Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Yet more Cold War.

Are you bored with it yet?  I hope not.  I didn't plan to get into any form of modification of Chain of Command, but the bug has bitten and it's become the project of the moment now.  So much so that, for the first time in years, I have bought figures to add to my collection.  The Russians will soon be reinforced with an Empress Miniatures AGS-17 and NSV HMG (pack CWR004).  I am also after an SPG-9, but only Eureka seem to make it and £10+postage for a gun with 3 Afghan crew that I don't want is a bit of a step too far at the moment. 

I have been doing some thinking about the changes in weapons and such for the more modern period and have come up with the following thoughts.

To represent the difficulty with hitting a target with guided missiles, especially the earlier types such as the AT-3 Sagger, they all suffer a penalty to hit as detailed below 
MCLOS Guidance(AT-3 Sagger) - Additional -2 to hit, -3 if target moving
SACLOS Guidance (AT-4, AT-5 Milan) - Additional -1 to hit

ATGWs may be bought as off table support due to their long range.  These  can fire at any vehicle visible from your table edge, counting the range as band 3.  This is really the only option to use some ATGWs in the game, the Sagger has a minimum range of 166"!

Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGS-17, Mk-19)
To represent the high rate of suppressive fire from these weapons they reduce cover by 1 level and inflict double shock.

Ammo Limits
While squads often have some form or anti-tank rocket launcher, the ammo they carried was limited.  To represent this any squad weapon, such as RPG-7, Carl Gustav etc, may only be fired 3 times in a game.

An option would be to allow reloading by sending the crew back to a jump off point maybe?

ERA Armour
Explosive Reactive Armour came about due to the increase in HEAT warheads on ATGWs and infantry anti-tank weapons.  This allows a vehicle fitted with it to reroll any dice when defending against ATGW/IATW hits in its front arc.  It has no effect on direct fire such as normal tank/gun hits.

Smoke Launchers and Layers
Smoke launchers are one-use grenade launchers that lay a smoke screen 2d6" ahead of the vehicle.  They are fired as an action by the vehicle commander.

Smoke layers lay a smoke screen behind the vehicle as it moves.  They are activated by the vehicle commander to lay a smoke screen behind the vehicle, but only if he has also ordered it to move.

All smoke screens last until the end of the turn.

So, there you go.  A few ideas and any thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

I have also painted something today.  Not what I was supposed too be doing (15mm Napoleonics), but I have repainted my pair of eBay "James Bond" T-55s.
This is how they looked out of the box so to speak.  Nice enough, but a bit boring. So I decided to mess them up a bit.  First thing was to see if they came apart.....

which they did.  Not exactly difficult to do, 3 screws and jobs done.  So, the next step was to repaint them with Vallejo Russian Green (cunningly named) and then give them a brown ink wash to give it some shading and pick out the detail a bit.
 And here it is in its brown mess state.  I also painted the roadwheels with German Grey to represent the rubber.  Then it was out with several lighter shades such as Khaki and Dark Sand.  A decent amount of drybrushing then ensued, followed by a quick reassemble and........
 here are two almost finished T-55s, nearly ready to take on the Chieftain.  All I have left to do now is some weathering with my Mig pigments and a quite coat or two of varnish and they will be finished.
 This last picture is a comparison of before and after.  It's not going to win any awards, but it looks more like a tank and less like a toy now I think

Anyway, thanks for looking and keep rolling those dice. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Cold War Coc Part 3

A third post in 3 days!  Sorry if it's annoying, but if I don't put it down now I'll forget what happened.  Nathan did come over yesterday and we had a small game of CoWaCoC(stupid name 'innit!).  By small I mean a small table, only 4' square, and a basic platoon with an under armoured vehicle each.
 The table was fairly congested with scenery, no buildings to hide in though and not much hard cover.  The Russians came on from under my arm, with the British from the other side controlled by Nathan.

