Monday, 24 April 2017

Holiday Reading: "Something for weekend sir?" - A 1943 "What If" Scenario ...

Picked up from"The Works" clearance house, partly (OK mostly) from the interesting cover, though I had to come back to it several times before I eventually thought ("What the heck for £5.99") it could be a good light holiday read that could end up as a good or unusual "What-If" Chain Of Command game (see below):


The premise being there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Germans mounted a successful seaborne Commando raid against a radar installation on the Isle of Wight in 1943. It has had a hard time with the Amazon reviews, light on detail but asks an important question "Why didn't the Germans run Commando raids against the UK mainland?" The what-if is there. Anyway I enjoyed the read as it gave me interesting ideas for small skirmish scenarios.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Dogger Bank Information - WWI Naval "YouTube" Lecture: courtesy of Simulating War forum

Gawd bless those little Internet elves they keep finding gems like this and then posting them to forums like Simulating War:
Thanks must go to Mircea Pauca who pointed this one out:
The slides used to support that lecture:
Have only had a "peak" but like what I saw (the whole lecture is a just over an hour)
Enjoy 
:)

Saturday, 22 April 2017

New Wargaming Book: Zones of Control (MIT Press)

Quite simply a feast (or rather a gourmet buffet) that I am currently tucking into (see below, 59 mini articles from the Wargaming Great and the Wargaming Good):


Amazon UK: Zones of Control

As recommended by the alumni of Connections UK 2016, got mine for under £30 and it was worth it as there is ;literally something for everyone.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Canopy Capers (Airfix Fw190 WIP)

Calm, calm, calm. I approach the Fw190 canopy with trepidation .. I cannot use conventional glue as that would end up in one unholy mess resulting in painting over the canopy, hence I use ClearFix. A slow sticking fragile glue that does not smear canopies. Actually the Fw190 has a large part of the rear canopy to paint over (see below, aka the black part):


Now I had bit of a struggle to get the canopy on. The 'blooming canopy' part was being pushed off by a chunky piece of rear cock-pit detail. Hence I had to shave this back until the full canopy fit nicely over it, luckily the "shaved part" was totally hidden by the painted part of the canopy. A bit like the front cockpit detail (chair/instruments and control stick) fantastic detail that ends up hidden in 90% of the possible configurations - closed cock-pit with pilot at helm (see below):


The black primer over the canopy trimmings was then covered by the dark grey paint (see below):


The glue and paint in these kits goes a long, long way. In addition to this kit I have put together some eighty odd Saxon and Norman 25/28mm plastic figures.

:)

Decals beckon next!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Test of Honour: 28mm Samurai Skirmish Games - "The One That Got Away"

I was too slow to grab this on first release, but managed to "see" somebody else's "OPEN BOX" and was very, very impressed. I have to add that I am not a Samurai buff myself but nevertheless could feel myself tingle at the quality of teh game (see below):


Hope to be able to pick up a version on second printing! The figures looked stunning (though apparently fiddly).

It has all the hallmarks of a "one box" game and extensions only if you want to!

Friday, 14 April 2017

The "Butcher Bird" ... Continued (Airfix: Fw190-A8) WIP

The basic paint scheme is added (see below):


The underside is "lined" via covering recesses with "Vallejo Black Wash" (see below):


The upper works are treated accordingly and then touched up with e original paint (see below):


Likewise the underside is touched up in its basic paint scheme (see below):


Coming along nicely!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Audible Books: Fleet at Floodtide

Completing the Pacific War saga in grand style. Again a very good read (or rather listen). Admittedly "one way traffic" (or rather the writing was on the wall after Guadalcanal) with much previously unknown (to me) anecdotes and information. I didn't realise how close the US Fleets (particularly with respect to Carrier Operations) were to the Japanese mainland and how costly a US lead invasion would have been. I can recommend "The Fleet at Flood Tide" (see below):


Footnote: I feel good (as in knowledge refreshed) with respect to the Pacific theatre [50+ hours of audio books over three+ months]. The only segment of Pacific history I am missing seen to need is a overview of the Pearl Harbour raid itself.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Is it just me or are Airfix's offerings shrinking?

