Sunday, September 23, 2018

Saturday Night CROSSFIRE: Mac's Missions & Hobby Focus

My buddy Alex was over last night to play a game of Crossfire using the "Mac's Missions" [click] rules for pickup games.  We played with my Eastern Front forces, with Alex taking the Soviets and yours truly taking the Germans.  We each drew our missions secretly.  I drew "probe" and Alex drew "Breakthrough."  We used the time clock to "75" which also added a great element of tension to the game.

Mac's Missions add specific parameters to use for each side's victory conditions.  They're fun because you're left trying to guess the enemy's plan all while trying to execute your own.  Now if I can figure out how the point system works, I can tell you who won last night! 

Forces on the table - looking towards the Soviet lines
This was Alex's first game of Crossfire and I think he really enjoyed it.  He took up some great positions and also took advantage of some clear fire lanes and made my life as the German Hauptmann very difficult!
Alex causing trouble for the Germans on his left flank
 Alex had the German right flank pretty much locked down and advanced his troops up to a small farm hamlet where he was able to keep my 3rd platoon locked down.  The 3rd platoon had to literally claw their way up to a small hill.
On the German left, I quickly realize that the Soviet forward area is covered by rifle fire and HMG fire from 3 directions.  My decision to weigh down the left was a bad one!  My troops occupy the treeline overlooking some rubble piles and a wheatfield, only to start mixing it up with half the Soviet army!

The German left - the "main effort" proved a mistake
Alex had some great dice also and his shooting was deadly, mixing it up with my 1st Platoon in the treeline.  He quickly learns the value of a "Crossfire" and starts directing fire onto my lead squads and an HMG section.  I have 3 suppressions on my hand already!

The squad in the rear pictured would end up being my saving grace.
Alex surges a platoon forward after some intense firing and assaults the treeline, wiping out a squad, and an HMG section.  We did have a question about supporting squads (can 1 squad in the rear lend support to multiple combats) but we overcame it.  Alex wins 2 out of 3 combats but the third one sees 2 squads sent packing!  Germans get the initiative and shoot up a squad in the open, eventually killing it.

We also realize the time clock is clicking down.  The remnants of my platoon here on the left move into the rubble piles in Alex's forward area and are fired on by a 45mm AT gun.  Meanwhile Alex still has the German right flank locked down and is starting to maneuver against it.

Soviet FO calling in mortar fires from battalion
We ended the game with 2 of my squads in Alex's "forward area" and 2 of Alex's squads in my "forward area" who, it turns out, were headed to my rear area because Alex had "breakthrough" orders.

This was a great game - lots of fun, tension, and decisions to be made.  Crossfire keeps both parties engaged and also keeps you focused on the big picture throughout the game.

I would also mention the game took a little less than 2.5 hours with plenty of discussion and demonstrations with the rules.

We then switched gears and had a great conversation about some ideas for a Grand Tactical version of 1HW.  As always Alex had some great ideas and suggestions and it looks like we're sneaking up on a concept here for fighting simple, Corps-Sized actions using the 1HW scenarios!  I am super excited about this project so far.

Speaking of projects, I thought I'd snap a picture of my first completed Egyptian 6mm Battalion for Fate of a Nation.  I'm basing the second now (Just Jack's models) and will then start the Egyptian infantry and then the Israelis.

Next is to pick my 2 x main priorities for 2019.  This year I comfortably focused on WWII and less so on AWI. 

So here is a wrap-up of projects that are ongoing:

Fate of a Nation / Team Yankee / Dunn Kempf 6mm Project: 2 x Egyptian Tank Battalions, 1 x Infantry Company in BTR152, and supports (SU100, PT76, BTR50, Artillery) Israeli Magach-3 Company, I-Sherman Company, and Infantry Company.  Also working the Team Yankee vehicles by re-doing all of my MERDC (ugh...) Americans, rebasing the infantry, and rounding out the force to include a full M1 Company, full M60A3 Company, full M113 mounted Infantry Company, air support, M109 battery.  Of course all my Soviets for Dunn-Kempf are completed.

