Sunday 29 January 2023

Weekend painting of a fantasy miniature

Most of this weekend’s free time has been directed towards constructing and painting a Tree Lord kit from Games Workshop. It is a rather nice model and large model which took a while to build. It has lots of detail and is quite an intricate model with some 30 odd pieces. The painting was for the most part a combination of washes and dry brushing.

A Tree Lord

Tree Lord from the side

The model stands some 14cm tall (5 inches approx.). Here with other models for scale.

I also rebased a couple of my existing Orc models, a leader and flag bearer.

Orc leader on boar and flag bearer

This week I will be returning to the WW1 Palestine campaign.

Thursday 26 January 2023

Back to painting some fantasy units

My main project for 2023 is to get a couple of fantasy armies on to the tabletop. I started late last year and  have a head start with a good number of Orcs and Goblins already painted. These will be rebased a unit at a time as I paint up another unit. I am using a mix of miniatures mainly from the Kings or War range and Games Workshop.

This week I finally finished some Spirit Hosts which I had started before Christmas and had put aside. While they were fiddly to glue together, they were fun to paint with a base of white, blue wash, and a heavy white dry brushing. On their 3x3 inch base they looked a little lost, so I quickly added some gravestones, nothing fancy, just made from MDF board and roughly painted.

Spirit Hosts recently completed with gravestones added.

An Orc cavalry unit was selected for rebasing. This was painted over a decade ago.

Orc cavalry.

On the wargaming table I have been playing a bit a sci-fi this week, using some simple one-hour wargaming style rules with different chance card deck for each army to reflect their abilities. There will probably be more posts on this over the next couple of weeks.

Sci-Fi game underway

Saturday 21 January 2023

WW1 Palestine campaign turn 4 game 3 battle report

The tabletop was prepared for the next game of the WW1 Palestine campaign which was a remote game with Jon of Palouse Wargaming Journal commanding the Turks. This is the third remote game I have hosted and the set up of using a mobile phone on a smallish tripod seems to be working well. I do have to reduce the tabletop size to 5x4 foot to allow space to position the tripod alone the edge to allow a good view of the table. 

Background details of the game annd campaign situation can be found in the previous post. The game is based on the One Hour Wargaming scenario 12 - an unfortunate oversight.

Preparing the tabletop for a remote game.

The objective of the scenario is to hold Hill 12. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) begin the game with a bombardment of Turkish units positioned in and around the buildings before arriving and using the undefended wadi crossing to make their way to Hill 12.

Opening moves

Opening moves of the game

The opening EEF bombardment was very effective surprising the Turkish forces. EEF mounted infantry pushed across the wadi their artillery took up position to continue the bombardment. Turkish units quickly started to reposition themselves towards the hill and pushed forward their armoured car along the wadi to harass the EEF units.

EEF arrive hoping to surprise the Turks.

Surprised Turkish units react quickly to occupy the hill.

Mid-point of the battle

Middle stage of the game

The Turkish armoured car was proving to be quite a handful and was able to put the EEF artillery under fire, which forced the artillery to retire to another position out of range. EEF infantry, both foot and mounted, move on Hill 12 and are engaged by defending.

The EEF artillery can be seen repositioning out of range. While Turkish unit defend Hill 12 against the advancing EEF.

Turkish forces are putting up a good defence of the hill and EEF losses are mounting. Bothe sides pause their attacks to regroup.

The last assault on the hill failed to dislodge the defenders.

Ending moves

After repositioning their artillery and regrouping the EEF resume their attack on the hill. Although time is running out for them. The EEF artillery was proving very effective, and the Turks were reduced to one unit by the end of the battle, but sufficient in numbers to hold the hill.

Having regrouped the EEF make another push for the hill.

The battle ends with a lone Turkish forces just holding on to the hill.

Wrap up

A victory to the Turks. In terms of the campaign situation, the EEF now only have 8 months to reach Damascus and after 3 losses are now struggling to gain a victory to regain momentum.

Turkish armoured car - while eventually destroyed the unit proved to be a thorn in the EEF’s side.

The Turkish armoured car proved to be very effective. It caused the EEF artillery to reposition losing them two turns of shooting at a time in the battle when artillery support would have certainly helped the EEF.

Monday 16 January 2023

WW1 Palestine Campaign - Turn 4 - Game 3

Having failed twice to break through the Turkish defences in and around the Judean hills. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) make another attempt in February 1918, having spend two months preparing troops and supplies for another attack.

