Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Thursday 31 December 2015

The Challenge 2015 - Winning the battle against the lead mountain

The New Year Truce in the battle against the Lead Mountain.

On my sidebar I keep a tally of the figures painted during the past year and as 2015 draws to a close the sidebar will be cleared and a new tally started.

So to wrap up 2015 I'll review the state of the lead mountain and start again with a zero balance for 2016

Figures painted and based for myself in 2015

  • 108 Great War Miniatures 1916 Germans 
  • 9 Assault Group Gurkhas 
  • 10 Black Scorpion Cowboys 
  • 12 Empress Guardia Civil 
  • 1 Force of Arms Guardia Civil 
  • 22 Empress Spanish Foreign Legion
  • 2 Empress Panzer I 
  • 1 Hammerhead Erich von Falkenhayn 
  • 8 Empress Republicans 
  • 1 Empress UNL-35 armoured car 
  • 82 Woodbine Design Company WWI French 
  • 5 Old Glory WWI French casualties 
  • 2 Warbases WWI Trucks 
  • Partizan General Bauduin 
  • Curteys Haile Selassie 
  • 2 Partizan WWI footballers (image above)
  • Partizan Sir Donald Wolfit 
  • Great War Miniatures German 77mm FK96 gun 
  • First Corps FT-17 
  • 37 MDS Berbers 
  • 1 Artizan Berber 
  • Salute 2014 Captain Maud 
  • 21 Gripping Beast Berbers 
  • 22 Northstar International Brigade 
  • Partizan Belgian Detective 
  • 16 Gripping Beast Berber cavalry 
  • 7 Empress International Brigade 
  • 10 Perry Miniatures First Crusade foot 
  • 4 Perry Miniatures First Crusade cavalry 
  • 5 Old Glory WWI German casualties 
  • 4 Wargames Foundry(?) goatherd, goat, sheep, monk.

A good total of 377 infantry, 6 vehicles and a gun added to the collection. Not bad considering for three months mid-year I hardly lifted a brush.

Over half of these were for the new Verdun 1916 project that James and I started at the end of 2014, but the Spanish Civil War and El Cid collections benefited from a lot of additions too.

I also had the opportunity to paint a few figures for friends.

Figures painted and based for others  in 2015
  • 16 Perry Miniatures AfrikaKorps (for Quinton) 
  • 1 Scarab kit-bashed Colonel Driant (for James) 
  • 4 Gripping Beast Wagons & 4 horses (for Tony) 
  • 1 Warlord Games Wagon & 2 mules (for Tony) 
  • 15 Gripping Beast wagon-guard & civilians (for Tony) 
  • 3 Footsore Germanics (for Tony) 
Now, the credit column looks good, lets take a look at the debits.

New Figures Purchased

  • 79 Great War Miniatures 1916 Germans 
  • 10 Armed Housewives from LAF 
  • 84 Woodbine Design Company WWI French 
  • 8 Empress Guardia Civil 
  • 10 Old Glory WWI French and German casualties 
  • First Corps FT-17
  • Curteys Haile Selassie 
  • 10 Northstar International Brigade 
  • 11 Gripping Beast Berber cavalry

I think at 192 infantry, 11 cavalry plus a vehicle I was quite restrained. However, this is only figures I purchased myself new from the manufacturers. I also 'acquired' quite a few figures via other means, such as trades on the Lead Adventure ForumFacebook or similar, payment in kind for doing some of the above painting for friends and as gifts from generous family and friends.  

Unpainted Figures Acquired: 

  • 2 Empress PzIA from LAF trade
  • 1 Empress UNL from LAF trade
  • 13 Empress Guardia Civil from LAF trade
  • 24 Empress Spanish Foreign Legion from chum Tony and LAF trade
  • 8 Empress Militia from LAF trade
  • 4 Warbases Musketeers won in a competition
  • 1 Partizan General Baudin show freebie
  • 2 Warbases WWI Trucks  won in a competition
  • 1 Partizan 'Sir Donald' show freebie
  • 1 Great War Miniatures 77mm gun from chum James 
  • 6 Great War Miniatures gun crew from chum James 
  • 12 Northstar International Brigade from chum Nick
  • 8 Perry First Crusade foot from LAF trade
  • 4 Perry First Crusade mounted from LAF trade
  • 5 Gripping Beast Berbers from chum Tony
  • 5 Gripping Beast Berber Cavalry from chum Tony
  • 7 Empress International Brigade from chum Tony
  • 12 Gripping Beast Berbers from Victoria

So that is another 99 infantry, 9 cavalry 5 vehicles and a gun. However, every single figure that I have purchased or acquired by other means has been painted (or on the painting table needing finishing) this year, plus every outstanding figure on commission is painted so not a bad state to be in.

