Saturday, 28 August 2010

Club Night 27th August

Battle of Brock's Field, Chickamgua.

Steve K and I decided to play a another Black Powder ACW, but to use 6 Fire and Fury bases a unit and half scale to see how this worked on our club 9 x 5 tables. I was to write the scenario, but remembered reading the scenario for Brock's field in Wargames Illustrated recently and thought this would be perfect so tweaked it for our rules and off we went.

Steve took the Rebel forces since they were his toys, forcing me to play my less preferred northerners. We were also joined by Ken (Reb) and Luke (Yankee) later in the evening.

The Rebs took the first turn and moved forward on their left, but after 1 regiment hurried forward to seize the high ground in the cornfield to their front, the rest of the brigade hesitated and advanced no further, leaving the enthusiastic regiment out on its own. In retaliation the Union forces blundered about and failed to advance successfully.

Having finally sorted themselves out the Rebs began to advance and the Union moved to met them, although they continued to fail to bring up their artillery. On the Union right they had seized the high ground and deployed around it,but where under heavy fire from Rebel artillery. In the centre they finally managed to advance and engaged and drive off the enemy and took the central hill. On the left the Union had to brave artillery fore in their advance up the hill, but finally manged to drive off the confederate regiment and occupy the hill.

However by this point both sides where heavily battered and close to breaking. With the arrival of Stahl's brigade on the confederate right to re-enforce them it became vital for the Union to break the enemy without breaking themselves. On the right where Stahl had arrived the Union attacked the remains of their existing opponents and broke them, only to have Stahl fall upon their flank and break them in return, while in the centre and right the Union and confederate forces ground each other down and broke each other.

This was a really close scenario and ended with the historical result of both sides too worn down to do claim victory.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Club Night 25th August

Luke and I were joined by Duncan and his newly painter Panzer IIIs for a desert flames of war. I took a Squadron Esplorante with DAK support, while Luke took an infantry company, which ended up defending in a fighting withdrawal battle. We both took air power to use the newly painter planes I had done, but it proved generally ineffective. The Italian air force chasing off the Desert Air force (below left), or being shot down by Bofors AAA fire when it tried to intervene in the ground war (below right)

On the Axis right the Panzers advanced with Bersigalieri support towards the heavily defended town the British had anchored their right on. Onthe opposite flank Ab41 armoured cars and L6/40 light tanks advanced with motorcilisti support. This light armour did really well overrunning the dug in infantry and clearing the way for the infantry to knock out the enemy armoured cars with their bombs after dismounting.
Despite this success the British kept throwing just enough troops into the objective to deny the Italians victory, and has they begun their withdrawal time became pressing. On the other flank in an attempt to claim victory the Germans had no choice but to assault into the town in their armour. Losing tanks to bogging down they drove slowly through the town but could not do enough to claim victory as the battered British forces withdrew.

I was surprised how well the reconnaissance forces performed, despite their light armour and being forced to disengage when hot, they proved more than a match for their opponents, however I am not sure they will excel quite so much against an armoured opponent.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Building a Fiat 508 Torpedo Militare in 15mm Part 2

I decided to do the front bumper and wheel arches in the end. I sanded the existing bumper as flat as possible and glued a length of microstrip across the front of the car, and then filled the gap between the bumper and the radiator and the front wheel arches with some little pieces to provide some solidity when I start green stuffing.

I started with the green stuff by filling in any small gaps in the door frames. Hopefully I have caught all these but only once it is primed will I truly be able to tell. I then filled the gaps under the wheel arches to make the model more solid and did some minor repair work on the rear right arch where it looked uneven with the left.

I then filled the gaps in the front and smoothed them out to follow the curve and flair of the front arches. I think I get them even and about right. I also made a little green stuff case to sit on the seat next to my officer.

Now I am ready to glue the missing headlight back on and then for priming and painting.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Building a Fiat 508 Torpedo Militare in 15mm

Inspired by the photo on page 23 of Operation Crusader I decided I wanted a staff car for my Italians. Battlefront used to make a nice little Fiat 508, but it is no longer available (below)

The closest I could find was a True North Polski Fiat 508, purchase from Old Glory UK. I would need to add some crew and the side walls and doors, but thought that should be fairly easy.

This first picture shows the parts, plus a Battlefront driver from my spares box and the two paper templates for the side walls. It is a fiddly little kit, more akin to some 20mm metal kits I have built. Also frustrating is a lack of instructions. The first job was to clean up the castings and remove the mount for the steering column as Italian vehicle are right hand drive, while the Polish are left. I also removed the lug to locate the seat so I could reposition it slightly to fit the drive and passengers better.

