Friday, 31 August 2012

Bedecon 2012- Russian Assault Guns!

Well, Bedecon is just around the corner (ish), so it was time to do some painting. I got an email from the organiser (Bede, hence the name) that we had an influx of German players, but not enough Soviets. With absolutely NONE of my Germans for Bedecon finished, I decided that I could switch to bringing a Soviet Army, and that would be really good to spend more time on that force, perhaps for another tournament later in the year.

So, Russians. There are a lot of very cool Russian Lists, which Craig is currently struggling with, but for me, I had always had one list in mind.

And it is all based on the ISU-152. With a 152mm gun, firing a massive 2 part shell, capable of annihilating entire buildings!

So, a Heavy Assault Gun Company was the only way to go. Painting was all finished up last night, so here is the break down of the force.

Company HQ- 1 IS-II with DsHK MG

Heavy Assault Gun Company- 4 ISU-152 with DsHK MGs

Heavy Assault Gun Company- 4 ISU-152 with DsHK MGs

Tankovy Company- 5 T34/85, 2 T34/76

Heavy Assault Gun Recon Platoon- 2 Squads, Trucks and a Captured 221 (BA-64)

As well as two objective markers

So, the whole army...

So, 1750 points of Soviets painted, ready and rearing to go for Bedecon. Now they are off to sit in a box, in Wellington to lie in wait for when Bedecon starts!

Next up? Polish Artillery for the Borodino game, I have to get a fair few guns done for next weekend! Which is soon....


Monday, 27 August 2012

20 Questions for Wargamers...

So, a couple of blogs I read (Fran, Ray and Curt) have thrown down a metaphorical gauntlet of 20 questions for Wargamers.

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?

I suppose, this has to be World War Two. I do dearly love so many historical periods, but World War 2 has to be my favourite. Why? The apex of technology that it represented. I was a boy who wanted to fly Spitfires, pure and simple! Movies like the Battle of Britain only served to fuel that fire more. It is also where I really started gaming properly (no longer a slave to GW)

2. Next period, money no object?

Tough call. There has been some talk locally about playing Impetvs for the Italian Wars using Perry Miniatures, but I will probably do that anyway! Then again, the guys at Claymore Castings have produced some gorgeous miniatures which I am resisting! No wait, 28mm Macedonians and Persians, led by Alex! So... lots?

3. Favourite 5 films?

In no particular order.... Battle of Britain (Spitfires. Enough said), The Dark Knight (Every scene with the Joker, Batman is by no means my favourite hero, but he has awesome villains), Black Hawk Down (Gung-ho I know, but it has stuck with me), A Bridge too Far (Gene Hackmann- "But what of Ze Gerrrrmans?") and the Matrix (was so very mindblowing when I first saw it)

4. Favourite 5 TV series?

Firefly (has to be on this list, it does), The Walking Dead (I like me good Zombie stories), The Big Bang Theory (Apparently I am like Leonard, except not as smart), Blackadder (I have a cunning plan...) and QI (Stephen Fry is a hero of mine..)

5. Favourite book and author?

Tough call. One of the things that I own that I love the most is that I have a wide and ever expanding library. But to name one single book... George Orwell's Animal Farm.

6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!

Alexander. Pure and simple, he was the commander who I first really, properly learned about. Certainly an exceptional figure in terms of military tactics and history. Sorry Rommel, but my Classics degree beat my History degree!

7. Favourite Wargames rules?

Ooooh tough call. Depends what mood I am in. If I have the energy, I love Force on Force. But often we game late at night, at the end of the week when I can barely make a sentence, let alone make proper infantry attacks! Those times SAGA come out. But for longevity, Flames of War has occupied me for almost 10 years now....

8. Favourite Sport and team?

I am myself a hockey player, so I suppose that has to win out there. Top team? Hard call! Kiwis are always feel compelled to say the All Blacks, but after the Olympics, I am a big fan of our Rowing Squad!

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Athens, to the Agora to listen to Socrates. And probably get absolutely schooled in my own philosophical understanding!

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Pizza Magherita! So tasty...

11. Fantasy relationship and why?

Ummm... Jewel Staite. Shiny....

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?

