Feeds:
Posts
Comments

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 …

warfare-2016-20c-05

warfare-2016-07

warfare-2016-20c-06

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 …) …

warfare-2016-20c-04

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 …

warfare-2016-20c-08

… and, ‘work in progress’ …

warfare-2016-20c-09

… 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!

ak47-janno-beach-02

For the second part of our Autumn Games Day (following a Neil Thomas version of Gaugamela in the morning … ) the players split into two AK47 games … Graham will doubtless report the other game on his blog … while I put together a made-up clash between the split wings (factions?) of the Pan AfricaN Treaty Organisation …

‘Janno Beach’ might be any bit of tempting coastline from Sierra Leone to Somalia … sun, sea and palm trees … but times have moved on and the Soviet funded tourist hotel is but a shell … there are MiG fighters on the nearby airfield but no pilots … the villagers stay up in the hills.   Then again, you might be able to rent some speed boats from the local pirates.

ak47-janno-beach

So this is a 4′ x 4′ interpretation of the battlefield, laid out on my kitchen floor and photographed (so I could set it up quickly at Shedquarters … the tiling is irrelevant – it is for AK47 Classic) … there are 4 templates (I have marked the village at the top but it is too loose to count as a template), some ‘line of sight’ issues and a chunk of the board missing to water (but we were using the later AK version where you can swap vehicles for boats if needed) …

Imagine, in a different world, this might be a beautiful tourist bay boosting a buoyant modern economy.

For some time, the Treaty forces have been split … PANTO, the Settler organisation, has been fighting stiff opposition from French-inspired FRAP (Forces Revolutionaires Armees de Panto), but have cornered a small ‘force de Frappe’ in Janno Beach …

Next we played through the political manoeuvre and, remarkably, neither side got very much help – Panto indeed lost quality ratings to panic and could only run a few of its vehicles due to Sanctions and consequent fuel shortages (a bad day in paradise!) …

Perhaps inevitably, they failed in a final bid to hire ‘Mad Rupert’ and his mercenaries!

I played Panto and nominated the Freight Dump, Mosque and Airfield as my objectives.

ak47-janno-beach-03(P.B.Eye-Candy, first light: Panto’s one and only chopper flies into Janno Beach … the game is on)

If you need to know … we had …

Panto: Professional HQ of the General, 1 SA, 1 APC with AA gun; 2  Regular (T55) tanks; 1 Professional (Hind) attack helicopter; a Regular army unit of 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 (Unimog) Truck RCL*, 1 Truck with AA gun; and Panto’s (militia) Women’s Revolutionary Volunteers, comprising 5 SA, 3 mortars, 1 RPG, 1 (Toyota) Truck with RCL.

*(the foot groups are mounted on camels at arrival)

Settlers: 90 political points.

Frap: a free roaming General in a requisitioned Mercedes plus … the renegade Paras de Panto (Professional) comprising 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 mortar and 1 truck with RCL*; 2 Regular tanks (AMX 13/90s); 2 Regular army units, each of 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 (Panhard) MG armoured car, 1 (Land Rover) Truck with RCL**; and the Frap militia of 6 SA***

*(actually a Vespa 150 TAP) – the recently accessioned Paras de Panto were on their first tabletop mission.

**only one of these army units made it onto the board

***actually a biker gang but at Janno Beach they traded their bikes with local pirates for some speed boats in order to raid the airfield from across the bay.

Dictatorship: 77 political points.

ak47-janno-beach-03a(Janno Beach: the Paras de Panto secure the Mosque and Gas Station)

Frap stationed the Paras in the town centre (which they secured throughout the day) and the only army unit to show up at the airfield.

Panto came in from the village/oil facility end of the board with the women’s militia, the helicopter and a solitary T55 (there being no fuel to run the other one).

