18 January 2017

This Very Ground: A FIW Game

I had a very nice game last night in Montreal at Iannick's. It was a bit of spur of the moment, as I was up to see the Habs play the Penguins tonight at the Bell Centre. As an aside, I believe that my attendance of games at the Bell Centre may be a bad omen for the Canadiens, as they have lost the last 5 games I have attended. The last victory I personally attended was against the Bruins in the 2015 playoffs. But enough of negative thinking let's get back to wargaming.

We have played a number of FIW games over the last several years, most recently with Sharp Practice 2 and Muskets and Tomahawks. I have not had a really chance to explore SP2 yet, I did referee a game last summer but have never played myself. I suspect that this will be corrected soon as Mike is quite keen to get some games in. I like Muskets and Tomahawks in general but I do not like the melee function, it just makes no sense to me. We had played several games 3-4 years ago with the This Very Ground ruleset from Iron Ivan games, but they got passed by as we were testing M&T. 

I found last night that it is quite a nice ruleset, we picked up the rules quite easily and had a very easy game after the first couple of turns without hardily any reference to the book. Movement, Firing and Melee were all quite simple and utilize d10's which is nice. There is a Morale system and order of play in each turn is decided by an Initiative Roll that does add some friction. There is an excellent review of the ruleset on Anatoli's Game Room, I have to say this blog is an excellent source of reviews.

Anyway on to the game. The rulebook has several scenarios, I have forgotten the name of the scenario we played, but essentially  Rangers had to stop a band of Indians from escaping off the table after they attacked a small colonial outpost. There were three 5 man units of Rangers with an Officer against four 5 man units of Indians with a Warleader. The Indians started on one end of a 6x4' table while the Rangers were at the other end. The victory conditions were a little fuzzy but essentially the Rangers had to kill as many Indians as possible including the Warleader. I played the Rangers and Iannick took the Indians. The game follows in photos.

Iannick's Indians moving out from the settlement. You can just see the Indian Warleader in blue warpaint to the right in the photo. Of course Iannick is going to use sky blue whenever he gets a chance!
Very cautiously moving through the trees, there was lot of cover. They had to be careful as the Rangers were armed with rifles (25" range) while they were armed with muskets (15" range). Both were also armed with hatchets.

Dank's Rangers have climbed a hill in order to get a better LOS to fire at the enemy, you will notice my figures are quite shiny. I have not gone old school! When I got back from Montreal last summer, I noticed that I was getting some loss of paint so I decided to re-varnish all my FIW miniatures. I forgot I did this and only noticed that I had forgotten to apply matt varnish when I was packing up the figures Monday evening.
Gorham's Rangers with the Major Joseph Gorham.
They are getting close.

The Rangers get into some hard cover.
An inattentive Major Gorham focused on afar, misses that he is about to be attacked by 2 Indians. The Indians although weak in marksmanship are vicious in melee and he is all done. The Rangers are left leaderless.

Another band of Indians move into attack Dank's Rangers, but their courage fails 3 times to close to contact!

Gotham's Rangers move into position and with Dank's Rangers are able take out with volley fire 2 units of Indians on the Rangers right flanks, but what is happening on their left flank..................

Roger's Rangers have been driven back as they have exhausted their fire ability after multiple volleys. They have taken out 3 of the 10 Indians but it is not enough and the Indians with their Warleader move off the table as the Rangers yield. 
So it was a marginal victory to Iannick, I certainly killed many of the Indians and he had quite a number of rout markers while I had none but he did get 7-8 of his figures off the table as well as his Warleader. It was a fun game with a nice set of rules. Although I am keen to play FIW SP2, a significantly larger numbers of figures would be required. For less than 25 figures per side, this is an excellent ruleset and I can recommend it without reservation.

07 January 2017

6th Panzer Division Winter 1941-42

The last few weeks have been quite busy for me with Xmas, work etc etc and aside from a few games I have had very little time for painting. I have repainted and painted some armour for Stalingrad project to add to my Panzergrenadier force. I was quite keen to do some vehicles with Panzer Grey.

My vehicle selection is based on the support list from the Winterstorm campaign from TFL written for Chain of Command. More German vehicles for mid-war were added to the arsenal in the most recent TFL Xmas Special. They are all 1/72 Plastic Soldier Company aside from the StuG which is Armourfast.

