Sunday, 21 August 2016

28mm Cowboys

The local games club has a growing interest in Dead Man's Hand, so I picked up a copy of the rules and some minis to see what all the fuss was about.  At around £20 for the rules and a similar amount for three sets of figures, I thought why not, so headed out to the Wargamestore at Brimstage to pick some up.  And cowboys and Indians were amongst the first toys I played with, having inherited a massive set from my brother, sadly long gone now.  So, a full circle, so to speak.

First up, Cowboy Posse II (all figures are by North Star).  I wanted these to look a bit like the regulator posse from Pale Rider.

The we have Lawmen Type I.  The guy in the middle is painted like the regulators above, so he can join their gang.  The guy on the left wears a white hat and an old cavalry shirt, so he has to be a good guy (Randolph Scott or John Wayne).

Lawmen - the Earps.  Enough said, smartly dressed, big moustaches, marshals badges.

So, there we have it, three posses ready for the table.  The club has loads of Wild West scenery, so I'm all ready to go.  Now to try out the rules.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Ratte and Dora

These are shots of Steve Black's (Corwin) Ratte and Dora, for posting on the Blitzkrieg Commander forum.  He's having problems posting pictures at the moment.  The Ratte has 2 each of comparatively lightly armoured E-100s and Maus for scale comparison.


Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

6mm 1980's West Germans

Team Yankee seems to have captured the imagination of the Flames of War players at the club.  While most have built up 15mm forces for Russians and Americans, there has been a lot of interest in 6mm, based on cost, the ability to build larger and more varied forces and a better look to the game on the tabletop.  For me this is perfect, as I already have 6mm forces for US, Russian, British and French.  With the publication of the Team Yankee supplement Leopard, I decided to order enough vehicles from Heroics and Ros to build up a force - I can always add more later if I like them for use with CWC.  Infantry are from Mainforce.

I decided to paint these in olivegelb (yellow olive) rather than the later NATO three colour scheme.  Vallejo yellow olive wasn't grey enough for me, so I used it as a base coat, but dry brushed it mixed with mid-grey and then added a little white for a lighter dry brush.  Tracks are flat brown, tools are beige brown and flat aluminium, crosses are hand painted in black and white.  Vision blocks are azure blue.

So, without further ado, a Leopard 2 Panzer Zug.

A Leopard 2 Panzer Kompanie.  I suspect these could ruin a Russian regimental attack on a good day.

The panzergrenadier zug from the panzer kompanie, transported in three Marders, comprising two sections of infantry, each with Milan firing posts, and the command section.

A Roland air defence battery.

A Gepard air defence battery.

A Jaguar 1 jagdpanzer battery, HOT ATGM armed.

A Jaguar 2 jagdpanzer battery, TOW ATGM armed.

Not really represented in Leopard, a Leopard 1 ARV.

A Leopard 1 zug, from a panzeraufklarungs kompanie.  These are rather more brittle than the Leopard 2s, but cost significantly less point-wise, so you can have a lot more, and they pack a punch.

A LARS raketenwerfer battery, with OP in M113.

A fliegerfaust gruppe, armed with Redeye hand held SAM missiles.  The rules allow one stand for each weapon in a Gepard or Roland air defence battery.  Apparently these troops represent the two spare crews available for each battery to allow 3 8 hour shifts to cover 24 hour air defence.

M109G panzerartillerie battery.

A Luchs spah truppe.

A Fuchs panzeraufklarungs zug, three infantry sections and a Milan firing post, with three Fuchs transports.

So, I now have enough vehicles and infantry to field a panzer kompanie, panzergrenadier kompanie and panzer aufklarungskompanie, plus supports.  I still need to add flights of West German Tornados and Bo-105P PAH helicopters to complete all the functionality of the Leopard forces.  I'm hoping to get some or all on the table top some time in the next few weeks.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Glory Halleluiah! ACW game

We played out another scenario from "Glory Hallelujah!" at the club last week.  This time it was "Bartlett's Farm - 1863" and we used Will's (Fire at Will) most excellent 20mm ACW collection.  Ian and Will took two Reb brigades each, while I took the greatly outnumbered (but not for long) Union 1st Division.  The idea was that if anyone else wanted to join the game they could take on one of the reserve forces.

The terrain lay out, mainly using club terrain with some of Will's snake rail fencing and buildings.  Rebs come on from the right and need to cross the stream to get to grips with the Union deployed between the road and the stream.  Union reserves come on from the left at a random location determined by dice roll on the roads or through the woods.

The Reb hordes come out of the forest and push towards the stream from the top edge of the photo.  Union defenders are deployed in a thin blue line.  The line is anchored in the centre on a rifle regiment occupying a farm building just out of sight off the bottom of the photo.

A couple of southern gentlemen, Will and Ian.

Well, once we got started, it took three turns to conclude.  The Rebs attempted to rush across the stream and generally managed to fail command rolls, coming on in a piecemeal fashion.  Meanwhile, the Union rolled for each of three brigades to come on, needing 4+, and they succeeded in bringing on a brigade per turn, randomly spread across the back of the Union line.  Will's Rebs did contact the Union line, but finished up with a broken brigade and various whipped units.  The Union front line was similarly shaken but holding firm, for now.  However, behind the Union front line were three fresh brigades deployed in double lines, which the southern gentlemen didn't relish attacking, so decided to slink away into the undergrowth.

