Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rapid Fire WW2 Unit Progress

Spent a little extra time working on my WW2 Rapid Fire 15mm units today.  A 1944 Soviet Company is 6 figures and a 1944 German Company is 8 figures.  Remember, each figure represents 15 troops.

Infantry check morale by Battalion so when the Battalion reaches a certain amount of casualties, it checks morale.  The single-based figures help for casualty figuring.

All Germans in the first company are Wargames Factory 15mm.  (had to do something with them...)  They run a tad small but I'm over it.  

LMG Team!

advance!  attack!  assault!

First Company

Their wheels.  1 halftrack per company is all you need.  rapid fire uses fuzzy math for transport vehicles (if 1 vehicle stand = 5 vehicles then a company ought to have 2 to 3 halftracks - but I'm not complaining.  Less to paint!)

Painted with Army painter paints.

Next up is my Soviet Rifle Company.  6 figures total for a 90 man company.  I got a little inventive with paints and mixed a few up to give the look of various shades of uniform.
2 shades of uniform on display.  1 is "steel legion drab" and 1 is a mix of green and steel legion drab.  I like it.

Forward!  For the motherland!  for Stalin!

Red Army Rifle Company.  2 more and a Weapons Company to go.
I have a full German Battalion and Soviet Battalion (about 40 and 31 troops, respectively) mounted, and primed ready to go.  That will make a fun battle when all is said and done.  The Germans still have a Stug-III Company as well, and the Russians will have their SU-76 Battery as well.  Will make for some good Rapid Fire battles I'm thinking.  If it goes well, I'll start on the Western Front units as well.

And just so you didn't think I was slacking off, 1 more stand of Prussians for the Summer of Horse and Musket!
Next up - finish the Prussians, another German Company, another Russian Company, and some modern vehicle detailing.  This is all if I find any time.  Then again, I have 6 days straight of work coming ug!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Summer of Horse & Musket....Continues! SYW Prussians

Even though I've been posting some wacky modern OOBs for Rapid Fire lately, don't think I'm not "slaving away" painting up those SYW Prussians...

Back to the original strategy for the dad of a toddler in the summertime with no time on his hands - 4 figures a day.  That wraps up the "Regiment" in about 1 week.

Here is a sneak-preview of 2 mostly completed stands.  (mostly because I need to fine-tune the details such as the collars need to be painted red and so on)  This unit will be IR 3, Anhalt-Dessau.  These are 15mm Old Glory from my original collection, who have patiently waited almost 4 years for their first coat of paint.  I like these figures even better than the Austrians.  They have a gritty, determined look to them, almost as if they are advancing towards the sunken lane or the Morellen Bach under fire at Lobositz.

Still on the drawing board - I need to paint up my first Russian rifle company (WW2) for Rapid Fire, as well as get pictures of the first German RF Company with their halftrack all painted up.

Plus - building more Modern MTOEs for Rapid Fire.  Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rapid Fire Modern Soviet Tank Battalion MTOE

More Rapid Fire MTOE (modified table of organization & equipment) madness from Sound Officer's Call.  Did I ever mention that one of the things I love about Rapid Fire rules are the fact that you don't have to have an absurd amount of miniatures for a great game?

FM 100-60 provides detailed equipment lists for Soviet-styled Opposing Force Tank Battalions and gives you the options for the smaller battalions of 31 tanks, up to larger battalions of 44 tanks, etc.

Here is the standard configuration for a Soviet-styled tank battalion:
3 line companies and a hqs give a total of 31 tanks.  RF-speak that equates to companies of 2 tanks each, and battalions of 6 tank models.

The Headquarters has a reconnaissance vehicle and a command vehicle, which could be adequately represented by a BTR or a BMP model if you are so inclined, or you could theoretically consolidate all your recce assets into 1 stand for the entire brigade (this is a much cleaner option).  I would imagine most of the battalions in a tank brigade would not operate too far from each other so a consolidated recce stand would be appropriate.

Speaking of Brigade, if you're talking a tank division, here are the units you would have:
A HQs (and accompanying support elements) which will be the subject of another post, but if you want to assemble the perfect WP tank brigade from a tank division, you'll need 3 tank battalions (18 total models), a mech infantry battalion, and a SP howitzer battalion.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Thanks Barks for nominating SOUND OFFICERS CALL for a Liebster Award.  I would like to see, in a few years, categories for these like "best new blog" best 20mm plastic blog, etc!  But until then we have Liebster.

My blogs would have to be favorites and ones that I frequent frequently!

First Liebster goes to Paul over at Plastic Warriors.  No stranger to internet awards, Paul runs a first-class blog, and a first class model building operation over there.  His blog is great and is a source of inspiration for me when I'm in the painting doldrums.  Congrats, Paul!

Next Blog I would nominate would have to be COLD WAR GAMER.  CWG has one of the finest blogs devoted to "the war that never was" that I have ever seen.  More inspirational work from a professional.  He also has a solid doctrinal aspect to his gaming that I really appreciate.  Thanks CWG!

Another Blog I would have to nominate is BEN'S SOLDIERS.  Ben is a modeler and fellow wargamer like me and it's been fun watching Ben's progress painting over the years really develop into a level of professionalism that goes way beyond "wargame quality" painting.  Job well done, Ben.  Keep up the great work!

This is something - for all of my ranting about choosing a scale and finally deciding to throw my lot in with the 15mm crowd, there was one blog out there that constantly kept me wanting to stick it out with my 20mm.  I could only be talking about THE BEST BLOG IN NAPOLEONIC GAMING OUT THERE!  who's name is of no consequence....

