Friday, 31 December 2010

Dystopian Wars Prussian navy

For my Birthday and a thank-you for painting his extra Flames of War bits Luke got me a Dystopian wars Prussian fleet from Spartan game with an extra air fortress carrier. He has got some Britannian forces for himself. Apparently they are about 1/2000th scale which make the battleship about 144m long, which seems reasonable. They have a really nice look about them, steam-punk but realistic. The only really 'mad' bits is the carrier on a Zeppelin about the same size as a battleship and the bombers the size of frigates but it is supposed to be sci-fi so I guess its all OK. The casting are really crisp, although it will be interesting to see if the moulds are as sharp in a few years time.

I am going to try and keep you up to do date on my painting with some pictures so you can see how I do it. However I have failed already as got too excited and assembled them and base-coated them with white Gesso primer before I even remembered. I then got out my airbrush and my new spray booth (thanks mum and dad!) to lay down some base colours. I did everything a medium grey except for the Zeppelin body that is green. The plan is to stay quite close to the Spartan games own schema as I like the black and white dazzle patterns on them. However the aircraft are going to be more WW1 with each squadron having its own colours so I can distinguish them (and a Red Baron ace somewhere mixed in!) . The bombers I am still undecided about, I have sprayed them grey but might try and look for some pictures of Gotha bombers and go with their colour scheme. The only thing I had any problem with is the little frigates that are so light they kept taking off when I tried to spray them, even at low pressure!!

Above: The whole fleet,
Below: The battleship, with frigates in front and cruisers behind

Below: The Zeppelin flying one way and the bombers in the opposite direction

15mm Barbed wire II

I have now painted the bases for the barbed wire in the same way as I have painted all my other Flames of War Africa bases. I also coiled some wire, but it doesn't seem to go as far when you coil it as it looked on the roll so I have run out and ordered some more from Antenocitis workshop which seems to be the best value as their roll is under £3.00 and is about 9m of material so should be enough.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


After much experimentation I have finally made some dustclouds I am happy with. My first trials with cotton wool failed as it became too clumpy and heavy and looked wrong, so I bought some synthetic Kapok toy stuffing for a few quid and decided to try this. Again my first trials of dip and squeeze as suggested on the flames of war website (Making Dustclouds) didn't work as it stuck together, but as I tried to clean myself up I hit upon the solution. Get the paint/water mix all over my hands and then tease the Kapok into shape with my fingers gently, colouring it as I did so. This resulted in a nice random colouration and keep the fluffy appearance that I was after. I then used copydex to glue them to the bases I mad a long time ago now and will dry-brush the bottom to darken them slightly and hopefully they should look fine.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Club Night 17th December

Despite a return of the snow I braved the weather for a couple of games of Warhammer with Duncan. Now Duncan has sold all his Warhammer armies, but having watched a few of the games Luke and I played wanted to give it a go again, which is good as Warhammer with Duncan is always fun.

He borrowed my Daemons and some of my Beastmen a proxy units to try out a fully fledged Daemon army. I took two armies with me, a knightly order based army led by Kurt Helborg and an infantry army similar to the one I had used against Mike a while back.

In the first game I used the knights and after some initial manoeuvring for position I launched my attack. Unfortunately some of my charges fell short and I found my self embroiled in combats with my flanks exposed. On the right my Pistolliers had fallen to the seekers and my small units of knights was struggling to hold off the two fiends. On my left I had fallen short of the horrors and the Bloodletters, but manage to get the unit with Kurt into the Dameonettes, but failed to wipe them out. The Bloodletters then followed Skulltaker into the flank, only to be charged in the flank themselves by another unit of knights led by Ludwig Schwarzhelm. This titanic battle continued until Kurt fell and then the rest of the Reiksguard shortly followed leaving the Daemon victorious.

