From the Shed: 3d printed houses

Some of the last things I managed to get printed before my 3d printer glitched* were these houses from 18Charlie of Wargaming3D. I liked the modular approach he has taken to his designs so bought a log cabin, a tin roof and the fortified brick building.

From the set of files I’ve got three nice buildings. They did take a while to print but the cost of them is really quite low.I’m particularly keen on the fortified and sandbagged one. The good thing about this sort of thing is that the files were designed for 15mm, I up scaled them again to 20mm and may well print them out a bit bigger still for my 28mm Zona Alfa games. Either way they make a nice bit of terrain for any games set in Eastern Europe.

Cheers,

Pete.

*I’ve got the part to repair it I’ve just not had the time to do it yet.

From the Shed: Polish Home Army for Warsaw Uprising 1944 (Battlefield Miniatures).

The Wargamers Forum is running a month long ‘nostalgia’ build – members are invited to paint up something from pre 2000 (and possibly also out of production).

I dug about in the shed and found these 20+ year old Battlefield Miniatures figures, that are OOP*, for the tragic 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Wearing a mixture of looted SS smocks and civilian clothing with armbands in the Polish national colours they’ll make a nice addition to my WW2 skirmish forces (something I’ve not games in an age). I may tempoarily attach some to bigger bases to play Brian Train’s Civil Power as there is a 1944 scenario in that.

Whilst they weren’t on my projects list they were a pleasant project for this week’s hobbying.

Cheers,

Pete.

* some might be more recent ‘Blitz’ figures….

From the Shed: Blackstone Fortress’ Ur Ghuls.

I picked up a further four of these monopose plastic models from ebay. Given that the game that they are from is out of production they are getting a little bit more expensive and rarer so I decided to get them sooner rather than later.

I painted then to match the previous pair that I did- I used a mixture of GW’s Nihlak Oxide and some homemade glazes so they were a really quick job.

I plan to mostly use them as mutant for my Zona Alfa games but they’ve already been on the gaming table in Nicola’s Drukhari force.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Boer War British.

One of the tasks I set myself a while back was to start a Second Boer War skirmish project. Well the first part has been completed: a good number of 20mm Strelets plastic brits.

I painted them in two batches using contrast paint for the main colour, this meant that they were a quick job but I do think that the overall effect is quite good.

Here is a close up of one each of all the poses.

Now all I have to do is find the bag full of Boer figures I know I’ve got somewhere in the shed….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: War Dogs – 40k Chaos Knights.

I got these for xmas last year and have finally got them finished… wanted them for long range support for my Death Guard army – I’ll use them in a second detachment.

Really enjoyed painting these. I was nice to work on a larger piece and one with relatively bright colours too. I tried a bit of heat discolouration on the exhausts and melta gun muzzle too- it looks better in real like than in these photos. I’m also pleased that my usual chopped up sprue for basing works OK on a larger base too.

Cheers,

Pete.

A topical scenario from Jim Webster.

Over on Facebook Jim Webster was asking for pictures of ‘technicals’ for inspiration for a scenario. I dug through my harddrive and found some for him. He produced this game: https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/2021/08/30/afghan-september/ Go have a look- it ties into the re-release of his skirmish game Hell and Uncivil Disorder that looks at the low intensity end of 20th/ 21st Century combat with some interesting mechanics. It is available from Wargames Vault and I recommend it too.

If it is not happening currently it will be happening very soon imo.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: 40k Inquisitor models.

I ortiginally bought these for an Inquisimunda campaign that was running at Cellar Dwellers that I started to get involved in… although now I am unsure what the state of that campaign is. Either way they are nice example from the early and mid 1990s 40k universe. I’m sure I’ll be able to work them into some games in the future.

From left to right we have a Missionary, an Inquisitor in Terminator armour and, a Preacher.

Cheers,

Pete.

Game Report: Blitzkrieg Story- 1940, Megagame, Sheffield.

Last weekend I was in Sheffield city centre bright and early to play my first face to face megagame since pre- COVID 2019.  The game was one run by Paul of Story Living Games that was meant to run last year but, for obvious reasons, did not. Paul’s idea was to run a game a year based on the events of 80 years previously, see here and here. For the 1940 game what could be more iconic than the invasion of western Europe?

