Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Salute 2017

Last Saturday was Salute time again. A day out I never fail to enjoy thoroughly.  So here are a few pictures of some games that jumped out at me .  Although there was many more that I wish I’d photographed. 

A splended looking Russian Revoltion game.

Some Woodland First Nations laying a trap

Plastic foliage put to good use.

 The Italian and the Austro-Hungraians  mix it up in this one (I think).

A outstanding display depicting the Battle of Cambrai with lots of tanks huffing and puffing.

A very attractive and naturalist piece of terrain depicting an action in the Falklands/Malvinas conflict. 


The Shape Practice demo game, looked and sounded great fun -lots of chortling! 

The slow demise of a Heinkel in the Wings of Glory particpation game.

Again, this year it was a case of so many things to see and so little time!
Thanks South London Warlords and all those who put on such a range of wonderfully creative  games.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Chain of Command Shocker - May 1940

Shortly after recovering from shock of having to return to work after the Easter break. It's time to publish a battle report on our latest game of Chain of Command down at Central London. It was the first time Gary and I had played each other at Chain of Command.  

We opted to play Scenario One: the Patrol.  I commanded the French, keen to see how they worked. having never played them before.

In the patrol phase Gary’s Germans did a great job boxing me in to the wood on the left flank of the board. This left me with one option, to attack strike on the left flank. Wisely he had positioned an infantry squad to protect his flank.  I deployed my VB rifle grenade section behind the vineyard.  To support the infantry units which would move up on put pressure on the flank.

While getting my infantry ducks in a row I decided I needed something to shift the focus away from that flank attack. So early in the game I trundled an armoured car down the road  in the to shift focus.

This worked well and resulted in Gary deploying an anti-tank rifle and a squad of infantry on the far side of the table to deal with this lumbering lump of metal.  What resulted was an exchange of “ping” noises has the German anti-tank rifle fired, hit but failed to damage the Panhard armoured car.

Back on the left flank, I advanced two sections up to the position where they could strike at the German flank. By combining the fire from rifle grenadiers and an infantry section I began to wear the Germans down.  

Throughout the game I constantly rolled fours with my command dice so I could activate my senior leader who happily continued  give orders and encouragement to his assaulting infantry. This kept the pressure up very nicely.  It was helped by rolling a mix of threes or ones and twos to allow me to use the grenadiers or the Panhard has appropriate.

 My luck was further  compounded  by rolling great dice each time I fired –always getting at least three hits. While Gary’s dice rolling was below par, on one occasion he failed to score a single hit with an entire squad firing. Interestingly there were no double or treble sixes rolled with the command dice in the entire game meaning it was one turn long.        

As I applied pressure on the left flank the German’s pushed a squad up to take the hill in the centre of the board and pressure my assault. At this point I was worried things were going to fall apart. I ordered an infantry section to cross the road but rolled too short. They were stuck in the open.  Thankfully, I had just pinned the nearest German unit. The Germans on the hill returned fire and hit a couple of them.   

Nevertheless, they made it across the road, over the hedge, on to the other side where they assaulted the remains of the German squad who were kind enough to fall back.  This was the point I felt I hand made a breakthrough, because, junior leaders were getting hurt and a jump off point was about to fall in to my hands.  

It was time to turn the screw.  On the next phase I advanced my armoured car around the hill to a position on the left flank of the Germans on the top of the hill.  This cut them off and meant I could    pressure them from multiple positions.  

With the German force moral sliding below five it was clear the game was decided and we called it a French victory.  Naturally I was delighted with the result even if it was down to some great dice rolling.  By contrast to my last game, I conceived a simple plan and stuck to it. That makes all  the difference.

Now I am considering investing in a French army for 1940.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Bridge Too Far

One of the things I like about Chain of Command is that because the rules are oriented around dice roles it will always throw up different games.  For our latest  game I was the aggressor controlling a platoon of Germans, a Panzer II and a Panzer 38(t). The object of my desires was the bridge  at the far end of the board. Dave was defending the bridge with his reinforced platoon from the British Expeditionary Force. 

The story of my game was compounding poor decision making on bad tactics. The first of which was to advance a infantry squad too soon without appropriate support in an effort to sneak an early victory. A section of entrenched British infantry and a well positioned Vickers MG put pay to them in short order.  At that point I don't want to say I panicked, but I panicked.  I stopped thinking about what I needed to do. My focus was concerned with achieving the objective. Hence I rushed down the road with my tanks. In essence, this is what Dave wanted me to do and there by made it easy for him to defend against. 

 It was not long before there was a burning hunk blocking the road.  During this forlorn charge for the bridge I worked a squad of infantry up on to the the third floor of the building in the centre. Sadly they had too much to do to make an impact. Before long  they found themselves being suppressed by the Vickers deployed in the house on the other side of the river. 

The final option open to me was to push down the right flank with my infantry and remaining tank. However, when breaking cover even with the support of their machine gun team they were clipped by the British squad on the other side of the river. This meant they would be at a disadvantage assaulting the defending  infantry. 

With my reserve and commander relaxing in the rear and time was slipping away it was becoming clear that  I would be unable to take the objective in the available time.  All credit to Dave who played a splendid defensive game. Wherever I popped my head up I had at least two units  hammer me making difficult to get any momentum into the attack. Mind you I was guilty of coming on in a piecemeal fashion which helped him countering my probes. 

Can't wait for the next game now. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Welcome to the Jungle

One of the real joys of moving up to 28mm gaming is the opportunity to dress the table top with some rich and detailed scenery. One of the draw backs about gaming in 28mm is you need to a fair bit of expensive terrain in order to play. 

Whichever it is, I've spent the last few weekends building some jungle terrain for my Japanese to hide in. I wanted to do this on the semi-cheap so I utilised some left over hex bases which I had lying about. This allows me to use them individually or bring a handful together to make a larger terrain feature.

These bases were then covered with a mix of waterproof grout, PVA, gravel all mixed with some power-paint.  The bases and foam board, used to recreate rocky outcrops was then coated with this mixture. Once dry all the pieces were set, they all received a liberal wash with Games Workshop Earthshade followed by a dry brush with both light and dark sand to bring out a bit of detail. 

 The next stage was to add some patches of varying lengths of static grass to give a less arid look. Then the glue gun came out and I started adding a variety of plastic plants, acquired from a number of sources, including, aquarium shops, home and bargain stores. I was mid-way through pulling apart one of the ornamental plants when my long suffering partner asked me if that was the plant from our bedroom, I confirmed it was, adding that quickly it was broken and we needed to replace it. (Not sure I got away with that one.)

 Most of the plastic plants have female connectors on them so I mounted stubs of cocktail sticks in the bases to add stability. I mounted the plants in grouping of three this seems to work for the laws of aesthetics. I am not sure why but it make for a more natural look. 

 I have a fives more hilly pieces which I want to make less dense grassy scrub land to provide a bit of variety. But I should crack on with the figures and prioritise getting them finished!!