I have been reliably informed by the students I teach that I look like John Heder (Napoleon Dynamite)

13. Favourite Comic Superhero?

Ironman. A very close second is Rorschach from Watchmen, followed by V from V for Vendetta, then the Punisher and then rounding out the top 5 is Fone Bone.

14. Favourite Military quote?

"The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its
warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by
fools." from Thucydides

15. Historical destination to visit?

I have travelled to many sites, but there are so many more for me to do. I want to trek the Kokoda Trail, to stand (and probably cry) at the gates of Bergen-Belsen, to visit Passchendale, to travel through Vietnam and Iraq. The list is long....

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?

Not taking the time with my painting up till a year ago, so many miniatures covered in think layers of paint!

17. Favourite Fantasy job?

History Book picture editor. So many incorrect captions! Adam and I were talking about this last time I saw him, how this is so needed, and would be so awesome!

18. Favourite Song, Top 5?

Something like this....
"While my Guitar Gently Weeps"- The Beatles
"Misty and Jimmy"- The Eastern
"Big Me"- Foo Fighters
"The Greatest Man that Ever Lived"- Weezer
"Hurt"- Johnny Cash

Although, there are numerous that I have forgotten I am sure...

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?

There are a lot of these. But, mainly around the friends I have made around the country and the world through the games. In all honesty, the games are secondary for my own enjoyment and are becoming increasingly more so!

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Lots of things. Red Lights, Ignorant Minds, Declining Eftpos cards, Creationists and Rhubarb. To name a few!

Musing is fun. And thoroughly distracting from painting!

So what are your answers?


Sunday, 26 August 2012

6mm Moderns- US Forces in West Germany

Just a quick little update.

I acquired a very large amount of 6mm US Moderns through a trademe deal a while ago, and as part of what I got, I acquired some M1 Abrams (not M1A1) and a whole ton of M113s.

With the focus (for me) being on forces from Desert Storm, the M113 was no longer used en-mass by the Americans at this stage, and the M1 (not the M1A1) was gone also.

So, what I did was paint them up as some forces for West Germany, just in case of a hypothetical Russian Invasion or some such!

12 M1 Abrams

14 M113 APC and 1 M577 Command Vehicle

M113s with heavy weapons! 3 M901 TOW carriers, 1 M193 Vulcan

2 M109A6 Paladin 155mm, 1 M577 and 1 M991 Ammo loader

So, those are my spare US 6mm vehicles. As for the "real" US Army? All the vehicles are done, aircraft are on the painting table, then the Infantry.

Although, there is a lot of stuff on the painting table...


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Impetvs Ancients- Roman Civil War!

With all the 6mm Moderns going on lately, I hadn't gamed with with many people other than the few of us playing Moderns lately. So, to remedy that, I emailed Jamie and asked for a game. After a bit of fussing about what to play, it occurred to me that I had an Impetvs Roman army that I had never used, and was mostly finished! So with that, we decided, 400 points of Impetvs was the go. Naturally, I had to rush paint a few more things, 2 more bases of Auxiliaries and 1 base of Praetorian Cavalry.

My Roman force was two commands,

Veteran Legion with General Martellus
2 Legion
2 Auxiliary
1 Scorpion
1 Praetorian Cavalry
1 Skirmishing Saggitarii


Veteran Legion with General Tercino
2 Legion
2 Auxiliary
1 Saggitarii
1 Skirmishing Saggitarii
1 Gladiator

Jamie's force was split into three Commands

2 Elite Legion, one with General Traitor
1 Auxiliary

2 Equites, one with General Scumy-Traitor
1 Praetorian Cav
2 Slingers

3 Legion, one with General Smelly-Traitor
3 Raw Legion
1 Skirmishing Saggitarii
1 Saggitarii

General Traitor with his Traitors

My plan was simple, one command on the left, one on the right. I planned to advance with a big block of Legions, flanks covered by Auxiliaries, and win the shoving match in the middle. Jamie placed his Cavalry on his right flank, legions in the centre, with his Praetorians flanking to the left. The plan was to hold in the middle, and crush me from the side (or so it seemed).

Look at all those brave Roman boys!

Through some good rolling, I activated my commands first. Both double moved, advancing as a block in an attempt to really get to grips with the enemy fast (is there any other way?)

