In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking backwards and forwards

Been looking over this past year on the blog and thinking about next year, as one does. Life is entering a new phase with the girls and the job and some adjustments need to happen.

I think that 25% of this year's blog posts appearing in the past month (after finally getting a new job) indicates how much time and energy my job search this past year really took out of me and my painting/gaming. I do find that my reading, painting and gaming all sort of feed into each other. I'll paint a new model and want to game with it, or read a new book and suddenly I want to paint and game that subject. Start diverting time into the depressing field of job hunting and it all kind of grinds to a stop.

It's also been bloody hard to get the boys together for a game too.

I didn't get much painting done this year. The Medieval artillery (which still aren't played with),

and a bunch of additions to my SYW Austrians (infantry, jaegers, artillery),

 for WW2 I added the 17 pdrs

17pdrs 001

and sniper teams to my Canadians (neither have been played with)

snipers 002

and have as Works in Progress some PSC Churchills, plus just yesterday I got platoons of Fallschirmjaeger and Canucks based for Chain of Command.

Did add a bit of terrain with the redoubt,

the 4Ground buildings

and the grassy fields. But no churches.

For games there's not much to report either; no ancients, no medievals, a bit of SYW with the Padre, one Colonial game

and a bit of WW2. My Sherman squadron hasn't had a chance to hit the table again after being chewed up by Kampfgruppe Peterson last August.

So this coming year I'd like to paint more and find a way to play more. Perhaps with my morale improving I'll be able to get back to some commission work too. Being on afternoons every other week should help with the painting at least. Although the mandatory overtime every weekend will complicate scheduling games.

The plans I made last February for my Medievals didn't get very far. I should push those plans along as well as my Sharp Practice on the Frontier games. I have been working on some nicer cards for that using Google images etc. And Chain of Command has, if you hadn't noticed, grabbed my attention, so moving that along and getting those platoons painted up seems like a good idea. I have thus far resisted starting 15mm Russians for WW2, maybe I can keep resisting this year and spend more on terrain and whittling down my lead pile.

Playing some more Hail Caesar and Black Powder also seem like good ideas. Nice fast moving rules that can accommodate a group. The glory days of getting together every Saturday night with 4-12 gaming friends seem to be well and truly gone. We're all older, busier and more tired. This year I'm hoping to play maybe once a month with 2-6 players.

So that's the plan anyway. Let's see how long it lasts until my wargamer ADD acts up.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

More Chain of Command with the Padre

The Mad Padre just put up a lovely game report of our town fight on Friday using Chain of Command and my spiffing new 4Ground buildings.

You can see his post here.

Suffice it to say the good Padre opened a can of holy whup ass on me as my poor Canucks got hammered under a barrage of 80mm mortars and then shredded by massive amounts of MG42 fire. I thought I was being clever taking a Wasp carrier as support but it never got on table. In hindsight it would've been smarter and more economical to have taken a FOO and an extra section, or maybe an extra 2" mortar even to smoke the crap out of him.

My jump off points were all kind of bunched in the center as well, I should've used the cover on my left and pushed out in that direction during the patrol phase to give me some flexibility.

Live and learn.

I am going to base my last platoons of Fallschirmjaeger and Canadians on some 15mm round bases for more Chain of Command however!

Best Book of the Year

When I was a youngster in High School, every year we were subjected to a piece of Canadian Literature, or CanLit, or as we took to calling it; CannedLit. Invariably it seemed to be a book about coming of age on the Prairies during the Depression. I remember wondering if anyone east of Winnipeg ever wrote anything? Where were the stories about coming of age in Newfoundland? or maybe suburban Southern Ontario?

Then I read The Way the Crow Flies by Anne Marie MacDonald (published 2004) this past year. The book begins in 1963 with a wonderfully poetic and thoughtful description of a young RCAF family moving to RCAF Station Centralia, which used to be a flight training school located just north of where I grew up in London, Ontario. Our protagonist is 9 year old Madeline, an Air Force brat and still in the golden innocence of childhood where one can view the reality around oneself but still believe in fairies.

