Sunday, 29 June 2014

Flames of War Battle Report - German & Russian Armour Clashes

Having put plenty of paint on my Flames of War Panthers, and various additional units, to assist them in their plans to foil the allies, I took them out for a spin.  An initial 2,500pt game against James and his Yanks fell through (you could almost smell the American’s fear….) but the Russians, obviously to daft to know fear, stepped into the breach.  An initially organised 2,500pt game against Pete spiralled up to 4,000pts a side when Red joined proceedings, and I provided and commanded all 4,000pts of Germans.  This sadly meant I had to use some part painted models rather than an entirely painted army but I did get to use all my newly painted bits and a horde of stuff that rarely has an outing.

With such large forces we expanded the table to a 6ft depth with a 7.5ft width and deployed two objectives for each side in the enemy deployment zone in appropriately positioned spots (we made the scenario up in other words).  We then rolled off with the winner setting up first and then going first.  Pete won the roll, and the Russians went first. 

A blow by blow account in black and white would be much too painful for Pete and Red, for whom the game finished in around an hour and a half with both Russian companies decimated.  They were unfortunate in the location of two pieces of scenery; the first a handily placed hill which one of my Panther platoons used to play hide and seek to great effect.  The second a built-up area, dominated by my Konigstiger, which blocked the Russian lines of sight as they were picked off from range.  During a horror show for anyone East of Poland a special mention should go to Petes ISU-122’s who managed to move a sum total of 6” throughout the game thanks to some atrocious luck trying to get through a forest!  Apart from that the Russians attacked German armour from the front, and their opportunities to hit back were too limited to make a difference.

The battlefield from the German side, note the built up area and large central hill that enabled my Panthers to dominate the approaches.

Pete's armour.

Red's armour, including 5 IS-2's.

I was a big fan of Pete's paint job on the Russians, here were his captured Panthers.

The bogged down ISU-122's

A brave (foolish?) Stuart in the town.

One of Petes plans almost came to fruition, but the Panthers survived and the supporting Panzer IV's wiped out the Russian light tanks.

Pete's snow camouflage.

Red's IS-2's.

With 8:15pm reached Pete withdrew and me and Red placed 2,000pts of troops on the same table, but swapping sides.  This had the feeling of being closer, but still resulted in a German victory, if only because Red misjudged the position of some sneaky German 8-rad armoured cars.  With the IS-2’s and T34/85’s playing out a long range duel with my Panthers the Sd Kfz 231’s sneaked into the town under heavy covering fire just before I would have been outflanked on both sides.

In truth I would have been happy being pounded from one end of the (lovely looking) battlefield and back just to see my newly painted troops take to the field.  In fact I spent rather an unnecessarily long time just looking at them, until I saw Petes winter camouflage and was wowed by that instead.  As it was I was very fortunate to play two quality opponents who didn’t let a horrible beating (and some appallingly bad, and good, dice rolls) put them out of humour, and my sense of guilt lasted only until around 5:30am the next morning.

Second game, and my Panthers began it in the open while the Russians had the hill and town.

Russians creeping around the flanks but just too late.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Napoleonic French - Part 4

Incoryable!  I’ve finished painting some stuff!  Two battalions, or rather 12 whole companies (excellent way of phrasing it to make me feel like I’ve done a lot) plus 8 skirmishing voltigeurs and a brigade officer are painted, based, dipped and sprayed to give me an 89-strong model force.  And with Gauntlet around the corner I even reviewed my 3rd battalion and decided it is good enough to take to the table as it is on this occasion, which  enables me to provide a 3 battalion brigade for the Napoleonic battle.  The flags are yet to be added to my two painted battalions, but here are some pictures.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Dreadball 2014 – The Year Of Pete

 Fast forward 9 months and the one day Dreadball tournament returned this week!  The less than dingy room behind the bar was utilised for the second time, and 8 participants brought their teams in the hope of glory, riches, and a free cake courtesy of Mr McKee.  Most had to settle for cake.  Last year’s Locusts head coach, Pete, returned with a bunch of walking cassette players and took on the mantle of tournament organiser.  Notable absentees were James’ Marauders (bird flu), last years organiser Mr Blom and his vertically challenged forge fathers, and the SmAshes 2013 tournament champions the Hollywood All-Stars and their head coach Andy. 

