Monday, December 29, 2014

Secret Santa, Santa Clause and Welcomes

Santa Clause

I am pleased to report on the wonderful pieces that I have received from my Santa Clause. Since I was running the Santa Clause, I knew who was painting the miniatures that I received. I did not pick but it was the result of a random number draw. I have to say I am very happy with the miniatures that I received.

The miniatures are wonderful Peter Pig French Civilians from their WWII range. I will definitely be using these. They were wrapped and included a very thoughtful card. Well done. They came wrapped and had a card included. I was a very happy boy Christmas Morning. Thank you Ian for letting me be a part of the fun.

Secret Santa

This was my first year in participating in Ian's Secret Santa program. I have no clue who my secret Santa is as my wife snatched up the gift as soon as it arrived and wrapped it as she did not want the mailing envelope under the tree. I know roughly where it came from based on the manufacturer.

What was there when I opened the package was nearly a complete 15mm Modern British Platoon in berets. I was very pleased. They are QRF miniatures. I received two packs of advancing infantry, a pack of GPMG wielding fellows, a pack with Carl Gustavs, and a Command pack. This is great. I really don't need much more to round out the platoon headquarters.

Looking at what else I need, it looks like QRF will be one stop shopping. They have FV432's as well. A big thank you to my Secret Santa. This is well appreciated. Any suggestions on how to paint these fellows?


Apparently, I am not paying attention as I looked today and there are three new followers. Welcome!

First up is Tim Gow of Interbellum and Megablitz and More. Interbellum is interesting and I had never seen it before. The site seems to be about imaginations campaigns including a WWII one. This will be one to follow for me. Megablitz has some nice AARs of modern games. I need to spend some time looking around.

Next is Conrad Kinch of Joy and Forgetfulness. He is a blogger I have seen commenting around other blogs and did not realize that I was not following him already. The blog is rather nice with some very nicely painted models on it. Another one I am glad to follow.

Last up is Bill. I can't find a link to Bill's blog. But welcome anyway. If you have one, let me know and I will gladly post a link.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Just noticed that I have a new follower here. Everyone, give a warm welcome to Ken Reilly of the Yarkshire Gamer blog. I had found his blog recently. He has a wonderfully put on game of Guilford Courthouse on his blog at the moment. Definitely worth paying a visit to. If you have a chance, swing by and pay him a visit.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

As we approach year's end, I realize that this is probably my last post for the year. What a fantastic year it has been. I was able to get in more games than I did in 2013. I painted more figures than 2013. All in all, it was a very productive year.

This year we did a few giveaways. I saw record traffic on the blog only to have it die off to a trickle in November. Still, its been great fun. Thank you all for visiting.

Next year, I hope that things pick right back up. On the Vis Lardica site, the painting challenge was a great motivator. I ended the year with over 500 points. I am quite pleased with that.

That beings up what should I try to accomplish in 2015?

Here are my loose goals.
1) Complete a scenario book for the American Civil War in West Virginia.
2) Get some AWI figures painted that have been languishing in the lead pile in preparation for another AWI book.
3) Get some Old West terrain and get in some regular games with my son.
4) Play more Chain of Command.
5) Play some games of Terrible Sharp Sword.
6) Work some more on my Roman Dux project.
7) Get an article into both the Summer and Christmas 2015 TFL specials.

I want to try to keep it simple. I think these are doable goals. They are just vague enough that they should be within reach.

What are your plans for the new year?

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Blog

I decided to separate out my Wargame stuff from the novel traffic. If you have any interest in keeping up with Thomas Devereaux and the crew of the CSS Appomattox, please head on over to the other site.

Interestingly enough, the single post on the new and unadvertised site has generated more traffic than this blog has today. I am not sure how that works.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Giveaway Has Been Spotted

Paul at the End Transmission Gaming Stuff Blog has a giveaway going on. He is doing a drawing for a mystery box of miniatures. Should be interesting. Swing on by and take a look.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Cover

I have been tinkering with the cover of my book on Amazon. I made some minor changes to it. Let me know what you think.

