Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

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[EUG]MadMat
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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby [EUG]MadMat » Mon 21 Dec 2015 18:56

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:Just curious Mat, how many armies do you own now?

When working on a project, I usually model two opposing armies, so I don't have to wait to find someone modelling the proper match. Therefore, I have:

Cold War 6mm (~1985):
- US Cavalry battlegroup.
- Soviet VDV battlegroup.

Indochina 15mm (1945-1954):
- French paratroopers.
- French colonial infantry.
- French armor & cavalry units.
- VM regulars.
- VM "black pyjamas".
- some Japanese infantry & armors, allowing me to play "what if" scenario about Japanese occupation troops refusing to surrender to the returning allies, or siding with the VM. Also, using my opponent's American troops and my French-American armors, we can make some late WW2 Pacific scenario.

WW2 North Africa 15mm:
- Italian colonial infantry (planned: 2 companies + some support guns + Semovente. In progress ...)
- Italian Compagnia Sahariana (planned: one company, already done). Those are the very reason why I made this army & ETO.
- Italian RECAM detachment, a mixed reconnaissance group made up of military police motocyclists, armored car, light tanks, ...
- Italian Folgore, their dreaded airborne troops (planned: 2 companies + support guns).

For this latter project, I'm only doing one side for I already have a friend with a substantial Free French army (and German Afrika Korps). Therefore I'm actually modelling the Italians to play against him.

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby Grabbed_by_the_Spets » Mon 21 Dec 2015 19:23

[EUG]MadMat wrote:- Italian Folgore, their dreaded airborne troops (planned: 2 companies + support guns).


Hmm, that is an interesting read, from what I've read about ANZAC involvement in North Africa, the eyetie were not very well regarded by the ANZAC forces, often calling them dirty, cowardly and disorientated, quite the opposite to how the regarded Germans.

Perhaps that's why they took so many casualties, they didn't expect such resistance to come from an Italian.
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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby [EUG]MadMat » Wed 23 Dec 2015 14:25

Grabbed_by_the_Spets wrote:the eyetie were not very well regarded by the ANZAC forces, often calling them dirty, cowardly and disorientated, quite the opposite to how the regarded Germans.

"eyetie"? What is it? A nickname for the Italians?

They are universally not well regarded, not only by ANZAC forces. Propaganda of the time has stuck to them, and their battle records doesn't really speak for them, espcially if you consider that some of their most celebrated battles during WW2 are ... glorious defeat (battle of Keren and the Folgore's defense of the El Munassib position during Second El Alamein).
But this bad propaganda tended to be self-propagating, since most Italian successes were usually credited on the Germans: all long range tank kills in the desert were attributed to German 88mm guns, while some were actually hit by Italian 90mm guns. Both were very similar in shape although a the Italian gun was a bit better than its German counterpart (yet, far less widespread on the frontline than the latter).
At Second El Alamein, some of the Italian paratroopers' heroic deeds are still today sometimes credited on Ramcke's Fallschirmjäger brigde.
...

The WW2 Italian army didn't lack courage nor skill, but their command structure was usually even more outdated than the 1940 French Army's one in terms of doctrine and communication assets. And unlike the French Army, their tanks were real crap, and if their 47mm AT gun was quite good early in the war, they never replaced it even when it was completely outdated. Italian troops also usually lacked motorized transports.
Those factors taken into account, you understand why the Italian Army failed in most of its endeavour over the course of the war: conquest of Greece, of the Alps (at Menton, 9 men held thousands of Italian at bay from June 20 to 25, only stopping their resistance when informed of the armistice), of Egypt, ... Yet, failure at the political/strategical levels does not imply failure from the soldiers themselves. Just like the campaign of France in 1940, even though the high command displays several limitations, the ranks & files nonetheless put ut some superb fights when well led.

For the Italians, it was the case during the first stage of the East Africa campaign, and especially the battle of Keren.
Keren was as hard a soldiers' battle as was ever fought, and let it be said that nowhere in the war did the Germans fight more stubbornly than those Savoia battalions, Alpini, Bersaglieri and Grenadiers. In the [first] five days' fight the Italians suffered nearly 5,000 casualties – 1,135 of them killed. [Lorenzini], the gallant young Italian general, had his head blown off by one of the British guns. He had been a great leader of Eritrean troops.

The unfortunate licence of wartime propaganda allowed the British Press to represent the Italians almost as comic warriors; but except for the German parachute division in Italy and the Japanese in Burma no enemy with whom the British and Indian troops were matched put up a finer fight than those Savoia battalions at Keren. Moreover, the Colonial troops, until they cracked at the very end, fought with valour and resolution, and their staunchness was a testimony to the excellence of the Italian administration and military training in Eritrea.


At Second El Alamein, the Folgore entered History by putting such a stiff resistance that their destruction was honored not only by a word of praise from the BBC:
The remnants of the Folgore division put up resistance beyond every limit of human possibility.

but also by no less than another praise from Winston Churchill during a speech at the House of Commons:
The last survivors of Folgore have been gathered without forces in the desert, no one of them surrended, no one left his weapon"
(...)
We really must bow in front of the rest of those who have been the 'LIONS' of the Folgore Division.


Another example is one of the last, if not the last axis victory in the West, won by a force made up in majority of Italians, under Italian tactical & strategical command (with one German commander between those two levels), the battle of Garfagnana.

