Sunday, September 2, 2018

Game Day

Peter, Paul and Peter (that famous 60's pop group) came north for a large game yesterday. It was nice to see everyone again, abiet with a few more grey hairs. After the usual trash talk it was time for business. The table went up in 7 minutes and we were playing the first turn about 10:30, which surprised me greatly.
The general scenario was a Belgian brigade being attacked by 3 Russian regiments. A US brigade arrived during the game as support.
The initial positions were as follows. 

On table just out of shot on the extreme flank was a US armoured cavalry troop which only contributed M551 aluminum fire starters to the day.
Things got going fast on the Belgian left. Here Peter P consults the rules while Paul waves the magic stick and Luke looks on expectantly.

On the other flank Peter C's battalions slowly bashed their way through the rugged terrain (why you shouldn't let just anyone draw command arrows) laying waste to all before them. Fortunately there wasn't that much in front him and it was a quiet trek along the romantic road. The Belgians did quite well considering they are a bit rubbish. The Russian BTR regiment on the right was fought to a standstill.

The follow up US battalion took up a strong blocking position, securing that flank from further advances. On the other flank 2 regiments had dealt to the Bellgian units, and were about to roll over the US forces on this flank.

At this point after 10 turns we had to call it. Final score was 10 points to 6 for the Russian win.

Finally, how to hide things in plain sight.

This kanone stand survived a long time by hiding under the foliage behind a wood I must do more stands like this. The Russian players kept missing it, and it kept popping up to inflict another suppression. The gap between modules did not look that bad from normal distances, and shows that an 8' by 6' board is probably just a bit big for this system.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Pictures from the front.

Being ex DBM players we have had a few games of L'art de la Geurre (it seems the french aren't just good at wine and cheese). My first thoughts are that it seems to iron out a lot of finicky bits that plagued the DBM system at the end (buttocks of death, anyone?). DBMM was simply a bridge too far for me with all its add ons, and it seems to be only used by 25mm gamers in this country. Not having the finances/painting skills/ requisite strength to lift the army I'm ruled out. The armys and table size are also smaller and the games play out in less than 3 hrs. That doesn't include food breaks.

Feeding the inner man
It has produced several very close games, with a mutual break in the second game. Its got me interested in painting 15mm figures again (which is something I swore I would never do after painting Persian horse armour 20 years ago). However the price of 15mm seems to have gone through the roof while I've been away from the scale so I might investigate 6mm, or even 10mm figures.

Setting the scene

So, with a bit of work, we have 10km by 7km of West germany (well, the hilly foresty bits). Looking across.....

From a higher angle

So, we are all ready to go for the weekend. And for interest, set up and pack away time was 10 minutes each. They stack up quite nicely

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Clock is ticking

With this years impending arrival of Dr U-S its time to get on with the terrain.
So over the last week I've been knocking out another 4 terrain squares, which will increase the total area I can do to 8' by  (or 12 boards)

Now I just have to do the woods and roads and I'm there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

More terrain squares

After a month (of and on) of work, I've finished the bases for another 8 terrain squares.

Total cost so far is ~$130 for 8, so not breaking the bank by a long way.
This set will be a bit more open, and I might now consider an autobann set (3 boards) and possibly a river set (3-4 boards) as well.
For other rule sets I'm now trying to come up with a similar system for Napolenics with Volley and Bayonet (also possibly for ACW but that might be a bit too far).

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The old and the new

Dr U-S asked for a comparison picture of the old US strip vs the new strip.
Here it is.

The new ones are far better fed than the old models, but are the about the same height (6mm vs 6-6.5 mm). This surprised me so much that I measured them 3 times before I was convinced.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Toys Review.

The care package that delivered my Dutch, also had a few of the new 1980's infantry strips.
These were so nice that I gave them a coat of white followed by a smoke wash to try to bring out the detail.
New US strip
New German strip
New Denmark strip. I think that they have camoflage on the helmets.
 These are getting up towards GHQ in quality, and H&R is far more user friendly to order from.
( And while I understand the use of the larger feeder sprues which increase the sharpness of the casting, the Scottish in me feels that I should collect to off cuts and post them back to Andy...)

