Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Finest Hour Squadron Personalities

I had an idea to use the personality generation tables in Nordic Weasel's No End in Sight skirmish rules to create some backgrounds for the pilots of No27 Squadron, RAF. This is a similar system to the one in Joe Legan's Squadron Forward but with a little bit more flexibility and variety in terms of character motivation, leadership style and personality traits. I really like Ivan's approach to this sort of thing, so it made a lot of sense to use his system for Bag the Hun.

I allowed myself a little bit of wiggle room so that the characteristics I rolled up on a D100 matched the skill levels of the pilots that I created using the Finest Hour tables, but this was kept to an absolute minimum and wasn't really needed apart from the initial background roll. Anyway, here's the end result for the pilots currently assigned to flying duties, with more work to do to devise names and some detail to their respective stories. 

Battle of Arica Scenario Terrain Set Up

I set up the terrain for the War of the Pacific game tomorrow to see what it looked like and how it would fit onto the confines of the kitchen table. The dining room table is buried in paperwork so I've been forced to use the smaller kitchen one, which only measures about two and half by four foot. To make the terrain fit I've rotated the area by ninety degrees so that the long edge forms the coastline rather than the short edge. As I'll be using inches for gunnery and centimetres for movement again, I think this will still work and will bring both sides to blows pretty quickly, which can't be a bad thing for a fast play set of rules! The town of Arica is missing along with the 2 de Mayo gun battery and the Morro de Arica should be much higher than the surrounding coastline, but for a quick game it will do.

Battle of Arica D+G Ship Sheets


I am gearing up to play the Battle of Arica scenario with the Dahlgren and Columbiad fast play ironclad rules tomorrow, so have put together some ship record sheets for the Chilean and Peruvian forces involved, including the turret ironclad Huascar, the monitor Manco Capac and the spar torpedo boat Alianza. The coastal fortifications will be a bit of a compromise, as I only have three gun battery models to use instead of the required four, but I don't think that will matter too much in term of the scenario outcome. Here's the scenario in case you missed it:

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Desert Coastal Terrain Refurb


I blitzed the rest of the coastal terrain sections this evening when I got home from a rugby match up in London, so they are a bit rushed, but I think they look fine nonetheless. I quite like the contrast between the cliffs, which were already washed and dry brushed, and the desert inland areas which are just spray painted then dry brushed with sand coloured paint for an arid, dusty desert effect. I just have a couple of islands to do before I can use them for a War of the Pacific game or two. 

Coastal Terrain Repaint Test Run


I did a quick respray and drybrush on a section of my coastal terrain this morning, as a test run to see what it looked like. This involved an initial coat of Halfords Khaki to cover up the green bits, then an overspray with some cheap sand coloured car spray I got in France, then a drybrush in artists acrylic sand paint to finish off. It's a bit basic and could possibly do with some washing and dry brushing but it will do for the moment, so I'll carry on and get the rest of the sections repainted for my War of the Pacific project over the next couple of days.

Monday, 25 October 2021



I'm just back from an enjoyable weekend down in Plymouth, where I topped up my supply of brushes, blades and glue in Antics, which is a great model shop and now right next to Games Workshop rathwe than at the top of town where it used to be. I also bought a second hand hard back copy of this book, expecting it to be focussed on the Desert War and Italian Campaign but finding out to my surprise that it also covers Korea and South West Africa post war, amongst other things. It's a series of eyewitness snapshots by various SAAF pilots and is fascinating, if only for the act that it's so varied. Worth a look if you are interested in the SAAF!

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Strength and Honour Samples

I've ordered some sample Roman units from Warbases for Strength and Honour to see what they look like when painted up. If I like them I'll probably get some more in advance of the rules being published in a few weeks time. I was thinking of using them as the core of an army for either the 1st Century BC or AD, depending on some further reading around the subject. 

Friday, 22 October 2021

Holiday Reading


I've had this book on the Kindle for a while so what better time to read it than over the half term holidays, during which I will be able to sit down and make some notes for the Bag the Hun Finest Hour solo campaign. Tally Ho!

