Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Score (from myself).

I found these on Ebay a while ago, being sold as a set. I remember wanting these as a child. My brother bought the gun emplacement, pre-made and airbrushed from a wargames show, and I remember being insanely jealous. Well now I have them both, and the figures that came with them. Admittedly the figures aren't the best ones in the world, especially the paratroops, but they give me something to keep in a box and let my future children play with once I have gotten them interested in WW2, wargaming and modelling.

I cannot wait to put the forts together. I get that they aren't historically accurate, but I want to run commando raids on them, using the Flying Lead rules, although I don't think the trenches are big enough for my bases.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Flying Lead game 2.

Finding mself with some spare time again today, I thought I would take Flying Lead for another spin. I also remembered that I had acquired a Woodland Scenics grass mat this summer (house mate was moving to America and couldn't take it with him), so thought I would see if it fit over my table. It was a perfect fit, and is a noticable improvement from my big green felt sheet.

German force:
NCO with five rifle armed grenadiers.
Corpral with MG-42 team.
2 man Panzerschreck team.

British force:
NCO with four riflemen.
Corpral with Bren team.
Cromwell (medium WW2 tank).

The German objective was to hold the junction. Their original plan was to set up in the ruined house with the MG-42 coverint from the corner of the field. The British were probing the front lines to see what they could find.

The British managed to advance quickly up the field towards the ruined building.

After two turns each the British were at the farmhouse, while the Germans were making a risky move running across the lane. Their hope was to get into cover behind the hedge to provide a crossfire into the house.

Unfortunately they didn't activate very well (even though this game I remembered that their NCO gives them +1 to their quality roll) and the British put them under fire causing an immediate casualty and forcing one of them back behind the hedge.

He still had a shot at the British, but didn't hit.

Unseen by the British, the Panzerschreck team managed to move into position to try and take a shot at the Cromwell. The Germans couldn't afford to let the Cromwell live with its HE capabilities. It could ruin their day very quickly.

One successful shot later, and the Cromwell was just a pile of junk. At least something went the 
German's way. 

With  fire being exchanged by both sides across the lane, the scene was becoming a blood bath. The MG-42 was doing a good job of clearing the house, but the Bren team and the survivors in the house were pouring fire down on the Germans in the road.

So effective was the MG-42, that the NCO retreated back into better cover, leaving behind a good portion of his squad. Brave fellows.

However, the Bren team effectively silenced the rest of the grenadiers. With one shaken survivor, they were not going to be much help to anyone, especially no that he needed to roll 4 or higher to rally himself, which seems an impossible feat to these Germans.

The Panzerschreck team gets ready to lay down fire on the others. I don't know what to do with the guy armed with the Panzerschreck though. Can I use him as a rifleman? That is a question for the yahoo group.

The MG-42 team decided that without the squad covering their flank, they would be served better on the other side of the road. This proves a good decision when the Bren team rushes across the other road but their corpral gets caught in the open.

In this poor shot, you see the German final positions. The MG team can cover the house and road. The Panzerschreck team protects their flank.

In the final move of the engagement these Germans pick off another rifleman. Considering their positions, and the British losses, the NCO calls a retreat. This junction will have to remain in German hands for the time being.

This game was much better than the last one. I am enjoying these rules and am seriously considering getting some modern forces to play a Counter Strike: Globabl Offensive type engagement.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

First game of Flying Lead.

I picked up the ruleset "Flying Lead" a while back, and finally got around to putting together a little game for myself. With my limited time, and very limited space, I was looking for something that could satisfy my gaming need without taking over the entire house for an evening. Tonight I was able to take over the table for 90 minutes and smash out a game (including set up time). The game did not last long, at all.

The burning Panzer IV was the objective. The German squad was supposed to set up a perimeter around the tank and look for survivors. They set up on the left with the plan of running up the open field to the road junction, then fan out.

The British were tasked with investigating the pillar of smoke. They intended to set up along the hedgerow on either side of the road.

The British managed to successfully advance up to the hedgerow with the bren team ready to dive across the road to try and cover the field from the left flank.

The German squad barely managed to advance on their first turn. Most of them were Q4, and it really seems to make a difference. The Q3 Brits seemed to get a lot more successful activations.

That being said, on the second British turn, only the bren team managed to activate, so they jumped the hedgerow and stormed across the road, getting ready to flank.

The Germans advance inexorably across the field. Will they get caught in the open?

Yes, they will. Two plucky Tommies have approached the burning tank, and one of them takes an aimed shot at the MG-42  gunner, taking him out.

Again, the German advance stalls. It just wasn't going to be their day.

Caught in a crossfire, the Germans start dropping like flies. Their NCO did, however, manage to shake a Tommy. I think this might have been the only shot they got off the entire game.

More failed activations and a couple of bursts from the bren team put an end to the German mission. The couple of men left standing retreated to call in reinforcements.

