A busy weekend in store…

Something of a busy weekend coming up…
On Saturday, I will be in Birmingham at the UK Games Expo, whilst on Sunday I’ll be travelling to Newark for the Partizan show.

I’m covering both show for Miniature Wargames magazine, but I’m also taking the portable recorder along, just in case I can grab a few interviews during the two days.

If you see me, feel free to say “Hi”. If you are struggling to spot me, I’ll be the big bloke with the camera tripod getting in everyone’s way…

Repainting the Landmark church (15mm)

lm_1Ever since I decided that the EWAR “Sainte Mere Eglise” model was too big for 15mm models, I’ve been on the lookout for an alternative.

One possibility was the Landmark 15mm Church from Timecast – especially as this model was on sale and almost half price. It has a downside, in that the model does not have a removable roof, but we can live with that.

I ordered a model and picked it up from Salute. I didn’t open it immediately, but rather a couple of weeks later. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the model was fully painted.

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However, when we put this on the table, we found that the model was generally a bit too green, and also was somewhat lacking in shading, which meant that overall the model seemed a bit washed out, and just didn’t look right. So I decided to repaint it. The result can be seen below:

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Overall I’m pretty pleased with how the repaint worked out – somehow the shading especially makes the model look more ‘solid’ and less toy-like.

Now this has been done, I will have to make a churchyard to go with it…

EDIT

I forgot to mention that thanks has to go to Ade Deacon for the inspiration to buy this church

In answer to the comment from dmchodge, here is a picture from the game we played last night with some 15mm figures for scale. The church is on the small side – very much a small village church rather than anything bigger.

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Podcast news update – 19th May 2015

Hi all – just a quick note, in case you’d thought we’d disappeared after the Salute show…

We’ve been busy in the background with some recording and arranging the next set of shows:

  • We are currently half-way through recording our review show for Planetfall. We should finish recording this on Friday this week.
  • Last night we recorded an interview with Andy Cooper of West Wind Productions. This should be published around the end of this week, or over the coming weekend.

We are also planning to record interviews with the following people / companies in the coming weeks:

  • Sam Mustafa
  • Radio Dish-Dash
  • Derek from Spartan Games (Halo Fleet Battles game designer)
  • Annie the Dice Bag Lady
  • Stuart from Great Escape Games (Cross of Iron)

I’m also visiting the UK Games Expo and Partizan at the end of May, and I’m taking my recorder – will hopefully grab some interviews whilst I’m there…

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for the coming shows – just got to cram some dates into the diary!

Cheers, Neil

Immortal from Broken Spirit Wargames

Calling all Saga and Dux Britianniarun players!

Don’t you just love it when a ruleset comes along which allows you to use your existing armies, but puts a different twist on things?

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Have a look at the Kickstarter for Immortal, from Broken Spirit Wargames which is a new set of wargames rules set in Dark Age Britain, but a land where the forces of good and evil are made manifest…

It’s an ideal opportunity to use Dark Age human warbands alongside fantasy creatures – perhaps a use for my Ex-Illis minis?

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The Kickstarter is to fund a 120 hardback rulebook. £8 will get you a PDF of the rules, whilst £20 will secure you a printed copy of the book. Additional pledges are also available. which include dice, tokens and some miniatures

Broken Spirit require £4.000 to fulfil the project – it ends on the 7th June.

BTW, one interesting thing is that if you look at the website, the game is using figures from a combination of two ranges from West Wind Productions – their ‘Arthurian’ range, but also their ‘Lucifer Wars’ range. This certainly looks like one to keep an eye on…

Chain of Command AAR – 13th May 2015

This part two of a battle report – part I can be found here.