Taken from the Union left, the front line shows the pounding it has taken with lots of hit dice and shaken or disordered markers (yellow/red respectively).  The Reb right is in an even poorer state with some regiments routed or whipped and one brigade broken.  The Rebs on their left flank took too long to get through the woods, but were by the end making a nuisance of themselves shooting under cover from the edge of the trees. 

Three very similar shots, highlighting the superb figures from Will's collection, which is most excellent.

We have only played the scenario once, but it seemed to us that there was too good a chance for the Union to bring on reserves.  Three brigades with an evens chance of each coming on means only a 1 in 8 chance of not getting any reserves at all on turn 1.  With the odds in favour of a steady Union build up, if the Rebs don't get to grips with the Union line in the first couple of turns, it will all be over for them very quickly.  It was lots of fun for me as the Union player, but I suspect less so for the southern gentlemen.
Looking forward to the next ACW outing, having "seen the elephant".
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Joy of 6 2016

The Joy of 6 show took place this Sunday (17th July) at Sheffield Hallam University.  Cold War Commanders had a demo/participation game on, based on the Red Effect novels of Harvey Black.  Our game centred on a Russian/East German attack at the junction of a Dutch armoured/mechanised brigade and British 4th Armoured Division.  The right flank of 4th Armoured was held by a Chieftain regiment, the 5th Batt. Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, with a detached mechanised infantry company and Milan I atgm attachments from 2nd Batt. Queens Regt.  Contact with the Dutch indicated the presence of a battalion of Leopard IIs, mechanised infantry and possibly Leopard Is.  Facing the British, it was anticipated that a Soviet tank regiment, plus a motor rifle regiment was fast approaching, while the Dutch faced a reinforced East German motor rifle regiment.

The lull before the storm.  The train rattles through a deceptively deserted German landscape.

At least the roads are quiet.

Industry appears to have shut down in the face of the Soviet advance.

Motorway fly overs, the perfect spot for Harriers to replenish.

TV emergency broadcasts advising civilians to stay in their homes, in cellars if available.  Those over 45 remember 1945 all too well.

Industrial plants deserted.

Docks frozen in the midst of containers and part loaded canal barges.

All is not deserted though.  Squadrons of Chieftain tanks advance to occupy covered positions in fields and woods.

Attack helicopter flights cross the coming battlefield.

Tanks occupy cover to act as defensive strongpoints.

Attack helicopters probe for the Soviet MLA.

Woodland provides excellent defensive cover with Chieftain squadrons covering both left and right flanks, the right covering the Dutch left flank if required.

The wiley Soviet commander uses the East Germans to try and pin the Dutch, while his tank regiment pushes into the British right flank.  Unfortunately for him, this is right in front of the woodland occupied by two Chieftain squadrons.  Suddenly, his first wave T-64 battalion is reduced to one serviceable tank, for no loss to the British.  Attack helicopters attempt to pick off parts of his second wave tank force.

Chieftains in cover are really effective.

The Soviet response is to use second wave T-64s and massed artillery to suppress the central Chieftain squadron occupying the field system.  Despite strikes from three MLRS rocket batteries and two Carnation batteries, plus tank fire, the Chieftains have only 1 to 3 hits per platoon, although all are suppressed bar the Sq HQ.  However, with all Chieftains in the woods unsuppressed and ready to fire next turn, the Soviet commander decides his force will be better served by holding back out og range.

Dutch Leopard IIs also realise the value of woodland strongpoints.

But other Dutch armoured units realise the East Germans have stalled and push across the canal to bring them under close range fire.

Dutch reserves pour on the East German agony.

And cover the docks area at the canal terminus.

The TV tower remains in NATO hands so far.

A Harrier hide located close to woodland.

The hide, secluded from most direct fire from the Soviets.

British Army logistics base, sending resupplies out to the forward tank squadrons.

Milan I teams around the power station.

The first wave of Soviet MR IFVs severely mauled by artillery and air strikes.

The day was mainly about meeting people and talking about the modelling, game system and our plans for larger games in the coming months.  Hopefully we recruited a couple of new players interested in taking part in Aegean Strike in September.  This meant that shopping was severely curtailed, although I managed to make modest purchases at Heroics and Ros, Timecast and Brigade Models, although I'd have loved more time to peruse all the other stalls present.

All the other games looked truly amazing, but I didn't really have time to look at them fully.  However, the following pictures show the "First Day of the Somme" game, using Timecast new and very excellent looking flexible trench systems.  This game was huge and was so big that they didn't have time to play, not finishing set up until lunchtime.  However, it looked superb and would make a great weekend game.

I loved the use of Woodland Scenic armatures to represent shattered and shell blown woodland.

All in all a great day out.  If 6mm is your thing, then Sheffield in mid-July is the place to be next year.

As ever, thanks for looking.