Saturday, 17 September 2022

Vietnam Transport

 When we think of transport in the Vietnam war we think helicopters. However you can't actually get a lot of stuff in a helicopter. Most of the supplies were moved in trucks. Huge great 300 truck convoys. 

In wargaming terms this is 300 trucks. They are Solido die cast a plastic trucks of various types but will all pass as 5 ton trucks. They obviously are US trucks as they are green and have a star.

The convoys were prone to being ambushed on the road and so the Americans developed ad hoc support vehicles called gun trucks.

Basically up-armoured trucks with lots of machine guns

This is Puff the Tragic Wagon (real name of a gun truck that looked a bit like this). It has a .50 cal and 3 M60s from Gringo40s. I love the Gingos figures but they are well fed. The .50 cal gunner is a converted Empress figure. I love Empress figures, almost all my collection is Empress but they are slight compared to Gringos farm boys. Dave's collection is almost entirely Gringos. Between us we have 2 marine platoons, an armoured platoon and a comedy amount of support.

THe mud is a blend of filler, Foundry red shade and Vallehjo Flat earth. It was a bit matt so I gave it an ochre wash. 

They probably won't get a run out at Partizan but if you are coming along pop over and say hello, if only to look at the massive chopper

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Scottish Seven Years War Army - What!!!

 The thing I like best about wargaming, apart form the other things, is letting my imagination run wild. I don't mind recreating old battles, esp ones I don't know the outcome of, but I really like what ifs and they would never had fought in real life scenarios (e.g.T'ang Chinese vs Saxons). This does explain my liking of Back of Beyond gaming, the world went a bit batty after WW1, so I can have battles between Turks, Brits, Russians (white and red), Chinese and Afghans.

So back to the point. I have decided to build a Scottish army to fight in the 7YW. Imagine that the Jacobites had won at Derby instead of just going home. They would have sued for peace and got their independance back. With the support of the French they could have flourished and at the start of the 7YW could have launched a 2nd front against Prussian by attacking England, or they could have sailed to Europe and joined the French against Hanover.

A trip to Pendraken and an order to Leon for 10mm Jacobite figures and some research based on the units who fought in the rebellion and I'm ready to go.

Highland Brigade. Standard 1 battalion = 1 base of 15 figures

Atholl Battalion. Painting tartan in 10mm is easy, you can't see it any way, so work out the base colour and then add a few flecks and lines to give the impression. Sometimes in works, sometimes it's hard to tell - blue with light green doesn't really work. All units have a blue bonnet and a white cockade.

MacDonald of Keppoch - red and black works well. Loving the heather flock.

Cameron of Lochiel - red and blue also good

Appin - more blue and green

This is the Border Reivers light brigade. The only completely invented units. They are a Rogers Rangers pack and will provide fast moving infantry over difficult terrain.

Artillery and officers, repainted Austrians and Prussians. I have far too much artillery.

I have 3-4 more brigades to paint and a plan to make them unique in 7YW, but more of that next time

One of the advantages / disadvantages of playing at Pendraken's shop in the uncontrolled desire to buy stuff

Pack horses, for use by any army

Cows and sheep, or eating and worrying.

Right back to work.

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle - Sorry

 I've finished the next batch of jungle and river sections. I bought some 2mm mdf rectangles from Amazon, they were cheap and infinitely better than using card, which is a pity as I have loads of card.

The river layout on a 6x4 table with approx 50% of my jungle

There are 2 types of river, 4" and 2" wide. I have approx 7 foot of each. Really impressed with how they have come out.

The last of the Poundland plants on the last of the mdf. Really happy with these.

This is just a quick post but there will be another one later today, on omething completely different

Monday, 1 August 2022

The Next Project

 So in light of the truly epic time in Scarborough, Dave and I were discussing going back next year to put on another massive game. So if you are playing a massive game what do you go for. Obviously 28mm Vietnam. No really. Helicopters, lost patrols, fire bases, tunnels and all kinds of bloody mayhem.

So with that in mind and already having 4 other armies ready to paint (28mm Dwarfs, 10mm Renaissance Poles and Turks and 7YW Scots - really, and i know they didn't exist but isn't that the best bit) I have been bulking out the Vietnam collection. I needed some more buildings for a firebase - in the post and loads of terrain

A trip to Poundland and I picked up loads of plastic plants for £2. This will do for a start.

I've also started a jungle river. This is a 4" wide river and a simple straight section to practice on. Plan to do 6" and about the same at 2". Insignificant on 48" of table but a sensible length for normal humans.

I also needed a few more USMC

2 x .50 cal heavy machine guns. The guns are frm TAG and the crew simple converts or Empress minis, I cut the gun of the gunners.
I've also bought some LAW operators and medics from Empress, 1 more pack to arrive. I've also put my section leader and radio man on the same base for ease of movement.

and finally I have bought my 1st games mat from tiny wargames. A bit of furniature movement and I have a 6x4 table set up in the spare room.