New face Dafydd and his corporation team ABC joined some old faces fielding some new teams, with Paddy favouring a 1980’s cartoon, Ian being unable to resist risking the wrath of GW and changing his teams name into ‘Skaven’, and Adrian forsaking his best painted award winning Marauders in favour of the mysterious nameless.  Chris retained his Marauders, but had sold the naming rights to a local company, and finally I kept with the Corporation side The Carbis Bay Buccaneers’.

The Players & Their Teams:
Pete – The Chromium Chargers (Robots)
Adrian – Mythos Maniacs (The Nameless)
Chris – OrkChester Man-Booters (Marauders)
Mark – Plague Bearers (Veer-myn)
Paddy – Teraton Titans (Turtles)
Ian - Skaven Foundation (Veer-myn)
Rick (me) – Carbis Bay Buccaneers (Corporation)
Dafydd –ABC (Corporation)

Most of the teams at the end, some were too ashamed to appear before a camera.

The Rules:
The tournament consisted of four rounds in a league format, with the result to be decided on the day.  3 points were available for a 7-0 wipe-out victory, 2 points for a run-of-the-mill victory, and 1 for a draw.  Nowt for a defeat.  The matchups were drawn randomly from a small bag, procured for just such an occasion, and any reoccurring matchups were redrawn to ensure players only met once.  Teams that ended on the same number of points were then separated by score (added together from each match), and then kills for and against.  Games were to last for one hour each.

Round 1:
Kick-off began remarkably early thanks to my work commitments, with the Teraton Titans facing last year’s runners up the Carbis Bay Buccaneers’ on the Thursday evening before the Saturday event itself.  A few dry runs a couple of weeks previously had provided the Titans with some much needed playing time, but an overly defensive outlook eventually cost them.  The Buccaneers took until rush 11 to register the first points for either side; striker Hector Barbossa stealing the ball and slamming in a 3-pointer before star player Dirk Pitt chalked up a 2-point hit, and it was over bar an exchange of un-pleasantries.  The Titans took their revenge for the earlier elimination of one of their player by taking out the Buccaneers’ resident nancy boy Will Turner.

The tournament kicked off properly on Saturday morning, and there would be no repeat of the previous outings point-shyness; two 7-0 wipeouts and a victory for the washing machines against hard-hitting Corporation side ABC.  The Plague Bearers gave a hint of what was to come with striker Influenza picking up all 8 points scored for the Veer-myn side.

Teraton Titans Vs Carbis Bay Buccaneers (0-5)
Plague Bearers Vs OrkChester Man-Booters (7-0)
Mythos Maniacs Vs Skaven Foundation (7-0)
Chronium Chargers Vs ABC (2-0)

Round 2:
12pm dawned, I arrived to virtually no cheers, and the Plague Bearers charged onwards, dispatching ABC by the less respectable score of 2-0 as the Corporation side discovered there was a ball in play on the pitch.  Influenza once more made his/her/its mark with 4 points, and Pox weighed in with another 3 against the scoring human team who had to undergo a lengthy decontamination process after the match.  The Carbis Bay Buccaneers were held to a draw by a delighted bunch of toasters, who had equalised late on after Dirk Pitt had grabbed a spectacular 4-pointer.  The Buccaneers coach was left kicking the nearest under desk heater, and would be even more dispirited in round 3.

In the other two games the enigma of the nameless Mythos  Maniacs fell to a narrow defeat to the turtles of the Titans, who found their hero power tactics worked better against the fast moving rats than the skilful humans.   The nameless head coach bemoaned the “last action, last rush” strike by the turtles, and while claiming they “was robbed”, he fruitlessly denied feeling bitter.  The Skaven Foundation, having overcome (ignored?) GW copyright issues to be allowed to play, banged 7 past the OrkChester Man-Booters.  The Marauder side, despite having clearly the wittier team name, and such wonders as Bob, Bobba, Bobo and Lord Faffington playing for them were handicapped by a failure to remember exactly why they had come to this less-than-dingy room in Deeside.  The head coach was adamant something about a real sausage and an actual photo had been mentioned as an incentive.

