Saturday, July 31, 2021

Stargrave - A 4 Player outing - Tin Can Alley.

Club night and a 4 player dust up.

Tucked away on a jungle moon 4 competing factions look to grab a treasure haul.... But watch out for the sentry bots...

Now there has been some rumblings at the club about bias on this blog within some of the battle reports and how their factions are presented. I am always willing to receive feedback so let's see how my heroes get on vs the various space scum.... (ooops sorry it happened again....)

With 40 gun totting crew members running around plus defenders there are not many places to hide loose alliances were formed, but every now and again a stray round might just hit you in the back.

The great thing about Stargrave is that ability to pull in any figures, so we all grabbed a bunch of mini's new and old and spun up fresh crews.

I opted for a bunch of scavengers from Copplestone Castings together with a few others which have recently been part of the Zikinga milita.

They make up the new crew of the Black Mariah.

On with the game. The sentry bots, press ganged from Warlords terminator game were positioned around the table, one for each gang in play.

Round one and already the factions are exchanging blaster rounds haggling over the closest data pile, the fighters dive for cover as grenades sail through the air.

On the opposite table edge two more ship crews enter the shanty town looking for loot.

As loot is opened it attracts additional challenges in the shape of a Warbot which enters the table looking to supress the raiders. Originally safe behind the hut now seemed really exposed.

Hostilities break out in the northern edge of the table. Who would have thought a skip would be the safest place on the table.

The pig sty is no refuge from 'target lock' as the grenade launcher finds it's range.

Bots pop out from the hovels pouring more pain on one of the scavenger teams. Some days you really do have a bad day.

Riddicks Repears left to there own devices raid undefended loot tokens and bag quite a haul. Even the appearance of yet another bot could not stop their pillaging.

Meanwhile the crew of the Black Mariah turn extra crispy as they try and open their first treasure and are roasted on and off the table.

Time runs out.... Another cracking outing for Stargrave.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

6mm Pony Wars - Shock and Casualty Markers

Just a quick update on the Pony Wars Project.

I manged to complete several shock and casualty markers over the past few days as I shall be fielding units on a single base, I wanted to ensure the table was not cluttered up with a number of loose dice. So these bases will double up as a way to record any killed or shock for the casualties.

With 3 dice frames to stand it should be enough for most games, the dead figures are from Baccus's ACW range with a couple of left over 7th Cavalry to add a little variety to each stand.
To my eye they look really good on mass, even though the pic's don't really do justice to the individual castings.

The prep for the main body of cavalry is almost complete, I am trying not to think about them as 80 individual cavalry figures more the fact that once complete I will in one cycle have completed 8 units and 4 big men, more than enough for most outings. But like most gamers already have a list of 'extras' before they have even landed on the table.

Meanwhile the holiday read lands. This is sure to put a dent in the painting time.

Until next time.......

Friday, July 23, 2021

6mm Bolt Action - Modern Korean War - Red Phoenix.

Finally gaming is back on, this outing yet more 6mm, high time the new paddy fields and roads made it to the table top.

Despite painting the North and South Korean forces several years ago, I have never quite found a set of rules that struck the right balance for me in 6mm, to often it felt like I needed to be fielding corps rather than companies.

I had an idea after reading Jay's adaption of Bolt Action for modern warfare, I figured I could adapt them to 6mm and my micro armour. Jay's Wargaming Madness: Bolt Action Modern - v3.1 Update (

By up scaling units to Armour elements of multiple vehicles and an infantry base with 'lives and fire points' it should give me what I need.

Let's see how this goes - South Korea - 1987

The North Korean's have broken through the DMZ, hidden tunnels and a massive artillery bombardment have breached the line. They are driving hard and the South Koreans have only been able to put a scratch force together to hold the line.

The NK had to capture the village or a third of the town to win the engagement. The South Koreans have to stop them, Southern units are hidden on the table, but markers denote where they are. The NK out number the South by 2:1

The NK gamble on rush assault looking to overwhelm the defenders before they can organise, they push forward an armoured company of aged T55's. Whoosh an AT unit is uncovered in the woods, TOW and Dragon units let rip into the buttoned up armour.

