Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dropzone Commander - UCM Force

The guys down at Adler Hobby have been starting up playing an interesting science fiction game - Dropzone Commander.  While I don't usually game non-historical miniatures, I like everyone in the Dropzone group and the painting effort for the 10mm scale looked like it would be minimal so I decided to give it a shot. After going full ADD on the figures including a two-color airbrush paint scheme the project ended up taking much longer than I expected. Still here it is, at least a good first swing at a workable UCM force.

I don't plan on doing much more painting for Dropzone Commander as far as figures go, so I'm going to lump these in with my 15mm painting totals: 22 vehicles and 60 infantry. 

These are two Falcon gunships. They are based on the UCM Raven light drop ship - one of my two favorite models in the UCM force. I've maximized the number of them in my force - purely for aesthetic reasons. Who knows if it's a good idea or not as far as game play goes.
 These are three Condor drop ships. The work horse of the UCM transportation fleet. These carry my Bear APCs, and my main combat tanks.
 Two Raven-A drop ships to carry infantry and two Raven-B drop ships to carry my Wolverine reconnaissance buggies.
 Wolverine scout buggies and Praetorian elite infantry. 10mm infantry are pretty fiddly to paint, but once done and put on a terrained base they look nice enough.
 Kodiak command vehicle including its orbital satellite communication dish used to call in orbital bombardment strikes.
Three Sabre main battle tanks (rear left), three Rapier anti-aircraft tanks (rear right), two Bear APCs and six stands of UCM Colonial Legionaries (standard UCM infantry).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Volley & Bayonet Wing Scale Napoleonics Play Test

Last Saturday my friend Ed (pictured left) hosted a play test of his house rule modifications for wing scale Napoleonic Volley & Bayonet. This is a project he and my friend Mark have been working on for the past couple of years on and off. The game was an 1813 scenario with a French advance guard meeting the lead elements of a Prussian army. Control of a valley (middle of the table) and the surrounding hills would determine victory.

My friend George was my opponent in the game. He played well and soundly thrashed me last time we played these rules. This game he played equally well, but the dice, while spotty, were with me in crucial times and allowed me to have a good day. My fellow Frenchman Peter (not photographed) played his flank equally well, supporting my center toe hold on the valley while thwarting the main Prussian attack on our right.

All in all the rules played even more smoothly this test and are coming along quite nicely. At the end of the game neither side wanted to stop playing because we were all having a great time. There's a short video below showing the nice tabletop including Ed's wonderful figures and Hots playing mat.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

28mm German Vehicles and Equipment

These are some late war German vehicles and equipment I've painted up for a German force for Bolt Action that I've started working on. The bulk of the infantry I purchased on Ebay pre-painted and will be in another post later on. These are all Warlord products painted by me. Figures in the photos are the pre-painted figures used for scale comparison. The group consists of an Sdkfz 222 armored car, an Sdkfz 250/1 half track, a Pak-40 anti-tank gun and a Kettenkrad utility tractor. The Pak-40 and Kettenkrad will eventually have additional appropriate crew members added to them that I'm currently working on painting. I'll put these in the painting totals as 4 vehicles.

We still have several feet of snow outside, so these photos were taken under artificial and harsh lighting conditions. They are sprayed with a matte overcoat, but the direct light still makes them look shiny in the photos when actually they are quite flat. I'm very much looking forward to spring here in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

28mm Carthaginian Elephants

I've had these elephants on the painting table for quite a while. Honestly, I had expected them to be easy and quick to paint. Somehow in my mind I thought of each elephant as one figure not figuring in the assembly, howdah, driver and combat crew. Instead of 6 figures these were actually 28 figures counting all of the crew and escort figures.

That said, I'm happy to say they're done. This group will represent three battle groups in Field of Glory or six elephant units in two Hannibal at the Gates terror wings. Seen above and to the left they're arranged as they'll be used in Field of glory. The figures are all Old Glory. The unarmored figures are from the Old Glory Carthaginian line and the armored are from the Macedonian line. Truth be told it's quite likely that none of the Carthaginian elephants had howdahs, but without crew sculpted to ride directly on the backs of the elephants, I was forced to use the howdahs. Since the unarmored howdahs had very characteristically Carthaginian shields molded onto them I decided to go ahead and put my Spanish escorts on those bases. The armored elephants have no exclusively Carthaginian markings on them so I left them without escorts in hopes that they'll also be able to serve in my Pyrrhic army that I'll be painting later.

Below are two close-ups of the armored elephants, followed by a couple of photos of one of the Hanibal at the Gates terror wings, and finally a close up of one of the drivers and escorts.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cumberland River Assault - February 2014 Game Day

Yesterday our club got together for the first of two of our game days this year. The game was created by Bob, Charlie and Ralph and was named "Cumberland River Assault". It was an alternative historical scenario based around the action preceding the Fort Donelson surrender based on the thought that if reinforced and aggressively lead, the Confederates there could have made the Union capture of the fort quite difficult. The scenario featured a 'river' made from the void between the main battlefield and a smaller island table. Union and confederate armored ships battled for superiority of the river and to protect their troop transports.

This was a MASSIVE game with beautiful figures, boats and terrain. The rules were Fire & Fury Regimental with 28mm scale changes and some house rules for Fortifications, Naval Guns, Balloons, Naval Rules and hidden troops in terrain/works. Everything added to the rules worked quite well for the scenario thanks to good play testing by the game hosts.

In the end the Union scraped out a narrow victory by collapsing the outer works of the fort Donelson area and landing their naval troops and heavy siege mortars at the foot of the fort. Confederates from nearby Dover gave the Union right flank some significant trouble, but in the end the Union forces on that flank delayed them long enough to allow the main attack on the fort to go in. Well played by all and a fantastic game. Several people commented that this is the type of game you usually read about in the wargaming magazines, but instead we got to play it! Thanks go to all three of the game masters, Bob, Charlie and Ralph.

Video I tried to take from the Union naval position:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Game Day Play Test

Last Friday the GMs of our upcoming ACW game day and the Confederate and Union generals got together to do a play test of the Fire & Fury regimental rules along with several scenario-specific rules. The game was successful in letting us finalize the details in preparation for next weekend's big game. Bob, one of the GMs brought along his new 28mm observation balloon (seen left) which will be part of the Union TO&E.

Being the Union CinC and having the challenge of attacking the Confederate defensive position I was happy to see if planned properly an attack could be made on such a position. It will be costly to do so, but possible. Such are the challenges of a general.