Friday, September 29, 2023

Operation Exporter - Free French Perry Miniatures.

Back in the swing of things.... Armed with a new found focus fresh troops roll of the paint production line. It's surprising how switch off the TV and devoting an hour before bed each evening gets things moving.

Applying the approach of no mini is left behind this is Free French squad made up on the last of the Perry's and Warlord figures, a mix of head gear and weapons but I am working on the assumption that parade ground standards drop a little when your 2 months in the field with temperatures hitting 100 degrees.

A 10 man section armed with an LMG and VB launcher means they do pack quite a punch when compared to the Brits.

Next up Australians keeping the theme going. I have urge to play these out in a wider campaign, bringing together the various forces, but perhaps blending it with elements of Platoon Forward. More on that later, right now it nice to be clearing down troops that have been staring back at me for a number of months...

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Silver Bayonet - Dead Man's Farm.

How annoying.... Claude has gone AWOL.... 

Somewhere in one of the numerous boxes is a French faction for Silver Bayonet now I will have to send a day hunting down these lead warriors. Like many a wargamer high time I reorganised the boxes to ensure 'stuff' does not go missing again. Fortunately the body doubles will be a suitable stand in.... 

Dead Man's farm.. Hidden amongst the 5 markers is an artefact, standing in the way is a bunch of Revenants... The mission - Get in, find it and escape off table..... simple.

The problem, both the English, French and Spanish all wanted it.... The Spanish tried the direct approach taking an axe to the courtyard door.

The British readied themselves for action, despite all the dead around them they came looking for a fight.... 

The French took up a defensive posture watching the Spanish knock on the door. 

Without warning the British attackers fired on the French, forcing them to fire back in self defence. 

Meanwhile the Spanish had under estimated the cadavers charging in they took down several of the undead but they lost half their number, but on the turn of the first card found the artefact and only had to make it off the table.

To late the French and British realised they had a more important goal and chased after the men of Spain.. but the Spanish nipped through the main gate, side stepped a couple more dead soldiers and were away...

My apologies to the British commander for the bias within the report.... But you did fire first... :-)
A fun encounter with three waring parties, the rain storm mid-game made shooting less effective forcing everyone to use steel...

Next up the Troll Bridge......

Monday, September 18, 2023

Afrika Korps - Vehicle Painting Guide.

After several weeks away finally some time on the brushes and some German vehicles for the Western Desert. These take me right back to being a kid with Airfix and Matchbox figures, playing out Commando Comic stories.

There are plenty of Afrika Korps Painting guide out there on the interweb so here's my take. Transported from Western Europe many of the vehicles retained their dark grey finish before being given a paint job of dark yellow sand, the harsh conditions often meant that the yellow oaint chipped off which showed the grey colouring at the points of wear.

In the interest of time I undercoated them with a Army Painter sand followed by a light spray of Army Painter Skeleton Bone to give the vehicles some shade.

Once dry using some foam from the various blister packs I dabbed a black grey mix on the areas of most likely wear and tear, the edges of the hull and front and sides in particular, this gave the vehicle an in campaign feel.

At this stage it looked like I might have over done it.

But the addition the of decals in some cases on the grey patches and the adding in of the details such as spare fuel or water tanks, entrenching tools etc. I opted for a brown for the tracks with a metallic dry brush to give it that worn feel. 

Once dry the entire vehicle gets a flesh wash with a 70/30 water mix to give some areas a little more density, adding in some strong tone to the mix when it comes to the track areas. These was to give that dusty feel, once dry with a large paint brush and a very limited amount of Vallejo dark sound mixed with white I dry brushed the entire vehicle.

All done.

Really pleased how these turned out, the 251/10 was from Warlord late war with the tire on the front, but it fits the bill, the 222 was from the Gentleman's War Starter Set which is a lovely piece of kit.

Now to get them on the table.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Undaunted - Hot and Cold.

Gaming and painting time has been a thin on the ground of late. I really need to pick up the pace with the Cotswold day just 6 weeks away and I still have a bunch of Western Desert stuff to finish.

The gaming room has been captured by the family using it a dumping ground for 'stuff'. I need to wrestle back the space, which is surely a cue for a big game over a few nights. While I mull over the options, I have played a couple of Undaunted games which are surprisingly challenging for a board game/deck builder/war game.

