04 February 2016

USMC Pacific Theatre

This is about half of the troops needed for my Chain of Command USMC platoon for a Guadalcanal campaign. Most of the troops are from Warmodelling, but I supplemented the support teams with troops from the PSC US Heavy Weapons Box.

Last year I put a lot of work in researching the WWII Pacific theatre (I knew absolutely nothing about this aside from reading Norman Mailer's Naked and the Dead many years ago as well as watching the The Pacific mini-series). My main goal was to put together a CoC Army List for the type D USMC organization. A Type E organization list already existed but this was quite different that what was used in the 1942-43.

I game WWII in 1/72, and in metals there is not a whole lot of choice aside from Eureka and Warmodelling. There are a 2-3 other companies who make metal figures but they all looked like grunting chimpanzees to me. I had bought a couple of boxes of Waterloo 1812 plastic figures, and they were quite nice but I really am not keen to use soft plastic. Lovely slender sculpts though and they have figures for both the USMC and the Japanese. I can recommend them if you want plastics.

I had used Warmodelling for my Winter War Finns, they are nice sculpts but the casting was quite poor. I had been assured that when Battlemodels took over that the all casts were going to be re-done. Unfortunately they were not and the models suffer from the same problem with especially poor faces and a lot of flash that is almost impossible to remove.

Anyway, I went ahead and painted them up and they look OK. I am still missing 1 rifle, BAR and raider squads and these are on the way from Eureka Miniatures. These are much nicer figures, my Japanese Platoon which is next up on the painting table is made up of both Eureka and Warmodelling, the Eureka Japanese are quite nice and I am sure that their USMC figures will be equal in quality.

Each group is described in the captions and I did enjoy putting together the force.

Rifle Squad: 8 men and JL, 1 BAR
Ditto, the men were equipped with the M1903 rifle
M2, 50 cal HMG with armour penetration ability
M1917, 30 cal MMG with 5 man team
2 man Bazooka team
M1919 30 cal LMG with 3 crew 
2 man Flamethrower team
Forward Observer for Heavy Mortar
5 man 60mm Mortar team
For those who are interested here is the list I developed for CoC, it has got big Rich's stamp of approval. You can download a pdf here and read about it's development here.

Now on to some Japanese.

31 January 2016

Closing the Gap: Bridge over the River Dives

We played our 4th game yesterday in our Crossroads: Closing the Gap campaign at Mike's House in Rhode Island.  It was a very pleasant drive and Mike's wife laid out a fantastic lunch of oxtail sliders and some French onion soup. Really a great day out aside from the fact that my tactical abilities (I am  not sure if I actually ever had any ability) abandoned me completely. Anyway on to the game.
This was the last scenario in Stage 1 of the campaign. In stage 1 you move from scenario to scenario with the Canadians as the attacker. Their general instructions are to take the village. I had won 2 games and Mike one. This is played as scenario 6 from the rulebook: Attack on an Objective. In stage 2 of the campaign the Canadians are in the village and have to defend it against a counterattack from German paratroopers. Anyway I had 12 supports and Mike 6. I took a Sherman, a Vickers MMG team and 2" Mortar. Mike took a extra Panzerschrek, an adjutant and a sniper.
Looking from the Canadian entry point, the objective is the bridge on the far left.
Another view from the Canadian right flank with the bridge objective in the right farground.
Concentration of buildings on the Canadian end.
Patrol phase was a little unexpected with the Germans taking my left flank and me taking the centre.
Position of the JOP's which I felt favored the Canadians
A Brief Synopsis of the Battle: I started the game off well with multiple (I think 4 double or treble 6's. I initially laid down section 3 and the 2" Mortar team with the plan to lay down some smoke and advance my troops across the open field when I got my next double 6. Mike put his squad 3 down on the objective. I then plopped down the HMG team and Section 2 to protect my left flank as well as putting down the Sherman and Section 1, both to advance to the objective. Mike had placed his squad 2 where the Panzerschreck marker is and had advanced into cover. So good so far but then I made my first blunder by advancing the Sherman up the middle road rather than the road on my right flank. I thought I was protected by the smoke, but I missed that Mike could lay down a Panzerschrek on my left flank. Despite an obscured view, he threw a 9 and had a hit, 13 d6 against 7, I believe he had +7 hits, up goes the JL and the tank and I end up taking -4 on my morale for the 2 tests. I think I then got rattled. I had been hesitant for reasons unknown to advance Section 1 and 3 towards the objective. I had also left the Vickers without a leader to remove shock. Despite initially causing significant casualties to the German squad 2 and taking out squad 3, the HMG team started to take casualties and unfortunately now I was completely bereft of 1's on my CD. Then I made blunder 2 and for some reason that escapes me, I decided to have section 2 with the SL exit the house where they safely were in cover. By then Mike had started to get double 6's and my dice had failed me. He laid down squad 1 who mowed down my section 2 including the JL and the SL, my morale dropped to 2. The game was over. Mike played a good defensive game putting down his troops when they were most needed. My tactics were poor and I forgot all about using overwatch and tactical markers, so I lost. But still a great game.
The Panzerschrek is a vicious weapon.
Well both my CO's as well as the men's opinion of my leadership has taken a plunge.  I did get 6 replacements though and I feel ready to take on the fresh unit of German Fallschirmjägers. On to scenario 5 of an excellent campaign.
Well we now switch to stage 2 of the campaign, I am looking forward to being the defender, my favoured position.

