Friday, 31 July 2015

Eastern Front Buildings - Sneak Peak

Colin's at it again! No, not exposing himself on the seafront (yikes!?), he's been busy designing more lovely buildings ... and he's been kind enough to give me a little preview of his latest project. Buildings for the Eastern Front of WW2, so I just had to share. Here's the first.

One detail I particularly like are the window frames; they're in two sections, allowing you to model the window being partially open.

The roof will be supplied with card tiling sheets - or you could apply your own thatch using fur or similar. In my humble opinion this looks to be the start of a very promising new range of buildings!! Colin also has some neat tricks for painting these wooden panelled buildings quickly and effectively, but I'll let him spill those beans ;o)

Keep an eye on the Charlie Foxtrot Blog for the "official" word.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Banque de France Anyone?

If you still needed any convincing about the amazing depth of Colin’s creative talent for modelling buildings then please look no further than this, his latest offering.

I was delighted when I saw this. Marvellous stuff!! A bank? Yes, but what about using it as a fancy residence, a small chateau maybe, or perhaps a Mairie. Also, having a neo-Georgian-esque look it would be jolly handy for anyone interested in VBCW too. Lovely.

Not content with splendid buildings, he’s quite handy with a brush too. Check out this snap I took of his Almohads. No, I didn't know who they were either. ;o)

Hand painted shields! With overlapping geometric designs!

Now ... stop faffing around ... go and order some buildings from Colin. Lots of buildings! :o)

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Farmhouse in Normandy

This superb model building (from Charlie Foxtrot Models) has been rather nicely painted by Jenny in a style similar to the other buildings - please see earlier posts.

Colin sells a range of 'extensions' such as the one shown on the left, allowing you to customise buildings as required. Below is a pic of the rear.

No farm could be complete without a barn.... so here it is. Again from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

A slightly better pic of the roof and side. The doors can be open, shut or ajar, as required.

As with all CFM buildings, the roof lifts off as do any upper floors.

After assembly I texture the walls with some cheap masonry paint. Be careful to avoid any seeping in to the gaps for the doors and windows as this will make the windows harder to fit. The structure is then sprayed a sandy base colour, Warlord Dunkelgelb I think. Jenny painted it by starting with a good wash of Earthshade then applied successively lighter coats of sand/cream colours, e.g. Foundry Boneyard. The interior is given a block coat of a suitable plain colour just to make it nice and tidy. The window frames and shutters are painted separately and glued on after the main building is textured and painted. A neat base with a bit of scenic garnish rounds it off nicely. Now... who makes a suitable French Farmer model?

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Monty Must Die! - A CoC Mini-Campaign

This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek mini campaign for Chain of Command - historical purists may wish to look away now! It's based on the following (somewhat dubious) premise: In the days shortly after D-Day 1944 the Germans have intercepted information that Monty is due to tour the front lines in hope of inspiring his men in the push for Caen. Following on from rumours of a mission to capture Winston Churchill (Operation Adler-ist-Gelandet), the Germans have formulated another daring mission where a small force of elite Fallschirmjager, all volunteers, will infiltrate the confused battle lines and attempt to capture or assassinate Monty.

It's a series of three games; Patrol, Delaying Action and Attack on an Objective. The action will represent a very short period of 'real' time as the FJs (led by Mike) must attack swiftly if they are to catch Monty before he is whisked to safety. To keep things very simple we've decided not to use the (excellent) At the Sharp End campaign supplement and just go with the scenarios and rosters from the rule book - adding any 'spice' we feel is appropriate to the story we're creating.

Game One
The Germans, led by Leutnant Meindl begin their attack with an aggressive patrol on the outskirts of Authie, north west of Caen. Just before first light they emerge cautiously from the trees looking for the best route in to the village and their objective. But the British are not entirely caught napping; Lieutenant Carruthers is a stickler for duty and efficiency and is returning to the village after leading his men on a night patrol when they spot Jerry. Sending a runner for reinforcements, he begins to organise his men to hold off the attack...

The battlefield at first light. Our starting points for the Patrol Phase were the road on the lower left (my British) and behind the woods on upper right (Mike's Germans).

I managed to keep the German JoPs away from the buildings forcing them to advance over open ground. The British JoPs are by the wall in the foreground, to the left of the smaller stone barn and behind the garden with the ruined wall. German JoPs are all amongst the woods on right.

The action gets underway! Leutnant Meindl is by the JoP whilst a sniper peers through the hedge. A squad dash towards the hedge too.

The early stages of the battle went well for the British. The open fields across which the FJs had to advance became a killing ground, with some heavy-ish casualties being inflicted. The return fire of the Germans proved to be relatively ineffective.

A British sniper takes careful aim but the shots whizzes past Meindl's head.

The British right held by Section no 3. The rifle and Bren shots begin to add up whilst the Germans advance tactically across the fields.

Feldwebel Kruger leads his squad on a bold flanking move with the aim of capturing the British JoP. But wait - is there movement in the garden?

The FJs press their attack on a broad front.

Hurrah! Here's comes the armour! One of my supports was a Sherman M4.

The FJ squad trying to outflank the British are brought to a sudden halt when Section no 1 (hidden in the garden) open up on them. The bold German NCO is cut to shreds by the Bren. His men hurriedly seek shelter behind the wall.

The British have brought on section no 2 whilst the newly deployed 2" mortar drops smoke somewhat off target! The tank let off a round or two of H.E. but had little impact on the Germans.

You'll see in that last picture that the British flanking sections have been annihilated. This was because as the battle continued the reduced German squads were able to take up some good firing positions, so then their superior firepower really began to swing things for them.

