finish the planes I already have. Therefore I need to first order some decals, as it is not doable for me to paint all the roundels and have seen that the roundels finish planes.
After that I probably want to create some terrain features in the form of different targets. (Bridges, airfield and Cities)
In the next update for this project I hope to show the different planes in their current state.
Last Tuesday evening, the first 2mm Napoleonic battle took place. This is a short battle report. My father was the opponent, playing the British (red) force and I was playing the France (blue) force. When I explained the rules and used a real life example of Quatre Bras, my wife, passing by, noted that on this battle field it are 5 roads. Therefore the battle took place at the fictional place of Cinq Bras. For the rules we used the 2-by-2 Napoleonic rules of Rodvik. Only the the area was actually 60cm by 60cm (sorry I do like metrics better)
As this is the first play of the rules, we just opted for the example forces as described in the rules.
British XXX Corps
1 Corps HQ
10 Line Infantry Regiments
2 light Cavalry Regiments
1 Heavy Cavalry Regiments
2 Foot Artillery Batteries
French VII Armeé
1 Corps HQ
10 Line Infantry Regiments
2 light Cavalry Regiments
1 Heavy Cavalry Regiments
2 Foot Artillery Batteries
The rules put a large incentive on “flow of battle”, which means that over time the different units will arrive onto the battlefield. As result at the beginning of the battle you do not have control of your full force, and you hope the reinforcements arrive on time. Which was also seen in a lot of historical battles.
As result the first few turns did not have a lot of actions, but a lot of movement and shuffling into position, to gain some advantage. The action finally started with a short skirmish of some reinforcement regiments which met each other. The Bristish troops were disrupted and routed to the Riquevalle farm, and stayed there the rest of the game. And the French regiment kept shooting from a distance, and was pinned for the rest of the game.
Then the tension rose at the center of the field, as the lines closed near Cinq Bras. Who would be the first to break. The British tried to use the village as vantage point and the French kept a line up to the nearby forest. The French saw the British walking in the village, and before they could a solid position, a bayonet attack was called. Also the two other regiments stormed forward attacking the British at the farm and in the grain fields.
The French should have hold on longer, and two regiments were quickly defeated, but Cinq Bras village was secured and a position was taken at town center. The gap in the line was put tight with the artillery positioned at the North-East road.
At the other side of the forest (West), some back and forth fighting took place between a couple of infantry and cavalry regiments. And especially the British reinforcements started to dripping in. The cavalry tried to desperately force its way through the lines, to lighten the threat on Cinq Bras village. But did not succeed.
And with five regiments lost for the French and only two for the British, the British did have a mayor victory, capturing the town, and securing a Bridge head French side of the river.
The game was a good starter game. And both did have a good lot of frustration as troops were not possible to do exactly as you wanted. Especially if they start firing or get disrupted, and how to reorganize them.
For this first time a lot of luck was involved, as we still need to get some feeling, on when to use the different units and if it is better to wait or attack. hopefully a next game in a couple of weeks.
In last post, I explained how it started, and some of the starting projects. In this post I hope to set some goals and plans for myself to guide me in the future. And to prevent piling up a too large leadpile. In my day to day job I am working as engineer for a large company, and have learned to set goals, milestones and deadlines, but as this is a hobby, I wont set deadlines. I don’t want to feel bad when I don’t achieve the deadline. So the plans and goals are will not be time bound, so also not completely SMART. But still hope to have some organized planning.
What do I like?
From the experience from the first couple of wargames I have learned that I like historical based actions. This can be real historical or alternative-historical (non-historic battles, with historical equipment). As area of interest I have found a couple:
Dutch historical conflicts (late medieval, 80 year war, Napoleonic times)
Large scale battles
Small scale skirmishes
small scale miniatures
I have been a miniature scale modeler for quite a long time, and have therefore a reasonable experience and set of equipment for painting and basing. Also the preference for small scales comes from that period as I built most of the time 1:144 aircraft and 1:72 tanks. Combining all this I have made a list of different projects for the future. Some are already started and will be continued.
I have listed the different projects which are in my head right now. And hope to stick to this list. All projects consist of 2 sides (or sometimes 3), have a scale defined and a dedicated rule set to play. For the status the following options are possible
Finished, project is finished and no actions planned. Some parts of it might get reused or repurposed.
