Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Project Review and mental wanderings

I spent some time over the weekend finishing out a few things. I have the first three scenarios of the Second Kharkov Campaign photographed and the book updated with it. It felt good to get that done.

In terms of painting, I got a little bit done. Mostly, I finished off my Blotz fences. These are great and come with enough length of fencing to be useful (46"). I was able to get these flocked and on the table for some pictures.

Next, I did some virtual shopping. Didn't buy anything but was looking for what would I want to claim I have finished out my East Front project. The list was rather long.

Starting with QRF, I really wanted their case tractor. This is a civilian looking tractor that would fit in well on farm scenery. I would like to have one. Totally not necessary, but that doesn't matter too much. Then it was on to Museum miniatures for some hay carts. Just to add a little something to the table.

Now, I have no need of these items for the Second Kharkov campaign but have been wanting them since the First Kharkov campaign was published. That is a train in 15mm. 3d Kreative Scenery in New Zealand has what I want at a reasonable price. There is a Shapeways vendor but they are very expensive. They have a 3d printed engine, passenger carriage, flat bed cars, box cars and an open topped rail truck. This is something I will pick up this year, if I can.

I have plenty of straight track for the train. What I need is curves and splits. Mark IV Miniatures was my source for the straight track and will be for the others. Also want to get another crossing piece for dirt roads.

For terrain that I am making, I really need more dirt roads. I have over six feet of dirt roads but no real curves or Y intersections. Will have to fix that at some point. Just need to figure out how to match the paint with the existing roads.

That isn't so bad. I thought it would be worse. But then, I started looking through my other periods that I want to work on this year. I started with AWI as I knew I had most of what I wanted. Or so I thought. What I found was I would really like some more Warbases sabot bases to complete out my AWI Loyalists and Rebels. I have the miniatures I need and then some. I probably have more unpainted militia troops than I will ever get around to painting. They will eventually become loyalist militia. I have only six Continentals painted but enough unpainted to flesh out about 3 full groups of them. I need a couple of gun crew to bring up the strength of my gun crews to a 5 man crew and a leader. I have to paint the rebel militia gun crew still and their gun.

I have plenty of provincials. I think I have a regiment with four groups and another with two. I have enough unpainted lead to add another couple of groups to either of them. The main problem I have is the basing. I have decided that US pennies are the way to go and use the 20mm sabot bases from Warbases to keep them neat and tidy on the table. Only some of my rebels are based this way. None of my loyalists are. That means another order to Warbases in the near future. I am trying to decide on skirmisher sabot bases. No matter what, I don't have anything for cavalry in the way of Sabot bases. But I may just leave them individually based for the time being.

Also noticed that my Tarleton Legion Cavalry does not have a leader painted. Just a group of 8 mounted men. The leader, a standard bearer and musician are on painting sticks as well as at least two groups of Tarleton Legion infantry as well. I also found some dismounted dragoons too. These will get on the painting table at some point this year.

Then I went astray into my Dux Britanniarum armies. Very pleased with where my Early Saxons are. I have a full set of reinforcements already painted and double the number of cavalry that I need. Yet, Khurasan has some early German miniatures that I really want. First, the infantry with hand axes and spears. They look great. Also the cavalry followers would be far more appropriate than the armored cavalry that I currently have. Those are on my shopping list.

My Romano-British need some basing work done on my light cavalry and me second set of archers. Only missing items are some heavy cavalry. Two packs from Splintered Light would set that right.

Next up are my Picts. I am still trying to find some figures that will work for Noble Raiders. I have a starting force. I just need a couple of items for the reinforcements. Just need to paint at least two groups of raiders. They are on painting sticks already.

Anyway, this is my current to do list. That will probably change within the week.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Wrapping up some Projects

As I look at my painting desk, I notice that many of my projects are coming together rather nicely. It is just carving out time to finish them off. I painted up a couple of old JR Miniatures out houses. These will help fill in my east front village. In the background you can see partially under coated fencing from Blotz.

Next was some chimneys that I received. I have added them to bases and am making burned ruins out of them. These are no where near done but you can get an idea of what I am going for with these. I took a post from https://balagan.info/stalingrad-lonely-15mm-chimneys-from-ironclad-miniatures as my inspiration for this. Iron Clad Miniatures is redoing their mold for the chimneys and they are no longer availible. But, a manufacturer has volunteered to create some for me. I will tell more on that later when he gives me permission. Here are the first six that I am working with. One was not in the picture. The flat square was how I received the chimneys. I have another seven to assemble. You can see a Red Vector building in the picture as well. I am still thinking on those buildings.

The ground cloth is also coming along. I managed some work on it this morning. About half is coated with sand, caulk and paint so far. If possible, I will knock the rest of this out today. I plan on flocking the mat once the mixture is all dry. I need to work out a means of coating it with PVA in a useful way to flock it. I need to work out a spray or something.

