Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Interesting Naval Computer Wargames

 http://johntillersoftware.com/NavalCampaigns.html

Has anybody played any of them?

Wolf-Pack:

US Pacific:

Jutland:



Tsushima:


Any information gratefully received as my model 1/3000 fleets are getting rather interested in potentially using them!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Just when you thought you had heard the strangest of tales .. Cryptocurrencies

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p07nkd84

The world is such a strange place it seems even to defy even the crazy logic and genius of the late Douglas Adams .. when is money not really money?

Monday, 14 September 2020

10mm Vietnam Game

The objective, pacification of a Vietnam village that has been reported as "taken over" by teh NVA and VC but still has "friendlies" inside it or so what the precursory Huey overflight can tell us (see below, Kallistra terrain again serving up the goodies - water = paddy fields no cover; Orange with scatter = broken ground which offers partial cover;  green = dense jungle counting as cover; huts = hard cover; brown tracks = roads or raised bridge over paddy fields; grey = secret tunnels): 


Each hex in the set up is scaled to represent 50m across and each figure represents approximately five men. Two figures to a squad and four squads to a platoon with a heavy weapons squad assigned to each ans a light mortar tagged along for the ride with the Company Commander (see below, first and second platoon cover ten hexes of the baseline to give the US the maximum amount of fire support - to give back plenty if they took any "incoming fire"):  


The "blue" counters represent what Charlie see, a lot of US strung out in a continuous skirmish line and opens opens up, also revealing "his" position. First blood went to Charlie but the intense retaliatory fire cleared the dense jungle outpost and the VC/NVA threw forces forward to bolster their 'point position' (see below, there were no clever scouting rules but recon by contact): 


This VC/NVA tactic ran into a stream of American firepower as the US MGs hard a beaten zone cutting down and pinning any visible "enemy". The exchange cost the US too, especially as the VC/NVA brought some mortars down (see below, a 10:3 ratio was within the 3:1 (min) to 4:1 (preferred) trade the US were prepared to pay as per their Victory Condition [although the term "victory" in itself seemed a trifle dubious for this scenario]): 


xx


The VC/NVA resistance stiffened as they received an additional two platoons of infantry - as the America testified to higher level of incoming fire coming in from around the flanks. The US Commander at first engaged in the fire fight but then pulled back and informed the umpire of his intention to assume a more defensive position and let the VC/NVA come to him. Either than or until he received reinforcements. To go forward would be to court disaster. In the meantime he requested and plotted an artillery strike on the VC/NVA positions outside the village. The umpire announced battalion had committed a platoon of M113s to help push towards the village and a Huey Gunship was "on call" (see below, the M113's were a huge morale boast to the US having MGs and effectively gaving hard cover to US troops behind them - the left flank received one M113 to "pin" the enemy, while two M113s were allocated to the right flank along with the artillery strike and Huey with the intention to punch through to the village on the right): 


The concentration of force on the tight flank played dividends as the defending VC/NVA troops were wiped out by the unexpected artillery "stonk", followed up by the Huey and armoured infantry assault (see below, the track/path to the village was now open):  


The quiet village itself lay dormant in the background (see below, no signs of any activity as nothing above ground was spotted but in Vietnam appearances can be very deceptive):


The Huey took incoming fire from two HMGs hidden in the village (see below, the AA fire missed but spooked the chopper to call the "on call" Phantom to eradicate this threat): 


"The Air don't care" about friendlies when heavy weapons are being fired at fellow "fliers" and the bomb run came down with sadly a bit of drift variation missing the HMG nests (see below, one tunnel complex was taken out which included some friendly prisoners and a luckier hit on the NVA/VC mortar positions):     


The final line of VC/NVA resistance was a series of poorly constructed booby-traps was "driven through" by the M113s leaving the remaining VC/NVA troops to disappear back into the jungle (see below, all that remaining was to take a tally of casualties to ascertain the "winners" in this chaotic mayhem):  


In total the US took seven squad hits, but that Phantom killed four poor civilians rather than VC/NVA - although it did convince the VC/NVA it was time to "bug out". This was a total of eleven, to forty seven NVA/VC casualties. 11: 37 was a greater than 3:1 so no US loss (of face) but below the desired/preferred 4:1 required by Westmoreland. The only thing to add would be that the war was getting attritional for the US as one thing was for sure, "Charlie would be back" and the US platoons would have less or be filled out with rookies learning their trade.