I went with vehicle markings for the 6th Panzer Division of the Wehrmacht. This unit fought through the war mostly on the Eastern Front, and was heavily involved in Kursk and the attempt to lift the siege on Stalingrad.

The vehicles were airbrushed with VMC Panzer Grey and then highlighted with a second airbrush of 2/3 Panzer Grey with white. The details were painted after some stowage was added. I then painted them with Army Painter and the decals were applied. To seal the decals I added another coat of Army Painter then added the dirt and rust effects and finally sprayed them with matt varnish. I thought about doing some snow effects but decided against it as it limits their utility. I will sprinkle some snow on at game time.
Traveling through the forest

Sd.Kfz. 250/9 List 4

Marder III (Sd.Kfz. 139) List 6

StuG III Ausf.G (Sd.Kfz 142/1) List 8

Pz III Ausf. J (Sd.Kfz.141) List 5

Pz IV Ausf. F2 (Sd.Kfz. 161) List 7
I am quite pleased how they came out and they are a nice addition to my force. I am hoping no-one will be too offended (I suspect some will but that was not my intention for sure) by the swastika aerial identification flags but they certainly add to the model. 

2016 in Review

I have really enjoyed reading all the review posts on your blogs. 

It was really an enormous year for me in respect to the fact that I got rid of all my 28mm Napoleonics and successfully acquired a replacement 18 mm AB miniatures for an Allied and French Army. I have 3 divisions for each as well as a Spanish Division. I got in quite a lot of campaigning with CoC finishing off the Falaise Gap campaign and getting the Operation  Martlet campaign started. It says a lot for gamers in that my opponent for CoC lives in the state of Rhode Island but despite that, we have both been able to commute between the Massachusetts and RI to keep these campaigns going. Thank you Mike, you are a great gamer and a real gentleman. I suspect we will have more CoC gaming and I know Mike is just chomping at the bit to start a Sharpe Practice 2 campaign.

I also got in quite a lot of SAGA, especially in the second half of the year. This is really a great game and a lot of fun to play. I have been playing SAGA plus some other games with another great gamer Adam, with whom I have a fairly regular Thursday evening session. Another real gentlemen and there is nothing that he does not know about gaming in general. I sometimes wonder if he is acquainted with every ruleset known to man!

Gaming in Montreal has unfortunately slowed down although I must of spend at least 2 months there in 2016. We did get some gaming in July which was a lot of fun. Unfortunately many of my trips back and forth are during the week rather than the weekend which makes it a little difficult to set up games. But I am sure myself and Iannick will get together in the near future. I bought a portable gaming system (table and mat) from the Czech Republic a couple of months ago, I am hoping to convince my kids to take it up in their car when they return home to Montreal tomorrow. This will hopefully increase the options for gaming.

My biggest disappointment for the year was the failure of the Napoleonic variant of CoC to get off the ground. I invested quite a lot of time in this ruleset and although it needed a little work, I thought it was a great set of rules with excellent mechanisms of movement, firing and combat. It did need more work on Command and Control, I felt it was quite close but it appears the designer has chosen to pack it in.

Plans for 2017

I am sure I will continue more CoC gaming and hope to get some both some Winter and Jungle terrain gaming in. I have very nice Finnish, Soviet and German forces for the winter and I have commissioned an American force which I hope to see in the next couple of months. I also have a nice Japanese force and pretty well have completed a USMC force for the jungle. If I get the opportunity, I plan to start an Australian force to add to this WWII theatre.

Next up, is to become acquainted with Sharp Practice 2 ruleset, and maybe start a campaign. I have French and British Napoleonic forces in 28 mm all set to go as well as a pretty comprehensive British force for the French Indian Wars.

I am looking forward to David Brown's new ruleset for Napoleonics that should be out soon, I am just hoping that it has a good command and control core with simple mechanisms, this would make up for my disappointment with GBCoC. If I was a conspiracy theorist I think I might believe that the demise of GBCoC and this new Napoleonic set from TFL publishing was some how linked. I am also hoping to have a look at his ACW set that was just published, Pickett's Charge.

I would like to start another campaign for Thursday evenings, hint hint Adam! We had a great ACW campaign with Longstreet and a even better Dark Ages campaign with Dux Britaniarum.

And I suppose I should stop waxing poetic and go paint some figures for the Analogue Hobbies Challenge! I do have some figures partially painted but having great difficulty getting to the painting table.