Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Wargames Foundry and Partizan 2018

As has become a regular occurrence, a bunch of Devon's least wanted headed north for a weekend of wargames in(or near) Newark. Nine of us went up, four from South Devon and the others from the other, less cultured areas.

An early start resulted in the now common sighting of the lesser haired Pingu in its natural state, asleep.

A quick stop at the hobbit hole(Gloucester Motorway Services) for a breakfast and a meet up with the others broke the journey before we headed on  to Wargames Foundry.
There we were amply fed and watered for a small fee, with tea, coffee, cold drinks, pastries, rolls, crisps and snacks all day while we used their table to play a multi-player Dark Ages fight using Dux Bellorum.
 Several hundred figures had travelled North in the two cars and went to battle to decide who was the one true king, Pingu or Steve.

Sadly it proved to be not Pingu as he fell in a blood sodden heap under the swinging blades of Steve and Toms masses.
 Here are the enemy and they are f-ugly! From left to right we have JJ, Tom(son of JJ), Steve the First, Chas the Knowledgeable and Vince the Demon Dice Roller. I didn't bother picturing the opposition 'cos we is even more f-ugly than they are.

After the day at Foundry we split up, the victors heading off to Lincoln to enjoy a victory curry will we headed off to our digs, via a shop for dinner and breakfast supplies. We usually stay at Lincoln Premier Inn when we go up but the price this year was a tad high at near £90 a room, so we had a look around and found a nice little place on Airbnb for just over £80 which could fit us all in. Turned out to be a lovely little cottage on a riding school with all the amenities you would ever need and very comfortable too. Best nights sleep I have had away from home for a long time. It had been a long day and we are all older than we like to admit, so we crashed pretty early and were up pretty early(except Nathan) for bacon and egg rolls and several cups of tea and/or coffee while watching the horses.

Sunday was spent at Partizan and a cracking day it was too. I caught up with some old friends, some who I have not seen for several years, saw some beautiful games and spent a bit of cash. I won't bother putting up a show report as JJ has done one far better and with much nicer pictures than I could, so I will just point you to his report of the show here. As usual though it is IMHO the best show in the country and I shall endeavour to make it up again next time.

Then we headed home in the sun. The sleeping Pingu made a reappearance, but too be fair I also had a snooze on the way back. Luckily Nathan didn't, as he was driving. A quick stop for fuel early on was turned into a quick stop for a refill of our bellies, so after a munch on KFC or a baguette we got back underway.

We had picked up a surprise present for our driver as a thank you for his services and a subtle comment on his demeanor at times 😉. A tasty snack which may be one of his 5-a-day, although I doubt it. Well, it does have peanuts in it!

Anyway, all told it was a cracking weekend, a nice trip away with decent company and a fun couple of days away. Bring on next year.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Painting and gaming

Yet again it's been a while since I posted, so here is a general update. I have done a bit of painting, I have done a bit of gaming. I have had good days and bad weeks, but I'm still alive so it's mostly good. 😉

 Painting first. Just lately I have been playing Dux Bellorum as we decided to play it as a group game on our lads weekend to Wargames Foundry and Partizan. The rules give a decent game and it's allover fairly quickly, which is good for an evening or afternoons game.

So some Dark Ages troops have come out of storage and had paint liberally splashed all over them. First up we have 6 standard bearers and 16 assorted foot, all Gripping Beast figures with LBMS shield and banner transfers.

Then we have 26 assorted foot types, a mix of plastic and metal GB with LBMS shields again. A nice addition to my previous Dux Britanniarum forces.

After Partizan I painted up another 5 standard bearers and 13 more assorted foot. All told I have about 150 foot figures done now, with about the same number still to go.

I have also painted some cavalry as a change and to give some options for my force. Firstly though I rebased the 8 I had already painted so they could all be used on the sabot bases I got from Warbases. Four each of heavy and light cavalry, a nice start for my cavalry force.

Then I painted the new additions. Somehow I had 4 mixed metal figures floating about, so they were painted along with the box of plastic Dark Ages Cavalry I had picked up. 24 should be enough for any force right?

So why do I now have 8 Footsore Romano-British Heavy Cavalry waiting to be painted? Why indeed! They are lovely figures though, really pretty.

Gaming has been a bit mixed, with several games of Dux Bellorum as mentioned previously interspersed with some games of Mythic Battles:Pantheon. Apart from that there has been not much done.

Here are a couple of pictures of our multi-player test game of Dux Bellorum. Six players, three each side with a mix of Romano-British, Welsh, Saxon and Raider forces. I won! At least that's how I remember it anyway. 😀

 Finally I managed to injure myself by falling over a box in a savage shark attack! No boxes were injured in ripping the crap out of my leg, but a fair bit of skin and blood was misplaced. Stupid box.

