From the Shed: another batch of 6mm Russians.

I’ve been painting up some more 6mm bits. I’ve been enjoying them recently as they are quick to paint. I find myself worrying less about individual vehicles and more on the mass effect of a unit.

6 bases of T55s- good for the whole Cold War really. From the early 50s right up to the armies of the Warsaw Pact allies of the 1980s.

A base of TMM bridgelayers. The models came with deployed bridges so I did a little base to show the bridge deployed. I’m thinking that a river crossing scenario is on the cards here.

A BTR 152 and a BMP1- I had these models spare so decided to give them a quick paint job them mount them on single bases.

Moving forward into the 1990s here are some BTR80a APCs and dismounted infantry. These should be good to go up against my friend’s later Warriors and Challengers.

To give them some support I did some 2S23 Nona SVKs (120mm breech loading mortars on the same BTR chassis).

As usual I’ve used two vehicles (and some infantry if appropriate) on a 50mm square base to represent a company and single vehicles on a 30mm base for a platoon sized attachment. This is how I’ve been organising my forces for Nordic Weasel’s 5core: Brigade Commander, my go to set of rules for 6mm Cold War games.

Cheers,

Pete.

A selection of games in the style of H G Wells.

I was going to do an update post but I thought you don’t want to just read about me maoning about my problems so I thought I’d do something more positive and tell you about something fun…

… one thing I’ve really been enjoying recently is a series of large scale outdoor games run by Tim. As I’m sure most of you know the first widely publilshed book on wargaming was H G Wells’ Little Wars*. These were games played on the floor with traditional 54mm toy soldiers. There has been a recent renassiance of these games with the publication of Funny Little Wars and Little Cold Wars, these games use the same sort of mechanisms (occasionally a matchstick firing cannon gets up- graded to a nerf gun). The games are based around fun and enjoying some gaming time with friends rather than a serious military simulation, however it is interesting how ‘good’ a result, ie historically plausible, these games generate.

Anyway enough waffle from, me on to the pictures:

The first game I joined in with was the defence of Fort Fisher in the ACW. I was one of the Confederate defenders against the Union combined operation.
The defences were manned but we were heavy on firepower but light on men. Still it was good funb firing the cannon at the ships as they closed in.
The Union tried to run a ship aground and blow it up to disrupt us. It didn’t work so well but they did make a landing in the centre of our fort and overrrun a few batteries (our defensive grapeshot, represented by party poppers, caused considerable casualties). Ultimately the Union didn’t have enough strength to sustain the attack so had to withdraw.
I played as the defending US forces in a game set in the early days of the Korean War in 1950. Task force Smith was hastily assembled to stop a North Korean armoured thrust south. With only 2 pieces of artillery and a few bazookas I only just managed to blut the attack.
On the same day as the Korean War game we played a small scenario representing the British parachute assault into the Suez Canal area in 1956. Each platoon stand was represented by a piece of card and dropped from shoulder height as we walked past the gaming area.
Although the troop quality of the British paratroops was much higher than the defending Egyptians they did have the advantage of starting in bunkers.
A much bigger parachute assault that I took part in was the 1970s South African asssault into Cassinga. Seen here are the defending African nationalist troops.
Due to winds over the drop zone (read that as being a bit breezy on the patio) the SADF troops were quite widely scattered. Ultimately their superior troop rating and a bit of air support won the day for them.
We revisited Suez 1956- expanding the game to include the French parachute assault as well.
Again the air support on hand was rather handy for getting the defenders out of their emplacements.
We went back to the first day of the Somme to test out some different artillery rules. Due to rain we had to move inside.
The Germans had three lines of defenses with the first row being very lightly held.
There was an extensive air phases prior to the troops moving (I was the RFC player for this).
As can be seen the British defensive fire was quite effective. Sadly, for the RFC at least, this was due to ground AA fire not from dogfighting.
The guns line up for the inital pre- attack barrage: this was a set number or rounds/ matchsticks against the clock. The artillery came in three phases: inital stonk, box barrage to suppress and destroy, then a creeping barrage as the troops went over the top. As was to be expected the British pals battalions took very heavy casualties, even though they made it to the first German trench line. The fun of the game was in the pre- assault preparation phases, working through the air combats and the different sorts of artillery.
It has become something of a tradition at these sorts of games that I provide a cake- usually a teaf loaf. The laidback, jovial nature of these games with plenty of breaks for tea and snacks, not to mention sandwiches has been a real tonic for me having not enjoyed gaming at home so much recently.

