Saturday, 30 June 2012


I thought I would post a couple of pictures of the first batch of Royalist Scots I have based up for my Montrose project.  The figures are Redoubt 28mm:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

WW2: Later British Infantry

Some more additions to my Crusader British Infantry along with some armoured support, this time aimed at later in the war:

Saturday, 16 June 2012

First Look: Muskets & Tomahawks

So whilst I was at the Broadside 2012 show I had a look at Muskets & Tomahawks from Studio Tomahawk (the chaps who brought us Saga).  I had been wondering about whether to get these rules since Salute 2012 and having read a few positive reviews I gave into temptation.

Muskets & Tomahawks is subtitled Skirmishes in North America during the 18th Century and is clearly aimed at the French & Indian War, the Indian Rebellions and the American War of Independence.  It's a 62 page paperback booklet with an accompanying deck of 45 cards. Whilst the covers are in colour the interior is black and white but all with a glossy finish.  The text is in a two column format interspersed with various examples and optional elements along with photographs, mainly of wargames figures and scenarios.

The rules are clearly laid out and relatively straightforward; there are a few clunky translations from the original French (including some bits that weren't) but these don't really detract from the whole.  The sequence of play is driven by the cards, the special feature here is that different troop types have different numbers of cards in the deck with differing numbers of actions permitted when they are drawn.  So Regulars will activate less frequently but have more actions per activation than Indians for example.  The card deck can also contain Event cards and other scenario or rule specific cards.  The standard approach does not include an end of turn card (like the Too Fat Lardies rules) although this is given as an optional rule.

Following the main rule sections is a scenario generator which contains three standard sizes of games, scenery set up and a set of simple but cleverly structured tables to provide an interesting mix of objectives for the two sides.  The game sizes are build around table size and point values (which isn't something I am usually keen on, but I can see how it is beneficial for a generating games on the night).

Next up is a section detailing the various combatants, a brief background and their characteristics.  This is followed by three appendices detailing the six scenario objectives, 31 side plots for individual officers (which will add an interesting dynamic to any scenario) and 36 random events.  Then finally there is a single page quick reference sheet.

The rules look very interesting to me and with Northstar producing a range of figures of accompany them I can see they are likely to provide a significant source of distraction from my current projects!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Broadside 2012 AAR

Yesterday I went down to Broadside 2012, the show in Sittingbourne hosted by the Milton Hundred Wargames Club.  This is only the show's second year and, for a local show, they had managed to attract a decent range of traders including some bigger names including (in no particular order) Warlord Games, TSS, Mongoose Publishing to name but a few.

My first port of call was Warlord Games where I had hoped to pick up some Bolt Action US Airborne figures.  Unfortunately they had only brought along 5 packs of the 57mm anti-tank gun and 3 of the 75 pack howitzer - no infantry at all.  Whilst the chap on the stand was very nice his only solution was for me to buy them on-line - which rather defeats the object of them coming to the show - doesn't it?

Fortunately things looked up from there.  I managed to pick up a copy of Muskets & Tomahawks - which looks interesting but may be rather too tempting a source of distraction - and some terrain bits from a couple of the other traders.

I had a good chat with Ray, from Don't Throw a 1, and The Angry Lurker whilst having a look at their Battle of Amiens 1918 game (which picked up a joint second - well done Postie's Rejects!)

I also bumped into Henry Hyde of Battlegames magazine which gave me a chance to thank him for the hours of enjoyment I have had listening to him and Neil Shuck on the View from the Veranda podcast!  It was an absolute pleasure to chat to him as he's exactly as he sounds on the podcast - a splendid chap!

The show seemed pretty well attended and there were a nice selection of games - I've popped a couple of photos of the games which particularly caught my eye below:

The Battle of Benfleet - Southend Wargames Club

Romani ite Domum - Shepway Wargames Club

Maori War - Skirmish Wargames

Operation Deadstick - Maidstone Wargames Society

The Operation Deadstick game picked up first place and is making me think about 6mm again as it really looked the part.