Having cleaned the castings I fitted the gear lever, windscreen and seats in place. The seat was positioned so the driver would fit between it and the front of the car. Next I cut the templates from thin plasticard and fitted them to the sides of the car. You'll notice in the top view there is a slight angle in the sides. The front doors are in line with the engine cowling, while the rear doors are parallel to the edge of the running boards.

The next step is very fiddly. Adding the trim to the edge of the doors. I intend to make them slightly oversize and then sand them flatter to they all match up neatly. It is probably easiest to use micro-strip for this, but I had none fine enough so just trimmed narrow strips of plasticard instead. There is a rectangular frame around the front doors and another frame around the rear that follows the curve of the wheel well.

Having done this I assembled the fiddly little axles and glued them in pace, straightened the front bumper best I could and glued it in place and added the spare wheel to one side and a Jerry can from my bits box to the other side. I then cursed the separate lights as I tried to get them to glue in position facing the correct way. I then dropped the drive in place for a trial. It looked a little empty, so I took a spare passenger from the TL-37 kit. trimmed the rifle away and swapped the head for a peaked hat (this one happens to be British, but I don't think you can really tell in this scale!).

So done for now. The next step is some green stuff to clean it up. I'll ensure there are no gaps in the doors and frames. I will also fill under the wheel arches so it is a little stronger. I am not sure what to do about the bumper, as all the photos show a solid bar, and the front wheel arches coming down to meet them. Once I start green-stuffing I might experiment or just leave it as is. Finally I will base it, hopefully it will fit on a small base as I have some spare, otherwise I'll cut something from some plasticard.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Club night 20th August

Tonight I played a couple of small (1,500 point) Warhammers with Mike to get a bit more practice of the rules. He took Tomb Kings, while I took my Empire. I built the army around a 38 strong halberdier unit led by a General of the Empire with Icon of Magns, to avoid those pesky fear and terror tests, and a warrior priest, so the unit became a horde. They had detachment's of 15 swordsman and free company to support them. To this I added 15 Greatswords, some flagellants, a great cannon, a small unit of 5 knights and a battle wizard with the lore of light ready to banish the undead foes.

The first game was very short and sweet. The new magic rules made it very difficult for the Tomb King Priests to cast any spells, even though my Wizard killed himself with his first spell. My Knight and Greatswords saw off one unit, and the flagellants cut down the bone giant and it was quickly all over.

Mike made some tweaks to his army list and we lined up for a second game.

This time again the Tomb Kings struggled. Again their magic was ineffective, the way they use magic will need some closer examination. On one flank their cavalry was successful in grinding down the knights, and then the Greatswords, thanks to presence of a later of khaine giving them bucket loads of attacks. A double 1 meant the Bone giant rolled the only score that stopped its charge, so was again attacked by the flagellants and crushed. The frenzy, re-rolls, extra strength from the flails, and now an extra rank, really make them very tough troops in the first round of a melee. In the centre the halberdier block fought its way through and again the Empire claimed victory.

The change in the magic rules made it very tough for the Tomb Kings, with an average winds of magic roll I had enough dispel dice to stop almost all of their magic, preventing that unearthly vigour that usually makes the difference for undead, combined with the reduction in the effect of fear made it difficult for them. Time to visit the forums and get some advice before the next game.

Painting Italians

I have been off work this last week and decided to use my holiday to paint my flames of war. I started by priming them with white gesso. I used two thin coats as it is the first time I have used this and was a little cautious. I then used Vallejo paints and a GW spray gun connected to my Revell compressor to basecoat them, first with the recommended colour in the North Africa book, then an overspray of the same, mixed about 2:1 with Buff.
After this I then block painted them, primarily with Vallejo, but a few GW here and there. They are now ready for army painter. I am going to use the lightest tone as, again, this is a new product for me and I do not want to over power and darken the primarily very light tones used.

Sevormette 47s, L6 (all battlefront)

Objectives (Battlefront, converted battlefront and PP)
Sevormettes, Motocilisti troops (all battlefront)

British Armour(all battlefront)

British Bofors AA (all battlefront)

Surrendering Desert Rats Objective( Italians by Battlefront, Brits by PP)

Infantry (already done with army painter) (all battlefront)

AB41s (all battlefront)

M14.40s (all battlefront)

British Kittyhawks of 112 squadron (Minfigs 12mm scale)

Italian M200s (Minfigs 12mm scale)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Club Night 18th August

A mid week club gathering saw myself, Rick and Mike take the role of the Germans, trying to hold the line against a Russian attack under Steve H, Steve D and Ian.
The Russian attack began (below) with the hordes advancing. The German retaliated with air-strikes (which were totally ineffective) and artillery (which was slightly less ineffective). By turn 3 things were looking good for the Germans. The Soviet infantry had been pinned down since turn 1, lost 2 teams to artillery, and the commissar had shot 3, before being shot himself. Perfect!
By now the German heavy tank reserves had arrived (below left) and were deploying ready to meet the Soviet juggernaut. We made short work of the leading wave of T34s. But the second wave was much tougher, consisting of ISU-152s and Is-2's (below right).

