Sunday, October 30, 2016

MSH encounter battle on the road to Bad Hersfeld

I hate to think how long its been since I last played MSH. I think its well over 2 years. My fellow SH player in Palmerston North had expressed an interest in playing an MSH game as it fits with his interests as well. I provided the armies and he supplied the location. I even managed to remember to take some pictures.

the US forces consisted of 4 understrength battalions from the 1st brigade of the 3rd armoured division. Lucky for Jon, he got to command a battalion of M60A2's (I'm a generous sort of guy, and its hard to find the points for 2 battalions of M60A1's). My lists was 2 full BTR 70 battalions with T64B companies and 122mm artillery support, backed up by the divisions independent tank battalion with T62's and 152mm artillery support. The table was laid out and the dice thrown to give an encounter battle with Jon having 1 battalion on table.

Jon placed his on table BHQ on the far large hill. I looked at the table and pondered attacking across a stream into the teeth of a set battalion. My generalship skills must be improving as I recognized this as a bad idea. I decided to flank march from the near table edge with one infantry battalion and the second across the hill. The T62 battalion would follow on turn 3 down the central road.

So, what was the US plan? As far as I could glean it was along these lines.

One of the infantry battalions was placed in reserve behind the M60A1 battalion on the hill. the M60A2's got the crossroads (and a meeting with the T62's) and the M113 battalion held the southern flank.  Moving the action on a couple of turns and we get to this...

The 2 Russian infantry battalions push in on the left flank while the T62's charge the M60A2 battalion. The US troops on the right flank start moving to flank the Russians but just a bit slowly.

A few turns further on and the fighting got very confused with stands all over the place.

The US infantry was having a great day in close combat with my troops taking a kicking. however direct fire and artillery slowly whittles them down in the top left. The T62's were demonstrating what a bad idea missles in a tank were, and the second largely fresh BTR battalion was positioning itself to take on the flanking M60A1 battalion. For those wondering what the hell is going on in the middle, there were hedge rows attached to one side of the cast roads which severely limited shooting ranges and firing arch's. The M150 stands were also demonstrating how poorly the MSH rules deal with ATGW armed tank destroyers.

Finally the US infantry battalion broke, and the T62's won a close combat round (the Russians 1st after 5 attempts). The T62's had outshot there opponents, and the Russian infantry was starting to make inroads into the attacking M60A1 battalion. At this point we called the game as I had another appointment. I realized that not only had I not used the Hinds I had, but the counter battery units the US had been given were in fact for the defend list I had knocked up that morning. The counted battery was far less of a problem than it could have been due to a long streak of 1's on the dice. I also didn't make clear enough the benefits of cross attachment at the start of the game which could have changed things if the M60A1's had been more spread out across the table.

Despite this it was a good hard scrap between 2 reasonably balanced forces. Hopefully this will encourage Jon to play a few more games.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Austrian army 1980's

Slow continued painting and basing of my Austrians has lead to sorting out some sort of army list for them.
Que 'opening can of worms' sound.

Now I had been using the good old Ultramodern army lists from 1986 to base my army on, and for the most part I've found them to be reasonably accurate. This doesn't extend to the Warsaw Pact with some of the equipment being rather inaccurate. Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand.

As part of its re-establishment as a nation in 1955, Austria was limited in what its armed forces could use. No missiles or submarines, or long range artillery. Surrounded by Warsaw pact countries, Austria's army was set up to delay invaders moving through to other countries (though I can't see Austria , especially the western end, being a convenient highway to anywhere). As such it was largely based round local troops and blocking units backed by more mobile regular infantry units and 3 Panzergrenadier brigades. The regular units throw up a few problems of their own equipment wise, but I'll get to that in a later post.

The local troops are quite interesting from an 'odd equipment' point of view. The blocking companys manned fixed fortifications which had Europes largest collection of fixed tank turrets. These were mostly 105mm Centurion turrets, but also included M47, M36, M24 and even someold T34/85's. To cap it all there were also Charioteer turrets. River blocking units were armed with 40mm AA cannons to shoot up likely crossing points
I've been pondering how to model these on the table. Obviously the attack factors take care of themselves but the defensive factors are far more difficult. Some options I have pondered would be
-counting as infantry so a 7 to destroy with AI factors.
-spotted as infantry (except when firing).
The points cost would also have to be sorted out.
I don't think that they should be allowed to ambush as I suspect that Warsaw Pact operatives would have plotted out the general locations of all the emplacements.
deploying on the table I would suggest that one tank turret stand and 1 infantry stand be deployed touching each other and also touching a terrain feature thats not a hill.
Anyone else have any thoughts ?