All in all it was another good show this year and I am looking forward to this being a permanent fixture in my show calendar.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

WW2: Sound of the Guns

After avoiding the unwelcome attention of the German flak unit, Lt. Summers and Sgt. Bunkum worked their way towards the sound of the guns.  On their way they met up with another two groups of paratroopers including a Lieutenant.  Their way ahead was blocked by an emplaced German machine gun and they needed organising to deal with it and quickly clear the nearby buildings in order to secure the area.

Summers and Bunkum quickly organised the men into two groups, one to advance down each flank.  Unbeknownst to the Americans, a second German MG team were just moving into position behind the first.

Lt. Summers led his team down the side of one of the fields using the bocage as cover.

Meanwhile Sgt. Bunkum (guiding the other Lt.) cleared the first building, advanced across the small field and then across the first lane.

Everything was going to plan until Summers led his men at the double across some open ground and was spotted by one of the German MG teams.  The MG42 opened up but fortunately Summers and his group were close enough to a stone wall to throw themselves behind it and out of the line of fire.  As a result the Germans redeployed their second MG team.

Both Summers and Bunkum organised their men into two groups, one to assault the buildings and the second to provide covering fire.  Clearing the first couple of buildings was a textbook exercise but they were unoccupied.

Bunkum managed to get his group into the building adjacent to the one occupied by the German MGs. They prepared their grenades and popped up to throw them.  Despite the hail of bullets the grenades were thrown but a couple of men went down including Bunkum - fortunately he was as Hard as Nails and it turned out only to be a flesh wound.  The grenades despatched the first MG team.

Meanwhile, another group of paratroopers advancing toward the MG fire, arrived on the flank (reinforcement roll).  They decided to move forward and assault the building with the MG teams in it.

Their first group was immediately spotted by the second MG team and came under heavy fire taking two casualties including their senior NCO.  Their second group had moved to the rear of the building and were able to rush across to it without being spotted.  Grenades at the ready they dropped them through the windows and rushed in following the explosions.  Unfortunately the MG teams were on the first floor and protected by the building so the paratroopers moved into close combat.  Despite their physical fitness and training the Germans were clearly combat veterans as they subdued all four of them.

With the MG team now resuming firing, Bunkum shouted across the street to Summers' team, who were now in position.  One of his team had been a Ball Player before joining up and he pitched the grenade right onto the German team killing them both.  Bunkum's group then advanced and secured the building.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

WW2: Flash and Thunder

"They jumped much too low from planes that were flying much too fast.  They were carrying far too much equipment and using an untested technique that turned out to be a major mistake.  As they left the plane, the leg bags tore loose and hurtled to the ground, in nearly every case never to be seen again.  Simultaneously the prop blast tossed them this way and that."
Band of Brothers by Stephen E Ambrose 
So when Sgt. Don Bunkum hit the ground he found himself alone in the middle of a field surrounded by thick hedgerows.  He decided to move to the nearest edge of the field and after forcing his way through the undergrowth found himself looking into a small lane.  He spotted what looked to be an equipment bundle but to his dismay it was empty.

Meanwhile, the nearby German anti-aircraft unit were enjoying a well earned break after all the initial excitement.

Hearing noises to his left Sgt. Bunkum decided to follow the field edge to investigate.  He quickly identified that there was movement on the other side of the bocage and, once again, began to force his way through it.

On the other side was Lt. Summers and two other men he didn't recognise.  They had obviously attracted the attention of the flak unit as a small patrol was advancing across the field towards the hedgerow behind which they were concealed.

Lt. Summers ordered the men to open fire and soon a hail of bullets rained down on the advancing Germans.

Two of their men fell in the first burst but their NCO returned fire with his SMG and one of the paras fell with the other ducking back behind the earthen bank of the bocage; however, Lt. Summers clearly wasn't phased and returned first cutting the German NCO down and sending the remaining member of the patrol scurrying back to the flak unit.