Of course, coming of age in the Post-Modern era unfortunately involves the threat of nuclear annihilation, Cold War lies and deceit, a sex molester and murder. The happy golden family is forever changed by the events of 1963 and 64 and it takes Madeline a long time to heal. I won't be a plot spoiler though but much of the conflict is inspired by the Steven Truscott case which happened around the same time at the nearby RCAF Station Clinton.

Part of what got me hooked was the opening chapters about life in a career military family, moving from post to post and Centralia in particular. My step-dad worked at Centralia in the '60s as a civilian graphic artist and this always fascinated me. Also at one point in the novel the family is in London Christmas shopping and they go to the Simpsons department store downtown where everybody went. It was also where most of the buses stopped so it was a common rendezvous, I met the future Mrs. Rabbitman there for our first date! Then they go to the Covent Garden Farmer's Market behind Simpsons and visit the German deli which I loved going to as a kid. Either the authour grew up in London in the '60s or she really did her research. But it was nice to be actually, finally reading a book in which I'd been to some of the settings and driven on some of the roads and knew the kind of landscape instead of always reading novels set in London, or Boston or New York.

The authour also keeps her prose firing on all cylinders right to the end as well. I find many novels start strong and then just become kind of, average at the end.

So bit of a military interest, bit of a creepy murder mystery, some interesting early '60s cultural commentary and lots of really damned fine writing. Highly recommended.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More 4Ground Goodness

Right, just finished off the last of the three buildings I got for Christmas. Up next are 15S-EAW-105 Semi-detached Type 2 and 15S-EAW-105D Semi-detached Type 2 (Damaged).

105 went together in about an hour, but the construction was much the same as the first kit so I was on a roll and didn't need to take as much time sussing things out.

105D was interrupted by dinner and then a game with the Mad Padre, so I'm not sure how long it took. But the exposed brick work is a lot of fiddly bits to glue on. Tweezers are recommended!

Again very happy with both.

note poster and road sign on side wall

Again the floors come apart on the intact version. With the bombed out version I added a few bits of off cuts to make some rubble in corners so it wouldn't look too tidy! I do need to make more piles of rubble. Urban games very often feature streets that are far too neat and passable.

I also got an add-on floor for 105, but it didn't make the picture.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Playing with some Christmas goodies!

Mrs. Rabbitman didn't know what to get me for the holiday, so I helped her out and picked off the shelves some 4Ground 15mm buildings for my WW2 games.

Spent this morning putting together 15S-EAW-103 Terrace Type 1 along with the add-on floor 15S-EAW-103A.

As usual careful pre-reading of the well illustrated instructions and dry fitting things first to see how it all goes together pays dividends. I also used a small syringe to apply the glue and kept some damp paper towels close to hand to wipe off excess that leaked out of the seams. Once each floor was together I used some elastic bands to clamp it all in place until the glue set.

The roof sections were a bit tricky and took a bit more thought and I had to trim the dormers a bit to get a flush fit. A couple of pieces were mislabeled, but the dry fitting helped sort that out easily.

But they went together well and look quite spiffing.

As you can see the floors and attic are all accessible for that essential house clearing. I also picked out some sidewalks to wrap around the building. I just need to sort out how to make some cobbled streets to complete the look.

But this all went together in about 2 hours. I was listening to the 70 minute long classical music CD daughter #2 gave me for most of it.

Included on the instruction sheet are some period advertisements, street signs and propaganda posters.

The cheese poster is a must, but now I need to decide if we're on the way to Bastogne, Calais or Maastericht?

On to the next kit!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas from the Rabbit Family.

Hoping everyone has a joyous holiday season with those you love and a prosperous New Year.

see? I have done some gaming!

The Mad Padre finally got some of his pictures off of his phone and emailed the links to me to share.

