Sunday, 31 March 2013

Salute Shopping List

With Salute 2013 rapidly approaching I have been thinking about what toys I want to get at the show.  Given the rather hefty ticket price I usually justify it by buying enough to cover it in saved postage.

My first thought has been to pick up some more units for my 28mm Indian Mutiny project - which should effectively bring the figure buying for that to a close (there are some more terrain items I have been considering).  So some more Mutineers, native horse and Gentlemen Volunteer horse are likely to be on the list.

Moving on to 28mm World War II, I am thinking of picking up some figures for Waffen SS to allow me to do some of the Final Combat scenarios I have picked up recently.  At the moment it's a toss up between Artizan and Warlord but we'll have to see.  I would also like to get another squad of US Airborne from Warlord to complete my platoon.

I'm in the process of putting together a couple of 15mm World War II games for I Ain't Been Shot Mum and it's highlighted that I haven't got quite the right mix of tanks for early war - so I have a couple of additional Panzers on the list.  In addition I am planning to extend the life of my early war Brits and so want to pick up some PIATs and some stens too.  I would also like to pick up a box of Plastic Soldier Company tanks to try out as I've heard good things about them.

Crooked Dice have released 7th Voyage, their mythic rules, which amongst other things covers Greek Myth so I shall be giving that a look given I have some suitable figures.

I was also going to pick up some terrain items from 4Ground and Products for Wargamers as well as having a look around for anything else of interest.

That was going to be about it but I have recently been distracted by a couple of other things - first was Sudan and the idea of moving up Phase 2 (Khartoum), which would involve buying some Bazingers and some more Nile Arabs but I'm still pondering that one.  Then I saw The Kings Depart blog which is focussed on one of my favourite eras - interwar - and it has got me thinking about my stalled Russian Civil war project and my ideas for the German Revolution - so I may be paying Scheltrum a visit to look at their Shattered Empires range (in particular the vehicles), Empress to look at the Tsuba Freikorps Werdenfels and Musketeer to look at some of their WW1 Russians.

Then there's the new SAGA supplement which is going to be released...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Final Combat: Chef-du-Pont

The next scenario book from Britton Publishers I want to look at is Chef-du-Pont.  Published in 2009, Chef-du-Pont contains 10 scenarios based on some of the US airborne engagements on D-Day supporting the landings at Utah beach.

The booklet is smaller than the two previous ones I looked at, coming in at 66 pages but the pdf is around £7.50.  Unlike the other two books this one only has a single page set of publisher's notes and does have a table to help you translate the stats from Final Combat to Arc of Fire, Battleground, Disposable Heroes, Face of Battle and Nuts!  This is followed by around 9 pages of historical background material which helps place the scenarios.

Each scenario starts with a contemporary photograph, the historical situation, an order of battle and mission briefing for each side and then a set of Game Master's notes including battlefield conditions, deployment, victory conditions and some author's tips.  This is followed by a map and, unlike the other two books this isn't a photo of a wargames table but rather a purpose drawn colour diagram.  The US forces are typically a platoon or less and the Germans a single or couple of squads with some support weapons - although they do get a platoon sized set of reinforcements in one of them.  The scenarios don't require any vehicles (unless you count a crashed glider) and most of the terrain is straightforward (although a couple do require several buildings) so seem manageable in larger scales without a huge "investment".

This is all rounded out with a concluding section recounting the historical outcome.

Whilst this has less scenarios that either Operation Jupiter or Unternehmen Lüttich they all seem eminently do-able with a sensible amount of figures and terrain and provide some interesting challenges.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Heights of Carillon 1758

With the planned Vietnam campaign at the club postponed due to illness I decided to take my Habitants & Highlanders Carillon scenario along as one of the replacement games.

The scenario is based on the battle in July 1758 for Fort Carillon between the British under James Abercrombie and the French under Montcalm.

The British advanced from the woods to find the French manning a defensive positions on the heights between them and the fort.  The French had built some basic breastworks and abatis defences which combined with the slope of the heights provided a formidable obstacle to the British, especially as the latter had no artillery as yet.

