Thursday, 22 June 2017

Midair mayhem

Tim wanted to try out his new air and air/ground combat rules for his Funny Little Wars 54mm forces in the late WW1/Interwar period, so we gamely lined up to give them a go.

The general target area,  a gun battery defended by Flak and a barrage balloon and with an OP out front.

The OP scans the skies

The objective was this magnificent Brtains howitzer.

The British had also managed to put up this very realistic barrage balloon model.

World class pointing from Jerry as a German bomber and escort fly on. The movement rules are pretty simple, with speed and turning restrictions based on type. WW1 planes are quite manouverable though.

British fighters scramble to met the threat.

The Fokker manages to get on the tail of one of them.

And scoes a hit! air to air gunnery involves throwing darts at a target. No dice were harmed in generating this combat result.

Meanwhile the bomb run is successful (yes, rolled up bits of paper are bombs).

The British pursue the Germans bomber, but it is all too late.

Off for a second try with some more 'modern' aircraft, in this case a pair of French D.520s, These planes are very, very fast, but with quite small turn arcs.

The wicked Italians hove into a view, a pair of beautiful SM 79s. These bombers are also very, very fast, and with somewhat more firepower and sturdiness than their WW1 counterparts.

As section leader, I thought a head on pass was he way to go. En avant!

Oooer, bombs away before we can even engage.

Sadly, our high closing speed mean the head on attack was complete ineffective. 

Eventually we managed to turn around and catch up with the bombers to conduct a maximum deflection attack.

Both sides duly knocked pieces off each other, but the bombers got away.

This was really good fun, and Tims 'no dice' mechanisms worked very well. The very simple manouvering restrictions actually produced some very realistic results as people with better spatial awareness we able to out manouvre their foes. I'll never live down the shame of being outflown by a couple of SM 79s though...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cobbaton Collection

I recently went on holiday to North Devon, and while we were there I spent some time at the Cobbaton Collection, a few miles south of Barnstaple. It is a private collection of militaria and military vehicles, many of which still work, and have appeared in various films and TV series. The owners are still restoring various vehicles, and as I was last there over then years ago, I was keen to see what have changed. 

Lying around outside are various bits of tanks, including this rather grand Churchill AVRE turret.

And an even grander Churchill Mk I turret. I never cease to be surprised by how crude cast turrets are.

There was also this sheeted up Sdkfz 251D. iirc it was in Band of Brothers.

A rather random pile of small arms which includes a rather mysterious semi automatic rifle at the bottom. It looks vaguely familiar but I can't place it.

A nice Daimler armoured car.

A pile of British small arms including a lovely Lanchester and a Boys ATR. The Boys is huge.


A tiny Dingo.

A beautiful presentation of a Vickers (standing on a pile of Vickers chests).

This massive SCammel was towing a trailer with a Universal Carrier on it.

25 pdr.

And Quad.

German 20mm AA (Sovet 152m howitzer behind).

Churchill Crocodile.

The driver and co-drivers compartment.

The inevitable T34/85. This one is Czech and has been in a few TV shows.

A rather lvoely Sexton, not sure about the Mickey Mouse camo on an SPG, but who am I to argue.

White Scout Car.

Bofors SPAA>

Various Russian small arms including PTRS and PTRD ATRs, which make the Boys look positively small.

One of my favourite pieces, a Centurian AVRE. This one fought in the Gulf War in 1991, not bad for a WW2 era tank.

Fire tender.

An enormous (Thorneycroft?) command bus.

17pdr ATG. This is a very big gun.

The 17pdr Quad tow.

3.7" AA. My grandfather served in a 3.7" Regiment in WW2. They were sent to Java in early 1942 and used as coastal artillery, which didn't work out terribly well.

Bofors on a conventional mount.

Cromwell turret.

Rear view of the Sdkfz 251D.

And the distance in the fenced off boneyard, another Daimler, and a rather sad looking Comet.

The collection isn't huge, but I'd recommend a visit if you are in the area. They also have a collection of militaria for sale, including de-activated weapons, but the range was far smaller than when I last went.