Sunday 31 December 2017

Roman Update

           The Roman count has now reached 4 cohorts, and this batch are ready to go off to their new home

                                                         Cohort number 4- Foundry figures -

Thursday 28 December 2017

Not mine, but nice

 These rather fabulous Warlord Dacians have appeared on my painting table. First off, I didn't paint them. They are the work of those clever folk from Reinforcements By Post run by that nice man Neil Kenneally in Bangladesh. They did all the excellent paintwork and they have just come to me in order to be based up so they match the Romans. Enjoy; lovely painting, my usual crappy photos don't even begin to do them justice.

 Fairly mad poses from these, I based them with a mixture of 2 and 3 figures to a 40mm x 40mm base. Some figures were difficult to get 3 on a base, 4 was absolutely impossible. Nonetheless, I think they work just fine as they are.
                Sheilds are transfers from Warlord/littleBig man Studios- they make so much difference.
 Done a great job on the flesh, just as well, there are a lot of bare chested fellows on show, and their little tartan trousers are terrific- Rupert The Bear would happily wear them!
 I think these are basically just the Gallic Warriors set with some different heads plus some of the Dacian nobles set. No Falxmen in this lot.

Monday 18 December 2017

Something a little different....The first of the Romans

One on-going project I have at the moment (and one which is going to go on for quite a long time!), is painting up a lot of Warlord Early Imperial Romans. Not for me, I might add, but fun nonetheless. Here are the first 2 cohorts- eventually I'll have a couple of Legions worth + all the Auxilia to do. So, quite a bit.
I'm not doing this alone, thank God, but as part of a team of painters in order to accomplish this massive task.

I've always wanted to do an Early Imperial army, but have never actually got round to it, one of those situations common to just about every wargamer, we all have "those projects" I guess, so having the opportunity to paint one for someone else will hopefully get it out of my system.
Early Imperials have always been the "classic" Romans for me, Square Scutem, Lorica Segmentata, I suspect my like of them goes back to a bunch of Timpo figures I had when I was a youngster.
The Warlord figures have been around for while, go together fairly easily, choices of sword-arm or pilum, a few different head choices. The ones in the pictures are a mixture of the basic set and the set sold as "veterans" - these give you a few extra choices - different heads and helmets, and battered shields. All the veterans have the additional magnia sword- arm armour a few legionaires adopted for the Dacian wars. Fortunately these are indeed for the Dacian campaigns so they will fit right in.
                       There are a few extra metal command figures mixed in- manufacturer unknown.
Anyway, I'm enjoying doing these, which is probably just as well, seeing as there are a few to paint! It makes for a good diversion from the WWII projects which I'm also doing for myself.
        So thats a few Romans, Next up, I'll be showing some rather lovely Dacian tribesmen to oppose them

