Thursday, 26 March 2015

Air War C21 Flashpoint Baltic [5]

The latest report from The Aviationist website on the Baltic Air Policing mission has the Russians deploying their formidable supersonic Tu22M Backfire nuclear attack bombers in mock attack runs on Denmark. What have the peace loving and very charming Danes done to deserve such attention?

The sub-text underlying all this ersatz Cold War posturing is the commitment of Danish forces to NATO defence of the Baltic States. All mouth and no trousers from Mr Putin but good material for a potential escalation to a full-on Flashpoint Baltic!


In other news, I've sent off to Dom's Decals for a selection of 1/600th scale modern decals with which to decorate the NATO contingent of the BAP.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

No Go Zone

There's a very nice chap at the club called Gary (hello Gary!) who is a big fan of the Warm Acre series of games including Hour of Glory and Spy or Die Trying, both of which he has enthused about at length. I haven't had the chance to try them out but I am confident that they are everything that he's cracked them up to be, so I thought I'd take a closer look.

A copy of No Go Zone popped up on Ebay for 99p the other day, so I put in a bid and now have the rulebook to flick through. It's not a subject that immediately grabbed my interest but, on closer inspection, it's a really simple but very clever game, using some innovative diceless mechanics with some unusual but very imaginative gameplay elements. 

The basic idea is situation management, with the forces of law and order contesting control of the streets at closing time with the forces of lager fuelled, kebab toting chaos. The clever bit is the way in which the players can counter each others' actions using a series of suggestive, if not rather offensive hand gestures, playing one another off using a combination of tactics and brute force.

I see considerable classroom management potential in the POKE and SUPER-FLIP, by way of example, although I'm sure Senior Management would be less enthusiatic.

Anyway up, as it turns out the rules and thirty 28mm miniatures are currently available as a bundle offer for £20 from the Warm Acre website, which has to be a pretty good deal, even if you only use the figures for the imminent Zombie Apocalypse (which my Year 7 class inexplicably confused with the Solar Eclipse, for some unexplained reason that I have absolutely nothing to do with....really)

Anyway, the rules contain cardboard cut out road sections and vehicles as well, although these can also be downloaded from Wargames Vault along with 3D print and assemble-yourself  urban buildings. It's an unusual subject for a game but I think that No Go Zone is really interesting, even if it is just as a stimulus for diceless game mechanics and interesting gameplay ideas. 

I've read some other reviews which have been positive and suggest that it's a good 'beer and pretzels' style game, although limited in scope. I'm impressed with the game concept, so may well send off for the full-on bundle, adding some diecast police vehicles to patrol the mean streets of Winchester / Winnal (?). I'm also keen to have a look at Spy or Die Trying, which is on the shopping list for Salute in a few weeks time.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Under 9's Rugby National Finals

The WFRC Under 9 team won four out of five matches today but came a very close second in the National Finals, with only one game seperating them from overall victory. Very well done to all the players and a big thank you to the coaches and team supporters, who really worked hard to get the boys ready for the big event. I'm sure that next year will be the victory that they all deserve.

Air War C21 Alto Cenepa [4]

I've had a crack at the camouflage for the FAP aircraft over the last couple of days, using a combination of Foundry paint shades and Citadel washes. The A37's were a sticking point but I decided to go for a moss and sand scheme, rather than the bog standard sand and brown pattern on the fighters and medium bombers. Next up will be the under surfaces, stores and canopies.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Bag The MiG [9]

I won another Ebay bid on some Oddzial Osmy 1/600th scale Soviet trucks and AAA artillery a while back and they arrived a couple of days ago. The truck models are superb, full of detail despite the tiny size and clearly recognisable as Studebakers. I particularly like the AAA castings which feature both towed and deployed versions of the M1939 37mm guns. I really think that the quality of the O8 sculpting rivals anything you'd find in 6mm or even 10mm. Amazing!

These will be great as North Korean or Chinese ground targets for my UN forces. I've been playing around with some basing options and have decided to go for 30mm mdf hexes from Minibits, which will work very well for Bag The MiG but also be perfectly suitable for MiG Alley or even CY6: Jet Age. I'm also going to use 30mm hexes for the AirWar:C21 basing, using 40mm panel pins as flight stands and mini-magnets to attach the aircraft, so I'll probably have to order some more?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Air War C21 Flashpoint Baltic [4]

A really interesting report from Israeli TV on the Italian and Polish Baltic Air Policing mission in Lithuania, which is currently pretty busy dealing with yet more Russian overflights of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian air space. This military posturing by the Russians has been increasing lately, with the Italians, Polish and Spanish having to intercept a range of fighter and transport aircraft on a regular basis:

NATO Baltic Air Policing QRA ITA, ESP Typhoon jets on 17 March scrambled to intercept RU AF 4x Su-27, 2x An-26, 1x An-12 over the Baltic Sea," (Latvian armed forces)

You may also not have been aware of the NATO TV Youtube channel (I kid you not!), which has a whole load of interesting reports on the latest incarnation of the Russian bear. I'm sure the Russians have a Youtube channel too but I'm not sure it will be as impartial in its interpretation of recent events, at least compared to the BBC?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Air War C21 Alto-Cenepa [3]

I'm bogged down in marking this week but have based up a Tumbling Dice C130 Hercules for the FAE in 1/600th scale. This is a pretty impressive model, although I need to add some filler to blend in the wing with the fuselage before it can be painted up. I don't know what I'll use it for but I have some ideas. 

I think it will look really good in a Vietnam-style three tone camouflage scheme and will add a little weight to the FAE line up, even if it gets shot down in short order by the FAP. I've finished basing and undercoating all the aircraft for the project now, so will move onto the basecoating as soon as I've completed another class set of exercise books!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Where has all the gaming gone?

You may have been wondering why I haven't posted any game reports for a while, although I doubt it's been discussed by the Security Council of the UN. Anyway, here's the answer to the absence of any wargaming activity up at the club, at least on my part, in the shape of my one in the middle, who is seen here sporting a soon to be technicolour black eye.

He's just been selected for the Lexus National Under 9 Rugby Finals, which will kick off next weekend in sunny Northampton. This has been in part due to the regular Tuesday night training sessions that I've been transporting him to, along with the regular Sunday matches and tournaments which I share with the other half.

As Tuesday night is club night, you can see how I have been tied down for the last few months, but I'm really pleased he has won through to represent Winchester at such a high level. The season winds up in a few weeks, so I'll be back at the club after Easter and hope to make up for lost time when I get there. In the meantime, I'm sure that the WRFC team will win and hope that there are no more black eyes or broken noses on the day!

Galleys and Galleons

I found out about this forthcoming set of pirate ship rules via a very roundabout route and they look perfect for the 1/450th scale Peter Pig pirate ships that I bought a while back now. I've been searching for a suitable set of simple, fast play ship to ship 'skirmish' rules with little success, so I'm looking forward to these when they are fully playtested and available to download. They're based on the Song of Blades system and will be published by Ganesha Games, so they should be great for some piratical naval action. There's some more information on the author's blog and it's well worth a look:

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Air War C21 Alto Cenepa [2]

I now have the FAE aircraft based and undercoated, which means that I should be able to get started on the basecoating tomorrow. The Ecuadorian Air Force featured some really varied and interesting types in the 1995 war including SEPECAT Jaguars, BAE Strikemasters, Dassault Breguet Mirage V's and IAI Kfirs. I've also assembled and undercoated a Lockheed C130 Hercules, although what I'll actually do with it is another question? This is a bit of a 'what if' project anyway, so I'm sure I'll think of something!