Here we see the Roman Auxiliary in it's natural habitat...

Jamie moved forward, pushing his Cavalry out wide to avoid a patch of rough ground.

Equites rearing to go!

After another turn of maneuver, both forces were ready to engage. The only highlight of the next turn was me rolling a 6 for my General's unit for cohesion, and losing a wound...

But it was not long before the brave (loyal) Legionaries hit the brave (disloyal) Legionaries.

Veteran Legion vs Raw Legion? Should be easy right? This combat lasted the whole game....

Legion crashed into legion. Usually one, if not both units were disordered to begin with, so no Pilum or any such useful rules were had. Casualties were immense as the shoving match in the centre began.

On the loyalists left flank, the two units of Auxiliaries were tasked with stopping a Cavalry flanking attack. The first unit charged one base of Equites which had some skirmisher support...

This combat lasted a long time too....

While the other, through some clever doubling through difficult terrain was able to catch the Cavalry general in the flank!

Which destroyed him!

On the right flank, the Auxiliaries and Equites worked in combination over a couple of turns to destroy the enemy Praetorian command.

The shoving match in the centre was starting to turn towards the Loyalists. Jamie was down to the point where he needed to lose ANY one unit, and he would lose the game. However, my left flank was in the same predicament, and if that was to fall, so would the game!

It was only when the Auxiliaries which were holding up one unit of Equites and two units of slingers finally succumbed (after about 4 turns of rolling a 1 for cohesion- auto success!) did my left flank fall.

Which tragically lost me the game!

And it prevented my Cavalry killing Auxiliaries from claiming the scalp of the Equites Contariorum!

It's not fair, you have more legs than us!

So, an honourable defeat. But, a very fun game of Impetvs. I have a few more Romans left to paint, which I should really do at some point. Although my painting table is a total mess at the moment, so I will need to get that into some semblance of order before I try to mass anything more on it!

Next up? Not sure. Wait and see!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Defensive Action around Al Tuck

Following the successful withdrawal of the 2nd Armoured Cav Regiment from Al Tanf, the Warsaw Pact sought to extend their advantage over the Coalition, pushing their tanks further forwards into the US and Israeli controlled zone.

Opposing this combined Syrian/Iraqi/Russian force was elements of the US 1st Armoured Division, along with supporting elements from the 82nd Airborne division.

Elements of the US Force arrayed ready to engage

The WarPac tank units took up positions around Al Tuck, unaware that over the crest of the berm waited the 1st Armoured Division, sitting inside their M1A1 Abrams MBT and M3 Bradley FV, engines running, fully aware of what was over the berm.

Not one to wait around for the WarPac to claim the initiative, the Americans engaged the enemy T-72 companies first with MLRS and followed up with TOW missiles from the mechanized company from the 1st Infantry Division. 8 T-72 were quickly knocked out through the firepower, the DPCIM missiles from the MLRS causing widespread panic and damage to the unprepared enemy armor.

The WarPac sought to answer the artillery fire with their own mortars, dropping heavy 120mm shells down on the mech infantry hunkered down in a wadi, running the length of the board.

As this was happening, the FAC Blackhawk began bringing in M109A6 Paladin 155mm shells down on the second T-72 company, the plan being to deprive the enemy of its large calibre Anti-Tank weaponry, by prioritizing the T-72 over the poorly armed T-55. As the heavy shells rained down, large primary and secondary explosions could be seen in the targeted area.

The light HMMWV vehicles from the Recon team sped forward to claim the initiative, using their TOW missiles to wreak further havoc onto the hard pressed companies of Syrian T-72 tanks.

It was clear at this point that there was not just Syrians and Iraqis opposing the 1st Armoured, as a Mil Mi-24 Hind rolled in above Al Tuck, raking the light M55A1 tanks deployed in support of the 82nd Airborne with heavy calibre cannon fire. One Sheridan immediately burst into flames, it's light aluminum armor no match for the heavy calibre bullets. The other Sheridans were forced to bail out, their crews hiding in the nearby buildings.

The FAC brought in two F-14 Tomcats from the Jolly Rogers squadron in to intercept the Hind, which was quickly dispatched with a Sparrow missile.

