Images of War – Axis Tanks of the Second World War – Review

Written by Michael Green and published by Pen & Sword Military on 7th August 2017, 216 pages, ISBN 9781473887008, this publication contains a number of rare photographs from wartime archives, as well as photos of tanks still existing.

The book is split into fours chapters of Light Tanks; Early-War Medium Tanks; Late-War Medium Tanks; And Heavy Tanks.

Each chapter then looks at some of the background to the type of tanks and the various countries constructing them. For the German section of Light Tanks chapter for example, the Panzer I and Panzer II are naturally covered. Then the Czech light tanks and their variants in German use, Panzer 38(t), are discussed.

The chapter then moves on to the Italian Light Tanks, the various Carro Veloce marks followed by the Hungarian Toldi and Nimrod tanks. Japanese light tanks are then round out the narrative.

The 10 pages of narrative on the Light Tanks does not give more than superficial information but that is not the main purpose of this book – it is for photographs. 36 pages of photographs, most contemporary to the tanks along with some colour photos, generally of tanks in museums  and private collections.

The same format is followed for the remaining three chapters.

This book is full of interesting photographs and should be on the bookshelf of any AFV petrol or diesel heads. Best of all, it is currently on sale (October 2017).

Images of War – Axis Tanks of the Second World War

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DBA The Worlds – CanCon 2013 – Day 2

Day 2 of the De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) – the Worlds – competition dawned overcast and rainy. A cool day for Canberra at CanCon 2013. I was in sixth position overall and with a fresh slate for the day 2 competition.

Today it was the turn for the Later Hungarians, the army I had being painting in Singapore, then Macksville then later in Singapore again.

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/22 Serbian Empire
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/22 Serbian Empire
The First Battle

The opening battle was against Lachlan Bayliss-Smith again. After the first day the software being used for the draw was reset and seeded with positions from Day 1. The system uses a Swiss Chess System where the higher scored players play each other each round.

Apart from a couple of practice games with Doug a few weeks ago, this was also the first time I had been using my Later Hungarians. It was definitely the first time that I had used them with the two war wagon option.

The multiple war wagons are nice in that you do not require a camp and therefore there is one less thing to protect, however, they move slowly and require additional Player Initiative Points (PIPs) to move.

In this battle I was the attacker again – the Hungarians are more aggressive than the Koreans.

Advancing my main striking force (the troops on the left) I engaged part of the Serbian line. After a couple of rounds of melee and the loss of some Light Horse of mine I managed to eliminate enough Serbian elements and then took out his general.

An 8-2 win and another general killed to start the second day of the competition. A excellent start.

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/80 Hussite
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/80 Hussite
The Second Battle

This was against Sam Braham using another one of the book IV lists that use war wagons – five of them!

Managing to get some good match-ups here was going to be difficult, especially with the terrain. I was forced to come inthrough two areas of rough ground. I needed to keep my war wagons out of the area otherwise they are unable to move.

Sam played an excellent game and I was both out maneuvered and outfought.

A loss – 2-8! Those war wagons are a problem to use and a problem to beat. Still, I reckon i’m in a reasonable position still so on to game 3!

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/66 Later Polish
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/66 Later Polish
The Third Battle

This battle was against Bas Braham using Later Polish and once I had gotten the Yul Brynner Taras Bulba Polish joke our of the way ((“Put your faith in your sword, and your sword in a Pole” – OK, it was one of the lines from the movie)) we started the battle. Once again I was the attacker. Attacking had generally been kind to me so I was hoping for a good result here.

The Later Polish are a strong mix of knights and cavalry with some other supporting elements. Bas came at me and there was little I could do except watch my elements be eliminated – four of them to the one he lost.

So, for me, a loss again, 2-8. I reckon that’s me done for the World’s and the Day 2 competition. I’m starting to wonder why I made such an effort with the later Hungarians. It may have been quicker and more effective to paint the Serbian Empire army I have at home (or the later Polish for that matter)!

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/74 Free Company
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/74 Free Company
The Fourth Battle

I squared up in this battle to Brad again. He was using a lovely Free Company army but this time I was the defender.

