Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Friday 31 January 2014

CNT die hard against the Legion

Militia prepare to man the barricades against the Fascists
A couple of weeks ago, James and I played a game of Spanish Civil War pitting James with La Legion against myself using International Brigade. Last night we had another crack at it, but rather than using the International Brigade I would use the C.N.T. Anarchist Militia.

We would be playing the Attack / Defence (scenario 3) and as I have the No Pasaran! rule I elected to defend and chose the half of the table with a small village to start out from.

Now with a force rating of -8 against the +9 of the Legion I was going to have a lot of support, but, with only four command dice I did not want to be adding too many troops so I went for some boosts.

Republican Militia Shirt
I first chose 'Fanatic Milicianos' as I would be really suffering from shock otherwise. I also decided on 'El Hombre' otherwise any threes I rolled would be worthless and for the same reason picked a T-28 tank so that I could also use those ones. As I only have a single Senior Leader whose presence would certainly be needed on the field of battle I chose an Adjutant to feed in the reserves. I don't know why I did it but I picked the completely unnecessary Flag upgrade.
I rounded out the 17 points with a couple of sections of Heavy Cover barricades to give my Green troops something to hide behind.

Of course I was wearing a suitable T-Shirt again, P.O.U.M. rather than C.N.T. but a Republican Militia all the same. These Philosophy Football shirts are ace, but their web-site a pain in the arse. I have one more Spanish Civil War shirt of theirs, I'll have to wear it next time.

I would chose to fight my Militia as four sections of ten men.

As attacker James then rolled up his supports and threw a six electing to add a CV-33 light tank with AP ammo, one allotment of Molotov Cocktails and an Adjutant. I added a Renault FT MG tank and an LMG to one of the Militia sections..

La Legion mass behind the walled field
Rolling for Force Morale, we both came up as a starting point of 9.

The Patrol Phase started with myself placing my four markers in the village and James went heavy on his right flank to take advantage of the walls and hedges there rather than the more open terrain in the centre or wooded terrain on his right.

By the end of the Patrol Phase we had turned the table through 90 degrees, James Jump Off Points were behind the walls and hedges on my left, two of mine were in the village and the third was on James base edge behind some hedges (this was a bit of a mistake really as his tank would be coming on here).

Militia in the village
The Legion took the first turn and started to amass behind a pair of walled fields. The Anachists rushed from their trucks (Jump Off Points) and started to man the barricades. First blood went to the Anachists as the Sargento (Junior Leader) leading one of the Pelotones (Sections) was hit and wounded! The return fire was withering though and Anarchists were soon falling down dead behind the barricades. The Legion were not having it all their own way, the Sargento was hit again and killed this time and a few more of his colleagues fell.

The Anarchists had three consecutive 'double six' phases and the Legion started to suffer, but some mettle was put into them when the Sargento Primero arrived to push on the assault. A 'double six' by the legion meant that the Molotov team were able to storm the Reanault FT tank, the first three did nothing, but the fourth caused three hits and the tank exploded, fortunately taking out two of the attackers. With that flank to the village open the Legion were able to launch an assault around the corner of the barricades hitting the Anachist defenders in the rear.

No Pasaran!
However it was a hard fought fight, the Legion squad lost the first round (by one) but being aggressive did not fall back. In the second round of combat the Legion were wiped out to a man but in the process finished off one Anarchist section and badly damaged another along with lightly wounding my Jefe de Centuria,

On my right flank, my barricades were compromised when the CV-33 - ignoring the open Jump Off Point - manoeuvred around the flank and started pouring fire into the defenders there forcing them to re-deploy.

The Renault burns!
It was now getting late and both sides had suffered tremendous casualties, but with us both being Die-Hards shock had no effect on us so were both able to man the barricades and push on attacks regardless. We decided to wrap up calling it a draw, I was on Force Morale six while James was on Force Morale seven.

What a great bloody game!

Thinking about what I would do differently, I think I would fight my Sections as two twenties rather than four tens, the Militia just don't have enough command dice and being Green soon get shot up! I also think that adding an MMG to one of the sections would be a smart move.

Having played this I think we need to do some tweaking on the Die Hards rule, it seemed that with us both not suffering from Shock we were only playing half the game. My initial thought is that Die Hards should suffer from Shock but only count half the shock markers on them.

All the figures and terrain are from James's collection. I'm working on my own an have already purchased / acquired a Sección of Moroccan Regulares, some 50mm mortars and a Panzer I of my own and will slapping on some paint soon.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Untidy desk

Grant has broadcast to the world that he has a lovely tidy desk. It seems to be a shrine to organisation.

