GRUNTZ

GRUNTZ
.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Victory at Sea


It's a Victory at Sea game at the club tomorrow night, which I'm looking forward to having missed the previous game last week due to work. I've had a copy of the rulebook in the bookshelves for ages but have yet to try them out, so it should be an interesting evening and may open up some new project possibilities. It's an Italian versus British set up somewhere in the Med, with two parallel games set up to allow everyone to have a go which should make for a pretty lively evening.

Narrow Seas [10]


 
I decided yesterday that there was little point trying to paint up forty vikings in five days, so have switched focus to something more manageable for the week. This is my 1/600th scale mid-war coastal forces British flotilla, the first element of which I completed last night. This consists of six Vosper 70' MTB's all from the Skytrex range. They're were more fiddly to paint than I thought but don't look too bad, especially now that I have based them up. This evening I'll get another lot done, this time 72'6'' Vosper MTB's or some Fairmile B and C motor gunboats.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

SAGA Vikings [8]


As you can probably tell, the last couple of weeks have been a total washout as far as wargaming is concerned, largely due to an avalanche of marking and report writing at work. I just haven't had the time to paint anything, let alone do any gaming at the club. Things are easing off a bit now, however, so I'll be up at the club for a game on Tuesday.

This means that the SAGA Vikings are still in their basic undercoat bar a little drybrushing, although I have cleaned up and based the last unit of bondi spearmen to fill out the full six points. I have also ordered a pack of Artizan bondi archers to mix in with the Foundry archers that I already have, to form an add on unit of missile levy.

I'll try to get some painting done today but doubt I'll get anywhere near finishing anything by the end of the week, when we're heading off to France for half term.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Gone to Russia to Fight


I've had little time to spend on wargaming things lately so reading has been a real morale lifter. I really enjoyed reading Singapore Burning but thought I'd go in a completely different direction, so have started on Gone to Russia to Fight. The Russian Civil War and the Allied intervention are long standing interests, so this should be inspirational stuff, especially as a new version of Algy is somewhere over the horizon?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Extra Impetus 5

 
I was rummaging in the lead pile yesterday, as a bit of light relief from the pile of exam papers that I'm wading through this week, to uncover a dusty and long forgotten army pack of 15mm Essex medieval figures that I bought many, many years ago. It consists of about twenty pristine packs of various Thirteenth Century figures including mounted knights, crossbowmen, archers and foot soldiers, so a great basis for a 300-500 point Impetus Feudal Era army. As a result, I've ordered a copy of the latest supplement for Impetus which includes the relevant lists for the period, so that I can put together an army of some sort, probably Feudal English, French or German or even something for the Baron's Wars.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

SAGA Vikings [7]


I finished basing and undercoating the 10mm Aliens figures yesterday and, as in the plan, have now stored them away for a rainy weekend when I'm looking for an off the shelf mini-project to fill in some time. I now have a couple of weeks before the holidays, when I'll be starting the Chain of Command Japanese project for the summer.

To get some lead shifted and get back into the 28mm painting habit, I've decided to try to finish my long festering SAGA Viking warband, which has been hanging around for a year or so. I need to add one final unit of warriors or levies but otherwise it's ready to go. I was planning to tackle the Koryu buntai for Ronin but I think I need some painting practice first!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Judge Dredd Dino Rampage

 
After the Judge Dredd game the other day, I remembered an article in the last Warlord Games newsletter which revolved around dinosaurs rampaging through the Cursed Earth. This looks like a lot of fun and will enable me, at no extra expense, to put together some prehistoric opposition for Mike's team of judges using my extensive collection of  plastic dinosaurs.
 
These have been gathering dust since the last Saurian Safari game a couple of years ago, so it's about time I put them to good use. I'm even tempted to add some nice scenic bases to a select few and possibly do a bit of a re-paint. Anyway, the article is available on the Warlord Games site, including all the stats and a basic scenario: 
 
 
 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Judge Dredd



 
We had a try out game of Judge Dredd at the club on Tuesday, which didn't last very long but was good fun nonetheless. I had half a gang of renegade robots while the opposition consisted of an equal force, in points terms at least, of Megacity One Judges. The skirmish was fought out over some splendid mdf terrain somewhere in the Cursed Earth, ending with the total destruction of the robots at miminal cost to the Justice Departments finest. Drokk!

10mm Aliens USCM TO&E

 
 
I've been thinking about how to organise the USCM platoon for the 10mm Aliens mini-project and, after a little googling around the subject, have got the basic organisation pretty much sorted. This is an extract from the Xenopedia Wiki which gives me a basic structure for the platoon, consisting of two M577 APC's and about twenty two figures:
 
The organization of the rifle platoons represents the USCM doctrine of small, autonomous infantry units capable of independent action on a non-linear battlefield.
 
