Triples, Sheffield, 2013.

I’ve just spent the weekend in Sheffield at the Triples show. Not a bad weekend- though it did seem a bit quieter than last year.

I didn’t take any pictures- mainly because I’m terrible at photography, however there are many good photo sets in the blogging community out there.

I was particularly taken with a large scale Mad Max participation game that re create the classic assault on the oil tanker that makes up the climatic ending of the second installment. Shame I didn’t find the time to have a go myself- kicking myself now. Loved the film inspired costumes too.

That said I did spend a very pleasant half hour playing the Wargames Development’s participation game called Ten Rounds Rapid. Based on an abstracted grid the game saw a brave Battalion of the BEF try to hold off the advancing Picklehaube’d Germans.

Even with my typically bad dice rolling the game was closer than I expected. The seemingly endless Germans advanced as I tried to pin them (to slow their advance) or kill them before they got to my hastily dug scrapes that formed my defence line. Extra machine gun fire and artillery for each side was determined by a random card draw. The game came to a conclusion as the Germans were assaulting my defence line, the Colonel, representing me, was sent into the line to personally lead a counter attack, this held the line until the end of the game but turned out to be a posthumous victory as me/ the Colonel was killed in the counter attack.

All great fun but given the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW1 is next year I couldn’t help but have the sober reflection that I was now one of the many names carved on the war memorials in practically every village in the country….

Other games looked good too- another WW1 themed game- this time biplane dogfights proved very popular as did a Stalingrad game in 15mm. An game set in 1920s Central America got my attention too- unusual periods always appeal and the execution of the game was good. A modern Iraq game proved interesting with some rather ingenious card terrain.

I bought a bit- I had some cash from a recent birthday: I picked up a couple of books, some resin terrain, WW2 Hungarians for a Budapest project (more of that later) and a few support weapons for a WW2 Polish platoon I’m raising. I picked up a few 1/600th aircraft for Evan and got a few for myself- 1995 Cenepa War- seem what I mean about liking obscure periods.

Cheers,

Pete.

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Airfix House.

I bought a couple of the Airfix Houses that they have released over recent years. This little cottage looks like it would be great for Arnhem. I added the base and extra rubble made from Linka bits. I wasn’t too taken by the square hole in the roof but they resin is too tough and brittle for any tool I’ve got in the shed to work with so I had to leave it.

The front.

The front.

The back.

The back.

Cheers,

Pete.

Testing, Testing- some games in Development.

Most of my gaming energies recently have been devoted to finishing up the modern stats for the 2 Hour Wargame system; at the moment my work if about 90% done, but like the aphorism the last 10% is taking most of the effort…

To prove this my last playtest was a bit of a bust- due to a poor scenario. The one in question was written by me several years ago and had provided a very enjoyable game of ‘Arc of Fire’, how ever just swapping it over to 2HW didn’t work.

Set in the classic World War Three year of 1984 it saw a platoon of West German infantry defend a village against a platoon of Soviet infantry, a platoon of armoured cars and a tank (in this case a PT76), who opened the hostilities with a small mortar barrage.

I think what made the game not play the same is the difference in ground scales between the two systems. Arc of Fire has a stated ground scale of 1″ = 10m, to put that into perspective a grenade can be thrown 2″. The 2HW system doesn’t have a published ground scale but a grenade can be thrown a full 6″… As a result the man portable Anti Tank weapons in a 2HW sized table are much more effective, the BRDM2s didn’t stand a chance. Still it was a learning experience and it provided a good example of how not to do scenarios, that said I do think the scenario idea is still a good one so I will revisit it soon.

Anyway here a few pictures for your edification.

Germans in defence.

Germans in defence.

The attacking Soviets.

The attacking Soviets.

Infantry move up to deal with the defenders.

Infantry move up to deal with the defenders.

General shot of the table.

General shot of the table.

Now on to more successful endeavours: I mentioned in my previous post that we’d be having a Falklands Air War game, Bill turned up with his aircraft and I drafted some missile rules to go with them. As stated last time these are for the heavily modified rule set mainly developed by Evan, I tried to keep the rules simple but give a little flavour for the period, I’d like to think I achieved that as everyone seemed to be having fun as we got through several little air skirmishes in the evening.

A pair of Sea Harriers.

A pair of Sea Harriers.

A brace of Mirages.

A brace of Mirages.

Dogfight in the South Atlantic, Sea Harriers engage Skyhawks.

Dogfight in the South Atlantic, Sea Harriers engage Skyhawks.