The picture here shows the position after a few moves. The blue patch in the centre is, in fact, a low hill (don’t ask). I defended in this game (and in the next two as well) which was kind of frustrating.

Brad danced and we finally moved into contact with each other where my general was quickly hors d’combat. Game over! Final score was 1-8 against me. Still, my general died heroically at the end!

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/55b Ottoman
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/55b Ottoman
The Fifth Battle

By this stage of the day I was playing for prestige points only – I could at least look at finishing in the top half of the field for competition overall. I now had to face Andrew Smith using book IV/55b Ottomans.

They were a lovely army, well painted. They seem to have done well in the DBMM competition and looked so good here I am sorely tempted to think about buying and painting some for the next Worlds.

Andrew tried to work the Light Horse on his right (the left of the picture above around my left flank to squeeze my forces from two sides. I managed to block his attempt with some of my own Light Horse and the War Wagons. The War Wagons were quite effective in this game, destroying a couple of his Light Horse.

It was a tough battle of riposte and counter-riposte and at the end I managed to nail his general, an 8-1 win for me and another general executed!

IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/54 Medieval Scandinavian
IV/43c Later Hungarians vs IV/54 Medieval Scandinavian
The Sixth Battle

The last battle of Day 2 and of the Worlds. As I understand, the title could have gone to one of a number of players … er … excluding me. This battle was against Stephen Cumming Steve Jones using Medieval Scandinavians.

I rolled as the defender and set terrain. I used my warband for the first time in this battle. This was a tough battle that swung both ways. The Medieval Scandinavians contained a number of blades which are quite effective against my war wagons, however, my knights are also very effective against his blades, as is my warband.

My knights managed to kill an element for the first time on Day 2 and it was then that one of the problems of the Hungarians became apparent. The knights are on large deep bases and as they burst through the enemy line, it is almost impossible for them to do anything except keep going straight ahead.

We fought many rounds of melee and some distance shooting until at last, I had lost four elements for a 3-8 loss.

Oh well, what a finish

So, at the end of the second day I was placed in seventeenth position with two wins from six matches. On a positive note, that gave me 6 wins and 6 losses over the two days so probably a middle of the field result.

The day two positions were:

Position Player Points Army
1st Peter Braham 43 Medieval German
Marcus Treganza 43 Italian Condotta
David Lawrence 43 Christian Nubian
4th Mark Baker 40 Low Countries
5th Brad del-Munns 36 Free Company
6th Sam Braham 34 Hussite
7th Brenton Searle 33 Early Burgundian
Iain McCartney 33 French Ordonnance
9th Murray Woodford 32 100 Years War English
10th Mark Davies 31 Komnenan Byzantine
11th Joe Unwin 30 Hindu Indian (Harsha)
Bas Braham 30 Later Polish
13th Steve Jones 29 Medieval Scandinavian (Others)
14th Greg Kelleher 25 Burgundian Ordonnance
14th Stephen Cumming 25 Medieval German
14th Lachlan Bayliss-Smith 25 Serbian Empire
17th Ian Thompson 24 Later Hungarian
George Birt 24 Rus
Joshua Bayliss-Smith 24 100 Years War English
20th Andrew Smith 22 Ottoman
21st Oliver Birt 21 Medieval French
22nd Elijah Birt 17 Medieval Scandinavian (Others)

It has since occurred to me that instead of busting a gut painting like a mad man for the last couple of weeks, it may have been better and produced better results if I had used my Rajput Indians in Day 2, after all they had already run second in 2011 and I must have been used to using them by now. It felt, however, like I should use a new army for this competition. Maybe next time.

The results from Days 1 and 2 were then tallied up to determine an overall winner and World’s Champion. The final results were (out of a possible score of 96 points maximum):

Position Player Points
1st David Lawrence 81
2nd Brenton Searle 77
3rd Peter Braham 76
4th Brad del-Munns 74
5th Murray Woodford 73
6th Iain McCartney 72
7th Marcus Treganza 69
8th Sam Braham 65
9th Steve Jones 63
10th Mark Davies 62
11th Greg Kelleher 59
11th Mark Baker 59
11th Ian Thompson 59
14th Joe Unwin 57
15th Stephen Cumming 55
15th Bas Braham 55
17th Lachlan Bayliss-Smith 52
17th Andrew Smith 52
19th Joshua Bayliss-Smith 49
20th Elijah Birt 38
21st George Birt 37
22nd Oliver Birt 36

Overall, a creditable performance and one to improve on in the future. Participating has motivated me to look at some new armies and get painting now rather than later.

