Monday, June 29, 2020

Elizabethan Zombie Wars - The Cardinals Black Guard.

As June comes to an end the last of the Spanish come off the paint table for the Elizabethan Zombie Wars. These were a gift from way back when Covid19 was a foot note on the overseas new reports.

I wanted to give these mounted Arquebusiers a dark feel to them so the creation of the Cardinal's Guard seemed to be the perfect vehicle for these Spanish troops.

Mounted on Warhorses and armed with the latest in Imperial firearms they should be a useful addition to the Spanish invaders and be a tough opponent for the English and the Undead.

The uniforms are styled on a number of the musketeer movies as after all the villains are always dressed in black :-)

The standard and bugler are matched to the colours of the existing foot troops. The leader of the cavalry troop are led by Capt Tadeo Sancho a seriously nasty piece of work.

Meanwhile a cavalry troop need something to escort so why not a wagon... 
A nice piece of kit from the guys at Warlord. I am sure it will come in handy in future scenario's.

So June is over....
A good month clearing down a number of "fillers" from the Far East to Africa, next up a trip to Egypt with either more Ottomans for the 1798 French expedition or with Infamy Infamy landing today perhaps 1300BC and the New Kingdom Egyptians and Hittites, with a couple of tweaks to make the rules fit the period.

Either way July will be Hot, Sunny and Sandy......

Friday, June 26, 2020

Chronicles of Narnia Campaign - A Dragon Rampant Campaign

Several years ago before this blog existed I ran a HOTT campaign using the Age of Wonders computer software, it generated some great games and some interesting scenario's.

Having a clear out last week I came across a copy of Risk Junior for the Chronicles of Narnia movie franchise, I never played it but it had a wonderful map... which sparked an idea for a campaign. 

It's been a few years since the Narnia armies have had an outing and hopefully with the return of social gaming in the coming weeks a chance to play some smallish games using Dragon Rampant.

The campaign is relatively simple which draws on some of the experiences of the recent diplomacy game. Written orders by each side and dictating the move required and a simple move one territory and battle scenario.

I lifted the lead character's from the movie with one alteration Rumblebuffin has had to switch sides and now becomes an evil giant residing in the Stonelands in the north of Narnia leading forces loyal to the White Witch.

The prize is Narnia it's self and an eternal winter or the return of Aslan and a new age....

Each counter contains the following points within Dragon Rampant.

Aslan - 24 Points
Peter - 24 Points
Edmund 12 Points
Lucy - 12 Points
Susan - 12 Points
Mr Tumnus - 12 Points
Mr & Mrs Beaver - 12 Points

The White Witch - 24 Points
General Otmin - 24 Points
Maugrim - 24 Points
Ginarrbrik - 24 Points
Giants of the Stonelands - 24 Points

Using the usual risk formula territories can be seized or won in battle.
At the start of the 3rd turn reinforcements are awarded at a value of 5 points per territory controlled by their forces. Reinforcements can be added to a named army as long as the army is not isolated from the main faction capital.

If a regions has a bordered by a river armies my only cross using the bridges shown. The woodland regions contain heavier terrain on the table top.

Characters killed in battle are considered captured and returned to the opposing factions capital. That being the Witches Castle or Aslan's Camp. The characters can be freed by capturing the enemy capital.
The campaign is won by controlling more regions than the enemy.

Hopefully the campaign should create a number of interesting engagements starting with the standard points for Dragon Rampant but rising as reinforcements swell the ranks of both sides.
Aslan's forces are more numerous but are smaller in number within each counter.

Booking keeping should be minimal with a status sheet for both players to record the points available, armies will be created on the day of battle with only the named character having to be included in the force orbit.

Can Aslan's followers capture the White Witches territories, or will Narnia remain forever in her evil power?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Return to Zikanga.... African Militia Men.

Another good day on the brushes and last of the insurgents from Spectre's Kickstarter going back several years now. They had been under coated and been sitting on the to do table for months.

The Spectre sculpts are great, full of character and dressed in an assortment of clothing including the occasional cross dresser which came to prominence in Liberia as the National Patriotic Front pushed on Monrovia in the 1990's.
Charles Taylor's force's believed that the wedding dresses, wigs and commencement gowns together with 'Voodoo' regalia which would protect them from being killed.
This squad is armed with a mixture of AK's and RPG's the barrels are a little fragile so be careful.

