Wednesday, 27 February 2013

First Look: Vpered Na Berlin

Vpered Na Berlin is the latest handbook for I Ain't Been Shot Mum 3 from the Too Fat Lardies.  Following on from their previous supplement, Battle for Liberation, this one focuses on the Eastern front of World War 2 from 1943 to 1945.

Weighing in at a whopping 108 pages this full colour pdf covers German, Romanian, Hungarian, Finnish, Yugoslavian and Soviet forces for the period.

Presentationally this handbook follows the style of Battle for Liberation with each nationality begining with a brief introduction followed by a single page detailing each type of company, then a couple of pages covering possible battalion, divisional and other support which might be available.

As before each page is neatly split into various colour coded boxes to distinguish between the various units making it clear whether these are on table or off table elements. Tables are then provided to give stats for the various troops, vehicles and heavy weapons along with any special rules and an outline of which additional cards may be applicable.

Each section covers the various unit type - for the Germans this includes a staggering 14 different unit types ranging from a Grenadier Kompanie through a Panzerspah Kompanie to a Cossack Sotnia. To this are added guidance on fielding German AFVs, how to rate German forces, stats for all the vehicles and weapons, weapon rules and articles on Partizan fighting and forming a Kampfgruppe. The other nationalities receive similar treatment.

Once again the presentation style is very similar to the previous handbook and the main IABSM rule book, the text is clearly laid out and interspersed by various photographs and relevant diagrams and everything is easy to find and understand.

Having set the price point with Battle for Liberation it should come as no surprise that this handbook is also £10 but it is clear that an enormous amount of time and effort has gone into researching the various units and organisations. I think this is another very useful addition and I am looking forward to future material (particularly some early war stuff - hint, hint!).

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Butterfly Strikes Again!

With my plans for today having been somewhat disrupted (see my last post),  I've need to try to sate my wargaming addiction other ways - which have included having a peruse of the copy of Field of Glory (Ancient & Medieval) that I picked up (for a very reasonable price) on eBay last week.

Of course this was a grave error of judgement given my trouble staying focussed on any one thing for more than 5 minutes!  So I'm now thinking about my stranded Alexandrian Macedonian project from some years ago.

I suppose the interest was actually rekindled a little looking out the figures for the club DBA tournament last year.  I came fourth with my Late Hoplite Greeks - which I thought was a reasonably creditable performance given I hadn't played DBA for at least 15 years!

 vs the Hussites

vs Polybian Romans 

vs Sub-Roman British 

vs Anglo-Saxons

Of course the tournament creates battles between opponents who could never have met historically due to time or geography (as you can see from my games above) but it's all just a bit of fun and lets everyone join in.

In looking around for an army to play I pulled out my fledgling Ancients project box and revealed the four DBA armies I had put together for it originally - Hoplite Greek, Thracian, Macedonian and Persians.  Which got me to thinking back to my original plan to grow it into a couple of decent armies for a real game.  Of course rules were the real stumbling point - I've never really been a fan of rules which try to lump everything from the dawn of time to 1485 into one period (and, yes, I know FoG falls into this category too) and was looking for some with some more real period flavour.  Having failed to find any I decided I was going to write some of my own - at which point my butterfly syndrome kicked in and I was off onto another project.

So this morning when I had a chance to have a look at the FoG rulebook I was drawn back into thinking about my plans for this project.  I've even started trying to work out the manufacturer of my existing figures so that I can expand them.

Of course FoG isn't going to fit my original plan for a period specific ruleset but given that it has a following at the club I might actually be able to get the figures to the table enough to make it worth making the "investment" in expanding my existing collection.

Mind you all of this will have to survive budget constraints and me flitting off on another flight of fancy...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Cavalier Woes

So I had it all arranged - my travel, my shopping list etc. all ready to go along to Cavalier tomorrow and then ... the wife comes down with the flu.  So instead of perusing the various trader stands, admiring the games and chatting with friends and acquaintances I will be doing my best Florence Nightingale impression (and yes the outfit is rather uncomfortable).