I had a wonderful time there. Thanks again to Greg for organising it and the other 20 players who made each game a great deal of fun for me. Also thanks to Doug (taxi to and from the station as well as to and from Cancon), Doug and Gillian for putting us up for the four nights we were in Canberra), John and Cathy for the lovely lamb and salads and lastly for CountryLink for getting us to and from Canberra in style and good order.

The next World’s? I believe they are on in Koblenz in late 2014 – plenty of time to paint and prepare!

DBA The Worlds – CanCon 2013 – Day 1

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) – the Worlds – was a two-day competition held at CanCon 2013. DBA is a short form of an ancient wargame much-loved by those who play it. Some are perhaps overly passionate about their favourite version of the game – it is a game after all – but that does indicate the depth of feeling for the game.

Over the last few weeks I have been posting about the progress of my painting efforts and I am pleased to report that the armies arrived at CanCon in tact and ready to game. What follows is a brief after action report for Day 1 of DBA – the Worlds. Day 2 will be written up later.

Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/52 Dacian
Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/52 Dacian
The First Battle

The opening battle was against Mark Baker and his Dacians (Book II/52 ((the armies that can be used are defined in the rules by a book number (I to IV) and then a list number. The list may further be subdivided into sub-periods – his was the earliest variation)) which are an army I’ve not encountered before.

This was the first time I had been using my Koreans. I really should have got some practice games in with them to start with but ran out of time.

In this battle I was the attacker although the Koreans are generally not very aggressive.

The terrain was difficult with two woods and some steep hills, very much like Dacia. I advanced and met the Dacians along the woods-steep hill line. It was getting interesting with 2 elements destroyed from both sides when I managed to kill his general and it was all over.

An 8-3 win to start the competition. A good start.

The Second Battle

This was against  Brenton Searle using one of the few book I lists – in this case, I/2a Early Egyptians 3000-1640BC. Brenton noted, “this is not a killer army”. As I noted, “neither are these Koreans”. We rolled dice and added aggression factors which resulted in me defending for this battle.

I didn’t manage to photograph this game but looking at the composition of the armies, the deployment becomes kind of apparent. I was trying to set my knights onto his blades, he was trying to set his blades onto my bows and spears.

After a bit of maneuvering  I managed to get my general up against his general, the result of which would have been a quick kill of his general and proceeded to roll down on the dice. My general became hors d’combat and it was game over. Results was a 1-8 loss.

Brenton went on to win day 1 of the competition.

Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/3 Classical Indian
Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/3 Classical Indian
The Third Battle

I went into round three with a win and a loss, still, I managed a second at CanCon 2011 after one loss in six rounds and there I had that loss in the opening round. I was feeling confident then until my opponent, Lachlan Bayliss-Smith, announced that he was using Classical Indians. This army contains three elephants, all of which are very fatal opponents to my knight general. My confidence evaporated a little.

Lachlan was the defender, me the attacker for this battle. He ended up deployed around a couple of woods. Lachlan’s tactics were to try and overwhelm my light horse with his mounted and to hit my knights with his elephants. Elsewhere his bows and blades were evenly matched with my spears and bows.

I will admit in this battle some good dice rolling helped me considerably however the best part was when my knight general with a little assistance from my Psiloi eliminated one of his elephants.

At the end, it was an 8-3 ((I should note that the scoring here was 8 points for a win, for a loss, 1 point plus an additional point for each enemy element killed or camp looted. A draw earned zero points for the draw plus one point for each enemy element killed or camp looted)) win to me.

The Fourth Battle

This was against the Marian Romans of Joshua Bayliss-Smith (Lachlan’s brother). Another battle I did not get a photo of.

