Friday, 22 September 2017

WW2 gaming continues this week

Over the last couple of weeks I have been playing around with Tank on Tank boardgames rules on the tabletop. Getting in short games whenever I have had some free time. The games have been played using both with free movement and on a square grid, but mostly free movement.

As much as a like the rules I could not help myself and made a few additions and changes here and there. Most of these are for limiting artillery and boosting the abilities of infantry. Not that surprising really when using a ruleset called tank on tank. The rule amendments which have not been discarded include...

1) One hex in the game was either a 6 inch move or a 6 inch grid square, depending if I was using free movement or a square grid.

2) Rather than use two D6 dice I used one D12 dice instead. This changes the odds making them even. This has the effect of improving the odds of infantry surviving a hits with a defence of 7 on the open and 10 in cover. While increasing the vulnerability of tanks with defence ranging from 9 to 11 depending upon tank type.

D12 using the dice calculator
3) Artillery without Line of Sight can only support an attack if the spotting unit is either within 12" of the artillery unit or 12" of a leader unit. This was to limit the use of artillery by having barrages coordinated by leader units.

4) Mortar units can only attack personnel units and must be within 12" of the spotting unit.

5) Infantry can use 1 action point and improve their position when in the open.

6) Artillery and mortar units can provide smoke cover for a single personnel unit for 1 action point. The smoke lasts for the duration of the opposing players turn and if attacked the unit is treated as if in cover.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

WW2 games, Napoleonic painting, and a fellow bloggers contest.

One of the blogs I enjoy reading and following the photos of painting progress is Palouse Wargaming Journal. Jonathan has been posting on his blog for 5 years now and is having a contest to celebrate the 5 years, closing 22nd September. The link is below:
In addition to just blogging Jonathan actively comments and supports other bloggers. So I am very happy to publicise this contest.

While much of my weekend has been spent working in the garden. I have been able to complete one unit of French infantry with a bicorne hat and have another just waiting for the base to be flocked. They are made from surplus ACW Spencer Smith figures and using a pose that is similar to their other Napoleonic figures.

Green stuff used to create the bicorne hats 
A comparison to some other Napoleonic miniatures
A close up of the finished figures from the front
On the gaming front I am still playing some WW2 games using the Tank on Tank boardgames rules modified for the tabletop. I plan to list down and post the handful of amendments I use later this week.
German preparing to defend
More German defenders
Allied forces advance

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A bit more jungle terrain

After the first three test jungle terrain pieces turned out well. I continued to build a few more using the same process with the hot glue gun.

Another set of jungle terrain
I found some fern looking plants and added them to a couple of the terrain pieces.

Close up of ferns
I am continuing to get a few more units completed for my Spencer Smith plastic Napoleonic armies. I am attempting to use some of my surplus ACW figures and converting them with a bicorne hat made with green stuff.

Early Napoleonic French converted from ACW
With gaming I am continuing to enjoy playing WW2 using the boardgame rules Tank on Tank on the tabletop. A couple of modifications applied include using a D12 dice rather than two D6, and having to beat the defence score rather than equal it to destroy a unit. The aim of the changes was to improve the survivability of infantry in games where the many of units are infantry (foot, mechanised and mobile).

Allied defences
Advancing recbonnasaince column
A column of tigers and support elements advance

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Making some jungle terrain

While I have yet to get on with painting my WW2 Burma armies for use with the Crossfire ruleset. I will begin that process once a couple of Japanese tanks which are currently in the post arrive. With that in mind I decided I had better start getting some jungle like terrain sorted out.

This weekend I purchased some plastic plants from a local craft and material store. The cost was about the $30 mark and should I hope make approximately 12-15 clumps of trees and vegetation. The plants can be both pulled apart, shaped and cut quite easily.

To begin with I though I would make three clumps of trees to test out the approach. The one really useful tool required for this is a hot glue gun used to glue and hold the plastic firmly and quickly once applied.

Here are my first test attempts...

