Monday, June 27, 2016

To The Strongest! Wars of the Roses

Jamie's back from uni (I can't believe he's finished his second year already) and on Sunday afternoon we had a quick practice game of To The Strongest!

The was the first game of TTS! I've played in 28mm and the first I've played using medieval armies.  This was all because I'm using both rules and figures for a game at the local primary school's Summer Barbecue on Friday.

We just lined up Lancastrian and Yorkist armies and went at it as quickly as we could to see if we could get through a game in an hour.  We didn't quite make it but with three players a side it'll be much quicker.

You'll note that I've added labels to the back of the units.  I don't generally like doing this but I think the kids will need help telling longbows from billmen.

The result?  Well Jamie won.  Less said the better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blaustein vier zwo

The latest addition to the list of available Chain of Command reinforcements for my late war Germans is this mine clearing team.

They are from the Revell German Engineers box.  One of them has acquired a Bergmutze courtesy of a spare Ravensthorpe head.

They'll be available as a one point reinforcement pick for the Korsun Pocket game but German troops retreating through what has long been German territory might decide this isn't the best choice.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Russians for the Tcherkassy-Schevchenkovskii Operation

In between other projects I've managed to finish a Soviet rifle platoon for the Korsun Pocket game at Gauntlet.

The platoon is led by a Leytenant and consists of three sections each led by a serzhant. Each section has a two-man LMG team with the DP disc-magazine-fed weapon and seven riflemen.  At this stage of the war, some of the latter have PPSh SMGs.

The Leytenant

First Section

Second Section

Third Section

In each case the leaders are on larger bases (2p pieces) to help distinguish them in the heat of battle.  The kneeling-pointing-guy acts as the LMG loader in each case.

Finally, I've done a sniper element as a possible reinforcement:

The figures are all Italeri and Revell plastics.  Clearly I've gone for speed rather than painting quality.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

First Saturday Afternoon CoC

On Saturday I organised a first game of Chain of Command for Andy and Phil.

We used my existing late war German Heer platoon (Phil) and British motor platoon (Andy).  We played the basic patrol scenario but I didn't roll for reinforcements - I just gave Andy an Adjutant and a Medical Orderly to try and balance things up.

We played a Patrol Phase with option of trying again if we didn't like the results first time around but we decided to stick with the Jump Off Points we'd selected (British in purple and Germans in Red/Black above).

Looking at the Jump off points, it was fairly obvious that there would be a race for the pair of semi-detached cottages near the road junction.

Sadly I was a bit too busy running the game to take photographs regularly.

The Germans advanced past the water tower with a single squad whilst another squad (just visible behind the hedge at the top of the picture below) advanced towards the cottages.

Meanwhile British sections appeared in the ruined cottage and behind the rock outcrop.

Phil set up a strong base of fire behind the hedge across the road junction from the cottages...

... whilst the British Platoon Sergeant led a rifle team into one of the cottages.

Soon, each half of the semi was occupied; Germans in one half and Brits in the other.

Early in the action, long range Bren fire caused some German casualties including wounding an NCO.  As a result German Force morale dropped to to just six before their superior firepower, mainly as a result of the MG42s began to tell.

Casualties and shock began to mount on the one and a half British sections in the garden of the ruined cottage.  A close assault by the Germans was very bloody but eventually saw them just about holding both of the cottages.

The remnants of a German section were forced to take cover in a small clump of trees.

A British section had been planning a flanking move, protected by the garden wall but with most of the rest of the platoon casualties and their corporal wounded, Andy decided to withdraw and concede the game.  At the time the British Force Morale was 2 and that of the Germans was 4.

In retrospect, the British motor platoon is probably not an easy unit for a novice player to handle.  Andy didn't make any use of the 2" mortar team that could have made a considerable difference with its smoke-laying capability.  Mind you, Andy did roll a considerable shortage of ones with his command dice.

