Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spectre Miniatures Playtest - Mr Blake Calling.....

A number of us over at Wyvern Wargamers signed up for the recent kickstarter campaign from Spectre Miniatures, along with the rather nice figure range are their home grown set of rules, for modern day operatives in Africa.
Whilst we kick our heels until the figures land in September, we though we would give the beta rules a try out.

The Scenario.
Mr. Blake, a representative of Petro Corp has come to the village of Bandunu too meet with the village elders to negotiate a contract to extend the oil pipeline through their territory. He has with him a substantial bribe with him and contracts guaranteeing that the most of the labour hired for the contract will come from the village and surrounding area.
Unfortunately Dr J and his Southside militia has become aware of these negotiations and has spent some time preparing an ambush to stop them. They are particularly eager to get their hands on Mr. Blake and his briefcase – they can use the money to hire more gunmen and buy arms.

The ambush has already destroyed the contractors vehicles and has left them stranded in the middle of Bandunu. As usual, radio and cellular reception is zero in this part of Zikanga, so no reinforcements are likely from Petrocorps main base of operations until they fail to report in, but that wont be for an our or so.
The team’s only hope is to defeat the militia ambush team and hole up until the SF's arrive.

Contractor Mission Objective.
The contractors must defend their principle at all costs and find a building to use as a strongpoint from which to await special forces relief.

Militia Mission Objective.
Capture Mr. Blake.

The command phase allows you to place figures on over watch or remove supression points, the militia very often fail and once a roll is missed then thats it for that turn, this makes for plenty of thought provoking moves by the militia as they try and defend from the advancing contractors.
When dicing for initiative it would be better if Elite and Professionals gained a bonus rather than simply he who killed the most in the previous turn.

The Elite Special forces wait in the stone compound awaiting the contractors and Mr Blake, we issued them with body armour, in our view it should not be harder to hit, but it should give you a bonus when rolling against the lethality of the weapon as all to often the better quality troops were supressed and then killed by the lower quality militia.

The Militia mass, chasing the contractors as they head for the only brick building on the table, the bleedout rules work well for the better quality troops, but make militia practically useless once wounded, they also lose there ability to use anything but side arms, which in most cases make the militia armed.

The militia finally get the drop on the contractor rear guard, we need to workout some house rules for Overwatch, as what happens if you start the turn in sight and don't move in to view - can you still fire?

Mr Blake makes his way to the compound, with only a few contractors remaining, for the loss of seven figures, they have taken out over 30 militia, the results seemed a little to heavy on the professionals side.

Unless we missed something, the lack of morale made it simply meant it a question of maths towards the end of the scenario, you knew the maximum number of rounds of fire a figure could put out each turn and even if the militia missed the volume of suppression on a figure made him combat ineffective for several rounds.

The rules have some nice mechanics they are are fast and easy, the line of sight rules make for some considered moves before your take your turn. Grenades are jolly dangerous as to is close assault. I think they need a few tweaks to give the professionals more of an advantage, we need to factor in the assets available, such as Drone strikes etc, etc, to even the balance, but on first outing they certainly have promise.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mongrel Miniatures Cold War British Support Units.

Having repainted the Mongrel Miniatures cold war British several weeks ago, I stumbled across several spare figures which had been hiding out in one of the numerous cases in the garage.

Fortunately I recorded the original colour scheme, the spare troops will form the command and support sections for the Zikangeleze regular military. 

 A light mortar, Carl Gustav Team and GPMG provide a much needed punch for the "Black Panthers".

Meanwhile the forward Observer Team and CO, stand ready to call in air support or artillery if only the president had the funds to buy the fuel or artillery rounds....
A sniper draws a bead on the rebel militia.  

A great range of figures its a real shame the Cold War Brits are so hard to get hold of in the UK, I understand that the range is now owned by Badger Games in the US.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Operation Market Larden 2 - A Day of Lard at Wyvern Wargamers.

What a cracking day.....

Saturday saw the return of Operation Market Larden, a day devoted to Richard Clarke's excellent Too Fat Lardies rules, this years event surpassed that of last year with over 40 gamers travelling from all over the country, with 8 different games, fantastic terrain, well thought out and balanced scenario's and a great bunch of chaps only interested in the "fun" of the game.

The  games included.

Le Port(R. Clarke)
Verdun 1916(S. Roundwood)
Bloody Omaha (M. Whittaker)
Saving Mrs. Ryan (S. Walker)
Benouville 6/6/44 (A. Deacon)
Sharpe  Peninsular (J. Ibbotson)
Tin Star Gunfight (G. Bond)
The Bridge (N. Overland)
Kiss Me Hardy (N. Skinner)

As usual with this events I was somewhat carried away on the gaming front to capture many photo's, but I am sure others will come forward in the coming days judging by the number of camera's in evidence.

Anyway on with the pic's

The Lardies gather, plans are discussed and Pic's are taken.

Rich's Le Port game, with British Para's pitted aginst the German Defenders.


Simon's excellent Indian Mutiny game, which I had the pleasure in playing in, more on that later.

Mike's Bloody Omaha game, an all day affair which saw the US army make heavy weather of the beach landing as MG42's sweep the beach.

