Friday, 4 May 2018

Play Testing Normandy

Last Thursday a group of us got together to have a play with the soon to be released Ruleset Normandy, from the people that produces Skirmish Sangin. I really wished that I had brought my Camera with me as I did not realise that this was being openly discussed on their Forum, so only had my Cellphone with me and started taking photos too late.

My contribution was to bring some of my wrecked city terrain which I had bought as a job lot years ago and have not repainted yet. I also brought some trees and a German Hanomag. Ray brought loads of terrain and some beautiful painted German Grenadiers and British Paratroopers. Colin brought the rules and some buildings. Mike also joined in to make up the group as player. I was asked if I wanted to play the British or Germans so I chose the Brits which I was happy to take, as I recently found the urge to start buying them up. Colin was to run the game as umpire.

My task was to hold a line across the table which was just about halfway down the length. The Germans were to attack in two groups down each edge with a Half-track each with a squad, and some Command elements. I forget the exact make up as I didn't expect to be talking about the game.

The rules are a bit different to most games as there are no ranges to take into account other than for a pistol, so loads of terrain in very useful to have on the table. Each section is divided up into riflemen, LMG team, and command elements. Each team can have different ratings; Veteran, Average etc. Colin provided small card sized reference cards with unit stats and also some others with basic shooting/spotting stats which made very easy reference during the game.

 I had a section of British Paras which comprised of; Rifle Team, LMG Team, Junior NCO and a Senior NCO. I also had a Piat Team and two Vickers Armed Jeeps. Being made aware of how vulnerable the Jeeps were I tried to keep them hidden while the troops spread across the table using all the cover they could. I made them all Go Firm which I am told is a Military term that means that they will be taking as much cover as possible and only peeping out to spot and shoot.

Mike approached and was immediately attempting to spot my Jeep on my right flank, I responded by opening fire on his Rifle Section killing a couple of men, and causing a suppression marker on the team. Meanwhile Ray approached down the road in the middle with the Half Track trying to spot me. This was very hard as I was in a higher elevation as well as being in medium cover and Firm.

I don't really remember much as quite a few things happened so I will just mention some high points, or maybe that should be low points?  My Jeep on the Right flank decided that after being spotted he should move away so moved two activations back. However Ray chose to take the opportunity to snap fire with his Half Track. He chose to fire when the Jeep was crossing an open spot which I had not really considered an option. The Jeep was hit and destroyed. Ray did not need to spot as the Jeep was in the open. Ok I will remember that for next time. My Piat Team which was about centre of the line failed to spot the Halftrack, (were they blind?) My Rifle Team then took Turns to throw Grenades from their Hiding point at the Halftrack. The first hit suppressed it, the second destroyed it. The Piat Team then managed to spot an LMG team setting up in a building behind the Halttrack but had used up all their activation points so could not fire that turn. Meanwhile on the right flank Mike had Suppressed my LMG team and had managed to work his way up into the opposing building where I had trouble spotting him.

At this point Colin said it was time to pack up as the Hall would be closing up so each of us had one last team to activate. I chose my remaining Jeep which had been hidden all game and raced it up the street to shoot up some Germans hiding by the destroyed Halftrack. I don't remember doing much damage and the Jeep was destroyed in return Fire. If I had more time I would have given the Jeep some activation points from the Senior NCO and should have been able to run away after the firing.

All in all a fun game which did not take long to play. Having the reference cards really speeded things up. I also chose to put my status markers on my cards which tidied things up on the table which Colin quite liked.

As the saying goes, please excuse the crappy Cell-Phone pictures.

Rays Halftrack not mine.
Steady Lads
Cup of Tea chaps?
Here comes Mike
Should have stuck to drinking Tea

Friday, 27 April 2018

Scale Models Expo Wellington

I was invited by Scale Models Wellington (IPMS) to put on a Wargame Demo. This was via my Gaming mate Tyrone who is a member of the club. We decided to go with a Vietnam Game rather than the ANZAC theme we originally planned (as we had not painted enough for that).

I wanted to use my Convoy Vehicles as I had been playing around with a scenario in my head for about a year and have never used the vehicles. I decided to use Bolt Action as it should be simpler than Charlie don't Surf to pick up on the day as we had not done any play-testing.

I found some rule modifications on this Blog. Blenheim to Berlin

The idea was that a Convoy of Trucks escorted by a V100 and two Gun trucks were to cross a river. The result of the game depended on how many supply trucks were driven off the table verses how many the VC destroyed. There being two M34's and two low loading Trucks (Mack's).  The Convoy Commander rode in a Mutt. The VC were to set up no closer than 12" away from the US. The Convoy was moved 12"+1D6 when the first green dice was pulled out.

I first took the US and managed two moves to just exit the Bridge and all Hell let loose. The Convoy stalled with heavy losses. Round one to the VC. Seems that I had underestimated the fire power of the VC who had; three RPG stands, two MMG's, one mortar, one section of Infantry and a Commander. I also felt that I had made a mistake letting the VC set up so close. We had another round this time with Tyrone taking the US and coming from the other direction. Much the same thing happened with the VC just sitting and waiting for the Trucks to arrive and then had a Turkey shoot. Round two to the VC.

