Saturday, 17 March 2018

First Board Experiment - PVA and Static Grass

These initial tests of methods and materials will lead me on to get the table done for the Somme game.

I have placed an order for a 4ft x 2ft Noch grass mat from ebay so will have a better idea on how this looks in the week.

Here are some photos of the first trial samples done earlier today..........

I sealed this board and let the PVA dry before applying a second neat coat.
The static has stuck well but you can see a few bald spots. Not bad and the colour is pretty good too and includes a fine mix of sharp sand. The board was airbrushed first with brown.

This is one of my high density blue foam boards that I will be using to make the base table for the Somme. The grass seems to have stuck a bit better to this material than the PVC board above.

Again a base coat of Vallejo Earth brown was applied before the PVA was applied. I did not use two coats of glue here as there was no surface tension like the PVC board above.

This is just a better photo of the PVC board.

I'll give these a proper testing tomorrow when the glue has dried and see how durable they are.

Depending on the grass mat I will decide between the two methods for the Somme table.

Thinking out loud in the Staffordshire moorlands

My turn:

My biggest problem with both blogging and reading blogs is getting distracted by other periods in history. Unfortunately, Colonel Bill the writer of the excellent scenario guides for Age of Eagles keeps adding fuel to that fire and so I am trying this year to be disciplined and get one period absolutely nailed down.

So for the rest of 2018 my main focus is on the continued development of my American Civil War armies in particular my current lack of cavalry units for gaming Fire & Fury. The aim is to be able to put on the battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam ( depending on where you loyalties rest) in spring 2019 ,with scenery boards of a higher standard than Bull Run ,with a view to fighting it again at Joy of Six 2019. This should also enable me to build the forces of significant strength to put on an operational game later this year. I haven’t shelved the plans for Gettysburg but the fact that Gettysburg took place over three days ,means that fighting a one day battle where you get a result might appear to have more appeal. To support this I would like to put on some small Thursday night clashes so that we can get used to the 2nd Edition rules. The more time I have spent reading them the more I feel that all the unanswered loose ends of the first edition have been nicely tied up. ( bridge assaults, morale , divisional, corps , army break points ,charging etc)

Project 2 is my modern spearhead West Germans and fortunately I seem to be able to turn these out very quickly so should be able to field a full panzer division , plus air assets , territorials and an attached para brigade to counter Russ’s russians later this autumn. I definitely  have enough troops painted now, that could team up with The Brits or French to fight an operational game.

Project 3 is to fight some small Thursday night battles with the Napoleonic Age of Eagles rule set and the American war of Independence amendment for fire and Fury. I have enough scenarios to see me to old age. It won’t require much initial painting effort on my part to get a couple of my divisions done particularly if I use my new painting buddy to do the base colours for me.

Finally the process of rebasing my GQ wwii ships and aircraft has begun. They were a bit rushed to start with for the arms race that was VAS and I did a lot of tinkering which has made the bases inconsistent. I also need to add more cruiser ,destroyer  and small ship variants to the fleet to meet our scenario/campaign aspirations.

2019 will mean a panzer grenadier or mountain division for the modern West Germans , the final completion of my acw armies to allow me to put on the largest one day scenario ( 380 infantry stands per side, imagine that on a table on a Saturday morning) ,  and ( don’t wet yourself Mark) the battle of the Little Big Horn.( not just Custers stand but the full campaign with the the attack on the Indian villages etc ,) I have the Fire and Fury scenario and it’s been reverse bathtubbed to company level.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Thinking out loud

My list for this year and ongoing

I'm pretty happy with WW1 / WW2 and Renaissance (together with WW1 and WW2 naval) as my core interests.  I don't intend to get a 'modern' army - it looks like most bases are covered by everyone else anyway.  I also need to thin the metal mountain down.

