Please note I will not be hosting any Public events from 31st January 2023. Nothing too drastic from our side, just need a break.

I’ll be providing updates when we’re back, here and on my social media platforms.

Thank you for all the custom and friendship this has brought me to date.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon, both new and old customers.

The recent game of Prokhorovka saw some worthy additions to the collection here at the Waragames Holiday Centre. In the first instance we needed a lot more Kommissars.

Divisional Kommissar

Divisional Kommissars from the TQD Castings range.

After researching the numerous figures available I decided to get some on from a number of manufacturers, the TQD Castings models looked great on their site and indeed they proved to be very neat figures to paint. They come with “slotts tabs” for their insertion into plastic bases, so these had to be removed in order to get them on suitable bases for our games.

Russian Divisional

Another angle on this divisional Kommissar command base.

The figures are all anatomically correct, what this means is that the features and weapons are all in the right proportions. I like the dynamic poses they offer, the variety of weaponry, captured German weapons etc. They all came without any flash, so cleaning up the figures was a doddle.

Line Battalion Kommisars

Here are some of the figures from the TQD Castings range painted up as Kommissars for the Line regiments.

Line Komm

The TQD Casting figures lend themselves to the use of Army painter dip, so a base block coat and then dipping means a quick turn around.

To paint the TQD Castings figures I used a Humbrol Dark Brown Acrylic spray, then block painted Russian Uniform, the Gun and leather work, the caps and trousers, the flesh and then painted on the dip, clearing excessive pooling of the Dark Tone before they dried. Sixteen figures in an hour, with a little dry brush after!

The Battle of Prokhorovka was refought over the last weekend, Liebstandarte and the Totenkopf divisions of the SS, ( over twenty heavy panzers and sixty lighter panzers) pushed hard into the rail head on the southern sector of the battle for Kursk.

Panzer IV

One of the Panzer IV’s from Liebstandarte

Facing them was the Russian Guards 5th Army, including two Guard tank Corps, two line tank corps and a mechanised corps, altogether over 250 tanks and armoured vehicles.

Totenkopf

The heavy companies of the Totenkopf division, Ferdinand’s in this case, move forward with the Pz IV’s

Terrain was made up of rolling steppe, so any movement onto hills was deemed very difficult going and required a skill check to negotiate them. The other main terrain feature was the steppe itself, represented by large fields of wheat, this reduced visibility and required skill checks from the Tiger’s to manoeuvre through.

18th Guards Corps

The Russian T34’s of the 18th Russian Guards tank regiment take defensive positions.

The Germans opened the battle with an advance along the whole line, the Russians had deployed the 33rd Mech in front of Prokhorovka in depth, the infantry and anti-tank all dug in. Observers for the Russian artillery were deployed forward of the line to ensure the bombardment would start as early as possible!

Observer for Stalins organ

One of the Russian observation teams for their artillery, in this case the Katyusha’s, Stalin’s Organ!

The initial rounds of combat saw limited air superiority for the Germans, the Russians maintaining a superiority. The first attacks on the Germans saw a Ferdinand destroyed, good start!

Motorcycle recce

German Reconnaissance scout along the viaduct in the southern sector of the battlefield

The Russian tank Corps deployed hull down where possible, waiting for the German Armour to come into range. In the distance several armour battalions were seen negotiating the undulating steppe with what seemed to be incredible ease.

Gepanzerte of the Totenkopf

One of the German armoured infantry regiments moves up in support of Totenkopf drive on Prokhorovka

Then the Germans came into range, the Panzer IV’s and III’s opened up on the Russian armour, the tanks of the Liebstandarte punished the Russian 18th Line Corps by reducing a battalion of their T34’s to fifty percent in one turn of firing, the return fire only destroying one PIV!

Early defence of the Russian Salient

The defenders around the Salient in the Russian lines.

Over the next few turns the exchange of fire increased with the Germans getting the better of the exchange!

The southern half of the battlefield had a lot of woodland and steppe, that with the hills mean’t that there was more of a cat and mouse game to be played. The T34’s here began to exchange like for like in destroyed tanks, Panzer III’s and T34’s littered the slopes of the Steppe!

Russian Line Corps

One of the Russian Line Tank Regiments, hull down await the Panzers.

The salient in the viaduct here became a focus for the fighting, several P IV’s tried to break through here only to be stopped by the combined might of the Guards armour and the infantry support.

On the Northern sector of the battlefield there seemed to be a lot more German troops, the push on to Prokhorovka beagn in earnest when the Germans got their artillery and air support co-ordinated on the mechanised infantry dug in along this front. The front battalion was soon reduced to under fifty percent, the NKVD and Regimental Kommissars began their righteous work in keeping the troops in their foxholes. The line held.

