Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rifles & Racket (Muskets & Mayhem's WW2 Cousin)

Well I think it has finally happened.  My mad apothecary has once again broken all the rules and developed a hybrid rules system with a sequence of play that should seem familiar if you have seen our initial Horse & Musket concept called "Muskets & Mayhem."

The M&M sequence of play harks to a simpler time of playing with Toy Soldiers but hones a sophisticated order of events to where the commander of troops must put serious consideration into the plan prior to executing it.

"Rifles & Racket" uses the exact same play sequence from M&M but is set in World War II and as such units will have all of the distinctive capabilities that a squad of infantry would have had during the second world war.  The concepts of morale, troop quality, importance of figures and management of key resources are still there.  But the combat system is borrowed from another tried and true game system: Charles Grant's BATTLE.

Followers of my blog will note that I have always held a special place in my heart for BATTLE and my single complaint about it was the fact that the sequence of play was insufficient.

Well, with the M&M sequence (developed from another Charles Grant system!) you can almost directly insert the BATTLE combat rules and capabilities in with almost no tinkering.

So here is the sequence of play for RIFLES & RACKET:

  • Initiative
  • Movement
  • Artillery & Artillery Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Stationary Fires & Stat. Fire Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Moving Fires & Moving Fire Casualties + Morale Checks
  • Morale: Attempt to recover morale failures
  • Melee resolve melees.

Should look familiar if you read any of my Muskets & Mayhem blog posts.
Initiative is self explanatory.  The winner of this D6 roll controls the sequence and may decide to move or fire first throughout the turn.

Movement is done by platoon.  The initiative player decides who will move a unit first.  Then the other player may move a unit.  All of this is done until movement on both sides is completed.  Infantry all move 4 inches.  Vehicles have their own movement values, subject to Charles Grant's BATTLE rules (Quick Reference Sheet is available at the link below)

Artillery phase.  FO must be stationary.  Both sides roll Artillery fire missions.  use a scatter die and 1D6 for every 10 inches an FO is from the target.  Roll for each unit under a barrage template.  (Charles Grant's BATTLE rules have a great attack mechanism for Artillery attacking light armor, infantry, and AFVs).  I will post a link to download the QRS for free - you just have to join a yahoo group first)  Casualties and morale checks from artillery fire are taken now.

Stationary Fires.  Units who did not move may fire at this time.  All casualties during this phase are simultaneous.  Meaning they may still get a chance to fire, even if they become knocked out as a result of the other player's stationary fires.

1 Squad of infantry is a stand of 4 figures.  Squads fire at a rate of 1D6 per 2 figures.  So a full strength squad stand with 4 figures gets 2D6.  If it is designated as an LMG squad, it receives the LMG To Hit values per Charles Grant's Battle and rolls 2 dice since it has 4 figures.  Heavy weapon stands always only fire with 1 weapon system.  All figures count as crew. 

Any time a stand loses a figure it must make a morale check.  This is done in exactly the same way as Muskets & Mayhem using the Troop Quality rules.  A unit who fails this morale check is pinned and may not move or fire until it recovers morale.

Units taking a hit may make a save throw based on their Troop Quality as well.

Elite / Veteran 2+
Regular 3+
2nd Rate 4+
Conscript 5+

Moving Fires.  Units who moved during the movement phase may now fire at a -1 modifier.  (yes, even AFVs).  Again, the BATTLE QRS has all of the ranges, and To Hit values for Rifle, LMG, HMG, Mortars, etc.

AFVs have "Strike Values" for their guns, and "Defensive Values" for their Armor.  BATTLE has these all listed.  To adjudicate a hit, there is a To Hit value with 2D6 at range.  If hit, roll 2D6 and add the result to the vehicle's STRIKE VALUE to see if you beat the armor.  If beat, the vehicle is destroyed.

Morale.  Since morale is taken every time a unit loses a figure, the Morale Phase is used to recover morale for both sides.  This is done simultaneously and in any order.  Simply roll the unit Troop Quality to remove a pinned status.

Melee.  Resolve Melees.  Units in contact are in locked in melee.  They may not fire.  Units must pass a TQ check prior to entering melee.  If a unit being charged passes a TQ check, they may break off and withdraw or they may fire at their chargers.  Both units roll 2D6 in melee.  Higher roll is the winner with the following modifiers (per CG's BATTLE)

Command Stand within sight: +1
Command Stand within 1 move: +2
Target Unit Pinned: -2
Unit separated from other units: -1
Elite or Veteran: +1
Conscript: -1

BATTLE Practical Wargaming QRS can be found below.  Use the SQUAD tables!  Happy hunting!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Waffen SS Squad in 15mm

Well I think I finally have this SS camo stuff licked.  The primary ingredient missing were proper colors, which I bought from Vallejo.  (SS Paint Set).  The light green and dark green really did the trick, finally.  They didn't even take as long as before when I would mix my own colors.

