Thursday, December 30, 2010

German Artillery

I needed a change of painting pace last night - so I painted a 28MM model for WW2. The image below shows a German 10.5CM howitzer and crew. In most skirmish games, it would be a nice objective, since artillery is usually a higher order of battle item for infantry squads. However, I have played a WW2 variant of the WW1 Game "Great War" which does allow artillery to make an appearance (and, are quite fun).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Manley's Run

As you may have noticed from an earlier post, Dave Manley is moving away. I recently rec'd an email from Dave wondering if we could indeed sneak in one more game before his departure. Naturally, "yes" was the answer. So, we conspired to meet at my house on the 23rd with Doug Wildfong and Matt Grippin and send Dave off with a proper gaming session with friends.

Matt and I prepared Cajun Sheppard's Pie from the Paul Prudhomme "Louisiana Kitchen" cookbook. It is a loaf of ground beef and ground pork topped with carrots, onions, zucchini, squash and mashed potatoes - served with a tomato-beef sauce.

We had plenty of scotch, beer and 28MM soldiers, so, we were ready. We concocted a scenario to frame our battle - Manley's Run. We used Black Powder for the game. We wanted to play Regimental Fire & Fury, but none of us had yet purchased a copy!

Here is the write up:

Manley’s Run
Northern Virginia, September 1863

Gettysburg. The devastating battle has left both armies hurting, especially the Confederates. Lee skillfully guided his troops back to their homelands to await the actions of the new Federal commander, Ulysses Grant. Lee has dispatched Longstreet to Georgia and the two armies have entered a period of stalemate. The largest action to be fought in Virginia this fall will occur near the small hamlet of Henderson.
The toughest action on the battlefield took place across the soon-to-be-harvested fields that run along a small watercourse known as Manley’s Run. The run takes its name from the family homestead nearby.

The Manley family, southern by birth, relocated soon after the war began – to Pennsylvania. Never slave holders and fierce abolitionists; the Manley’s sold their holdings in Virginia when war became inevitable. Ironically, their home, near Gettysburg, was used as a hospital after that terrible battle.
The battle near Henderson was part of a Federal maneuver to turn a portion of the Rebel line in an effort to improve positions for the coming spring campaign. As a result, the Union troops are attacking from the southern end of the battlefield.

Well, the Rebels lost, but fun was had by all. Dave, we'll miss you around here, best wishes in Arizona!

Here are some images with text details.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Flames of War Pinned Markers

I think these markers will be great "Pinned" markers in Flames of War. My friend Binhan taught me how to make these, they're really simple. So, I thought I'd duplicate his method here.

The main ingredient is foam. Since I have been buying Flames of War models, I have a fair bit of the thin gray foam squares that comes in those boxes and that is perfect for the markers.

All you need, besides the thin foam are 1" washers to glue them to, super glue and a scissors. Take a sheet of the FoW foam and cut it in half, turning the square into two narrow strips. The using a sharp scissors, cut a pointy pattern into the foam. In the image above, you can see the foam in these various stages.

To make the explosion, roll up the foam along the straight edge. When rolled, add a drop of super glue and glue down the end of the roll. I was rally surprised at how well this material works with the super glue! Do be careful tho, the material is porous and you can easily glue your finger.


To make one "explosion" I use two strips of the foam. So, grab another strip and add it to the one you just glued. After gluing that strip on, glue the blast to the washer and you're done.

Put together
The foam material takes spray paint too. I took an easy route and did a black and gray paint job. I suppose one could get all crazy and do stuff like painting red and yellow in the blast for an actual explosion. Maybe even add a model soldier unlucky enough to be caught up in the blast.


Regimental Fire & Fury

At the club meeting this past Sunday, one of our members - Dave Manley - hosted a Regimental Fire & Fury game in 28MM. Several of us showed up with our troops, and Dan Gurule and Matt Vigil ran the game (they know the rules, we were learning!).

Sadly, Dave has recently announced a geographic change in his life due to an employment change, so this was his finale game with the club as a regular-attendee. Luckily, Dave will be returning to Denver every month and hopes to squeeze in a game here and there with us when doing so. He's a great gamer and an excellent club member, we're very sorry that he must leave us for a while...but we'd be happy to share a scotch and a game with him at any time (note, blog author pauses here to sip the scotch he is currently consuming).

Well, I had hoped that this would be a battle report regarding the game and the rules, but we had a lot of players and I took a back seat to help in a DBN game and a Battletech game. So, all I have to share is some eye candy shots of the game and the say that the players all had a favorable opinion of the rules. So, I am even more interested in playing them!
Dave before the battle

Ed stopped by...err, Santa stopped by
Doug is ready to save the Union

Rick and Jeff, true Rebels

Dave, Doug and Larry and our younger players
Dan (left) and Larry (Right)

Colin, Dave and Doug (left to right)

Matt, unhappy with the Broncos and his rebel troops

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Russian Artillery

Yesterday, I finished up some Soviet artillery for my storm battalion. Nice models. They are 76mm ZIS-3 Field Guns. I got the box set that included the staff team. command team and the observer. My only complaint is that  this set is ridiculously expensive...$70USD.

In the set, you get 4 guns, 20 crewmen, 9 other soldiers (staff, command, observers) and 7 bases, 5 of which are nicely detailed resin bases for the guns and staff. There is another boxed set of infantry that contains nothing but 157 miniature infantrymen and the bases for them for the same cost...I simply feel that in comparison, the infantry box is a better economic deal. Well, these are all the guns I need, thank God.

