Friday 31 May 2019

Mitsubishi Ki-15-II Type 97 Mk2 - part 2

The dark green over off-white was applied at the same time as I was slapping far more of the same colours on my G3M.  I'll tidy it up and apply markings soon.

Mitsubishi Ki-15-II Type 97 Mk2 - part 1

When I was ordering my first Ki-15 kit (see earlier posts part 1part 2part3) I noticed other variants.  They were sufficiently cheap that I ordered two.  Actually I have a suspicion that there may be a third lurking somewhere but that's another story.
As it's basically the same kit I wasn't surprised that the build progressed smoothly.
Paintwork coming soon.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Battle Ravens - game three

Last night I ran the game again, this time with actual players!  This took place at the new home of Sheffield Wargames Society at the Farm Road Club in Sheffield (every Wednesday from 7pm - new members and visitors welcome!)
Jerry (left) led the Norse army with Tim C (right) as the Anglo-Saxons. Watched and egged on by John (off camera) and Diego (centre). Diego is a recent arrival at SWS and had downloaded and read a copy of the Battle Ravens rules. Which at least meant that one of us knew what was happening...
In the game, Tim favoured hefty 9-point attacks while Jerry did a lot more shuffling of troops. In the end and despite some gratuitous wargames pointing from Jerry, the Anglo-Saxons prevailed.
The game took about 40 minutes. Next time we’ll try out the tactics cards. 

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Battle Ravens - first game(s)

I backed the kickstarter for this game as it looked interesting and met several the criteria for a club night game:
1. simple rules, so should be easy to learn
2. short playing time - the box says 45-60 minutes
3. nice playing pieces - rather than loads of tiny counters with even tinier print!
Although it is only a two-player game the playing time should make it possible to run the game several times in an evening.
The game arrived during my recent office refurb so it was only on the recent Bank Holiday Monday that I got round to trying it out.  
You will, I hope, forgive me for recording events with a camera rather than a tapestry...
Key point to remember:  It's all about breaking the other guy's shieldwall.
I set up the two armies - Norse and Anglo Saxon - which are included with the game.  Others available as options are Norman, Welsh and Scottish.
The armies are made up mostly of Hirdmen and Bondi - basically with and without armour, and a few Thralls (skirmishers) skulking behind.  Hirdmen need two 'hits' to be eliminated, Bondi only one.
To try the system I set the armies up symmetrically.  The Anglo-Saxons are nearest the camera.
Having deployed the toys - sorry, troops - players then alternately place their 'Battle Ravens' tokens.  This done, they alternately 'activate' and area and either move troops to other areas or attack the area directly to their front. Needless to say, I didn't bother with any poncy moving but went straight to some hefty attacks.

The A-S right launched a 9-dice attack on their opposite numbers.  A 4 or 5 is a success, a 6 is two successes, so this attack has potentially inflicted 9 hits!
However - and this is where the story really starts - if the defender has any Battle Ravens he can attempt to get rid of the hits.  Each success he scores - six in this example - reduces the enemy's score by that amount.  Of course, the Norse defender here didn't have to use all of his Battle Ravens to whittle down the attack - he could have held on to some for an attack of his own.
This is what three 'points' worth of dead Vikings looks like.

A word about Thralls.  These chaps are skirmishers and do not form part of the battle line.  They can be 'spent' to re-roll dice.  If you remember.
A few more dead Vikings later and the Anglo-Saxons created their first breach in the enemy shieldwall!
A few areas were looking a bit thin by now.
In the end of turn phase the vacant enemy areas are occupied and the occupiers take no further part in proceedings - presumably being too busy with looting, drinking the blood of the fallen and so on.
Next turn...
..and two more Norse squares are emptied.  A brief but bloody game!
The start...
...and finish of the second game.  There was more by way of movement in this - with weakened areas being reinforced.

I have not tried the optional tactics cards which are different for each army but I am greatly encouraged by the games I tried.

Total playing time for both games was under a hour.  All being well I will try it with actual players on Wednesday.

Monday 27 May 2019

Mitsubishi G3M1 - part 3

The massive Mitsubishi is finally complete and is seen here aloft on a wobbly stand over the usual proving ground. Decals were selected from the sheet provided with the kit and a coat of Ronseal satin varnish completed the ensemble.

Mitsubishi G3M1 - part 2

My G3M is a step closer to darkening the skies over Nomonhan. I’ve gone for a simple dark green over off-white scheme but I’m sure the glazing and markings will bring it to life.

Sunday 26 May 2019

1940 Red Army - part 2

Here are the figures from the last post with a coat of Ronseal Light Oak Satin varnish and undergoing drill on my very own parade ground. One of the joys for me of 1/32 scale figures is the delight felt after completing even a small batch like this.  They look pretty confident - but if I were them I’d be keeping an eye on the sky. And not because of the weather...

