Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 A year in review......

So another year draws to a close, following on from last year I have attempted to track my efforts over the past 12 months of the various projects that I had drawn up and the butterfly effect of shiny metal which was not planned for.

I am rather pleased with this years efforts, I beat last years new painted figure total by 33 figures and numerous vehicles due largely to a late resurgence in WW2 thanks to Rich Clarke and his Chain of Command Rules.

I set myself a personnel goal of clearing many of the older projects that had been partially finished or those projects waiting for that one blister pack to round off the various forces, on the whole I have managed to achieve this and kept away from new projects although its been a year of revisting old projects.
Russo Japanese War - 28mm
With the bulk of  Infantry completed last year, I was looking to bolster the Cavalary arm for both sides, I fancied building a trench system for the Russians to perhaps recreate some of the engagements around Port Arthur and building up the Artillery for both sides.


I made some in roads into this with additional cavalry for the Russians and a solitary artillery peice from Tiger Miniatures, most of the Russians are proxies as their is a storage of RJW cavalry available.
I manged to complete the various "spares" creating more shock markers and low ammo counters.
2015 is looking like another good year for the RJW project, Tsuba Miniatures are looking to release their Japanese Cavalry in early 2015, so the Japanese should receive some reinforcements. I have found a suitable manufacturer for Chinese Buildings which will fit this project and another set in China (more of that later.)

All Quiet on the Martian Front.
Having signed up for the Kickstarter project, I was expecting to add flying Martians and Drone infantry to the Alien forces, however the kickstarter has been a real disapointment, starter packs are out but no sign of the new toys...... Regular consumers get to pre-order the new stuff.
How about supplying those who back you in the first place!!!!!!

The rules are still sitting on the shelf unplayed.
I did finish some additional enplacements and civilians to be protected.
I hope the AQOMF team get their act together in 2015 and we can see some War of the Worlds action real soon.

Chain of Command - 15mm Russians.
November finally saw the Russian Armour and Infantry roll off the paint table, a larger number of these had been sitting in the "to do" box for about 5 years when I dabbled with Panzer Grenadier, but with most of the Wyverns having caught the Chain of Command bug, it gave me the push that was needed to get these finished.
They have yet to win a game yet, but just like their real life counter parts, we are just absorbing the hammer blows at the moment before the big offensive.

At the time of posting the last of the support elements for both the Russians and Germans are drying, which means that I have painted everything languishing in the to do draw.

I have plans for 2015 to create a wintery board with buildings for Berlin and the Seelow heights refighting the last months of WW2. Fieldworks have some great buildings which are on the want list, I dare say some eatra armour may well apear as the Chain of Command games get ever bigger.

Elizabethan Irish Wars 28mm
Despite plans to expand the English with Pike Blocks and Cavalary I made no progress on this, I based up a couple of pieces but the project was over taken by others. With TAG likely to be producing Irish in the next year these might see some traction, a January sale at Foundry might prompt me to fill the ranks.

African Wars
I Did not envisage getting back into this.
That was until the Wyverns put on a game at Salute and the guys at Spectre showcased some of their African militia from a forthcoming Kickstarter. The complete opposite of the AQOMF great communication and delivered within a year.

Whilst waiting for the Spectre stuff to arrive, I gave the existing militia a make over and completed the backlog that had been sitting dormant for a number of years, this included, the UN, special forces, guns for higher and a film crew.....



With more Spectre offerings in the wings, Eureka expanding their bush war range and some great vehicles becoming available, Zikinga could becoming increasing hot in 2015. 

Starship Troopers 28mm 
Another project complete in 2014 back in January these had been sitting under coated and based but hidden in a draw for 18 months, I just needed a spark to get them done - so what better way than creating a campaign at the club.

I surprised myself with my output, additional bugs and Infantry, vehicles and buildings, together with bug holes and rocks.... It's fair to say half the fun was finding proxies for the stuff from the movies and cartoon series.




It's been a while since we had a full club game, so perhaps February will see the SST's once more take on the bug threat......

So what of the plans for 2015?
Well aside from the expanison plans above the US Marine and Japanese are crying out for conversion to CoC, I have completed the shock markers already, but need to expand the support elements to give both sides some additional options.

We have a major club project planned for the SCW, with a large number of players gathering their forces, my Nationalist forces are currently under going head swap surgery before hitting the paint table in January.

