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Snow troops 01

Just a quick experiment really … I swapped on a few ushanka heads and painted some of the new Piggie scouts in snow camo …

Now mostly the Red Army’s snow suits were one-piece coveralls with the equipment under the suit (2-piece suits on the Eastern Front seem generally Finnish or German ..) … but these paras show there were variants …

GroundParatroopers(Soviet Paratroops ready for wintry conditions)

So here’s the result of the experiment, ready for Chris’s next NQM retreat from Moscow.

Snow troops 02(Peter Pig 15mm Red Army Scouts with head swaps and white suits)

I think it works quite well and expands upon my ski troops.  Hopefully, in time, Martin will make some new packs in the more familiar voluminous coverall.  I would buy some.

The truck in the background is one of the new Piggie resin models.  Looks good I think.

Snow troops 03

I’m happy with that experiment.  The force expands.

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VV 04

More lovely 1:1200 naval … I recently came across Revell’s reissued Littorio Class model (boxed as Roma) and could not resist.  Splendid and simple little model.

There’s more on the Reviews page

VV 03

VV 05

PPRS 01

A page full of reviews has been added as I get round to photographing some of the recent additions to the P.B.Eye-Candy collection.

Scroll down the reviews page for …

Martin’s new Scouts range

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Some thoughts on PSC vehicles …

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And my recent trials of decals and markings.

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Tiger 01

This game mirrored some real events that took place in the Winter War … but for our purposes, the mission takes place in North Africa, just after the Vichy French forces joined the Allied cause.

Tiger 02

Some isolated German paratroops have taken possession of a broken down Tiger tank.  A French armoured car patrol has run into them and called up support.

The game is PBI and support for the Germans will come in the form of 2 ‘platoons’ of Saharianas … for the French, infantry is arriving and there will be an airstrike.

As you can see on the picture, the French player has been allowed to place a small platoon in ambush.

Objectives:

Tiger 03

The main objective is the broken down Tiger in the middle of the table.  It is not manned and has no function other than as a marker.

There are two secondary objectives …

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The Paras transport assets …

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… and the field kitchen and its essential victualing resources.  Because you just have to have one.

The Game:

At the start of the mission, some Laffly armoured cars are in a firefight around the gates to the old Casbah …

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The German AA truck was actually taken out by an anti-tank rifle from some of the Legionaires approaching from the East.

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But there was also a MG42 crew on the roof.

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… which effectivel pinned the Laffly’s down … and ultimately took them out.

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(one of these is destroyed, the little dice means the other is immoblised but might be recovered – unfortunately it got hit again … )

Meanwhile, the Arabs burst out in the buildings and close assaulted the Paras.

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Actually the placing player forgot they were in the square and machinegunned it.  So the first action was resolution of those hits … one of which went on the old jaloppy … and, on a saving roll of 1, turned out to be the group leader (PC equivalent and a Regular French Officer as it happens) …

If only you could plan these things.

In a bloody melee, the Arabs were thrown out …

Tiger 11

(PBI-style … the French airstrike lands in 3 empty squares)

Equally frustrating, the Hawk fighter missed its target (the required die roll allowing the defender to define the ‘off target’ drift).

Reinforcements:

We diced for these in traditional PBI style (which caused some predictable consternation as not everyone likes the mechanism) … I usually build arrivals into the scenario, but for this gathering I wanted to retain some flavour of the basic game.

Tiger 12

The Axis did rather well, getting their Company Commander and his jeep on early …

A fresh patrol …

Tiger 14

… and my newly painted Semovente – bought at Campaign, painted during the week – and straight onto the wargame table.  It had to be done.

Tiger 13

Amongst the French arrivals were these truck mounted Hotchkiss AA guns … quite vulnerable but about the best support weapons available to the French commander.

Tiger 15

But by this time the game (and real) clock was running it – and the intitial ‘coup de main’ had failed.

Although a bigger engagement could go either way, at this stage the French held none of the objectives and had lost a number of key vehicles (indeed all of the Lafflys … ) …

Fortune had allowed the Axis build to be more immediate and, as the picture shows, a strong grip was closing around the French footholds.

Tiger 16

Many thanks to the players for entertaining me for a coupe of hours – I really enjoyed seeing it play out.