The battlefield

The British skirmish line advancing from the woods

The French manning their defences

The French right flank

The British continue their advance

The Provincials advance on the British right

The Provincials reach the bottom of the heights

With the British poised to launch their first assault the French chose to take the initiative, La Reine and a unit of Marines stormed over their own works and down into the advancing Massachusetts Provincials.   After a single French volley the militia fled and the French turned and charged into the flank of the advancing column of the 42nd Highlanders.

The French engage the militia

Unfortunately only La Reine charged home into the Highland column and the latter's massive superiority in numbers took its toll.  But with the French repulsed, the 42nd chose to fall back to regroup which, combined with the fleeing militia, left a hole in the centre of the British line.

Adapting to this unexpected turn of events, the British chose to launch a two pronged assault with the British line on the left and the Provincials on the right.  Volley after volley was exchanged with the French defenders and the British had the weight of numbers which began to show with the French taking serious casualties and their units slowly falling back from the defences.

The 46th on the left and the 55th on the right stormed over the abatis and into the remaining French and a vicious melee began.  The French couldn't repulse the assault and gradually fell back to the centre of the heights and tried to form a second defensive line.

The French form their second defensive line

The British organised themselves and, led by their largest units, the 44th and the 42nd Highlanders, they advanced on the French line pouring volley after volley into them.  The French returned fire but their line became gradually more ragged and, when the British charged home the fight was quickly over.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Final Combat: Unternehmen Lüttich

Unternehmen Lüttich is another in the series of scenario books from Britton Publishers for Final Combat.  This book contains a whopping 50 scenarios based on Victory at Mortain: Stopping Hitler's Panzer Counteroffensive by Mark J. Reardon which describes how the US 30th Infantry Division held off elements of 4 combat hardened panzer divisions in Normandy in 1944.

The book is 128 pages long and, as with Operation Jupiter, is available as either a perfect bound hard copy or a pdf via through the links on the Britton Publishers website.  The pdf is around £9.

Unternehmen Lüttich is produced in a single column format and, after 11 pages of contents (there must be a more efficient way of doing this) starts with a set of Publisher's notes which provide a bit of background to the production of the book, sources and notes associated with the Final Combat rules.  Once again, and unlike some of the earlier booklets, this one doesn't a table to help convert the Final Combat stats to other rule sets; however, this is relatively straightforward for Nuts! which is my preferred set for this scale.

The Publisher's Notes are followed by a brief introduction to the historical engagement and then we move onto the scenarios themselves.  The scenarios are broken into six sections and, as with Operation Jupiter, each scenario starts with a contemporary photograph, a very brief background piece, a list of the US and German forces, the victory conditions and a brief description of the historical aftermath.

The final section of the book contains the "maps" for the scenarios and some umpire's notes (once again the "maps" are, in fact, colour photos of actual wargames tables along with a few added annotations; however, the actual scale of the terrain isn't actually stated this time as far as I can see).

The scenarios are generally smaller than platoon level but most do require quite a few vehicles and a couple of them are actually ground to air engagements including an air supply drop.

With 50 scenarios, even if you drop those with too many vehicles and the ground/air ones, you have plenty of interesting material here.  Again, I would have preferred actual maps in addition to the photos but overall I think this is a useful addition to my scenario collection.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

4Ground 15mm Damaged Semi Type 1

Whilst I didn't get much time for gaming this weekend, I did manage to put together the next of my 4Ground purchases.  This time it was the first of the 15mm damaged buildings I have bought.  Other than the brick elements being a little fiddly to put together at this smaller scale, the building went together as easily as the undamaged versions.  Here are a few photos of the package and the finished article, along side some I had made earlier:

The last photo has the building alongside a rubble roadblock I am currently in the process of making which includes some 4Ground MDF off cuts.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Final Combat: Operation Jupiter

I recently spotted that Britton Publishers had released Operation Jupiter, the latest in their series of scenario booklets for their Final Combat rules.  I had previously picked up a couple of their books and thought this new one might be a good addition to the collection.