Book Mailing Lists

I am fooling around with attempting to make a mailing list for my novel series. I have been reading some marketing books about doing this but really I have no idea of what I am doing. I just set up a mailing list as one of the books suggested. If you have any interest in signing up, please go to my dedicated page for it. Or fill out the form below.

I will not be sending out emails more frequently than once a month, if that often so please know I have no intention of spamming anyone. Thanks for your interest in my books.

Subscribe to our mailing list

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Odds and Ends

Just sent out a mail to the Santa Clause participants to check who has not received their present yet. So far, I know of one that is in route a bit long but we are hoping for the best.

I think Google does not like me. Traffic on this blog has taken a huge nose dive. Not sure what is going on. Then again, I may just be boring everyone.

The CSS Appomattox is doing really well on Amazon. I surprised myself. I just checked and it is showing as:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,109 Paid in Kindle Store
#18 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Alternative History
#41 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Alternate History

I can't believe that I hit #18 even if it was just for a couple of seconds. That is pretty nifty to me. I have the first two chapters completed of the sequel already. Its proving to be a fun exercise at this point. This time our heroes will find themselves seconded to the British Army in an attempt to curry favor with the Crown. They are moved to a backwater in hopes to get them out of the way, they arrive in Egypt in late 1884.

It is distracting me from working on my ACW scenario book though.

I just received confirmation that my four M113's for my 1980s US Infantry force has been shipped. I now need to figure out what minis to get for the infantry. Any recommendations? I am locked into 15mm.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Clause

I have heard from everyone that the gifts have been mailed. Furthermore, I have heard from several of you that you have received your Santa Clause item. This is great. I received mine last week. It was the first wrapped present under my tree. I have been very patient in that it is still sitting wrapped under the tree. I will have patience.

It actually has been a pretty good year, hobbywise. I was able to get several projects completed and I have some good ideas for the new year. Hopefully I can paint a bit before the year ends and complete one or two more items that are collecting dust in an unfinished state.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chain of Command - Pacific Campaign

This is yet another game report from last week. I was able to get not only two solo games in but also two games in with Mark. This game was a Pacific Theater game set in 1941. I played the Japanese for the first time ever. It was a simple patrol scenario so no supports were selected by either side. Brian played the Australians and Mark umpired for us.

The table was very nicely done. Mark's terrain always looks great. We played scenario 1 from the rules which is a patrol game.

Following the patrol Phase, My Japanese held the following jump Off Points as indicated by the white dice.

Brian's Austrailians held Jump Off Points denoted by the red dice.

Brian had the initiative and began to move two squads down the center of the board. They were supported by a s" mortar team that did very little throughout the game.

As evident in the picture above, the Japanese deployed their mortar Squad off to the right hand side of the table (well my right). The mortar squad would punish the Australians throughout the game. I also deployed a single infantry squad behind a tree line to block the path of the advancing Australians. These troops engaged Brian's troops as he pushed them forward.

Here we can see my squad that dished out the punishment on Brian's troops. They were on overwatch which helped greatly.

I attempted to follow the tactical advice that Rich published on his blog but I don't think I am a very good pupil. But it must have helped some. Here is an overview of the action thus far. The mortar did try to put down a screen of smoke for Brian's troops to advance behind. The first attempt put smoke behind my team but the second attempt was right on the money.

Among the early casualties of my mortar squad was one of Brian's squad leaders. Brian had bad luck with his leaders. Several were hit throughout the game. Despite the mounting shock and casualties on his main line of advance, Brian brought forward a thrid squad into that channel of advance.

Brian managed to pin my defending squad due to shock and casualties.

The combat that lead to my guys being pinned resulted in the destruction of one of Brian's squads.

To support the pinned squad I brought up my second infantry squad behind the pinned one. This led to an exchange of long range fire. Eventually the pinned squad broke and fled. This was the first hit on force morale that I had taken.

The mortars broke a heavily hit squad of brian's infantry routing them off of the board. This left Brian with a single intact squad and I brought on my third squad. With two full infantry squads and the mortar squad on the table for one functional squad of Brian's, we called the game at that point.

