I’ve just finished some quick hedges for my 20mm scenery collection. They were very quick to do, a mixture of metal fence sections of unknown provenenance as well as some K&M Trees hedge sections and plenty of sponge clumps. They were mounted on toungue depressors/ craft sticks.
I couldn’t help but add a surprise in one section though: a flame fougasse. Basically it is an oil drum filled with fuel which is blasted across the road as a huge one shot flame thrower. Britain ‘seeded’ many roads with them in the summer of 1940 in anticipation of a German invasion. More details can be found here. For reference the oil drum was an Under Fire Minatures casting.
Watch for its apperance in and up coming scenario ;).
One of my favourite war films is the 1970s classic, if rather violent and cynical, Cross of Iron. Directed by Sam Peckinpah and based on an earlier novel it features the escapades of the vertran Stiener and his platoon. Worth watching if you haven’t seen it.
Figures Armour and Artillery offer a pack of five figures in 20mm size based on characters from the platoon and I’m pleased I’m finally able to add them to my collection.
Just need to write up some skirmish scenarios for them now. Films have often inspired my skirmish games, as I’m sure it has for many of you. What has been the favourite you’ve done?
My home town of Huddersfield has a fairly big gaming scene. It recently got bigger with the arrival of Powder Monkey Gaming located just outside the town centre it is within a short walk of mine. There are loads of great tables set up for Sci Fi, fantasy, and historical gaming as well as a growing selection of games, figures and paint.
I’ve been for a few games there already, it is a pleasure to play on their terrain.
It is great to see a game shop so close and with the increasingly popular tornaments and events there I only hope that they grow from strength to strength.
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 variouscommentators 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….
I decided to get the remainder of my (newer) Polish Home Army figures finished so I wouldn’t have them sat about half done. The majority of the second batch are the excellent TDQ figures available from CP Models. A few Blitz figures, Sgt’s Mess casualties and some Ceasar plastics round out the force.
Now they are done and boxed away and can await me writing up some scenarios for them.
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.
*I’ve got the part to repair it I’ve just not had the time to do it yet.
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.
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.
One of my 20mm projects was to do a platoon of late war Brits. To be a bit different I’ve gone for a platoon’s worth of figures in the Windproof 2 piece camo suit (mostly beccause my gaming friends have standard Brits….)
I’ve just finished up a test section of figures to get my colours down.