Sunday, June 26, 2022

CWC II at The Unit

On Saturday, ten of the Cold War Commanders group gathered at Richard Phillips's new gaming location The Unit to play a bit of second edition Cold War Commander.

The unit is part of a converted barn near Stone in Staffordshire. It has room for the kind of table that the Commanders revel in, six feet wide and I'd guess about 24 feet long...

Second edition author Mark Fry is a member of the group and he was kept busy all day answering questions, discussing rules design choices and attempting to hold off my East German tank regiment with a Netherlands recce battalion.

Alan, Rodger and Mark

At one point Mark got himself sufficiently organised to call in air support in the form of a Royal Netherlands Air Force Starfighter. We didn't take the piss out of Mark too badly for accidentally using Czechoslovak Air Force roundels...

Mark tried to target my motor rifle battalion who were about to assault his troops. Mark needed to make a command roll on 2d6 requiring less than the forward observer's Command Value (about 7 I think).  

At this point I said, "I'd like to see sixes".

The resulting roll on the Command Blunder table saw the forward observer forced to fall back with his Command Value reduced by three!

Actually it turned out I'd cocked up Richard's carefully designed scenario by bringing on my whole Regiment on the first turn. Apparently I was supposed to arrive one battalion at a time!

I was able to get across the Elbe-Seitenkanal using the T-72s' deep wading gear and the BMPs' amphibious capability.

The East Germans are across the canal!

A Dutch company uses its amphibious capability to 

It was really enjoyable to meet up with the guys again - including Alan and Rodger who I hadn't seen since before the Great Unpleasantness.

More pictures can be seen at Andy's blog

And finally, the scenery on the table was lovely (thanks Richard) but not a patch on that when I was driving home over the Peak District.

And we get to do it all again next weekend at Joy of Six!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

More 6mm progress

Back in October of last year I spent a fiver at Wargames Emporium on a couple of bags of various second-hand bits.  I figured it would be fun to see what was in there and whether I could make anything useful from it.

For starters there's this lot:

From left to right, rear row first:  three 1/285th scale HMMWV ambulances, a Roman ballista unit, and three units of Republican Roman cavalry.

Next row, a 1/285th scale Valentine, two bases of Roman slingers, four bases of legionaries, three bases of Greek hoplites painted as Sun Dome Templars for Glorantha.

And in front a three-part wooden palisade.

In addition, the bags also contained some 1/300th scale aircraft. So far I've painted these:

Left to right: FW-190, Me-110, and Spitfire.

All in all, not bad for a bag of junk with more still to come.

In addition, I've also been sifting through my other piles of leftover 6mm stuff. I bought a second-hand Cold War Swedish army years ago at the Gauntlet show in North Wales. There were rather more models than I needed to put together an Armoured Brigade for Cold War Commander. The spare models sat, unused, in a drawer for years until I decided to have a go at a small force in winter camo:

I may never use them but at least they're painted!

Finally I also painted a civilian vessel that's been in the bits drawer for years. Is it from a Monopoly set? I'm not sure. Either way it'll be going to the first CWC game at The Unit in a few weeks.

Monday, June 6, 2022

6mm Jubilee Weekend

Inspired by taking part in the Cold War Commanders' game at Partizan recently, I spent the Platinum Jubilee long weekend on some 6mm modelling.

For starters I thought I'd upgrade some more of my old 1/300th scale 1980s British to my current painting and basing standard.  Using the old Tabletop Games Corps Commander army lists, I've produced some organisation sheets to help me sort out the models prior to using them.

By giving each unit a rectangle or circle the same size as its base, I'm able to lay out the models to make sure I have everything I need. 

It turned out I was short of an FV434 recovery vehicle for the mechanised battalion's REME Light Aid Detachment. It's not strictly speaking needed in CWC but I thought it would be fun to convert a spare FV432 APC into one of these.

Having sorted out the toys and picked units for my models to represent I now find myself able to deploy two thirds of a 1985 armoured brigade. I'm calling it 11th Armoured Brigade.

The Brigade HQ has a CO unit, a forward artillery observer and a forward air controller. Also attached is a Tracked Rapier unit representing elements of 16th Air Defence Regiment, Royal Artillery.

In support of the Brigade at the moment are 3rd and 47th Field Regiments Royal Artillery, each with an FAO and six Abbot self-propelled gun models.

My mechanised infantry battalion is 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment (selected because they were the parent unit of my school's Combined Cadet Force detachment). They have two HQ units (my personal standard for NATO battalions), two recce Scimitars, two FV432s with mortars, nine infantry and six Milan ATGW teams all riding in a total of fifteen FV432 models. 

As a final addition, working on the assumption that commanders in the field often find a way to deploy equipment not strictly included on the official TOE, 1 CHESHIRES also have a platoon (one model) of FV432 with top-mounted 120mm RCL to provide a little additional firepower.

My armoured regiment is, for no reason other than that I once painted a Scottish saltire on one of the vehicles, designated as Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. They are organised as per the official TOE with one exception. Due to lack of sufficient models, I'm assuming that the war has caught them in the process of reequipping. The regiment has three squadrons equipped with Challenger Is and one still using Chieftain Mk9s. So in total the model armoured regiment has two HQ bases, two recce Scimitars, another LAD with FV434, the heavy anti-tank platoon with a total of three FV438 models, twelve Challengers, and four Chieftains.

I'd originally organised a second mechanised infantry battalion in Warrior IFVs but these don't fit with our usual 1985 timeframe. To complete the brigade I need to add half a dozen of so more FV432s, six more Milan teams, and another FV434. However, that's a large force and I need to practice what I preach; CWC is a better game when you're not waiting ages for your opponent to finish moving hundreds of units!

I said "For starters" at the beginning of this post. There is some other 1/300th progress to report but I'll leave that for later.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Steel Lard 2022 (updated)

For my many sins I've copped for organising 2022's Steel Lard - a festival of Too Fat Lardies games in Sheffield.  We're talking to a new venue (not far from the previous one at Jury's inn) and I'm hopeful that we'll be going ahead on 19th November.

This weekend I'm working on firming up the initial list of games on offer. So far we have:

WW1 in Mesopotamia by Ken Reilly using the If The Lord Spares Us rules.

A Chain of Command game by Graeme Atkinson set somewhere near Tobruk.

Up The Arras: Bloody April 1917 by Alex Sotheran using the Algernon Pulls It Off rules.

And finally for now, Richard Phillips and I will be running a Sharp Practice game provisionally titled Riga 1812 - A Spy in the Suburbs.

We also have the promise of games from Charley (the Duns Dilettante) Walker and Richard (the Sage of St Albans) Clarke.

I'll add to this list as we get more games confirmed.