It was a great game. Out one thought out of it was how much of an ammo supply should the mortars have? The light mortars were rather devastating (mostly due to really fortunate die rolls on my part - I know, it surprised me too). It is something that we need to consider. Maybe limit the number of times that they can fire before having to go to the JOP for more ammo. The three mortars firing together were fairly powerful. Any idea of what their standard load would be?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cold War Campaign - Game 3

Following the bloodless second game, the third game looked as if it were going to be harder fought. This time the terrain was in a large village that the IDF had fallen back to. The platoon was largely untouched so there was no rearranging of the platoon that was necessary. Again for support, the platoon had their M113 vehicles and a single Dragon ATGM team.

The town had been shelled by the Soviets prior to the attack. This left a large portion of the table in ruins.

The Israelis would defend the top portion of the table. The Soviets would enter from the bottom. The Soviets had two turns of movement in the patrol phase before the IDF moved. In the end, the IDF got the upper hand in the deploying the Jump Off Points.

The IDF JOPs are at the bottom of the picture. In the center of the table are the road blocks that I won from the Lardy Force List Contest. They are nicely made Dragon Teeth type road blocks. I really need to paint them but I wanted a game more than I wanted pretty. I think I had most of my buildings on the table for this.

Having the first initiative the IDF did not deploy anything on their first initiative. The Soviets quickly tried to move troops up. They deployed a BMP-1 and a squad on the cobblestone road. With a double six they were able to rush them forward. The infantry moved up behind a ruin.

The Soviets had some amazing luck as they had three initiatives in a row and ended up startlingly close to an Israeli jump off point. The Soviet BMP was placed on over watch. It would not advance more than an inch beyond this point for the rest of the game.

The Soviets also brought forward a T-55 in support. The T-55 has Syrian markings and was from a diverted shipment that never ended up in its destination country.

The Israeli initiative has the first combat of the game. The Israelis deployed into the ruin and initiated close combat. This proved to be a very bloody encounter that destroyed the Soviet squad to a man and the Israelis took six men killed from their squad. The IDF leader survived and they only took two points of shock.

This initial loss did not shake the Soviet morale badly. With the ruins secure, they deployed the Dragon team to the top of the ruin and fired on the T55. The T55 sustained damage to its main gun.

With its remaining command dice, the IDF deployed another squad behind the ruin. The squad leader ordered the RPG gunner to fire on the BMP-1 which resulted in a killed gunner. (The picture has been left out due to terrible quality of our combat photographer)

The Soviets rushed to support their troops and deployed anther squad and another BMP-1. To support the damaged T55, they moved a squad and a BMP-1 up there as well.

The Soviets continued to push and closed in on the known Israeli position.

They did not just get double sixes once but twice in a row. They brought up their second senior leader and pushed up into the ruins across from the IDF positions.

The squad that was not invested in the ruins began to advance cautiously on tactical once they realized they were directly under the defenders guns. On the next Israeli activation, the lead BMP took another RPG hit forcing it to fall backwards once its morale was broken. The Dragon gunner on the roof launched another rocket at the BMP that was supporting the damaged T55 tank. The hit was not fatal and the BMP took some shock.

The Soviet squad came off of tactical and attempted to charge their way forward to the ruins. This failed. They did not reach close combat range. The Soviet squad in the house fired on the men in the ruins and pinned them. They did manage to kill the Dragon gunner though.

The IDF squad behind the ruins moved to the side of the building to engage the Soviet squad. Not calculating distances well, I ended up moving them to withing close combat range and anther deadly fight ensued. This time the Soviets lost six men including their Platoon Sergeant. The remnants of the squad (squad leader and one man) broke and ran. The IDF squad lost four men in the brief fight.

This cost the Soviets some significant morale loss. Now they had a squad, one whole BMP-1 and three damaged vehicles left. With only 3 command dice left, the squad in the ruins attempted to take as many of the enemy as they could. Firing on the soldiers now in the open, they managed to kill one of the Israelis. This would force them to move backwards to cover.

