Friday, 16 August 2019

U.S. Infantry... Again

I've painted up a another section of GI's but I'm unsure what I'm going to do. I used the more accurate colour pallet that I discussed a couple of posts back and the figures came out okay. What I'm unsure about is my choice of figures.

I've found that the Italeri plastics that I've been doing are about 23/24mm and I'm also finding it pretty hard to get my hands on them. I thought I had two boxes but, as it turns out, the second box I had are the winter uniform figures which, in my opinion are not a good. Trying to chase up the ones I want (in store & online) is proving more difficult than I expected.

So today on a visit to Eureka... I bought some AB 20mm GI's. 

Don't condemn me. I couldn't help myself. AB figures are just so damn good. Anyway, I'll paint them up and see how they look...

Who am I tryin' to fool? I know they'll look great and I'll want a whole bunch of them.
Unfortunately I'm pretty sure they won't fit well with the Italeri because they'll be noticeably smaller.

Anyway, here's some pics of the Italeri that I've painted so far:

The newer ones with improved colour pallet including some in winter uniform.
 Some newer ones (left) next to the original colour pallet (right)
 Mixed together (I can still see the difference).

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Achtung! Tommy Atkins!

Or: One Day On the Road to Caen...

Today I played my second game of Chain of Command. I frist played CoC in a demo game last year. It was okay but I didn't really get a very good impression of the game. Today's game gave me a much better appreciation of it.

My opponent was Chee. This was also his second game and I'm very glad that he had a much better grasp of the rules than I did. I've watched plenty of videos on Lard TV and other sites but actually playing the game was a whole different experience and proved that I only had a tenuous grasp of the game mechanics.

We played the Patrol Scenario from the basic rule book. I took on the British and Chee, the Germans. We both had a standard infantry platoon and rolled only one support from List 1.
I set up a 6'x4' table with a small town at one end with fields and some woods for the approach.
We rolled to see where our scouts would come on and mine came on in the bottom left (of the picture) and the German's came in from the center of the opposite table edge.

I made a several sets of different markers using Photoshop.
My patrolling wasn't great and I pretty much ended up holding the road and the fields on either side. The Hun controlled the town, the center of the board and the small wood at the top of the pic.
Never mind. On with the fight!

I took the first phase: After rolling for Force Morale I rolled a 6 so my morale went to 11 and Chee's remained on 9. So far, so good!

As the early morning mist cleared a section of the 3rd Recon Regiment ~ Royal Northumberland Fusiliers emerged from the hedgerows and advanced on the town of Émiéville, defended by elements of  21st Panzer Division...

My first units deployed were two sections. 1st Section on the main road and 2nd Section on the reverse slope of a small hillock to the left of the main road. The platoon sergeant: Sidney "Lucky" Lucas crouched close by directing them.

The first shots rang out from an MG 42, breaking the peaceful, eerie quiet. The section on the road were the target and the section leader took a minor wound. Nothing that troubled him much.

The shots came from the upper story window of one of the buildings straight ahead. So, the Bren team laid down covering fire whilst the rifle group advanced cautiously (Tactical Move) behind some hastily laid smoke directed by the platoon sergeant.
However, as second Spandau opened up from the ruined building opposite the first.
This MG targeted the section on the road killing Private Ron Duggan. The first casualty of the day and the first casualty for my WWII troops in Chain of Command! Alackaday...

 Vale, Ron.

In the center 2 section had advanced slowly to the top of the hillock (tactical movement) and set down to observe the terrain in front of them (I put them on Overwatch).  As it happens, a section of Gerry's made their presence felt in the wood and opened up on the Bren team but did little damage other than inflict a bit of shock.
Back on the main road the mortar laid more smoke and the 3rd section appeared to the right of 1st section and moved tactically to the top of the high ground before rushing to a defensible fence-line at the bottom of the slope. The 1st section remained in place, spooked by the defence of the twin MG42's and waited for the smoke screen to thicken before continuing their advance...

The German commander von Chee, had been accumulating 5's on his dice rolls and, now that he had a Chain of Command Dice available, decided to end the turn. All of that beautiful smoke just vanished. It drifted away like... Smoke

Von Chee had also rolled a double 6 giving him the next Phase. The twin Spandau's opened up and 1st Section ceased to be. There were two men left in the rifle team and they ran for the rear. The Bren team became pinned and crouched in a ditch by the side of the road. Only the platoon sergeant, who had moved up to remove some shock from the Bren in the previous phase had prevented them from running too.
On the other side of the road the German's in the wood kept up their fire on 2 section's Bren team, killing one man and piling on the shock. The Platoon Leader had appeared and reduced the shock to keep them in the fight. The Bren team kept on shooting at the wood and inflicted a casualty or two whilst the rifle team made for the fence line and took up a strong tactical stance.

But the Bren v's MG42 duel was unequal. Miraculously they stayed in place for a while with the Platoon Leader able to reduce their shock but when the team was reduced to 1 man and had 6 shock placed on him all at once it was all too much.
The Platoon Leader went with him. Apparently he was just escorting the stricken soldier to a safer location. (Well that's how it appeared in his After Action Report).
The, now isolated rifle team of 2 Section noticed the Squareheads in the wood were attempting a flanking move and quickly made haste to the reverse slope of the hillock. The moved fast and got there unscathed. But the enemy kept up their maneuvering and got around they flank all the same.