Bruce Rea-taylors Ultramodern army lists 1986

Monday, August 29, 2016


Not a lot of modeling or gaming done at the moment. House stuff is somewhat getting in the way. New hot water system and associated crawling round under the house, which in places is a couple of inches thinner than me.
However I have been reading some books, which is somewhat of a novelty for me.
Late last year Robin Sutton reviewed a book on the eastern front in 1915 by Prit Buttar. It was one of those things where I thought "that's a topic I really know nothing about" (apart from Tanneburg was a win for the Germans) . I promptly ordered "Collision of empires" which covers 1914, and "Germany ascendent" which covers 1915.  These are both good reads an to my mind the only negative comment I have is that the maps could be much better. They are a bit too small and unclear as it stands. This aside they are well written and a good window into the horror's of the eastern front, which makes the western front seem somewhat sane and tame in places.  Based on this I have pre-ordered The final book of the series which covers the eastern front in 1916 and 1917 leading to the Russian surrender.

While purchasing these last book I happened to glance at the sidebar and notied another couple of books, "Battleground Prussia" by the same author and 'The fall of the Ottoman empire" which is another area I know nothing about beyond Galipoli and Lawrence of Arabia. "Battleground Prussia" covers the Russian invasion of Prusia in 1945 right through to the end of the war where the fighting lasted several days after the official surrender as troops tried to fight their way to the Baltic and a dangerous boat trip to the west. "Berlin" by Antony Beevor touches on these battles but they are secondary to the main topic.again the maps are a bit dodgy but the writing more than makes up for this. Given his prolific writing I don't know how he holds down his day job as a GP.

So, I'm now far better informed than I was but it has left me divided about getting into Great War Spearhead. There is plenty of scope for games in there but I'm somewhat taken aback by the prolific waste of troops on all sides. People who know me will probably be surprised to see me write that last sentence. Maybe it will suit my style of play....

Friday, July 1, 2016

Possible 1944 Cavalry Corps list

So, a bit later than promised.
I'll also state that these are rather incomplete.

Corps Hq    1 Cavalry stand.
It just doesn't really seem to be much. I think a divisional command stand base should be bigger, maybe 2" square?

There is also a collection of Battalions and regiments similar to those found in the Mech and Tank corps.

Recon battalion
BHQ 1 smg stand in truck.
1 motorcycle coy 3smg stands
1 H/t coy 3 smg stands in M3 H/t

This has been cribbed from the Lists in the spearhead book. the Nafziger lists give numbers of armoured vehicles (14 plus 8 trucks),smg's rifes etc. no motorcycles or horses mentioned. On second thoughts I would expect horses rather than motorcycles.

SP artillery regiment; 4 Su-85.
Given that the cavalry units tended oto operate in rough terrain 4 Su-76's may also be a possibility.

Engineering battalion. Based on the lsts given I would suggest.
BHQ cavalry stand
1 coy 3 engineer stands /rifles in trucks
1 coy 3 engineer stands /rifles incarts.
sounds odd but there's no lower detail so I'm just guessing really.

Motorised tank destroyer regiment.
5 76/41 guns/ tractors. There are also a stack of AT rifles which I'm reluctant to have as separate stands.

Mortar regiment.
4 120mm Mortars/ horse drawn (possibly 2 battalions of 2 stands)
The spearhead lists for both the Mech corps and Tank corps have 2 battalions each with 3 stands. In this case there TOE is only 20 mortars which I can't stretch to 6 stands (and 5 makes no sense)

Anti-aircraft regiment.
4 37mm AA guns/ truck.
1 AA HMG stand / truck.

Rocket battalion
2 BM-13 Katyusha

At Battalion
3 45mm guns/ trucks.
(I still have no idea why you would bother with these as they have no use. May as well give then a bag of rocks.)

That's it for the fighting troops.

The Nafziger list also has 2 tank regiments with T-34/85 but the alternative source states that these did not exist.

So, a few other toys worth having to make up for not having the 4th cavalry regiment in the division. At least theres now enough points to make it to 650.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Russian Cavalry Division 1944 updated.