The T55 attempted to move up and do something. To counter it, the Israelis deployed their final squad on the far end of the board. Over the next few turns, a leader would pick up the Dragon and attempt to engage the T55. He missed. At that point I declared it to be out of ammunition. The new squad moved down the street from cover to cover until it came in contact with the remaining BMP-1. It engaged it with its RPG and caused the crew to abandon it. At this point, the game was all but over.

The IDF lost no morale during the fight. The Soviets ended up withdrawing after loosing another command die. They abandoned two of their BMP-1s in the process. It was a significant victory for the IDF. The men's opinion went down after all of the losses that they took. The COs opinion went back up after the win. The platoon leader's assessment of himself came out to be Steady.

In the end it was a very fun game. What I need to do is figure out how many shots the RPG troops should have and how many shots the Dragon team should get. I decided three for the game but I have no idea how many they should have. Also I am not sure I am doing the damage right for these. No vehicles ended up taking more than superficial damage. Even when being shot by a Dragon. Two games with vehicles and no vehicles were destroyed. I will just have to wait for the Modern Version of Chain of Command to figure out what I should have done.

The Merry Christmas Scenario Book Sale

Its time to do a sale. This will last from now till December 27th. All of the scenario books will be 50% off.

In the Name of Roma is now $5.50
The Falcon and the Gladiator is now $5.00
The Coming Thunder is now $5.00
Air Campaign for the Western Desert is now $2.00

In order to take advantage of the sale, simply PayPal the payment to and mention the Christmas sale. If you use the one click buttons, you will NOT get the sale price.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week End in Review

Well, it was a great weekend. Friday night I finished the third game of my Modern Chain of Command campaign before they returned home. Saturday was spent attempting to get the house straightened up before the family came back. The family returned all safe and sound but exhausted from travel. I was glad to have them back. Mission Accomplished.

CSS Appomattox

I am not sure if there is any meaning to the stats that Amazon places on their various books. There is a section called product details that lists some items about the book. These include file size, length, the unique ID number of the book and so on. At the very bottom of this is a section called: "Amazon Best Sellers Rank."

I have no clue if this has any meaning or not but I was intrigued. As of this morning, this is what it listed:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#33 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Alternative History
#59 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Alternate History

Now this is interesting to me. This is the best ranking I have had on Amazon. I have not been out there long but still, this in neat. To put things in perspective, In the Name of Roma's ranking is: "Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)."

The two lines below the Sellers rank are new to me. I have no clue of how many books are in each category but I am actually rather pleased that this showed up at all.

In addition to this, I now have 3 reviews for the book. Two are five stars and one is a four star. The four star review was extremely helpful to me. It was great feedback that is helping me improve the book. The other two just made me feel good.

Anyway, I have started on the sequel. I know where I am going with the story and that is kind of exciting. The hardest part is coming up with a good name for the book. Going by most of the working titles of my scenario supplements, I really stink at it. Rich came up with all of the good ones. For instance, I came up with "Campaign for Greece" while Rich came up with "This Land Divided."

Cold War Campaign - Game 2


After the victory that the IDF element achieved in the initial skirmish, Raul Speyer's platoon was left to defend the area against any further attacks. They brought their vehicles forward and took a Dragon ATGM team as a support. They believed that the Soviets would doubtless bring some form of armor as support.

The Soviets assigned a new platoon for this attack. They were assigned an East Bratislovakia surplus T-55. It seemed that the Soviets diverted part of a Syrian shipment of T-55s to East Bratislovakia sometime in the 1970s. Not thrilled with cooperating with the East Bratislovakians, the Soviets were going to only call them in as a last resort. It seems that the Soviets did not believe that the candy makers could fight. They needed to stick to what they knew and knew well - Beet Flavored Candy.

Oddly enough, whenever a Soviet citizen requested to visit the factories, they never touched the candy again afterwards and would never explain why.

The Battle

The battlefield was identical to the one previously fought over. The Soviets had two turns unopposed for the patrol phase. This gave them a good edge and were able to rapidly move their patrol markers forward.