The attack immediately faltered … whilst routinely acquiring targets over the battlefield, the prize Soviet-funded Hind helicopter – almost indestructible, they said – was taken down … seemingly by a group of paras who had set up a mortar on the Gas Station roof … Had they hit it with an almost vertical bomb shot?   Did they also have a light AA missile in their kit?   Was it a catastrophic failure triggered by small arms fire?  We will doubtless never know: the big beast came down out of the sky in a ball of flame.

ak47-janno-beach-05(Red Hind down … Panto lose control of the air flank)

The situation might have evened itself up over the succeeding turns … Panto’s T55 had driven into the centre ground (in part to avoid the para’s Vespa/RCL and RPGs who were making the cluster of buildings look a real nest of vipers) … and was getting some good shots in on the enemy softskins … although badly matched against the regulars now debouching from the Airfield, the women’s militia were successfully pinning them down with mortar fire.

Panto’s high point …

… and the battle seemed to swing: Frap’s regulars and Panto’s militia both disintegrated (the militia ultimately couldn’t handle the better quality soldiers but the T55 and mortar fire had reduced the enemy regulars to tatters in the process), Panto’s commander (frustratingly on foot due to that Sanctions/fuel problem) turned up at the now vacated Airfield and grabbed the objective … meanwhile the sole T55 zeroed in on the top corner of the mosque from which Frap’s commander was running the show … Kaboom!

ak47-janno-beach-06(a stunning shot from the T55 gunner … picking the enemy commander out on the Mosque rooftop)

It was a race against time … the Frap biker gang turned up … this time in speed boats … and diverted across the bay towards the Airfield (which was only being held by the commander and his bodyguard SA group).

ak47-janno-beach-07(speeding acroos the bay: a mix of military and non-military boats, hired from pirates, driven by bikers … what could possibly happen next?)

The Panto camel raiders, meanwhile, had arrived and took control of the Freight Dump.

ak47-janno-beach-11

A turning point …

So, in order to help out at the Airfield, the T55 commander turned his attention to the speed boats … firing at them but hitting none (well at least that saved us inventing a rule for occupants bailing out of a burning vehicle – the standard AK47 result with a brewed carrier – into the sea)!   At which point that Vespa emerged from behind the Mosque and spanged an RCL shot off at the tank!  … and blew it to bits with a dice roll that didn’t even need adding up!

ak47-janno-beach-08(Janno Beach: T55 tank taken out by a Vespa)

Of course, this is one of wargaming’s ‘champagne moments’  … I’d really only built the little TAP scooter model out of curiosity (and scarcely could have imagined it would bag a T55 on its first outing on the tabletop).

It is, of course, in this game, a professional RCL with vehicle mobility (a 2-wheeled ‘technical’, if you like, with a tank-killer weapon) so not such a surprise really (but in wargames, such things seldom work out) …

I was commanding Panto, by the way, so the tank was mine … awesome shooting, though … (I think it was the Vespa’s second ever shot!) …

… and that was how it all went wrong for Panto …

Frap’s AMX tanks turned up and bombarded the soldiers in the Freight Dump …

ak47-janno-beach-09

… and the biker militia were able to get in against the Panto general holding the Airfield … odds of 3:1 in their favour, but militia against professional – actually even, maybe, but they traded 2 kills in close quarter fire (so wiped the enemy out in what was otherwise ‘a draw’)

ak47-janno-beach-10(Frap militia celebrate around the captured control tower)

The random turn count just kept the game going long enough to let all this happen – and give Richard, in his first full game of AK47, a resounding victory.  As he was new to the full game we ran through the scoring system (despite the victory being clear) and for aficionados, Frap scored over 120 points.

Wow! … and I got a game full of quirky kit … a beach assault out of speed boats, a T55 knocked out by the Vespa … both commanders killed (the Frap one sniped by a T55 while hiding on the top of the Mosque … the Press won’t like that story … ) …

Got my chopper hit by a mortar, though … Never mind …

More pics …

 

ak47-janno-beach-04(figures and fuel pump by Peter Pig, Gas Station by Timecast, Mosque hand-built by me from cork tile and kebab stick)

ak47-janno-beach-12(T55 by Skytrex, Landy by QRF, Panhard by Peter Pig)

ak47-janno-beach-15(downtown Janno Beach: the wrecked hotel is converted from Warbases components … the blue car is Quality Castings, the red one a pimped up Chinese cheapy)

ak47-janno-beach-12a(Dusk over Janno Beach … twilight for Panto?)

