Friday, May 24, 2019

Centrafrique


Central African Republic
Why Spend Hundreds On A Name-Brand African Country?

Don't let the generic name fool you- the Central African Republic provides the same quality of poverty, disease, and corruption as it name-brand African neighbors.

-the ONION: Our Dumb World, Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition


**************************************************************************************************************


During the 2013 French military intervention (titled: Operation Sangaris) in the Central African Republic, part of it's mission was the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the warring parties.  As opposed to many other ineffective intervention missions, the French forces in CAR were readily given the mandate that this was a "peace enforcement" mission, rather than just peacekeeping.  Combine this with ever-changing groups of rebels, an African Union led peacekeeping force, the changeover to a proper UN led force, and ever-present corruption within the CAR government itself, one is provided with an endless variety of wargaming opportunities.


We will pick up the action set in early April 2014:   A French helicopter has crashed while on operations south of the town of Boguila.  Nothing has been received since the pilot reported their rough location, but the area is known to be a hostile area within Seleka controlled territory.

Come sort out an equatorial African crisis!

Saturday (5-25-2019) at my house.
TIME: 630pm
Rules will be Spectre Operations (skirmish level game)



(If you have a drink of choice, please bring it as I have not bothered to stock any of your wines/whiskeys/ect ect)




Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Fort Meigs walkaround

     One of the big benefits of attending Drums on the Rapids is that admittance to the fort is included in the entrance fee. The fort is well worth far more than the fee charged.
      With the fall of Detroit to the British this area became the far Northwestern corner of the US position in the War of 1812. Built in the first few months of 1813 under horrific weather conditions by a mixed force of Regulars and militia it was completed just in time to thwart the advancing British and their Native American allies. The replica fort was built, and is maintained by, the Ohio History Connection in conjuction with the Fort Meigs Association.
       Surrounded by a circuit of almost 2500 yards this is a truly major fortification for the location and period, I found myself marveling at the industry and sense of purpose that the original builders must have brought to their task. The fort was built to overlook the rapids of the Maumee river, in a period when rivers functioned as highways this was a vital choke-point and the fort could control the passage of troops and supplies upriver.
       Below is a picture of the fort as it is today, courtesy Google Earth. The walk-through follows the path in a clockwise route from the western entrance.


Castillo de San Marcos, walkaround


 
     I have been going to visit the Castillo de San Marcos on an almost yearly basis for over thirty years. The fact that it located in the delightful seaside town of Saint Augustine Florida doesn't detract from its allure. As the oldest continuously occupied European site in North America I greatly enjoy the sense of history. The Spanish started building forts here shortly after claiming Florida as their own. Repeated piratical visits by all and sundry (combined with the regular burning of the town) finally led the Spanish authorities to take the plunge and build a proper stone fortress to replace the often-destroyed wooded ones. The result was the magnificent stone structure that still stands today.

an aerial view of the Castillo courtesy of Google Earth

WARNING! THIS IS A VERY LARGE POST AND IS VERY PICTURE INTENSIVE

Monday, May 20, 2019

Acheson Creations

     One of the supporting vendors that were at Drums was Acheson Creations. I have not encountered their products before this point (much to my chagrin) and have to say they are top notch. All the items that I examined were cast in a fine light pale gray resin with no visible bubbles and no trace of tackiness or smell. I often avoid ordering resin products due to prior bad experiences with casting issues but these are delightfully devoid of problems. Take a look at the website they produce simply tons of stuff!

of course I picked up the odd item (or two)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Drums at the Rapids convention report



     For years I have been promising myself that I would make it to Drums and, for one reason or another, never have. This year I attended and realized just what I've been missing out on. The convention takes place in the museum and visitor's center of the historical Fort Meigs. This fortuitous situation allows one the opportunity to play in a wide variety of games as well as tour the museum and grounds (which I did and which will be subject of another post). This is a relaxed and friendly convention which provided a good selection of games throughout the weekend

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

This is my new favorite coffee

            SNOWFLAKE ALERT!!!  SNOWFLAKE ALERT !!!!  SNOWFLAKE ALERT !!!