The second game saw me take my infantry army in a battle of the pass. I actually found this slightly problematic as my army could not deploy successfully in the narrow defile. and it didn't get better from then on. My cannon was ineffective, the knights choose to flee from a charge by a fiend and rolled a double 1, getting eaten for their troubles and leaving my right flank dangerously exposed, although the archers on the other flank did a better job against the chaos furies. Although the flagelants held up the Dameonettes, the seekers poured round the flank and threatened to fall upon the rear of my line. On the other flank the Greatswords managed to hold the fiend and cut down the Masque.

In the centre, once again a titanic battle occurred. I had misjudged my angles and a fiend had pounced on the flank of my free company cutting them down and falling into the flank of my halberdiers. Frontally charged by the Bloodletters, I retaliated with a supporting charge from my swordsman. As Daemon and man hacked and slashed the casualties mounted and no-one know who had the upper hand until the final tally, when it was found the Empire had lost by a considerable margin, and failing their leadership fled and were cut down. All that was left was for the seekers to destroy the handgunners, and all that was left was the valiant Greatswords, surrounded ion all sides by the varied forces of chaos and with no hope but for a brave but futile last stand, we ended the game.

Above: The Empire army defends the pass ,
Below: The seekers approach the rear of the Empire army

Below: The final titanic battle (with Beastmen pretending to be Bloodletters!)

Two great fun games that reminded why I enjoy games against Duncan, Often defeats but I always learn form them and he is a very astute opponent that keeps you on your toes and always provides a challenge.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Old Photos

I recently stumbled across some nice pics on the net someone had made 'old style' using this website. I though I would give it a go with a snap from the Sunday game and chose the picture of the desert air force strafing my Italians. I think it looks quite good, especially as the flying stands have vanished in the conversion.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Club Night 10th December

I was not able to go to the club on Friday, but Duncan and Luke played a couple of Flames of War games and Duncan took some nice pictures of his recently finished German armour with Italian support loaned from Luke against British armoured with their usual mass of artillery support.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

15mm Barbed Wire

When I ran the 54mm ACW at Partizan Mike built some lovely defences using 12" rules are a ready made base. I though this was a brilliant idea and would work for 15mm with 6" rules. Unfortunately these tend to be pricey (more than half the price of a double sized ruler) so had put this idea on the back burner until doing some Xmas shopping I went into a discount store and found them for just 10p each so immediately grabbed all 12 they had!

Having filled the holes in one end with a bit of filler I then drilled various patterns of holes in them and glued cocktails sticks in to them for the posts. I will then need to texture and paint the bases before adding the barbed wire itself. I have gone for a number of different styles, some straight and zig-zagged concertina wire, a lower level tangle pattern and some mounted on 3-sided pyramid frames. This give some 10 sections (just over 5 foot), so I used the last couple to make some breached versions, I will add detail when I texture the base, but will have one by cratering and one by tank tracks.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Club Sunday 5th December

Once again the weather played a part in our Sunday game. Although we made it to the club, some members couldn't so Luke's carefully planned scenario for an Operation Crusader battle using Battle-group Panzer-grenadier had to be put on hold and he came up with one on the fly instead.

Based loosely on the Gazala battles it saw a British force defending against a combined arms attack form the Italians, hoping to hold out until their armour forces arrived. The table was set up in an L-shape with the objective being the corner of the L and the Italians advancing in two forces along each length into the British lines.

Andy and I commanded the Italians and decided to concentrate in one area, although we still had to place a third of our forces on the other axis. We sent the reconnaissance squadron with an infantry company and a battery of 75s down the minor axis, and the remains of the infantry battalion, two tank companies, an engineer company and some 100mm howitzers along the major axis.

Initially we moved rapidly across the open desert. Andy, commanding the minor attack encountered a single MG section, but due to poor command and control struggled to keep the momentum forward and take advantage of this light resistance.

Meanwhile on the other axis I ran into two infantry companies with anti tank guns, one on either flank of my advance. Their opening salvos caused heavy casualties and stalled my advance, as artillery and the Desert air force joined in the attack on my armoured spearheads.

