Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Musketeer VBCW Standard Bearers

In the end I did pick up the newly released pack of three VBCW standard bearers from Musketeer at Salute. So I thought I would post a couple of pictures including the, previously unrevealed, third figure:

As always they are nice sculpts but the hands do need drilling to accept the standards.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Salute 2010

I have my advance ticket and my trimmed down shopping list (the original one would have bankrupted me!) so I will be off to Salute on Saturday.

I know the show has got rather expensive but I am mainly going to meet up with friends and the shopping is just to justify the entry fee in saved postage.  I've noted that there are a number of traders that I would like to have visited (and have been present in previous years) who are not there this year.  I wonder if they're finding it a little pricey too.  After all, as a punter, £10 gets you a reasonable amount of postage!

I am planning to get some more of those lovely Perry Sudan figures and the new civilians from Musketeer plus a couple of other bits and pieces (including some terrain).  I doubt I will be inspired by anything there, something I have found at a number of previous shows, I wonder if that's the influence of the internet with nothing being new.  But there should be a few stands worth a look and I do plan to spend a little more time this year having a look at the games.

There are likely to be a few tweets from the show floor but I'm afraid I can't post any photos from there (mainly because my phone hasn't got a camera!).  I will be posting my thoughts and pictures (assuming I remember my camera) after I get home and have rested my feet!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Wargames Weekend: The Photos

Wargames Weekend: Operation Palliser

Our final game for the weekend was a chance for Lenin to get some of his excellent modern figures, in this case from The Assault Group, onto the table.  It was also a chance to try out some tweaks to the Two Hour Wargames' FNG rules using the PEF mechanics to allow us to both play on the same side.

On 7 May 2000, B, C and D Companies of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (1 Para) were deployed from Senegal to Sierra Leone to assist in the evacuation of non combatants from that war-torn country.

Several days into their deployment, two sections from D (Patrols) Company of 1 Para have been detailed to locate and evacuate a four person NGO team known to be operating a clinic and school in Kalima village. The United Nations are concerned for their safety as an armed group calling itself the North East Dudes has taken control of the area around Kalima.

Intelligence reports that the North East Dudes are more akin to a heavily armed street gang than a real rebel movement and that they are prolific users of narcotics. The group is armed with the usual selection of Eastern Bloc weapons, including a number of RPGs.

Each of us took a Land Rover and a section of Paras and, with Lenin on point, advanced up the road towards the village.  We very quickly discovered that the North East Dudes were in the village and none too pleased to see us.

After an RPG round narrowly missed our leading vehicle we quickly pulled off the road and de-bussed.  Each section quickly split into two fire teams and laid down quite a bit of fire on the Dude's first position.  Quickly suppressing them we were about to advance when two more groups of Dudes appeared.

Fortunately most of the Dudes were high (hence the rule amendments) and so their firing was a little erratic, which was lucky since a properly aimed RPG round could have been very nasty.

After having suppressed the Dudes on our right flank I was advancing across the road when I cam under fire from their original position.  With one of my men down we poured fire into the Dude's position and quickly suppressed them.  I managed to get my casualty back into safety behind the Land Rover and then cautiously advanced another team across the road - safely this time.

The main fire fight with the Group to the left of the village was going our way and Lenin was able to push a team forward.  I followed up and we discovered that they had the hostages with them.

Meanwhile my team advancing on the left encountered another group of Dudes who had been trying to outflank us and quickly put paid to that idea.

With the hostages secured and some prisoners taken we withdrew with only the single casualty.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Wargames Weekend: Ashford Ambush

Our first game on Monday was another excursion into the alternative history world which is A Very British Civil War.  This time I decided to try the Too Fat Lardies' WW1 rules Through the Mud & the Blood with the additional rules from the Triumphant Standards supplement.  It was also a chance for me to get my new militia figures to the table along with my Musketeer BEF.

With the Government and Mosleyite forces cracking down on any democratic protest various groups in Kent have decided to take matters into their own hands.