Bill’s aircraft were very nicely painted- the bought them off a forum several years back he said.

As the missile rules worked so well, I’ll be painting up my Vietnam aircraft soon to get a few games out of them, though I’ve the odd idea to look at the Cenepa War of 1995….

Evan’s latest addition to the air combat system is to bring in rules to ‘jump’ out of the sun on to unsuspecting aircraft, we had another test of these this Tuesday gone. B26 Marauders, escorted by P40s were jumped by a mixed attacking group of Bf109s and Me110s. Much fast paced action was played out of the table top with successive flights of aircraft trying to get the advantage over the other.

IMG-20130514-00039

IMG-20130514-00041

IMG-20130514-00042

I think we’ve got the rules pretty much nailed down now, so we can expand on the different theatres we cover, Evan was last seen ordering flights of B17s so hopefully we’ll have some daylight raids over the Reich soon… however I think next weeeks game will be back to 20mm.

Cheers,

Pete.

Tuesday night Air War.

For the past two Tuesdays Evan and I have been indulging in some 1/600th air war action.

From a starter set of Korean rules I picked up years ago Evan has done a lot of work expanding upon the initial basic set, completely rewriting the gunnery side of the combat and adding various morale rules. He has been wanting to test out a couple of rules that he has come up with. Firstly clouds- he made up loads of extra flying stands and nice fluffy white clouds out of felted teddy bear stuffing; also ‘bouncing’ enemy aircraft by appearing out of the sun- a kind of ambush in the sky if you will.

The first scenario we used was a simple one: a pair of newly arrived P38 Lightnings are flying over the Mediterranean looking for a flight of three Ju52s escorted by a pair of Me109s.

I took the role of the attacking P38s, who started the game diving out of the sun to initiate the attack.

A group shot of the forces used in the first game.

A group shot of the forces used in the first game.

A general shot of the table as viewed from the German board edge of exit.

A general shot of the table as viewed from the German board edge of exit.

The Germans enter the table.

The Germans enter the table.

In come the P38 Lightnings aiming for the two defending fighters.

In come the P38 Lightnings aiming for the two defending fighters.

Missing them they decided to go for the Ju52- a big mistake on my part, I was hoping my speed would save me....

Missing them they decided to go for the Ju52- a big mistake on my part, I was hoping my speed would save me….

With one Aircraft down I focus all my energies in trying to get one Ju52 downed.

With one Aircraft down I focus all my energies in trying to get one Ju52 downed.

With one P38 was shot down by the Me109s diving on its tail, the remaining flight leader lines up for a shot on the Ju52s.

With one P38 was shot down by the Me109s diving on its tail, the remaining flight leader lines up for a shot on the Ju52s.

The defensive fire from the three MGs mounted on the backs of the Ju52s was enough to distract my P38 pilot enough that he didn't take the shot. With a big difference in speed I flew straight through the tight formation and was subsequently taken down by the Me109s. Game Over.

The defensive fire from the three MGs mounted on the backs of the Ju52s was enough to distract my P38 pilot enough that he didn’t take the shot. With a big difference in speed I flew straight through the tight formation and was subsequently taken down by the Me109s. Game Over.

One of the defending Me109 pilots was rated ‘Good’ in our rules. Evan mentioned that the top German Ace in the North African theatre was one Hans- Joachim Marseille. I looked him up and found this short but useful wiki entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Joachim_Marseille

The rules worked well, how successful your attacks was depends on the skill of your pilot and how much of the table you are trying to cover without being spotted. The clouds are nice too- they act like ‘terrain’ in the sky in a way.

This Tuesday’s game was more or less the same scenario but scaled up. The attacking P38s were doubled to make a quartet and joined by a pair of Beaufighters who started on the board. Three Ju52s provided the targets for the game. The defending Me109s were raised up to three flights of 2 with one pair being allowed to started up sun to ‘bounce’ the Beaufighters on turn one shooting one down. Happily from here on the game went my way, for the loss of the first Beaufighter and a subsequent P38 I shot down all of the Ju52s (supposedly carrying a high ranking General, his staff officers and his loot (would this include a picture of the fallen #Madonna with the big boobies?)). Evan was pleased that is ‘Good’ rated survived the encounter- we really must develop some campaign rules for our Air War battles- Too Fat Lardies’ ‘Squadron Forward’ was mentioned: http://toofatlardies.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23&products_id=95

Bill watched the second game and seemed particularly enthused by the proceeding and went on to promise us a Falkland air war game next week- so it’s a case of watch this space.

Cheers,

Pete.