Friday 29 July 2022

Cluedo Hostage Rescue

 We were a bit light on players this week, so John put on a game of Cluedo Hostage Rescue, a tried and tested online favourite. 

Very cleverly my phone had run out of battery, so the only photo I got was one of Russell's screenshots below.

Pete, Diego, Russell and myself ran the SAS team. Diego was allocated team leader, while Pete and I each rolled up medics. Diego had never played before, so delegated command to Corporal Russell. With eight soldiers, we had two each, and the obvious task organisation was two groups of four, with one medic in each.

Many of the hostages had already escaped just leaving Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard in the hands of the baddies. The escape routes and efforts of the local security services had narrowed things down to just two occupied rooms, the Dining Room and Billiard Room. For the first time ever, the pre game intelligence was actually correct!

Diego and Pete went in through the conservatory, Russell and myself through the hall. Our group headed to the Billiard Room, while Pete went for the Dining Room. We cleared each room like clockwork, someone kicked in the door and threw in a stun grenade, the others went in guns blazing. 

In the Billiard Room all the occupants were stunned including poor Miss Scarlett, and both terrorists were shot. One was killed and the other seriously wounded. My medic attended the wounded terrorist and my subsection then evacuated him and Miss Scarlett via the window. Corporal Russells sub section set off to clear the other rooms.

In the Dining Room, Pete managed to stun both terrorists but Colonel Mustard was left unscathed. He was a military man you know. Pete's team shot and killed both terrorists and evacuated Colonel Mustard. Diego joined Russell in clearing the other rooms, but they were all empty.

Mission Accomplished! That was the most professional hostage rescue mission I've taken part in, all hostage rescued, all terrorists captured or eliminated, no friendly casualties and we didn't even set the building on fire by accident. Great stuff. The screen shot above shows the moment both the occupied rooms were stormed.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Syborg CMP Fuel Tanker

My final Syborg purchase from Partisan was a CMP C60L fuel tanker. I don't have any fuel tankers at all in 15mm so this was going to be a useful addition.

Here it is chugging along hoping to refuel some tanks. Obviously I could just use a normal truck and pretend there are fuel cans in the back, but this is a bit more explicit.

This one was a decent print with a minor bit of ridging on the cab, but quite a bit on the fuel tank itself. The cab was easily sorted out with a bit of filing and some PVA, and the ridges on the tank aren't too noticeable due to the fuel pipes, hatches etc. 

The detail on the fuel tank is nicely done and reminds me of the vehicles in the old Airfix RAF refuelling set.

I wanted to keep it as generic as possible so I just did in in plain khaki green using Vallejo Russian Uniform with a wash of dilute Bronze Green. At a pinch it can do for any Allied or Russian army. Otherwise just the wheels, windows and a bit of dust to top it off.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Gettysburg at Joy of Six

 As I mentioned in my Joy of Six 2022 report, Tim C and Chris Pringle were putting on Gettysburg using Bloody Big Battles as a demo game.

I was only able to go to the show for the afternoon, so I called in after lunch, and much to my surprise I was offered a chance to play.

The battlefield from the southwest. Little Round Top is in the foreground, Seminary Ridge off to the left and Gettysburg dimly visible in the distance at the confluence of the roads. The 'woods' are rubberised floor mat painted green, which look great and just lay over the terrain.

They had already played the first day in the morning, and were just setting up for the second day. Union troops can be seen in Gettysburg and CSA columns heading though the woods. The bunch of units in front are about to be set up in their start positions.

I was invited to take on Lee's wing in the north while Chris ran Longstreet in the south. Tim took the Union troops facing me and Diego took the Union forces around Little Round Top.

Here my columns are moving up to Gettysberg to reinforce the troops at the front. Anderson (on the right) has decided to dither and is milling around not doing much. Lee is just visible behind the forces advancing directly on Gettysburg from the north. He can't be everywhere to sort things out unfortunately. 

This scenario features some randomised objectives, and one of them was this ridge to the northeast of the town. The Union garrisoned this strongly, which was a bit unfortunate for the isolated CSA division beneath it. As Gettysburg was already engaged by three of my divisions, I sent two reserve divisions to assist.

I've not played BBB for a while and although I can remember the basic concepts I was a bit rusty on the specifics. It is impressively simple, but subtle at the same time. A sort of combination of Volley & Bayonet and Fire & Fury which gives you plenty to think about but also moves along at a fair old pace as the move distances are long and the table relatively small.