This produced the following Jump Off Points.

The Soviets had a big advantage with a jump off point nearly to the middle of the saddle. With the other they occupied two buildings. The IDF had a tougher time with a poor disbursement of JOPs. All three were fairly close to the table edge. The one furthest to the left turned out to be very vulnerable.

The IDF had the higher morale. They began by deploying two squads and the Dragon ATGM team. The Dragon team attempted to sneak around the far end of the Saddle. In reality, they would end up playing no role in the game. One Squad was deployed on the far jump off point by a house and the other was in the hedges.

With the Soviets taking the initiative, they roll 3 6's and a 2 & 3. Ending the turn so early had no real impact but it kept the initiative with the Soviets. They immediately deployed a squad on the Saddle and another in a house. Thus far, all of the Soviet troops were across the stream and not bottled up the way they were in the previous game.

The game really turned into one of maneuver. The Soviets had a great advantage and were pushing it hard. The Israelis were not in a position to stop them without taking casualties that they did not think would be worth while. The IDF brought up a single M113 track that never advanced beyond its entry point. The Soviet brought up a single BMP-1 that reached the center of the saddle. The M113 was on over watch and engaged the BMP-1 with its .50 MG. This had no result. The BMP-1 fired its Sasgger missile and managed somehow to only daze the driver.

Here is where I think some updated charts are needed. I am not sure that my older ratings for things are exactly right. Anyway, What happened was a prolonged fight between the BMP-1 and the M113. The M113 got the best of it. They achieved a result where they forced the BMP back off of the Saddle which bought them time to escape.

Elsewhere on the table, the Dragon team saw that they were about to be engaged by a full squad of Soviets so they ran off. The squad in the house did nothing for the whole game and fled with no losses. And the squad in the center reached the bottom of the saddle before pulling back and fleeing.

The end result of the game was that the IDF gave ground but did not loose a single man. The CO's opinion dropped by one but the men's opinion went up by two. This set the stage for the third game of the campaign. I wanted to continue the Soviet push into West Bratislovakia. Game 3 was played out on Friday. This game was done on Wednesday night.

Next installment coming up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Santa Clause Is Wrapping Up

The 2014 Santa Clause is wrapping up. I have heard from most people on the list. Some have sent me pictures of what they have done and I am really impressed at the quality of work that some folks have done.

I still have not heard from some of you. Please let me know if there are any difficulties. Merry Christmas everyone.

Bomber Escort Mission, Well at least they tried

I was able to get in a game of Check Your Six last night. I had a great time. I was a bit rusty with the rules due to not playing for a while. Thanks Mark for putting this together.

November 14th, 1941 - Forward Romanian Airfield, Location Classified

The two officers in their dress uniforms sat smoking cigarettes on the other side of the table. Captain Jan Gogean just stared in disbelief at Locotenent Niculaie Croditier. Niculaie had always been an aggressive pilot and the months of inactivity of the squadron due to that stomach flu would have an impact on anyone but this was beyond the pale.

Blowing a smoke ring up towards the ceiling, the base commander leaned forward and said, "Please state your report just one more time. I want to make sure I fully understand what happened this morning."

0945 hours - Earlier that day

Niculaie looked over his shoulder and out the glass of his IAR-80 aircraft. His wing man was a new boy, Marin Bucsa. They were flying above the formation of four SM79 bombers. They had just crossed into enemy airspace just a few minutes earlier. He continued to scan the sky for the enemy.

Below the bomber formation was the other two aircraft element of his flight under the command of David Selymes. He was a steady hand. He had Emilian Miklos as his wing man.

In the distance he spotted a flight of four Soviet bi-planes.

"Heads up men. 12 o'clock and above us. The Russians have come to the party."

The acknowledgements rang out from his fighters. He also warned the bomber formation. They replied that they had eyes on the incoming aircraft.

Still scanning his horizon, Niculaie spotted a pair of Romanian Bf-109s that decided to join the party. Confident that they could handle the pests before him, Niculaie sent his men straight at the enemy.

