Saturday, 30 April 2022

Baggage Bagged

 





I have now finished the Parthian baggage train and Roman marching camp for my Strength and Honour armies, so the project is very nearly complete bar some terrain. I have also decided to repaint my Imperial Roman auxilliary units as I wasn't happy with the brass effect and will instead give them all the same metal finish as the legionaries. I might also add another legion base - Legio XVI Flavia - as lots of other people seem to have more than my current three legions in their armies, so I must be missing something?

US Pre-Dreadnoughts

   

It's the end of a long first week back at work, with a bank holiday day off ahead, so to celebrate I've spent my pay day pocket money on some more 1/2400th scale US pre-dreadnoughts from Tumbling Dice. I have focused on the ships for the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, as I already have the Spanish ones that I need for that, give or take a couple of extras. These will be used with A Splendid Little War and Broadside and Salvo at some point this year, as the pre-dreadnought project will be my main naval project for 2022.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

X Craft Command


This is being read at the moment as part of my initial research for a solo game based on the Night Fighter Command and Corvette Command systems. It's very early days yet but I've been lucky enough to be invited on to the Corvette Command rules development team, so I thought it would be only fitting to bring something to the party, so to speak. As this is more relevant to my other blog, you can track my progress or otherwise by popping over there, where I will eventually be working it all out:

 Tea and a Wad Wargaming: X Craft Command

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Marching Camp and Baggage Train

 

I've made a start on a marching camp for my Imperial Roman army and a baggage train for my Parthians today, as it's my day off work, using the Antonine Miniatures castings for both. The baggage train will be a mobile unit so doesn't cost any points, while the camp will add 3 points to the Roman army, either as a two square base on the table edge or as a four square field fortification. I'll get these wrapped up by the end of the week if I can, then move on to some terrain templates using random shaped mdf bases for a more natural effect.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Corsairs and Cavaliers Continued

 

I'd sort of forgotten about this set of rules that I'd written based on the Wings at War Desert Spitfires rules, until I got a note from Paul at Tumbling Dice today, saying that he'd like to feature some of his new models for the Football War in a magazine advert and wondered if the rules were play tested enough for publishing. I have play tested the latest version (3.1) a few months ago and it all seemed to go smoothly, although it was a while back and I had to check my notes, so it's a green light from me. 

I have also suggested that they should be a free download, as they are not a full blown set of rules like Thud Ridge and MiG Alley but an adaptation of an existing free set, so it seemed more appropriate to go that way. I think it would be a more attractive option as a freebie anyway, especially as the aircraft that you'd need are not exactly mainstream and might not sell so well without a bit of a nudge? I'll wait and see what he thinks but it makes sense to me.

Parthian and Roman Baggage


Now I have a copy of the Strength and Honour rules, its clear that I really need some baggage or encampment elements for both my armies. The Imperial Roman army is easy, as I will use either a marching camp or the wagons and carts baggage pack from Antonine Miniatures. The Parthians are a bit more tricky but I'll probably use a combination of the rider less horses from the wagon laager set together with some scratch built nomadic style tents, if I can make that work? It's just a shame they don't make baggage pack camels! 

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Parthian Army Parting Shots

 






I finished painting and basing up the Parthian Horse Archer units for my Strength and Honour project this afternoon, so to all intents and purposes it's job done, although I do still need some optional baggage or a camp for them to defend. I'm going to park the army building part of the project now, having put together an Imperial Roman and a Parthian force, so that I can concentrate on some terrain as well as starting off my 1/2400th scale pre-dreadnought project for the summer. I'm not a fan of points but if I was, this lot would give me 70 to 75 points to play with and a break point of 14 or 15 if I add the baggage, so not a bad starting army to deploy against my Roman Legions. 

French Pre-dreadnought Cruisers


I've organised my 1/2400th scale French pre-dreadnoughts ready for painting next month and realised that I'm a bit light on cruisers, armoured, protected or otherwise, having been reading up on the subject in this rather splendid book. As it stands, I have one Amiral Charner class armoured cruiser and two Friant class protected cruisers but that's all, so I will be adding one more of the former as well as the protected cruisers  D'Entrecasteux and Amiral Cecille in order to beef up the fleet. I have a cut off in service date of 1899, so anything later than that is out, but I really would have liked to add the earliest armoured cruiser Dupuy de Lome, if only she was available in the Tumbling Dice range.

Strength and Honour Terrain

 

I'm working on some options for quick and cheap terrain for Strength and Honour, with the idea to get some games underway sooner rather than later. I have a 3' x 3' desert terrain cloth that I can use for the interim but I don't want to mark that with dots or squares and it's a bit small, so I need a more permanent solution. 

I've played around with cork floor tiles for terrain before and have some stashed away, so I'm going to try using them for modular terrain in a 3 x 4 format, giving an area of 12 x 16 75mm squares in terms of game size, although there's no real need to mark the grid out as the tiles make it pretty obvious which squares the units are occupying. 


