Chain Of Command
After all my deliberations and anguish I am now fully committed to a Soviet WWII 'army'. I have just this morning completed three squads another is half painted ready for some brushwork this afternoon as it is a miserably wet and cold day. The fourth squad is there as back up or to provide the odd figure for support squads. Chain of Command being possibly the only WWII set which requires five man crews for MMG's and guns etc. instead of three, in fact if you add a Junior Leader you need six men for the crew.I also ordered up all my infantry support troops last week and they are now cleaned, primed and ready to go. I also got a bunch of Characters from Artizan and these are really lovely, eight in all and the only one which is naff is someone who looks like a despatch rider or something akin to one in a pose which is just useless, the others will be used for those extra men above or leaders. The actual weapons and crews are Warlord and again really nice figures which fit in fine with Artizan, I did have a devi
Chain of Command at the club last night, and a typical miserable night weather wise. We took a scenario from the Kampgruppe von Luck mini campaign, a probe by the Germans where I had to get men into the enemy deployment area. You do not get a lot of support options in this campaign and the only vehicle is a hybrid assault gun added to the strength of 21st Panzer Division, there is such a vehicle available from Warlord but hey, I am not made of money and besides it would not turn up before the game.I therefore thought it best to overwhelm the elite British paratroop defenders so chose to bring four squads supported by an MMG and a Forward Observer with an 8 cm mortar off table. I don't think I got great Jump Off Points but I managed to keep the British points well back from the centre of the table. I moved a squad up through the nearby orchard, no idea why in hindsight, but it proved a good move in the end as Rob deployed most of his men in and around the farm buildings and they drew his attention for mo
Muskets and Tomahawks last night courtesy of Rob and his lovely figures. A fairly simple scenario with none of Rob's usual surprises so we had a British force comprised mainly of light troops and Indians against an American force split between regulars and woodsmen. I took the Scots of course with some Indian allies and prepared an ambush for the Yankee regulars marching along the road, Rob meanwhile held a small farm.Simon obviously saw the ambush coming and deployed on both sides of the road his skirmishers walked into a hail of fire and were eventually reduced to one man, or woman Reg, who we decided was Davie Crocket although I called him Davina, all that fur. I digress, I advanced my Indians towards the battle line and then thought better of it and pulled them back, I sent one warband towards the farm as the American Green Mountain Boys had turned up and it looked like Rob would need some help as his cannon had had to retreat and was now covering the road instead of cutting down the woodsmen.My JocksMore
A bit late on the keyboard this week, been a bit lazy of an evening, well, not lazy just got back to painting and have hit on an excellent TV series which needs to be watched and not painted to, more below. X-Wing at the club this week as Simon has upgraded to Version 2, he fielded a Scum and Villainy force while I sorted out two Rebel and one Imperial force as I thought the games would be short and sharp with me on the receiving end.The game kicked off with me flying four X-Wings and the bad guys turning up with a Y-Wing, two Headhunters and a Firespray, I kept my squadron close and their first salvoes took out the Headhunters who seemed to rashly put themselves in harms way without the support of the other two ships. A really good and unusually effective start to one of my games, I now turned on the Y-Wing and she too hit the deck or whatever passes for the deck in space. I had now lost one of my X-Wings but was still well ahead as I turned on the largest ship on the table. Simon now led me a merry dance as
My son came over for some Chain of Command, completely new to him and still relatively new to me, it was a good opportunity to get some of my new terrain out so I put down the outskirts of a small village complete with local car repair man, Church and Cafe, the terrain was probably a bit too close but I will watch that next time.Stewart chose the Germans and I had the British, which is just fine by me as I do not get to fight with them very often, the first game was a delaying action by the bad guys, there were not a lot of support points lying around so I settled on a Humber armoured car while Stewart went for a halftrack armed with a 3.7cm PaK. The Jerries got a couple of squads into a decent defensive position which I thought I could force with help from the Humber and some smoke from the 2" mortar. The smoke was not a big help as I could not get it on target, the Humber missed the 250 and the 250 missed the Humber, however the nearby Panzerschrek did not miss and left my armoured car a heap of burning, ta
