Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Russian Support Options - Chechnya 1994

Nothing like a quiet bank holiday to get some hours in front of the brushes.
These are the last of the Modern Russians for the Chechen project, I wanted to bolster the Russian units with a couple of support options

First up a Heavy Machine Gun and Grenade Launcher, that should help keep the attackers at bay.
Based on 2p's I figured in the Laserburn rules rather than worry about crew figures when the team suffers a casaulty both are dead rather than worrying about single figures, that way I can keep the game play clean and fast moving.

Next up 3 Sniper teams, with follow on fire open to them within Imperial Commander they are perfect for keeping whole squads pinned down. The prone figures are actually Australians but when you are under heavy camo netting who can tell?

A couple of command figures to keep their troops in order, Eureka don't have a large variety on this front, so the kneeling officer is from one of the HMG teams.

And finally  the mouth peice of the government, a news reporter and camera man, always getting into trouble and in deed of escort....

Not a bad days efforts.

Over 180 Figures done so far this year, so track to beat last years total.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Chechnya 1994 - Russian Reinforcements

Far to many projects recently and the release of Sharp Practice 2 has not helped me keep on plan. However it has given me the focus on clearing the decks before the postman arrives with reinforcements to bolster lead mountain.

The recent adoption of 1980's Laserburn rule set has resulted in some great modern games recently, a rule set that balances AFV's and Infantry without resulting in Flames of War style tank battles or 5 infantry a side micro gaming.

However they are bloody affairs and extra infantry were definately needed to give the table top commander some extra options on the day.

The latest batch are from Eureka's MVD Russian range differs from the early troops as these are waering the Maska helmet, both with the visor and without, fighting in this must have been tough, they also give the Russian's a slight Sci-fi look, great for that 2050 feel I was thinking about in an earlier post.

I opted for one 9 man section in the light Brown cold weather gear which mix in well with the first batch of painted troops.

The second section of 7 men so they fit within a BMP are in the more commonly photographed urban camo.

Next up Russian Heavy Weapons and Supports.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 - AAR and after game thoughts.

After the first outing of Sharp Practice 2 over at the Wyverns where the British suffered a major defeat after being mugged by several volley's of unanswered French fire another chance to rebuild there honour.

We played the encounter scenario with the Brits opting for a Literary Detachment vs A French Light column who were supported by a massive 28 points of additional purchases, it would be a long day in the field.

First out a British Status 1 Big man who deployed from a secondary deployment point hoping to force the French back from their own secondary deployment point that had been deployed quite away forward, my early deployment was a mistake as next out was the French Status 3 commander, who fired his opening salvo and shattered the plucky Brits, they were going no  where any time soon.

However it brought time for the main British force to Deploy and Present Arms and Fire inflicting several casualties on the French defenders.

Meanwhile the 95th deployed and poured fire into an isolated group of French Infantry forcing them to the brink of breaking.

As the French centre waivered now facing off against all of the British Force, the Grenadiers deployed on the table and began their steady March down the road.

To support the French resurgance the French Dragoon's deployed and set off at the gallop towards the 95th in a very non-Sharp moment the 95th stepped out of the arc of the charge and whilst saving them from harm they gave up valuable terrain which was to have a significant impact on the following turns.

Meanwhile the Grenadiers continued their advance down the road, but without a skirmish screen were being slowed to a snails pace due to the sneaky Spanish Guerilla's sniping at them from the flank.

The Dragoon's had turned the flank and were driving head long for the secondary deployment point, crashing into the unfortunate Infantry group who had been blasted in the opening round and had finally moved out of the firing line.

The Grenadiers were halted but all was lost for the British who had French Cavalry to their rear over running the deployment points and slowly being forced back knocking their force morale to a very poor 4.

Victory to the French and a smug grin on their commanders face.....
After game thoughts.

SP2 has a bigger feel to it than it's predecessor the point adaptions taken from Chain of Command give you more options on the table top which means the same core force can take on a very different feel on each encounter, perfect if you are playing a regular opponent who you tend to know what he has in his painted armoury. 

The deployment points really help to create a scenario which can often just become a slug fest in your standard encounters, those light infantry really can seize vast tracts of the table if you don't deploy early.