The ferocity of the defenders fire had shocked the North Koreans, one T55 had been destroyed and two were immobilised. It did not take them long to recover. An Infantry company rushed forwards to assault the dug in defenders under the cover of mortar and artillery fire.

With NK armour massing behind the village the South Korean's are forced to deploy one of their previous tank companies hull down behind the earth embankments of the paddy fields. Their advanced optics were a good counter to the heavy calibre northern armour. 

Kim's forces sweep left looking to flank the village as the centre ground had become a long range shooting match. PT76's and BTR60's raced forwards.

The NK scout units are stopped in their tracks with the M/C and Jeeps forced to ground by 81mm mortars from behind the village and the thin armour of the PT76's no match for the M60's hidden in the village. Kim's forces respond with Artillery fire, but the southern forces are well dug in.

Time was running out and the North Korean forces make one last push in the centre with BRDM's racing forwards followed by more armour, unfortunately the south had another card to play and a further Tow unit took out a number of T55's as they pushed forwards.

The clock had run down and the line had held at least for today.

A fun encounter and the scaled up Bolt Action rules worked really well, keeping the game moving along nicely with limited book keeping.

One of the key changes was to the order sequencing. One of the challenges I found with fielding a large number of units within Bolt Action was the knowledge that every dice would be pulled from the bag and whilst the pins might stop a unit activate I felt it needed a little more. I could add a 'Tiffin' dice like Sharp Practice but that might add perhaps too much chance if the first dice out ends the turn. So what to do?

A few years ago I played Blucher which had a nice mechanism of Momentums, where your opponent rolls the number of active units for their opponent and keeps them a secret, leaving the active player to decide which units to active first. The problem for the active player is that he won't know how many activation's he has and which units to activate.

Adding this to the game gave the NK an advantage with a dice for each 6 units or assets and whilst they knew they had a minimum of 4 units to activate vs the Southern 3 dice they never knew if it was 4 or 24 points, ambush units could activate without a momentum but this reduced the flexibility as to what came out of the bag.

This added level of friction really changed the game play for the better and injected a level of jeopardy which is often missing in Bolt Action. 

A couple of further tweaks are needed to here and there around off table and air assets but this could be the future of our modern micro armour in the Korean peninsula.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

6mm Pony Wars - The start of the 7th Cavalry.

It seems like ages since I actually finished a unit, but finally the first of the Pony Wars Figures start to take to the field.

Ok not quite fighting men but at least the horses for elements of the 7th Cavalry. Possibly the weirdest place start for a project.

I was slightly nervous about 6mm having largely gamed in 28mm - Mirco tanks don't count as they are all green. The temptation was to paint the detail especially given the excellent castings from Baccus but as a good friend told me you are typically 3ft from the mini's so you can afford to be far more liberal with the detail.

I toyed with the idea of painting them on the sprues but in the end opted to base them first and then add the detail by adding in blocks of colour, horse blankets, neckerchief's flesh etc. It did mean that their were the occasional hard to reach area, but better that than ruining some of the painted mini's by adding in the base mix and dry brushing.

The plan is to use them for an adapted version of Sharp practice or the soon to be re-released Pony Wars Rules, basing the units on a single base will help with movement and 6mm will give me plenty of room for rolling plains on an 8ft by 4ft table with a mass of warriors against a beleaguered command. 

The US cavalry whilst having superior fire power will be encumbered by a long tail behind the firing unit, horse holders, pack mules etc, this should give the cavalry commander a real challenge on the table top.

Given the size and the need to identify the units from a far, I came a cross this plate which seemed to be the perfect way to identify the various companies.

Lot's to do in the weeks ahead but this is a good start to get my eye in.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Kings of Bronze #3 Counter Attack

It's been a few weeks since the last outing, time to get back to the Middle East and Overseer Huharmati's campaign.

Following on from the last game having defeated the Egyptians attack on Al Shebbeh it was time to strike back and a counter attack to push the oppressors. Terrain and enemy forces rolled for randomly to mirror those of the Hittites.

Overseer Huharmati's selected forces, a mixed force of spear, archer, chariots and this time bolstered by a unit of Royal Guard.

Keen to grab the centre ground, the Hittite spears advance protected by the scrub land as the Egyptian chariots and archers enter the table.

On the right flank NKE and Mercenaries advance to flank the Hittite forces.

