26 June 2022

More 6mm Terrain and French AFV's

I am hoping soon to play some more "O" Group in 6mm, and while waiting for an EW Western Front Supplement to come out I thought I would have a go at some EW Western Front games from the TFL "O" Group Fall of France supplement.

I have lots of EW German AFV's but I thought I would add some French vehicles. Most of the vehicles, I found for free on Thingiverse so I decided to save some money and go with 3D prints on my cheap resin printer. It does not do a great job and cannon are quite a challenge but they do come out good enough for wargaming. I had a look through the supplement to see what I needed, I could not find everything but what  was found should be good enough to start working through the scenarios in the book.
There are:
2 Char Bis
2 Souma S35
3 Renault R35
4 Hotchkiss K39
3 Panhards
6 Laffly Trucks
2 Renault UE

I am happy with them and I am sure they will do good service on the table.

I also painted up a 2-3 BUA town base (I am using cm rather than inches) from Commission-Figurines. Nice how it came out but screwed up the assembly on one of the houses, but a very nice pdf model.

23 June 2022

6mm terrain for WWII

I have been working industriously on some 6 mm terrain for "O" Group. Most of the stuff is bought but I did make the fields from some base material and some 3D printed hedges. Maybe some improvement with the fields but I am good with the rest.
The track is from Commission Figurines and the resin pieces are from Leven Miniatures. I can recommend both companies.

19 June 2022

Bag the Hun-Blenheims at Dawn

We recently played a WWII Airwar game over North Africa using Bag the Hun rules. we played it over 2 nights as we were a little rusty with the rules. This was the first time, I hosted a Bag the Hun game so I was a little slow, but things went generally well with no problems using Discord.

We had 2 squads each: I took the Italians and had 7 CR-32 biplanes while P-Y had 8 Blenheim Mk I bombers. The scenario was quite simple with the Blenheims approaching from the east to bomb a small air field in the North African desert. The CR-32 appoached from the northwest in attempt to take them down. The pilots were all Sprogs aside from 2 Regulars for the RAF and 1 Regular for the RA. I took a few more photos then usual and will give a brief outline of the action.

The CR32's in the foreground ready to attack the approaching bombers.
The RA yellow squad are quickly spotted.
The RA pilots had more difficulty spotting the bombers as they are coming out of the sun.
Yep...it is a bombing run!
Now if we could only get in position to take a shot, in Bag the Hun to take a shot the pilot has to be directly lined up with the target, although close in the above photo no planes are on the same grid row. 
The bonus cards really worked out for the RAF as they quickly moved pass the Italians.
Bombing run
The Blenheims moderately damage 2 hangers.
The white RA squad get on the tail of the lagging green RAF squad.
The Italians get some shots off and damage the lead bombers causing the fuel line leak and a fire.
But they just can not finish him off.
Meanwhile the RAF red squad make their turn back to home (Egypt) with the yellow Italian squad giving chase. It is going to be tricky as the bombers are almost twice as fast as the CR-32's.
P-Y pull off an amazing manoeuvre getting all his planes in position so the Air Gunners have targets .
Fortunately the Italians aeronautic skills help them to avoid any damage but they are quite trigger happy and the white squad is running very low on ammo and White 2 has a jammed gun so has to retreat. Yellow 4 tries to take his place to catch the lone bomber.
The yellow Italian squad breaks formation
Yellow 1 remains on the tail of Red 1 but just can not take him down
The CR-32's all out of formation try to manoeuvre into position to take out the isolated Blenheim. The other 7 bombers have made it off the table.
Lady Luck is against the Italians though, they get 3 planes in position to fire at the Blenheim , the deck is shuffled and can you believe the RAF move card comes up first! Although no planes are lost on either side, the RAF have a victory after a successful bombing run. 

I should note that the scenario was taken from a brochure The Falcon and the Gladiator by Chris Stoesen. He has put out 2 pamphlets on the easy Airwar over North Africa. They are jammed with a lot of detail and also an outline for playing a campaign. A campaign itself is not really included like a TFL Pint Sized Campaign for CoC, but certainly one could write one from the detail that is provided. In retrospect, I think the game might have been a little boring for P-Y as there was no fighter escort for the Bleinhams and bombers in themselves are quite limited in what they can do. Certainly I would like to play more North African scenarios using Bag the Hun, but I will have to add to my collection to make the games more interesting. Certainly, I have quite a pile of unpainted planes for this theatre.

01 June 2022

Some New Figures

Three or four years ago, I played a game of Flint and Feather at a local convention. It was a fun game but what struck me were the figures with which we played from a British Columbia company who put out both the game and the figures for it. The game is designed around pre-contact North American aboriginal peoples.

I finally ordered some figures a couple of months ago and although I have not painted any of the Native Peoples yet, I have painted a couple of their Spirit Creatures which I hope to use for Devil in the Wilderness ruleset. I also was looking for some more figures to use for civilians set in North America for Devil in the Wilderness, Muskets and Tomahawks as well Sharpe Practice. Devil in the Wilderness has 2 cards for giant Supernatural Creatures which will be used.

Spirit Creatures

The Naked Bear
I will use the Chemoo Card
Flying Head
I will use the Aglebemu Card
European Settlers set
These figures were entirely painted with the new AP Speed Paints, I was quite pleased.

