Saturday, 25 March 2017

Genestealer: A Test Gribbly

I've been quietly working away at various bits and pieces on the painting desk, I've been trying to get an hour in here and there, but I must confess that I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on playing Skyrim. So immersive.

I have, however, managed to get my first Genestealer done. This is one from the Lost Patrol boxed game, a rather old kit, but not too shabby.

I decided to paint my Tyranids in the colours of Hive Fleet Leviathan, as I find the pallid skin contrasts nicely with the purple carapace and the overall effect is rather striking when combined with an urban basing style, which is what I intend to do.

So this is just the first model. I've started base coating the rest of the Genestealers, but I think I shall extend the purple up to the wrists as I think that the arms should really be "sleeved" in carapace.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Poland 1939: Action near Dukla Pass After Action Report

Below is a video of the section level game I played solo using a modified version of Operation Squad: Evolution. The briefing is here. The basic Operation Squad mechanics were used with only the addition of card driven activations to make the game more solo friendly. 

After a faltering attempt at forming a base of fire, the Gebirsjäger MG34 team and a supporting team were mauled by Polish resistance. After seeing four of his man fall, Obergefreiter Martin Reiter decided to call it a day and withdraw until heavier force could be applied to the farm and dislodge the Poles. 

Reiter lost four men permanently, lost or missing, and three will sit out the next battle. In addition, he lost his MG34 in the retreat. There isn't a replacement for now. 

Plutonowy Andriy Kohut is the man of the hour, the hero of Dukla Pass. As the Germans retreated he and his men withdrew from the farm, as the German advance has overwhelmed the Polish resistance in other sectors. Father Marius of the church in Barwinek has approached Kohut's platoon commander and begged him to help recover the relics of a local saint that were stolen by the advancing Germans. 

All of this was generated using a combination of Platoon Forward and At the Sharp End by the TooFatLardies, and sets us up for next scenario, where the Poles will be launching an attack of their own!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Review: Warlord Games Polish Infantry Squad in Greatcoats

Here are my thoughts on my latest purchase from Warlord Games. TLDR version: underwhelming. 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Warfare 2016

I haven't been to a wargaming show in over a decade and that was Warfare. When my wife found out about this, she was mortified. The topic had come up as I was flicking through a magazine advertising Warfare, the show in Reading. So, this morning she suggested we hop in the motor and drive an hour to Reading for the show. 

I paid £5 to get in, and the lovely chap on the door let Lady K in for free on account of her non-wargamer status. We made a little donation to the Sue Ryder hospice and bought some raffle tickets with the money saved. 

I had thought about what I wanted from the show, I knew this wasn't going to be a no-holds-barred spend-a-thon, so I had only brought £50 with me. This had to pay for everything, including entrance and toys. At this point I had £40 left, and by the end of our visit, I was still £10 up! So I had limited myself severely. 

That said, I walked away with a fair haul. My only real aim was to pick up some resin haystacks from Warbases, one of my favourite companies. I also wanted to have a look at some of their animals to live alongside my Warlord Games farmyard critters. 

I ended up with 5 small haystacks, 5 large haystacks, and a heap of bases. One can never have enough of those. I also picked up a bag of their 25.6mm off-cut bases. These are the holes that they cut into their movement trays for 25mm round bases. I got these because they would work neatly for civilians or the odd animal. I also got some geese, chickens, and floating ducks. 

I had also wandered around having a look at some of those things that the internet just doesn't do justice to. One of those was Baccus 6mm. I have seen 6mm a million times on my computer screen, but never in person. Today myself and Lady K stood marvelling at the tiny little blighters. I have been keen to use the scale, or 10mm, for things like the Franco-Prussian war, but 6mm is tiny and I can't imagine painting them. Still, at least I have them in my mind as actual size now. 

So Pendraken and Baccus were must visits for me, to get a sense of size. I also wanted to check out Redoubt who have the unfortunate knack of not putting decent photos of their wares on their website. I particularly wanted to see their Trojans. They are amazing, as are their Boxer Rebellion miniatures. So rather than a shopping trip my Warfare ended up being a feast for the eyes. I did pick up some more animals from Redoubt, pigs, sheep and waddling ducks. My farmyard grows! 

Redoubt Boxer Rebellion miniatures.

Redoubt Trojans.
Redoubt canoes, I really liked these.
One really great find was Parkfield Miniatures. I have never heard of these guys before, but they do an interesting range. I was particularly drawn to their South American Wars of Independence, great for Sharp Practice I can imagine. 

We had a good look around the demo hall, where I came across this Napoleon in Egypt table that was simply smashing. Such an odd thing to game, but so well done. Look at those boats! Of course, there were loads of really amazing things, such as the winter table of Foy, but I am sure that better men than I will share that with the community. It was beautiful. Here are some shots of that Napoleon in Egypt table.

Mine and Lady K's favourite demo game was the Balkan War table run by Graham of Tring Wargames Club. Lady K is a Greek, so for her this was personal, and she loved the evzones and kleftes running across the table at the Turks. It really made her day and we stood there for around half-an-hour chatting to Graham and company. I was particularly interested in how he had modified Chain of Command from TooFatLardies to suit the conflict.

Graham was a really great chap and spent much time explaining how he had got to his final product. He has promised to email me his lists for Chain of Command.  

The miniatures used by the Tring game are all Tiger Miniatures. Now, I have looked at these in the past, Lady K insists that I wargame Greek conflicts. Poor me. The website really doesn't do these figures justice. They are brimming with character and with a good paint job look most excellent on the table. 