Under the bomber formation he suddenly spotted a new formation of Soviet aircraft. More of those biplanes. They were at the same altitude as David. He checked and they had spotted them as well.

He continued to close with the enemy and looked for an optimum target. The enemy was dropping down to attack the bombers.

The upper flight of four Soviet biplanes had dropped to level with the bomber formation and did a split S dropping behind the bomber formation. Nicolaie and his wingman also did a split s in an attempt to close with the Russians. Nicolaie had lost sight of David and his wingman.

Getting separated from his wing man, Nicolaie hauled on the stick attempting to come around and circle back on the Russians who were beginning to fire on the bomber flight. The biplanes locked in behind the bombers and were in the process of emptying their guns into them. At first it appeared that the bombers were shrugging of the damage with ease. Marin got off the first shots of our flight at a tailing biplane. Unfortunately he missed.

Nicolaie managed to get behind one of the biplanes and unleashed a burst. Unfortunately it passed over the lower soviet and struck the tail of the rear most bomber that he was trying to protect. Fortunately, it did not appear to cause the bomber any issues. The concentrated fire of the biplanes started to tell. The left most bomber could not absorb any more damage and fell out of formation.

Another bomber was hit and had to pull out of formation in flames. Marin was maneuvering for a shot. In an effort to protect that bomber, Nicolaie fired on the same aircraft that Marin was and ended up hitting Marin's aircraft causing it engine damage. Sometime around that event, Emilian was hit by enemy fire. The only positive that could be seen by the Romanian's was the conduct of the bomber gun crews. Constantine Ionescu was the gunner on the lead bomber. While under attack from multiple aircraft managed to cause significant damage to two Soviet planes with a single burst of fire.

The bomber that was in flames managed to get all of its crew to bail out before the flames consumed the aircraft and pulled it from the sky. Of the two remaining bombers, the lead bomber suffered structural damage and had to return to base. The other was able to complete its mission but lost two of its gunners as casualties. All of the Romanian fighters returned to base with two having suffered combat damage.

1535 hours back at base

Having recounted the action for the fifth time, Nicolaie broke down and began to sob. Captain Gogean's face turned form shock to disgust. The base commander snuffed out the stub of the cigarette in his hands before speaking.

"Your actions require disciplinary action. Fortunately for you, your actions did not cause any casualties that you can be held responsible for. You will be dismissed from the service. You will be held while we contemplate any further charges against you. Please return to your quarters." Calling out to men outside the room, "Guards, please escort Mr Croditier to his quarters."

Game Review

I finally got to play a game in this campaign. I attempted to do too much. I was controlling 4 fighters and 4 bombers. I did not do either very well. It was an odd sort of game. Most of the shots that hit, ended up not doing anything due to target aircraft saving. Most of the damage that occurred was from a successful saving throw that was doubles - Critical hit. The one tail gunner actually missed but caused a critical hit on one biplane that ended up causing a critical hit on the biplane immediately behind it. Neither of the two biplanes ended up getting shot down. In fact, no fighters were shot down. The mission was an absolute failure for the Romanians. The Russians could claim 2 kills on the bombers. I rolled some of the worst shooting I have ever done. Yet I made most of the saving throws for shots on me. A strange but fun game.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ImagiNations - Cold War - Game 1

Having the house to myself, I managed to get a game of Chain of Command in last night. I am using them to game a fictional Cold War campaign that I posted about yesterday.


