This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last Monday evening Doug and I settled down to another fine game of Congo. Congo is a miniatures game that features small groups of individually based miniatures, called 'columns'. Figures are arranged into units of 3-5 figures and the scenarios are a refreshing change from the deploy on one side of the table and advance to contact variety.
This was the third game of Congo that Doug and I had enjoyed so we decided to play 'Escalation Along the Nziari'. As you can see from the photographs, a wide river dominates the centre of the table with patches of 'high dangerous' and 'impasable' terrain along either bank. We decided to put the table top terrain together using Sally 4th Terra-Former tiles. These are 12" square terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them securely together, strong MDF sides with a wide range of terrain profiles including the featured river. We used 12 to form a 3' x 4' playing area.
Both sides in this game used the 'White Men Expedition' army list and we settled for 70 points. My column 'The Smut Expedition' was led by Major Smut who had served with 'The Legion' and accompanied my group of Soldiers, Mrs Smut, an 'Explorer' joined a group of Askaris and the three Smut girls formed a group of 'Adventurers' who were accompanied by a native bearer. Another group of trained Askaris and a group of Scouts brought us up to 70 points.
Three objectives, (we used packing crates) were placed in the river.
The objective on my left flank was fiercely contested. My brave Askaris waded, waist deep into the crocodile infested Nziari to seize the crate.
However after softening up my bearers with fire from his Askaris, Doug sent his 'Young Warriors' in to melee my troops, mid river. The Warriors from Dougs 'Banks Expedition' won the fight and my Askaris were forced to retreat leaving the crate behind.
The Young Warriors from the Banks Expedition carry the loot towards the table edge to claim the victory points.
I hope to catch them up and seize it back but my Askaris pause mid river and are savagely attacked by a group of lurking crocodiles. If a group starts the turn in the river a D6 is rolled to see what happens. 1-3 nothing, 4 you draw a stress token, 5 you get attacked by a single crocodile and on a 6 you get attacked by a group of crocodiles.
Typical of my luck that night, the 6 that I rolled on the encounter table was about my only high roll of the game. My brave Askaris, who had already been reduced to just two, were attacked by a whole group of crocodiles who got to roll 4D8 for melee. They won by two, meaning I took two casualties, wiping out the Askari unit.
We did not fare much better on the right flank either. Here a group of Askaris from the Banks Expedition recover a crate after wiping out my unit of Soldiers who were contesting it.
Doug won this game very convincingly. It was a lot of fun. We have just ordered the new scenario book for Congo, 'Congo Mungo Mah Lobeh' based on the fantastic exploits of Miss Mary Kingsley.
We need to paint up some extra African wildlife including an elephant, hippo, leopard and some hyenas to be able to play the scenarios. Sally 4th have put together a couple of special offer bundles including models for these animals.
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Last year, a good customer ordered a huge quantity of Sally 4th 28mm siege equipment including 12 of our siege towers and 6 of our hasty assault packs plus much more.
Unfortunately, Ann and I could not make it to Crisis this year to view this amazing spectacle of all of our siege equipment on the table assaulting a huge fortified town.
Luckily, another friend, Sander, was at the show and kindly took these photographs for us.
The siege towers are three storys high and are designed to work with Sally 4th Castles, Games Workshop / Citadel Miniatures Mighty Fortress and Lord of the Rings Helms Deep and Minas Tirith.
Hopefully over the next couple of weeks people will email some more photograps in and details about the game, so that I can update this page for you.
It looks like a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle being played. I think the troops in the photo above are Warhammer Chaos Knights!
Truely a breathtaking spectacle!
Castles. For the defender we have a castle range, second to none with castle walls in three heights (10' / 20' / 30'), Towers in three heights (2 / 3 / 4 story), crenalations in nine styles (Medieval / Italian / Arab-Moorish / Carthaginean / Roman / Assyrian / Indian / Lord of the Rings Gondor and Rohan). The range also includes a Keep, Great Hall and other outbuildings and stairways.
Hoardings. If you are really worried about attack, all our castle sections can be improved with hoardings which are available in four styles (longbow, early crossbow, late crossbow and musket)
Last weekend Lewis and I enjoyed another great game of Mantic's 'The Walking Dead All Out War'
As Sally 4th have just released a model of a none story and a two story American Arts and Crafts style house (with interior details), we decided to set up our Walking Dead gaming area representing a small section of Suburbia. The terrain boards are from Sally 4th Terra-Former range, one foot square terrain boards with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together.