Friday 15 December 2017

Reasons why this Chain of Command malarky must be pretty good

If you are reading this then you might have noticed that I have started to re-invigorate this erstwhile dormant blog, one of the main reasons for this has been my (rather late) discovery of these rules. A set of rules that has managed to achieve that after a seven year lay off is in itself no mean feat given my natural indolence.
Last night is a good micro example of why for me Chain of Command is a great set of rules and lives up to its recent accolade from WI of "Best game of 2017"; for me, that is literally so.
We had a game planned at the CLWS, just a vague pick up game of "medium" CoC, 2 German infantry platoons versus 1 BEF and 1 French infantry Platoon. Nothing special, but even as a simple game it was extremely tense, tough on both sides, and with neither  really having any great advantage until the very end.
We plumped for a Delaying Action scenario, with the Allies deploying in a small village protected by a small wooded rise to the south of it, with an open flank to the west and the eastern side protected by walls and hedges
The view from the southern German approach
The forces were a slightly weird mix, 1 full strength early war German outfit, plus 1 German platoon with only 3 sections rather than 4. This meant the Germans were giving away a total of +3 support points.
The Allies had a full strength BEF platoon, on a minus 5 support points, plus a weakened (2 section) French platoon at minus 3 points. The net result was a massive 11 support point adjustment for the Allies.
Then the fun begins: Will, for the Germans rolls a 3 (three....) for the German side. So the net result was indeed 3 support points for the German and 12 for the defending Allies....ewwwww.
It actually turned out, in my opinion, to make for a really good game. What on earth could we take with our puny 3 points? We were sure to be up against armour of some sort...A flamethrower? decent choice but we'd be attacking so it would be tricky to use in an ambush ATR plus perhaps a satchel charge? ...In the end we opted for 3 satchel charges, in order to spread some sort of AT ability around.
The only problem with 2 on 2 games of CoC is that they inevitably turn into 2 x 1 on 1 games, and this was no exception, doesn't really matter, and still worked out ok for us. However, it does mean that my knowledge of what went on on my right flank is a bit sketchy as I had my hands full to my front trying to winkle out the BEF from a collection of buildings. To be honest, I found it sort of added to the experience and emphasised how this truly is a platoon commanders game. Yes, bits of news and sounds of fighting filtered through to me, but generally I was concerned with doing my own job and not worrying too much about someone elses.
The plan was fairly simple, I was to fix the defenders by approaching and occupying the wooded rise while Will with the 3 section platoon swung right and went for the nearest (French) JOP which was tantalisingly close to our right flank.

Early deployment: 1st section gets into defilade south of the village
And so it begun, this was going to be quite tough. The buildings facing south (me) had a decent field of fire, and the defenders in the upper storeys would be able to pop away from hard cover as soon as I crested the little rise, so I wasn't in too much of a hurry, I thought I'd get a couple of sections on, go tactical and advance up the rise, which is indeed what I did....meanwhile from my right I could hear a lot of firing (and quite a lot of swearing) from Will. I don't think things were going to well over there.

About to crest the riseA few British had indeed deployed into the buildings to my front as I readied to "go over the top", off we went. I was indeed met by a hail of rifle and Bren fire, plus (horror) a Vickers gun opened up from one of the rear buildings on my right hand section. I took the odd casualty, and bit of shock, nothing too terrible, but I kept rolling 1's for my movement. I was going nowhere fast, taking a steady dribble of hits, and, by staying tactical, not putting any fire back on the enemy (Dave). Not good.
I dropped a couple of totally ineffective mortar rounds on the Vickers, came out of tactical with 1 section and traded fire with the section in the house but this simply wasn't working.
Most of the British fire was on my right hand section, the left hand one was safe from the murderous Vickers by virtue of a building blocking his LOS. What to do?
Sod it.
Pull back, rally up. Do it properly.
Meanwhile on the right things were not going well. 1 German section had been almost eliminated and some French armour had showed up. Questions such as "How do these satchel charges work?" were being asked. I hadn't inflicted any damage at all on the British and had 3 men dead for my trouble,Oh, and my mortar rolled a double 1....out of ammo. So I pulled back down the little rise.
Meanwhile, a Bren carrier had appeared on my left flank, and was trundling up the road to come and cause trouble.
A couple of rather indecisive phases passed, I ended up deploying all of my force now behind the riseand had racked up 3 CoC dice...there were some 40 odd German infantry milling about there, Jerry and  Dave were rightly bemoaning the fact they hadn't taken a mortar in their support!
All the while the Bren carrier advanced, I'd pulled 2 of my sections to the left of the rise, which would allow them to get over it out of sight of the Vickers which would be blocked by the occupied house in front of them, but, the Bren carrier would also spot them. A third section moved tactically to the left to distract the carrier.
Then suddenly I had a brainwave..Smoke! doh! why hadn't I used this?
My senior leader expertly lobbed a smoke grenade to cover my left flank and the 2 sections on the rise tactically moved over, steeling themselves from the fire about to come their way from the occupied house to their front.

