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Archive for the ‘Cold War’ Category

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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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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