I don't play many board games but this has a very good feel to it and could easily be turned into a tabletop encounter. We mixed it up with an outing in the Western Desert as the LRDG attack an Italian Airfield looking to blow things up while the defenders looked to stop them.

The game was close with the plucky Brits managing to sneak a win destroying the plane, lorry and fuel dump, that will slow the Axis forces.

Meanwhile a second outing and this time the Stalingrad variant, things have definitely come on a bit, with a nice campaign sector where cards are swapped in and out for wounded and experience. The Pic below is the opening scenario with a Soviet push for the main square as the Germans and their LMG teams sweep the main approaches.

The Russians were able to swamp the left hand LMG team were defeated in a foolish rush across the street, damn you Fog of War cards......

Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours,,,,, both games give a good feel for the period, the mechanisms work well the Stalingrad scenario book is particularly nice with an interesting linked scenario format.

Anyhow enough rambling those mini's won't paint themselves.......

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Wyre Forest Gamers - All Dayer - Indian Mutiny.

You can't beat a BIG game and once again John from the Wyre Forest Club did not disappoint.

It's been years since I played Principles of War but they were a great for for this Indian Mutiny outing. 14th September 1857 and the East India Company are preparing to break into Delhi 

All 5 columns prepare to march on the gates against the rebellious Sepoys.

As the East India Company men advance their guns shell the walls looking to create a breach in the walls.

The mutineers spill out of Delhi and hold the raised ground to the front of the city walls, cavalry and infantry all itching to defeat their former comrades and officers.

The British forces cross the open ground as shot and shell fall amongst them.

High on opium the Bengal cavalry rush forward crashing into the English Cavalry.

Having defeated the Bengal Cavalry, the Company men launch their own assault on the high ground.

On the left flank Afghan cavalry charge forward to slow the Infantry's advance. They are beaten back but they had slowed the East Indian Company who had to stop and form up.

The Brits fought there way up the slope but the mutineers were able to fire short range artillery on to the attackers, many Sepoys fell but their sacrifice delayed the attackers long enough for the clock to run down.

A great days gaming.
Lots of toys on the table even if the result was a score draw..... Delhi will have to be taken another day.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Pony Wars - Life is cheap on the plains.

Can it really be the first outing of these rules???

The figures were painted months ago but it wasn't until a club night conversation turned to who had a copy did the nudge occur to read them and get figures on the table. A real gem from the 80's whilst the casualty calculations takes a bit of getting used to, the Indian reaction tables are fantastic and really make the game what it is.

For a change we all played on the same side the fear and dread made us all play nicely together in a single focus of rescuing the homesteaders.... We collectively felt a real need to do the right thing and get the settlers out alive.

Things started so well the column cleared the first pass and came upon the sheep farmers, who instead of coming under orders ignored the boys in boy and decided to hunker down in their farm..... bloody civilians don't they know we were trying to save them.

Elsewhere another group of settlers were set upon by a war party, the white folk grabbed their weapons in an attempt to drive off the hostiles.

Meanwhile the next homestead started to pack up their belongings as they could hear the gunfire from over the hill, a party of scouts raced to help them, just as a wagon train appeared on table, this lot would take some shifting....

The scouts galloped off to help the other settlers but they were too late and the farm was already a blaze and more Indians were appearing from the treelines. The cavalry commander orders the settlers to head for the fort, but they opted to circle the wagons instead..... arrrggghhh.

Elsewhere the main column had run into a problem, looking to push head to the far encampments they rushed to form a firing line as women and children ran for safety with the boys in blue.... The Indians just kept on coming and ammunition was now becoming a problem.

Meanwhile the settlers at the far end of the valley heard the firing and decided not to wait voting to pack up and head to the farm without an escort..... bad news a war party spots them in the open....

As the troopers held back the angry Sioux warriors another settlement is raised to the ground and the settlers killed.

All in all not a good day on patrol for the cavalry, they were forced to beat a hasty retreat to the fort with barely handful of homesteaders. The scouts were left conflicted as they watched the settlers be butchered by the natives.... if they had pressed on they would surely be killed, instead the left them to their fate to ensure others made it home.