The revised version of Sharp Practice takes the best parts of the original rules retaining their unique character and the fluid elements of later release in WW2 - Chain of Command to give a very different feel, but one that you very quickly become comfortble with.

I need to consider the finer detail around support points and the benefits of each option, but you definately benefit from paying for extra officers if you are to keep you units in play.

5 Stars from me and with Lardy day fast approaching the perfect nudge to get that order over to the Perry's for more adventures in Egypt.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The return of mid week gaming.

Just a short post for now.
Having re-worked the Narnian forces for Dragon Rampant recently, they went on the hunt for their old foe the Purple Horde.... These folk were last seen over 5 years ago when they defeated me in every encounter using Hordes of Things..... Would things be different with Dragon Rampant?

A small game with 24 points each to ease my old foe into the rules...
High King Peter the Magnificent was feeling confident after his last outing but with chunks of Heavy Infantry and flying Bats it could be a tricky day holding back the forces of evil.

Purple Ghouls the bane of my life in HOTT badged up here as Ravenous Hordes for 1 point were not so strong. The attack and defence scores mean when casualties land they struggle to recover from their battered status.
I suspect I won't get away with suggesting that was a great way of spending those last 2 points next time... :-)

Rabbits, Badgers and Foxes tear into the ghouls, the game ended with. The evil player fleeing the table, but the result swung both ways for several turns....

I picked up the following game markers recently from the guys over at Supreme Littleness
I had not heard of these guys before but well worth a look, get to do business with and really swift in responding to orders.

Perfect for enforcing the 3" rule and picking out battered units.

Dragon Rampant has filled the void in 15mm gaming for me, I am really looking forward to the Men who would be Kings - The colonial variant it will give me a chance to bring the boxers out of retirement.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Laserburn - Imperial Commander - Russian Army 2050

Having completed the bulk of the Russian forces for Chechnya using the Laserburn rules from the 1980's as usual somebody at the club has the bright idea to expand this, its been a while since I played full on sci-fi, never having got suckered into 40K, I always fancied something a little more low tech.
So as others build various Sci-fi factions including the original Laserburn figures getting a make over. how to upgrade my modern Russians to create a sci-fi force.
Albeit only 34 years from now.

A search of the web for Warfare in 2050 revealed an interesting study by the US Army suggested that the battlefield will be covered with a new breed of super humans and autonomous combat robots.

The report lists several specific capabilities that will shape future land warfare: augmented humans; automated decision making and autonomous processes.
However, perhaps most disconcerting for policy makers and senior officers in 2015, the workshop participants furthermore predict that the much faster 2050 battle rhythm will overwhelm soldiers with the consequence that machines will have to make autonomous decisions with little human oversight:
(…) [H]umans will no longer be able to be “in the loop,” but will instead need to operate “on the loop.” The difference being that in the former, human decisions are a required step in a process and thus humans are exercising positive control; while in the later, humans can only observe the behaviors that are taking place (and in some cases the decisions that have been made and the reasons why), but they can only act after the fact or in anticipation of expected behaviors.
While the robots of the 2050 battlefield would resemble systems that exist today such as armed drones and fire-and-forget missiles, they would “possess significantly greater capabilities of machine reasoning and intelligent autonomy than those existing today,” according to the report:
Robots will commonly operate in teams or swarms in the battlespace of 2050 in the same way Soldiers act in teams today. These self-organized and/or collaborative collections of robots would operate with varying degrees of freedoms (from being actively managed to being autonomous) under dynamically established rules of engagement/priorities. Robot swarms and teams (as well as individual robots) would be assigned a variety of tasks.
Of course, relying on this force of largely autonomous killer bots as well as other new warfighting technologies would create new attack vectors for the enemy to exploit.
The principal Army unit operating in 2050 will be mixed human-robot teams. To enable humans to partner effectively with robots, human team members will be enhanced in a variety of ways. These super humans will feature exoskeletons, possess a variety of implants, and have seamless access to sensing and cognitive enhancements.
So what does this mean for transforming my 1990's Russians for a force capable of holding there own in the near future without ending up with hover tanks and jet bikes?
Brigade Models have some great kit which certainly helps create a force in the spirit of the article.

Chinese PLA Support Drones next to a Eureka modern officer.

