Sunday, July 1, 2018

Captain Sonar

Work and a wedding in the family has had me somewhat distracted away from the hobby. Hopefully these distractions are coming to an end soon. In the meantime I got in some board gaming at my friend Mike's house during his daughter's graduation (and gaming) party. Here a bunch of us are playing the frantic and fun real-time game Captain Sonar. For these games I played as the radio operator. This is a new role for me in this game and I found it to be quite fun. Next time maybe I need to step up into the captain's seat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Luftwaffe Colonel and Seargent

When I found this pack of personality figures at Stoessi's Miniatures I new I had to have them. Growing up obsessed with watching Hogan's Heroes as a kid made Shultz and Klink part of my start in wanting to learn about WWII history.

I haven't done as good of a job painting these as the fantastic sample figures shown on the Stoessi's Miniatures website, but I think I've done a respectable job with them. I put some extra time into the faces and highlighting the uniforms. With them a miscellaneous figure from I believe early Warlord (pre Bolt-Action) that I just wanted to get out of the dead lead pile.

Schultz is seen in the TV series with Heer emblems on his helmet and collar tags. I've painted him with green Luftwaffe field division collar tags to match my previously posted figures.

Next up on the painting table are a pair of Hetzer tanks for vehicles. For figures on the table are the last of the Luftwaffe field division troops I will be painting. This last batch will be armed with the deadly Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifle. I hadn't intended to have a lot of STG44-armed figures, but when I got to the bottom of my lead pile, somehow I had more of them than I thought. Not a problem for Iron Cross, and for Bolt Action, they're a useful asset when desired. Between the Hetzers and the infantry, I'm unsure which will get finished first.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

28mm Luftwaffe Field Division Squads

This is two squads/boxes of Warlord's Luftwaffe Field Division figures that I've just completed painting. I've gone with Vallejo Luftwaffe Uniform (#816) for the uniforms. The lighting wasn't great for photography, so the uniforms look very grey, you can trust me they're just the right shade of blue. Vallejo #816 is perfect in my opinion. For the splinter cammo on the smocks and tent halves I've gone with multiple sharp angle shapes and omitted the rain drops. In 28mm I wasn't confident I could make them look correct.

I've based these up singly similar to all my other WWII skirmish figures with the exception of the LMG. Since he was prone, and Bolt Action likes to know which figure the loader is, I decided to mount the loader on the SMG stand. For Iron Cross it doesn't matter, so this basing works for both of my favorite skirmish rule sets.

These 20 figures put my painted figure total back over my purchased painted figure total for the year. Next up on the blog, something special. Check back tomorrow!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Northern Conspiracy June 2018 Game Night

Last Friday was June game night for the Northern Conspiracy. There were three great games being run. First up was Ed M's late 30 Year's War skirmish game that I posted about earlier in a play test game report.

I only snapped a quick few photos of this game but from the after action Ed gave me over pancakes at the IHOP after the game night, it was a rip-roaring gunfight. Early looting turned to mayhem and killing with loot taking a back stage to combat towards the end.

More details for this game can be read at fellow conspirator Mark's blog, My Brave Fusiliers

Next up was Charlie bringing out an old favorite, 15mm Volley & Bayonet Napoleonics. A decade ago V&B was the majority of what we were playing for black powder period games. It's still a great option. Hopefully Charlie bringing the old favorite out will re-ignite interest in this rule set.

I played in Mark D's modern Bolt Action game. The scenario was a battle in the Falklands War.  I was part of the beleaguered Falkland defenders. My command was mostly the defensive weapon teams. Ralph and Michael on my team took the more mobile forces to defend the town from British attack. 

During the mid game Don launched a wire-guided missile at one of my bunkers. I took a chance and held tight hoping to weather the blast. The bunker held. That MG put some effective fire on Don's infantry, but my forward infantry marksman didn't fare so well, biting it from direct tank main rounds fired by Don. Late in the game Michael and Ralph teamed up to take out one of Rob's attacking squads while my MG took out Rob's MG. Kevin made some attacks against the town, doing some initial damage to Ralph's troops, but in the end Ralph was able to hold.

This was a fun game and Bolt Action seems to work well with the modern modifications Mark is using.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

NROW Play Test Game at Charlie's

Last Friday a group of us gathered at Charlie's gaming loft to play another game of Napoleon's Rules of War. Charlie has been considering some revisions in the rules which we've been play testing. The changes hope to streamline the system a bit while retaining the historical accuracy.

The battle was Austrian versus French. Sides were chosen randomly. I ended up being the French left flank - a defensive command anchored on a farm with infantry and artillery. Opposite me, Earl with all three combined arms available. More on that later.

The aggressive Austrians: Earl, Byron, Mike and Ralph.

The French: Mark, Bob, Rob and me (the empty chair).

Our plan was to defend on our left flank and left middle with my larger but poorer quality command, while Mark's cavalry and high-morale command was used as a central reserve. On the right center and right we would attack. These photos show part of Charlie's impressive figure collection facing us...the white menace indeed.

The Austrians were having none of our French shenanigans. Earl pressed my command hard, pressed a wood I had defended with his Tyrolean Jagers and later repulsed my charge with a staunch defense by the same Jagers. Later he would obliterate that command threatening it with cavalry then destroying it in square with his horse guns. Well played.

In the center Mark and I ganged up on Byron's grand battery of 12-pound guns taking out a section early in the battle. Byron exacted revenge later on destroying Mark's heavy battery. At the end of the battle Earl's Jagers got too close to my batteries and were destroyed by the withering fire of the guns canister rounds.