Campaign map and progress by the EEF

The campaign timeline is up to February 1918. To be successful the EEF must reach Damascus by or before October 1918.

Intelligence reports have identified an undefended crossing point near a Turkish held town which would allow a surprise attack on an undefended strategic position called Hill 12. Additional reports from spies in the town have the Turkish forces as:

  • 5 Infantry units (1 with machine gun)
  • 1 Artillery unit
  • 1 Armoured car

The scenario is #12 An Unfortunate Oversight from One -Hour Wargames.

The EEF attacking force will be marching overnight to increase the likelihood of surprise and will open the assault with a bombardment of three Turkish units in and around the town. Their attacking force is made up of:

  • 4 Infantry units
  • 1 Artillery unit
  • 2 Mounted infantry

The game will be a remote wargame played later this week with Jon of Palouse Wargaming Journal.

Details of the campaign rules and game setups can be found here.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Making a sci-fi wasteland wargaming mat

Today was a hot sunny day, perfect for making a wargaming cloth mat for my tabletop, as the sponged washes I use quickly dry allowing me complete the project in a day. I have been wanting to create a sci-fi themed wargaming mat with a wasteland look to it for a while.

A sci-fi wasteland to game on

The material I use for the mat is a painters drop sheet. There can be picked up cheaply at the hardware store. Once cut to size for my 6x4 foot table (including a 6” overhand on each edge) I add a series of watered down paints using a sponge to build up the colours. I have made a quick 2 minute video of the process below.

Making a wargaming sci-fi mat

A game about to start based on One-Hour Wargames scenario 12 - An unfortunate Oversight 

Tuesday 10 January 2023

The lost samurai

I have had this samurai cavalry figure for many, many, years when I was at school and trying to collect a samurai army. I have little real recollection other than it given to me and has been with me for a long time and always as in the bottom of the storage box. It has never had a horse to go with it and I am not sure of the manufacturer. 

The lost samurai cuts a lonely figure

Finally, after more than 40 years it was retrieved from its storage box. A spare horse was found, a few modifications made, before being painted, and based with a retainer.

The model was given a spear, banner, sword, and horse with tassels added using Green Stuff.

Block painting was used for the figures, this was to be consistent with by other samurai miniatures.

Simply painted and based

In action on the tabletop after all these years

While I have sufficient figures painted and based for One Hour Wargames style games. I still have some unpainted Minifig S range and later Minifig Samurai figures to complete, along with a handful of Dixon figures. This will allow me hopefully to field 8 units per side, or increase the size of the existing units.

Saturday 7 January 2023

Chance cards and a few modifications

As a mainly a solo wargamer I will often use on chance cards to add a level of unpredictability into my wargames. Most of my games use One-Hour Wargaming (OHW) rules or a variant of those OHW rules. So when I started to introduce chance cards into my games, I went with the suggested chance cards in chapter 22 of One-Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas. Where both armies have an identical deck of 15 chance cards comprised of: 5 beneficial cards, 5 adverse cards, and 5 no effect cards.

Chance cards

When beginning my 2nd Punic War campaign I wanted to somehow show the differences between the opposing armies. The obvious approach would be to add additional factors to the rules for each army and try and deal with the resulting rule complications. This was not really a path I wanted to take with the rules, as I like simple rules, so I opted to use different chance card decks for each army to reflect the attributes of the army represented. For example:

The Roman army with its legions were well organised and disciplined, but not always well led, particularly in the early stages of the campaign. So the Roman chance card deck is adjusted by:

  • Replacing a No Ammunition card with a Confusion card to represent the poor leadership and the good organisation of the armies by not having them run out of ammunition as frequently. 
  • Replacing an Initiative card with a Rally card to represent the solid and well disciplined troops lacking leadership.

Full details of the approach used in the campaign can be found in the link below.

A Samurai game underway using chance cards

Because I had enjoyed gaming using different army chance card decks for my Ancient games, I wanted something similar for my Samurai games using a variation of OHW Pike and Shot rules. I have included the draft rule variation in the tab at the top.

The differences between samurai armies of the Sengoku period (1467-1615) which I am wargaming was not a lot. So the question is - what would differentiate the chance card decks between armies

I looked around at other options and read about how generals of armies would adopt certain tactical formations and adapted them to the situation they found themselves in. These tactical formations were given names to reflect their use and how they looked when deployed.

