Wednesday 31 December 2014

Plans for 2015

Let's see if I can do better than this year, mm?

First up, the 'must do's:

  • The club "29th, Let's Go Large" IABSM campaign (see the TFL 2014 Xmas Special
    • Buildings
      • lots of 4Ground 15mm build/paint
    • Figures
      • two sections of German infantry, a couple of Pak38s.
      • several Sherman M4A1s
      • possibly a Marder III or two
  • The Chef-du-Pont project (June)
    • Terrain build
    • Buildings
      • Creamery scratch build
      • lots of 4Ground 15mm build/paint (which I need anyway for the above!)
      • Château (probably Sarissa)
    • Figures
      • 4 platoons US paras + support
  • The club game for Salute (if we make it off the reserve list) and other shows
    • ... that's a secret, but AndyM and I will be busy :D
And then the 'things I'd like to do if I have time':
  • Start painting some of my Perry WOTR figures
  • Continue (haha) painting my Napoleon @ War stash
  • Paint the early war Fallschirmjäger for a CoC Home Guard campaign later in the year.
  • Paint SOMETHING from one of the three Mantic Kickstarters :D
  • Finish off the odds and sods for Bloody Omaha so it's all neat and pristine for next time we get it out
Not involving lead. plastic, MDF or craft foam:
  • Rearrange and tidy the workshop and storeroom
  • Blog
  • Podcast 
  • Write :D
  • Run a wargames show!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

2014 in review

In which we all get to have a good laugh, like as not.

So: here's the plans from this time last year:

  • Tidy my Saxons - currently waiting on an order of wire spears from Northstar, who I suspect are away for the holiday period :D Done. But needs doing again, and sorting out the sabot bases and the bases of the boxes they live in. And I should do the same for my Normans.
  • Finish off my 15mm British company - tomorrow, barring a trip to see the Hobbit 2. And I did!
  • Start on the Napoleon at War 18mms - hoping to get some French at least undercoated by the weekend. I did. Exactly that. And no more :D
  • Paint the rest of my Dreadball team when it arrives - I have an expansion set on order from PE2 Collectables, as well as a complete duplicate team in order to paint in their alternative colours. (We have this problem down the club, in that Rob has the proceeds of the Dreadball Kickstarter, and he's a Ravens fan (as well as once playing for a team who played in purple), so half his teams are painted purple as well!) Oh, and a set of cheerleaders from a mix of Shadowforge and Hasslefree. First team done, cheerleaders and coaches done. Second strip half done, may get finished now I have an Army Painter purple ink wash!
  • More Napoleonics. Hahahahah. ;)
  • Lots of 15mm vehicles (my current stash is most of two 9L Really Useful Boxes) for IABSM. Total vehicles painted - 4 DD Shermans for Bloody Omaha...
  • Waiting for the Finns and Russians to arrive, at which point I'll decide where they go in the painting list. Still waiting for the last part of the order.
  • More terrain tiles. A bunch for Bloody Omaha, which have seen reuse.
  • Some 28mm early war German Heer or Fallschirmjäger to complement the Home Guard. Bought some 28mm FJ, as yet unpainted.
  • Gaming-wise, the major new thing I suspect is going to be the club Dreadball tournament, otherwise, more of the same (lots of CoC, IABSM, Dux Brit, Judge Dredd...) Yup.
  • I have an idea for a Chain of Command scenario book, which will require liaising with three different people to get off the ground, I still do :D
  • I have a part-written supplement for another TFL ruleset, of which more when I get it a bit nearer completion. And I still do :D
  • Keep blogging... Well, yes. Up until September, then real life and a non-wargaming recreational role started taking up my time.
  • Keep podcasting with the Meeples guys, and see if I can't knock up a couple more episodes of my podcast. Yes and no. :D
Hey. Actually that's not bad. Proof that if I don't overcommit, things don't go so badly!

When you add to that the fact that I also painted and based 18 assault boat sections of 15mm US 29th/1st infantry for Bloody Omaha, which is 27 figures a section, for a total of (dear Lord) 486 figures, along with 6 landing craft... (Yes, Robert, I'll get you some photos to Vis Lardica before the end of the year!)

Compared to that, the four platoons of US paras are going to be trivial :D

Monday 29 December 2014

Chef-Du-Pont - introduction

Some of my readers may remember that at Operation: Market Laden 2, we put a version of the IABSM scenario 'Bloody Omaha' on as a game.

Not to be outdone, the plan for OML3 is to put on the German counterattack on the Merderet bridge at Chef-Du-Pont late on D-Day, as set out in both the "Where The Hell Have You Been Boys?" and "All-American" IABSM scenario books. This promises to be another fun scenery build, since it's set in the flooded valley of the Merderet, and the basic action takes place on a series of causeways across the valley.

I've already started my research: in addition to the scenario information, there's a decent Google Maps aerial photo, although the river has had its course changed by the hand of man since the war, as well as a 1948 aerial picture. On top of that, the National Collection of Aerial Photography has some aerial photos taken on D-Day+2, showing the flooding - for a reasonable sum (£20) you can have a year's subscription which allows you to zoom in on any/all of their pictures.

