Thursday, January 31, 2019

Another little tid-bit for the Housemartin

You should love this: Fascist Tank Olympics!

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

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 
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
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

United States AFVs for my tank rules

US Tanks & AFVs

M-2 Light Tank     Size  4    Armor  9
Move   Road   18"   Good  14"   Bad    10"   Obstacle -3"

M5 37mm cannon
Range      up to 6”       up to 24”           up to 60”
Dice            4d6             3d6+1               3d6-1    
to hit           +2                  0                      -1
Two shots per turn if stationary

Russian AFVs for my tank rules

 T-34/76      Size 5      Armor 16
Move: Road 18” Good 14” Bad 8” Obstacle -2”

76mm L41 cannon
Range     up to 6”         up to 30”        up to 60”
Dice        4d6+2              4d6-1               3d6
to hit        +2                     0                     -1

British AFVs for my tank rules

Carrier, Universal           Size       3                   Armor   9
Move; Road   20"      Good   15"     Bad   8"   Obstacle   -3"

Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55in, Boys
Range     up to 6”     up to 18”    up to 26”
Dice         2d6+3        2d6+1          2d6
to hit         +2               0                 -1


Bren LMG
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

Vickers MkVIb     Size 3     Armor 9
Move: Road 20” Good 16” Bad 6” Obstacle -3”

Vickers .50” HMG
Range up to 6”    up to 12”    up to 18”
Dice      2d6            2d6-2        1d6+1
to hit     +2                0                0

Thursday, January 17, 2019

OODA Loops,Training advantages, Perceived Time and other Wacky Thoughts (now with the card deck and templates)

      First off I would like to say thanks to my playtesters; R.U.P., J&R, Trunkmonkey, The Housemartin, Brad and Joe; your input has been valued and considered and the number of weekends of gaming time you devoted to my loony ideas is greatly appreciated. That said what follows is entirely my own fault, they all said I was nuts.

     As I was busy building stuff over the last few weeks I find that the activity of the hands frees the mind to wander along different paths. One of the things that I have been playing around with is a way to represent the advantage that highly skilled, highly motivated and confident troops have over their opponents. Simply making them shootier, or tougher to kill doesn't represent the advantage because the opponent still has a full range of choices and reactions every turn, they are just not as good at the mechanics (don't misread me there, the mechanics are part of the well-spring of better troops).

Warning! What comes next is a whole lot of observational and theoretical blather and then a set of  rules for WW2 tanks that is definitely a W.I.P.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

And we're offf to the Show!!!!

     I have finished the Wreck of Remagen project just in time to crate it all up and ship it out to Michigan Toy Soldier so that they can take it on the show circuit.  But, I thought that I would let my loyal viewers (and any confused soul who has wandered here inadvertently) a first glance at the completed gaming table. All of the panels except the bridgehead one are geomorphic. they can be rotated and re positioned to give a different field of play in each game. The model was constructed entirely of blueboard (except for the sand and kitty litter) so it weighs nearly nothing.

the Park will gain a statue for the top of the hill 
as soon as I can figure out where I put that crate of 54mm collector figures a few years back

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

General Ludendorff, here is your bridge

     In a burst of energy I managed to get the other five panels painted, flocked and ready to go, which left me with no further excuses for not tackling the towers that are the iconic symbol of the Ludendorff Bridge. I took a long look at the photos of the bridge, fired up my faithful assist Proxxie and got to cutting foam. After a few hours I had this.

the massive octagonal towers featured machine gun positions near the base

Monday, January 7, 2019

Now all that is left is the towers

     In a burst of creative energy I completed the rest of the panels that represent the ruins of Remagen, now all I have to do is figure out how to get the two massive towers and a railway onto the remaining 2'x2' panel. Needless to say there will be a cartoonish amount of compression going here.

along the way the park and the "not an intersection" panels got a coat of gray paint
the loony road net was inspired by my trip to Boston;
the city where you can see where you want to be but none of the roads will get you there

the pile of blue rubble in the corner is where the towers will stand 

suitably grim, 
but how do I compress it without losing that absurd sense of massive Teutonic power

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Damage Continues to Spread..

