Saturday, August 31, 2019

World in Flames - 5

All the action is on the Chinese front.  
The Japanese made numerous attacks, 
but were unable to pull off any wins in the snow and blizzard conditions.  
However the Chinese had give up ground,
but have managed to form a thin yellow line.  

Forming a front by shuffling units is what the Chinese have to do.  It is risky as it means they generally get flipped leaving them vulnerable to attack.  The biggest risk I took was moving the HQ unit from Chunking, leaving that key city just protected by its AA defences.

The one success that the Japanese had was strategic bombing of Kunming, just when resources had started to arrive from the Commonwealth.

Elsewhere France is still holding on during this January/February 1940 turn.

Friday, August 30, 2019

And then there were none

The perils of belonging to a wargames club is that occasionally someone brings along something for sale that is just too good to pass up on.  So that is how I came to be the proud owner of a flock of dinosaurs.  I have seventeen in total, but I only needed five to take on some barbarian adventurers.

I used the standard profile for Human Barbarians (Q3+ C3) and they also had a leader.  Stephen took control of them.

The dinosaurs I based on Lizardmen (Q3+ C4) with tail slap and fast (long) move,  The latter was a replacement for the Lizardmen's amphibious trait.  The big mother dinosaur was a champion and rated as tough.  It would take four kills to bring her down.

We just diced for a random set up.

 Viking property developers stumble upon a hidden valley in Greenland.

 Existing tenants don't take too kindly to interlopers.

 The barbarians will have to use force if they want to gain possession.

 Two barbarians bite the dust, but mother has been knocked down.

I'm using the tags to denote a fallen model.  The drops of blood represent kills (just for show), or wounds on the big dinosaur.

 The barbarians dispatch one dinosaur and wound Mother,
but the cost is high with four barbarians now dead.

 Desperate fighting continues.

 But Mother bites off the barbarians' leader's head and their morale starts to falter 
(they were fearless, but perhaps less so now).

 Then there were two...



The surviving dinosaurs enjoy a mighty feast.
Looks like Greenland is not for sale.

Thursday, August 29, 2019


 One of the more useful terrain pieces or markers that I have made.
Currently they are doing sterling service representing tipped units in Rommel.

A friend asked me to send them a picture of one and it inspired me to do this post on how I made them and in the process make a few more.  In my last Rommel game I kept missing the combats and so figured a nice red explosion would serve well to mark them.

The fluffy stuff is for cushion or teddy bear stuffing.
The MDF disks are the "holes" that resulted when I made the movement trays for my Mahdists.

 The knife was used to trim the MDF base 
and the stick then used to poke the wool through the centre hole.
The missing ingredients, apart from paint, are PVA glue and sand.

PVA glue applied.  
The resultant dried base can be pressed down to give a flatter bottom.  
I haven't found it necessary to file or sandpare them,
 just a firm rubbing on a flat surface does the trick.

Ready for the messy step...

The wonders of PVA glue and sand.
It is possible to get a bit of sculpting in with this mixture,
by drawing the PVA glue up the sides of the wool before sprinkling sand.

Base coat and adding a bit of character to the flames.


Monday, August 26, 2019

Kasserine Pass 1943 - Take Three

Having created terrain, collected figures/models, mastered rules (mostly) and made labels for scenarios it is no trouble to play them through a number of times.  Apart from the joy of the game, it is always interesting to see what can happen with a different approach.  On Saturday Stephen took the role of Rommel and conducted a different arc of attack from the previous two games of this scenario.

Rommel launches an attack on the 16th RCT of the US 1st Infantry Division.
This is the western pass and had been ignored in previous games.

The rest of the Axis start to deploy before CCB of the US 1st Armoured Division,
at the eastern pass.

The Axis attack on the western pass is developing well.
The ability to cross the diagonals between terrain squares aids the attack,
however this would be different if we were using hexes...

Things are not going as well for the Axis assault at the eastern pass.

The Axis have taken the western pass.
16th RCT are skillfully falling back, exploiting the diagonals to link up.

The Axis decide to try and infiltrate around the eastern pass,
in the hope of gaining some advantage.

Reinforcements arrive just in time for the US 1st Infantry Division.

A bad command roll for the Axis.
In contrast to previous games, 
we only had one such Yahtzee of a roll in this game.

The US forces have pulled back.
1st Armoured is now focussed on the eastern pass defences and the lines of communication.
The battered 1st Infantry have taken over defending the central pass.