After My concience asked the question in the last post, I had a quick look on line to see what was avaliable information wise. NowI'll state now that one should take any published TOE (including this one) with a grain of salt.
I've always been of the opnion that if you don't want to know/hear the answer to a question  you shouldn'e ask it in the first place, but I digress.

The sources are from the Nafzinger collection, and from a Russian contributor on the Axis History forum. Mostly they agree. I'll list the Nafzinger list and note differences from the Axisforum list in brackets in red.

1944 Cavalry division.
Divisional HQ 1 cavalry stand.
There are also a selection of vets, bakers etc, which you could model by having another couple of Cavalry SMG stands if you wanted.

3 Cavalry regiments.
In my reading I have not come across a 'Guards unit' with 4 regiments. Any units aquiring Guards status just seemed to be renamed.
RHQ cavalry SMG stand
4 squadrons 3 cavalry SMG platoons. This is an assumption on my part as no breakdown is given.
( 4 cavalry SMG platoons, 1 HMG/cart).
AT platoons are listed but they would be part of the cavalry stands AT factors.
1 squadron 3 HMG/Cart
(already accounted for)
1 AT battery 45mm.
(same). No calibre mentioned in either list
1 battery 76.2mm with no further details.
(Named as a regimental gun, which could be a reference to the 76/16 Infantry gun).
2 82mm Mortar /Cart
(same). Nafzinger doesn't list these on the list but they are present in the weapons breakdown.
1 Engineer cavalry platoon SMG
Nafzinger lists 2 other platoons but no information on what they might be (the regimental dancing Cossack platoons?)

Armoured battalion HQ T34.
4 coy 2 T34.
The list just states 41 tanks with no further details. This does match with the Tank regiments avaliable to the Mech Corps Mechanised brigades.
Armoured Regiment HQ T34
4 T34, 3 T70.

Artillery Battalion
3 76.2mm/horse drawn. No further information.
2 120mm Mortars/horse drawn.
Artillery Battalion
2 76.2mm ZIS-3 /horse drawn.
3 120mm Mortars/horse drawn.
Intersting choice here. I might lean towards the mortars as they are easier to haul round. I've seen pictures in a manual with a 120mm mortar broken down on pack horses.

AA Battery 1 37mm/Truck
(AA Battalion 1 37mm or 25mm AA Horse drawn
5 AA HMG/ horse)

So, there we go. mostly the same but the devil in the details.
There are a stack of other platoons (gas defence, Medical, Vets etc) which I have not included here. I would imagine in combat they would be subsumed in the fighting stands.

Next time I'll cover the higher level Corps setup.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Russian cavalry list

Dr U-S has asked for a list for my Russian cavalry collection.

Its fairly simple, but I'll go through it anyway.

First up, when I write a list for an army that has a points modifier, I tend to multiply the base (in this case 650) by the modifier (0.9 for regular Russians) to give a total of 722.

As always we start with the DHQ (ie RHQ) stand mainly cos its compulsory (or should be) so thats 5 points plus the 2 SMG cavalry escorts @ 10 which adds to 15 pts.

Next up a cavalry regiment (battalion)
RHQ cavalry stand                                              5 pts
1 x recon SMG cavalry                                       5 pts
12 SMG cavalry stands @ 5                              60 pts
3 HMG (horse drawn) @ 6                                18 pts
2 x 81mm Mortar (horse drawn) @ 4                 8 pts
1 x 45/66 ATG (horse drawn) @ 8                     8 pts
1 x 76/16 IG (horse drawn) @ 6                        6 pts
                                                                          110 pts

Thats sod all so lets take 4 (a Guards division) which gives us 440 pts.
Running total is 455.

Next up the tanks.
RHQ T34C @ 20                                                20 pts
6 T34C @ 20                                                    120 pts
                                                                          140 pts
For variety you can use Lease-lend M4's as they cost the same. I would use this as a separate unit rather than splitting it up with the cavalry regiments, though others might have differing thoughts (combined arms and all that clap-trap).
Running total is 580 pts.

1 Horse artillery battalion
3 x 76/16 IG (horse drawn) @ 12                       36 pts
2 x 120mm Mortar (horse drawn) @ 6               12 pts
                                                                            48 pts
Running total 628 pts

Anti tank battalion (for all the good it will do).
3 x 45/66 ATG (horse drawn) @ 8                     24 pts

Running total 672 pts.

Divisional Recon company.
3 x recon SMG cavalry                                       15 pts

Running total 687 pts.