So in no particular order

a) Complete the WW1 Austrians.  Mainly the artillery and MG's / mortars.

b) Complete the Italian WW2 fleet - and paint and sell off the extraneous units.

c) Complete the Spanish Renaissance armies (basically this just means some collenas bases then 'proper' tercio units)

d) Complete the Russian and German forces for WW2 winter (including a Hungarian force to represent unwilling allies).  Mainly the mounted units and artillery/

e) Have an American WW2 winter army for Battle of the Bulge

f) Sell off all the 10mm I've acquired (all ancients)

g) Sell off the unpainted metal for AWI / Ancients / Napoleonics - I will not get around to completing them and so might as well get rid.

h) Sell off the 6mm Norman army

i) Sell off the 6mm Roman army

Thinking Out Loud 3

Following on I thought to add to the previous posts......

For me I have unfortunately succumb to the evils of work and my painting / project work has certainly taken a toll these last 6 Months. I can't say for sure I will recover the situation for the foreseeable future so really I have to make the best with the time I have.

As much as I would love to be getting stuck in to more stuff I think I will shortlist a few things for this Year and just make them happen.

1.  Modern Spearhead Soviet Army

I have slowly started to pick this project up again and my aim is to have the entire motorised infantry division ready to game with by July. Still lots to paint and base but looking good!

2.  Revised Scenery Boards For Operational Games

Still at experimental stage but the objective here is so raise the game on the quality of the operational table for Western Europe. This will take a lot of careful planning to make sure we use the best materials available. Durability is essential but it must look the part. Will be trying out a few samples of bits in the next Month. Work In Progress

3. The Somme Board

We spoke about this last week and I am going to knock something up for the Somme game.
A cheap option is on the cards and I think I will use some of the foam board I already have which is just sitting in boxes in the shed. I think I should make the effort if we are going to play the battle properly. Hopefully we have enough buildings to make up the villages / town sectors.

4. WW2 Spearhead British Airborne For Bridge Too Far

Can't say for sure when I will this done but will try if there is a deadline. Some work yet to do on painting a few bits up to make up the forces for this game. Work in progress!

5.  Star Wars Armada.....

Continue beating Mark......

As for attending shows I think I will just be doing Phalanx this Year. I won't be attending this Years JOS.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Thinking out loud 2

So inspired by Ian's entry i thought i would put my thoughts down of what i would like to accomplish this year, maybe!

1. Joy of 6, this year, I will put on the Napoleonic battle of Sacille 1809. french versus Austrians in Italy, this will give me a chance to revue my own terrain and improve where necessary.
I will put on a selection of battles prior to JO6 so that everyone is up to date with the rules. Jon do you have any scenarios for Napoleonic with your ACW pack.

2. Improve the operational tables, After gaming on Ian's desert boards i feel that the Green boards and terrain needs improving. As we all make an effort to put on and play these games i think it is only right that we should improve our experience using the best tables available.

Stage 1 is to set out all the tables and get laminated plans for all of them, this will speed up the setting up of tables on any game day. the terrain for this will be what we have at the moment. Stage 2 will be to take each individual table and bring the base board and terrain up to a higher level, this stage i would like us all to discuss, ease of setup, play ability, transport and storage, etc.

3. Moderns, I would like to play more so  we are all conversant on the rules and special equipment so as to put on an operational game later in the year.

 4. Magnus Imperium, I would like to replay some of the larger battles we have done previously, i.e .Guagamela, Raffia,

5. Star wars Armada, Beat Russ

 6. WW2 early war, I have some units for my British early war, i would like to expand this up so i can do an operational battle, e.g. "Race to Dunkirk". I will probably need some German infantry as well to bolster my Panzer divisions.

7. WW2 Americans, these boys need some 1942 units so i can get them onto those desert boards.

8. War of the Roses, I have all the troops, all i need to do is play test the rules and get gaming, I have all the troops for Bosworth.

9. Medieval, I love playing Medieval total war on the computer so i need to find a set of rules to suit.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Encounter in the desert

So once again we delve into the operational battles with an encounter in the desert circa 1942.