         If you are a fan of "Safe Zones" and other such nonsense you won't want to watch this. If you think supporting our Vets is a good thing you will appreciate this brand. The advertisement is damned funny and the coffee is very good too! Watch a few of the other videos too, this really is a great Vet-oriented company and deserves our support


*** INTERRUPTION - - - INCOMING TRANSMISSION ***



---this message is to advise you of an upcoming wargame---


DATE: 05/25/2019

TIME: 1830hrs

VENUE: SECRET CIA WARGAMING BLACK SITE

More game details to follow.


Interested parties can contact me directly for location details.  The normal website administrator will otherwise contact you in time.




*****  END TRANSMISSION  *****

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Up For Grabs Part III 1/300 WW2 Aircraft CLOSED


    I have been digging around locating the rest of the sub-15mm stuff. I knew that I had this box hiding in the back corner of The Vault but it took me a couple of days to locate it (it didn't help that it was mislabeled and in the wrong space!). These come from a series of false-starts; an effort to play Avalon Hill's B-17, Queen of the Skies with minis, a brief fascination with the early airwar over the Pacific and a short-lived interest in the British air-arm.

     The usual rules apply, leave a comment claiming the set of minis that you would like and then email me at daftrica 89 @ yahoo . com with your address. No payment required. My only demand is that you donate whatever the postage costs to a local Veterans Charity.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Gaming Dates, new and updated!

     It looks like I will be able to swing games on the following dates;
        
        
          Thursday  23MAY19 at 1830hrs-2130hrs

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Up For Grabs II CLOSED

I'm continuing to clean house and have a couple more items for your consideration.

Please remember that I don't want any payment, just your solemn promise to donate to your local Veteran's charity  an amount to match at least whatever the shipping cost is to me.

This is strictly first-come, first-served, proof is the time-stamp on your post in the comments.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Up For Grabs I CLOSED All have found good homes

     As part of my housekeeping/cleaning I referred to earlier I have decided to shed a number of projects that I am certain that I will never finish. I asked around in my usual gaming circle and some found takers while others didn't. I now am expanding the circle to include all of my loyal followers. Listed below you will find the collections that I am giving away.

     First person to respond in the Comments section will be the new owner of one of these collections. One collection each please! I will ship for free inside the continental U.S. and only ask that, once the package is in hand, you donate whatever my postal cost was to a local Veteran's Program of your choice. I rely on your honesty.

Book Review; Peter The Great's Revenge ( The Russian Siege of Narva 1704)



     Once again Boris Megorsky and Helion Books have combined to bring us a most illuminating volume. In 255 pages Megorsky takes us through the siege that avenged the crushing defeat that the Russians had suffered at the hands of the Swedes just four short years before. I must admit that I was at first concerned at just how readable a diary of a siege would be (they did tend to be plodding affairs, almost like a very slow waltz). To my pleasant surprise I found the text easy to read and nicely paced. This is probably the most interesting story of a siege that I have read since I found the "Siege of Dendermonde" in the old Battle magazine back in the mid 1970's with the added bonus of being a factual account.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Reaper Bones VI, unboxing

      Justice&Rule (known here largely as J&R) has long been a fan of the Reaper "Bones" series and has collected most of the prior issues. He has added "Bones" version IV to his collection and brought the box by the other night to show off his new toys. And what a collection of minis is is! I just wish that they would do a similar Kickstarter for an historical figure line (Vikings spring to mind, complete with Norse Gods, a meadhall and a couple of small boats). I turn the narrative over to him.....


here it is!  33lbs of minis!
that is an ambitious painting schedule!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Book Review, The Russian Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21 from Helion Books