I counter that with a photo of the 'skip' that I currently work in.

Although this weekend I have cleaned and assembled over 100 figures, have done the highlights on 5 DAK and the base-coat on 22 Tommies. Obviously no time to tidy up.

Thursday 23 January 2014

The return of Lee and a couple of games of X-Wing

What with work and family commitments, Lee has not been down the club in months. However, he now had a free Tuesday evening and was up for a game of 'anything, you choose' at the club on Tuesday evening.

Lee had never played X-Wing Miniatures game and I had not played it in months either, so to ease him back into gaming we first played the 'Shuttle Escort' mission with Lee choosing to play the Imperil forces using the standard two Tie Fighter vs one X-Wing mission in the book. This was a close run game but at the end of the mission the shuttle was one move from the edge of the board but had only two hull points remaining and a Tie Fighter with damaged weapon system too a close range shot (only two attack dice) and scored two hits, the shuttle failed to dodge any and the Imperials claimed the day.

Having go the introductory mission out of the way we set down to a big game, each picking 100pts and just going for it with no objectives. I picked the Millenium Falcon piloted by Hans Solo accompanies by two Red Squadron X-Wings, Lee picked Darth Vader escorted by Soontir Fel and four Black Squadron Tie Fighters.

This was a proper melee that involved one of the biggest pile-ups that I had seen in one movement phase all but one of the eight vessels involved - Soontir Fel having been despatched by Hans Solo as he lined up a shot on one of the X-Wings - managed to collide with another, see the photo, this was just as the movement orders had been placed, what did we think would happen.

In the end it was a Rebel victory, having lost an X-Wing they had accounted for Soontir Fel and three of the Tie Fighters when we wrapped up.

Lee can now make it down the club more often and will hopefully feature in more battle reports over the coming weeks.

Monday 20 January 2014

28mm Building for WWII / SCW / etc.

A couple of years ago mate Lee gave me a couple of 28mm buildings that he said I could have as he would never get them painted. I put them away in a box of other things that were also unlikely to get painted by myself.

At the weekend I was painting the scree and similar detritus for our Keren game and realised that the Dulux Dutch Gold No. 3 emulsion that I had bought for them would make a cracking base-coat for those buildings.

I dug them out of the box and gave them a coat all over of the Dutch Gold No. 3 emulsion and left them to dry. I then painted the slates in Vallejo Black Grey, cobbles and brickwork in Flat Brown, internal walls in Sky Blue, flagstones in Neutral Grey, windows in Black and then the frames etc. in Pale Sand.

I then gave the whole thing a wash in Vallejo Sepia Wash and looked at it when dry and thought 'what the %$!# have I done!' It looked bloody horrible. However when I got home from work this evening I started  dry-brushing and highlighting back over with the original colours and a lightened shade and think that the results are a lot better than I thought that they would. The windows were finished off with three successivly smaller areas of ever lightening blues.

I took these images without flash and they are a bit washed out, so have included one using the flash as you don't really see the detail on the windows otherwise.

I'll finish off the base-coat on the other building and get that finished over the next few days.

Does anybody have and idea of the manufacturer of this building?

I have included a Warlord Games British Infantryman to give an idea of the scale of this one.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Keren detritus and scree

One of the reasons that I've not done a lot of painting this weekend is that I've been working on some scenic scatter for our Keren '41 game.

I've made 19 pieces of various size from single large boulders to small pieces of scree.

The large boulders are vac-form made by Paul at Kalistra from a master that James Morris made, the small pieces are bark chippings picked up in the park. I started off on Friday evening by cutting out several irregular shaped pieces of chip-board and then hot melt glueing the bark chippings and vac-form on them and also some coarse cock chippings. I then painted the reverse side with PVA to help prevent warping.

On Saturday morning I then stuck down fine cork chippings to give the base some texture. Once dry the base was painted all over with Dulux Dutch Gold No. 3 emulsion and put aside to dry for 12 hours.

Once dried they were given a wash made up of Vallejo Earth Brown, Vallejo Glaze Medium and water and left overnight to dry.

Once dried, I dry-brushed again with Dulux Dutch Gold No. 3, then a mix of Yellow Ochre and Vallejo Pale Sand, then just a light dry-brush of Pale Sand. I finished them off with a few patched of Woodland Scenics clump foliage and small patches of Games Workshop flock.

Unfortunately, shonky flash pictures including some of my Indians to give an idea of the size.