Not a bad morning, not raining for a change albeit the clouds are pretty grey. Poured down last night on the way to the club and dark as well, as much as I like heat I do like it to be dark when it's supposed to be so no car washing or gardening etc. on light nights.I digress, another round of Chain of Command on the Eastern Front, a leisurely combat again more for learning rules etc. than trying for an outright win, which is just as well because by the time we got sorted out it was 2000 hrs before a shot was fired. In future a lot of the faffing about at the beginning can be done before we arrive. The Russians were trying to delay the German advance, again I took infantry rather than panzergrenadiers and threw caution to the wind by taking in support an infantry gun and SdKfz 7/1 Quad AA halftrack and no tank. Simon took time deliberating between a KV or a 57mm A/T gun and MMG, thankfully he came down on the choice without the tank, although all my squads had one Panzerfaust 30 and the platoon had a Panzersc
Not a lot to blab about today, I didn't attend the club this week as I decided to get on with some bits and pieces which had been building up, not so much wargaming but those things which get you nagged at by a certain person. Rob was running a Cruel Seas game and I have to admit although I love the small ships it is not something I would run out to play, so I gave it a miss. I managed the small jobs and banked the brownie points for use later.I never learn and have jumped into Chain of Command with both feet, luckily I have all the troops I need so it is the peripherals which are costing me, a bit like cream cakes, I don't need the stuff but I want it. So I got some Allied and German dice with pretty symbols for the six to use as command dice to save them getting mixed up with the 'killing' dice, not that I have done this so far but hey they have symbols on them. I actually have a set of 2nd Panzer dice which came all the way from Australia but no, they wouldn't do and no, I cannot explain it.Next up was Too
This past spring we spent a few wonderful weeks vacationing in the south of France in the Roussillon area. This region is ruggedly beautiful and steeped in history extending back to the ancient period. Roman ruins, medieval castles, an excellent privately run Napoleonic museum, you name it - it's all there to take in and enjoy. In addition to all this, I managed to find the gravesite and pay my respects to one of my favourite authors, Patrick O'Brian (creator of the superb Aubrey-Maturin series of novels). He rests with his wife Mary outside the beautiful seaside village of Collioure, where they lived in their later life.One of the other border towns we stayed in was Cerbere, which is situated along the Mediterranean right alongside the Spanish frontier. Interestingly enough, Cerbere was one of the major crossing points for Spanish refugees who fled from Franco's final offensive in early 1939. A bit of background. The Spanish call this period 'la Retirada', the Retreat. At
Out to an almost empty club last night, only a boardgame and my game of Chain of Command, most of the troops are on R&R I believe.So, I wanted to play a game of CoC, it was not serious and was merely a training game for both Simon and I, my games with Stewart went fairly quickly but then he has been playing the game for some time, so this would be very different.We rolled a dice for the scenario and got an Attack and Defend situation, I was the attacker and had to force Simon's Russians from the table or capture the very end house. I took a StuG III, and an infantry gun along with an adjutant for my supports, the main troops were an infantry platoon, Simon had Soviet infantry along with a flamethrower (natch), a heavy machine gun and a 37mm anti-tank gun, a pretty little thing.I hastily brought on a squad and put them on the front line behind a hedge, a mistake as it turned out, Simon then managed to get two squads and the HMG on, these gave my boys a lot of hurt. I then managed to get the StuG on but it
With almost all of my buildings on largish scenic bases I find it a challenge to make up some of the maps associated with Chain of Command campaigns, my recent experience of Operation Martlet led me to ordering up two 'stand alone' buildings with small bases to add to my Normandy collection. I chose Charlie Foxtrot models as I know Colin and have gotten 97% of my stuff from him so far, the kits are easy to build and lend themselves to upgrading and personal touches.I have watched Lardy TV and Richard Clarke building and converting a Dark Ops blacksmiths, beautiful but too much effort for me, however I decided to try my had at plastering. Normally I simply paint and brush in some fine sand which works very well. So off I trotted to B&Q or some such hell hole (for me) for a couple of tester paints, a small trowel and a tube of filler. Imagine how perplexed I was when I saw many testers not in pots but in a sealed unit with a sponge on the end, duh. I did manage thankfully to find some tins, so I was set up.
