Monday, January 31, 2011

Rebasing my Vikings

Tonight I decided to rebase my 28mm Vikings. Why? Mainly as I decided I prefer only 6 figures on a base to make the bases a bit more dynamic. I also painted up the last few Gripping Beast plastic Vikings I had lying round and so tomorrow nights job is to finish the basing. I'm still using my Big Base DBA system. By putting 4 figures in the front rank, or even off setting the figures a bit I get a similar mass effect but the bases look a bit more animated.

Once the Vikings are done I will probably rebase the Saxons as well, again with only 6 figures per base as opposed to the 8 I currently use for heavy foot bases, but they may have to wait for quite a while for that to happen.

All going well I'll give Kent a game of Impetus on Wednesday using the Vikings and Norse-Irish- hence my need to rebase the Vikings as I was light a few stands- at least until my ordered reinforcements arrive.

The force I hope to use this week are as follows:

Vikings (approx 211 pts)

  • 1x fair general
  • 1x poor general
  • 2x FP Guard Huscarls
  • 2x FP Vet Huscarls
  • 6x FP Huscarls
  • 2x FP Hird
  • 1x S Archers

Norse-Irish (Approx 213 pts)

  • 1x fair general
  • 1x poor general
  • 2 FL Nobles
  • 4 FL Bonnachts
  • 4 FL Kerns
  • Viking Allies: 2x FP Vet Huscarls

So two similar armies for a typical Dark Ages pushing match

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time to Reorganise

My 28mm figures have, for the past year or so, been kept in cheap cardboard filing boxes but the pile is getting rather high, not to mention untidy. So I've decided it's time for a bit of reorganisation.

I've picked up some plastic filing cabinets, each tray holds about the same number of figures as the filing boxes. I quickly filled 3 cabinets and still need at least 3 more to finish off the 28mm figures. I have a couple for my 15mm WWII figures too and eventually will get a few more.

They should make storing, and organising my forces much easier.

28mm Normans, Saxons and Vikings
One of my ongoing projects from last year was my 28mm armies for 1066. I was working on or had completed:
Pre-Feudal Scots

And was working on Welsh. The only force I still need are the Normans. So taking advantage of the almost finished Warlord Games offer I have ordered 3 boxes of the Conquest Games mounted Normans, and one each of the Gripping Beat Vikings and Saxons. While ordering I also threw in some Celtic Cavalry and some German infantry for my other ancient armies.

I should have enough Normans to do a decent Impetus/DBA force and the ones that aren't used will become the Cavalry for my Welsh army. As I have a lot of metal Gripping Beast saxons, I proably didn't need any of the plastic ones but thought the would be good to ceate the foot contingent for an Anglo-Norman force (or even some early crusaders) so plenty of morphing possibilities.

So it looks like I will be getting back into 28mm painting in the next wee while, at least until the 15mm WWII bug strikes again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whos your marder?

Finished my DAK Marder IIIs. I have used different transfers to differentiate the two platoons. One has the 15th panzer Div marking on the side, the other I've added the Afrika Korps Palm leaf symbol. May not be accurate but its all about knowing which platoon is which on the table top!

I don't intend to use all 8 at once but it is good to know they are there, just in case. My typical DAK force these days uses 6 of them (2 platoons of 3) and 4 carri. I am really regretting not taking that list to the worlds.

One day I really must get a photo of all my marders- I think I now have at least 4, and sometimes a lot more, of most versions.

And the two bison- still my favourite looking DAK model and on table they don't perform as badly as I first thought they would!

And the command tank for my Ostfront Panzer IIIL platoon, the German hero (Rettemeier). I never use warriors but like the model and thought it suited for the command panzer III. Unfortunately I gave it a GW Devlen mud wash near the end of the painting process and it came up a bit glossy, so will probably have to repaint it.


Friday, January 28, 2011

A Quick Update

Been a bit slack lately, real life (TM) has interferred with my hobbies! I started my first full-time job in a long, long time last Monday so between training courses and trying to sort my programme by the end of the day, I've been a bit brain dead and simply just chilled rather than do something productive (i.e some wargaming related stuff!). I think last week I only managed one evening of work- painting up my final 3 bases of US paras and a panzer III for my next mid war comp army!

This week has been just as bad. My wife and I have just bought a new bach, or as they are also called further south crib- both being kiwiese for a traditional kiwi holiday home. However, there is a difference, these days many "bachs" tend to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and are just as nice, and equally as bland, as any home in any new subdivision. Traditonal baches were made from whatever was at hand and were characterful beach properties that if you were lucky might have a shower but were where generations of families spent their summer holidays. These days in many areas baches have been replaced by expensive subdivisions. Fortunately our new place is definitely an old school bach! Although it does have a shower.