First up was a game of the new Too Fat Lardy rules Chain of Command.

end of the patrol phase

my German Jump-off points in good cover and close to the objective

Mike's jump off points not as well situated

Mike comes on strong
my section in the ruins on the left gets pounded, but I reinforce with the 4th section I chose as my support

I blast Mike's section covering the crossroads and you can see in the background my reserve section coming across the field to outflank him 
I've decided I quite like Chain of Command a lot. Previously I had thought the platoon level skirmish of limited potential, but Richard's blog posts about his North African campaign games featuring very limited terrain make me think that the late '44 battles in the featureless polders of Holland might actually be gameable. I also wonder about the potential for more recent Canadian operations in the Panjwayi.

Next up was a game of Maurice. We used the terrain generator system from the rules and my Austro-Bavarian force got a nice defensive position between two villages  to hold off Mike who commanded my Prussian 'blue meanies'. Mike outnumbered me by about 1.5 to 1, although I got to use my supercool redoubt, just because of the coolness.

Austrians in the background, Prussians advancing in the foreground
Mike\s grenadiers seize the objective, the bierhaus
Pandours try to snipe from the woods
the redoubt
Even though I blew a hole or two in Mike's center, his grenadiers were firmly ensconced in the bierhaus and made my right flank untenable. Although in this game you can see we've quite a few units on table and I think we've pushed the upper limits of Maurice. Next time smaller armies of 12-15 units I think. For bigger games, I think Black Powder would work better.

This holiday season I am hoping to get together with the Padre for more Chain of Command. Him being a grad student and me being off until the New Year (the joy of being in a factory again!) will make this very possible. As an early present for myself I ordered in an extra hard copy of CoC for myself and have been reading it and pondering rebasing a couple of platoons from my 15mm collection.

Monday, December 23, 2013

More Austrian Artillery!

Massive influx of 15mm ordnance for the Austrian artillery park. One 12 pdr, one 6 pdr, one 3 pdr and what I think might be two Russian supplied licornes.
Suspected licornes are on the left

The 12 and 6 pdr are Old Glory models. The 3 pdr and the licornes are of unknown manufacture.

Three of the crews are Old Glory and the two crews with the licornes are Lancashire.

This brings the Austrian artillery park to an impressive seven tubes; 2x 12 pdrs, 1x 6 pdr, 2x 3 pdrs and 2x licornes (which I'll class as medium 6 pdrs).

I really need to balance this out with more infantry and cavalry next.

Monday, December 16, 2013

15mm PSC Churchill tanks

I splashed out and got myself a box of the new 15mm Churchill tanks from Plastic Soldier Company the other week. I hadn't thought I wanted Churchill tanks. They are after all, awkward and ungainly looking and the Canadian Armoured Corps never used them, except during the disastrous Dieppe Raid. But ironically, due to a personality clash between commanders during the Italian campaign, 1st Canadian Infantry Div got much of it's armoured support from British RTR Churchills while the Canadian Armoured Division was supporting British and Indian units. And who's to say my troops may not want to be British in some scenario as well?

The box comes with 5 tanks and you have the option to build each one as either a MkIII, MkIV, MkVI(with 75mm gun), MkV CS (with 95mm howitzer) or a MkIII AVRE. So the option of fielding a troop of three heavy "Infantry" tanks and a couple of AVREs to support my infantry attacks seemed like a good one. I've put a couple together this past week while watching TV with Mrs. Rabbitman.

So far I've done up one Mk VI since that, according to Wikipedia, was the most common variant, especially during the Italian campaign. I also built an AVRE just because I think they're super cool.

The hulls and tracks went together with ease. As usual I found if you aren't getting a good fit you are probably trying to put things together backwards. The track assemblies come moulded as one piece which is very nice. The Mk VI turret is one piece and pretty easy to put together, although I  realize I glued on the wrong turret bustle. I'm going to say it was a field workshop modification. The MkIII turret is a little trickier, with four sides, the bottom and roof all needing to come together. I had to trim some overhang off the front mantlet and when it came to the turret bustle I discovered I had put the back wall of the turret on upside down and had to trim the locating lip off to get the bustle on! The 290mm Petard was a tight squeeze and you can see some pressure marks in the plastic.

