Sunday, 18 December 2011

YCW Christmas Do

This festive weekend was the Yorkshire Coast Wargamers Christmas 'do'. Myself, Richie, Peeler and Roger played a rather unexpectedly protracted Zulu war game using DbC (Colonial) rules, designed by our friend and fellow YCW'er Alex Testo.

The game lasted a good couple of hours. The Zulu's steadily advanced on the main British lines and were held back for some time until a flanking Zulu force arrived and forced the British to spilt the line. Despite heroic actions from the British skirmishers and one 'Hooray Henry' NCO the Zulus won grinding down the British lines. Surprisingly ineffective fire from the British infantry and artillery let the side down despite heavy Zulu losses. The remaining main body of British were eventually surrounded, leaving only remnants of baggage and a few skirmishers to escape.

Richie and Roger fieled the Zulu impi's while myself commanded the British, with much needed direction and umpiring from Peeler.

I very much enjoy playing colonials in the Db format, this one works particularly well and simulates the nature of this type of warfare really well without getting bogged down in heavy use of charts and tables. It's very easy to loose with the British if you don't pot enough of the natives early enough on in the game. A well organised Zulu formation crashing into the lines is usually the beginning of the end for the British, as happened here after a lot of reforming and repelling the Zulu attacks.

More of Alex's Db variants here:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Be a Man Among Men

Quick pic of my Rhodesian Selous Scouts in 20mm. Light Infantry to follow. Not quite finished yet, need varnishing in matt and groundwork to do.

Monday, 14 November 2011

First 28mm Winter German

I have eased off on the amount of dry brushing I do and it seems to look a lot better. This is the first use of some scenic snow I bought at Newcastle with these Artizan Germans and US Infantry. Looking forward to doing some of the Americans next. The fake snow works really well and even has a glisten to it.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Fiasco II Leeds Wargames Show

Poiniantly the show was in the Saville Conference Centre opposite the Armouries. Sir Jim had passed away the day before so it was moving to be in the place dedicated to him. There were large photos of him and a book to sign in his memory, all tastefully fitting to a great man.

The show was neatly set out with some interesting games. Nothing major but a good couple of hours were spent. I attended with new wargaming pal Roger. We had in tow our WAG's who having had a quick look in and upon realizing it was £4 to get in promptly left to explore the shoe shops of Leeds for two hours. So we were left to do our research without hindrence. 

There seems to be a lot of new basing products out these days which is great, many a good figure paint job is ruined by poor basing so it was good to see what's available. My basing will certainly improve from now on.

This game above really made me want to paint up some Greeks! 

These guys looked awesome! Didnt look at the game much, I think it was a Black Powder game in 15mm.

Some chaps had made a Db variant for the Mayan wars and were using Revell plastics, which en masse looked effective enough. Lots of mob vs mob battling though with few differing troop types. They were using a desert camo cotton sheet as a table cloth, which again looked cheap and effective. 

A good friend of mine fought in the Malayan Emergency and it's great to see that Britannia, now owned by Andy Grubb of Grubby Tanks has a range of figures for this conflict. They seem to be marketed towards the new Force on Force rules players looking for small groups of modern figures. I do have the rules and was tempted but ended up getting a few packs of 20mm Rhodesians from these people:

Very nice they are too with very well proportioned figure styles and nice accurate sculpting. Just have to wait for them to release the ZNLA figures and find an Alouette kit from somewhere and we have a skirmish.  Pics of those to follow once I've painted them.

28mm WWII Update

Fresh back from the Leeds wargames show. Bought some grass tufts and the Plastic Soldier Company Soviet Heavy Weapons set. Will now get the rest of the Ruskies done. Finished the first artillery piece this evening and added the grass tufts, they are very effective I think but I'll only use them on larger vignette type stands, not on individual figures. Grass tufts can be a bit over used in basing.

Full box set of Crusader Miniatures Early war Germans all done! Really quite pleased with these. I can see the French will be the next box I get from Crusader. Should have picked them up at the show but was a bit purchased out by the time I got back to the stand. That and I still have a lot of Ruskies to finish.

Monday, 10 October 2011

28mm WWII for Rate of Fire

I have been studying the Rate of Fire rules for a while now and will soon have two opposing sides to game with in 28mm, not that you couldn't use 20mm for RoF. So far I have Plastic Soldier Co. Soviets and Crusader Miniatures Early Germans. I have to say for £20 for a bow full of figures the Crusader figures are hard to beat, they are more robust than Bolt Action, which I have found to have flimsy rifles and need a lot more modelling work than Crusader figures. Anyway, here are a couple of shots of some I have done so far. I think I have over weathered the Gerries?