Comments afterwards were that Chain of Command was  very different to the WW2 games we had played previously.  With 20mm figures, the ground scale is far closer to the figure scale than, say, Arc of Fire or Disposable Heroes. As a result the game is actually less abstract - what you see is closer to what you get.   Clearly COC was a game that we'd have to play several time to get the hang of.  The encouraging thought was what all of us were keen to have another go.  In fact Phil went home and bought himself a copy!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Bacaudae - first progress pictures

I've had a very productive period painting-wise over the last week or so.  As well as finishing a winter-uniform Russian platoon for Chain of Command (pics to follow) I've made considerable progress on forces for my planned Late Roman Gaul campaign.

First up are some Bacaudae (local rebel forces), in this case made from some rescued Foundry Arthurians mixed in with Bad Squiddo shieldmaidens and a Scheltrum Models Hebridean sailor repurposed as an armed slave.

I'm using Michael Leck's 1-2-3 basing style for all of my Lion Rampant forces but I'm running short of the 40mm circles I use for three infantry or one horse.

Next up there's the first unit from my box of Gripping Beast plastic Late Roman infantry - a unit of Auxilia Palatina archers.

Alongside the archers here is a mounted shepherd.  The few mounted bacaudae probably came from such a source.  This is a conversion of an Ebay-purchased Numidian cavalryman on a spare horse I've had awaiting a rider for over thirty years.  The figure has a head transplant from the Perry plastic Wars of the Roses infantry set and sits on a Green Stuff-sculpted sheepskin saddle cloth
 (what else would a mounted shepherd use?).

Finally, we have some Hunnic nobles, also rescued from a batch of battered, second hand figures I bought on the bring and buy at Vapnartak this year.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Korsun Pocket Chain of Commend - the rules

These are the house rules I'm planning on adopting for the SOTCW Chain of Command game at Gauntlet in early July.

Set Up

All German players start with a platoon.  The platoon starts with Force Morale of 11.

Defensive positions are set up at the north east end of the tables.  These count as the German jump off points.  The Germans get 3 phases of action to start the game without any Soviet interference.

If more than one German platoon is deployed on a table, the “Bigging It Up” rules (pg 102) are in use except that the die roll to see if a turn ends on three or more sixes is 4, 5 or 6.

After three unopposed phases, the Russian player/umpires may begin rolling command dice.  Initial forces consist of an unreinforced infantry platoon.


One resource marker is placed in each terrain piece.  On contacting the resource marker roll 1d20:

D20 roll
Stash of food – roll 1d6 on the morale recovery table:
1 = no effect, 2-5 = +1 to Force Morale, 6 = +2 to Force Morale
Force Morale can never be higher than 11.
Stash of alcohol – roll 1d6 on the morale recovery table
Stash of warm clothing – roll 1d6 on the morale recovery table
Transport – add a vehicle to the unit (selected by umpire)
German JOP – may roll to resupply ammunition for AT weapons (9.3.1, pg 41).  Can also be used to deploy reinforcements.
1d6 reinforcement credits
Wounded/demoralised troops – 1d6 rifle armed troops with 1d6 points of Shock
Stragglers – 1d6 rifle armed troops
Fuel shortage – a German vehicle selected randomly runs out of fuel or bogs down
Roll on special encounters table


Special encounters – can only occur once:

D6 roll
Divisional records – can be burned (roll on the morale recovery table) or transported to the Gniloi Tikitsch for extra VP
Hero – add a Ranking Senior Leader to your force
Wounded Hero – a seriously wounded commander is encountered – extra VP if you can evacuate him.  Requires a vehicle to transport him.
Fuel – if you can pick it up with a vehicle you can ignore one “Fuel Shortage” result
A boat! – no use now but if you can find a way to transport it to the Gniloi Tikitsch it’ll be worth  extra VP
2d6 reinforcement credits

Russian jump off point positions

Table 1
(1d6+4)x10% of the way from the NE edge on each side of the table. Roll separately for each side.
Table 2
1d6x15% of the way from the NE edge on each side of the table. Roll separately for each side.
Final Table
As Table 2 plus one JOP on Hill and one in BUA.