German infantry from Liebstandarte

German motorised infantry advance to support the Liebstandarte armours push in the southern sector.

Further north flights of Sturmoviks got through and attacked the heavy companies, although the casualties climbed as the anti-air of the SS brought down plane after plane. This must have affected the aim of those remaining, as the Pilots kept missing.

Anti-air

German anti-air flak units provide cover for the Liebstandarte armour in it’s attempt to reach the Russian salient.

Once the German heavy tanks got into range they began to take a heavy toll on the T34’s, reserves were rushed form the railhead to support the line, however the central attack was pressing the mech corps hard, most of their Churchills and KV I & II’s were burning and the infantry were breaking, so getting to the front line was a job in itself. One battalion losing fifty percent of it’s effective’s in one round of fire from a company of Tiger I’s!

Luftwaffe

The Luftwaffe gets through and commences a diving attack on the Russian lines.

The pressure was beginning to tell for the Russians, the Russian 2nd Tank Corps was all but wiped out, while the 18th Guards Tank Company had taken enormous casualties in getting to the front line.

Sturmoviks

In the northern sector a squadron of Sturmovik’s stalk the German armour.

The only saving grace for the Russians was the heroics of the Mech and the Guards armour in the south, they managed to destroy the only Tiger I of the game using an ISU 152, which was an excellent shot, even if I do say so myself.

Taking the Salient

Liebstandarte take the Salient, the Russian counter attack was bloody and left two Pz IV’s burning in the tunnel.

The last throw of the dice was the Liebstandarte charging into the suburbs of Prokhorovka! The rail head was lost, what consequences this may have had to the Russian war effort can only be guessed…..

Great game and many thanks to all the participants!

The battles for the Peninsular took a far more historical slant after these battles, with the junction at Talavera being fought over twice along with Salamanca.

The Spanish divisions

The French holding on during the battle of Toledo.

Here is another chance to see some of the fine Front Rank figures,

Spanish Line

A close up of the Spanish in squares. All from Front rank Miniatures

Spanish close up

Spanish in squares, supported by a battery in their later uniform, the artillery are from Elite miniatures.

The Spanish armies look fantastic, although their fighting prowess during this period ebbed and flowed.

During the Battle of Talavera the Spanish performed admirably, holding the suburbs of Talavera with over seven divisions of infantry and supporting artillery and cavalry.

Spanish Line

Spanish infantry in line.

I will be showing more of these fine figures over the next few days.

The fighting over the rest of the campaign was bloody, the Talavera battles being won by the Anglo Spanish and the French equally, while the Battles of Salamanca shared the same result. Overall the French managed to hold their territories and subdue three of the Spanish, the British regrouped in Portugal and looked to drive back into Spain while the Spanish themselves continued the Guerilla war, showing stalwart resistance in the South.

A Polish Division

A Polish division deploying at the Battle of Toledo.

Still more photo’s of the Peninsular Campaign week to come, however tomorrow I’ll show you a snippett of the huge battle we played out last weekend at the Battle of Prokhorovka.

The fighting in and around Gerona was desperate, the ranks of the Catalonian army were swollen by angry townsfolk!

Spanish Militia

Spanish Guerillas from the collection of Philip Marshall.

These are some of the figures from the Front Rank stable, the variety of pose along with the sheer ease of painting these figures makes them a real must for all Napoleonic gamers. Most of our Spanish army is from the Front Rank Miniatures range, not to mention the cavalry I presented last week. But could they fight? well you know the score when it comes to nice looking figures….

Foreign Regiments.

Spanish foreign regiments, digging in to defend every last ditch and wall.

More Foreign Regiments

A closer view of these troops.

Following the battle of Gerona, the British army in the south joined forces with the Granadian Junta’s army outside the town of Toledo. Here they met the French Corps of Moncey and Joseph, along with the Spanish Guard.

Naples Dragoon

A Dragoon regiment from the French allies, this one is a Neapolitan Dragoon regiment.

This regiment is from Elite Miniatures French range, however it has been painted as a Neapolitan regiment. This gives a decent variety to the range of figures within the collection and allows the people to utilise some of the fantastic looking uniforms from the period.

The French looked to hold the line on the advancing Anglo Spanish force, while awaiting the arrival of Joseph’s corps from Madrid. once they arrived Joseph’s Guard were thrown straight into the fray!

Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde

Chasseurs of Joseph’s Spanish Guard, along with Saxon Garde du Corps (this Saxon regiment didn’t fight in Spain, however they are so nice we couldn’t resist using them.

The Anglo Spanish formations lined out and volleyed into the French defenders, driving Moncey’s Corps back upon the advancing Joseph. This wasn’t without cost though! The British Guards lost an entire battalion on dead and wounded! While the French right suffered horribly under the volleys of the British veterans, however the French line was stabilised with the arrival of Joseph’s personal Guard, which then held the line. The British and Spanish retiring from the field in order to find another route to Madrid.
British and French lines

British Lines exchange volleys with their French counterparts..

More tomorrow!

The closing stages of the battle of Cuidad Rodrigo saw the British attempting to give ground against the French, outnumbered three to two the object of delivering a blow to the French numbers and the morale of the army was done! Now to extricate themselves from the fray!! They managed to exercise a rearguard manoeuvre which saved the day and retreated upon Almeida, collecting the two divisions outside Cuidad Rodrigo en route.

The right of the British Line

The right of the British line at Cuidad Rodrigo, this was holding well until the French Light Cavalry began outflanking them.

The Peninsular Week proved to be a tough one for the Spanish, with two of the three Northern territories beginning to flag under the pressure of Ney and Soult’s Corps. The only Junta willing to put up a fight was the man leading the Catalonians. After the Battle of Gerona, Victor paused to rest his troops. The Catalonians rallied and came back south to take them on again! Another epic fight was in the making.

Spanish Heavies

More of the Spanish heavies by Bill Gaskin, these are very nice looking troops and they performed reasonably well to boot!

Victors forces issued forth from Gerona and looked to meet the Spanish in the dense rocky terrain of north east Spain.

Moving through the Rocky terrain

French Line troops moving through the ravines and rocks of the roads north of Gerona.

The fight was short and sharp, the French out manoeuvred the defensive Spanish, looking to get around behind the deployed lines. At one point a squadron of Chasseurs a Cheval got on to the road outside Gerona itself, only to be decimated by the fire of some Spanish artillery at long range!

German Horse Artillery

Saxon horse artillery, these harried the Spanish mercilessly.

The hand to hand fighting was vicious with the Spanish again breaking and falling back North.
Grenadiers and line

Some of the Spanish from the Wargames Holiday Centre collection, the skirmishers are from the Front rank collection and show some nice Guerilla figures.

The Spanish were now effectively out of the fight in Northern Spain, it was up to Wellesley and the Junta armies of southern Spain.

On to Madrid!!

The other battle raging at this time was the one just to the North East of Cuidad Rodrigo. The British had a holding force at the Citadel, while two French Corps under St Cyr and Lefebvre had manoeuvred to block Moores lines of communications. Sir John Moore turned and advanced on the French determined to crush the French army.
The final French assault.

The final shot of the Battle of Gerona, with the French pushing into the centre.

The British deployed on a ridge just outside Cuidad Rodrigo and the French approached with their columns of infantry, drums beating! French light Cavalry on the flanks was engaged by British and K.G.L. Lights and the batteries opened fire on the advancing French infantry.

The light Battailon of the Hesse Darmstadt Regiment.

The Hesse Darmstadt regiment, leads the assault against the British.

Advancing into the teeth of the British Artillery the French took some real punishment, however they still came on! The French cavalry and the British fought in swirling masses on the flanks of the ridge hoping to either gain or deny the other access!

French Hussars

The French light cavalry move out the 6th Hussars in this case.

Guns on the ridge began to take some punishment, with one of the British Batteries losing a gun early on!

5th Hussars

The French 5th Hussars charge into the fray.

These two regiments are new additions to the Wargames Holiday Centre, both painted, converted and based by the legendary Doug Mason. There has also been a wealth of other fine additions more on that later though.

The British began to feel the pressure on the ridge and released their heavy cavalry as the French got closer, again the cavalry fought hard for the control of the area of key importance, in this case the flanks of the advancing columns. The French gained the upper habd however and the advance continued.

One of the Line regiments.

The second battalion of Hesse Darmstadt infantry, this time line.

The French launched an assault up the ridge and were punished for their efforts, however there was a second brigade closing in, this one of greater size! The routing mass falling back from the ridge was rallied and appeared to be re-organising for another assault. It was just at this point, the Highlanders advanced, firing a close rnage voley into the mass. This saw them off and left the British time to re-deploy for the second assault.

Well there will be more on this next week, there’s the battle for Prokhorovka being played out this weekend and the prelimanary work is taking longer than expected, it takes time to re-bacse over 130 T34’s you know!

Until Monday….