Actually, as well as painting everything bought or acquired this year I have also painted another 86 infantry figures, the lead mountain does diminish, although looking at it I think those extra 86 figures have hardly made a dent.

So, on to 2016, given the proposed move to territories new in 2016 I expect my gaming activity to be slightly curtailed, however, if I am not gaming as much I do sense an opportunity to get a load of figures painted - those cold Wisconsin winters sound perfect for sitting in the warmth with a paintbrush in hand.

A few more Berbers - 2015s last painting task

Well 2015 has been quite a productive year and in the sprint to the finish I have managed to polish off another eleven Berbers with bows. Back in October I painted a large unit of these chaps (here and here) and this puts me well on the way to a second unit, the aim being two units each of 28.

The bulk of the archers are from Miniature Design Studios and the command figures are from Gripping Beast all done in the standard blue & white with a bit of gold scheme that runs through the, now quite sizeable, force that I am collecting. I've also got more Christians on the way so shall be able to host some large games using To The Strongest, Hail Caesar, Warhammer Ancients or whatever takes my fancy.

Monday 28 December 2015

Baggage (3)

I have been cracking on with painting Tony's baggage with various Early Medieval escorts.

First up, three Footsore Miniatures Germanic warriors, a Lord with a raven shield, a banner bearer with a draco and a spear armed warrior.

A small hand-cart, I added the side pieces that were left over from making one of the larger Gripping Beast carts, just cut them down to size. The wheels are from the Warlord Games cart. The escort this time is a Gripping Beast Viking, he's a particularly tall chap.

Continuing the manufacturer mash-up, this time a Warlord Games cart pulled by donkeys, but with the solid wheels from the Gripping Beast cart above. This one is escorted by a pair of Gripping Beast Norman footsoldiers.

The final cart is entirely Gripping Beast, the load of hay is made from a piece of Noch Wildgrass Foliage, it's the first time I have tried this and I'm quite happy how it turned out. This is escorted by a pair of Saxons.

Finally, I painted the few remaining baggage items to be used as loot tokens.

Berber Commander and some markers

Following the addition of a mounted commander I also wanted to add a general on foot to the collection. I quite like the figure from the Commanders pack who is supplied open handed and thought he would make a good standard bearer model, exhorting his troops with quotes from the Koran. The ensemble is completed with a drummer to relay the orders.

The standard is painted as usual with a representation of arabic script to match the others in the force.

I also had a few figures lying around that I thought would be suitable to make some interesting markers or scatter to use in our El Cid games. The first is a young goat-herd lugging a large bucket, I think they may be Wargames Foundry figures, but am not sure.

The second is a dead priest or monk, the base completed with a sheep model I found in my bits box.

Poilu reinforcements and German casualties

So far this year I have painted rather a lot of figures for the Verdun 1916 collection, 185 so far, not a bad tally and almost half of all the figures painted in the past twelve months.

These last few figures represent the total of all the unpainted WWI stuff I had. First of all five Woodbine Design French from Gripping Beast painted as Chasseurs.

I've converted one of the Chasseurs to be armed with a V-B launcher and added another Chasseur to make up the team.

Three more Chasseurs armed with rifles.

The final five figures are German casualties from Old Glory. I split a pack each of French and German casualties with chum James.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Disaster for the Commune de Paris Battalion

Lee and I had arranged to play at the Polly this past Tuesday and had tentatively decided on using my 6mm American Civil War collection, however a last minute change of plans we decided to instead play Chain of Command using my Spanish Civil War collection.

Lee chose to play with a platoon of Regulares and I elected to use the International Brigade option from the Ejército Popular de la República list, James would assist me while Ian helped out with the Nationalists.

With a difference in Force Morale of 7 points in favour of the Moroccans I balanced by adding an Adjutant and Commissar, two light machine-guns and two 50mm mortars from the Force Support choices. Rolling for Force Morale the Moroccan Regulares only started on an 8 while the International Brigades a 10, things were looking up!

