Saturday, September 10, 2022

Chain of Command - Stalingrad

 Played my second Chain of Command game in over 3 years. Fun game, but definitely needed two experienced GM's to run it. I ran a German panzer unit, which did quite well. Played about 10 phases, which are similar to turns. It ended up being a close slugfest with me knocking out a KV-1 early in the game, as well as taking out an anti-tank rifle team. However, I lost a Panzer IV to another KV-1, and my buddy lost most of his infantry. The Russians did lose in overall command points (or whatever it's actually called). All in all a nice game, but as mentioned, mainly due to the experienced players running the game and doing the combat/shooting resolution. I can see the appeal for these rules over, say something more simple like Bolt Action (which is what I prefer), if you were to play these rules as a campaign. In fact, the two experienced buddies are planning a long-term campaign for Stalingrad - even working on a multi-level board with sewers, etc. I should also add that there were elements of other TFL rules - commanders' actions and die roll activations reminded me of Sharp Practice and What A Tanker, respectively.

Seems I've only been posting about once a month - mostly with games I've played in. Otherwise, things are going well enough - actually spending a lot of time with another hobby - playing guitar. Nothing serious, but I did pick up a couple of inexpensive "made in China" guitars which are more than sufficient for me. Until next time, wishing you all the best. 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Great War in Africa - Homebrew Rules

Apologies upfront -  It's been a while since being on the blog - again. Something about summer activities have been keeping me away for too long. Anyway, just got back from a great game run by one of my buddies - all the figures and terrain are his. He also used his own rules - it had some elements of Arc of Fire, and used D10's for activation rolls, and D6's for movement and firing/combat. D20's were used to track suppression (similar to pins in other games). Not too difficult to pick up and was quite enjoyable. The scenario had the British (and native troops) in a train heading toward the coast with the Germans and their native troops attempting to stop the train and also take over a telegraph station occupied by British native troops. I commanded the British forces and take full responsibility of the train's engine being destroyed by the Germans - as well as having the telegraph station blown up. However, the Germans failed to move off table as it was one of their objectives. So, in essence it was almost a tie in the end. Here are some pictures from the game.

It was great spending time with folks I hadn't seen and gamed with in a while. Until next time, hope you're all having a good summer and staying healthy!

Friday, August 5, 2022

French in Egypt - Rebels and Patriots Game

Hello all! I've been off the blogosphere for a while, but actually hosted a Rebels and Patriots - French in Egypt game today. The game played out well enough and I learned a lot from several of the experienced players. I used the "Long Way From Home" scenario, which had the French needing to move off the table diagonally from one corner to the other.

Gratuitous group shot before the game - along with a bunch of Egyptian aquarium pieces.
Here's the view of the French units prior to the start of the game.
One thing I modified before starting the game was shortening the distance for the French. Having only played Rebels and Patriots a couple of times in the distant past, I had set up the table thinking of the longer shooting ranges of Bolt Action and the sweeping movements of Black Powder. The table size was 7.5' X 6'. I could've used just a 6' X 5' area more effectively. Anyway, we moved up the starting point for the French and also shortened their ending point. We also grouped the figures into 12-man units (except for one French Grenadier unit) from the 6-man units here. We played 12 turns and the French were victorious by destroying most of the Ottoman army - although they were still a little short of reaching their end point. Here are some images below from the game.
The one small French unit of Grenadiers taking cover behind an obelisk. Dismounted French Dromedary and infantry behind them. All of the Egyptian terrain are aquarium ornaments.
Mameluke cavalry moving into position to stop the French advance.
French pouring devastating musket fire into the Ottomans. The Ottomans had bad die rolls, including a few activation failures. One rolling snake eyes followed by a one. This had one of their units firing into a friendly unit and causing casualties and disorder. 
A unit of Janissaries moving through cover. Tufekci troops in the background.
Tufekci and Janissaries maneuvering around pyramids.
French in Close Order for more effective firing.
A long-forgotten pharaoh sits in silence while French invaders wreak havoc in his lands.

It's been a while since I've posted, but summer had me doing things away from the gaming and painting table - one was a visit to my youngest son currently stationed at Fort Hood. I had to take a picture next to the post's mascot - the "Phantom Warrior". It's really strange that a major US Army base chose this, but here it stands in front of the III Corps headquarters.
Well, so much for now, and until next time, wishing you all a great summer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Ottoman Warband - TAG, Gringo 40's and Warlord Games Figures

 Here's the small warband that is intended to be used against the French using Rebels and Patriots. A somewhat fanciful, hodgepodge of troops. Most of the troops are from The Assault Group - Janissaries, Tufecis and Levant Musketeers. A Warlord Games command set was added to flesh out a few units - which are in multiples of 6 for the ruleset. They can be fielded as either 12-man units or small 6-man units. The Mamelukes are from Gringo 40's - and as mentioned in the previous post, they are from their Napoleonic French range and have saddle cloths from their time in the Imperial Guard. Also, the TAG figures are from their Renaissance range a few centuries earlier than the Egyptian Campaign.