This game still works for me.

Salute NtTii 01

In addition to my duties with the Society of Ancients, WD, The Battlefields Trust, the Art Gallery and my local battlefields at Naseby and Northampton, I am an occasional member of the Ad Hoc wargames group.

Mostly I’ve been involved in the ancient and medieval ones, but this year, for Salute, we revived Nick the Tsar … a rescue romp in revolutionary Russia …

Salute NtTii 02

54mm with custom components.  We played to a full house all day (6 games) … so here’s how it goes …

Salute NtTii 03

There are four players … Russians, foreign agents, men of mystery etc. each with a little team and maybe a vehicle entering Yekaterinburg … and you have to get down the road to the Ipatiev House and rescue the Tsar and his family from special captivity … the future of the Romanovs is in your hands.

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The house is defended, and there are a number of other problems you might encounter.

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… and your exit route is the train that will leave the station at the end of the game (you do not have unlimited time) …

Salute NtTii 06

The ‘search’ mechanism involves grabbing and opening up the ‘Faberge’ eggs (each of which contains the name of one of the Romanovs – so is random as you have very little time to effect the rescue) …

And lots of other nuances to entertain (we hope) both players and audience …

… and they’re off …

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(if you’re really lucky you might get an armoured car)

Salute NtTii 06b

(movement by sickle)

… and you have to fight your way in …

Salute NtTii 07

… Hopefully, if you haven’t already lost your marbles (you’ll have to play the game to get that reference I’m afraid), lots of very important persons will be found …

Salute NtTii 10

By this stage the Reds may well have called up some reinforcements …

Salute NtTii 11

… so you will have to get back to the train pretty quick!

Our game was interrupted by several attempts to rescue the Tsar on another table … but all of them came to a sticky end …

Salute NtTii 12

Tintin and Captain Haddock fail to rescue the Tsar at Salute 2017 …

They failed, you will have to nick the Tsar!

Hiatus

Apologies to followers and regular readers for a gap of some months – this has mainly been down to the combination of a long period of consolidation (chipping away at long term project rather than completing things that beg to be posted to the blog) coinciding with the meltdown of a laptop (thanks, Windows 10 and HP … the fact that you know this is an issue doesn’t minimise the inconvenience) …

Still … some updates are on the way and some pretty pictures from our game at Salute.

Welcome to 2017 at last.

A Day Out at Warfare …

warfare-2016-20c-02

I went to Warfare for a day out with the Society of Ancients, and in amongst the usual duties, I got to do some shopping and play some games …

There were a good number of 20th Century games … I particularly liked …

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warfare-2016-07

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This wintry landscape was a compelling demo of Chain of Command inspired by the Band of Brothers Foy episode.

I don’t do 28mm skirmish games but this one was worth the hype.  We had a long chat … one of the passers-by had even worked on the original programme (and he was impressed too) – well done everyone!

warfare-2016-20c-07a

warfare-2016-20c-07b

So … Schweinfurt … well this was a Staines game and this time you get to play the heroic fighters who sortie out to repel the American bombers.   Nicely done – but it is futile … everyone is shooting your way, flak and Fortress 50cals …

warfare-2016-20c-03(Schweinfurt: flying into the bomber stream)

So, you are taking damage all over and, realistically you need to get lucky with your limited gunnery to do much damage to the big beasts … I set a couple of them on fire before all my ammunition was spent (and as you can see only just got out in one piece …) …

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So, some traditional stuff and some good ideas … in all, I enjoyed this German take on the bombing war.

The shopping is also worth reporting …

In amongst a bundle of Zvezda boxes, I got a couple of Russian trucks (actually Katyushas, but that’s because I’m adapting them so opted for the extra wheels).

Anyway … hurrah!  When I got them home and started a build, it turns out to be a new sprue … and gone is the lousy bend and clip engine cover!  Now you get 3 pieces, top and side panels, that pop onto lugs on the engine!  Yes they have listened to our moans.  This is the sprue …

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… and, ‘work in progress’ …

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… a nice neat front with none of the frustration that used to be part of this package.

Given the Zis 5 model shares a sprue with  Katyusha, I’d assume Zis 5s have got or will get the same improvement.

worth sharing I think.  I was very pleased with this chance discovery!