Bag the Hun
I had an email from Mark 'Peaches' Backhouse yesterday, in which he was kind enough to invite me along to the second 'Come and Have a Go, If you think you're Lard Enough' wargaming day, which he's organising for the 7th March next year at the Sarisbury Green wargaming club. This was great fun last time, so I have asked Mark to save me a table, so that I can run another game of something suitably lard flavoured.I've already been thinking about this and have come up with some potential ideas. The first is to run a mid-war Channel Front Bag the Hun game, featuring my as yet unpainted RAF Spitfires, Whirlwinds and Focke Wulf 190's, along the lines of the plan I originally had for this years game. The second option is to do something on the Russian Front or for the Winter War, again in 1/285th scale for Bag the Hun, which would be an excuse for a nice new winter themed hex cloth. The third option is to do a What a Tanker! historical scenario or set of linked games for the Russian Front, Battle of the Bu
I've been doing some research for a potential Bag the Hun scenario, set in the Kanalkampf phase of the Battle of Britain, early July 1940. I have a basic selection of 1/285th aircraft for this, so I'm limited to six Hurricanes, eight Bf109's, four Bf110's and eight Do17's, which means that any historical scenario has to be constrained to these limits. In retrospect, it would be so much easier if I'd originally started out in 1/600th scale, but that is something I may well do in the near future. I also wanted to feature No238 Squadron, which was based at Middle Wallop, which is only fifteen minutes from where I live and on my route home every day.I have managed to narrow down the potential scenarios to three engagements, all fought in early to mid July 1940, right at the start of the Battle of Britain. These are all feasible with the models I have and also manageable in terms of preparation. In order to simplify things and keep it all to a sensible scale, I have decided not to have any bombing or anti-sh
I've been inspired by the new Bag the Hun Facebook group to set up a club multiplayer game in a couple of weeks time, assuming I can drum up enough interest, which isn't usually a problem. For a change I thought I'd dig out my very first collection of 1/285th scale aircraft, which I painted up way back in the mists of time for the Battle of Britain. The scenario will be set in June 1940 and will involve a flight of six Hurricanes intercepting a gaggle of Bf110's with top cover provide by four Bf109E's, somewhere over coast of Northern France. I've never actually used my Bf110 Zerstorer in a game despite having painted them over ten years ago, so it will be good to dust them off for some aerial action. It's all a bit sketchy at the moment but I'll get working on the scenario and card deck over the next few days. Tally Ho!
There's a new group on Facebook for Bag the Hun which I found out about yesterday, via the TFL forum. I don't do Facebook as most of it is drivel, but this looks pretty good, so I've hijacked the wife's account again and signed up:https://m.facebook.com/groups/852996231701764
I'm really enjoying reading Force Benedict but it won't be long before I've finished it, so I was happy to find this digital book on the CAM ships and their Hurricane pilots for 98p. I've read some of the authors books before and the evocative paperback cover art just makes you want to dive in, especially as I have a soft spot for the Hurricane. I'll be looking for some scenario material for Bag the Hun and I'm sure I won't be disappointed. Good stuff!
This was 99p in the Kindle monthly book sale so, as I'd been wanting to read it for ages, I downloaded a copy. It would make a splendid Bag the Hun project and there is a set of scenarios for it in one of the old TFL Specials. If I wasn't already busy with other things, I'd dig out some 1/300th scale Hurricanes and give it a spin.
For some reason the writers of Cruel Seas decided to make the Il-2 Shturmovik the default aircraft in the rules, despite the fact that they weren't really used in a maritime role, except on an ad-hoc basis and as a non-operational torpedo armed variant. So, I have decided to not use the model that is supplied with the Soviet starter set and instead will be fielding the IL-4T, a proper torpedo strike variant of the standard Il-4 medium bomber. I have three Scotia Collectair Il-2 models that were in a bundle of 1/300th scale Soviet aircraft that I picked up from the Bring and Buy at Colours a couple of years ago. These are surplus to requirements as the other aircraft are slated for Bag the Hun in the Winter War. They are really nice models and I might as well make good use of them, adding a torpedo to the ventral centreline and basing them on transparent plastic GW flight stands, using magnets so that I can use them for Bag the Hun as well.I will rate them as the equivalent of the Bristol Beau
A bit of a random mix but lots of nice terrain and figures. I had to grab some photos in the tea break, so didn't get round all the tables, which was a shame. My favourite was the Boshin Wars Sharp Practice game, which looked lovely and was really original. I'm hoping the event will run again next year and, if it does, I'll definitely be back to run a game of Bag the Hun or What a Tanker! or perhaps just take part.