The platoon commander, a lieutenant, is assisted by one or two synthetics as technical and scientific advisers, medics and drivers.
 
The platoon is divided into two sections, which are further divided into two squads of four Marines each. Each section is led by a sergeant and includes a driver for the M577 APC. In addition, during Drop operations each section is assigned a UD-4 Dropship from the aerospace company team.
 
Including the platoon commander and crews for the dropships and APCs, a full-strength rifle platoon would number twenty-five Marines, though in practice the platoon operates with fewer personnel.
 
The rifle squad consists of four Marines: a Corporal, a Lance Corporal, and two Privates/Privates First Class. The squad is broken up into two fireteams, the Rifle Team and the Gun Team. The Rifle Team consists of two riflemen armed with M41A Pulse Rifles while the Gun Team consists of a gunner armed with the M56 Smartgun and a rifleman armed with a M41.
 
I have more than enough figures on order for this and, with the two M577 APC models, I also have the armour support. No dropships as yet but I don't think I really need them for what I have in mind.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

10mm Aliens Terrain


I've narrowed down the search for some cheap and cheerful terrain for the Aliens project. I was planning to scratch build some colony buildings but, in the meantime, I'll use these very inexpensive and straightforward 10mm card models, which I can print out and assemble without the need to re-scale down from 28mm. I also have some resin scatter terrain from The Scene which I can spread around as hard cover for the USCM to defend.

10mm Aliens Beasties



I've been working out what I have in the Aliens collection and how I'm going to base them up for FUBAR. I have approximately thirty assorted alien figures in four different poses, so the overall effect will be pretty good, especially when they're deployed en masse. I'll be individually basing them up on 15mm mdf circles, which should look pretty effective.

I also have some egg clusters which I'm going to base up as scenic features and objectives for the marines to destroy. The face huggers will be used as suppression markers, which I think will look better than just tipping the figures on their side, as suggested in the rules and will avoid the need for alternative plastic tokens, dice or whatever cluttering up the table.

More on the terrain  and scenario side of things later...

Monday, 17 March 2014

10mm Aliens USCM



 
A bit out of the blue but I've sent off for a couple of packs of the new Colonial Marines from the Pendraken sci-fi range, to equip a platoon for my Aliens FUBAR mini-project. The new figures are much better than the old ones which, despite having some real character, suffered from over sized heads on tiddly bodies.
 
I've also sent off for some survivors from the Zombies range, which should be ideal as colonists. I don't know when this lot will arrive but, in the meantime, I have plenty of aliens to base and paint up. I'll be using 10mm mdf circles for most of the alien and human figures with slightly bigger bases for the alien queen and egg clusters.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

AK47 Winter Wobbler [21]



I painted up the BRDM 2 armoured cars yesterday and followed on with the professional / regular infantry today, thereby completing the core of the AK47 Superpower Backed army, at least for the immediate future. I now need to texture and paint the bases but this will wait until after Easter, when the club campaign is scheduled to kick off. I have a couple of extra units to add including some more technical, some tanks and some regulars but these are not essential so will be fed on as and when I want some reinforcements.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

10mm Aliens APC



I popped into the local charity shop this morning on the way back from the newsagent and was lucky enough to spot a bag of micro machines including two M577 APC's. These are roughly 10mm in scale and are slightly bigger than the metal APC from Pendraken. They need a bit of tidying up and a paint job but are really nice models.

I have an army pack for Aliens by Pendraken that I bought at Warfare a couple of years ago, so was very pleased to find these two AFV's. I don't have any of the new USCM figures yet, having abandoned the old chunky figures that came with the army pack, so have ordered some of the new marines from Pendraken to use as bughunters.

I originally planned to use the army pack for Future War Commander but I've gone off the rules in a big way after having endured BKC for several months in the club WW2 Aegean campaign. The alternative will probably be FUBAR which has the advantage of being free and very simple, so right up my intellectual street.

A quick mini-project for a wet weekend!

Friday, 14 March 2014

NEWSFLASH - Mbote declares border zone secured by MDF (Reuters)

 
From our defence correspondent in Takuma
 
In a surprise visit to the reclaimed border zone along the Wajumba river, Colonel Banga B'oum, Life President of the Democratic Republic of Mbote, announced that MDF troops are now in complete occupation of territory on the Mbote side of the disputed border line.
 