Plodding on through the AfrikaKorps

Not very productive this week,just another ten Perry Miniatures AfrikaKorps towards the 40 I am doing for Quinton. 

I've mixed it up a bit this time, rather than having them all in the 'official' green uniform, I did five in beige trousers and five with beige tunics.

Only 15 to go now.

The lighting was not so good today, so apologies for the low quality of the photographs.

Here are a few close-ups, pity about the lighting conditions.

Friday 17 January 2014

'¡No pasarán!' - Chain of Command Spanish Civil War

James has been keen to try out Chain of Command for a few weeks now and had an extensive collection of Spanish Civil War figures, buildings and terrain.

Yesterday evening at the club we had a game of Chain of Command, pitting James with the Legion against myself with the International Brigade. As there was a 3pt difference in the forces I picked two 50mm mortars for my Mortar sections and an LMG for one of my infantry sections.

We laid out the table as seen in the images ( the cloth is not as pale as it looks in the photos but James could do with something quite a bit darker ), with a town in the centre, some woodland on one flank and farmland on the other, a line of barricades were one side of the village. Rolling for Force Morale James rolled up 11 for the Legion, where as my International Brigade were at a paltry 8 - I was really going to be up against it against those die-hards!

Suitably decked out in my British Battalion t-shirt we got down to the action.

We would be playing the Patrol scenario and rolled up for three supports each. The Legion picked a light tank, the International Brigade, one lot of Molotov Cocktails, an Adjutant and another LMG. The patrol phase ended up with us both forming a line of Jump-Off points either side of the town.

We made the decision that neither of us would field our Light Mortar teams, James did not have the models and it saved working out the rules for having them observed from off-table.

James went first and managed to deploy one of his infantry section behind a hedge on his left flank while sending one of their teams off towards the church in the centre. I countered by deploying a section behind the barricades and opening fire on the Legion skulking behind the hedge killing two of them - not a bad start as being die-hards they ignore shock and only respond to being put down.

My other section deployed in the woodland to the left of the barricade and soon formed an anti-Fascist firing line.

Things continued well for the International Brigade, the Legion team occupying the church took positions in the tower ready to rain down fire on me, but as soon as they appeared on the parapet with their banner, all six men were shot down by concentrated fire. A great start for the Republicans, one section of Legion were dead and a couple from the machine-gun team had also be put down.

A stage of jockeying continued, but the Fascists were gaining the upper hand with the appearance of their superior numbers and the light tank. I moved a team equipped with Molotov cocktails to counter the tank, but they took a couple of casualties so I pulled them back into the woodland.

The Legion attempted a flanking manoeuvre against the barricades but I moved a team into position in a field to counter them and a couple of the Fascists fell to their fire.

I threw two sixes and thought it was time to take the opportunity of a double phase. Having whittled down the Legion a little I made a dash from behind the barricades to a building in the centre of the town that the Legion were also making a beeline for. Jumping over the barricades my troops closed on the village when they realised that there were no doors on our side of the building - schoolboy error! Dashing back to get over the barricades one section was caught in the open and a couple of casualties taken - unfortunately one of these was the NCO and he suffered a light wound, the first reduction in my meagre Force Morale.

The Nationalists pressed on, concentrated fire from the light tank caused a casualty on my section in the tree-line and unfortunately it was the NCO who fell down dead! the force moral was plummeting and I only had my Ranking Leader and a wounded Junior Leader left. A Nationalist team attempting to move around the church were themselves caught in the open and were lucky to be left with two men still standing.

It was getting to a crunch point when some more fortunate Fascist fire found out my other NCO who also fell down dead. The Republicans were still winning the casualty war against the Legion - having lost no teams at all - but were now carrying a bit of Shock and down to a single Ranking Leader and a Force Moral of 5 (against the Legions now 10), so El Capitain decided that it was time to withdraw and leave the village to the Fascists, we could come back later and turf them out.

I had only lost a handful of figures, far less than the Legion, but a disproportionate amount of my casualties were on the Junior Leaders - both of them!

With just two huge three team sections to a platoon it certainly played a lot differently to the WWII games we have had and I'm certainly up for playing some more. In fact I've already been looking at Moroccans on the Empress Miniatures web pages. I reckon we could have sneaked in a crafty little side project here.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Bolt Action - Maximum Attrition

Yesterday evening Rich and I had a game of Bolt Action.