     I have to commend Mr. Megorsky and Helion for producing a volume that will provide the wargamer with almost all of the information that they need to build, organize and paint a miniature force to represent the Russian army of the Great Northern War. Tipping the scales at slightly less than 300 pages this magnum opus brings together a vast amount of information, most of it from original sources, that simply isn't available to the average English-speaking hobbyist. As the subtitle says it covers organization, materiel, training, combat experiences and uniforms. I would unreservedly recommend this book to anyone building a Petrine Russian army. It simply is the best single-source  volume that I have ever seen on the subject. While certainly not a leisurely read this is a rock-solid reference that you will find yourself looking into time after time.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hey!! Look!! Even MORE gaming dates!!!!!!

     I will be gaming this coming Thursday, 25APR19 at18:30-2130hrs

     Another game is tenatively scheduled for Thursday, 2MAY19 at 1830-2130

Schedule is currently open so if there is something you want to play just drop it in the Comments section or call me.

Friday, April 19, 2019

This is worth a look

all those hours making my own guns 
and I could have bought these for just over three dollars

      As I stumble around on the internet I occasionally find some Really Cool Stuff, I think that this falls into that category Anyscale Models makes an astounding array of goodies at very reasonable prices. Railway scenics (terrain goodies to us wargamers), weapons and vehicles are all covered. They make most products in 15mm, 20mm and 28mm. Well worth a look for any post WW1 gamer.

who would have thought that you could get a 
WW2 Japanese halftrack at a reasonable price?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book Review; The Swedish Army in the Great Northern War 1700-21


     Returning to the group of books that I got at Christmas time I will look at Helion's The Swedish Army In The Great Northern War 1700-21 by Lars Ericson Wolke. I have long been interested in this conflict, it is a demonstration of how, through training, discipline and willpower, a tiny nation can impose (for a while) its policies upon its neighbors. The tool that allowed the Swedish monarchs to do just that was the Swedish Army.  In just over 100 pages this book provides the reader with an insight into the inner workings of that army. If I had to recommend just one book one this subject this would be my choice, it certainly provides a wargamer with everything they would need to hit the ground running.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Follow up on the Quarterly Review, Good Bye to the Wee Lads

2mm ACW, it seemed like a great idea at the time

     I have decided to work my way through my collection starting with the smallest scales and moving larger. This is largely due to the realization that my eyes are not clear enough, and my hands are not steady enough, to deal with micro-scale minis any more. Thus all of my "half-done" projects are stuck in a state of stasis. As this violates the first three rules; "rational", "attainable" and "desirable" the tiny figures are at the head of the parade out of The Vault. I intend to offer them around to my wargaming buddies first, then either put them on Ebay at fire-sale prices or find somebody who is new to the hobby and pass them along as a starter set.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Quarterly review; bemusement, appraisal and assessment

     I try to stick to matters relating to The Hobby on this blog so I don't often do posts regarding myself; but I suspect that there are a few other fellows out there in a similar position as I am so please allow me this moment of introspection. I have for some years sat myself down at the end of each quarter and looked back over the previous three months to review my progress (or otherwise) toward achieving my goals. I also use this opportunity to review my goals (are they still rational/attainable/desirable/affordable) and set forth my aims for the coming months. Frankly, the first quarter of this year has been a bit of a disaster. I got off to a roaring start and then burned out like a meteorite entering the atmosphere.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Strelets-R 20mm 1/72 12lbr Whitworth Rifle with Confederate Crew

  
the cover art, 
it provides a basic guide for Confederate artillery uniforms
     Not to be seen as unfair Strelets matches the recent Union 30lbr Parrot rifle with an opposite number; the Confederate 12lb Whitworth. Again I find myself applauding the choice of a cannon aside from the ubiquitous 12lb Napoleon. The Confederacy imported many examples of Whitworth rifle during the war. It was one of the few breach-loading cannon used by either side and was greatly favored for counter-battery fire due to its almost uncanny accuracy. The model is cast in pale gray plastic that takes detail well. The crew is mostly depicted in shirt-sleeves order (a more common sight given the heat of the campaigning season in the South). They are wearing kepis and could be swapped back and forth with the Union gun crew to provide even more variety. The kit provides three guns and twenty-one crewmen, all of whom are in effective, active poses.