I choose a group of survivors that included Rick, Glenn, Tyreese and Julie.
Lewis's group included Dale, Craig, Duanne, Amy, Reggie & Patrick.
I split my group in to two sections. Here we can see Rick & Glenn heading around the house to take a look at the crashed cars in the street.
A few walkers are milling around, but not so dangerous at the moment.
Dale's gang enter the board and make for the entrance of the one story house.
Rick draws the walkers towards him to allow Glenn to zip around and check out what supplies are in the crashed cars.
Craig and Duanne work together, Craig moves up to the front door and makes a noise to attract the walkers attention, allowing Duanne to slip in through the back door and look for supplies.
Meanwhile the rest of the gang are checking out supplies in the cars.
In this game both sides put a lot of effort into managing the threat level, using several actions to reduce it. Consequently, the walkers were less of a threat in this game than the opposing groups of survivors.
Rick easily dispatches the two walkers that were closing in on him, and guards the entrance to the house.
Reggie keeps the walker busy while Patricia searches the car.
Duanne was surprised when searching the house, instead of finding useful supplies there was a hidden walker. Luckily he avoided damage.
In the other house Tyreese closes with the walker, dispatches it and searches for supplies while Julia stays safe in the hallway outside.
Glenn is also surprised when he trys a car door and finds that it is booby trapped, he escapes with minor injuries but the sound attracts walkers from miles around.
It soon becomes clear that the two groups of survivors are not going to share the resources nicely. Rick's group form a defensive position behind the brick wall. I can't remember who fired the first shot, but young Duanne got caught in the cross-fire., but is only wounded, and continues to head for the wall.
The rest of Dales group move up and the thin strip of land between the two plots becomes 'No Mans Land'
The wall does not provide enough of an advantage for Rick and his followers and soon the numbers in Dales gang provides an advantage.
Craig and Patricia hack Rick to pieces.
On the next activation Rick turns into a walker and the rest of his gang is outnumbered and surrenders.
It was a great afternoos gaming and a conclusive win for Lewis playing Dale's group.
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Last weekend Lewis and I had a great game of Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish.
The scenario idea was based on the classic western story, The Magnificent Seven. The villagers worked hard throughout the year but made barely enough to live on. Every fall for the last three years two terrible giants 'Tiny' and 'Tim' came down from their hills with their hangers on and lackys demanding tribute.
This year the miller had persuaded the villagers to gather together their wealth and head off to town to engage the services of some famed trouble shooters 'The Fab Three' to help them in their negotiations. In this scenario the defenders needed to set up within 4" on the mill. The various crates and sacks represent the produce the giants war band are trying to claim as tribute.
The valient fighter, Oz positions himself to hold the bridge, the torch holding villager behind him assures him that the villagers will all back him up.
'Tiny' and 'Tim' have brought along some extra musle to help carry the loot away including a Bugbear and a handful of Orcs.
Both the bugbear and the dwarf burglar use their set traps ability to create some 3" diameter areas of difficult terrain to try to slow their opponents down.
Unfortnately our heroes were easily picked off by these huge brutes, Oz the fighter has been knocked prone by a mighty blow from the giant 'Tiny' leaving the Jaz the female dwarf burglar to fend off the unwelcome attentions of the bugbear and Orcs.
Meanwhile at the other side of the mill pond the villagers are all scared by the other giant 'Tim' who had paused for a spot of roaring to intimidate before getting down to the serious business of squishing them with his big club.
The villagers are assailed from both sides and after a couple more rounds of combat we declared the game a victory to the giants.
The game was a lot of fun. We both really enjoyed the game mechanics of Otherworld Skirmish. On reflection, we had been short of preperation time and the force lists were unbalanced, the 12 villagers stood no chance at all against any of the bad guys, and as soon as the giants roared and scared them they were as good as dead. We will replay this scenario next time we get together and try to chose some toughre defenders to reflect a couple of weeks hard training before the bad guys arrive.