Operation Jupiter is a set of 30 scenarios surrounding the fight for Hill 112 in Normandy in 1944.  Bennett Lacy, the author, states that the scenarios are taken directly Normandy: Hill 112 - The Battle of the Odon by Major Tim Saunders which is part of the Battleground Europe series from Pen & Sword.

The book is 88 pages long and is available as either a perfect bound hard copy or a pdf via through the links on the Britton Publishers website.  The pdf is currently just over £7.

Operation Jupiter is produced in a single column format and starts with a set of Publisher's notes which provide a bit of background to the production of the book, sources and notes associated with the Final Combat rules.  As an aside I don't actually have a copy of the Final Combat rules themselves but the level of the scenarios and their presentation is such that they are easy to convert to other sets of rules; however, unlike some of the earlier booklets this one doesn't have a translation table.

The Publisher's Notes are followed by a brief history of the engagement before diving into the scenarios themselves.  The scenarios are broken into eight sections but each can be fought independently.  Each scenario starts with a contemporary photograph, very brief pieces of general and specific background, a list of the British and German (mostly SS) forces, the victory conditions and a brief description of the historical aftermath of the engagement.  The "maps" for the scenarios are all together in the final section of the book.  I say "maps" as they are, in fact, colour photos of actual 5' x 6' wargames tables using, what to my eye, looks like 20mm terrain along with a few added annotations and umpire's notes.  The majority of the scenarios are at platoon level or lower but some do require quite a few vehicles which may make them expensive to do in 28mm.

I think the book is rather useful and having 30 scenarios means that if you don't have the kit for some you still have quite a few to choose from.  Whilst I found the wargame table photograph approach to the "maps" interesting I found some of the angles of the photos unhelpful and overall I would have preferred to have a proper map instead or in addition.  I'm planning to get some Waffen SS to enable me to play some of these with my 28mm figures.

Whilst writing this up I realised that I hadn't done an overview of any of the other Final Combat scenario books I have in my collection - so expect to see a few more posts on those in the near future.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Saturday, 9 March 2013

4Ground 15mm Terrace Type 2

So having missed out on going to Cavalier last month I decided to spend some of my show budget on some new 15mm 4Ground buildings.  I put the first one, the Type 2 Terrace together this morning but was all fingers and thumbs and rather mucked up the roofs - something which I'll need to sort when the glue all dries.  Here are a couple of photos:


Friday, 8 March 2013

New 4Ground Buildings

I see 4Ground have some new 28mm three storey pre-finished WW2 building kits available for pre-order.  They quite a bit more expensive than the two storey equivalents but I think they're bigger horizontally as well as vertically.  Here are some picture from their website:

Monday, 4 March 2013

North Star - British Wilderness Force

Having got the French Wilderness Force I needed some figures for the other side and so also picked up the British Wilderness Force set.  As with the French, you get 23 figures in the plastic box with some plastic bases:

1 Ranger Officer
10 Rangers
6 Rangers with Rifles
6 Mohawk Indians

Once again this gives me a 200 point force for Muskets & Tomahawks and the figures needed a similar clean up. Here are a few photos:

Saturday, 2 March 2013

North Star - French Wilderness Force

Having decided that I was going to go for the "larger" French & Indian War 28mm figure ranges (North Star, Galloping Major, Redoubt) for my Muskets & Tomahawks project, I picked up the French Wilderness Force from North Star.  You get 23 figures in a plastic box and they are accompanied with some plastic bases:

1 Compagnie Franche de la Marine Officer
10 Compagnie Franches de la Marine
6 Coureurs des Bois
6 Huron Indians

This gives me a 200 point force for Muskets & Tomahawks.  The figures needed a little cleaning up with a little bit of flash and loads of run offs but otherwise I am pretty pleased with them.  Here are a few photos: