Friday, 30 November 2012

Masters 2012- The Irish Guards go to war...

This weekend is the Masters tournament up in Wellington, to which I am lucky enough to have gained an invite to.

The tournament is 1750 late war and after SO MUCH indecision about which army to play, I was ranging between Panzer IV's, Hellcats, Scots, US Paras and Kingtigers, I decided upon this...

Irish Guards Armoured

HQ- 2 Sherman V
Tank Troop- 2 Sherman V, 2 Sherman V Firefly
Tank Troop- 2 Sherman V, 2 Sherman V Firefly
Tank Troop- 2 Sherman V, 2 Sherman V Firefly
Column Platoon
Recce Troop- 4 Stuart V
AA Gun Platoon- 3 Bofors

So, the plan? Well, I have a lot of Shermans. Which I enjoy. I like me my Shermans!

How could you not?

The plan beyond bringing a whole lot of Shermans is to use the superior mobility which I will have over infantry forces, and use the extra maneuver elements which I have over the enemy (4 troops of tanks, rather than 2 or 3)to allow me to dictate the point of battle. By setting up mobile semi-indirect firing firebases, I should be able to leapfrog my shermans up to the objectives.

In saying that, when Operation Market Garden began, the Irish Guards were in the lead. All was well for the first 9 minutes, then all hell broke loose, and in short order, the lead 9 tanks (I think) were knocked out.

So if I lose a lot of Sherman tanks, it is historical!

I managed to get a game in with them last night against Josh, a skilled young player down at the club. He was running 10 Stugs, 4 Panzer IVs, some 105s and a platoon of infantry.

We rolled Surrounded and Josh lost the dice roll, so he was in the middle.

He was feeling a bit bad about being in the middle, especially when I put Semi-Indirect firing 75mms to the rear of his StuGs, but that quickly dissipated as the 5 hits I rolled, he rolled 5 6's to save, then I failed my firepowers! The stuarts and carriers (column platoon) however were off being a nuisance, the stuarts were assaulting infantry, the carriers were assaulting 105mm guns.

JEB would be proud...

Josh's response was to remain stationary and fire, which when it is at Guards in concealment at long range, was not overly effective.

I had placed two troops on one flank with the carriers, with the other troop, the stuarts and the bofors on the other flank. Basic goal was for the stuarts to punch through the infantry, then seek to link up with the shermans behind his StuGs, where AT 7 becomes very very good. I left two troops stationary to duel with his StuGs and Panzer IVs, which with Semi Indirect Firing 17pdrs I was more likely to win (and did so)

In spite of all my moving, Josh remained stationary within his gun duel. He moved panzer IVs to ensure that all of them had shots, or were in concealment, but they were inevitably stationary.

It was only a matter of time before the 17pdrs reaped their toll, as well as 75mm shermans and stuarts to the flanks. The carriers MG'd or assaulted all of the 105's (comical), and the bofors? Well ONE bofors shot ONCE. And it missed. Oh well.

I like the list, but will I like it this weekend?

Who knows.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

6mm Moderns- Israel and Britain on the attack...

So, another 6mm Moderns game was had on Friday, with us testing the new attacker/defender mission which had been tried last week and perfected (somewhat)over the week.

The scenario was simple, the Israelis and British were seeking to push through the lightly held Egyptian border guards, to recapture the Suez. But waiting behind the front lines were Jordanians and Egyptian Mechanised formations, made up of T-72, Chieftan and M60 battle tanks!

On table for the Egyptians were three rifle companies, one heavy (120mm) mortar company.

The forces which were trying to push the front were three Israeli Tank companies of M60 tanks, which were supported by a Warrior Company from the Scots, which were supported by a trio of Challenger 1 MBT from the Scots Guards. On the right flank, the Queen's Dragoon Guard (QDG) were ready to engage on the right flank.

The centre of the Allied battle line.

The QDG on the right flank, deployed in a protective wadi.

The battle was immediately joined by the Israeli Recon moving at high speed straight up the road, and opening fire upon the enemy roadblock. The fire was unsuccessful, but the infantry were forced to put their heads down. The QDG moved forward in the protective cover of the wadi, one Sultan APC was torn apart by a Sagger AT missile from one of the infantry formations.

