Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness in 2014

Thursday 26 December 2013

Christmas Haul ;)

Well the scale is large to fit in with the rich history associated with the legendary aircraft. An "Airfix 1/24 Scale Supermarine Spitfire Vb Starter Kit". Time to use the bigger size brushes for this one (see below:)

The other 'name' was a big one too, none other than the mighty "KM Bismarck, 1/600 Scale" again from Airfix (a handy manufacturer to find in the shops at this time of year). I will have a bit of work with this one as I want to create a 'waterline version', so it will be out with the hacksaw in the New Year, sanding and gluing a plasti-card bottom to her (see below):

Yes both kits are totally impractical for the "wargame table", but I suppose the KM Bismarck could make it as far as the "wargaming lawn" (one day), however that's not really the point of the gifts, as it is more for pure modelling pleasure and fun in traversing "memory lane"


Hope 2014 is a good year for everyone!

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Merry Xmas

Festive Greeting to One and All


Thirty Day Challenge Complete: "The Big T" Done

A sad tale of woe (see below):

Certainly a good source of small hoplite battles, as well as Delium (424 BC) and First Mantinea (418 BC). Well worth the effort reading (even though the book ends prematurely before the conclusion of the overall war, but you could see the way it was going) and I can now make more sense of Kagan's and Hanson's conclusions.

I also plan to return and skim the Landmark edition for some geographical pin-pointing and wargame inspirations ;)

I have to say the free digital version kept me on track by being able to read at 'odd times'.  

Friday 20 December 2013

Wild (Armoured) Horses Running Across my Desk (Perry Miniatures) Part 1

In a valiant effort (inspired by some brilliant paint jobs on other blogs I may add) I started assembling the Perry mounted MAA. Not as easy as you may first think as there are many pieces to fiddle together (see below):

The 'intelligent half' of the rider-horse combination done I can now move onto assembling the two legged participants. The Perry's models are beautiful and definitely worth the effort in assembling :)

The acquisition of the above is my attempt to balance out my Impetus Renaissance army with two wings of horse comprising of a Knight Unit, A "deep" mounted MAA formation and a Light Skirmish unit (mounted crossbows and mounted harquebusier). If truth be told I may need another unit of Light Horse for each wing.

But that is a far away 2014 purchase ;)

Thursday 19 December 2013

Hetzer Progress II

The assembled 'raw' plastic model (see below):

Lots of little "fiddly track pieces and stuff that stuck out of the superstructure" but nothing too conspicuous as to attract any attention, but I got there in the end (see below):

"We three Hetzers" ... all from the Esci/Italeri mould, what I want now though is a common paint scheme for my 'company' (see below):

Just think these three versus masses of JSII and T34/85's tanks in Hungary and East Prussia in 1945? Really? Yes really!


Friday 13 December 2013

Expanding Science Fiction Fleet (Star Trek IV)

Star Ships of Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country

The "Good Guys", the Federation Excelsior (Sulu) and Enterprise (Kirk) need to avert another Klingon v Federation war (see above). The wannabe "Good Guys", Klingon's in a rather scary Battle-Cruiser (see below):

Meanwhile the real "Bad Guys" (including a Vulcan) are using a Klingon 'Bird of Prey' to try and start another war between the Klingons and Federation (see below):

All courtesy of the current Star Trek magazine series running fortnightly in the Newsagents (it is so great feeling like a kid again).

All I need now is a simple set of "space star ship battle rules" ;)

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Notes to self: Musings on WWI Naval rules (North Sea) Part #1

Recent sources of Inspiration: Dreadnought Gunnery Book
Michael Brooks

Though please note, my version was the good old fashioned paper edition.

And a long standing favorite:

What I want from a set of naval rules?
  • Fast Play
  • Historical Accuracy
  • No "fiddle and widdle, billimeter twaddle"
Rules that come the closest?
  • GQ I and GQ II Rules (over thirty five years old now)
    • (Best bit) Gunnery abstraction is excellent
    • (Worst) Movement and Command & Control
Thoughts of my own, time to devise "Battle Cruiser Fleet" (BCF) Battles, my Great War Naval Rules for "Battle-cruiser clashes in the North Sea"

BCF Actions in the North Sea (Version 1)
Context of Rules
Mainstay of the naval actions in the North Sea was between the Battle Cruiser Fleet (BCF) and the High Seas Fleet (HSF) Scouting Groups (SG), as running engagements rarely got to the point of battle squadrons of the Grand Fleet (GF) engaging the battle squadrons of the High Seas Fleet (HSF).
Each ship will be represented 1-to-1 on the ‘table-top’, therefore there is a high element count to the game.
(Note: This could mean quite a lot of counters)

However the counters are not moved individually (bar ‘exceptional  circumstances’ – i.e. ships being damages and sunk) but moved in squadrons relative to one another. Counters/Ships are held in a fixed position within the formation.

