The club held a second ‘virtual meeting’ last weekend, with solo games, and even a socially distanced garden game of FoG. Over to the players…
Stephen – Solo SAGA
Stephen had a game of SAGA – the Prized Possessions scenario. Edward Oswaldson (Anglo Danes) had been tasked by the earl to escort the local bishop and his possessions. Meanwhile, a boat load of Norse Gaels from Dublin led by Ragnall Svendsson had been raiding in the area. The Anglo Danes won. They managed to get the wagons off the table, though the bishop himself didn’t quite get off and the game ended with the bishop looking at a very irate Norse Gael warlord…
Marcus – Galactic Heroes
Marcus took on his sons; never a good move… The game was going well but match abandoned after an 90 mins due to unforeseen circumstances. Just as well, he was the rebel scum entering bottom left, trying to get a droid to the ship (top right) he’d lost two characters already to the eldest son. Youngest son was preparing an ambush should he make it through…
Alan Kirk – Verdun 1916
Alan played a solo learning game of Verdun 1916: Steel Inferno using the first scenario which covers the initial German attack.
Mark J, John Legg, Bret – FoG in the Garden
Mark’s Roman Dominate army had its first outing in his back garden and were truly smashed by the Sassanids…twice!
And finally, Eric played a couple of wargames-based video games (Total War and Dark Future – there are videos !
What I like about the American Civil War for gaming is that it is a simple period.
There’s only a couple of troop types, and uniforms were uncomplicated. Compare that to the nightmare that is Napoleonics…
So I decided to have myself a game, using my own rules. In fact, I thought the Battle of Little Round Top would be ideal.
Troops were deployed as their historical counterparts and then it was up to me from there. The table stretched from the Round Tops in the south, up through Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, with Codori farm to the north. The Confederate forces consistent of Longstreet’s I Corps (minus Pickett’s division), and the Union III Corps under Sickles.
The game started with a general advance by the Confederates. Hood’s division was looking at the Devil’s Den and Little Round Top, where the union brigade led by Ward was ensconced with an artillery battery. This looked like it would be a difficult approach for the Confederates so the rest of Birney’s division looked north to where McLaws’ confederate division was covering Codori farm and the Wheatfield. This would make the union have a strong presence in the northern part of the battlefield – with Humphrey’s division and most of Birney’s concentrated that way.
Sure enough, things got off to a good start for the union. The artillery at Codori farm and the Wheatfield gave Barksdale’s brigade a hefty pummelling. They advanced under heavy fire. They tried to force it to a charge, but they’d taken a serious bombardment and any charge would come to nothing. So McLaw pulled them back and advanced Wofford’s brigade to cover.
Meanwhile, Hood’s division plodded forward. The union artillery on Little Round Top opened up on them, but the fire wasn’t that effective. The confederates took the risk on a steady approach – rather than the infantry charging forward they moved up at a pace with their artillery.
Like in the actual battle, there was a lot of fighting around Codori farm (which would see even more fighting the next day, being on the south of Pickett’s ill-fated charge). Both Union and Confederate were beating the living daylights out of each.
This left the centre.
Graham’s union brigade advanced through the Wheatfield. Opposite was Kershaw’s confederate brigade. A firefight started in the Wheatfield. Realising he could soon be outflanked by Trobriand’s brigade, Kershaw made the decision to charge.
And in he went!
Not only did he push Graham back to Plum Creek, but he followed up the charge by rushing the artillery battery that had been holding back Carr and Brewster at Codori farm.
This signalled a change of confederate fortunes.
Hood’s division had moved up to Devil’s Den, with only Ward and a single artillery battery opposing them! Trobriand, in the middle, had made a bad decision – he should have been looking south where he could have outflanked Hood, but instead had been distracted north by the hard fighting there and Kershaw’s advance.
Ward and his artillery pulled back to the top of Little Round Top, hoping to delay Hood’s advance. The union artillery under Burling turned south, where it could make a long shot against Hood’s advance along Plum Creek.
Then it became the turn of the Union to see what it feels like coming under sustained artillery fire.
McLaw’s artillery batteries on the Emmitsburg Road opened up and caused massive destruction amongst the union troops but left them low on ammo (they all rolled 10s!).
This, effectively, did for the union north flank. And with Kershaw’s push in the centre leaving the union in disarray, it meant the sole focus would now be on Little Round Top – with Ward’s brigade trying to hold off Hood’s division and what was left of McLaw’s.
At that point a victory was declared for the confederates!
It had been a tight victory.
