Tuesday 31 May 2011

NQM - Ostfront

Recent discussion of Not Quite Mechanised saw me rooting through some old photos on search of some I remember taking during an early NQM game.  The two surviving pics show action during a game played at the Conference of Wargamers in 1992(!)  There I was placed in command of a truly multinational Panzer Division - a Scottish General and Brigade commanders from England and Italy!
While my memories of the game (like the photos) are understandably hazy, I can tell you that it featured 3(?) Panzer Division advancing through the Soviet Union in 1941.  All was going jolly well until a surprise armoured counterattack sprang forth from a flank.  Maybe it'll be a long war after all...  The game used some of Chris Kemp's 20mm toys - many of which have now passed into my hands.
The action seen from the rear of the PD.  Medium artillery is deployed in support, while in the distance the Panzer Regiment and chums has bypassed a fortified zone. 
The 'hand of God' points to the counterattacking Soviet Tank Brigade.  The Panzer and Infantry regiments stand by to receive the attack.  The column on the right included by Div HQ!
The cover of the limited run (c20 copies) of NQM which Chris produced in 1992.
Coming soon - I have also located some photos of the Kursk (North) game played in 1995.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Blenheim 1704

This game took place at the Sheffield club on Wednesday 18 May 2011.  Martin wanted to try out his newly developed rules - entertainingly named Marlborough Light....    John took the part of Tallard while I was the Marlborough Man himself.  The game used Martin's newly painted 2mm toys on a board about 50x100cm.  As usual I will let the photos and captions do the talking.  All are taken from Marborough's side of the table.
An overview of the battle setup.  This and all other photos taken from the British side of the table.
Imperial troops marching to the right flank.
The village of Oberglau - in the centre of the enemy line - already well garrisoned by Bavarian troops.
The town of Blenheim - on the left flank - occupied early on by the French.
The view from the Allied centre - not encouraging!
Plucky Imperial troops move up on the right.
The centre got very bloody - the lines here are already notably thinner.
Marlborough himself (the round base) crosses the stream to encourage his men.
The centre and right - the Imperial chaps are pressing forward against the Bavarians.
The action in the centre intensifies - the crosses are casualty markers (each stand can take two hits).
The Bavarians on the right have crumbled after the Elector legged it.
Marborough urges his weary troops on.  Meanwhile Tallard (the French CO) has fallen off his horse.
A slight embarassment on the right as most of the Imperial troops run off - but only after they have driven off the Bavarians.
A French cavalry charge comes to grief  - the Brits needed 5s or 6s to hit...
Endgame - Tallard is captured by British cavalry!

Friday 27 May 2011

Not Quite Mechanised

Chris Kemp's NQM website (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nc.kemp/index.htm) already features on the favourite sites list on this blog, but I hadn't looked at it for some time before this week.  It was a report on Phil Steele's splendid blog (http://pbeyecandy.wordpress.com/) which prompted me to look again.  There had been a number of changes and updates since my previous visit - including more photos of Chris's toys! 
NQM was one of the major influences which led to the development of my own Megablitz game, and I have fond memories of playing and running NQM games in the 1990s.  Somewhere I have some photos of the Kursk (South) game which Chris ran in 1995(?) which, if I can find them I'll post sometime.
So now take a look at NQM yourself.

Thursday 26 May 2011

More Toy Soldier storage solutions - metal drawers

I first acquired a set of these metal drawers 20 years ago - I was clearing out an office and they looked useful!  A couple more followed over the years and they are now quite literally part of the furniture of my toy room.  The drawers are about 5cm deep, 24cm wide and 35cm long, making them suitable for most scales of toys up to 20mm.  Mine are used mostly for 6mm toys, and some have an additional 'floor' built in to make better use of the height.
Some of the (rather scruffy) drawers.
A typical drawer - this one contains 6mm USMC, Saudi and Kuwaiti forces for the 1990/91 Gulf War.
The 'Arab Mech Infantry' drawer.  This has two levels.   The top one was made from stiff card edged with balsa.
The bottom deck of the same drawer - balsa blocks in the corners and centre hold up the top level.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Triples 2011 - part 2

Triples saw the first public outing of the new Wargame Developments game Better Red than Dead.  In this the players have to try to achieve promotion but run a number of risks - death in wars, purges and the Gulag.  And that's all before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War!  We ran the game throughout the weekend - several times with the full complement of six players.  Outcomes were, to say the least, somewhat varied!  One game saw none of the players survive (no surprise...) while another had an astonishing three survivors.  Very suspicious - the NKVD have arrested their families just in case...
Players were encouraged to get into the spirit of the thing by wearing silly hats.  Stuart and Bess lead are seen here leading from the front.
The Red Army was not above conscripting child soldiers!  Proletarian hero Kevin herds his children into the front line.
Players were always please to receive their medals at the end of the game!

Monday 23 May 2011

Triples 2011 - part 1

Back to work today after a busy weekend which included both days of Triples.  Having looked in on Friday afternoon for a couple of hours, I was back there at 0700 on Saturday  - being involved in resolving a couple of minor issues to do with traders before John and I set up our Better Red Than Dead game.  This was well received by the show-going public - but more of this in a further post.

