Monday, August 25, 2014

The Adventures of Claude Canard - Episode 4 - Canard's Rifles

After the bloody affair at El Wetti Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" has become separated from the main French body.
Cresting a sand dune they are shocked to see a large body of horsemen sweeping down on Captain Gagon's command despite a valiant defence the small command disappears under a cloud of sand and flashing blades. This is a desperate fight, Ensign Claude Canard knows he is next.

Ensign Claude Canard has spotted a small track that leads around a large dune towards a small cluster of buildings he can only hope to hold his force together and fight off the Arab riders until he can continue his journey.

Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen"  is leading thirty Infantrymen, all good troops, who have rallied to him. There only objective is to save what men he can and, hopefully, find some shelter in the adobe village.

Claude and his ragged column enter the table, knowing the Ottoman hordes are hot on there tail, if only they can reach the safety of the adobe buildings they might just be able to hold on.

Dust to the rear of the column reveal arab horsemen. "Sacrebleu"


Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton urge his men on, the French column catch the first break of the day as their card is first from the deck and they force march into the small village.

The French dig in as the Ottoman's skirt the village just out of musket range tempting the French to waste their precious first volley.


Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton directs the French Infantry however the powder issued to the troops had somehow become damp and even in this baking heat it was useless leaving the French with limited fire power to stop the Ottoman cavalry.

The cavalry wash against the walls of the adobe buildings unable to break into the sand stone walls, unfortunately Ensign Claude Canard is caught in a narrow side street with members of the ships crew of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" the narrow alley is filled with black powder as the defenders drive off the horsemen.

Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton rushes to the aid of his friend and is attacked by Arab lancers, both sides suffer several shock points, Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton is forced from the village as more horsemen bear down on the defenders.


Ensign Côtelettes de Mouton chases after the french infantry meanwhile Ensign Claude Canard has one last trick up his sleeve, the ships crew light fuses on their hand bombs taken from the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" and throw them at the advancing horsemen, sending them fleeing.
Hurrah.... A cheer goes up from the remaining French defenders....

Meanwhile Ottoman Infantry appear on the horizon.
The fight is not yet over.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Starship Troopers alternative races

The problem with the demise of the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game and RPG Variant was that the universe never expanded, plans were made for a couple of additional races beyond that of the skinnies, but none made it to production, you can find a scattering of articles on the web if you look hard enough.

As part of the drive to rid myself of lead mountain, Denizen's K'hiff made it to the paint table, I purchased these to make the postage up on an order several months back, well thats what I tell myself :-)

Denizen are one of the few companies still manufacturing true 25mm sci-fi figures, the K'hiff were badged up as religious fanatics engaged in a holy war or Jihad to conquer or convert the galaxy, they  looked like robed greyhounds/wolves/crocodiles  and who were armed with advanced weaponry.

My plan was to make them out to be an indigenous race living in the mountain regions of several planets within the Arachnid quarantine zone, avoiding the bugs who are unable to burrow in the rock formations, however with the arrival of the federation they now face an enemy on two fronts and are forced into the light to protect their species.

I went for a style akin to the Tusken raiders in Star Wars

I decided to rebrand the K'hiff in SST games as Limmikin which I took from the Native American name for men who shifted into wolves, very apt given the K'hiff wolf like appearance.

Not sure how much game time they will have, but I see them as useful in raiding parties on the early colonies or scouts for the Mobile Infantry. Worst case they are simply more food for the bugs....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Bridge too Far - Zikanga Campaign AAR #2

Sunday night saw another adventure in Zikanga.
Kwaz Nwazutha:- The Beast had been expanding his territory, his militia had been swelling his ranks with men from the local villages, increasing his finances by placing a toll on any people wishing to pass through Nwazutha territory, PetroCorp were facing increased costs on their production of crude oil and the route around Nwazutha land was taking several days extra which was making them uncompetitive.
A decision was made to open up the main highway.

Drone reconnaissance revealed that the main bridge over the Bukala River was garrisoned by a single section and sandbag enplacement, with additional militia stationed in a nearby hamlet, this looked like a job for a small team of trained professionals.
3 Mercenary fire teams have made it through the militia lines during the night and are in concealed positions over looking the bridge.

Fire team 1 move through the bush but bump into pickets a brief fire fight forces both sides to head deeper into the undergrowth.

Fire Team 2 open fire into the section defending the bridge killing several of the guards before they knew what hit them.