1) The purchase

This plant will be used to make the trees and provide height to the terrain piece
This plant will provide the undergrowth as each piece pulls off 
A piece removed
2) The bases
MDF bases were roughly cut out into 3 inch diameter circles and painted

3) The most important tool

A hot glue gun is required to fix the plastic plant bits and dry quickly
4) The gluing
A small hole was drilled in the base and the central stem stuck in it and hot glue used to hold it into position
Then the undergrowth is then added to fill up the stand
5) the completed item

A completed terrain piece
The three pieces on the table
Another view at eye level

 I am happy with the test terrain pieces and aim to build some more over the next week or two.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A bit of WW2 gaming

Having recently completed my 19th Century campaign. I now find myself at a loose end and flitting a bit between games. For a bit of fun I thought I would try and take the WW2 "Tank on Tank" board game rules and apply them to the tabletop.

Tank on Tank is a light tactical game produced by Lock 'n' Load here. If you are interested there is an excellent write up on the game in the blog Battlefields ad Warriors. The rules themselves are available for download.

A game of Tank on Tank
I basically took the rules as is and used 6 inches movement for each hex move or range in the rules. These rules are designed for quick and fun games and that certainly turned out to be the case with my first game.

I am planning to play a few more games and make one of two minor changes to try and bring infantry more into the game. Such as smoke to help provide cover as they are very vulnerable when not in cover. Not really surprising in a game called Tank on Tank.

Another view of the game

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Updating 19th Century rules

My 6x6 challenge games for my 19th Century mini-campaign started with the One-Hour Wargame rules. These are my usual starting position before adding my own house rule variations.

A 19th Century Imagi-Nations
Now that the campaign is over I have written up all my notes (see tab at top of blog) before I forget which notes apply and which were scratched. As you would expect these are fairly similar to the OHW approach to rules.

I always seem to be surprised how time consuming it is to write rules up and still after a few readings still find typo's and poor wording. I always got the "tried hard, but could do better" on my English marks at school. Anyway, here are some of the rule mechanisms I ended up adding were:

1) Not having cover influence the combat mechanism. Instead units are able to sustain a greater number of hits before being eliminated when positioned in cover. I used this approach with the AWI variant and quite liked it. As it means when committing a unit to defend a wood or building, they will invariably remain there defending once they start to sustain hits. 

2) Adding variable movement. If combat is variable, there seems no reason why movement should not be. This did cause the rules to be free movement rather than grid-based. Not having a unit activation mechanism also cause me to use variations in unit movement.

3) Artillery is used to disrupt units, making it more likely for attacking units to score hits on the disrupted defenders. This means artillery is used more to support an attack, rather than sitting back and blasting the opposing units from a distance. The idea came from the “Waterloo a la Carte!” Napoleonic game found on the blog which has a number of rulesets/games.

4) Units are either in march (movement) formation or committed to a battle formation when engaged in combat. Units are easily deployed into battle formations without penalty, but cannot move until they change back to a march formation (which carries a penalty). Players need to consider having nearby reserves with which to exploit opportunities.

On the painting front I am slowly chipping away at my Napoleonic units. With the better weather slowing arriving I am now losing my painting time to gardening (not quite as enjoyable - but probably better for me).

Some very Austrian looking units recently completed. All miniatures are from the old plastic Spencer Smith Napoleonic range 

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

6x6 Challenge progress for August

A couple more games were played with the 19th Century campaign, bringing it to a conclusion and completing all 6 games. One of the games (game 4) was actually played in early July and I somehow managed to overlook it and didn't add it to July's tally.  So for August I am showing 3 games played.

My total games for the year stand at:
  • One Hour Wargames (Tank-on-Tank) SciFi Variant - 6 games completed in February
  • Dark Ages with Dux Bellorum (Osprey) - 6 games completed in January using paper armies
  • WW2 Naval (Pz8 rules) - 6 games now completed with the last 2 played in July.
  • 19th Century European Imagi-Nations OHW - 6 games played the final 3 played over July/August.
  • Galleys and Galleons (Ganesha Games) - 2 games were played in April.
  • Hundred Years War using Lion Rampant (Osprey) - 6 games completed as part of a series of campaign games.
19th Century games were played sometimes on a grid and also with free movement
In September I will have to focus on my Galleys and Galleons games with my paper ships.

Pictures from an earlier game

Monday, 28 August 2017

6x6 Challenge - 19th Century game number 6

The final game of my 19th Century 6x6 challenge was to be a pitched battle between the Ustoria and Greater Novia armies. The background to the campaign has both countries battling over the disputed territory of Scailand, sitting between lands of the Ustorian monarchy and the Novian states who have united politically under the banner of Greater Novia.