So there you have what I’ve been enjoying gaming the most recently. I hope you found it of interest.

I have got a whole pile of pics covering what I’ve been doing so I’ll put them out when I can in what will probably be a mixed up order.

Cheers,

Pete.

* Robert Louis Stephenson had written a book on gaming earlier but it didn’t get anything like the wide reception Wells’ did.

Game Report: Cold War action in 6mm.

One of the (many) facebook groups I’m on posted a link to a you tube video… it was an old British Army of the Rhine instructional video of how to defend against a Soviet attack in the early 1980s. I’m a sucker for that doctrine/ training type of thing so gave it a watch. It did give me an idea for a 5core: Brigade Commander scenario and, mindful of the current climate, decided to run it for Evan and Bill.

Bailey has inspected the terrain set up and approves.

The video shows the escalating attacks of a Russian division as it contacts a BAOR defensive line. The video ends with the Soviets forming up for a bigger attack in regimental strength. For the scenario I swapped Brits for West Germans (all provided by Evan) and let the Soviets (from the collection of Bill) deploy after the West Germans had set up. Bill picked two points of Evan defensive line and deployed a company, followed by a battalion 6″ back and the rest of the regiment another 6″ behind that at each point selected. If you watch the video you’ll see where I was coming from with this deployment. The objective for the game was the crossroads.

The crossroads were the key terrain of the game.
The Soviets deploy in depth from their chosen routes of attack.
Leopard 1s further back in reserve.
The Soviets push forwards

As usual we used the Brigade Commander rules from Nordic Weasel. We three are big fans of the system and have built up considerable forces between us. We use a 50mm square base to represent a company and a smaller base for a platoon sized attached asset.

The dug in positions protected the vulnerable Leopard 1s from the worst of the fire, but they were slowly forced back.

With anti air support the BMPs push towards the crossroads.
The West German defenders in the BUA.
Airstrike: unfortunately the SU24 was driven of by the Gepard SPAA.
In return the West Germans send in their Alpha jet with impressive results.
The lone mechanised infantry company makes an attack against the German held BUA.

The game swung backwards and forwards with the crossroads changing hands a few times. In the end, although casualties were very light on both sides, Bill had pushed Evan back from the area around the crossroads and had disrupted Evan’s armour so I decided it was a winning draw to Bill’s Soviets.

I may do a urban skirmish game based on the final, defeated assault of Bill’s mechanised infantry company. Something for later on….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Even more Stalkers for Zona Alfa.

I wanted to paint up some Stalkers in a specific camo pattern, namely the Russian ‘Partizan’ scheme… that was all the excuse I needed to get a set from Pig Iron Productions that I had been coverting.

Here they are again in threes. I went for a sniper rifle a light machine gun and three AK style assault rifle, the dog is so I can try out some of the optional rules I got from facebook.

I also had a few more Cold War figures from Under Fire Miniatures that I converted- again using Pig Iron parts.

You may have noticed that I didn’t take these pictures outside on my backdoor step… I got a light box for xmas and this has made taking the photos much easier, especially in these wetter and darker months. I did print out a stone texture picture from google to use as a backdrop which I think works quite well.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Eureka NBC Soviets.

Following on from my recent Zona Alfa interest I’ve finished up a small batch of the Eureka Miniatures NBC Soviets. They are great figures, only slightly smaller than the Under Fire ones I’ve been using, they are a good fit with the Copplestone ones though.