The working class Cinque Ports T&GWU Militia has formed an uneasy alliance with the, mainly upper and middle class, Kent Militia to strike back against the oppressive forces of fascism.  Their first objective is to secure more ammunition for their motley collection of weapons.  To this end they intend to ambush a convoy transporting weapons and ammunition to the Territorial Army barracks in Ashford.

With Lenin, appropriately I think, commanding the Kent and Union militias, I took command of the Territorials and their convoy.  The militia had set up a roadblock and put themselves in some excellent ambush positions.  Unfortunately, someone in the first militia unit was a little over eager and some poor fire discipline led to shots just as the convoy came onto the table!

Fortunately for the militia Captain Darling, in the lead armoured truck, decided that this was likely to be a chance incident rather than a major ambush and decided to drive on whilst returning fire.  He soon discovered his mistake as not only did the Union Lewis gun open up but also the first Kent militia unit under the command of "Barmy" Fotheringay-Phipps.

The armoured truck carried on until it came under more fire from the second Kent militia unit directed by Mr Chomondley-Warner accompanied by the energetic Oliver Mellors.  Casualties in the truck were high and when the roadblock was spotted the remaining men decided discretion was the better part of valour and ran for it.

Meanwhile Sergeant Jones had deployed his unit behind the hedgerow facing the first Union militia but without a light machine gun was not faring well.  Fortunately the Union militia were having an ideological debate with the Commissar who was accompanying them and so fire from them lessened.

Despite coming under fire itself the convoy had carried on after the armoured truck believing, quite incorrectly, it was the right thing to do.

With the truck having moved past them Barmy's chaps turned their attention to Sergeant Jones and his unit also decided to retire.  Fortunately for the Territorials, Lt. George then arrived with their third contingent and deployed his men and their Lewis gun behind a stone wall on the other side of the road.

Having disposed of the armoured truck, and possibly to keep Mellors busy lest he get up to any mischief, Mr Chomondley-Warner ordered him to advance and capture the ammunition trucks.  Having taken the first truck easily he then came under fire from Lt. George's men, who had by this time been joined by Capt. Darling, and so he returned fire.

The fire now coming in from three separate directions was taking its toll on the remaining Territorials and despite the best efforts of the officers this last group was forced to withdraw.  Although it did give the last truck sufficient time to back away out of trouble.

Overall, the rules gave a fun game and coped with the larger than normal number of figures on the table; however, the smaller Territorial units did suffer badly due to the impact of shock on their lower numbers.  In future I think I would ensure most units were around 10 men if possible.

Wargames Weekend: Death in the Snow

In the afternoon we played our first Too Fat Lardies game, although with a twist.  Lenin put on a game of Sharp Practice but with a fantasy element using the Alternative Armies Flintloque figures and suitable amendments to the rules to cope with the elves and the undead.

The zombies were not permitted to spot, deducted 1 pip per die when moving, counted as Poor for shooting, couldn't act independently on the Tiffin card but ignored the morale element of Shock and kills were only 50% successful.  My Vampyre officers were also harder to kill but could not then be replaced but my Liche Commissars could be.

Following the catastrophic defeat of Mordredʼs Grande Armee du Norde, the Ferach forces are retreating as fast as they can out of the Witchlands. Most formations are in total disarray and are easy prey for roaming bands of Zombiski Cossacks. However, a few Ferach units have retained some order and dealing with them requires a more deliberate approach.

Aerial reconnaissance has identified one such formation in the vicinity of the village of Borscht, which KGB intelligence believes is being led by the infamous Ferach Marshal Chauchat. Of more concern, in a rare Ferach victory, Chauchat managed to capture a Graviski Reanimator and this technology must not be allowed to remain in enemy hands.

My orders were to ambush the Ferach column, kill or capture Marshal Chauchat and recover the Graviski Reanimator.  Completing either objective counted as marginal victory, completing both would have been a decisive victory.

There were two roads down the table, one through Borscht, and we both started on blinds.  The game of cat and mouse was a little short lived as my blinds were mostly in cover and hence more difficult to spot so I quickly identified that the elves had avoided the village route.  I deployed two of my zombie infantry units to cut them off.