Moving forward Baxter shows the militia no respect and is gunned down by a militiaman wearing a yellow rain coat, how embarrassing.

Hearing the gun fire the militia rush forward from the village, battered pickups fire up their engines and head towards the bridge.

Fire team 3 on overwatch on a hill above the village unleash a storm of lead, sending several of the militia running for cover, a LAW destroyed the first pickup and the crew in the second are shot as they rush for the main highway, the militia have lost their mobility.

The Beast is seriously cross.

The massing militia force fire team 3 from the hill, one of their number is caught in a blast from an RPG, but is dragged into cover by his buddies.

Fire team 2 holds the left flank as Fire Team 3 heads across the bridge, both sides lack the fire power to force the other from the table, the Beast has been given a bloody nose but the road remains closed, 2 Merc's had been killed and in exchange for 16 militia, Petrocorp will need to rethink their plans if they are to return to profit.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Starship Troopers Terrain - Refinery & Bunkers

Back in January the Wyvern Wargamers attended Minicon down in Gloucester, whilst there was very little to tempt me to part with my cash, being based on the table next to the chaps at Ainsty how could I resist making a few purchases...

So I picked up the refinery set, promptly went home made plans for its layout and all the scenario's it could be used for and put it in the draw for 6 months :-(

But the summer challange has changed all that..... it reaches the summit of Lead Mountain and is complete ready for future installments for the Starship Troopers Campaign and other Modern day or Sci-fi games...

I have given it a liberal wash of chestnut inks to give it that lived in feel and a couple of layers of dry brushing with a light sand colour to fit with the other terrain I have created over the past 12 months.

I quick search on Google gave me some suitable decals warning people to keep away etc, etc.


It fits in very well with the 1st Corp Marines, although it would be perhaps a little small for the more popular 28mm figures available on the market, however I did not want something that would be to  dominant a feature on the table top.

The bugs are still very imposing, I am not sure I would want to be hiding under a container when this lot come calling, its introduction will allow me to add some variantions to some of the scenarios, forcing the Mobile Infantry to be less mobile.

All so languishing in the unfinished or not started draw are these bunkers from Void, I picked these up months ago, I figured they would be a perfect addition to the armoury of the Mobile Infantry, a solid resin casting, finished in under 2 hours.....

My thinking was that this might be a company asset, with these portable bunkers either air lifted in or contructed as very early strong points in a perimeter defence when the Mobile Infantry set up camp for the night.

Still not sure I fancied being the chaps sitting inside when the bugs arrive with their tin openers, however its probably a little safer than being out in the open.

Both new additiona fit the style I was looking for and tie in with the Adobe buildings for an arid feel mixing basic and sci-fi technology, for early colonists on far flung planets.
The comparison of size between the vehicles, bunkers and refinery all from different manufacturers works fine.

The SST Campaign is certainly stepping up a gear.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Holiday reads......

Back from a week away stripped of all technology and internet access, however it presented a great opportunity to catch up on several books sitting unfinished on the bedside table.

If you find the time, I can recommend the following.

Operation Mayhem - Steve Heaney

No back up. No air-support. No rescue. No chance.
OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of a truly epic elite forces mission: one of the most highly decorated in modern military history.
Airlifted deep into the heart of the African jungle in the midst of a bloody civil war, twenty-six operators from the secret British unit X Platoon were sent into combat against two thousand rebels - being used as bait to lure the enemy into a decisive, do-or-die battle.
High on blood-lust, voodoo and drugs, the rebels were notorious for their brutal savagery. Equipped with captured armour, heavy machine-guns and grenade-launchers, they vastly outgunned the men of X Platoon - who were kitted out with pitiful supplies of ammunition and malfunctioning rifles, plus no body armour, grenades or heavy weaponry.
Intended to last just days, the mission mutated into a desperate siege, as the men of X Platoon - more formally known as the Pathfinders - faced what the rebels dubbed 'Operation Kill British'. Half-starved, surviving on giant African snails, fungi and other bush tucker, this handful of elite warriors were forced to make their stand unaided and alone. They fought using grenades made from old food-tins and 'punji fields' - rows of vicious sharpened bamboo-stakes - as the locals joined forces with them to defend against the onslaught.
Sergeant Steve Heaney was awarded the Military Cross for taking control of the battle after X Platoon lost their commanding officer. His story is full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely heroics with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.
The ferocious close quarter combat at the village of Lungi Lol brought to an end the horrific, decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. OPERATION MAYHEM is the first ever account of this untold true story - one fought and won deep behind enemy lines.

