Thursday, September 30, 2021

V the Mini Series - Hearts & Minds #4

Its been a while but the recent Stargrave outings and the pending new releases from Crooked Dice nudged me to give the Visitors another outing.

No date as yet for the releases which is good as the painting desk is rather cluttered at the moment.

So on with game and back to Zikanga, this time with a mix of Stargrave and Ambush Alley, the insurgents hot spots need to contain fewer figures than in Ambush Alley but all the in all the balances works well crashing the rules together.

Having tried the stick now for the mouse (sorry carrot) must be the Visitor in me :-)                                With no sign of the militia attacks abating, Henry has the idea to turn the population against the local fighters and so with help from the UN detachment drops into a Zikinga Health Centre with a miracle drug designed to cure everything from yellow fever to malaria.  

However this high profile story was sure to present a target for the militia who had been growing in confidence in recent weeks. So as the locals looked on the insurgents crept closer to the compound.

Zikinga militia rush the main gate in an SUV, it's heavy machine gun sending the UN guards diving for cover. (Should the UN activate on a 1-2 they will abandon their posts and leave the lizards to it.)

From out of the hinterland and shanty huts the militia rush forwards.

The visitor engineers take cover amongst the medical supplies. One of the human guards let's off his guard dog to attack the faction leader, but it is cruelly shot and killed before it reaches his target. In true TV fashion the Security troopers rush forwards but they fail to inflict significant damage on the attackers who despite their poor quality are taking their toll on the aliens and their human lackey's.

Henry and Janice head for the safety of the Shuttle as their troopers failed to stem the tide of resistance fighters.

The Visitor relief force makes steady progress from the far road, hindered by the occasional militia man.

The Shuttle takes off leaving the Visitor defenders to the mercy of the attackers.

Diana and the relief column watched as the shuttle rose into the sky, they had failed to reach the Medical Centre and saw little point in pressing on knowing that Henry and Janice had cleared the war zone.

Capt Kelo hidden in one of the shanty huts watched as several prisoners were rounded up by the militia and dragged off into the jungle.

Can the prisoners be found and rescued.

Stay tuned next week..... (OK maybe a few months...)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Dispatches from the front XIX - The Supply Train Arrives.

Real life seems to have gotten in the way of late, so with no gaming for a week or two and a couple of long train journeys what's a gamer to do but look for distractions too while away the hours.

Damn you google and amazon :-)

So after a quiet period on the purchasing front a glut of new toys and reading, quite a coincidence as I just finished the mule train from Baccus for the Pony Wars Project.

These will double up as low ammo markers for Sharp Practice, another base for the hard pressed cavalry to defend. The supply tail is getting that little bit longer 8 bases should be enough.

On the mule train the following items landed.

Custer's Final Campaign looks like it will be perfect to turn one off games into a full blown campaign. Whilst the title suggests it is focused on Custer and the 7th Cavalry the game is actually a two player game fighting the entire Great Sioux War Campaign, including the regiments and battalions of the three main columns including Forts and River Boats - Now there's a thought..... Anyone know who makes a 6mm Steamer?

The card bases system looks quite slick and could easily be turned to a table top encounter.

To add to that some great reading material in the shape Orders of Battle & Battles and Skirmishes of the Great Sioux Wars - Both books detail the 28 deployments, skirmishes and Battles, some great scenario ideas outside of the obvious Battle at the Little Big Horn.
The first book details all officers and killed and wounded in each engagement, whilst the second provides first hand accounts of the main engagements. 

Another order from Baccus has dropped on the mat Boers masquerading as Cowboys and some of the specialists Pony Wars Packs of Indian Scouts and a characters together with a Wagon Train.

It turns out I really needed a Pony Express Rider and the The Lone Ranger. At least in 6mm they won't be to long on the paint table.

Whilst the Pony Wars rules lean towards Hollywood's view of the plains wars.

Many of the engagements and campaigns of the US were centered on destroying the villages and the Indians ability to raid and live off the land forcing them into reservations and trading posts, with that in mind I wanted to create some Indian Pony Herds to form objective markers. 

Surprisingly they were really hard to come by, step forward Perfect Six Miniatures, great service ordered and delivered in less than 48 hours. These coupled with their hay stacks will be great for a refight of the Hayfield Fight. during Red Clouds War in 1867.

Meanwhile the 6mm theme continues I picked up Dave Brown's scenario book designed for Battel Group Panzer Grenadier, but easily converted to other games,  I have been using the Eastern Front scenario book and converting them for some of the North Korean games. The scenario's are always well thought out and well balanced. Let's see how some of these convert for future encounters in the Korean Peninsula.

A couple of extras for the Red Phoenix Project from Leven Miniatures. The Radio Station and Airport Control Tower will be great objectives and the Ammo Dumps will be useful for rear echelons to be protected from the rampaging North Korean Armour.

Finally a sneak peek from Crooked Dice and more 'Not' V figures... Not sure when but they will be released but they are on the purchase list..... and a move back to 28mm before my eye sight packs up painting all this small stuff.

That's all folks......Now back to yet more tiny miniatures and dismounted Indians.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

6mm Plains Indians - Mounted Sioux

After a few weeks on the paint table the Lakota Sioux finally take to the field.

I was a little nervous at first dropping down from 28mm to 6mm but am really pleased with how they have come out and how they look on mass. 

Based to cover both the new Pony Wars rules albeit a leaning towards the rolling hills of the Bozeman Trail rather than the buttes of the south. But also Sharp practice for one on one play or more historical scenario's.