The new command figure is nice. His arms are separate and you can glue them on with the binoculars up to his eyes, down at his waist, or I chose a more dramatic mid-way to catch him in the act of bringing the binoculars up to view a potential threat. I also opted to use a commander from a PSC Sherman M4A4 (he's the green fellow) to give a bit of variety and have him hunkered down in the hatch of the AVRE. Having the open hatches moulded on already was also very nice. I found trying to glue the hatches in place on the Shermans a bit fiddly.

All in all a good kit to get for your British WW2  force or to provide some exotic support for your Canadians, and at $7 Cdn a tank the price isn't bad.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Austrian Jaegers

Broke my painting doldrums last week with a small unit of 15mm jaegers for my Seven Year's War Austrian army.

These are from a large box of Lancashire figures I got very cheap a few years back. So I think this unit might have cost me about .50 cents, including the cost of the fenders washers they're based upon!

Although the Austrians already have 2 battalions of Pandours (and I have more in the lead pile!) I thought these more regular skirmishers would be fun.

As you can see I've got five guns of various calibers and crews lined up for my Austrian army as well. In the box behind them are a battalion of musketeers and a battalion of grenadiers waiting their turn.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fabulous Christmas Sale!

Festive Greetings to one and all!

Since this is the season of gift giving, I'm running a 20% off Christmas sale on everything in stock from now until 5 Jan 2014.

Use the coupon code "Christmas2013" on page 2 when you check out.

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of our family Christmas tree from last year.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good Bye to All That

It's taken most of the year, but my New Year's Resolution to get out of the grocery store and into a better job, has finally born fruit.

I had come to the realization that the grocery store had no future for me for the past two years. If I was a 20-something I could hang in with the low wages and wait for an opportunity to become a sales rep or management at a bigger store. But the Boss was already paying me as much as he could, which isn't much. And I need to start being able to set some money aside for silly things like a new roof and a pension plan.

I had been sort of kinda looking for other work and networking with the sales reps, but in January I decided to get serious and set a goal of seeking out and applying to at least one job per week. I changed my focus to include local manufacturers that didn't hire through temp agencies. Started getting some interviews. Which even though they all resulted in rejections I took as a good sign that at least people were hiring again and that I was doing an effective job with my resume and cover letter.

Now I just needed to not screw up the interview.

I had one interview with my old employer, where I was told the job was mine to refuse. But it was 15 months without benefits, straight afternoons (with little chance of getting off) and a good chance of a lay-off in 8 months anyway. No thanks.

Another company I thought would've been great but I messed up the interview. Got some good feedback from the HR person though.

Right after I heard back from that job prospect I found a job for a large bearing plant here in town, so I applied and got asked for an interview the next day. I had applied for an opening in Quality Assurance but she called and asked if I'd be interested in Production. Sure. No harm in seeing what they offer. Starting at $15/hr (which is $2 more than I'm making now) and benefits start after the first month (which is very cool). I said I'd like to be able to give 2 weeks notice. I didn't get a job offer. After a month I got an email saying they had filled all their immediate positions but would I like to stay on file for something in the future?

Indeed, yes I would.

This week, my youngest who had also been working at the grocery store, started a new job. So I no longer felt the need to worry about how I would leave things for her and changed my availability to immediate. A job offer was waiting for me in my email when I got home the next day asking if I could start on Monday.

I've accepted and just told the Boss. He was quite understanding.

I will miss the nice customers, not being dirty and my co-workers. I also rather liked running my little kingdom in the Dairy aisle.

I won't miss the bitchy customers, the 1000kg skids with no power jack and working weekends and holidays. 

So now that I won't feel I have to spend my free time seeking out a job, maybe I can concentrate on painting and the store. I also noticed that I was much more creative when I was in the factory, so maybe I can get some of that back again too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In which Lt. Rabbitman gets his Mess Kit...