Just surfing round the Internet and passing by:

https://www.airfix.com

They don't seem to be doing much in the way of Vehicle or Naval kits anymore?

:(
Even the Airfix Battles game system does not seem to have progressed from the first offering. There was a promise of a Collector's Edition expanding teh original theme but this seems to have stalled:

https://www.modiphius.net/collections/airfix-battles

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A Golden Rule: Never look back ... or you'll end up buying the 5th Edition D&D Started Pack

OK, so it started out as a casual conversation between work colleagues and led two weeks later to an impulsive "I know I was going to do it sometime so it might as well be now" moment (see below):


The upshot of it all is that D&D seems to have moved on a lot since my pubescent, hormonal 2nd Edition days (circa 1982 to 1986). The game system seems to emphasis play-ability (to which I think of as back to the "Old Blue" Basic Dungeons and Dragons book) and less on chart heavy play, but very positive in stream-lining (aka guiding) what the players can/could do (aka action types and attribute checks when the players are being "hard of thinking" or "doing something generic" outside of specif actions covered exhaustively in the rules).

All-in-all it has "beer and pretzel" written all over it, with a happy smile. I don't think I will be forking out well over "£100" for the "big set of pretty books" though, but adapt stuff from the "starter set" back into 2nd Edition (famous last words).

Note (see above): An unmade hotel bed and a freshly opened (I can still smell that clean, clear plastic wrapping film) box of 5th Edition D&D "Starter Set", can you think of anything more 'sexy nerdy'? Lenard Cohen "Chelsea Hotel" it is not ;)

Monday, 10 April 2017

Airfix Fw 190A-8

As a kid I had made the obligatory "rite of passage" construction of RAF (several different types [II, Vb and XIc]), the Hurricane and the infamous Mosquito Fighter Bomber (of 633 Squadron fame). On the baddies (sorry I am falling back to "war comic" stereotypes here) I had the Ju87 Stuka, Heinkel He111 and Dornier Do17z Luftwaffe bombers. Later in life I caught up with the Me109. However the Fw 190 was "the one that got away". So riffling through my "magic box of unmade boxes" I came across this little gem, the re-tooled Folk Wulf Fw190A-8 (see below):


Early days but has been a dream to put together. The glue goes a long, long way as I have used it for a box of 28mm Norman Foot Knights as well.

WIP, looking forward to painting it ;)

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Revell TIE Fighter (Completed)

It is nice to finish a project .. completely. I assembled the model back in 2016, then promptly decided it was too good for the kids to play with (aka break it, it is a plastic model not a Tonka toy) so it would have to "hang in display fashion". So I gave it a real dirty looking blackwash. So next was a clean up coat of Official Imperium Grey [for Imperial use only], with a little light grey highlight to follow (see below):


I was not satisfied with the perspex windows so black lined then painted grey over the top (see below):


Then followed the hanging from the ceiling pantomime (see below, note I am following the official Gerry Anderson hang it with cotton guideline, silver not black):


Job well done, one happy little chappie. Methinks more stuff may head to the ceiling. Not so sure the wife will let me use our ceiling in the same way ;)

Now back to putting those 28mm figures together!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Stormin' Normans in 28mm (Conquest Games)

I made the mistake of mixing gardening (the type that is quite hard on the hands) with 28mm hard plastic figure assembly, Conquest Games 1066 Normans. I was in tears by the end of it but I soldiered on. You cannot complain with forty four foot soldiers (see below):


Spear, sword and two handed battle axe (see below):


I seem to have a bad case of 28mm plastic figure disease, I do hope there is no cure :)
These will do well for my Saga and Impetus meanderings

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Something to "lighten-up" the desk at work: Klingon Battle Cruiser

One advantage of working in IT is the high level of Sci-Fi appreciation. So in honour of the SCRUM team that named itself as culturally "Klingon" (yes they are 'interesting') I brought in a Star Trek genre, Klingon Battle Cruiser (see below):


It went down well! As a bonus in my downtime I can day dream my way into my own set of 'Trekie' space ship battle rules.