The elven dragoons decided that they could shift my infantry with a quick charge, as we were only in line, but they were mistaken and fell back with their tails between their legs.

Meanwhile the elven Voltigeurs were slowly advancing towards the village in a vain attempt to spot my blind located there.  By the time they realised the blind was only a scouting party I had advanced the bulk of my force into positions to hold the elven advance.

Instead of charging into the elven infantry on the road I decided to enter a fire fight with them, which was a major mistake.  My two units only had Lieutenant Degtyarev (a Grade II Vampyre) whilst the elves had their Marshal Chauchat (Grade III) and Lieutenant Hotchkiss (Grade II) with them.  I started to rack up a lot of Shock points and soon my firing became rather ineffective.

Fortunately my main force under Count Kalashnikov, having learned the lessons of the other group, was making rather short work of the elven Voltigeurs by tackling their two groups individually and getting into close combat.

With my troops now in a position to outflank the remaining Ferach we called the game (mainly because we had started late and run out of time!)

We discussed the fantasy rule amendments and decided that they needed a little more tweaking as not allowing the zombies to act on the Tiffin card was a rather greater disadvantage than had been intended.

Peter Cushing - The Wargamer

British Pathe - PETER CUSHING
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Wargames Weekend: Marche Machineguns

On the Sunday we kicked off with the first scenario from Face of Battle: Act with Daring, the Invasion of France scenario book.  Once again this had been converted to work with Nuts! and also to provide forces which matched the figures and vehicles available!  In this case the figures were 28mm French from Crusader Miniatures and Germans from Wargames Foundry.

Once again I took the Germans with Lenin commanding the French.  The French objective was to take the farm buildings and hold up my advance as long as possible before withdrawing without taking too many casualties.

Initially the French seized and held the initiative, advancing forward and deploying their two light machine guns in positions which were to make my life pretty difficult.  I attempted to forestall the French advance by rushing my motorbike team with their MG34 forward but they were almost immediately pinned down by one of the French LMGs.

I decided to switch my main advance to the other flank but my second MG34 team got caught in the open moving across the road and that plan stalled.  That allowed the French to occupy the farmhouse.

I tried to push some of my riflemen forward to harass one of the French LMG teams but to no avail.  At this point my advance had lost any energy as I waited, in vain, for my armoured support to arrive.

The correct dice combination for my reinforcements just wasn't coming up so I decided to try another push having put some fresh crew with one of the MG34s.  Fortunately, I managed to pin down the French rifle grenadier in the farmhouse and rushed their riflemen in the garden of the farmhouse.  Things were starting to look up for the German attack.  Of course, now the Panzer 38(t) arrived!

Despite their best efforts the French LMG on the left flank just couldn't stop my tank and with infantry support running along behind we soon had that flank secured.  Meanwhile a bloody close quarters struggle had begun in the farmhouse.  I had sneaked up and thrown a grenade through the french doors and then burst into the kitchen over powering the dazed riflemen inside.  But the Lieutenant upstairs took the initiative and rushed my men, defeating them easily.  The French then tried a desperate withdrawal back to their start line under heavy rifle fire but managed to get to the trees covered by their second LMG team before I could outflank them.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Wargames Weekend: Viareggio

For our next game Lenin had converted a scenario from the Final Combat Medal of Honor Skirmish Scenarios Volume 1 to allow us to play it with our preferred WW2 skirmish rules, Nuts!.  In this case based on the engagement for which Vernon J Baker was awarded the Medal of Honor.

We normally play the Nuts! rules without any "Stars" as we have found that these can dominate and unbalance the game; however, when you are dealing with remarkable individuals, as in this instance, we thought this would be a good opportunity to have the hero represented as a Star.

In this scenario I took control of the German forces with the objective of counter attacking the US troops before they had a chance to reorganise themselves.

