Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kursk, 1943

Last night Jamie, George and I ran a game for the kids at Bradfield Dungworth School's Christmas Fair.  Having done mostly fantasy previously (we did do some Roman Gladiator stuff once) it was interesting to see their response to a historical game.  In short, enthusiastic!

In a smidgen over two hours we played about ten game turns and completely burned through my collection of T-34s.  In fact the couple of dozen suitable models that I brought ran out and we had to switch from marking "kills" with brown hamster bedding to removing them so the models could be recycled.

Having charged the kids to "buy" the toys they used in the game (from a £1 T-34 to a £2.50 Ferdinand) I was very pleased that we raised over £30 for PFA funds.

No photos of the game in action, I'm afraid - we were too busy keeping the game running with as many a seven young players at one time.

The rules used were a cut down version of Arc of Fire.  I converted all distances into cm and categorised all guns as Big (88mm, 85mm, long 75mm), Medium (76mm, 75mm L/48), Small (57mm, 50mm), and Tiny (anti-tank rifle).  No Modes were used, and morale rolls and TAC rolls were replaced by a simple roll-an-odd-number-to-pass system.

In the end the Soviets had made more progress across the board (albeit by sending unsupported tanks through a wood) so I gave them the victory.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Perfidious Albion

Being away for the weekend visiting my Mum in Merseyside I decided to take with me my copy of the pre-Dreadnought naval rules Perfidious Albion.  I've had them for a while but never tried them out, not least because I don't possess any suitable models.

The give them a try on the parental coffee table I printed out some generic ship outlines which I stuck to rectangles of mounting board.  I chose a selection of British and French ships because they happened to be on the same page in the rules book (I photocopied that page so I could scribble on the ship information sheets).

The rules are apparently derived from the original Fred Jane naval rules from a century ago, though I recognise them from a Naval Wargaming book I borrowed from the library (only slightly more recently).

The key aspect of the rules is that each ship is represented by a schematic showing a longitudinal slice through the vessel:

For any given class of gun you'll get a percentage chance of straddling an enemy ship with a single salvo.  This may be modified by sea state, ammunition handling technology and crew quality.  Having established the modified percentage you multiply up by the number of guns of that class firing (possibly from multiple ships in the same squadron).  Each 100% gives and automatic straddle.  Any left over amount of less than 100% is rolled for.

Having determined how many salvoes straddle the target you roll 1d10 for and 1d6 for each to see where they hit the target.  Then it's a case of checking the weapon's penetration against the armour (if any) on the affected area.  Get through the armour and the area is destroyed.

I'm an expert on neither naval warfare in general nor the pre-Dreadnought period in particular but these seem fun rules.  I think I might have another go before I commit to investing in any suitable lead.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Matrix Game Andreivia

There hasn't been much here from me of late as my efforts have been focussed on preparations for next March's Crisis Point: Andreivia game.

I've decided to set up the starting position for that game by playing a Matrix Game of the type invented by Chris Engle and promoted by Wargames Developments.  You can see the first fruit of this over at the Andreivian Tales blog:

I am doing a bit of modelling of forces for Andreivia and hopefully you'll see some militia heavy weapons soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another GNW Unit

I've added the fourth element to my blue-and-white Russian Dragoons thus bringing them up to full strength:

I've enough figures left in the pack I bought at Fiasco to do one more Maurice / Black Powder unit.  I've a hankering to do something slightly different.  I might do a Saxon unit.  It can fight alongside my growing collection of Poles during the period when August of Saxony was also King of Poland or it can serve as a mercenary unit for another force.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rules Clear-Out

Richard Phillips and I plan (weather allowing) to take a table at January's Penkridge Wargames Table-Top Sale to clear out some of the unwanted items in our respective games cupboards.  This has led me to go through my collection of rules and weed out the ones I'm realistically never going to play again (or in some cases at all).