A Robot swarm designed to move quickly into unknown enemy territory, they are armed with dual mini-guns and a wi-fi link to off table artillery and air assets.

Power Armoured Troopers from Brigade Models 15mm Range.

Super humans will feature exo-skeletons yet still retaining the usual battlefield weapons of small arms, support weapons and RPGs. But they could always double as andriods.

A Power Armoured Section, I need to work out some of the finer details if they are going to be pitted against the existing Chechen insurgents.

The principal Army unit operating in 2050 will be mixed human-robot teams.

With a small order on it's way from Armies Army for some of there future wars BTR range.

The Russians are receiving some fantastic reinforcements for whatever might arrive from beyond the stars or closer to home.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Operatsiya Dark Star - Scenario 1: Don't Bother Knocking.

Yet more Laserburn - Modern.
Not that Scenario's are difficult to come by, but I had an idea to transpose some of the Ambush Alley scenario's from Iraq to Chechnya

We got the call out at 0700. A professor of biochemistry on his way to Grozny University ran into some traffic problems. You know. The kind that carries Kalashnikovs. 
The Professor had a security detail of MVD, but the ambush they ran into was surgical. Within three minutes the entire detail was dead and the Professor was in the back of a van headed for parts unknown. 

The GRU went into overdrive trying to track the guy down. The bad press of a precision snatch and grab followed up by a videotaped execution would be bad enough even in Russian controlled state media, but to make matters worse, the Professor knew how to cook up some nasty bugs – and how to distribute them where they’d do the most harm. 

It took eighteen hours, before the van was tracked down to a neighborhood on the southwest area of Grozny a known Chechen stronghold.  Lt. Col. Daviski’ finger poked the faded photo on the briefing room’s wall. 
“That’s the place, comrades. When you get there, go in rocking and don’t bother knocking.”

Tselevaya Gruppa Black had a target. We thought it would be a simple hostage rescue. In and out, no fuss.

Mission Brief The Professor is being held in a building in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of Grozny.
A Tselevaya Gruppa Black (Task Force Black) special response team has been tasked with rescuing him. The strike force must quickly infiltrate the neighborhood, rapidly neutralize resistance in the target building, and secure the hostage for either helicopter or ground evacuation.

Regular Mission Objective.
Infiltrate to the target building.
Neutralize defenses. 
Rescue the hostage. 
Hold until evacuated by ground or air.

I bolstered the original scenario to allow for the greater blood loss that Imperial Commander tends to have in an average game, 3 sections of Russian Regulars, two on foot and one within a BMP, whilst the Chechens had 5 sections deployed on the table in ambush positions, marked by RED cars.... Sneaky but hey I do have 50 of the buggers to play around with.
Photo's are are a little on the light side - To much table top action to keep both on the go.

The Russians are forced down a particular route due to blocked streets and rush the BMP down to the 90 degree turn drawing fire from a number of the defenders who fail to land a telling below on the BMP, the bold move by the AFV flushes out a number of units firing RPG's from the roof tops allowing the Russian Infantry to move on and engage with the defenders.

The BMP is finally stopped 50 yards short of the target building, minor damage from an RPG strike which took out a track, in response the occupants killed all the RPG troops capable of destroying it.

Stalemate: The Chechen's can rush the AFV using close assault and risk high losses, no angle seem open to them as the Russians blaze away from the firing ports. The Russians can leap out from the safety of the Armour and run for the safe house but the number of small arms aimed at them would make this a risky move.

So there both sides sat and waited as the clock ticked down....
The GRU will be fuming as one can only assume the Professor is now in the wind.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

From Russia with Love - AlbinoRaven Miniatures.

Last I talked about the "I had these ages draw", this week a package arrived that I really had forgotten about.

I have been on the look out for a CHAS proxy for the Starship Troopers project for some time, I wanted mine to have a more retro feel than the original model from the Starship Troopers game and spotted these guys on TMP a few months back and figured the Firestorm Heavy mech from Albinoraven Miniatures would do the trick.

It makes it perhaps the largest piece on the table and is quiet imposing when compared to the 25mm Infantry from 1st Corps, but it is only armed with two chain cannon's so could still be easily overrun if the bugs can mass enough warriors.

I went for a similar scheme to the other Mobile Infantry, here the CHAS is compared to the M9 Chickenhawk.