Miniatures are from a number of sources including some repainted 'Ral Parth 1977' Giants that I brought while at school 35 years ago together with some D&D Orcs and some fantastic figures from the Otherworld range. The water mill is a 3D printed model, the files are from Printable Scenery and the other buildings are from the range that I made for Pocketbond / Conflix many years ago. The modular terrain boards are from the Sally 4thTerra-Former range. These are kits to make 12" terrain squares with embedded rare earth magnets to hold them together and a range of 35 different profiles including streams, rivers, roads, cliffs etc.
At Partizan 2017 Sally 4th put on a Combat Patrol Participation game based on the 1978 action movie 'The Wild Geese' to coincide with the launch of the Mike Bravo 28mm Wild Geese Miniature line and Sally 4ths Wild Geese terrain / building range.
The rescue of President Limbani was going so well until a couple of trigger-happy Mercenaries decided to mow down the jail office staff and alert the whole camp.
This was where the game began, with the Merc player starting with a unit in the office, a unit helping the President out of his cell, two further cover groups lurking nearby and Colonel Faulkner overseeing things. Off-table a pair of Land Rovers were poised to lend assistance with transport and/or firepower.
For the first turn the Simba guards were subject to a morale test before activation to reflect their drowsiness as they awoke to the sound of gunfire. Only the guard towers sentries and the Ready section in the Guardroom were alert, although the way the turn played out it didn’t make much difference – the Mercs activated often and effectively, racing towards assorted Land Rovers and lorries scattered around the camp, and bursting down the approach road with Vickers machine gun and anti-tank rocket fire at the guard towers. One sentry was taken out easily but the other survived a close rocket burst. Those few Simbas that activated tended to be sluggish or wholly confused (slow movement allocation or a Pinned result) and the occasional keen soldier was picked off by a fusillade of fire from the office, whether the Mercenaries had established a fire base.
The next turn was almost as bad for the Simbas. The Landies crashed through the gate and exchanged shots with the surviving sentry. The Vickers jammed and one of the passengers was wounded but otherwise things were going well. The awake Simbas attempted to close upon the ‘muzungus’ but were chopped down by accurate fire. Sparse cover in the form of littered crates and oil drums didn’t help much and the sheer volume of fire caused a couple of squads to fragment as some rushed bravely forward while others cowered in the ablutions block! Limbani was helped into a Land Rover and – guns blazing – a small convoy raced for the gate, almost ploughing into panicking Simbas in the roadway. Return fire was general woeful, but the remaining sentry managed to wound the anti-tank operator and stun the rest of the crew. Fortunately the driver was none other than the Medic, so help was not fair away. The Motor Pool mechanics tried to stop the vehicle-jacking but were cut down and the Mercs pretty much cleared the camp of motor vehicles as they collected their wounded and raced off the table to safety. Round one to the Wild Geese!
The airport dash was less smooth. The Mercs poured onto the table, some Sprinting to gain cover, at the cost of winding themselves for an activation. A number of Simba units were foiled from entering play by the proximity of Mercenaries, whether because the latter were slow moving or had taken up defensive positions in the ruins. A couple of units did start to move across the scrub furthest away from the main Merc group.
The Vickers were hastily set up and started engaging the Simbas as they closed in, although Simba heavy weapon teams – RPGs and GPMGs – returned fire. The Mercs shredded one over-zealous Simba unit but a second raced to close range and killed the sole mercenary guarding the flank of one of the ruins.
This caused a bit of a re-think and more mercs started firing to cover their slower colleagues as they continued to head towards the cover of the terminal building en route to the Dakota. This is turn freed up another entry point for the Simbas and – as luck would have it – two elements arrived close behind the rearguard. Oops! The mercenary fortune with activations failed them and an RPG slammed into the anti-tank section. Rifle and LMG fire further whittled down the nearest merc unit until the final survivor – wounded, abandoned and doomed – decided to go out the old-fashioned way and charged with his bayonet against the two nearest Simbas. Sadly he failed by the narrowest of nine-pip margins and was easily dispatched!
The other Mercs were racing for the aircraft, dodging behind assorted airport litter including a pallet full of propane gas! Fortunately an RPG round failed to land near and the section carrying Limbani reached the door of the Dakota.
A huge amount of covering fire pinned Simba units and it was agreed that the Mercs had got away, albeit at the cost of a couple of elements plus more wounded who were dragged on board.
Many thanks to Doug Wright for running the game and doing the write up and to Dan from Mike Bravo Miniatures for commisioning the miniatures range and providing the Dak and the Bedfords.
