Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Here come the Russians! Soviet Forces - 1985 1/300th force



Inspired by how well CWC went I've now rebased all my old (35yrs+ - hey they probably predate 1985!) Soviet 1/300th models. Will sort out the rest of the BAOR ones too. Just about have enough to do an MRR attacking from line of march against a BAOR reinforced Battlegroup as a test of the rules plus my in-house changes. AAR to follow.

Will then put in an order (or pick up at Salute) the models to round off the various units (like a BTR60 Bn and a third BMP battalion, and some T64s/T80s), and also to get 24 Inf Bde (or at least Bde HQ plus a battalion).

I really like the 4cm hexes as a base - together with the 10cm Hexon they very much give the idea that this is an area being covered by a unit, not a specific location of a single vehicle.





20mm French Line in Greatcoats



Finally finished my first 4 battalions of metal French Line. Figures are Newline Designs. Really like them, and have finally, officially, abandoned 20mm plastics for 20mm metal. Will try out some ECW later in the year, and seeing as I'm mid War and Peace will do the various Russian units mentioned in that during the year also in 20mm metal.




Monday, 20 February 2017

CWC Playtest - Conclusion

View from the Soviet lines, T72s taking a beating

It only took a couple more turns to finish the game. Chieftain APFSDS and HESH just sliced through everything in sight, taking out the T72 Company, and then the BMP Company advancing on the right ridge (in fact they got a fallback before being totally destroyed. As mentioned the Carl Gustav's sorted the other flank - although I did mis-read the "H"rule - which although called howitzers appears to be nothing to do with indirect fire and actually means they can only fire at half distance - wouldn't have made much difference. The Strikers of the Anti-Tank Platoon also got up onto the left ridge in time to contribute to the Soviet destruction.

T72s and BMPs burning

Overall very happy with the games and rules, particularly once I've made some in house changes, which are likely to include:

  • Accrual of hits, tempted to do a quality roll to remove 1 hit in turn inflicted - but never the last hit - quite SLS like in other words
  • Once you have to roll > 10 dice (or 8) just roll 1/2 number and count double
  • Add in a DM for if arty is Under Command or General Support or Direct Support (and equiv points costs)
  • Add in MFCs for BAOR, like FOOs - maybe bit cheaper
  • MFC/FOO have negative DM if cross-ordering
  • Not sure about CO/BG/Bde Comd command range - doesn't work like that - might make more radio like
  • Add in some rules for EW (-DM on command roll, should work well)
  • Allow inf to fire guns and anti-tank in same activation (which of course they do)
  • Might change suppression - think should be automatic if hit, but otherwise roll?

Might post up once done.

Also need more houses (been trying out 1/1000th), and some damage smoke puffs.

Busy basing up the rest of my decades old 1/300th so I can have a MRR vs a well reinforced BG as a final test. Already making plans to buy and paint up 24 AirMob Bde - I might actually finally have a figure of myself on a wargames table!



Work Plan 2017

Here is my draft work plan for 2107 - will be interesting to see what of it I get done. Wasn't too far off with last years!


6mm Nap (0/2)
6mm ECW (0/2)
6mm 100YW (0/1)
20mm Metal Nap (2/8 units) + sabots
20mm Metal Rus Nap (0/2)
WW2 North Africa 1/300th (BKC)
Try 20mm ECW metal
ECW 1642/3 (1/4)
Nap 1797/1807 (0/5) (inc 1806)
ECW Campaign Start
Next Nick Campaign
Cloth - Green
Cloth - Sand 10cm hex
Try CWC*
Try GdA
Base 6mm Modern Warpac @
Brigade sabots 
Rebase 6mm Nap
6/15/20mm Rivers
6/15/20mm Hedges - scratch dowel
2mm nap again?
Articles (0/3)
Medieval/ECW/Modern/WW2Des 6mm bldgs
- Leven miniatures?, 
CWO Bde??
SLS Unit cards - standing army??

X/Y = X units done out of Y


CALENDAR

Jan: 🎨20mmNap(2), 🔪ECW*
Feb: 🎲ww3@, 🔪Auerstedt
Mar: 🎨100YW, 🔪Jena

Apr:  🎨20mmNap(2), 🎲2mm??
May: 🎨RussianNap,ww2NA 🔪ECW
Jun:  🎨20mmECW, 🔪Eylau, 🎲ww2NA

Jul: 🎨ScotsECW, 🔪ECW
Aug: 🎨20mmNap(2), 🔪Friedland 
Sep: 🎨FrenchNap, 🎲ww3?