Apologies if you first saw an earlier version of this post, uncorrected and without the final photos (my broadband was struggling with everything so I opted to publish the basic material, then add the finishing touches as an update)…

New accessions …

All quiet here for a few weeks I know but things have been moving on … there’s a couple of accessions updates to log and I’ll add some reviews and modelling notes in due course …

AK47

ak-specials-01

Some special forces have arrived: French inspired security types (Professionals, you’d think) made up from the excellent Peter Pig French Paras plus some other odd spares …

ak-specials-01a

ak-specials-01b

ak-specials-02(P.B.Eye-Candy: Peter Pig 15mm figures for AK47)

You might notice there is one of those splendid Recoilless Rifle motor scooters in the unit …

ak-specials-03

Home made from the PP weapon and some aero modelling spares, I think it turned out OK and has been on my list of cool kit for some time (a box has been ticked)  – remarkably, French paras had them in Algeria …

ak-specials-04

PBI/NQM (WWII)

… and I have cobbled together a PBI platoon from some trial items Chris Kemp gave me …

Now he’s a big fan of Plastic Soldier Company (not really my cup of tea) and insisted I try a Blitz truck sprue and some Fallshirmjaeger …

I built the trucks OK …

blitz-trucks-05

I’ll insert a link to a review when it’s done (so you can see what I think of them) … they’re OK, and I’ll use them to ship about a platoon or so of paratroopers.

I added a pack of PP metal ones to the plastics to make up a viable unit (and I have to say liked them a lot more than the PSC ones) … anyway, here are some pictures …

fallshirmjaeger-01

fallshirmjaeger-03

fallshirmjaeger-04

fallshirmjaeger-05(P.B.Eye-Candy: 15mm Fallshirmjaeger for PBI/NQM)

In a week where 20th Century wargaming has taken off … (Eastern front, Cold War, WWI and me planning a naval game) … it is time to post some recent photos …

VBL 16 01

Flanked by some QRF ferrets and some PP regulars, the threat of a game spurred me to finish a VBL scratchbuild I had had lingering on my desk for (literally) years …

The VBL is a really cool lightweight armoured jeep.  Not often you will hear me use that sort of hip terminology but it seems appropriate here … the VBL is also just so French …

VBL 16 05(follow link for VBL info and picture source)

Mine comes because I had a QRF BA64 which I really thought had so many issues it needed recycling and the VBL looked like a good model to build on the redundant chassis.

Actually it is quite a challenge, and every panel is scratchbuilt from card or tin sheet … the result is quite pleasing little model best described as inspired by the VBL (rather than a scale model of it) – given it will find use in AK47 Africa, its knocked-off characteristics are probably entirely appropriate …

VBL 16 03

(Phil’s ‘cut’n’shut’ VBL … it’s very French, you know … )

VBL 16 02

In the pictures you will also see a rather large container/trailer … also recently added to the scenery box …

This is another of those pound toys, gutted, primed and repainted for the table.

VBL 16 04

Worth every penny, I think …

Also now finished, that Stalingrad pastiche inspired by the Univermag store …

Gen St 01(Phil’s finished Stalingrad pastiche)

As described a few blogs back, it is knocked together from Warbases MDF components.  I finished it to match the other Stalingrad style concrete ruins … simple but effective …

Gen St 04(MDF by Warbases, figures by Peter Pig half track converted from a Zvezda Russian truck)

Gen St 02

I decided to dress it up a bit with some Soviet propaganda posters … so downloaded a few and printed them in a viable size on my basic inkjet printer.   I was really just messing around an hoping I might get something usable from the time … Actually I think it ‘makes’ the model …

Gen St 03

So some more credible progress on my outstanding projects pile …

Meanwhile there’s those other games to report … and that naval game for CoW … and I was going to sort out that Soviet Artillery park …

Best get on, then …

Moscow resumes …

Moscow 2016 01

So after a short gap whilst NQM Chris has been building his new wargames room (see the NQM blog, various entries), action around Moscow 1942 has resumed (you can imagine there has been desultory fighting since the last episode while the forces regroup …) …

This was very much a leisurely picking up of threads but we got some sharp actions fought through as the snow camo Russians pushed in on the outer zones of their capital …

Moscow 2016 02(15mm Russians … Peter Pig, Battlefront and vehicles by mixed manufacturers … assault the outskirts of Moscow)

Shrewd observers will see my recently acquired and reviewed Zvezda T60 getting its tabletop blooding, middle shot, driving in over the anti-tank defences in the first close assault of the game.  Getting new toys into action is always a pleasing moment for me as a collector/player.