My long time friend and Commanding Officer, Chris, got a set of Mess Dress last year off Kajiji (a Canadian items for sale/bartering website) and got enthused about putting me into Mess Kit for this year's Mess Dinner season. He found some but they were either too expensive for my limited funds or the tailoring would be too expensive.

My other friend, Don Perrin, has been retired from the Canadian army for a few years now and had no use for his, so together they conspired to get me into some formal attire. Don donated his old Mess uniform and Chris paid to have it re-tailored. Don was in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, so the epaulets, collar dogs and buttons needed changing, plus the shoulders on the jacket needed to be brought in a lot!

I just got it back from the tailor's on Friday and decided to try it on today, even though it needs to be pressed. I'm trying to look suitably Victorian.

But since Don is a bigger fellow, it has lots of room for me to grow sideways! Fortunately I won't be promoted before the Army switches over to the traditional crowns and pips for officers rank next year so it should only need to go back to the tailors once.

Cue the music:

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Hi chaps
I haven't been ignoring you. I've just been stupidly busy.
This past month I've been on my Intermediate Officer's Training Course, to get me ready to take on a more senior leadership position in the cadet corps. Three weekends of fun, professional development, power points and lectures at the Regional Cadet Instruction School at sunny CFB Borden.With this course and filling the Training Officer slot I'll be promotable to Captain in another year.
It's been highly enjoyable going to Borden, learning more stuff and meeting more fellow CIC officers, even if it has eaten up my days off and the quarters and meal arrangements were less commodious than on previous courses. Better than the lean-to and ration packs on my field craft course though!
Our new quarters were, I'm sure, state of the art in 1956, but having to walk down the hall to use the toilet in the middle of the night wasn't so great. Plus we're no longer attached to the Officer's Mess, so the 10 minute walk in the cold to get to the wet mess on our off evening was unpleasant in inclement weather. It did take me past the Worthington Tank Museum and I got to pat a Centurion Mk V on the fender, which was pretty cool.
Our school building is in an old hanger off in the technical end of the base, so I drive by the various engineering trade schools which have all kinds of interesting things displayed out front or in one instance, tucked in a yard under a tarp was a Sherman ARV and beside it a Ferret armoured car.
I've also been pursuing employment opportunities and have even gotten a few interviews, which I'm taking as a sign that things are looking better in Stratford.
I haven't however, touched a brush since September and only got one game in during October. The Mad Padre came over with the new Lardy rules Chain of Command on his tablet and we gave them a go with his 1/72nd scale figures. We each took a platoon and fought over a crossroads with a couple of ruined houses. I like the way the dice worked to create interesting decision points and combat was pretty straightforward. Without having purchased or read the rules yet (I'm waiting until I get the hard copy in stock in the store) I'm already pondering how to do Canadian operations in the Panjwai...
So I'm hoping this month, once I get a few other things out of the way, to have a few more gaming and painting bench posts.
Stand by.

Monday, September 30, 2013

And my day just got better...

Massively craptacular day at work today. Inventory, refrigeration failures, boss trying to kill us all with a chlorine gas cloud, 1000 kg skids and no power jack....

 When I got home to find daughter no. 2 and her boyfriend in the kitchen and this on the counter:

Apple pie made from the bumper crop of Northern Spy apples from our own tree.

Poof! My day just got 100% better.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Going Blind

I'm sure some of you noticed in my last game report the big rectangles of orange paper, with finest Sharpie graphics, that I was using for blinds.

I certainly noticed, and resolved to improve upon them.

So the other day I spent a few minutes at the computer. The graphics were simple and anyone with Microsoft Word can do them.

I just made a text box with a 4 point border and rounded corners that covered half a page, and then repeated the process. This reminded me of the tactical signs used on maps and TO&Es so I was happy. If I could figure out a way to break the top of the box and insert the three dots for a platoon, I'd be even happier. But that I suspect would involve using Paint or some such.