Egyptian chariots wheel right to flank the Hittite spearmen who close up to receive any potential charge. Whilst reinforcements pour into the centre to protect the advance guard.

A vicious fight in the centre as the chariots fall back, having blooded the spearmen, both sides move additional infantry forwards.

With a crash of shield the NKE and Hittite close to hand to hand, with both sides supported, the use of leaders and tactics would be critical, alone with that little bit of luck.

Luck is with the Hittites as they force back the Egyptians, they were better protected but could not save their comrades who fell to the attackers. The NKE force morale started to slip.

Tipping point, Sea People mercenaries were caught by a heavy chariot in the open and were routed before they could form up, chalk up another victory for the Hittites.

A quick and bloody encounter.... Nice to get the newer toys on the able and see a proper punch up between the main spear units.

Right back to the brushes.....

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Stargrave - Starship Troopers - #3 Bug hole & #4 The Downed Ship

Real life seems to have gotten in the way of late, output on the blog has been slow and the warm and muggy weather has crippled the painting production line. However I have managed to cram in a few Stargrave games, simply by moving the terrain around from one week to next, I guess one of the benefits of having your own gaming space.

Good news... Patricia Leafy is still alive....

Adapting a couple of the scenario's from the Stargrave rule book to the Starship Troopers Universe, we carried on the linked encounters between the her crew and the Skinnies, who are amassing quite the arsenal of weaponry. 

Game 3 Bug Hole.

Squadron Leader Patricia Leafy of the Missile Ship William E Barber had a point to prove. Having taken over the crew from her sister killed in the first game she was keen to win this encounter and top up the crew's war chest.

The treasure and bug holes were spread across the table, you have to be careful as warrior bugs would occasionally pop up and drag off an unfortunate soul to the lower levels for who knows what...
This time around we opted for some undulating terrain, with rocky outcrops and bug eggs, littering the table.

When a loot token is unearthed a wandering creature is rolled for an what is now being standard the damn things made a bee line for my gang. Barely into the 3rd Round and a Hopper swoops in, Leafy crew waste their activation pouring fire into it.

Wilks with tech pad in hand, breaks the access code to reveal a data treasure, whilst Leafy holds off a Cliff Mite keen on taking a chunk out of the Captain.

The Skinnies rush forwards. quickly grabbing two tokens and heading for the centre of the table.

Their experience is being to tell as the rushed for centre of the table, the crew of the William E Barber struggle to hold them back and watch for wildlife which seems to follow their every move.

But the Skinnies were not having it all their own way, a Warrior Bug pops up and attacks one of the Skinnies just has they broke into one of the last remaining data pods.

The battle for the last token was an all action affair, Leafy had bribed one of the Skinnies who missed from close range, while Boltz II raced forwards sinking his metal teeth into another causing him to miss.

As things looked like both waring gangs could lose 2 or 3 members, the dust storm picked up and the win blew several combatants across the table, both sides retired to count their winnings.

Another win to the skinnies 3:2 but on a Positive note all of the crew of the missile ship had survived.

Game 4 The Downed Ship

With both crew lost in the dust storm, they came across a crashed dropship in the centre of the table. It's weapon systems operation, firing on any target in range.

The key to this encounter was activations with the lowest odd initiative triggering the potential for warrior bugs. Low and behold the game is barely underway and the bugs are chasing Leafy and her team around the table.

As the Arachnid race forwards, Boltz II went into the attack buying time for the crew to get into position, Boltz with put down by one of the Bugs razor sharp claws, he would need some time in the workshop after that foolish attack.

The Skinnies unhindered by Leafy team popped smoke to cover their actions, but the bugs were massing to their rear.

One of the Skinnies fell back from an approaching bug only to be zapped by the dropship who gained a line of sight through the billowing smoke.

One of the Skinnies fell back from an approaching bug only to be zapped by the dropship.

The Skinnies were happy with their loot and left the table unwilling to risk an exchange with the encroaching bugs, leaving Leafy to disable the ships weapon system and escape with the central loot before the bugs could get too close. 

A valiant draw but with the exception of Boltz another round with no losses.
Things are looking up.

A couple of fun encounters, hopefully the next update will have the first of the Pony Wars stuff clear the paint queue.