In spite of the fire, the Scimitars were able to reap a terrible toll on to the centre infantry company, breaking the formation.

The Egyptian response was to send in a Crocodile (Hind-D) gunship onto the lead M60 formation. The AA fire was ineffective, the Hind's fire was ineffective and everyone involved was left confused as to what actually happened!

Pushing their advantage, the Challenger 1's advanced at double time to form a position alongside the M113's in the centre of the table. One Challenger was rendered inoperable by a Sagger hit to it's right hand track, the other two pushed forward and fired onto the centre company with their heavy weapons.

The lead armoured elements of the Egyptian and Jordanian forces were held up by H&I fire (or got stuck stopping at the pub or something) and were stalled for the first turn off table.

The Israeli M60s sought to push through the gap created by the British, but were stalled by damage to the road by the Hind strike, one company were stalled, but the other two were able to push forward to support the M113s.

The RAF Harrier's rolled in on the Crocodile, destroying it utterly with cannon fire. There were two MiG's attempting to catch the Harriers on the hop, but to no avail, the Harrier pilots were well up to the challenge, and were able to avoid any damage.

The defenders wrested initiative from the allies, dropping heavy 120mm mortar rounds onto the M113s and the two remaining Challengers. Both Challengers were rendered inoperable (yes, I failed 3 3+ saves from 3 dice rolls. Refer to previous outings with Challengers for more of this) and two M113s were destroyed.

The Black Watch raced forward in their Warriors, engaging the enemy infantry blocking the road. Casualties were light (Jas rolled amazing saves), but when the M60 tanks engaged the infantry, supported by the Black Watch, the casualties were far more extreme.

With the road now clear, it was time for the breakthrough. Except for that one sticky wicket, provided by the entire armoured reserve arriving...

Wave after wave of heavy tanks appeared, pouring fire onto the Israeli battle tanks. The Israelis did give as good as they got, dealing damage to the enemy T-72s, in spite of their losses.

It was at this point that the QDG elected to clear the nearby summit entirely of life. Using a Sustain Fire action, pouring on 30mm Raden, Swingfire missiles, GPMG and throwing an operations table, the recon formation was able to totally wipe out the defending infantry, without a single infantry man left to explain what happened.

The Egyptian and Jordanian tanks were beginning to take their toll onto the Israeli armour, with multiple formations of tanks being suppressed and destroyed. But, the weight of fire returning onto the tanks from the Israelis also began to toll- the T-72 lost half their number and broke under the weight of fire.

The final turn began with the initiative again with the attacking Israelis and British, who sought to punish the lead most company of enemy tanks, which was M60s. First, a company of Israeli M60s fired upon them, then the QDG moved forward to occupy two of the three forward objectives, then proceeded to knock out an M60 with the 30mm Raden on a Scimitar (lucky ish shot with a High Velocity 30mm), which broke the formation.

From here, it was a matter of the Jordanians and Egyptians having to recapture strongly held objectives, which they just couldn't do. One after the other, their tank formations were suppressed or destroyed, their main highlight being their Chieftans and 120mm mortars were able to force the Black Watch to break, but the Israeli M60s did not let up, knocking out the remaining enemy units to activate, the ZSU, the T-72s, all were destroyed before they could inflict further damage.

The last act of the game was two MiG-29s freshly rearmed for ground attack rolling in onto the Queen's Dragoon Guard. Naturally, the RAF were there to intercept...

And rolled in, first firing Anti-Aircraft missiles, then their 20mm cannon. Catching them as they flew through the canyons, the Harriers rolled no less than 5 hits!

And the MiGs passed their saves. All of them. On a 5+. God Damn pink dice!

But with that, the MiGs shot and failed to kill some Scimitars. On the whole the QDG were rather miffed about the whole ordeal, but they did claim two objectives thus winning the game...

Another game of Moderns done, another interesting mission. I am happy with a lot of what we have got at the moment, there are a few list things that need to be checked and balanced, but it is my fault that those haven't been done. Our new mission worked great, so no we have TWO missions to play! I will poke the guys with a stick until they think of a third....

We (I) have decided it needs a cool name, so Conflict 1989 is what I have come up with so far, it suits the lists we have made etc, so I think it works!

I will finish my school reports tomorrow, then I need to look at my Masters FOW army. Because that is next weekend! So it might be a FOW based week next week. Then again, usually when I say that, random stuff happens. So stay tuned...


Friday, 23 November 2012

And now for something COMPLETLY different (sortof)...

Hasslefree Miniatures this year are running a sculpting competition, where the winner will get cast and put into their range for sale. By entering, you will get in return a lead cast version of your sculpt.

Basically it is a really cheap/easy way to get some new miniatures for their line, but I put my cynical nature aside, and felt the need to share my Intellectual Property with them!

The miniature we were to work from was an armature, looking like this..

Which to mean, sort of screams the hyper-sexualised fantasy-type female that gamers are so ruthlessly mocked for- I mean she has high heels MOULDED ON for crying out loud!

So my plan was to take this armature and turn her into something far more realistic and modern. After some googling, I found this...

She is an Italian (I thought she was Belgian, but I was wrong! Thanks Panaldi for the correction) paratrooper, shown at a relaxed position, assault rifle, webbing, camo all looking cool. When I decided I wanted to sculpt something a bit more "real", this was exactly what I wanted.

Being the Anglophile that I am, she had to change nationality to British, plus had to change her assault rifle to being an SA-80. Most certainly had to keep the beret too!

It was the first sculpting I have ever done, beyond making a canvas tarp or filling a gap on a model, and this is how it has turned out.

The photos make it look a whole lot less "neat" than I remember it being, but that is my finished product!

I would tell you to all go off and vote for mine, but really, you should look at the other entrants and vote for the one which you like- after all then you will be able to buy it!

You can view the others on facebook or on forum of doom (no link yet, apparently they will be up at some point).

Moderns game tonight, trying out an improved version of the mission Adam and I played last week.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

6mm Moderns- A Comparison of Abrams

My 6mm armies are growing rapidly, the 6mm counter on the right ticks ever higher, but what of the miniatures themselves?

So, here is three different company's take on the M1 Abrams.

The three competitors....

GHQ, Heroics and Ros and Scotia-Grendel

First up, GHQ.
Cost? Around $2.50 NZ per tank. Which for a 6mm tank gets pricy fast, but the quality is about what I expect from BF in 15mm scale. Most of my armies and miniatures are from GHQ, because I don't mind paying that bit more for quality. The unbuttoned crew look awesome, along with the cupola MGs.

All in all GHQ is the best in quality, hands down. But expensive, and very annoying how they only sell in packs of 5 tanks!

Next up Heroics and Ros
So H&R. Immediately you notice that the details are not as crisp, the turret is tiny and it is unpainted. Well, the paint is my fault, but the rest is with H&R!

I have used H&R miniatures to plug gaps in the GHQ range, things like specialist AA weapons, or howitzers (H&R come with crew, GHQ don't). My whole French army is H&R actually, and they look good.

A whole lot cheaper than GHQ (around $1 per vehicle), but in comparison, don't buy their Abrams!

Lastly Scotia
What to say here. Yes there is a fair layer of paint on the top (not done by me), but still, there are NO details on the model. There are barely any roadwheels on the tracks!

So, by far, the worst in the Abrams competition. But, the Scotia range is the best of the three, and I can honestly say that their AAVs are as good as GHQ's models. Which is tough, because it is hard to know if you would get this lump of lead, or an actual model.

Make your own choice, but the GHQ miniatures are consistely good, H&R is pretty consistently ok, and Scotia have some brilliant models, just not the Abrams! With GHQ running at twice the price of the others, maybe I will take the risk a couple of times to see what I get...

Till next update,


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

6mm Moderns- A French holding action in Southern Germany

Last weekend I managed no less than two 6mm Moderns games. I forgot my camera for the first game, but it was a victory to the US. The USMC's official write up is here. The US Army correspondents didn't make it to the battlefield apparently, but the USMC guys got a good write up done.

As for the second game, Adam and I had a quick 1500 point each throw down, to try out a new mission that had been boiling around in my brain for the last wee while.

I was running part of the French 6th Light Division, which was tasked with holding the line in Southern Germany. The initial defensive line was covered by Armoured Cars and infantry.

The Armoured Cars in a wood

The Company of Foreign Legion defending the line of advance over the bridges.