Things were looking grim for the Royal Northumberian's. So Sgt "Lucky" Lucas took command. He ordered the mortar to pound the buildings and moved up the slope to get the 3rd section to target the Germans in the houses. This had some effect by killing a few of the enemy and wounding a junior leader. There was a second smoke screen in place which hid him from the view of the MG's and...

Von Chee rolled triple 6. 
Once again the turn ended. The smoke lifted. The sergeant's Tactical marker was removed and there he was. Standing in the open, on the top of the hill like a chump. Not so lucky on this day.
 And the MG42 opened up...
And he took 6 hits (3 of them fatal).

Thus ended the Royal Northumberland's recce patrol. Force Morale down to 1 and nowhere to go but back to the lines.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed this game. Things started well for me but then started going down hill once those MG's started putting rounds down range but that really didn't matter. Despite all the set back my troops faced it was a really good game. Much of this can be placed in the lap of my opponent, Chee. He had a much better grasp of the rules that I, and I really appreciated it. 

It was also great that I got to use a lot of the terrain I've been accumulating of late. The table looked nice with plenty of different textures and colours. But I need a bit more scatter terrain to really bring out the best.

Also, in my loss I, graciously, reminded my opponent that his was a "Patrol" scenario and now that we know where his troops are we'll be calling in the divisional artillery to deal with him and his MG42's. 

So laugh now my friend because you won't be laughing for long!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

G.I.'s, Soviets and Explosions!

I started back into WWII over the past few weeks. Most of what I did was re-basing which, as you all know, is a pain in the arse. But I did it anyway.

I also decided to start painting some of the plastic 1/72 stuff that I've had sitting in their boxes for some time. I decided to try some Zvesda Soviet Infantry and Italeri US Infantry.

The Zvesda Soviets needed to be assembled which wasn't fun. They look nice but they feel flimsy. I'm sure they won't be able to stand very much handling before they start breaking off from their bases. So, I decided to order a bunch of AB Soviets. Very nice. I am lucky that I can order these figures and drive to Eureka an pick them up, so I got my hands on them in pretty short order.

The colour pallet that I did on the plastics looks quite nice but I picked up a new paint for the G.I.s (see below) and this proved a better choice for the Russians too. So the AB got the new colour (German light beige I think). I also did their helmets a different colour - French Tankcrew, from the Valejo authentic colour range. I picked up a whole bunch of this range cheap a while back (.50 cents each!).

The Zvesda figures also have no commanders or heavier weapons.
 Blue base for the Section Leader.
 Red bases for the Platoon Leaders.
The Italeri G.I.'s are really nice figures and they're much stronger than the Zvesda. They are a newer range and look much better than the older plastic sets dating from the 1980's and earlier. The plastic on these is fairly stiff too. So they're pretty strong. I'll be sticking with these as a basis of my US Infantry and I'll supplement them with some AB figures.

But... I'm not happy with my choice of pallet. They just look wrong and it's my fault. The jacket is wrong and so are the pants. I was hoping that the wash (GW Earthshade gloss) would darken them but it didn't - Stupid really. The reason I use the Earthshade gloss is because it doesn't darken the figures very much.

Anyway, I picked up the German beige and this should do the trick. As for their pants, I already have the correct colour but I decided to try something different. And I was wrong about that too but it's not as bad.

I can't change any of that now so these guys will be mixed in to other sections. At least that way I can blame the supply system and say it's just a variation in the uniforms they were issued.
And explosions!

I made some explosions using the wire and clump-vegetation terrain method. I hot-glued some wire onto washers, glued clump-vegetation onto the wires, gave them a heavy spray of black and a light spray of white. They look okay and should represent a decent barrage on the table. I'm going to make a few more and also some burning/smoke plumes for wrecked vehicles.
 With some figures for scale.
So that's some of what I've done during the past week or thereabouts.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Afghan Wars ~ Adrien's Birthday Game

I took a long drive out to Ballarat this morning to a friends house (Adrien) and took part in a game set in the 2nd Afghan War of the 19th Century. This was something I'd never played before and not the type of game I've ever considered. There were eight players (4 to a side) and only one or two knew the rules. This didn't matter because the rules were fairly easy to pick up and most of us had a pretty good handle on them within a few turns.

The table was fairly large with the British columns coming from three directions. The Afghans' held a ruined fort in the center and a town on one table edge. I was an Afghan warlord holding the center between the town and the fort.

I couldn't stay til the end but my guys were holding up pretty well when I left them and they'd dished out plenty of grief on the British in front of them.

All the figures were supplied by Adrien, as was the table and the venue.

The Town.
 The Fort.
My command.

 The head of the British main column.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

The Diner at the End of The World ~ Part 2

It took me a bit longer than I'd anticipated, but I finally got my abandoned roadside diner painted and suitably ruined. I still have a couple of little things to do, like outfitting the kitchen area a whatnot, but it's 95% done and ready enough to be put on the table.

I'm pretty happy with it. It's nice and sturdy and has enough room to move figures about without things getting cramped and in the way. I would have liked to add more detritus and junk but I decided to keep it uncluttered so figures will fit easy. I'm looking forward to using it.

So, if you have a hankerin' for a foot-long dog or a hot cup 'o joe, head over to Big Ed's where the Big Eaters meet!

 With some figures for scale.