Monday, 30 June 2014

Current Projects

Following on from Phil and Ian's posts.....

Currently on the paint desk are some H & R Early Persians for DBX, lots to paint but quick and pleasantly lacking in flash and mould lines for a change :)

The Sapabara / Immortals are all on 40mm deep bases so there is a bit more more involved than normal.

I'll base the army on 500 AP from the DBMM army list book.

Once these are done I will be getting some Greeks. I am hoping that Jon will get himself a Gallic army at some point?

I want to spend a lot more time on my ancients this year as there are a lot of the classical armies I want to collect but also some earlier chariot / egyptian themed armies too.

WW1 Early British

Done an infantry division to date and some artillery but the Project is on the back-burner while I am concentrating on my Persian's.

I am looking forward to seeing Phil's late war Brit's along with some contributions from Mark and Jon at some point.

I am in no rush to get these finished yet but will no doubt be spurred on when I see other armies appearing.....

With H & R announcing upcoming new moulds for Russian's Mark has no excuses anymore!

A Little Light Interlude

Spotted this the other day and thought it explained Phil's obsession with his 5 a day; that's 5 ebay bids a day!

Current Projects

As Ian did, here are my current projects.

1. WW1 Austrians.  Given the lack of decent 6mm Austrian early war variants (the grey uniform and soft cap) and indeed the plethora of uniforms for the Austrian forces (given the disparate areas of the empire they came from), I'm starting with the adoption of 'Germanic' uniform in 1916 onwards.  To account for different troops I'm using a uniform variation for each major division (1 x darker green, 1 x lighter green and 1 x nettle green for the Honved). This will certainly allow for easier identification of nothing else.

The main differentiation for the Austrians was the adoption of a brown (as opposed to grey) metal 'coal scuttle' helmet which will be used for my troops.

If H&R bring out a decent Austrian range or there is a suitable alternative for the early war grey uniform (ACW Union? Afrika Korps?) then this will constitute my Austro-Hungarian army core for the time being.

2. Late War British

To fight the filthy Hun, your average Tommy (1916 onwards) with suitable support (60lb guns!  Tanks!).  Most of the troops are already painted and just require basing up.

3. Byzantium at war

The main project of the year will be the development of Byzantine period armies.  Covering 325AD to 1453AD this is a period that pretty much saw continual conflict by the Byzantine empire against all-comers (Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Bulgars, Rus, Goths, Romans, Normans....) including a number of Crusades as well.

I'm going to focus on early to mid-Byzantines (from the break-up of the Roman empire to the early Crusades).  The army compositions didn't change all that much over this period so the same general army (with a few changes here and there) can be used as the base to fight a number of enemies - such as the Seljuk Turks who also fought during the Crusades.  This means developing armies that can be used in different conflicts and against each other as well (Arabs vs Byzantines vs Turks vs Crusaders..)

4. WW2 Armies
I've got a bit to do on finsihing the Russian WW2 army (just adding a few units here and there such as JS11 tanks, a few more specialist infantry and bolstering the early-war troops so we can do the Finnish war, Barbarossa and also fight the Japanese.

In addition, I'm keen to finish my WW2 Americans off.  I have a lot of unbased tanks and infantry that - once complete - means I can use them for WW2 Spearhead (North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany).

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Heroics and Ros

I emailed Andy at H&R asking whether he would be bringing his full range as we would like to look at suitable figures for alternative uses etc. and got the following reply

Ancients ?

Anyone up for BBDBA this week?

I am hoping we can play these rules again with a view to progressing into more detail once we have mastered the rules like we did with Spearhead.

Phil - can you please use this army list below for your Romans?

Let me know how many AP you get to so I can build my Carthaginian's around this figure.

If everyone enjoys the game we will go again next week, Mark can you let me know what 6mm armies you have ready and I'll e mail you the army lists for each?

Friday, 27 June 2014


Russ, Mark and myself played another Spearhead battle last night.  This time in the desert revisiting a classic scenario from the series of battles fought at Sidi Rezegh in November 1941.  Commonwealth forces, attempting to relieve Tobruk, instigate a series of armoured battles designed to bleed Rommel's forces to death.  However, the plan never survived contact, and although the Axis forces made a few blunders themselves, as Rommel would write, it was his side that committed the fewer mistakes.  The British took a while to get 8th Army doctrine up to scratch and their failure to combine different arms and concentrate their superior numbers at the decisive point meant the British were always on the back foot tactically until Alamein in October 1942.

The British are holding an airfield to the south of the coast road running from Egypt to Tobruk.  Two motorised battalions with two batteries of 25 pounders (7th Armoured Support Group) are dug in.  Russ took the British and opted to keep his four regiments of tanks (Stuarts and Crusaders from 7th and 22nd Armoured brigade) in reserve off table.

Mark fielded two German motorised battalions, two Panzer battalions and a full panzerjaeger battalion (1x 88mm and 8x PAK38!) all from 21st Panzer Division, well supported by a battalion of 170mms and an Italian battalion of 100mms.

Mark went straight for the airfield with his infantry and the antitank guns split between the two infantry units.  Sporadic artillery fire from the British took out a few infantry but on a double six wiped out the 88mm!  Mark was starting to feel a little more cautious.

By turn four a furious assault had begun on the airfield and the British seemed to have the upper hand inflicting heavy casualties on the attacking Germans.  However, glad that he had bolstered the strength of his infantry with the antitank guns, Mark made one more charge onto the airfield before he would need to do a morale check.  The British defence collapsed under coordinated artillery and infantry attacks.