In hindsight, the Union had failed when they allowed themselves to be distracted by McLaw’s advance, concentrating all their brigades except one on stopping him. This left Hood to advance pretty much unmolested until it was too late. The guilty party had probably been Trobriand who was in an ideal position to outflank Hood’s advance but had, instead, been spooked by Kershaw, who he should have left to Birling and Graham.
Mark2 has been working on some Death Guard; he insists they aren’t based on what he sees out of his window while painting…
Just before lockdown the club were starting to organise games for the open day. When I saw Eric was going to run a Kill Team game, there were two things I had to do. 1. participate in Eric’s game (can’t do that at the moment), 2. finish painting my Death Guard Kill Team, now that I can do, and so I did!
The figures are painted using Citadel paints, including some of their technical range, which I used to produce the rust and grime. I had thought about including some of the Death Guard’s original pre-heresy colour, which is bone white, but decided go for the classic putrid green look. I’ve purposely used light fogging here as it helps to produce the grime and general dirty aged look of the figures. There are loads of excellent examples of painted death guard out there, better than mine but I find most are too clean. These guys are supposed to be stinking rusting hulks surrounded by flies, foul gases and smoke.
They’re based on the Pallid Hand sect, part of the second company of the Death Guard, which specialise in armoured attack. My brief back story for the team is they’re part of armoured recon and specialise in operating behind enemy lines, gathering intel and taking out key enemy personnel, but also pack enough punch to take out light vehicles and strong points if required.
The sergeant (Nex Morbus) is armed with a power fist, plasma gun and plague blade; he carries most of the heavy weapons to take out any strong points but can also mix it up hand to hand. The rest of the team are armed with early pattern bolters and carry plague knives, blight grenades and melta bombs. I’m currently adding to the team, working on some poxwalkers to use as cannon fodder for larger Kill Team games.
Can’t wait to see how they do, the Death Guard are tough but slow, so tactics against more mobile but heavily armed units will be a challenge. Going to try them out against my son’s imperial guard using my 40K city terrain, will send this in for another blog at some point.
Stephen delves in his lead pile and recovers some long lost figures.
Many moons ago I bought some 28mm ACW figures in a bring ‘n’ buy with the intention of doing some skirmish games with them. I think they are Essex Miniatures. They then languished in the lead pile for a couple of years until Covid 19 came along and I had run out of anything else to paint. So, due to a global pandemic they managed to wriggle their way to the top.
I still haven’t decided what rules I will use. There’s Rebels & Patriots and Sharpe Practice, but neither is really exciting me. Still, got to get them painted before you have a game with them. Rules can come later.
I based them on Renedra 25mm bases and added some filler. They were then given an undercoat with Humbrol ‘Dark Earth’ model spray (the confederates will get a grey undercoat). That was the point at which they then found themselves abandoned in the lead pile.
The first thing I tend to do is base coat the flesh. This was done with Vallejo Saddle Brown. I also base coated the rifle as well using GW’s Mournfang Brown and the bayonet was done with Revell acrylic Steel. I then washed the rifle and bayonet. Normally I would use GW’s Agrax Earthshade, but I’m out of that. So I went old skool – a watered-down version of a dark brown acrylic paint.
So, the flesh. The base colour was Vallejo Medium Flesh and then highlighted by adding a drop of white. Beard and hair was done with Vallejo Golden Brown. I decided I wanted the uniforms to be a bit random – fabric, dye, and supplier would have varied during the war.
The jacket was done with a mix of Vallejo Oxford Blue, a drop of Royal Blue, and a bit of black. I varied the ratio between batches to give a bit of variety. The base coat was highlighted with a drop of grey rather than white.
The sky blue trousers were a mix of Vallejo Sky Blue with a spot of brown and grey to dirty and vary the shade. Again, the ratios were varied to reflect different supplies. This was then highlighted by adding white.
Leather straps were done in black and highlighted by adding browns and greys. This helps vary the type of black, which can vary depending on material and quality of dye being used. The shoulder bag was undercoated with Vallejo khaki and then highlighted with Revell Beige.
That just left the rifle. All I did was touch up the wood with GW Mournfang Brown. The bayonet and fittings were done with Revell Steel. The bayonet point was highlighted with Vallejo silver.
That leaves the basing. A coat of PVA then sprinkle with ballast and let it dry. And then a blob or two of more PVA and sprinkle with static grass.
Emergency surgery for Andy’s horse. It’s lucky he didn’t just shoot it…
We’ve used a number of different sets of rules for games set in the Maximilian Adventure, most recently The Men Who Would Be Kings. Under these rules I class my Mexican Lancers as Irregular Cavalry, each unit being made up of 8 figures.