It's been a while since the Federation took to the table.
This could be just the launch pad they were looking for.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Packets from near and far...

Time on the brushes has been rare of late, with real life creeping into valuable gaming time, even the poor old blog has suffered, however whilst the brushes may have sat idle, the mouse and credit card have been working hard to add to lead mountain.

Despite my best efforts multiple projects have sprung up all needing attention.
Laserburn has been a breath of fresh air lately, fast playing with some nice upgrades buried in old Yahoo groups. With other Wyverners already holding existing Sci-fi collections, I have a plan that will take my modern Russians 50 years into the future.

Dragon Rampant has got me thinking about back filling some of the gaps in the Narnian collection, with The Dice Bag Lady and Blue Moon doing some (lovely) nasty Witches for starters.... 

And then Sharp Practice lands on the doorstep and an excuse to put a fire under the Egyptian Project.

Saturday morning saw several packets arrive, which were quickly put in the "I have had these ages draw" before anyone else was up. More on these as the weeks progress.

With packages from the US, Russia and China I really have gone international for supplies.
One such packet was 50 15mm cars for less than a tenner.

This was an impulse buy largely due to a single comment at a recent club, about how modern tables seem to be empty of cars yet a quick glance out of the window and they are everywhere.

I am really not sure if I will rough them up to look more burned out or just drop them on the table top. But with 50 to "play" with plenty of scope to experiment.
Scale wise they look pretty good to me.

Perhaps better luck on the painting front next week.
I just need to decide where to start.....

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Dragon Rampant - Good triumphs over Evil?

After a swift make over the Armies of Narnia have taken to the field in your classic Good verses Evil bash, despite it being our first outing we decided on 48 points each, 24 just did not look enough on the club table..

High King Peter the Magnificent Eldest of the Pevensie Children led the talking animals, awakened from the 100 years of winter. Facing off against the White Witch of course.
With a title that big, I just hope our Pete does not let the side down he was already facing cat calls and mocking from my nasty opponent.

In a simple throw the figures on the table scenario, both armies line up, placing one unit at a time until all units are deployed.
My plan is to hold the left flank whilst using the Centaurs and faster animals to sweep the right flank, although this was countered late on by the appearance of General Otmin and his fellow Minotaurs.

Turn 1 forgetting the importance of Commanders Peter sets off on a sweeping move. Whilst Queen Jardis sends forward a unit of heavily armoured Nasties before failing her command move.

Better luck on the good side, Aslan was certainly playinh his part as all command rolles were passed and Rabbits, Badgers and Dogs rush forward to hold the ground between the two woods in the center. Fawns and Dwarves advance forwards and the Harfang giant appears over the tree tops.

Battle is joined, what we soon both realised is that beasts are a bugger to control, the Badgers charged headlong into the Nasties who took chunks out of them as they nibbled at their ankles of their heavily armoured foe.
Maugrim, Captain of the Witch's Secret Police. and his Greater War Beasts sent packing the Lesser War Beasts.

Meanwhile as pets corner was being put to the Sword, Pete finally made it on to the far right of the Witches Army and prepared to face off against General Otmin

On the opposite side of the table both sides faced off against each other the Witches Cannon bowling down the lightly armoured Fawns.

Wolves might beat Hound Dogs, but a Giant with a tree trunk, soon sent the Dire Wolves running for cover.

Peter and his Centaurs are initially caught off guard by the early charge of the Minotaurs, but slowly drive them backwards after re-grouping and charging in with lance and hooves.

In the center the furry beasts had done their job and as the missile bearing Fawns and Dwaves accompanied by Susan the Gentle, who true to her name had thus far not fired a shot advanced, Queen Jardis decided to retire from the field.

A cracking evenings gaming, Jarids "Sharper Blades" wizardry made the Nasties really nasty, only stopped by filling them with arrows. The badgers/rabbits were fun but really need to pick their targets. When your losses start to mount staying on the table can be really tough.

After running through the first few moves the pace was really fast for double the points on a first outing. We over looked a couple of rules, in particular the retreat distance for loss in hand to hand but overall a really well balanced encounter which captured spirit of the book and film.

Let's see how Aslan the Lion king fairs in the next chapter...