Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Planes and some more planes
    Long break between posts....Even longer between painting. With the wife being down for servicing (read surgery) have not had much time to do much painting. Our group (well the three of us) have decided to do a Battle of Britain campainge using Bag the hun rules and Finest hour rules from Too Fat Lardies. Being overly ambitious gamers, like most of us are. We are going to start at the begining of the battle and fight every day through to the end with our squadrons...Insane I hear you all say. Not really. The idea is that we will play each day as a mission for each of our squadrons and just keep track of results, this way we have a fall back game when Flames of War gets too much. Obviously this may take some time to finish but the beauty is that others can drop in or out as we go along.

    As a celebration of this new venture we went and splurged on some new you do. Went with the Tumbling dice 1/600 range. Nice amount of detail for such a small figure. Small storage requirments (easy to hide from wife) and reasonably quick to paint. And not to mention, cheap :). We rolled up the missions for our first sorties so we could get a start on the painting with the priority on what we needed first. Lucky for me my first mission is bouncing some bombers escorted by some me110's. Easy meat for my Spitfires. So I got stuck in and got some painting done before the wife went into hospital and everything ground to a halt. here's some pics of the handywork so far.....

Spitfires with a trial wash.

ME110's with a wash and decals. 

Does that plane have teeth ? Surely not...

Yep, they certainly do...kind of.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Flight Stand Conundrum.....

    After patiently making a hex hand. It is time to look at the flight stands. We have decided to have variable height stands. I admit to being a pain about this as I hate playing flight games that use altitude, only to have your beautifully (ok in my case suitably) painted aircraft stalked across the sky by what could easily be mistaken as a Borg invasion fleet ! The old tracking of altitude by dice. I feel it clutters up your game space and detracts from the look of the miniatures on the table. After all they are the reason we play with figures, is it not. Otherwise you might as well just play the board game version of your choice.
    Another reason that I like variable height stands is that at a glance you can see the relative altitudes of everyone....making that all important decision to split s down onto the tail of that recon plane or immellmen up and back to face that vic of incoming spitfires a little easier. At least for me anyway. You dont need to poke your nose around checking every ones dice/ markers to see their altitude, its right there in plane (excuse the pun) sight..

    Now the initial plan was to use some 5mm acrylic rod, cut into 1.5cm lengths. Then drill the centres and glue in some smaller diameter brass rod into the top of each length. So we should get each section that plugs into the next, giving you a variable altitude stand. On the top piece you stick a small tack and glue a small rare earth magnet to the bottom of your plane. This allows you to use different planes with the stands so you don't need one for every plane in your collection....and takes away the dreaded wrong polarity between different planes that I must admit to being prone to do, even with the turrets of my FOW tanks !!! :(  This was the plan anyway. When the acrylic rod showed up in the post, it was exactly rod. Not the ten that were ordered. Then trying to cut the bloody stuff so that it is a parallel cut and doesn't melt or take forever to do....

    So a little frustrated and brooding in my you do. I had a spark of an idea. As I had two different sizes of brass rod, I figured I could knock up something to at least satisfy my need to have made some progress.

The ingredients...sometimes simple is the best.

    All I used was two different size brass tubes, one just small enough to fit snug in the other. A base of some kind, in my case some round acrylic pieces I had laying around. And something metal for on top so the magnet holds to it, I used an upholstery tack. First thing was to cut the tube to length. Easier to cut them with one inside the other, then at least they are the same length. Pop the small one out and then score the side of it to mark the desired altitudes and glues the tack on top. Then I drilled a hole in the base and put the larger brass tube in it. With a pair of pliers, gently crimp the top of the base tube. This will make it a tight fit when you insert the smaller tube and hold it a the height you desire. Then slide your small tube in and plonk a plane on top...Ta Da ! A variable height altitude stand...
The finished product.

A demonstration of formation flying.....I know they're not painted. New scale, give me time !

Break right !