Besides giving the faces and hands a flesh wash, no other highlighting or touch ups were added after the Minwax stain and basic block painting. These are intended for gaming and "rough handling".
They are all based on GW-style 25mm rounds and the cavalry on Gale Force Nine oval bases. Except for one of them, all of the horses are the same pose - not sure if this was an oversight, but I see a few other horse poses on the Gringo 40's website. If you place an order with them, you may want to specify to include various horse poses.
Next on the agenda is getting some Rebels and Patriots gaming in. I've played in a few games run by other folks, so really don't have the rules down yet. Reading up on the rules, it appears there a few modifications to the original Lion Rampant rules - for one all Activations require a base of 6 using 2D6's. Lion/Dragon Rampant had different values for this depending upon the troop type. The rules seem more streamlined and easier to play, IMO. Until next time, thanks for dropping by and wishing you a great summer.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Ottoman Army WIP Update - Warlord Games Janissary Command, TAG Levant Musketeers and Gringo 40's Mamelukes

Sorry for the long absence, but finally got around to working on the remaining figures for the Ottoman force to face the French invaders. Just a few more figures - a Warlord Games Janissary command set, TAG Levant with muskets, and Gringo 40's Mamelukes. The Mamelukes are actually from their time in French Imperial Guard service; the saddle cloth being particularly French in style. As usual the figures have been given a Minwax stain over basic block painting.

They have a fairly uniform, but colorful appearance.
Just a quick update to the blog. Thanks for stopping by and hope you're all having a good summer.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Bolt Action Western Desert/North Africa Game

Thanks to several of my gaming crew, got in a nice Bolt Action game using the recently completed Wargames Atlantic Italians and French Tirailleurs. The Perry Fallshirmjager and several tanks painted last year were also bloodied for the first time. We played 6 turns using a defender/attacker scenario. Unfortunately, the Allied British-Free French attackers were outgunned by the defending German-Italians. I tired to have this balanced by allowing only the British to have an opening artillery barrage, and also air support with a forward observer. These weren't enough to help the attack, however, as the Germans had a lot of hot die rolling with their more numerous automatic weapons. I failed to take enough pictures to capture all of the action, as I was running some of the Free-French forces before one of my buddies showed up. Hopefully, I captioned the images below accurately.

Grant tank taken out after numerous hits from a Panzer III.
Tirailleurs in the foreground and French Foreign Legion behind them with a Grant tank holding the Allied right. The lone figure in the center background is the British forward air observer. His one allowable airstrike only resulted in a single pin a  Panzer IV. The initial opening artillery bombardment only resulted in a few pins on the defending Germans. These pins were quickly Rallied off in subsequent turns.

DAK infantry squads and a Panzer II moving out of their defenses to take the action to the Allied army.

A Crusader and Matilda cautiously maneuvering into position on the Allied left.

DAK infantry and a Panzer II taking advantage of cover in a bombed out building.

An Sd.Kfz. 7 used to tow the Pak 38.

Tirailleurs and French Foreign Legion advancing into no-man's land.

Italian Bersaglieri in the center of the line with a Panzer IV in the distance.

The Axis right flank with a Panzer IV and Italian and German Paratroopers.

Fallshirmjager advancing to the top of a berm with a mortar team and spotter to their left.

Fierce fighting in the center of the battlefield. 

End of Turn 6. An Axis victory with the Allied army's Grant and Crusader tanks destroyed, and their infantry floundering in the attack.
It was a great refresher game for all of us. As the last time I played the rules was for a Franco-Prussian War scenario, I was particularly rusty with the use of tanks and mortars. Still, the rules are easy to pick up and flow well. All in all, a good time gaming and just shooting the breeze with folks I hadn't seen since a month ago at Enfilade. Thanks for stopping by and hope you're all doing well.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

TAG Ottoman Tüfekçi - WIP

Here's another group of TAG Ottomans, these guys are Tüfekçi. When I ordered them, I wasn't sure what kind of troops they actually were, but wanted figures that looked a bit different than the Janissaries - for variety's sake. According to what I've read, they were musketeers who were recruited from woodsmen/hunters, and were similar to light infantry skirmishers. Anyway, they have a very basic "uniform" and most illustrations of them show them in red coats and caps. Here they are with a Minwax stain.

So far, I've been very pleased with these TAG figures. They have enough details to make them interesting, but also simple to paint. They also seem very sturdy for gaming - muskets barrels aren't too thin and flimsy. Here they are picture below with the basic block paint job prior to staining.
Thank you all very much for stopping by, and wishing you all the best.