I had 15 lancers and 3 officers, so I had one Lancer I didn’t need to paint, which was useful as unfortunately his horse was a miscast with part of the rear left leg missing.
Once Rebels and Patriots came out I thought I might try these out for a game or so, and in these rules standard Cavalry units have 6 figures, so it was time to paint The Last Lancer so I could field three Mexican cavalry units.
To start off I had to do some remedial surgery on his horse. The lower half of the leg was missing below the hock, including the hoof. The horse was modelled with both front legs on the ground with both rear legs off the ground.
I cleaned up the stump of the leg and superglued a metal pin in place between the end of the leg and the hoof of the right leg.
I then built up the lower leg with several layers of Humbrol Model filler. This is a polystyrene paste, which I have found can be “diluted” with polystyrene cement to make it more easily worked.
Here’s the horse with the filler “mass” prior to filing into shape.
I left the layers to dry for a couple of days then filed the plastic into shape to form the leg and hoof.
Once the surgery was completed the horse was glued to a Warbases “pill” base, 50mm x 25mm, which was then built up with 4Ground base render.
All paints used are Vallejo acrylics, unless stated otherwise. The horse was painted Chocolate Brown and washed with Army Painter (AP) Dark Tone. Here’s a close up of the finished leg.
The Saddle cloth was painted Dark Blue over Light Brown with Flat Red trim.
I added a wire lance to the lancer, and undercoated him with matt black, face and hands were base coated Brown Sand and top coated Medium Flesh. His shirt was painted Deck Tan and the lance painted Beige Brown. Here they are part painted.
The horse’s saddle and harness were painted Saddle Brown and the saddle roll Black Red. The horse has a cloth draped over his back behind the saddle, this has a fur like texture; I painted this German Camouflage Beige with an AP Soft Tone wash.
The lancer was finished off with Light Brown chaps with Luftwaffe Camouflage Green trim, London Grey Vest, Flat Red Poncho lined Black Red and a Light Grey Hat. Lance and carbine stock were Beige Brown, Scabbard Black with Gunmetal fittings.
The base was painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock added and then the figure was mat varnished.
So, here he is: the Last Lancer. The final figure in my Maximillian Adventure collection.
Marcus eschews the beach and goes Top Gun instead.
We recently decided to have a virtual club meeting, and I decided that I might play “Full Thrust” or an aerial war game with my sons. However, they proved ambivalent on the day, preferring the beach…
Now, I do have a beautiful mountain mat from Deep Cut Studios intended for Korea. I think it may also work for Indo-Pakistan and possibly Iran-Iraq along the northern Iranian border, but at 6 x 4 it is just too big for my current table.
Since it is a plush rubber backed version I can’t hang it over the sides either. Until I find a solution, I unrolled my reversible, home-made sea/space mat, which I thought could serve as the Persian Gulf (that’s the sea side above).
I have long been interested in the Iran-Iraq War. Perhaps there is something about history that happens in your own lifetime. Now more than ever, I am far more interested in the Cold War than any other period, although I have only really ever gamed it at sea and in the air. I had painted up some aircraft for Iran-Iraq a year or so ago having read the superb “Iran-Iraq War In The Air” by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop. I decided this was now the time to bring them to the (3 x 5) table, where the mat could hang over the edge.
However, I must confess that I haven’t played CY6 yet, despite having a few of the Jet Age books. I have played the Tumbling Dice Wings At War rules however. I have tried Thud Ridge and had tried a home brew Arab-Israeli variant a while back. Given that the F4 is featured in Thud Ridge, along with the F5 and MiG-21, I thought that gave me a rough baseline, although in the end, the F5s didn’t get on and I don’t have any Iraqi MiG-21s.
Wings at War uses a deceptively simple energy/action system. You must use all your generated action points through the turn. The actions you use affects your “energy” subtracting or adding to your turn start action point. The net result gives the action point total for the next turn. The majority of my aircraft are from Tumbling Dice, and all of those used in this game.
The figures in the table were a rough guess after a bit of further research. I think the Mirage is a bit low on countermeasures and I am not sure if the MiG 23 is a bit too well rated. The MiG-25 unfortunately never made it onto the table with an ace pilot.
I should mention that in Wings At War Thud Ridge, there is a column for afterburner and height. All the aircraft has an afterburner and I didn’t think I needed a maximum height. I added some adaptations cribbed from the “Phantoms” system, which is based on the Avalon Hill game “Mustangs” but I think also owes a debt to Avalon Hill’s “Flight Leader”, notably around the missile and gunfire templates. I therefore added a Radar and countermeasures (C/M) column.