Painting, Step before finishing, from primer to coat. This is also applicable for terrain.
Acquired, There is the actual lead pile, not having any paint. But might be getting based already.
Research, project who might be already have some ruleset or scale defined, but where I am still researching what I want to use exactly, and still have to buy models. I might already have bought a set of rules or books on the subject.
Wish, Just some intresting rules or models I have seen somewere, which might fit with existing projects, or what I still have to define what I do want to do.
Sample, Some odd projects, which may turn in a full project, but where I have some models as sample for a future project.
Dutch air war 1940
Spanish Civil air war
Modern air war (try out)
Cold war Dutch air force
Ethiopian Eritrean Somalia conflicts
Napoleonic mass battles (including Quatre Bras)
2 by 2 Napoleonic Morale Napoleon
Late medieval Dutch Stichtse oorlog ~1480
10mm? 15mm? 3mm? 2mm?
80 year war
80 Year war
Insurgent vs modern troops
This is just a overview of all my plans and wishes. I hope to provide updates on each and every project in the future, in separate posts.
Priorities are quite flexible. Interest do change, so also the priority on the list. Also research and wish items on the list, can sometimes just be done by reading a book or article. And as this is done in some sparetime, I wont put any priorities on these. As long as there is no lead pile, priority is irrellevant.
Now the actual priorities:
Workplace; Currently the work place is a big mess and I am using an old garden table as desk, which is not very stable. So first actions should be to clean up the work area and update the desk.
Dutch air war 1940; I have already started this project and it I should work on this, to at least have some possibilities to play some games.
10 mm 80 year war; Pikemans Lament is already waiting quite long for a game, so some forces needed to be able to play.
2 mm Napoleonic mass battle; Although this is almost finished it is at this moment the lowest on the list. I can already play some games, so it is good enough for now.
So priorities are clear, but probably have to update this in the future, as new projects will start and others get finished. Hope to reflect next year on what I achieved and how close I will follow the priorities.
One reason to start blogging is to create a little more oversight in my plans. So this first post is about the beginning of my wargame adventure.
I have followed different blogs and pages the last couple of years, and have a general idea in what I want. Mostly in the direction of smaller scales, historical wargaming. Alltough I can enjoy a nice 40k gaming table or Frostgrave battle report, I know it takes too much resources, effort and space to create that myself.
I have started with a couple sample projects. The first was 2 mm Napoleon. I have played a couple of solo games, and hope to play a first game in a couple of weeks. The army is from irregular miniatures, and are painted but basing is not completly finished yet. Still some shadows and grass to apply.
Originally it was the aim to battle Quatre Bras, but I have shifted to a more general British vs French army, red vs blue, so I can enact different battles. Also on 2mm you cannot paint all the different unit markings so it is not a problem for me.
The second interest was 1/600 aircraft, and started with a Tumbling Dice battle of Britain set and a couple of Dutch ww2 planes. I have started to paint these, but due to some primer issues I had to redo them all. Now they have basic camouflage, but are missing decals, which I still have to order. Also it took a while to find a good set of rules but found promising one in Lacquerd Coffins.
In the meanwhile I did aquire some modern pico armor jets. When Assault Publishing went out non-comercial, I bought some Hind Commande packages for the aircraft. I was following him a time as I was hoping that he would republish the A.W.A.C.S. rules. But then I noticed the shut down, and bought some of the sets with a discount.
These have been painted in a random color schemes from all over the world. Just what looked fancy as I did. Hope to make some better pictures in the future.
There are a couple of F-16, F-15, F-18, Su 27, Su 17/22, Su 25 and Mig 23/27. I have played a couple of games of Missile Threat, both solo and against my father. And I do really like these planes and rules. So hope to expand this in the future.
The next step which is in development in cooperation with my father, is Pikemans Lament. And we hope to both start a 10mm army. ( Combination of Pendraken and Irregular miniatures.) I have a lead pile to chose from and hope to create some forces with it and start painting. Also starting some terrain and scenery items. (Animals and civilians)
In the next post I hope to tell a little more about the future plans, and projects I hope to achieve. Also I hope to play some games and share some short battle reports.
So this was the first blog. I probably wont be very consequent posting. But hope to post some new info now and then.