    All in all I'm pretty chuffed with how these came out...Not bad for about half hours work. On the down side I don't think I could paint them to tone down the brass. Any paint would rub of the inside one with the movement but can live with that for now I think.
    And to make them look better here is some painted planes on them....

Beware the hun in the sun !

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The pain of hex games....

Have recently purchased "Bag the Hun" WW2 plane rules from toofatlardies to replace our miniature warbirds rules . Needed something so we could play larger dogfights/bomber attack games , quicker. Also have decided to go to 1/600 planes from 1/300 (whats that ? a lame excuse to buy more minis !  Why I never :p ) Only problem is with the change in rules, is a change in hex speed of the aircraft. On average its doubled, meaning our existing home sprayed hex board has become a little....small.

So it falls to me to remedy this situation. After a long stroll through the net for ideas, short of buying a hex mat/board. Unfortunately not an option at this time. I end up with the plan of using a plastic grid used for cross stitching to make the hexes on MDF board than rule in the lines later ....seemed like a great idea ! Marked out the hexes on my "template", bit of a fidgety job but not too hard. Then started marking onto the MDF. Made the mistake of doing this on the floor ! If you try this method....DONT !

After a while I had made a bit of progress.

I should have left them as dotted hexes but no, I decided I would fill in the lines....Thus successfully turning a good quick solution into two painstaking nights of dots and lines that left me wondering why I didn't just order a hotz mat online and take the heat from the wife when it showed up a month later ?

Well at least now they are finished. Only problem is they are raw MDF and will need to be flocked or something eventually. Will jump that hurdle later , me thinks. Maybe drill the points in and just paint and flock, leaving the hex outlines to show through ? They get their first trial run tomorrow night. Run the 1/300 hundreds for the last couple of times, until the new babies show up. Might even throw up a quick post on the game.

Hindsight observation....Should have used my template to mark on some thin MDF or acrylic and then drilled out the holes to make another template. Then just use my airbrush to spray the grid on..if I need to do more, that's what I'll be doing and advise anyone else to do the same.....or buy a bloody mat.....its a damn sight

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

More on the trees
    Been a few weeks since last post. Better get back into it. After a bit of consultation we have decided that the new trees need to be on bases.....had nothing to do with the fact the bloody things are top heavy and dive to the ground at the slightest provication !! As we use a template for the area of the woods e.g. Felt, MDF or a hill (the dreaded wooded hill), we figure we can base them in twos and threes with the odd single and just move them around the wood as your troops move through.......It came to us in a dream, honest !!! 

Ready for base texture.

Still about fifty or so left in the bag !

Thought would give it a go..managed to flick a chunk of
it in my eye when I opened it..Yep its got rocks in it all right !
    We have decided to forgo games this friday night and get stuck into finishing them off. Well not completly forgo, I got a copy of angels 20 this week. So there may be a few shots fired in anger. Anyway i have made some inroads into the prep, so hopefully I can kick back a bit while the boys do some catching up on friday.  

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Terrain modeling

    Finally got a little bit of terrain done this week. Trees ! Woodland scenic trees to be exact. Thought we would give the armature trees a go. After about an hour of fidgiting and sticking them to my hands, arms and anything else I accidently bump them with............ That Hobby Tack glue is apptley named :)
I managed to complete a few early efforts....only about another 109 to go. Could take some time to get through.

    Also got a start on some destroyed tank markers...more to follow on that front !!
1750 pts Canadian vs SS Wiking, Breakthrough.