On the allies side were

Frank "Hannibal" Reynolds

Phil "Mad Murdoch" Broders

Mark "face" Shakespeare

The Battle

The South African division of 2 Brigades were dug in at the centre top table commanded by "mad Murdoch"
A brigade of the Northampton division was behind them guarding the two passes and holding the divisions artillery.
The rest of the Northampton division would secure the airfield and open up the route to the South African division.
"Colonel Hannibal" took 1 No regiment of valentines and 1 of Matilda's to relive the cut off 1st Northampton's and then pushed forward with the valentines to link up with the SA division.
In the meantime the axis were pushing units down either side to take strategic positions and to relieve the Italian division stuck in the fort.
At this point the allies only controlled the centre two tables and the airfield.
The valentines were then pushed up to reconnaissance the top right table  to cut off supplies to the fort and all axis units down the right hand side.
This elicited a large response form the axis as first a recon battalion appeared followed by a Panzer regiment and then a panzer grenadier regiment.
The valentines at this point fell back at this point to the SA division having done their job of forcing the axis to commit some of their reserves.

At this point "Hannibal" proposed a bold move, The 1st armoured division ,currently in reserve would move up passed the airfield and thru the passes picking up the Matilda regiment and attack the top left table isolating any units down the left hand side .

The attack rolled in, but the axis had an anti tank gun line waiting on the hillside for this type of manoeuvre, Just as the tanks rumbled into range the heavy drone of RAF bombers could be heard and a carpet of bombs fell on the hillside neutralising many of the anti tank guns.
This was the start of the main battle of the day, as 1st  division drove towards the hill and the waiting bridge behind axis reserves were called in from off table and then from their right flank and finally from the forward right position.
The day was fast running out and the allies needed to secure some strategic positions so the 7th armoured division was released from reserves to move up the left hand flank claiming strategic positions as it went .
The axis sent in a recon battalion from the fort to the airfield to reveal the strength of the defenders,
which was found to be too strong and were driven back to the security of the fort by the airfield defenders.
The allies had no intention of attacking the fort as we believed that the defences were too strong.
The valentine regiment was sent back to the top right table to put the fort defenders out of supply but it ran into another panzer battalion equipped with some Pz4 F2 and an 88 battery. These made short work of the valentines, but their purpose was served, by not allowing the axis time to develop their attack.

With light fading the axis launched a final attack against the SA division but it was too late.
"Hannibal" and the 1st armoured were slowly getting ground down  by increasing axis pressure and would not last, but by engaging the enemy so far forward they shielded the SA division from attention for most of the day and allowed 7th armoured the freedom to take strategic positions unopposed.

And so another successful operational comes to a close with an allied victory
Thank you gentlemen for a fine day 
Ian, the tables and troops looked awesome. 

Thinking out loud

The lads enjoying the crack! (The potential captions for this are legion)

I've been meaning to post the above for a while but I couldn't find a relevant subject, and I still haven't, so here it is.

I thought I would post a general idea on my plans for the year and see what feedback I might get back as well as making a handy reference point for me.

List 1

First off I listed all the periods that I have completed;

Thirty Years War
WW1 French
WW2 North Africa
Renaissance Italy
Guadalcanal Naval Campaign
18th Century Europe

I should try and get one game of each played with the above this year.

List 2

The next list is of periods where I have bought the units and they need painting

1942 WW2 Russians
Franco-Prussian War
1859 Italian War
Madagascar 1942
18th Century Naval

All the above require no planning, special terrain or extra units.  They need finishing and I will have more games to play.  After the mammoth rebasing of the WW2 Africa units (2 years) I will get one of these finished straight away.

List 3 

These are periods where I need to buy some units and I will have new games to put on.

18th Century India
30yw Polish
WW2 Japanese
WW2 Vichy French

Minimum outlay and a little effort and I have some completely new periods to explore.
List 4

These are terrain projects that would add new periods without requiring any more troops.

Desert mountains for WW2 Tunisia and East Africa.
Arid coastal terrain for WW2 Mediterranean.
Buildings and forts for India.
Jungle for WW2 East Asia.
Sea terrain for WW2 and 18th Century naval
Covered way for 18th Century sieges. Saps and trenches need flocking.

List 5 

New periods using desert terrain.

Iran-Iraq War
19th Century Mahdist War.
WW1 Middle East.

These would be future projects and would be large under takings.  However, I can gradually build up the terrain pieces and produce Thursday night scenarios as way points for these projects. I can also do all the organisation and background reading.

Producing an operational game or campaign is the ultimate goal for any project and I will probably move from one list to another to get a mix of quick results and variety.  As ever, please let me know what you think.