Saturday, December 29, 2012

Portuguese Cacadore & Chocolate Chip Camo?

I am all about saving a buck or two.  I was looking at the HaT Peninsula Brits the other day with their brown undercoat thinking "gee, I wonder what would happen if I kept the brown on and painted up a Cacadore?"  Typically I like to undercoat troops with red coats brown for shading.  This worked out well and very conveniently!

So here you go.  I had to remove the frog, part of the Bess, and of course whittle away at his hat device but here is a Cacadore skirmisher for my modest Portuguese Division in Volley & Bayonet.  A few more dozen of these guys and I'm ready for a skirmish game of "This Very Ground" set in Portugal or Spain in 1808-09.

The chopped down Bess came out well also.  I probably could have put more detail into the hat decorations.

I like this pose.  Like he's dashing for cover.

The picture shows some of the chewed up plastic where the frog used to be.

With the flocking my wife tells me the ground in parts of Portugal looks like this.  You can't get mais perfeito authentic than that!  

Next up and in honor of "Stormin' Normin'" I decided to test out my Chocolate Chip Desert Camo for my up and coming Mogadishu Ranger platoon.  All I had with an undercoat on was this German Panzergrenadier...So here you go, Fritz.

I need a few more black and white marks on it but the colors, which were what I was trying to test out, are the most important thing.  While not exact, you get the idea for shades very well.  The experiment was a success and I'm going to go with these colors for my "Mog" Rangers and Delta.  Huzzah!

Look past his kit and uniform and nationality...the camo looks great!

More black and white spots but otherwise the colors were a success

Friday, December 28, 2012

Korengal Valley Ambush - A-Stan

I played the "Korengal Valley Ambush" scenario from the Force on Force "Operation Enduring Freedom" campaign book.  This is the battle where Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta received the Medal of Honor for fending off numerous taliban close assaults.  (You can read SSG Giunta's Award Citation here)

The twist?  I used Iron Ivan's "Disposable Heroes" skirmish rules and their modern companion, "Seek Out, Close With, and Destroy."   Here's how it turned out:
Taliban in the blocking force position.  SGT Giunta's Fireteam Alpha is in the valley below

CONTACT FRONT!  ONE HUNDRED FIFTY METERS!  Alpha team lays down a heavy volume of fire

the small specks on the ridgeline are well-concealed taliban fighters.  this was a pre-planned ambush.

Alpha team immediately takes casualties.  The red bead means they're pinned.  the yellow bead means they're activated for this turn.  This isn't going to be an easy day...

One of the taliban assault teams makes its presence known.  they now open fire on SGT Giunta's team and receive a healthy does of return fire.

Turn 2 sees the arrival of the rest of first platoon.  Almost immediately, the lead fireteam with the platoon leader assists by bringing fire on the taliban assault force with telling results.  The muhj team had moved down to attempt to kidnap a wounded GI
The lead fireteam from second squad's view.  You can see the taliban assault force running down the hill.  The muhj to their left have not yet fired...

meanwhile SGT Giunta's team is fighting for its life.  Snap-fire beats back a taliban close assault.  they fail a morale check for another attempt.

SGT Giunta banging away with his M4

First platoon's M240B's have a say as well...

man alone rule in effect.  this PK gunner beats feet.

Platoon leader is directing fire - "thanks for the assist, boss"

The sole surviving taliban commander.  he would live to fight another day...

A team is 90% out of commission.  

The battlefield after the ambush.

My "Give War a Chance" coffee mug. 
The verdict?  Mission Accomplished.  Everyone knows I like Disposable Heroes and there isn't much I can say about the rules that I haven't said already in previous posts.  This does, however, mark my first truly "modern" game with the SOCWAD supplement.

I followed the scenario from the Force on Force scenario book.  If anything, this game should tell you that DH is perfectly suited for scenarios from other rules sets.  You can tweak "local" rules in DH perfectly and seamlessly without much of an affect on the game.  It's one of the subtleties I enjoy about the Iron Ivan family of rules.

So you want an AAR?  Well I followed the playbook pretty closely on this fight, with all participants acting closely to how they behaved during the actual fight.

The initial ambush element was wiped out when those beautiful M240 machine guns came online.  I had the second taliban assault force hold back to deal with the follow-on US infantry but they ended up trying to further suppress SSG Giunta's fireteam.  The trick almost worked and the last turn it forced SSG Giunta into a "fall back" move where he had to leave the fireteam's wounded by 6 inches.  Luckily the rest of the platoon came online and defeated the taliban.  But it was a close-run thing.  each activation someone was shooting or going down.


For modern battles, not much is changed save for body armor saves and extra lethal LMGs at the fireteam level.  the M249 gives the US fireteam unprecedented firepower so that 1 squad is a powerhouse.