Colonel Banga B'oum congratulated the troops of the Mbote Defence Force and local militia units of the Peoples Volunteer Army on the success of Operation Simba, in which advance elements of the Army of Bana Soto were forced to retreat from their bridgehead at the Takuma river crossing.

 
In a relaxed interview at a frontline HQ, Colonel Banga B'oum played down suggestions that the MDF suffered disproportionate casualties and losses in material during recent fighting:
 
'This is a lie. The brave warriors of the MDF have inflicted a punishing reversal to the Bana Soto interlopers, with much loss of face for the ineffectual and cowardly mercenary bandits of the ABS. Long Live Mbote!
 
In a subsequent formal ceremony, Colonel Banga B'oum praised the local MDF commander, Major Mojo, with a battlefield promotion to Brigadier and the award of the Order of the Lion of Mbote, with clusters and extra dangly bits.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

263 and 137 Squadrons


I ordered this hardback from Amazon way back in January but have only just been informed that it's in the post and should arrive sometime next week. About time. Anyway, I'll be reading this over the holidays in a few weeks, alongside the other reference books that I've assembled, with a definite focus on some linked scenarios for Bag the Hun and another article in a future Toofatlardie Special.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

AK47 Colonial Settlers v. Dictatorship Game








 
We had another enjoyable game of old fashioned AK47 yesterday with a marginal victory for Mbote over the Bana Soto colonial settlers. It was a bit one sided at times but, in the end, the colonial settlers managed to hold on by the skin of their teeth, despite a distinct lack of reinforcements and some dodgy dice rolls. The dictatorship players, on the other hand, managed to dominate the game with their numerical advantage in units but only held one objective at the end of the game.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

AK47 Winter Wobbler [20]


I was supposed to finish this unit of professionals at the weekend but, as usual, other family things got I the way. I did manage to get them half way along though, so it wasn't a complete washout. 

They will be wrapped up by this weekend so that I can draw a line under this project for the moment, with enough stuff painted to field a Superpower Backed army, even though I have another couple of regular units to do (the professionals will stand in as regulars until then). 

To finish of the force, I now have three BRDM armoured cars to paint up but they won't take very long. They're really nice little models and will look pretty good alongside my BTR 60's. I have to texture all the bases too before I can kick of the club campaign after Easter.

NEWSFLASH - Mbote troops open fire on Bana Soto forces (Reuters)

 
MDF reinforcements assemble in the Takuma bridgehead
From our defence correspondent in Takuma
 
Early this morning units of the Mbote Defence Force opened fire on advancing elements of the Army of Bana Soto in the vicinity of the Takuma bridge. The ABS occupied a strip of territory on the Mbote side of the river yesterday to create a bridgehead for a possible invasion of the border zone. In response, local militia units of the Peoples Volunteer Army and the Border Guards withdrew to the heights above the Wajuba river, awaiting reinforcements by regular units of the MDF.
 
It would now appear from unverified eyewitness reports, that the imminent arrival of these regular troops has bolstered the firepower of the local forces, enabling them to deter the advancing ABS with a range of AAA fire and small arms. In turn, advance units of the ABS have exchanged fire with the PVA and MDF in an apparent attempt to disodge the defenders from their forward positions. A further escalation of the conflict seems inevitable.

Monday, 10 March 2014

NEWSFLASH - Bana Soto troops enter Mbote border zone (Reuters)


From our correspondent on the Mbote - Bana Soto border

In a pre-emptive operation the Army of Bana Soto (ABS) has occupied the border zone between Mbote and Bana Soto, taking control of key crossing points on the Wajuba river including the Takuma bridge.

As yet there has been no military action by the Mbote Defence Force (MDF) or the Mbote Peoples Volunteer Army (PVA), with units of border guards and the local militias withdrawing to areas of high ground above the river in the face of the advancing Bana Soto troops.

There has been no further clarification or information from either the government of Bana Soto or that of Mbote but recent tension between the two countries has clearly spilled over into a potential armed confrontation.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

NEWSFLASH - Bana Soto military exercise threatens peace (Reuters)


From our defence correspondent on the Mbote - Bana Soto border

In a provocative move the President of Bana Soto, Washington Deesee, has ordered a full scale military exercise by units of the Bana Soto armed forces in the border zone with Mbote. In a surprise visit to troops in the front line, President Deesee declared that any infringement of the border by Mbote military forces would be regarded as an act of war. In recent days, tension between the two neighbouring states has reached breaking point, with both sides denying complicity in the collapse of the peace talks in Gombo..

