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Devil's Charge

Commandos vs. Engineers:
The Last Update
with Mark Francis and Mike Haught

Well, less than four weeks to go until the final event and the Desert Rats gaming group has been busy getting everything ready. The group has been hard at work playtesting the Firestorm map and getting all the terrain ready. First on my list was to winterize the Malmédy table shown in an earlier article, as we need all our tables to be winterized.
Commandos vs. Engineers
Learn more about Shifting Sands 13 here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part One here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Two here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Three here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Four here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Five here...
Read Commandos vs. Engineers: Part Six here...

I exchanged the green mat for a white painted mat and also added the very important railroad embankment, which was made with blue foam covered in papier mache for durability. Being a snow embankment, I didn't even need to paint it. The tree templates were simply made by using excess material of the game mat and the reverse side looked just slightly different enough to make it stand out without blending in too much.

The biggest dilemma I had was the buildings. I really didn't want to repaint them because I use them for my Normandy battles too. In the end, I simply used white tacky draped over to represent snow clumps. I'm happy with the end result and the fact that it is temporary. The table is now ready to go and we shall see if Mike can hold onto the important Paper Mill overlooking the road bridge!

Commandos vs. Engineers
As for my army, this week I added the 2iC half-track and recon vehicles. I didn't want the entire platoon to be Greyhounds so decided to add an Sd Kfz 234/1 as a disguised vehicle and will treat it as a Greyhound in terms of its game stats. I am still undecided if I want the third vehicle to be.
Commandos vs. Engineers
At this point my army is complete with the exception of the Pionier Platoon. I will pick up a blister of the winter pioneers next week and work on them but unfortunately you won't see them until the battle report.

Although I have my Shifting Sands force done (insert link to right article with list), this is not the same force that will be used to attack Mike’s Engineers in our pre-Sands game at Malmédy. The reason is quite simple, only Kampfgruppe X attacked here and there were no StuGs. Therefore, my list versus Mike will be the following:
HQ, (with 2iC half-track) 65 points
SS Jaegers, (with Command SMG Panzerfaust) 200 points

Ersatz Panther Platoon (with 3 Panthers) 550 points

Pioneer Platoon (full strength)  235 points

Heavy Mortar Platoon (full strength) 160 points

Ersatz Panzerspäh Platoon (with three Greyhound armoured cars) 135 points

Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoons (with two squads)  155 points
Skorzeny Commando Group (with 2 teams) 100 points
This list represents a more historical force that contains a greater number of infantry than tanks. Hopefully they will make it to the enemy lines across those open fields. Luckily, the game will be a Night Attack as that is what happened historically (well actually, it was a dawn attack in the fog). I'm happy with the addition of the heavy mortars simply to give me some indirect firepower to support my attack. The Panthers will have to play more of a supporting role basically becoming expensive assault guns. At least their frontal armour will withstand most of what the enemy can dish out, especially if I keep them at long range.
Commandos vs. Engineers

This project has been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to testing the force out against the other American armies. As my hastily disguised tanks and infantry move forward, I will have to remember my in-game mantra:

"These aren't the tanks you're looking for."

~ Mark

Commandos vs. Engineers

Ok, I’m nearing the end—I can see the light. I finished the engineers for the most part. To make things stretch across two armies, I consolidated all of my ‘working’ eingineer figures onto two stands per platoon.

The remaining two are normal rifle teams. When I get around to doing my rifle company, I’ll do some BAR teams to replace the engineer ones and therefore kill two birds with one stone! I also painted up a few more bazooka teams, just in case.

Commandos vs. Engineers Commandos vs. Engineers
Commandos vs. Engineers Commandos vs. Engineers
Commandos vs. Engineers Commandos vs. Engineers
Commandos vs. Engineers

If I have some time (rapidly diminishing!) I’d like to have a crack at making some custom objective and booby trap markers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to carve out a few nights over the holidays to make them up.

Alright, that’s about it for the year! The next update you’ll have from Mark and I will be a battlereport for our pre-Sands game, as well as some coverage of Shifting Sands itself. We hope to see you at Shifting Sands, but if we don’t, happy holidays!

 ~ Mike

Commandos vs. Engineers

Last Updated On Thursday, December 20, 2012 by Mike at Battlefront