While the Soviets are fully painted and based, I just did not have any attachment to them for some reason. So I spent my set up time prepping for the Israeli platoon. I used the force composition from Rock the Casbah for a full strength Paratrooper platoon. This would prove to be too strong in my opinion and unbalanced the game. The Israelis were flush with leaders. They had two senior leaders in the form of the Platoon Commander (Segen Mishne), the Platoon Sergeant (Samal Rishon), a Sergeant (Segen) commanding the headquarters squad and three squad sergeants (Segen). The HQ Squad was a small formation with a radio operator, a designated marksman, two riflemen and a medic. I chose to leave out the two man Dragon anti-tank missile team as an optional support item. The squads were large and broken into three fire teams. The first team containing the Corporal (Rabat - did not treat as a leader for the game), a Light Machine gunner and a rifleman. The second fire team had a rifleman with an RPG-7 (the Israelis had captured so many of these weapons in 1973 and again in Lebanon that they were widely distributed among their troops but were not officially part of their organization) and two riflemen. The last fire team was formed with the second corporal and three riflemen. One of these three was to be equipped with an M203 under their Galil rifle but Peter Pig does not make such a miniature and my scratch building skills stink. Here is where I made a mistake. This was an 11 man squad. The paper strength of the squads were 18 men. But I doubt this was ever achieved. The squads could have had 12 or more men. What I did not do was leave any behind with their vehicles. The whole platoon dismounted. I should have left a driver and gunner behind at the very least if not also a track commander.

The Soviets did leave three members behind as I only painted up the dismounted elements. The Soviets had their platoon leader, the platoon sergeant and three squad leaders. The squads had six men in addition to their squad leaders and were broken down into two teams of three men each. One with a light machine gun and two riflemen and the other with three riflemen, one of which was sporting an RPG-7.

I treated both similar to how the main Chain rules treat US or German mechanized troops. The base unit is the infantry in the vehicles. Their vehicles are extra. I treated the M113 as a List 5 item and the BMP-1 as a list 6 item. But that was just me as I was making stuff up. Given that for support for mission 1, I rolled one List one item for support, it was dismounts only. I really did not have anything for a List One support so everyone was running with what they had.

Platoon Background

The Segen Mishne for the Israelis was a fellow by the name of Raul Speyer. Originally born in Sao Paulo, he made Aliya in 1974. He found a home in the army and has not left. He is a barrel of a man.

The Samal Rishon of the platoon is Meir Ben-Shahar. Born in Haifa, he is a tall and thin who is somewhat of a gear head. The command track for the platoon is the smoothest running vehicle in the company.

Commanding the headquarters squad is Samal Levy Kantor. He is a kibbutznik from the Galilee. He is extremely happy for this posting and gives thanks daily he is not in Lebanon. He is even taller than Meir and once considered a career in basketball.

The first squad is commanded by Samal Phineas Homa. Phineas is a Tel Aviv beach bum of average build. He would rather be back looking for a felafel on Rechov Shenken.

Second squad is commanded by the dour Samal Yannis Friedman. An average man from Jerusalem who still carries his Haredim curls.

Third squad is under the command of another man from Tel Aviv. Uriel Sachar is of average build but with his blonde hair and blue eyes appears more Aryan than a son of Abraham.

The Battlefield

Raul's platoon was rushed forward toward the border to attempt to intercept any Soviet advances. They were moved to an area known as the Saddle for its twin hills with a shallow pass through it. It was a fertile area that was fed by a stream on the eastern side of the Saddle.

The farms on either side of the saddle have been in an ongoing feud for the past 70 years. Neither party is sure how it started but rumor has it that inappropriate activities with sheep were involved. In retaliation, the other farmer signed his name in the other farmer's field in 12' tall letters in salt. The feud has mostly be fought out in pranks and mostly harmless things. But the advent of the war caused all the farms in the area to be abandoned hastily.

The Patrol Phase was carried out. I am still not really good at this part. The Israelis had the higher force morale of 11 (lucky roll) so they went first. The Soviets, with a terrible die roll, had a force morale of 8. I figure the Soviets were assigned to East Bratislovakia as a punishment. That would make them have a lower morale at the start of a campaign.

The Israelis began in the center section of the table. The Soviets from the bottom left corner. The advancing scouts moved forward with the Israeli's getting to the hill and over it before the Soviets.

And yes, the patrol markers used are Italian WWII Patrol Markers. I never got around to making any others. Both sides went with just three patrol markers each.

Using US Pennies and Dimes as Jump Off Points, the Soviets had crummy positions. The Israelis had two that were on the hill and one on a table edge. In the diagram below, the Jump Off Points locations are circled in what I think is Blue for the Israelis and Red for the Soviets.

