Wednesday, June 26, 2024

20mm WW2 British Infantry

 This Friday I am heading down to Dunedin for my second game of Battlegroup vs Richard. I have finished my Germans and had them as my backup force should I not get then Brits done in time and  have been patiently waiting for my order from AB Miniatures of 20mm British infantry to arrive. On Monday the figures turned up so I've spent the last couple of nights getting them painted up an ready for Friday's game.

The AB figures are everything that I have heard and was extremely impressed by the quality of the sculpts and details. I think I have found 2 figures with a wee bit of flash but that was easily removed. The sculpts have incredible details and are very realistic both in poses and also in the body proportions- more so than the chunky look of 28mm Warlord Games figures for example. They are not the cheapest way to buy in 20mm but in my opinion well worth their cost and I will definitely be getting more. 

In the past couple of nights I've gor the infantry painted up an ready for Friay's game. I have painted up:

  • A forward HQ (3 figs)
  • Forward observer (2 figs)
  • 1x MMG team
  • 1x 3" mortar team 
  • Platoon HQ: command stand, 2" mortar team, PIAT team
  • 3x rifle sections each of 10 figs including an NCO with an SMG and a Bren gun
  • 3x carrier patrol teams (Bren, PIAT and 2" Mortar)

 The force for my first game- a platoon of infantry supported by a carrier patrol, 3x Cromwell's, 1x M10 Archilles, 1x 6pdr, an MMG, a 3" Mortar team, and an observer team for some off board artillery. 

The Rifle platoon

Infantry support- carrier patrol, MMG, 3" Mortar, forward HQ an observer . 

Tank support- 3x Cromwells an an M10

The supports 
The infantry platoon


Sunday, June 23, 2024

20mm WW2 Germans

 Reinforcements for my 20mm German forces. I bought a platoon of the PSC German Afrika Korps infantry which I'll use for LW infantry in Italy and also for mountina troops. The ultracast sculpts are nice and have little flash.

The finished product, a platoon of LW infantry based on the DAK sculpts.

I also made up a couple of sets of PSc transports this week- the Steyr heavy car and the opel blitz. both are goo etial kits with plenty of options. I have made one of the Opels as a mautlier. 

PSC `1/72 Steyr cars. 
PSC 1/72nd Opel Blitz trucks. 

PSC Waffen SS

I also bout some stugs from Trademe, NZ's version of Ebay, which I repainted.  

I've aso made up some PSC M5 half tracks which again are lovely sculpts and were a joy to put together and paint. 

And an armourcast M10 Archilles. A pretty basic model, it has about 10 parts but I added some stowage from the various PSC kit. I used some of the British infantry from the M5 half track kit to add crew to the model

And a comparision- 28mm vs 20mm. They are so tiny!

Finally, last weekend my friend Ian came down and we spent an enjoyable day playing Rapid Fire Reloade. We fought a scenario I'd come up with for the 2nd Argyll and Stherlan Highlanders in Malaya in early 1942. We played the game twice, each time taking turns at being the Japanese and in both game sit was a narrow victory to the British. 

I'm very happy with how my Far East terrain has turned out. 


Monday, June 10, 2024

PSC 1/72nd Cromwells

 The first of my PSC kits turned up today, three Cromwell tanks. They are pretty straight forward to put together (after checking out the youtube video guide from PSC) and are nicely detailed. I've added some camo nets made out of gauze to add a wee bit more interest to the models.

I also put together a Warlor games 2pdr for my British in Malaya forces. Like many of the metals kits they gun was a pain in the butt to put together but eventually I got it sorted. 

An finally, I added a secondChi ha tank to my Japanese forces.This one was a Warlord plastic kit which i enjoyed putting toether, my other tow models are both oler Warlord Resons- a Chi Ha an a Shinhoto which is the later war version with an upgraded gun an turret. I also took the opportunity to repint them with a new colour scheme. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Gaming like its 1979

 I popped down to Dunedin yesterday and dropped into the model shop run by Lindsay and Richard in the hope that they still hadsome copies of the Battlegroup rules I'd spied there a few months back. Unfortunately they didn't have any left but they do have a pretty good range of model kits including the venerable Airfix range and so I managed to pick up a copy of the bren gun carrier and 6pdr which is the first 20mm kit I've purchased in over 20 years!

I think I would have first purchased one back in about 1979 when I was first getting into wargaming so it definitely does bring back memories of the days of yore.

The kit as first released in 1964 so it 60 years old this year!

The finished product. 

I actually really enjoyed putting this one together, it was a definite trip own memory lane. The crew figures are horrible and my wargaming sensbilities tells me that I need to replace them with some AB miniatures figures but on the other hand I am tempted to keep them purely for the old school vibe. 


Sunday, June 2, 2024

First game of Battlegroup

 On Saturday I popped own south to have  a game of a ruleset I’ve heard about but not tried out, Battlegroup. I decided some time ago that I didn’t need a new ruleset, or could be faffed learning a new set for that matter. However, I’d heard rumours of a mythical creature, well down here in NZ anyway, was lurking in the rural Otago, one of the fabled 20mm WW2 wargamers. 

I ditched my 20mm collection back in 2002 or thereabouts when Battlefront was first starting out with Flames of War. I a few local gamers were keen on get into WW2 so it made sense to move to 15mm where there was a lot more availability,  so I sold of all my collection of WW2 vehicles an figures. 

I’d not met Richard before but he was an absolute gentleman and provided an outstanding venue and days gaming. Richard provided fairly balanced armies to give is a good feel of the rules and he has a fantastic gaming set up and collection of WW2.

We played a 500 point game with Germans vs Americans and each had a platoon of infantry a troop of tanks, a tank hunter and some artillery support (and in my case airsupport)

The table

As the americans I had just captured na undefended bridge and was seeking to exploit this while the Germans were trying to drive me backa ross the river. 

Turn 1- i had a sniper and FOO in the builing and a squad of infantry near the fields. 

Turn 3- I advance towars the wood but alas a German MG 42 team got their first. 

Turn 4- US reinforcements arrive

The squad in the field are cut on but the US artillery has been hipping away at the Germans and inflicitng casualties. 

in the end the game ended with a victory to the Americans. 

I really enjoyed the game and the rules. There were a few things that I would raise an eyebrow at (lack of smoke) but I enjoyed the command system, the attrition system for determining when a force breaks and the artillery rules which although a bit of a process I liked the scatter dice concept to determine the fall of shots. Overall the game felt right and gave good period feel and I’d put it miles ahead of Bolt Action in that regard alone so can see me playing a few more games in future.

The only drawback? Richard games in 20mm. My collections are mainly 15mm WW2 though now I’ve fairly sizeable 28mm one as well. I don’t really want to go back ot 20mm gaming or start a new scale but I am seriously tempted to get some AB miniatures late war British infantry to build a small 20mm force to game vs Richard- we will see.

Overall, the game was fun, gave a good feel for the period and had no “gotcha’s” that some other rule sets do have so I'd defintely recommend it to others.