I'll add some templates to go on top for hills, rough ground, villages and linear features like rivers, rather than making permanent features on the tiles themselves. The tiles will get a little texturing then spray painted and dry brushed, with some flock on top to match my unit bases and the arid Parthian landscape. I think this will do the job and has the advantage that they are easy to store and transport. 

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Variable Geometry Flight Stands for Knights of the Sky

 




I found four of these extending magnetic pick up tools in the local French supermarket on my holidays, so now my WW1 aircraft can bank, dive and climb, not to mention plummet earthwards in flames. I wish I'd been able to find some more but there were only four on the shelves, which is better than nothing and they were only 3 euros each anyway. It's a shame that Knights of the Sky isn't as popular as it used to be at the club but I'm sure I can still make use of these new flight stands myself. 

Strength and Honour Arrives!

 

I know have my grubby hands on a copy of Strength and Honour, which is a really splendid production and full of useful information that has helped to answer a few questions that I've had in the build up to publication. The first of these is terrain and I now have the Terrain Generation rules (Section 3.3 p 14) from which I can start to construct some features for the Parthian campaign. These are pretty simple and include hills, rocky ground, woods, villages and impassable hills, so nothing that I can't bash together myself using the Warbases terrain templates that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. The other thing is the baggage elements for both the Imperial Roman army and the Parthian army (Section 13.2 p58-59) which I can now put together having a better idea about format, base size and types of baggage that you can deploy (if any). I just have to finish the horse archers then I can get cracking on both of these things.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Wings at War Khalkhin Gol Terrain Mat


I've been looking for a terrain cloth or mat to use for a Wings at War Khalkhin Gol / Nonomhan project for ages, and I think I may have found what I'm looking for. This mat is PVC, which is cheaper than cloth but not as easy to store or fold. That isn't a big deal as otherwise it's pretty much what I'm after, especially as it has a river bisecting the mat which could be the Nonomham or Khalkha river. I've asked if it can be made as a 6 x 4 mat, as it's only 3 x 3, so I'll wait and see what the supplier comes up with. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Night Fighter Command

 

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've been away in Brittany for the holidays so haven't been at the workbench to complete my Strength and Honour Parthians, which I'm hoping to finish when I get back at the weekend in time for the rules to arrive next week. In the meantime, I've been playing some more games of Night Fighter Command, a print and play solo wargame of Beaufighter sorties set in 1941. It's just been published and is available from Wargame Vault, Board Game Geek and the Night Fighter Command FB page as a free download: 

Nightfighter Command - Corvette Command | Wargame Vault

I have been a play tester for the rules so had access to them in advance but they can now be yours for the price of a little printing and laminating. Anyway, if you want to know more about it and read some after action reports, then here's a link to my other blog where you can follow the exploits of my second crew, F/Sgt 'Johnnie' Walker DFM, RNZAF, and Sgt 'Taffy' Jones, RAF, as they hunt for Heinkels over the West Country and hopefully, shoot some of them down:

Tea and a Wad Wargaming: Night Fighter Command

Monday, 18 April 2022

1/2400th Spanish Pre-Dreadnoughts

 

I have now added some 1/2400th Spanish pre-dreadnoughts from Tumbling Dice to my overloaded lead pile of shipping, with a view to doing the Span-Am War, or at least the Battle of Santiago de Cuba at some point in the future using Broadside and Salvo or Tsushima. It's a relatively small fleet, mainly consisting of the four armoured cruisers and a couple of unarmoured cruisers, together with the battleship Pelayo, which didn't take an active role in the war, as well as three torpedo boat destroyers as escorts. Just enough to run a small cruiser action or similar, so a nice little extension to the project.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Barry's Battle of Southwold Bay

 



A massive 'Huzzah!' to Barry Hilton for making this available as a free document via the League of Augsburg and Mad for War FB groups, as it must have taken ages to put together and is, as always, a beautifully presented, thoroughly detailed and superbly conceived piece of work. The models are stunning, as you'd expect if you've seen Barry's painting and rigging before, while the narrative of the battle and the wargame is also excellent, particularly if you want to get a feel for the Mad for War rules and how they work, as I do. A very nice surprise for Easter! 

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Pre-Dreadnought Summer Project INWARD 2022


I've decided that my next project after the Strength and Honour Parthians are finished, will be the Italian and French (and then British) 1/2400th pre-dreadnoughts, which are all based and undercoated ready to be painted. The aim will be to have two fleets ready for International Naval Wargaming Day in August, with some practise games having been played beforehand using the Broadside and Salvo fast play rules. The ultimate goal will be to replicate my extensive fleets of 1/2400th French and British Victorian ironclads, so that I can run a 'What If?' campaign set in the 1890's to parallel the games I've played set in the 1870's. I'm really looking forward to it! 