The flooded valley looks like a pretty easy build - we have enough blue boards at the club to make the floodplain itself (maybe with a little brushwork to alleviate the plain colour), and the raised bits of land can be made from 25mm craft foam, as can the causeways. There are two key buildings that need making, though: one is the Château de L'Isle Marie, which is probably going to be represented by the Sarissa château, if they make it in 15mm in time. The other is what's now the Nestlé creamery at the end of the bridge in Chef-du-Pont (connoisseurs of French food should be aware it now makes the Mont Blanc cream desserts!), which is a fairly distinctive looking northlight-roofed building with some ancillary buildings.

The first part of the project, therefore, is going to be to build the creamery, probably on an A3 or so piece of MDF. Watch this space!

Sunday 28 December 2014

Battle Report - 22 Dec 2014 - Chain of Command

Having finished with the club's Dreadball and WAB campaigns, and having had a couple of weeks break with things like Black Powder, it was definitely time to break out the Home Guard again. This was made even better by the fact that Pat popped out a fourth final draft (we're getting there, honest) of the Home Guard lists, and I finally got round to painting some of the 3D printed accessories he sent me over the summer.
Based (mostly) on 25mm metal disks :D, black
undercoat, assorted Army Painter colours, ink wash,
Janis dark earth scatter - Javis static grass yet
to be added at the time of the picture. 

One of the major changes is that, since the advent of the CoCulator, it's been much easier to balance up the lists: in the past I've found that the Home Guard tend to suffer greatly at the hands of most lists due to being woefully (and historically) under-powered. Draft 4 has the early war HG worth a platoon rating of -12, which lends itself to a lot of shopping for... stuff.

Anyway: we broke out the scenery from 'Dead's Army', courtesy mostly of Warbases, and built a nice East Yorkshire village with a river bridge for the Home Guard to defend. We used scenario six from the rulebook - "Attack on an Objective". Gary brought his early war Germans (+4 rating) and Carl took the Home Guard. The roll for supports was a double six: 
  • Gary got 10 points, which he spent on:
    • Panzer III (List 4)
    • SdKfz 231 (List 5)
    • Adjutant (List 1)
  • Carl got 10/2 + the difference between the list values, namely 21 points, which he spent on:
    • 2 x Milk Churn mines (2 x List 3)
    • Medical orderly (List 1)
    • Lewis gun, no crew (List 2)
    • Home Guard section (List 3)
    • Vickers gun + regular crew (List 4)
    • WW1 18pdr gun, no crew (List 5)
Effectively Carl's extra section went to man the Lewis gun and the 18pdr.

This is the first CoC game we've played in a while. so as usual, we were a bit rusty and slow. The patrol phase was chiefly characterised by a race for the church, which Carl won. Once we started Gary pushed down the road with the 231, and deployed a couple of infantry sections near the church and the farmhouse: he was somewhat chagrined when Carl deployed a section in the White Horse pub with LOS on the milk churn mine at the crossroads, and... blew off the front wheel of the 231! (Gary was probably more chagrined than most at this as he's supposed to know about IEDs in Real Life.)

[Game mechanics wise, I had Carl make a to hit roll for the mine, to reflect timing etc of the detonation.]

The Panzer III wisely chose to skirt across the fields towards the church, which Gary managed to capture before Carl got to deploy anything n it, and also denied the Home Guard the jump off point on the board edge next to the church.

In the meantime, the Germans pushed ahead on the right flank, round the backs of the houses on High Street and Bridge Street: they were met by some accurate fire from the Vickers in the window of number 1 & 3 High Street (the green and blue doors).

Somehow they survived a couple of phases of fire, sneaking round the back of number 1 Bridge Street and aiming for the White Horse. Meanwhile, the Home Guard had wheeled out the WW1 gun, and taken several shots at the Panzer III. And, pretty much, missed. 

Unfortunately, the Panzer III and the German mortar didn't miss, and in about 3 phases the gun crew were wiped out. 

That's about where we had to leave it: both sides still had a section to deploy, but the Panzer was probably going to be able to wade across the river and take the bridge.

Lessons learned? Much better balance. And the Home Guard need to take every anti-tank device known to man - with hindsight, Carl and I agreed they should have ditched the second set of milk churn mines, fun though they were, for three List 1 Sticky Bombs, one for each section.

Saturday 27 December 2014

Commission Figurines Stalingrad Steam Mill

As you may recall, the club picked up a huge pile of MDF scenery from the Commission Figurines Kickstarter. We finally got round to putting some of it together for our Bolt Action Tournament in early December: check this out - the Steam Mill in pre-painted 28mm MDF...

The inner 'steel' framing of the mill. 
The outer shell.
Inner floors temporarily in place.
Fitting the outer shell round the framing.

The end result. This JUST fits in a Really Useful 84L box, but the
lid won't quite shut.

Friday 26 December 2014

A merry Christmas to all my readers.,..

The wargamers Secret Santa delivered me a box of 15mm PSC Churchills - to the mystery giver, thank you very much - they're on the painting pile for 2015! Hopefully my recipient is as happy with his gift, and once again thanks to Ian and Catherine for organising it.

I think I'm now all caught up with the world outside wargaming, which is nice - making a conscious choice to quit a non-wargaming hobby responsibility that was just getting me seriously down and infecting me a global case of the 'don't-wannas' seems to have been a very wise move.

Currently plonked in the comfy armchair with a mug of tea (and an enthusiastically helpful three-legged black kitten) awaiting breakfast pancakes (a Saturday/holiday morning tradition hereabouts) contemplating where to start on the wargames and blogging to do list. This post, methinks :D

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