      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Strelets-R 20mm ACW Confederates Skirmishing

  
box art, nicely done, 
a refreshing change from the odd photo-shopped  covers on some of Strelet's sets


    Strelets continues its march to dominate the 20mm ACW space with yet another excellent set of superbly useful figures. Both the dioramist and the wargamer will enjoy this set of Confederate Infantry Skirmishing. These figures can be mixed with the other Strelets Confederate sets to produce a scene or unit that has no repeated figures; they can also be mixed with Union figures as there was a great deal of similarity in the uniforms. The sculpting has many dynamic poses, the figures are all realistically proportioned  and are equipped in light order (no backpacks/bedrolls). The miniatures are cleanly cast in a light gray plastic that is reasonably stiff and which holds detail very well.


      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Strelets-R 20mm ACW; Picketts Charge #3

 
 the cover art is representative, if uninspired
it does provide some guidance as to colors for painting
     Completing the Pickett's Charge trifecta is this set of miniatures. Again Strelets has done the unnecessary, but vastly appreciated, favor of sculpting and casting yet another set of charging Rebels. These well-detailed and very active miniatures are cast in the now-familiar light gray plastic and display a high level of detail. Mixing these with the previous two sets will enable the modeler to recreate the chaotic last moments of Pickett's famous charge.


      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website


Strelets-R 20mm ACW Union Infantry Firing

 
 the box art isn't inspirational 
but it does give a clear idea of how to paint the minis and what one will find inside
        Strelets has offered an excellent set of Union Infantry, these are in firing poses. All are in good active poses, some are very convincingly leaning into the recoil. These figures are cast in a stiff,  bright blue plastic that takes detail very well. The figures display very little flash and are deeply sculpted which will make painting a breeze. The variety of the positions will allow the modeller or gamer to create a very realistic firing line; some men loading others taking aim  as still more deliver fire. I can see these fellows lining a stone wall at the top of a hill waiting for the previous three boxes of Pickett's charge to come storming uphill at them.


      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Strelets-R 20mm 1/76th 30lbr Parrot Rifle with Union crew

  
front of the box, 
it gives a good idea of how to paint Union artillerymen


      Taking a break from the flood-tide of infantry releases Strelets has paused to provide the Union with some artillery. I applaud the choice of subject as well, instead of another model of the 12lbr Napoleon (which is already widely available from other manufacturers) they have chosen to model a 30lbr Parrot rifle. Cast in the now-familiar bright blue plastic this kit provides three model guns with a seven man crew.


      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website


Strelets-R 20mm 1/72 Union Infantry Charging #3

  
The box art provides basic information for painting

     Strelets-R continues to flood the 20mm plastic market with new American Civil war minatures. This current subject is the third edition of Union Troops at the charge. The Confederates hold the prize for the most famous futile charge with Pickett's Charge, but the Union was known to have tried the idea a time or two (Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, The Crater). On a smaller scale both sides often tried to advance to decide the issue with the bayonet. Strelets provides us with 36 figures molded in bright blue plastic (plus three Muscovite infantry). The miniatures are cleanly cast in a stiff, but flexible, plastic that shows detail very well. The figures are well-sculpted and proportioned and depict men charging energetically toward the enemy. All of the figures (except for the three Muscovites with halberds) are depicted wearing the knee-length coat and kepis with light equipment. All are in useful poses and will mix readily with the previous two sets to proved the modeller or gamer with a very good variety of positions.