One Hour Grand Tactical Project:  Minis are done and ready for this one.  Corps level rules using the model from One Hour Wargames.  Just need to put the rules down on paper and give them a spin, trying out various mechanisms for combat and attrition.  After conversations with Alex last night, there are 3 courses of action to work through.  More on this in another post down the line.

AWI Project:  I didn't forget that the second main "priority" for 2018 was my AWI project.  I still have some work to do finishing off a 15mm Colonial Ranger unit, and the last of my continental line, generals, and the encampment.  Hopefully there is enough to host a big SARATOGA mega game in the late fall. 

10mm Fantasy Project:  Need to start work on painting and basing my collection of 10mm Low Fantasy Units for use with Alex's Dark Age / Medieval Wargaming rules "Spear to the Strife" which I LOVE.

Napoleonics Project:  Need to finish work on some more 10mm Austrian units, 10mm Prussian units (all are RISK pieces) and flock all my 15mm British and Peninsular Allies.  My intent is to use my 10mm games for more Grand Tactical gaming, while my 15mm units are used for more tactical gaming with battalions on the table.

WWII 15mm / 6mm Project:  Is this one ever over?  Happy to report most of my Eastern Front projects that were started have been brought to near completion or completion this year!  All Soviets and Heer units have been rebased repainted and are in their new storage.  Just need to finish up the SS units who will do double-duty on both fronts.  Next year we'll be focusing on the British (Canadian 3rd Inf Div) and the Americans who will finally get done!  Once all the Germans are finished (Heer and SS) I will switch to starting up my 6mm project again and base them all for 6mm Flames of War (which I feel is a perfect microarmor game). 

It's an exciting time to be wargaming - if I can only FIND THE TIME! 

Lots of gaming coming up in WWII to include more CROSSFIRE, Up the Blue, and of course BATTLEGROUP.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

FATE OF A NATION and other Progress

Took a day of leave yesterday and while I didn't get as much painting done as I would have liked, there was some good progress!

The Egyptian first tank battalion for FATE OF A NATION is coming along nicely and only needs some of the tracks from the 3rd Company painted as well as some light flock put down.  These are 31 GHQ T-55s from my collection.  "Jack" provided me with enough T-55 tanks for a second battalion that will be based when I have enough bases.  This is getting out of hand!  So I'll be able to field an Egyptian tank BRIGADE for FAON.  I'm going to need a bigger table!

The full tank battalion minus the support platoons.

Some have asked me about my basing and how I do the ground texture so here goes - I use vallejo "european mud" goo on the base and let it dry overnight.  I paint it tamiya flat earth (actually a store-made latex version I bought in a pint!  I'll literally never run out), then I dry brush vallejo dark sand.  These are FOW small bases I bought on ebay.

Dry brushed next to not dry brushed base.  

Also started work on the support companies.  In this case, an SU100 tank destroyer company, all GHQ.  I love the detail on these tanks!

Also working on my Israeli forces as well but the progress not as substantial.  I've got about 50% of the armor basecoated with tracks, tires, etc painted but no wash or dip yet.  I was also experimenting with colors for the IDF uniform and I think I have a winner.  Here they are on my practice landser:
and since we're on the subject of uniforms, here is an egyptian as well.  I'm having a hard time with the coloring of their uniforms.  In 6mm, the VJ dark sand is way too bright so I'm playing around with a variation of khaki uniform and dark sand helmet.
All in dark sand looks good on this khurasan 15mm Syrian dude.

but in 15mm it's a little different.  The picture doesn't do it justice.
 Anyways, lots to work on in this department but we're getting there.  I need to prep more bases for the SU company and get started on the infantry.  Also need to get the Israelis started as well so I have a viable force.  Once I get more bases, "Jack's" T55s can be based up and we get a second battalion on the table!  I am really liking the GHQ armor.

And a sneak preview of a 3d printed T55AM2 from Butler's Printed models.  I'm not very happy with them but what are you going to do?  I have 31 of em!  The BPM 6mm stuff is not as nice as their 15mm stuff.  Maybe he'll look better when I have paint and wash on him.  Might be a good excuse to camouflage them up!