All those woods and streams are rather slowing my chaps down, even though they are in march column. Fortunately my artillery has managed to disrupt some of the Union troops on the ridge. Most firing results in disruption, it takes a large weight of fire to actually remove bases.

My other three divisions were engaged around Gettysburg. Anderson finally got moving and we forced the defending US Division out, but it took a while due to the poor terrain, and by now three more US divisions are on the ridge above the town and a rather alarming number of artillery pieces.

My chaps are generally in a double ranked ('supported line') deployment as I recall this was the most effective attacking formation. Both ranks get to fight in assault and there is a bonus for the deep deployment. The Union have shaken out into lines to maximise their firepower and frontage.

On this sector the critical objective is the ridge rather than the town, but the force ratios aren't favourable for an attack here now so I'll just concentrate on keeping the Union pinned down.

Down in the south Longstreet is trying to take the area around Little Round Top, so I need to stop the Union reinforcing here. The CSA don't have a large numerical superiority in this sector, but their troop quality is better so the Union are gradually battered and pushed backed. One melee in particular causes immense damage. 

Back around Gettysburg my guys are content to just blaze away at exposed US units, and supported by a couple of artillery battalions are quite effective in smashing the enemy up. Two US Divisions are disorganised now, one of which launched an ill advised assault across a a stream and uphill into the woods, only to be repulsed with heavy losses. Not something I intend to replicate.

Northwest of Gettysburg, much to everyones amazement my isolated division managed to take the ridge, and then survived a counterattack by two US divisions despite being disorganised. My supporting divisions and artillery were just close enough to disrupt the Union troops as they moved to attack which provided enough support to hold the Yanks off, but my guys on the ridge exhausted their ammo in the process.

Rather unwisely the Union counterattacked along the ridge, exposing their flank to my own troops further down. The subsequent assault into them sent the Union  troops fleeing in panic down the far side and ridge firmly in CSA hands. 

Things now quietened down a bit as my guys consolidated their gains. Cemetery Ridge was far too strongly defended to attack, with a huge battery of guns massed on the slopes, so in the centre Lee contented himself with occupying Gettysburg.

In the south, Longstreet had driven the Union right back to Little Round Top, at which point their line stabilised. When Pickett turns up tomorrow, I'm sure we will just smash their line right in....

That was a very enjoyable game, and it was nice to be playing BBB again. It is great system as I like the Fire & Fury type integrated morale/activation approach, although there are maybe too many tables and modifiers for my  tastes as it covers such an enormous period. My usual approach to nineteenth century games like this one, or Neil Thomas is to extract the relevant tables and modifiers for each specific conflict into a separate QRS, which generally makes things much simpler.

Many thanks to Tim and Chris for hosting.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Syborg 76mm gun

 To go with the SZT tractors, I also got a couple of M1939 USV Divisional Guns,  as you can really never have too much Soviet artillery.

Here they are ready to repel the Hitlerites, and at the princely sum of £1 each, I really couldn't resist.

These are lovely little models, although one had a lot of print bristles (? little threads? , not sure how to describe them) which needed trimming off. There was also some ridging on the gun shields and trails, but a bit of filing and a couple of coats of PVA largely sorted it out.

Nice crisp detail on the breech and gun controls. Unlike the PSC versions, these don't have muzzle breaks, which to my mind actually looks better. Maybe I should cut the PSC ones off.

The guns got a base coat of Vallejo 894, then a dry brush of VJ Russian Uniform which I think looks pretty good. 

You can see the recuperator etc have been printed well. The gunners are a couple of spare PSC figures. I'm running a bit short of these now, but the surplus ones I had left over have lasted for years now.

I tried  a different (lighter) shade of green on their helmets and I think it looks better on the smaller scale figures. If I can face it might re do all my infantry helmets at some point as I've often thought they look a bit dark. 

And here are the guns with the tractors. Yes, they would probably be towed by horses, GAZ trucks or Studebakers in real life, but the tractors look nice.

A welcome addition to my Soviet army., and so cheap! 

Friday 15 July 2022

Joy of Six 2022

 It is great to get to another real wargames show again in 2022! This time, Joy of Six just down the road in central Sheffield. I've only been to this a few times as it generally clashes with COW, but this year they were a weekend apart. Neither the club nor WD had a game to run this year so I just went for a few hours on Sunday afternoon.

Even  arriving after lunch it was still pretty busy. There were some traders but mainly loads and loads of games (all 6mm).