The Soviets now pushed there attack on the German right were we had deployed forward to protect the objective. The huge rocket battery (below) now opened up and started to crash down among these defenders, but their foxholes protected them from the worst of the fire.On the other flank the Panthers and the Pak 40s had stopped and then finally destroyed the SPGs, while the Tigers where holding up the JS-2. AS the Panther moved to support the other flank they began to take casualties from the massive Soviet guns. and the infantry took casualties near the objective and had to abandon their positions to contest the objective. However this local counter attack, support by infantry, SP-AA firing directly and the armour inflicted heavy losses on the Soviet infantry that had finally caught up with the tanks, and broke them. This now left just the rockets and a sole surviving JS-2 for the Soviets so they conceded defeat. The Germans held them today, but hey will attack again shortly...

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Club Night 13th August

At the last minute the Space Marines expecting to fight the Orks where let down by their Grey Knight allies, so they called for Eldar support, which I duly provided. A 4,000 point game, with normal organisation, but an extra slot of each troop type made an interesting challenge. The marines had taken all the heavy support slots, but that left me with all the fast attack and a number of elite slots to play with. 2 large guardian squads were joined by harlequins, aspect warriors and led by an Autarch.
The Orks were also not what I expected, lots of small mobz all mounted in truckz. The opening salvos from the marine heavy weapons made short work of a lot of the trucks and left the boyz to have to trudge across the table anyway (below).
On the left flank the Eldar jetbikes swept round to try and draw some of the Orks away from the objective.
Boyz quickly hit both ends of the allied line, one mob attacking the fort that had been nicknamed the Alamo, the other moving through the buildings and overrunning the thunder-fire cannon so quickly that even using their flip belts the harlequins could not move through the terrain quick enough to save it. In the centre a huge mob, joined by stormboyz crashed into the guardians defending the gap between the two built up areas (above). And they held for far longer than anyone expected enabling a second line to be formed.
Meanwhile Swooping hawks and terminates landed near the Ork objective, but then disaster struck and the Autarch and the Warp Spiders had a terrible mishap and never materialised from the warp. The Orks immediately launched a counter attack and wiped out the Eldar rapidly, but the Marines in the dreadnought armour proved a tougher proposition and they would fight long and hard before finally being pulled down by weight of numbers, the Librarian-Captain being the very last marine on the battlefield before he finally fell.
In the centre the Warboss had lead his mega armoured nobz in and this swung the balance. An assault from the harlequins looked like it might salvage the line, but as soon as the Orks got into the swing the Eldar were left bloody and broken. The surviving Orks pushed forward to the woods held by another big guardian squad, but under the heavy fire from the freebooterz they began to take casualties and when the elite Orks finally assaulted them there was little they could do and they were driven off the objective, with just a handful so survivors.
The Orks had won, managing to almost wipe out both armies opposing them, but only at the cost of terrible casualties on their own side. This was one of the most fun 40k games I have played in ages, and the fact we were still gaming gone midnight shows how much everyone enjoyed themselves. Jim took some photos with a better camera and when I get them I will post them for you all to see.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Club Night 6th August

Luke and I decided it had been a while since we had done a Flames of War and so decided to do another desert clash, but for a bit of a change we swapped sides and took quite different armies. Luke took a fusileri force, with masses of indirect for support (4 batteries, 2 artillery and 2 mortar), while I went for the other end of the spectrum, with a very small Australian divisional Cavalry force. Would quality or quantity win the day.

The first scenario we played was very fortunate for me as it was an encounter battle so it forced the Italians to attack and prevented them from digging in (to begin with at least). The down side was that due to the small nature of my force I had to put half of my precious platoons in reserve, so I only started with a carrier patrol and a 25 pounder battery on table.

On my right my carriers advanced and bought as much fire as they could to bear on the infantry in front of them, while on my left the artillery had to fend for itself as the Italian engineer platoon stormed forward to try too close with them. The difference in quality quickly began to show, as Italian forces failed to dig-in, became pinned and remained pinned and failed to press their attack home convincingly. With casualties mounting up and reserve slow in arriving the Italian force broke and prepared for another battle.

