These are intergral to the game of Chain of Command - you don't deploy your units from your table edge or a certain deployment zone, but based on Deployment Points that are placed on the table. You do this through a scouting phase which is kind of a game in itself, and you can get a big advantage on your opponent if you grab some good position, while leaving your opponent to deploy at unsuitable positions.
You can definitely get by with just using markers for your deployment points, but they offer you an opportunity to theme the table towards your army of choice. They can be anything from stacks of supplies (some weapons with limited ammo can resupply at your DPs), foxholes and rolled up parachutes, to stacks of casualties or a burning truck.
As we stared painting up the desert board, I wanted to make an initial set of rather generic DP markers that match the table. This way the players who want to make platoon specific markers are free to do that, but there'll always be the option of using these.
Keeping it nice and simple, the ingredients were limited:
- MDF circular bases
- Plastic stowage bits from Rubicon Models (Allied Stowage and German Stowage kits)
- Leftover weapons and helmets from plastic infantry sprues
- Spackling paste and sand
I spread an even coat of spackling paste on the bases, and stuck the boxes and oil drums into it. This way they look stuck to the ground. I used an already mangled brush with a lot of water on to even out the paste. The guns are glued onto the boxes with plastic glue.
A few bits were not solidly stuck to the paste after drying, but it's easily fixed by just glueing them back with PVA glue.
After drying, I put some watered down PVA glue on top of the paste, and sprinkled some fine sand on it. Once dry, the pieces gets a rough coat of paint. As the DPs are visual markers, I decided to use different colours for the Axis and the Allied bases, with the Allies having darker browns and khaki green, and the Axis having lighter browns and beige.
I kept the idea of keeping the DPs visually different by using two kinds of grass tufts. The stars and crosses are also not really historically correct, but there to make them visually clearer.
Once I got to the point of putting on the decals, I noticed a mistake: 90% of the time, you'll be looking at these from almost right above! But on some of the bases, there were no good place to put the decals so that they are visible from above. Next time, I'll keep that in mind if I plan to use decals on the boxes.
The finished DPs (click for larger view):
DAK reinforcements #1 - a DAK Flak
One of my New Year activities this year was to reorganize the ol' lead pile in the cupboard. One thing I dug out was a 20mm Flak cannon that I had initially built for my Gerbirgsjäger platoon to use in the Stalino campaign. I never finished it back then, so instead of stuffing it back I took the time to give it a quick paint job.
I built it without the gun shield, as that was a common field adjustment for Gebirgsjägers who often had to lug it around and needed it to be as light as possible. Now that it's a Dak Flak instead, I'll just assume they wanted to carry as little as possible in the hot desert sun.
DAK reinforcement #2 - more infantry
Shirty asked me to paint up some more DAK infantry, as he likes the support option of an additional squad. I also like some redundancy in my platoons, as you never know when you might lose a rifleman or an officer during transportation or in storage. My initial batch of infantry was also light on ammunition carriers and SMGs, so this was an opportunity to beef it up a bit. There's also two crew members for the Flak gun in there (click for larger pictures):
A lot of things are happening now. We're painting up the board and the initial batch of terrain, which I'll try to take some pictures of and post after next terrain building session. We're also looking at how we'll play the actual campaign, and we're now talking about making our own support lists specific to Gazala '42.
As for the DAK side, I've ordered a bunch of tanks and trucks. With this additional section, I'm getting close to a second platoon, so it's quite likely that I'll end up just painting more and more DAK infantry as well, until we can field two platoons. It's always useful to have the option, for a game of Big CoC.
So until next time, have a happy new year!