PS: I prefer this to the smaller Klingon "Bird of Prey". Call me 'Old School'.

Monday, 13 March 2017

More Foot Sergeants - 28mm FireForge

Seeing as I was down a few crossbowmen for my Renaissance Army I made up 24 FireForge Foot Sergeants as crossbowmen (see below):


The remaining 24 were a combination of Spear, Battle Axe, Sword and Mace. Excellent figures (see below, another gamer noted their potential usefulness for Frostgrave):


Need another box of these ;)

Friday, 10 March 2017

Audible Book: Neptune's Inferno - Guadalcanal WW2 Pacific 1942-43

The naval aspect of WWII in the Pacific keeps drawing me in. If Midway was a critical hinge then Guadalcanal seemed to be point where "the turning of the tide" inexorably moved the way of the Allies (or at this point the US). Attritional in nature, intense, with both sides making numerous terrible mistakes of strategic and tactical, new technology (such as radar) both used to good effect and terrible inept "missed opportunities" the outcome was never pre-destined, but the US prevailed. Neptune's Inferno was a good but terrifying read (see below):


I need to dig out my copy of "The Tokyo Express" and get back to painting those 1/3000 Navwar ships!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Dreaming Big - Maximilian Renaissance Army List 1499-1518

Dream Big: Laid out in "card bases" (suitable for 28/25mm figures) as per the Impetus Rules. I give you "The Maximilian Imperial Renaissance Army List 1499-1518" (see below, note that's not a small carpet it's on!):


And (sadly) this is the (small) portion I have managed to paint over the last decade, but on the upside I have had fun (see below):


Compare the above to when the ensemble includes the lead mountain (see below, approximately 50% of the potential full army):


You will know what I'll be doing for the next twenty years (if given the chance)!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Foot Sergeants (FireForge) The first "few" of the "many" 28mm

The 'plastic mountain' is being attacked. The next box of 'sexy 28mm plastics" under scrutiny is the "foot" equivalent of the Mounted Sergeants, the humble "Foot Sergeant". As a complusary Impetus 'Crusader Army' maneouver element the "crossbows" are assembled first (see below):


I am planning to mount six to a base (2 x Trained Crossbow), needing two for the army minimum, leaving enough in the pack of forty four to assemble the four compusary (FP) Foot Sergeants, again mounting six to a base. As there are ten figures left over I could even up the figure count to eight a base if necessary wrt the Foot Sergeants, all depending on how the aethetics of the base looks!

Footnote: The more I look at my current FireForge boxes, rather than looking to the Holy Land the boxes point to a Teutonic interest. The "good" news theer is that their enemies (Mongols) come in "Plastic Box Sets"! Hmm, a cunning plan is forming in my tinty mind ;)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Missing "Back Four" Found - 28mm Mounted Sergeants (FireForge)

Handed back to me by my errant son, the four Sergeants-At-Arms were made, finally armed in the end with short spears (see below):


I had toyed briefly with the thought of geting four metal mounted handgunner figures from Redoubt Enterprises (and there is still the chance that I may) but looking at these I am hoping to fit them into a Renaissance army .. but looking at the army lists they seem more Crusades. Am I branching out (again) should realy just paint them first and then decide ;)

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mounted Sergeants-At-Arms (FireForge Games) aka Mounted Crossbowmen for my Impetus Renaissance Army.