    After the domination of German forces in the area when clearing the jump off positions. Lt Col Anderson decided that the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry would take advantage of this success and immediately launch an attack to breakthrough the Kraut lines. As B Coy was already deployed in the area, it was decided that they should push on with the attack. Again Maj McKinley and his boys would take it to the SS Wiking mob. Two troops of 25 pounders from Q Bty, 14th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery were sent to support the attack. A Pltn of vickers MMG carriers from the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and two Pltns of the Battalions 6lbr A/T guns arrived to add to the support. After receiving reinforcement and replacements, the Fort Gary Horse again sent 1st and 2nd Trp, 2 Sqdn to the battle. The RAF allocated an AOP and promised some support from typhoons.
The objective of the attack, top right.
    Maj McKinley decided to send 1 Pltn and a Pltn of the A/T guns to try and find a way around the German flank. 2 Pltn deployed in the wood near the creek, ready to push past the farm. The other A/T Pltn occupied the east side of that wood to cover the open ground. 1 Trp FGH deployed west of the wood, While 2 Trp FGH just south of the wood. Q Bty dug their guns in and around the wheat field, while the MMG carriers set up on the low rise.
    The Pats opened the attack with a barrage of fire directed at the dug in infantry on both flanks, pinning them down. The company marksman had infiltrated forward towards the objective and tried to shoot the crew of an A/T gun, the round pinged of the gun shield but had the desired effect on the crew. True to their word the RAF showed up with a pair of typhoons and promptly destroyed a Stug and bailed out another, forcing the remaining two to seek the cover of a wood.
Death from above.
    One of the stugs pushed through the wood and engaged 2 Trp FGH, destroying a sherman before slipping back deeper into the safety of the trees. The bailed stug crew remounted and headed for the wood....and promptly got bogged, as did the remaining stug. At this point a platoon of Pz IV showed up on the left flank of the princess pats attack. They brought 1 Trp FGH under fire as they advanced toward the wood 2 Pltn was deployed in. These panzer men were obviously battle hardened troops, led by an ace tanker. In a matter of minutes three of 2 Trp's shermans were blazing wrecks. The Trp commander, a newly arrived replacement promptly fled the field. Can't say I blame the chap ! Unfortunately 2 Pltn were caught crossing the creek at this time and attracted the attentions of the PzIV's.
The Fort Gary Horse pay the price for the dubious armour protection of their mounts......Again !
    To add a little insult to injury, the RAF fail to spot the four PzIV's laying waste the the left flank of the attack. Q Bty, the vickers and the A/T Pltn continue to pour fire into the enemy infantry positions keeping their heads down. The remaining shermans push across the creek to bring the stugs under fire. Destroying one and scattering the crews of the bogged down vehicles. Obviously realising the objective of the attack the German commander sends his left infantry Pltn towards his rear. A devastating stonk from 81mm mortars lands amongst 2 Pltn as they are strung out across the creek....Casualties are high, nearly half the Pltn are killed or wounded in seconds. Amongst this carnage the Pltns PIAT operator keeps his head enough to send a round into the PzIV aces tank. This was not enough to stop this veteran, who jumped out and ran over to another tank to take over. A lucky round from a 25lbr landed on the turret of another PzIV, destroying it.
    The scream of sirens announced the arrival of the stuka dive bombers. Their target, the vickers Pltn. Three carriers and crews are wiped out and the rest of the Pltn withdraw. Two 251/9 arrive on the right and flank the shermans, destroying the firefly. The two remaining PzIV's move around to cut off 2 Pltn's advance and machine gun the lead section, breaking the fighting spirit of the Pltn and they flee.
The 251/9's score themselves a firefly.
    The A/T gunners manhandle their pieces out out of the wood to try and extract some revenge for the loss of the infantry. After scoring four hits they are disheartened to see them bounce off the tanks armour. 2Trp FGH head off toward the objective but are destroyed crossing the open ground by the combined fire of the 251/9's and PzIV's. Finally the A/T Pltn and 1 Pltn infantry arrive from their flank march and approach the objective now covered by a Pltn of grenadiers. The 6lbrs quickly deploy their guns for action, cutting down several squads of the Germans. Buoyed by this 1 Pltn launch an assault upon the survivors, cutting down the Germans in a brutal fashion. A the loss of this Pltn the Germans move to recapture the position. As they approach they walk straight into a hail of death from the now well prepared A/T gunners. The first to perish are the two AA half tracks, quickly followed by the "panzer ace" and the 2IC. The German commander, under artillery fire with the last remaining infantry and 251/9's. Looking up seeing several typhoons circling and having lost more than half of his fighting force, decides its time to pack it in and withdraw to better positions.
1 Pltn and the A/T guns approach their objective, just a couple of pesky SS to deal with....
    Maj McKinley walks around amongst his men. Another success for B company but this one came with a price. As he had feared the luck that they had enjoyed with casualties had run out today. 2 Pltn almost in its entirety had been killed or wounded. Of the two troops from the Fort Gary Horse, only a lone tank survived. His vickers Pltn was also nearly wiped out, hopefully these valuable support weapons can be replaced. What next for his brave men. A rest he hoped but dared not think of. Things change too quickly. The success of his company was also their curse. When the battalion wanted something hard done...Give to B company. And done it would be !!!

