Friday, 19 December 2014

GZG UNSC/L Extras

 
I found a second hand army pack of GZG UNSC/L figures on Ebay last week and put in a tentative bid, so that I could add some options to the pack that I already have. I ended up winning it for a tenner less than the full price, so I now have plenty of extra figures to play around with as I plan out the orbat for the platoon sized force that I'm going to paint up. I'll have some left over figures but I reckon I'll be using up most of the pack, if only as optional re-inforcements and extra heavy weaposn teams. Excellent!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

New 15mm Sci-Fi Rules


A couple more sets of sci-fi / near future rules for reading over the Xmas holidays and for some playtesting in the not too distant future, if I get my act together. The first set has just been published and looks really promising, especially as it's designed for exactly what I'm looking for and is from the same stable as No End in Sight, which I'm planning to use for skirmishes in Malaya and Borneo. 

 
The second set is similar in scope and scale, although with a more sci-fi and less near future feel, so will fit in well with my plans for next year. There really is a goldmine of rulesets for this sort of thing out there and with digital downloads, it makes building a library of potential rules really inexpensive. I have another one or two rulesets to consider but I think I have more than enough for the moment!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Lion Rampant and the Black Vegetable


I'm not going to have as much time for wargaming next year for various work related reasons, so have been putting my mind to the problem of greatly reduced painting time and far fewer trips to the local club. I've been struggling of late to do both and the prospect of free weekends and evenings is looking more remote than ever before. However, I'm not going to let that stop me from doing something in the time that I do have, so I have come up with a Plan B.

This revolves around down-sizing both the scope and the scale of my wargaming projects next year, with fewer overall but at a manageable level of output. This means that 28mm is definately out and that 15mm or smaller scale projects are firmly the way to go. It also means reducing the size of my games to platoon or squad level skirmish sizes, which can be focussed around a handful of figures on a playing area of no more than 2' x 4', with a 2' or 3' square area being my best fit ideal.


So, what to do? One definate project will be Lion Rampant in 15mm, using my Peter Pig War of the Roses figures that I originally intended to use for Impetus. Now, despite having a (very rusty) postgraduate degree in Medieval British Archaeology, I know next to nothing about the aformentioned conflict, which means that I would have a lot of background reading up to do, were it not for this excellent article on the equally excellent Menne of Warre blog:


This opened up all sorts of ideas and has given me some new directions in which to move the project to the first stages of planning. To me, the Wars of the Roses are symbolised by posh plate clad men at arms, tough brigandine armoured retainers and sturdy local yokel longbowmen slogging it out in the mud and snow of Towton, as portrayed in the evocative Peter Dennis cover art on the Perry plastic figure boxes. So, the first thing will be to set the project in the deep mid-winter, with two rival Lancastrian and Yorkist garrisons vying for supplies, taxes and extortion over some random stretch of the deep frozen Midland Shires.


This would be ideal as a solo or two player mini-campaign of linked scenarios, using the system described in the rulebook. In turn, this gave me the idea to develop something along the lines of the slightly 'tongue in cheek' Scruttockshire campaign in the old 1644 ECW rules, with a fictional area of bucolic countryside mapped out as the campaign focus. In a nod to the Peter Pig War of the Roses army packs and AK47 (?), the two rival retinues would be commanded by appropriately titled local magnates, with the forces of Lord Wensleydale being opposed by the Earl of Cheddar (or somesuch). There may even be a cameo appearance by the Black Vegetable himself...


I think you will get the basic drift of my imagi-nations approach to the whole thing, although it still has lots of room for development, especially after I re-watch the box set of the first series of Blackadder again. I'm not taking this too seriously and won't be doimg this as a club game, at least in the first instance, in order not to make any promises that I may not be able to keep. So, it will be a solo project for the moment, although I'm hoping that the middle sprog will be interested in having a go, being a big fan of Cry Havoc. I think this could be a lot of fun...so I'll be doing some more thinking to pull it together over Xmas.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Stocking Fillers



Here's the other stocking filler for Xmas this year, a very cool 15mm resin sci-fi moon base type thing from the Ion Age range. This is not going to be deployed with the GZG / Brigade Models / Antenociti's Workshop near future armies but is destined instead for my long overdue but very old school Imperial Commander project. 