After all this work on micro (1/3000) scale stuff I had the urge to put together some 28mm plastics (aka the "big stuff" that I can see better - 15mm scare me these days) together and chose the FireForge Games Sergeant-At-Arms (mounted) as it was on top of the "stack" (a "last-in" but "first-out" of data structure). Nice kit and I have been waiting to do these for some time. The box is a direct copy of the Mounted Sergeants but it has a 'sprue' of six crossbowmen which was the deal breaker as it will be ideal to give me an extra Impetus stand (or two, if I hide a sword armed chappie in the midst of the block of four and get eight from six .. a cunning plan) for my Maximilian 'Italian Wars' Renaissance Army (see below, notice how there are only two sprues of bodie parts to make up eight men, strange at first I thought I was going mad as I thought I had counted twelve, I then thought it must have been a packing error. I then found out I was the victim of a childish prank by my eldest for pulling him out of PS4-land making him see natural sunlight - silly as he obviously forgot his birthday is coming up soon .. looks like the Physics or French text book it is then! So all is well I have twelve to play with):


So the horses went together sweetly, very reminiscent (in a good way) of Games Workshop standard troop types that will lend themselves well to good brush stroke painting, The mounted crossbowmen were cool to put together although I cannot vouch for the poses I chose given the horses were all going at the gallop. The boys might in reality "fall off" in real life (see below, there are eight here but now that I have been reunited with the missing 'body sprue' I have another four axe, sword, spear and mace ones to make):


They are a good but and together with the Mounted Sergeants (FireForge Games .. still to assemble), the Men-At-Arms (Perry's Miniatures .. still to assemble) and the Teutonic Knights (FireForge Games .. assembled but still to paint) I have more horse than I can shake a stick at (or should that be 'pike at'). I do still have the mad urge to get the Perry, Light Renaissance Horse too, but that is because I am getting a little "28mm mad" seeing everything that comes as plastic in a box circa £20 as a bargain!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Online Games .. I gotta hand it to my kids ...

.. they sure know how to play these things. They are fearless little souls who mike-up and play very collaboratively with their class mates from school. Respect. Me I am a silent, dumb "World of Tanks" Tanker who is usually burning five minutes into a battle, peppered by multi-barrelled ordnance from all directions to the disdain of my team-mates. It's all those buttons to press, but which one, I seem to press all mine at the same time and therefore do nothing but become a sitting duck! ..


Anyway I would like to share a wry smile I had as my eleven year old handed the joystick to his younger brother as he took a (long overdue) 'break' from "Plants versus Zombies Garden Warfare 2" game. He was getting "mullered" by his friends and he said to my youngest "Have a go, but don't cry as they will kill you, they are just too good, but go in and just have some fun". Respect as he was sharing and caring. With a broad wide smile and gleam in his eyes my youngest entered the fray with his favourite Zombie character, a bizarre looking Pirate. I expected him to last mere seconds but he remarkably turned the tables on my eldest's tormentors by activating a super-cannon and repeatedly "one-shotting" them. His tiny-little hands were doing something the older boys hands were finding impossible. Turns out they could activate the canon but not fire accurately whereas the tiny terror lined up his shot first then activated for a killer effect ... a useless character to the older kids was a deadly assassin in the younger's hands

:)

I will never forget the amazed "How did he do that?" a befuzzled cry came from the PS4 box. "That's my boy" I thought as the hunters became the hunted. Another inspirational thought, he was not afraid to fail but picked himself up and fearlessly tried new things, just laughing when things got tough! Inspirational.

Maybe I could also be in possession of my World of Tanks secret super weapon :)

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Just to tempt you this September ... PS Connections UK 2016 was brilliant IMHO

A invitation to attend Connections UK 2017 (see below)
Check out the website to see if it rocks your boat ;)


-----

Hi All,

Many thanks to everyone who completed the Connections UK 2016 feedback survey. Some comments are extracted below to encourage those still to put Connections UK 2017 in your diary:

  • “I have attended many conferences over the years. This is, perhaps, the only one I would describe as outstanding.”
  • “An excellent, thought provoking, and network-enabling event. I look forward to next year.”
  • “I came away having drunk from the most valuable fount of knowledge this side of the pond. The megagame was a great addition, which I enjoyed immensely. A fantastic quality of speakers and attendees made both presentations and networking thoroughly worthwhile. Roll on the 2017 edition!”
  • “An excellent conference that just gets better.”