Mythos Maniacs Vs Teraton Titans (0-1)
Plague Bearers Vs ABC (2-0)
Skaven Foundation vs OrkChester Man-Booters (7-0)
Chronium Chargers Vs Carbis Bay Buccaneers (0-0)

Round 3:
Lunch was mostly eaten on the hoof, and for some off a table, and the microwaves went straight into action against Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo.  The turtles won, clearly comfortable playing without their sports physiologist, Splinter, who instead turned out for the Skaven Foundation, and promptly killed Plague Bearers favourite Influenza.  Luckily for the walking CoSHH nightmares it turned out that you can never fully eliminate an infectious disease, even if you thrash its team 7-0 and bash it with penicillin and Windex.  Sars gained more immediate revenge, killing Splinter to prevent more ninja jokes, if not any rat-on-rat jokes.

In the battle of the ‘what are we playing?’ against the ‘theres a ball, why is there a ball?’ teams, the Corporation side ABC came out on top against Lord Faffington and co.  Meanwhile the Carbis Bay Buccaneers and Mythos Maniacs played out a quite bizarre game, especially noted for a rather fortunate nameless scoring a 3-pointer in the Buccaneers own rush via an incredible sequence of slamming, bouncing and striking.  They then followed this up by the strangest way of winning a game; missing a 4-point strike only for the ball to improbably bounce off the wall and straight back to their striker, who made no mistake second time around before the Buccaneers’ could dream of intervening.  In between the kickoff and this final strike the nameless had opened the score, Jack Sparrow had equalised, and the aliens had missed several excellent opportunities to put the game to bed as the Corporation side proved completely inept at any task whatsoever.  Accusations regarding greased gloves, and the hostile crowds use of laser pens, was rife in the disbelieving ‘Buccaneers dressing room afterwards, but it would take a miracle for them to come top now.

Teraton Titans Vs Chronium Chargers (5-0)
Plague Bearers Vs Skaven Foundation (0-7)
Mythos Maniacs Vs Carbis Bay Buccaneers (7-0)
OrkChester Man-Booters Vs ABC (0-6)

Round 4:
At the start of round 4 Mythos Maniacs were in a winning position at the top; 1 point clear with a far superior score difference, and they were not about to let that slip.  It did, however, take until the last turn for them to achieve the wipe-out victory that would give them the title on clear points, with the OrkChester Man-Booters having a good go at that most Ork-like of tactics; giving them a good kicking.  Elsewhere the Plague Bearers did their best to put pressure on them, dismantling a group of typewriters on their way to a second wipe-out of the day.  The coffee machines made it a bit more difficult by scoring a few times, but Ecoli struck, and collected a personal haul of 12 points and a food standards agency warning label.

The ‘Buccaneers finally got into their stride, and ABC were blown away by Dirk Pitt and his team.  Pitt bagged two 4-pointers, the second one at the second attempt, before being justifiably blindsided by an ABC guard and taken out of the game.  ABC score two 2-pointers of their own after each 4-pointer, and ‘Buccaneers striker Jack Dalhgren committed a classic error of forgetting to duck as the ball was re-launched before Jack Sparrow put the game to bed in rush 9 with a 3-pointer.  Finally the Skaven Foundation, who had stood an outside chance of the title at the start of the round, were gradually worn down by the stone-wall tactics of the turtles, losing 3 players killed in the course of the Titans 3-0 victory.

Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs ABC (7-0)
OrkChester Man-Booters Vs Mythos Maniacs (0-7)
Skaven Foundation Vs Teraton Titans (0-3)
Chronium Chargers Vs Plague Bearers (0-7)

The Final League Table:

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Mythos Maniacs
Plague Bearers
Carbis Bay Buccaneers
Teraton Titans
Veer-myn Foundation
Chronium Chargers
OrkChester Man-Booters

 The Awards:
Tournament Champions – Adrian with his nameless Mythos Maniacs
Best Painted – Rick (me!) with my Carbis Bay Buccaneers’

Carbis Bay Buccaneers - Winner: Best Painted.