I went for the tank crew and a few individual soldiers as a sample of the range.
The tank crew in NBC masks look great- rather heavily armed too really.
Three riflemen in the pea green rubber oversuit.

I’ll be getting enough later on for at least a full squad and possibly the AAHMG too as it looks a good set. Eureka Miniatures can be bought in the UK from here.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: 6mm LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushioned)

More from my printer: this time a rescaled (to 1/300th) LCAC from the ever prolific Mr. Bergman. The LAVs and M1 are also 3d printed. The sea spray is made from teased out teddy bear stuffing glued to the underside of the hovercraft before it was glued on its base.

The LCAC is used by the US Navy to transport troops, vehicles and Cargo from ship to shore, 1 MBT being at the upper end of its load limit. I’ll use mine for some US Marine landing in Norway I think, it should provide some interesting game scenarios.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Cold War US Army Platoon.

One of my 20mm projects from my list was to finish off a platoon of infantry for my Cold War US forces, this way I’ve got tyhe infantry to make use of all the vehicles I’ve got and also mirror the 6mm collection I own.

All of the figures come from Elhiem Figures. In and amongst them I have the classic combinations of M16, M203s and M60s as well as a sniper with an M21 and Dragon ATGM teams. They should give me enough figures to make up a platoon organisation for the early 80s. The figures are from a relatively narrow historical window, after the adoption of woodland camo BDUs but still with Alice webbing and so before the issue of the improved PAGST body armour and Kevlar helmet and the M249 squad automatic weapon of the mid 80s.

As usual they were painted in Vallejo acrylics and then varnished. Basing was done with textured paint and flock from Geek Gaming’s base ready range.

One thing I am looking forward to being able to do is play out some Team Yankee inspired skirmishes from an old SOTCW journal that I’ve had for years.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: The RDF light tank aka LAV75.

The RPG Twilight 2000 is a classic game for all of us who are nostalgic for the Cold War eras (something comforting about a simpler bipolar power split I think). In the first edition it introduced some fictional vehicles in the game world that it predicted would be in service at the turn of the millenium. One of these was a light tank called the LAV75. A crew in hull design with a 75mm autocannon design to support airbourne operations. In really life it was based upon the RDF light tank which got to prototype stage, it was designed to replace the ill- starred Sheridan.

There are model available of the RDF tank in 6mm that I’ve painted previously but I was looking for something in 20mm to go with my duplication of forces. I asked on a Facebook group and was pointed in the direction of a GI Joe toy design- the Mauler tank- based on the same RDF light tank prototype. Close enough for my purposes I thought so I promptly printed a couple out.

Here the pair are in the bare plastic and assembled. The RDF (and LAV75) didn’t have the side skirts but given the design of the model’s running gear I added them.

They should provide a nice addition to my 20mm collection- fictional tanks for fictional wars… why not? It ties in nicely to both my 6mm collection and the old RPG, which has just had a very successful kickstarter rerelease.

Cheers,

Pete.

Game and Painting Projects for the next few months…

During lockdown I’ve had a bit of a think about what I want to work on as I’ve got loads of half- finished projects lying around. So I wrote a list…

… and found it was a bit longer than anticipated. Still it should keep me focussed and get the backlog of unpainted bits cleared quicker than I have been doing. This is what I either have on order or have in the shed in varying levels of pre paint preparation. One of my new drives is to get forces in both 6mm and 20mm so I can do a campaign where games can be run at different levels, I started doing this with printing out the two different sized watch towers. I’ll start with my Cold War forces first before moving back to Vietnam then World War Two and before.

6mm:

Helicopters and Rules: During a bout of insomnia I wrote some helicopter rules for gunships versus tanks in the cold war. I’ve a few helicopters and suitable ground targets to paint up so I can begin testing the rules.

Cold War US: Got enough to do several 5core: Brigade Commander battalions of Cold War Americans with M60 tanks and M113 APCs.