Two Syrian MiG-29's came in low over Al Tuck, their low flying seemingly defeating the US AWACs system. However in their desire to avoid radar detection, they were engaged by the 82nd Airborne's MANPAD assets, their Stinger AA missile team were able to destroy one of the enemy aircraft. The F-14s, upon being bounced by the now lone MiG, quickly rolled up and out, engaging the MiG at the low altitude, destroying the MiG for no losses of their own.

With so many tanks opposing the 1st Armoured, all aircraft were placed on station, prepared to attack. An E-6 Prowler, in it's Wild Weasel configuration fired two HARM missiles at enemy radar guided AA systems, but the missiles were only able to destroy a T-72 which was shielding the Zeus AA system. The Prowler on it's low flight out was picked up by the Zeus, forced to evade with damage, and then it was hit by an Alamo missile, fired by a lone Iraqi MiG, which had avoided the Navy's CAP.

The gas turbines on the M1A1 tanks roared as their throttles were opened, stabilized 120mm cannon firing accurately on the move. Bravo Company engaged the Iraqi T-55 tanks ahead of it, using what little concealment there was to destroy 5 of their number as they closed with the enemy. Charlie Company opened up on the move against the T-72 tanks identified by the FAC as being Russian, destroying 4 of their number. Abrams tanks, left behind from Ghost Company of the 2nd ACR engaged the enemy recon elements, hidden in a wadi.

Dog Company, 82nd Airborne were currently in possession of buildings in Southern Al Tuck. With enemy mechanized troops nearby, they seized the initiative, pushing forward through the city, to form a strong forward defensive position.

Two companies of enemy T-55 tanks took the bait against the lightly armed scout troops in HMWWV vehicles, opening fire upon them. The HMMWV's quickly retreated behind a berm, in the knowledge that their sacrifice had brought the enemy into an artillery "kill zone". As soon as the T-55s sought to push forward their advantage, 155mm shells from the Paladins came crashing down on them, which combined with the fire from Bravo Company caused heavy damage to the enemy formations.

Charlie Company's advance was met by a bold advance from the Russian Naval Infantry company, who sought to engage the Abrams tanks in close range firefights. One Abrams was rendered combat ineffective through a 76mm shell jamming the right hand track of the vehicle, another was destroyed outright from a missile hit, later identified as an AT-3 Sagger.

With an imminent threat ahead of it, and with clear orders to move forward, the Abrams commander called in a danger close bombardment from the MLRS missiles, which came in at full effect, destroying much of the enemy company, reducing their combat effectiveness to nil in one barrage.

Charlie's Abrams saw the advantage and took it, roaring past the now ineffective Naval infantry at full throttle, seeking to turn the enemy forces by engaging their vulnerable rear elements, engaging the enemy mortars with machine-gun and 120mm HE rounds.

The 82nd on the left flank in Al Tuck were forced to defend themselves against an assault by the Iraqi mechanized formation, which sought to push them out of their strong position in the buildings. Their assault was met with a wall of fire from the well positioned Dragon ATGMs and LMGs, causing crippling casualties onto the mechanized formation.

The F-14's, still on station rolled in to push the advantage that the 82nd had just won, rolling in to strafe the enemy formation with their cannon. Further damage was caused onto the now fleeing Iraqis, their vehicles becoming a twisted mess. The Iraqi MiG-29 again reared it's ugly head, but Dog Companies MANPAD team was more than up to the challenge, destroying the MiG before it could engage the Tomcats.

On the right flank, Bravo was being pushed hard by the sheer weight of numbers that the enemy possessed, it was not long before there were multiple disabled Abrams, with shot out optics or thrown tracks as they were forced to maneuver on the shifting sands to form a refused flank. the nearby hill, Hill 214 was covered with the burning wrecks of Iraqi T-55s, but there were still more roaring through the Wadi's, seeking to move past the Abram's roadblock, and push into the wadi where the company from the 1st Infantry were deployed.

The Scout Company on the far right flank periodically popped out to fire it's now lone TOW missile at the tanks, as well as Mk 19 Grenades at the T-55s, which were now speeding away from their position. More T-55s were knocked down, but still they came at the Bradley Company.