Mythos Maniacs - Tournament Winners.

Plague Bearers.

Skaven Foundation.

OrkChester Man-Booters.

The Tournament In Numbers
·         16 - Matches produced a total of 8 wipe-outs, more than 2013, 3 of which came in round 4.
·         0 – No team managed to end the tournament unbeaten, all suffered at least one loss.
·         9 – The number of points the Mythos Maniacs needed to win the tournament, the same as the Hollywood All-Stars achieved.
·         2 – The number of Chromium Chargers players left on the pitch at the end by the aggressive Teraton Titans.  The turtles also claimed most kills with 6.
·         21 – The number of Cheers the Teraton Titans gained during the tournament, much higher than the Mythos Maniacs. 
·         +20 – The best scoring result, unsurprisingly gained by the nameless, while the OrkChester Man-Booters claimed the more unwelcome title of worst scoring result with -27.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Work In Progress.........May 2014

Relatively busy month on the wargaming front, and I’ll kick off with a trip to Sheffield and the Triples Wargaming show which is becoming something of an annual tradition. 


Michael turned chauffeur once more for the early morning drive, and late afternoon return, and I was fortune enough to be the largest and as such sit in the front, the back of the car being occupied by Red, Aidan and Luke.  With funds at a very low ebb I was watching a few items I was selling on eBay and was lucky enough that they came in with a high enough income to afford the basic pieces I wanted to pick up.

Buying seemed to mainly surround modelling bits, with flock, bases and matt varnish purchased, while the model horde was a box of 5 plastic soldier company Shermans for my 15mm late war Brits, a Typhoon to support them, a French office on a horse, and finally the limbers for my 6mm Union artillery.  Altogether 10 models purchased then. 

Other moments worth noting was that the show seemed quiet in terms of punters, but plentiful in traders with almost all the usual faces.  I tried my hand at a medieval tournament game, but although  the imagery appealed strongly the game play didn’t make it jump out enough to part with £30 I didn’t have for the rules (, this wasn’t aided by the demonstration of the game, and I think I will look again at some point because I did like the premise.  The other piece that caught the eye was the Jugula gladiator game, and Luke invested in it and I’ll keep an eye on that too.


On the painting front I have been quite active this month, with my Napoleonic game against Aidan galvanizing my work on the 28mm French troops.  I have painted, dipped and stuck to bases a total of 50 models.  They still require their bases sanding, painting and flocking before the final coat of matt varnish can be applied and they qualify as being finished, something which needs doing before the 6th July which is when they are needed at Gauntlet!  I’ve an additional 13 models part the way through the painting process, and when they are complete I will have 2 battalions (each of 36 men, with 4 extra men to be used as skirmishers) and an officer to contribute to proceedings.  I did at one point think that 3 battalions was a possibility but I became distracted two weeks ago by……

……Panthers!  9 to be exact, which I have had for near 4 years by my reckoning if not longer, and they have been half painted for at least half of that.  With a potential gaming day at Deeside coming up I had a sudden wave of enthusiasm for painting them up to use.  When it came to it work stopped play, but I carried on with the models, and 8 Panthers, 1 Bergepanther, and a Konigstiger later and I’m very happy with the results.  I’m aiming to field this as part of a very unbalanced army against James later in the month (James; if you’re reading this should you fail to win after being being handed the oppositions team sheet you should be ashamed of yourself).

Work for this month consists of getting the French up and running, all of them.  I’ve also got some halftracks which I was going to add to my 15mm German painting efforts, and I was considering completing the fix job that my Jerry’s 2cm AA guns need, perhaps repainting them in late war colours to match the Panthers etc because they are mostly used in my late war games.


Managed to add a few figures to the total this month, as along with the 8 panthers, 1 bergepanther and a konigstiger I finished a solitary Sherman V complete with decals from Dom’s Decals (and very good quality they are too).

Edit: having chastised Red for not including the 2 gretchin I gave him in his models totals I managed to forget to add the twelve 28mm Frenchmen Pete handed over the other week, so now they are added in.  And James' Sherman Firefly.  Damn.

Purchased: 23
Painted: 47