Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Stalingrad Play Test: Chain of Command

Stalingrad terrain. An empty "Heroes Square" (see below, looking from the Russian trenches):

From the Russian left flank (see below):

The Russian right flank (see below):

After the Patrol Phase (see below):

Ready for the action to begin!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

PC Meltdown

PC hard disk crash 

Almost impossible to post using the Blogger App on the iPhone :(

Will be quiet for a while

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Gone to the Wall .. Hadrian's that is ;)

Back from a family holiday up North to "The Wall" (but not that of Game of Thrones ilk with the army of the dead behind it) but the one that Uncle Hadrian built to keep the Pict tribes out (see below):

Don't let those smiling faces in the sunshine on the cover deceive you, at Birdoswald it was blooming cold and by the staff's confession not unusually so! I pity the Numidian auxiliary that got posted here! However I am pleased to report that it has stirred my blood to get back to painting that 28mm Warlord Games Imperial Roman Army starter set (plus the metal extras I bought, shush!). I also have a host of Roman history books to read. To remind me of this 'pledge to Rome' I bought a "cup" in the English Heritage sale (see below):

Amongst my holiday travels in Keswick I found a toy shop having a sale. I managed to pick this little GW Sci-Fi item up for £9.(see below, it was 'almost cheap' at half the recommended retail price):

I have always wanted to beef up the Space Marines on Space Crusade so an Ultra Marine Terminator (I knew I was going to get one someday) comes in handy. (See below, an 'old school' model, the skull with a bullet hole through it for the 'base' was a nice touch though): 

The Marine on Bike is just table dressing or paper weight as I don't do the full 40K tabletop thing, opting for more atmospheric 'deep space' Space Crusade RPG narrative! (see below, and the brush and paints were a bonus - the wife is amazed how I can sniff these shops out! Although the words "amazed" might be replaced by a more harsher alternative phrase):

There were some more 'sensible' items in the sale, so I picked up some 'modern' German Paratroopers and British Infantry (20mm) for five quid each. These will be perfect for my Modern Chain of Command games planned (see below):

Fun for the future!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Command Decision "Test of Battle" CD4 (or rather CD4.1)

I knew it existed but I had never bumped into it at a show or wargames show and by the time I tried to buy it on-line it seemed to have 'long gone'. So I kind of snapped it up when I saw it advertised on eBay. Reading the bumf I see that it is officially termed Command Decision 4.1 (dated as 2012) because it is a re-edit of the first production run. Good enough for me (see below):

Glimpsing through it says there is lots of extra stuff to download from the web-site (stats charts and scenarios). A few of the core mechanisms I was happily reading about in CD3 seem to have been surreptitiously dropped. In no particular order. Turn time seems to have gone from 15 to 30 minutes. Rather than number of hits to kill it seems better troops are harder to kill. Spotting goes deterministic. Artillery suppression rather than casualties is a "new" concept.

All I want to make sure I "play some games with it" rather than just add to my collection of  wargame rules ;)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Wargames Rules Modern (Post 1950): Digging up Old Rules and Dusting Them Off Continued (WRG Wargame Rules 1950-2000: Edition 1993)

Rules search update: 

It seems that the 1988 edition of the WWII rules will be far different from my 1973 version, hinted at and outlined from comments to my previous post (drat). By looking ahead at the 1950-2000 rules I acquired (which is an appropriate set for the Falklands, NATO v Warsaw Pact, Arab v Israeli, Iran v Iraq, the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars and perhaps even Vietnam or Russians in Afghanistan) you can see that there are several new concepts which seem to follow from the Barker "troop definitions" (think DBA definitions), orders, modes, force posture, morale and combat skills, Tactical and Exigency Modes in small 1990's closely typed typescript. No evidence of the advent of the word processor home publishing revolution here. Oh for the sweet breath of fresh "comic sans" here! Looks like it will need some meticulous close scrutiny over a quiet weekend of two (see below): 

Hmm, so methinks I will need to get the 1988 WWII version of Armour and Infantry (eventually) to update my WWII part of the WRG rule set (see below, but it looks like costing me £20 via WRG)

However I do fancy a couple of nostalgic games with the 1973 WWII version first though!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Russians are Coming but Don't Panic... they are in 28mm (Painting Update: P4)

The 'first squad' is starting to take shape (see below, a fierce bossy sergeant):

Outside of the figures allocated for my three squads (yes three not four, I took casualties crossing the Volga) there are extras destined for "scenario supports" (see below, I have put them to the left hand side of the board):

The Vallejo paint runs (shade, base and highlight: Vallejo Model Colour) are coming together:

  • Russian Summer Tunics and Siberian Padded Winter Jackets: British Uniform (921 shade), Khaki Grey (880 base), Khaki (988 highlight) 
  • Russian Winter Coats: Russian Uniform Green (924 shade), 50% Yellow Green + 50% Russian Uniform Green (924 + 881 base), Yellow Green (881 highlight) 

I originally coloured all the belts and webbing Flat Earth (Vallejo Model Colour 983) and 'washed' over in Vallejo Sepia Wash (see below):

However I was not happy on this effect so instead I settled for:

  • Leather Brown (871 shade), Flat Brown (984 base), Red Leather (818 highlight)

Bits and pieces:

  • Wooden gun stocks were Vallejo Game Colour Charred Brown (shade/base) and Beasty Brown (base/highlight). 
  • The Siberian hat was Vallejo Game Colour Black/Stone Grey (shade/base) and Stone Grey (dappled highlight). 
  • The "Red Star" in teh middle of the hat was Vallejo Model Colour Read Leather (818): 

The Russian Soldier "comfort blanket" was Vallejo Model Colour:

  • Grey Primer + Sepia Brown (shade), German Camo Beige (821 base), 50% Pale Blue + 50% German Camo Beige (907 + 821 Highlight) 

The metal gun parts were Vallejo Model Colour Gun Metal washed over in Sepia Wash and then lightly touched up in highlight (see below):

The 'first squad' seems to be 'coming to life' nicely. The flesh look was giving me problems so I experimented. Vallejo Model Colour Flat Flesh washed over in Flesh Wash, produced a rather "reddy" looking effect so I applied Flat Flesh again as a highlight, toning it down with a Sepia Wash and final Flat Flesh highlight (see below):   

The 'second squad' gather to get their Russian overcoats painted (see below):

The prone figures are a nice addition. I primarily use them for the LMG gunner and Number 2, along with a PTRD gunner (off camera). I particularity like the Vallejo "belt and webbing" colour run [Leather Brown, Flat Brown and Red Leather] I took from "The Flames of War" painting guides (see below, I think it works really well with the Russians):

Time to "factory paint" the rest of the troops as my painting deadline approaches!

Interesting Blog Post: Wargamer's Minds

Interesting Blog post from Polemarch:

More posts to come on this from Polemarch!

Academic Reference: Yarwood, R., 'Miniaturisation and the Representation of Military Geographies in Recreational Wargaming', Social & Cultural Geography 16, no. 6 (2015), 654-674.