By spending a CoC die, any Soviet player/umpire can position an additional JOP in any cover not currently occupied by Germans.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Soldier of the Time War

Back from a most enjoyable long weekend in South Wales, I'm now able to post some pics I took at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.  It's well worth a visit if you're any kind of fan of the programme.

Jamie's been talking for some time about painting his Ainsty police phone box as the "War TARDIS" and possibly doing some Time Lord soldiers.  It seemed like a good idea to get him some reference shots...

I popped into Firestorm Games whilst in Cardiff.  Wow!  It's not a small place.  Sadly I was pushed for time though so I only had time to whizz round and buy some paints, a paintbrush and a copy of Dragon Rampant (of which more later).

Finally, it was really nice to stay with Richard Baber and his lovely family in Swansea for a couple of days.  Richard was great fun as ever and is bearing up well under the strain of teenage sons as this picture shows.....

Richard anticipating Alex's A-Levels

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bacaudae Planning

Getting a start made on my Hunnic nobles and Gripping Beast plastic Late Romans, has inspired me to work out how to structure the two forces in my forthcoming Bacaudae campaign.

The Bacaudae themselves are, I believe, a mixture of Gaullish locals, mostly lower class types but with a few richer land-owning types and city dwellers.  There will be one of two armed slaves in there too.

My main two units will be classed as Auxilia using David Sullivan's Crepusculum Imperii adaptation of the Lion Rampant rules.  This means 12 figures and four points per unit.  I have a collection of second-hand Foundry Late Roman/Arthurian and Germanic types who will form the basis of these units along with some Bad Squiddo Games shieldmaidens and a few other bits and pieces.
After that, I think I should have a unit of archers.  I don't have the figures for these yet.  A second box of GB plastics may be required.  12 figures at four points the unit.
A unit of skirmishers (six figures, two points) seems sensible.  I see these guys as countrymen, shepherds and hunters who know how to make the best of available cover.  I'll probably add some undergrowth to their bases to distinguish them from the more line-of-battle archers.  I have one Dark Ages figure with an early crossbow who'll probably join this unit.

The sources suggest that the Bacaudae in some places had a small number of cavalry.  I plan to portray a mix of richer locals and shepherd types.  One conversion of a Numidian cavalryman to sit on a horse from the spares box is already underway.  Not sure yet whether to rate these guys as javelin-armed light horse or as "horsemen" in David Sullivan's terms. Either way I'll need at least another five figures.

Finally, the Sarmatian cataphracts will be serving as mercenaries fighting for the Bacaudae.  This is a reversal of my previous plan and comes about because I'm thinking of bulking out the "Roman" side with Huns.

The "Roman" side in this campaign (perhaps "Imperial" would be better as both sides will include a fair leavening of citizens) will be based around the GB plastics box.

The eight armoured spearmen, backed up by an officer, a draconarius and two unarmored spearmen will give me a 12-man legio unit - six points worth of real staying power on the field of battle.
One unit of archers (at four points, twelve figures) in already under construction.  Again from the GBP box; ten archers, an officer and a trumpeter.

One unit of Auxilia (four points, twelve figures) will use twelve of the remaining unarmoured spearmen from the GPB box.  I’ll give one the optional sword arm as an officer.
One unit of skirmishers (two points, six figures).  I’ll use the remaining GBP archers for this unit.  Again, a bit of suitable “bad going” on the bases will emphasise their role and distinguish them from the massed archers above.

One unit of noble Hun foederati (Heavy cavalry, four points, six figures in the unit). I already have some Foundry figures that I’m in the middle of renovating.
And finally one unit of Hun expert horse archers (three points, six figures).  Haven’t got these at all.  A search for suitable figures is needed.

I'm off to South Wales this weekend.  I wonder if Firestorm Games in Cardiff can help with these requirements?