I've worked out my army for the game tomorrow at the club, with some tried and tested units for the Mbote Defence Force mixed in with a couple of new tweaks. I decided in the end not to deploy my transport helo with special forces, as it soaked up too many points for a minimal impact, so instead have included the usual highly mobile mix of crappy tanks, rusty technicals, zippy jeep equipped raiders and welly booted infantry, together with some nasty ground mounted AAA. I won't reveal the exact details here, in case the People's Popular Front for the Liberation of Mbote is tuning in, but I think it will be an effective offensive force and defensive force, if all goes according to plan (which it almost certainly won't). Victory to Mbote!
Welcome to my blog. I have upwards of 100 projects in various stages of incompletion or total abandonment, so you may well find something of interest if you rummage about a bit. I concentrate on solo air and naval wargaming but other 'skirmishy' things quite often pop up out of nowhere, only to disappear again after something else grabs my attention. I even finish the occasional project now and again!
Monday, 29 November 2021
Sunday, 28 November 2021
Finest Hour Hurricane Camouflage
The other half hijacked the kitchen table today for her school work, so I had to postpone the MiG Alley game for a later date, hopefully sometime during the week. Instead, I braved the arctic conditions in the garage and cracked on with the Hurricanes for my Finest Hour solo campaign. This involved painting the dark green camouflage pattern using Foundry Phlegm Green shade, having had a rethink about which colour to use. I'll do the undersides next followed by the canopies, exhausts and propeller bosses.
Saturday, 27 November 2021
MiG Alley Night Action
It's a bit too cold in the garage for painting, so I'm moving into the kitchen for some MiG Alley games instead, in which I'll be trying out some of the night fighters and attack aircraft for both the NKAF and USAF. The game I'll be setting up to play tomorrow will include a couple of USAF F-84 Twin Mustang night fighters and some B-26 Invader attack bombers up against NKAF Yak-9D's and La-11 fighters, together with some Ki-15 nuisance raiders. It will interesting to see how this works out and to have a game without any jets involved for a change.
Friday, 26 November 2021
Bag the Six Hundred
I've just noticed that I have somehow or other managed to get to six hundred posts about Bag the Hun games, scenarios, aircraft painting and other stuff, with the first one way back in December 2009. It's obviously a set of rules with some legs, at least as far as my aerial wargaming activities are concerned, although it seems to have lost its place in the top rank of Too Fat Lardies rules these days. If you haven't tried it out yet then why not make it a project for 2022. You might even get to enjoy it as much as I have over the last twelve years or more, who knows?
Thursday, 25 November 2021
AK47 Special Forces
I've decided to field my dictatorship army for the AK47 game next week, which has all the whistles and bells that I need and has seen plenty of action in the past, not always with much success. The force is made up of regular units of the Mbote Defence Force (MDF), often with attached militia units of the People's Volunteer Army (PVA). This time I may try out a heliborne professional unit of special forces, which I've decided to call the Para VTOL Commando or PVC for short.
They will be transported into battle in a Nubee 1/100th scale Mi-4 Hound helicopter, of which I only have one remaining as the other one got broken when I dropped it a while back. I'll pinch the figures from my other army, as they have red berets and camo fatigues, so will really look the part. It will be a bit of a change from the usual and should be good fun to try out, although I don't expect they will last very long!
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Brothers in Arms
I have just finished reading Brothers in Arms by Chris Goss, which compares the experience of fighting in the Battle of Britain for the pilots of 609 (West Riding) Squadron RAF and their opposite numbers in the Luftwaffe staffel, I/JG53. It's an easy read but full of useful ideas for Bag the Hun scenarios and for my Finest Hour campaign. I'm now moving on to one of his other titles, Knights of the Battle of Britain, which profiles a number of famous Knights Cross of the Iron Cross ace pilots of the Luftwaffe in 1940. Good stuff!
Tuesday, 23 November 2021
AK47 Club Game
|Haven't played this is a while...|
This time next week I have an AK47 game lined up at the club, so will be working on an army list for either the dictatorship of the People's Democratic Republic of Mbote or the super power backed forces of the People's Democratic Republic of Zubuto, depending on which I decide to deploy. I was thinking of painting up some of the extra technicals that I have in the AK47 bits box but, as I'm short on time at the moment, I'll probably just use what I've already got. One thing I am going to sort out, however, is some proper flight stands for my aircraft and helicopters, assuming they get picked for the mission or that I have some professionals to call in air support?
Monday, 22 November 2021
Finest Hour Hurricane Basecoat
Sunday, 21 November 2021
Finest Hour Hurricane Camouflage Colours
I have been working out a painting scheme for the Tumbling Dice Hawker Hurricanes, partly based on the 1/285th Raiden Miniatures ones I painted years ago for Bag the Hun and partly on combination of shades from Vallejo, Citadel, Foundry and Flames of War, which I've tested out on a strip of mounting card to find a good combination. I can't remember what I actually used on the original models so I've had to do a bit of working out, with alternative shades that look close enough to the real thing.