We had arranged that we would use forces based in North West Europe 1944 to 800pt lists and would let each other know if using anything over armour 7+

Eager to blood my new Tommies I picked the following list:

  • 1st Lieutenant & Sergeant
  • Forward Artillery Observer & assistant
  • Two sections 10 men including a Sten & Bren
  • One veteran section 10 men including a Sten & Bren
  • PIAT team
  • 2" Mortar team
  • Vickers MMG team
  • Carrier with extra pintle LMG
  • M3 half-track with extra pintle LMG

The additional troops needed were utilised from my Burma 14th Army force and I've tried not to include them in the photos, the M3 half-track is still being painted but was at a usable state.

Rich fielded the following German list:

  • 1st Lieutenant & two assistants
  • Medic & assistant
  • Three sections 10 men including two SMG & MG42
  • Sniper team
  • 8cm Mortar team
  • 75mm Infantry Gun team
  • Kubelwagen with pintle MMG
  • Sdkfz251/1

We set out the table as shown, a bombed out village ran along a cross roads, one side was heavily wooded and the other a mixture of standing crops and ploughed fields.

Rolling for a mission it came up Maximum Attrition.

Things started well for the Germans, on his first attempt Rich hit the M3 with his Mortar rolling a 6 to hit and then a 6 to penetrate! The infantry section bailed out and rolling for casualties he only got a single hit, but 'double-sixed' that roll to take out the corporal.
Things were not going well for the British, the light mortar team targeted the sniper for five consecutive turns, and still failed to hit on a 2+ roll, for the sniper to then take notice of them and kill them outright.

Infantry bail out of the destroyed half-track
The PIAT team went on a wide flanking manouver and had a shot at the German half-track only to find out just how difficult it is to hit with a shaped charge weapon at long range against a target in cover when you are moving! The PIAT team was soon dealt with.
PIAT team attempt a flanking manoeuvre 
Fritz did not have it all their own way though, a well placed bombardment put a lot of pins on his right flank and the British exploited that, the SdKfz251/1 failed a roll to activate and one British section house-hopped up the table and launched an assault, polishing off the German HQ and then consolidating next to the half-track destroying it. They subsequently performed the same manoeuvre on the German medics and took out the Kubelwagen in the same way.
Tommies advance up the road
On my right flank, the Veteran section supported by the carrier polished off one German infantry section and then mopped up the sniper. After several effective turns against the Germans the Vickers succumbed to mortar fire on the last turn just before the 8cm mortar itself succumbed!

By the end of the game, all I had remaining were the remnants of my three infantry sections, my Bren carrier and my HQ, but the Germans had lost everything apart from their Infantry Gun and about half a section of infantry. Touch and go, but a good victory for the British.

Monday 13 January 2014

Warlord Games British Infantry - Easier to paint than assemble?

Warlord Games British Infantry
On Tuesday I traded from Phil a box of Warlord Games WWII British infantry for some Flames of War Shermans that I was never going to paint.

So On Wednesday lunchtime I got the sprue cutters, sharp knife and glue out and made a start - well what a ball-ache these things are.

  • Far too many pieces than are really necessary especially compared to the lovely Desert Rats done by the Perrys. 
  • Once assembled they don't look to good either, all the weapons are fine scale, but the figures have the great big hands and faces that are the norm in wargame figures these days so the guns look rather dainty. 
  • Regarding the dainty weapons, the moulds are not laid out too well, it's nigh on impossible to get some weapons off without breaking them.
  • Some weapons are really easy to break once on the figure, the Bren barrel is far too thin.
  • There is a good right arm throwing a grenade, but no left arm that can hold the rifle or SMG in a natural position.

By Thursday evening though I had got them all assembled here are a couple of tips to help with your blood pressure:

  • Use Revell Contacta cement, get what adhesive you want where you need it!
  • Read the instructions and ensure you are using the right hands for the weapon you are going to use
  • Stick the weapon into the right hand of the figure, when that is dry stick the right arm with weapon onto the torso then stick the left arm in place.
  • Be careful not to break any of the more delicate weapons.

On Friday evening I stuck some texture on the bases and gave them all a spray with Halfords grey car primer and then followed up in the morning with some Army Painter Leather Brown.
Warlord Games British Infantry

Once dried the figures were given a basecoat of Vallejo English Uniform, the uncovered helmets, 2" mortar and PIAT were painted Bronze Green. The covered helmets and any visible blanket rolls were painted Russian Green. The webbing, packs, gaiters and gas mark case were painted Khaki as were some patches of foliage on the helmets. The rifle butts and entrenching tool handles were done in Saddle Brown as were some patches of foliage on the helmets. The weapon fittings, boots, bayonet scabbard, etc. were painted in Black. The flesh was then painted in a mix of Saddle Brown and Basic Fleshtone.
Doing this on all twenty five figures only took two or three hours.