      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Strelets-R US Cavalry skirmishing






     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Strelets-R USA Infantry on the March



     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Strelets-R Union Infantry Standing


     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Strelets-R Union Infantry in Attack 2





     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Strelets-R Union Infantry In Attack 1

box art

     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Strelets-R Pickett's Charge 2



     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale. Well proportioned, cleanly cast with enough variety to make it look like men moving under fire this is a great addition to the available figures for the US Civil War.

Strelets-R Pickett's Charge 1





     Strelets-R has moved into the US Civil War in a big way having recently released nine different boxes of figures in the "semi-hard" plastic that is becoming the standard in 1/72 (20mm) scale.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Review; The Army of James II 1685-1688


     Way back in 1987 I bought a copy of this title's predecessor; it was a laboriously type-written fifty-some page softbound book that displayed all of the primitive standards of the wargames publishing industry of the era. What shone through the crude material presentation was the immense amount of data gathered on what, at that time, was an incredibly unlikely subject. The energy and passion that Ede-Borrett has lavished on this subject was evident on every page. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Review; Peter The Great Humbled


     Second in the list of books I will be reviewing is  is the above-mentioned title. In 1711 Peter the Great, no doubt feeling his oats after his smashing victory at Poltava, embarked on a campaign against the Ottoman Empire with the aim of forcing Charles XII out of the Ottoman domains and detaching a couple of Slavic provinces from Ottoman control. As one could guess from the title things went rather badly for Tsar Peter and his army. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Book Review Marlborough's Other Army





    Things happen that make me think that I did a decent job of being a father; like asking for some books from Helion for Christmas and seeing my kids going out of their way to make sure every title ends up under the Christmas tree. As a result I will be opining on the books as I finish reading them.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Panther




     Wrapping up my sweep through my pile of unbuilt Zvezda kits we now are going to consider the Panther kit. Everything that I said about the last three kits goes equally well for this model. The design is innovative and elegant, the detail and quality of casting are unparalleled. Frankly I am running out of glorifying adjectives to use on these models. This kit is cast in a hard, pale gray plastic and shows no sign of flash and you can only find the faintest of mold lines after a thorough examination. This kit again pushes the envelope for snap-tight kits with an innovative approach and an exacting attention to detail. 

      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Jagdpanther


     Zvezda continues to push the envelope on snap-fit models with this kit. I have to admit that I was concerned when I saw that the instructions no longer fit on the back of the box. The model is cleanly molded in hard, pale gray plastic with no trace of flash and only the slightest hint of mold-lines. Detail, fit and finish are all first-rate, as has become the standard with Zvezda kits.  Frankly, when I unpacked the kit and took a look at the way that the designer had sectioned the model into parts and the assembly procedure I thought to myself that the good people at Zvezda had clearly crossed the line into madness. Read on to see just how wrong I was.

       This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Zvezda 1/100 ISU-152


     Continuing in my effort to get caught back up on my kit reviews I built the Zvezda SU-152. This monster filled a dual-role in the Soviet arsenal; it excelled at smashing bunkers and functioned very well as a "Big Cat Killer" being able to take on Tigers and Panthers with a decent chance of success. The model is molded in hard green plastic that takes detail very well. The level of detail n this kits is very good; delicate and in proportion. It took me about ten minutes to assemble this kit. One thing that I would like to point out when building a very precise snap-together kit is that you need to pay very careful attention to removing the the flow channels that connect the part to the sprue. Even a tiny bit of left over plastic can cause the parts to fit unevenly (we won't talk about the events that brought me to that Epiphany). Just be sure that you have the sprues trimmed back and flush before you start assembly.
 
      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

The Zvezda 1/100 T-44



      It has been ages since I did any kit reviews and I'm way behind. I had a little while  to spend so I grabbed a few of the kits that have been waiting patiently in The Vault and put them together. First up is the Russian T-44, the descendant of the famous T-34 series and the direct predecessor to the ubiquitous T-54/55 series, the T-44 was little known in the west until fairly recently. It began as a potential replacement for the T-34 but the Soviet High Command did not want to suspend production on the main assembly line to introduce this new model so "only" about 2000 were made in secondary factories.
     This kit is up to the usual standards for a Zvezda snap-together kit. It is crisply molded in hard green plastic and assembles easily. Fit and finish are remarkable for a snap together model ( I glued mine just to be on the safe side).

