Friday, 10 October 2014

Star Wars

The Millenium Falcon rides again (yipee), courtesy of a Revell snap-together mini-kit (see below):

The excuse to snap this together was of all things a school project about erm, "Space". I might have been stretching the context to have a bit of weekend fun with my son ;)

Note: I did resort to the "let a responsible adult use superglue" to fix things I thought would 'pop-off'. I know it was advertised as a 'no-glue required kit', but neither the laws of physics or the consequences of kids playing with toys believe the marketing blurb ;)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Thoughts on a AWI Project (Part II): "The Slow Gathering of Hosts"- First Purchase, British Infantry

"These are not the Colonials you are looking for!", but I bought them anyway. Somebody else had snaffled the Mel Gibson lookalikes but thanks to Mark Urban's tome I had enough interest to put these in my shopping basket (see below):

The figures can be assembled in so many different variety of headgear a multitude of options exist, however on the back of the box it says these are "Centre Company" or "Hat Men". A closer look at the Perry's Web-Site mean revealed that the sexier stuff is available in metal (doubling the cost from £0.50 a figure to roughly £1.00), such as Mark Urban's 23rd Welch [sic] Fusiliers.

I shall try and steer away from the metal, but certain infantry troop types, cavalry and artillery will lure me there in due course ;)

Hmm, yes I seem to have been bitten by another "shiny madness bug"!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Notes to self for WWI Naval Historical Scenario: December 15/16th 1914, TheScarborough-Whitby-Hartlepool Raid

The Phases of Battle (Sequence of Play)

Stage 0: The Scenario Set-Up and Historical Conditions

German Forces:

1st Scouting Group:
  • Position: In Enemy Home Waters 
  • Mission: Bombardment (Hartlepool/Whitby/Scarborough)
  • Screening Force Cruiser/Destroyer (Alert)
  • Battle Cruisers Status (Alert)
  • Weakness: Dispersed Formation (Hartlepool, Whitby, Scarborough)
  • Incorrect Assumption: High Seas Fleet will stand and fight
High Seas Fleet:
  • Position: Distant Covering Force: Distant (Home Waters)
  • Screening Force (Alert)
  • Battle Squadrons (Complacent)
  • Weakness: "Do not engage superior forces order"
  • Weakness: Withdraw in face of superior or equal foe
German Intelligence: 

  • Weakness: Complacent, over confidence
  • Weakness: Assumption "No Battle Cruiser Force (BCF) or Grand Fleet (GF) at sea"
  • Zeppelins (Inactive)
  • Submarines (Inactive)

RN Forces

RN Intelligence: 
  • Status (Active)
  • Room 40 Advanced Warning of German Raid (Jellicoe)
  • Weakness: Thinks HSF in Jade
Early Interception Force Battle Cruiser Fleet (BCF): 
  • Position: Distant (Closing)
  • Screening Force Destroyers/Cruisers (Alert)
  • Battle Cruisers (Alert)
  • Restriction: "Do not enter enemy home waters order"
  • Special Ability: "Pursuit of 'Enemy Fleeing' override"
  • Weakness: Rashness "Close with enemy"
  • Weakness: Poor Signalling
Covering Force: Grand Fleet (GF):
  • Position: Distant (Closing) 
  • Screening Force Destroyers/Cruisers (Alert)
  • Battle Squadrons (Alert)
  • Weakness: Partial Deployment of 2nd Battle (Warrender) Squadron only
  • Weakness:  "Do not enter enemy home waters order"
  • Weakness: Submarine/Torpedo Trap Fear
  • Weakness: Mine Trap Fear
  • Weakness: "Do not needlessly endanger Grand Fleet"
Local Defense Force Land (Hartlepool):

  • Advantage: Heugh Battery Gun camouflage
  • Weakness: Complacent Status
  • Weakness: Recognition - German Ships Assumed RN
  • Local Defense Force Naval (Hartlepool)
  • Destroyer Patrol at Sea (Alert)
  • Cruiser Force in Harbour (Complacent)
  • Submarine Force in Harbour (Complacent
Stage 1: German Advanced Penetration
  • Forces Identified/Engaged 
  • Mission Start Point - Local Defense Activation
  • Naval Patrol (Destroyers)
  • Turn Restriction (Iterate) to Achieve Mission Objectives
    • Bombardment Damage Counting
    • Defensive Shore Battery Fire
    • Naval Force Escalation (Cruise/Submarine)
  • Cessation of Bombardment
Stage 2: The Chase
  • Initial Position - BCF Light Forces v 1SG Light Forces
  • Screening Rolls for Contact (Visual)
  • Strategic Map Positioning
  • Command Dice Activation
  • Tactical Map Positioning
  • Simultaneous Movement
  • Fate and Weaknesses
Stage 3: Tactical Engagement

Possible Outcomes of the The Engagement Phase
Repeat sequence until break out of loop
  • Fight/Movement
  • Force/Asset Commitment
  • Gunnery
  • Torpedo
  • Morale/Confusion Status
  • Tactical Orders
  • Tactical Movement
  • Break off (beyond visual contact)
Stage 4: Strategic Movement
  • Chance to Evade or to Escape
  • Return to The Chase Strategic Map
  • If no Escape (break contact) implies chance to Escalate or End of Strategic Play and game
  • Return to Stage 2: The Chase Screening Rolls for Contact (Visual)
To be continued: Solitaire Decision-Making Process considered  