Wonderful sculpts from Pete at Baccus with a good mix of warriors and chiefs with the sculpts containing a mix of bow, lance and rifle. A single bag gives you 120 warriors, not a bad starting point. Although the total numbers needed for the Pony Wars Rules is likely to run into a couple of hundred.

Using them within Sharp Practice each group is an Irregular Cavalry Unit of 10 figures under the command of an individual Big Man, Indians are not able to become a formation which should help the cavalry keep them at bay.

The Sioux need some additional flocking and grass tufts to finish them off, but this first batch should be enough to give both rule sets a run through in the weeks ahead.

A fresh supply run is due to drop in the coming days from the Pony Express (ok Royal Mail) some extra's to flesh out the various scenario's and plenty more reading material for the Great Sioux War.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Operation Jungle Heat - A Stargrave Alley mini campaign - Part 2

A short respite for lunch - Now for game two.

Without the professor the assault teams had to make it to the XP, the clan's men were filling the area and if Riddick stayed to long they would be in deep trouble.

If they could reach the XP it had a powerful transmitter, enough to break through the heavy cloud cover which was blocking their local comms to the off world lander.

The teams had to move fast, throwing smoke they rushed forwards, a couple of clansmen waited nervously as the raiders rushed forwards. Their luck was not too last the raiders and blue helmets swept on.

Trouble appeared in the form of an SUV, Riddick's Reapers fired off a couple of HE rounds which landed close by and they sprinted for cover.

Popping yet more smoke they rushed for the gate to the comms station.

The wind picked up and as the smoke cleared more Silvaro clan members appeared blazing away at the advancing troopers. One of the Garak Security troopers to a round knocking him to the ground.

Riddick rushed forwards throwing a grenade into the emplacement as the comms team made it to the bunker to radio the orbiting transport to get them off this tropical rock.

A great days gaming. 
The mash up between Ambush Alley and Stargrave made for a fast paced game, the reinforcements tables needed tweaking to bring the level of troops into play more manageable. 
Wounds were light in both games and the raiders were lucky to have anyone out of the fight which felt good when they were knocking down bad guys.

It had a good feel to it, with both of us looking to take more 'kills' home than the other, individually the clan members were no treat but on mass they could be a real problem.

Definitely more Ambush Alley-Stargrave mash ups to come.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Operation Jungle Heat - A Stargrave Alley mini campaign - Part 1

The recent run of Stargrave games has sent me down a right rabbit hole, we started chatting about how a well trained faction would fare against local NPC's and next thing you know we are mashing together Stargrave and Ambush Alley for a days gaming...

John Riddick got the call at 07.00 A renowned scientist in the field of FTL hyper drives and his team on were intercepted and forced to the surface of a far flung moon. The professor had a close protect team but the ambush was surgical. Within three minutes the entire detail was dead and the professor and his team were gone.

The bad press of a precision snatch and grab would be bad enough, but the professors know how could give any of the numerous off worlders the edge.

It took less than 8 hours to track down the professor thank heavens for the bio-chip to a jungle camp on the darkside of Garak 6. A known stronghold of the Silvaro clan. The Silvaro clan were a low tech bunch of minor criminals and savengers. Major Damitrius virtual image filled the room, that's the place troopers, when you get there, go in rocking and don't bother knocking.

A simple hostage rescue. In and out, no fuss.

Mission Brief

Riddick's team has been tasked with rescuing him and his team. The strike force must quickly infiltrate the neighbourhood rapidly neutralize resistance in the target building and secure the hostage for either a hover ship or ground evacuation.

The Silvaro clan start with 4 squads each made up of 5 Small Arms and 1 support weapon either a rocket launcher or Heavy Machine Gun. Together with 4 hot spots which would generate additional bad guys whenever any of the players triggered an initiative roll of less than 4 




1 Rocket Launcher


1D3 Small Arms + Co-Pilot


1D3 Small Arms


1 Heavy Machine Gun


1D3 Small Arms + Heavy Machine Gun


1D3 Small Arms + Rocket Launcher


1D6 Small Arms


1D3 Small Arms + ROLL AGAIN


1 Heavy Machine Gun


1D6 Small Arms + Co Pilot + Rocket   Launcher


Jeep + Heavy Weapon

Riddick leads his Reapers up the main road, he orders his squads to skirt the shacks and positions his heavy weapons team to target the first of the hot spots.

The clan get a wake up call as a rocket round lands amongst them.

Riddick was supported by a local detachment of Garak troopers, the blue helmets who had been on the back foot for months and were pleased to be supported by such a fine unit of military superstars.

As the turns ticked by more and more clan members filled the table. 

The first hot spot is cleared and the rescue team head further up the table. The clock was ticking, we had 3 hours to get in and grab the boffin.

The second hot spot would be a tougher nut to crack, a sandbag emplacement filled with clan members armed with carbines and heavy weapons. Riddick ordered the local security forces to deal with these whilst he went for the prof.

In true hollywood fashion Riddick's missileman popped up and firer an AP round it ripped into the truck in the compound scattering a number of the guards.

Riddick popped smoke and his men rushed to cover the vehicle park.

Riddick hunkered down behind the skip, he was in touching distance of the professor but the fire from the clan members was intense.  Riddick had to watch as the professor was dragged away.

Very frustrating. Riddick's team had missed their target by 10 mins and a few meters. 

Lunch...... Now to get the hell out of dodge.......