After this sustained attack the Italians began to get reorganised and combined armour and infantry forces suppressed and drove off the anti tank guns and then attacked the supporting infantry and secured their flanks to resume their advance.

The other Italian force had moved up and begun to encounter heavier resistance as it located the dug in British, but was making some headway on their left flank, but not on the right. To support them the other force was able to redirect some infantry and the engineers to descend on the rear of the British forces, led by their flamethrowers.

The British re-enforcement began to arrives in the form of a mixed battalion of Honeys and Grants. The Honeys immediately deployed and began to engage the Italian armour in a fight that would rage for the rest of the battle as neither side had a decisive advantage until near the end when the Italians managed to bring some Sevormettes into the battle.

The Grants proceeded behind the British lines to swing and take the Italian armoured advance head on. Covered by some 90mm AA guns mounted on Lancia trucks the first Grants to appear were smashed under the weight of the shot and the survivors fell back behind the front line.

Everywhere the Italians were pushing forwards and the British line was crumbling, and eventually broke. Although battered the Italians had won a famous victory against their opponents.

Also on today was a Flames of War Omaha beach landing game that looked action packed, although I don't recall the outcome.

Club Night 3rd December

Due to the sever weather we have had here (lots of snow if you didn't know) the Haywards Heath team (myself, Luke and Steve K) decided we would game here rather than try to get up to Crawley so we decided to try out the Uncharted Seas rules look had bought on Steve dining table.

Steve and I took the Bone Griffons (undead types) and Luke took the Iron Dwarfs (who are, well, dwarfs!). Lukes fleet was the typical naval dwarf force of steam driven ironclads with plenty of artillery, some in turrets. Out force was a little different. We had oared galleys which we chose to fit with trebuchets and undead Orcas which we could use to tow out vessels for a turn of speed or send into ramming and boarding (by spreading disease) enemy vessels. Another key part of the rules is a card system. The decks are fleet specific and consist of a predefined mix of cards, some common to all fleets and some specific and add a nice little change to the style of the game.

In the first game Steve and I scored a decisive victory, with some cards that enhanced our shooting we hammered the enemy battleship with long range trebuchets fire while we attacked the small frigates with the Orcas and sank them easily. We then turned our fire on the destroyers and destroyed them before laying the Orcas along side the damaged battleship and the last crew succumbing to disease from the animated carcases.

We had time to play a second game so we swapped our trebuchets out for gun decks (a craft piece of magnetising Luke and I had done) and the Dwarfs took some submarine and an airship. Disaster struck from the off. The Dwarfs went first and used there enhanced gunnery card to target one of our cruisers with the combined fire of a squadron of frigates. With a lucky roll it exploded taking its sister ship down and damaging the battleship.

As the battleship limped forward to close the range the Dwarven destroyers and frigates closed and destroyed the other undead cruisers. Although the Orcas dealt wit the submarines the battleship was damaged heavily and under the combined cannon fire of the opposing fleet was smashed to drift wood. 1 game all!

These were fun rules and it will be nice to start tweaking the fleets and trying some different scenarios and adding some terrain to manoeuvre around. Luke has also ordered their Dystopian wars, a steam punk Victoriana game with blimps and airships, presumably with a similar mechanism that should be fun.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Club Night 26th November

As there was nothing I fancied at the club tonight I decided to give it a miss and paint the new models I got last weekend at Warfare. I am really please with the panzerjagers. I painted these in my usual way by spraying a base colour on over a gesso primer, then picking out the details. Before I applied the army painter I roughly dry-brushed and stippled some German grey around the edges and places that would be worn to show the old paint coming through the sand and I think it worked really well.