     So I had a couple of hours to myself this afternoon. Football had entered a phase that leaves me cold and no hockey on that I cared to watch so I found myself in the workshop once more. I need to complete five more panels to go with the test panel so there was nothing for it but to get stuck in. I framed up two more 2'x2' panels and got to work, first was a park with a small hill in the middle the other panel was a non-intersection. These are intended for use with What a Tanker rules and from past experience long lanes of fire tend to lead to static games of sniping. To avoid this I'm doing my best to break up the roadway with obstructions that shorten line of sight and allow lots of maneuver

knowledge is power (aided by gravity)
I'm sure that the verbose Sir Charles Oman 
had no idea how helpful he would be to my terrain projects 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Sometimes a new coat of paint can't make everything look better

     Having finished the build on the test panel last night I got up early and put a coat of dark gray housepaint over the whole thing. After a couple pof hours of drying-time I then gave the interior of the buildings a good spray with Krylon Primer Matte Black followed by a lighter spray of Gray Primer followed with a dusting of Matte White Primer. After allowing this to dry I think that might just be enough to make this good to go for a game......just five more panels to go!

"mistint gray", I wonder if that is a real color?
it has been a bit since I did any ruins,
 I should have held off on the kitty litter until after painting,
it soaked up an amazing amount of paint

Friday, January 4, 2019

I Ruined It!....a little re-think

      Well, that is a bit of a lie; it implies that there was a "think" going into this project. There is nothing like hands-on to bring things into focus. So I took a deep breath and did the most unlikely thing, I stopped in mid-stride and decided to build one 2x2 foot panel rather than going whole hog  and ending up in the wrong place. Having learned the hard way with the Castillo project I decided to use a wafer-board base and attach a frame around the underside before I started adding buildings (there were a few scary moments while I was nailing the completed Castillo model to the frames)

with the frame drying I began to try out different looks, 
 my first thought was to run the roads at a 45 degree angle

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Madness moving at break-neck speed!

      I have to confess, few things get my wargaming blood up more than a new, over-the-top, terrain project. I have been throttling back since the Castillo because my space is finite (ample, but there is a limit to everything). However, when the proprietor of the local brick-and-mortar suggested that he needed some interesting terrain to haul around to wargaming conventions to promote his blend of What A Tanker and the Chibi Tanks that have flooded the modelling scene lately I couldn't resist the chance to build something big, silly and scheduled to leave my house just after completion. They were planning on hosting a game reflecting the US seizure of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen near the end of WW2 and needed a battered town and the German end of the could I resist?

 so there I was, with my trusty Proxxon Hot Wire cutter and a pile of blueboard.........
how many of my crazy stories start like that?

Trying to keep up the pace....

     I might have over-done it on New Years Day, but I'm going to try to keep up the pace as long as I can manage. Today I completed the ME-109e that I had assembled on the 1st. I had forgotten how much longer aircraft take to paint. This wasn't helped by my refusal to buy special Luftwaffe colors for this one-off project which resulted in my hand-mixing all of the colors. All the same, the Airfix kit is a delight to build and very well detailed with good decals. I built it with the gear up and trimmed off the props (I resisted the urge to put a thin sheet of clear plastic on as spinning blades) then stuck a bit of steel to the bottom to give my magnetic aircraft flight base a thing to hold onto. No IPMS show stopper here but a decent looking model all the same.

again I'm left to wonder why they bothered with camouflage 
when the aircraft is covered with huge markings and has yellow wingtips

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Hitting the Ground Running

    Having looked backward in my last post I have decided to look only forward with this one. To start the year off right I spent most of New Year's day in the workshop and got a couple of things dome and a few more started. Having a hard deadline of 12JAN19 (Spartacon) really put a fire under me to complete some of these tasks so I can't claim an entirely altruistic motivation. Truth be told all of these little projects are to support games that I am running there. I'm signed up for another convention in February and a further one in March; hopefully I can maintain this level of productivity!

templates for my WW2 tank game; artillery, strafing-run, dive-bomber
these support mission come in three levels of intensity so the templates reflect that;
mounting board and acrylic paints did the trick