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Combat Patrol - The rules that we used for playing 'The Wild Geese'
Mike Bravo 28mm Wild Geese Miniatures
28mm Modern African building range from Sally 4th
Yesterday, we had a great opportunity to host a game of Combat Patrol for their author, Buck Surdu and his son Tom who were visiting us while holidaying in the UK. As we are in the final stages of getting our show participation game based on the 1970'a action movie, 'The Wild Geese', it was a good opportunity to have a play test while Candy & Sam took in the sights of Ripon with Ann.
The scenario is 'Prison Break Out', the first of three linked scenarios in our Wild Geese mini campaign. The Mercenaries, led by Col Faulkner have already busted President Julius Limbani from his jail cell, but unfortunately the camp has been roused by resistance in the admin block. To win the Mercenaries need to exit through the south gate with Limbani, for a convincing win in motor transport with 50% of their force surviving. Buck chooses to play as Faulkner and the Mercenaries while Tom takes control of General Ndofa's Simbas who are guarding the camp. We will be running this game at 'The Other Partizan' on Sunday 20th August, so if you feel like having a go, come and see us then. The terrain is about 80% finished in these photos; the most obvious proxy is the iron railings standing in for chain-link perimeter fence.
Faulkner has at his disposal 4 squads of 5 Mercenaries rated as Elite for Morale and Regular for shooting mainly armed with FN Rifles with a Bren gun as the Squad Automatic Weapon, together with a support section containing a Vickers MMG team and a Blinder Anti-Tank weapon. One squad is deployed outside the cell block, another in the prison admin block; the other 2 squads are set up as cover party in the vicinity of the prison. The heavy weapon's teams have already requisitioned a couple of Ndofa's Landrovers and are heading towards the main gate. The Simbas have five squads of 8 infantry rated as green for firing and morale but with regular NCO's, so counting as regulars as long as NCO is still in action. One section is on guard, manning the gate and the guardroom, a half section is working in the MT shed. The towers by the gate are manned; the guards on the other towers have been eliminated before the scenario begins. The other three sections are responding to the alarm, so start the game with a morale marker that needs to be resolved when they are first activated to represent their variable state of readiness. They start off in the rest room, barrack block and at the edge of the table by the MT pool.
Combat Patrol uses a variable activation system. At the start of the game a command dice (D6) is rolled for each leader (NCO or Officer). An activation deck, containing numbered cards 1-6 (twice), an end of turn card and a number of special cards is used to determine the activation sequence. When a number card is turned all of the units whose command dice matches the card get to act. The first few activations go to Tom's units and he quickly turns out the guard to reinforce the gate, and gets his 'off table' troops moving.
Combat Patrol uses a variable activation system. At the start of the game a command dice (D6) is rolled for each leader (NCO or Officer). An activation deck, containing numbered cards 1-6 (twice), an end of turn card and a number of special cards is used to determine the activation sequence. When a number card is turned all of the units whose command dice matches the card get to act. The first few activations go to Tom's units and he quickly turns out the guard to reinforce the gate, and In the top right corner, we can see a fire fight developing as Faulkner’s cover party is engaged by Simba's moving forward from the MT pool, making good use of every bit of available cover. Unlike many rules sets, Combat Patrol models the effect of cover explicitly. As in the real world, our model NCO's give a fire control order to their section to engage a target area. Any troops within that area are potential targets, as are other figures within 4". This prevents unrealistic targeting of 'special' figures, over and above the rank and file. Once a hit has been scored, it is randomised among the target group. If the particular figure hit is actually behind a piece of appropriate cover, the cover saves them from being wounded or incapacitated, if not they are hit. All of this is done by turning a couple of specially designed action deck cards that seamlessly implement small arms fire, anti-vehicle fire, HE fire, movement, melee and morale without resorting to charts and cross referencing, allowing the player to focus on tactics and manoeuvring their model troops.
Buck de-buses the Vickers section and Blinder from the Landrovers and at medium range starts to engage the guard force. The blinder shoulder launched Anti-Tank weapon proves to be particularly effective, placing a medium blast template that often causes casualties even if it has deviated from aiming point.
Looking for cover, a Mercenary section bursts into the barrack block; however the Simbas successfully react to this movement and cause casualties in both fire-fight and melee, pushing them back out of the building.