I grabbed half an hour or so this evening, while the other half was away from the laptop, to word process up two simple information sheets for the Lard Day Bag the Hun games. I bought a couple of acrylic L-shaped A4 display stands a few years ago for a Warfare game, so I'll use them to display the blurb for any passers by who are interested. It's a pretty basic job but at least it gives people an idea of what's going on, assuming they're not engrossed in their own games all the time.
I spent an hour or so yesterday checking and packing up the stuff for the Lard Day on Saturday, with everything pretty much sorted and squeezed into a big plastic box. I've even got some clipboards so that they players don't have to use the edge of the table or their collective knees to balance the record sheets and other paperwork on. I now need to do a couple of A4 signs to display next to the game in plastic holders, giving some details of the scenarios and the set up, so that passers by can get some idea of what's going on, which I thought might be useful. I'm looking forward to it, assuming I find my way down to Sarisbury Green on Saturday?
Try saying that after a few pints? Anyway, I've now found a source of 10mm diameter vinyl adhesive RAF roundels that should be a perfect fit for the 12mm blue D6 that I have ordered for the Lard Day Bag the Hun game. If they fit I will use them to cover the one pip on the dice to add a little customized colour to the game, hopefully without unbalancing the dice and giving the RAF players an unfair ratio of sixes! Unfortunately, the supplier doesn't do any Italian fasces roundels for the other side but that would be a long shot!
A very atypically small number of dice!I may add some RAF roundels stickers to these?If you have ever played Bag the Hun, or indeed any of the Toofatlardies rules, you'll know that they usually involve buckets of dice at some point in the game. I had forgotten about this for the Lard Day games as most of the club players provide their own, although I always bring along at least one set of D6, D4 and D10.So, I have now ordered 40 black and 40 blue 12mm D6, two blue D4 and two blue D10 (I have black ones already) and two extra jumbo sized D10's in blue and black as I thought they'd be fun to use for the critical damage rolls. This means the Axis will have two full sets of dice for both players, black ones of course, while the Allies will have two full sets of dice in blue. I did also think of putting together a single set of red dice for any Soviet players in the morning game but didn't bother in the end. I think this will be more than enough to fill a few buckets!
I've been thinking about some rules for ditching in Bag the Hun, just in case one of the RAF bombers needs to splash down short of Malta in the Lard Day game. The rules for Crash Landing (13.4) are a good place to start, with some modification of the factors to include the sea state and any specific damage that might affect a successful ditching attempt. As you can see, however, they are a bit basic and need a bit of tweaking to be a better reflection of the difficulties of landing a bomber in the briny.I'll disallow any aircraft with a fixed undercarriage from even attempting to ditch and obviously any bombs would have to be jettisoned beforehand. I also need to work out some rules for crew survival and evacuation, assuming they actually make a successful ditch and stay afloat long enough to get out. I think I need to do some background research on the official RAF ditching drill so that it is as historically accurate as possible, which should be really interesting.
The play test of the Bag the Blenheims scenario went really well yesterday, with an overall victory for the RAF and a sobering defeat for the Italians, who put up a pretty good fight nonetheless. I only need to make a handful of minor adjustments and corrections, to smooth out the gameplay and balance the victory points, so I'm very happy with the overall scenario and how it performed under pressure. I also had lots of positive and useful feedback.The minor wiggles will include reducing he speed of the bombers to a basic 6, with no D4 modifier, bringing Green Flight on a turn earlier to get them shifting down the table faster and giving the Italians more points for damaging or destroying the bombers. I also need to add numbers to the flight stands to make identification easier but I was thinking of doing that anyway, using either little number stickers or Letraset over the coloured stickers I've already applied to the bases.To wrap things up I am going to work out a table for bombers ditching in the sea
Briefings, Cheat Sheets, Cards and Pyrotechnics Aircraft Record SheetsI have been slicing up things on a paper cutter, trimming out cards with scissors, slaving over a hot laminator and sticking little coloured labels on flight stands this evening, in preparation for the Bag the Blenheims playtest game tomorrow at the club. One of the downsides of air wargaming is that, aside from the model aircraft, the whole thing can look a little boring, compared to the spectacle offered by figure based games often with superb terrain on display. This is why a lot of people look at air warfare as a bit too dull and 'number crunchy', I think?Hurricanes, Folgore and BlenheimsSo, the appeal comes down far more to the game play, as a result, although some decent reference sheets, turn cards and record sheets can help too. I've done my best to tart these up but we'll have to see if the scenario cuts the mustard, as that's the real test. I've played a very similar set up several times before, so I don't think there will be