Right I've got more river to build

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

The Whopper, or How I Played an Epic Wargame

Last weekend Dave and I wandered down to Scarborough to play Sands of the Sudan on Gerry's ridiculously large wargames tables. We were playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday and were recreating the Relief of Khartoum, using Dave's glorious Sudan collection (as seen in "Exterminate all the Brutes" on HBO)

If you want to know how big watch this

The table was 24ft by 6ft. And there were 2 of them.

The plan was to have 2 columns advancing against an infinite number of Mahdists who would arrive on random event cards every turn. Gerry and Graham took the table run by me, see above. They were advancing the Suakin railway and relieving the Egyptian Garrison of a forward post about 20 ft away and then onto Omdurman 24ft away. Steve and Bob had a similar column on the other table. They were advancing along the Nile with support from 2 gunboats and 4 smaller troop carriers (my only contribution to the figures). The 1st 2 days were columns advancing and the 3rd day would be the battle of Khartoum.
Right then, time for loads of photos, mainly from my table

The British advance, facing only light resistance at the moment

Event cards placed a large force of Mahdist camelry to the front.

The next 3 event cards did the same and there were 1000 camels charging the British

The British formed a line

Shot a lot of camels, twice before the Bengal lancers charged in and routed the camelry. This was very cool.

On the other table Bob and Steve had to take a well defended town with gunboat support. THis would have been tight and they took a lot of casualties before the Mahdi called the forces back to Omdurman. But their fight was not over yet

THe Egyptian garrison of the forward base with Omdurman in the distance. The Mahdists as gathering

Camels destroyed the Brits start to advance again

The Train is harried

While the Egyptians face another assault, they faced 3 major attacks

This is the last one

Can the train column get there to relieve them

The Egyptians try to bug out, surely it's too late

Meanwhile a massive Mahdist force has appeared to the rear and slowed down the column again

But in the nick of time the Guards Regiment arrives to save the Egyptians. They got out with 50% casualties, but they did get out. And there ended the column advancing. 

THe next day we rotated the battle 90 degrees. the Brits on one table with Gerry and Graham at this end and Steve and Bob at the other.

All the Mahdists are out and they can be recycled. Steve and Bob look on as Dave stands over Khartoum and tells them all the ways it will be impossible to win

The Hussars sneak into the nearby fort.

Gerry and Graham have a tough time and a large camel force hits the Guards and a Beja force hits the artillery. THe Beja's blood was up, they'd just wiped out an entire Bengal Lancer Regiment! Losts of casualties but the Brits held

In the centre a large force is threatening the flank of the Brits but they are seen off and the way to Khartoum is clear. At British victory, Gordon is saved.

This was a properly brilliant weekend. Gerry and Anne were perfect hosts. Graham, Bob and Steve were great to play with. I had a fab time.
We intend to go back and play a Vietnam game, hence my painting room is covered in foliage, when I'm supposed to be painting 10mm Scots.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Punishing the Afghans - 1920s style

 Today I popped over to Matt's for some back of beyond action with Afghans vs British beyond the Khyber Pass. These punishment raids were common place in the late 19th and early 20th Century and they followed a common theme. Tribesmen would stir up trouble with unreasonable demands, like freedom and self determinaton, and the British would relatiate by attacking the village, at which point the Afghans would melt away, then blowing up the watch tower and stealing the wood (a precious resource in that part of the world). The Britsh would then start to retreat and all hell would break loose as the Afghans reappeared and attacked. So that was the scenario. Matt was the British and I was the Afghans. I would start with a handful of units and recieve significant reinforcements at random locations during the battle

THe table, Brits at far end about to leave the village

The only bridge over the wadi, with my guys waiting in ambush

More Afghans hiding in the hills and a walled field

My heavy weaponss, a maxim and a stolen mountain gun

Loads of Brits with 3 AC, field gun, machine guns, cavalry inc Bengal Lancers and loads of infantry. I have to stop the trucks getting off the far end of the table

Brits advance and there is a sharp exchange of fire

My 1st batch of reinforcements arrive to support the front line

on the central hill

and brilliantly and large group of sword and spear armed men appear out of caves amongst the British machine guns and promptly take the guns out

THe brits push forward. I fire but the Afghans are inexperienced which makes them worst shots with lower morale that the Brits, but they do fight as well as the Brits. So I'm stuggling to lay down enough fire

My Afghans taunt the Brits from the hill but are soon mown down

Cavalry reinforcements arrive

The Brits plough forward but I'm fighting hard

The Brits attack the fram on my left, and I unleash a killer volley that routs the Bengal Lancers. I bring up reinforcements 

But the British cavalry catches them in the open and destroys them

I counter charge with my cavalry from the wadi and rout the British Cavalry

An armoured car makes to  the bridge and the Afghans attack, but only manage to scratch the paintwork. Some T-cut will fix that

The supporting British take out the ambushers

THe farm on te right is still holding out and the Brits are paying for it with their lives

They even try and unsuccessful assault

The lead AC has crossed the wadi and I charge it, but again there is barely any damage and it costs a lot of lives

Rifle fire from the RHS farm takes out one of the supply trucks

and then the maxim gun takes out the other one. At which point we call it a day and the Afghans melt away. A minor victory for the Afghans.
A fantastic battle, perfectly balanced and great fun.