Turn One

Rolling 64432, the Israelis moved with the Platoon Sergeant to the middle jump off point with one squad following him there. Another Squad was deployed on the second jump off point right in the middle of the saddle.

The Soviets next came up with a 5,5,4,2,1 for their initial phase. Deploying their platoon sergeant and one squad into the sheep pen, I made the mistake of not placing them up against the wall in cover. This would be a mistake. The one was thrown away as I was not willing to break the squads up yet.

The next Israeli phase gave them a 5,5,4,3,3. This was a dandy roll. The squad at the middle jump off point moved up on one die and was placed on over watch by the platoon sergeant.

That left more room for action. So the squad deployed in the Saddle was placed on tactical and began to creep forward.

Somehow, I let the other 3 drop. The Soviets had a really good roll of a 6,6,3,3,2. This gave them the next phase. They deployed a second squad to to the top corner of the sheep pen. And another squad near the ford. With the remaining die, the initially deployed squad attempted to fix their error and hugged the wall. This movement drew the fire of the Israelis placed on overwatch. Net result was two shock on the squad.

The next phase had the Soviets move again but with a less immediately useful roll of 6,5,5,5,3. The newly deployed squad in the sheep pen attempted to dash to the trees in front of them. This drew some fire from one fire team that had them in their line of sight causing one casualty and two points of shock from moving flat out. Worse yet, my poor movement die rolling stranded the Soviets in the center of a stream.

With this next turn, I forgot to take some notes. The Israelis deployed their final squad behind the hill in an attempt to counter the movement of the Soviet squad. Also the headquarters squad was deployed behind the squad on the saddle.

The Soviets fired on one of the fire teams on top of the hill and scored their only casualty for the day.

Also the squad in the stream darted forward to the cover of the trees.

Apparently, I am hard headed and have not learned anything from Rich's tactics lessons. The Israelis on the hill got bogged down into a fire fight with the Soviets opposite them. What they did have was good dice rolls. They managed to put down three men and brought them to 4 total shock on the squad. The Soviet Platoon Sergeant would attach himself to the squad to attempt to reduce shock.

The Soviet Platoon leader arrived and now the whole Soviet force was on the table. He tried to move the squad across the ford. Abysmal die rolling did not even get the squad to the edge of the ford.

At this point the game was all but over. The squad in the saddle fired on the Soviets at the ford and knocked one man out. The newest squad moved around the base of the hill with two teams moving tactically and the third (lmg team) on over watch. This stopped the one Russian squad in the trees.

The squad across the hill poured fire into the one Russian squad and killed 5 out of 6 of the men with the two attached leaders making it out safely. But the squad broke from accumulated shock. They fled back nearly to the table edge. The Soviets burned a Chain of Command die to avoid the morale test but the Israelis burned one as well to end the turn. This routed the remains of the squad (1 man), the squad sergeant and the platoon sergeant off the table putting the Soviet morale at 4. Seeing as the Israelis still had a morale of 11 and were only down one man, the Soviets withdrew, giving the field to the Israelis.


Well, the Israelis had too big of an advantage with the super sized squads. I should have pulled three men from each squad to serve as the crew for the vehicles. The Soviets lost 8 men in the battle which worked out to 4 men KIA, two that will miss at least the next action and two that could return to duty.

The Israelis had their man return to duty right away. They obtained what was essentially an easy victory. I was not sure what to do when the defenders win the first scenario in a half ladder campaign. So what I will do is fight over the same terrain using scenario 2 as the game with the Israelis as defenders again. This time both sides will get their vehicles. Mostly because I want to play with those toys on the table. When dismounted, the Israelis will be down 3 men.

The Soviets will be deploying a brand new platoon as the men are being divided among their regiment as replacements and the Platoon Leader will be "interviewed" by the GRU to understand where the failure occurred and then "transferred" elsewhere. Either to a shallow grave or to Afghanistan depending on how merciful the GRU officer is.

Raul is sitting pretty. His men's opinion of him is now at a +2. His commander's opinion is at a +1. No one was recommended for a medal. Depending on when I get home, I may play this tonight.