A Partizan and Foundry post will arrive tomorrow.

Tiger Day at Bovington Tank Museum

 A couple of weeks ago I got treated to a day out at the Tank Museum. My eldest son and his wife treated me to a ticket to Tiger Day and rather good it was too. The only running Tiger tank in the world and it's only allowed out twice a year, so it was something special. Before the tanks rumbled about we had a look around the museum as they have changed tings about since the last time I went.

First up here is a picture of No1 next to a Valentine tank. To give it perspective he is 6' 3"(1.9m to you metric types) so it shows you how small the Valentine is, even more so when you consider it had a crew of 3 men in there.

On reason to go back to the museum was to see the Tiger display, with several different Tiger variants that are not normally in this country. Here is the Panzerkampfwagen VIB Konigstiger. This beast is a true behemoth and towers over the offspring. This is an early Porsche version with the curved turret front which proved less effective than the more usual flat front Henschel version.

Then we had the truly oversized Jagdtiger, a tank destroyer that cost more than any tank it ever met. It is another impressive machine, but probably less effective than it was worth.

The usual Konigstiger is there as well, the flat front to the turret and the 3 colour camouflage make it stand out compared to the more drab dunkelgelb versions. This one lives at the museum full time but it was nice to see it next to its siblings.

The one I really wanted to see though was the Elefant/Ferdinand SPG. In many ways this was a fatally flawed design with not even one MG to deal with enemy infantry in it's initial variant. This was later rectified but it was another over-engineered machine that drained more resources than it warranted. Still it was very nice to see it and really gives you a perspective on the size of it. The one on display still has damage to it's armour from enemy fire in WW2. 

 On the day they ran a nice mix of tanks, so below are a few pictures of a few of the runners. It was rather busy as well with crowds on all sides. Sadly the Matilda I wouldn't play on the day but it was entertaining to see all the others. The list included a Valentine XI, Comet, Chieftain, the "Fury" Sherman, Kettenkrad, Panzer 68, M60, Leopard 1, Leopard 2 and the Tiger!

All in all it was a great day and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time with No1 son.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The French are here.

Another quick post as the varnish has dried on my WW2 French platoon. The figures were a Christmas present from my long suffering wife, which I bought and she promptly stole and wrapped up back in October. 

They are Bolt Action figures and, despite the lack of variety in poses, I reckon they look ok now they are painted up.

The Chain of Command French platoon has three squads of twelve men, each with an LMG and a rifle grenade(VB) launcher. The platoon HQ has two senior leaders, one junior leader and another VB launcher. The differ from other units as the VB launchers can all be gathered into a team under the HQ junior leader, thus giving the platoon its own inherent indirect fire support.

The only support team I have so far is a Hotchkiss tripod MG, although some more assets may arrive soon.
A closer look at the infantry. Not going to win any awards but at least they are all done.
I also picked up a couple of tanks, just because I liked them. First up is a Blitzkrieg Models Renault R35, one of the most numerous tanks in the French forces. It's small. it's slow and it has a pretty feeble 37mm short barreled gun, but it does have a decent level of armour protection.

Finally for now is a Warlord Char B1 heavy tank. It's a big beast and will use up a lot of support points, but it's a pretty model.

So there you go, some opposition for my early war Germans finally. I am off now to annoy the grand children as my daughter and her family couldn't get home last night due to asshats crashing in the 1/2" of snow we had and blocking the roads. At least I can still make a cuppa.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

It can't have been 6 months!

It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months since I posted here. I have been a bit down and struggled with being ill again, a continuous run of infections around my stoma have really knocked me and I have taken a while to get through it. Not everything has stopped, I have still played a few games and still painted a few bits, it's just been the social side of things that have taken a hit.

But just to upset you all I have returned. And by "you all" I mean the one person who reads this tripe.

Gaming has primarily been boardgames of several types. Zombicide, Blood Rage, Mythic Battles Pantheon etc. Wargames have mostly been Chain of Command, with the occasional foray into Congo and Death in the Dark Continent

As for painting, I did very little last year, but after having a break I have managed to get a bit of my mojo back. Not a vast amount but at least a bit of it has returned. So I have finally painted some 15mm Germans for Ian at the Exeter club, which inspired me to paint some German vehicles that have been sat in my plastic pile for too long.

Ian's German Infantry
Ian's infantry were a mixture of Battle Front and Peter Pig, 94 figures all told based for IABSM.

