Thursday, June 26, 2014

15mm French Foot Battery & British Battalions

The summer of Horse & Musket marches on with the addition of 3 new units for my Napoleonic forces, all based for the Black Powder rules.

First up is a French Foot Battery in full dress.  This unit will serve as Division Artillery, attached to my Brigade of French troops.  For the size of forces I have in mind, I'll only need 2 or 3 batteries for a proper game so by that logic I should paint approximately 4 batteries :)

They painted up easily enough.

dark blue undercoat followed by light blue highlighting.  There was too much facial hair on the figures to mess around with shading.

I have to confess - most of them were already painted.  I purchased them on ebay years ago.  I rebased them for Black Powder.

A stand I painted and snuck into the line.

2 Battalions.  Still need flock but at least they're done!  I have about 2 more British Battalions to base.  My pre-painted French are all wearing bicornes but I might base at least a battalion of them just to fill out the ranks!
Lots of news on the hobby front.  My Rapid Fire German and Russian Battalions are finished.  Just waiting on the halftracks to dry overnight before dullcoating them and flocking the bases.  I will be painting up 2 companies of T-34s and 2 SU-76 Batteries to go with the Russian Battalion.

In other news, my Flames of War 6mm troopers are doing well.  I finished another Soviet T-34 company and am ready to start the infantry company next.  My German Panzer Kompanie is almost all finished save for the HQs element of the infantry platoon!  I do believe we are almost ready for a proper 6mm game, save for the Hummels, Soviet Artillery, and aircraft!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Epic Haul from Paul

A few weeks ago I received a package from Paul over at Plastic Warriors (thank you, Paul!) that was sent as a trade for some Fidelis 1/87 Roskopf Cold War models I sent him.  The return package I received can only be described as "epic!"
Paul sent 4 1/72 M2/3 Bradley IFVs, 2 1/72 M1 Abrams tanks, and a horde of 1/72 DAK Troops, many of whom are quite rare.

These will definitely be put to good use.  The DAK troops will be painted based for my Bolt Action skirmish wargaming units, and the Bradleys will be put into commission for my modern skirmish wargaming.  Coupled with my "Forces of Valor" 1/72 Brads, these will be part of my "drive on Baghdad" campaign where I'll put them with my 3d Infantry Division troopers.  Either that or I'll use them for 2-2 Infantry Fallujah campaign.  The Brads and the tanks need a little bit of TLC but I am looking forward to trying out my skills with the refurb.  

I probably won't get them as nice as Paul could, but I'm hoping they will be tolerable for the wargaming front!  Either way, Paul saved me a ton of $$ as 1/72 Bradleys are expensive and M1s are as well.
M1A1 Abrams MBTs  The main gun had fallen off his wingman tank but that's an easy fix!

4 Bradley IFVs.  I have 3 other "Forces of Valor" Bradleys that will go nicely with them.

The "motorpool" shot which has become famous here at SOUND OFFICERS CALL


I love the detail.  I just need to clean up a few things and he'll be ready for action.

DAK troopers.  These guys are awesome!!  I was not impressed with the poses in the Caesar DAK troops I bought, so these guys from Paul are just what I needed to complete the force!

A rare day off today will be spent finishing up my RAPID FIRE German and Soviet WW2 Battalions as well as cleaning up my 6mm MicroArmor units for "Micro" Flames of War, which I am getting excited about!!!  So far I've got a German PanzerKompanie almost complete with the following units based for 6mm Flames of War:

  • Company HQs with 2 Mk IVh and a Recovery Vehicle.
  • 2 Mk IVh platoons (10 total)
  • 1 Infantry Platoon almost complete, just need to finish the command stand and 251/10 Halftrack
  • Soviets have 1 tank company finished and I have started on 1 rifle platoon from a rifle company which will eventually be a moto-strelkovy battalion.  

With Flames of War using micro-armor, you can field ALL the support elements you want as 1 pack of infantry is only 10 bucks and you get 72 figures.  Heavy weapons are the same story.  10 dollars for a HW pack gets me a mortar platoon, MG platoon, command, engineers, etc!  Why didn't I think about this sooner?  I put an order in with Litko for the "micro" Flames of War template which is a half-sized artillery template.  I promise to post pics soon. I think Flames of War is ideal for micro-armor games and I have been very excited about playing some massive games with my micro armor, including modern games  (Team Yankee in Flames of War is completely do-able).  With my space limitations (6' x 4' table) Flames of War in 15mm had numerous drawbacks to it.

Don't think I've forgotten about the "Summer of Horse and Musket" either!  2 British Battalions finished for the Peninsula and 1 French Foot Battery completed, all for Black Powder!

When I can get the time in lately, the hobby front has been the main effort. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

German Squad for Bolt Action!