I was again the attacker in this battle and Joshua tried to use the opening bound to move an element into a position that threatened my camp. I countered that and we maneuvered a little against each other. My knights had the advantage over his infantry however his infantry had a strong advantage over mine.

After stripping the troops from his flanks I eventually managed to attack and defeat his general. I eliminated 5 elements from the 12 in his army, one of which was the general.

Final score was 8-2 my way.

Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/48 Mithridatic Pontic
Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/48 Mithridatic Pontic
The Fifth Battle

By this stage I was feeling like there was a chance of doing quite well with the Koreans, four games and only one loss. I then had to face Greg Kelleher’s Mithridatic Pontic army. Greg was the competition organiser and his army was one of the prettiest there.

In a change of fortune I rolled low and with my low aggression factor I became the defender for this game.

Simple terrain of a road and a couple of woods made this a fairly open battle (the woods are the blue areas in the photo – yes, I know, I’m not sure what happened, they were green when placed)!

We maneuvered against each other and I managed to get into what I thought was a favourable position only to have my general die in cruel combat. The result was then a 2-8 loss to me.

Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/3 Classical Indian
Book II/76 Koguryo Korean vs II/3 Classical Indian
The Sixth Battle

The last battle of Day 1 and the one that would decide the “ancient” champion was against Brad del-Munns who was using another Classical Indian.

I had already beaten an Indian earlier today so was feeling nervous again – the elephants are very difficult for my army to manage.

Fortunately I rolled high on the aggression dice and as such I was the attacker. Brad set the terrain, we deployed and his elephants and chariots were deployed mostly against my infantry.

After a few rounds of maneuvering the combats started. It was tough for me in this battle. We were both three elements down (one short of victory or defeat). In the last bound of melee I managed to kill two of his elements (including another elephant) for an 8-3 victory.

So, at the end of the first day I was placed in sixth position with four wins from six matches, one win behind and well within striking distance of Brenton who was leading at the turn and subsequently the Day One winner

The day one positions were:

Position Player Points Army
1st Brenton Searle 44 Early Egyptian
2nd Murray Woodford 41 Graeco-Bactrian
3rd Iain McCartney 39 Graeco-Bactrian
4th Brad del-Munns 38 Classical Indian
David Lawrence 38 Blemmye
6th Ian Thompson 35 Koguroyo Korean
7th Greg Kelleher 34 Mithridatic
Steve Jones 34 Later Hoplite Greek (Siciliot)
9th Peter Braham 33 New Kingdom Egyptian
10th Sam Braham 31 Later Achaemenid Persian
Mark Davies 31 Mithridatic
12th Andrew Smith 30 Seleucid
Stephen Cumming 30 Early Carthaginian
14th Joe Unwin 27 Later Carthaginian
Lachlan Bayliss-Smith 27 Classical Indian
16th Marcus Treganza 26 Late Imperial Roman (East)
17th Bas Braham 25 Maccabean Jewish
Joshua Bayliss-Smith 25 Marian Roman
19th Elijah Birt 21 Marian Roman
20th Mark Baker 19 Dacian
21st Oliver Birt 15 Polybian Roman
22nd George Birt 13 Later Hoplite Greek (Siciliot)

I returned with Doug  (thanks Doug and Gillian for the accommodation, food and company) to his place. We then showered, changed and went out for an evening barbecue at John Garvey’s. This photo was taken of me watching the Australian Open Tennis after returning from the barbecued lamb at John’s (thanks John and Cathy). Yes, I was sharp, alert and ready for the next days combat!

Thomo the Lost - alert and ready for the next day's combat
Thomo the Lost – alert and ready for the next day’s combat

CanCon 2013 – The Armies are Packed

2013-01-23 23.34.36And ready to go to Canberra, for CanCon 2013. Now I just have to work out what else to pack in the box to prevent damage, although this time it will be hand carried so less damage is likely.

The magnetic basing gives a great deal of stability as can be seen in the photograph.

The Pin-up shots of the troops will come along later.

Cancon 2013 DBA – Later Hungarians – 11 – Finished

2013-01-23 09.17.43 Yay!