Engineering battalion.
3 Engineer cavalry stands @ 6                           18 pts

(The list has 3 engineer cavalry stands listed under divisional companys on the list, but I think that this is confused with the divisional battaion as its about the same size, and it makes no sense to have a company and a battalion of the same size in the division).
Running total 705 pt.

Last up a 37mm AA gun (the Russian version of the 40mm Bofors slightly modified) and truck (someone does get to travel in comfort) @ 6 pts.

So, with everything on the list taken, we get to 711 points, 11 points short. Add in a lone Katyusha (nothing ruins your day like being on the wrong end of an MRL strike) off table @ 7 and its 718 pts.

So, there we go, 109 stands (I was mistaken).
Take an option A with 2 Sturmovics with bombs, rockets or AT cannons (your choice) and another Katyusha off tabel and thats less than 50 points.

No idea about a defend list, I have not thought that far, but SMG's in defence can be nasty if they are in terrain or dug in.

There we go, No special bells and Whistles for this, just large units of cavalry moving at 9" through terrain and dismounting as SMG's. Whats not to love.....

Sunday, June 12, 2016

No surprises...

.......For anyone that knows me.

After the previous post on buying a T55 tank regiment, I was looking in 'Der Room' for something else when I spied this in the stack.

 Hmm, what could be inside the 2nd one down.....

 Well, it appears that I already own a T55 tank regimen (with BTR 50's no less). Admittedly they are the older model, but still....
The interesting thing is that it says 1 on the box, so obviously there is a second box somewhere.
Is it in this stack?

 Or in this stack?

Obviously I need to do a bit more research into local WARPAC requirements before I charge off and shop...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

T55 tank regiment thoughts.

I've been pondering buying some more lead in the last couple of weeks. Fortunately I have not yet had to spend money as Heroics and Ros are 'on sabatical' while Andy recovers from surgery (which went well and he's doing nicely).

To continue on from my Austrian project, I have been thinking about adding to their opponents. I already have a collection of Czech models which are sufficient without being complete to Lukes army lists and so I was leaning towards Hungarians. While not having a complete list a general collection could be purchased to do the job while waiting for other information to come to light.
I have had a look at the Fire and Fury collection and;
A) Can't quite decipher them in terms of the number of models required as the numbers don't translate to reality sensibly.
B) I'm "quite" skeptical about some of the details. The East Germans did not have T62's in service to start with, and if there are obvious mistakes like that, then who knows whats lurking in the depths.
C) It has to be the most bizarre/arcane/unreadable/confusing way of constructing an army list. it takes 5 minutes just to locate what you are after.

Anyhoo, with all that out of the way, I thought I would start with a T55 tank regiment.

 3 battalions 7 T55.

recce coy
1 PT76
2 Fug

AA coy
1 ZSU 23/4
1 SA 9

Artillery battalion
AOP in fug
4 M1938 + tows

So far pretty straightforward. The artillery battalion is rather a moot point as depending on the sources it either didn't exist, or was just a battery etc. . For arguments sake lets just let it ride for the moment.
The other option would be to have 2 ZSU 57-2 in the AA company.
For infantry support there are some interesting possibilities. Hungary brought 350 BMP-1 in the 1970's which gives enough for about 9-10 battalions plus odds and ends. so 3 regiments in the front line units (5th TD, and the 4th and 8th MRD ). This doesn't leave enough for any sort of infantry support for any of the tank regiments, so possibly add a company (battalion?) of PSZH-IV.

Interestingly if you then purchase a company of BMP-1, A company of BTR-50 (which will have to do until H&R makes a proper OT62) and some D-30 122mm artillery, and you can use the unit for East Germans, Polish and Czechs, as well as 1960's Russians.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


The modeling room has been,for want of a better word, a tip for quite a while now.
At the moment I do my modeling and painting on 600mm shelves that were in place in the house when we brought it which are now surplus to requirements. Now, normally these just live on the floor when not the current project, which is a bit limiting as there is only so much floor to go round.
last weekend I knocked up a storage rack out of some old MDF bits, and smuggled it into the house while the wife was out this morning.

Some of you will be wondering why I didn't just buy something from a shop. Mostly its beause I'm cheap, but more because I wanted something that fitted into the rooom without wasting any space. The lesser bit is because we don't have many options in terms of buying items like this in a shop.

However those living in civilised countries might be able to find something that fits the bill much better.

Monday, April 18, 2016

SPI games as a campaign base.