Simba's on the main gate and guard towers deliver effective fire-power but do take heavy casualties.
The covering force that was evicted from the barrack block is caught in the open and receives heavy incoming fire and eventually taking sufficient casualties to cease to be an effective unit.
Faulkner’s group make it into the relative safety of the prison admin block to await the covering forces return with a truck or Landrovers. Unfortunately after 3 or 4 turns it is obvious that despite a spirited engagement by the heavy weapons section, the covering force has ceased to exist and transport is not going to arrive. At this point Buck concedes and victory is awarded to Tom's Simba. It was a great afternoon's gaming and a good time was had by all.
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Here at Sally 4th we are busy getting ready to put on a participation game at 'The Other Partizan' on 20th August, based on the 1970's action movie ' The Wild Geese'. We will be using the excellent range of 28mm Wild Geese Miniatures from Mike Bravo Miniatures and the soon to be released Wild Geese building range from Sally 4th. Over the last couple of weeks, I've painted up all of the British Mercenaries who are modelled wearing DPM Combat Jacket & Trousers, '38 Pattern Webbing and mainlu 7.62mm SLR rifles.
Stage 1. Snip feet of 'plinth' using side cutters, superglue to temporary painting base and undercoat. I used the excellent 'Late War Dunkelb' spray primer from Plastic Soldier Company. The other option is to spray white and then paint all over with a sand / dunkelb coloured paint.
Stage 2 . Paint face & hands flesh colour. I used Vallejo Sunny Skintone (No 20)
Stage 3. Using Vallejo Mahogany Sand (No 139), paint the brown part of the DPM pattern using swirls with divided forked ends.
Stage 4, Using Vallejo Olive Green (No 082), paint the green part of DPM camofaluge pattern, trying to overlap the brown patches in places.
Stage 5. Using Black (any black will do!), paint boots, metal parts of rifle and black elements of DPM pattern, which should be painted as small swirls over the brown and green patches. This is best done with a smaller brush (OO size).
Stage 6. Using Vallejo Green Grey (086), paint webbing belt, straps and pouches.
Stage 7. Using Vallejo Red Leather (No 136), paint wooden parts of rifle.
Stage 8. Paint beret using Vallejo English Uniform (No 141).
Stage 9. Hold figure by base and dip into tin of Army Painter Quicktone to add shadows and line the equipment.
Stage 10. Spray with Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Varnish to remove gloss finish. When dry, I removed from painting bases and glued on to a Sally 4th clear Perspex base so that the miniatures will match whatever terrain they are standing on.
Combat Patrol is fast becoming a generic set of skirmish wargames rules for any period from around 1800 to the far future. The core rules cover WW2 combat and ‘free to download supplements’ add period specific rules for Falklands Campaign, Winter of '79, Napoleonic and now the Old West. Last Saturday, Lewis and I dusted off our western gunfighters and American West terrain and game Combat Patrol Western a try.
We used a scenario from the 'Dead Mans Hand' main rulebook. I played the bad guys and Lewis played the Sheriff and his posse. We both had a mix of different quality characters, our leaders were rated as elite and the rest of the characters a mixture of regular and green. The gangs were divided into groups and set up around the town as laid down in the 'Dead Mans Hand' scenario. My leader had to set up in a building; he was drowning his sorrows.
My leader dashes across the street and takes cover behind the corner of a building. The dice in the picture are 'activation dice'. Each leader (and every group has a leader, even if it is an informal one) rolls a dice at the start of the turn to determine their activation number. Activation is then determined by drawing a card from an activation deck. This contains numbers 1:6 twice, a re-roll and reshuffle card and some other special cards that allow certain classes of unit to activate more (or less) times. So, for example, my leader is the figure with the white shirt. He gets to activate whenever the No 6 card is drawn from the deck.
The action hots up on the edge of town by the corral, Lewis's deputy (in the brown coat) and a member of the posse, close the range before opening up with their pistols. My cowboy in the corral has a '!' token next to him, this indicates that he is stunned, so will need to spend the next turn removing this status. He is stunned because he attempted to 'react' when the lawmen headed down the side street. Any model can attempt to react to enemy movement by turning a card from their action deck and consulting the 'D5' part of the card. If the number is less than their reaction attribute they can react and after reacting become 'stunned' to show they have acted early and taken their action out of sequence., If the number on the card is equal or higher they can not react, and if the card is a '5' they do not react but become stunned anyway.