Well, all but for standards, pennons and shield patterns but they will need to wait until after CanCon 2013 as I am not out of time.

However, the Later Hungarians are now presentable enough for the table.

I finished painting the infantry last night, then finished the flocking on the infantry and the cavalry bases. The photos on this page are of the whole army finished and are taken in bits for clarity.

2013-01-23 09.17.30

I’ll get around to doing a proper photographing job at some point in the future with my proper camera. You’ll just have to enjoy the photos that were taken from my iPhone (as were all the painting photos).

I had forgotten to paint a camp (see Oops – DBA CanCon Omission) but the neat thing with the Later Hungarians is that if I am using two war wagons (they are those cart like things) then I don’t need a camp.

Tonight is the final stage, varnishing the figures then packing them for the flight on Friday.

2013-01-23 09.17.15

Oops – DBA CanCon Omission

2013-01-23 00.33.39 I remembered last night, I needed a camp for my DBA army for CanCon 2013. A quick rummage around and I came across a piece of castle wall that I was going to use for another project. The wall came from Irregular Miniatures and was part of an early Christmas present for myself (there was also some 2mm scale terrain but that will need to wait for a future post).

Measured the piece and it is about 3mm wider than 40mm so I figured I would just use a 40mm x 40mm base that I had. Based it, undercoated it in black, painted the rest of the infantry I needed to paint for the Later Hungarians, then a quick base coat, followed by a top coat and then a wash in black ink and we are almost done.

When finishing the flocking of the Hungarians, I flocked this camp as well and voila, a DBA camp – built and painted in, oh, about 20 minutes :lol

2013-01-23 09.20.01

Cancon 2013 DBA – Later Hungarians – 11

2013-01-22 00.11.23 A good night’s painting. I kind of worked on all the infantry at the same time, finishing one element  (the spears). OK, I know, there is no heraldry on the shields. That is one step to far in the time scale available. I’ll add that after CanCon 2013, especially if I can see some appropriate decals in the trader area at CanCon. Picture to the left is the painting progress last night.

Whilst finishing the spears I splashed a fair bit of paint around on the hand-gunners and crossbowmen, as well as the blades (they are the guys with the nasty looking chopping things). 2013-01-22 00.12.24I even managed to get some paint on to the warband. I am fairly certain that I will manage to finish the painting tonight, leaving the varnishing until tomorrow night.

The photo to the right is the painting progress with a rear shot of the spears and crossbowmen.

Lastly the photo below is one of the war wagons. I thought I would finish the base on it last night before retiring to bed so that I had at least one element finished. Actually, I am fairly pleased with the way it has come up although to be fair, the digital camera does hide a multitude of sins.

2013-01-22 00.25.17 Bother – I still have a camp to build/make – another last minute construction.

Cancon 2013 DBA – Later Hungarians – 10

2013-01-21 00.19.20There’s less than a week to go. Cancon 2013 starts in Canberra next Saturday and I am still painting my armies for the DBA competition. The Koguryo Koreans are finished except for a camp and some varnishing.

This weekend just gone I had planned to get as much of the Hungarians finished as possible. In between painting I needed to fit in a meeting at the pub with some old colleagues – rendering Saturday night useless for painting (and Sunday morning as it turned out as well – there must have been a dirty glass last night).

I therefore wanted to get all the mounted finished.2013-01-21 00.19.46

The photo to the right is the finished mounted troops. The photo to the left, a side view of the same troops.

I don’t consider myself a great painter, just an adequate one. I will note ahead of time that these figures are a bit more slapdash even than my usual efforts.

I want to add some pennons and flags as well as shield heraldry but as I am in a hurry at the moment, I am happy to just have the figures painted well enough to put on the competition table.

I still have the grass flocking to do on the bases yet.

I discovered when having a read of the rules the other night that if I am fielding two war wagons (they are the wagons at the back of the mounted troops) I do not need to provide a camp so that is one less element to worry about.

2013-01-21 00.20.32The second picture on the right is the view from the rear – this is a shot of the back of the elements.

The last picture is the other side- the reverse of the picture on the left.

What is left to do?