The Bradleys had not been idle however, they had been engaging T-72 with TOW, engaging the PT-76 and BRDM of the Naval infantry with Bushmasters and TOW, and when they realized their position was tenuous, they sought to again steal the initiative. Driving forward rather than back, the Bradleys used their superior mobility sticking to the higher ground beside the wadi where the lead company of T-55 were deployed to engage Charlie's Abrams. The Bradleys caught them by surprise, engaging them with 25mm Bushmasters at nil range, causing 5 destroyed T-55s. It was when further companies of T-55s began racing towards the Bradleys, main cannon firing that the Bradleys did withdraw, pulling their vehicles back to a more secure defensive line.

By this time, the heart had gone out of the enemy. The battle was littered with burning T-72 and T-55, and no small number of American vehicles. Victory had come at a cost, but the WarPac push had been neutered and turned back. Al Tuck, was safe for now.

So, that's another game of Epic Moderns done and dusted! It was a whopping 4500 points per side, and I took on the armies of John, Andy and Adam with a combined force of 4500 points of US. So I got to have all the toys! Which made me happy. Was a very interesting game, we learned a lot about artillery, about Abrams and about destroying enemy tanks.

I still can't roll armor saves on an Abrams, even when it is a 4+ reroll! But then again, my MLRS barrage on the Naval Infantry was ridiculous, it was 13 hits from 13 dice, on a 4+! So I certainly can not complain. As ever, the game was super fun, I learned a lot about what I want to do. The Americans have a hard road to go to get objectives, they need a bit to go their way! It is not impossible, but just hard.

The meta-game for our system is shifting, AIr is becoming less of a big factor as Air Defense on both sides improves. It will be interesting to see what fills the gap.....

The Russki's posted a report here

I have been doing lots of random stuff on the painting front of late, will have to post something soon.


Sunday, 12 August 2012

6mm Moderns: Holding Action at Al Tanf

Last Friday, we had another game of our Epic Moderns game, rather than using the freshly completed British, I was running a US force.

At 1730 Zulu time, lead elements of the US 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment along with elemnts of an Israeli Reserve tank company. The units were engaged by a numerically superior mechanised force, identified as being Iraqi and Syrian origin.

Overflight by a recon bird, showing a Syrian T-72 tank company

Overflight identifying an Iraqi MiG-29 fighter

Ghost Company of the 2nd ACR deployed within Al Tanf itself, with elements of the 82nd Airborne deployed defending the nearby airfield. In supporting positions were the Israeli armoured units, which were deployed in covering positions behind berms.

Ghost Company immediatly surged out of the town, using their superior mobility and fire control systems on the Abrams tank to engage the command T-72 company, causing the lead 3 tanks from the company. Further supporting fire from the Bradley's TOW missiles caused further casualties.

The first of the Israeli Tank companies attempted to surge forward and fire, but were to slow to prepare their tanks, and were unable to fire before the enemy T-72s engaged them, causing damage.

The M551A1 Sheridans from the 82nd Airborne used their Shillelagh missiles against the already damaged T-72 company, causing two further destroyed T-72s and breaking the company. Unfortunatly for the M551s, in their hunt for missile kills they lingered too long in one place, and were engaged by enemy tanks, destroying all three lightly armoured vehicles.

Word of the onrushing Syrian and Iraqi armour had reached higher command, and it was time for the Israeli Airforce to show it's might.

In roll the F-16 and Cobras

The Air support rolled in onto the enemy mechanised company, causing multiple destroyed transports and infantry.

The Syrian and Iraqi ground forces were well equipped with Air cover, three MiG-29s rolled in onto the Cobras and F-16s destroying all of the Israeli air support with Alamo Anti-Aircraft Missiles.

The airfield guarded by an understrength company of the 82nd Airborne, deployed in the nearby wadi. Two companies of Iraqi T-55 crossed a nearby berm, engaging the infantry with both cannon and machinegun fire. The 82nd returned fire with the few Dragon ATGMs they had, destroying few of the enemy vehicles.

The Israeli reseve tank company equipped with uparmoured and upgunned M60 tanks engaged the lead T-55 vehicles, causing damage to the first of the enemy tank companies, breaking the company.