Rather than wait for January, I thought I might as well let the readers of this blog have first pick.  So, in no particular order, the following are for sale:

Barker, Phil, DBR Army Lists Book 1 (Great Italian Wars, Valois-Hapsburg-Tudors, Turkish Wars, China and Japan, The Americas, and The Reformation. WRG, 1995  [£1]

Barker, Phil and Richard Bodley-Scott, DBM Army Lists 1071 AD to 1500AD. WRG 1994. [£1]

Chadwick, Frank and Greg Novak, Volley and Bayonet, GDW 1994. SOLD
Gush, George, Wargames Rules For Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries (1420-1700), WRG 1979. [£1]

Gow, Tim, Megablitz! - Rules for fighting large actions of the Second World War, Stratagem, undated.   SOLD

WRG, Wargames rules for Armoured Warfare at company and battalion level 1950 to 1985, WRG, 1979. [£1]

Penn, TM, 18th Century Principles of War, Penn 2005. SOLD

Rathmell, Andrew, Tactical Commander World War II Skirmish Rules, Tabletop Games, 1982. [£1]

Conliffe, Arty, Crossfire - Rules and Organisations for Company-Level WW II Gaming, Quantum Publishing, 1996. [£2]

Dorrell, Nick, Polemos: Great Northern War, Baccus, 2005. [£2]

WRG, Wargames Rules 3000 BC - 1250 AD (5th Edition), WRG, 1976 (with Nov 1976 and 1977 amendments added by hand). [£1]

WRG, Wargames Rules 1685-1845, WRG, 1979. [£1]

Barker, Phil, Sue Laflin-Barker and Richard Bodley-Scott, Hordes of the Things 1st Ed,WRG, 1991 (with pencil amendments to ver 2.1 rules). [£1]

Waxtel, Dave and Robert Burke, The Died For Glory - The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871, Quantum Publishing 1992. SOLD

Mills, John, Les Gens Braves - Rules for the Franco-Prussian War, Partizan Press, 1988. [£1]

All prices exclude postage, which I'll work out if you are interested in any particular item.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Games Shop

A meeting in Barnsley finished early today and meant that I could pop into a new shop that's opened in The Arcade there.

Barnsley Models and Games is a smallish shop with a mix of games and model railway stuff downstairs and a gaming area upstairs.  The stock is a little thin at present but doubtless it will fill up.

I picked up some Woodland scenics items.  The medium green clump foliage is, I have to say, virtually indistinguishable from the dark green I already have but it's really useful stuff anyway.

I also bought some Poly Fiber.  This is a green, gauzy material that looks like it might work well for a variety of scenic applications.

The range of stuff available doesn't come close to Wargames Emporium in Sheffield (yet) but it's worth looking in if you're in the land of Bird, Boycott and Parkinson.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mini Kursk

So I've been persuaded to put on another game for the kids at my daughter's (now former) primary school Christmas Fair.  This year I'm going to run a small chunk of Kursk using my 20mm toys.

I'm looking at using a very cut down version of Arc of Fire.

I'll report back afterwards.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Crowd-sourcing My Uniforms part one

OK, first thing's first.  I really can't draw.

After creating two 48 man units  from a pack of Baccus Streltsy and I have a few figures left over.  I've decided to convert some of them into bargemen to decorate a pontoon bridge set up for my pseudo-Russian army the the Grand Duchy of Zheltarus.  There remainder will be based up as a single-base unit of Bridge Guards (a 'detachment' in Maurice or a 'tiny unit' in Black Powder).

The question is, what colours should their uniforms be?  The figures will look something like this:

So, a cloth cap with a (probably) fur rim, long belted caftan, trousers and boots.  The best suggestion for a colour scheme will be immortalised in painted white metal.  My only proviso is that the coats can't be blue as both my Streltsy and the unit I painted as Poles have blue coats.

Get your designin' caps on, boys.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Are you able as yet to ascertain what this represents?

(I'm working on the basis that it's no longer acceptable to use the phrase, "Can you tell what it is yet?")

No labels to help on this posting.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Heavy Gear

Just finished this weekend are a few additions to my "modern" Soviets.  I wanted a big gun for a scenario I had in mind and decided it would be nice to have it both deployed and moving.

So here we have a pair of S-23 180mm gun-howitzers.  These 1950s vintage weapons are modified from pre-WW2 naval guns.  They would be deployed as part of the Heavy Artillery Regiment of an Artillery Division.  They are nuclear capable but the round is understood to be unreliable!

The towing vehicles are AT-T heavy artillery tractors.  This unit was delayed in production as once I'd bought them I realised that the moving battery really ought to have gun-crew sitting on bench seats in the back of the tractor.  Eventually I got round to sculpting a tilt to disguise their absence.