Something most SH/MSH players attempt at some point is some sort of campaign. This normally founders on not having any sort of system to generate the games. Keith came up with "Race to Leningrad" based on a German Panzer division advancing towards Leningrad (surprise surprise). The Russian forces were randomly generated. I can't remember how the terrain was set up. I borrowed the idea for an MSH campaign "Race to the Rhine".

A later attempt used the old SPI boardgames from the Central front series. These were (north to south) North German Plain, BAOR, V Corps, Hof Gap and Donau Front.

Here we see a game in progress with the Soviet attack underway.

The problem with these games was the execution. There was not much detail on the maps and it was difficult to generate maps on the fly as we did back then (remember this is going back 10 years). The battles that were chosen were the ones that we thought would be interesting on the table. Without a decent terrain system this was not much good.

As the Russian player on more than one occasion I felt that shifting games to the table did favour the side that had a grasp about what was required in the greater scheme of things. Thus there was one large 2 day battle where all the Russians had to do was sit back and wait as they were holding one shoulder of the main breakthrough. In this case NATO had to make all the running and the result was somewhat of a disaster for them. when you have 1 Leopard II facing a tank regiment advancing down a road something has gone horrible wrong. Likewise attacking defending British troops with 10 Hinds ( I recall it was Jakes fault) was somewhat overkill, and gave the defending players a nervous tic whenever any Russian players started making helicopter noises over the rest of the weekend.

With hindsight here is a list of things I would look at to give the start of a rudimentary translation system.

1) A system to match the games fatigue system with the troops deployed on table in a set way. I recall we tried dicing for each stand, but this took a lot of time and resulted in some very odd results. maybe a system where at each level the battalion/regiment has x number of fighting platoons and a selection of support stands.
2) A better way to generate terrain for the battle. Google maps is handy for roads, towns and woods but not for topography (hills). I'm wondering if a variation on the Scenario generator system could be used, with a set number of features per 2' dictated by the terrain hex type.
3) A set way of translating the table results back into the campaign.

Theres some initial thoughts, though I suppose I need to pay the game a couple of times to get a better handle on how the mechanics actually work.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finally Done

Its only taken me 9 years but this week I have finally finished painting my Russian 1944 cavalry division. It started while I was still finishing my PhD in Wellington, and has followed me to Nelson and then Palmy. And here it is, 5 battalions (4 large plus one small) and 115 stands at 650 points. Not a lot of tanks or infantry but 48 stands of SMG troops (and thats a lot of dice to throw to kill it). Its really not a cheap army money wise to build up as H&R do cavalry in packs of 21 figures, and as I've used 4 per stand plus extras on other stands, you can do the math...

Taking a closer look at one of the battalions I have modeled all the support units as well, including Tachanka's (which are subbing in for HMG's on carts. I can't seem to find any comments on if they were used as such in WW2, but assume the Russians were smart enough to use them as they had in the Civil war). 45mm ATG stands are useless for shooting at tanks, but do add to the battalion break point quite cheaply.
The stands at the left are the divisional artillery, all horse drawn, in fact everything apart from the 37mm AA gun is on horseback ( and I can't work out why they were lucky enough to get a truck, but its one less gun team to paint.)

 I've also provided for the option of either T34s or M4's (with a suitable Hq stand). The mottly collection of vehicles at the front is the divisional Hq.

Now all I have to do is arrange to get it onto the table and see how my lighting fast dismounting SMG stands perform.

I'm also pondering if I can get an entire Rusian infantry division (with heavy tank support) on table at 650points. I think its possible, but some of the troops will be green, and there won't be enough artillery to be usefull. Its also a lot of points to gift your enemy if it gets wiped out. I'm leaning towards using the using the Infantry brigade from a 1944 tank corps to get access to all the useful support units, though I must admit that 18 T34's are also attractive.

(Sorry Keith, I'm still writing a post on the SPI games as campaigns)

Friday, March 18, 2016

No photoshop

Many moons ago on one of our trips to Christchurch to play MSH my collection of Russian helicopters suffered a catastrophic accident which resulted in the remains being left in a box. Last week I dug them out and reassembled the bits.

Theres 2 Hind F's on the near end (not obvious and I was about to order 2 more...) and the rest Hind D. I'll have to see if I can buy some of the sprues separately to get the rocket pods and AT missiles replaced. I have never been keen on rotor representations a the single blades look silly, and the plastic disks get scratched over time and look just as bad.
I'm still not sure quite how I've wound up with 7 (and I'm sure that there is a Hind A somewhere in the bits box) but they are not photoshopped into a picture to make a game look larger than it is.