Being at the venue nice and early allows time to chat to other exhibitors and do some early shopping.  Among the other games which caught my eye was this rather splendid Marlburian extravaganza - a table about 20 feet long groaning under the weight of rather a lot of 28mm toys.  OK, not my usual thing, and there are many such games at shows, but what set this one apart was the players' willingness to engage bystanders in discussion - surprisingly rare with demonstration games.  Sadly I have no idea who was running this game so I am unable to credit them by name.
Shedloads of 28mm toys lined up and ready to do battle.
Yet more toys...
A corner of the table featured a Vauban-style fortification the defence of which seemed to be giving employment to many gunners...
...but some other chaps seemed keen on getting in...
...even to the point of digging trenches.  Most ungentlemanly I'm sure!
A view of part of the main hall.
This game attracted a large crowd:

It featured some suitably ludicrous models and was run continuously throughout the two days.
Near our table was a very nice 6mm ACW game:
Never heard of this club before, but they put on a nice game.
The town of Gettysburg seemed to be quite busy.
Far too many Yankee troopers fo my taste!
An overview of the Gettysburg game.
Richard Holden was present with a Ambush Alley game - again raising funds for The British Legion.  Appropriately enough, the game featured some of the doings of British troops in Afghanistan.
Some of the 20mm toys used in the Ambush Alley game.
Further posts will deal with Wargame Developments' role in proceedings and of course my shopping - which included representatives from three scales and four wars.  Stay tuned!

Friday 20 May 2011

GHQ 2011/12 new release schedule

Hot off the press comes the coming year's release schedule fromn GHQ.  Lots of good stuff here, so another expensive year...  See also the GHQ forum at http://www.ghqmodels.com/pages/military/index.asp

June 2011
AC-80 F-86A-5 Sabre
AC-81 MiG-15 
G-560 Pz III L with sideskirts
G-561 Pz III N with sideskirts
N-542 AMX 10RC
W-88 BMP-1

August 2011 
R-68 M1938 120mm Mortar
AC-82 SBD-5 Dauntless
N-543 Berliet GBC 8KT
TW-17 Ratel 20
TW-18 Nyala RG-31
US-155 LCT-5

October 2011
G-562 Mobelwagen
G-563 Jagdpanzer E-75 with 128mm gun.
UK-98 Universal Carrier
AC-83 F4F-4 Wildcat
N-544 VBCI
N-545 Ferret Mk II

December 2011
G-564 Granatwerfer 42 120mm Mortar
G-565 Pz IV Bridgelayer
N-546 Puma IFV
N-547 M2A3 Bradley
AC-84 Eurocopter Tiger

February 2012
AC-85 Pe-2B
AC-86 F-14A Tomcat
AC-87 F/A-18E Super Hornet
G-566 PAK-44 128mm
G-567 Mittler Enheitswaffentrager with 150mm Howitzer
W-89 T-10

April 2012 
AC-88 F4U-4 Corsair
AC-89 Aichi D3A1 Val
W-90 BTR-T
RC-21 Type 99A1 MBT a.k.a. ZTZ99
N-548 M-46

Normal service....

...will be resumed shortly.  Such as it is. 

Astute observers will have noticed a sharp decline in my posting frequency recently.  A number of causes have contributed to this lamentable state of affairs, including work (good), more professional exams (tedious but necessary), and poorly oldies (less good).

On top of all this, the coming weekend sees not only Triples - a very significant wargames show in Sheffield, but also my wife's birthday!

Anyway, enough of my troubles.  Forthcoming blog 'attractions' will include:
1. A report of Triples - and in particular our Better Red than Dead game.
2. Game report of the Battle of Blenheim, played recently with Martin's 2mm toys (photo below)
3. A report of another visit to the Military College at Shrivenham.
4. More Funny Little Wars toys.
5. various other game reports
6. probably some other stuff

Thursday 19 May 2011

132 Armoured Division 'Ariete' - part 2

Concluding the review of my version of Ariete are the artillery and AA regiments. 
The artillery regiment in full, with Frontline Semovente 75 in the foreground.
The rather nice 75mm gun is a Skytrex metal kit and the Fiat lorry a resin kit.  Makers of the lorry and gun crew are unknown.
Possibly the most outrageous 20mm Italian model you can buy!  The Lancia 3RO lorry mounting a 90mm AA gun.  Metal kit by Skytrex with Raventhorpe crew.  This gun was also used against ground targets, much in the manner of the German '88...
The 3RO seen from the rear.
Speaking of '88s, the Italians were supplied with a number by their German allies and some certainly featured on the strength of Ariete in 1942.  The gun is the good old Airfix model with Raventhorpe crew.  The lorry is another of the rather delicate Fiats (- I wish I knew who made them!) which I bought at a small show in the 1990s.

Sunday 15 May 2011

Lisunov Li-2 - part 2 - complete at last

You may recall me mentioning this model a few weeks ago.  The sheet of red star markings arrived and several days later, I applied some of them to the model.  Another week passed before I got round to varnishing it, so here, finally, it is!
The MG turret I added has turned out rather well and sets the Li-2 apart from it's US built brethren.
The marking scheme is entirely made up, but big red stars and a number seemed a safe bet!