Thursday, 27 March 2014

Eden camp

Having got all the kit and few opportunities to wear it at WW2 airsoft games, I finally dragged myself along to a proper re-enactment event. A fairly large contingent from Sheffield are already members of the Northern WW2 Association, an umbrella re-enactment organisation which includes Germans, British, US and Soviet groups. They recently ran a 'new members' weekend at Eden Camp in North Yorkshire, which provided an opportuntity for the members of the various groups to get together, socialise and sell each other enormous quantities of unwanted kit as well as put on a bit of a show for the public.

For this one I tagged along with 8 Ko. Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland, who re-enact early war German infantry and who pride themselves on their drill. So we did quite a bit of square bashing and rifle drill.

The might of the Wehrmacht including the platoon accordianist with a Czech OT-18 pretending to be an Sdkfz 251.

The Kriegsmarine put in an appearance.

An unruly group of US Paras are kept in order.
It was an enjoyable weekend and something I'll probably do a bit more of, especially as most of the events are local and don't involve driving to the other end of the country and sleeping in a forest in the rain and wind. Blank firing 'battle' comes next hopefully. The photos look quite sunny but it was completely freezing, particularly the early morning fog and I felt a bit sorry for the US paras in their thin cotton uniforms.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Peter Pig Stug IIIG

A few more of my elderly collection of 15m Peter Pig stuff, this time the Stug IIIG.

These were very new castings when I  bought them, very crisp with lots of deep etched detail which takes a wash nicely. I got the versions with a lot of cast on stowage.

You can see how much crisper the track detail is on these than on the older Panzer IVJs.

The stowage looks really good too.

This one even has a bicycle strapped to back, just what you need when short of fuel.
Along with my PSC and Zvezda Stugs that means I have no less than nine 15mm Stugs! I hope that will be sufficient. These chaps have been out a fair bit, which was partly why I got the PSC ones as they have been so useful for all sorts of things. They are finished in standard dunkelgelb with brown/green disruptive, a dark brown inkwash and a light tan drybrush to pick out the highlights. Markings are very plain, just simple (Skytrex) balkan crosses.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The shape of things to come

John put on this Star Wars game which may or may not have born some striking parallels to goings on in todays world.  General briefing below.

Crisis at Meacri

The Rainuk system, situated on the fringe of the Empire, has two habitable planets, Evki and Meacri.

For many centuries the system was part of the Empire. Evki and Meacri were originally ruled by separate governors, but about 60 years ago became a single colony administered from Evki. Whilst the population of Evki is homogeneous only about 25% of the population of Meacri are of Rainukian descent, the majority being from descended from immigrants from other parts of the Empire.

Some 23 years ago, during a period of political turmoil in the Empire, Rainuk declared independence following popular demonstrations on Evki. The former governor became the first president of the newly independent republic. The Empire recognised the independence of Rainuk in a treaty which gave the Empire rights to the existing strategically important base on Meacri.

Ten years ago the president announced that he would not stand for re-election. The election was narrowly won by his prime minister against an opposition candidate who wanted closer links with the Federation. Allegations of vote rigging and intimidation backed by largely peaceful popular protests on Evki resulted in the election result being overturned by the courts and the re-run election resulted in a win for the opposition. Relations between Rainuk and the Empire have since then been strained.

Three months ago the president refused to sign a trade agreement with the Federation and instead proposed a closer relationship with the Empire.

Popular demonstrations on Evki followed, which became more serious following the death of a number of protesters when riot troops were sent in to end the demonstrations in the last week. The president has left Evki and is believed to have travelled to Meacri. He is now thought to be either in the Empire base on Meacri or to have gone on the Imperial capital.

A provisional government has formed on Evki which has sought support from the Federation.

It is clear that the new government has little support on Meacri. An armed group, describing itself as the Meacri Militia, has taken over the space port on Meacri and will not allow craft to land.

So I hope that is all clear then? This was partly an excuse to dig out Johns various 25mm toys last seen in the Encounter 2 game a few weeks ago, but for this outing we used 'Encounter 3', a planetside variant which dispensed with the D100s and introduced some rules for lightsabres. Hurrah!

Once again I seem to have been typecast as The Man in Black, leading the Imperial forces of peace and brotherhood on a humanitarian mission to Meacri spaceport.  