And then there is the as yet unnamed project, for those that know me and regular readers of this blog you will know that I am often tempted by stuff a little bit off the beaten path, I have been reading the rules  Song of Blades and Heroes recently and have plans afoot to use these for a skirmish type affair in the coming months..... I little something from the 80's....

2015 should be another fun year.......

The 2014 results by month.



New - Russo - Japanese War 28mm
9 Japanese Cavalry, 1 Russian Casualty Base, 2 Low Ammunition Supply Bases.
New - Starship Troopers 25mm
33 Mobile Light Infantry - 1st Corps
2 Power Armoured Troopers, 1 Laser Cannon Support Weapon.
10 Cliff Mites.
26 Rocks, 2 Bug Nests, 4 Bug Holes.

New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
60 Civilians.
New - Starship Troopers 25mm
6 Mobile Light Infantry - Denizen Miniatures
8 Fleet Landing Team - 1st Corps
10 Movement Bases.

MarchNew - Starship Troopers 25mm
13 Mobile Light Infantry - 1st Corps
10 Warrior Bugs


Repaints - African Militia 28mm
80 African Militia - Copplestone Castings, Gripping Beast
Repaints - African Government Troops 28mm
19 African Regulars - Mongrel Miniatures
Repaints - African Mercenaries 28mm
4 Mercenaries - Copplestone Castings
New - Africa Special Forces 28mm
12 SAS Special Forces - Mongrel Miniatures
New - Russo - Japanese War 28mm
9 Russian Dismounted Cavalry - e-bob Miniatures


New - Starship Troopers 25mm
5 Mobile Light Infantry - 1st Corps
3 Buggies, 2 Chickenhawk Walkers.
New - African Militia 28mm
9 African Militia - Eureka
8 African Gang Members - Force of Arms
2 Technical Vehicles


New - All Quiet on the Martian Front 15mm
16 Trenches.
New - Africa 28mm
1 CIA operative - Spectre Miniatures
9 African Regulars - Eureka Miniatures
New - Starship Troopers 25mm
14 Radar, Air Conditioning Units, etc, etc.


New - Starship Troopers 25mm
3 APC's.
10 Alien insurgents - Denizen Miniatures
2 Pill Boxes - Void Miniatures
New Desert Terrain
3 Supply Bases - Ainsty Castings
Repaints - African Civilians 28mm
19 Civilians - Eureka, Perry, Brigade, various.


New - WW2 Far East 28mm
6 Japanese Infantry, 5 Japanese Casualties, 1 AT Team, 1 HMG Team - Warlord, Westwind Figures.
New - Russo - Japanese War 28mm
1 Japanese Cavalry Officer, 2 Japanese Casualty Bases, 2 Low Ammunition Supply Bases, 3 Japanese Infantry - Warlord Miniatures, Tsuba Miniatures.


New - Africa 28mm
22 Peace Keepers - Gripping Beast MoFo Miniatures.
4 Downed Pilots - Gripping Beast MoFo Miniatures.

New - Africa 28mm
8 Special Forces - Gripping Beast MoFo Miniatures.  
1 Special Force Operative - The Assault Group.
4 Prisoners - The Assault Group.
6 Pinned Markers. 
New - Starship Troopers 25mm
4 Tents.
6 Neo-Dogs
3 Fliers.
New - Russo - Japanese War 28mm
1 Russian Artillery Piece, 4 Crew - Tiger Miniatures.


New - Chain of Command 15mm Russians
26 Infantry - NCO's & Officers.
2 45mm AT Guns plus 9 crew.
2 AT Teams.
8 Shock Markers
Repaints - Chain of Command 15mm Russians
72 Russian Infantry
New - WW2 Far East 28mm
3 US Marine Infantry, 11 Marine shock Markers - Warlord Miniatures.
8 Japanese Shock Markers.
New - African Militia 28mm
1 African Militia - EM4 Miniatures
1 Modern TV Cameraman.
New - Terrain
16 Winter Trees


New - Chain of Command 15mm Russians
24 Infantry, 4 MBT's, 2 AFV, 2 Scout Cars, 2 Lorries, 2 Half Tracks.
New - Chain of Command 15mm Germans
13 Infantry - Support Weapons and Shock markers.