I really enjoyed painting these figures and looking forward to getting to the Native Peoples. 

16 May 2022

Huzzah 2022-Chain of Command


Last Friday, I had a quick trip to Portland, ME for the annual convention put on by the The Maine Historical Wargamers Association. I could only go for a half day as I have been recently working around the clock. This was the first convention in 3 years so it was extended by a day with 3 days of wargaming rather then the usual two. 

I actually had signed up for 2 games, one Friday morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon game was cancelled, I would have liked to have played it as it was a WWII version of Epic. But the highlight, of course ,was going to be Dick Bryant's CoC game. I have played three times in Dick's games in the past and they are always characterised by excellent terrain and scenarios. This game was the best he has put on.

The scenario "Just Another Bridge" pitted a German Rifle Platoon against an Elite American Paratrooper Platoon. It was not immediately obvious that although the Americans were the attackers, the German defenders had to go on the attack to win the game. We had 4 players, 3 novice and myself, whom Dick had characterised by epitaph "Expert". I was one of the Germans and as it came to pass Expert does not mean Good!

I will not go into the game itself but Dick and his friend Richard put on an excellent game and my 3 fellow players were all great and picked up on the game quite quickly. So quickly, in fact that the novices easily won the game. Here are some photos.
Dick explaining to Bill and Jon the how to play the game.

Some American Paratroopers, they are protecting a squad of engineers whose task is to blow the bridge.

The Germans aggressively advancing with 2 squads to Handgranaten the Engineers. 

The American engineers were quite difficult to get LOS on.

Thanks to Bill and Jon who played the Americans and David who played with me for the Germans. 

08 May 2022

Escape; A Sharp Practice Scenario

One of my favourite characters in the Sharpe compendium is Colonel Simmerson, he is really an absolutely despicable character and a perfect foil for Sharpe.

Digging through the TFL magazines for another scenario to play, I found Escape. This was written by Kevin Major, and I suppose for copyright reasons he uses the name Major Silverside to represent the leader of the British force. Here we have a British Light Column trying to evade a French force. A British force running, a perfect opportunity I thought to bring Simmerson into a game. The forces used are listed below, I felt a little bad substituting Sgt Harper for Sgt Brisket but fiction is fiction.

The scenario writer suggests that you use a French Light Column for the British opponents abut I only have unmounted dragoons so I substituted the standard 1809 force. I have really enjoyed playing 28mm Napoleonics again and although I will paint some character figures for the games, I have no plans ever to paint cavalry again.

We played our game this past Thursday, as you can see the French force is a few less points than the Brits, we tossed some dice P-Y ended up playing the French and picked an extra Deployment Point as well as a Marksmen too make up his force. The French started with a FM of 11 while the Brits had 10.
Maybe I should be a little more thoughtful in setting up the terrain, a town was called for at the British entry point but putting up so many walls really makes it tough to move formed infantry about as you will see from below.

Terrain, the British enter from the left.
It was a little unclear where to place the deployment points so we place the British one on the road to the left and the French one on road in the foreground.
The game was characterised by an early appearance of the Tiffin chip almost every turn. There were no French chits in the first turn but they were placed in the bag in the second turn. Because of this the French got all their forces on the table before the British had half of their forces down. As you can see the 3 French forces are all in good position with the large British formation just entering the road. The British Rifles are advancing on their left flank with Harper leading the advance.
Simmerson manages to get 3 of his groups in one formation in line but you note he hangs back in a cowardly way with his 4th group to protect him. Unfortunately Lt Sharpe takes a wound early on and is reduced to Level I and loses 2 of his men. He realises that he needs to join up with Harper so makes his way around the house. Colonel Ducos is advancing toward their position with his evil lackey Sgt Challon. The honourable and brave Major Dubronet advances with 2 groups of formed infantry towards the British line. He appears to be undaunted by the fact that he is outnumbered 3:2 but he calls Pas de Charge!
He slams into the Brits, but the Brits are unloaded so 
in Fisticuffs, the Brits end up with no dice to the French 6d6.
The Brits are driven back, as they lose by 2. Their formation is broken and they have to take a lot of FM tests, they are still not broken though and if only Simmerson would move into contact they might yet be saved. But Simmerson being Simmerson hides behind the wall as you can see. He does manage to send his 4th group to support the Rifles on the wall.
The French Skirmishers move into position and rain fire on the Brits, one unit breaks and although the French formation is being pounded by the Rifles behind the wall, Ducos fails to fall. The British FM drops to 2 while the French still have a FM of 10. Game over.

Well another fun game, hopefully I will win one soon.

I will be off line for the next three weeks as I am working every day this week aside from Tuesday until we go on a 2 week vacation the week following. This Tuesday, however, we start playing the Fangs of The Wolf sub campaign in Eero's Winter of No Surrender magnificent Winter War opus. I can not even start to describe the complexity of this campaign. I am playing Colonel Sharov, the Soviet SL of a large force trapped on the road north of Suomussalmi in mid December of 1939.  Suffice to say I have a massive force of Soviets who are cold, hungry, poorly supplied and out of gas surrounded by the White Devils