Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Mediterranean WW2 and Napoleonic WIP.


It has been a while since my last post so a WIP update of the WW2 Sicily/Italy and Napoleonic Peninsular projects.

I have been busy on the hobby front but it has been the boring preparation of figures and terrain. I have now got the cleaning/filing/gluing/priming and basing out of the way for this batch at least, although there will be plenty more to come as I progress.

To get the project started, we have some buildings and small items of terrain which have been prepped ready for the next stage. These are commercial items from various companies which will be suitable for both Sicily/Italy and Spain and will have additional items added and removed so that the same terrain can be used for WW2 or Napoleonic.
     
On the WW2 figure front I have completed a platoon of both German and British infantry. There is a second platoon of each that have been prepped and these are a mixture of metal and plastic with plenty of additional supports. I also have a platoon of Fallschrimjager and supports in the lead pile and will be adding the Perry Miniatures WW2 American's for the Mediterranean to this when they become available.





The second platoon of Brits will be in long trousers for when they move from Sicily to Italy and those cooler evenings start to draw in.

I had a couple of boxes of both British and German with the Perry plastics so I decided to use some of the spares for JOP or jump off points.



As you can see in the cabinet, a chunk of figures primed and ready to go, so hopefully painting production will be full steam ahead. Having said that, when the weather is good, I may have to put the figures on the back burner and concentrate on the terrain mat and any mountainous terrain.

In my last post I showed you some 95th Rifles that I had painted, well here is the rest of them. They are all Perry plastic with quite a bit of converting, with leg/torso/arm and head swaps and plenty of green stuff for patches and torn clothing. I hope to paint these up so that they look like they have been campaigning hard.



Steve Lampon will be starting a Face Book for me, Setting The Scene 2, which will be a WIP of the second book in the Mediterranean, if it comes to fruition. I will add a link as and when I get it.

 As with all my posts, I will be finishing off with a link for anyone interested in going on the waiting list for my Winter book SETTING THE SCENE to contact www.kerstinsmithwww.kerstinsmith1234@gmail.com
and once I have enough interest I will do a third print run.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

PENINSULAR WAR, Alban & Perry Miniatures


My two new and combined projects are 28mm Sicily and Italy WW2 and Napoleonic Peninsular. I say combined as the terrain will be more or less the same for both but the little men that fight on it will be totally different obviously.

I will start off with some 95th Rifles for the Peninsular War, these figures are from both Perry and Alban miniatures. Alban Miniatures are no longer trading and reverted back to a private collection in January 2016 which is a shame as they are very nice figures, perfectly proportioned (1/56th scale) and the quality of the casting really shows with no flash or any filing needed.

My collection is going to be mostly Perry Miniatures but I was lucky enough to be given a handful of the 95th Rifles and a couple of dozen French Voltigeur figures (more of these in a future post). Alban Miniatures being 1/56th are more or less the same height as Perry Miniatures but being proportionally scaled are slimmer in build. This for me is fine with skirmishing figures and individual officers/characters but I would keep formed units separate due to the slight size difference. Here is a couple of pictures of Perry and Alban Miniatures for you to make up your own mind.        



Alban Miniatures also do some great character figures from the Bernard Cornwell Sharpe series and they even brought out a Sharpe and Harper special edition figure with the launch of the first Sharp Practice rule book from Too Fat Lardies back in 2008.

To give you an idea of their range of figures you can check out their website albanminiatures.com although as mentioned above, they are no longer trading.

I was chatting with Paul Hammond and he informed me that if he had enough interest from people wanting to buy figures from Alban Miniatures then he would consider sending a batch off to be cast.
If you think you would be interested then contact Paul Hammond at hamrock@btinternet.com

  
      Back to the 95th, which are all Alban apart from two plastic Perry Miniatures.

These are two different sets of Sharp and Harper. The figures on the right are slightly smaller and I think might have been made by a different sculptor as they came free with the original release of Sharp Practice from TFL.  

The 95th command set.


Perry plastic.

Harper on the left with his seven barrelled rifle.












 I have been doing quite a bit of conversion work on the Perry plastics, results from that in a later post.
 


 
I have been playing around with some teddy bear fur, not sure with the results so far though.


A couple of little tasters from the WW2 Sicily and Italy project that I have been very busy on. More of that in a future post.