Friday, 15 April 2022

Red Rocketeers Rampant!

 

The bonus scenario for the Khalkhin Gol supplement, Red Star Rampant, is now finished and is available from the Bag the Hun FB group if you'd like to download a free copy. I haven't play tested it yet but it should work fine, give or take some tweaking of the rocket rules, as they may be too effective or a damp squib, depending on how it work in action. I'll run a playtest as soon as I have the time, then make any adjustments needed in retrospect. Tally Ho! or possibly Banzai!

Thursday, 14 April 2022

AK47 Republic Facebook Group?

 

After years not being on Facebook, I took the plunge in 2021 and signed up, primarily due to the demise of the old Yahoo groups and their widespread migration to the platform, as well as the existence of new groups that I have an interest or involvement in. However, I'm now thinking of setting up a group myself, not for Bag the Hun as that's already up and running but for AK47 Republic, which I have been unable to find as an existing FB group. 

This would be for both the 'classic' rules and also the subsequent Reloaded version, with space for photos, game reports, modelling tips and house rules, as well as spin off variants for other settings. It would hopefully complement the RFCM Forum, where much of this sort of thing can be found, but reaching out to a wider audience of AK47 enthusiasts in the way that FB seems to be able to do. 

Good idea? Bad idea? What do you think? I'd be really interested to know. Thanks.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Khalkhin Gol Bonus Scenario: Red Rocketeers

 

One of the scenarios that I didn't include in my Bag the Hun Red Star Rampant article for last year's Lard Mag involved the first combat use of RS-82 air to air rockets by the Soviets on 20th August 1939, when five rocket equipped I-16 elite pilots led by Captain N.Zvonarev launched a successful attack against a formation of Ki-27 fighters that were escorting Ki-21 bombers on a raid over the Khalkhin Gol front lines: Jim's Wargames Workbench: Rockets! (jimswargamesworkbench.blogspot.com)

I decided not to write this one up at the time, as it involved too many aircraft, but I'm going to scale it back to represent the attack by Zvonarev's rocket flight, supported by a zveno or two of I-16's, leaving the rest of the Soviet fighters out of the equation. I'll also scale back the Japanese fighter numbers to make the scenario manageable and leave out the Ki-21's bombers, as they didn't play a role in this part of the action and just flew on past. I'll have a crack at this over the next couple of days, then post it on the Bag the Hun FB group and on the TFL forum as a bonus scenario. 

Bath Tubs and Clanky Tanks

Thanks to a tip off from Graham and Neil, I have now ordered a couple of 15mm models from Syborg 3D Printing for the SCW project, both of which are fairly unusual and of limited use but are good additions nonetheless. The first is a Constructora Field improvised armoured car that I can use with my anarchist unit as an optional extra, as an alternative to the more expensive Peter Pig model and alongside some home made, scratch built improvised armoured trucks. 

The second is a favourite WW1 tank that I also have in 28mm for my Back of Beyond Bolshevik army, a Schneider CA1, a very small number of which were used by the Republicans at the start of the war in Madrid. I haven't found a cheap 15mm version of one before, so I'm chuffed to add one to the line up, even if it's a 3D printed model which I'm not keen on. I'll use this one as ad hoc armoured support for the anarchists again, if only so I can paint it up with lots of slogans and perhaps a flag?

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Tiznao or Never

 



I've been trying to find some 15mm and/or 1/100 scale models of improvised armoured vehicles for my For Whom The Dice Rolls Spanish Civil War project but without much luck. There used to be some available from, both Stronghold Miniatures and QRF but both of these options are no longer available. Peter Pig have a handful of various armoured cars and trucks but they are resin and have thick cast on bases, which I'd have to remove to make them look half decent, while they're also not cheap at about a fiver a pop, not including postage. 


I think the only option will be to do some scratch building with plastic card, lego blocks and other bits and bobs, to create some generic armoured 'tiznao' for my Anarchist militia. I don't think it would be too difficult but they might not be exactly like the actual vehicles, although I suspect only the purists and rivet counters would notice? I have found this site, which includes several larger scale card models to download, some of which might re-scale to 1/100 with a bit of work, with another possibility being to use them as templates for my own plastic card construction efforts:

Holiday Fun and Games

I'm on holiday at the moment so there's nothing happening on the workbench. Instead, I'm playtesting the latest edition of Night Fighter Command, which is almost ready for publication as a free set of solo air wargaming rules. The first sortie after action report is up on my other blog, with more to follow:

Tea and a Wad Wargaming: Night Fighter Command Update: Sortie 1

I'll also be playing some more solo games, including Corvette Command, the convoy escort precursor to the night fighter system, as well as Bismarck Solitaire, a roll and write game of naval operations in 1941. I've even brought along a couple of favourites of mine, Aquitaine, a Society of Ancients game set in the Hundred Years War that I used to play years ago, along with Battle Ravens, which is great fun.