Greetings all and sorry for my conspicuous lack of posts!  We are having some major work done on our house so it's been difficult to break away but enough complaining out of me!

This is my second German squad for Bolt Action.  I think the camo turned out a little bit better than the first squad's camouflage but the next squad will be the Oak Tree pattern which is one of my favorites.

These guys are all 1/72 scaled Caesar German Panzer Grenadiers and the LMG gunner is from Armourfast.  I'll have to watch that one - the AF guys love to shed their paint job at the slightest touch...

dry brushed with "ushabti bone - formerly bleached bone"
 I tried a different technique on their faces which turned out really well.  First I undercoated the skin with brown, then "dwarf flesh" then highlighted with "elf flesh" then washed the faces with "Reikland" skin tone GW ink.

ready for action...these guys mean business!

Armourfast LMG gunner

Probably my favorite picture

Okay - next up - Paul from Plastic Warriors' awesome trade - M2/3 Bradley IFVs and M1 Tanks for my 20mm skirmish needs.  I have enough for a platoon or two of brads to capture a key highway overpass during the drive on Baghdad!  Stay tuned for that.

Also - a progress report - The Summer of Horse and Musket has not lost any steam as I now have 2 British Napoleonic Foot Battalions based (painted by a different owner and purchased on ebay years ago...) as well as a French Foot Artillery Battery for Black Powder.  I am basecoating another SYW Austrian and Prussian Regiment, and will be painting a Napoleonic French Battalion up immediately after that.

My Rapid Fire 15mm German and Russian Battalion is almost finished with 1 more Russian Company to finish, along with the German Weapons Company and the German Battalion HQs.

For Micro-FLames of War I have 2 Russian Tank Companies finished, along with 2 German Mk IVH platoons, a German Panzer Kompanie HQs, and I'm finally starting my Gepanzerte Infantry Platoon in 251 halftracks.  Why didn't I think of doing Flames of War in 6mm sooner!??!

If anyone has experience with that, drop me a line in the comments box, by the way.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

SYW Prussian IR 3: Anhalt 15mm

I finally got around to finishing the last 2 stands of my 15mm Seven Years War Prussians.  The only work left is to detail the officer sashes and a few bits and bobs (colors...add the Regimental and Colonel's colors also!)
But here they are in all their Old Glory goodness and they have many of the Old Glory poses you've come to love such as the "guy with the bandaged head" and the "NCO pointing."

I included both color bearers although I probably could have gotten away with only one since I dont have a mounted officer with the regiment and this could easily represent 1 Battalion of the 2 Battalion-strong Anhalts.

You know the drill.  4 to a base with 6 bases for a 24 trooper Regiment a la Black Powder, my favorite rules set.
Infantry Regiment #3 "Anhalt" assembled for parade!
Drummer!  Some schools of thought say the dummers were behind officers to beat commands

an imposter!  Can you tell which one the Austrian is in this picture?  "DAY 104, THEY STILL DONT KNOW IM AN AUSTRIAN"

The one trooper is turning his head in an impossible position, especially if he's wearing a stock.

The "Summer of Horse and Musket" heats up as we switch gears to Napoleonics and complete a British Peninsular Battalion and a French Foot Battery!  After that we'll complete another Austrian Battalion or change gears again back to the AWI...who knows!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Modern Rapid Fire WWIII Battle: NORTHAG

I couldn't wait to test out Rapid Fire in a modern battle so I grabbed the West German and Russian Roskopf models I received last month and put them to work alongside the Command Decision and Khurasan guys I already had painted up.  For this game I used the supplement I've linked to in other posts but I would like to start using other modern RF supplements and probably tinker with my own.

The Scenario is a breakthrough situation pitting a Soviet tank battalion (T-62) and a mech infantry battalion (BTR-60) against a West German Bundeswehr mixed battalion of 2 infantry companies in Marders and 2 panzer companies (Leopard IA4).  The Germans could also call on a Jagdpanzer AT independent company with Jaguar and HOT-I ATGM missiles, as well as a 2 155mm SP howitzer batteries.  The Soviets had pre-registered artillery fire in the form of a 122mm SP Battalion of 3 batteries which did absolutely nothing.

The Soviet objective is to exit 1 battalion off the table.  The German objective was to stop them.  Since I only have a 6 x 4 table, I played the game in centimeters instead of inches.

While getting off to a slow start, the action heated up rather quickly, and the pictures start at the point where the Soviets are about to close assault the orchard complex with the infantry battalion.  Soviet strategy was to locate and pin the Germans in place and bypass with the armor battalion.  In theory sounds like a good idea.  In practice - not so simple...