Anyway sorting out the sale has kept me busy, but now its just a matter of waiting for the various checks to come though. So between dealing with real estate agents, the bank, and negotiating over price etc there has been little time for hobbies. However, last night I did force myself to start 5x marder IIIs and tonight's job is to finish them so hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to add in a day or two.

Also I see that Gripping Beast have released their new Saxons range. I don't really need them, and would prefer it if they were not armoured but will probably pick some up. I feel a swing back to 28mm dark ages coming on for the next wee while. Warlord Games has free shipping round the world at present and as they also have the new plastic Norman knights, and I've been meaning to get a boxed set of the Warlord Games 28mm FJ I can see 28mm gaming on the horizon once again...


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Buildings for Day of Days- Update

Okay, the first couple of buildings are done. They don't look too bad. I made the roof tiles out of strips of card but it took forever, then I remembered Kent had given me some roof tiles he had made on the computer a few years ago so quickly made a couple and was much happier with the results.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Buildings for Day of Days

I found the boards I made for our Arnhem multi-player back in 2007 but have decided I need a few more buildings for it, so thought I'd have a go at scratch building a few out of Foamcore.

I've used my friend Ian's scratchbuilt ones for inspiration- they are the best buildings I have seen and his village looks fantastic. Mine won't be that good but we will see how they turn out.

And here are my first couple, still work in progress. The process is simple. The buildings themselves are foamcore with windowframes made out of 2mm wide cardboard (from a cereal packet). To make painting easier I've used black foamcore. In the past I used white but getting the paint into the window recesses can be a real pain, at least means I don't have to worry so much.

Prototype number 1: To add extra texture once the building is asembled I have coated it in a very light covering of permafilla (hence the white colour)- once painted this gives a slightly rough texture (and is the technique Ian used with his above).

Cobblestones are simply made out of cereal packet, probably a bit big (1cm square) but should look good once painted.

And the second one, slightly bigger so it will hold 4 medium sized FoW bases on each floor.

One suggestion I have (and what I did with the second one) is to paint the interior before assembling! It should make the process a bit easier.

so they are now at the stage where I can paint them- hopefully that will happen in the next few days.

All going well I'd like to make half a dozen or so, but we will see how inspired I am...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Axis of Attack Ukraine: Game 3

Kent and I had another midwar game tonight, pitting his Guards Strelkovy vs my armoured panzer grenadiers.

Kent fielded:
HQ + sappers & 45mm guns
2x 2platoon companies (R/MG)
4x Zis 2
4x 122s
4x 120mm mortars

I fielded:
2x armoured PG platoons
2x apak 38s (combat attached out)
3x panzer IIIL
3x Marders
3x panzerwerfers.

The battle represented the guards surrounded in Busilov. I deployed my panzer grenadiers, recon and tanks so to avoid the ambushing Zis 2. I got lucky and rolled 5s and 6s for all platoons so deployed them where I wanted them- behind the hill and in the woods.

I used my mobility to attack where I wanted, ganging up on his Zis 2s. Luckily the panzerwerfers arrived on turn 1 and soon added their large template to proceedings. However, it was a battle where both of us failed our firepowers and so swung one way then the other. It wasn't until my marders came on that I finally managed to make some headway but the last Zis 2 and 45mm guns destroyed the marders in return.

In the end I lost the marders and a panzer III (but at one stage had the other two panzers bailed) before finally taking out the last gun- it was a bit touch and go but my dice rolling was better than Kent's as he failed his fire power tests.

Having two companies defending the objectives was not going to be easy to deal with so I decided to cut them off from their reinforcements (artillery, 120mm mortars and a small platoon of a 2iC + sapper). My reinforcements head for the newly arrived 122mm artillery battery.

My other platoon is hit but the 122s and although all are under the template only two vehicles are lost.

The last zis 2 trades shots with the panzer IIIs.

After dealing with the 122s my infantry redeploy to assault the village.

My panzer IIIs and pak 38s turn to deal with the Soviet mortars.

Kent decides its time to counter attack.

The Soviets creep forward to assualt the German guns (and protecting panzer grenadier teams). He destorys all my teams but I managed to kill several of his in return and thus the company is closer to breaking- the survivors in my platoon decide to stick around.

The final assaults are launched- I lost my platoon but Kent lost his company too and was below half and so failed his morale check at the start of the enxt turn.