My Russians went first and promptly got 3 phases in a row.  I managed to bring on 2 squads, one on each side of the table, plus my left flank was supported by a BMP-1.
 The right flank squad deployed forwards to try and consolidate on the central field
 Then the dastardly imperialist dogs arrived, taking up position in the tree line and going onto overwatch. 
 Then there were more, with all the British infantry coming on, evenly spread across the table.  Nathan kept his speedy little Scorpion off table though.
 Stupidly I moved the BMP out of hiding and fired at the British.  Yes, I killed a man, but left myself open to a shot from a Carl Gustav rocket launcher.  Hopefully he will miss as I am hull down.
 Unfortunately Nathan is a jammy git and rolled 11 to hit, then 6 hits out of 8 dice!  Can you say KABOOM!  BMP 401 can.
 Things went better on the other side.  My tactic had been to close range and rely on my superior rate of fire to win, so that's what I did. The right squad, supported by the command squad and CO, opened fire on Nathan's squad.  Six Ak47s and an RPK LMG make a lot of dice and Nathan's squad legged it.  Well, half of them did, leaving behind their corporal.  Hehehe
There they go, running like the lily-livered capitalist dogs they are. I am not sure about the fire rate for Assault Rifles, 3 dice seems a lot when the majority of the platoon has them.  I fired with 24 dice, admittedly I needed 2 goes to drive off Nathan's squad but I lost no men doing it. 
 The sneaky git rallied them with his platoon sergeant, who pointed out that their armoured support had arrived and "they should pull themselves together".
 The Brits got a double move too and Nathan sent his Scorpion racing ahead at breakneck speed, hoping to clear the open road and get past the Russians.  Sadly he didn't quite make it.  An RPG-7 blasted out of the field and slammed into the side of the Scorpion.  Amazingly it survived, although the commander was injured and shocked.
 Another RPG came out and proved to be too much for the Scorpion, which exploded spectacularly. 
Sadly the Russians had been gradually whittled down by the sustained fire of the 2 British squads.  They managed to all but wipe out the command squad, leaving just the CO and sergeant, who decided that discretion was the better part of valour.  Of course, the report they filed included Chieftain tanks and a full company of British paras, but that's another story.

All in all it played well.  We both enjoyed it and it did it's job as a first playtest by showing that I needed to change a few things.  The armour ratings of vehicles have gone up a bit, which means that light armour is still very fragile, but it might survive if hit.  Also, I am going to try making assault rifles 2 dice instead of 3 within 18".  I still gives the russians a firepower advantage at close range, but not 3 to 1.  I am also playing about with a support list, so that should be up soon.  All in all it was a succesful game and we will do another one soon.

I have spent today sorting out Gus' 6mm Napoleonics to put on eBay over the weekend.  There are thousands of the little buggers, over 3800 infantry figures!  Sadly 99.9% are unpainted as it was Gus' retirement plan to paint them all.  Anyway, off now to do something less productive.  Keep rolling those dice folks, you'll get a 6 eventually.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Cold War CoC part 2

So, here I go again.

Having done some digging on the inter-web and trawled through my various books on tanks, AFVs and anti-tank weapons, I have come to the following conclusion.  I'm going to have to guesstimate some of the factors for this as the quoted details vary so greatly.  As an example, the M72 LAWs armour penetration is stated as being anything from 150mm to 350mm and an effective range from 150 to 200m.  That is one hell of a variation for a 66mm rocket.  Here is what I am going with so far

                            AP     HE     Range
M72 LAW            5         2      0-9", 9-18"                               1 shot
Carl Gustav          9         4      0-9", 9-18", 18-24", 24-36"      2 crew
RPG-7                  7         3      0-9", 9-18", 18-24"                   2 crew

I am ignoring missile systems such as Sagger and Milan as their ranges are so long you wouldn't use them at table top range.

Vehicle stats, these are very open to interpretation as well so this is what I am looking at.

                     Speed     Armour  AP    HE  
Spartan           Fast          2          0     MG     Small, Smoke Screen, carry 5   
Scorpion         Fast          2          8      4        Small, Smoke Screen
Fv432          Average      2           0    MG     Smoke Screen, carry 10
Chieftain        Slow        12        16     6        Smoke Screen
BMP-1           Fast          2          6       4        Smoke Layer, carry 8
BMP-2           Fast          2          5       6        Smoke Layer, carry 8
T-55            Average       9         12      5        Smoke Layer.  ERA

Smoke Screen is a one use system that lays a smoke screen in front of the vehicle.  In the case of the Scorpion and Chieftain it is on the turret, so its in front of the turrets facing.  Smoke Layer lays a smoke screen behind the vehicle and can be used repeatedly.  ERA is something I have not really worked out yet.  Possibly allow the tank to reroll some dice when defending against hits?  Also, the BMPs allow troops to fire from inside it, not sure how to include that as it appears that the fire is inaccurate to say the least.

Platoon wise, the British are fairly straightforward.
Command Section in Fv432 or Sultan
LT - Senior Leader with SMG or SLR
Platoon Sergeant - Senior Leader with SMG or SLR
Signaller - SLR or SMG and Radio
One Soldier - SLR and 51mm mortar
Three Sections each in an Fv432 or two Spartans
Sergeant - Junior Leader with SLR or SMG
Six Soldiers- SLRs, some may have M72 LAWs as well
One Soldier - GPMG

The Russians are fairly straighforward too, although they have only 3 vehicles per platoon.
Command Section in BMP
Leytenant - Senior Leader with Ak47
Serzhánt - Junior Leader with Ak47
One Soldier - Ak47 and Radio
Three Soldiers - Ak47, some may have RPG-18(M72 copy)
One Soldier - PKM belt fed MG
One Soldier - RPG-7 and Ak47
Two Sections each in BMP
Serzhánt - Junior Leader with Ak47
Five Soldiers - Ak47, some may have RPG-18(M72 copy)
One Soldier - RPK magazine LMG
One Soldier - RPG-7 and Ak47

Support options are in the pipeline and may well take some time to get sorted out.  M72/RPG-18s and Carl Gustavs, plus tripod SFMGs etc, the list goes on.

