Friday, 28 November 2014

Big Force on Force game

We played out a large Force on Force game at the Defenders club on Thursday.  It was played on a 10ftx6ft table laid out to represent a coastal strip and inland areas.  The scenario was set in the fictional, troubled Black Sea country of Ukrovia in which a Russian-influenced East and NATO-influenced west were abut to erupt in civil war.  My armoured force comprised 3 T-90s, 3 BMP-2s, 2 BRDM-2s, 1 Shilka and a BRDM AT.  I had three squads of guards riding in the BMP-2s, all equipped with NBC suits as were were attempting to rescue/secure the cargo of an ambushed convoy which was of great importance to eastern command.  Ian was commanding scattered units of infantry that were gradually returning to the area after the earlier ambush.  Our opponents were unknown, but included recce and heavy armour, which could be heard in the woods to the best and various units of special forces which were scattered in hidden vantage points around the table.  Still unsure what most of them were but there was an AT-4 weapons team, an 81mm mortar team (although these were captured by irregular Vampyri forces during the game).  There were at least 2 sniper teams with heavy sniper rifles, 2 SEAL-type frogman teams and others.  Apart from knocking out a pair of recce Strykers and wounding a few of the AT-4 team and wounding one member of one of the other SF teams, most of the action consisted of incoming drone-launched Hellfire missiles and Paveway bombs.  These caused huge losses, including the 3 T-90s, 2 BMP-2s and my AA Shilka.  However, eastern weapons specialists did get to the weapon convoy and rescue to weapon, getting it off table, but it was suspiciously easy to do this, suggesting almost that they were allowed to get away.  Go figure.

Looking south, the convoy ambush site is where the road bends towards the trees.

The convoy with my armour deployed amongst the buildings.  I had three activations to get the best positions I could with orders to repel western forces coming out of the woods on the far table edge.

Another view of the convoy.

Some of Ian's infantry returning to the action crossing a crop field, about to come under fire from an SF GPMG I think.

A hurried view from one of Ian's troopers of a recce BRDM-2 taking a hull down position behind a low hill.

A T-90, 2 BMP-2s and their offloaded infantry occupy a compound, waiting for the western armour.

A T-90 and the command BRDM-2 attempt to secure the convoy under the watchful eye of a BMP-2 which has disgorged it's troopers who are rushing to get into the cover of the building.

Suddenly, a pair of recce Strykers emerge from the woods in the west and swing to left and right of the road.  ATGMs and RPGs fly, while T-90s pour in AP rounds which make short work of the Strykers.

Near vertical view of the central compound nd key part of the eastern armour defences.

Another view of the compound about to be secured by the third eastern guard squad.

Unfortunately, they come under 81mm mortar fire, although this only results in a heavy wound for one of the guards.

One of the SF AT-4 teams opens up on the T-90, but it doesn't even scorch the paint.  Later, they and a pair of SF teams are forced to move out as eastern artillery begins to range in.

The eastern guard command squad about to run in to claymores left behind by the SF teams.  They aren't nice.

A T-90 pops smoke after the commander is killed by sniper fire.

The view west, with burning recce Strykers, but no heavy armour yet.

The aftermath of a Paveway strike (is this OK Mike?) on the central compound with a burning T-90 and BMP-2 and a bunch of casualties in the troops in the collapsed building on the right.

The command squad about to flush out the SF teams in the building to their left.

There they go.

Seal teams with good vantage points on the coastal hills.

The eastern scientists in black SUV make off with a truck loaded with the rescued special weapon.

It was all very confusing for me as all I seemed to be doing was rolling morale dice to try and survive Hellfire or Paveway strikes plus sniper fire from an unseen enemy which seemed to be scattered amongst our forces.  It was however, immensely satisfying when the SF teams had to break cover for extraction and could then be fired at causing albeit scant casualties.  You can imagine the joy I felt when the last Hellfire missile loaded on the Predator drone was directed onto the SEAL team that had called it in, which turned to dismay when only one figure went down and he, in the first aid phase turned out to have been just temporarily stunned, only to jump up and make off for the sea as he had arrived.  Hey ho.