The figures were then washed with Vallejo Sepia Wash. Once dried I made a start on the highlights - the uniform does not need highlighting!

  • The Khahi was highlighted using first Khaki and then a mix of Khaki and Pale Sand.
  • The Bronze Green was highlighted using first Bronze Green and then a mix of  Bronze Green and Russian Uniform.
  • The Russian Uniform was highlighted using first Russian Uniform and then a mix of  Russian Uniform and Pale Sand.
  • The Saddle Brown was highlighted using first Saddle Brown and then a mix of  Saddle Brown and Pale Sand.
  • The Black boots and bayonet scabbard was highlighted using Black Grey.
  • The bayonets were painted Gunmetal Gray and then highlighted with Silver.
  • The weapon fittings were highlighted with a mix of Gunmetal Grey and Black.
  • The flesh was highlighted using Basic Fleshtone and then Basic Fleshtone mixed with a little Ivory.

Although transfers are provided I painted on the unit patches and rank stripes by hand.
Finally some detail on the hands faces and weapons was picked out using Windsor & Newton Peat Brown Ink.
All colours apart from the ink are from the Vallejo Model Colour range.

Again, like the base-coat the highlights only took a couple of hours.

I reckon I spent less time painting them than building them.

Here are some more shonky close-up pictures!

Corporal with Thompson

Corporal with Thompson

SMLE Rifle

SMLE Rifle

SMLE Rifle

SMLE Rifle

Bren Gun

Bren Gun

SMLE Rifle

SMLE Rifle

Saturday 11 January 2014

More 5th Indian Division Desert Rats

46 more Desert Rats
I received a box of Perry Desert Rats, a pack of small packs and two each of Vickers Machine Gun and 3" Mortar for Christmas (thanks to mum & dad) and I've been happily painting away at them since.

I managed to finish eight of these in December so they go towards last years total, but here's my first painting update of 2014.

I did a lot more conversion than usual, especially adding small packs and swapping heads around.

All are painted in my tried and tested method.

So here is what I got painted so far:

Officer and Radio Operator
I gave the officer some binoculars by using the arm off of the officer holding binoculars in the AfrikaKorps set.
Another Officer
 This is just a 'standard' infantry body holding a Thompson SMG wearing the hat from the command sprue.
2" Mortar team
 The loader is a head swap to be wearing a woollen hat and the guy with the mortar has a backpack added.

Boyes anti-tank rifle team
 This is a standard couple of figures with the small packs added.

Sniper team
Sniper team
I quite like this one, it's the prone chap usually found using a Bren / Boyes / Mortar with a set of rifle arms instead. The scope is made from a Boyes barrel. His spotter his holding binoculars taken from the command sprue in the AfrikaKorps set.

23 Infantrymen

23 infantrymen
There are also 23 more infantry painted. I added small packs to most of them and did quite a few head swaps so a lot of them are wearing woollen hats. I quite like this kneeling Bren team that I converted.

I used two kneeling figures but added the firing Bren gunner arms. The No.2 is holding a magazine ready for a quick change. The sangar is built from cork pieces.

There are a couple more 3" mortar teams, I did quite a few grey and brown woolly jumpers when I did them.
3" Mortar teams
3" Mortar teams
Also added are a couple of Vickers machine-guns, again quite a lot of woollen jumpers on these.

Vickers machine-gun teams
Vickers machine-gun teams
I also made myself a bunch of matching dice holders using left over 20mm bases and Mini-bits 7mm dice frames. These are used as pin markers for Bolt Action or a shock markers for Chain of Command / I Ain't Been Shot Mum.

Pin / Shock dice holders
This takes me up to quite a bit of stuff painted for my Desert Rats, I've got three full platoons of infantry, a platoon of Vickers machine guns, a platoon of 3" Mortars, a couple of Matilda II and a 'Honey' Stuart.

I've just bought another box of Desert Rats to use up in making conversions for our Keren Game, but I reckon that I likely have enough infantry for now. I do plan to add at least another Matilda II and a troop of Vickers MkVI light tanks though.

So, it's only the 11th of January and I have 46 figures painted this year already.

Here are a few more close ups.

Rifleman with small pack

2" Mortar

British officer with SMG

Boyes anti-tank rifle

British officer with binoculars

Advancing pioneer

Throwing grenade with a natty scarft

Advancing with another natty scarf

Running in woollen hat

Ponting with small pack