       This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Game this Saturday, starting about 1700hrs

So, I finally managed to free up a few hours this Saturday and it looks like I will be able to run a game or two. I am free from about 5pm on so show up when you can and we will roll some dice and push some lead soldiers around!

Monday, March 4, 2019

A First Taste of Rebels and Patriots


        Joe and I gave Rebels and Patriots and try as soon as I got my copy home from Michigan Toy Soldier. Although clearly showing its bloodline this is a very different game from Pikeman's Lament or The Men Who Would Be Kings. The rules purport to cover the era from colonization through the ACW. To my mind that may be asking a bit from a simple set of rules, but further testing will have to be done before I make up my mind. 
     As a first play-test I dusted off a collection of 15mm Texas Revolution/ Mexican-American War that I had picked up at a convention years ago and had not been used for lack of rules. We ran a game from each period using the army lists provided in the rules and Scenario #1 from the rule book, this requires two scouting forces meeting and trying to hold onto a specific terrain point.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Flintcon 2019, a photo review

     Just last weekend I had the opportunity to attend FlintCon in Flint Michigan; now in its fourth year this is a fun convention with a delightfully relaxed atmosphere and lots of really good games, not to mention the outstanding Bring&Buy. The company was convivial, the food was good, and everyone seemed to enjoying themselves immensely. I ran games in the first and second sessions and thus most of the photos are from my able Associate Editor, J&R. Apologies to any games that we missed.

 just a sample of what was on offer,
Bastion Games had everything from soup to nuts, or pikemen to Panzers

a massive collection of resin ships in 28mm caught my eyes,
and nearly my wallet

then there was the 1/6 scale (that is 330mm size) Stuart


And Finally......Spartacon 2019

     It has been a disastrously hectic month for me and I have failed to bring this coverage of Spartacon 2019 to you, gentle readers, my apologies.  Hosted at the Lansing Center in Lansing Michigan in January. Once again the weather was sublime and the games were gorgeous while the Spartacon staff were friendly and helpful. I ran two games so wasn't able to get around to the tables as I had wished, photos are credited to my Associate Editor J&R, apologies to some of the games that got missed. I have tried to credit the Gamemaster and note the rules when possible.

(AEd Note: Personal apologies from myself as well. My internet is terrible and I missed our weekend games where I had intended to pass off the pictures. - JnR)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Airfix HS-129 1/72 scale


Airfix always had cool box-art

     Still, in need of air support for my Late WW2 German force I dug around in The Vault and found this kit; a 1/72nd scale Airfix Henschel HS-129 attack aircraft. Unlike it's cousins the ME-109 and HS-123 this was a bit of an ugly beast of a kit. It certainly showed its age with raised panel lines, lots of flash and very poor fit of parts. But it fit the bill perfectly for a late war tank buster so it was off to the build table so that it was ready in time for Flintcon. A whole ton of sanding and swearing and it was completed, at least the decals were nice and thin

it started out looking like this,
hardly inspiring


the cannon looks ridiculous but is accurately sized

only the Nazis would hang a 75mm anti-tank gun under such a tiny plane

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Looking for a little help from my friends.....

    OK, you don't have to like me, or even know me. I just want to pick the collective brains of the wargaming community out there (particularly the Old Grognards that might remember playing with these minis). A friend of mine just acquired a vast lot of minis of considerable age (the original owner had been kind enough to write dates on the bottom of the bases, most are from the early1970s) and I am frankly stumped as to the origin of most of them. So please grab a cup of coffee or other adult beverage and scroll though memory lane and see if you can lend me a hand.