A great game, thanks to Dave W for the loan of the various bits of Russian kit, running the game and coming up with the scenario, Ian for lending at least moral support with his infantry and Mike, Paul, Tom and Dave R for taking us apart with their uber-troopers.  The table looked fantastic.

Thanks for looking.

Saga Anglo-Danes second unit of warriors

This is the second unit of warriors from the Gripping Beast starter army; these guys don't even have helmets, let alone armour.  They are wearing basic clothing and are bare headed or wear a cloth or woollen cap.  All are armed with spears.  I've assembled the commander - the guy blowing a horn, as carrying a spear and shield in one hand so he has a hand free to hold the horn to his lips.

From the front.

From behind.

Another view.

Fun to paint and looking great on the table top.  Just a unit of levy to complete and the warband is done.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

15mm Arab buildings

Steve Oates, of the Baggage Train, brought in some new resin buildings he has been working on for North Africa and the Middle East in 15mm.  These are really nice models of a simple single storey dwelling with roof access from a small walled garden, and a shop/bazaar with open frontage at street level and stairs access to a first floor terrace and living accommodation.  The bazaar units can be assembled as a stand alone structure, with a wall along the external stairs (see left hand building in picture below), or they can be arranged in a terrace,  in which case the wall is left out and the stairs run beside the end wall of the next building.  I've shown them here as a small village or hamlet with some of the excellent Peterpig USMC figures from their AK47 range and a Matchbox Jackal, which is waiting to be remodelled and crewed.

One of the small single storey units.  To finish this building off I'm going to add some Woodland Scenics foliage to represent a fig or olive tree growing in the walled garden - nothing too big though or there won't be room for troops.

The other building from the opposite view - note the detachable garden, for a bit of variation.

Two of the bazaar buildings shown as a terrace, with USMC searching the upper storeys and the platoon commander using the terrace as a vantage point to observe the search of the rest of the village.

Nice models, very few bubbles, easy to assemble with a little bit of filing to get a smooth fit.  I washed them with washing up liquid, which meant they were really easy to paint.  They were under coated light grey and painted light brown.  English uniform for doors and roof hatches, black for windows.  Everything was dry brushed white and black added to chimneys.  Finally coated with matt varnish for protection.

I don't think these are on the Baggage Train web site but I'm sure Steve will have them at shows next year or drop him an e-mail.  He's also produced a mosque and a larger municipal building, plus some Ottoman fortifications.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

20mm SAS team for Afghanistan

This is the Britannia Miniatures SAS Special Forces team.  First up the team as a whole, one bare headed sniper on the right and the rest in helmets with built in comms and mounts for night vision equipment.  These guys are armed to the teeth carrying personal weapons plus alternates slung from their shoulders.  I like the poses, although it would have been useful to have a spotter for the sniper.

The kneeling sniper figure.  I've shown this one with sand cammo covers on the sniper rifle stock and sights.

I think this guy is carrying an SA-80 with UGL.

I think this guy carries a HK SMG with a slung assault shotgun over his shoulder.

Not sure what the weapon is, but this one is heavily silenced.

I think this guy carries a minimi, or is it a GPMG?

Rear view of the group.

These guys look like they could be quite handy to have on your side in a FonF game.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

20mm EOD team Afghanistan

I've been working on the Britannia British EOD team.  Below are some images from Google that I used as a guide for the specialist in the armoured suit.


This is my EOD team, with an armoured suited figure and EOD robot vehicle, plus a pair of mine detector specialists.

These were excellent figures, really crisp detail and they painted up really easily.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Force on Force game tonight

I spent an interesting and enjoyable couple of hours tonight playing my first game of Force on Force as the regular player.  It was an interesting scenario, involving two sections of modern British infantry, each of two fire teams (minimi gunner, SA80 UGL grenadier, SA80 rifleman and NCO with SA80), plus a platoon HQ of officer with SA80, sergeant with SA-80 and UGL, designated marksman and medic with SA80).  The aim was to cross the start line, advance to identify the forward line of enemy troops (FLET), establish contact and then retire back across the start line, all within 8 turns.  I gained VPs by advancing as far as the FLET, knocking out hot spots at and beyond the FLET and for evacuating any seriously wounded and/or avoiding any KIA.

