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.

Progress Report: 1st Quarter 2022, and an update.

In the past threee months I have painted 36 28mm miniatures and 71 20mm miniatures. I have painted 1 1/72nd scale kit and read 19 books.

My ill health sadly continues… will be looking at some different treatment options this month hopefully.

The 3d printer seems to have given up the ghost too… it had sat broken for a while until I had the time to try and repair it. I swapped out what I thought was the broken part but it still doesn’t work- although the part I did replace works OK. I’m not keen to chuick more money at it though. I’m pretty sure if I knew what I was doing with a multimeter and a soldering iron I could fix it, as I’m mostly sure it is a broken wire. The downside is that I’ve not used a multimeter since the mid 1990s and I don’t have the time with uni work to be messing with it too much. This does leave me wondering what to do with it now….?

Kill Team 2 – my Death Guard aganistEvan’s Tau. The rather nice terrain is all his work.

Been getting the odd game in- Kill Team 2 and 40k against Nicola plus some interesting online stuff too. Hope to do a bit more.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Some more Winter War Finns.

As my last post intimated my uni work has been taken priority so hobby time has been limited. Plus both Nicola and I have been unwell (both are on the mend now though). Still I’vve managed to get a few bits done.

I’ve got some more Winter War Finns painted. I’ve made a list of everything I need from the scenario book I’m working to and I’m trying to get it all done before I start gaming. They are a mix of Euerka metal figures and Strelets plastics from the infantry and heavy weapons set. The wheeled gun is a Madsen 20mm cannon that was used in very limited numbers.

I also got some cheap Christmas decoration trees smarted up to add to the winter scenery collection.

Given the history of the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union various commentators have drawn comparison between that war and the ongoing situation in the Ukraine. Whilst I can see some similarities I think that the analogy is stretched a bit too much. Besides, there are already enough wars to study we don’t need any more, I hope that there is peace in Ukraine soon.

Right, it is getting late- time for whisky and a DVD….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Modern and near Future Russians.

As I’m sure that you have noticed I’ve been really getting into the Zona Alfa game recently and I had the idea of getting some of the Empress Miniatures modern Russians with gas mask heads to add to me collection. However, I wanted to practice the camo they’d be in first so I dug out these modern Russians from Elhiem to try.

The new digital flora pattern (as seen onthe little green men of Crimean infamy) took a lot of layers to get that mottled effect but was fairly quick to do in the end. Whilst I was at it I decided to paint up the Near Future Russians I had laying around in the same scheme. These are the companion/ opposition figures to the near future US figures I painted some time back.

I also , as they were lurking in the same box, got these modern Russian special forces figures finished off. Clad in a copy of multicam they are based on the operatives that have been present in Syria and again finish off stuff I have painted earlier. They add a selection of LMGs, sniper rifles and RPGs.

Elhiem has expanded the ranges of both the near future Russian anmd US forces- extra support weapons, snipers and leadera to expand upon the original assault rifles and LMGs I’ll be interested to get them as these new figures are digital sculpted, printed in resin then cast in metal as opposed to the original figures being sculpted in the traditional manner in putty. Comparing the two styles will be a pointer to the future of the industry as 3d design processes will become more and more common.

I have thought about getting a full platoon of the modern Russians in the digital flora camo but the current tension in the Ukraine makes this less appealing somehow (here is hoping it doesn’t develop into a major shooting match). I’ll have to think on….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Some 40k odds and sods.

As I had the lightbox set up I thought I’d take a few pictures…

First up is some of the old 90s Necxromunda Orlock figures.

I also painted up a box of the objectives that came out around the launch of 9th ed.

I do like bits like this as they can act as inspirastion for a scenario… tempted to make an Imperial archeological dig for them like when the Necrons were first introduced to 40k, also back in the 90s.

Cheers,

Pete.

My new lightbox.

As a few of you have requested I’m posting up some pictures of the lightbox that I got for xmas. Apologies for the delay been preoccupied with writting up a terrorism based game for uni.

The lightbox is a lightweight flexible plastic three sided box with two strips of LEDs running across the top. I’m assuming that the semi circular cut in the lid is to take top down photos.

It came with a selection of coloured backdrops but I prefer the stone texture ones I printed out.

Here is a pair of comparison pictures of a Stalker for Zone Alfa that you’ve seen before.

Here it is already to use.

Sadly this has happened in my old home town:

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/sadness-one-best-stores-huddersfield-22613909

This means that, other than a GW store there is now nowhere to get glue and paint in town.

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.

2021… that was the year that was and a look towards plans for 2022….

Firstly I like to apologise for not commenting on peoples’ blog over the fesative period. I’ve been away in Ashford with Nicola to see her family down there, consequently I was away from my PC so was just looking at things on my phone. It was a very nice and relaxing time. I caught up with some reading too which was good. I was surprised to find a MKIV tank in the town centre there as a memorial.