We have listened to the points you raised. We can’t promulgate details because anonymity is important, but Connections UK 2017 will be 100% based on your feedback. The principal suggestions were:

  • Connections UK 2016 was generally what you wanted in terms of content, timings, frequency and location. Hence, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – just make it better!
  • You specifically asked for:
    • An update on how the UK military and Foreign Office use wargaming.
    • Time to network.
    • Another megagame.
    • A Games Fair and more hands-on sessions.
    • Worked examples of wargame design.
    • A short 101 for newcomers (only).
    • More hobby gaming and gamer involvement.
    • Presentations on wargaming in education.
    • Sessions on how to run Seminar and Matrix Games.
    • Ideas how to wargame Human Terrain.

Three comments from the Committee:

  1. While this e-mail has gone to 442 people, and Connections UK appears to be the largest gathering of wargaming professionals in the UK, we do not have any formal remit to progress wargaming. We will strive, along with Connections US, NL and Australia, to ‘Advance and Preserve the Art, Science and Application of Wargaming’. This accords with the vision of an ongoing high-level UK initiative, which is that: ‘Across Defence, Wargaming is understood and appreciated, widely and correctly applied, done well, and delivers tangible operational and business results.’ Whether via Connections UK, or a formal Defence body, it seems we are tantalisingly close to institutionalising wargaming.
  2. Several comments suggested that Seminar Wargames had been belittled at last year’s Conference. We were somewhat baffled by this as we all use, and promote, Seminar Games, so any derogatory inferences were entirely unintentional. There will be a plenary this year on Seminar and Matrix Games.
  3. The question was asked why we don’t devote more time to computer-only simulations.  While we all use computers, and argue that they are entirely complementary with manual simulations, we feel that computer simulation receives sufficient coverage elsewhere. If you want computer-based games you might be better served at ITEC/IITSEC conferences.  For the moment, Connections UK concentrates on manual simulations, high-engagement role-playing games, computer-assisted games and complementary approaches within the professional environment.

From the above, the general details, themes and broad structure for Connections UK 2017 are:

  • Connections UK Purpose. Advance and Preserve the Art, Science and Application of Wargaming.
  • Dates. Tuesday 5 – Thursday 7 September 2017.
  • Venue. Kings College London, The Strand, London, UK.
  • Approx cost. £60 (megagame/101 day) plus £135 for the two main days. This TBC but shouldn’t go up much, if at all.
  • Themes. These still to be refined, but broadly:
    • UK Tri-Service and FCO wargaming.
    • UK military wargaming doctrine.
    • Seminar and Matrix Games.
    • Hobby gaming.
    • Wargaming in education.
    • Modelling Human Terrain.
    • Designing wargames.
  • Broad structure. Something like:

Day 1. Tuesday 5 September
Wargaming 101
Megagame
Informal gaming session
Day 2. Wednesday 6 September
UK military Tri-Service and FCO wargaming examples
Update on UK military wargaming doctrine
Seminar and Matrix Games
Current design ideas in hobby gaming
Games Fair session 1
Keynote speaker
Games Fair session 2
Day 3. Thursday 7 September
Wargaming in education
Modelling Human Terrain
Wargame design
Breakout workshops

Please note that there will be an earlier date for registration. We’ll let you know more details presently.

Graham

----

If this floats your boat why not give it a whirl

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Another Randomly Generated Simulating War FireMove Battlefield (Flipped)

Playing around with my new toy and generated the following default terrain. At first glance it looks poor for the German defender (see below):


However press the "flip" button and it suddenly becomes a defender' paradise (see below):


To my "game players" eyes this would be a "hard" task.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

FireMove Terrain Generator

Here is my first attempt at a simple Terrain Generator for the Fire and Movement game from Phil Sabin's Simulating War book. I took a basic version of the software to Connections UK 2016 (see below, no more do you need to spend all that time rolling forty eight pairs of d6's to generate a random 2D battlefield):


Note: I have gone for a basic home-spun (retro) 'make-it-yourself" feel that does a basic job for the wargamer, hence the off-set squares instead of hexes. A cheap trick picked up from Naval Wargaming  without a plentiful supply of hex paper to hand (I should say before the era of desk-top publishing but that would accurately age me somewhat). It runs in a browser with a mixture of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Something that a second year (or someone just having completing their first year with good web-grades) Computer Science graduate could do.