I realised, from the pre-game briefing, that my troops would have to make at least a couple of fast moves, in order to cover the distance to the FLET and still be able to spend a couple of turns driving off the insurgents.  In the map below AB is the start line, while X-Y is the FLET.  1-5 are insurgent hot spots.

Note:  Map and scenario are sourced from Donogh Mccarthy's BlogSpot "land war in asia".

I rushed my sections forward in turns 1 and 2, with a fire team occupying the corner of the second field up from the start line and the HQ section occupying the building below the large hill on the right flank.  In turn 3 I pushed two fire teams forward towards the FLET and one team towards hot spot 5 down the right flank, leaving the HQ and one fire team in the field on overwatch.  The two fire teams advancing towards the FLET failed their TQ roles and so couldn't occupy the pair of buildings to the left of the main hill.  On the right flank, the fire team advancing on hot spot 5 ran in to a small insurgent RPG team which they neutralised, but then came under fire from a larger group of insurgents on hot spot 1.  These caused two casualties on the right flank fire team.  The medic rushed across, only to roll snake eyes, 2 KIA!

In turn 4, the fire team in the field went on overwatch, while the HQ team rushed to reinforce the right flank.  The mobile fire teams in the centre both failed again to enter either building.  Fire directed at them from hot spot 3 in the left hand compound was ineffective due to overwatch fire from the field and response fire from the troops in the open, which effectively neutralised the insurgents.  Insurgent reinforcements comprised a dushka armed technical that appeared at hot spot 5.

Turn 5 saw one of the mobile teams in the centre managed to enter a building, while the other attempted to manoeuvre around to occupy hot spot 4.  However, coming under fire from insurgents on hot spot 1 stopped them just short of hot spot 4.  Fire from the HQ suppressed the technical on hot spot 5.  At this point the insurgents struck really lucky with reinforcements and a group of insurgents appeared in the street at hot spot 4, directly in front of the British fire team in the open.

In turn 6 the teams in the field and newly occupied central building went on overwatch, while the HQ engaged the technical and the fire team in the open engaged the insurgents on hot spot 4 and in response they attempted to close assault the team in the open.  Fortunately, overwatch and response fire reduced their numbers and against all expectations, the insurgent failed their morale and had to retire into the building opposite hot spot 4.  However, one further casualty in the fire team in the open resulted in a medic first aide test - you guessed it a 1, so another British casualty.

At this point the British had no chance of withdrawing to the start line by turn 8 and so spent their time attempting to neutralise the insurgent groups within sight.  The technical was driven off with gun damage and the insurgent group on hot spot 1 was eliminated, while insurgents kept pouring forward from hot spot 2, although overwatch fire punished them severely.

So at the end, the British had scored 3 VP for reaching the FLET and making contact with the insurgents, while the insurgents had scored 9 VP, 3 for each British KIA.  The British had managed to eliminate three insurgent groups and inflict close to 50% casualties on the other groups, but against an enemy prepared to disregard casualties, this wasn't enough.

An interesting and challenging game.  The insurgent player did well, concentrating his forces in attempts to overwhelm parts of the British force.  Generally, these were beaten off with heavy losses, except initially where the British right flank fire team was more effectively isolated.  Of course, it didn't help that the medic seemed to have lost his first aide mojo - I mean, throwing three 1's, whatever next.  The British platoon leader (i.e. me) now has to go back to his fire base and rethink his small unit infantry tactics.  I'll wait and see whether the umpire (Mike) has any comments regarding my impressions of the engagement.

Only a couple of pictures I'm afraid, and only of the British start line.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

20mm British medics Afghanistan

These are the Britannia medics for the British in Afghanistan, one with a casualty and one without.  As ever with the Britannia figures, lots of detail on the model and very little flash, so almost no work to prepare these figures.  The casualty is depicted in a pretty bad way (heavy wound for FonF) with a bandaged chest wound and open wounds to his knees and shins, presumably depicting the victim of a blast injury from an IED or mine.  He could certainly do with immediate CASEVAC.