While Earl, Byron, Mark and I were fighting a gentlemanly fight on the left, on the right it was pure bedlam. Rob's various attacks were repulsed by Ralph's Austrians while simultaneously Mike's attacks were repulsed by Bob's defense and counter-attacks. The telling blows were Mark's reserves finishing off a couple of Mike's well worn units. When we called time both armies were well mauled with the Austrians suffering only slightly more casualties than the French. A fun night with many good fights and great data for Charlie to work with.

Monday, May 21, 2018

28mm WWII German Support Teams (2)

These will be the last WWII German support teams for quite a while, possibly forever. These two teams are the last support teams in my German WWII army 'dead lead' pile. On the left a second 120mm heavy mortar to go with the one I painted earlier making a two stand platoon. On the right a 21cm Nebelwerfer 42 rocket launcher. The latter I had to have, both because it's so characteristically German and because the actual soldiers in the Band of Brothers documentary 'Why we fight' specifically mentioned it by its nickname, the 'Screaming Meemie' because of the shrieking sound the rockets made.

Both stands got another coat of Testors Dullcote after photographing as they still had a bit of sheen left on them from the gloss undercoat I use to protect the figures. I'm counting these two stands as eight figures in my painting totals. All figures are Warlord Games purchased from my friend Gordon at Adler Hobby. Next up for figures on the Painting table are some Luftwaffe field division infantry, also from Warlord Games. Next up for vehicles, the last of the German armor - a pair of Hetzers.

I've had a flurry of posts this weekend. Scroll down to read them all!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

28mm German WWII Recon Vehicles

Two more reconnaissance vehicles for my WWII German army. Left is an SdKfz 250/9 half track and on the right an SdKfz 222 armored car. These two with the SdKfz 222 I already had will make a three vehicle platoon. Both vehicles are Warlord resin models. They're mostly air brushed with brush painting for the detail work and weathered in Mig pigments.

The commander of the 222 is a conversion. I think he began life as the intended driver of my RSO, but I chose to leave the cabin details out of that model. He's been heavily modified to work here including repositioning his arm and re-sculpting his hand so he would look natural sitting in the turret with only one side of the hatch open. I'm nearing the end of my unpainted German vehicles. All that currently remains are a pair of Hetzers, that are currently sitting on the painting table in primer.

Huzzah! 2018

I took a trip up to Huzzah! 2018 in Portland, Maine to host an AWI game of Electronic Brigadier. Huzzah! is a well run local convention hosted my our northern neighbors, the Maine Historical Wargamers Association. Huzzah! is a great place to meet up with local friends from other clubs in the area, play some games and do some shopping. There are great game offerings, and several excellent vendors. Here is a photo of club members Dave and Greg having a nice talk while Greg ran his Great Northern War game.

Speaking of Greg's game, here are some photos of it during setup and play. The game featured many of Greg's beautifully painted GNW figures, all painted by Greg himself. Greg's game ran concurrently with mine, but fortunately at a table in the same room as mine so I was able to snap these quick photos.

Greg's game ran smoothly and ran to conclusion before the end of the generous four hour game period. 

My friend Ed from Ed M's Wargame Meanderings blog also ran his game concurrently with mine. I took a few more photos of his game, which you will be able to view soon over at his blog.

My game was one that I've run before. The scenario was my Monmouth Courthouse game, "Lee Attacks!" This what-if scenario poses the question what would have come of the battle if Lee had convinced Washington to allow him to attack with volunteer regiments instead of only the individual volunteers from those units.

I was blessed with many players returning for their 2nd or 3rd time playing Electronic Brigadier. The two new players picked up the system quickly and by turn three the game was running itself with me providing a clarification on procedure or GM table ruling here and there. The 27 turns played during the four hour game period went quickly enough that I don't have a great memory of the entire flow of the battle, so I'll just list some significant events from it below.

Both sides played very competently. Dick Bryant's 1st British Lights skirmished the entire game and kept the British left flank secure, while his Dragoons went for a romp in the American back lines, causing some initial panic, but eventually the Americans turned a regiment of continentals and a battery in the direction of the Dragoons which sent them running back to their camp.

On the East flank the New Jersey militia got off one volley before being sent to the rear by a British charge. The 4th brigade commanders seeing how easy that was tried multiple charges into the New Jersey state troops, which were supported by a section of 6# artillery. These charges didin't go as well, eventually exhausting the 4th British brigade.

In the center the British advanced guard slugged it out with the American lead brigades. The Americans formed up their skirmishers after the first wave of charges sent them to the rear. Both armies had good solid lines. Mid-battle the casualties were slightly in favor of the Americans but late in the battle the British made up a lot of the lost ground in that department. In the end two successive charges by the first Guards regiment ended in catastrophic failure as they were repulsed by solid Continental line units. A quick review of the melee 'dice' rolls in the system showed that they got the worst side of  'General Dice' this day. 

At time, both armies had a significant amount of their force streaming to the rear and both armies suffered significant casualties. The American army got the better side of this near draw. End of game statistics were:

British Rear Guard
Army cohesion: 64.1%
Total Casualties: 737 / 6240 (11.8%)
3 units dispersed
1 routed units

Honors to: 132 - 42nd Foot (3 stands)
American Advance Guard
Army cohesion: 61.7%
Total Casualties: 695 / 7420 (9.4%)
4 units dispersed
2 routed units
1 shaken units
Honors to: 204 - 4th, 8th, 12th Virginia