My biggest problem following the FoW "pea dot" instructions were it looked like New Jersey Mall Leopard print!  So I used the "plane tree" style and the colors worked much better this time.  There are still dots, but much greener colors.

 Base was GW's "Death World Forest" which I really like better than the Vallejo bases that are recommended.  If making this camo is all about tricking the eyes, it shows off the parts I want to show off much better.

Dark Camo Green splotches with the bright green dots.  The black dots go over the olive green splotches.

The weapons section was painted a little differently.  I just simply used bright green dots and dark green dots for the most part.
 Paul F if you're reading this - I used a toothpick for the dots and it worked brilliantly.

Just haven't painted the bread bags yet

older style I tried.  

pictures on the woodpile a little better if you don't mind the bird poop!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Some Interesting Pictures from Iraq..

Not much work on the hobby front but since tomorrow is Thursday, I figured I'd post some "throw-back" pictures from spring of 2003.  These are some "light hearted" pictures of some of my time in Iraq during Iraqi Freedom and also mein bester kamerad, David F .  I figured some of you would like seeing some of these.
The gentleman with his hands on his hips and the perculiar look on his face is David F, best man at my wedding and Godfather to my daughter!  The odd looking fellow in the foreground is yours-truly - when I had hair!  This was during our Brigade consolidation at Balad Airbase, about 80 km's north of Baghdad.
 I'll never forget one morning some buddies came and woke me up after I was up on the night shift and said "you'll want to lose sleep for this" well they took me out to this completely intact T-72 and said "here you go, sir.  have at it" and knew I'd want to crawl all over this and I think we all spent about an hour playing around on this thing.  This was all on Taji inside our Forward Operating Base.  Taji was like a military or wargamer's amusement park.

Captured T-72 - intact and no sabot holes through it!!

Me in the TC hatch.

David F's promotion to Sergeant!

M109A6 "Paladin" Howitzers and their "Cats" from 4th Infantry Division DIVARTY

nice sign welcoming us to Baghdad and "Route Sword"

Yours truly mounting a captured T-72 tank with a captured helicopter pilot's helmet because I couldn't find a tanker's helmet!

yours truly on the right, eating some beef jerky while still in Kuwait.  Note our luxurious accommodations!

I cried until the tears wouldn't come.  Row upon row of bull-dozed MI-24 Hinds from the Republican Guard.  I still have a stamp-plate from the cockpit of one!

captured enemy equipment yard.  T-62s, T-55s, T-72s, in fact just about any Cold War export you could think of here.

Some knocked out Iraqi armor that we didn't dare go near.  The dust from the DU penetration rounds is radioactive.

Chinese or Russian IFVs and APCs 

Second Lieutenant me on the right

me and Dave F!

This pic went into the battalion newspaper.....

Paul F, this one is for you.  I'd like to see you kit-bash this baby!  BTR with an AA turret on the top.  twin auto-cannons!  I wonder if it would work though?

Battalion Fire Direction Center in Kuwait.

Some Bradleys going out on patrol.

me in all my glory headed into a T-72 for the first time.

Friday, July 17, 2015

T-54/55 Main Battle Tank!

How best to honor this work horse of the opposing forces (OPFOR) than to show off one newly painted, decaled, sealed and ready for front-line service!

Here, in all it's glory is a completed Roskopf 1/100 model T-54 which will obviously also do double and triple duty as a T-55 and possibly even a T-62 during upcoming games of BATTLEGROUP: REFORGER and eventually BATTLEGROUP: NORTHAG.

Same process as the PT-76.  Primed, sprayed tan, blue tac, sprayed green, remove blue tac, tracks painted, washed with GW "Nuln Oil", dry-brushed, decaled, sealed, and ready for action!  Took a few days to do everything so that tells me I really need to get faster with this process.  There are 5 more like this guy waiting for their treatment - and a whole ton of APCs and specialist vehicles after that!

Subsequent models will have a ditch-bar and some may have fuel barrels on the back or even aerials.  I haven't decided yet but the good people at Roskopf even included a mount for the radio aerial.

The T-54/55 was one of the most widely produced tanks in the world and you can read the fascinating history behind this cold war legend here.

Aside from working in really any country of the Warsaw Pact that I want, I can double this guy as a Chinese tank, or even Syrian or Egyptian for some games set in the Far East or Middle East.

next to last week's PT-76!

On the advance!

Moving down the tank trail

looks cool outside

love this dusty picture from field exercises!

radio aerial mount clearly visble

Hull down!

engaging hostile targets!  T-55 breaks from cover and advances!

Up next- more T-55s?  Possible the new BTRs?  Who knows?  And just when am I going to start the important work on those Mi-24 Hinds anyways?  Because they're sorely needed at the front!