So, that's it so far.  I am working on it slowly, but real life and family get in the way of gaming occasionally(or all the time).  Nathan is coming over now so hopefully I will have a report of how it plays tomorrow.  Keep rolling those dice folks, catch you later.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Project Cold-War Chain of Command

Hello again.  Yes, I'm back after surviving the madness that was Salute.  No pictures, as so many others already do it and I can't be bothered with doing it as well.  I bought very little, a box of Victrix new plastic peltasts, half for my eldest son and half for me, a nice mdf gate from Warbases, a copy of Charlie Don't Surf from the Lardies and, erm, that was it.  I know, a poor effort all round, but I was there more to deliver some of Gus' collection than to get things for myself.  That's not to say that I couldn't have spent a lot, there was so much there that I could have quite happily bought, but I restrained myself.  I doesn't help that I had dropped a big chunk of change on Battlefront Anzacs in their 40% off sale(more on that in a bit).

Anyway, back to the point of this post.  Chain of Command, I really like these rules and they have quickly become one of the first games of choice amongst my local gaming buddies.  I got to thinking about the old, loved but underused figures I have here, sat idling their time away in drawers and boxes.  Now I can be quite mercenary with figures, usually thinking that if I haven't played with them for more than a couple of years I may as well get rid of them.  So why do I still have my Cold War 28mm collection then?  Because I love 'em, that's why.  Some lovely figures from Mongrel Miniatures and Mo-Fo Miniatures, supported by some awesome vehicles from Sloppy Jalopy and the now sadly defunct Chieftain Models. 

I have enough to do a platoon of British in either Spartans(RAF Regiment) or Fv432s(Infantry), supported by Scorpions, a Sultan, a Samson, a Ferret and a Chieftain!  Almost all are painted, except the Fv432's, whose dastardly tracks were just too annoying to finish off and the Ferret.

 They have a Milan, a tripod GPMG and some Carl Gustavs as well

Against them I have enough Russians for a full platoon, with RPGs and the like.  They also have vehicular support in the shape of 3 BMPs and 2 recently acquired "toy" T-55s, from the James Bond Collection.

I also have a small force of US Marines, but not enough for a platoon.

So, my plan is to do an easy variation of Chain of Command to allow me to use this collection.  Most of the rules don't need changing as the small unit tactics don't seem to have changed all that much.  Weapons seem to fire a bit faster and there are better communications now, but the squad/platoon still appears to work in much the same way.

Now, I must admit that I have been a bit cheeky here and stolen, ahem, borrowed some of the following information from another blog, Sapper Joes Wargaming & Toys.  He has worked out most of the weapon clarifications already and his thoughts match mine pretty well, so thank you Sapper Joe.

L1A1 self loading rifles / Semi automatic rifle
L42A1 or SVD rifle / Sniper rifle
AK47 and M16A1 rifle / Assault rifle
L2A3 Sterling / SMG
L4 Bren or RPK/D  / Magazine feed LMG
L7A2 or PKM GPMG / Belt feed LMG
L7A2 GPMG (in Sustained Fire mode) / Tripod mounted MMG
M79 grenade launder / Rifle grenade with a minimum range of 10” (30m)
M16A1 & M203 grenade launcher / Assault rifle with rifle grenade (Min. range 10”)
L9A1 51mm mortar / Light mortar
L16A1 81mm mortar / Medium mortar

I need to work out stats for vehicles, armour, gun effect etc.  Also details for AT weapons, as the infantry have RPGs, LAWs and Carl Gustav rockets.  Then there are the ATGWs, as the Britis have a Milan team and the Russians have AT-3 Saggers and AT-5 Spandrel missiles on the BMPs.

The other part of the plan is to also do a "What If" using my new 15mm Anzacs and my old AK-47 figures.  I like the Anzacs, with the Centurions and M113 Beast with the Saladin turret, so I got some and plan to do an Australian Intervention force in Africa.  Don't know why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, so I now have 3 platoons of Anzac infantry, 6 M113s with MG turrets, 2 M113 Beasts and 2 Centurions.

More to follow as hopefully I may get a small playtest game in tomorrow with Nathan.....hopefully.  Keep rolling those dice.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Stupid insomnia

Well its 12.45am and yet again I can't get to sleep.  Dropped off for about 30 minutes and now I am wide awake again.  Let's just say I am not impressed.