PS: I hope to distribute the code on a MIT Open Source Licence via Phil Sabin's web-site in the near future,

Monday, 13 February 2017

SimWar FireMove "Lost Battle of 2016" (Part III)

The first glimmer of hope/success for the British Commander as the "close assaults" go in and after fierce hand-to-hand fighting two German Platoons are removed (see below, the low hills [top left] and central plain [bottom right] are cleared, the Germans are down to 66%):


Just as the momentum started to seemingly shift towards the British, accurate defensive fire and further ammunition depletion strikes the British Battalion, taking it down to four infantry platoons (33%). Regardless of sustained losses so far the British Infantry push to their last to gain a final round of "close combat" (see below):  


A last gasp of (round twelve - German only activity) combat sees one more British Platoon fall. The German defensive line has been barely scratched in all honesty 75% British Casualties (admittedly not all KIA and wounded, it represents ammo depletion and disruption to unit cohesiveness) to German 33% looses (see below, German VP 9, British VP 2, a difference of 7 VP to the Germans a significant victory):


Darn! I thought I was getting the hang of this game. In hindsight the terrain was unforgiving and I was "fighting everywhere" instead of a specific localised area where I held local superiority. It was all part of a learning curve but from what I have learned since you had best apply the British Army philosophy of basing your attack on the "seven questions". In short my plan played into the strengths of the German player. In the amended rules Philip Sabin has introduced a bidding system (letting the Artillery Barrage be decremented down in power [starting at 4], with the lowest bidder becoming the attacker.

Afterthoughts:

Game over and some things to think about ... in particular the amount of time it takes to generate the terrain (at least 15 minutes of frantic dice rolling, 48 pairs of dice at that). Yes I have a computer programme for that now and it is time to share (which this Blog for a later post/link). Further it still seems 'hard to attack', but maybe that is because I am not doing it right or perhaps attacking is hard. Also is the terrain truly representational. A soldier said to me "where are the roads"  and all I could say was "Er, there kind of abstracted", to which I was met with a quizzical look of bewilderment. To which he said "Look, there are always paths, if not roads." He also brought me back to the "seven questions" and said "Why am I fighting here, I would like to fight where the enemy does not have such a continuous front?"

Four great sources for analysis of the British Army "seven questions" (note see slide 2 in the first presentation) come from the Connections UK wargaming event (see below):
Meanwhile, I uncovered two additional FireMove photographs of "generated terrain" as of yet not played over (see below):


I was obviously playing around with what sort of defence the Germans should put up. Here was my solution (see below):


The challenge here is the obscuring Line of Sight (LOS) feature delineating the board into two halves. Maybe the game board's time will come this year. I might try it out with Phil Sabin's paper AI defence as a solo game.

 ;)

SimWar FireMove "Lost Battle of 2016" (Part II)

As the British Commander (me) pushes his troops across the British right hand side of the table the attrition (via casualty points) rises and "ammunition expenditure" also threatens to deplete the attack soon. The British forces are pretty much committed now, the "Reserve" a measly single platoon. However a degree suppression in middle has been achieved. The British left hand side is "keeping them honest" attack is waiting its moment before committing as the German Platoon dug in on the low hills would be deadly in a close assault counterattack (see below, the British Commander still "feels in control" of events):


All British forces are committed, the British for got it on both the left and right flanks. Things look promising look promising on the right but could get hairy of the left as that German Platoon dug in on the rolling hills refuses to be suppressed (see below):


The British attack hits a grinding gear change that is painful to the ear.Although strong in stands the deadly effects of suppression mean that the British Infantry is suffering "under the guns" on the British right flank. On the British left at least they have managed to get numbers up now (see below):  