Two of the lawmen's posse take a shot at the outlaw leader. Shooting is very fast and intuitive. The top of the cards is the shooting resolution table. All of the data about probabilities are built into the cards, rather than having to reference other charts and quick reference sheets. Figures are classed as elite, regular of green for accuracy. This tells you were to look on the top of the card. Underneath the white dots you will see corresponding letters 'E', 'R', 'G'. This is where you start on the card. You then add modifiers for the tactical situation. This are summarised by the icons on the next row of the card. Shift one to the right if target moved, out of command, wounded or at medium range and shift two to the right if at long range or if moving and firing. The posse are 'Green' and are moving and firing so they would have needed a white circle in position five to have scored a hit.
On their next activation they move up to close range and shoot again. This time they are successful, so draw another card and look at the target and cover part of the card. Unfortunately for me it was a 'headshot' with no cover save, so my leader is dead.
Against all the odds the next bout of gunfire to be resolved leaves Lewis' leader, the Sheriff dead from a headshot with no cover save as well!
The action hots up in the side street as well. The figure top left has an 'out of ammo' marker. When you fire there is always the chance of running out of ammo or getting a stoppage that needs clearing. This is indicated on firing part of card. If you are out of ammo you then need to spend a turn reloading before you can fire again.
Another two lawmen 'Go down in a blaze of glory'. At this point Lewis calls it a day. Victory for the Outlaws.
The red markers are for morale checks. Each time a unit is hit, even if round is saved by cover, the unit takes a morale marker which needs to be resolved next time the unit activates.
Combat Patrol worked really well for a western game. The supplement also covers mounted troops, dynamite and all of the other elements and troop types you would expect in a game set in the Old West and best off all it is available as a free download.
I like to make modular terrain, with as many pieces that can be re-used for different purposes, different periods, different genres, as like 99.9% of all wargamers, I have limited storage space for miniatures and terrain. This is why I developed the Terra-Former terrain system. Terra-Formers are 12" square, precision laser cut frames with a wide range of profiles for modelling hills, rivers, streams, canals, beaches etc. In fact there are over 30 different tile profiles available in the Terra-Former range.
I backed the fantastic Precinct 187 3D printable terrain system from Z1 Design on Kick Starter last year, and since then my 3D printer has been printing building components most days. The set that I like the most is their Docklands. This includes dock edging, warehouse buildings and two boats, including the fishing boat that features in these photographs.
The great thing about 3D printing is how easily you can modify the designs to print them for a different figures scale or to crop or resize them. As I already had a large collection of Terra-Former terrain, including harbour sections and sea tiles, I wanted to make my 3D printed harbour compatible with the existing terrain tiles so these could be reused with the new Precinct 187 harbour. The original Dock design has the height of the dock and piers at the same height as their building tiles (approx 55mm) and they have some 'hill' tiles to make steep roads to integrate with the rest of their terrain. This is a great concept, but I wanted my Dock to fit with my modular terrain tiles.
In the software that I use to translate the 3D design files into code that the 3D printer understands, I have the ability to crop and resize components. If you cut 36mm off the bottom of the harbour walls and the wooden piers, and stretch them width ways by 101% to make them 6" wide, two of the harbour walls will fit exactly into a Terra-Former Straight Canal Tile.
The picture below gives you an overview of the Precinct 187 3D printed scenery with my existing Terra-Former tiles. I also decided that I would use my existing plain urban tiles which are plain tiles with coarse 'wet and dry' paper stuck onto them as a tarmac surface, instead of printing out road tiles. The pavements and the flagstones that are part of the harbour are all 3D printed pieces from the Precinct 187 range.
The motorboats were all free designs, downloaded from Thingiverse. The miniatures are from Spectre Miniatures and Nonsense Miniatures and they have all been re-mounted onto Sally 4th Clear bases so that they blend in nicely with all of the different terrain that they might be placed on. I do this with all skirmish figures these days to avoid the rather off look of a figure standing on a road or inside a building surrounded with grass and other foliage.
This is a picture of some of the harbour and beach pieces that I had already made from Terra-Formers, set up for an 18th Century pirate game.
This is a picture of the same harbour 'dressed' for a WW2 commando raid scenario.