Into the text boxes I first added some line returns. This is important since it lets you move stuff about. I then inserted some graphics; either a basic German balken kreuze or a negative image of an Allied air recognition star that I found easily using Google Image Search:

Then text "Allied Blind 1" or "German Blind 1" was added over top using a font and size I liked and I made sure everything was centered. I just changed the number each time I printed and printed them off on laser transparency sheets until I had 10 blinds for each side.

A few minutes with scissors to cut them out et voila!

On my bare table top

On top of some terrain
I hope the transparency sheeting makes them a little less intrusive than other options. They are supposed to represent hidden units after all!

I'd thought about doing different divisional badges or Canadian regimental cap badges for each blind, but I realized that would drive me mad since I'd have to readjust the centering with EACH sheet.

Plus, I might do Brits or even possibly Americans some day, so the Allied star works for all concerned. I suppose if I ever do Soviets then they'd object and I'll have to do some blinds featuring big Red Stars. But that's easily sorted.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grain Fields

I finally sussed out how to turn some scrap fun fur into grain fields.

Mrs Rabbitman used to make dolls and puppets and I kept some scraps of the fur, thinking to make thatched cottages and such out of them.

Well, my Medieval village is now looking pretty good thanks to the 4Ground and Perry cottages, saving me the trouble of making more cottages. So I thought I could turn them into fields of standing grain useful for everything from foraging Romans to roaming Panzers on the steppes.

The trouble is the colours of said fun fur were not very grainy. One piece was white. The other pieces were striped grey and off-white. Although this made for some very nice Big Bad Wolves, fields of standing grain it does not.

How to colour it? At first I thought tea, but the fibers are synthetic and I didn't think the tea would hold. Then I remembered my pail of chocolate brown latex paint I used for all my Northwest Frontier mountains and rocks. I thinned some of that down in a big bucket and soaked the pieces. The solution was I fear too watery and it ran off, so I ended up pouring paint right on and smudging it around with my rubber gloved hands.

Here are the results hanging to dry in the yard.
Not a promising start...
The piece on the far right of the picture started out white and got the heaviest rubbing in of brown paint. The piece on the left got the lightest treatment. You'll notice the drizzling of brown paint turning the lawn brown.... fortunately Mrs. Rabbitman doesn't care about having a perfect golf green lawn either!

The Mad Padre inspected my Work In Progress rather dubiously last night. But today I took them back outside and gave them a good misting of Krylon satin finish Almond spray paint.

And got this:

The piece in the upper right corner is the formerly white chunk of fur. It is heavily matted. So it will either represent grain heavily trampled by cavalry charges or rampaging tanks, or it will just be rough scrub in the Backest of Beyonds.

I couldn't resist setting up a quick vignette to see how photogenic my new grain fields are:

Hmmm... looking a bit too much like fur

Well, better from this angle

Well, not bad. Didn't cost me anything. I need to spend a bit more time with a brush getting everything standing up again.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Small Pack of the Vanities

Whenever I come back from FTXs (Field Training Exercises) the voluminous pockets of my combats are stuffed with crap. Left over rations (I collect the Soldier Fuel bars - a chewy high calorie snack bar which most adults find kinda gross- as rewards for the cadets), Ops plan, schedules, FMP (Field Message Pad), bush hat (swap it with my beret when coming out of the field), an extra spoon (never know you might drop the one you're using in the dirt), pens, sunglasses, wet wipes (always useful)....
And then there's the bulkier items that one should also have about one's person; sun screen, water bottles, rain gear.
If I went to supply and requested a pack (to which I am entitled as part of my scale of issue) I'd get one of these (as demonstrated by a colleague):