I have two bases of close order infantry, a base of crossbowmen, 2 bases of close order guns and four bases of light infantry. That is a total of 26 infantry figures left to paint.

There is also a base of warband but they will only be painted if I have time.

2013-01-21 00.20.03All the painting and varnishing needs to be completed by Wednesday night so that I can pack them Thursday morning to take to Australia.

Currently the travel plans are to fly from Singapore to Sydney late Thursday night. Meet the lady at Central Railway station and take the 6.11pm train to Canberra. That gets in around 10:30pm so it will be straight into a taxi and around to Doug and Gillian’s to lay claim to the Thompson wing for a few days.

Saturday is the start of Cancon. My competition is on Sunday and Monday so on the Saturday I’ll have a chance to have a good look around, catch up with some old friends and such. I may even persuade Håkon to come out for the day.

Sunday and Monday will be spent in competition – I think that will be about 12 games of De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA). The odd thing is that as I am resident in Singapore I am now playing as Team Singapore 🙂

Monday night will be early to bed at Doug and Gillian’s because we are then on the 6:43am train to Sydney. That should get into Sydney Central Station at 11:02am. The Lady is then on the 4:12pm back to Macksville. Meanwhile I will be heading out to the airport to catch the 2:05pm flight back to Singapore.

Right then, that’s everything organised. Now back to the painting tomorrow night.

Cancon 2013 DBA – Later Hungarians – 9

2013-01-16 00.37.38The Koguryo Koreans are finished enough for Cancon 2013 so it was time to turn my attention back to the Hungarians. After sorting out the jumble that was the figures after transporting from Oz the other day, I looked at the figures needing painting as well as the time available.

I have a business trip to Jakarta this week which means I will lose two night’s painting. Tuesday night I therefore decided to start on the war wagons. These are one of the two lots of figures I can’t borrow from Doug if needed and they are also the replacement for a camp for the Hungarians.

I opted for a simple brown theme – brown wagon, brown horses (well, except for the one that will end up black) and the troops in a basic green and red livery (original for Hungarians huh?).

I managed to get two war wagons finished except for the final brown and black washes and the white socks and blazes for the horses.

The paint jop ion these is really rough however the beauty of the iPhone is that the camera makes them look a lot better than they are.

Next cab off the rank will be either the Knights or the Psiloi – this will be on Friday night and carry into the weekend I should think. I hope the other stuff will be simple enough to get through Monday to Wednesday nights!

Crap! Not much painting time left.

Cancon 2013 DBA – Later Hungarians – 8

2013-01-11 21.39.10For the last transport leg from Jakarta to Singapore I tried some additional packing – my dirty underwear and socks!

#Fail

After removing the packing and the bobble wrap the Hungarians looked much like the photo to the left.

Morale of the story – based wargame figures plus air travel by hold baggage to not a happy equation make!

So. what was the full damage report. Mercifully they are Essex Miniatures which are quite robust so most of the damage was riders unseating themselves and bent spears or figures at an odd angle. The photo to the right gives a better idea.2013-01-11 21.42.10

20 minutes of judicious spear and figure straightening has returned everything to rights although I would not want to have too many more spear bending sessions before some spears/lances are going to permanently disappear.

The Koreans are going to lose a spear before Cancon 2013 as the Alain Touller Figurines are a lot more delicate than the Essex.

I had another issue with the Later Hungarians. I felt the base colours are too light – more desert like than steppe like.

2013-01-11 22.00.54I compared the Hungarian bases against the Koguryo and you can see in the photo to the left that the Hungarians have a very yellow appearance

I need to darken it a little. I was thinking of washing with the Acrylic Brown I used for the base coat for the Korean bases but then I would need to do the dry brushing process again.

I decided to try with the Citiadel brown ink wash (can’t remember what odd name it is called by now but it is whast used to be the Devlan Mud wash).

The result is shown on the right.2013-01-11 22.24.30

The base with the 5Wb on it has been washed to take the yellow and white appearance away. The muskets on the left are unwashed and showing the original colours.

I think the wash will be enough to set the colours properly.

More painting today – I’m thinking of trying to finish the Koreans today.