Having now stirred up a hornets nest and seeing the four barrelled flak gun being rotated in their direction the paras decided it was high time to withdraw and slipped away across the field before all hell broke loose.

The combination of the anniversary of D-Day and the purchase of Blood Upon the Risers was irresistible and so I set up the first scenario for a solo game this morning.  I rolled up my character who turned out to be a Rep 5 NCO who was a Born Leader and as Hard as Nails.  He quickly became the no nonsense Sergeant Don Bunkum.

The first scenario has you starting with only your star who is trying to hook up with his unit.  You randomly determine where you land on the table which has plenty of bocage, a German anti-aircraft unit and two markers or PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces).  The first turned out to be an equipment bundle which was, unfortunately, empty.  The second split into two which ultimately turned out to be the German patrol and the other US paras.

I was pretty pleased with the way the game turned out.  I'm looking forward to the next game now...

WW2: British Infantry

I've just finished basing a few Crusader British Infantry so I thought I would post a couple of pictures of them supported by a Vickers Mk VIB:

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

First Look: Blood Upon the Risers

The latest supplement from Two Hour Wargames for their Nuts! World War 2 rules has just been released just in time for the anniversary of D-Day.  Blood Upon the Risers by Darby Eckles is intended to cover actions of small groups of the US 82nd Airborne on D-Day itself.

The 50 page booklet is available in PDF or hard copy and provides a brief introduction, supplementary special rules for Nuts!, artillery, vehicles, playing the game and 10 scenarios.  The scenarios can be played as a linked campaign (with the results of one affecting the next) or as stand alone games.  The scenarios are all relatively small in scale and can easily be played solo.

Having been a big fan of Band of Brothers and after a brief read of Blood Upon the Risers I can see me being seriously distracted from my current projects!  I may even set up a solo game tomorrow to celebrate the anniversary.

The supplement is available from the Two Hour Wargames website for $14 (pdf) or $15 (printed).  It's not stand alone and you will need to have a copy of Nuts! to play the scenarios.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

2012 Plan Update

Back at the beginning of January I posted an outline of my plans for this year.  As we are now into June I thought I would have a look at what, if any, progress I have made against my new year intentions!  Taking things in the order I originally outlined them:

28mm Mahdist War - as you may have seen from my various posts I have completed the first phase (the Suakin Campaign) of this project with the small exception of some rough stone walls - something I hope to start during the long weekend.  I decided to put the next phase (Khartoum) on hold for the moment (although it is still on the possible list for some purchases at SELWG - some bazingers, baggara horse and a few more Nile arabs). Of course one of the big elements I need to work out is how to do the walls and other defences - although an attack from the river is something I can probably do with the terrain I already have...

28mm Indian Mutiny - again I have been slowly progressing this one as can be seen from the various posts; however, I was going to put this on hold for a little while - at least until I went to Salute and picked up some Naval Brigade and more irregular figures.  These are currently sat on my workbench waiting for me to organise them into a pack to send to be painted.  I suspect I will add a few more figures before they go so it may be a little while before they are actually finished.  Plus I am keeping my eye on the Mutineer Miniatures site as there are some upcoming packs which would help me do some particular scenarios I have in mind.

28mm WW3 - with the sole exception of making and painting my BTR this project has come along nicely and the BAOR and Soviets are exactly where I had planned.  Lenin and I have agreed to stop calling this period "Moderns" as it really isn't any more and now refer to it as "Cold War".  I am currently going through the relevant Force on Force supplement for scenario ideas (as some of them as way out of my reach and budget!)

28mm Early War Polish - I have picked up a couple more packs to make up a platoon of these chaps but I would quite like to give them some armour support, well armour-lite anyway, in the shape of a TK tankette - unfortunately Warlord hadn't brought any to Salute so I couldn't get one there.  I am currently working out where in the painting schedule these guys will best fit.