The chap in the wedding dress I am sure was modelled on one of the characters from the film Johnny Mad Dog, a 2008 film about child soldiers in an unnamed African country, but all to common in a number of West and Central African conflicts.

Another project complete albeit several years in play or so I thought......
I unpacked the trays to put the reinforcements away and found a few more stay behinds that will need finishing... Darn I really thought I had them all done... These will definitely have to wait until the Infamy Infamy project is underway.

120 African militia might be a few too many for the Visitors to handle next time there is a trip to Zikanga.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dispatches from the front X

This week seems to have dragged a little.
Is it the weather, the end of the Diplomacy Campaign or the need to kick off a new project.

The Wyvern Diplomacy Campaign has come to and end, we called it a day when, it came down to myself as Turkey and the Germans. No one wanted to watch two of us battle it out for another couple of years.
A great way to spend the lock down evenings pondering moves and alliances. Well played by everybody and we still left as friends. Such a fun game that has stood the test of time.

Coming soon is the latest release from the Too Fat Lardies and Infamy Infamy.
Designed for gaming warfare in Gaul and Ancient Britain. 

Like many of my projects I wanted to do something slightly different, whilst Roman legions would be good others in the club already have them covered and I would need extra terrain, so with plenty of desert terrain time to roll out the Hittites and Egyptians.
For several months I have been building up the forces storing them up for the launch.
I have started the prep but have a couple more projects to finish before I start them in earnest perfect timing as the rules are due to land at the end of June.

In preparation for the Kings of Bronze Project I took the opportunity to replenish some of the paints, despite having many of these already I still get strangely excited by new paints.
The Foundry paints do last over the years where as the likes of Games Workshop tend to harden as air gets into the newer designed pots.

I have long been a fan of Army Painter's soft tone it gives depth to my painting efforts and covers up some of those minor mistakes but with much of the New Kingdom Egyptians being in white I thought I would give their Flesh wash a try, it looks a little softer and paler and will be perhaps better suited to the whites and lighted colours more prevalent in the Egyptian army.

It looks like the Wyvern Club House will be open in September subject of course to social distancing, bring your own dice and figures and make your own tea :-)

It would be great to have these ready for the club relaunch.
A couple of months to finish a couple of projects and get these under way.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Company B Seabee's - US Naval Construction Battalions.

It must be a record, purchased, painted and game table ready in a few weeks.... 
Normally I like to leave things in the cupboard of shame for at least 12 months:-)

I am not really sure how they ended up in the basket, I convinced myself that it was to make up the postage when I placed an order with Great Escape Games, I did not even realise that they stocked Company B Miniatures.

The Seabee's or US Naval Construction Battalions will be useful in a number of games whether fighting the Japanese or some Pulp encounters,

When ordering you have a choice of heads. Helmet or Soft hats. Be warned you have to glue the heads on and the fit is not the greatest and needs a bit of cleaning up to make them fit.

They do a lovely bulldozer but let's not get to carried away...
Right off now to watch John Wayne in the Fighting Seabees for inspiration.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Warlord Chindits and Far East Armour Support.

Welcome to  infill June...
An attempt to clear those odds and ends which fall into various projects, which have fallen out of favour in recent months or are not core units or were part of the slowly shrinking lead pile.

After a run of Bolt Action games in 15mm I thought I would give the Far East project a make over which led me to unpack these, a birthday gift from January in the shape of some plucky Brits.
I have an idea for a jangle crawl type game, being chased by nasty Japs through jungle trails. More on that in the coming weeks.

Several years ago I painted up a bunch of US Marines and Japanese for Guadalcanal but lacked some US armour support tucked away in a draw was a Stuart/Honey Tank from Warlord.

I need some decals to add to the tank and some extra weathering but it's a useful addition to the defenders.

Now I just need to think about a scenario that combines all troops, perhaps combined operations with Merrills Marauders - Operation Thursday?

Next up Seabees which have been in my possession for less than 2 weeks is this a record?

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Grozny 1995 - Bolt Action Modern

With the varnish barely dry on the new buildings time to throw them down on the table for some modern action. The recent Bolt Action games have been a real highlight of the past few months, so when I found a modern version on Jay's wargaming Madness site. I thought I would give the Chechens a roll out and a Russian probe into Grozny 1995. 