The cavalry when kept together were strong but they could not be everywhere at once. But when the ammunition started to run out, they, were forced to strip the civilians of their ammo. That will not look good in the papers back east....

A great fun game, you can see why it stood the test of time and so many people clambered to see if back in print....

You can see why B troop did not make it back.... we must do better next time or their will no one left to protect....

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Moroccan Colonial Infantry - Operation Exporter

Back to Operation Exporter and this time Moroccan Colonial infantry to bolster the French Forces.

Frustratingly I had painted several sections of very same figures for when I created a number of sections for the Spanish Civil War that would have been fine, but alas long sold on e-bay, so time to move these to the front of the paint queue.

Great castings from Empress Miniatures, I went for a number of drab Fez's to given them a later feel than the earlier colonial troops. The Officer is a Perry Miniatures Vichy Commander finish off the unit.

Most are rifle armed apart from the LMG team, they are a useful addition to the Vichy or Free French.

Slow progress on the mass ranks of Commonwealth forces, but hopefully these move the project on slightly.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Legends of the Water Margin #2 Clear the Temple

The Heroes of the Water Margin are massing and the local population are rushing to their banner.

The Sung Government send a military force to break up the gathering, a chance for scores to be settled. Kao Chiu was looking to defeat Lin Chung who is bound to be at the centre of the trouble, while his Temple Guard were itching to take on the Palace Guard who had taken the side of the rebels.

In a close and bloody affair - Kao Chiu's forces had the numbers but Lin Chung's troops had stealth on their side.

The massed ranks of the government forces advance up the table, but still the bulk of the rebels did not show themselves.

Only the Palace Guard were on show defending the Temple.

The trap is sprung and the banner men rise from the tree line to block the path to the temple.

A fancy uniform, confidence was high in the government forces as they marched on to the table. A slight problem with there morale, they had not seen combat since being painted 2 years ago!!!

An aggressive move by Lin Chung and infantry and cavalry charged forces sending the cavalry back to group.

As heroes fought for control of the hill, infantry and cavalry ground out multiple melees, the imperial forces were unable to break through the rebel lines, several heroes were heavily wounded but held on as clock ran down.

A fun affair with Heroes on both sides playing their part, Black Whirlwind went down under the hooves of a squadron of cavalry but not before sending two militia units running for the table edge. Wizards on both side swapped incantations looking to prove who's magic was stronger.

Both sides claiming victory of sorts, the sort of outcome that is crying out for a rematch.
Played using an adapted version of Infamy Infamy.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Dispatches from the front XXIX - Small scale actions.

I had every intention of ploughing through the remaining Commonwealth Infantry and Free French but having completed the prep, basing and undercoating the thought of 80 boots, 40 rifles and webbing etc put me off a little. Perhaps next week unless something shiny comes along.

Instead I opted for the assembly line of the last support weapons for the allies and axis forces. Some nice castings from Warlord in shape of AT guns, Mortars and Infantry Guns...

I did sneak in a small order to Northstar with an extra HMG above, but really for some of their Africa Korps casualties which will make up pin markers for future games - I have hunted high and low for allied casualties and have drawn a blank, which was a surprise as almost every other range of figures across history seems to have them in all scales....

On the subject of purchases, Fred over at Two Send Fred is working on a small wadi for me, I was after a connector for my larger purchase, this is the draft mock up. This will be great for future games, more on that in a separate post.

Plans are afoot to finally give the Pony Wars rules an actual run out at the club. I wanted to be clear on the rules, hosting several players in one go, nothing frustrates me more than agreeing to host a game and not know the rules or spending valuable game time reading them while everyone looks on.
Whilst most definitely of there time the reaction tables really do make for interesting command decisions and they Indians numbers can get out of hand really quickly....

Over at the Wyre Forest Club I gave Bolt Action Modern a run out with my North Koreans facing off against the South Koreans with support from a British/UN modern contingent. Much like the news from Ukraine it turns out that T55's don't last long against more modern dug in armour.

The village of Fooket with dug in Dragon Teams and LAW's lining the walls.

The NK armour rushes forward with closed up armour and infantry in support.

The Brits lie in wait on the tree line.

Kim's forces burn in the field as the M60's take there toll.

A fun encounter if you were western backed forces, not much fun for the Koreans from the north.

You till next time....