The Soviet advance was quick and bloody- the armoured cars and infantry were immediatly assailed from the air by two Hind-D attack aircraft, the Man Portable missile in the Foreign Legion company was unable to draw line of sight onto the helicopters, meaning they could rake the armoured cars with ATGM, rocket pods and their nose mounted heavy cannon. Needless to say, the armour of the AMX-10RC was insufficient to stand up to such a heavy bombardment, their only saving grace came from the concealment from the woods.

With them distracted looking up, the Guards Motor Rifle Company advanced in line ahead of them, seeking to push the river crossing in their amphibious vehicles.

One AMX-10RC was still composed enough to fire, dutifully destroying an enemy vehicle with the 90mm gun. However, one destroyed from a company with 10 vehicles was never going to slow the Russians down, as they pushed forward to the river's edge.

The Foreign Legion sought to more securely capture the bridgehead, to deny quick access to the other side for the enemy heavy T-72 tanks.

However by pushing forward they opened themselves up to return fire from the T-72, which was ruthless in the extreme. The few survivors pulled back into the cornfield to await reinforcements.

The Chasseurs were set to reinforce the pickets of defenders, but they were too far away to influence the battle immediatly.

The Soviets claimed initiative, quickly sending their Motor Rifle Company over the river, to destroy the last of the AMX-10RC.

It was at this time that the first formation of AMX-30B2 tanks arrived from their staging area, immediatly put in to battle. They opened fire on the enemy Recon BMPs, destroying them outright.

But return fire was quick in coming from the enemy T-72, who could now push themselves over the bridge, opening up on the lightly armoured French vehicles with their heavy main guns. The Hind-D rolled in on them as well, losing one of their number to a Roland SAM, but when the smoke cleared, there were only three remaining AMX-30 in the company.

The Second company of AMX-30 rolled on behind the first, firing their cannon at the T-72, causing no less than five of the heavy soviet tanks to erupt into a ball of flame. The remaining two tanks moved behind the cover of the bridge to protect themselves.

The final French reserve arrived in the form of three VAB Mephisto ATGM launchers, which immediatly engaged the large Motor Rifle Company, registering further hits on the company.

But it was not long before the weight of Soviet Air Power began to toll, the Su-24 aircraft rolled in onto the lead company of AMX-30B2, destroying them outright, the Hind-D rolled in onto the second company causing a full half of their number to be destroyed. The remaining T-72 engaged the remaining company with their cannon, destroying even more. The remanents of the foreign legion were mopped up by the Motor Rifle Company, and the three VAB Mephisto, all that was left attempted to stem the advance, but the damage was done. The Soviets had claimed the bridgehead, and with enough numbers to force their advantage.

Smoking wrecks, but a captured road through...

This was a cool game. It was a chance for us to try out a new Attacker/Defender style of mission, which really made the game interesting. My garrisons tried to hold off the whole soviet army, before the AMX-30s could come on to save the day. As it was, it was too little, too piecemeal and they got picked off as they arrived. Credit has to go to Adam for totally smashing me with his Air Support!

I do not miss the Crocodile.....

Another game friday, where I will flesh these rules out a bit more. I need to paint my Masters army, plus have a lot more 6mm that I want to do. And need to write reports and do the work thing.


Also, 40,000 people have looked at this blog (or one person has 40,000 times), so thanks very much for reading, I hope you have found something you liked!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

ACW Has arrived....

On Saturday, Craig delivered me my massive haul of ACW, ready for me to paint them up for The Gettysburg refight next year, as well as (hopefully) some good ACW gaming using Fire and Fury and Blackpowder too.

And it is quite a haul!

I am also adding some figures and heads from Steve Barber Miniatures, but more on them when they arrive.

This pile amounts to 6 boxes of infantry (216 Infantry), 2 boxes of Zouaves (84 infantry) three artillery pieces (with a 4th coming), mounted commanders and 12 cavalry. Just a little bit to paint!

I will be representing 1st Corps in its entirety for our refight, hopefully we will play the whole three days, so I will be able to use more than a skeletal force!

Some of them have been undercoated, hoping to have some test models done in the next day or two, stay tuned.

Plus I need to figure out what I want to take to masters! Too many choices!!


