Sunday, March 20, 2022

28mm Crusader Heavy Cavalry #3

My recent foray into larger multi-player Saga games has put a slight strain on my figure collection. This has required me to press into service several mercenary units, with their more complicated rules. This is not what I want for a beginner-friendly multi-player game, therefore I decided to rummage around in the 'dead lead' box and start painting up the rest of the crusades figures I had in there. These nine cavalry are the first batch of that effort. There are two 'Warlord' figures on circular stands and seven 'Hearthguard' or 'Warrior' mounted figures. With an additional extra figure I already have painted up these will make either a single eight-man warrior unit or two four-man hearthguard units. 

Here are the two warlord figures. The Old Glory figure packs come with a few sword-armed figures. I figured these were the most appropriate poses for a warlord. The transfers are from Little Big Man Studios (LBMS). Although they're made for Gripping Beast shields, I was able to make them work with appropriate trimming. 

Here is a close up of the troopers - positioned to give a better look at the LBMS shield transfers. I have to admit, the transfers really make what are essentially speed-painted figures look a lot better than they have a right to. Well worth the money. I often make my own transfers, but these shields with round bosses in the middle make that very painful. The LBMS transfers come with the boss area already cut out in the decal. What a luxury!

The complete eight man unit with a reinforcement from the figure collection. This is how it will be used on the tabletop. 

Nine mounted figures, which I will count as 18 in the annual painting totals. Next up I'm hoping to finish some 28mm Iberian infantry that I've pushed to the back of the painting table for way too long. It's time I finish them up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

15mm WWII Recent Acquisitions

 I'm still fleshing out my 15mm American WWII force for Blitzkrieg Commander 4. Here you see some recent purchases. These include some American Ranger infantry and heavy weapons, two M-16 Motor gun carriage halftracks, five Shermans and four German Stug assault guns.

These figures took a real beating in shipping. The infantry probably was the best off with only a gun here or there broken off. I did some touch up painting on some of the heavy weapons and added grass flock to the barren brown bases. This was a planned 'to-do' when I bought them. My intention was to get them to more closely match my other American infantry.

The Rangers came complete with bazooka teams, command, 80mm mortars and .30-cal air-cooled MG teams. A nice complete force.

The M-16 motor gun carriage halftracks took the most damage of any of the vehicles. Both gun assemblies including crew were broken off. Fenders were irreparably broken and there was chipped paint everywhere. I repaired and re-painted what I could and left the irreparable portions broken and painted them up as bare metal 'battle damage'. The save makes them tabletop ready. Nothing to be super proud of, but serviceable.


The Sherman tanks are well painted. Three had their barrels broken off in shipping. I glued then back on and that was about it.

The Stug III tanks were by far the most well painted. Three of the four barrels were broken. Two at the 'snout' and one mid barrel. The former were relatively easy to repair with minimal visual impact. The latter, not so much. I did my best. 

These Stugs pretty much finish up my German force for Blitzkrieg commander.

My entire American force in 15mm.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Another Italian Campaign Bolt Action Game at Adler Hobby

Last Thursday I played another game in the Adler Hobby Bolt Action Italian league/campaign. This was scenario #9 from the main rule book. It was one of the attack & defend scenarios and again I was lucky enough to defend.

My opponent Barry was super fun to play against. He had wonderfully painted figures, knew the rules well and had a great battle plan. He overwhelmed my left flank with nearly all his assets with a flamethrower engineer squad filtering through the town to eventually assault the left most victory point. The game extended into an extra turn and the victory point changed hands twice as we each desperately threw units into the fray. The end it was a single panzergrenadier NCO re-taking what he was originally defending for the win.


It is hard to pick an MVP for this battle. My mortar disabled Barry's M8 Scout Car with a lucky drop right into the open top of it. One of my infantry squads held and eventually re-captured the objective, and my flamethrower heroically destroyed a whole infantry squad on its own. 

Tooth-and-nail fight for sure!


Friday, March 11, 2022

Eastern Princes Hearthguards, Bannerman and Warlords

Eight hearthguard cavalry, two warlords and a bannerman for my Saga Eastern princes force. I've been running larger multi-player games using simplified battle boards lately. I call it 'simple Saga'. I picked these figures up on Ebay to bolster my Eastern Princes force.