I picked up 20 or so each of winter dressed Germans and Yanks at the Newcastle show last month. I can't remember what make these are but I'm hoping to pick up more at the next show. I even have some basing 'snow' to use when basing them up. They will be for an Ardennes scenario, again for Rate of Fire rules. I'm hoping to have both finished by the Yorkshire Coast Wargamers Christmas do. Some nice bazookas!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Turning to the Dark Side (Games Workshop)

It had to happen sooner or later I suppose. For the past couple of months I've been lurking in the local games workshop and have increasingly felt like I was missing out. The shop is only a few steps away from my work office so all too convinient as well. Anyway, after a friend had inspired me with some fantasty/zombie gaming possibilities I was moved to have a go at some GW figures. I've always liked the Imperial Guard and the Valkyrie drop ship is awsome - if mega expensive. I didn't buy an army box in case I hated them and in the first hour of building the figures I was glad I didn't, I've since got better at putting them togther though. The cost has always put me off, but the availability of other players with other armies means you don't have to worry too much about making two opposing sides. Having said that my other prefered army was the Necrons, I can see me getting those when they are re-released.

I finished the first one today and quickly painted him as I would a WWII figure, quickly with a wash or two, dry brushed, varnished and job done. I'm not up to the standard of most GW figure painters but I'd rather get an army done and ready to game with.

I bought a Citadel carry case too. Compared to what you would pay for a case from a 'historical' type wargames manufacturer they are quite reasonable and very tough. Hopefully I'll be on the move with these figures quite a bit!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

French Indian Wars (40mm scale)

I've had a few Prince of August moulds for a while and cast a few with mixed success. The line infantryman seems to be the easiest figure to cast, that and the grenadier. The others being a lot more tricky and hit and miss, especially cavalry. I had painted the French some years ago, inspired by the figures used in the games/books by Charles Grant. Henry Hyde's popularization of these figures, along with his Spenser Smith range has also been tempting me to do more with them and having attended the WD3 weekend last month and seeing the huge Imaginations game it tipped me over the edge to get these finished.

(Six 60x40mm stands of French Line)

I had the French knocking about in an old toffee tin and decided it was time to base them. I have mentioned to Peeler about doing more SYW period and so decided to base them on 60mm x 40mm so that they will lend themselves well to a DbN game.

I had another 6 bases worth undercoated and ready to paint up, which I have been painting as British line. First four finished this evening. The charm of these figures is the simplicity of the paint job. They look great with minimal detail and no weathering or washing, just paint basic colour and varnish with satin finish - job done!

I haven't yet come accross the Grenadiers I cast. These are much more detailed models than the line infantry but still not difficult to cast. The figure has is posed as throwing a bomb, which may look a bit odd when based togther but it's all about the 'make do'.

For Indians I had some Irregular Miniatures toy soldier style casts. I also have a few of the more detailed Indian figures but I prefer the 'toy' look of these. These are more true to Huron/Mohawk style of weapon and dress anyway. Not sure how to base these, I was thinking only two to a stand so they look very loose order? I could mix in a French Officer to these three and squeeze out 2 stands.

I also have about six cast Cavalry. They would fit onto the 60x40mm bases but I think I may need to make them slightly bigger if only to give them a good coverage of the table.

Once my overhaul of the wargames room is complete I'll begin melting more metal. I still have a couple of bars I got from Irregular Miniatures. I think they will last quite a while yet.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Battlegroup North Militaria and Wargames Show

This image isn't finished yet. I'm gradually turning it into what will look like an actual 1940's photo.

There were lots of games there this year compared to other years, not many traders unfortunatly but I got what I hoped I would, some more Plastic Soldier company Russians and the heavy weapons set too. I now have more than enough for a Rapid Fire batallion with support weapons. Also got a German 75mm infantry gun and crew to support my Valliant Miniatures Germans.

I coached two games of YCW Toy Soldier Rules with young gamers, two repeat coustomers from last year, and had a DbN game with Peeler. It ground to a draw with me having the advantage, we didn't get chance to finish it but would have been a close run thing.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Recent ebay aquisition

Very pleased to get this rare item from ebay for only about £4.00. Can't decide if I should get them out the box and painted. Will certainly have a look for more Airfix AWI figures.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Plastic Soldier Company Late War Germans (1/72)

Got these through the post from Drum and Flag this weekend. The first batch are based and undercoated and waiting for my next day off. The poses are almost identical to the Russians, it doesn't matter since they are well thought out. There are no 'waste' poses like you tend to get in other boxes of plastic figures so you end up using everything in the box, which makes it good value.

You also get an instruction sheet for making the figures up, though it's not really needed. This weekend the company launched their Soviet Heavy Weapons set, which I'm very keen to get hold of now and they also do a box of Late War British. They had those in the model shop but by the time I went back with some money they had gone. I'll get them soon though, already have some Ram Kangaroos made up as transport for a Canadian motorized battalion.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Plastic Soldier Company Russians (1/72)

There has been a White Elephant in the room of Db-Variants. A period that never before dared rear its head. Maybe it's the lemsip going to my head this week but I've thought, why not!? Being ill this week and needing a pick me up I had to buy some Plastic Soldier Company Russians in Summer Dress (1/72) without any real plan as to what to do with them. I began thinking of how to base them and knew I didnt really want to base them individually, once I looked at the basing options it occured to me that I could base three on a 40mm x 30mm base very easily and this suggested a look of a DbA/M/C/N/ACW base. At that point the plan for a DbWWII game started to form.