We randomly selected the Delaying Action scenario and again randomised and the International Brigade would be attacking. Playing out the Patrol Phase, the jump-off points were as shown. The objective would be the jump-off point next to the taberna in the top left of the image. The Republicans rolled a 10 for Force Support so we padded out our forces with a BA-3 armoured car, a sniper, a pre-game barrage and an off-table MG which we positioned to cut a swathe of fire down the middle of the table to prevent the Moroccans moving to support troops on the other side of the board. The Nationalists spent their five points of Force Support on a Panzer I with AP ammo and a pair of VB launchers.

The Republicans cautiously advanced, pushing on only with the armoured car and a single scout who moved from the woods towards the building in the centre of the table. The pre-game barrage worked well and the Nationalists could only deploy their Panzer and it continued a slow advance up the table.

The Republican scout continued his stealthy advance on the shack, but as he drew close a burst of machine-gun fire from one of the windows cut him down, the Moroccans had revealed their first positions!

The BA-3 poured 45mm cannon shots into the Panzer I but it led a charmed life and suffered very little damage, many shots even missed the Panzer as it continued its advance through the open country. Seizing an the opportunity of a double phase the Republicans deployed a section of infantry who moved up the left hand edge to close down the Moroccan jump-off near that building. With only the Panzer I to oppose them the Frenchmen sought shelter in the lee of the building while the BS-3 finished off the Panzer.

This was not to be, more solid shot fell around the charmed Panzer and those shots that did miraculously strike home were shrugged off by some exceptionally well made Krupp armour plating.

The  Panzer continued to harass the Republicans, even with its side armour exposed to the fire of the BA-3 still nothing could be done against the hardy Negrillo whose fire was devastating he exposed Brigadiers. To make the situation worse, despite the effects of the bombardment the Moroccans  also occupied the taberna and started to pour fire into them.

To push on with the attack the Republicans redeployed a jump-off point closer to the action and committed another section of troops to the fight around the house, however, with the BA-3 still unable to cause any real damage to the Panzer the game was looking like there could only be one conclusion.

The Republicans sought cover in the building but the push was over, while the Panzer remained unscathed they could not push on despite supporting mortar fire from behind the woodland. The Republican morale collapsed and the attack was over, cut down by machine-gun fire in the advance on the taberna.

I think that the plan was solid, but the resistance of the Panzer to the 45mm gun of the armoured car made a huge difference, on many occasions, needing a '5' to hit on 2d6 we missed and on those occasions we did hit, often in the side armour, the armour rolls meant we were unable to cause any significant damage.

And the sniper, he was terrible, hardly ever hit anything and when he did the effect was desultory.

I have realised that there are no Moroccans in any of the pictures, that is mainly due to them spending all game firing from buildings!

Friday 18 December 2015

¡Viva la Revolución! (for the first time in ages)

I've been itching for a Spanish Civil War game for quite some time, so when James and I found ourselves at a loose end for yesterday evening I eagerly jumped at the chance. Although James did inform me on Wednesday that he had a business meeting for Thursday afternoon that may go on into the evening I was a bit dismayed, but he wrapped the deal up early and was able to make it to the Rose and Crown in plenty of time.

We decided to pit two terrible militia forces against each other. I would use the UGT socialist trade union militia while James, assisted by Rage, would use the Flangists, we decided on the Patrol scenario as neither of us could see our side doing well in an attack defence game!

Rolling for Force Morale we were both starting on a paltry 8! Playing out the Patrol Phase we ended up with the jump-off points shown below. Marked respectively in red for the Republicans and blue for the Nationalists

I had nine points to spend on Force Support and chose: El Hombre, Light machine-gun, Army Officer Advisor, 10 additional Militia, Adjutant. James spent his one point on an Adjutant. I selected the Machada:

Going first I rolled a double six to maintain the next phase, so deployed a section on my right and then immediately moved them up to the edge of the small field near the centre of the board.

The Fascists countered with a secccion of their own militia and a fire-fight soon ensued. However, with the Republicans lacking in numbers and command this could only go one way....

As you can see in the photo below the Nationalists had the shit shot out of them and first wounded and then killed the Jefe de Falange, Rage rolled terribly for Force Morale and the Nationalists lost four points of in this incident.

Determined to recoup some glory the Nationalists made a bold move. One of the Republican squads was caught in the open and despite being badly shot up lost no men, but suffered six shock. Seeing their chance the Falangists bayonet charged them killing six outright for the loss of only one of their own, the Trade Unionists were routed.

However, the Nationalists were caught in the open by a deadly burst of machine-gun and rifle fire from a small farmstead and were routed. The Falangists Force Morale collapsed and the Republicans claimed a rare victory, finishing the game on Force Morale seven. An auspicious day indeed!

Here are some more images from the game.