2012-06-06 09.46.56
Rucksack with colleague

A full frame rucksack for humping your worries through the boonies on serious treks. A bit big, and it would in all likelihood have seen much better days back in the 80s. Assuming it had all its straps and buckles.
So I decided I needed a day pack or small pack.
My vanity wouldn't let me get one that was civilian pattern. Something about hiking along with a bright red or blue pack just looks wrong to me, even though we aren't tactical and most of the cadets are wearing civvies in the field anyway.
The really nice Gucci gear ("Gucci gear" a phrase to describe private purchase equipment to supplement or replace the less comfortable or less useful issue gear) packs from Soldier Gear or CP Gear were out of my price range.
After I got paid for my latest painting commission I went to my local surplus store and found a day pack that fit my price range in digital camo (looks kinda like, but isn't really, Cadpat) with a big enough central pouch for rain gear, training aids and lesson plans and side pockets for water bottles, sunscreen, bug repellent and anything else I might find useful. The straps aren't padded and the buckles aren't quick release, but I don't plan on doing any serious trekking with it.
Just what the Trg O on the go needs!

To add to my field swag, one of the drivers who delivers to my store from our warehouse used to be in the Reserves and finds my CIC work interesting. The other day he brought with him a couple of "Junior General Kits" (olive drab zippered canvas portfolios to go over a binder or spiral notebook with pockets for pens, markers, other bits of crap) and a newer, slightly nicer FMP.
He figures I'll be using them more than he ever will.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sherman Brew Up!

My old friend the Mad Padre has finally been posted back to Ontario and is now a convenient 45 mins away. So last night I had the crew over for a game to both welcome him back to the fold and initiate my new Sherman squadron. Mike has posted his own AAR with even more pictures on his blog here.

The scenario is D+something, June 1944, outside the village of St. Pierre-Lapins. Bomber Command has given the vital crossroads a good pasting and now a squadron of the 1st Hussars (4x 4 tank troops and a Sqdn HQ of 3x tanks) and two platoons of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles have to advance through the fields and orchards and seize it. A kampfgruppe of 2 platoons of panzer grenadiers (without tracks), a platoon each of 3x PzIVh and 3x Panthers supported by 2x Pak 40 AT guns stand in their way.

We advanced on a two troop front and on the right got into a fire fight as the first Pak 40 engaged us across a field. The first shots missed but after a motivational talk from the Mad Padre, Pasha Dan started rolling better, causing some damage to my tanks with mobility kills and gun sights damaged.
Wierdy-Beardy and Mad Padre discuss tactics, or drink options.

On the left the Shermans took cover behind a hedge and let the infantry lead the way towards an orchard. Wally Wargamer got  his platoon in line over the hedge and into the 9" auto-spot range. The Mad Padre issued his commands and Wierdy-Beardy lit up the unfortunate Winnipeg Rifles with a devastating salvo, shredding the platoon in one go.
Note to self; go prone with your last action or send out scouts first.
The supporting Shermans started pounding the orchard with HE fire, but it was a bitter revenge.

On the right, the second Pak 40 and a PzIV in the ruined village opened up, brewing up the Squadron HQ.
The Sqdn COs tank was the first to go in a catastrophic fireball, killing the Old Man.
PzIVs in the ruined village
Large amounts of HE fire from the Shermans did wipe out one of the Paks, and the Panzer Grenadier platoon fell back to the next hedge line.

On the left some Panthers uncovered to engage the Shermans. After some desultory and unsatisfactory exchanges of fire with the Shermans, the Panthers then shifted to the center but attracted two more fighter bomber attacks. The first missed and hit the Panzer Grenadiers in the orchard. But the second scored our only tank kill of the game.

So at game's end, Wally Wargamer had brought his second platoon over the road to sweep the orchard, chasing Wierdy-Beardy's shattered platoon out, trailing shock points and dead. Brett's Shermans were sweeping around the orchard to start getting flank shots on the Panthers who had arrived in St. Pierre-Lapin to start adding their weight to the fire fight with my two shattered troops burning merrily along the hedge row.

The Canadians had taken about 50% casualties in men and tanks (damaged, immobilized and totally brewed up). The Germans had lost about 25% of their men and still held the crossroads. Without a set piece attack with proper artillery and more infantry, I don't think 3CID  will be getting the cross roads. Of course if the 12th SS can mount a quick counter attack the Canadians would be bundled right back to their start line if brigade doesn't get some AT guns and Vickers MMGs up soon.