Sunday, August 26, 2018


Wow with all of the ridiculous travel I've had for work of late, I've still somehow been able to knock out my OPFOR Soviets for the Dunn-Kempf project!  Wohoo!  So sit back, grab a cup of strong black tea, and feast your eyes on some Cold War combat power, courtesy of the peace loving peoples of the Soviet Union!

Total forces are just about what you'd get in a Dunn Kempf pack to include a tank battalion of 31 T-62 tanks, a mechanized infantry company in 10 BMP-1s, a fire support BRDM, a command vehicle, an Anti Tank SAGGER platoon, and an Anti Aircraft Artillery platoon.  I have 4 x Hinds but have not yet started them.  Airpower will be another post.
HQs elements including the command track and a fire support BRDM.

The boss.

Recon platoon.

SAGGER platoon

ZSU-57-2 Platoon
I'm also really excited to use these troops for Team Yankee / FATE OF A NATION, albeit with historical MTOEs instead of the recommended points-based organizations.  Dont be surprised to see FATE OF A NATION transported to Central Europe, either!  (IE Team Yankee 10 years prior to 1985)

Infantry AK / RPK team stands  (My RPG stands for Team Yankee will remain on pennies until i get thicker round bases)
 I do admit I need to touch up the paint for the infantry.  Probably just use some highlights and redo the helmets and they'll be good to go and ready to liberate Western Europe from the yoke of capitalist oppression...

Speaking of the Arab Israeli Wars, I've also started work on the FOAN stands which I've shown below.  Still lots to do in the AIW department.  This time I'm doing most of the bases' groundwork prior to doing the vehicles.  Kind of a lesson learned from the Soviet DK project.

Dry brushed with VJ dark sand.  Pretty convincing for the Sinai or Golan?


So as I wrap up the Dunn Kempf project, I still owe you all some posts on the rules and gaming aids (markers), etc.  I think I'll even post a quick tutorial on how to play... once I figure it out!

Dave and I are supposed to do a game next week.  At the rate I'm going, that might be tank-only since I have all the US stuff to do next.  It's slow going, but progress none-the-less!

And speaking of US Forces, here are some GHQ US Troopers in BDUs (yes, I painted the woodland camo on them) along with some of my favorite, classic H Series MTOE vehicles.  All of these guys will get the same treatment as the Dunn Kempf Soviets - rebasing on bigger bases for Team Yankee, etc.  THIS IS FOR YOU, DON!

micro US infantry - they will be rebased.

Next to a MERDC M113

SCOUTS OUT!  M551 Sheridans pacing the trace.

everyone's favorite tank.  the M60

Monday, August 20, 2018

Dunn-Kempf: The OPFOR Infantry WIP

I decided that my 6mm micro modern Soviet infantry needed a bath.
Modern Soviets advancing through a creek!

 So I dunked them in water for about an hour and a half which did the trick remarkably well and presto!  They popped right off their wooden bases!
Seriously it was almost effortless to get them off the bases.
 Now that they're off those round bases, I'm going to consolidate them and mount them on FOW small sized bases, both for Team Yankee and for our Dunn-Kempf game.

 You have to love the detail on these GHQ infantry bases.   I'm really liking them, and with the "Tiny Tanks 3mm" TEAM YANKEE HOUSE RULES being published, I'm going to use them soon in a game.  I also ordered more infantry for use in FOAN battles as well.

Not bad considering he's the size of sweater lint....

detail on the backpacks!!!
Anyways that's about it.  Not much time for gaming or much of anything else (except purchasing things...).  Big plans coming up, though.  Still haven't forgotten about Talavera, and there's a Dunn Kempf test game in our future, as well as Team Yankee and Fate of a Nation 6mm games as well!

I used the GHQ sale that's going on right now and bought a shed-load of armor and infantry.  That will complete my Fate of a Nation Arabs/Israelis and it's too bad, really, that I really cant justify going back to GHQ and buying up all my East Germans (would need 7 packs of T-55AM2s, and 6 packs of BTR60s, and then probably another 2 packs of infantry...  I mean...I'd like to.....but I wont.

Hope you're having a good week.