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Archive for the ‘AK 47’ Category

Some Seasonal Whimsy

attack on spielstadt 01

Happy New Year to you all.

It just so happens that the youngest member of our household got a new play table for Christmas – a layout of a small town with block buildings, railtrack and so forth.

attack on spielstadt 01a

The tranquility hides thr true nature of this heavily contested area of never-never land which locals call Kleiner Spielstadt.  And in the hours before dawn on a surprisingly moonlit night in late December, rapidly moving forces from Eastern Panto tried to take control of the town.

Helicopter landing troops siezed the railway bridge …

attack on spielstadt 02

And tanks arrived in support …

attack on spielstadt 03

The response was instant, and Frap Pershings rolled out of the cover of the viaduct …

attack on spielstadt 03a(an elevated setion of railway had concealed waiting enemy tanks from aerial reconnaissance)

They were immediately engaged by Soviet military advisors …

attack on spielstadt 03b

But the Western backed Frap detachment pressed home their counter-attack …

attack on spielstadt 03c

And a sharp exchange of fire drove the invaders out of the town centre …

attack on spielstadt 04

Rather than take heavy losses, the T55s gave ground and, with daylight approaching, the mission was aborted.

attack on spielstadt 05

The attempt to snatch Kleiner Spielstadt before the children got up had failed.  The forces withdrew and peace settled over little play town almost as if nothing at all had happened.

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We Also Played 09(What a Tanker: a bullish T34 closes on its prey)

This blog is a picture set entitled ‘we also played’ …

It is getting towards the end of the year and I have blogged mostly about my own projects and about the big games and shows.

There’s a lot more to wargaming in Middle England than the big stuff – I wargame mid-week 3 times a month … a lot of that isn’t modern … and a lot of the modern stuff goes otherwise unreported: so here’s a look at what else we did.

We Also Played 01(Classic AK47: Peter Pig T55s … one already wrecked)

AK47 by RFCM/Peter Pig.  In addition to my ‘Minus 47’ arctic game, we played a ‘straight’ version because it is still immensely entertaining (and because one of our newcomers had never played it – needless to say he ‘got it’)

We Also Played 02(AK47 Classic: Panhards move in … figures and vehicles by Peter Pig from Trebian’s collection)

Richard’s Russian Ripping Yarns …

We also enjoyed another of Richard’s occasional series of ripping yarns set in Revolutionary Russia (with spies, Rolls Royces, damsels in distress and secret missions) … this time climaxing with heroes and villains leaping into moving cars …

We Also Played 03(Ripping Yarns)

We Also Played 04(… this one was notionally about a bridge)

Bayonets and Ideology

We Also Played 05(BAIT … RFCM’s Spanish Civil War variant of the PBI style game – more of Trebian’s toys)

Cod Wars … a first time at this odd post war North Atlantic sideshow.

We Also Played 06(Cod Wars … a group of trawlers peacefully going about their business)

We Also Played 07(HMS Leander to the rescue)

As a youngster I had an Airfix Leander but no game that it fitted into.  No wonder I liked this game.

NQM … a perennial favourite … I often only blog about the big games rather than the stocking fillers.  Inevitably, of course, a lot of the smaller games are test runs ahead of the grand Operational Games …

We Also Played 08(regular Monday Night NQM … a trial run at landing Fallshirmjaeger on Crete)

What a Tanker

It was good to have a go at this currently highly thought-of TFL game.  Individual tamk combat.  I likened it to ‘Saga for tanks’.  It has lots of nice things in it.  It has other things in it that I would have fixed if it was my game idea.

Good game but I had expected to be more impressed than I was.

We Also Played 10(What a Tanker by Two Fat Lardies: driving past the wreck of that bullish T34)

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CoW 2019

CoW 2019 00

The 2019 Conference of Wargamers at Knuston Hall, Northamptonshire.

My life has become so busy that it is a long time since I was able to head off to CoW for the entire weekend and just lose myself in the opportunities it presents.  This year was no different.

CoW, of course is a multi-period, multi-genre event, but I will post my photo report here as I have done previously.  I had three major involvements this year plus I sat in on a number of illuminating sessions.

CoW 2019 01(Airstrike available in AK minus 47 … my 20th century contribution to CoW 2019)

I enjoyed sitting in on Trebian’s Va t’en Ecosse, a wargame of the ’45 played with (mostly old Airfix) 20mm soldiers.

