Friday, July 31, 2015

DAK Panzer IV Ausf D/E

Well the week has been much busier than anticipated but I still had time to throw some spray on some tanks in anticipation of Battlegroup: Tobruk coming out, as well as some other games I've been meaning to play with my North Africa troops, who are in need of some MAJOR T.L.C and an overhaul...

This is a Zvezda Panzer IV D or E (I can't remember what the box said and I'm not good with the early war stuff).  I had a few and this one was intended to be a "practice Panzer" until I heard Battlegroup: Tobruk was on the horizon.  This breathed new life into some of my older projects.  I had bought a few of the Zvezvda Matilda IIs, Crusader Mk IVs, Dingo scouts (wheeled recce!!!!) and I already have a sh*t ton of British "Command Decision" 8th Army infantry to base.  So looks like my North Africa forces will be fighting soon.

As is my usual, this model is still unfinished.  I still want to do a healthy does of paint chipping, and possibly add some metallic drybrush to the tracks, which look suitably dirty and dusty.

 The inspiration for this model can be found here:

picture used without their permission.

 I think what I like the best so far is how the technique I used has turned out, even for desert tanks.  One unexpected turn of events was how nice the Testor's "Model Master" "Afrika Mustard" looked after priming the model gray.  It really has a nice, drab look to it that it did not have when just spraying the model mustard before hand.  I am going to use this for all my tanks in the future.

Next to some of my older DAK troops for scale - back when I was young and dumb and was a little over-enthusiastic with my dry brushing!
 I know Ilve gone over the details before, but in case you're wondering.  First I prime, then basecoat in Afrika Mustard, paint the stowage and tracks, and any mechanical accoutrements, then I washed with GW's Nuln Oil, then the Sandgelb/ White dry brush, then a really really light White/sandgelb drybrush.
I love the way the wash turned out with the dry brush over top of it.  There are 2 layers of dry brush, first is a light Sandgelb, then mostly a white with a little sandgelb.  Turned out deliciously dusty... I will never, say that again.  Ever)

still quite a bit of finishing work left for this beast.  Firstly, there is no paint chipping. also need to seal this model and work on the decals to make the less decal-ish!

 I plan on redoing many of my infantry and will most likely paint a DAK Panzergrenadier platoon which I have in the package still after a War Store sale a few years ago.  They will be based individually for Bolt Action, Disposable Heroes, BG, etc.  I am hesitant to base them as a team anymore and am thinking about just using wooden sabot bases for the time being until I figure out just what the heck I want to use them for!

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.