One of the really good things about this conflict on the table is that the limitation to bolt action rifles, medium machine guns, and field guns. Graham explained that this simplicity in the "moving parts" of the conflict make it a joy to game. And I tend to agree. One to watch.

Overall, I really enjoyed Warfare, and I certainly think that wargaming shows are worth visiting, I just don't do it often enough. Time to go and paint now. 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Mustering Forces: A Lick of Paint

The next phase of the muster has commenced. Yesterday they got their bases sanded, and today they got their under coat. I decided that I am going to pop the MG34 team on a lozenge base like the prone figures, but I didn't have any to hand. I have ordered some from Warlord Games which should be here soon. Progress!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Mustering Forces: A Hobby Update

I got back from Greece on Sunday night and immediately set about mustering the forces for my Dukla Pass scenario. I have all the assets for both sides, I just needed to get it assembled and painted. So yesterday I broke out my box of 28mm World War II stuff from the Oorlogskuur (The War Shed) and got out the Gebirgsjäger I needed, plus all the potential Polish forces that might appear in the scenario. Glue and the Xacto knife were wielded and in no time I had this box full of miniatures ready for basing.

Apologies for the poor picture. A quick list of what inside.

Germans: A kfz. 13 Adler armoured car, eight riflemen, an MG34 team, an Obergefreiter.

Polish: Ursus armoured car, ten greatcoated Polish infantry, light and medium mortar teams, MMG team, anti-tank gun, sniper team and anti-tank rifle team. 

A fair bit indeed. The next step is to base the lot, and then undercoat.

I figured, while I was at it, I might as well get some of my 15mm stuff assembled too. This time Finnish and Soviet vehicles for a Chain of Command scenario idea I have. 

Again, not a great photo, but I wanted to show that I had done something. Some Soviet armoured cars and armour, which was used by both sides. There is also a Finnish Vickers 6-ton. I am going to do most of this in Finnish livery, but the twin turret T-26 and one BA-6 and one BA-20 for Soviets. These chaps will get their undercoat at the same time as the 28mm stuff. Hopefully I will be able to get my scenario played soon enough. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Poland 1939: Action near Dukla Pass Briefing

I was eager to try out the Operation Squad rules that I had purchased some time ago for small 28mm squad based action. I decided that the best run out the game could get would be a scenario based on the opening hours of the German invasion of Poland.

Dukla Pass, Polish-Slovakian Border, 1st of September 1939.

The Situation:

The German "liberation" of Silesia and Posen has begun. While the bulk of German forces sweep away the Poles in the west, the First Gebirgsjäger Division has left its staging points in the Carpathian Mountains of Slovakia and descended upon Galicia. The initial goal is to clear the villages on the Polish-Slovakian border and thereby secure the right flank of the German advance eastwards. 

German forces are pushing north into Poland through the Dukla Pass, to capture the village of Barwinek, before pushing further on to take Tylawa. A company of Gebrigsjäger has just stepped off and is shadowing the road north, clearing the forests on either side. The area is heavily wooded before turning into farmland. 

Although Polish forces haven't fully mobilised, local resistance is expected. Polish reservists are arming and are en route to their depots to resist the invasion. German forces cannot allow the Poles to withdraw in good order and  consolidate, and so Army Group South is pursuing with all haste to keep the enemy on the run.

A German platoon has come across a small outlying farmstead to the south-west of Barwinek and Leutenant Krantz has charged Obergefreiter Reiter of 2nd section to recce and clear this small collection of buildings of any Polish opposition.

The area south of Barwinek, Poland ©

Scenario Details:

This scenario was created by combining Scenario K (Reconnaissance) from Platoon Forward, and Scenario 8: Recon from Operation Squad Evolution. This action was played solo.

As an objective I rolled :"Is that village or key building occupied?" The building is a Polish farmhouse, which forms the focal point of the 4' x 4' playing area. I generated the terrain using Platoon Forward and produced this vector graphic map as a guide on how to set up my terrain.

A simple plan on how the terrain should be set up,
with the German axis of advance shown.

Dramatis Personae:

Obergefreiter Martin Reiter
Martin is a veteran of the Great War, and at 40 years-old one of the senior men in the platoon. He is originally from Posen (Poznan), but when the border shifted at the end of the last war he decided to move west into the new Germany. For him the Polish campaign is personal. Martin's primary qualification for his rank is his earlier service, which is unfortunate as he is a pretty inept section commander. He has a drinking problem, but the upside (if there is one) is that it serves to level his temperament somewhat in the face of the enemy.

Plutonowy Andriy Kohut
Andriy is a 25 year-old ethnic Ukrainian, native to Galicia. From farming stock, he believes that in the new Poland, hard work and determination does pay off and it is clear that money is a priority. He is a cheery, optimistic fellow, with a level head and does a solid job of commanding his section. 

Force Assets:

Obergefreiter Martin Reiter
MG34 Team (3 pax)
One Rifle Team (8 pax)

Plutonowy Andriy Kohut
Polish strength is undetermined, but infantry can be expected. Vehicles and heavier assets are highly unlikely. (Essentially, I will generate these forces as the scenario unfolds using the Platoon Forward rules. Not all blinds will necessarily materialise.)

5 A blinds (squads are either BAR teams, rifle section, or armed civilians)
2 B blinds (AT Rifle, MMG, or Mortar teams)
1 C blind (Tank, Truck, or Armoured Car)

The small scale of this action means that both sides can be very flexible with their ORBAT and create fire teams or break off individuals as required.

Battle report to follow...