Sunday, April 28, 2024

Dug in markers/ trenches for games in the Far East

 After my last game I deciced I "needed" some dug in markers and/or trenches for games oin the Far East and Burma so ahve made a few over the past day using MDF, permafilla and a few sticks. I am pretty happy with how they have turned out.

Last night I also put together a couple of 3D printed Japanese 75mm mountain guns to add a bit more artilery support to my Japanese forces. Simple to put together and they paint up nicely. 


Friday, April 26, 2024

Rapid fire Reloaded- a river crossing in Burma

 For ANZAC day my friend Ian came down from Christchurch (3-4 hr drive) for a days gaming. We started WW2 game in the late 70s as kids using a homebrewed set we created from elements of Featherstone’s and Lionel Tarr’s rules with a dash of Charle’s Grant’s Battle thrown in for good measure (eg mortar fall of fire templates IIRC) and later adding elements of Operation Warboard as well.  

This was my first game of RFR vs a real opponent and was another game set in Burma. It as similar to my last game but this time three companies of British (each of HQ, 2” mortar and 3 platoons of 8 figs), 2x 3” mortars, 2x MMG, 2x recce carriers and a Grant tank vs 2x Japanese companies (HQ, 2x knee mortars, 3x 8 fig platoons & 2x MMGs) + a 70mm infantry gun and 47mm AT gun defending two river crossings.

The Japanese were slightly outnumbered. They gave a good account for themselves but in the end broke- though I (the Japanese player) got close to breaking a second British company and winning the game so I felt the game was fairly well balanced.

In future we will add an improvised AT weapon team to the Japanese companies to help them deal with the uber tank that is the Grant, and some snipers but overall we were both happy with the flow of the game and the way it played out although we both forgot all about the ambush rule! 

The Japanese positions on turn 1

A view from the Japanese lines

British infantry support the Grant tank

Japanese open fire and cause a few casulaties on advacing British near the carrier

British reach the river- infantry can cross at 1/2 speed. 

More infantry cross at the ford.

The Japanese cause some casualties but the forward platoon is destroyed. 

A close assault goes in vs the survivors of the patoon nearest the AT gun. 

A Japanese platoon launches a banzai charge but are repulsed with heavy losses. 

With the right flank overrun the Japanese battaion commander orders a platoon to launch an immediate counter attack- but perhaps too little, too late. 

The British consolidate their gains on the Japanese right flank, sending the Grant forward. 

The Japanese are over run and the last surivors retreat.

That was a great game. The Japanese were always outnumbered and going to struggle vs the tank; the 47mm AT gun really needing a close range hit from a side shot to have a chance to damage it, but even so the game played realy well. We both enjoyed the spotting rules, when to (or not to) open fire were critical decisions and even though the Japanese force was a bit outgunned and outnumbered I still felt that I had a chance through out. We will continue to tweak the RFR rules to suit our tastes and have added LMGs at this (Company/Battalion) scale and intend to add improvised AT teams to the Japanese OOB to allow them a etter chance vs tanks. 

Finally, we finished with a game of my favourite boardgame, Twilight Struggle, and I got trounced! 

Until next time


Friday, April 19, 2024

28mm Japanese infantry regiment for Rapid Fire!

 I have continued chipping away at my 28mm Japanese infantry trhat wi be used mainly for Rapid fire! I have enough now to field a Japanese infantry regiment but still require a few more bits and pieces, such as a few more medium machine guns to round out the "battalions." I have a few more MMGs on order form the Assualt Group and each battalion will field 2 when finoished.

1st Battalion

Mainly Warlord Games jungle fighters but a few other ranges thrown in. 


4x Coys (8 fus each)

2x knee mortars

1x 70mm infantry gun

1x MMG (it will eventually be two MMGs)

2nd Battalion (as above  but mainly Warlodrd Games plastics)

3rd Battalion- this one is still work in progress and needs an infantry gun and 2x MMGs to finish it off. 
Regimental HQ
I will be adding 2x 75mm mountain guns and a 47mm AT gun to this unit. 

The infantry regiment assembled. 


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Breaking out Rapid Fire! Reloaded

 I’ve been building up my WW2 forces in 28mm of late and trying out different rules.

I’ve had a couple of solo games of Bolt Action but aspects of the rules I do struggle with. I see the order dice mechanic as both a strength and weakness of the system. A strength in that it does allow the player to priorities choices and so face a range of decisions each turn. I also like the pin mechanic and see it as another strength of the system.

 However, Bolt Action does have a number of flaws. Firstly I don’t like the fact that it is easily exploitable in that you can “stack up” on cheap filler units to manipulate the order dice mechanism which can lead to all sorts of shenanigans to get a gaming advantage with the random activation die pull. And don’t get me started on putting bazookas and flamethrowers in a jeep and driving them pell mell at the enemy to leap out and fire at the offending target. WTF! I can take some liberties with my WW2 gaming but that is a bridge to far as far as I am concerned and a real turn off for me. Finally, the game is a it slow, a result of the afore-mentioned random activation. 

These days I prefer solo gaming and have no interest in competitive play or of gaming vs random players with pick up games. My main interest now is in researching a battle of engagement and trying to turn it into a fun scenario and refight it, or elements of it, on the table top.

Anyway getting back to rules to use. I’ve no interest on the new edition of Flames of War or in going back to 15mm and 3rd edition of FoW either (well no interest in 15mm at this stage!). I am enjoying painting and playing 28mm games and focusing on two primary campaigns (currently)- The British 14th Army in Burma and also the campaign in Italy 43-44. There are other rules out there, eg Battle group and Chain of Command but I aren’t really keen on trying either or learning another set of rules- not sure why by Chain of Command has never really grabbed me as a ruleset though I must preface that by saying I've not actually played a game.

I have been hankering for a it of an older style gaming vibe and so was toying with breaking out Operation Warboard which was the first ever rulebook I bought (sometime in the mid 1980s) or even updating the rules that my friend Ian and I developed from Donald Featherstone and Lionel Tarr’s rules from Featherston’s original Wargames books- we hand typed up our rules (adding elements from Operation Warboard when we got these rules) and used them for several years as kids and teenagers.

Another option I was considering for gaming in Burma was to have a look at Rapid fire! I bought the original edition of the rules and a number of supplements around 2000 but once we got into Flames of War in 2002 I sold off all my 20mm figures and we jumped onboard Flames for a long long time.

Anyway, I decided to have a look at Rapid Fire! Reloaded and for the price of a tenner ($NZ) was worth a punt and was pleasantly surprised with the rules. I was never really a fan of the old school damage charts in the original and so like the new chartless approach of RFR, and it simplicity.

I’ve had a few solo playtest games in the past couple of weeks and have really enjoyed them so far. They give the period feel I’m after and are definitely fast play. It is still early days of course but think I’ll be persevering with these rules for some time.


A few shots of a recent solo game of Rapid fire! Reloaded