It did feel like Vietnam although the rule mechanisms lacked patrol/cover nuances it did play well with a "flip-flop" rather than IGOUGO sequence of play. The rules were a home set that was ad-libbed and in development but showed really good promise. I think I will take another look at Peter Pigs "Men of Company B" rules and "Buckle for your Dust" by the late Paddy Griffith. Many thanks to Ian for putting the game on and Adrian who was a worth VC/NVA opponent.  

Saturday, 12 September 2020

20mm ACW Confederate Cavalry Finished

The third arm of the Confederate Army is the Cavalry or rather Mounted Infantry (see below, this was a project that had already been half started a long while back - front rank almost there back rank very much WIP):


Post Update: Found another pic before the horses tails and manes were painted (see below, everything a washed out grey that does not awful but at the same time does not quite work): 


Muddling away the the back rank caught up with the front (see below, I actually washed Vallejo Brown dip over the already painted figures, to help equalise them in looks - however in hindsight I may have been over thinking that somewhat):  


The challenge to me now was the horses, as I am not the greatest cavalry painter in terms of experience so I was rather hesitant (see below, the brown wash helped define the shading of the skin, but called for another layer of painting and high lighting as the overall effect was more just mucky than horse flesh - I was happy with the cavalry troopers):  


An old blog post of mine came to my rescue, one that pointed out to a "thankfully" live link on how to paint horses (but I stored the pictures just in case for future use):
(see below, I decided to go for a right old mix of three white-grey, one black, one dark brown, two chestnut, three bay and two dun): 


For me the problem areas area the right horse body colour to hair [mane and tail] which the above link helped with. The white splotches on legs and head were easier to apply (see below, the Confederate Grand National of 1861 - dismounted troopers can be done later for "chrome"): 


Now for the small matter of the Union Army!

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Latest Addiction: Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (WSS) Podcasts

New Update: One of the dreaded Covid-19 afflictions finally caught up with me, no not the virus itself. [Footnote: I did come down with some mild symptoms a month back, but was tested (that should read subjected to a stabbing swab down the throat and up the nose) but the results came back a blank negative (so was it in fact worse, a near lethal strain of man-flu?). What I got was far worse, the "DIY Blues" or rather "a strange minty shade of green that my wife and daughter liked" that had to be plastered over the living room walls in multiple coats. So to keep me sane somebody called Alexa kept me company. I drained my knowledge of classic songs (and the family asked me to stop playing the "Dramatic Music" play-list) so wandered from songs to radio to .. inspirational thought .. "What about Podcasts?" Alexa confessed that she was not very good at recommendations after I slung several wargaming memes at her, but I eventually found an American thing (aka podcast) called "Wargaming Recon":

http://www.wargamingrecon.com/

This was going great, although the wife was getting suspicious at my glee and diligence in doing DIY painting, and I worked my way back from episode 259 until I hit a technical glitch with Alexa being unable to get past episode 249 (that confused Alexa as it was re-posted and she fell into an infinite loop .. oops). That was the end of my Wargaming Recon .. a sense of frustration .. but in episode 254 Wargaming Recon did an interview with Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy editor Guy Bowers who mentioned he did a podcast too. So my pretty friend Alexa came to my rescue and found it for me. See for yourself .. I became addicted (and for "brownie points" I did a lot of DIY in the process) working my way from episode 42 to (at time of writing) episode 5 (and decreasing): 

https://wsspodcast.libsyn.com/

My only problem being that I have more DIY to do than podcasts remaining. Any tips for other wargaming or history podcasts for Alexa to tune into greatly appreciated and received ;)