Any comments or thoughts (including requests for more explanation) on the above appreciated ;)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Notes to self: Musings on WWI Naval rules (North Sea) Part #2

WWI North Sea Battle Cruiser-Actions, Beatty versus Hipper: Round One 1914.
"Now you see them now you don't, Battle Cruisers in the mist!"
Hipper's First Scouting Group of December 1914 comprising of: SMS Seydlitz, SMS Molke, SMS Von der Tann, SMS Derfflinger and SMS Blucher (see below):

Beatty's depleted Battle Cruiser Fleet (BCF) of December 1914 comprising of: HMS Lion, HMS Queen Mary, HMS Tiger and HMS New Zealand (see below):

Note: Unbeknownst to the Germans, in terms of Capitol Ships, they actually possessed a numerical superiority of ONE. Despite this they were always thinking in effect they were numerically inferior. This was due to RN Battle Cruiser commitment to other theatres, namely fighting the Goeban and Von Spee. However this superiority is somewhat artificial as the SMS Blucher is technically an Armoured Cruiser rather than a true blood modern Battle Cruiser.

The goal is to develop a solitaire card and dice driven naval combat system (because it is so hard to find an opponent and it is good to replay scenarios over and over again).

The assumption is that the active player is the RN Commander (aka Beatty), for WWI 'contact' naval actions in the North Sea. The RN's goal, with the aid of secret intelligence (courtesy of Admiralty Room 40), is to ambush a German raiding force (aka Hipper) with superior forces and bring about it's destruction. The logic being that Command and Control problems for RN player is far greater, whereas the High Seas Fleet (HSF) is more concentrated, easier to control and is intent more on escape.

This type of scenario was played out several times during the course of the war (particularly 1914 to 1916) and seems an ideal test-vehicle for solo play.

Raw Game Ingredients:
  • Formations
  • Orders 
  • Command Dice
"This is a  new idea since last posting. As I have been playing a lot of Chain of Command, it's Command Dice mechanic seems much more sophisticated and appropriate that my initial musings using PiP points (aka DBA)"
  • Simultaneous Movement and Combat
  • Morale Status
Next: A historical scenario "The Scarborough Raid December 1914"

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Thoughts on an AWI Project: Part I

Source of Inspiration:
Recently caught the last hour of Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" on television and was impressed with the look of the 'brown coated' militia and the blue-coated American militia in the battle scenes. That "twitchy painty" feeling started tingling in my bones. What to do? What to do? Wait and see if it passes? I can at least gather my thoughts ... and ask for advice from fellow bloggers.

Potential Rules:

28mm Figure Ranges: 
Perry's AWI Hard Plastics

Reference Material: 
Mark Urban's: Fusilier (reading at present)

References for other introductory books appreciated?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Saga: Anglo-Saxons (The Good Guys)

Attacking the "Plastic Mountain" update: 

Now the 28mm plastic Sparabara have been assembled (though not yet painted) I am looking at the other plastic 28mm figures left "in the loft". Next up was a box of unmade unarmoured Anglo-Saxons (from Wargames Factory) to bulk up the old metal Gripping Beast collection (started circa 1999, finished painting in 2005) and the existing Wargames Factory plastics I have already made (but not yet painted), with the intention of creating a Saga Warlord Faction of six units (see below):

The "Yaeton" Faction Order of Battle:
  • Unit 1: 12 x Unarmoured Levy Spear/Sword/Axe (Painted)
  • Unit 2: 8 x Warriors Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 3: 4 x Hearthguard Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe + 1 Warlord (Painted)
  • Unit 4: 4 x Hearthguard Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 5: 8 x Warriors Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • Unit 6  12 x Unarmoured Levy Spear/Swords/Ax (Unassembled)
  • 1 x Unarmoured Man with Horn (Painted)
  • 2 x Unarmoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Painted)
  • 2 x Armoured Spear/Sword/Axe (Assembled but unpainted)
  • 4 x Unarmourd Bow (Unassembled)
Note: I would have liked to form a unit of Levy Bow (12 figures required), but I need to acquire 8 more figures. Missile weapons although not a direct battle winner as per the Persian army would at least weaken selected foes prior to the hand-to-hand and make your opponent initiate the attack in disadvantageous circumstances.

The Warlord's Hearthguard Formation is shown in close-up (see below):   

My other fully painted formation is the Levy Spearmen (although I could also mix in a couple of painted axe and swordsmen for a little variety). These go back to when I was trying to perfect the three-tone technique as promoted by the Games Workshop paint range of yore in the early 2000's (see below):

Note: The shield patterns came specifically from the Shieldwall Warhammer Historical booklet.

The goal remain to have at least assembled a "full force" and play a game of Saga. A middle term goal is to acquire enough (8) unarmoured bow from some source to field a missile unit too. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

In search of lost gold - Battleground 1978 TV Programme

Every now and again I pick up a lost cause (the perfect set of wargaming rules for a period) or start believing in an urban legand (alien spaceship on the moon) until; you sober up. So ... I started an internet search in the quest of the "lost" 1978 Battleground Tapes.

Other bloggers have covered this in far better detail that myself (see below):

What is it?

Intriguing details:

The closes I got was this elusive posting:

Other than that, no You Tube postings or the like :(
So after many hours of 'wasted' Internet browsing I drew a blank

Note: As a kid I remember seeing a clip really late at night in the 'somewhere' Western Desert with Airfix (classic) tanks, but that could be complete imagination on my part!

Addendum: I have posted a question on the above blog, let's see if I get a response