CoW 2019 15

CoW 2019 16

Elsewhere

CoW 2019 17

My main contribution on the Saturday was to present and run our model of the battle of Edgcote (not in this blog’s period so I’ll just give a flavour …) …

CoW 2019 02

CoW 2019 08

AK minus 47

Sunday morning: this was a light-hearted attempt to get out some nice toys (including my new carriers) and continue the theme of Operation Coldfeet/Ice Station CF … this time taking up the story with the failed sky-hooking of the agent (and the consequential ‘boots on the ground’ rescue/evaluation mission).  Of course, this never happened and is totally deniable.

CoW 2019 18

The search mission column enters the table and some unseen defenders deployed (making the best use of the minimal landscape to avoid line-of-sight).

CoW 2019 10

In the inevitable fire-fight (and as always seems to happen) the lead vehicle got taken out quite quickly while the foot groups debussed from the carriers.

CoW 2019 12(AK minus 47: Nato-ish column … VBL converted by me, carriers by BPM, troops in parkas by Khurasan)

The going got tough so the rescue mission had to call in further support.   The tactical leader chose to rope his unit out of helicopters right onto the abandoned ice station.  Although they did some good, they got shot to pieces.

CoW 2019 11

At this point I should apologise for the mismatching bases.  Some of my men in parkas got left at home but I had a unit of Peter Pig Russian Scouts in a different box, so they had to make an impromptu appearance.  Needs must.

The session reminded everyone how much potential there still is in Peter Pig’s classic edition of AK 47 and with the little tweaks, it didn’t seem misplaced in Arctic conditions (indeed its randomness sort of worked) and we thought up a few more special effects as we went.

With the botched rescue attempt, however, the mission was going wrong.  I allowed the sub to turn up (shades of Ice Station Zebra, of course – but the players were demanding it) and the so far unobtained airstrike (as photo opportunities) …

CoW 2019 13a

CoW 2019 13(AK minus 47: flogger acquiring target)

I think there is some potential in this.

That was my CoW 2019.  Thanks to everyone who made it a wonderful distraction and an inspiring weekend.  Next year is number 40.  Expect a celebration.

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CWGC 01

Chris at NQM tipped me off about Butlers Printed Models who do a Viking all terrain vehicle that looks quite nice.  I had wanted to add one of these quirky carriers to my modern forces for some time but nobody made one (and the the scratchbuild, though an attractive challenge, would take more time than I have currently got) …

I had also been thinking of reprising some of my winter warfare ideas – particularly the light-hearted AK47 romp (it must be the time of year!).

So I bought a selection of vehicles from Butler (including the BvS 10 and a Russian truck which I will review shortly) …

CWGC 02(Butler’s Printed Models in 1/100)

… and some Khurasan modern troops in parkas …

CWGC 04

I added a couple of Peter Pig in there to make the numbers right … they are a bit smaller but once the heads are shared around and some milliput parkas are added, I reckon it won’t show.

They are armed primarily with AK74s, though my intentions are more generic than that suggests (hence my willingness to bus them up into notionally Nato vehicles!) …

CWGC 05(Khurasan modern soldiers and civilians in parkas with a touch of Peter Pig)

I need to tart up the plastic bases, detail up and add aerials etc. to the carriers (which have just had a basic white undercoat) – but ‘so far, so good’ … I need to get on with some other jobs and these now look good enough that I can think about some of the other more pressing tasks!

CWGC 06

NB the alternative cupolas for the vehicles – BPM offer a choice, so I got the protected MG style, but decided it looked a bit aggressive for the role I had in mind so I have reserved them for a ‘UN peacekeeper’ trim whilst scratchbuilding a simple ‘hatch with parka head sticking out’ for the freezing scenario I currently have in mind.

So this is a little ‘intervention’ patrol …

CWGC 07(the Cold War gets Colder on P.B.Eye-Candy)

I’ll do some proper reviews when time allow but for now … the Khurasan figures are excellent.  Buying them in from the US makes them expensive (so something of a small game option at the moment).  They sort of match with PP if you accept that men in  parkas are bigger anyway than men in ordinary fatigues – plus the weapons are a bit chunkier (actually I trimmed some of them down).  They look great.

