Sunday, 19 November 2017

Experimenting with Naval Visuals (1/1200) for The Battle of the Denmark Strait (1941)

Like it says on the tin I was experimenting with a "small tactical sea base" to mount 1/1200 ships on to represent their configuration in a long range naval gunnery duel. First up is the KM Bismarck (see below, as yet no foaming wake or cutting white bow spray):


Is this a more dirty looking "Atlantic green sea" (see below, pulling back the shot to get a full profile):


The German "raiding party" together for Operation Rheinuburg on the circular tactical base (see below, a way of reducing the 20,000' General syndrome is this just another case of wargaming madness?):


The Royal Naval guardians of the Denmark Strait, HMS Hood leading HMS Prince of Wales (see below):


Part of the "cloak and dagger" operation to shadow HMS Suffolk (see below, HMS Norfolk is stil suffering from my reluctance to customise the my duplicate HMS Suffolk into Norfolk, I keep seeing more bits I have to do):


A single ship does seem the more sensible basing (see below, you can see that I envisage putting on counters around the outside of the 360 degrees of the "tactical board". Peoples thoughts honestly appreciated!):


Finally something 'caught inbound' on the "Mighty Hood" (see below, the Bismarck fires eight but two "straddle-splash markers" unaccounted for, something is brewing inside HMS Hood. Also note 'X' and 'Y' turrets are about to 'clear arc'):


More thoughts and experimentation to follow and perhaps even a walk-through war game using the old favourite GQII.

Big Boys .. this is just a simulation (or rather a "painting exercise") .. not the start of a collection.

Tim Gow do not get excited I am NOT going 54mm "that is the way of madness" I was only practising some 'painting techniques' on my son's "big toy soldiers". There is no reason to be alarmed gentlefolk of the jury, this was a "one off", despite a curious feeling of enjoyment in not having to squint so much! (see below, two Airfix Australians, a Star Wars Storm Trooper and a Jedi milling around on the painting tray):


Note: I need to be concentrating on my naval for the Denmark Straits battle, you can see a pot of Tamiya Blue in the background ;)

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Battle of the Denmark Strait: The Gathering of 1/3000 forces from the Loft

Pulled out of their respective Navy Boxes from the loft the "extended" order of battle for the Denmark Strait (see below, Navwar 1/3000 with basic colour schemes and "blue sea" - nothing fancy):


Trusty old warriors that have been in my collection for a long, long time. They were painted back in the days when the "sea was always blue" (and probably from a pot of Tamiya paint pot). The intention is to present the historical battle alongside the hypothetical counterfactual scenarios (HMS Suffolk and Norfolk engage, and if the six destroyers had managed to keep up and were not diverted to cover "if" the Bismarck and Prince Eugen had reversed their tracks).

Here is one somebody has prepared earlier, David Manly's link to his re-fight:
http://dtbsam.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/denmark-strait-75-years-on.html

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Letting the youngest DM .. and me being Solo Adventurer!

Having walked the kids through their first D&D adventure I could see the sparkle stay in my youngest's eyes (he's only seven). He so wanted to "play with the toys" I had to let him become the storyteller (DM) and you know what, I think that bright young mind did it far better job than me. I was placed in the precarious situation of being a solo "dungeoneering". "This won't last long" I thought to myself, first monster and he will choose the biggest one in the box (probably the Umber Hulk ... a miniature that has never yet been killed in one of my D&D games)! So there I was walking across the stony floor of a chamber and it was announced that I had encountered a trap. Ooops.  One (failed) skill test later and I was left imprisoned by a falling cage (in true comic book fashion). That was it I thought .. monster meat! However with a benevolent sense of imagination, the monster that appeared was a small mushroom man that befriended me. He (it?) said that it would help me escape as it knew where the special key was for the cage! I then played the mushroom man getting the key from a locked chest. Ingenious. He (or was it, it?) set me free and my new BBF and I explored the next room (see below, we are sneaking around in the background trying not to be seen by a Big Blue Monster and two young hatch-ling Dragons [Red and Blue]):


One unremitting axiom of dungeoneering is that where you find treasure chests you find big ugly monsters. In this case a green one that came from a very old Warhammer starter pack. I didn't manage to catch his name as he bludgeoned me into the ground (three rounds of combat which I all lost) as I was distracted open treasure chest withe the allure of gold inside it (see below, I was left unconscious as my new BBF did a very good "hide in the shadows" which is perhaps what I should have done):


Luckily my mushroom BBF was on the ball to once again come to my rescue. It(?) sneaked away and opened a chest where he knew there was a secret healing potion in that resuscitated me (see below, my seven year old was definitely out dungeoneering me hands down):


Once I was back on my feet Mr Mushroom introduced me to Miss Mushroom (pink hat, I get it) his girlfriend(?) who would help me from here "as it was too dangerous for him to go on". Not only narrative but he ingested the sense of peril into the storytelling. I was impressed (see below):


There we had to leave it until another time. My only chance of survival is to "follow the mushroom" to find a way to safety. I think my youngest is a bit of a groovy hippy at heart ;)

Monday, 13 November 2017

Dungeon Delve with the Dungeons and Dragons Board Game

It's the classic tale. Two adventurers and a DM. Limited resources, one character each, pretty much their first dungeon delve and a whole load of mysterious experiences for these youngsters to come, my two sons. Bravely they lit their torches and pursued the band of Goblins who had captured the local village sheriff . Opening their first dungeon door (I wonder if they will remember this defining event thirty years hence), they surprised the distracted Goblin guard, wounded him and then watched him run off down the corridor to try and alert his friends (same old story at least guard always gets away to warn the others). Fearlessly they decided to push on (see below):


The guard ran to find his friends and this group of three Goblins turned to face the adventurers outnumbering them 3:2. This bravery turned out to be pure folly as the dwarven-magic-user (interesting) and human fighter's ranged bow felled two breaking the Goblin's brittle morale. Were these the serious monsters who overwhelmed the local village. Searching around the two adventurers found a wealth of magical treasure locked in checks (obviously the Goblins were packing up lot ready to move off). With a new found magic sword in hand, two potions of healing and a strange magic scroll (watch this space) the lucky duo passed into the final hall of the adventure. Deftly avoiding some nasty pit-traps (thanks to the dexterity of the fighter-their) they pinned the remaining five Goblins (four normal and the big sub-leaser) into their lair - but no sign of the "sheriff" (see below):


Here the novice dungeon delvers learned first hand of the power of a "sleep" spell. Four out of five of the Goblins were subdued and the fifth slain by the fighter. The remaining four never "woke-up" (the ethical consideration of this I am still pondering as a father .. but they were evil .. perhaps I should have hinted they could have been "tied-up" as prisoners). The adventure part one is over. As the adventurers sift through the treasure chests "lo and behold" they discover a map to where the "sheriff" is being held. This small band of Goblins were but a mere scouting party for something more bigger and sinister!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Armistice Day: 11:00 am 11/11/1918 Lest We Forget

The "War to End All Wars" ...


Didn't ... but today we remember all the sacrifices.