I'm going to have to fall back on mail order for all the stuff I can and wait until Salute for the rest.

So all the best to those who are actually going, I hope you have an excellent time!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

First Look: Classified (Force on Force)

The latest supplement for the Force on Force rules dropped through my letterbox this morning.  This one is entitled Classified: Special Operations Missions 1940-2010 and, as you might expect, covers special forces missions from the second world war to the present day.

The book is in the standard Force of Force style and runs to 136 pages.  The introduction starts by talking about special operations and wargaming, explains what makes an operation "special" and then addressed the differences in this book from the other supplements.  This is followed by new rules for special operations forces and then there are three scenario sections covering historical, generic and "Hollywood" operations.  A selection of current special operations forces (US, Russian, European, Canadian, Israeli and Asia-Pacific) are then described along with a miniatures guide and a glossary.  The bok finishes off with a bibliography and the book artwork references.

The scenarios sections contain 9 historical, 6 generic (including two mini-campaigns) and 3 "Hollywood" ones:


  • Raiders on Makin Island, a USMC island raid 17-18 August 1942
  • Heading Toward Extraction, US LRRP north of the DMZ, Vietnam 1969
  • Fighting the War of Attrition, Egyptian commando raid on an Israeli convoy, Sinai 1970
  • The Battle of Mirbat, Communist rebels attacking the SAS, Oman 1972
  • Bulldozers Lead the Way, 75th Rangers, Grenada 1983
  • Price of a Vendetta, Speznaz holding off the Mujahideen, Afghanistan 1986
  • SEALS on the Tarmac, US Navy SEALs attack Noriega's jet, Panama 1989
  • Cross Border Incident, US raid on Al Qaeda, Syria 2008
  • Night Raid, US Ranger/Afghan forces raid on Taliban high value target , Afghanistan 2012


  • Gone to Ground, a CSAR mission on the edge of a nation in political turmoil
  • Homecoming, a rescue/counter-piracy mission
  • A Night's Work, a terrorist training camp assault
  • Brave New World (A Mini Campaign): three missions - snatch and grab; recon and hostage rescue
  • Ocean Oil 982, an oil platform assault
  • Princes of Persia (A Mini Campaign): four missions - "blow up stuff", kill or capture, secure a base of operations and direct action


  • Force 10, an Allied raid on a German coastal gun position, 1942
  • Bungle in the Jungle (Solitaire), a drug raid in Central America, 1980s
  • Hunters Hunted, US Navy SEALs vs Mexican Drug Lords, 2012

The section on current special operations forces is more of an overview and general description rather than sample organisations as the forces for these types of missions tend to be put together on a case by case basis depending on the specific needs and availability.

This book covers quite a period but provides plenty of interest and inspiration for smaller special forces games.  I'm certainly keen to try a couple of these out!

Another Milestone

After hitting 500 posts last month, this month we've reached another milestone for the blog:

So thank you to everyone who has been reading my various ramblings and particularly to those who are not only regular readers but also take the time to comment!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Field of Glory: Renaissance - ECW

I managed to get along to the local club yesterday and had a chance to try out Field of Glory: Renaissance for the first time.  There is a strong FoG group at the club but this was the first time they had tried out the Renaissance version themselves - they tend to favour the original Ancients/Medieval version.

The game was set in the later part of the English Civil War in the North with  a smaller but more experienced Royalist army facing off against a larger, principally Scots, force.  I ended up on the Royalist side commanding the Cavalry and some infantry on the left.

The game started with the Parliamentarians throwing the cavalry on their left forward and we responded - initially this looked as if it was going to be a foregone conclusion as the Scots significantly outnumbered the Royalists.