Next, I plan on finishing two T-34 wrecks. I have them assembled. I need to get these base coated and improve the damage on them to make them into wrecks. I also have some six haystacks to finish off as well. Once all of these are complete, I should be able to get some more pictures of the Kharkov campaign done. I need to get some more light down in the game room. I have managed to

Monday, May 13, 2019

Gigabytes Games Day - May 11th 2019

Saturday was my first chance to get in a game with friends in a long time. With my health being what it was this year, it was nice to get out and see everyone. I got to play in a Chain of Command WWI game. It was a four player game with each player commanding a platoon of troops. I commanded an 1917 British Platoon while Marlon commanded a Scottish platoon with a Lewis gun team as support. Our platoon organizations were identical. Two senior leaders, a squad of eight riflemen, a Squad of eight with three bombers (grenade guys), a squad of rifle grenadiers (4) with four riflemen and a squad of eight with a Lewis gun.

The Scottish Commander

The Germans had two platoons that I didn't look at their organization too closely. Each had four squads and they had a LMG team in support. The Germans were ably commanded by Preston and Scott. Mark was the umpire and after Marlon had to leave, he took over the British and did rather well. The game was a patrol scenario with an objective of a broken German tank that was astride a forward section of formerly British trenches. The tank crew had bailed out with one of the machine guns from the tank and were waiting to be rescued.They were umpire controlled.

The German Commanders

Our Noble Umpire

Scott had the highest force morale at 11. The Scots had the second highest at 10 and Preston and I both had a force morale of 9. Scott was the first to deploy. He had a good role and brought out most of his squads.

The Scottish Commander Deployed next and brought out a number of his squads at once. He was directly opposite of Scott's positions.

The far unit was the Lewis gun team. The LMG Team and then the rifle team out in the open charging the trenches. I believe I deployed next. I brought up my rifle grenadiers in the back shell hole. And the lewis squad into the brick building in front of the rifle grenadiers. The rifle grenadiers proved to be a thorn in the German's side for a while as they accurately were lobbing grenades into the Germans as they were deploying. There was a group in the trenches that was taking a bit of shock for a while. This was the highlight of the game for me. After that, it was just a quick slide as my force morale was to crumble as most of my junior leaders ended up wounded.

Preston brought out a few squads and began firing at my rifle grenadiers. He managed to hit the squad leader on no less than two occasions. Each bad thing happens result kept dropping my force morale like a stone. Then the German tankers fired at the lewis squad and hit the squad leader wounding him as well. Force morale tumbles again.

The Scots were holding their own on their side. They lost a few men and managed to reach the trench. They killed nearly half of a German squad without inflicting any shock on it. But did manage to place shock on a German unit entering the trench. Things were fairly even for a while. The Scottish commander, Marlon, had to leave to run his own game. Mark took over and things took a turn. My fault not Mark's.

First off, my rifle grenadiers took a ton of punishment that nearly killed them to a man. A senior leader was with them so when they routed, he did too. Next, I had deployed another squad (bombers) forward of the lewis team to put more pressure on the trench bound Germans. They were close assaulted by a German squad and mauled badly. They routed. I counter assaulted with a fresh squad and drove out the Germans. This was interesting. My force morale tumbled to 3 but Preston's force morale dropped down to 4. I still had a chance, but Preston burned a chain of command die and ended the turn. The game had been one long turn to this point. One of my routed squads immediately fled the table and my force morale rolls were wretched and the rest of my platoon bailed out leaving Mark holding the bag.

Mark wasn't idle. His troops had seized the German tankers who surrendered without a fight and escorted them off the table. Mark had two squads in the trenches and were throwing grenades at the Germans on the other side of the tank. The Germans tried a couple of close assaults which had one of their squads thrown back and the second wiped out a squad. This was enough to drop the Scottish force morale to a point they fled.

Here are more pictures on the day that I don't necessarily remember where they go in the story. It was a long game but very fun. Thanks Mark for your work on this. The miniatures and much of the terrain was borrowed from Rob. All in 28mm.

I was only able to physically last one day. I really wanted to play a few more games but just wasn't up for it. There were a number of games that I wanted to play bNext time, I should be in better shape and get in a full day of gaming.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Moving Forward.

I just received a great surprise in the mail. 13 MDF Chimneys to use to make wrecked buildings rural Ukrainian buildings. These are perfect. They can do double duty as burned worker houses for Stalingrad types of environments. I have two assembled now and am looking for how to base them up.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hobby Progress

I have decided that I really do not like the ground cloth that I have for my games. It is a dyed bed sheet that lays very nicely over the terrain forms I place under it. But the pictures that I have taken, one of my proof readers remarked looked as if it were a snowy background. Somehow, it was bleached out by the lights. That was disappointing.