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Bag the Hun Finest Hour Solo Campaign 2022

I've always wanted to run a Bag the Hun campaign using the Finest Hour supplement for the Battle of Britain with 1/285th scale aircraft, but there wasn't any interest at the club so I shelved my plans a long time ago. However, my recent 1/600th scale games for the Khalkhin Gol project over the summer have convinced me that I can manage to run quite large games on a solo basis, with several flights on each side and bombers on autopilot. So, one thing I'm going to add to my 'to do' list for 2022 will be a Battle of Britain themed solo campaign, based on the system in Finest Hour and using 1/600th scale Tumbling Dice magnet based model aircraft.

To give myself something to aim for, I rolled up a squadron for the RAF today, using a combination of the mechanisms in the supplement and a bit of cherry picking. A dice roll identified the unit as No27 Squadron, which was actually based on the North West Frontier flying Westland Wapiti light bombers and Tiger Moth trainers at the time, but in my campaign it will have been disbanded and reformed as a fighter squadron in October 1939. The squadron is based at Middle Wallop airfield in 10 Group, which is just up the road from me and so an ideal choice. The squadron is equipped with the Hawker Hurricane Mk1 and has a generous compliment of seventeen machines, although one is currently U/S. The squadron code is RM.

As the timeframe for the campaign will be the Kanal Kampf in July 1940, the pilot generation system has given me a total strength of sixteen aircrew, so I will have four spare pilots in reserve and a full complement of twelve for my four sections. The Squadron Leader is a Top Ace, having achieved eleven kills during the Battle of France, and is leader of 'A' Flight, Red Section. The other section leader in 'A' flight is a Veteran of the fighting in France too, so a safe pair of hands at the helm of Yellow Section. The leader of 'B' Flight and Blue Section is a newly minted Junior Ace with five kills over the beaches of Dunkirk, but the leader of Green Section is a Sprog, fresh from advanced training (I decided that he was a well to do and well connected pre-war private pilot, so promoted to section leader on the basis of his supposed flying experience rather than any combat skill).

Luckily, there is another Junior Ace pilot in Green Section to shepherd its newly appointed section leader, backed up by a solid Regular sergeant pilot in the number three slot. The other section pilots are a mixed bag, with two more Veterans and Regulars, together with a couple more Sprogs, sprinkled around the squadron according to the random dice rolls that I made. The reserve pilots are all Sprogs, as you'd expect but there is a single Regular to give the CO some options when it comes to replacing losses and rotating pilots during the campaign. I may well dip into the character generation system in Squadron Forward to flesh out the identities and backgrounds of each pilot, but I don't want to over complicate things at this stage.

In terms of preparation for this solo campaign, I'll obviously need twelve Hurricanes based and painted but will also have to paint quite a lot of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters too. The Kanal Kampf gives me the option of using Ju-87 Stukas, so I'll need twelve of them plus twelve bombers to start with, probably Heinkel III's as they are really nice models. As fighters I will need twelve Bf-109's and, as it's still early days in the Battle of Britain, I'll also need twelve Bf-110's as fighter escorts. A couple of reconnaissance aircraft would also be useful, so I can add a Ju-88 or Do-17 in that role, with the option of expanding up to twelve aircraft in the bomber role later on. This is quite a lot to do but still manageable if I do it in stages (I have fiddled the encounter table to fix the maximum number of aircraft at twelve, which is more than enough to deal with!)

This will all kick off in 2022 but it's always a good idea to plan ahead!

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Half Term Holidays

I'm on holiday for a few days now, so have been planning some solo wargaming while the weather is still terrible, to squeeze in alongside the inevitable DIY. The focus will be on some more Wings at War, particularly MiG Alley as I've only just scratched the surface of the game and really want to try out some different mission set ups. I'm also going to be playing more naval games including at least a couple of War of the Pacific scenarios and possibly some more Anglo-British Victorian ironclad battles. I may even play a bit of Mad for War Essentials using the print and play counters that come with the rules, although it's all a bit sketchy at the moment, so who knows?