The new YPR 765 PRAT (the schoolboy in me always giggles when I see this). This is a new sculpt and not the old Skytrex model. The detail on the hammerhead is very nice too. I suspect this vehicle will be more stable than the US M901.

 Now I just have to get painting my Dutch

Finally a bit of modeling. I've had the ZSU57-2's for a while. I've just added figures from the old standing artillery crew strip.  This strip is great for adding crews to open topped AFV's as they are really thin.
I'm still not keen on the bendy gun barrels and I might yet replace them with hard wire.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Terrain; whats next?

I've been making some more terrain squares, refining and speeding up the process as I go. I've made another 4 boards with the sides done for a further 4. I've been held up a bit by the lack of polystyrene sheet ( A pox on Bunnings). I'm now pondering what to do with them. The current 8 board "set" is representative of southern and central West Germany. This covers the US, Germans and the French (as well as the Austrians), and to some extent the British as well. However when you get to north Germany things get a bit flatter in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein (and Denmark)

I'm not sure how it will work on the table top as its a bit more open. Some modern gamers (well, most it seems) like an open board, but I'm not that keen. Smaller towns would be treated like woods, and would only be able to fit 1 stand. Tree lines along roads would only provide cover if the stands are in contact and stationary, and could be seen  over by any one higher.

 Possibly something with some tree lines for cover. The scale is a bit smaller here.

I will also have to decide if I want a separate set of terrain boards for northern and southern Germany which will have a different edge style An alternative is to continue the edge style but create 8 boards with more open terrain. I'm sort of leaning towards this at the moment as everything is interchangeable giving a very large number of different 6 by 4 tables. Other options I'm looking at are 3 Autobahn boards (though I'm not quite sure why as the large motorways are not overly common, even in their homeland) and some boards with larger river features (which could really kill manoeuvre)

Long term I would like to do some terrain more suited to late WW2 ie Northern France and the Netherlands (though this is probably covered by the lowland/farmland boards), and also Poland, the Baltic states and Prussia, though a snow theme might be more suitable for the Eastern front. The real problem for me is to come up with any photos of prussia and poland in the time period.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New year, new projects

Well, another year gone. And with a new year, so should come new projects.

My MSH Austrian project is pretty much done bar the shouting (and an 85mm AT gun that looks like the K-85) and while I probably should add a Hungarian opponent, the Czechs will fill that void for a while. I also have a hankering for Danes and a Polish marine regiment opponets (and the Russian marines as well in time)

Instead of anything sensible, its timefor a new period. I've always had an interest in the Napoleonic period going back to the id 80's with 20mm Airfix plastic and the WRG rules. I even had a sizable collection of different figures until they were sold to a friend in the early 90's. Since then I've played in a few Volley and Bayonet refights of famous battles in a variety of scales. In one case this involved the painting of a sizable number of H&R French. Before christmas I took the plunge and ordered some British figures from Baccus just to see what they were like in the flesh.

Now, the advice from Baccus is to undercoat black and then dry brush white to expose the detail. So, I undercoated white and had a wash of thinned smoke to give a better idea of where the detail was. This works really well, possibly better than a black/drybrush system. Even then, I struggled with the initial painting. I've always found that when you paint a lot of figures (like Modern russian infantry) you get into a 'style' of painting ie how you hold the brush to paint particular detail bits. H&R figures tend to be spindly but also have exagurated detail thats easy to paint. Baccus was a struggle as i had a hard time picking out the finer detail. I completely failed to paint the collars and had a very hit ad miss relationship with the belts. After the dust had settled I had done my first battalion. I'm really not sure about the pose as it looks like that they are holding large cutlery

I then moved on to the light dragoon figures. I found these even harder. some detail was really nice (the muskets) but locating the boots and horse tack was very hard. I was also surprised that the horse blankets (an essential part of any 20mm plastic figure)  were just not there. these add colour to the figures.

To the basing. My preferred rule set for Napoleonics is Volley and Bayonet which I have used to refight a few battles. A friend lent me a few bases laser cut in 3mm MDF. This is a bit thick for 3mm , but the bases are just so crisp...

The result; 2 brigades of british troops.