These came mounted in two and three figure bases so I had to remove them all from their original bases and re-base for Saga. The figures got hit HARD in shipping. One horse was snapped off at the ankles. Most of the spears were broken off the figures, two riders were dislodged. I replaced all of the spears that were knocked off with steel wire spears. I repaired all of the other damage as well, the most challenging of which was repairing the horse that was snapped off at the ankles. I can say you probably cannot tell which one it was, so I think I did a passable job at that. 

These well-loved figures also needed a LOT of paint touch-ups including re-doing many hands due to the replacement of the spears. Still a good addition to my force at a decent price. I will be counting this as 11 stands re-based in my painting totals for the year. Re-basing always includes some repairs and touch-ups.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

More Bolt Action at Adler Hobby

Yesterday I got my first game in for the Adler Hobby Bolt Action Italian campaign. My opponent, Dan, and I selected 750 points and rolled up one of the attack and defend missions from the core rule book. It took a while for me to blow off the rust and get back into the hang of playing Bolt Action V2. Dan was a great opponent: fun to play with, knew the rules better than I did and was good tactically. The game ended up in a draw after the prescribed seven turns for the scenario. The scenario had a variable end turn of six or seven. At turn six I had the win sealed up, but in turn seven Dan got aggressive with one of his squads and assaulted my anti-tank rifle team that was holding the center objective eliminating it. That sealed the draw. Good play and it came down to which dice came out of the bag first. Had it come up mine first, it could have been a different story.

Dan pushed British paratroopers. Veterans with captured German LMGs. The veteran status saved him MANY casualties. I was able to get hits, but his veterans resisted casualties quite well. 

My deployment as the defender. Note the purple pin markers across the board. The scenario called for an initial bombardment by the attacker that was quite effective. I used all of my dice in turn one on rally orders across the board.

The other, more densely terrained table had another campaign game going on using Bolt Acton Firefight rules. I was too engrossed in my game to get more photos or an outcome.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Blitzkrieg Commander 4 in the "War Barn"

My friend John invited a bunch of us to his gaming space that he affectionately calls 'The War Barn'. It's a loft space in his post and beam barn from the 1600s. Some day I'd love to play an AWI game in a barn that was here during the AWI! It was a chilly day but John got the place nice and comfortable. I ended up taking my coat off and opting for just a sweatshirt. The game table was beautiful and the scenario was very interesting. 


This is the first in a series of 'Russian Front' games John is hosting. This game I played the Germans with Michael and John. Opposite us as the Russians, Paul, Earl, Byron and Charlie. 

Photo left: John Michael and Paul. Photo below Byron, Earl and GM John. Charlie hadn't arrived quite yet, but already knew the rules.


German left operational group. Michael followed our plan to descend on the town from the left in a sweeping flank, capturing the left-most objective. A bit later on Paul's T-34s showed up, threatening Michael's Panzer IIIs. I tossed a Nebelwerfer strike on top of Paul that took out one tank. Prospects for Michael's attack were good for the last couple of turns, but at four inches per move, his infantry was going to have a tough time getting to the town before dark. He did capture his objective though and was definitely going to keep it.


Left center kampfgrouppe was one of my commands. I was opposite Earl here. My turn 1 Nebelwerfer strike here put Earls troops into disarray and allowed me to run up to the center objective with a small group of SS panzergrenadiers supported by my three Stug III assault guns. Although I captured the objective, Earl's infantry was triple the size of mine and once he got his command recovered it looked like he was likely to get the center objective back as Michael's infantry didn't look like it would get to the town in time to help save me in the middle.


Right center Kampfgrouppe, also mine are left of the town. These guys initially had line of sight issues approaching the enemy KV-1 tanks that I couldn't work out acceptably to not get cut up piecemeal. Then my command blundered which forced the whole command forward costing me two trucks, two towed Pak-40 AT guns and a Stug.  On my right John didn't fare better. His infantry got hit by tank fire as he advanced, then his command got wiped out assaulting a town held by fresh defending infantry supported by half tracks. Again leg infantry just too slow to be where then needed when. 

This was a beautiful game with great friends. John runs a tight game and knows the rules very well which helped all of us have a better time. I'm still looking forward to more Blitzkrieg Commander 4. Hopefully the rule book re-print will be finished soon.