This looks a lot like my wife's cooking...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

AK47 Victory!


I had a very enjoyable game of AK47 at the club this evening, having dusted off the rules and the figures for a quick refresher course before we set up a multiplayer two a side in a couple of weeks. The usual hex terrain wasn't available so we ended up with a pretty sparse, open looking board using what we had with us to set the scene.This turned out to be a good thing, however, as it made the game itself very open.

In the end, I won a decisive victory despite having knocked out only two enemy vehicles, for the loss of one of my militia technicals. I also got all the way to the bottom of the political flowchart, which has never happened before, not that it gave me any particular upgrades or advantages. However, I did get to try out my towed anti-tank guns, which performed pretty well despite being pinned and losing two morale points.

A bit of a localised skirmish rather than a full on battle but with some funny moments and a few dodgy dice rolls to make things tick along. I'll try to get a write up done in the usual propaganda style once I've cleared the decks of more school work. If I can find the time, I'll also finish the basing on the Superpower Backed army that I have painted up, ready for the game next month, which might give the opposition some pause for thought?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Schnellboot S130

I stumbled across this yesterday and it caught my interest. My grandfather worked at Mashfords boat yard in the 1960's as a marine engineer before retiring to live in Millbrook, just round the corner. As a kid, I used to go sailing and fishing with him in his boat off what was then a dilapidated and mud filled site at Southdown. I vividly remember circumnavigating HMS Eagle in the Hamoaze, complete with it's emormous island mounted radar, back in the mid 70's and clambering over the old brickworks on a Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, despite a distinct absence of updates, it looks like there's a vintage S-boat in restoration on site, even though the work seems to have halted in the last few years. I'm sure there's much more to this story than I can find on the net at the moment, but I'd be very interested to know what's happened to the restoration project since the last update. It would be a real shame if it's come to an end for whatever reason and I'd be keen to find out the fate of S130, if you can shine a light on the story.

The War of the Motor Gun Boats

This is a book that I don't have in my existing collection of coastal forces related titles, so I'm very really keen to add it to the digital bookshelf, even though I'd prefer the old fashioned printed version. I'll be looking for some good scenario material and hope to gain a better insight into the lower deck, harsh reality of the war in the small boats, which isn't always apparent from the likes of Night Action or The Battle of the Narrow Seas, evocative of the period though they are.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Narrow Seas [19]

Yet more work today but the trawlers are finished, along with the basing and labelling on the Vosper 70' MTB's. I'm a bit disappointed with the weathering on the trawlers but they look fine from a distance and in normal light, rather than under the camera flash. I'll have to work on the 'rusty bucket' look as I have some tatty coastal merchant ships to paint up at the end of the project.

This means the decks are cleared for action on the enemy coastal forces, starting as soon as I can get them assembled and undercoated. I was hoping to finish everything by the end of the month but it looks like the coastal warfare project will extend into October, pushing the Chain of Command Japanese a little further over the horizon.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Narrow Seas [18]

It was back to the local scout hut today for seven hours of voluntary painting and decorating, so I've had little time to spare on the coastal warfare project. I have labelled and based up most of the flottilla, with a handful left over for tomorrow. I need to add the white highlights to the bases and firmly glue down the self adhesive labels but these are pretty much finished, give or take some masts and pennant numbers.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Narrow Seas [17]

I've finished the bases for the RN coastal forces flotilla and will glue the models down tomorrow, adding a judicious dash of white at the bows and in the wake. I'm fairly pleased with the end result, give or take a little detailing and the addition of some masts. I've also sorted out some historically accurate ID labels for the bases, with a few spares just in case. I'm hoping to base everything up and finish them off over the weekend including the six Vosper 70' MTB's that I've repainted for the occasion.

Next up will be the two trawlers, which shouldn't take too long and will add a bit of scenario flexibility and 'oomph' to the proceedings. Alongside these I'll start preparing the Kriegsmarine for painting, with the assembly of a decent sized convoy escort and attack force including four mid-war E boats, two R boats, an M class minesweeper and a couple of Vorpostenboot. These are all Skytrex models and very nice they are too.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lion Rampant War of the Roses Retinues 15mm!

I've been considering the options for Lion Rampant and have decided that 15mm is the way forward. I could expand my SAGA Normans by twenty figures or so to create a retinue in 28mm but this doesn't appeal to me at the moment, although it's not entirely off the radar. I'm already shifting my focus for skirmish games to 15mm, so have been rumaging in the boxes for some suitable medieval figures.

I initially thought of an old 15mm Feudal French army pack that I bought years ago from Essex Miniatures, when you could get change from £20 for such a thing. The figures are really quite nice and the mounted knights have lots of variety, but the foot are in limited poses and just don't look the part for a skirmish game. I have enough figures for a retinue, however, so it's a Plan B option if Plan A doesn't work out.

The Plan A alternative is to use part of my Peter Pig War of the Roses army as a basis for two retinues, one Lancastrian and one Yorkist, with plenty of bells and whistles attached for a bit of variety. I have masses of figure packs in the leadpile, which are destined for Impetus one day, so I can easily syphon off a few for Lion Rampant and have plenty to choose from. The War of the Roses is perfect for skirmish gaming too!
The figures are really great and there are a wide variety of foot and mounted types, with multiple poses in each set. There are some really splendid character and leader figures which would be perfect for a wide range of scenario specific roles including messengers, tax collectors, looters or whatever you could think of. I can easily imagine kitting out a couple of retinues with sufficient variety in the figures to make them look the part. They've even got a bloke stealing a pig!
It's also a no-brainer cost wise, even when you consider the plastic option in 28mm, as I already have more figures than I could possibly want. This will enable me to create different types of unit with a particular focus on their use on specific scenarios e.g. raids, ambushes, foraging and so on. I can also save a lot of time and money on the terrain side of things, which is a big bonus, not to mention the figure painting itself, which is my personal love/hate part of the wargaming equation.
...makes a lot of sense to me?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Narrow Seas [16]

Here's what I've played around with for the coastal warfare basing over the last couple of days, with the end result being not too far removed from the recipe that I used on the 1/3000 scale French WW2 fleet. I'm trying to keep things as straightforward as possible, using a combination of three basic colours with an overall gloss varnish to finish it off. I think it looks okay, so will crack on with the rest of the bases tomorrow, adding some identification labels to finish them off properly when I get the time.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Pirate Brigantine [2]

Not a lot to report on the structurally challenged pirate ship this evening, but I have planked the rest of the deck and re-shaped he bows to give them a less rounded profile. I'm off to the club for a playtest of the participation game scenario and rules tomorrow evening but should get round to adding the hull sides, stern and bow sections over the rest of the week. I've also ordered some additional Crusader Miniatures cannons from Northstar to fit out the gundeck, although I may just add some closed gunports.

Lion Rampant?

This has been causing a bit of a stir on the blogosphere lately, so I thought I'd take a closer look by downloading a digital copy of the rules. I have to say that it looks really good, reads very well and is close in scope and style to my favourite beer and pretzels boardgame, Cry Havoc. So much so, in fact, that it's got me feeling all nostalgic!
The various scenarios in particular could have been lifted from the Cry Havoc scenario booklets and have a definite 'Battle of Little Wootton' feel about them. I have no plans to embark on another project in the immediate future, however, although I do have some 15mm Essex Feudal figures somewhere that could be turned into a couple of retinues.
This is another one to consign to the 'to do' list! for some point in the future.