4-3 to the Germans

Kent lacked a mobile reserve tonight. I will very, very rarely field a force without at least one mobile platoon/company that can come on from reserve and get stuck in. I was able to use my half tracks pretty much as I pleased and having been on the receiving end of them on numerous occasions from Dale know exactly how frustrating that can be. With his Zis 2s and infantry dug in in the town I went after the soft platoons that came on from reserve and were unable to be supported.

In campaign terms the Germans have captured Busilov and are pushing forward, their next objective being Radomyschi and so it might be time for a city fight...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

City Table

I got some MDF and am experiementing with building a new 4ft square city board. The buildings will be based on MDF and I'm going to use the reverse side of some lino I have lying round (which has a nice herring bone pattern) to create cobblestone streets. I've used some old roads to try and get a feel for how it might look.

Once completed I might add a third section to build a river suitable for Day of Days, but if not then this will probably suffice.

The Buildings
The buildings are a variety of sources- lots of JR Miniatures, a Landmark church, a Conflix ruin and some I scratch built 6 or 7 years ago out of foam-board and which are still reasonably serviceable.

New Style Terrain Boards
I am about to experiment with a new style of terrain board. I'm going to use 3mm MDF which will be glued to a 25mm polystyrene sheet the same size. Rivers and balkas will be easy to carve into the MDF and polystyrene, it should have more rigidity than polystyrene by itself (and not need to be framed) and yet still be lightweight- time will tell if it is a successful experiment


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Camo Netting using Tea Leaves

An idea I got from Andy at the weekend- using tea leaves (dry) to make camo netting. I have 4x marder IIs which I had used some bandage to make netting for but was never happy with so I ripped off the old netting and applied the tea leaves. I am quite happy with the look.

Here is how it is done:
  1. Base of some sort of paper or netting (gauze)- covered in PVA (Woodlands scenics clump foliage can work too) .
  2. Cover the “netting” in PVA and sprinkle over dry tea leaves and leave to dry.
  3. Once dried cover in Vallejo Russian Green (water it down if necessary)
  4. Drybrush with Olive Green (Vallejo 082)
  5. Light Dry brush/highlight with Bright Green (Vallejo)

Updated: And a couple of pak 38s using the same method

Day of Days- 2011: Market Garden

Here is the latest update for our FoW Firestorm weekend- Day of Days. This will be held on March 5th-6th 2011.

So far we have 22 players, which makes it the biggest FoW comp in the South Island since the D-Day multiplayer in 2007, so thanks to everyone who has decided to attend.

Could you please:

1) confirm that you will be attending if not already done so.

2) Confirm I have you o the correct side- we have room to move a bit with swapping people round so please let me know ASAP.

3) At present I am on as an allied but there are at least one or two people that have not finalised yet so will play if I’m needed but hope to simply organise things.


The Competition will be held at the Timaru Armchair Generals, Napier St Timaru

Google it if you have to- it is behind the Basillica (Craigie Ave) and is very near the North St/Craigie Ave intersection in central Timaru (just past the Polytech).

The venue is upstairs at the Parish centre at the end of Napier St

The club is on Napier street. For those coming in to CHCH just carry all the way through to Craigie Avenue the other side of the North Street intersection. As you pass over the intersection you will see the trees on your right, about 50 metres past the intersection is a turn off to the right which swings back on itself, follow this and take the only left turn, Napier street. Down Napier street to the end and the Parish Centre is at the end on the left. Upstairs is the club rooms.

BBQ: The FoW BBQ will be out at my place after gaming on Day 1.


Can people let me know if they can bring tables- ideally themed for a particular location in Holland but generic (North West Europe) is fine too.

On day 1 we need 11 tables and on day 2 will be reforming them to make 6x 5 by 6ft tables for the doubles games.

So far I have:

  • Me: 4-5
  • Kent 2
  • Ian Curd 1
  • Steve Chambers?

Poochie (and/or Stephen Stout) if you guys could help out here with some CHCh terrain it would be much appreciated

Missions: Single Games

Day 1 wills tart with an encounter to represent the initial free flowing nature of reserves being assembled to counter the immediate attacks following the landings/breakout by 30 Corps.

Games 2-3 will depend on which side wins more in each previous round and with the Firestorm roll off dictating who is attacking on each table.

Day 2: Missions will be modified Total War.

Day 2 Battles (pairs games)

For day 2 we will simply be modifying the Total War scenarios in Das Book for the two missions- each of the centre and your opponents objectives will be worth 2 VPs, there will be no VPs (or loss of VPs) for destroyed units- although you can still break your opponent’s companies to win. We will play test this over the next wee while.


Please ensure that the force that you take is appropriate (within reason) for Arnhem- I’m no expert on what armour was or wasn’t present so leave it up to the players to sort out for themselves what they are fielding is okay. I know some people are adapting existing PDFs for forces (eg the Wulkrue PDF for CT Germans and that is fine if it allows you to make a suitable force)


Appropriate warriors may be (and should be!) fielded.