And another first?  I actually scored a casualty with a grenade launcher this time...

MASKING: Remember when you are moving into a battle to not mask your fireteams.  Use 1 team to lay down suppressive fire and another team to bound around to the enemy.  If you're hiding 1 fireteam behind the other, you are not only an attractive target for mortars, but you can't properly return fire when the crap hits the fan.

IRREGULARS: If you're playing the rabble or insurgency, remember to keep plenty of extra LMGs on your teams.  Use all of your firepower immediately as soon as you can.  ambushes need to be violent.  If the muhj guys would have knocked out 1 more US soldier from the beginning of the game, the game would have ended differently.  Bottom line?  don't hold anything back.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

To Do List...

I have GOT to do some new stuff around here...

Not that there's anything wrong with World War II games.  In fact I'm planning a huge World War II game - Game 3 of my Kharkov Campaign which will see a large Soviet contested river crossing operation.

That being said, what do I have in the works?  well for starters, I need to play some OTHER games unless I get burned out.

The way I figure it, publishing it on my blog just may pressure me into actually gaming these games.

-Seek Out, Close With, & Destroy Modern Baghdad Game (if it works out well, I'll start my Mogadishu US Ranger platoon and my Somalis)

-MicroForce ACW Game: The Slaughter Pen (Gettysburg) (if it works out well, I'll tweak the rules to support AWI actions)

-Volley & Bayonet Game: Napoleonics Peninsula Battle

- Force on Force demo game.  Good practice for the rules.

- LZ X Ray Project full steam ahead for the actual battle.  Hopefully by Spring!

Then of course, my WWII Kharkov Campaign game, naturally :)  Won't move too far from WWII

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Big Cats and Polka Dots

Still trying out vehicle camo.  I used the tutorial on Battlefront's Website about "the art of hinterhalt" or whatever it was called.

I think my efforts paid off at least in part.  Although the pictures kind of stink, the Panther turned out pretty well.  There are some minor detailing tasks left (like the pioneer kit, track weathering, and covering up some minor mistakes) but overall I'm pleased.

Tune in tomorrow for my desert rat completed M3 Lee-Grant with none other than Pip Roberts in the TC hatch!  You can see how far some brown wash and dry-brushing can go.  Huzzah!
The decals are from Point of Contact.  Kind of cheap, but then how can you argue with 5 minis and decals for 20 dollars?

The dots turned out very nicely.

His good side...

Rear deck.  Could use some kit and other miscellaneous items.

TC was mustachioed.  I have never seen that before in a battlefront miniature.

before the first coat.

german armor yellow introduced.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Merry Christmas to Everyone!  Thanks for reading Sound Officers Call.

Below is a small but cherished picture of mine from my first tour in Iraq.  The short, little lieutenant with his arms folded is me and the guy to his right (your left) is Dave F, my bester kamarade of Charge Bayonet fame.  That was Christmas Day, 2003 at Balad Airbase in Iraq while our Brigade was consolidating for the assumption of a follow-on mission.  We were 4 months out from going home...

That was a very special day for us.  That day, we pooled all of our special Christmas care packages that we had been setting aside and got together and shared them among good friends.  We also exchanged a modicum of "gifts" like Gore Tex socks, and small comfort items from the PX.

To be honest, it was one of the best Christmas days ever.
Sergeant Flatray and I on Christmas Day, 2003, Balad, Iraq

Lieutenant Rauhala and Sergeant Flatray

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Desert Rats

Got around to starting my small collection of M3 Lee-Grants.  I have to say - what a cool tank concept this thing was.  It's too bad about the rivets and the largely flat sides or else this would have been a nightmare on the battlefield.

The models are from Battlefront.  The guy in the TC hatch is supposed to be Major General Pip Roberts but I will use him as your everyday, run of the mill British Desert Rat officer.

The troops aren't too bad.  I like how their expressions turned out.  I ended up using Dave F's tried and true overlapping methodology where I painted darker layers underneath the flesh and clothing and ended up with these guys (Command Decision-Old Glory figs).
M3 Lee Grant with the TC in the turret hatch (reader will forgive the fact that the hatch is closed...)

Camo was hand painted and didn't turn out too badly

Trying to make sense of the terrain in the desert...


Still need to add the vehicle markings and of course the Desert Rats logo...  Also need to paint the tracks and road wheels.  I was thinking about adding a light brown wash to the model also.  Now onto the Infantry!

Basecoat of Graveyard Earth with an overcoat of Kommando Khako.  The webbing is Catachan Green.   Easy enough.  

And an added surprise....the evolution of a Panther :)  No - not biology either...The first installment in a continuing installment on the evolution of my next Panther D platoon.  Battlefront model.