Nice models, these will find a way into the platoon HQ section to provide advanced first aid to the platoon.  Hopefully they will be making an appearance on-table at the club tonight in a FonF scenario involving my "Devonshire Dragoons".

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Saga Anglo-Dane Warriors

My next unit of Anglo-Danes is now wrapped up.  This time a unit of 8 Warriors, wearing helmets and carrying a mixture of spears, with scattered swords and axe-armed figures.  None wear armour and all carry round shields, although the leader carries a kite shield.

Again a really colourful bunch on the table top.  Very pleasing to see this warband growing.  I've got one more unit of 8 Warriors on the painting table and a unit of 12 Levy to complete the 6 point warband for Saga.  If I can get them wrapped up by New Year, that will be one of my New Years resolutions complete.  Just the ECW battalia and 28mm WW2 Russians left over.

As ever, thanks for looking.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Chechen heavy weapons in 20mm

I've added some extra heavy weapons teams to my Chechen force for Andreivia (Arc of Fire) and Force on Force. These are all from Under Fire Miniatures, three SPG-9 teams and an AGS-17 AGL.  Rear right is the original SPG-9 team I painted last year, in front are the two additions.

One of the SPG-9 teams in more detail, ready to meet the Andreivian Armenian armour.

The AGS-17 team for when the opposition infantry gets a bit bunched up.

Thanks for looking.

1/200 Revell Apache

I picked this little model up on an impulse buy for £2 in Tesco's.  It's snap together and took about 2 minutes to build, so would make a great little introduction kit for a youngster.  However, I was a bit disappointed in the fit.  All the parts do snap together, but the tail fins plug into a slot at the rear of the model which is formed by the two halves of the fuselage when clipped together.  Unfortunately, when clipping the tail in, mine pushed the fuselage parts apart, more or less exploding the model, so I had to superglue the fuselage halves together and then glue the plug in place to keep the tail fins in place.  Similarly, the underslung gun pod dropped out and had to be glued in place. Overall simple to put together, but glue was needed for mine.

The final version, not a bad rendition of the helicopter in 1:200.

Model and box it comes in.

Thanks for looking.

20mm Britannia British vehicles

Credit where it's due, amazing service from Grubby Tanks/Britannia.  I placed an order for some vehicles and figures over the weekend and received them on the following Wednesday.  Not only that, but I received some complementary figures in the package as well.

Here are the vehicles that I ordered. First up the Jackal.  I was a little disappointed with this particular model as there was quite a lot of damage due to bubbles.  I had to fill quite a few with air-drying modelling clay, which generally worked well, but one of the smoke dischargers had almost disappeared.  However, once cleaned up and painted, the model looks really nice and the figures are excellent, with very nice raised detail which paint up well.  I've used some blu-tak type stuff to fix the figures in place so that I can remove them if the vehicle is hit.  I tried to give them a dusty/dirty "in theatre" look by washing them in Army Painter strong tone ink, which was then largely brushed off during application of the matt varnish, leaving the ink in recesses and around panel edges or raised detail like rivets.

A pair of WMIKs ready to go out on patrol.  These were much crisper models with hardly any bubbling of the resin.

Three Viking apcs.  The castings ranged from near perfect to requiring some modelling clay filling of bubbles.  This wasn't a big problem except where the raised detail hadn't cast, like the raised ribs on the front of the central Viking in the image below. However, once filled and painted, they look really cool and I can't wait to get them on the board in a FonF game.  Any shortcomings in the filling front = battle damage.

Some nice vehicles there from Britannia.  I shall have to get another WMIK and a Viking, plus a Mastiff or two, so I have the vehicles I need for the "Enduring Freedom" scenarios.  These will complement the die cast Altaya Warriors and Challengers that I have sourced off e-bay, along with some air lift via a Lynx, 2 Pumas and a Chinook.  I'm also looking at the Snatch Landrovers from the Hobby Den, but am also tempted to try and scratch build them from a couple of Matchbox Landrover Defenders that I picked up the other day in Sainsbury's- only really needs the roof lifting off and rebuilt with a hole in it for a minimi gunner to fit in the top.

Thanks for looking.