Saturday, 22 August 2015

Having a look at Frostgrave

I received my copy of Frostgrave just before the weekend I put the Vietnam Demo game on. I did not really have time to look at the book properly at the time but have read it through from cover to cover several times now. I bought the rulebook with a box of plastic soldiers, The Necromancer and Sigilist Wizards. I really like the plastic figures as they look very solid and should handle gaming quite well. They are nearer the stature of the Warlord Plastics rather than GW figures so its hard to mix parts with other makes. I don't have any Fire Forge figures so cannot make a comparison with them. I have tried some heads from Wargames Factory which look like they would work ok but did not want to use their weapons or arms.
I have the Necromancer group in the garage being undercoated right now so don't have any pic's. I have used some figures of some other ranges and will post pictures when they are finished.

I've not had a chance to get into my room since the convention as the walkway has been dug out leaving a sea of mud. It was probably the wettest day of the year when they did it.

So to keep myself occupied I found a destroyed Castle gateway in a Pet store. It was really hollow and would have done as is, but me being me I wanted to detail it a bit. I filled out some of the interior space with blue foam and will need to find a builders version of Green Stuff to fill in the large gaps.

In my room I have some of the old GW ruined Church model which does not really get used at all, so when I can get back in there I will add some of the snow I bought from Gale Force Nine. I also dug out some old GW and Grenadier Monsters I have stored away. This project looks like a lot of fun and makes up for me never playing Mordheim or Dungeons and Dragons.

Also on the workbench are another section of VC and some Spanish Artillery to finish off my Spanish Nap Brigade for Black Powder. I was also looking at painting a Rasta gang for fighting Zombies as my mates were using the same HassleFree figures at the convention I own so want a different looking group to use. I seem to be in my unfocused post Convention mood at the moment as I just want to paint everything that has been put aside for various reasons.  I won't get focused again until I decide what Demo game I want to put on next which could possibly be "Zulu".

Monday, 17 August 2015

Charlie don't Surf Demo game.

Well the big day finally came. I am glad to say that I am really happy with the response I had from fellow gamers and the general public, who stopped by to have a chat or to just take a photo.

The game did not go through to a conclusion. I really like the rules but would make a few changes next time I try them out. I felt that the VC should have one level higher of cover than we used but this may be in the rules already. I might have missed this in the rules like a couple of other parts I did not know well enough. I would also allow points for the truck getting destroyed and would set a turn length at 10. I would also only count VC casualties when you have US troops on the ground. i.e. not those caused by Airpower or Artillery.

The scenario was a combination of two of the TFL's scenarios from the Surf's Up compilation.

Fried Rice to Go.

The Rice Farm of Grace Kwan (a local TV character) has reportedly been a hotbed of VC activity during the early part of 1965. It has been decided to evacuate the Farm, locate the caches of Rice located in the area and burn the buildings and anything useful to the VC that cannot be evacuated.

There may be some tunnels in the area that require locating and destroying. This area may be used for a Fire Base in the future as it is a defensible location with good road access.

The plan is that the Free World Forces will send in an advance team at dawn to organise the Workers and escort them away from the Farm. This Force will start on the table in the building compound.

The Search Party will advance across the ford and proceed to search the buildings and waste piles for Rice Caches. Anything located will be Air lifted out by the Helicopters on Standby. The buildings will then be set on fire. If any tunnels or VC can be located and also destroyed would be a bonus to the mission.
The force on the left flank will also be searching for any Rice Caches and if any VC caught will also be destroyed.

Forces to be used for the Search and Destroy Mission.

Advance Party

Bigman plus Kit Carson section and attached Sniper.

Farm Search Party

Air Cavalry Platoon 1 and attached Flame thrower, Tunnel Rat and truck.

Left Flank Force

Air Cavalry Platoon 2 plus HMG and Mortar Observer.

Support Units

Mortar Platoon

Marine Hogs

Air Support

Suspected VC units

Two small platoons of Main Force VC with snipers, Mortars and HMG's.
The Farm Workers may have VC sympathies.

Scenario Rules

Rice Caches can be found by using any number of action dice on a 4+ while remaining stationary next to buildings or farm waste. A success means that the Roof or pile can be lifted to reveal if the VC player has hidden a marker there. (This can only be done by an Infantry Section). If a booby trap card is pulled from the deck immediately after a Cache is discovered then 1D6 hits on section.

Tunnels that are located in the mound area can only be located by a Tunnel Rat. He will remain stationary next to a terrain feature and use his dice to test on a 4+. If a booby trap card is pulled from the deck immediately after it is successfully found then the Tunnel Rat suffers 1D6 hits. The VC player will note where the Tunnel entrance is hidden.