Canadian 4 - 3 Victory....just.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

600pts Canadian vs German, Free for all.

With the recent success of the Allies in Gloucester, 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry have received orders to conduct offencive operations toward Wiltshire. In order to prepare for this, Maj McKinley and his B company have been sent to "patrol" in force, and clear an area forward to a small creek line of enemy forces. Battalion command is hoping to use this area as the jumping off point for the attack into Wiltshire. For this patrol B Coy have the added support of a mortar Pltn and a section of vickers MMG and their carriers. Intelligence reports suggest expected opposition to be from the SS Wiking Division. We have tangled with these chaps before and have had the better of them each time. They do fight hard though and now is no time to take them lightly.

The patrol area with the objective creek line to the right.
After an uneventful start to the patrol, forward scouts reported hearing engine noise and spotted Germans filtering through the treeline over the creek line. The SS were out and about. Up to no good to be sure. Maj McKinley deployed his company and prepared to engage the Germans and clear them from the area. 3 Pltn and the vickers section moved to the right to cover the centre and right farms. The mortar Pltn deployed in the small wood and hedges at the crossroad so as to support both flanks. 2 Pltn filtered through the walled orchard and 1 Pltn occupied the high walled farm on the left under the watchful eye of the "old man".
It was the Germans that opened the show, carrying their MG42s on their tripods onto the small tree lined ridge and let loose a few ill directed bursts at the mortar men as they set their tubes on the base plates. On the left a Pltn of grenadiers supported by two 251/9 half tracks, pushed forward through the other orchard toward the creek line. The mortar Pltn sends a few rounds their way, pinning the grenadiers and giving the tracks second thoughts about hanging around in the open. The vickers section spot a 251 half track across the creek and give it a short burst. They are amused to see the crew bailing out of the unscathed vehicle.
The grenadiers push into the orchard.
The MG42s sprayed the mortar position with fire, striking down the Pltns commander as he encouraged his men. Seeing this, Capt Doyle the Coy 2IC immediately took charge of the Pltn and directed their fire onto the MG42s, pinning them down and greatly reducing the amount of fire from the position. This easing of fire allowed the vickers section to accurately engage them. The withering fire scythed through the German machine gunners silencing them and leaving only one crew alive. 3 Pltn advanced down the right flank under the cover of the vickers fire. 2 Pltn moved forward from the walled orchard to meet the advancing grenadiers.
The vickers death machines.
Following the success of the vickers section the Germans turn the attentions of their mortars on them, to little effect. Through the explosions surrounding them the vickers spot what is obviously an SS commander extolling the remaining machine gunners to keep up the fight....and unceremoniously gun him down. Maj McKinley orders mortar fire to be directed to his left flank to pin down the infantry there to prepare for his assault.
The SS commander directing his men from up close.
The SS commander upon hearing of the death of his 2IC realises his last MG team would not hold out long on his flank and begins to redeploy some of his grenadiers....Stretching his line thin. Seeing this opportunity 1 Pltn launch an assault across the creek line. The first victims of this attack are a mortar FO team. Upon witnessing the brutal dispatch of these men by the wild eyed charge of the woodsmen of 1Pltn, the nearby grenadiers recoiled in fear. Abandoning their positions along the creek line, they withdraw to the hedge lined road. The 251/9 half tracks bog down trying to cross the hedge.
The grenadiers recoil from the Pats assault.
1Pltn then go firm on the ground to provide a base of fire as 2Pltn advance to the creek to assault the rattled Germans. At this time 3Pltn and the vickers section finish of the last MG42 and push across the creek on the right, squeezing the Germans into a pocket around a small wood. Screaming like mad men, 2Pltn storm through the creek and burst out of the treeline to fall upon the grenadiers as the very horsemen of the Apocalypse. The SS men held firm and their machine guns spat death at the on rushing Canadians. To their horror these daemons appeared to shrug off the effects of the hail of fire, not a single man fell.....Then they were among them. Grenades and bayonets were all that were giving any who dared stand their ground. The ferocity of this assault was more than the remaining grenadiers could bear, they break and run. Even the exhortations of their commander could not hold the route. Reluctantly he ordered the remaining troops to withdraw and reluctantly followed...
The survivors flee the "Daemons" of 2Pltn.
With the withdrawal of the Germans. Maj McKinley quickly organised his Company to defend the newly captured jump off point. One thing you could always count on was the willingness of the Krauts to counter attack. Then it was time to count the cost...Two dead and ten wounded, barley a section of men lost. Considering the close combat his men had engaged in, Maj McKinley felt himself lucky to have taken so few casualties....But how long would it last ? For his men's sake he hoped much longer.......
Canadian 6 - 1 Victory

