Thursday, May 25, 2017

An Update for the Sake of Updating

In order to keep my posts going at least once a week - here's what I've been up to.


Ok, not entirely true. I finally got around to painting my 4" MDF coasters a lovely shade of Ceramcoat Green.

I take that back, it's not a shade, it's literally just Green.

This picture was gathered from Pinterest. Not a photo of the actual bottle of paint I am using.

None-the-less, it's very toy soldier appropriate, even if it contrasts strongly against the green used on the figure bases - which varies from a dark forest-y green to bright Deetail's green.

I have a few more I can paint before I semi-permanently mount my medieval figures to them with blue-tac.

Not sure what I want to do for my WW2 figures yet - I keep bouncing between the 4" bases, per Tim Gow's lovely Little Cold Wars, and the 3" bases that I used to use (settled upon by a mere doubling of what people typically do for 1/72 figures (not to mention it's what Morschauser did for his 54mm)).

Monday, May 15, 2017

WW2 Small-Unit Skirmish: Capture the Bridge

With all of this thinking about a possible Colonial game, I was itching to get something on the table in the mean time. So, Saturday night, after I put my son to bed, I set up the following.

Scenario: Two British "fire teams" of para-troopers are to capture a lightly held bridge  from the Germans. The Germans at the guard house will call back to the farm house in the even of attack, at which point, German troops from within the house will come to the defense of the bridge. The MG-42 team is stationed in the yard behind a rock wall at the start, with a  clear view across the river, and a line of sight to the bridge. After 10 turns of defense, Germans can blow the bridge by reaching the base of the bridge on the farmhouse side.


Team BBC: Hardcastle (3 HP), Deacon (2 HP), Peacock (2 HP)
Team Backups: 2 British and 1 Polish paratrooper, all 1 HP.

Guard house rifle team: 1 HP each
MG-42 team: 1 HP each
German rifle team: 1d6 rifles (1 HP each) + 1 squad leader with SMG (2 HP)


Improvised / home-brew


The Allies got off to a slow start - held up by the two riflemen in the guard house. Once they were dispatched, Hardcastle stormed the bridge and the rest of Team BBC followed, while Team Backups fired from cover at the Germans across river in the woods.

For a minute, it looks like things might work out just fine for Team BBC.

The MG42 would prove to be devastating for Team BBC, despite the cover the bridge afforded them. Deacon engaging the German left in hand-to-hand at least temporarily silenced the gun.

Not going great, but still, victory is possible.
Team Backup charged across the bridge too late and the whole of the Allied force was mowed down eventually.
So much for that idea. The bodies of Team BBC and their reinforcements pile up at the bridge.

In retrospect, some grenades might have been useful.

Figures are Conte (Brits), King & Country (Brits, Polish), Airfix (Germans) and Matchbox (Germans). 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

News of My Return to Gaming May Have Been Premature

OK, so my other project (I'm a musician) has taken over the lion's share of my free time, and until just recently, I was OK with that. But one can only stay away for so long before the pining for toy soldiers reaches a fevered pitch.

Unfortunately, it returns at a time when money is tight - I unexpectedly had to acquire a new vehicle  just the other day (which I rather like driving, so it's not all bad) - and yet I want to start a new project.

Or rather, revive an old project, but in 54mm: Victorian Science Fiction (VSF)

VSF with its lost worlds, alien invasions, and wild contraptions all in support of adventure and exploration, was my first real wargame's project. It began with French Foreign Legion and lost world lizard men and dinosaurs, and later became the basis for my longest running campaign, the Battle of Helvetica (follow the link and scroll down), between Sauvingnon-Blanc and Riesling, with their lizard men conscripts filling out the respective sides.

That project is a 15mm project and I do not wish to duplicate the set up in a larger scale. Instead I want to take a more British bent to the whole thing, being the Victorian-age after all.

One option is a "lost battalion" type game - where highlanders, hussars (or lancers maybe?) and a gun crew, wander through a lost world as they look for their way home and come face to face with Romans, Greeks, ancient Egyptians, monsters of all kinds, and yes, perhaps one of Riesling's armies

Another option is that the Brits find a "Star Gate" which leads to battles against the same enemies, but on distant planets. It seems almost certain then that they would face off in battle against the green Martians on the red plains of that planet
(AIP Boxers painted green might work for that). Trekking through the thick vegetation of a Venusian jungle, dodging dinosaur-like fauna would surely follow.

Because I prefer to game than paint, ideally, the highlanders would be W. Britain's set 5188 (2 sets even,), and the lancers set 8806 (again 2 perhaps), but reality is that they will be AIP highlanders and hussars. Ditto the gun and crew.

The opponents will mostly be pre-painted plastics, available cheaply on Amazon and elsewhere. This helps minimize my painting efforts.

Rules will be G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. or Portable Wargame, Space: 1889 Soldier's Companion, or quite likely home-brew that blends many of those together, depending on what type of game I decide to play.

With father's day coming up next month, I already know what I'm asking for!

And since walls of text are sort of boring, here's a picture from a very impromptu and improvised skirmish game I played last night.

Team BBC storms the French farmhouse
The scenario was based on the example given in older versions of Nuts! by THW: An MG42 crew is in a farmhouse with a clear shot at the road, making transport hazardous for our troops.Three British paras (Team BBC: Cpl. Hardcastle, Lance Cpl. Deacon, and a young, Pvt. Peacock) are to assault the house and take out the gun and crew.

Figures are Conte (Brits) and Airfix (Germans, which I placed behind the house, though they were, for the game, inside), the wall is from W. Britain I believe (It came with a Waffen SS MG42 team), the house is scratch built (clearly). Rules, as I said, were improvised. They involved card activation, d6s to attack (1 for bolt action rifles and pistols, 2 for SMGs, and 4 for the HMG), saving rolls a la Featherstone, and hit points for Hardcastle (3), Deacon (2), Peacock (2), German Officer (2).

Hardcastle and Deacon both ended the game with 1 HP each, Peacock, who fired from cover most of the game remained unscathed, while the Germans were thrashed soundly and the next transport would make it through unimpeded.