At this point Russ committed his tanks.  One unit supported his beleaguered infantry around the airfield whilst another appeared on the following turn manoeuvring on a wide arc on the German right flank.  Russ had cunningly used a conditional order allowing an easier change of orders at a given point which he ensured was away from any direct fire which kept Mark guessing as to when this unit would eventually turn (With a brigade or higher command attached this would be an excellent ruse for the Russians to use in a counterattack game!).

Mark had previously committed his on table tank battalion to attack the British tanks near the airfield and unable to change his orders (rolling alot of 1s) he was heading into a tactical trap.  Use of dust also prevented proper spotting of the British and he was forced to gingerly move his anti tank guns on this flank to help cover the panzers.

Initially, Mark was able to work onto the flanks of the British tanks near the airfield and was inflicting some casualties.  However, Russ was able to keep this force in play and with a battery of 25 pounders in support, the Germans were not getting it all their way.  Russ successfully passed his conditional order and the flank force of Crusaders swept in onto the German flank.  In addition, a further regiment of Stuarts advanced towards the airfield.

Mark decided his tanks had done enough and broke off from the fight.  Dust screened their withdrawal and allowed his antitank guns to edge a little nearer.  As dusk fell the PAK38s started to take their toll of the British tanks in the gathering gloom.

As night gathered, Russ also decided he was taking needless tank losses against the overwhelming PAK front that Mark was able to deploy on his flanks.  So, under cover of darkness, Russ' last motorised infantry battalion, that had been entrenched  to the south of the airfield, emerged from their dugouts in a final gamble to secure the airfield.  Destroying machine gun nests that had been hastily set up by the Germans, the counter attack looked like it was well placed to succeed.  On the final turn the British were well placed to put in a concerted charge when the Germans managed to wrest the initiative.  Mark was able to charge out of the airfield and keep Russ away from his objective.  With superior German indirect artillery support, several British units took the assault whilst suppressed and inevitably lost the ensuing close combats.  Out of time and with nothing left Russ had to concede the battle.

This was a very well played game and both Mark and Russ showed their experience in having played this rule set over the last few weeks.  The British tanks were the equals of the Germans in this game but the German antitank units were well handled and closed down any British success with their armour.  Russ found it difficult to use his superiority in tanks to gain an advantage as Mark made few mistakes with his deployment.  The German superiority in off table artillery gave them an advantage when assaulting with their infantry but nevertheless, the British came close to holding and then retaking the airfield with their infantry.  As I said at the start, this is a classic scenario, well worth playing again.

Apologies for not having any photos of the actual game.  I need training (and perhaps a camera!) in the use of photos for the blog.

In addition, Mark and I were going to fight a full desert campaign (Operation Battleaxe).  I have already played this in the past and I have the rules and the units ready to go.  We were going to play the campaign and see if anyone else would like to play the actual battles on a club night or weekend.  Let me know if you have any interest.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Idiots guide to

Forward observers


Indirect battalion support weapons must always be used in support of its parent battalion; soft targets must be attacked in preference to armoured.

Any fighting platoon may act as a forward observer for indirect battalion support weapons (not support weapons).

Indirect weapons from divisional assets must have a separate FO stand per firing battalion.

Indirect battalion support weapons must fire as per target priority (nearest infantry etc. etc.)

Divisional indirect fire may target any eligible target (must be in support of attached battalion)

Divisional FO may be attached to a fighting battalion and must move with the battalion (it is not a recon unit) he may be dropped off like a support weapon. FO does not increase the size of a battalion.

Divisional FO that are killed are not replaced

Divisional FO that is contacted in close combat is automatically killed.

If the battalion that a divisional FO is attached is routed then the FO goes into General support and may move to join another battalion.

Indirect battalion support weapons use the battalion support chart, Divisional indirect fire uses the divisional support chart.

Divisional artillery battalions that are not attached to fighting battalions are classed as general support.

An FO is still required.

The FO must be within the command zone of the fighting battalion requesting support (it may not go off and hunt targets like recon)

General support call in is from the divisional support chart with a -1 (except for Americans)

All FO must be stationary to call in indirect fire.

Aircraft assets are treated like divisional artillery

Monday, 2 June 2014

Current Project


My guys have flags but are just as keen!

Mark asked everyone on Thursday what project they are currently painting, so I thought I would let everyone know I was expanding my Japanese army.  We have had some excellent games of Spearhead over the last few weeks and I thought we should have another look at some Far East scenarios; we haven't had any Banzai Bollocks for a while!

So in the mix is 

Khalkin Gol 1939; Japan tries to teach the Soviets a lesson in Manchuria.
Khota Baru 1941; Japanese amphibious landing in Malaya (this actually precedes Pearl Harbour)
Phillipines 1941; Japanese try to push past American opposition on their way to Manila (Mark, do you have any 57mm Gun armed half tracks?)
Sittang Bridge 1942; Japanese attempt to take bridge on road to Rangoon in Burma.
Phillipines 1945; Americans attempt to use armour to puch their way through to Clarkson Airfield.

All the above should be a bit different from our European Spearhead games and the Japs will be fighting British, Russians and Americans.

After the above I would like to put on a rather more adventurous battle; the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.

In the meanwhile, I need a few extras for my Japs, so if anyone is placing an order with H&R can I add some items?

What are we up to

After speaking about this last Thursday
I thought we might all want to let each other know we are painting/modelling
At the moment I am making Flag markers for Grande Armee.
I want to use the POW spotting rules and use flags instead of movement boards
Spearhead hidden movement markers (instead of the beads) using Phil's idea of cut and paste onto MDF 40x20 boards
Need to make up some more tree bases
small oval 80x40 bases with a few trees and some scrub.
Rebase my early Ancients
Rebase my early Spearhead
Narrow seas boats
More war of the roses archers
New Baccus flags on my Grande Armee brigades
Revisit and complete my flexible road