This is a fantastic read, 26 Elite pathfinders in the middle of the African jungle with a lack of equipment, ammo, body armour, food and water pitted against 2000 blood crazed drugged up rebels would seem an impossible task, but superior training, well planned defences and a sense of humour carry them through...

A mix of 'Zulu' and 'Black Hawk Down' reading this book made you feel you were in the thick of it with the pathfinders a true insight into modern day deployments...

Completed in under 3 days - an excellent read.

Meanwhile a real blast from the past - Larry Bond's Vortex.

A fictional 'What if' set in the 1990's.
Years of sanctions and diplomatic isolation have failed to end apartheid and white rule in South Africa. Instead the SA government has become increasingly right wing meanwhile the ANC have grown weary of waiting for the West to press for change by peaceful means, and Marxist hard-liners have come up with a campaign code named Broken Covenant. Its goal: to win by force what years of negotiations and international condemnation have not...the end of white rule and the establishment of a black-dominated government. 

The novel starts with engagements in Namibia  which soon escalates dragging in units from the Cuban Army and ultimately the US Marine Corps.

Some what dated now with the thankful bloodless change of government in modern day South Africa. If you like the idea of companies of BMP's rolling across the veldt pitted against Ratels and Eland's this is for you. 

Now where did I put those Peter Pig South African Infantry?

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Rumble in the jungle - A Nuts encounter.

The return of mid-week gaming...

A casual conversaion about comics of our youth lead to  the urge to unpack the Marine Corps on another adventure in the Pacific.
For those too young to remember, the Warlord Comic, Union Jack Jackson was a British Royal Marine serving with the US Marine Corps in the Pacific campaign. To distinguish himself from his American comrades Sgt. Lonnegan and G.I O'Bannion he painted a Union Jack on his helmet, hence the name.

Here we join U.J.J. and the gang as they seek out a Japanese OP, deep in enemy territory.
Played using the fantastic Two Hour Wargames Rules, which give a real comic book feel in a as the rules describe 2 hours.....

The mission is simple clear the jungle paths of enemy pickets, break into the enemy compound and destroy the radio equipment, which will clear the way for the main beach landing, real boys own stuff.

The Japanese have holed up in the compound with a full section of Infantry, this will be a tough nut to crack.

Sgt. Lonnegan leads his squad on to the table assisted by U.J.J. and G.I O'Bannion, all is quiet as they approach the first clearing. No sign of the enemy.
Much like spot the ball there 4 Japs hidden in the photo above....


Hidden amongst the under growth Japanese pickets lie in wait, seeing the marines enter the clearing they snap fire revealing their ambush far to soon.

The marines return fire forcing the Japanese defenders to duck back and forcing one to run for his life.

The short exchange of fire leaves several enemy soldiers dead or injured and many with their heads down as U.J.J. and the marine squad blaze away with the 2 Bar's, O'reily is hit but his comrades drag him to safety, to check on his wounds.

The Japanese commander in the compound leads his reserves into the jungle to stem the advance of the USMC, both sides waiting for the other to make their move.

Corporal Connor takes his fire team to right and catches the Japanese napping forcing several to dive for cover in the undergrowth.

But Capt Nija a veteran of several campaigns knows the best form of defence is attack and leads a heroic charge against the marines catching them cold, before they could fire again.

After a short but bloody melee the American fire team is either dead, injured or has fled into the jungle. Capt Nija is very satisfied with his work.

Sgt. Lonnegan, U.J.J. and G.I O'Bannion, angered by the loss of their comrades seize their moment and rush forward, killing a number of the Japanese defenders.

Capt Nija keen to add to his tally of the day, leads another charge into the rear of the advancing marines, but Union Jack Jackson and is section are not to be triffled with.

The Japanese attack is a failure, Nija lies dying at U.J.J.s feet his men wiped out. The marines had avenged their comrades.

Now for the radio, a rash attempt at forcing the gate is met by a blase of gun fire coming from the house, but U.J.J. stands tall as his men duck back.


U.J.J. fires a clip from his carbine, felling the Japanese Sargeant defending the window, great shooting under fire from the Brit, his comrades cheer from the safety of the stone walls.

With their officers and NCO's out of the fight, the remaining defenders surrender and stumble from the house, for them the war is over.

A cracking scenario, played out in less then two hours, with around 15 figures a side.

Right off to the loft I am sure I boxed those comics away somewhere....