Monday, August 31, 2015

Chain of Command: Arnhem Game 1

Martin and I finally kicked off the first game of our Arnhem campaign. More models are ordered and on their way, but we had enough to play the first scenario.

The scenario depicts the Paras probing the German defences in the vicinity of Wolfheze. For this campaign Martin is limited to infantry support, jeeps and universal carriers for vehicles, and the 6-pounder for anti-tank guns, while artillery represents mortars and perhaps the pack howitzer.

The Paras enter from the left side of the table, and must move at least one unit off the opposite edge. This was admittedly a difficult scenario for Martin, as I held the half of the table with the cover.

In our first Patrol Phase I bungled and left an unguarded corridor down my left flank, which meant the game was essentially over before it started, so we decided to do over.

The first section of Paras creep tactically along the hedge.

A Flak gun (counts as HMG) reveals itself!
One contact is made, we got so involved in the fighting I neglected to take photos. What happened next was I deployed a section in the building and started trading fire with the Paras behind the hedge, while Martin sent in another section to bolster his attack. My section in the building was wiped out (the Paras can really put out a lot of firepower, and Martin rolled very well), but by this time I have deployed another section in the orchard, while a third section was sent round it to try to flank the paras.

With my third section committed, Martin sent his last squad down my right flank, rushing for the table edge. I then sprung my surprise: I have a fourth squad hiding behind the hill near the table edge! To my horror, however, my squad came off worse in the firefight, and I had to recall the flanking squad from my far left to come back to defend the flank. With victory hanging in the balance, Martin charged his depleted Paras into my squad - the Paras were wiped out, but they took enough of my squad to make further defence futile; there was nothing left to prevent the other two squads from moving to my right.

We were both surprised by the offensive power and the tenacity of the Paras. Their 6 Command Dice also gave them the initiative for most of the battle, and Martin's use of smoke rounds from his mortar rendered most of my movements irrelevant.

That said I did not choose support that will negate the Paras' weaknesses: artillery and armour. In my next game I shall not be so merciful...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dropzone Commander Resistance vehicles

It started off because I wanted a Toyota Technical. I mean, which self-respecting Third World warlord wouldn't?

The problem is, a technical needs a context, and in this case context means lots of other militia figures in the same scale, maybe some elite Developed Nation special forces to fight them, and lots of terrain in the form of buildings. And that's *after* you get a technical.

I googled around and couldn't decide on a scale or a range, but the idea of doing a post-apocalyptic Mad Max/Car Wars sort of thing instead began to appeal to me. I chanced upon the Dropzone Commander Resistance faction which had the perfect vehicles for this. It took little to convince fg to get in on the project, and I ordered a pack each of their technicals, trucks, buses (yes, buses), and bikes to split between the two of us.

The models are incredibly well-cast and detailed, with all the undercarriage represented. The vehicles are single-piece resins, while the gun and crew are single-piece metals. The trucks come with resin weapons which I thought look too advanced for a "wasteland warriors" faction, and so used the technical weapon and crew instead. The buses come with separate fighting platforms that fit on top of them like howdahs. I decided to paint my bus more as a transport instead of a fighting vehicle for now.

I took the school bus with the intent of painting it in its "original" yellow, and had wanted to paint the other vehicles yellow too, but thought that might make them blend in too much with the terrain. Since fg picked red for his faction, I picked black.

The models were easy to paint, and the raised details easy to pick out. I weathered the models by dabbing a piece of sponged dipped in brown and then black paint, and washed with a black wash over the metal parts and a brown wash all over.

For rules we will be trying out Axles and Alloys 2, which is available free on the internet. I made some dashboard for the vehicles which I will show here after we have our first game.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Captain of Rohan

The final figures in my Rohirrim warband.

They are both Footsore miniatures: the mounted figure is actually their King Arthur figure, and the foot figure is from their Gawain and Galahad pack (and presumably represents Gawain). They both have purple flowers on their bases to distinguish them, but I picked these two figures to represent the leader of my warband because they are sculpted with the same crest.