This one is 'Crusader 2', a sort of modern version of Operation Crusader. Anyway, it was a huge 6mm tank battle in the desert, and we all like those. One of the presenters commented favourably on my shoes, so they get top billing on the blog. The game was run with Fistful of TOWs.

Stuff going on in the town.

This is a very chilly looking game of the Battle of Lund, 1676 by Per Broden the ever great Wyre Forest Gamers using Twilight of the Sun King. Just lovely.

Charles Rowntree's Battle of the Imjin River which was also at Partisan. World class pointing about to take place.

I mean honestly, what a fabulous terrain setup. It is like being there. The poor old Gloucesters are on that hill in the middle as hordes of Chinese run up the slopes.

This one is 'All Hell Let Loose', a game covering one of the numerous battles around Hill 112. Love the cornfields, Hill 112 is that big hill in the middle!

Hill 112 from the rear. It seems to have a lot of Panthers on it, so I guess things are aren't going too well for the British at the moment.

This is a big Ancients game put on C.O.G.S, Cavalauniam (sp?) Fields in 451AD. This one was a participation game.

Lovely massed cavalry.

And another COGS game, this time Roundway Down in the English Civil War. A demo game this time.

To my surprise, JoS has extended into the big hall. The last time I was here was for one of the Hallam University Honorary Degree ceremonies along with the Great and Good of the region. The show really has got much bigger than my last visit. This hall was even more packed with games and traders. 

Although not under a WD or SWS banner, Tim C was running Gettysburg along with Chris Pringle using Bloody Big Battles. I later got to play Lee, which was a bit of a surprise(!) but will feature in a separate report.  The woods are made of flexible floor matting, and very effective they are too as they drape over the rest of the terrain.

Gettysburg from the east.

Commission Miniatures absolutely massive Napoleonic game using their MDF figures.

They look really good one masse. Here are French cavalry followed by infantry columns.

The Cold War Commanders brought their Denmark 1985 game along, this was also at Partisan. The top end with the town etc is a demo section. 

And the bottom end is the participation zone where you can push lots of tanks around using Cold War Commander.

A Soviet Tank Regiment advances across the plain.

I just love the town setup. The NATO Divisional HQ is in the bottom left, marked with the hospital tents. 

The is 'Sudan Death', a participation game unsurprisingly set in the Sudan. The game mat was just amazing, the rippling and dunes are just printed on but actually look 3D.

A truely monumental game of Little Big Horn. Given the amount of kit, I suspect it was at 1:1. Custers boys are in the middle on the hill.

Native American encampments stretching into the distance. Lovely models, all Baccus. 

There were more traders in  here. Good to see Irregular at a show again, and I actually got to have good look at 2D6 and Rapier in the flesh, both manufacturers who are new to me, although I've heard about them from other people. 

H&R had a big stand, also good to see them at a show too. I bought a fair bit off them last time I was at JoS, but I didn't have any particular requirements this time.

The stand was continuously mobbed, with people going through the endless trays of figures and models in time honoured tradition. Just like the 1970s all over again.

It was a great afternoon out, and good to catch up with some people in person rather than remotely. If you ever get a chance to go to Joy of Six in future, it is highly recommended.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Syborg STZ Tractor

 I wanted to get some more Russian tractors. I've got plenty of trucks and horses, but there is something very Soviet about artillery tractors. Ideally I'd have got some Konsomlets tractors, but the STZ was all Syborg had.

I got two as one would just be silly. These are very angular so not much problem with lining on the 3D print, just a little bit on the cab roof which I filed and then prepped with PVA.

These are really nice little models and compare very favourable with my resin Battlefront ones. The size is identical, and although some of the detail is a bit more crude, they are vastly cheaper, and I like cheap.

The wood slats have nice deep grooves which show up well. I went for the open topped version in case I need to put anything in the back (dice, markers, quad AA guns?). 

For some reason the track assemblies on 3D prints are often really nice, whereas I've seen some utterly awful metal castings. These ones look pretty good.

It is Russian, so it is green. The basecoat is Vallejo 894 which I use for all Russian kit, but Squeaky Pete had suggested using Vallejo Russian Uniform so I drybrushed a load of that on as a highlight and it worked pretty well. Easier than mixing up some 894 with ochre which is what I usually do.

Otherwise I just slapped loads of 'mud' on the running gear and did light overall drybrush to pick otu the hard edges.