Sdkfz 222 start

January 20, 2017

Here’s a quick update with a couple of pictures of the Sdkfz 222 model from Paper Tiger Armaments.

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The front fenders were a bit tricky if only because there were no guide marks on the model. You have to eyeball the placement. The reference picture that comes with the model was a big help.

The chassis and body were easy enough to assemble. It was only 2 pieces.


The Secret to Getting Stuff Done

January 20, 2017

Part of my “block” clearly was my feeling of being overwhelmed by the two main projects I have going right now.  Rapid Fire demands some moderate forces.  If you want to game the Siege of Tobruk, you needs a fair few figures.  I don’t know that I will ever get to that level but even the more moderate sized forces seem a bit daunting, especially since I am using card models for my vehicles.

I’ve broken my build process down by unit and am currently trying to stay focused on the early part of the Desert War.  To that end, I am starting with the 5th Light Division and it’s recon battalion.  It does require about 13 figures, 3 armored cards, a pair of combo motorcycles 2 kubelwagons, a half track, 2 heavy cars, an infantry gun and a PAK 36 AT gun.  I’ve already  built 3 kubelwagons.  The third can either be used in the motorcycle infantry battalion or as part of the later era recon battalion.  I have all the infantry though I need a 5cm mortar and one anti-tank rifle.  Both, I believe I can scratch built out of plastruct and card.  Junior General has an ATR.  I can try cutting one out just the stock and replace the barrel with a thin piece of plastruct.  The 5cm Mortar is really a tube, a base plate and a very small kick stand.  It is not very different from the British 2″ mortar.  Probably only the stand.  I’ve already posted a picture of the kubelwagen.  I am currently working on an sdkfz 222. The OB also calls for a 221 which only has an MG and has a smaller turret.  I may just make them both 222s and not worry about the small turret.  I can even make an alternate turret in case I want two 222s.

The final bit is the Horch 108 type 40 heavy car.  I cannot find a card model for it.  I believe Best Paper Models had one in 1/48 scale but it has not been posted to their new site yet.  In fact, they only have posted about 20 of their more than 500 or so models so far.  They are moving slowly.  So, I will probably be venturing into the world of card model design.  The Horch is relatively square.  The hood should have rounded edges to make it look somewhat authentic.  That will probably be the hardest part of this effort.  I think I can do it though.

I started working on a Valentine tank, another not represented by a card model.  That is a later era desert tank though.  It shall sit on the back burner for a while, along with my M-3 Grants.

 

 


1 Success and 1 Failure

January 16, 2017

Over the weekend I worked on a couple of models seen below.  Both models are by Rawan.  The first is a Kubelwagon as part of a “kit” which includes a tiger tank recolored in desert colors.  I rescaled it from its original 1:100 scale to 1:72 scale.  For those not in the know, you can simply divide one denominator by the other to rescale.    To make a larger scale print, simply divide the smaller by the larger.  Example: 100/72 = 1.39.  That is the amount you must increase your image by.   But enough of the math lesson.

The vehicle went together easy enough with the main chassis being one “box.”  There were few extras except the wheels and the fenders.  The rear fenders protrude a bit much but not overly so.  The front fenders are a bit skewed.  the designer probably should have tapered them, something that I will try tonight,.

The second models are German BMW motorcycles.  One with a side car and one without.  This was an extremely fiddly model.  Again, I rescaled it to 1:72 scale for the build.  I couldn’t imagine trying to make the build in 1:100 scale!

I quite like the Kubelwagon.  It is a solid piece that is easy to build.  Great traits to have when you need a dozen or so for your wargame table.  The BMW, I am afraid, is too difficult and fragile for a wargame.  I was taking a close look at my motorcycle with the side car and accidentally dropped and broke it.  So, I will not pursue those as an option.  It is a nice looking model and does go together well, but you have to have a lot of time per vehicle to get them together.  I ended up ordering the 11 motorcycle platoon from Plastic Soldier Company.  It works out to about $3.50 per bike and sidecar and has the bonus of coming with two riders.

BMW Bike with Sidecar, BMW Solo Bike, Kubelwagon.  All are in rough form without touchup paint though I did ink the wheels with a Sharpie.

BMW Bike with Sidecar, BMW Solo Bike, Kubelwagon. All are in rough form without touchup paint though I did ink the wheels with a Sharpie.


TSR Chainmail back in print!

January 11, 2017

Wargame Vault and all of their affiliates finally have a PDF on sale for $4.99.  This was probably the first Medieval Wargame I ever played.  I remember setting up those Sheriff of Nottingham figures on the living room floor and fightingout battles.  I never had enough cavalry to overcome the archers of Sir Robin.

The game is quite simple in concept.  Each hit causes a kill and the front rank of a formation gets to strike.  The whole formation counts when determining the victor.  I’ve always had a couple of gripes with the game though, minor as they are.  First was the way missile fire is handled and its power.  The number of figures are cross indexed with a die roll on a chart.  There are two possible outcomes separated by just one point.  It made archery kind of deterministic.  If you only had five figures left and the enemy could do 3 to you at a minimum, well good night Irene.  On top of that, archers could often fire twice if they were not contacted by the end of the movement phase.  I guess Gary Gygax liked his “shooty” things.

The other issue is the way combat outcomes were handled.  I don’t mean casualties.  That is pretty straight forward as I mentioned.  I mean the process of determining who won and who lost.  It was a 5 or 6 step process which involved some multiplication.  I don’t think it’s so bad since you rarely dealt with more than about 3 or 4 combats a turn anyway, but it is cumbersome.

It is otherwise a wonderful game and some say it is the game that started the whole DnD craze.  You can get it here.