Painted Total 2014

New Paints
323 Foot Figures, 10 Mounted Figures, 20 Bugs, 3 Flying Bugs, 6 Dogs, 4 Hvy Weapons, 3 Buggies, 3 APC's, 2 Combat Walkers, 2 Jeeps, 44 Terrain Pieces, 16 Trees, 16 Trenches, 10 Movement Bases,
2 Pillboxes, 4 Tents, 26 Shock Markers, 4 Low Ammo Markers, 3 Supply Bases, 2 AT Guns, 4 MBT's, 2 AFV's, 2 Scout Cars, 1 Lorries, 2 Half Tracks.

194 Foot Figures

174 Followers - An increase from 143.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Samurai Blades in Miniature.

Back in the early 80's one of my first ventures into wargaming gaming was the excellent Cry Havoc Medieval skirmish game by Standard Games, they are tucked away in the cupboard earmarked for one of those projects to turn to miniature.

So you can imagine how quick I was to volunteers when Dane over at the Wyverns was looking for playtesters having turned SAMURAI BLADES into a minaitures game using Steve Barbers 40mm Samurai range and Paul at Kallistra's Hexon terrain.
I was 13 all over again.....

Game 1
The local monks had long believed they were except from taxes, but the local warlord was not a religous man and believed the monies could be put to better use.
The attackers have 10 turns to break into the temple and loot it's contents, the defenders simply need to prevent this.

Danes raiding party advances on to the table, archers and mounted Samurai cover all approches to the temple, each character has stats for healthy and injured, we are still giving some consideration on how best to note these stats during game play.

My Warrior Monks and Ronin hide behind the woods as the raiders close in on the front gate, each figure fills a single hex which makes every move important to bring the best fighters to bear, but also to ensure you don't leave yourself surrounded with nowhere to fall back to.

3 Turns in, I sally forth from the temple looking to pin the attackers and wind the clock down, the mounted Samurai sweep round the flanks and Yari look to slip in through the back window as my defnders are engaged at the front of the temple.

By turn 10 the last monk has fallen, a single ronin holds the gate but Yari have broken into the building. - A slight victory to the attackers.

Game 2
Time to swap sides and avenge the warrior monks.

Archery in Samurai Blades can be rather deadly with kills on a 1,2 (D10), the temple has little cover outside and there is insufficent room to house all the defenders, so by flanking the temple with the mounted Samurai and Yari archers, I am able to pick off the defenders including in the first turn a warrior monk archer ..... ouch. 
My foot Samurai advance on the gate, no one appears fearful of the archers deadly fire........

Turn 8 - Banking on the offensive power of the mounted Samurai I break through the gate, the court yard is crowded, but with combat odds of 3:1 the defenders are injured and then dispatched, without any losses to the attackers...

It's fair to say all of the Monks luck must have been spent in the first game.

A cracking nights play and a real throw back to the early days of gaming, I can feel another project coming on...
The original maps and counters can be found here.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.
I hope everyone following this blog and the occasional reader of my ramblings has a wonderful Christmas.

Here's hoping I kept off the naughty list this year.... :-)

Best wishes.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wargaming in a winter wonderland.

No not the Andrews Sisters - Nor I have been over come with festive merriement.

A good firend of mine donated several months ago a bunch of partially completed trees, knowing what I had planned for Russia, they sat unfinished in the box and I must be honest I was feeling rather guilty, however the recent surge in CoC games gave me the push needed to get these completed.

I have no intention to go for a completely white table, but more partial frosting when mixed in with brown base cloth and a light white matt dusting.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Chain of Command - Russian Armour..... Part 2

4.30pm Sunday and hardly a minute to spare and the Russian Armour is finished...

Perhaps I was being a little ambitous but the basing and under coating completed yesterday evening and left to dry overnight gave me a good solid start this morning, with finer detail and crew being finished around lunchtime, barely time for the varnish and static grass to dry.

This collection of vehicles should give me plenty of support options for chain of command, with the option to "go large" with 3 T34's and an IS2 in support.

I have opted for a light winter dusting giving me the option to blend with other Wyverners collections who the majority are based around the Western Front, but this gives me the option to add further winter troops if required.

 Anti - Tank options should I need to go on the defensive.

The scout options for those probe's into German territory.

 Tired of walking then hitch a lift with the transport elements.

13 vehicles in less than a day just hope the fumes from the varnish does not knock me out on the way to the club house.