The winner of the campaign is the country with the highest public opinion. Opinion is influenced by press coverage of casualties and heroic actions on the battlefield. Entering this last game we have public opinion sitting at 15 percent for both countries. A victory here will be decisive!

Greater Novia was starting the game with 8 units due to 2 of their units getting bogged down. While Ustorian forces had 10 units in all, but 3 units were going to be delayed until game turn 5. All forces had to enter the game via the roads on their own edge of the tabletop.

The opening moves of the game sees both sides attempting to occupy the towns
Greater Novian troops control the central wood and redirect their assault on the far flank
Ustorian artillery are well positioned on the hill, but are on the wrong flank! As Novian forces make their flank move in the distance.
Greater Novian forces start to pressure the Ustorian left flank. Commanders on both sides were feeding in their reserves (in other words using their rally options to remove hits)
The Ustorian flank starts to fail, but the Novian forces were slow to follow up.
The delayed units finally arrive just in the nick of time. 
The late arrivals are rushed into the line.
The Greater Novian cavalry can be seen emerging from behind the woods to charge a very depleted infantry unit, which they were to successfully eliminate. 
The Greater Novian cavalry charge was soon met by the counter charging Ustorian cavalry. The Novian cavalry disorganised after their pervious charge were soon eliminated. Both cavalry charges were to feature heavily in Press reports and generate the old debate in the nobility and usefulness of cavalry.
The closing moves before both armies held firm after having 50 percent of their units eliminated.

So how did they fare in the press reports?

Greater Novia:
-20 for the loss of 4 units
+5 for a glorious action in capturing a town
+5 for past glories with a successful cavalry charge
This takes their public opinion to 10 percent.

-25 for the loss of 5 units
+5 for a glorious action in capturing a town
+5 for past glories with a successful cavalry charge
This takes their public opinion down to 0 percent.

(Neither side had -5 points for a defeat, as both lost 50 percent of their units in the same turn.)

A campaign victory to Greater Novia in the last game as both sides came to the negotiation table to sort out a settlement over the Scailand territories.

I started these campaign games with some very simple rules based heavily upon the Neil Thomas Rifle and Sabre One-Hour Wargame rules. A number of ideas have been added and tried out in the games (and a few other mini-games played) and I now need to write up my notes. I have deviated from my usual grid-based rules, mainly because I have introduced variable movement.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Painting projects I plan to do

My painting and gaming time this week was very limited due to being away for work. However, I was able to get in a couple of SciFi skirmish games using the rules A Fistful of Lead Reloaded with a number of modifications.

Space Marines move up to attack a rebel stronghold.
But this post is about the painting projects I am planning to do. The idea about posting a list comes from the blog Natholeon's Empires where the idea (using Natholeon's copied and pasted words) is: "You make a Project Management blogpost which includes a list of projects you have / are working on / one day realistically intend to be working on. In the post you link back to the blog of the person that you got this idea from, like I have with Prufrock, and these instructions. That way we might get a chain effect of people discovering new blogs that they hadn't been following before. Or maybe just a bit of community bonding like the 'good old days'."

I think this is a great idea to try out and see what happens. Earlier this year I joined in on a similar blog activity the 6x6 challenge initiated by Kaptain Kobold of The Stronghold Rebuilt, which has turned out to be a lot of fun and along the way I discovered other really interesting blogs.

So on to my project list. It is not an especially very long list and includes repainting some old miniatures I have retained from my youth, which are currently in boxes having not seen the light of day for decades.

Napoleonic - just started the project last month using a collection of old Spencer Smith plastic miniatures I picked up in an exchange.

WW2 Burma - a recently purchased small collection from the Airfix range. This will be my fall back project if I get tired of painting Napoleonic units. I still have to find one or two Japanese tanks and need to consider making some jungle terrain. I plan to use these armies with the Crossfire ruleset.

Samurai - a very old collection of 25mm MINIFIGS which were purchased in the late 1970's. The aim will be to create a couple of armies for use with DBA version 1.

English Civil War - the plan is to repaint my old Hinchcliffe 25mm miniatures. This was my first collection of metal miniatures started in the early 1970's. I think I was 12 years old at the time. They have multiple paint styles and the plan is to strip off the paint and begin again. They will be based for the Chipco game Age of Gunpowder.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar - I bought the starter pack and plan to use these for some skirmish wargaming with the Song of Blades rules.