Oct:  🎨20mmNap(2), 🔪ECW
Nov: 🎨NmaECW, 🔪Rivoli 
Dec: Catch-up!

 🎨 = figure painting
 🔪 = named battle wargame
 🎲 = experiment with rules (own and others)
@ = doing
* = done



Thursday, 16 February 2017

Cold War Commander



As readers may know I've been on the hunt for a decent set of mechanised rules for a while. My own evolving set, Contact: Wait Out played OK in the last test game, but still wasn't hitting the spot. I'd heard a fair amount about Cold War Commander (CWC) so I thought I'd give them a try and have started playing through a simple encounter scenario of about a battle group a side.

CWC uses 1 element = 1 platoon/troop as a standard scale - although even the rule book keeps thinking of them as vehicles quite a lot.  The ground scale isn't explicitly stated, but seems to be about 10cm = 200m, which a) isn't far off what I was using (10cm = 250m) with hexon.

On the face of it there are a few things which I expected not to like about CWC:

  • Bucket of dice
  • IGO-UGO
  • Hits reset at end of turn.
In fact, I'm really enjoying the game - its the closest I've played yet to what I want, and with a bit of tweaking to it I may abandon CWO for now. It would also be great (using Blitzkrieg Commander) for the WW2 desert gaming I was planning later in the year.

In terms of those bugbears:
  • Bucket of dice - throwing 18 dice when you fire a squadron of Chieftain does seem a bit much, but the standard approach of select those that hit, rerole them as saves, rerole again for suppression is reasonably quick. Guess I can live with it.
  • IGO-UGO - there is some interrupt ability, but I do like the multiple but decreasing chance of orders model. Could combine with card driven activation for the HQs to mix it up a bit.
  • Hits reset at end of turn. - real sticking point. Also the fact that hits don't effect firepower (since you're dead or full strength). Reading on-line seems a lot of people ignore the rule and do carry hits across in some way. Already fermenting plans for a house rule and may try it out in the rest of the game.
Also I do think that that the army list is a bit shaky, Carl Gustav's seem way too powerful, not clear whether a unit is 2, 3 or 4 tanks, and no account of armour vs penetration (another bug bear) - but guess I can tweak those too!

In terms of the test game (6m on hexon):


British score first blood with Chieftains against T72s on the road. Both sides are raising for the ridges on either side.


The 432s get to the main ridge first, Charlie G's lined up on the ridge line ready for the advancing BMPs.


Carnage! BMP Sagger's fail to take out Chieftains on the ridge. Chieftains take one BMP Pl out, and another T72 Platoon. The Carl Gustav's  take out 2 (!) platoons worth of BMPs - way too powerful I think.

3 turns down out of 8. More to follow.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Troops in progress - 20mm Newline French



My switch from plastic to metal 20mm continues with two battalions of French line in greatcoats - just awaiting basing. Figures are Newline Designs. been really happy with their sculpts so far, and although the infantry are a tad smaller than 20mm most modern plastics I don't think you'll notice on the table top - and in fact Google tells me that the French are about 1cm shorter on average than Brits anyway!

To hit our Waterloo @ 60 target I need to do about 8 French units a year for the next 5 years, so that should be fine.

Battle of Edgehill - 1642: Part 2 (final)

Royalists in a fighting retreat as dusk falls

The last couple of turns of the game went even worse for the Royalist than expected. A Pike heavy Parliamentary regiment (Yellow)  fell on the flank of a recovering and battered Royalist regiment, sending it swiftly home. The Yellow's then followed up into the rear of another Royalist regiment, despatching that too. On the rise the Royalists finally won their melee, but were then stranded deep in Parliamentarian territory and so were swiftly routed - causing morale damage to the cavalry on their way pas. In the last turn the Royalist focus was purely on trying to get out of range of Parliamentary attacks so as not to lose any more units. As it way they has 3 out of their 5 brigades spent (>50% lost or at retreat), and so Army Morale had collapsed and it was game over on the last turn as night fell.

Final positions, Royalists on the right

Overall pretty pleased with how SLS-ECW is working. Possibly a bit bloody, and the DMs a bit extreme, may change +2/4/6 to +1/2/3 - which reduces the differences between units but makes a bit more playable and limits the number of times that a unit might be wiped out in one encounter. No chance to test the new multiple unit melee rules. The "bag of markers" approach worked well - so although quality was randomly assigned each side had the same potential mix, and no need to roll. The small coloured q-tip tufts also worked fine in the dice holders to show quality and first-shot, and a lot easier to handle than 5mm dice!

So good game, and now time to work up the campaign I think before I do any more historical battles.