29 December 2015

A New Scale: 18mm AB Napoleonics

As many of you know, I have recently put up my 28mm Napoleonic collection for sale. I had put a lot of work into the collection over the last 10 years, but three issues kept on coming up.....storage, transportability and playability. After a lot of thought and some preliminary feelers, I put all but my Anglo-Portuguese and the Brunswickers up for sale. It has been pretty successful, with just 14 units of French Infantry left to go, and I have made enough to replace the 28 mm armies with three Divisions each of French and Anglo-Portuguese as well as a Spanish brigade with money to spare. This includes several cavalry units as well as artillery and command. The new army will be all AB miniatures, based on metal stands of 6 bases per unit and are presently being painted in southern Europe and Asia. I have already accumulated a dozen units and more are on the way. A proportion of the funds are also been directed at a secret project that I will reveal soon, but the madness of a wargamer with funds to blow, knows no bounds.

I am not a slouch though, so I have decided to paint up several bases of artillery which I hope to complete by the end of the challenge. To get some practice, I have over the last couple of weeks painted up a British unit that I present here.

I must say that the 18mm figures are quite challenging to paint and I am happy that I have just a few to do. I am still looking for a flag vendor, the Flagdude has unfortunately become unresponsive again, but I will remain hopeful as really he has the best flags.

I plan to have a New Year post to discuss my 18mm OB, as well as to display the units I have already acquired.

28 December 2015

The Tong

Over the last 9 months, I really have done little painting, but it is this time of year that heralds the Analogue Hobbies Annual Painting Challenge. Time now to wash the brushes and paint some figures.
My first submission is some figures I had left over from last year's challenge; The Inscrutable Tong and his gang. These figures are from Westwind Productions and like the whole Empire of the Dead line are quite impressive. I really enjoyed painting them.

24 November 2015

More French for Sale: Cavalry and Artillery

My sell off has been pretty successful and all that is left are half of the French. Most of the first rate infantry is gone, what is left is some plastic Victrix and Perry as well as one regiment of Foundry legere. More about these later.

What I would like to sell now is the remaining 5 units of cavalry and one remaining battery of artillery. The cavalry are quite nice and I believe painted to a fairly well war-games standard. The artillery are some nice cannon but I believe the figures are Bicorne, a particularly nasty brand and thus are going for a song.

If someone comes along and buys all six units then 10% off and free shipping. Otherwise paypal only and shipping by USPS Priority Post. Shipping will vary from 6-12$ depending on the box size.

All on 40x45mm Litko bases. $8-9 per figure.

 4 unit battery of 3 cannon and 1 howitzer
10 line lancers by Foundry, somewhat early painting so priced accordingly.
14 Guard Chasseurs and Mameluks by Foundry, nicely painted
8 Plastic Dragoons from Perry, well painted.
8 Plastic Carabiniers from Perry, well painted.
12 Plastic Cuirassiers from Perry, well painted.

These are very well priced, the cost for all 6 units is $450 with Free Shipping.