Category: Industrial Warfare

Nation states backed by industry. The era featured mass-conscripted armies, rapid transportation (first on railroads, then by sea and air), telegraph and wireless communications, and the concept of total war. In terms of technology, this era saw the rise of rifled breech-loading infantry weapons capable of massive amounts of fire, high-velocity breech-loading artillery, chemical weapons, armoured warfare, metal warships, submarines, and aircraft. I have chosen to start the period with the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) and end with end of World War II (1945). Sub-categories: Spanish Moroccan War, Scramble for Africa, Spanish American War, Rif Wars, World War I, Spanish Civil War, World War II.


Commandos in the 14th Army in Burma

Scraggy Hill (known to the Japanese as Ito Hill) on the Shenam Pass, captured by the 4:10th Gurkhas

Commandos in the 14th Army. Yup. Commandos in Burma. What is that about? Some infantry units of the 14th army had commando platoons and/or companies. These are not the British Commandos formed to fight in occupied Europe. They were something else. The question is, what where they? Who were they? What were they for?

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Choosing my Anglo-Indian tanks for Burma

9th Deccan Horse - British commander and Indian crew encounter elephant near Meiktila

My British and Gurkha infantry in Burma will need some armoured support. Of course Shermans and Stuarts appeared in Burma, as they did everywhere. But Lee tanks did well in Burma and, unlike other theatres, were in service until 1945. And for armoured car support I’m going for the Daimler. Where possible I’m opting for Sikh units just so these vehicles are obviously different to the same vehicles fighting in other theatres – that Sikh turban (‘Puggaree’) will stand out. However, in Burma, the Lee tank was reserved for British units. This post covers my options and my choices.

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Breakout at the Hinge – A Crossfire Battle Report

Breakout-31 Table

I use the Crossfire special rules from Hit the Dirt (HTD) a lot, but I’m conscious I haven’t played many of the scenarios. Recently I decided to rectify that, so when Chris and Adam came over last week I suggested they play Breakout at the Hinge, one of the HTD scenarios. This scenario is very unusual because it features a German breakout in 1941, at the height of Operational Barbarossa, when the perception is that it was the Soviets who were always the ones encircled.

Summary: Good game. Lots of terrain. Very asymmetric making it a serious challenge for both

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14th Army Battalion – Order of Battle in Crossfire

14th Army - Recoloured

I’ve got both a Welsh and a Gurkha battalion planned for the Burma Campaign. So I thought I should get a clear idea of their order of battle for Crossfire. Information is scarce, particularly for the Gurkhas. George Forty, in his “The British Army Handbook, 1939-1945”, lumps all British and Commonwealth battalions, in all theatres, together under a single order of battle. This corresponds well with the Crossfire rules themselves, which have a single organisation for a “Great Britain: Leg Infantry Battalion (1939-’45)”. However, I have found the British and Commonwealth formations in Burma were similar to, but not identical

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Moroccan Tabor in Italy – Crossfire Orbat

Goumier

In my mountain of unpainted lead are some goumier. Irregular Moroccan auxiliaries fighting for France in Italy during World War 2. Cool. I wondered what they would look like under Crossfire.

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Making Bamboo Groves for Wargaming

Bamboo-62 Bamboo groves around Burmese village

I’m already doing the Portuguese Colonial War. Adam got me interested in Burma. Chris and Jamie are talking about Vietnam. So, inspired by Brett Simpson, I thought I’d make some Bamboo groves to extend my on-table jungle.

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Planning my New Zealand Carriers In Italy for Crossfire

New Zealand Universal Carrier - Rimini, Italy - September 1944

My Kiwis in Italy Project isn’t going well. I still haven’t started painting my the New Zealand infantry of 2 (NZ) Division in Italy. Sigh. But I do continue to make plans. I know I’ve got to do at least one carrier platoon when I finally get around to this. So I want to get my thinking straight about carriers in British / Commonwealth Leg Infantry Battalions and Motor Infantry Battalions. And Crossfire has that silly single APC carries a platoon thing, which is doubly silly for a 4-man universal carrier.

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Balagan Bunkers – New Crossfire house rule

I recently blogged about Assaulting Bunkers in Crossfire – Possible House Rules. But I don’t think I was sufficiently clear on my final recommendation. So I’m having another go at explaining it. Short story is I want to make bunkers (and hard points) much tougher to assault. I’m intending to add this to my Balagan House Rules for Crossfire.

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Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – Two Battle Reports

Lockdown 1-08 storming

Bruce Stewart played through his Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario twice and shared some narrative and photos from each. Bruce games with 1/56 figures and 1/48 – 1/50 vehicles.

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Lockdown Crossfire – Kiwis in Italy – A Crossfire Scenario

Crossfire Lockdown - Scenario deployment areas

Bruce Stewart, like many of us, has been trying to figure out how to wargame during the Covid-19 lockdown. Bruce’s idea involves video conferencing, a situation from the Band of Brothers, and New Zealand accents. You might recall that last year Bruce sent through a couple of battle reports for Kiwis in the Italian Campaign using Crossfire. Well, there is more of the same here.

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Assaulting Bunkers in Crossfire – Possible House Rules

Australian Flame Thrower Clears Japanese Bunker

I’m not happy with bunkers in Crossfire. In normal Crossfire you just have to wait for the garrison to No Fire and then close assault. I think they should be harder to assault. Historically flame throwers, demolition charges and big guns were used to deal with bunkers. I’m inclined to introduce house rules to encourage this. So here is a possibility for bunker busting.

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Making Rice Paddies for Wargaming

Rice Paddy 872 - Village

2020 is the year of the Rice Paddy – at least I’ve declared it the year of the Rice Paddy. So I thought I’d make a few. I need them for Burma Campaign, Portuguese Colonial War, First Indochina War, and Vietnam War. Mine are for 15mm wargaming figures, but the same principles apply for other scales.

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WW2 Battle Resolution for Engle Matrix Games

Hamster Press

One of the conclusions from my last game of the Missing General – An Engle Matrix Game was, for clarities sake, to combine the battle rules and World War Two mods into a single document. So here you go.

The original battle resolution rules were devised by Arthur Harman but have been revised by me (Steven Thomas).

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Rafa “Archiduque” paints Minairons’s Spanish Civil War Figures

Archiduque 6 - Mando Miliciano

Every now and then I have a chat with Rafa, aka “Archiduque”, from Rafa “Archiduque” Miniatures Painting Studio. He got in touch recently and, after our chat, I had a look at his blog. Specifically his Spanish Civil War Gallery. Wow.

Rafa has kindly let me post some of his work here. Amazing. Have a look.

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Kiwi Vehicle Names in WW2

Kiwi Vehicle Names in WW2

I’ve posted on Kiwi Vehicle Camouflage during WW2 but didn’t spend any time researching specific vehicles. Some of the Kiwi vehicles during World War 2 were named e.g. “Discord” and “Katipo”. I thought I’d have a look at my books and see what came up. This is inspiration for my Kiwis in Italy – Steven’s Wargaming Project.

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