 As with all my posts, I will be finishing off with a link for anyone interested in going on the waiting list for my book SETTING THE SCENE to contact www.kerstinsmith1234@gmail.com
and once I have enough interest I will do a third print run.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

IABCoCM or I AIN'T BEEN CHAIN OF COMMAND MUM .



As the title says, IABCoCM is my adaption of combining both sets of the Too Fat lardies WW2 rule sets I AIN'T BEEN SHOT MUM and CHAIN OF COMMAND for large tank engagements.

I really like the armour rules in CoC but as the game is designed more at infantry platoon level, I have used the card activation from IABSM, to enable me to control a full British tank squadron, plus a recce troop of armoured cars, a total of 21 vehicles and an infantry platoon on one side (controlled by 2 players).

These were up against a German defence force of various ATG's, 3 x Panthers and a couple of tank hunting teams controlled by one player and marked on a map of the table as hidden and on overwatch.

I invited three of my friends over for the game that I would be umpiring, Paul Hammond and Dave Green controlled the British tank squadron and supports, whilst John Warren marked up his defending German units on the map.

 Using the rule amendments, the players were able to handle the large amount of vehicles and infantry platoon with ease and the game mechanics flowed. This was helped by the fact that we have all played and are familiar with both sets of rules.

Having said that, it was the British lack of infantry support that brought the armour to a grinding halt. Historically, sending unsupported armour in amongst buildings, hedges and narrow country lanes is a tank commanders worst nightmare and a few hidden panzerfaust and panzerschreck teams in the game gave the British players theirs.

I wanted the game to be a mainly tank action game but just like in real history, after a couple of tanks and armoured cars got brewed, the British players were having none of this and pressed their infantry forward to flush out the tank hunter teams and in turn, were ambushed by the hidden HMG teams. This just goes to show how realistic the Too Fat Lardies rule systems are, when they encourage you to make the right tactical choices in achieving your objectives with minimum casualties.
           
I have attached the rule adjustments and player briefings at the end of this post.

I didn't take any pictures of the actual game but the pictures below are of the table layout the day before.

 The 20mm vehicles, figures and buildings are part of a huge collection that I had swapped with a friend, Steve Lygo in return for me painting him a couple of hundred Back of Beyond figures (see earlier posts on this blog) and my 28mm Age of Arthur collection. The buildings are a little too clean for my liking, so I will give them a little weathering, along with some of the vehicles and redo the bases on the figures. Other than that, it is a superb collection that I will add to and be showing more of in future posts.

Although it doesn't show it very well in the pictures, I am very pleased with the terrain mat sections that I had made a little while ago, as they give a good indication of high ground and rolling hills in the game and work well with both 28mm and 20mm.




A trio of armoured cars probing through the outskirts of a village.


A British foot patrol advancing down along the hedgeline. AB figures.





A German HMG team covering the tank hunting teams, laying in wait for the enemy armour.
 
 
A panzerschreck team in an orchard biding their time.
 
        

British infantry section debussing on the hurry up.
 
British armour pushing forward without the infantry.
 

A panzerfaust team laying in wait behind the hedgerows.





German ATG covering the crossroads.





A group shot of some of the lads. This picture was taken at a previous game held at Steve Lygo's gaff. Dave Green who was at the IABCoCM game is not in this picture, whereas Steve Lygo who wasn't, is or who is, wasn't???
On the left we have the tall fellow, Paul Hammond who is part owner of Alban Miniatures and I will be discussing that in a future post. Then we have not quite so tall Lord John Warren, who actually is standing on his tiptoes for this picture. Third in line is the very short chap, Mr Steve Lygo who is actually standing on a box for this photo and then last but not least myself, the guy with the green bush.

As with all my posts, I will be finishing off with a link for anyone interested in going on the waiting list for my book SETTING THE SCENE to contact www.kerstinsmith1234@gmail.com
and once I have enough interest I will do a third print run.


SQUADRON SIZE TANK RULES
CoC tank rules with following amendments.

Card activation as for IABSM with a card allocated for each Tank Troop/Zug, HQ and the Tea Break card.
When HQ or Troop/Zug card is drawn, 4 x dice rolled (as you would with CoC) for that unit with the following effect:
1 – no activation
2 – no activation
3 (or 1 and 2 combined) – Junior Leader of tank : 2 activations.
4 (or 1’s and 2’s combined) – Senior Leader of Troop/Zug: 3 activations for his or other tanks in his Troop/Zug.
5 – no activation
6 – Two or more sixes rolled as per CoC rules.