In all 2021 has been a bit of a mixed bag (something that I think can apply to almost everyone) health has been a bit low but uni has been going well, further more Nicola and I rescued a pair of cats that are wonderful company. With the opening up of things a little more here in the UK face to face gaming has made a welcome return, also I’ve started going back to the local club that is most enjoyable. A new Necromunda campaign did start up that I joined for a while but ultimately had to leave; a combination of poor health and the move of gaming nights to a weekend when I was usually busy meant I didn’t want to be unreliable so I decided it would be best to withdraw (I will do a post next week though on what I did do). I have been managing to get quite a bit of online gaming in too- whilst this has often been a live streamed table top game (covering many periods and scales) it has frequently included something a bit different. Having the oppertunity to play in varied role plays, committee games and matrix games has been great.

As for the coming year I’m still pretty much going to stick to the plan from November… I’m closing in on the last few bits of my Death Guard army for 40k, then it will be on to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Zona Alfa will feature more as I’m really enjoying that game- hopefully I’ll be able to get a campaign up and running. Not sure what to do about Necromunda… whether to rejoin in on the clubs next campaign or do something at home. Building a table for it could be good fun. My Winter War project has nearly been finished too, just got some bits to get and finish off then I’ll look to start getting that gamed. The rest of the stuff is bubbling along in the background.

With regards to board games, and here is the biggest overlap with my uni work, there are lots I’ve bought recently but not got to the table, including some print and play games I’ve got to make up. I’ve also got the itch to do some traditional RPG stuff. A few has been released recently, mainly Cyberpunk Red, that has triggered a wave of nostalgia, even though I have grave reservations about the whole format.

Finally, all that remains to do is thank you the reader for being with me for the past decade and more and wish all of you a Happy New Year and the very best for 2022.

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.

Zona Alfa: From the Shed to the table.

I tend to work better to a deadline so was more than happy to run a game of Zona Alfa for friends with a week’s notice, even though I still had nearly 30 models to paint in that time. Firstly I needed to finish off the various zone hostiles that I had collected, these are the various monster/ fauna that inhabit the zone and make life difficult for the players. I had a mix of zombies from Mantic, Copplestone and Pig Iron. All were painted in a similar muted palette and complement each other. The Mantic and Copplestone ones go well together as they look like the reanimated corpses of previous expiditions to the zone….

The horde of zombies.
Pig Iron Production zombies
Mantic zombies
Copplestone zombie troopers.

I also had a small selection of Reaper Bones models to represent the mutants, both large and standard size, that can also appear in the game. Nicola very kindly painted these three for me.

Reaper Bones used as mutants.

I also wanted to round out my collection of military types witha few more figures. I got some of the Under Fire Miniatures cold war camo suited Soviets and added Pig Iron Productions gas mask heads and backpacks to give them more of a STALKER vibe. Whilst the hardness of the metal that both companies used made drilling them tough on the fingers I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

The converted Under Fire miniatures Soviets.

For the game at the club I wrote a brief intro to the game (which I can post if people want) and made up four forces for the players to use: two military, one scientist and one bandit. After a quick run through of the rules they teams set off to revover the protyped weapon left cached by a previous expedition into the zone. I purposely ignored the Allies and Enemies rules for this game, mainly as it was a one off zero sum mission it would added more combat to get the players better used to the rules.

My Zona Alfa collection in it storage box.

Set in a level one zone I placed the two hot spots so that the players would be able to interact with at least one lot of zone hostiles each.

The game table, the objective was in the cached ammo crate, the skulls are hotspots. Most of the terrain was from my 3D printer.

In the end the Scientist and the Military player ended up trading shots and finding out how bloody the combat syestem can be whilst the Bandits crept forward clearining a hotspot and then cunningly used electric juice to speed forward to snatch the mission objective, after the Military team had dispatched the rats it had spawned the previous turn. The scientist cleared the hotspot closesst to them, again hiding a rat swarm before finding an anomily there and getting a rare artifact. At the point the Bandits were attracting a lot of attention so began to take a lot of fire as the other two teams attempted to snatch the weapon for themselves… at the expense of most of their team they did manage to get it off the table. However, I did point out to the players that in a campaign game they’d need to watch their casualties more and that finding a rare artifact could mean that whilst you don’t win the game the money it earns your team may be more beneficial in the long run.

The Bandits emerge from the edge of the woods.

The Military team pinned down behind the ruins.

The game went down really well and there are a couple more players who wish to try it so hopefully there will be enough interest to get a campaign going. I’m sure I did some of the rules wrong but it has been a long time since I ran the game, pre COVID19 infact. As always I enjoy running the game and seeing how the players interact as much as I do playing.

Cheers,

Pete.