 The Parliamentarian Cavalry - Scots Lancers supported by the Eastern Association Horse

The advance on our left flank was accompanied by an artillery bombardment from our heavier pieces (the Scots frame guns being somewhat out of range to respond).  Initially the artillery seemed devastating but then some rule consultation revealed that a crucial roll had been omitted which changed the result somewhat!

Horse faces Horse (looking from the Parliamentary side) 

The centre of the Parliamentarian Foot 

On my flank, the Parliamentary horse and dragoons advanced.  I countered with my smaller dragoon and larger cavalry force.

My Horse and Dragoons advance

I threatened them and their horse split and turned tail whilst their dragoons began to fall back to the uneven ground behind them.

The horse had contacted on our right and a large and prolonged cavalry melee ensued.  Eventually the Scots cracked and our horse broke through into the Eastern Association horse; however, much to the Parliament players' surprise they took broke - albeit causing some serious casualties to the Royalists.

Meanwhile I continued to pursue the horse and dragoons on my flank - getting somewhat frustrated by their dragoons' ability to fire and withdraw without me being able to catch them.  Their commander's superior knowledge of the rules began to show and I got my units into a slightly awkward arrangement given the movement restrictions within the rules.  Fortunately I got some good advice from my side and with some dice luck managed to extricate myself without too much damage being done.

With us advancing on both flanks we moved our foot forward to engage the enemy.  One unit of my horse was being shot up by their dragoons so I advanced mine to support them.  But a straight cavalry melee went my way whilst their foot was being pinned by my other horse and our approaching foot.  The pursuit saw my horse break through and their right flank started to look a little exposed.

On our right flank, the Parliamentary foot had managed to secure their flank before our horse could exploit their advantage and the foot clashed in the centre.  With the greater weight of Scots foot we expected the melee to go their way but a series of unlucky dice rolls (and their poorer quality) saw it  move in our favour.

With their remaining cavalry breaking and taking the adjacent foot unit with them it started a collapse which a last minute win towards our centre (which saw our CinC killed) couldn't counteract.  With my horse now in their rear we secured the victory.

Monday, 4 February 2013

First Look: Blenneville or Bust!

I often pick stuff up more out of interest rather than with a genuine plan to doing something with them.  This has been true more than once with Too Fat Lardies' products which are usually interesting even if slightly off schedule.

Given that I am thinking of expanding my 15mm WW2 project a little I wondered if the Blenneville or Bust! campaign book for I Ain't Been Shot Mum (3rd edition) would be helpful - so I picked up a copy.  Whilst it's not exactly cheap at £9.50 for the pdf, it is a whopper at 300 pages!

The campaign is a fictional one, set shortly after D-Day with British and American forces trying to break through German defensive positions.  The campaign follows a pyramid structure with the outcome of each scenario determining which scenario should be played next meaning there is plenty of re-playability and fifteen separate maps are included for the various scenarios.

The forces are based on those appearing in the Battle for Liberation supplement for IABSM3 and, whilst for the full Monty there's quite an investment it does mean they will be re-usable.  A figure requirements table is helpfully included.

Each scenario comes with an introduction and separate briefings for each side with force requirements.  The booklet isn't intended to be printed and read cover to cover but rather for the individual briefing sheets to be printed out ready for any specific game.

The scenarios look nicely varied and the information is presented in a clear and accessible way - all round very interesting.

Friday, 1 February 2013

2013 Projects

Having had a rather slow start to the year (at least from a gaming perspective - real life having intervened yet again!), I was mulling over in my mind my plans for this year's projects and so I thought I would share them.

28mm French & Indian Wars

My only genuinely new project for 2013 will be Muskets & Tomahawks.  So far I have managed to pick up a copy of the rules - which look interesting hence it making it's way into the project schedule.

Figure-wise there were two options - the smaller end with Conquest and Perry miniatures or the bigger end with North Star, Galloping Major and Redoubt.  I have decided to Go Large! and will be picking up some of the North Star figures to start with.