What's the bet they suffer the curse of freshly painted figures on their first outing.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Chain of Command - Russian Armour..... Part 1

Sunday see's my Russian's take to the field over at the Wyvern Wargames club.
After several infantry games, time to roll out the hard stuff - assuming I get them finished in less than 24 Hrs.....

More to Follow....

Friday, December 05, 2014

Spectre Miniatures - Christmas Comes Early......

There seems to have been a steady stream of parcels over recent days, I can only guess the Christmas shopping is well under way, all of which are addressed to people other than me.... 
Then this morning the postie drops a gift through the door that's been worth the wait. 

Spectre Miniatures Kickstarter arrives....

These are a range of ultra-modern 28mm figures that cover both Private Military Contractors – modern day mercenaries, African militia and regular military forces.
I signed up for 9 packs, a mix of contractors and militia.

First impressions are very good, very few cast lines and little flash, the figures themselves are thinner than others on the market, but have more of a traditional African feel to them. 
Great attention to detail has been paid to the weapons which are small compared to the likes of MoFo (C) and TAG (L), but the differences in size will be hardly noticable once painted.

The models come packaged in very neat boxes, packed with wood shavings, a nice touch giving a real professional feel to the whole offer and it did the job of protecting the figures with zero breakages.

The whole Spectre range is littered with real characters, which will add some real diversity to the ever growing Zikanga militia.

Just as I thought I was seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.... Still never mind.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chain of Command goes East - Far East.

After the recent spate of Chain of Comand games, I thought I would convert my existing collection of US Marines and Japanese to CoC, the good news is that I am only a few figures away from the right level of troops for the various fire teams and sections.

A recent trip to Warfare and the Warlord stand and I am now the proud owner of the two missing junior leaders and Artillery observer, great castings and a really good fit compared to the existing collection from Westwind, Battlehonours and Brigade.

With Chain of Command in mind I also picked up the casaulty pack, which I thought would make excellent shock markers.

As with many projects somewhere in lead mountain I had kept several extra's from a westwind order, which at the time were put into storage as painting the dead and the injured seemed a worthless exercise, however now with Chain of Command they suddenly became important and made it to the summit of lead mountain.

Red dice for the Marines.

Yellow dice for the Japanese.
The circular bases are from the guys at Warbases and the dice frames from Minibits.
There should be more than enough here for typical platoon games and it's utilises some of the extra's that have been languishing in the painting draw for several years.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

War on the Eastern Front - Campaign Game 2

Having played out the opening salvo of the Eastern Front Campaign last week, time to up the anti.
I picked up a copy of "At the Sharp End" the Too Fat Lardies Campaign suppliment, this should add a little colour to the games, The setting is Koslin in early 1945.

The Russians have captured Bublitz and after a few days of build up are on the move again, looking to break thin German defences. Following the Ladder Campaign structure and having won the initial Patrol Game, we pushed on to Scenario 2 - "The Probe"

After the narrowest of victories last week, we moved north towards the village of Goldbeck, the Panzer Grenadiers had pulled back but were still strong in number they were sure to be blocking the highway, the most logical of stop gaps before Goldbeck.

Having experienced the amount of fire the Germans can lay down with their MG34's I opted to push through the Orchard on the left flank having managed to secure a Jump off point very close to the German base line.

The Germans once again deployed early occupying the brick built houses over looking the road, but I am confident we can break them having drafted an additional section into my platoon for this operation.

I decide to lead my comrades in person, sending two sections through the wood, killing many of the German defenders and pinning the remainder. Confidence was high.

We pressed on but the Germans were tougher than we first thought, they had entrenchments and were greater in number than our scouts had reported.

I ordered the men back deeper into the orchard, to tend to our wounded, victory had been so close.

With my troops broken and running for cover on the left flank, I saw a chance to still win this encounter and break through the German lines, I sent 3rd section off on wide flanking move.

The Facists can only summon a solitary team to block our path, we can still be victorious.

However luck was not on our side, the Germans rolled 6's and gained two turns they rush troops from the centre and flank my section, MG34's ripped through my men who took to their heels.
My force morale is shattered -3 to the Germans 9.

We fall back towards Bublitz my men's opinion of me is not great (German -2, Russian -3) and my force's morale is now -1 for all future operations, speaking with my commander he is far from happy but has given me a chance to redeem myself in the next encounter (Russian -1, German +2) whilst my German counter part is likely to receive both reinforcements and extra supports if things continue.

I will also have to make do with 6 men fewer... War in the East is tough.