I seemed to recall reading that on introducing the Mirage F1EQ, the Iraqis had tried making attacks on the Iranian F14s by making a low approach and climbing from underneath to find a firing position. My hazy recollection lead me to deploy a pair of F14s armed with Sparrow (radar homing – RH) and Sidewinder (heat seeking – HS) missiles against a pair of F1EQs, with one Super 530 (RH) and two Matra Magic (HS) missiles.
I rolled the Iranians coming in from the east at height 3 (one ace and one experienced – the Iranians were much better trained), and the Mirages from the west at height 2 (one experienced and one green). I also had a system for rolling reinforcements. At the end of each turn I rolled a D6 for each side. if the roll exceeded the number of aircraft on the table, I rolled for the type of aircraft to come on.
A word of note on the photos. The green dots on the Mirages indicate the inexperienced pilots. The blue dot on the F14 indicates the ace.
The Iranians came in and went onto a shallow dive to height 2 having detected the Iraqi Mirages. The Mirages also detected the Iranians and the leader launched his Super 530, which the Iranians failed to avoid and which damaged the Tomcat to give the Iraqis an early advantage. The Iraqis rolled for another Mirage flight.
The Iranians again had the first move, detecting the second Mirage and both F14s fired Sparrows. The leaders Sparrow failed to launch, possibly as a result of the earlier damage. The wingman successfully launched, but the target evaded. The Mirage leader dived for the deck, but his wingman went for an optimistic (and unsuccessful) head on shot at the incoming F14 wingman before following his leader down. The second pair of Mirages at height 3 dived to level 1 also.
The first Iraqi element tight turned to the north and west. Iranian reinforcements, a pair of F4s now entered from the east. The F4s detected the second Iraqi element. A sparrow destroyed the Iraqi leader and another damaged his wingman. Both Tomcats pull a tight turn, but it is the damaged leader who lines up for a Sparrow shot. This time he launches successfully, but it misses. His prospective target, the lone Mirage has spotted the F4s and climbed to height 3.
The first Mirage group turns to face the F4s, who attempt another Sparrow launch, but this fails. The Iranian leader tries to launch another Sparrow, but fails again. That damage is playing havoc with his electrics!
The F14s move first and the leader now goes for a heat seeking sidewinder shot, but misses! The Mirage pair turns after the F4s, but can’t get on their tails and pass them as the Mirages head west. The F4s heading north will try to turn after them…
The damaged Iraqi Mirage turns east with the F4s turning after it and the second Mirage group, who have pulled away after the F14 leader, who hasn’t spotted them. The Mirage leader launches a Magic heat seeker at close range and brings down the already damaged F14. However, the F14 wingman closes in behind the Mirage leader and destroys him with a sidewinder.
The Iraqi’s wingman now attempts the same on the F14, but he evades the heat seeking magic, the F14 then turns south and dog-legs for home on afterburner. The F4s try for a sparrow shot and the leader launches successfully. He gets a hit but only damages the retreating Mirage which also turns south on afterburner. His wingman picks up the second Mirage, but his sparrow fails to launch.
Quite an exciting last couple of turns, even playing solo. The Iranians lost one F14 with an ace pilot but the Iraqis lost two Mirages and a third damaged. Overall, the Iranians were more experienced, so the result isn’t too surprising. The rules worked reasonably for a cobbled together variant. There are some issues with playing Wings at War with a hex mat, as it isn’t designed for one, but I managed to get around those (you definitely need to add a sideslip maneuver!). The chrome add-ons worked pretty well, although I would have to codify them a bit for head to head play. I am tempted to read Cooper & Bishop again, and make a mini campaign out of it!
Now, I just need to finish off my Fleet Air Arm Phantoms and Buccaneers and I can do a Cold War gone hot in the North Atlantic 1972 scenario…more variants!
In the pack of ACW Union artillery men I finished recently was a small ammunition marker, comprising a powder barrel and a stack of cannon balls. I thought this would be useful for any rules or scenarios that have ammunition restrictions, but I’d need more than one.
I mounted the original on a 25mm washer, painted the barrel Vallejo German Camouflage Brown with an Army Painter dark wash. The bands were painted copper.
I had some spare barrels already painted; from Ainsty I think. But how to do the cannonballs?
A recent clothing purchase yielded the answer; on a couple of the items the sales tags were attached by means of a ball chain. So, getting a few 25mm diameter washers and some card I went to work.