Absolute movement is not measured, rather relative movements (sea areas) between squadrons.  The umpire may have to have a form of master map (to be confirmed).

Movement ‘orders’ are maintained as: Close (decrease distance), Maintain and Open (increase distance) and issued to squadrons. The success of the intention is based on simultaneous order declarations.  

Gunnery is handled as per General Quarters (GQI and GQII) is abstracted into fire-power factors and ‘quartered’ reductions (I like the way the traditional GQ does it) rather than counting turrets and shells.

Command and Control is based on the relative position to the Flagship. Command “PiPs” are used/spent by the Admiral to control his formations (signalling), messaging (intelligence to GF and HSF admirals and ‘over the horizon’ scouting formations) and gunnery (target priority).  

Individual battle squadrons or formations have their own initiative and morale levels.

Design Goal:
German and British doctrines are different and will be reflected in the orders allowed to be played by the admirals. Note: This is a form of constraint propagation to make the rules specific to North Sea actions (1914-1918 WWI period). The personal and national characteristics of the commanders (Beatty, Jellicoe, Hipper and Scheer) also will effect the 'freedom of movement' to perform certain actions.

I hope the "festive period" turns out to be a fertile period of naval wargaming experimentation. Note I an trying to keep the context of the game scope quite tight to re-fight historical scenarios and the "what-if" permutations.   

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Hetzer Progress

Hetzer progress (see below):

Currently putting together lots of track pieces, patience is a virtue. Lots of small pieces takes time but better than the one-piece track that never fitted, however the Plastic Soldier Company have got it sorted with their moulded plastic track.

Destined to be a part of a 'unit of three' ersatz Panzer Jaegers!

Monday 2 December 2013

Notes to self on: WWI Naval Technical Reference Resources

This is a random 'pull together' of my current WWI (and slightly earlier Pre-Dreadnought) Naval Resources:  
Primary Data Sources (Books):
Conway's Pre (blue) and Dreadnought (green), as both types fought in WWI (see below):

Jane's, although it could be argued that it is a mixture of fact and fiction it certainly gives the flavour of the era (see below):

Brown who describes in great detail the RN's ship building programme (see below):

Source of "Ship counters/models and maps" to cover all nations and theatres in WWI:

Avalanche Press, Great War at Sea Series: 

Russo-Japanese War 1904-05 (see above), I also have these ships in 1/3000 courtesy of Navwar Tsushima Pack and extending out to cover the pre-Tsushima "Yellow Sea" and the like battles around Port Arthur

Board Game Vol. I - The Mediterranean (see above), I had been after this one for a while (seeing it for £60 at Salute in London years ago when I was in London I didn't mind buying it for £25 and waiting while it came from America). Likewise, I have the combatant nations ships (down to and including a representative few destroyers) in Navwar's 1/3000. 

Board Game Vol. II - The North Sea, where the big boys play. Jutland and everything else that went on in the North Sea including the American Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Yes I have the Navwar 1/3000 models (gaining a flying start with the Jutland Battle Pack and expanding afterwards) for this (down to the representative destroyer level), including the Americans, Baltic Russians and Swedish Fleets.

The remaining Avalanche Press WWI naval game of interest is the Cruiser Warfare (more "commerce raider" global strategy than "Fleet Action"). This would cover Von Spee's East Asiatic Squadron (which did have small squadron actions at Coronel and The Falklands), SMS Emden, SMS Karlschruhe and the SMS Konigsberg.

The Navwar lists have now by and large have been 'plundered' regarding WWI 'standard fair' and I seem to be now extracting the more and more exotic or "ships that never made it off the drawing board"

What Next?:
What is needed is to put all the above to some good use in a "Naval Wargame Campaign"