Just before the social distancing and lockdown came into effect here in the UK Evan and I tried the Aeronautica Imperialis stater box that I got for xmas. Having painted up all the aircraft in it I was keen to give it a go, Evan is always keen on any sort of air war game too.
We started off with simply one aircraft each; I took the Ork Dakka jet whilst Evan went with the Imperials. Getting the hang of the movement rules was easy enough and the shooting is simple to resolve. That said the Ork plane was shot down pretty quickly.
We then upped the numbers with Evan having both Imperial fighters whilst I took three Dakka jets. Whilst they can dish it out the Dakka jets have a glass jaw so it was another Imperial victory.
For the third game Evan took one bomber, with the mission to cross the table and escape, whilst I retained the three Dakka jets (I couldn’t help but reference the WW2 dogfight between a Sunderland and 3 JU88s in the Bay of Biscay here). With the last possible chance I managed to get the bomber shot down having whittled its hit points away one by one.
We managed all three small games in about 2 hours, just shows how quick to pick up the game is. Both of us really enjoyed it, I’ve picked up the expanded rules/ campaign book so wer’ll definiately be playing it again.
I’ve been playing a few games of the old (1980) Strategy and Tactics magazine game ‘Tito’ so when I saw a copy of this book for a decent price I jumped on it.
Basically it is an operation history of the Stuka units and their time in Yugoslavia. Whilst the Stuka dive bomber is synonymous with the German’s Blitzkrieg* by 1940 and the Battle of Britain it was found to be rather vulnerable it contested air space. Whilst it did serve on the Eastern Front for many years, including as a dedicated tank hunter, it had reached its high water mark in the German opening attacks of the war.
One of these attacks was the 2 week invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941; details of which open the book’s narrative. Once the Partisan movement in Yugoslavia started to actively resist the Nazi occupiers the Stukas were deployed there to offer air support to the Germans fighting on the ground. Given the paucity of the Partisan anti- aircraft capabilities it was the ideal enviroment for the Stuka.
The books draws heavily on squadron recoreds and log books whilst it charts the deployments and notable missions of the different Stuka squadrons. A couple of chapters stoodf out: that which covered the German’s attepmts to disarm and demobilise the Italians after their 1943 capitulation and the Stuka’s role in Operation Rösselsprung, the attempt to kill Tito in 1944.
Until the end of the war the Stukas could fly with relative impunity, losses to ground fire were rare and there were also chances to continue terror bombing of civilian targets. However, as the Western Allies advanced up the Italian mainland the time came when Stukas were being engaged and shot down by the RAF, Spitfire Vcs on one occasion. Additionally the Stuka airfields were bombed as part of distractionm efforts when Italian based bomber units went north to bomb parts of Austria.
The book is rounded off with a nice selection of colour plates showing profiles for German as well as allied Axis operated aircraft. Their is also a single example in Partisan colours which would make for an interesting model (One of my 1/300 collection will end up like that probably).
Overall, this one gets my recommendation if you want to dig a bit deeper into the Yugoslavian campaign in WW2.
*A problematic term given recent scholarship, it could quite easily be a blog post in itself….
On Sunday I popped into the local IPMS (International Plastic Modellers Society) show held at the leisure centre in town before I hit the gym there for an hour or so. I had quick run round the display tables- the standard of craftsmanship was very high and a bit of an impulse shopping spree on the trade stands.
Whilst there I also made a decision about my current and future gaming collection. !/72nd scale aircraft are just too big- I’m going to pare down my collection of them and go for 1/144 for those models that don’t need to land on the table. Helicopters will be kept in 1/72 though to match up with my 20mm collection. This should free up quite a bit of space. To this end I’m starting to list my kit collection on ebay- the money I make will be invest back into 1/144th scale kits or other toys.
So what did I buy?
As you can see I’ve started on my 1/144th collection. The paints are for a 6mm project, new sprue cutter- always good to have a sharp pair, the now out of production MMS Russian AT gun will be used for a Megablitz/ Crossfire project. The two diecasts were cheap and the impulse purchase, one is a limited edition but I’ll take it out of its box and use it in a wargame….
My painting has been quite slow due to the weather. I paint in a shed which is rather cold; not that the temperature bothers me but my breath condensing on metal figures makes it hard to paint. However I did mange to finish these 28mm Soviets:
I’ll do better pictures when all of them are finished.
I’ve just finished this pair of Assault Gliders:
They were laser cut from wood by a friend of mine with access to such equipment. The tail plane looks a bit crude as they were added by me from Balsa wood. The decals were bought from Hannants and were added after I gave them a generic paint job.
Next thing is to come up with a suitable scenario for them- either an Eben Emael one or possibly the raid on Tito….