I have plans to make one though. The problem is, i don't have enough materials at the moment. I have the ground sheet that I want to use. I need more Burnt Umber paint and caulk in order to make the mixture to coat the canvas cloth I have purchased. I have clamps to hold it in place while it dries. Trying to figure out if I can pull this off over the weekend. Until this step is done, I don't think I can make more progress on the Kharkov supplement. I am so close that this is frustrating.

Today I received my package from Blotz. The fences are really nice. They are laser cut MDF and fit together tightly. There are ten 4" long fence sections and three gates of close to two inches each. Since they are laser cut, only one side has the scribed details on it. They fix this by making a framework that is applied to the back of the fence. It is cleverly done and looks good. This should complete out my fence needs for at least scenario two of the first campaign. I had also bought the Blotz gravestone pack. There are a set of twenty nine tombstones. Of these, twenty one are the normal rounded headstone designs. Some are cracked and others are broken with most being whole. Then there are several crosses. four of them have what I would consider a "Presbyterian" cross with the circle around it. And four are a plain cross. the plain crosses will work but the others will need to have the circle clipped for the Ukraine.

So I am in a holding pattern for the moment until I can work on the revised ground cloth. The lure of Dux Britanniarum is calling. I have four Romano-British bowmen on the table as well as five Saxon cavalry. I just finished a Romano-British mounted noble. I also have four goats and a goatherd. The goats are now painted. I am going to try to work on the fences first but who knows. I lack reinforcements for the Romano-British. The bowmen will help as they are the first eligible reinforcement unit. I just ordered some Romano-British Warriors and a light cavalry pack from Splintered Light by way of Noble Knight on eBay. The second reinforcement is six warriors. With the pack I ordered, I will be able to field two groups of warriors. So that should be plenty. Light cavalry is the third reinforcement. The pack comes with six light cavalry and a cavalry group is four figures. So plenty there as well. That leaves me with only two packs left to get - Heavy Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry command. Ultimately, I want to pick up another pack of elites for the Romano-British as the career path allows for upgrades to groups and depending on choices, you could have 2 to 4 groups of elites. One pack of 12 will give me two groups. That should be plenty.

My Saxons are doing fairly well. I would like a pack of elites as I have plenty of warriors and skirmishers. I really would like just 4 javelin armed guys but don't want to buy a pack of 12 of them. I also would like actual light cavalry for the Saxons. I will probably buy some Khurasan Miniatures Germans as they have Cavalry followers that seem to fit and some of their infantry as they just look really nice.

The Picts are the last that I will flesh out. I have miniatures to paint but I am not sure what I am actually missing.

Also on the table is the ruined village from Red Vectors. They are glued together but I am not sure what to do with the roofs. I also have two T-34s that I am building as wrecks. I will probably break those out for What a Tanker games. lastly, there are a bunch of hay stacks that are the more rounded lumps of hay that I am not as fond of.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Second Kharkov Campaign - Scenario One

Once I finished the balka, I decided to go ahead and play the scenario. I had a great time with the scenario. The Germans are defending a balka and the Soviets are entering from the bottom.

The bottom of the picture shows the German part of the table with the jump off points after the patrol phase and the entrenchments that the Germans picked as support. The top part of the picture is the Soviet entry area. I added a few trees to give some character to an otherwise open table.

The Soviets had the higher force morale and went first. They brought on a squad into the trees. And managed to roll three sixes which ended the turn immediately. This neutralized the effect off the barrage that the Soviets had as support.

The Germans have a double move and deploy a squad to the entrenchments. The squad immediately opens fire on the Soviets in the trees. This squad would take so much punishment over the course of the game. They took seven killed and nine shock. They would deploy a senior leader to attempt to keep them functional. The squad became pinned multiple times.

The next unit deployed was a Matilda II by the Soviets. The Matilda II took one shot at the German squad in the entrenchments and missed. The Germans moved a squad into the trees at the top of the hill overlooking the Soviets. There they also opened fire on the beleaguered Soviet Squad.

this would be the only German squad to take any casualties. They would take one shock and one kill. The Russians then deployed two additional squads to attempt to put pressure on the Germans. Both of those squads ended up taking casualties. The first took two killed and the second five killed and one shock.

Then the Soviets moved their Matilda II forward. It sprinted forward and managed to bypass the German minefield. This caused some consternation for the Germans that had no anti-tank weapons at all. The German MG team from the first squad that was deployed fired repeatedly on the tank. They Germans deployed their last squad in the balka and also fired on the tank. Every time the tank with seven armor saved. On its next activation, it dashed off the table winning the scenario for the Soviets.

The Germans lost but gave the Soviets a serious kick in the teeth. I have worked on the next scenario and have the table set up. But I am lacking fences. I need a few more feet of the stuff. I did order some from Blotz so when that comes in, I will have another 46" of fences. That will work out well.