15mm Marlburian - the first batches of Allied and French forces are currently being painted and I picked up the next batches at Salute so these need tidying up and organising (plus a little more research to choose units etc).  I am currently in the throws of trying to choose which rules I will use for them.  The candidates are Beneath the Lily Banners, Ga Pa, Maurice and Lace Wars at the moment.  Having now read them all I can see each has their own advantages and disadvantages and it may be that I actually end up using more than one set to suit the type of game I want.  In any event I need to decide how I am going to base up the figures and am currently thinking that the BLB approach looks best and can be made to work with all four sets.

28mm Montrose - I am currently in the process of rebasing these figures after their long hibernation!  I am basing them individually and going to use movement trays - the same Warbases ones I use for my Tudor Ireland figures - as this gives flexibility and is much easier for storage, particularly for the pikemen.  I hope to have the first batch finished shortly.  Initially I think I will be using the For God, King and Country rules but Bloody Kingdom from AB One is also a possibility.

25mm French Revolution - OK, so for my first "no progress" report.  I'm afraid this project hasn't moved on at all from January.  The main excuse is that I haven't decided on what I'm going to use for the street terrain - I have some suitable houses but I really don't have any tiles or cloths which look right and I haven't spotted a sensibly priced option yet.

28mm RCW/WW1 Eastern Front - once again "no progress" I'm afraid plus there's not really any excuse for this one - other than I have been working on other things!

So that's an update on the projects I listed in January.  In addition to those I have done a little work on some others.  I based up some more of my 15mm Peter Pig WW2 figures and painted some armour to use with the latest version of I Ain't Been Shot Mum (mainly for a game in February).  I have also finished some 28mm British Paras which I am currently working out a scenario for so I can get them to the table.  But other than that things have been pretty quiet - not least due to the seemingly endless re-decorating required in the "new" house (not made any easier by a recurring leak!)

My list of possible new projects has, of course, grown in addition to the three I mentioned in January I have been distracted by a couple more:
  • 28mm Modern Afghanistan
  • 28mm Maori Wars
  • 28mm Carlist Wars
  • 28mm Medieval (Otterburn or Agincourt - not decided as yet!)
  • 6mm WW2
So that lot should keep me busy!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

First Look: Platoon Forward

I took advantage of the recent sale at the TooFatLardies to fill a couple of the small remaining holes in my collection of their products.  My most recent acquisition was Platoon Forward which is described as "A dynamic campaign system for tactical level games".  So what do you get?

Platoon Forward comes as a 56 page PDF which is designed to work with a variety of sets of rules, not just those produced by the Lardies.  It is geared around WW2 platoon level games (but could be adapted to other periods) and is broken into three major sections - Your Platoon (generating characters), Forward into Battles (generating scenarios) and Events (self explanatory?).

In Your Platoon you will find a series of five tables and accompanying explanations and examples which help you randomly establish the characteristics of the leaders of your platoon:

  • Personality
  • Motivation and Interest
  • Combat Temperament
  • Combat Leadership
  • Background
These can be used to provide a bit of depth to your leaders, to allocate skills or attributes (if these are supported by the rules) and to help you determine how they would react in particular scenarios when you are playing solo.

Forward into Battle takes you through a series of steps to randomly create a scenario, firstly determining whether you are attacking or defending and then providing 11 types of scenario for each with an accompanying scenario card which gives an outline briefing, the table arrangements, forces and victory conditions.  There is a section which helps you determine the terrain and how to determine your forces (particularly the enemy ones - which is the usual Lardies style will be represented by blinds) and there a several examples too.  This provides an excellent framework to put together solo games or creating a pick up and play game.

Events covers pre-game, in-game, post-game and random events along with tables to help determine character reactions.

The book is intended to be a tool kit from which you can choose as few or as many tools as you wish for your particular need and, as such, is an extremely useful resource, particularly for solo gaming.  It will be of more or less use depending on which rules you use and whether they already cover some of these areas but overall I think it's going to be a useful addition to my wargaming rule shelf.