It was now that the F-14s scrambled from the USS Roosevelt from the Jolly Rogers squadron arrived on station, using their 20mm cannon against T-55 tanks. This marked the return of the Syrian MiG-29 flight, who shot down one of the Tomcats. The second Tomcat dispatched the first MiG through a Sparrow missile shot, before closing in and destroying the second by closing and firing with the 20mm cannon.

A third MiG, this time of Iraqi origon dropped out of the high cloud, seeking to strafe the Israeli tanks. The F-14 had remained on station after intercepting the other two MiGs, rolling in after the final MiG, dispatching it with a Sparrow missile.

Ghost Company 2ACR further engaged the lead T-72 company, destroying it outright with fire from the M1 Abrams and M3 Bradleys.

Return fire began hitting the buildings around Ghost company, accurate artillery fire and direct fire from the undamaged T-72 company. Three Abrams suffered damage to their tracks and running gear, causing them to become immobile. Ghost was forced to destroy them with the 120mm cannon on the remaining Abrams, before withdrawing from Al Tanf.

Meanwhile, the 82nd were being hard pressed by the Iraqi armour, who were seeking to assault through the 82nds position. Between LAW and Dragon anti tank missiles, the 82nd were able to inflict severe casualties onto the assaulting armour, before falling back first over the airfield, before making a fighting withdrawl into the nearby high ground.

The remaining Israeli armour was by this time fighting valiantly for survival. Despite casualties, the Israelis pushed forward, causing casualties on the Iraqi armour, covering the 82nd's withdrawl.

The defense of Al Tanf had given the coalition forces valuable time to establish a defensive line further south, but left the town of Al Tanf in the hands of the combined Syrian/Iraqi army.

It is expected that there will be a further push south towards defenses along the the so called Shiryan Line....

So, another super cool game of Epic Moderns. But unfortunalty us Westerners just didn't have enough stuff on the ground to cope with the hordes of enemy vehicles. Not sure how we are going to cope with that just yet, but we will have to figure out something before our next game, defending the Shiryan Line! Also of note, that

Syrian Television has issued it's report also


Friday, 10 August 2012

6mm Moderns Finished- For real this time!

I recently bought a whole lot of new additions for my Modern British army from both GHQ and Heroics and Ros. And, now they are all painted!

So here is the whole force...

Just one or two tanks....

So to break it down a bit more, I have...

A Company of Challenger 1 tanks. With a FV4204 recovery vehicle, and a Challenger II tank acting as the Regimental HQ tank.

A full Armoured Recon Company, with 2 Sultan, 1 Sampson Recovery Vehicle, 8 Scimitar Light Tanks, 4 Scorpion Light Tanks, 4 Striker and 4 Spartan APC.

Two understrength Companies of Infantry, with Regimental HQ teams

Support Weapons for the Infantry. MILAN ATGMs, Javelin MANPADs, 81mm Mortars and GPMG teams

Enough Warrior IFVs to transport one Company plus Support Weapons

As well as some mechanised support weapons- sadly the Swingfire missile system on top of an FV432 has largely gone out of service by our timeline.

A patrol of SAS Infantry with their Landrover transports

A 4 gun battery of M109A1 SP Howitzers

A battery of Royal Marine Artillery with 105mm guns

A Battery of ground mounted Rapier AA Missiles

As well as two Tracked Rapiers. These had to be taken from retirement in museums and other storage facilities to be put into action in the Gulf War, as they hadn't been replaced!

And one lone AS90 Braveheart SP Howitzer. The British Army's improved version of the M109, the Braveheart was equipped with a South African cannon, but did not end up in production, instead they opted for a local gun. Still, the AS90 looks cool!

Two Naval Aviation flights. The Lynx and the Gazelle are recon helicopters, with only the Lynx carrying armament in the form of TOW missiles. Their primary role is target acquisition, for the fast movers or for artillery, rather than being a gunship like a Cobra or Apache.

Lastly, a Harrier. Now, I said that I was finished this time, well, that is not totally true, I want another Harrier!

So that is the whole British force I have, and might go some way to explain how my 1/300th counter has gone a bit crazy of late! Still, got to finish the Americans next, then who knows, maybe an OPFOR for them? Russians? Iraqis? Chinese?

No idea. So very much on my painting table right now, so I am going to hide from it and go and have a game of 6mm Moderns. But more on that next time,