Friday 24 May 2019

1940 Red army - part 1

These comrades are from at least one of the Engineer Basevich sets of 1/32 soft plastic figures.  Most have the SSH-36 helmet with the flared sides.  The prone Maxim gunner is a delight, though a fair bit of hot water and bending was required to make him lie down properly.
I'll try to take more photos when varnish has been applied.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

COW 2019 session list

LAST UPDATED 3nd June 2019 at 1740hrs

The list of sessions offered for Conference Of Wargamers 2019 follows.

Ian Drury et al
With resignations announced and impeachment threatened, the White House is embroiled in scandal; the hard left is taking over the British Labour Party; Russian aid to Syria is causing international concern; and a crisis looms in the Middle East. Yes, it's the early 1970s. This year's plenary game is centred on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but will include teams from many nations, with roles from frontline tank combat to shuttle diplomacy, cold war naval action, to internal politics within the Knesset, the Kremlin and the Ba'ath Party. Roles to suit all tastes, but early booking advised to play Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

John Bassett
A black game about the birth of the Baader Meinhof group and what made students in 1960s West Berlin became terrorists.  A precursor to 2017's "Rote Armee Fraktion".

John Bassett
A Cold War career game about Soviet FROGFOOT pilots in Afghanistan.  Will your Grach get you through to the end of the rotation or will you too fall victim to a CIA-supplied Stinger over the Panjshir?  And remember: there are no Soviet Air Force operations in Pakistani airspace.

Sue Laflin
Asterix and Redbeard’s treasure
Once again the Gauls, Romans and Pirates meet in the Forest of Broceliande. The Pirates are looking for treasure, reputedly buried by Redbeard, father to their current captain. The Romas have orders to build a road through the forest, but would much rather hunt for treasure. The Gauls wish to continue in their normal way of life, hunting wild boar, feasting and fighting anyone (especially Romans) who gets in the way.

Sue Laflin
To Sail the Spanish Main
A very fast simple naval game. A fleet of merchant traders is trying to reach the harbour and sell their cargo. A hoard of pirate ships is trying to intercept the merchants and collect loot.

Tim Gow & WD Display Team North
Basically a ghastly 1950s B-Movie as a game.  A meteorite turns out to be a giant spider egg.  So obviously the army - that’s you - is deployed to try and kill it.  Can you save the Earth?  Or at least convince the scary space spider of the benefits of American-style liberal democracy?  Features 1/32 scale toy soldiers – and of course a giant space spider!

Wayne Thomas, David Brock and Colin Maby
A hypothetical Divisional level action somewhere in Spain during the Peninsular War - to demonstrate Wayne’s rules for the period 1790 - 1840 which use the basic mechanisms of Far Away Wars, but emphasising Napoleonic tactics and, in particular, the role of Skirmishers.

Tim Gow & WD Display Team North
Following on from the questionable success of 2016’s ‘SUITCASE SAGGER’ game, a lower tech anti-tank solution is being tested to reflect the poor quality recruits sourced from the Knustongrad Military District.  The device in question was originally purchased by Mrs Gow to entertain the dog…. 
A lawn game which may involve lying down and wearing a silly hat.
And of course ‘RPG’ in this case stands for ‘really pathetic game.’

Tim Gow
Another COW, another lawn game with 54mm toy soldiers.  This year we’re off to Spain in 1938, where we’ll experience the full range of cutting edge military technology.  So expect tankettes, long range artillery and of course tri-motor bombers!  Players should feel free to supply their own silly hats and political extremism.

Phil Steele with Graham Evans
Edgcote 1469 – The Game
After the talk last year Phil Steele returns with the official Northamptonshire Battlefields Society game and model of the Battle of Edgcote. This epic confrontation fought on the Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire border was the high point of the “Robin of Redesdale” rebellion that delivered Edward IV into the hands of Warwick the Kingmaker. Much misunderstood the battle caused a cataclysm in South Wales with the destruction of the Earl of Pembroke’s affinity. The game will enable the players to explore the various interpretations of the sources and no doubt will lead to a lively discussion. The game, featuring some really nice looking 28mm Wargames Foundry classic era figures, will use an adaptation of the popular “Hail Caesar” rules.

John Bassett
Pyrrhus tries a surprise attack with elephants along narrow side streets at midnight - Ptolemaic hard men hunt high value targets in downtown Babylon - a Spartan king has a nasty run-in with a chariot during a coup in Alexandria - angry Greek women pelt everyone with tiles and expletives...
A presentation and workshop on a neglected aspect of the Macedonian art of war: urban operations in the great years of Alexander's Successors, with not a sarissa in sight...
John will start by describing three Hellenistic city fights, using some recently recovered records.  We will then look at ways of gaming Macedonian urban operations.