Scenario Points


1 Enemy Casualty 2

1 MIA (prisoner) 2

5 Rice Cache 1

0 Helicopter downed 10

-5 Civilian casualty 0

5 Civilians relocated -1

10 Tunnel located -10

10 Buildings burnt-down -2

-20 Broken Arrow +5

Day 1 started off well enough with the advance party of the Kit Carson Scouts entering the village. (I was the US player) The 1st Platoon moved slowly to secure their line of retreat but did encounter some resistance from a sniper and a section of VC. On the left hand flank things seem to start well. When two sections of VC along with two LMG's appeared from the rice fields they did serious damage to one section forcing it to retreat, while another section was destroyed. Now as the third section had failed to appear on the table, the Platoon Commander had no other option to withdraw to the start line.

Things looked so bad that I went through the card deck twice to make sure that I had put the correct amount of US cards in, but found everything was as it should be and put it down to the timing of the cards with a timeout card controlling turn length.

Day 2. I had finally started to make some progress into the village and got the Civilians on the move to the river, although I had lost my truck to an RPG. I had also done some damage to the VC on the left flank with my Airpower. At this point I felt that I could start to make some impact on gathering some points as the VC were leading 28 points to my 13. However my opponent decided that as it seemed unlikely that he could stop the Green Machine we should stop the game.

I can only assume what would have happened if we continued. When packing up the terrain later on I found where the rice caches and tunnel were hidden. I think that it was unlikely that I would have found the tunnel placed where it was and would have only found one Rice cache. I may have gotten my Flame thrower on in time to burn down some of the buildings so it could have very easily been a draw.

Before packing up the game I went to the table next door and had a game of Skirmish Outbreak with Colin Philips, and my usual Demo gaming buddies Raymond and his son Michael. I had a lot of fun with the game and will admit that although I struggle with the Sanguine rules (unless somebody else drives the game) I found this easy to play. I won with the loss of one of my teams characters out of three.

Best news of all was that I sold three Flames of War Armies plus some other bits and pieces and made nearly NZ$700. I only spent NZ$4 on a couple of Grenadier Wizards and NZ$25 on two Corgi Kubelwagons.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Last photos before The Charlie don't Surf Demo game.

Well I am happy so say that I have finished painting everything a week before the Call to Arms Convention. I spent most of today (Sunday) putting everything away which included cutting up foam slabs to house the Helicopters in safety and also boxed the houses and civilians which are a bit tricky to transport. I feel mentally exhausted but I am sure I have done everything including mapping the terrain to make this a success. I took a few photos of the latest items painted.

I finished the basing on the two Tarts, (well they are mounted on $1 Hong Kong coins) and the Monk. He is a giant size figure so its good he is squatting down and was a tourist souvenir from Thailand. They are originally from my Pulp collection. I nearly painted some clothing on the ladies legs to suit Vietnamese culture but decided to leave them as is.

Some smoke markers, or pretty trees as my partner called them. I should have gone with yellow instead of the green as yellow would stand out better in the jungle.

Free World Forces
VC forces.
AA gun and AT team with converted no 2's.

Company Command stand with 2nd platoon Command and Commissar

1st section 2nd platoon.

1st section 2nd platoon.
This is the second week I have used my iMac with upgraded photo software, and I really hate it!! why use a program meant for a phone? I am really unimpressed with this move by Apple. Or am I supposed to buy a better program from them? I have Olympus software on here so may try using that instead but the older Mac software was really good to use when editing photos.

 Sorry about the rant but guess that I not the only modeller who feels this way.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

WIP's for Vietnam Demo Game.

I seem to be working on a few different things in a rush to get things finished for the  Call to Arms Convention. Happily I am ahead of where I planned to be so may have time to paint an extra VC squad, but I will see how time goes on the other bits first.

I have been working on a F5-A Freedom fighter and should be adding the decals tonight.

I also have some huts made but am undecided as I need to add some more details, or if they look good as is? I like the fact that I don't have to paint the Bamboo poles or the matting that was used to make the walls. I first made a foamcore box and then glued the matting to that. I deliberately did not cut out the windows as we intend to hide Rice caches (or weapons if I get around to making markers for those as well) inside.

The thatched roofs were made out of an old towel soaked in a paint and PVA mix and then dropped over a cardboard former. I later dry brushed lighter colours over the top. I feel that they should be more whiter but they don't look so bad to overly worry me. The Tin roof was made out of corrugated card and painted with a leftover spray can which was used on my old car.

I also spent some time painting two coats of Varnish on my rivers and then added some spring growth flock on the riverbanks.

I am pretty pleased with how everything is coming together at the moment.