Moscow 2016 05

Of course these winter warriors were fairly light and mobile and against dug in defenders, the fighting was slow and attritional (and by the end of our session, only the outer trench lines had been cleared out) …

We did get some proper NQM mobile warfare, however, as some outlying formations were encircled and overrun …

Moscow 2016 03a(NQM: tank divisional action in open country)

Moscow 2016 04(contact!)

Moscow 2016 04a(encirclement!)

We were also able to pick up the attacks on the city from the previous game so, as befits NQM, got 3 or 4 actions running simultaneously in a fairly fluid treatment of the battlespace.

I will be following the NQM blog as Chris has planned running a few more days of action on the board before boxing the kit back up – so watch this space …

Moscow 2016 07a(NQM Moscow: as the collage shows, Chris gave the chance to sprinkle a few new accessions around the table which all adds to the effect)

So, Divisional artillery and motorised infantry next … and my operational level Russian forces will be nearing completion.  And good to get some motivation from playing the game.

Look forward to a number of new completions featuring here shortly.

T60 update …

Following a discussion on The Miniatures Page  I have updated the pictures on the T60 reviews … subsequent to the original reviews I had altered the turrets (so the comparison I published a couple of posts ago was slightly misleading) – so I have switched the turret modifications back and redone the photos …

T60 redux 02

Zvezda is the clear winner and it wouldn’t be too difficult to fabricated an open turret hatch and add a commander.   Unlike the other two, of course, the Zvezda turret is permanently closed.

TBP tram 01

If you are in the UK it is a Bank Holiday weekend … gardening, relatives, second-guessing the weather etc.

Now I’ve got plenty of proper painting to do – but I picked up this die cast tram in the Bring and Buy at Triples for a £1 or so earlier in the year and it has been asking to be painted ever since: so to add something different, here it is.

It is generic (I’m not making it out to be anything in particular … and doubtless it will find its way onto the streets of Stalingrad although all the trams I have seen in Stalingrad pictures are single-deckers … ) … so all caveats apply.

It is a bit of fun, nevertheless …

It has had the usual treatment (break it apart; undercoat it all over in Humbrol black, then dry brush it back to life) – no idea why this simple method works so well on die cast toys but I really do like the effect.

TBP tram 02(toy tram repainted for the wargame table)

… and a clear acrylic base as I generally use with non-military items …

Not sure of the manufacturer … and size-wise I guess it is more like 10mm or 1:144 (but that would suit my ‘one scale down’ usage for buildings and infrastructure) … anyway, for compatibility, here it is with some 15mm figures …

TBP tram 03(figures by Peter Pig, (work in progress) building from Warbases components)

The partisan figures are a PP mix – I think some ‘U Boat crew’ and some SCW types … and the building is that Stalingrad one – still not finished …

TBP tram 04

TBP tram 05

TBP tram 06

… so I think quite viable in a 15mm environment and a nice bit of ‘street furniture’ …

I have enjoyed myself this afternoon – and it is nice to have a little one off project that can be done and put away in a session (and nice to keep up with my regime of buy it and paint it in real time)

What should I really be doing (other than clearing some stuff in the garage)?  Well I’m actually working on my PBI Sahariana patrol … and it is nearly complete … (I’m doing bits and bobs in tandem with painting the tram and some other little fixes) …

TBP tram 07(Sahariana patrol in 15mm for PBI: figures (mostly by Peter Pig, Vehicles by Battlefront, Skytrex and FiB)

Some of the kit will be familiar but I’ve never completed an actual ‘all in one box’ PBI company – but I reckon it’ll all be done by tonight.

Will take a while to photograph and edit up for you, however – so I hope you enjoy my little tram for now …