Warhammer 40K - I have a few kits to complete. Some are for my Chaos army and include the recent purchase of the Dark Imperium starter box set. Along with a Skitarii starter box to add some variety to my other armies.

Space Marines not doing so well in this contest

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A Fistful of Lead Reloaded with a W40K setting

The release of Armageddon the Shadow War by Games Workshop got me thinking about doing some skirmish level wargaming with my 40K models. I knew I had no desire for an overly detailed set of rules and so started to look out for some alternatives.

So when a few weeks back when Wargame Vault had a sale I took the opportunity and purchased the wild west ruleset A Fistful of Lead Reloaded for less than $10. They sounded like a fun set of rules and from some of the reviews I have had read, and a couple of game reports had them adapted and used them in a sci-fi setting.

Playing on a 4 foot by 3 foot area.

To begin with I stuck with most of the rules, the only major amendments were with the to wound table, where I subtract 1 or 2 from the dice roll depending upon a figure's armour. For example, -1 for space marine armour and -2 for terminator armour. Then adding to the to wound dice roll if the weapon is a power weapon such as a plasma rifle.

Add caption
In the four games played I have found the rules are quick to play and enjoyable. I now need to come up with a mini campaign for a few games during the week.

Rebel troops prepare to engage terminators

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

19th century - 6x6 challenge game 5

While I do some reading and planning for a mini-campaign using my recently completed French Indian war armies. It was time to get back and complete my 19th Century Imagi-Nations campaign which is one part of my 6x6 challenge.

It feels like it has been a while since I last played a game. So I had to dig around in past posts and campaign notes (scribbles) to find out where I had left off the campaign. The featured post on the right has details the campaign which is won by the side with the best public opinion after 6 games.

Public opinion going into this game stands at:

  • Ustoria 30%
  • Greater Novia 40%

The last major engagement was won by the Ustorians, and after each major engagement there has to be a rear guard action. For the games themselves I use the setup rules from Wargaming 19th Century by Neil Thomas.

Having rolled for the number of terrain pieces and randomly laid them out based upon dice throws. Having a gridded table helps with this process. The forces were selected from tables in Neil Thomas' book and delivered the following:

Ustorian Advance Units

  • 6 x infantry
  • 1 x skirmishers
  • 1 x cavalry
  • 2 x artillery 

Greater Novian Rear Guard

  • 1 x artillery
  • 2 x infantry
  • 1 x dragoons*
  • 1 x cavalry
* Whenever 2 cavalry are selects the side has the option of changing one of the units fro dragoons.

All is set for the game...

The Greater Novian rear guard prepare to delay the attacking Ustorian forces
As a delaying tactic Novian dragoons and cavalry treated the first few advancing units
The delaying tactics are over and the dragoons and cavalry start to retire to the next line of defence
More of the Ustorian advance guard move down the road towards the waiting defence line
Initial attacks begin on the flanks
The Ustorian attack starts to build with artillery in place to support the attacks
The Novian right flank is exposed and their defence line is at risk
On the same turn a cavalry charge takes out the supporting artillery. The Greater Novian defence line is in trouble
The Novian forces rally to their next line of defence between the woods, building, and hill
Ustorian forces regroup for the final assault
Ustorian forces are grinding down the Novian defenders, but are taking heavy casualties
Breaking the final line was very costly in Ustorian units
The last Novian unit retires. An Ustorian victory, but only just, another lost unit would have handed the victory to the Greater Novian rear guard.
This turned out to be a good close game. How did public opinion move with the press reporting of this latest engagement?


  • 5 units lost = minus 25%
  • Past Glories with the successful cavalry charge = plus 5%
  • Glorious action with the taking of the final defence = plus 5%
  • All up they lost 15% public option and now sit at 15%. Even with the recent victories the public at home get war weary.
Greater Novian:
  • 4 units lost = minus 20%
  • Defeat with the lost more than 50% of their units and allowed 5 enemy unit to leave the field = minus 5%
  • A total loss of 25% moved their public opinion to 15%. The earlier victories have been quickly forgotten by the press and their readers.
Down to the wire with one game to go in the campaign.