Early War Sdkfz 251s and Panzer 38ts
Next up are some early war German armour. Five Sdkfz 251 halftracks including a command 251/10 with it's mighty 3.7cm pak gun. These are supported by a trio of Panzer 38ts, ready for France or Russia. The half-tracks are Plastic Soldier Company while the Panzers are Zvezda models

Later war Sdkfz 250s 
Some more half-tracks were then stuck together and slapped with paint. A box of Plastic Soldier Company Sdkfz 250s were made up as a mixed recce force. A command 250/11 with it's 2.8cm Pzb leads a pair of 250/1 infantry carriers and a pair of 250/9 recce tracks with 2cm cannons. A decent mix of vehicles that can either add support for Chain of Command games or be recce elements for Battlegroup games.
Late war Panzer IIIs
A trio of Panzer IIIs wereadded to the line up, picked up at a bring and buy somewhere some time ago. Pre-made but unpainted, they will now be part of my late war German force. Who needs Panthers or Tigers? Also, see if you can spot the error in construction. I didn't notice until after I had painted them and don't know if it is worth fixing.
Late War Sdkfz 251s
Finally for today is some more 251's, Battlefront models this time. A quartet, painted up to mechanise my German infantry.

All told that's 20 vehicles, so it's been not too bad.

I have painted some other bits for WW2, but these will appear tomorrow hopefully as the varnish isn't dry yet. Later folks.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Early War Germans for a Operation Sealion game

I have fallen into the 25mm WW2 pit again. After selling all my late war bits a while ago I now find myself with a rapidly expanding Blitzkrieg German force. The platoon I posted last time has now been completed with the addition of a fourth squad, two commanders and some support options.

To start we have the additional squad. German platoons were reorganised from three squads of 13 men to four squads of 10 after the invasion of Poland, so that is what I have painted. Each squad has an MG34 and an NCO(Junior Leader) with an MP40, so there is plenty of firepower available.
The only dedicated support weapon inherent to the platoon was a 5cm Granatwerfer (mortar to you and me), a typically over engineered piece of kit that was of questionable worth. Compared to the British 2" mortar it was heavy(14kg vs 4.8kg), fired a similar weight of shell(0.9kg vs 0.96kg) to a similar range(510m to 460m). The 2" was more useful as it had HE, smoke and illumination shells while the 5cm only ever had HE.

The platoon command is made up of two senior leaders in Chain of Command, an Officer and a Senior NCO. They are joined by a tripod MG34 and its 5 man crew in this picture. Sustained fire MGs are awesome suppression weapons and are a vital addition to any force.

Some heavier firepower is brought by the le.IG 18 7.5cm infantry gun. A small and light weapon, this was used as direct support for the infantry with 6 being assigned to each infantry regiment. This has a 5 man crew and an NCO to command it.

To take out (hopefully) any enemy armour the Pak36 3.7cm anti-tank gun was used. This again has a 5 man crew with NCO in command and is a lovely little gun.

No German platoon is complete without some combat pioneers. These hardy souls were used for all sorts of dangerous tasks and were well trained and equipped. In CoC they come in 3 man "teams", either demolition, wire cutting, mine sweeping or flamethrower equipped. I have painted up enough to make 2 teams in total but with specialists to represent each of the types. Plus an NCO to lead them.

I also painted a deployment point or objective by using the Warlord German High Command pack to represent some senior officers discussing the battle. They are seen here with a forward observer figure to call in mortar or artillery support.

The final addition for the Germans(so far) is a pair of armoured vehicles. A mighty Panzer II and an Sdkfz 222 armoured car. Both are nice kits, the 222 is from Warlord while the cracking Panzer II is from Blitzkrieg Miniatures.

Just to keep it interesting I also bought a few bits of support for the British. From Footsore Miniatures I added a militia Vickers MG and Boys anti-tank rifle team. Cracking figures, these are the first VBCW I have painted for a long time.

Some transport has also been painted, a Humber 4x4 Heavy Car and Bedford OYD 3ton truck. These are from Anyscale Models and paint up quite nicely I think.

Armoured support comes from the Queen of the Desert, the A12 Matilda Infantry Tank. This is a heavily armoured monster in this period of the war. It's frontal armour was 76mm thick, more than double that of the contemporary German tanks (Panzer II/IV had 30mm) and more than the French "heavy" Char B(60mm). It even stands up quite well later on, the standard M4 Sherman only had 76mm thick armour. However it is slow, really slow. This one is another Blitzkrieg 1/56 model and looks great.

Finally there is the "secret weapon", a mighty Smith Gun! A real emergency weapon, the whole gun turned onto it's side to fire, the turntable and roof being wheels. It looks awesome and makes a nice change from the usual 2pdrs.

So, there it is. Most of these will be on the table today at the Devon Wargames meet. I'm off now to do something even less productive. Take care folks.