A few of the tactical formations from “Samurai Armies 1550-1615” by S.R. Turnbull.

The names are quite poetic, Here are some examples:

  • Kakuyoku (“Crane’s Wing”) - Used to surrounding at army.
  • Ganko (“Birds in flight”) - A flexible deployment which can be changed as the situation unfolds
  • Saku (“Keyhole”) - a defensive deployment to be used against a fierce charge.

With 6 units per side in OHW games these tactical formations are not going to be easily adopted, instead the formation chosen reflects the tactics used with an emphasis on: attacking with movement cards, defensive posture with rallying cards, or blunting attacks with arquebuses and having sufficient ammunition supplies.

This should provide some period flavour to the rules. Sticking with a deck made up of 15 cards, one card for each turn, a player selects 6 tactical cards determined by the tactical formation (or approach) taken. These 6 cards will be added to a deck comprising of:

  • 6 x Tactical cards (selected)
  • 4 x Chance cards (with adverse conditions for an army)
  • 5 x No effect cards

For the games each army selects from a table of 7 tactical formations. Each tactical formation comes with a combination of 6 tactical cards. The table is presently limited to 7 choices. This is because I wanted a minimum of 1 type of tactic card selected and never allow more than 3 tactical cards of a particular type. I may change this in the future after playing some more games.

Tactical Chance Card Table

Once the associated tactic cards are added to the chance card deck along with the 4 chance cards and 5 no event cards. Both player’s decks are shuffled and placed face down ready for one card to be drawn at the start of each turn.

The 4 chance cards I am currently using to add adverse outcomes to the deck are:

  • 3 x Fog of War - Only D3 units may move or shoot during your turn.
  • 1 x Changing Loyalties - 1 non-skirmish unit takes D6 hits.

A samurai game in progress

Using this process for creating a chance card deck allows players to partially influence the game, or maybe their luck.

I do have generals in the game who are assigned to a foot or mounted samurai unit. In the event of the general’s assigned unit being eliminated, any tactical cards drawn are treated as no effect cards.

As the photographs suggests I now have my Samurai armies on the tabletop.

Monday 2 January 2023

First scenery models of the year

One of my Christmas presents was a model kit of some traditional Korean buildings. They were all laser cut from wood with some rubberised sheets to cut out for the tiled roofs. The rubberised tiles roof material was really fiddly to do, so after one failed attempt I decided to use gesso paste as I have done before with buildings to create the tiled look.

The completed building which I will be able to use with when fielding my samurai armies.

Sunday 1 January 2023

WW1 Palestine Campaign Turn 4 - Game 2 Battle Report

My first game of the year was a remote game with Jon of Palouse Wargaming Journal. Due to time zones it was Jon’s last game of the year. The game was part of my WW1 Palestine campaign and Jon took the defending Turkish side.

The game is using One-Hour Wargaming scenario #8 - Melee. The game setup and background can be found  in my previous post (here). 

The tabletop setup for the game.

Sketch of the 5x4 foot tabletop

The Turks start the game with two units positioned on the ridge, one unit is entrenched. They get two more units on Turn 3 and another two on Turn 6. The objective of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) is to clear the ridge for victory. They begin the game with a planned bombardment of the ridge and their first wave arrives on Turn 1 and wave on Turn 4.

The Turkish defenders positioned on the ridge.

The game uses a variation of One-Hour Wargames Machine Age rules using D3 dice and activation of units.

The game report…

The EEF artillery position themselves to bombard the ridge. Infantry occupy the broken ground and mounted infantry dismount on the road. Initial Turkish reinforcements can be seen arriving in the background.

Turkish units defending the ridge choose to retire behind the ridge to avoid the shelling by artillery.  More troops arrive for both sides and begin to take up position. An EEF armoured car races down the road to  harass any Turkish units it finds.

The EEF are about to begin their advance onto the ridge, but the Turks have organised their defences behind the ridge out of sight from the EEF artillery.

A close up photo of the advance.

The battle for the ridge is underway.

The EEF artillery push up to support the advancing infantry who are suffering losses.

The EEF attack falters and on turn 15 the Turkish reoccupy the ridge.

A well earned victory to the Jon and the Turkish forces. The post game discussion concluded the defenders need to retire to behind the ridge at the start of the game, and the EEF artillery need to move down the road to harass the reinforcements as they arrive. As it was they got stuck for much of the game aimed at a ridge empty of targets.