 


Lord of the Rings Siege

October 10, 2016

My son and I have been having fun with a LotR siege game.  The game pits a small force of 12 elves and a hero against 2 bands of 12 Orcs as well as an Ogre and a small band of goblin archers.  If a band of Orcs are eliminated or routed, the  a new band comes to battle on the next turn.  The ogre and archers are removed from the game if they are killed.  The Orc force also has 4 ladders to scale the wall with.  The Elves must hold until turn 15, when another force of Elves arrives, ending the unlimited supply of Orcs.  At this point, the battle will be fought until turn 20 or until one side is completely routed.

Special rules.

  1. It takes a full turn to climb a ladder.
  2. The assaulting player may make an attack at the top if it survives a free shot by a defending character, assuming one is waiting for him at the top of the ladder
  3. If the assaulting character hits the defender (whether the defender saves or not) he may push his way onto the rampart.
  4. Ogres may attack the door and will batter it down on a ‘1’.
  5. Defenders may topple a ladder.  On a 3 the ladder is toppled.  This number is 1 less for each character on the ladder.
  6. If a ladder is toppled, the bottom character simply jumps down unhurt.  The top character must make a save or die.

Jack managed to eliminate my archers by turn 2.  They did, however, kill one of the elves with a lucky shot.  The Ogre managed to get to the door but was unable to bash it down before getting hit by a hail of arrows.  The ladders were placed on the wall and the Orcs managed to force their way up at one point on the front.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  It was bedtime.  Here are some pictures of the initial assault as well as the action at the end of turn 5.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

A view from the Elven side.  One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the Elven side. One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the front.  The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the front. The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the side of the castle.  One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf.  They come back next turn.

A view from the side of the castle. One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf. They come back next turn.

The castle is by Toshach Miniatures.  It is a free 10mm paper model that was enlarged to 1/72 scale.  The images were high resolution so enlarging them did not lose any of the clarity.  Great little model.  The ladders came from Fat Dragon Games Siege Engines set.  The images here are seamless so I was able to simply add several lengths together and reduced them to 75%.  I then cut two notches so I could hang miniatures on the ladders to make them look like they were scaling the wall.  This set is a must have if you want some cheap siege engines including a siege tower and a covered battering ram.  I recommend printing them at 75% or maybe even a little less.


Southern Front 2016

October 9, 2016

Some of my friends and I headed to Southern Front 2016 this past weekend.  It is a small convention held annually in Raleigh, NC.  Originally, it was billed as a historical miniatures convention.  Currently, the participants number only about 100.  Several folks stayed home as they lived in states that were severely affected by Hurricane  Matthew.   The games were fun and, as usual, were presented with wonderfully painted miniatures and attractive terrain.  Matthew decided to change course and affected more of NC than anticipated.  The Raleigh area lost power at about 2:30 on Saturday but power to the Hotel was restored around 8:00pm that night.  Several games were canceled as it was tough to see in the hall.  Others persevered and continued to play by flashlights, provided by the hotel staff.  Despite the unfortunate complications it was a fun, relaxed even and I believe everyone had a great time.  I hope to see participation increase in the coming years.  Here are some highlights of games at the con including a few I participated in.

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This table was scheduled to be used for about 5 games. I participated in Jimmy’s GASLIGHT game on Venus.

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Squad Leader as a miniatures game. We managed to take the field against the Germans! A Stug III burns in the background as a German Platoon withdraws.

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Yep! Won it out right! But at a pretty hefty cost. A German minefield claims two of my Shermans. My friend Andrew’s M-10 burns in the background, a casualty from being hit by a Jagpanther.

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A battle on Venus! The Bogart Shamen summon their dinosaur minions to defeat the Sino European forces before they can get the diplomats off this crazy planet. Bloody battle but a fun scenario. In the end we did the save modifiers for shooting completely backwards. When the GASLIGHT rules say -10, that means you reduce the die roll by 10, thus making it much easier to save against missile attack! We were modifying the target number!

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And then the power went out. Hurricane Matthew was supposed to hug the Carolina coats and head out to sea. Shockingly, the weather folks got this one wrong. Power went out around 2:30pm on Saturday and did not return until about 8:00pm that evening. This is a shot of a Stalingrad game using Chain of Command.

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The hardcore gamers continue to the end. A shot of Ed Mohrman’s ACW game using “Before I was a Marshal” rules by the late Larry Brom. Adapted for ACW of course.

 


Magic for ‘Throw Me a 6’

September 13, 2016

I’ve been pondering how to incorporate magic in Throw Me a 6.  I think I have come up with a simple but kind of interesting solution.

  1. Spells, in general cost “points” not unlike other systems out there.  A wizard will have a set amount per game to use.
  2. When a spell is cast, the points for the spell are expended and a success roll is made.  On a ‘1’, the spell fizzles.  On a ‘2’ through ‘5’, the spell succeeds with normal effects.  On a ‘6’, the spell critically succeeds!  ‘Throw me a 6’ right?!
  3. The ‘6’ might be to simply double the effect, or add some other bonus to the spell.  Haste, might allow a unit to move a second time.  A ‘6’ would add +2″ to each move.  Fireball might be 1-3 dice depending on how many points you spend.  A ‘6’ would double the amount of dice rolled.  Fear might cause a unit to retreat as if it just lost a melee.  A ‘6’ would also cause a loss of a stand.

I think there would be a couple of broad types of casters.  Wizard, Sorcerer, Necromancer, Druid and Priest.  Each will probably have about 3 spells to choose from.  I’ll have to give it a few tests to see how it goes.