The Arthur figure is a single piece figure: the rider is sculpted on the horse and the shield is sculpted onto the arm and the horse. This probably accounts for the short lower limbs of the rider. I have left the shield undecorated for now.

With the Rohirrim done, I started prepping my Dropzone Commander Resistance faction vehicles. These are really very detailed resin pieces and I am not yet sure how I will prime or paint them. Stay tuned, and wish me luck!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Riders of Rohan

Here is the last unit of my Rohan force. The standard bearer is from the Footsore King Arthur pack, and the leader is from the Late Roman General pack; I have mounted them on the LOTR horses for consistency.

The Rohirrim are my favourite race in all of Middle Earth. That's probably because Tolkien based their temperament on that of the Anglo-Saxons, and the Anglo-Saxons are one of my favourite races from history. I have only the foot and mounted versions of the warlord for this force to finish, which I hope to do over the weekend. Thereafter I hope to field them in a game soon, probably against my goblins and their warg riders.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Romans vs Macedonians

So wahj wanted to take his Romans out for a spin, and Martin obliged, and I was able to field my new West Wind War & Empire figures.

The scenario is once again from Miniatures Wargames magazine, and features both armies arriving onto the battlefield piecemeal.

Half a legion holds the hill facing the bridge, while the other one-and-a-half legions race to reinforce them.

The Macedonians mass at three crossing points.

“To every man upon this earth
  Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
  Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
  And the temples of his gods,

Martin chose to secure the bridgeheads by deploying his skirmishers in the woods, while wahj threw his cavalry in to buy time.

The cavalry sacrificed themselves to allow the legions to form up, which allowed them to break the Macedonian morale.
I played the rules wrong in the first half of the game, which made shooting less effective and disadvantaged the Macedonians, but the scenario was fun nonetheless as it was a change from facing the death-dealing machine that is the deployed Roman legion. I am convinced Martin needs to at least double the number of his phalanx to stand a chance against the legion.

You can see more pictures at wahj's post.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Warriors of Rohan unit 3

Another week, another unit - admittedly a smaller unit as these figures represent the dismounted version of my mounted unit, which has 8 figures (yes, I only have 7 foot figures left to make up this unit).

The leader is again from Footsore, specifically the Bors and Tristan pack. I swopped the spear hand with a sword hand from my Red Box dwarves (which will be getting Gripping Beast spear hands...) and glued a Rohirrim shield to the left hand. The standard bearer is again a simple conversion, and I chose a longer pennon for the unit. This unit has white flowers to distinguish themselves from the other two.

Next up will be the horse and riders and then the foot and mounted version of the general/warlord for the force. After those I hope to work on the 10/12mm vehicles for our Axles and Alloys 2 project. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

August Giveaway

I can't believe I forgot about this month's giveaway!

To make up for the lateness, this month I am offering two copies of Might of Arms - yup, there will be two winners this month.

Let me know if you are interested by leaving a comment, and I will draw a recipient on the 31st of this month. This is not a first-come, first-serve offer.The offer is free; once I let you know you have been drawn, do let me have your email and mailing address and I will mail it off to you. You don't even have to pay for the postage. I am doing this not to get some money back, but to give these rules a good home. If you want to pay back somehow, I ask that you make a small donation to a local charity, or consider doing the same thing I am doing and give some rulebooks that you no longer use a chance for a new lease of gaming life.Good Luck

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Warriors of Rohan unit 2

Here is the second unit of my Rohan force. The leader is the other figure from the Hengist and Horsa pack from Footsore. I freehanded the horse motif on his shield in imitation of the Staffordshire Hoard Seahorse. At least I tried to. The musician is again a quick conversion - I cut the shield boss off his hand and grafted a horn from the Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors sprue onto it. This unit sports yellow flowers for identification.

That's about half the force done; the next unit is a mounted unit, but because I have to paint a dismounted version of it, it will take me a bit more time.