This wasn't the most interesting game in the world. The rules felt really simple, but deep enough to force me to think about my tactics.We will see what happens next time they come up against eachother.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Operation Build a village...part something.

Tomorrow is a university day. It means I am not in the classroom, am not stressing about it, and have somehow managed to get most of my planning done. As such, I allowed myself to do some evening painting. The walls are textured with some cheap wall filler. In all honesty, I am disappointed with the filler in just about every way. For some reason I could barely squeeze it out of the tube, and it doesn't seem to have set amazingly. Hopefully the paint will help, and when I dry brush it will add some depth. I stuck paper around the corners to hide the edge of the foamboard.

The lintels are coffee stirrers and the window are matchsticks. The doors are also coffee stirrers stuck to the inside of the building. I can't decide which colour to paint the wood, and I also need to make window frames for the inside, but I am pleased with my progress. I might pop into town Saturday morning to pick up some supplies.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

I vaguely remember starting a village...

Today I cleared off the table. I organised the piles of paper that were cluttering it up, organised my folders full of evidence that I have met the teaching standards, and found the time for some relaxation.

In moments of spare time/boredom I have been sketching designs for various buildings. I decided to dust off my tools and start making one. Here is what I have gotten so far.

It is a little rough right now, but I plan on spending much of my modelling time making it look great. I want to up my game with buildings, and just modelling in general.

My to do list for this one:

  • Lintels made from match sticks.
  • Shutters from something.
  • Doors.
  • Wall texture with wall filler. I want to try this over bird sand.
  • Roof using some sort of tiles texture. 
  • Base of hardboard, with a little garden. 
I might throw together some tanks, but have so many unfinished ones of those, that I probably won't. My StuGs have been half painted, and I will post them at some point.

Friday, 31 October 2014

8 Minutes left of October.

I have eight minutes left to get a post in for October. I haven't touched any modelling all month. Having begun my PGCE, and now that I am in school all the time I just find that hobbies have to play second fiddle to that.

I hope to find time on weekends to get a little painting in here and there.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Um...Just no.

I came across this in a shop selling random bits and bobs. It hurt a little.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

So I got married...

So yeah, that happened. It was pretty amazing seeing all that hard work come to a head. Now we can relax for a couple of weeks until work starts up again. Thankfully Mathilde hasn't made me throw away any of my modelling stuff yet.

For honeymoon we went to Berlin. Great city. Smelled a bit like sewage. Lots of history and culture. The following are the relevant photographs...

Monday, 4 August 2014

New Addiction?

So much has been going on for the past three months. I have been planning my wedding, moving house, and living in Bristol during the week to study French. Living between three places is pretty crazy, and means I have bits of stuff all over the place. Having little time means I can't do much modelling. I did, however get introduced to this new game: Marvel Dice Masters. I am loving it, even though you can't really find it anywhere. Wizkids underestimated demand, and all production runs sell out practically before they leave the factory.

It is a really fun little collectible game, that won't take up nearly as much space and time as Star Wars Miniatures, or wargaming. It seems to be the perfect thing for me right now. I also feel i can use it to start a club at the schools I get placed in beginning in September.

I highly recommend this game.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Les Plages d'Embarquement.

I am in Rouen to immerse myself in French and experience a bit of the culture. I seem to have been really lucky in that the family I have been placed with takes this seriously. My friend gets Hovis bread for breakfast and chicken nuggets for tea, whereas I am treated to all kinds of breads, jams, cheeses and cereals for breakfast, followed by a lengthy two hour, four course, French meal each evening, where we discuss anything from politics, religion, to crocodile farming.

This weekend six of us hired some cars, and drove down to St. Malo, then to the Normandy beaches. It was a pretty great weekend. Here are a few shots.

Below is Fort National, a few hundred metres of the coast of St. Malo. We walked out to it when the tide was out. There is a plaque there with the names of civilians who were killed there by the allied bombardment, while being held prisoner to prevent uprisings in St. Malo. This was in August 1944.

Below are some of the guns.

We then went to Sainte Mere Eglise. I went there 10 years ago, and was shocked at how much has changed. I assume that with the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a lot of effort went into turning it into quite the tourist centre/memorial area. Unfortunately we were pressed for time, so only spent a little time here. Really, I could devote a month to soaking up all the history there. 

We stopped at Utah beach, somewhere I had never been yet, to see what it was like. I went into this in-tact bunker and, stench of urine aside, it was quite something. Echoes, crampt. It must have been terrifying. 

I just imagine looking out and seeing those hundreds of landing craft approaching.

Apologies for having random children on the internet, but I think this really sums up Pointe Du Hoc. Let us never forget.

We tried to go to the large US cemetary, but it was closed. Driving there did give me the chance to see a Sexton and M10 up close, although we didn't stop for pictures. We also zoomed past a Flak 88, which filled me with jollies.