From the Shed: Late War Brits.

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.

The figures are all from AB bought here.

Right now I’ve got those done I can work on getting the full lot done.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: More Finns.

I got the 2nd half of my WinterWar Finnish Platoon painted.

They have a pretty undergunned platoon compared to a lot of comparable WW2 countries organisations: only 2 LMGs and 2 SMGs with the balance being rifles. Still what the Finns lacked in firepower and equipment they made up for with tactical nounce.

The miniatures are all from 1/72 Scale Miniatures and are lovely characterful sculpts.

I also got a copy of the Skirmish Campaigns book on the Winter War.

I’ve gone through the book and worked out what else I need to get hold of to finish the project off… not that much really. I’ll look forward to playing the games using the old Arc of Fire system. Some bits are a bit clunky and their isn’t enough focus on the role of NCOs but it is still one of the better WW2 rulesets out there imo.

Next job for this project is to paint what Russains I do have as opposition and then to start playing some games.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: German bases for Crossfire/ Megablitz.

Crossfire uses a base of troops to represent a squad (usually 3 figures) and Megablitz uses 2 on a 40mm base to represent a battalion. I thought I would base for Megablitz but then convert the Crossfire rules to use 40mm base widths rather than the imperial size suggested. As long as I adjust the artillery template in game I should be fine. The good thing about Crossfire, or at least its USP is it has no ranges and no fixed turns. I did these as a bit of a tester for my idea.

The single figures are platoon commanders for Crossfire.

Megablitz is a great but underrated system, had one game of it. Feels like playing a freeform board game in a way as it is concerned with high level battles. Each player usually commands a division so you can play some of the major actions of WW2 rather than just slices of them.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Winter War Finns.

The first batch for my Winter War project has been finished (no pun intended).

after the Soviet invasion in 1939 the Finns fought a desperate rearguard action against massive odds and did inflict some quite severe reverses on the Soviets… ultimately the Soviets proved to numerous and too implacable, resulting in a negotiated peace that saw the Finns lose some territory.

On to the figures though. These are a mix of the old Wargames Foundry 20mms and the more recent Euerka miniatures from Australia. The former are a nice but limited in poses. The Euerka stuff covers a lot more ground so to speak, including a nice redition of the Finnish Lahti-Saloranta M/26 light machine gun but I would say, if I was being a bit nit picking that the gun barrels look a little fragile.

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: German Tobruk Bunker

Using a free sample stl file from Digital Taxidermy I’ve knocked out this little bunker.

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Based on a spare CD I’ve built up the sides with scraps of foam and sculptamold. Then followed with my usual basing techniques, textured, paint, static grass then finally tufts. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and will pick up more of the files in due course.

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Although none of my Grandparent’s generation are alive at the moment and none of them were Normandy veterans (variously Far East, India, North Africa then Italy and Arnhem) I can’t help but think of them all today, the 76th anniversary of D Day, they were the greatest generation. My affinity with the campaign is perhaps strengthened by the road trip I took there with my father a few years back.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

3D printer- my initial foray.

As previously mentioned I recieved a 3D printer for xmas and the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing around with it. I have also been looking on various website for as many interesting looking free files that I could find to try out.

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Assembly was a breeze with only one recalictrant cable proving to be difficult so I quickly printed off the test file to see how it turned out. I was rather pleased with the results. Fast and not too noisy (the cat is happy to sleep through it running)- generates a lot of heat though.

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The next day was, however, less succesful due to what is best described as user generated errors. I tried printing out a different figure but that one failed when a support gave way.

 

I decided to get some simpler terrain bits printed, that is after all what I primarily want to use it for. I found some rather nice manhole covers/ sewer entrances so printed off a set of 6 for myself.

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Given how pleased I was with these I tried my hand at rescalling some vehicles and printing them out. I found a 1:100 set of experimental/ prototype WW2 German designs and selected the smallest and resized it to 1:72. The first time I printed it I didn’t reorientate it so whilst one side printed out very nicely the other didn’t do well at all.

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I asked about and it seems that the correct way to go is tracks down so I tried again. Much better this time, but when it cam to cleaning off the suppors I fear I may have lost some detail.

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On person did suggest printing AFVs with them stood on their rear hull, I’m not really convinced but in the interests of experimentation I’ll give it a go.

 

I also resized some 1:200 WW1 tanks to 1:100 to use with the Great War board game I enjoy. It is a rather chunky print but once cleaned up I rather like it.

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That is where I have got to so far. I want to try some more scenery before I go into full production to make myself a Necromunda set up.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Megagame Report: Hold the Line, Poland 1939.

Due to illness I had managed to miss two games in a row that I was due to attend… I was really hoping it wasn’t going to be three in a row as the next one on my calendar was Paul Howarth’s Hold the Line ’39. Based on the invasion of Poland that kickstarted the war in Europe, it was to be played using the block based rules set that he had developed last year for Czech mate ’38 (see previous blog post). For a bit of a change I decided to sign myself up as a tactical player at the map. Usually I prefer command roles in these types of games but I fancied a change.

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As a lowly German player I was assigned my sector and given my order: advance through the mountains from the south then sweep round the back of Warsaw to apply pressure on the capital. This was to be the diversionary attack with the main effort coming in from the west to trap and defeat the majority of the Polish forces whilst a push down from East Prussia would take the capital. At least that was the plan that the high command team had come up with. They had also opted for a longer build up and mobilization. This gave us more units and resources to start with but gave away our intentions to the Polish players: quite what bonus that gave them we were unsure. Still, for once, such decisions were above my pay grade.

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The setting for the game was once again the wonderful, and fitting, Encliffe Hall in Sheffield. Paul had done a great job with the blocks and maps, shame our deployment onto the maps was a bit hamfisted… due to the Poles taking too long then some of the blocks being ‘tidied’- as such my deployment ended up being suboptimal with ramifications for the rest of the game.

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As you can imagine it was slow work trying to force the mountain passes. Whilst they were lightly defended it did take much for the combat modifiers to stack against me, also my mountain troops weren’t where they should be due to the botched deployment.

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The game system is now fully mature and was very nice to play. Given I was on a side map I didn’t see much of the rest of the game other than watching the growing amount of blocks being committed in the centre, that and the shouts of either joy or despair coming from the other side of the ballroom where the attack from East Prussia was going in.

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By the end of the game the Germans had managed to get units into the capital of Warsaw; but with much heavier casualties and in a longer time span than what the Germans achieved in 1939. Nice to be rolling dice at the table for a change but on balance I prefer the command roles. As such I request one for when the next version of the game system is rolled out next year for the invasion of France.

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I did take Nicola along as an observer- she was really interested in the idea but felt she lacked enough game experience to take part. I explained that the higher command roles are more about decision making rather than game rules; she seemed more taken with that. Hopefully I’ll persuade her to take part in the France game.

Thanks to Paul for putting the game on, and extra thanks as always to the control team who helped out.

Cheers,

Pete.