       If you recognize any of them please post in the comments, I am currently searching through old magazines looking for illustrated catalogs.

28mm average build
 many more after the break

Monday, February 4, 2019

Early Western Desert Command Cards

     These are for the period of time up to the beginning of the German involvement in the North African Campaign. The Italian player will find that he has to plan things in advance, move carefully and get lucky to prevail. The British will find things very much in their favor (I AM trying to be historical here guys!). This will, to a large extent, offset the gigantic numerical disparity between the opposing sides. These cards go with my WW2 rules which can be found by following this link.

Who All is going to Flintcon?

Perhaps we can carpool a little and save some gas....

Answer below or text me, I'm leaving early (06:30hrs) because I have to set up a game in the first session

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Changing Gears...

     I have to take a break from data collecting and rules-writing for a week. I am putting together the two games that I will be running at Flintcon. I still have several nations of tank data to complete (The Baltics, the Balkans and China) as well as a host of anti-tank guns to complete. After that I will put together the rules for infantry and close combat.

          Chuck, hang in there, I have started on a Command Card deck for Western Desert (the early Italian/British phase).

          In the meanwhile I am busy sorting and packing the Castle Siege game and an Operation Bagration game for the 9th. Drop by Flintcon and see the rules in action (or berate me for leaving out your favorite vehicle!).

Friday, February 1, 2019

French Anti Tank Guns



 mitrailleuse de 13,2 mm CA mle 1930   Size 2    Armor  3

Range     up to 6”     up to 18”    up to 26”
Dice         2d6+3        2d6+2          2d6
to hit         +2              +1                0
 Three shots per turn if stationary

Japanese Anti-tank guns

Type 97 automatic cannon     Size 2      Armor 3

Range     up to 6”     up to 18”    up to 26”
Dice         2d6+3        2d6+1          2d6-1
to hit         +2              +1                0
 Two shots per turn if stationary

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Another little tid-bit for the Housemartin

You should love this: Fascist Tank Olympics!

https://youtu.be/v2k1ufmDNO4

I might have to re-write the stats for the later FT-17 mods, those little antiques seem to get along just fine in the video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Low Countries

    The final installment of nations are Belgium and The Netherlands; both had tiny military establishments compared to their neighbors; trusting instead to their proclaimed neutrality and The League of Nations until far too late. Between the two nations they only produced a few vehicles, purchasing most of their equipment from other nations. A few imported vehicles are presented here as they were not employed by other combatants in WW2.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Finnish AFVs

     The tiny nation of Finland was invaded by the Soviets in 1939. Through that winter the Finnish army managed to hold off the invading Russians, capturing vast amounts of war material. At the prodding, and hoping to recapture land lost at the end of the Winter War, the Finns joined in as a Co-Belligerent when the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa. Through all of this they had only the smallest of forces. As far as armor goes they had no local production, only some modifications to vehicles purchased or captured. As all of the other vehicles come from other nations I will concentrate exclusively on the home-grown products.

Hungarian AFVs

     The Kingdom of Hungary was a member of the Axis alignment in a less-than-enthusiastic manner. They had more reasons to go to war with their neighbors than to fight against the Soviet  Union. However the Nationalist government wanted to regain territories lost to the adjoining countries  of Romania and Yugoslavia and they decided to ride on Hitler's coattails in an effort to achieve that objective. In the end they were dragged into a war with Russia (and by proxy the rest of the Western Allies) and were rewarded with a half-century under the Soviet boot.

Japanese AFVs

     Most people don't consider Japan as a Land Power in the Second World War but they fielded massive armies on the Asian continent from 1931 until the end of hostilities. Although not a blitzkrieg type of force they had a large number of tanks and other AFVs.


Polish AFVs

      Poland was abandoned by her allies when the Nazis and the Russian colossus decided to dismember the young nation. Her armed forces put up a valiant fight but were doomed from the beginning. Poland had some indigenous designs and was beginning to manufacture tanks on a significant basis just before the war broke out.