Monday, 12 November 2012

FOW Masters 2012- Where I am at....

*So, with all the tournaments I have been attending lately, and by virtue of doing alright in them, I have qualified for the NZ Masters FOW tournament.

Now it does sounds a bit self-proclaiming to talk about the masters, and I haven't really had any interest in it whatever. I attended a couple of years ago, and did really enjoy myself- but it all harks back to why I enjoy wargaming, the playing against enjoyable people!

So, my attempt to make myself sound like less of a %$#( by going to masters, on to the real list stuff.

There has been a whole lot of list frothing going on for the last month or so, this is what I had come up with..

Kampfgruppe Peiper

HQ- Two Kingtiger
Schwere Platoon- Kingtiger
Panzer Platoon- 4 Panzer IV
Panzer Platoon- 4 Panzer IV
SP AA Platoon- 3 Wirblewinds
Recon Platoon- 3 234/1

So, all armour, all Fearless Trained. Lots of big tanks, lots of little tanks and hopefully enough to keep me entertained!

So I took it to our FOW day yesterday (craig's report) to see how it would fare.

The first game was Surrounded, against Lionel, who was running Romanian Tanks. To sum up this game, everything in his army rolled Confident Veteran. Good. Plus we were playing the surrounded mission, I should have auto attacked, but didn't realise I had it, or didn't think about it. As it was, I really should have attacked!

Or I should have painted my Kingtigers...

As it was, the Kingtigers kept failing firepower rolls and then I kept failing motivation tests. On a 3+. Super...


So although I killed a few things, including assaulting Lionels artillery with Recon vehicles (awesome), I eventually died, and lost the objective.

So not a good start for the Kings!

Game two was against Keith, who was running a heavily reinforced company of Strelkovy.

We played a cauldron, with Keith defending. He deployed a whole lot of strelkovy in buildings, with some ISU-122s in a forest to keep my tanks honest. The game started auspiciously, I lost a Kingtiger in the first assault!


But from there, it was all German, all the time. Keith was unable to respond to my massive firepower (3 Wirblewinds firing directly into buildings while stationary!) and I just kept passing my firepower rolls. Which more or less meant the end of Keith!

No reserves prevented any last ditch efforts by Keith to change the result. A 5-2 win to the Germans.

It was at this point that I decided that KINGTIGERS ARE BORING! I have this issue frequently, and I am glad I realised this before time!

So I went home, and changed the army to US Paratroopers!

And they were a whole lot more fun. Chris W and I had a game, where his Kampfgruppe Kastner were attacking the Paras in a Fighting Withdrawl. He advanced his 4 StuH 42 assault guns too far forward, and they only got one round of shooting before they were ambushed first by the M18 Hellcats, then by a full platoon of US Paratroopers!

Needless to say, they all died. Then that platoon of paras proceeded to fight off no less than 2 full platoons of infantry, with the 3rd platoon being mangled in the attempt to destroy them. They died to a man, but they held up the enemy infantry assault so long that the other 2 platoons didn't lose a single stand!

The part which was the most fun was 2 platoons of 4 recon jeeps, who went off machinegunning the enemy gun teams. PaK 40s, mortars, they were all shot by the heavy calibre bullets.

So Masters is coming up, and I need to make a choice about what to take. I have a day at home tomorrow, so I plan to give it some serious thought, need to work out which I like the most!

But more on that tomorrow,


Friday, 9 November 2012

X-Wing: Because getting to say Pew Pew is cool

Lately in addition to the large amount of work I have been putting into 6mm Moderns (new rules, new armies), I have been playing a fair few games of the Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing rules (link), and on the whole, have found them awesome!

The rules themselves are pretty easy to pick up- you have attack dice and defense dice, you have a little dial that you can spin to work out how far you move. X-Wings have shields and better guns, but at TIE is ridiculously maneuverable and are dirt cheap, so there are lots of them!

I have been finding that it gets really interesting when both players are clued up to the rules. The games then become faster, pretty brutal and an actual test of tactics, I think it is like SAGA in that the game itself is simple, but the interactions etc is where the tactics (and interest) comes in.

Another plus for me is that the miniatures are really nice!

Here are some shots from different games we have had.