Saturday Night I had a rethink about the scenario and decided that I needed to bring more Fire Power for the US. So I brought out my ACAV's (which I had never used). I had also found my box of Huts and Civilians which I had forgotten that day. I also decided that the VC would set up no closer than 12" to the road. The extra buildings helped to make the terrain look a bit denser. The result for the US was better with them killing most of the VC, but the cost to them was still too high with the convoy stalling on the bridge again. At least this Time I managed to get all the Convoy on the table.

If I was going to run this again I would have the ACAV's run ahead of the Convoy and set up at both ends of the Bridge before the Convoy attempted to come on. I also think a larger table would have helped as the VC would have had to spread out more. We got quite a bit of attention from the Public, more than I would normally get at a Wargames event. Most people did not realise that we were having a Wargame and seemed more interested in how I made the trees. I also was worried about all the little children waving their arms over the table pointing at things but no damage was done other than by packing/unpacking items.

All I bought at the show was some 1/48th Tamiya Kits; Elefant, Achilles, 7ton Armoured Car and a rechargeable desk lamp.

I will post some photos of the display Models next time.  

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Bolt Action Dice Box

Today I put on a Demo game of Bolt Action on at the Local Scale Models Expo. The game is using an adaption of the rules for Vietnam which I found on a Blog. As there is still another day to go I will write the game up later.

What I wanted to talk about is I had an idea for a container to use for holding the Bolt Action Dice. I had been using an old plastic Toner container at home and thought I'd better find something better looking for this Public game. I had a look around the Local Comrades Army Surplus store but could find nothing suitable for Vietnam. I first looked closely at a Billie tin which came in too sizes but felt like they looked a bit rubbish. I then found a German Army style Mess kit for only NZ$26. I think that it is actually an Austrian version as there are many versions of these made Post War. I showed it to my partner who said that they used them in her Refugee Camp in Thailand (she is from Cambodia). I then did some more googling and found that the North Vietnamese had a similar style but with folding metal handles on the front. It felt a bit sticky inside from which I presume is from cooking oil. I tried three different ways of cleaning this but was not really happy so instead lined it with some Yoga Mat material which also quietened it down when shaking the dice up. It has worked out really well and a Gamer said he would copy the idea so I thought I'd better post it first. Haha. The bottom container can hold two tape measures plus four sets of Bolt Action dice. The smaller container holds a few sets of GW dice and some pin/hit markers. The lid is useful to put the pin/hit markers in when playing a game.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Chain of Command Patrol and Jump Off Point markers.

I had some fun painting these markers.

First up I have read the Rule Book several times but have not had a game yet.

First off I undercoated the top surfaces with white primer and then filled in all the details. I had some issues getting paint into the recesses and now wonder if I would have been better off either priming the surface Black or trying to run some Black Ink into them. I then sealed the tops with Dull Coat. After that I turned them over and then painted them with some cheap poster paints. I then sealed them with Dull Coat. I had issues here as the Dull Coat ran down the edges and stuck the disks to the box I was using to support them. I then had to go back and repair the damage to the edges where they were showing White Undercoat. I also took the opportunity to put some paint into the recesses as they seemed a bit too obvious in places. When I resealed them I put the disks on some Bottle tops and still needed to put coins under the small disks. Thankfully everything came out ok but wonder if they will get damaged with handling? The disks are not perfect but I am pretty pleased with them.

I would like to get some Union Flag versions of these Disks or maybe I should make up my own at some stage. I only have Dads Army or Early Commandos for the British at this stage so using the Allied Star seems a bit wrong.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Auxiliary Cavalry

Finally finished this unit as it had to be pushed aside so I could paint some Command figures for a Demo game. I would have liked to have these done in time as well but sadly that did not happen. I bought these figures from Warlord and Empress and ended up with a funny mix of figures. The Unit is composed of Natal Mounted Police, Buffalo Border Guard and Newcastle Mounted Rifles, with the Command being from The Natal Carbineers.

I can't help but feel that this is a lot of work to get seven figures on the table, six of whom can fire. I painted eight dismounted Troopers as they could all be used in a Rorkes Drift scenario. I do like them though.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Aussie HMG's and an 18 pounder

I've had this 18 pdr in my lead pile for a few years so it was good to get it out and get it painted finally. I am not happy with the shirts as I have made them too bright. The gun came out really good as I had sealed it and then went over that to do the rusty wheel rims and a lighter shade of Green on the gun itself. Bought from Gripping Beast.

These HMG's were originally painted to go into the backs of some Corgi Trucks for my Dinosaur Hunters Army for Back of Beyond gaming. They had a few outings but the Army was never really completed. I am really pleased with the paint on these as it was over ten years ago and before I had to wear reading glasses for painting. I even managed to paint the brass buttons rather neatly. Being Brigade games figures they are rather chunky and the details are easy to see. I also did a few head swaps to add some variety. For use in WW1 I have changed the bases from wooden planks to Arid dusty terrain. The first was modified to look like a hasty AA gun. I think I got the shirts the correct colour this time.

This Rendra camp fire had a Spit Roast handle and supports added from twisted wire and Brass Rod.