Sunday, 27 May 2012

                              1750pts Canadian vs Hungarian, Fair Fight

    After some hard fighting the 1st Battalion Princess Patricias' Canadian Light Infantry where withdrawn from the Somerset area of operations, barley escaping encirclement. The Battalion has moved into the Gloucester area to help halt the German push and maybe relieve the somerset pocket.
    The Battalion deployed to an area of farmland and rolling hills to prepare defencive positions. Maj McKinley's B Company were sent to provide security for some of the Battalions A/T guns and P Bty 14th RCA, as they moved into the area. At the same time Maj McKinley took the opportunity to do a first hand recce of the area, and a spot of grouse shooting with Capt Doyle his 2IC.

                                                        The quiet English country side.
     At that point Maj McKinley heard the rumble of tank engines and the clank of tracks....Hungarian tanks ! The Hungarian's had made a breakthrough and in true Germanic style had pushed all they could manage into the breach in our lines. Immediately Maj McKinley sent runners with orders to 1 troop, P Bty  and his 1st Pltn on his left flank to prepare for offensive operations. On the right flank a Pltn of 6 pdr A/T had been deploying into a wood to cover the cross road, surely a vital location on this soon to be battlefield. Just then, with all the timing of the old cowboy cavalry B troop, 2 Squadron of the Fort Gary Horse rolled onto the right flank.. With this small force he hunkered down with Capt Doyle to face the coming storm, and hope reinforcements could reach them in time !