NEWSFLASH - Banga B'oum condemns Bana Soto bomb plot (Reuters)


From our correspondent in  Mboteville

In a strongly worded press statement today, the President of Mbote, Colonel Banga B'oum, condemned an alleged plot by Bana Soto secret agents to destabilize peace talks between Mbote and Bana Soto. A bomb blast rocked the opening ceremony in Gombo yesterday, leading to the assassination of President Dr Kenko Gold of Zumata, who was acting as a third party mediator in the negotiations.


In response to these allegations, the President of Bana Soto, Washington Deesee, rejected any responsibility for the explosive hor d'oeuvres and pinned the blame for the fatal blast firmly on Mbote sponsored anti-Bana Soto factions. In a press statement, President Deesee claimed that Mbote was deliberately undermining the peace talks in an attempt to provoke a cross-border clash between the two rival nations.

Friday, 7 March 2014

NEWSFLASH - Kenko Gold assasination shock (Reuters

 
 
From our diplomatic correspondent in Gombo

In a sudden and unexpected turn of events, the President for Life of Zumata, Doctor Kenko Gold, has been killed by a suspected bomb blast at the formal opening of the Regional Peace Summit in the royal palace in Gombo. Dr Kenko Gold was acting as a mediator in the talks between the Mbote and Bana Soto governments and was due to deliver his opening speech to the conference after the reception.

Initial reports indicate that an explosive device, possibly concealed in a spicy jambok flavoured vol au vent, detonated during the reception held for the delegates prior to the official state banquet. An eyewitness at the reception, the Ambassador for Monaco, Mr Ferrero Rocher, described a scene of total chaos and confusion amongst the assembled dignitaries. In the blast, at least two other members of the Zumatan entourage were injured including Dr Kenko Gold's personal assistant, Mr Mafousa.
 
As yet, there have been no clues as to the identity or motives of those responsible for the explosive hors d'oeuvre but both President Washington Deesee of Bana Soto and Colonel Banga B'oum, President of Mbote, have accused each other of attempting to derail the fragile peace negotiations. It has been reported that both leaders have now returned to their respective nations under heavy armed escort by the Mbote and Bana Soto internal security forces.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

NEWSFLASH - Peace Talks to open in Gombo (Reuters)

Dr Kenko Gold welcomes Colonel Banga B'oum and President Washington Deesee to the Peace Summit.

From our diplomatic correspondent in Gombo

A new round of regional peace talks have begun in the capitol of the Kingdom of Bagombo, sponsored by the Combined Regional African Peacekeeping mission and hosted by King Mtosi III, in an attempt to resolve the long standing territorial dispute between Bana Soto and Mbote over mineral rights in their disputed border zone.

A guard of honour welcomed the Heads of State at the international airport in Gombo, with a full twenty one gun salute by the Royal Bagomban Army. In a rare display of unity and mutual trust, the President for Life of Zumata, Doctor Kenko Gold, walked alongside Colonel Banga Boum of Mbote and President Washington Deesee of Bana Soto , as they arrived for the summit in Gombo.

Dr Kenko Gold is acting as a mediator in the talks on behalf of the C.R.A.P. peace keeping authority. In a press statement, the President for Life of Zumata emphasized the potential for a meaningful and constructive round of negotiations. The initial round of talks will begin tomorrow after a formal state banquet hosted by King Mtosi at the royal palace in Gombo.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

AK47 Winter Wobbler [19]

 
One of the reinforcement options in the AK47 political flow charts for the Superpower Backed army is a duo of armoured cars or tanks, which can be gained at least two times if you get all the way through to the end. I don't have any armoured cars, so thought I'd add some to the existing AFV's in the collection by ordering a set of three BRDM2's from Old Glory.
 
 
These are the old Skytrex models, so will complement my BTR60's APC's from the same range. They will be used as a unit in their own right or as mobile fire support for the other units in the army. The three models set me back £19 including postage, so at £6.33 each, they're pretty good value and cheaper than the QRF alternative.

AK47 Winter Wobbler [18]

 
 
I finished the technicals yesterday evening, apart from the basing bit which I'll do right at the end. They look OK but I could add some more detailing and a decal or two. I might add a couple more to the unit at some point as they're well worth it in firepower and mobility terms, especially given the low points cost of militia vehicles. It's onto a unit of professional small arms and heavy weapons next.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

AK47 Winter Wobbler [17]


I started on the militia technicals yesterday and have moved them half way to completion, which is rapid progress for me given recent days enforced lack of momentum. I'll get them finished off this evening by painting the crews, then detailing and weathering the pick up trucks, followed by a much needed matt varnish spray.