For the Dark Earth upper surfaces I'm going to use Flames of War Camo Pale Brown, with Foundry Phlegm Green Shade for the Dark Green upper surface camouflage, while the undersides will either be some very old Citadel Ghoul Grey or some Vallejo Pastel Green, depending on which looks more effective. At the time, there was a lot of variation in the shade of Sky used for the under surfaces of RAF aircraft, so either colour would not be out of place.
As always, the SAM Publications Camouflage and Markings books are brilliant as a guide for camouflage and paint schemes, so I am pretty sure that what I've worked out will look accurate enough. Tally Ho!
Finest Hour RAF Bogeys
Saturday, 20 November 2021
Finest Hour Luftwaffe Fighter Staffel
Ancient Naval Project 2022
As the last of my new projects for 2022 I've decided to have a go at ancient naval warfare, once again using the Tumbling Dice 1/2400th scale range for starters but with a view to moving up to 1/1200th scale and the new range from Ark Royal Miniatures alongside Langton Miniatures, depending on the price tag. I've wanted to have a crack at this for years and have been looking for a new project to add some fizz to my naval wargaming, as the projects that I have tried to get started this year just haven't been particularly inspiring.
The rules will be Long Face Games Ad Mare Bellum, which have familiar mechanisms to other rules I've played and are scribed by David Manley, who is always reliable when it comes to rules that actually work and are enjoyable to play. The initial thrust will be to start with two fleets, one Republican Roman and one Carthaginian, as these offer a bit more variety than the earlier Greek City States, although these might turn up later on. It also ties in nicely with my land wargaming project for next year, Strength and Honour, albeit in a different scale, so there will be a classical theme to my wargaming next year to balance the rest of the things I'm up to which are predominantly modern.
Thursday, 18 November 2021
Finest Hour Luftwaffe Reconaissance
I've been very busy lately with work and decorating a bedroom at home at the weekend and evenings, so the Finest Hour painting has slowed to a trickle. The DIY is now done, however, so I'm planning to finish the Bf109 basing and start on some painting over the next week or so. To add to the options I will be able to table, I've included a single Do-17P and a single Ju-88 model to use for reconnaissance missions, if and when I roll one up as an interception sortie for No27 Squadron. They won't take long to paint alongside the fighters and will be good practise for the full bomber force when I have to paint that up for future scenarios. Tally Ho!
Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Condor Legion Scenario Project 2022
I've just had a top up delivery of Tumbling Dice aircraft for next years Bag the Hun Spanish Civil War scenario writing project, mainly Italian, German and Russian medium bombers including some more Ju-52's and He111b's but also some lovely SM81's that will look great when painted up. The current concept is to write about half a dozen plus different scenarios focussed upon the Condor Legion, with a timeframe of 1937 to 1938 or so to keep it straightforward.
Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Going Up In The World
Monday, 15 November 2021
Finest Hour First Sortie Sorted
|'About to bounce an enemy formation'...in action!|
I decided to generate the first sortie for 27 Squadron in my Finest Hour solo campaign, in order to determine what I needed to paint in advance of the campaign kick off. This involved using the sortie table (section 6.3), which I had previously made a couple of tweaks to, so that the number of bombers required was slightly reduced and the chances of some decent sorties slightly increased. The resulting sortie, set for Saturday 13th July 1940, worked out with 'B' Flight 'about to bounce an enemy formation' of a full staffel of twelve Bf-109's, which was handy as that's what I'm painting first anyway!
|The table with a few tweaks|
While I was at it, I noticed that the table as written included reference to 'Three Schwarm' and a full 'Staffel', which are actually the same thing being twelve fighters in three schwarm of four. This seemed a bit daft, so I have amended the table again to fix it and give the chances of encountering one or two schwarm a slight uplift but still ensuring that in most scenarios the RAF will probably be outnumbered. I also took the opportunity to increase the chances of intercepting formations of twelve and nine bombers, as less than that seemed a bit unrealistic on reflection. Tally Ho!
Sunday, 14 November 2021
Corsairs and Cavaliers Latest
I had an email from Paul at Tumbling Dice today with a list of all the new modern and post war aircraft he's going to be releasing at some point soon, with several designed to complement the Corsairs and Cavaliers Football War rules that I've written (quantities and price may be subject to changes):
He also suggested a small amendment to the set up for transport aircraft that I've now edited into the rules, with transport planes like the C-54 / DC-4 and C-47 / DC-3 now crossing the table from the enemy to friendly long edges, rather than flying a diagonal course across the table. I think this will work fine but I've also reduced the VP's for doing a successful transport run from 2 to 1 in order to reflect the shorter distance travelled and the lesser chance of an interception by enemy fighters.
I've been frustrated with the continuing glitches and holes in Naval Command, which I like as a set of fast play modern naval rules but which still has lots of issues that make it a headache to actually use. As a result, I've decided to go back and try out my original option for a simple set of modern rules and have a go with Shipwreck from Vandering Publications, which is a tried and tested system that offers a similar level of complexity. It also has a wide selection of ship data sets that covers most if not all of the vessels that I have for both the Indonesian Confrontation and the 'What If?' South American campaign that I'd like to play out next year. I'll aim to get a game underway as soon as I can find the time. If that doesn't float my boat it's back to Naval Command, as there really isn't much alternative.