Bag The Hun (581) Books (412) Ironclads (404) AK47 (386) Wings at War (244) Back of Beyond (217) Coastal Warfare (199) Bolt Action (173) What a Tanker (166) Britain's Small Wars (155) Target Locked On (140) Old West (133) Chain of Command (132) MiG Alley (127) Pirates (116) Bag The MiG (115) Naval Command (112) Pre-Dreadnoughts (107) Indo China / Vietnam (100) Fistful of Lead (97) 15mm Sci-Fi / Near Future (95) Sandbox Skirmish (89) VBCW (89) Air War Over Khalkhin Gol (88) Victory at Sea (84) Knights of the Sky (80) Darkest Africa (77) Shows (76) Napoleonic Naval (74) ACW (72) The Football War (70) BKC (65) Shipwreck! (64) Rapid Fire (61) Saga (60) France's Small Wars (58) Boardgames (55) Cruel Seas (55) Saurian Safari (55) Corsairs and Cavaliers (52) Flashpoint Alto Cenepa (50) IABSM (49) The Men Who Would Be Kings (49) Flashpoint Taiwan (48) Naval Thunder (48) Journals (47) Gladiators (45) Flashpoint Baltic (42) Find Fix and Strike (40) Air War C21 (34) Post Apocalypse (31) Atlantic Wall (30) International Naval Wargaming Day (30) Cold War (29) Iron Cow (29) Lion Rampant (29) Full Thrust (27) Normandy Firefight (27) Desert Spitfires (26) Mexican Revolution (26) Fortifications (24) Samurai (24) Thud Ridge (23) Jet Knights of the Sky (22) 28mm English Civil War (21) Flashpoint PVO (21) Achtung Kommando! (20) PITS (20) Galactic Heroes (19) Imaginations (19) Strontium Dog (19) Death in the Dark Continent (18) English Civil War / Anglo Dutch War Naval (18) Iron Cross (18) SCW (18) Aircraft (16) Aeronef (15) Imperial Commander (15) Rate of Fire (15) Dragon Rampant (14) Steamer Wars (14) War of the Pacific (14) Aliens (13) Ancients (13) Black Ops (13) CY6 Jet Age (13) Congo (13) Flashpoint Fleet Air Arm (11) Gaslands (11) Impetus (11) Scramble for Britain (11) 28mm Future Wars (9) 633 Squadron (9) Ancient Naval (9) Franco Thai Air War (9) Sharp Practice (9) Zulus! (9) Adventures in Jimland (8) Cry Havoc (8) Dux Britanniarum (8) Star Wars Legion (8) French Indian Wars (7) Frostgrave (7) Jungle Green (7) Mad for War (7) Winter War (7) Bulldogs Away! (6) Five Parsecs From Home (6) Flames above the Falklands (6) Duel of Aces (5) Five Men at Kursk (5) Maurice (5) Renaissance Naval (5) Three Musketeers (5) Arab Revolt (4) Bombers over Germany (4) Check Your Six! (4) French Resistance (4) HYW (4) In Her Majesty's Name (4) Gangsters (3) HOTT (3) Lord of the Sea (3) Luft 46 (3) RCW (3) Strength and Honour (3) Sturmovik Commander (3) 2mm ECW (2) Crom (2) Disposable Heroes (2) Fire and Steel (2) Hind Commander (2) Infamy Infamy (2) Iron Stars (2) Judge Dredd (2) Lethal Skies (2) Medieval Naval (2) NUTS! (2) No Go Zone (2) Red Actions! (2) Starfighters! (2) War in El Dorado (2) A Billion Suns (1) Air War 1940 (1) AirWar:1918 (1) Battlegroup (1) Black Powder (1) Dropzone Commander (1) Fivecore Company Command (1) Load and Return (1) Missile Threat (1) Never Mind The Billhooks (1) Norway 1940 (1) One Hour Wargames (1) Through The Mud and Blood (1) Ultracombat Normandy (1)