The US 1st Infantry Division reinforcements are demonstrating towards the western pass.
Meanwhile the battles rage for the other two passes.

The US defenders of the central pass seem beleaguered,
while those of the eastern pass are down to their last man.

The eastern pass fell 
and the Axis were able to make final attacks on the central pass and the road exit to Thala.  
Both attacks failed.  
A win at either one would have given them victory.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

World in Flames - 4

The quiet before the storm.

Or rather the clear weather bringing disaster which was certainly the case in China.

The first Japanese attack was a nil all draw.
The Chinese breathed a sigh of relief.
It was short lived.
A devastating groundtrike (a double 1 flipping two units)
caused the collapse of the southern front,
including the loss of the Chinese air force.

The Soviets have left Iran alone for the moment 
and started to build up the garrison on their new border with Germany.  
It is a slow process and I expect there comes a tipping point at some stage.  
I need to give the balance some careful thought.

So ends 1939.  As can be seen in that last image France is in imminent state of collapse.  All the more reason for the Soviets to get on garrisoning the border.

The Chinese losses have at least allowed them to build three infantry units.  The Soviets are also building three infantry along with one pilot.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Nikephorian Byzantine versus Imperial Spanish

This was my club's Impetus league semifinal game.  It was tense.

 End of Turn 1.
I have advanced my light troops into the broken ground.
On my right flank there was a wood, but neither of us went near it.
The hill (which was my terrain choice) was to my advantage and I placed my legions there, 
behind what I thought was the crest line (1H in from the edge).  
My opponent argued otherwise and I let it drop.  
I didn't want to be too defensive.  

 End of Turn 2
Both sides cautiously advance.
I discover it will be impossible for my light troops to get any hits on the enemy,
 so I just have to hope they can close.

 End of Turn 3.
The enemy artillery and musketeers have blown away my rock throwers.
There is a significant disconnect between the weapon systems of these two armies.

 End of Turn 4.
I decide to pull back out of the broken ground.

 End of Turn 5.
I have been able to mass my cavalry bow against the enemy's lead pike block.

 End of Turn 6.
My old fashioned bow fire is superior to the enemy's wonder weapons.
Although I have now lost two units, I have dented one of the pike blocks.

 End of Turn 7.
Sometimes the enemy musketeers have a deadly aim,
but that pike block is looking a bit exposed.

 End of Turn 8.
I have lost another unit,
but my remaining light cavalry are about to cover themselves in glory.

 End of Turn 9.
The enemy heavy cavalry now enters the fray.

 End of Turn 10.
The height of battle.
My cavalry has run down theirs.
Their remaining pike block craftily struck my line on an angle, 
but failed to make an impact.

 End of Turn 11
My cavalry has run down a heap of the enemy, but now have the enemy light cavalry on their tail.

In what was a singularly ineffective counterattack, my left hand legion had charged the pike block and been severely skewered.  The game is now very close which each side just one unit off from breaking.

End of Turn 12
My Blue Legion held, while the White Legion routed the enemy harquebusiers.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Matador Trucks

You can never have too many trucks and when Richard offered me two spare Zvedza kits he had spare how could I say no?  Add to that I always had a soft spot for the Matador from the release of the truck and 5.5"gun by Airfix way back when.

There was only one challenge.  I couldn't decide on the desired camouflage scheme.  Well, I knew I should try Mickey Mouse, but wasn't sure about black so I went with a flat earth instead.  Very subtle.

After showing the first truck to Richard, he showed me his black Mickey Mouse camouflaged trucks.  They looked good, so I thought I better give it a try.

I'd mixed a little red in the black and as can be seen gave a good dry brush of buff.  The only problem was the silver paint I used for the windows seemed to be repelled by the window frames!  No matter how close I painted the paint recoiled in fear and loathing.  Luckily it can only be seen on close inspection.

Now I have two trucks with different camouflage schemes.  Not an issue I hope.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

World in Flames - 3

November December 1939 and the weather is fine everywhere!

 The Japanese launched a major offensive in China, burning Offensive Chits in the process.
I pulled the Chinese back and was saved from further attacks when the weather turned wet.  

 The Russians mass on the border with Iran but do nothing.

Italy has entered the war against France in what turned out to be a fiasco of sorts.
However the Germans achieved a breakthrough and are at the gates of Paris!
Then the weather turned bad.

We played two turns and after rolling weather for the next turn, called it a night.
And the weather will be...