Early Cold War Brits and Soviets: As I have these in 20mm I’ve got a few useful bits spare that I can make a start with in 6mm.

African: This will be based around the later 80s battles with the SADF 61 Mechanized Battalion.

Afghanistan: So much of my Soviet stuff will cross over here that it should be fairly easy to pull some extra Taliban stuff together. Will look at basing for both 5core: Company Commander and Hind and Seek as the 6mm infantry is so cheap. Vehicles will be good for both.

Riverine stuff: Based on a magazine article I read and my interest in Colombian military history from playing Andean Abyss I’m considering getting a few bits for 1990s South American brown Water Navy games.

20mm:

Winter Brits: I’ve wanted some Brits for ages and as several of my gaming friends already have Summer infantry, I went for a platoon’s worth in the winter issue windproofs for the very end of the war. I may even do some in all white too. Some Brit vehicles in winter whitewash could look good too. I’ll also do some Bren Carriers for them as they always strike me as a quintessential British WW2 vehicle.

Winter War Finns and Soviets: I’ve had some bits of winter Finns lying about the shed for ages, but I finally ordered enough for a game and some Soviets to oppose them. There is a Skirmish Campaigns scenario book available, so I’ll concentrate on building forces to play through those games.

Crossfire/ Megablitz based WW2: Having played a bit of Crossfire at the historicals club I decided that it was time I got my own suitable based forces for the game. To keep things flexible, I’ll arrange things so that I’ll be able to use them in other games such as Megablitz. I dug out some old plastic figures and made up a Soviet and Hungarian force- they just need painting now.

Boer War: A random buy of a box of rather nice plastic figures started this project. I think I’ve got some Boers in the shed too that I can add in.

Cold War US: I’ve already got the vehicles done so I’ve got a platoon of infantry based and undercoated to go with by two scale Cold War project.

IDF vehicles: I’ve got the infantry done and I’ve found some nice 3d files so this will be a job for the printer. Be a big cost saving printing these out given the price of Israeli Army vehicles these days.

28mm:

Necromunda: Apart from the lovely new Van Saar models that have been released that I’ll be getting for my main gang I’ll just concentrate on getting the Goliath, Delaque and extras I’ve had in the shed for ages painted.

40k: Finish Death Guard Army, continue Chaos Space Marines (I have some Alpha Legion on the painting tray at the moment), Start Ad Mech force I need some opposition, right? Will start with a Kill Team sized force then expand out from there.

Cyberpunk: As a child of the later 80s/ early 90s Cyberpunk was my favourite science fiction sub- genre and now the new TTRPG is out I’ll revisit this. Also, there are some nice new skirmish games out there for table- top battles. Any scenery needed will be 3d- printed, I think.

Zone Alpha: I’ve been really quite taken with this little ruleset. It is the sort of narrative driven skirmish wargaming that I enjoy so much as well as having a great aesthetic too. I’ve got a few bits for this in both 28mm as well as lots suitable in 20mm. The Copplestone Future War partisans are next on the painting table so watch out for those soon.

My small-scale air war and naval haven’t made this list as they are all pretty much done. So really this represents less what I’ll be playing and more what I’ll be painting. Given that games are relatively few and far between painting is what I tend to do most of at the moment. As much as I’ll try to keep to this list there will doubtless be something shiny to distract me- which these days is mostly finding an interesting file to print….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: East German Watch Towers (B- Turm)

Beobachtungsturm were a type of watchtower used by the East Germans. I found a file of them on thingiverse and thought it would be a great addition to my Cold War games.

As you can see I did 2 of them of different sizes. The nice thing about 3d printing is this fllexibility- a 1/144 scaled original was printed out at half size and twice size, for 6mm and 20mm respectively.

Here they are unpainted and untextured. They were both given coats of Mr. Surfacer as an undercoat.

Now to write 2 scenarios to featuring them….

Cheers,

Pete.