A TIE Fighter ready to begin the engagement

The X-Wing in this case is somewhat outnumbered (1-4 odds, that's about the ratio in the movies?)

A close up on an X-Wing

Adam an I have often found ourselves caught in a "furball" of fighters, this is before every aircraft initiates an Immelmann Turn to re engage.

Darth Vader with Red Pilot (posthumously named Mook) hot on his tail. Mook later exploded, but not long after Darth exploded too!

So, a very cool game. Nice and simple, but really fun. Comics (the Local Gaming Store) is going to (or thinking of?) running a 60 point competition, so I have been tinkering away at what would be the most fun to run.

5 Academy pilot (not even graduated yet) TIE Fighters would be wrong right?


FOW tomorrow, time to break out my Masters list.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Epic Moderns- Israeli Incursion Repulsed!

It had been a long time coming, but it was time to break out the 6mm Moderns again!

This time it was a full 4000 points of Israelis against a defensive force of Soviets.

The Israelis had invaded one of the (many) Soviet client states, the invasion led by one of their heavy armoured formations based around numerous M60 tanks, and under the cover of the IAF.

To counter this massive armoured thrust, the Soviets sent a large detachment of Naval Infantry, supported by T-72 tanks. Also attached were elements of the 3rd Guards Tank Regiment, One full company of T-72s, three companies of T-55, with a mechanised company in BMP-1s in support.

A leading tank company was deployed forward in the centre, with two Recon platoons in BMP tracked vehicles holding the urban area on the Soviet right flank.

The opening blasts of Soviet Artillery and Air Support ushered in the battle, causing few casualties among the enemy Anti-Aircraft and Tank formations.

The Israelis were quick to respond, causing massive casualties among the lead tank platoon which had adopted the forward position in the centre. Thankfully for their supporting companies they had managed to cause a smokescreen to protect the tanks advancing behind them.

The lead company was annihilated by the combined fire of two Israeli tank companies, TOW equipped M113s.

The IAF made their force felt first onto the Soviet artillery, a flight of F-16 aircraft equipped with missiles destroyed the entire artillery battery, then two flights of AH-1 Cobra gunships unleashed punishing fire onto the Naval Infantry company destroying their supporting tanks and some of their transports.

The return AA fire was totally underwhelming as all aircraft were able to escape.

It was at this point that Nicholai Valivesky and his BMP recon units sought to push the advantage, deciding to stall the massive formation of Israeli Paratroopers outside of the city, lest they get inside the protective walls. Valivesky brought his guns onto the enemy anti-aircraft units, destroying multiple enemy AA vehicles.

Vengeance was quick in coming, the full force of the paratrooper company was unleashed onto Valivesky and his men. Merkava tanks, Paratroop infantry and heavy armoured personell carriers destroyed the small unit, but crucially their advance was stalled outside of the city.

Return fire was enacted for Valivesky from a full Guards Armoured Tank Company of 10 T72 tanks, destroying first the enemy Merkava tanks, then beginning to systematically destroy the enemy transport, stranding the paratroopers outside the city limits.

The T-72 tanks supporting the Naval Infantry joined in the firing at the Paratrooper company, totally destroying the enemy transport. By this time, weight of fire had begun to toll onto the paratroopers, and once a third tank company, this time of T-55s joined the firing at the paratroopers, the paratrooper company was totally destroyed.

The Cobras rolled in onto the tanks, but to no avail, the damage was done. A full tank company of M60 tanks attacked the T-55s at close range. The Israelis were hampered by the close in fighting among the buildings, while able to destroy the lead T-55 tanks, they were quickly flanked and overwhelmed by the so called inferior T-55 vehicles.

The area outside of the city was filled with smoke and burning wrecks of tanks. Somewhere, in the centre of the smoke was Valivesky and his 4 BMPs.

With the end of the Paratroopers and their supporting Tank Company, the road was clear for the Naval Infantry BMPs to rush forward and claim the enemy Blitz objective.

With that, the battle was won for the Soviets. The Israelis engaged into attacks to attempt to push the Soviets off the objective, but the Soviet tank forces were too strong, and the Israelis were unable to recapture the objective.

Another really cool game of Moderns, I think our best yet! Our rules are coming along really well, little tweaks left now and it will be great!