The Russians are seeking to break into the city of Grozny with an armoured spearhead. The Chechen defenders are lightly armed with only RPG's and Grenades against the Russian tanks. Three squads does not seem enough to stem the Russian column. But if they can keep the column from exiting the table it will be seen as a victory for the defenders.

A local TV crew covers the conflict as the tanks roll in. Not expecting this to be nothing short of military parade.

Chechen fighters hide out amongst the ruins awaiting the invaders. The game will last 8 turns and the Chechens to stop the Russians exiting the table at the north end, killing as much armour as they can. 
I worked out some basic point values if they were needed in the case of a draw.

To keep the game interesting for solo play the Russians started with 3 dice in the bag once pulled I rolled for the type of vehicle, Tank, Carrier or Scout Car. At the end of each turn the diced for possible Russian reinforcements dropping an extra dice in the bag, these new options who would join the end of the column.
The Russians were unable to leave the road by more than 6" due to mines and IED's and ran the risk of bogging etc when they did come off the main highway.

Turn 2 - Contact.
A couple of Chechen fire teams pop up and fire an RPG round at the lead tank, a near miss but gave the Russians a taste of what's to come.

The Russians infantry spills out of the lead APC and the militia squad heads into the court yard as the column grinds to a halt.

The untrained Russians see terrorists behind every fence and burned out car not knowing where the next attack would come from. The T80 with only one pin marker fails its order roll and nervous of further RPG strikes fires on the nearest building catching the advancing militia in the blast.

Despite losses largely due to their own side the Russians press on down the main road into the heart of built up area. The BMP cannon firing on any potential hiding place looking to supress defenders who were either down or on ambush orders.

RPG rounds whizz past the BMP2, despite a number of strikes none penetrate the armour. The defenders close in for the kill as the crew repeatedly fail to bring themselves under command to react to the approaching Chechen tank hunter teams.

The fire team by the petrol station get out of sight of the armour as the security troops close in, nipping round the back of the shop looking to find a better angle to harass the invaders. The Russians waste valuable time looking to kill off one or two men.

Meanwhile the column comes under sustained attack by multiple RPG strikes. None strike home but pin markers start to rise slowing the column down as the poor quality security forces fail command rolls.

The Russians strike back with heavy machine guns raking the defenders as they clear out insurgents from the rough ground at the back of the petrol station. The armour pours shot and shell into any potential firing point. (unless the Chechen's had shown themselves the Russians were only able supress the defenders and inflect pin markers on them.)

The BMP finally runs out of lives as an RPG rounds first immobilise and then knock it out. The column is still someway off it's objective.

The Shilka gambles leaving the road to bypass the burning BMP as yet more Chechen's gather on roof tops and in door ways.

The T80 pushes the burning APC out of the way so the advance continues, the clock ticks down. Two turns to go.

The BRDMs takes an RPG round it's top armour offering little or no protection for the AT round.

Turn 8 the Russians are through but are out of time.

A fun affair and surprisingly even give the significant weighting in favour of the Russians with armour and accompanying infantry. A good adoption of the Bolt Action Rules for a modern setting.

Bolt Action definitely seems well suited to 15mm and asymmetrical warfare, the limited movement and turning circles for the vehicles made them vulnerable to the nimble insurgent types, only allowing supressing fire until shot at gave the defenders a one shot chance to inflict damage. The Chechen's don't last long if caught in the open but were great at frustrating the poorly trained Russians as the often missed their order roll.

I may well have to go back and re-read Fangs of the Lone Wolf which details tactics of the Chechen war and see how well they convert to Bolt Action modern. More scenarios to follow.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Ironclad Miniatures - Russian Buildings

First out of the blocks for June and some extra's for Kampfgruppe Sticker and Chechnya, the ruined buildings will be a good compliment to the ones I already own, mostly on one level they will be a useful addition to the town.

The Russian barn when painted does not shrink :-)
It's a nice design and fits the other rural buildings well, but I am not sure I will placing it next to the ruins above. 

The small Russian church is a great casting. I thought long and hard about the colour of the dome, in the end I opted for a blue palette with some gold leaf for the circular spire.... That priest sure knows how to spend his flocks money....

Finally a timber bunker, which will double up as an MG or Observation Post, a number of the Stickler scenario's call for a construction of this nature so this will come in very useful.

The bunker only has two firing slits and no back door so could easily be easily outflanked if the defenders are not careful so hopefully won't dominate the table.

A quick turnaround.
Looking forward to getting these on the table.