It's all happening over on the other blog:

Tea and a Wad Wargaming

Sunday, 10 April 2022

Strength and Honour Army Scratch Building Solutions

I was looking for some terrain templates for Strength and Honour today when I found this set of small laser cut templates, which are designed for casualty bases, objectives and the like, or as Warbases calls then 'McGuffin' bases. As they are all relatively small I was wondering if I could use them as warband blobs, glued down to 120mm x 60mm bases then skimmed with green stuff or milliput, the top surface and edge then being scribed to represent figures. I've seen mdf squares being used this way for Republican and Imperial Roman legions, so I think it's worth a try for Dacians or Ancient British.  If it doesn't work, I can always use them as they are intended anyway, so it's a win win situation. 

Lasercast Starter Armies

 

I'm looking to create a Dacian or Ancient British army after I finish my Parthians but I'm not very keen on the Antonine Miniatures warband sets, as they don't look very realistic unless you use lots of green stuff to fill in the gaps between the castings. This leaves me with two options, either to scratch build an army which is quite an interesting idea, or to source one from overseas, specifically from Lasercast in Australia, which makes fantastic laser cut ply units that you just pop out and paint. I really like their stuff and it's not too expensive until you factor in postage and the dreaded customs duty, the latter being the thing that kills off the whole idea. I've been stung too many times before by the added duty, which can double the cost of an imported parcel, so it's going to have to be the DIY option I think, using either FIMO or green stuff to create some warband hordes, backed up by some cavalry and chariots from Antonine Miniatures. At least it will be cheap!

Saturday, 9 April 2022

AK47 Interwar Banana Republics

I got very bored on the ferry journey yesterday so ended up jotting down some random thoughts about an AK47 based set of rules for interwar Banana Republic games. The inspiration for this came from my long forgotten ideas for an AK47 German Revolution mash up, which got as far as two army lists for the Freikorps and Spartakists that are available on the RFCM forum, if you are interested. That and some background reading that I've done on the Peru-Ecuador war of 1941, the Chaco War of 1932-35 and the various Central American 'Banana Wars' of the 1920's and 1930's, amongst other vaguely relevant things. 

The idea is simply to adapt the rules as they stand to an 'imaginations' interwar setting, with new army lists and flow charts to include a right wing Dictatorship, a Nationalist Government, a left wing Peasants and Workers movement and possibly an Interventionist army (US Marines anyone?), all based on the existing stuff in the AK47 rules but with a South American twist. The other changes would mainly involve adapting the technology deployed, for example, swapping RPG's for AT rifles, obsolete WW1 tanks for 'old' tanks, adding improvised armoured cars, mounted troops and so on.

These changes wouldn't be extensive but the army lists and flow charts would require quite a bit of rewriting to add some 'banana republic' flavour to the game, with some new rules also added for special events, artillery bombardment, cavalry and even trains. The armies would be fun to assemble using Peter Pig figures of course, with plenty to choose from in the WW1, WW2, Spanish Civil War and Mexican Revolution ranges, with suitable vehicles also available from QRF and Zvezda, not to mention the 3D printing option. It would also work well in 10mm, as there are lots of useful things in the Pendraken range.

I think this would be lots of fun but it's only an idea at this stage and I have no plans to go beyond some basic rules scribbling at the moment. 

Friday, 8 April 2022

More Minairons Motors


I was so pleased with the Minairons Bilbao armoured cars that I ordered a Hispano Suiza MC-36 from the same trader, although it cost me quite a bit. This is a lovely model too, smoothly cast in resin with no bubbles or seams at all, plus an excellent sheet of decals. There were only a handful of these and I'll be using mine for the Nationalists, possibly with a T-26 turret. Very nice. 

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Sandbox Skirmish

 

I've just acquired a good selection of QRF Saladins, Saracens, Ferrets and Landies, together with what looks like unmade Soviet trucks, from an abandoned AK47 project on eBay. The majority of the vehicles have been glued together, while the trucks are still in their plastic bags, but it looks like he's done a neat job of it, so there will be minimal to do before they can be painted. I have quite a few of these already in my AK47 Colonial Settlers army, although they are still unpainted, while the Sandbox Skirmish platoon also has quite a few Saracens and Ferrets too. These will be distributed between the two and will hopefully kick start the No End in Sight Sandbox Skirmish project again, which has been side lined for far too long. 

Strength and Honour Commanders

 




As a stop gap, I've made a couple of command stands for my Parthian and Imperial Roman armies, the former a single cavalry block and the latter a tented general and his Praetorian bodyguard, made from a skirmish strip and some tents from the marching camp pack. I was going to just use cavalry blocks for both but I decided to make them different so that they were distinctive. They're not great but they will do the job.

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