As far as terrain goes, I already have a reasonable number of trees and the like but I need to add a river and, more importantly, some suitable buildings.  Fortunately 4Ground have released a new range of pre-finished laser cut MDF buildings which could well be an easy solution.

28mm Early WW2 Poland

The next (nearly new) project is my early World War 2 Poles.  As you may recall, if you've been following my previous wittering, I managed to get a platoon of the Bolt Action figures at a pretty reasonable price.  I am hoping to get these back from the painter in the near future.  I also picked up one of the little TKS tankettes - which is currently awaiting preparation on the workbench.

Obviously I will be using Nuts! as the rules for this one and I have the Skirmish Campaigns booklet for scenario inspiration (albeit that it's intended for the Black Brigade).  I wasn't planning on doing anything terribly specific on the terrain front and just using my new 4Ground houses etc.

28mm Montrose

So this one is anything but new - I've had the figures knocking around for many, many, many years.  But, as you may have seen, I have been slowly getting them into a fighting state.

So far I have finished the infantry for Montrose and have started on the Convenant infantry.  Then there will be some cavalry and some light artillery plus the command figures to be done.

The big question, and a contributory factor as to why this project has taken so long to get off the ground, is which rules to use.  I've never thought that standard ECW rules can really reflect the peculiarities of Montrose's battles but I don't really have much else in the way of options unless I write some myself (which is always a possibility).  On the list at the moment are For God, King and Country by the Canadian Wargamers Group, Bloody Kingdom by AB One, Pike & Shotte and To the Banners.  I'm going to give each a try and will report back.

15mm Marlburian

So if you were paying any attention over the last couple of months you'll know this was last year's main project and I've managed to finish the first phase.  I am hoping that 2013 will see the second phase making some real progress.

The second phase is essentially the same as the first phase in terms of figure quantities only this time I am planning to introduce some allied troops to both sides.  In the case of the French it will be the Irish and for the English it will be the Dutch.

Rules wise I am keen to try Maurice again and having been a little disappointed by Beneath the Lily Banners I will be looking again for a set for multi-player games.  At the moment Gå På is currently on my bedside table for another look (I'm still finding it a little less than accessible but maybe that's just me?).  I'm also wondering whether to get a copy of Captain-General by the Pike & Shot Society.  In any case it's certain that there will be more tabletop action in the War of Spanish Succession whilst phase 2 is rumbling on.

28mm Indian Mutiny
My Mutiny project from 2011 is desperately in need of a few more units.  I have some more infantry waiting for painting (Bundalee infantry, Ghazis and some Naval Brigade) but they could also do with some more Mutineers and some more cavalry - I'm particularly keen to pick up the Gentlemen Volunteers.

This is another one where I need to settle on some rules.  I have yet to give John Company a go - so that will be the next test I suspect.  Although I may give the tweaked Sharp Practice another go too.

15mm WW2

So, this one isn't new at all; however, I am planning to base up some more figures to use with I Ain't Been Shot Mum v3 which worked rather well the last time we tried it.

Obviously the new 4Ground 15mm buildings will see some use for this (after all, it's the main reason I bought them) but I do need a few more.  I have picked up some 15mm roads too though so expect to see more of this.

28mm Dark Ages

So this is really less of a project and more a bit of a chore but I've decided I really need to rebase my early and later Dark Ages figures which I'm going to be using for Dux Britanniarum and Saga respectively.  It's not that they are on the wrong sized bases on anything like that - it's rather that the bases are looking rather tired.

I also need to do a weapon refresh as a number of the later Saxons and Vikings are early Gripping Beast figures and so have those old bendy swords  (which have a habit of snapping off).

28mm Crusades

And finally there's the wildcard - I'm currently setting up a trial game of Deus Vult and it's become apparent that I don't really have enough figures for a decent sized game (don't you just hat it when that happens?).

So I am currently eyeing up the Perry Crusades range ...

... of course I may not like the rules when I play them (which will save me some cash) but I'm not sure how likely that will be!