Friday 14 April 2023

pendant ce temps dans la cuisine

These chaps are all metal figures from the Paris show. In the back row we have from left a bloke with a big soup ladle, his oppo who has probably just been outside peeling spuds and a guy in working fatigues wielding a sledgehammer - perhaps for breaking up particularly stale baguettes?  Out front is a nice aluminium rifleman - quite a good match for Armies in Plastic.  

Monday 10 April 2023

Workers and Peasants

 The most expensive plastics from Paris are these Starlux farm figures. Such things are always useful and are very flexible as to period and geography.  Aside from touching up some bits of paintwork all I’ve done is base them. 

Saturday 8 April 2023

Some more Starlux

Among my loot from Paris was this quartet of Starlux figures. Representing 1960s the French army, these will find their way into various Little Cold Wars units. The three helmeted chaps are - from left - an officer, an NCO type and a flamethrower. In the green beret is a lady soldier - a pleasing rarity. 

Friday 7 April 2023

Chasseurs Alpins

 I have now finished painting/repainting/repairing all of my purchases from Paris. These Chasseurs Alpins officers are all aluminium castings and have been completely repainted. Unfortunately this has shown up the bulk of my Chasseur battalion - mostly Starlux plastics - as being very tatty so more repainting is required. 

Thursday 6 April 2023

Two nights in Stalingrad - part 3

Late November 1942: another assault on the ferry crossing as Chuikov declares he will defend it 'to the last man.'  It it pointed out that he is now that last man...   Furious Sov counter attacks on the Tractor factory frustrate German pioneers infiltrating using the sewers.  Manstein fails to achieve a breakthrough.

Early December: The Germans finally capture the west bank of the ferry crossing.  Hube ensures that the men are well fed. Tarasov reinforces Golodny Island and prepared to repel boarders.
Late December: Massive German assault on Golodny Island fails but reduces the garrison by more than half.  Tarasov now referred to as 'The Hero of Golodny.'  Sovs attack the Hill and a bloody stalemate ensues.  Stalin orders a huge encirclement.
Early January 1943: Sovs capture the Hill.  Germans mop up isolated pockets of resistance, Sovs refuse to surrender the city.  Manstein's panzers arrive!
Normally we confine ourselves to silly hats.  Extra points to Mark (Chuikov) for an entertainingly convincing outfit!

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Two nights in Stalingrad - part 2

 In this game each turn represented about half a month, starting in September 1942.  I'll try to give an account of the action by means of outlining successful arguments.  The photos may not be strictly in sequence and are here to provide 'atmosphere'...

Early September 1942:  The Fuhrer decrees that the city will henceforth be called 'Hitlerstadt' and must be referred to as such by all German officers.  A German assault on the Red October factory is repelled by fanatical Soviet resistance.

Late September 1942: Another attack on Red October fails.  Hitler diverts SS units from combat to 'cleansing'...
Early October: Hube leads a successful attach on Mamayev Hill and the Germans also capture Red October.
Late October: Paulus captures the Tractor factory, the Luftwaffe bombs Soviet artillery positions, Hitler orders Manstein to relieve Hitlerstadt. Sov reinforcements arrive at the ferry.

Early November: Hitler orders Fallschirmjager to fly into the airfield.  A massive German assault narrowly fails to captures the west bank at the ferry crossing.

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Steel Warriors show

I was invited to attend this show by one of the organisers.  It was run as a private venture and I understand that this year's event was very much a 'toe in the water' to test the market.  I'll confess that my hopes weren't high but in the event it was quite a jolly outing.  I arrived at about 1130 and soon met up with some friends (see also Martin R's post here).  I'd been to the venue - Magna in Rotherham - a few times before - most recently about 8 years ago to scout it as a possible show venue!  Previous visits had been for a business event and a charity dinner.

I was pleased to see a demo game using 54mm toys!
It's a huge space - plenty of room to expand.  Big car park too, and easy to get to.

As well as a few traders there  was a bring & buy (which seemed to be doing good business), demo and participation games and a separate room with a very well attended DBA tournament in progress.

I picked up a couple of ACW books, some paintbrushes and a pair of 20mm scale resin boats.  Bodging is already under way...

It will be interesting to see how the show develops.

Two nights in Stalingrad - part 1

Our first lockdown remote game was Tom Mouat's 'Stalingrad' Matrix Game, which I ran in late March 2020.  Three years later  - and prompted by still having the map I'd printed in 2020 - I decided to run it again.  

The field of battle.  1/32 and 1/35 scale figures, 1/144 aircraft and vehicles in 1/35-1/50 scales.
On overview of the opening positions.  Players and spectators* were as follows:

Adolf Hitler - John B
Gen von Paulus - John A
Lt Gen Hube - Pete
Josef Stalin - Russell
Lt Gen Chuikov - Mark
Col Tarasov - Diego
technical adviser* - Martin (he'd played it before)
Washington Post correspondent* - Nick

Sunday 2 April 2023

Another WW2 experiment

Recently I was inspired by to look again at WW2 games. Having considered adapting stuff from Don Featherstone/Lionel Tarr, I remembered some ideas I’d written up and play tested and revisited them this morning. Having made some changes I roped in Russell (on Zoom) to command the Sovs and roll the dice. In broad terms we had a Soviet rifle battalion attacking a village held by two weak German companies. Above - the Soviet AT rifle platoon reaches the road block. 
The field of battle.  And a mug of tea.  

The German forces - they were all hidden at the start. 
The Sovs. Loads of ‘em. 
The Sovs entered with a rifle company on either flank and the HQ, MG and ATR platoons in the centre. 
The one dead German they found -  a victim of astonishingly accurate mortar fire. 
The HQ leading from (near) the front. 
One of the rifle companies was largely mown down by Germans in the church. 

A successful test which took well under two hours including chatting. I think this game has potential - I need to not leave it another three years before the next game….