Through German Fire and British Ammunition Expenditure two British Infantry platoon are removed. Their loss is sorely missed. The stalemate on the British left, while frustrating, is less serious than the failing infantry attack on the British right (see below, note the British are at 25% "ineffectives" while the Germans as yet are untouched):


The British Commander asks for one last push from his troops. They duly comply but suffer another two infantry platoons lost, but at least have reached "close quarters" with the enemy (see below, the British have lost five. One ray of sunshine is that the German mortar has now expended its ammunition and is no longer a factor [three combat and two ammunition depleted] infantry platoons with seven still active plus the HMG and mortar support);


Although a good round of close combat could see the British "get back in it" time is beginning to become a major factor. British casualties have been heavy (almost 50% removed and 25% KIA/injured). So far the German defense has bend but not been broken.

Next: The last push!


Sunday, 12 February 2017

SimWar FireMove "Lost Battle of 2016" (Part I)

I dug this old FireMove battle out from the innards of my iPhone recently (dating back to July 2016). I was in "cleaning the camera roll out" mode and I even didn't realise I even had recorded it. The generated [human  by rolling forty eight pairs of dice, taking up a good fifteen minutes of pre-game preparation] terrain is very sparse. One wood (middle right), two low ridges (top middle) and a BUA Farmstead (top left denoted by a 'bottle top'). Not very promising territory for a swift British Infantry attack (see below, open ground aka "The Somme"?):


The German defender chose the "slightly" more terrain rich right hand side of the battlefield to deny the British player any chance of "dead ground" behind the wood. The German commander spaced his infantry out evenly across the board (see below, that is a lot of deadly "open ground" for the British infantry to cross, did I mention "The Somme"):


The classic British infantry response, four platoons spaced out with a gap between so they do not present multiple "grouped" targets. The HMG platoon is placed in the Farm BUA to gain benefit of the cover and avoid taking casualties (see below):


The oblique view of the battlefield (see below):


The initial artillery bombardment had a poor effect and a further turn spent trying to suppress seemed to avail nothing in the "net column".  The British Commander (me)  resolved to start pushing platoons forward which inevitably meant giving the German Commander a "target rich environment" for his accursed mortars (see below, the British player has successfully suppressed two "centrally placed" German platoons [denoted by two small silver 5p pieces]):


The British Commander decided to "push his luck" and try to exploit his "suppression" by flooding his right hand attack with of his infantry three companies. The mortar has been brought to bear on the central German Platoon (denoted by the 'blue marker') along with the interest of the British  HMG platoon to the sniping German Platoon located on the low hills. The favourable terrain on the left flank has allowed the fourth British Infantry Company to attempt a single file, stealth, flank attack on the British left. This means the British Commander has committed eleven out of twelve of his infantry platoons relatively early on in the game (see below):


A perfect plan, but what will the Germans make of it. There comes back an old proverb that says "no matter how strong the lion he is best to conserve all his energy and chase only one hare at a time". Note: Even early on the British have been steadily accumulating casualties.

Next: Withering fire shall stop them! But whose?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

US WWII Carriers WIP ... now "Mounted on Bases"

The early war US CV's mounted on bases. Two things to note, one from a historical context regarding their dimensions and configurations namely (see below):
  • The USS Wasp is small, as per reflected in all historical commentaries but so much more noted on model (forth up from the bottom)
  • The USS Lexington and USS Saratoga are large, even though converted battle-cruisers and so not ideally configured for CV operations their flight deck space is impressive (second and third up from the bottom)
  • The USS Ranger looks very ungainly and I can only imagine those smokestacks being operationally awkward (bottom of stack)
  • The USS Yorktown, USS Hornet and USS Enterprise (top three on stack) seem a very good step in the correct direction but seem to be fighting to be bigger, something the Essex class clarified successfully  

Second thing to note: This is the best way of assembling them. First "unflashed" lead is (UHU) glued onto card stock already annotated underneath with the ship's characteristics ready for the second  DIY "sea-scaping" to quickly follow, followed by undercoats (and then official ship and sea painting).