And at least under MSH the forward HMG can shoot as far as the tip of the models tail.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Whats on the workbench then.

As a break from lists and gaming, I thought I would browse through what is passing across the painting table(s) at the moment. In no particular order these are.....

Russian 45mm AT guns (front 2 rows) and 76mm Infantry guns. for my russian cavalry division. I've been working on this army before I left Wellington, so its only been 9-10 years in the making. Its all horse drawn as well, which may explain why it is still ongoing. The list is quite interesting as the entire 1944 SH list comes in at 650 points. All H&R.

 P-47s for my 1944 US armies. the 2 painted ons are Collectair, and the pair in front are GHQ. For some odd reason the Collectair ones had a large out of scale exhaust vent moulded proud of the fusalage which only became a problem when I tried to put some decals over them. A look at pictures then confirmed that this didn't exist, so out with the file and an eventual repaint. for the record, the GHQ models at $6 US each are not that much better than the 80p Collectair models, and Collectair also do the bubbletop version. They do however do the bombs and rockets.

 1944 21st Panzer Division. This unit was equiped with rebuilt french equipment, and so has some quite different looking kit. To the left are the SPZ 304 halftracks. (SdKfz 251 equivalent), then a collection of halftrack SPAT, SPAA and MRL's, with some artillery on lorrain chassis at the front.
In the plastic container are some of the base unarmoured halftracks that I brought in error. All H&R (ex armstrong models) and very nice castings.

 The Austrians. Not the best photo, but its taken me 2 days to work out how to taken decent model photos with the camera......
M60A1 to the left, SK105 to the right, with some M42's thrown in. at the front in the middle are the $K$ APC models, which I must buy some more of. Again all H&R and new mouldings which are very good.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bring on the Brits.

After running against my 'left field' British Attach list several times now, for two loses and a win (which I was lucky to get),I thought I would put it up to see what everyone thinks.

Battalion 1, Brigade Hq rifle stand                                               5 pts
                    Battalion Hq rifle stand                                             5 pts
                                     9 rifle stands                                            45 pts
                                     1 6 pdr/ carrier                                         7 pts
                                     1 3" mortar stand /carrier                         4 pts
                                     1 engineer stand                                       6 pts
                                     1 carrier platoon                                       6 pts
                                     2 HMG stand /carrier                              12 pts
                                     3 Churchill VII                                        66 pts
                                                                                                    156 pts
                                     20 stands/ Break 10

 Battalion 2, Battalion Hq rifle stand                                             5 pts
                   Battalion Hq 1 Churchill VII                                    22 pts
                                     8 rifle stands                                            40 pts
                                     1 6 pdr/ carrier                                         7 pts
                                     1 3" mortar stand /carrier                         4 pts
                                     1 engineer stand                                       6 pts
                                     1 carrier platoon                                       6 pts
                                     3 Churchill VII                                        66 pts
                                                                                                    160 pts
                                     17 stands/ Break 9

Battalion 3, Battalion   Hq rifle stand                                           5 pts
                                     9 rifle stands                                           45 pts
                                     1 6 pdr/ carrier                                         7 pts
                                     1 3" mortar stand /carrier                         4 pts
                                     1 engineer stand                                       6 pts
                                     1 carrier platoon                                       6 pts
                                     3 Churchill VII                                        66 pts
                                                                                                    139 pts
                                     17 stands/ Break 9

Artillery support (general)
Regiment 1                   3 FO's  (one per battalion)                       30 pts  
                                      6 25 pdr/truck (off table)                         34 pts

Regiment 2                   3 FO's  (one per battalion)                       30 pts  
                                      6 25 pdr/truck (off table)                         34 pts

Regiment 3                   3 FO's  (one per battalion)                       30 pts  
                                      6 25 pdr/truck (off table)                         34 pts
                                                                                                       192 pts

Grand total 647 pts.

OK, so there's no big antitank guns, but you can add them in an option A or B.
another option would be to ditch 2 stands for an AGC and buy 3 Typhoons as an option A.

I'm not sure if you could knock out a decent defend list along these lines, possibly with 2 large battalions (with AT guns as well) and a 3rd small battalion in support with only 2 artillery regiments.
Feel free to have a go with this and see what you results are, and Axis players, try to come up with ways of beating it.....