Sunday, 23 March 2014

420 - Universal Carriers; 4 KSLI, 11th Armoured Division

Hooray - at last I have a carrier platoon!

Admittedly, they don't yet have any crew, but I've ordered some drivers from Peter Pig, so they will do soon. They're from 4 King's Shropshire Light Infantry, and they'll form the first part of the recce screen for my 11AD Rifle Company.
Delightfully swift to paint, but the decals were fiddly. I've not yet given them their final dull wash, so if some colours look a bit bright, that's why. That said, this is the first time I've ever tried painting such small numbers as the white-on-green flash, and I'm super-chuffed with how most of them turned out! Yay me.
EDIT: Thanks to chrisb and Cameron for the source of this image (please see comments)!
- Drax.


  1. Hi. A quick search throws up this for the chart, which credits it as "The WW2 Tommy by Martin Brawley".

  2. Thanks, chrisb, and thanks also for stopping by.

    Cameron - it would appear that I am at your service again!

    1. The image pops up a lot. It is from the book mentioned above although it might be from somewhere else originally. It is a great resource for platoon markings and things.

      The carriers look really good. I am guessing your used lot didn't come with the crew. The hand painted tactical numbers look really good. I didn't even notice until I zoomed in to the pictures.

    2. Thanks, Cameron: in my book, praise from you is praise indeed!

      Hopefully some Peter Pig drivers will arrive this week. We'll see...

  3. You need to read "the Black Bull" by Patrick Delaforce.

    I thought it was quite good; Not quite as dry as some contemporary accounts - I think he might have written it sometime later...

  4. I have read it as it happens, and I think I rather agree with what you said about it.

    Like some others that I've read - and this is an observation rather than snobbery - it's not got the style of something written by a writer(!) and he obviously had a few personal axes to grind, but I really like reading recounts like The Black Bull as you get such a sense of 'raw, first-hand' experience from them.

    1. I'm slowly collecting all of PDF's books. I like 'em.

      Interesting counterpoint to the holy triumvirate of German Armour memoires - Guderain, Raus and Von Luck. The Inspector General and Lt Col seem to regard themselves as able to write in more personal, writerly style. General Raus's book, by comparison, reads more like an official AAR - given who and when he was, he might have been trying to be a bit more personal, but the book is still drier. It's still actually a bit exciting and a good read, but the contrast to (for example) a modern military memoir is enormous.

  5. Bright? Look fine to me. Maybe a little dust/mud to show they actually get used?

    You going to add .50cals or a piat so you can take them in your lists?

  6. How do you run yours please, Dai? - Colour me interested...

    I do have a spare .50cal from my PSC Shermans, and I've squirrelled away a wee PIAT operator too. Just, y'know, in case!

    1. All depends on how many points I have available mate. Preferably two patrols are best to help minimise enemy ambush opportunities.

      At the very minimum I add an extra MG on each. These things can really harass enemy infantry and the extra dice from more guns means better chances of pinning your target. (Then you might be able to get in an assault too if the situation is favourable - these count as "tanks" so any survivors would have to roll "Tank Terror" in order to counter assault, super handy for such a cheap unit.)

      Preferably though, I like to run them all armed with .50cals. The AT4 and 5+ firepower kills infantry way better and even has solid chance of popping/bailing lightly armed vehicles and gun teams.

      The piat option is one I’ve started to take only if the rest of my list is low on Anti tank assets. It’s 5+ Fire Power test is just too unreliable and most tanks seem to shrug off it’s low AT value. (Though with a lucky side shot I have managed to destroy a US Sherman.) If I do take a Piat, it’s mainly to try to scare away light armour and to be my one carrier in the patrol that will (Dice rolls willing) lift Gone to Ground from my target and make it easier to hit with the other two carrier’s MG’s [and also the rest of my company who also decides to shoot at the same target.].

    2. I've been using UCs in my list for the last few months. I've just been upgrading them when I have extra points leftover that I can't use on something more useful. The .50cals are a really nice upgrade as they can harass infantry and transports and things. UCs are not very fast or survivable though, so it is not always worth investing lots of points in upgrading them in my opinion (I like my turretless stuarts more in that role as their armour helps protect them more). I've been running a PIAT in mine too (as I modelled it) but I find that it rarely gets used. Because it is rate of fire 1 it is +1 to hit when you move (and you will need to move to get a side shot). In 10+ games with the PIAT carrier I think I have shot it 3-4 times (twice at a King Tiger!) and destroyed one Wirbelwind with it. I think carriers are best as a really cheap platoon that can stop ambushes, delay spearheading forces, and lift gone to ground. They can also provide fire support for catching infantry and guns that are not dug in or harassing things like artillery. I am quite aggressive with mine and have assaulted with them a few times too.

    3. Super, super advice from both of you - thanks!

      As it happens, Dai, only one carrier per platoon can have a .50cal in 11th AD lists, so at least that limits the modelling requirements!

      Traditionally, I'm not too good at playing agressively, but when I've done so with my 11AD force they've generally come good for me. It's a learning curve, that's for sure!

      Interestingly, that's why - when I make my mid-war desert list - I've decided I'll be going for a speedy, reckless light tank force me into no choice BUT to be aggressive!


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