Darth Vader strides purposefully along behind some Stormtroopers.

Some Rainukian defence forces approach the spaceport.

Meacri militia take cover by going prone.

The Stormtroopers advance covering all angles.

As does the other squad.

Somewhere, out in space, lurk Federation rocket troops in power armour.

The Rainukians start to straggle and take a few hits.

The Meacri militia stand up to blaze away.

One squad heads for the fuel tanks.

The other for the Control Tower.

The fuel tanks are bypassed. Probably wise given the amount of shooting going on.

Darth Vader and the second squad reach the control tower. The Meacrians seem quite pleased to see them.

The Federation power troopers touch down.

Then take to the air again as the Stormtroopers hit the deck.

Darth spots some prey in the distance.

And rushes up to this unfortunate Rainukian.

Meanwhile the Federation power troops shower the port facilities with HE.
Blowing most of the Meacrians to pieces..
More importantly the prone Rainukian leaps up and takes Darth by surprise, stunning him. The force is strong in this one.

But not that strong. Darth re-engages.
And this time doesn't make any mistakes. Phew, that was close. Don't tell the Emperor.

Back at the spaceport there is something of a standoff with the Federation forces. There might even have been an exchange of fire, but not wanting to start a gigantic galactic war which would destroy everyone and everything, that soon stopped. Don't mention that to the Emperor either will you?

So, things ended with the Rainukians wiped out, the surviving Meacrians sloping off and Empire and Federation both happy as they could both claim the spaceport wasn't occupied by the enemy. Not that there were any enemies, this being a purely humanitarian effort and all.

Righto, time to dig in behind a load of minefields across the Chker peninsular and thumb our noses at the Federation while sitting smugly on their gas supplies.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Flight of the Goeben

My interest in the Goeben was piqued again recently by a free Kindle book (The Great War at Sea possibly? I really can't recall nor be bothered to find out which) which had a pretty detailed of her activities along with the more general stuff like blow by blow accounts of Jutland etc. I hadn't realised that she was the longest serving dreadnought ever, only being scrapped in 1974. I particularly felt sorry for Admiral Troubridge being court martialled for failing to engage her, even though he was under orders to avoid engaging a superior force, and faced with a faster ship more than capable of sinking his entire squadron without suffering a scratch in return.

So, I set up this scenario with the Adriatic squadron in a slightly better position to intercept the Goeben after she set sail from Messina in 1914 having earlier evaded most of the French navy and outrun the RN battlecruisers sent to find her. I ran this using Tim Gows 'Iron Ships and Wooden Heads' rules, modifying the stats for the RN armoured cruisers as they were so pitifully inadequate compared to the Goeben in firepower, speed and armour.

Goeben and Breslau sailing happily along en route for Turkey.

Somewhat blurry view from above. The Goebens interesting asymmetrical turret arrangement for her main armament clearly visible.

The Adriatic Squadron sails on with the destroyers detached and the other elderly armoured cruisers line astern of the Black Prince. Most of these outdated deathtraps/ships were destined to be sunk at Jutland.

A plucky DD flotilla approaches Goeben.

While the rest of the squadron makes a slight turn right.

Black Prince sustains minor damage from a long range 11" salvo and turns away.

The RN reform as Goeben and Breslau reduce speed to continue to engage the head of the cruiser squadron. One DD flotilla is driven off as  the other closes in.

Ooops. Goeben ignores the DD and takes a torpedo hit leaving her crippled and dead in the water.
Black Prince is also crippled after the exchange of fire.

But the remaining cruisers and DDs don't make any mistakes and the crippled Goeben is heavily hit, rolls over and goes to the bottom. Breslau cripples the DD flotillas in return and looks set too escape.

Oh dear! A slightly unexpected result as I reckoned the Goeben quite capable of blowing Troubridges squadron out of the water. It shows that Troubridges original plan to use the cruisers to escort the destroyers in for a torpedo attack was correct, in this case helped by Admiral Souchon getting a bit carried away with engaging the enemy and not using his superior speed and range to destroy them from a distance. Unlike real life, in this case he was able to get close enough to Goeben to launch the attack before she simply sailed away into the dstance.