The little L3s are lovely models, only weapons to add, then paint up. They are nice little tanks and should be fun, can't wait for the early war desert for flames of war next year and I can use them!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Reading, Warfare 21st November

On the 21st I headed up to Warfare at the Rivermead centre in Reading. This would be a nice change of pace for me as it was the first show I have been to for a long time where I am not running a game so I would have time to look around and try out some games.

My first stop was the usual hellos and to catch up with the regulars and then to look at some games. I immediately ran into Mike and Les at the Peter Pig demo game of Washington's Wars. As Les was showing Mike how to play I joined in, and fortunate for Mike I did! The rules are usual Peter Pig style with tweaks to give that period feel and are good fun. Mike dallied on the left flank, while in the right I led the British forward, while the Indians swept around the American flank, carried the first objective and was descending on a second by the end of the game, while Mike was still short of even pushing back the Rebels he was facing.

Next up was a wander around and to look at some products and games. Again I found myself underwhelmed by the general material on sale. That is not to suggest it was lacking in quality, as the vast majority of traders now carry a wide range of high quality products. However they are all very similar and nothing really stands out from the crowd. I yearn to see something that is going to excite the gamer in me and really tempt me. AS it was the only purchaser I made were planned, some PanzerJager Is and L3/33s for our desert games.

As far as games go, it was a similar story. All very good and generally high quality, but nothing that really grabbed my attention and made me look a second time. The most memorable game was the skirmish wargamers fight around a stage coach. It had everything a game should, interesting terrain (rolling hills covered in teddy bear fur, looked stunning) and a strong focal point of the stage coach in the centre of the table. I know the 54mm scale helps, but these games are run once with items the members own, so really clubs that plan their games and build them together should be able to consistently achieve a similar standard.

For the afternoon I joined Robin in a participation game of his new Gruntz sci-fi rules being done in conjunction with GZG. I really enjoyed them, although 15mm they are small unit size. The game we played I controlled 3 vehicles, a bike squad, a couple of infantry squads and a large walker and that was plenty for a game. The rules obviously owe some inspiration to the Partizan Press Hordes and Warmachine systems, but that is not a bad thing as they are very solid and easy systems. I quickly had me head around the rules and the games was flowing very easily. This is what Sci-Fi should be and what recent editions of WH40K seem to have lost. Find out more at Robins blog at

Club Night 17th November

Steve K was kind enough to run a black powder using the ECW modifications from the Yahoo group. These were easy enough and seemed to add enough of a feel without massively changing the rules. I took the Royalists with new member Ben against Mark and another new member called Simon (not the same Simon who joined me at the Fow, we have been very lucky with new members of late).

We had to march from Cuckfield and defeat the Parliamentarians so we could move against Lewes. Ben took the infantry and marched up the main road, deploying so his left flank was anchored against the woods as the enemy infantry moved to meet him and some of their cavalry began to move around their flank We had already considered this possibility and so began to refuse our flank and were prepared to form hedgehogs of required.

On the other flank the Cavalry under my command marched down the road in column as fast as possible to cross the ford and deploy before the Parliamentarians could respond and stop me. I was lucky that I got my men moving quickly while the enemy flank dithered and did not respond so I was quickly across the river and deployed and ready to start rolling up the enemy flank.

My gallopers charged in and saw off a unit of trotters but had taken too many casualties to exploit this, so I sent in my next wave and swept the second enemy cavalry unit away but was then held off as the infantry formed hedgehog, so I contented myself with firing on them with trotters and moving the remainder of the cavalry around to cut to Lewes road and prevent the retreat of the rest of the army.

Meanwhile the infantry began to engage their opposite number, and despite being charged by some cavalry, even one unit in the flank, held and pushed back the enemy. Even where they got pushed back they inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, eventually breaking the infantry and forcing it back. Moving forward they bought their shot to bear on the marauding cavalry and broke this command too as my cavalry rode down the survivors of the other flank command and broke that too.

A great triumph for the forces of the King, now on to Lewes.