This is something I've wanted to re-do for a long time, mainly for nostalgic reasons, so I thought this habitiation base would be perfect as a terrain feature, perhaps an Imperial desert outpost not unlike Bunker 17? It certainly has a very retro, 1980's space opera look about it and I think it will look fantastic painted up, based and suitably weathered.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

TFL Xmas Special 2014



This is now out and has a Bag The Hun scenario in it titled Catch the Pidgeon, set on the Russian Front in the summer of 1944. It's only one page and has a bit missing due to the DTP editing (oops) but it is worth a try if you want some low level seat of your pants flying.

Anyway, I'm hoping to submit something a bit more substantial for Bag The Hun for the Summer Special next year, probably involving a series of mid-war linked scenarios based on Westland Whirlwind operations over the Channel.

My bit aside, this special has some really good stuff in it for various Too Fat Lardie rules including Chain of Command, IABSM and Through the Mud and Blood amongst others, so well worth the very reasonable asking price.

On top of that, I am now officially a 'Winchester based Ace', at least according to the blurb in the contents page if not the wife and kids. Whatever next? Tally Ho!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Stocking Fillers


The lady wife has come up trumps again and has offered to fill my stockings with wargaming goodies, the first of which is a full on armoured company of M577 series APC's from Antenocitis Workshop. These will be added to the handful I picked up at Warfare to give me a pretty impressive task force for the 15mm near future project that I'm planning for 2015. These really are lovely models. Woo hoo!

US Marine v Japanese Infantryman


The Chain of Command project has hit the buffers of late but, in the meantime and when I can grab a bit of a lie in (?), I've been doing some more reading around the subject. This is the latest digital addition to the bookshelf and it's really not bad at all, which is a recurring feature of the series in my experience, despite initial misgivings about the slightly cheesy 'man to man' concept. This one is particularly good and features some excellent annotated artwork alongside a detailed and well-researched text. The colour plates will definately be useful as a guide to shades and washes, when I get round to painting the Japanese platoon in the new year.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Up in the Loft



As you may have noticed, things have slowed down a lot recently, primarily as a result of work and the run up to the end of term. However, I was up the loft yesterday in search of decorations for the tree, so thought I'd have a rummage in the rules archive for some stockpiled sci-fi rules. 

This resulted in a second hand but pristine copy of Stargrunt II, a freebie stripped down copy of Hammers Slammers and a copy of Future War Commander, which I decided to leave where it was, as I'm not a massive fan of the BKC rules system. I also found my old copy of Imperial Commander but that's going in another direction.

I've also downloaded a pdf of Victory Decision: Future Combat, which looks like an interesting option, although the current front runner is still FUBAR, followed closely by Tomorrows War and Gruntz. It's all good reading material for the holidays and a signpost for the focus of next year.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Brigade Models Sohei Heavy Tanks



The platoon pack of these arrived today in the post, which is a pretty fast turnaround and a very pleasant surprise, as I was expecting them to turn up next week sometime.

They're pretty impressive in terms of size and heft, with an ingenious two part metal turret and three options for gun barrels. There's also a turret mounted missile launcher unit which is designed to be glued to the left hand side.

There are a couple of air bubbles on the engine grills and covers but nothing that can't be sorted out with some filler. The hull casting is otherwise very clean and surprisingly detailed for such a large vehicle. think they look great and will definately find a place alongside the Antenociti's Workshop APC's. Very cool!

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Imperial Japanese Army


I'm reading this at the moment as part of my background inspiration for the 28mm Chain of Command Japanese project, which is getting close to the all important painting stage. This weekend, I'll be finishing off the command elememts of a platoon commander, a standard bearer and a medic, with a couple of resin Chi Ha tanks to round off the armour support. If I can find the time.