In the box of Plastic Soldier Company Russians you get three sprues, each sprue can make three rifle companies, an SMG company and a command stand if you base three figures to a base. So the box can make a battalion of infantry. In theory.

I've yet to work out any DbWWII rules but I can see that (plus) value points can be given in combat for such units as the SMG company when used as shock troops. The 'push back' rule could be very useful with these elements and when tanks are used the usual artillery mechanisms from other Db variants can be adapted and applied.

I can see dedicated WWII wargamers reeling in horror at the limitations that these rules would have on a WWII game but the advantages outweigh them when you are trying to make a fast to play very easy game to get into. There is a lot of scope to turn this into a join in demo game for shows or at times when there may be people wishing to get involved who haven't wargamed before.


Managed to get my first Soviet batch finished today. So here we have 1 command stand, 3 rifle companies and an SMG 'shock' company. This is basically what you get from 1 sprue, you also get a prone light machine gunner and loader but I didn't have much use for these, not a fan of prone poses as they seem to take up too much base space. (T34's are quick builds from Pegasus and the BA-64B is a resin model from Under the Bed Enterprises)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Brittany Spears

Voici mes Normans. Ce sont les premiers de la boîte que j'ai achetée chez Vapnartak cette année.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

York Library Viking Day

As Part of the York (Jorvik) Vikikng festival this week I had volunteered us to put on a Viking wargame or two at the Library.

We had free reign of any of the large oak tables in the records/archives room upstairs and much to the bewilderment of other casual library users we staged a number of battled through the afternoon. Mostly Viking vs Saxon. Prior to this we had made a very simple DbA based skirmish rules mechanism to fight 1:1 skirmishes with warbands of around 20 figures per side. Thanks to Alex, Peeler and Richie for helping come up with the rules last Friday! We were aiming for something similar to the Toy Soldier rules we have that would allow complete beginners and children to quickly grasp a basic knowledge of what wargaming is while playing out a 30 minute game.

At this level there was no scenery needed as the game simply focused on the clash of two or three warbands, although we did have a few tress around the edges of the gaming area for effect. We played about 6 games in all, with various kids coming along to join in for a game. Mostly it was a straight Vikings in mail armour attacking un-armoured Saxon Fyrd. It rarely went well for the Saxons, even when trying cleaver flanking moves. The aim is to contact your enemy while remaining in formation (shield wall) but this often failed when a warband went 'berserk' and charged. One game saw both sides doing this with equally devastating results. Mostly the extremely simple rules worked well and allowed for some thought to be given to tactics and manuovre within the battle. There is lots of scope to expand them and archers and cavalry can be added also. I'd also hope to add scenery/scenarios to future games.

As usual with our outings a plesant and laid back affair it was! Apparently the Library is having a Roman day later in the year so we may be back for that one.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Vapnartak 2011

Made it to the annual York Wargames show today. Saw this very interesting game using Schleich/Papo large figures for a medieval style skirmish, designed for 1 on 1 games. Written by members of the Society of Ancients, it uses dominos to factor weapon use and effects of the arms/legs/torso of the figure by using the pips on the domino. Very clever system! I bought their guide to it and will have a play with it someday. Plan on getting some of the figures for the nephews anyway.

I went with a shopping list today and managed to stick to it quite well, I swelled the ranks of my 28mm plastic Dark Age figures by aquiring a set of Gripping Beast Vikings and some mounted Normans, with a few Foundry metal single figures as cheifs. Got a DBA Saxon army (Magista Millitarium) and some single mounted Normans in 15mm from Museum Miniautres, never knew these were based in Driffield! Also bought some nice trees and a hillock from S&A Scenics for the 15mm DBA stuff.

Books: Ancient and Medieval Wargaming by Neil Thomas. I have his book on Napoleonics and it's excellent, this is very useful to for a newbie to the period like me. Also bought and old Osprey book on Vikings, which has some great plates inside for painting references.

I took the photos below at the Gripping Beast display case for reference when I paint up the new plastic boxed sets.

Had a good day but a bit frustrating amongst the crowds. Would have liked to have chatted to the traders a lot more and had space to do more browsing. Next events, York Library 20th Feb, Rydale Folk Museum 26th Feb, Ayton at the end of April and Durham 11th June.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

First Viking Warband done!

Managed to get this finished this weekend. The final few figures were painted much faster and with less care but needs must and I needed this finished. I'm quite pleased with these fellows! Plastic 28mm is the way forward!