Congrats to all the 2014 awardees!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Mother Load! The Fidelis shipment arrives!

Thank you, Fidelis Models for getting my reinforcements to me in a timely manner!  Each one of the vehicles below was 2 dollars, US which was a deal too great to pass up on.

Most of these are quickly spray-painted a coat of green or tan and, most likely, pressed immediately into service!

Now they've found a home at Sound Officer's Call, with some of them flagged for onward movement!

All models are Roskopf and all are practically 1/100 instead of 1/87 as advertised.  Believe it or not, I wish I would have bought more, but this pretty much shuts down my purchases for the summer.

1 box additionally went to my Mom's house....

Looks like the Motor Pool at Camp Arifjan!

Rows and rows of plastic, armored goodness

Beautiful Leopard IA4s...How much you ask?  2 dollars each.

Reinforcements for the Central Front!  Or the Golan Heights...

Speaking of the Middle East, meet some of my newest Egyptian Forces.



For comparison next to my Command Decision almost perfect match!

The M48 next to my Command Decision M48!!

Modern Rapid Fire Soviet M-TOE & Conversion

I love the scale represented by Rapid Fire and it appears you can "have your cake and eat it, too" with the game taking the feel of a wargame, but enabling larger battles to be fought. 

The other day I dug out my old copy of FM 100-60 "Armor and Mechanized Based Opposing Force" (a cold war and modern wargamer's MUST HAVE) and started crunching numbers to assemble "proper" Modern Soviet Units for Rapid Fire and World War III Battles. (linked to here)

I started looking at the battalion charts, the building blocks of my Soviet division.  You can easily get your figure strength by taking a look at the squad numbers, multiplying them for platoons and companies and arriving at your estimated figure strength.  (The HQs units are always a little tough to compute - using the numbers of small arms in a Company gets you a 70% solution).

So I start with the squad MTOE (modified table of organization & equipment).  That gives me the basic numbers of personnel per squad.
8 Motor Rifle Troops per squad
Then you do the multiplication for Platoon / Company.
 3 squads per platoon, and 3 platoons for the company, then do a rough approximation for the Company HQs (which also includes a BMP!!  Dont forget!)

Rapid Fire Figures = 15 real troops. 28 troops per Mech Platoon, times 3 platoons is 84 troops per company, plus 6 at each Company HQs rounds up to 90.  90 / 15 is a nice, even 6.  So each Company is going to be 6 figures and 2 BMPs (vehicles = 5 real vehicles, 10 BMPs per Company so each Company will have 2).  If you count the ATGM section, you could get away with rounding up to 7 figures per Company.

There you have it!  The tank units are much easier.  This is a way for me to easily compute ground strength for my Rapid Fire units.  If I had alot of time on my hands, and who does lately, I'd make a handy excel spreadsheet that would do the work for you...  Maybe when I retire.  One day. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Modern Rapid Fire

There are plenty of modern, Cold War gamers out there using home brewed sets of "modern" Rapid Fire.  I've found a great Rapid Fire companion here: link.  This is Mr Aaron Longbottom's Modern Rapid Fire supplement, which I have linked to without his permission.  It has a new AT engagement table, rules for chem, ATGM, helos, etc.

My single biggest point of criticism for this supplement is the simple fact that I don't have nearly enough miniatures painted for a proper game!  My single Soviet Tank Battalion (in Rapid Fire terms, this was a HUGE Battalion...probably should have been a Brigade of 3 Battalions) broke before really getting into the action.  Had I had a motor rifle battalion or 2 with me, things may have gotten on smoother...

Also, I am "experimenting" with a universal basing scheme for my WWII 15mm troops that will work for Rapid Fire, Crossfire, GHQ, BKC, etc...God help me remember how last summer's universal basing went!!!

Soviet reconnaissance vehicle knocked out as it rounded the corner.  This was my Artillery OP for the Sovs!

US M1s in their hides....

M113 mounted infantry in their Battle Position!  No sophisticated Bradleys on the battlefield yet!

A Huey outfitted with TOW ATGMs....

Both T-72s were knocked out by Reserve Fire from the helicopter, thus saving my Americans from having to reveal themselves yet.

Bad news for the helo...luckily the unit broke prior to the "Zeus" getting into the fight!

M1 scanning for targets

Thursday, May 15, 2014

15mm Napoleonic Battalion Finished!

The summer of Horse & Musket is off to a roaring start.  4 Battalions/Regiments of troops currently finished:

  • Austrian Infantry Regiment 1 "Kaiser" SYW, Lobositz
  • British 24th Regiment of Foot, AWI (Saratoga Campaign) Battle of Hubbardton
  • 11th Massachusetts Infantry, AWI (Saratoga Campaign) Battle of Hubbardton
  • French Fusilier Battalion, Napoleonic Wars, Peninsula

All Battalions or Regiments are 24 figures on 6 bases and based for "Black Powder."  They can be assembled into 2 "Regiments" for Volley & Bayonet if needed.

I don't have pictures of the other Regiments yet as I don't have the colors mounted.  These Naps were lucky enough to have their colors "lying around" nearby.

Next up?  Prussian Infantry Regiment "Anhalt" from the Seven Years War.

Command Stand!

Battalion Advance!

Colors came apart!!!  More glue down the line, Sergeant, if you please!!!!

Not a bad looking bunch of lads.