This time it was a cauldron, with the Italians defending. This should be m,ore in their favour as they can start dug in with all their heavy artillery and their 88s and in place and firing before my attack could commence. This immediately caused casualties on my lightly armoured force. At least on the other flank it was going better as my artillery out-ranged the small arms it was opposing and was able to shall the emplaced Italians and avoid much return fire.

On the other side I used the reconnaissance ability of the carriers to move around and cause the Italian artillery problems. Every time they pivoted to engage a carrier unit moved round the flank to machine gun them where their gun shields could not protect the crew.

As the allied tanks arrived I then pushed in and began to overrun the Italian infantry in their positions. Despite struggling to pass a motivation test with my fearless veteran troops I pushed on and drove off the fusileri platoons and the engineers coming to their rescue. However casualties were beginning to mount and if they got too high the Aussies would have to break off, as the C-in-C had already had his tank shot from under him and then was killed in the carrier he had transfered to, However the Italians were already having to take company morale checks, but a fearless conscript Commander was not breaking off.

So the Aussies stooped to a low level and drove forward in their armoured vehicles and gunned down the Italian commander so when next called in to take a test the Italians failed and fell back from the battlefield leaving the Cavalry victorious again.

I really enjoyed these games and it got me inspired to get on with my painting again and I have managed to get all my FoW base-coated, although the Italian colours are a bit dark and after posting on TMP the general consensus seems to be to lighten the colours, so I will give that a go and see how a more bleached out base colour looks.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Club Sunday 1st August

Luke and I attended the monthly Sunday meet for the first time in a while to try out Warhammer 8th edition again. This time we upped the ante and played 4,200 points allowing me to field all my beastmen (including the recently re-based Ungors) and 1,000 points of Daemons. Against this Luke fielded his Dwarfs again, even feeling so confident with them to stop into our local GW on our way to buy the army book to replace the one he has mislaid!

The terrain we rolled up definitely favoured the Dwarfs, not only was there a lot, it included a large quantity of blessed bulwarks, and a Dwarven brew-house, among the many items that benefited the forces of order. Not to be discouraged we deployed, and I tried to ignore the large blocks of infantry opposing me.

With the Daemons on my right and my Centigors and hounds on my left the centre was filled with my blocks of Beastmen, with a unit of Daemonettes held behind as a mobile reserve and to deal with any miners that turned up uninvited. Winning the first turn I pushed my troops forward, knowing that as a primarily close combat army the Dwarfs would also advance and I would get the charges.

In the Dwarf turn the Chalice of Dark rain dampened their firing and all looked good, but then they sounded the rune of dismay and a lot of my unit failed their leadership test and were unable to charge, so I would have to face the fire from the enemy missile troops anyway.

On the right the Centigors charge the Ironbreakers and fought them valiantly for most of the rest of the game, their Drunken bravado making the stubborn being invaluable. When the hounds finally helped out, them were actually more of a hindrance than a benefit.

On the left the Daemons charged, but the Daemonettes failed their charge so the Seekers and Fiend went in alone and took heavy casualties being outnumbered before the Daemonettes caught up.

In the centre the Minotaurs and Giant charged the Hammerers and the Shield borne Lord in the shadow of the Brew-house. The sheer number of attacks the Minotaurs managed to put out, backed up by their stomp and the giants thunder stomp crunched through the Dwarfs, but the General held (mostly as I forgot their bloodgreed attacks), eventually chasing the monsters off, before being crushed by the rallied Giant.

Meanwhile the Beasts through themselves at the huge unit of slayers. With heavy magic support they began to carve through them, reduction of WS and T proving fatal for them. However the longbeards proved a tougher proposition.

On the right the Daemons had finally seem off the quarrellers and where now attacking the Dwarf warriors, but again the big unit made it hard work, until they finally were cut down and they moved on to the thunderers.

By the end of the game (we played about 8 or 9 turns, we stopped counting) the forces of Chaos had been wiped out, and the Dwarfs, albeit battered, and in smaller numbers than they started, held the field.

Again the new edition produced a fun game, and Luke really demonstrated the benefits of big units. His 30 strong units in three ranks were able to generate so may attacks that the smaller units of beastmen could just not match them. I think more Gors are in order. But for now I have my new seekers on order and plan to try and finish off and paint my Daemons as the Slaanesh Daemons could be a real force to reckon with in the new edition, and the many plastic Daemons now available means I can economically expand it to other pantheons if I desire.