When HQ card is drawn - as above with the addition of:
3 or 4 can activate a Junior/Senior Leader with 2 or 3 activations being used accordingly. 
5 -  One pip on CoC Dice for each 5 rolled. (Full CoC Dice rules as per rule book.)
HQ Senior Leaders may use activations for their own tank, the HQ Troop/Zug, or to allocate an activation to one of the other Troops/Zug in the Squadron.

If HQ is used for activating one of the other Troops/Zug in the Squadron, this can only be used for commanding the Troop/Zug as a complete unit, to advance, hold or fall back and not to engage in specifics such as firing, or commanding a ‘SINGLE’ tank in the allocated Troop/Zug to activate.  (This is the role for the Troop/Zug commander (Junior Leader) on his activations, when his card is drawn from the pack)
MORALE –  There is only one morale tracking card for each side and this will be for the whole squadron and controlled by the HQ Troop.
Squadron morale will fall by one point for each tank destroyed. No effect on morale if the tank is abandoned/immobilised/loss of gun or crew. (The enemy will still see a potential threat in front of them and will keep on firing until they see the tank brew up).
  As with the main rules in the book, a Senior Leader (Squadron or Troop/Zug Leader) is unable to remove shock from another tank via radio, the shock must be removed by the commander of that actual tank.

Any units hidden on the map on overwatch prior to the start of the game, will have their card placed in the pack once the player has activated that unit by firing or moving.
GERMAN BRIEFING.
Several weeks have passed since the Allied landings on the 6th June and you and your fellow countrymen have made the invader pay dearly for every square inch of ground. You have fought stubbornly through the cornfields, hedgerows and woods of Normandy but then being a Hauptmann in the elite Panzer Lehr, it is what is expected of you.

Your orders are once again, to delay the enemy at all costs, from taking some small unmemorable  French village. You have at your disposal the following mixed units, which you have organised into the following Defence Groups:

Defence Group 1
 Junior Leader, HMG Team, Panzerschreck Team (3 x rounds), Panzerfaust team (2 x Panzerfaust).
Defence Group 2
 AS ABOVE.

Defence Group 3
2 x Pak 40’s, 1 x Marder III
PANTHER ZUG -Tank 213 – Senior Leader
                                     214 – Junior Leader
                                    
                                     215 – Junior Leader
 
You may deploy Defence Groups 1,2 and 3 anywhere on the table up to 8ft (10ft table) forward from your table edge. They will be shown on the map as hidden and on overwatch. As soon as you fire or move one of these units, that unit will be placed on the table and its Defence Group card will be placed in the pack for further activations.

HQ will be placed in the village and their only role will be to roll for 5’s each time their card is activated. Once they have a full CoC dice they may choose to use this to call up the Panther Zug, which will arrive on the road leading through the village. You may also assign any full CoC dice to other units as per the rule book.    
    BRITISH BRIEFING
Several weeks have passed since the Allied landings on the 6th June and you and your fellow countrymen have paid dearly for every square inch of ground. You have fought stubbornly through the cornfields, hedgerows and woods of Normandy and you have been ordered once again to advance against the enemy and capture some unmemorable little French village.

You have under your command a Squadron of Sherman tanks, a Recce Troop and a platoon of infantry.
 The ground ahead of you is typical Bocage country and ideal for the enemy for ambush amongst the hedgerows and narrow lanes. Due to heavy casualties, you only have the support of one infantry platoon to help combat this threat and you must push on with all haste. The rest of the regiment, along with 130 Brigade and the 43rd Division are behind you and waiting for you to clear the village so that the general advance can begin. Good hunting.
PLAYER 1
SQUADRON HQ
Tank 1 – Senior Leader, Tank 2- Junior Leader.
TROOP 1
3 X Sherman’s, 1 x Firefly
TROOP 2
3 X Sherman’s, 1 x Firefly

PLAYER 2
TROOP 3
3 X Sherman’s, 1 x Firefly
TROOP 4
3 X Sherman’s, 1 x Firefly
RECCE TROOP
3 X Stuart’s.
Player’s 1 and 2 have the option of splitting up and controlling the Infantry as they see fit. 

1 x Infantry platoon with transport. (They also have the option of entering the table on foot).