The modifications seemed to work well and gave enough of a fell without massive changes and played quickly, and most important, where fun (although I am sure being on the winning side helped!).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Club Night 12th November

This Friday saw me join Colin to take on Mike and Steve H in Colin's invasion of the Empire campaign which is pitting Mike and Steve with the Empire against a series of players with their evil armies. I took my Beastmen and fought the appropriate battle for the pass. Having rolled up the terrain there was a number of good defensive items but they ended up in one half of the table, so once I won the roll for table halves I took the defensive side and ignored the terrain deploying in front of it.

Leading off with 5 Chariots followed by a horde of Bestigors, a unit of minotaurs and the giant with the flank screened by two herds the beasts surged at the empire lines. They responded by opening fire with their missile troops, artillery and magic and destroyed two of the chariots and damaged another.

The beasts continued to roll forward, this time covered from the shooting by the cover called down by the chalice of the dark rain. And as a bonus one of the volley guns was destroyed in a misfire. Two of the remaining chariots crashed into the flagellants and wiped out all but two of them, while the third was destroyed as it tried to charge the handgunners. On the other flank the outriders and pistoliers fled rather than face the herds and the giant.

Finally wiping out the flagellants for the loss of one more chariot the survivor charged at the archers who fled. With a roil of 3 6's the charge distance gave them enough to redirect into the flank of the empire general and his knights, a lucky break for the beasts, especially as they then broke and ran. Meanwhile the herd continued to push the fast cavalry back and the Bestigors charged and destroyed the remaining organ gun and overran into some crossbowmen.

The handgunners valiantly tried to come to the crossbowmens rescue but could not resist the might of the towering beastmen who cut them both down with ease. On the other flank the two units of light cavalry and the knights were desperately trying to reform as against the herds and the chariot charged causing yet more casualties.

Then came the decisive turn, the Bestigors crashed though a poisoned wood into the halberdiers and the giant and the minotaurs, spurred on by the power of the idol of mork in the middle of the battle field crashed into the adjacent spearmen. The tremendous might of these three units was too much for the empire men and they were swept away and broke and fell before the rampaging creatures of chaos. The empire army was smashed asunder and another pass into the Empire had fallen to the forces of darkness.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A moment for a fallen comrade....!!!!

No club night on the 5th. Not for fireworks but for Duncan's wedding. The pics are a bit dark but they looked very happy.

Congratulations Duncan and Lou.

Club FoW Tournemant, 7th Novemeber

Early on Sunday Morning Luke and I headed up the club to set up the terrain and prepare for the FoW Mid-War tournament. 8 players including myself, plus new member Simon who was joining me as he had not played the rules before gathered with our armies to play 4 games during the day. We had 2 British Commonwealth armies, a Crusader based armoured force and an artillery heavy Canadian infantry company, a Russian Guards tank force and another Russian force built around an infantry company with massed armour and rocket support. Against these we had the Axis armies, 2 Panzer Grenadier armies, a Panzer Pioneer force and my Italian reconnaissance squadron.

My first game was a meeting engagement against Steve H's Russian Guards, with 11 T-34s I could have a bit of a problem. Fortunately with more units I could respond to his deployment and bring my artillery to bear on the first platoon, eventually breaking it. His second platoon moved at the double and I managed to catch it with my 90mms on Lancia trucks, but only two were in range. They then hid until the 90mms were destroyed by artillery. I tried to force the mountain with my L6/40s but could not overcome his infantry. However by this time, in common with all the other opening games we had run out of time. (Draw 3 to 2)

The second game was against Steve K's Canadians in the desert. With a hold the line mission I was the attacker, so I surged forward with my reconnaissance moves and was assaulting the forward infantry positions during my first turn and driving them back. With inefficient artillery fire the infantry assault was unable to drive me off and I secured my position during the second turn, and was victorious by the 3rd. A great triumph for the Italians. (Victory 6 to 1)

As the game had been quick I managed to take a few snaps during the second game.