…as the battle continued, the British 2″ Mortar team looked to try and prevent the Tiger from levelling the farm, and their aim was right on the money…

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The British Paras Platoon Commander arrives and instills some 'stiff upper lip' in the PIAT gunner
The British Paras Platoon Commander arrives and instils some ‘stiff upper lip’ in the PIAT gunner

Meanwhile, the smoke shells continued to fall…
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The Tiger advances down the road, with the MG42 team moving in support…
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…however, the Tiger commander could not see a target…
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More smoke falls…
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The German squad on the left flank struggles through the undergrowth, with a British Jump-Off point as their objective
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…and even more smoke now completely shrouds the Tiger…
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With their flank protected from the Tiger, a British section emerges and attacks the Germans…
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…with devastating effect (8 shock from 11 hits)…
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The third German squad appears out of the wood…
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The German squad on the right engages the British support section in the farmhouse, killing two…
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…on the German left, another round of fire inflicts 6 more shock, and the squad breaks and runs
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Automatic fire pours out of the farmhouse – the Germans respond in kind…
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…but suffer several dead…
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…and the MG42 team breaks
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The third Para squad appears from the farm and engage the remaining Germans…
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…with the inevitable result…
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Meanwhile the Tiger creeps through the smoke
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…and on the German left, the Panzerschrek team is overrun…
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Hearing the Tiger, the British make themselves scarce
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The Tiger moves forward to deny the use of a Jump-Off point…
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…and is ambushed…
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…twice…(well, actually, the PIAT Teams put 4 shots at point blank range into the rear of the Tiger, with no effect)
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The PIAT Teams slink away, and the Tiger attempts to move around to target the British in the farmyard, but the driver can’t get out of first gear. Meanwhile, the MG42 team close up on the jump-off point…
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The PIAT Teams run out of the barn and once again slam shots into the Tiger’s rear. The armour, obviously weakened by the previous shots, starts to fail. A penetrating hit kills the driver…
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A third shot finally knocks out the big cat
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…and the MG42 team is killed by the Paras coming out of the woods…
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Having lost both tanks and half his troops, and with his remaining forces with shaky morale, the German Commander calls off the attack. The Paras prevail again.

So where did it all go wrong for the Germans?

At the start of the evening, the British were looking in trouble. By the end they had repelled the Germans with few casualties.

There is no doubt that the 2″ Mortar saved the British. The amount of smoke it put down completely blocked any long-range shots from the Tiger. Thanks to the amount of casualties the Germans has taken, they couldn’t risk ending the turn to removed the smoke, as three squads would have routed. However, advancing towards the Brits played into the Paras hands – they are deadly at short range, and this showed in several firefights.

As the German commander, I made several mistakes – the biggest of which was attacking piecemeal. In doing this, each squad was driven off easily. The Tiger certainly worried the British, but it wasn’t invulnerable and simply had too much incoming fire to cope with (incidentally, in never fired a shot in the second half of the battle).

Bad luck or bad leadership?

Yes, I made some poor decisions, but the dice were certainly not with me. With a couple of exceptions I could not roll above average for movement on 2d6 for movement all night – the squads moving through the woods only moved 1″ or 2″ in  a phase, and were simply moving too slowly to achieve anything. In combat Dave (the British Commander) constantly rolled above average hits, and I spectacularly failed saving rolls (the 8 shock from 11 hits being the worst example)

I was certainly guilty on more than one occasion of thinking “just one more phase, then I’ll retreat” – I was never given that second opportunity. I have a tendency to be overly aggressive and try to push poor positions. You cannot do this in Chain of Command. Certainly trying to take on Paras at close range was a mistake my Heer didn’t live to regret.

However, what really made the difference was Dave’s ability to roll two 6’s when rolling command dice. He did this seven times over the night, twice getting three consecutive phases. I managed it once. In the part of the  game when the ambush was sprung on the Tiger until it was destroyed and the MG42 team overrun, I had one phase to Dave’s five. With this sort of dice rolling, I never stood a chance.

Dave didn’t really put a foot wrong, and his use of smoke was excellent (though immensely frustrating, as the German player). He dealt with what was in front of him, deployed his troops where needed and made ever shot count. The Tiger had him worried, and given an even number of phases it may have caused mayhem in the farmyard, but that wasn’t to be.

As Napoleon said, he would rather have ‘lucky’ Generals, and Dave exploited his to the full.

Maybe next time…

A Podcast & Blog about Miniature Wargames & Strategy Boardgames

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