Monday, January 28, 2019

French Tanks

    The French army had dozens of different projects underway for the the years preceding the Second World War, most of which rarely made it past the drawing board much less into a prototype. I have tried to concentrate my efforts on vehicles that were made in some numbers and actually saw combat. If you see a glaring omission please post a note in the comments section I will do my best to rectify the issue.

Romanian AFVs

         Although the West has little knowledge of it Romania was the third largest Axis power fielding large armies into southern Russian throughout the war. The Romanian army bought tanks from several sources and was given material support by the Germans in the shape of tanks, armored cars and half-tracks.

Command Card Deck, Eastern Front JUN44-JAN45

     I have been working on a Command Card Deck for the next game that I'm presenting at Flintcon on 9FEB19. Rather than take hard-to-read photos of the deck I am presenting it here in a neatly typed format (you can thank me later).  As always comments, suggestions and criticism are all welcome.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

UK, US, Italian and USSR anti-tank guns

Below the break you will find the Anti-tank guns of Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia

Saturday, January 26, 2019

German Antitank Guns

German
3.7 cm KwK 36 L/45         Size   2         Armor   7
 
Range      up to 6”       up to 24”           up to 48"       up to 72"
Dice            4d6             4d6-1                3d6+1             3D6-1
to hit           +2                  0                      -1                    -2

Just to keep the Housemartin happy; the dreaded Soviet floating (and flying) tanks

     My long-standing friend (and my Nemesis in my quest to find the most obscure and outlandish subject to wargame; he currently holds the title with the Russians vs the Aleuts in Alaska @1750) kindly pointed out that I had missed a couple of significant Soviet tanks so he I am correcting that oversight.

Soviet tank crews looking for a good fishing spot

Friday, January 25, 2019

My WW2 Rules, now with links to AFV data sheets

To save everybody who might be interested the bother of reading past the explanatory article I have re-posted the WW2 tank rules below. In the process I have added the Data Sheets for the Early Desert British and Italians forces.

The Rules 

Kudos to my friend Chuck Scholti for proofreading them and correcting my awful English.
 
The Fluid Time Concept

This game uses a fluid time concept. Each turn is composed of various Impulses, each of which are represented by a card. Cards are assigned on a weighted basis to reflect the skill, training and flexibility of the different sides. Better troops have more cards, and are likely to have more options on those cards thus making them more flexible in combat.

Because we are using a fluid time concept units are considered to continue to be doing what their last action was until another card for them is drawn. Thus, if they moved on their last Impulse card they will be considered to be moving by anyone shooting at them, or trying to spot them; if they instead shoot on their next Impulse card they will be considered to be shooting on the move. If they choose not to move on the next Impulse card they will lose their “Moving” marker and be considered stationary for subsequent interactions.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

German AFVs for my tank rules



Panzer I                 Size 3     Armor  8
Move: Road 14” Good 10” Bad 6” Obstacle -5”

2xMG13 MMG
Range    up to 6”      up to 18”  
Dice           2d6            2d6-2        
to hit        +2                   0                  
two shots per turn if stationary and not changing target

Italian AFVs for my tank rules





CV 33       Size 2      Armor 8
Move:    Road 16”     Good 10”     Bad 6”     Obstacle -3”

8mm Breda MG
Range       up to 6”      up to 16”
Dice          2d6-2            1d6
to hit          +2                  0 
or
20mm Autocannon
Range    up to 6”      up to 18”     up to 26”
Dice        2d6+3          2d6+1          2d6
to hit        +2                +1                0
two shots per turn if stationary and not changing target
or 
13.2mm Breda HMG
Range     up to 6”     up to 18”    up to 26”
Dice         2d6+3        2d6+2          2d6
to hit         +2              +1                0
May fire twice if stationary