On each of the washers I glued a square of carboard over the hole, while the glue was drying, I started work on the chain. Using a small pair of nail clippers I keep for cleaning up metal figures, I cut the chain into 9 lengths of 3, 5 lengths of 2 and a couple of individual balls.
Once the glue was dry, I spread some more on top of the cardboard (leaving enough space for the barrels) and stuck the first layer of balls to the card, three sections of three balls in parallel lines. This was the trickiest bit, getting the balls close together in a straight line without sticking myself to the base.
Once these were dry, I added the second layer of two balls and (on one of the bases) a third layer of a single ball fixing them in place with superglue.
Now, the balls have two small holes for the wire that links them together. I should have filled these in before painting, but several coats of primer served the purpose. I painted the cannon balls Vallejo Dark Grey.
Next, I took the pre-painted barrels and stuck them to the bases.
I then used a spatula to put some 4Ground base render on the bases, trying not to plaster the side of the barrels.
The bases were then painted Army Painter Banshee Brown, and flocked.
Dave Sime makes some fiddly robots, and dedicates them to Jeremey!
Back a few years ago at a SELWG show I relieved Jeremey of the burden of taking back home his 9 box collection of VOTOMS Vol.02 Mechs, that had failed to sell in the Bring & Buy. As I recall, Jeremy did not have the time to carefully assemble them.
VOTOMS Mechs feature in a Japan anime series from the mid 1980’s. The series did not gain any traction outside of Japan. While a number of larger plastic models were produced during the series run, Takara Micro World produced a range of 1/144 scale models, probably in 2007.
At first glance in their box trays, just separate heads, trunks, arms, legs & weapons, pre-formed and painted, you think this is going to be a doddle. Alas NOT. They are made of some sort of soft ‘rubbery feel’ plastic which, even using my range of tweezers, were hard to grasp/control. They did not all fit together correctly, which required painstakingly slow micro surgery using the sharpest blades to correct. Even then some parts, especially the legs, would not stay in the correct position. The only adhesive that worked was rubber glue for the body parts, even then I had to wait for each part to set before continuing, and epoxy resin to adhere to the 2p coin bases. It actually took over two weeks to assemble them. When I had finished I thought never again !
They are 27mm in height, for representative scale purposes the first photograph includes a GZG 15mm figure I am currently painting, which is actually 17mm high and one of the crewmen for the mechs which are 14mm in height. In the anime each VOTOMS has a human operator who sits in the trunk. Depending on how Chris and I intend to use them, we can use them as mechs in Sci Fi games from 6mm to 15mm, possibly even at 28mm ? Crewed or not.
It was intended that they would have their debut at the Open Day end of June, but alas that’s not to be.
Last Saturday, at Stephen’s suggestion, some club members held a ‘virtual’ club meeting; some played solo games or with family members at home, and three even managed to play a board game over Zoom. Here’s a round up of what went on.
Mark H, Mark J and Seán – Nightfighter
Mark H ran a three-player game over Zoom – he’s written it up fully in a separate report.
Marcus – Air Combat in the Gulf War
Marcus played a solo game of modern air combat using Wings at War; this will also be getting its own write-up soon.
Phil – Space Hulk
Phil broke out the new (ish) re-issue of Games Workshop’s Space Hulk with his eldest son; unpainted figures, really!
Stephen – Full Thrust
Stephen, whose idea this all was, went for some solo Full Thrust. Which just sounds all wrong…
Mark J – Kobolds and Cobblestones
Mark.2 played out a Fantasy rumble at the docks.
Tony F – Lord of the Rings
And finally, the webmaster played out a simple Lord of the Rings scenario (the one where Sean Bean/Boromir gets shot full of arrows defending Merry and Pippin).
My French troops for the Maximillian Adventure also see service in Osprey rule’s “In Her Majesty’s Name” and “Rebels and Patriots” games. Both rules allow field guns to have an upgrade of a limber team to increase mobility, and / or crew size.
I bought a Wargames Foundry Franco Prussian War French limber team and also picked up a spare limber (Minifigs) at a bring and buy or similar. So instead of building one four horse limber team, I built two, two horse limber teams.
Horses were painted in black, or various shades of brown. Horse furniture was black, saddle and saddle bags Saddle Brown, horse blanket Black Grey dry brushed Basalt Grey and cape London Grey dry brushed Light Grey.
Limbers were painted Beige Brown with an Army Painter Soft tone was and brass metalwork.
The crew men were painted the same way as the dismounted crew, although the outriders have cavalry boots rather than standard boots and gaiters.
Bases were painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock applied with PVA glue.