Ade's Benouville game, Ade had been planning this for months, the detail was terrific, down to the correct height of the walls and rumour has it the windows on the buildings.


Sid's excellent WW1 game, players were given a number of choices prior to the game, which would have an impact on the on table scenario.

Jeff's Tin Star, my early successes on the afternoon game was soon dashed as an outlaw in the final turner killed both of my survivoring law men. With a single shotgun blast ouch...
 Thanks Jeff real fun and a great system for winning the west :-)

Tiffin was called in afternoon and Ade furnished the flagging gamers with the now ledenary Too Fat Lardies Cup Cakes.

I had been looking forward to this game for a number of months, having been sent by Simon a draft of his Sharp Practice Variant for the Indian Mutiny a number of months before, I was keen to see how he put all the parts together.

Gary & I were to take on the role of Captain Yates and his fellow officers as they escort Mrs Ryan and her ladies to the row boats before the mutineers dispatch us.

The locals were not pleased to see us as they popped up from the village and the various camp fires peppered across the board, each looking to use their "Big Choppers" on my stoic troops.

The mutineers pour from the village as the British regulars form up, the first volley inflicted 2 shock points, bugger it would be a long day. We did mange to bag a couple goats, you never know they could have been preparing to side with the locals.

Good old British steel was the order of the day as we replused wave after wave of sword waving locals, but our main line was pinned and casaulties were mounting.

Judge John Deeds lead his armed civilians towards the beach as Corporal Nutting of the 1st BER plugs away at the natives, we flushed the baboons from the rocks, more mutineers I am sure.


More Sepoys rush on to the table heading for the landing. Time was running out for the English.

As the clock ticks down we had run out of time, ammunition was ruinning low, shock was mounting and the mutineers were only getting stronger, we had got Jimmy Munrowe and his litter (he had brokwn his legs days before) to the river but no where near a boat.
Mrs Ryan and the other ladies were still crossing the rough terrain as the natives closed in on them, what would the papers say... :-(

A great game, cheers Simon it was worth the wait and a close run thing to the very last turn of the card, just what you expect from Lardie games.

As is now customary we rounded off the day with a curry and several drinks to replenish our energy levels, it can be tough rolling dice all day.
“A Fan-dabi-dozi night was had by all” 

Thanks to all for making a good day great, we are already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Brigade Games - French.Generals and Flag Dude Flags.

Recently I seem to have painted an awful lot of 'Green'

I received a prompt from Lon at Brigade Games a few days ago of his latest releases which reminded me that I had been neglecting one of the other projects that I had ear marked for progress this year.

The latest releases from Brigade are just what I have been waiting for to add a little character to the adventures of Claude Canard, after all what would a napoleonic yarn be without Napoleon myself to be saved from harm...

So I put a small order together for these and a few more French men for the adventures in Egypt, meanwhile whilst I wait for the post from the US it reminded me of the final purchase from Salute that has been sitting on the side lines for a few months.

I picked up a couple of flags from the The Flag Dude
Amanda and Rick O'Brien are a small US company who made the trip over to London, I have always liked the look of their flags but had never had a large enough need to warrant placing an order but when they were on the trade stand next to our game how could I resist.

The flags are made of a heavy paper are well detailed and created in a way so to flutter in the wind, they even come with the braids to finish the piece off.

I had been holding back on the French command section until I had a suitable flag, so it was good excuse to put the camo paints away for a while.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

It's bows and arrows against the lightning....

Some day soon my All Quiet on the Martain Front order should arrive.
Having play tested the original rules in the kickstarter campaign, I can't help but think that digging in will be the order fo the day for the Human forces and these defences seem to do just the trick, another purchase from the guys at Daemonscape.

Well detailed and good castings with no signs of bubbles, they are a quick and easy way to represent dug in troops and only took an evening to paint up.

My plan is to retain the traditional Victorian style and period from H G Wells classic novel with a little bit of Steampunk technology rather than diving straight into the 1914 2nd Martian War.
As a child of the 70's it has to be Jeff Wayne all the way.... 


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Daemonscape - 25mm Sci-fi Vehicles

Just as I think lead mountain is finally shrinking and I have managed to keep purchases in check, something new comes along. I spotted these searching the web looking for suitable vehicles for the SST project.

The Daemonscape castings I believe are the old GZG vehicles in true 25mm scale, the castings are great and the guys have done a great job of cleaning the molds up – sharp, crisp and they fit together really well. I received an e-mail once the order was received and dispatched and the kits were really well packed.

I shall definately be using them again.You can find them here Daemonscape

I wanted some APC's for the Starship Troopers campaign, but did not want to end up down the GW route with each vehicle brisking with machine guns and large cannons, these snowcats and command vehicle seem to fit with the low technology levels needed in the SST universe and the style from the movie which I have based my collection on.
The low offensive capabilities with only a single HMG should also force the mobile Infantry to get out and fight.....

I need to glue all the parts together and add the heavy machine gun but the photo above gives you an idea of the scale when compared to a 1st Corp Colonial Infantryman.

These just jumped the painting queue....