The game started the mid- week prior to the actual face to face game with both sides being able to spend points to attempt to alter the starting conditions of the game. By using the probability matrix that was designed for the game players would assign changes they wanted to make by impact and likelihood of happening. This was a nice way to get rid of the hindsight problem that can affect many historical scenarios when they are replayed with the same exact starting conditions (I’m predicating this on the fact that the losing side historical can be played differently to correct the mistakes made at the time and thus have an advantage). The only downside was extra work for Paul and his brother Phil running the game as they had only a couple of days to make the adjustments to the scenario. The German team, I can only speak for the side I was on here as I’ve not seen any of the British options or decisions, chose to reinforce our core concepts rather than try to do anything too outlandish. So, we improved our staff work, deployment, air to ground co-operation and river crossings, hopefully things that would be all needed to try and get to Paris.

I was on the high command team and was given the job of running the air war sub game. Split into a northern and southern half we had a game played a turn in advance that would determine close air support, interdiction, transport flights and such like in each half of the map. It is a nice little game that rewards careful husbanding of one’s assets rather than trying to get everything in the air at once. I was familiar with the game from doing the same job at the Czechmate ’38 game. The only downside with the game was that in the Northern sector the mix of allied aircraft was completely overmatched in both quantity and quality by the Luftwaffe my opposite number never really got much of a look in. Most days we never had less than total control of the air and always had air superiority. Given the number of aircraft involved, at least on my side, I did wonder if the upper limit of the game engine had been found.

On the map the German attack in the north quickly bogged down into the Dutch and Belgian defensive line, The BEF setting up quite far back in French territory. In the South the advance through the Ardennes was equally slow but due to the difficulties of the terrain rather than anything else. Gradually the superiority of the German war machine made headway. The Belgians being quite tenacious in the defence, in the south a brief sally on to German territory from the Maginot Line was quickly dealt with. Oddly the mass of the French units, mostly infantry to be fair but still a lot of them, did very little and adopted a very passive posture on their own soil. As a player quipped at the time: they seemed happy to defend to the last Belgian.

The Dutch were proving quite stubborn and rather than going down the route of terror bombing their cities to bring about their capitulation, the sorties were far better spent on interdiction missions, a coup de main mission was planned and launched by a fellow high command player. This proved to be a success, mostly, with the Dutch royal family entering German protective custody but with the regrettable death of the Princess. This action brough the Dutch team to the negotiating table and ultimately out of the war. Retreating north of the Waal, this let our forces have a full run south of it. At this time the Belgian were trying to do a complicated withdrawal and replacement of their units with the advance BEF which mostly succeeded bringing them into the fight. Although the French were still mostly passive. In the south the breakthrough we were looking through happened, and the armoured units drove hard through the French aimed straight at Paris, aided by the tactical paradrop of the Fallschrimjager. One wonders what could have been done on that front had they been given more armour….

Sadly, there was one player missing on the day. John P passed away during lockdown after a short illness, his presence at every game was guaranteed with his usual enthusiasm and great sportsmanship. A thoroughly decent bloke he will be greatly missed going forward. A toast was raised with a glass of his Port to his memory at the end of the game and an award for best sportsmanship during the game given out.

It was great to be back doing a face-to-face megagame again. Given the UK’s vaccine rollout and the space available to us in the church hall we used it felt perfectly fine and the right time to be doing a game. It was great to see people that I had not seen before the first lockdown. I hope this is the start of more games being run in person, they best way to experience them.

Cheers,

Pete.

Book Review: Harrier 809.

This book was recommended to me from a gaming WhatsApp group I’m on. As I’ve probably mentioned before on this blog the 1982 Falklands War was the first war I can really remember (I was 4 at the time) just vague memories of the news really…

… Rowland White made his name with the superb Vulcan 607, highly recommended, and this his latest book follows a very similar pattern, dealing as it does with the same war and also the same sort of improvised and muddle through to pull it out of the bag in the end in the best British military tradition. Harrier 809 follows the story of the efforts to pull together the 3rd Sea Harrier squadron that was sent down to the Falklands. Cobbling together pilots and airframes from wherever they could be found the squadron sailed south on the ill- fated Atlantic Conveyor, albeit the squadron’s aircraft were flown off and split between the two aircraft carriers. The story of the assembly and deployment of this third Harrier squadron was new to me but I did expect the rest of the book covering the air war to tread more familiar ground. This was mostly the case but there were some very interesting snippets of information that were new to me, regarding the deployment/ sale to Chile of the Canberra reconnaissance aircraft and the relationship between Chile and the UK. Still even the bits I was familiar with were a pleasure to read again given the quality of White’s writing.

All in all, I strongly recommend this book and it is a great addition to my Falklands War library.

Cheers,

Pete.