Sunday, 23 September 2012


Day off today, I've been working flat out for what seems like weeks and decided I needed a long weekend to partially recover. An opportunity to think about what I want to do over the next few months on the gaming front.

The Falklands

  1. Finish the Wessex helicoptor I've started assembling and begin on the Gazelle I have sitting in a box.
  2. Order one of each of a Scimitar and Scorpian light tank
  3. Paint up the Paras MILAN section
  4. Paint the Argie Marines, Commandos and the bazooka teams
  5. Sort out some rocks to make up 'stone runs'
  6. Make a couple of marshes (these could double for DBR and AK - 47)
  7. Make up some minefield markers
  8. Order a UH-1 so the Argies have a chopper too
  9. Finish the rules adpatations, army lists and scenario
  10. Finish the trenches and gun positions I've ordered from Gamecraft when they get here.

  1. Paint up the 3 x BRDM-2s that have been sitting on my desk for months
  2. Paint up the 3 x Ratels that have been sitting in my desk drawer for months
  3. Get back on track with the narrative and actually play a game or two (I have a set of guerrilla campaign rules that could be adapted for SWAPO vs SADF and/or FAPLA vs UNITA
  4. Order and paint up a Puma helicopter
Other Stuff

I have, and play with, enough figures to field sizable 15mm (400 pts plus) British Civil Wars DBR armies - Early Parliamentarian, English Royalists, Scots Royalists, Scots Covenanters, New Model, Irish Confederate. I've been idlely thinking about a campaign of some sort with this lot for a long time (it's probably years rather than months). Given I have all the figures and the terrain you'd think it would be a relatively quick matter of sorting out a framework to give my battles some narrative context...I've even written up a few generic DBR scenarios: 'encounter battle', 'surprise attack', 'flank march', 'key point' etc but to date have only played the flank march solo..

I also have sizable Russian Civil War armies in 15mm and a set of rules (Komrade Commissar!) I adapted from the latest AK 47 Reloaded. Again they're crying out to be put into a campaign narrative...

Then there are complete late war Soviet and German armies in 6mm (but hardly any terrain).
Richard III
Finally I have three medieval armies for DBA and am toying with getting three more for the 1066 campaign. This lot get used frequently as I can set up a game quickly on a weekday evening without too much hassle and, as anyone who has played DBA knows, it's easy to fit in a couple of games after dinner.


Writing this has certainly crystalised my thinking. I enjoy painting and modelling and reading about the wars I want to game. Like everyone, real life means I often can't work on stuff at the rate I'd ideally want to but then I tend to have 'blitz' sessions over holidays and the like.

I am starting to feel a bit concerned at a growing tendency to paint large quantities of figures and equipment only for them to sit in cupboards unused. Time for gaming is by definition limited and with the exception of DBA I need at three hour clear slot to run a game whereas the odd hour of half hour even is fine for painting or modelling. It should be the same for campaigning, particularly as I like to do this solo and then invite friends to play the battles, but I tend to be lazy and just play whatever we feel like on the night without putting it in a campaigning context.

One thing I have learnt is that this hobby is most satisfying when I just get on with it in whatever time I have available. I have three regular opponents who I enjoy playing against and I like playing solo so it's just a question of chipping away at the research, modelling, painting and rule/army list/scenario writing if and when I have the time.

Comments and suggestions welcome (even from, especially from, the lurkers).

Friday, 21 September 2012

Rewriting History...

Victor's banner: John Liebenberg's photograph showing an SADF convoy entering Namibia, August 30th, 1988
I stumbled on a couple of very good articles on the History Today website this week’s-forgotten-war

Some very astute comments on the way former SADF veterans are remembering their war. I encourage readers to have a look...

Monday, 17 September 2012

MJ Figures 20mm Argentinians

A bit of a plug for this outfit. I've painted up a couple of packets of their figures as Paras and very good they are too - crisply moulded and well proportioned. I particularly like their command figures, including the signaller, and the chap with the Bren gun and the fetching moustache.

I've been after some of their Argentinians for a while but missed out when I placed my last order so I was delighted to see they were back in stock when I surfed into their site last week .

I immediately ordered two packets plus a packet of British officers (I thought these would make good FOs and I alos have a cunning plan fro some scenarios involving protecting senior officers from marauding Buzo Tacticos...). I especially wanted these guys because they have a bloke armed with a bazooka and I wanted to give my Argentinians something they could use against Scorpian or Scimitar light tanks in addition to their Recoiless Rifle and anti-tank mines.

MJ Figures 20mm Argentinians
I got home from work today to find an envelope with the figures sitting in my mailbox - less than seven days from placing the order online and I live at the other side of the world! So, well done MJ Figures for first class service.

Checking their website just know I see that the 20mm Argies are no longer up - probably sold out again. This company really have a winner with these figures, I encourage you to order some if you're building an army of little fascists fighting in southern seas...

Monday, 10 September 2012

AAR A Hill West of Port Stanley

Big Tony and his GPMG...

The last couple of weeks has been flat out on the day job - lots of travelling and not enough time at home for gaming related activity.

I did manage to squeeze in a solo Cold War 83 game yesterday afternoon though. I've been working on adapting the army lists and scenarios from Great Escape Games's 'Rules of Engagment' to the Falklands and Cold War 83.

My adapted 'Hold the Line' Scenario pitched a platoon of Paras with on call fire support in a night attack on a fortified Argentinian position held by a couple of infantry squads supported by two HMGs and a mortar.

Here are the Paras on the start line in canonical two up-one back formation (rather like England playing 4-4-2). In the foreground there is a firebase of two GPMGs in sustained fire mode.

The Argies used hidden deployment. The six elements in their force (1 x Pltn Command; 2 x rifle Squads; 2 x HMGs and a 81mm mortar) were deployed using hidden unit markers together with 3 dummy markers to add a bit of suspense. Given the Argies historically used a poorly deployed all round defence in most for the set piece battles I wasn't too worried where their troops popped up in the event. Here are their markers: the Brits are attacking from the right.with objective of capturing the central rocky hill. The white die marks the objective.

 It was a great scrap with the Paras going in silent on a cloudy night with no moon. Visibility was down to 100m so when the shooting started it was at close range. Things went noisy very quickly and the Paras soon moved in for some pretty desperate close quarter combat. The rules worked well with entrenched Argies holding out until the Para's platoon commander called in artillery right onto their position. The picture below shows the effect of this with the red circled figures suppressed and the pink dice showing their bottle rating (the Argies started on 6, except for their commander and squad NCOs who were on 7).

The picture below shows another British salvo hitting home - I got these markers from Early War Miniatures and I really like them.

I called it a day (night?) when the Argies started to take such heavy casualties that their position became hopeless. They had lost six killed, nine wounded and another dozen taken prisoner while the Paras had three dead and four wounded. The three British fatalities all falling to one surprise burst of HMG fire as they crossed the field of fire of a hitherto hidden machine gun...

I need to work on the orders of battle and tweak the rules for artillery support so it's not quite as devastating as it was in this game but I'm pleased with this little project so far - with a bit of work I'll have a good scenario based campaign going. And I have plenty of Argie marines and commandos to paint, not to mention the British marines and the SAS/SBS as well as some helicopters.

Now I just have to work out how to spend more evenings at home instead of in hotels like tonight...