John Armatys & WD Display Team North
This is game you will tell your grandchildren about - and mightily bored they’ll be!  WD Display Team (North)’s game for 2019/2020 celebrating the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, A Bridge Too Far is a 10 minute participation game for one player about the advance of XXX Corps.

Graham Evans
Va t'en Eccose
A modification of last year's "Va t'en guerre", which enables the rules to be used for both the '15 &' 45 Jacobite rebellions. The much beloved Airfix Washington's Army Marlburians will be back with new Post-Union flags, to be faced by hordes of more modern plastic Highlanders. Depending on how the painting schedule goes there's no knowing how big the battle might be.

Jim Roche
N-n-n-n-nineteen, nineteen
A new singalong based on years ending in 19. We will include the first Europeans to taste chocolate in 1519 and my grandfather-in-law’s time in 1919 with the HLI in Russia fighting the Bolsheviks. The first of these will be marked by a full communal rendition of ‘Everyone’s a Fruit and Nut Case’.
The Spanish invasion of 1719 will also feature.

Bob Cordery
An opportunity to try out Chris Engle's battle rules, POLITICS BY OTHER MEANS / SIMPLE STUPID RULES.
A none to serious sequel to last year's SAVE GORDON! game. Can a second British relief force (led by Sir Sydney Ruff-Diamond) break the siege of Khartoum and relieve Gordon and Sir Garnet Wolseley? Will the 3rd Foot and Mouth (the famous 'Devils in Skirts') give the Dervishes a whirl they'll never forget? Not so much Khartoum as Khartoon ... and more Charlton Trotter than Charlton Heston!
(Carlton is Rodney Trotters middle name. Not a lot of people know that.)

Tom Mouat
2018 Section Commander
This is a role-playing game for 8 people, playing a dismounted infantry section in Afghanistan. It was designed because I was asked to come up with a training aid for some reservists in central London, who have very little opportunity to train outside (as their barracks is overlooked by blocks of flats) and they only get real-world training about twice a year. The game has similarities with the “Footfall” games, but with added features.

Michael Young
BREXIT: The Wargame
In this session players will take on the roles of Brexiteers, Remainers and supporters of Teresa May in a re-enactment of the debates and dilemmas that will enliven our country just before the 31st October.  The game will work best with “True believers” taking on their appropriate roles, so if you firmly support or oppose Brexit this is the game for you. Expert knowledge or supporting material will be valuable so feel free to bring any along. The aim of the game is to see if we can make a realistic forecast of how the politics will unfold, using the tools of role-playing and confrontation analysis. 

Mike Elliott
Cyber Attack Chain (or Red Team / Blue Team revisited)
This is a rerun of my game Red Team / Blue Team from COW 2018. The rules have been slightly modified and streamlined and hopefully I will have some snazzy professionally printed cards! An opportunity for those of you who played last year to have a go at playing the other side or for those who haven't played before to give it a go. The game structure is defined as an asymmetric double-blind system (!!!).

Mike Elliott
Jesus and no Quarter - The Battle of Tippermuir 1644
The first of Montrose's six classic victories in Scotland during the English Civil War. The rules are an updated version of "By the Sword Divided". Some of the figures were purchased on the Bring and Buy last year!

Tom Mouat
The Cyber Game
This is a one-sided game played against a pre-planned opposition. The players are Nation-State hackers seeking to deny, degrade, humiliate, destroy, and otherwise mess up the main military port of their hated rival. Based on a game designed by DSTL for teaching purposes and hopefully modified by me to make the game more accessible!

Mark Flanagan
Sweeping Satellites 
A game of Space Information Gathering and Threat Assessment.  A double-blind "information seeking" game (think battleships in space).  Players represent national actors deploying resources to gather intelligence about the "the other side" while at the same time trying to hide their "secrets" from "the other side".

John Curry
Confrontation analysis the card game
Confrontation analysis breaks down complex multi stakeholder situations into dilemmas. These can then be analysed to identify optimum paths such as win win. The standard method is perhaps easiest to use as an operational analysis exercise. This version of the method turns it into a game, where players generate cards to play. The sample game is based on the forthcoming confrontation in the South China Sea between China, the USA, Japan, Philippines etc.

Graham Evans
The CAN System
A demonstration of Martin Wallace’s new “Choose A Number” one shot card game system. The game is a card driven dungeon crawl/quest for 4 players, with a unique non-dice combat system.

Graham Evans
The Northamptimeshire Game
A card game of the history of Northamptonshire being developed for the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society and local heritage organisations. The game can be played by 2-6 people and challenges players to play cards of events in Northamptonshire’s history in sequence whilst blocking other players from doing so.