Saturday, 13 November 2021
Finest Hour Project Scramble!
Planning the Parthians
I posted a query about Parthian army composition on the Strength and Honour FB group and had some really helpful responses, one of which was from Jim Webster, author of a superb guide to the Parthians for the Impetus rules. I have now downloaded a copy from Wargame Vault and am avidly reading through it to give me some ideas for the Strength and Honour army and for the Imperial Roman opposition, as the supplement covers both in detail. Thanks Jim!
Friday, 12 November 2021
Bag the Hun Spanish Civil War Scenario Project
I've been gathering together the aircraft for a Bag the Hun Spanish Civil War scenario writing project for next year, with the Tumbling Dice 1/600th scale range being pretty comprehensive for the task. I've opted for the latter part of the conflict, so the Condor Legion can deploy early model Bf-109's He-111's and Do-17's as well as He-51's and Ju-52's.
The Republicans get to use the I-15's, I-16's and SB2's that I already have in the spares box, left over from the Khalkhin Gol project. The Italians also get some nice kit including Cr-32's, BR-20's and SM-81's, some of which I also already have hanging about in the lead pile. All I need now are some decals for the Condor Legion from Dan at Flight Deck Decals and I will be ready to kick off the project in 2022!
Thursday, 11 November 2021
Wednesday, 10 November 2021
Strength and Honour Core Armies
Tuesday, 9 November 2021
Into the Lion's Den Scenario Planning
Monday, 8 November 2021
Finest Hour Campaign Research
I have a couple of books by this author to read over the next couple of months, in the run up to the Finest Hour solo campaign for Bag the Hun next year. I haven't read anything by Chris Goss before but he has some interesting angles on the Battle of Britain including this one, which obviously focuses on the aces of the Luftwaffe rather than the whole battle, for which I already have more books that I could possibly need! I'm really looking forward to reading it along with his book Brothers in Arms, which compares the experience of a Luftwaffe staffel and RAF squadron. Tally Ho!
Sunday, 7 November 2021
Finest Hour No27 Squadron Cards
I've now decided to shelve the Napoleonic naval project until next year, as I haven't got the time to do it now due to working full time, so instead I'm going to begin the Bag the Hun Finest Hour project as it can be broken down into several bits that I can tackle one at a time. To move this along, having not started the Hurricanes again this weekend due to family stuff, I have word processed up some basic turn cards for No27 Squadron, based on the format I used for the Khalkhin Gol project. I think they'll do the job, even if they are a bit rudimentary!
MiG Alley - Fleet Air Arm vs Soviet MiG-15's
I had another cracking game of MiG Alley this morning, this time with a Fleet Air Arm strike package consisting of four Sea Furies and two Fireflies, against three Soviet crewed MiG-15's. The pictures are in reverse order, so you'll need to start at the bottom and work up, but the game went a bit like this.
The RN aircraft entered from the western edge of the table and made straight for the target, a column of North Korean T34's, with one section of Sea Furies heading to the northern flank in order to tackle the MiG's. The MiG's also went straight for the Fireflies but in the initial head on attack, one of the MiG's was shot down by a 'snap shot' from the fighter bomber after failing to score a hit. This gave one VP to the UN.
In the following turn, one of the MiG's made a tight turn to get on the tail of a Sea Fury but fluffed it's D6 roll and ended up with low ammo. The Fireflies now began their bomb run, diving to level two then releasing their bombs on to the tanks, the first scoring a hit and the second a double hit, bringing the VP total to four, on more than needed for a victory. As usual, I decided to play on to see what happened next.
In the next turn, one of the flanking Sea Furies made a side on, deflection shot on a MiG and shot it down, adding yet another VP to the UN side. After a failed head on shot from the other Sea Fury, the MiG's wingman now shot him down in a head on 'snap shot', adding one VP to the Soviets. In the following turn, the other MiG dived to level two and got a deflection shot on one of the Fireflies as it attempted to get away, blasting it out of the sky for another VP.
The last couple of turns ended up in a chase for the Yellow Sea coastline, with the MiG's piling on the power to catch up with the fleeing Royal Navy aircraft. This gave the MiG's the advantage and in the last turn they shot down another Firefly and a Sea Fury in tailing attacks, adding two more VP's to their score. Although the UN had already won, this brought the final VP score to four for the Soviets, one more than their target, and five for the UN, three more than their target, so a clear win for the Fleet Air Arm despite their losses.
I enjoyed this game immensely, even if it ended prematurely as often is the case with the Wings at War rules, given the Victory Target system. I will have a think about how this might be tweaked but will probably just continue to play through to the end of each game when it reaches a logical conclusion. I think in larger games where there would be several units on each side, the VP's would average out and make the targets harder to achieve, but that's just my best guess?