                                                  Old friends from the Fort Gary Horse.
    The Hungarians deployed a 149mm Bty on the left flank and attempted to dig them in without much success. In the centre three panthers advanced toward Maj McKinleys' position. Unperturbed he continued to organise his defences and position. It was going to take careful timing but his boys had dealt with these beasts before besides, the RAF had promised some Tiffys if things got too hot.
The ground around the panthers erupted, announcing the entry of 1 trp to the battle. On the right B trp FGH sped forward with the intent to cut across behind the advancing Hungarians and cut them off from follow on forces. The infantry of 1st Plt advance down the left flank to close on the Hungarian Bty.
                                                     The FGH scooting down the right.
A few 149mm rounds splash down amongst the gunners of 1 Trp but it would take more than this to stop the "trail apes" from servicing the guns. The panthers continued to bear down on Maj McKinley's position, spraying the area with MG fire. Maybe over confident at coming through the bombardment of 1 Trp untouched they advanced too far unsupported and had exposed their flanks to the troops on the right. An A/T gunner in the woods saw this opportunity and squeezed off an optimistic round at them, which missed well wide. Much to the jeers of his comrades. B Trp FGH also saw this chance to brew a panther or two. Two tanks slewed left and opened fire at the panthers flanks, destroying one and forcing the crew to bail out of a second. As fortune would have it a pair of Tiffys were lurking around. The smoke from the brewed panther attracted their attention. Swooping out of the sky like giant birds of prey they let loose a salvo of rockets, obliterating the bailed panther. The remaining tank thought better of his location and promptly left the field of battle. Maj McKinley promised the pilots a bottle of the finest brandy for their help...
                                                 The panthers closing on Maj McKinley.
                                                   The results of the FGH and Tiffys.
    A lone turan II led two nimrod AA tanks in a gallant attack on B Trp FGH on the right flank as a Plt of zrinyi assault guns arrived and made their way at best speed to help. It was to no avail, as the tanks of B Trp made short work of this lone turan warrior and one of the nimrods. The other nimrod made his escape from the field of battle amongst the smoke of his burning comrades. The 1st Plt infantry continued to close on the Hungarian Bty through the orchard on the left. A sniper had managed to infiltrate to the rise in front of the Bty and was making life uncomfortable for the Hungarian gunners. A Trp FGH arrived at this time on the left flank  and prepared to advance to support 1st Plt.
                                                 The sniper team engaging the gunners.
                                                                 Death of a warrior.
    B Trp FGH have little time to dwell on thier success down the right as they come under heavy fire from the 149mm Bty and zrinyi Plt. This maelstrom of fire leaves only the firefly alive, who promptly decides this is no longer the place to be and retreats. Unexpectedly the Luftwaffe make an appearance and engage the 6pdr Plt that had mounted and advanced to support B Trp FGH. Following this attack the A/T guns dismount again only to be engaged by the advancing zrinyis. The power of the 105mm guns is to much for the flimsy gun shields and they destroy the A/T Plt nearly to a man.
1st Plt push forward on the left to engage the 149mm Bty and are engaged by the Hungarian CO's turan II. Thinking better of the hopes of glory they stay in the relative safety of the orchard. A Plt of Hungarian infantry and three turan II arrive in the wood to the front of 1st Plt. Only to be bombarded by P Bty RCA, whose second Trp had arrived and deployed with 1 Trp. A second 6pdr Plt arrived on the right and engaged the zrinyis, destroying two of them and breaking the fighting spirit of the last.

                                                                 The fate of B Trp.
                                            1st Plt bravely holding position in the orchard.
    The 6pdr Plt push down the right flank to achieve the objective of cutting the advance off. The combined fire of P Bty, 1st Plt and A Trp FGH finish the 149mm Bty and turan II Plt. I a desperate effort to keep their attack going the Hungarian infantry charge out of the woods only to be gunned down by the MGs of B Trp's Sherman's. A last ditch effort of a lone Stuka to stop the A/T Plt destroys the commanders carrier but fails to stop them setting up in a position to bring an end to this Hungarian attack.
B Trp FGH taking the surrender of the Hungarian infantry commander.

    After a hard fight B Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry have managed to halt the Hungarian armoured thrust. Unfortunately once again the tankers of the Fort Gary Horse have paid a heavy price for the sterling support they provided. Doubts are starting to rise about the armour protection offered by their American designed mounts. Alas there is little other suitable vehicle available at this time. Again B Company have shown their mettle in the face of the enemy and done their Battalion and King proud.......

Canadian 5 - 2 victory 

Friday, 18 May 2012

                1750pts Canadian vs German, Surrounded
    This was decoded from scratchy radio transmissions from 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in the Somerset area of operations.