Above: The Italians overrun the Canadians.
Below: British Artillery defended from Stuka attack by Bofors AA guns

Above: Russian tanks attack the German held village.
Below: Russian hordes overrun the village and abandoned Tiger tank.

My Third game was against another Russian army, this time commanded by Mike and very different in Character to Steve's high quality Guard tanks. With masses of infantry he still managed to include a company of T-34s and a battery of 8 Katyusha rockets. With Mike defending in a cauldron battle in the boggy, rain sodden ground of Anzio I was going to struggle with my light armour which was not mobile in bad terrain. Still it started well, using the cover of a wood my engineers deployed close the Russians and charged forward with artillery support and assaulted the Russian defences. Despite being outnumbered their quality told and they made spectacular progress, and for the next two turns the game hung in the balance as the Kommisars ensured the Russians narrowly stayed in the fight. But then the Russian hordes arrived and only the game time limit saved me from being overrun by the T-35s, my artillery and some of my reserves already having been smashed by the devastating bombardment of the rocket artillery. (Draw 3 to 3)

Game 4 saw me face the familiar sight of Luke and his Crusader tanks, but in the unfamiliar (except for our practice game) setting of the Russian front! I was defending in a breakthrough mission and Luke immediately started very cannily. Using the village as cover for his small infantry detachment while his armour deployed in front of my machine guns where it was quite safe, blocking lines of fire to the Bofors which proceeded to dig in and then became a menaces driving off my machine guns and effectively preventing any of my reserves from arriving over the bridge. Around the village I was holding off his infantry and had destroyed a couple of Crusaders as they flanked it, but the mass of 25 pounders was seriously damaging my force. I managed to hold on of the objective for a couple of turns and destroy the armoured cars before the inevitable and the British claimed victory. (Defeat 2 to 5)

Below: British armour Sweeps through the Italian forces.

The final Standings:

1. Leigh (& Simon) 14 points, 1 Win, 2 Draws
2. Rick 13 points, 2 Wins, 2 Draws
3. Mike 13 points, 1 Win, 3 Draws
4. Luke 12 points, 2 wins, 1 Draw
5. Steve H 10 points, 0 wins, 3 Draws
=6. Steve D 9 points, 1 win, 2 draws
=6. Steve K 9 points, 1 win, 2 draws
7. Jim 9 points, 0 wins, 2 draws

Yes somehow the Italians have managed to snatch victory. It just shows that good leadership and having the best hats is all you need...

Everyone said they had a great time and seemed to really enjoy themselves (apart from Steve K's paddy when his 5.5" guns missed for the 20th time!) and I shall have to arrange another one for early war once the desert book is also out.

Club Night Wednesday 3rd November

In preparation for the tournament at the weekend Luke and I took our armies up the club to try them out on some different terrain as we know we were not going to get to play all our games in the nice open desert. We decided to play on the Russian front and diced up our terrain and the mission of hold the line with the Italian defending.

As the British surged forward the first Italian guns opened up, with the 90mm destroying a pair of crusaders and another falling to the ambushing self propelled 47s.

However this seemed to be the high point for the armoured engagement. The 90mms fell to 25 pounder bombardment and the 75s failed to penetrate any further crusaders while they gradually took losses from the crusaders and the flanking motor rifle platoon. After the loss of the 90mms on my right I moved the assault engineers forward to hold off the British infantry, but with their MGs and supporting artillery they stemmed this counter attack and drove back the engineers.

On the other flank the motorcilisti platoon and light tanks roared forward to retake the furthest objective now the covering 75mm guns had been suppressed and it was open to the enemy. They won the initial engagement with the British armoured cars but when the crusaders armed with 6 pounders arrived on the scene there was nothing they could do to resist them, and with covering artillery the infantry could not get close enough to use its anti-tank grenades.

With both flanks beaten back the Italians broke and the British took the win. But would it be an omen for the weekend when the results really mattered.