Col Frost, Van de Heyte, Grabner etc are okay.

This is what I have so far, please let me know if any changes need to be made!

Allied- possible:

US Airborne:

  1. Keith Hewitt
  2. Martin Wilkinson
  3. Craig C

British Paras

  1. Steve O
  2. Nick “Frost” Garden

30 Corp:

  1. Dave Dreaver
  2. Steve Chambers- Guards Armour
  3. Matt Stewart
  4. Stephen Stout
  5. Simon P
  6. Tim Driver


  1. Chris Pooch (FJ- with Van DE Heyte)
  2. Chris Warren
  3. Cal Manson
  4. Dale “Grabner” Franklin
  5. Kent Galpin
  6. Greg B
  7. Nigel Wright
  8. Jamie Craig
  9. Ian Curd
  10. Steve Hill
  11. Jason Holland

Places to stay

I have quite a few people (9) staying at my place, Kent has offered his place for 2 players and I hope Dale, Nigel or some of the other Timaru players may be able to help out as well.

Please let me know if you need accommodation sorted.


JR Buildings Townhouses

I am starting to prepare for Day of Days: Market Garden.

Here are the JR Building townhouses I recently purchased and have just painted up. They still need a wash and some detailing but are decent enough for the gaming table as they are now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Total War Bagration

Andy in Christchurch arranged for a multi-player game so Kent and I drove up the 160 or so km to take part. 3 players per side (well 4 for us Soviets) with approximately 2000pt forces. Soviets were attacking.

The table was a very large L shape with a city in the centre of the L and broken terrain of woods, fields and a few rivers.

Soviets fielded:
  • JS II company with sappers
  • Stelkovy company supported by T34s + God of War+ 8x 152s
  • Motostrelk comapny suppported by T34s and SU 152s.

Germans had:
  • a mixed stug/panther company
  • a panzer grenadier company? Supported by stugs + hornisse
  • A wiking panzer company (panzer IVs, panthers and pioneers)
The Soviets deployed first which gave the German the opportunity to deploy to counter our forces (one of the weaknesses of the TW system- next time we will do map deployment and reveal where each force will deploy).

I tried to reposition my T34 supporting my motostrelk on turn 1 but failed to get out of LoS (pretty impossible on the table really) and got hammered by: hummels, 105s, panzer IVs and panthers and my only tank support vapourised on turn 1. This left Andy's 10x panzer IVs & 3 panther with nothing on our end of the table to slow them down and so from then on he moved freely to whittle down my force. My only luck came with a Sturmovik strike killed 2 panthers and the third fled!

In the centre Martin's Stelk ran into a wall of paks, stugs and panthers and was slowly torn to bits- I"m sure I saw some infantry on the German side but they appeared to be in the stands watching the armour tear us apart all day! Martin was the first battalion to go (followed shortly thereafter by my motostrelk). Only Keith's JS IIs put up any resistance, managing to kill a panther and stop German recon contesting one of the 8 objectives- if we can claim that as a victory!

Slowly though the weight of fire that the Germans had at their disposal won though. Kent ( who was controlling our Corps reserve) T34s could not avoid the enemy armour and our main tank support was slowly were picked off.

In the end it was a crushing German victory with 2 Soviet Battalions broken- in the last turn I was left with my Battalion commander as my sole remaining team on the board! (but I did managed to destroy 4 enemy platoons before succumbing).

An overwhelming German victory (as tends to happen whenever we have tried these style games). My only criticism of the game being the lack of table depth- 4ft- played into the Germans hands, as we could not get out of range (or LoS) of their panthers and guns. Some larger areas of LoS blocking terrain (ridges or large wooded areas) may have given us protected avenues of approach but as it was the Total War deployment rules meant the Germans could see where we deployed and then themselves deployed the force necessary to counter us. Thus it was a slog-fest that was likely to only ever end with victory for one side! But apart from those minor quibbles it was a fun afternoon of rolling dice and hanging out.

Cheers to Andy for organising it!

A few Photos

Poochie deploying his brand new Stug/panther force- directly in Kent's line of advance.

Turn 1- my T34s are vapourised as they try to get round a wood and away from Andy's panthers .

The Panthers are destroyed by an airstrike giving me some (but not much) hope.

In the centre Martin's Strelkovy advance into a veritable curtain of fire....

And make it to the edge of town.

By turn 6 or 7 my razvedki are about all I had left holding off 6 fearless trained panzer IVs.

And they didn't put up much resistance.