Stuart came along today to continue our 'Operation Martlet' campaign, he had to be careful as the village main road is being resurfaced and there is a blanket of tar encrusted gravel over everything, I am willing to bet money that this will no sooner be complete than it will be dug up in the next few months for broadband cables, water leaks, electricity problems or simply just to use up the budget before someone claws it back.Anyway, Stuart arrived safely and we got on with campaign turn five. Previously the Royal Scot's Fusiliers had taken most of the day (25th June) to oust the tough defenders from the outskirts of Fontenay, by 2000 hrs the Jocks were knocking at the door of the village itself. For this game I took an extra squad, a Sherman, a 3" mortar and a 2" mortar, I also asked HQ for replacements, with all my squads back up to full strength I was feeling confident, there was a lot of terrain and possibly no German tanks. Stuart did not bring a tank to the party but beefed up his squads instead, he als
I set off early this morning in rising heat to genteel Grange-over-Sands and the Keg and Kitchen pub where Stuart runs the micro brewery and hence is allowed to use their large upstairs room for wargaming purposes. Stuart had already got my parking ticket so I got all day for £1 and that is a bargain you won't get in many places, he had also set up the table and very nice it looked too, I had brought a couple of buildings if needed and the hedges he requested.I had read the rules and the campaign booklet but I don't think a lot of it stuck, you really need to play rules before you understand them completely and I get confused at times, as I did with the turns and phases, Stuart had to patiently explain the whole thing to me and I am still not sure I understand it, my homework for tonight.My new Patrol markers. How did the games go, well I won't bore you with the details of Probe into Fontenoy but once again the British got nowhere while my Sherman and the Panzer IV spent most of the turns trading shots,
I am not superstitious but I am beginning to wonder when my inherent military genius will enable me to climb out of the trench of defeat or at best a draw. I was humbled at the weekend at Risk by Mrs A jubilantly conquering Australia, South America, Africa etc. and leaving me with a ragged rearguard in Kamchatka, a Scotswoman quite happy to put the boot into a man who is down and she is from the genteel side of the country.No matter, I have completed the next of my SYW troops, another battery each for the French and British, I got a Front Rank piece but in future I will stick with Eagle Miniatures as they are very nice castings, I also got a small ammunition wagon for a small vignette and it will be primed today. I am a bit stuck for artillery crews because they will obviously all begin to look the same as I only use Front Rank at the moment, I shall have to use some ingenuity if I can find some. Foundry are too big and others are too small while other SYW manufacturers simply do not do gunners. I did look at
I've been mulling over the way ahead for my 28mm WW2 project, with the inevitable suspicion that Chain of Command is more practicable in 15mm. It's not the core platoon sized force that's the issue but the need for support options, which pushes the price bracket even higher than it would be otherwise. It also means that the relative cost factor of 15mm makes 28mm just the other side of silly.This became painfully apparent when I was costing up a Soviet platoon using Crusader Miniatures, which levelled off at about £75 to £100, once I'd factored in a handful of heavy weapons, tanks and extras. This is just not feasible for me at the moment, even if I used plastics rather than my prefered metal figures. On the flipside, 15mm is a fraction of the cost and I already have the figures, so it's not rocket science to do Chain of Command using these smaller scale models.However, I'm now revising the scope of my 28mm project to focus on squad level skirmish, with no more than a platoon as the default unit strength. Thi
I knew that I had a couple of Tamiya 1/48th scale kits in the loft that I could use as armoured support for the Winter German Platoon, so after a rummage and some colourful language, I extracted a Hetzer and a StuG III G from the plastic kit pile. I prefer 1/48th scale with 28mm and usually use Corgi diecast models or Blitzkrieg Miniatures resin ones but these Tamiya kits are cheaper and still suitable for wargaming.They have a hefty diecast metal chassis as well, which adds some much needed weight and rigidity to the finished models. The only real issue are the tracks, which are link and length so a bit fiddly. I am going to take the Hetzer on holiday with me to build while I'm away, leaving the StuG for a rainy day, so at least the platoon will have some armour support.