    The Battalion had been taking part in offensive operations in the area to attempt the recapture or at the least, isolation of the german beach heads in the south west. After a promising start to operations, the 1PPCLI found itself overextended and isolated after successful german local counter attacks. 1PPCLI was at risk of being surounded and cut off from the rest of the division. Lt Col Anderson detached Maj McKinley's Bravo Company with tank support from the Fort Gary Horse and P and Q Battery 14th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, with orders to hold a corridor until reinforcement or a withdrawl could be organised.

                                          Airial photo of corridor taken from the south.

    Maj Mckinley quickly organised his force and dug in to defend the vital corridor from the inevitable german attack. And they didn't have to wait long. As a platoon of english churchil crocidile tanks arrived to bolster the defenses, the german onslaught began. It was a mechinised company from the SS wiking division that led the german attempt to close this tenuous corridor and cut the "Princess Pats" off. A hummel battery pummeled the north of the corridor but fortunatley the Pats had dug in well and only took a half section of casualties. The tankers from the Fort Gary Horse where not so fortunate. Four panthers supported by grenadiers advanced from the East. Engaging the shermans from long range, they destroyed two of them with ease. (poor tankers never knew what hit them)
    The crocidiles lumbered to the east and managed to brew one of the panthers with a flank shot while they were busy with the shermans. To the Pats delight the RAF weighed into the fight, launching a rocket attack on the Hummel battery destroying one and the single 88 that was passing through the gun position at the time.

    At this point the panthers and grenadiers advanced on the northern battery, bringing it under intense fire, destroying two 25pdrs and supressing everyone in the area. To the west the hummel battery decided to vacate thier recently straifed position and advance on the Pats northern battery as well. A remarkably well placed round from a moving hummel at a concealed firefly found its mark! The round plunged through the engine deck and all but disassembled the firefly. The lone platoon commander returned fire destroying one of the hummels (some retribution at least)
    An artillery bombardment that had engaged the panthers with little effect was repeated. This time with Regimental support and managed to catch the advancing grenadiers in the open, inflicting severe casualties. This finished them as a fighting force and they withdrew from the field of battle. Again the crocidiles attempted to work around the flanks of the panthers, with a little success. Only to see thier rounds ricochet off the beasts "thin" flank armour! The combined efforts of an elite marksman and the vickers machine guns in the centre of the corridor kept the grenadier platoon in the west from advancing much past thier jump off point.
                                            Marksman in foreground engaging grenadiers
    Again the last remaining hummel relocates...and again with a snap shot on the move he hits and destroys the last sherman, the Fort Gary Horse are no more...(sniper with a hummel, I am a little worried about that!) The panthers surge forward, stripped of thier infantry support they are determined to cut through the 25lbr troop and infantry holding the north. They pin the defenders with cannon and MG fire and move to assault. A lone infantryman with his PIAT rises up from his fox hole and destroys the lead panther. The 25lbr troop firing in support manages disuade the remaining panthers from pushing home the attack. Almost immediately the gunners swung thier ordinance around on thier turntables to engage and destroy the dreaded "sniper" hummel. The RAF made another pass but was unsucessful this time.
    In desperation the two remaining panthers surged forward again, determined to crush all before them.....Again the lone PIAT gunner felled one of the beasts with a well placed round to the turret ring. Undetered the panther commander attempted to crush the men in the forward pits but was unsuccessful. Seeing his opportunity the gallant PIAT gunner broke from the cover of his hole and calmley dispatched his third panther of the day....
                                        the first panther assault, PIAT man just at left of shot
    Coming under a withering fire from a whole vickers platoon and close attention from circling typhoons the remaining grenadier platoon withdrew to the west, dragging casualties and thier hopes of cutting off 1PPCLI. We are of now awaiting word on plans to exploit this hard fought victory. Maj Mckinley has also recomended Pvt C. Hope (PIAT operator) be mentioned in dispatches and possibly for a medal. For now Bravo company will restock with amunition and improve its positions.
                                                A 5 - 2 VICTORY TO THE ALLIES

                                 crocidiles watching thier rounds bounce of the panthers' flanks

                                                                 THE END