Re the BPMs, I’m more ambivalent: they are inexpensive but the striated surfaces that seem to come with this sort of 3D printing are annoying.  Also the clean up takes a while and isn’t really that simple (not all of the waste snaps or cuts off and it is quite difficult to scrape or file) so there is a big penalty to pay for the economies.  Basically, the only reason to go to this sort of model will be availability – if 3D means you can get something which otherwise you would have to build yourself, then it wins easily.  If, however, you are choosing between similar items in traditional metal, resin or kit forms, I think you are better with the traditional models, even if they costs a little more.

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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)…

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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)

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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 …

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Birthday Games Day

Following the birthday theme we got a few friends together on Saturday and played some games … it took an RFCM theme as I had provided some classic AK-47 kit and Martin from Peter Pig came up and laid on some Hammering Iron (AK-47 and Hammering Iron? Yep … sounds like the old Brixcon formula from the noughties) ..

Games ...

Sep top 01c(Hammering Iron)

Sep top 01aa(classic AK-47)

Sep top 01b(DBA V3 Dark Age Britain)

The DBA is for another day and another blog … we got engrossed in a big game of AK-47 sandwiched between ‘show style’ games of Hammering Iron (but the choices and lures were provided) …

The ACW riverine isn’t really 20th century but was an important part of the fez-tivities … 😉 😉 .. so I’m sure you’ll indulge a couple of pictures …

Sep top 01

Sep top 02

AK-47 Classic … 

We played the most recent version we could remember of the old style rules from our Brixcon days …

Sep top 03(AK-47 Classic … Chris, Graham F and – out of shot – Chris A lined up against Martin and Graham H)

So I had the honour of umpiring the game – Martin (who wrote them) having long forgotten that version … though it all came back to him pretty quickly it has to be said …

Sep top 04(Martin’s T55s take an early battering)

I had laid the kit and boards out for two one-on-one games but we pushed them together for one big game which seemed to work very nicely.  It was a joy to get the old toys out again …

Sep top 05(Nato peacekeepers making a lot of noise)

… indeed Chris A said to me quizzically ‘why don’t we do this more often?’ and we agreed we’d almost forgotten how much fun this game is.

In all the pictures, the figures are Peter Pig, the vehicles a mix of PP, QRF, Skytrex and toy shop renegades …

Sep top 06(Skytrex Pershings and a PP Hummer take out those Panto tanks)

The game itself was a little one-sided … we ran through the political charts and the Nato/colonials got all the best upgrades (thoroughly raiding my larder of tank and A/C extras) while the Panto dictatorship got downgrades to militia (and never got its helicopter on) …

Sep top 07(unarmed militias and biker gang … somewhat elaborate homecrafted conversions from PP’s WWII German motoryclists)

At this point I guess I should own up that we ran short of appropriate goodies for the as we played them as ‘Super Power Backed’ although I had packed them as ‘Colonial Power/Settlers’ with the upgrades for that chart (towed guns bought up the Khyber Pass, Mad Rupert’s mercenary band etc.) … So some things seemed undersupplied, others went unused … Here’s Rupert’s mad boys …

Sep top 07a

Last box on the right channel costs 14 dice and offers …

‘5,6 Mercenary unit hired to strengthen/build new unit.  Led by Mad Rupert of the Guards, this new unit has 3 professional groups of infantry, 1 Heavy Weapons group (RPG or HMG) and 2 trucks’

Sep top 07b(Mad Rupert’s cadre … looks like I slipped an extra base in or maybe I left the choice either HMG or RPG ..) ..

After the games (and a quick tour of duty to the art gallery for me) we retired to an excellent Turkish restaurant (so those Zouaves ended up Pashas after all … ) …

Really enjoyable day, happy birthday again to NQM Chris and great to have knock about of the still excellent AK-47 … (absent friends would have loved it) … cheers all!!

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TBP AH 05

That’s a Corgi Apache somewhere in my Africa …

I acquired the Apache as a gift some while back … it is a lovely model and apparently 1:100 (I put some Piggies in it for crew) … but my model was finished in a rather anaemic magnolia livery and never looked quite right.