                         About to go over a second time. Bren carrier threatens.Where's that smoke genade?
Over I went. British turn.He opened up at close range with a Bren and a couple of rifles, and....I got away with it...He only managed to hit 1 rifleman and inflict a couple of points of shock.
Then my turn: A double 6 plus a 4 and a couple of 3's..perfect! I returned the British fire with some 25 fire dice, got 17 hits, killed 3 or 4 British and inflicted a similar amount of shock, he was wobbly but not quite pinned, I also continued moving my left flank section up to distract the carrier. With my second turn from the double six I fired again...hitting the BEF section with another 25 dice...too much for him- the entire section was wiped out including the corporal. Much better.
A loud bang and and a shout went up from my right flank. The lone surviving rifleman from Will's section had got forward, flanked the Souma and detonated his satchel charge! Things were looking up. I despatched my 4th section round to reinforce the right now that Will was making headway.
Then the British turn, he rolled 3 sixes so the turn smoke evaporated....Gulp...The bren carrier and a section in the rear house started peppering my left hand section, The Bren carrier continued forward firing.. I took a couple of hits and several shock, I needed to get forward. In my phase the sergeant readied another smoke grenade and promptly rolled double 1! dropping it at his feet and enveloping himself in smoke. Nothing for it, The platoon sergeant ordered forward a rifleman with my only satchel charge, he ran to the Bren carrier, planted the charge and retired to safety. It was even the right figure to do it, he had a gold close assault badge on his little plastic arm! The charge went off and did absolutely nothing, didn't even scratch the carrier.
I pushed forward with the left hand section despite taking fire from the carrier, I didn't really know what to do to be honest, but at that point the  game was won on the right, the last French section broke, the German force  morale was hanging on by a thread (Will was down to FM 1!)but in the ensuing tests I used a CoC dice or 2 and survived and the British morale gave way. I ended on FM 7

It was a thoroughly enjoyable game, so thanks to Will, Dave and Jerry for a good evening. I don't think I've managed to convey much of the tension that was in this game. The lack of support options for the Germans meant they had to do it the hard way. I don't think it would have been as much fun if the Germans had brought along a Stug or 2. I took 12 casualties but if this had been a campaign my losses wouldn't have been too bad after adjustment.
Thinking about it, if we had been playing a game of say, Spearhead, or Command Decision, this entire game would have been about 3 or 4 die rolls between 4 stands.....
So, it looks like I'm sold on Chain of Command.
(Apologies for the lack of photos for this game, but I was having too much fun to remember to take many)

Thursday 30 November 2017

Warlord Blitzkrieg infantry

                                             Warlord Pioneers romping through the bunny fur

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Warlord Germans...I had no idea....

Warlord infantry section

After years of slagging off 28mm WWII figures a combination of circumstances have led me to dip my toe in the water. To put it simply, I was pleasantly surprised, a lot of the figures I'd seen have been the late war, overly "heroic" (read: Fugly) style, which remain pretty horrible. Then I discovered these early war Warlord plastics, much different, presumably a different designer, nicely proportioned, and as with so many plastics these days, really cleverly designed in terms of pose compatibility within the sprues. I enjoyed putting together the plastics, took me back to the old Airfix multi-pose kits (remember them?)  they fit together well, and have some cracking pose combinations.
Then the painting, great fun...a lot more to work with obviously than 20mm, and the overall design lends it to gaining a decent result with only moderate skill with modern paints and techniques.
These I did with Vallejo block painting, then slopping GW Nuln oil all over, then a 2 layer highlight, before doing the flesh last (Vallejo sunny skin with a Lavado skin wash), my usual old lazy basing of PVA and sand +Army Painter Autumn tufts.
I'll talk about the Stugs a bit later.
All this is for Chain of Command, I've found a group in London who play these terrific rules, so this lot will get their first outing next week. However, I have far grander plans for this lot in the future. 
More to come! 

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Back? Well, I never actually went away.

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Blimey, been a long time since I looked at this, lots has happened, both in life and in wargaming.
Anyway, I will be re-visiting this blog. Maybe not as much as I did seven (7!!) years ago, but I feel now it would be fun to do a bit from time to time.
The main reason for not keeping this blog up was that I'd pretty much run out of puff, so, hopefully now I should be able to capitalise on having had a long break to come up with a few things that some folk might be interested in.

Nazis for Big COC currently on the workbench