The final shot of the game went to Mike's Sniper who managed to cause Lieutenant Carruthers to dive for cover before calling the retreat.

Speaking of snipers... You know that bit in Saving Private Ryan where the American sniper takes out his German counterpart by shooting him through the telescopic sight... Well ours were nothing like that. They would have done better using their rifles as clubs!!? ;-)

The Germans have achieved their objective of a surprise attack, pushed back the British pickets and successfully broken in to the outskirts of the village. Both sides took fairly heavy casualties but Jerry had the best of it. The next stage is for Meindl and his men to quickly press on through the village to their objective. The British have sent runners to summon fresh troops whilst a more cohesive force is mustered.

It was a superb game with several very cinematic moments and a real pleasure to play; many thanks to Mike. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Chain of Command Jump Off Points

Here are some general purpose JOPs I've recently painted up for Jenny's Commandos. They're resin pieces that we picked up at Salute, although I cannot recall the manufacturer! Think it might have been a European company? Each is about 25-30mm in diameter.

After giving the resin a wash they were sprayed leather brown as shown.

Next, the block colours.

The bricks and tiles are blocked in GW Scorched Brown, and the concrete is Slate Grey shade. Highlights are Conker Brown shade, Brick Red shade and Slate mid/light. The earth is the usual Vallejo palette. A few dots of flock complete the finish.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

British Supports - Part 1

Here are the first of my supports for my British Platoon in Chain of Command. Another two inch mortar team.

Great for plopping some annoying smoke right in front of Jerry and his MG42.

A flamethrower team. Ideal for giving your enemy a warm welcome!

The figures are a mix of Artizan and Warlord. All painted and based as described in earlier posts.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Chain of Command - Platoon Rosters

Just a quick post ... one of the chaps on the TFL Chain of Command forum has produced a series of reference roster cards for each of the platoons. I'm really impressed with them - he even kindly spun up a new card for my Commando list :o)

Here's an example.

They're especially useful for anyone embarking on a campaign.

Please have a look here.

Whilst the discussions on the CoC forum can sometimes reach a level of "detail" that some might find overwhelming ... ;o) ... there are heaps of interesting and useful posts, background information, rules clarifications, etc.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

A Little Saga...

It's been absolutely ages since I played Saga. Daft really when you consider that it's such a good game! So a recent trip to the club saw Mike and I dust off our Dark Ages figures.

To keep things simple we chose standard 6pt warbands; Mike with Vikings and me with Anglo-Danes. We also chose the River Crossing scenario where two warlords vie for control of territory by contesting two bridges. To win you have to get as many of your troops across the river whilst keeping the enemy out of your side. Quite a tricky balance!

Here are things a little way in to the game, Mike's force is on the right. My plan was to hold the nearer bridge and make a rush across the other, led by my Warlord.

The initial attack by the Anglo-Danes goes well. Some Hirdmen are swept off the bridge and the Warlord with his Huscarls set foot in enemy territory.

At the other bridge Mike could do little other than shoot (fairly ineffectively!) with his levies since I was using the Anglo-Dane Intimidation ability to prevent his men attacking. Clearly my Huscarls were a fearsome looking (or possibly smelling?) bunch.

Back to the real action! Mike's Bondi launch a bold attack, backed by a great combination of runes. My own warriors move up to give support, but using Saga dice to hold the other bridge was slowing my attack here.

Another Viking attack goes in and wipes out the Huscarls, leaving the Warlord alone in Viking territory. The Viking Ulfhednar are still trying to work themselves up ready for battle.

Danish reinforcements support the Warlord.

The arrows are starting to hurt but an amazing series of armour saves means that there are still Huscarls holding the other bridge.

At last the Ulfhednar throw themselves in to the fray ... and what lunatics they are!

The Danish warriors are slaughtered to a man. The Warlord can only look on as some Bondi head across the bridge.

Now, I forgot to take any more photos, but I can report that the Danish Warlord went on to heroically slaughter his Viking opposite number. In the end Mike had 5 warriors (worth 2.5 VPs) on my side of the table and I had just my Warlord (worth 3 VPs) on his side. We called it a hard fought draw!

An enormously fun game, played in a spirit of gentlemanly fairness, that came down to almost the last dice roll! :o)

Mike then went on to give Orange Dave another game of Saga. Here's Dave figuring out how best to use his dice rolls to annoy Mike! ;o) ;o)

They played the scenario where each warlord starts with 12 wounds and is deployed in the middle of the table. Dave got there first with his supporting troops and so managed a quick win against Mike's Vikings.

All in all, a very enjoyable evening.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

British Command Group

The British Platoon Command Group are complete! :o) Here's the Lieutenant - with trusty Webley revolver - and his platoon Sergeant (with a possibly less trusty Sten).

As with other leaders, I've based them on octagonal bases and added a clump of red flowers to make them a bit easier for me to find on the table.

The 2" Mortar team.

And again.

The PIAT team.

To get what I felt was a suitable colour for the PIAT I started with Foundry Dragoon Green Shade (70A) - as per the helmet - then after the wash I applied some more 70A, followed by a mix of the shade and some Vallejo Russian Green, followed by a final highlight of Russian green. Not sure how well it comes out in the photo but I was pleased with the effect.

Another couple of pics of the PIAT.

So that's the core platoon of Command, plus three sections completed (I forgot to take a 'group' photo - doh!?). So it's on to the supports next. These will include another PIAT and 2" Mortar team, a Vickers MMG, a Forward Observation Officer, a sniper, a flamethrower team and a Universal Carrier recon team. I may also add a Sherman tank.