Alan Paull
Mission Command: Normandy – Intro Scenario
Mission Command: Normandy is a set of WW2 wargaming rules for use with miniatures, now published in full colour! As it came out officially this year at Salute, it seems churlish not to present the final version at CoW.
It's an umpired game, and prior knowledge of the mechanics is not required. Some knowledge of WW2 ground combat might be an advantage.
In this game, we pitch a team of exactly 4 British players against umpire-driven Germans. If there’s anyone available who has already played MC:N at least once, I’d happily ask them to step in and play the Germans! The British have a small Regimental Group to pit against a German outpost, with instructions to clear the locale in the couple of hours remaining before dark.

Alan Paull
16 card Carrier Strike!
A simple game of carrier action in World War II.  A return to an old game that I ran a while back at CoW. Now the mechanics have been streamlined and simplified, it might be time to carry out another strike.  A game for 2 players who don’t mind losing planes and ships.

Phil Steele
AK *minus* 47 ... the Cold War gets colder
A botched polar rescue mission escalates out of control allowing plenty of toys to come out in a respin of Peter Pig's popular Post War game. Featuring white painted vehicles and 15mm men in parkas.

Jonathan Crowe
Zirkus! Nichts für uns bestimmt…
`A circus! Nothing to concern us…`.  Oberleutnant Weber, E&A Abt 100, on hearing the bombing raids around Utah beach on the night of June 5th.  An ongoing attempt to devise a simple game that allows players to refight the D-Day landings.  With a view to extending it to other areas of World War 2 if it ever works.  Sie kommen!

Jim Roche & John Bassett

A short session to seek ideas about when and where soldiers marched as units or simply ambled up with their weapons and walked together.
Anyone who has organised a protest march or religious procession knows how people walk at different pace and slowly spread out; while even marching 'at ease' keeps people in a tight group.
I believe that the Romans marched and suspect that the Medievals didn't but that the New Model Army did. When and why did such changes happen?

Monday 20 May 2019

Battle of Edgcote 550th anniversary conference

A date for your diary is the 27th of July, when Northamptonshire Battlefields Society presents it’s Battle of Edgcote conference.
There’s more information on Trebian’s blog - as well there might be, given that he is the shadowy figure behind the project!

Sunday 19 May 2019

Mitsubishi G3M1 - part 1

The build-up for Nomonhan continues. This time we’re back in the air with a nice big Japanese bomber. And yes, I do know that the G3M is a Navy machine and so wouldn’t have appeared at Nomonhan. But the kit was rather cheap....Like my recent Ki-15, this is an ARII kit and shared the generally crisp moulding and minimal flash. I built it as an early version - the original G3M had no defensive armament as it’s high speed would ensure that ‘the bomber will always get through’. Despite this hope, the later ones were (relatively) bristling with guns.
Paintwork will follow shortly.

Friday 17 May 2019

Japanese anti-tank rifle - part 2

With the wire concealed by paint the ATR looks er, pretty much the same. Still, as quick and dirty bodges go it’ll do for me.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Japanese anti-tank rifle - part 1

Building my Soviet AT Rifle team gave me an idea. Didn’t the jolly old Japanese have AT rifles too?  Thus another bodge was begun. I trimmed the barrel off an Airfix MG just ahead of the receiver and added a new longer barrel of stiff steel wire and a bipod from florists wire. It may not quite be the last word in accuracy but I’ve got away with worse!

Monday 13 May 2019

Plastic Warrior show 2019 - purchases

 In my previous post I mentioned some purchases. There follows my full confession....
Above - the loot arrayed for your inspection.
The two kits - 1/35 Tamiya 20mm FLAK and 1/72 Waco glider were a tenner the pair. A good start!
The recent Fort Fisher game highlighted my dearth of ACW senior Yankee officers, so I was pleased to secure the quartet of Starlux’s finest - two mounted and two on foot.
A sextet of old Crescent Zulus was an unexpected - and frankly unlooked for find - but I couldn’t resist them.
Three old hollow cast Vickers gunners may be converted.  Into what I know not.
Some scruffy medievals and the pair of Charbens Russian mortars were cheap and useful.
The Edwardian medical teams are a mix of hollow and solid casts, nicely repainted.
The Barzso box contains only half a set (8 figures) of medieval figures but they were (by my standards) a sensible buy.
Italeri figures are getting pretty rare so I bought the set of Mamelukes with no plan in mind.
The box at the front contains some Marx Alamo figures. These are versatile and could end up anywhere. Even the Alamo...
To the right of that box is a set of Engineer Basevich Soviet women soldiers. Plenty of work for them in WW2 and later.
The Replicants figure is a bloke playing an electric guitar. He is apparently based on one of the firm’s founders.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The white plastic things are vacformed emplacements. You can never have too many.
Finally, the sandbagged horror with a roof was a gift from Brian. It could be just the thing for my Japs at Nomonhan.