Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Australian Bofors AA Battery

This is a two-gun Bofors AA battery I purchased from a private seller on Ebay about a month ago. With my pending surgery I've become quite behind posting purchases lately. During my recovery I plan to make up for lost time and clear the backlog. Expect to see a post a day for a week or more as I catch up. There will be plenty for EVERYONE this upcoming week: 15mm, 28mm, Napoleonic, AWI, Ancients, Pirates and WWII.  Mostly purchased items but towards the end I hope to have a few of my own painted units posted.

This is an Australian AA battery, but will also serve dual purpose as part of my desert rats force when needed. The only complaint is I have to do some touch up on the gun barrels where they got bent in shipping and the paint chipped off. Other than that they're marvelously painted and match my basing quite closely. I did add some Silfor grass clumps to better match my units, but besides that they're as I received them.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bolt Action Demo at Adler Hobbies

Yesterday my uncle and I attended a Bolt Action demo game and tutorial at Adler Hobby.  The demo game was run by Chris Rett, with players each taking a turn as either the Americans or Germans. It was a great way to learn the rules, which Chris expertly taught to each player. Between these and the Under Fire rules I've also been exposed to recently it looks like I have a lot of great 28mm WWII gaming in my future.

On a personal note, I have surgery tomorrow. I didn't get any extra blog posts queued up, so this blog will be dark until I return. See you soon.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Battle of Praeneste (Part I)

Last Friday night we started the next battle in our ongoing 2nd Punic War campaign. This battle is the Battle of Praeneste. As a strange coincidence the game was on October 12th, which happened to be both my birthday, and the birthday of the Carthaginian commander, Charlie. What are the odds? To celebrate my lovely wife, Lori, had a special cake made to celebrate the day. She pinched an ancients photo from my blog. Unfortunately for me she's on Charlie's side and picked some Carthaginian Celtiberian infantry. Still it was good cake. Our campaign GM, Mike also brought a delicious Alden Merril lemon cake. There was much goodie eating during breaks.

Before the game we had some show-and-tell. Mike did some re-basing work on some 28mm hoplites that he's working on for our next ancients campaign after we finish this one. Charlie brought some of his yet-to-be-rebased hoplites as well. I had some unpainted Numidian cavalry from Old Glory that will be added to the collection for the campaign. Doing the games in 28mm will allow us to use my whole large table with each 'MU' in the game being 1.5 inches. It should look quite grand!

For the game, the terrain was hilly, due to the location of the battle. Charlie picked the minimum number of terrain pieces for his very cavalry-heavy force. I picked the maximum number of terrain pieces as I wanted something to anchor my lines on. As fortune would have it this battle, some of the terrain pieces actually ended up in the middle of the battlefield. After deployment our plan was to anchor our lines on two terrain pieces and flank with our cavalry. If possible we'd race a medium or light foot unit into the rough hill on the Carthaginian side of the battlefield.

As it worked out, it looked like the Roman plan was a solid one, but as is often said, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Mike was able to skillfully push a Velite unit to the rough hill as desired, despite pressure from the horde of Spanish and local Italian cavalry swinging around the left flank. Our medium Italian infantry thought it too dangerous and held their ground in the broken ground on our left flank. On the right we were able to score a lucky rout of the only Carthaginian light infantry, but from there on fortunes favored the bold, meaning the Carthaginians. As we broke for the evening the Carthaginians definitely have the upper hand, but there may still be time for the Romans to turn their fortunes. It will take a strong run of good luck and smart tactical decisions to do so though.

On a personal note, some of you may have noticed the blog posts have slowed down lately. I'm dealing with a ruptured disk in my back and have surgery planned for next week. During my recovery time the blog may go dark. I have saved up some painted and re-based figures, which if I can get them photographed, I may be able to time-release post here. If not I will be back some time in December.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Men Under Fire Play Test

Last Friday night we got together at my uncle's house to play our first game using Frank Chadwick's "Men Under Fire" WWII skirmish rules. Ralph's tabletop and figures were both beautiful and my first impression of the rules is that defensive fire from deployed medium and light machine guns is horrifically potent. That said a properly prepared offence with it's own crew-served weapons did seem to be effective in the attack. I think more playing will also hone our skills on offence. Personally I will be painting up British 'Tommies' and German Luftwaffe ground forces for 28mm WWII skirmish. Hopefully I can get dual use of the figures with Frank's rules and the Warlord Miniatures 'Bolt Action' rules which seem to be gathering steam in the local area.