Gripes aside, here is an image:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FoW Soviet Storm Battalion

Well, having purchased the FoW book "Stalin's Europe" and having some 15MM Soviet troops on hand, I am gonna build a Soviet force...1500 points worth. Here is the content of that force, tell me what you think:

Battalion Headquarters     35 pts.      35 running total pts.
•    1, Company Command SMG Team           
•    1, 2-in-Command SMG Team
•    1, Komissar Team

Strelkovy Company               270 pts.     305 running total pts.
Headquarters Section
•    1, Rifle/MG Command Team
•    1, Maksim HMG Team                       25 pts.        330 running total pts.
•    1, Komissar Team                               15 pts.        345 running total pts.
Rifle Platoon 1
•    7, Rifle/MG Team
Rifle Platoon 2
•    7, Rifle/MG Team

Shturmovye Group              315 pts.       660 running total pts.
Headquarters Section
•    1, SMG Command Team
Assault Group
•    7, SMG Team
Reinforcement Group
•    2, SMG Team
•    5, Storm Team

Tankovy Company            440     1100 running total pts.
Headquarters Section
•    1, T-34/85 obr 1943
Tankovy Platoon 1
•    3, T-34/85 obr 1943
Tankovy Platoon 2
•    3, T-34/85 obr 1943

Artillery Battalion              125 pts.      1225 running total pts.
Headquarters Section
•    1, Command Rifle Team
•    1, Staff Team & Horse-drawn Wagon
•    1, Rifle Observer Team                     15 pts.       1240 running total pts.
Gun Platoon 1
•    2, 76mm ZIS-3 Field Gun
•    2, Horse-drawn Limber
Gun Platoon 2
•    2, 76mm ZIS-3 Field Gun
•    2, Horse-drawn Limber

Limited Air Support         200 pts.    1440 running total pts.
•    IL2-Shturmovik

Antiaircraft Company     50 pts.     1490 running total pts.
Headquarters Section
•    1, Command Rifle Team
AA Gun Platoon 1
•    2, 37mm obr 1939 AA Gun
•    2, Trucks                                          5 pts.    1495 running total pts.

My thought is that for city battles, I may skip the aircraft and even the anti-aircraft guns in favor of other infantry.

Flames of War

Well. I am gonna bite the bullet for Flames of War (FoW) - and in the process, delay my excursion into the Vietnam War. This past Sunday, I attended - but did not play in (due to my time constraints that day) - a local FoW tournament. This is what tipped me to it...there were 21 players! 21! I hung around for like 3 hours and watched several games - I saw some good players, and good sportsmanship - and - I saw folks having fun! I gotta tell ya, it resonated with me.

It was a "mid-war" get together and I saw the ever present Germans and Americans, but also saw a couple Soviet players, a couple Italian players and several British players - one was even British Paras! The age group of the gathering was widely varied as well. One player - a very excellent one actually - was 10! In fact, the previous Friday night, Scott and Colin (the 10 year old) came over to my house and gave me my introductory FoW game, of course, Colin won a tough battle!

The tourney was officiated by an excellent person too. Fair, organized, good sportsmanship! He even kicked in prizes for the players (FoW models of course)!

In my club there are folks that dislike FoW, in fact, other than at the recent Veteran's Wars weekend, I have almost never seen a FoW battle being played at the club. I really think this is a shame.

Sure, the rules are "tournament-centric" when it comes to scenario stuff - but you know what, come up with a scenario. I like this feature of the rules. In addition, they have "Total War" now too (free) that seems to help people play multi-player games if they cannot get it going themselves. Fact: this "tournament-centric" feature gets people playing and playing often. It doesn't differ in concept from DBA, DBM, Legends of the Old West, etc.

Sure, the National Characteristics stuff can be gimmicky at times, but...who cares? This is a game, it adds flavor and fun and helps give the forces special capabilities that may come onto the tabletop to mimic historical capabilities. I like this feature. I want to have fun and I don't want to play "red" versus "blue" armies all the time. It isn't that far of a stretch from "Confederates get +1 when charging". Several rules out there have similar concepts (Legends, Great War, Black Powder).

Yes, the models are getting pricey. I care nothing about international money exchange rates and if they do or do not have anything to do with it (since I cannot influence it anyway). But, the range of models is simply outstanding and are of very good quality.

So, I will complete a Soviet army and go play some FoW. My Denver club mates will be seeing less of me on Fridays and Sundays for a bit. Unless of course, they want to play with me! I hope they do!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

15mm World War Two

I took some pictures of some 15mm Germans I had done some time ago to play Flames of War, but we never really got any gaming off the ground. Recently, I started painting some Russians, because I do want to give it another go - there is an active club just to the north to game with. This Friday night, a friend is coming over to teach me how to play and this Sunday I am going to their meeting to observe a tournament they are playing.

Both things sound fun...looking forward to the weekend (and not just because another - albeit the last - episode of The Walking Dead is on).

Russian Infantry

German Panzergrenadiers

Tiger I
Halftracks for the Panzergrenadiers
I actually bought the book "Stalin's Europe" because I am interested in Eastern Europe. I'd love to do some Hungarians! First though, I need to build upon what I already have.