The next thing that I am planning to do (apart from 3D printing a stack off the Dockland buildings is to work out how to resize / modify some of the Z1 dock edging to fit on to the Terra-Former canal / quayside corner and external corner boards, which you can see in the photo of the WW2 harbour for even more variety.
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Following on from last week’s Operation Sea Lion game where Jerry raided with Brandenburg commandos but failed to destroy the British HQ, this week they have returned with a conventional infantry platoon, same beach, same mission.
Doug commands the Germans and decides to deploy all of his forces on his left flank intending to neutralise the pill box and then quickly advance to the 'George and Dragon' for a quick half... I mean to secure his primary objective.
British defenders consist of three sections of Homeguard, a Regular Army Vickers MMG team and a section of 'Old Soldiers'.
The game starts with a Homeguard section parading outside the George and Dragon, another deployed in the Pillbox on the beach and the Vickers team deployed in the MG Bunker. The remaining two squads will hopefully arrive on a latter turn. We decided that we would work out when reinforcements arrived by turning a Combat Patrol card and if it depicted a hit for the type of unit we wanted to activate, that unit would be placed on the table. The 'Old Soldiers' were rated as Regular so they needed two white bursts on the card, the Homeguard were rated as Green so they needed three bursts on the card to arrive.
The Vickers MMG team are deployed in the Vickers MMG Bunker on the extreme left flank of the British position with a good field of fire across the beach.
The first wave of invaders hit the beach and starts suppressing the defenders in the pillbox.
Combat Patrol uses so pretty innovative game mechanics. Instead of having lengthily tables and modifiers to implement combat and manoeuvre rules, all of the complexities and probabilities are distilled into a clever set of cards that have sections to resolve movement, morale checks, small arms, anti-vehicle and HE fire, cover saves and melee. Here Doug turns a card to check how far his unit will move this activation.
Homeguard reinforcements have arrived and are moving up to take a good defensive position behind the stone walls. The dice that you can see in the photos are activation dice. At the start of the turn, each leader (Officer & NCO) gets a D6 rolled to give them an activation number. The activation deck has numbers 1-6 in both black and red together with some special cards such as reroll. When the card is turned that matches a unit’s activation dice that unit can be activated. I like the way that it models a commanders (limited) influence on their subordinates. When a leader is activated, they can swap their dice with one of their subordinates to get them acting first. On a number of occasions in this game my Home Guard officer swapped his activation dice with the Vickers MMG to get them into action faster.
Here we see the 'Old Soldiers' moving into position in the back yard of the Pub. As these were reinforcements and their arrival was delayed a couple of turns, I decided to make them 'sprint' into position. Normally an infantry unit turns one card for movement, and the distance moved depend on if they are rated Green, Regular or Elite. However, you can turn two cards for movement and add them together to simulate 'sprinting' into position, but after moving you become stunned and have to use your next activation to remove the 'stunned' status.
More Jerries stream ashore!
In text book fashion, after suppressing the pillbox with small arms fire, the German Infantry rush up to the apertures and 'post' some grenades.
This kills all of the occupants apart from the LMG gunner. However he is stunned and out of ammo!
With the pillbox neutralised the Germans move forward in preparation for crossing the obstacle belt.
The machine gun teams set up in the surf, taking advantage of the rocks that offer some protection from incoming rounds and start to suppress the Vickers bunker.
German infantry are slowed down by the coiled barbed wire obstacles.
The two Home Guard defending the trench leading into the Pillbox are assaulted by German Infantry, put up a brave fight but are eventually overwhelmed.
Against all odds, a lucky shot makes it through the aperture in the Vickers MG bunker and wounds (and stuns) the Vickers gunner, temporarily silencing the gun.
However, the Germans have taken such high casualties neutralising the Pillbox and seeing that the British Defenders are now all in place behind stone walls they decide to retire and hope that they are doing better on another beach!
The terrain boards have all been constructed using the Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain system. 12" frames with a wide range of profiles such as rivers, streams, canals and beaches together with rare earth magnets to hold them together. Click here for further information.
The buildings and defences are from our Operation Sea Lion range,
The game was played using Combat Patrol rules, an innovative set of platoon level rules written by Buck Surdu. (a free set is available to try)
The scenario was taken from the Bolt Action Campaign Sea Lion book.