Anyway, I might as well update this just to annoy all of you (well, the few who read it anyway).  I have finished some more figures, again for Nathan rather than myself.  After painting some Zulu's last time, it's now the turn for some British infantry to face them.  A mixture of Black Tree Design and Empress Miniatures again, these came out pretty well I think, although the trousers look brighter in the picture than they do in reality.  Well, I hope he likes them anyway.

The Empress figures are nicer, being more realistic in proportion and detail than the the Black Tree ones, but both are very good figures and, too be honest, the Black Tree figures are much easier to paint.  The nicest figures are probably the Defenders of Rorkes Drift set,with Hook drinking brandy and Colour Sergeant Bourne being my favourites.  Next up are some Empress gun crew and 2 Boer types to lead his NNC troops.

In other news, I have started listing Gus' remaining stuff on eBay. More will go on every time that eBay have a free listing weekend, but we are getting through it now.  Now if anybody who reads this is interested in a mass of unpainted 6mm Napoleonic Allies and/or French for Waterloo, I can do you a deal!  There appears to be enough to do the entire Allied and French orders of battle here, all unpainted except for the Brunswickers.  I have never seen so many unpainted 6mm figures.

It is now less than a week until Salute and must say that I am looking forward to it.  I have missed the last few years, either through working nights or being skint, sick or otherwise engaged.  It will be nice to get there again and have a look at all the traders new releases.  Planned purchases are limited, a box of Victrix new plastic Peltasts and hopefully some Cataphract types to complete my Ancients cavalry horde.  This plan will probably last about 5 minutes once I am in the place, something will jump out at me and I'll fold like a wet paper bag, but for now at least I have a plan. 

Ah well, its now gone past 1am and I am going to go and watch some crap on the TV in the vain hope that it will send me to sleep.  Catch you all next time and keep rolling those dice.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

More random musings.....

Hi again, I'm back with more inane ramblings and such things.

Following a post on the Too Fat Lardies yahoo group by Rich Clarke about how he got into wargaming, it made me think back too my beginnings in the hobby that quickly became an obsession.  I started back as a young lad of 12 in 1981 with roleplaying games, as did many of my era.  Then Citadel Miniatures appeared in a local craft shop and Warhammer appeared.  After gathering masses of Dwarves and Orcs, 40K appeared on the scene and Orks replaced Orcs.  It was just after getting into 40k that I found a book in the local library, Alexander the Greats Campaigns by Phil Barker.  This literary tome opened my eyes to the world of historical wargaming and I have never looked back since.  It took me a good few years to collect my first "army" as such and I must admit to a hiatus period, during which I played rugby, drank copious amounts of ale and met young women, one of whom became my wife.

After settling down, due to too many broken bones, too many hangovers and way too many nagging mornings, I got back into wargaming.  Now down in sunny Devon, I joined a now defunct club that met monthly in Torquay.  It was there that I first met Nathan/Stumpy and have been afflicted friends with him ever since.  It has gone from strength to strength since then, with good friends and good games a plenty, both locally, nationally and internationally.  My sister even married a wargamer who she met in Nigeria!  Luckily both my sons seem to have regained their wargaming habit recently as well.

So, enough of the ramblings.  For the last few weeks we have got out our 28mm ancients figures and had at it, using the Crusader rule set.  A fairly generic set, we "generally" like how they play, with one exception, but he likes DBA so we ignore him. The first game was a refresher, to get us back up to speed with the rules.  On Monday we started another battle, Romans with some Barbarian allies facing off against a combined Sassanid Persian and Germanic force.  Nathan and Zob(aka DBA man) took the latin speaking invaders while I had the Persians and Andy had the Germans.  They have a definite edge in the quality of their infantry, but we have better cavalry and lots more skirmishers.
Persians face off the advancing Romans
 The Persians faced off against the Roman infantry and Cataphracts, while the Germans readied themselves to see off their sell-out brethren.
6D10 needing 8+ to hit!  Ouch!
Highlight for me was my clibanarii charge at the Romans, rolling 6D10 needing 8+ to hit.  Five 10's later and the Romans were in retreat.  Hehehe
Barbarian flank, lots of fighting going on here.
 On the other flank, Andy was charging with as many troops as he could as often as he could.  The German noble cavalry made short work of the low quality horde the Romans had hired, but the warbands were more evenly matched and slugged out a closer fight, although the Germans were gradually pushing back the Roman mercenaries..
A lot less Romans than there were.
 At the end of the evening the Roman legions had advanced, but their auxiliary troops had taken a pasting from the Persian horse archers and the charge of the Clibanarii.  However, one legion unit was now in position to flank charge the impetuous German unit that had got carried away chasing the auxiliary archers.  On the other flank the Roman cavalry had been forced to turn to face the German cavalry while the warband's battered lumps out of each other.  It could be interesting next week.