A total of 9,100 Axis troops (of which 66% were Italians), with 100 artillery pieces but no tanks, attacked 18,000 Allied troops which were equipped with 140 artillery batteries and 120 tanks, as well as support from 160 P-47 Thunderbolts of the Allied XXII Tactical Air Command.
(...)
While German General Fretter-Pico would be the overall commander, Italian General Carloni would lead the attack operationally. All the offensive was under leadership of Italian Marshall Rodolfo Graziani, who promoted the attack with Mussolini.
(...)
All the objectives of the offensive were attained: the US 5th Army was tactically tripped out; Allied reserves were moved to a secondary sector; Italian Social Republican troops' morale was boosted by the success; the Axis gained a slightly better defensive situation on the Western Apennines, and indeed, the new front line stayed more or less intact until the April 1945 Axis collapse.


Italian defeats have nothing to do with Italian soldiers inability to fight or cowardice, but mostly with an obsolete or inadequate equipment, save for a few gems among it (Semovente, Autoblinda, Sahariana trucks, ...).
Another problem is that, if professional soldiers (Folgore, Bersaglieri, armored or colonial units, ...) were strong troops, as demonstrated by some of the battles mentionned above, most Italians draftees didn't believe in the fascist regime they were supposed to fight for ... It didn't help convincing them to die for Mussolini ... thus why some Italian units tented to surrender easily later in the war.
Is not fighting for such a regime you didn't believe in really an act of cowardice?

That's all those unfair legends, combined with very "exotic" (not to say crappy) equipment, compared to the overseen German one, which made me take a keen interest in the Italian army.

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby Shrike » Wed 23 Dec 2015 22:54

I've always had an interest in those Italian L3/35 tankettes since they are so small. It looks like an ideal armored scout vehicle that act as a fire support vehicle for mobiles. I also seem to recall there was a flame thrower variant and a AT rifle equipped variant.

Hungary has been one of my favorite minor axis countries since they had a mix imported equipment(captured stuff from france, imported stuff from Germany and Italy), and a some domestic equipment like 40M Nimrod, 43M Zrínyi, and 38M Toldi.

A what if scenario between USSR and Japan would be fun and interesting as well. Soviets would start out commanding Mongolian forces until the Soviets can mobilize. Plus the great hoard gets to ride off again :twisted:
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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby delfo » Fri 25 Dec 2015 05:48

'You and what army?'
'Not what my dear. Which.'

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby [EUG]MadMat » Wed 3 Feb 2016 10:27

For those among you willing to take advantage of Battlefront's "Team Yankee" series to recreate Wargame's scale Cold War battles, but who would have wished something different than just US vs Soviet, there are other retailer which you could use to collect "minor" armies:

Poland:
http://picoarmor.com/pico-products.cfm?id=277&p=Cold%20War%20(15%20mm)

North/South Vietnamese & 'Nam Aussies:
http://www.peterpig.co.uk/vietnam.html

QRF also has many nations modeled:
http://totalsystemscenic.com/product-ca ... twar-1945/

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby Aubustou » Wed 3 Feb 2016 10:54

Skytrex has some finely modelled vehicles for brits:
http://www.skytrex.com/command-decision ... c6307.aspx

And a Kickstarter is about to end for brits vs VDV:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... and-armour

Madmat, you tried Team Yankee? Is it worth it?
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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby [EUG]MadMat » Wed 3 Feb 2016 11:14

Aubustou wrote:Skytrex has some finely modelled vehicles for brits:
http://www.skytrex.com/command-decision ... c6307.aspx

Skytrex has some nice minis. I've bought my colonial Italians from them, and I can only be happy about it.

Aubustou wrote:And a Kickstarter is about to end for brits vs VDV:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... and-armour

Yes, i'd see that one ... ;)

Aubustou wrote:Madmat, you tried Team Yankee? Is it worth it?

No, I haven't try it. Nor do I play Flames of War actually ...
But I'm keeping updated on Battlefront's releases for I use their miniatures for the rule I'm playing: Blitzkrieg (in French only).
FoW is more like the W40K simulation of WW2, with heroes, special rules, ... BK is both more simple and more realistic.
Nonetheless, I keep an eye on Team Yankee, for I had my own Cold war armies (in 6mm, for Cold War Commander). Nostalgia ... :)

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby Shrike » Thu 4 Feb 2016 07:21

Hmm. I was thinking about table top simulator.

It's pretty easy to import content into the game whether it be sprites or models. The tools to run such games are also there. I'd love to run Fist Full of Tows on this system. I am a bit concerned about the questionable copy right material like people running 40k and games like Risk/Axis and Allies since I imagine Hasbro/GW and others see that as piracy/lost profit.

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Re: Anyone here play tabletop Wargames?

Postby Grabbed_by_the_Spets » Thu 4 Feb 2016 07:40

Shrike wrote:Hmm. I was thinking about table top simulator.

It's pretty easy to import content into the game whether it be sprites or models. The tools to run such games are also there. I'd love to run Fist Full of Tows on this system. I am a bit concerned about the questionable copy right material like people running 40k and games like Risk/Axis and Allies since I imagine Hasbro/GW and others see that as piracy/lost profit.


The guys behind TTS are working on that problem right now, most of the smaller companies are fine with it (Secret Htiler, Wizard wars, etc), but the big guys are staying quiet on this problem.
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