So I have finally grasped the nettle and done that die cast to wargames model treatment: primed with black Humbrol all over then dry brushed with acrylics.  Wow!  All I can say is that it works for me …

TBP AH 00

I think this shifts it from ‘good model but slightly unloved’ to ‘little gem’ …

TBP AH 01

TBP AH 02

OK … There is a bit of knurled shaft sticking up at the moment where I have taken off the Longbow FCR cheese as I suspect this is wrong for any application I am likely to have for an already advanced helicopter (but I’ll tidy that bit up when I decide what model this is to be) …

This is an inexpensive (and, being a die-cast, durable) model which fits in beautifully with AK-47/Post War stuff …

TBP AH 04(Corgi Apache between 2 QRF AMX tanks)

On a related note but not so big, I picked up this fairly convincing Black Hawk at Tesco’s for £2 …

TBP Black Hawk 01

It is probably something like 1:160 scale but still looks good over the AK47 battlefield (and so is going to be worth the same treatment as the Apache got in due course) …

TBP Black Hawk 03

More Trains and Boats and Planes soon – I think we need trains next …

 Djebel Sahariana 09

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Being a Cold War seasonal entertainment staged for the MondayNight group …

BGD ISCF 01

The game combined some elements of the celebrated Operation Cold Feet and some real and fictional mayhem from Ice Station Zebra.    The rules were AK-47 classic with a few scenario tweaks  (plus a personal EDNA die roll which was set too easy so allowed a fair degree of role play to direct the narratives*).

AK-47, of course, is designed for Post War semi-historical African Warlord battles … but in its earlier format (sometimes referred to as classic) has a simple and swashbuckling style that translated comfortably from the savannah to ice flow.   3 of the 4 players were new to it but picked it pretty quickly.

BGD ISCF 05(Ice Station Cold Feet)

Briefly, something has fallen out of the sky somewhere on the ice flow, and a Soviet Ice Station has gone off line.   Nato has sent a mission to find out what is going on – and maybe gather some goodies.

ice station zebra poster

The Nato mission is … parachute in – find and check out the Ice Station – skyhook out any sensitive gear** – RV with the submarine for extraction …

There is a Soviet mission which is after the same materials and is charged with denying the Nato mission.

BGD ISCF 04(the Nato troops dropped successfully close to the station and only lost one member on the ice)

BGD ISCF 06

BGD ISCF 07(Nato operatives secure the Ice Station and search for clues)

Soviets at Zebra

There then followed a preposterous aside where they find a dead Soviet astronaut who has crawled in for shelter … In the ‘real’ narrative, it is a spy satellite, but Ian, on his departure, passed me some old Airfix astronauts which he not found a use for for years, so I painted one up and got him straight into a game (however circuitously).

BGD ISCF 08

(Space debris found at Ice Station Cold Feet)

By this stage the Russians were aware they were coming second in the race and had begun to mortar the Station and called up reinforcements …

BGD ISCF 09(the Soviet team were quickly reinforced by a 1940s style detachment of ski troops and aerosans)

And everyone was surprised when some light tanks turned up to support the Nato contingent.   A miniature battle on the ice broke out and a couple of airstrikes caused havoc (the professional Soviet special force had few heavy weapons, but proved good at rolling the ‘Double Four’ with their small arms fire – which in AK-47 wins then an airstrike special effect: very handy when you have some tanks to quieten down!***)

BGD ISCF 10

(Cold War: battle on the ice)

By this stage the Nato force was having problems … the skyhook mission had been aborted due to the presence of enemy Ground Attack fighters over the RV so everything would have to go out by submarine …

BGD ISCF 12(Cold War getting hotter … Flogger strike coming in on the Nato tank support)

But, thinly disguised as Soviet, the extraction team shows up in the nick of time (and the random roll put it very nearly adjacent to the the Nato team which was all but pushed off the end of the ice) …

BGD ISCF 11a

I won’t include full details of the debrief (as we may run the game again, so reserve the right to recycle some of the twists) but we ended up with a clear outcome for the mission and a thumbs up from the players who seemed to have got into the swing of things.

Of course both sides subsequently denied everything and such is the nature of the pack ice that eventually it will all have disappeared without a trace …

BGD ISCF 13(Ice Station Cold Feet: a last man seen leaving the chaos)

AK-47 ‘classic’ seemed to work very well for this freewheeling evening game … and has a ‘cope with anything’ simplicity that enables the game to bundle along …

*******

*purely to avoid those catastrophes where players get killed early on, everyone was allowed a ‘get out of jail’ argument plus an edna roll – as nobody failed the rolls, that aspect morphed harmlessly into a more ‘matrix’ style mechanism and allowed players a little role play.

** the Fulton Skyhook … it was real but had to be aborted due to the crowded skies ..

***basically we played all the bits of AK’s main rules bar we ignored the ‘choice’ morale test (so as to keep the small number of units we were using all in the game – for a good while at least) …

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