Even though I had two sections each with an MG34 team and various automatic weapons I initially found it difficult to pin down the US troops so that I could advance from my starting positions.  Lt. Baker played a the major part in keeping our heads down as he was never Outgunned.  He also put quite a few of my men Out of the Fight.  As the US troops started to withdraw I eventually managed to get one of my sections to advance across the table and started to give the Americans some trouble.  One of my groups fell on one of their teams retrieving the wounded and pinned them down.  But then Lt. Baker appeared and the balance changed.

In the end the Americans managed to get most of their men away after having given the Germans a bit of a pasting.

On the whole including the Star was a success; however, I think making Lt. Baker Rep 6 probably made him a little too powerful and in future we would probably have the Star as a lower Rep.  It was clear though that the use of Stars needs to be sparing as it could easily unbalance the game and lose the great feel which was what attracted us to the rules in the first place.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Wargames Weekend: Foraging for Firewood

With the last three months flying by it was time for another wargames weekend.  Lenin popped over and we had a few games over the three days.  First up was a 28mm game set in the Sudan to get my new Perry Miniatures to the table.  We used Two Hour Wargames' Colonial Adventures rules and here is the background fluff:

General Sir Charles Wilson and the main body of the force to relieve Khartoum left Metemma on the steamers Talahawiyeh and Bordein on 24th January. The preparation of your steamer, re-christened El Teb, took a little longer and you left a day later. You have been rushing to catch up ever since.

Your steamer is now low on fuel and you have come along shore to find additional supplies of timber.  A nearby village looks to be a plentiful source even if you have to tear the buildings down.  But you need to be on the look out for enemy forces...

Lenin took command of the British troops which consisted of Captain Marmaduke “Chuffy” Chuffington, Officer Commanding (Competent:Rep 4), Sergeant The Honourable Arthur Wilson (Lacking:Rep 3) and a detachment of 1st Royal Sussex; Lt. Reginald “Kipper” Herring (Lacking:Rep 3) and Lance-Corporal Jack Jones (Competent:Rep 4) with an Egyptian Platoon with the Royal Artillery providing a 7 pounder screw gun and the Navy a Gardiner.

The Sussex detachment took the lead and advanced away from the steamer followed by the Egyptians.  Initially they thought they had spotted some Dervishes in some rough ground to the South of their position but it turned out to be a false alarm. They advanced further and then spotted a large contingent of Mahdists near the village. Chuffy ordered the Sussex into line and they fired a volley into the enemy. Unfortunately this just seemed to enrage them and they began charging towards the British troops.

Keeping the men steady Chuffy and Sergeant Wilson kept the Sussex firing volley after volley whilst Kipper deployed the Egyptians (despite Lance Corporal Jones' insistence on running around shouting don't panic!).

Despite the Sussex keeping up their fire the Mahdists charged into the British troops and some bloody hand to hand fighting ensued.  The larger numbers of the Dervish started to take their toll and the Sussex were forced to fall back taking substantial casualties.  Fortunately Captain Chuffington kept his head and withdrew to a position which gave the Naval Brigade's Gardiner gun a clear line of sight to the enemy.  The fire from the Gardiner evened the odds and the remaining Dervishes decided that it was the greater threat and charged on towards the steamer.  Only a few made the dock but they carried on until they ran headlong into the Royal Artillery who finished them off.

With the Sussex in no shape to proceed the mission was continued by the Egyptians, who almost immediately spotted another large group of the enemy.  The Mahdists were on them almost before they had time to react and more hand to hand fighting ensued (supported by cries of "they don't like it up 'em!" from Lance Corporal Jones).

Whilst the Egyptians won the melee they had taken significant casualties and withdrew to the steamer intending to move further up the river to find a softer target.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

More VBCW from Musketeer

Musketeer Miniatures have announced some more figures for their Inter-war range which should be released soon:

Civilians (planned for Triples apparently):

I suspect I'll be picking these sets up if I can as they will be useful for Sealion too.

Plus BCW standard bearers (no date as yet):

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Workbench Update

Just finished some 28mm Perry Mahdists for my Sudan game:

along with some 28mm Musketeer VBCW Militia (although you may spot some Anglian/Empress figures thrown in too):