PT-76 recon OP passing a burning Marder.  The Marder was KO'd from tank fire.
 The Soviets initially had a hard time spotting the dug-in Germans until the Marder's opened up with their ATGMs, knocking out some BTRs from the mech battalion.  The Soviets deployed to assault the orchard where the Germans were dug in.
The Soviet commander really overestimated the space he'd have to squeeze a tank battalion through.  The resulting traffic jam under fire had devastating consequences.

Reserve Leo company moves into position!

AT unit moves up to ambush the Russian tanks on the road.

Artillery batteries hammering away at the enemy.  
 So far, I am getting the hang of and enjoying Rapid Fire.  It's very much a thinking-man's wargame and allows you the kind of maneuvers on the battlefield that other rules sets would punish you for.  Retrograde moves are possible, as is covering fire.  The only limitations are that, given the scale I believe, infantry units cannot close assault armor and armor cannot over run infantry.  At first I didn't like this rule but am getting the hang of it.  These days, armor doesn't go careening in the midst of hostile infantry anyways.
white bead means they're spotted!  

This red die is to count ATGM fire.  Optional rules are 3 ATGM shots per ATGM equipped stand.  

Priority 1?  Knocking out their recon and artillery OP.  The yellow bead on the BTR is "light damage"
 Soviet forces approached the orchard and start taking artillery fire and auto-cannon fire from the Marders.
meanwhile on the road, my substituted T-62s (they're actually T-55s) stall out and start taking fire from the orchard and beyond.

Leopards breaking from cover to engage the Mech Battalion!  

Artillery helps do the rest of the job and finishes off another BTR and some infantry in the open.  Ivan pushes on...

Jaguar takes up firing positions and the German Milan gunner is KO'd from small arms fire.

Just to the upper left of the pic you see the Leo company in their attack positions as the lead T-62 company deploys for action.

Soviets assault the Germans in the orchard!  The burning Marder.  This is one of my favorite pictures from the battle.
 The Soviets capture most of the orchard and destroy the German infantry company in the process.  There is another infantry company on the perimeter of the Orchard in ambush positions.  The Soviets subsequently stall out.  An RPG gunner gets a clear opportunity to knock out the Jaguar in cover and fails his "heroic action" test!!! drat!
red dice is a casualty marker for the infantry.

PT-76 with light damage.  Meanwhile the rest of the tank battalion gets ready to push forward!

T62 knocked out as soon as he gets off the road!

Russians in the orchard!  Pull back!

remnants of the German infantry company.

modern warfare traffic jam

Soviets make a mad dash for the edge of the board!

Leo's pour fire into Ivan's flanks.  The big red marker is "pinned" and the mech battalion is in trouble.

1 heavily damaged platoon stalls out a company on Ivan's "thunder run" to the table edge.  The Bundeswehr pours in everything they've got to stop them.

meanwhile a sneaky BRDM/AT5 pulls up along the destroyed farmhouse....

High Angle fire for some "danger close" missions.  This time we're pouring fire into the tank battalion with zero kills.

The German infantry company just below the picture in the large copse of trees re-positions themselves to ambush the Soviet infantry company if they try to advance.

The other Leo company races to join up with their brothers in arms and try and kill as many T-62s as possible!!  
Review & Lessons Learned:
This game was a nail biter.  Not only were there alot of "1"s rolled at in-opportune times, but I'm still learning what my units' capabilities are and the limits of the rules.    As I said before, I really like Rapid Fire.  I think it is truly unique from every other rules set I've played.  You just have to get a hang of the rules and at that point, you start to understand what the authors are trying to convey, namely that it's not all a "turkey shoot" and that fires must be intelligently decided on, unlike most other microarmor games when you make decisions that your level of responsibility would never otherwise would have to make.  The level of command represented by RF puts you in command of a truly operational level force complete with all the support, goodies, and toys you'd expect to have as a Colonel commanding a maneuver brigade on a 20th century battlefield.

Again, it's tough to get the hang of it as it has a non-standard sequence of play, but once you do get the hang of things, the turns go alot faster.  The small arms, AT and HE fires system is also unique and units do not evaporate as quickly as they do in other game systems.  IE your troops have real staying power, and the combined arms capabilities they bring to the fight are exploited.  You just have to know how to use them!  Artillery works great against infantry, when you can get it and when it's on target!  AFVs not so much, but it can happen.  Especially if you bunch up your tanks like the Sov's on the road in this game.  Artillery was also responsible for shredding about half of the mech battalion so you've absolutely gotta use it as your tanks and troops will eventually miss a target or roll "light damage!"

In this game, I think the Soviets are going to win for the simple fact that at least 2 companies of the 3 tank company battalion are going to make it off the board.  Unless the Germans roll some really hot dice, they're unlikely to knock out the company and a half of tanks in the number of turns remaining.

For their part however, the Germans are still relatively intact and will likely withdraw in good order.  Not a single tank was lost, however the infantry took high casualties.  It's on to the next battle to try and stop Ivan!