Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Pacific Theatre of Operations WW II 1/72 Japanese

Dave wants to play some WW II PTO games with the USMC vs Japs in 1/72 scale (same as his North Africa games) so I volunteered to supply some Japanese forces as I still have from the 1970's three boxes of Airfix Japanese infantry and a Chi Ha tank!

So I tested my painting with a few infantry and please note I don't like these old flexible Airfix figures as paint never stays on them!

We'll also need some Jap ATG's, HMG's and Artillery but I don't have any of this stuff and I'm on a budget so I figure I could build some diorama bases to represent them!

Anyway here is a sample of a Japanese ATG without actually having one or a crew supported by some infantry in thick jungle...
....of course in game terms if we want to represent an ATG in a non-emplaced situation we'll just have to note it!

The mini diorama is made on a low budget with twigs, styrene sheet, a coat hanger and some basing bits!

The basic wooden bunker built with twigs...

the coat hanger gun barrel added...

...and the barrel even swivels!

The completed  thing...

Now I need to build a second one of these, 2 HMG emplacements and a dug in artillery gun!

If we need anymore Jap tanks I hope someone else will front up as my budget is now focused on 6mm Napoleonics, 10mm ACW and 28mm WW II!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Chain of Command - Second Trial Game

Well take two of Chain of Command! This time we tried the Patrol Scenario with 1940 Brits and Germans. We put a one and a half hour time limit on the test so we'd have time for a coffee and discussion on the rules.

Lt Bruce urging the Mortar Team boys on!

The British (Jock Column Copley) OOB included the Early Platoon with a base morale of 9 and were supported with an extra Section, a Sniper Team and a Mk VI tank. The Germans (Gruppe Neudegg) OOB featured a First Wave Platoon with a base morale of 8 and it had an ATR Team support.

Both sides used 4 markers in the Patrol Phase and the Jump Off Points looked to be slightly in favour of the Brits in the end.

With their higher morale the Brits kicked of and deployed a Senior Leader, a couple of Sections and their Mortar Team quickly, they tried to secure the central building ruins occupying two out of the three but they were only a stones throw from the last one when play turned over to the the Germans. The British scored a double 6 on their very first Command Dice roll which helped their advance, this was the only double 6 we got for the night!

Sergeant Smith's Section secure the ruins closest to the German's JOP hampering their deployment they can be seen cowering behind a nearby fence!

Corporal George's section fall just short of the crucial third set of ruins, this was telling giving the Germans the chance to occupy it!

The Germans initial roll was good allowing them to deploy two Sections and their Mortar Team, they we able to cover their left flank and occupy part of the ruined hamlet.

The Jerries turn the last unoccupied ruin into a veritable fortress with a full strength Section, Corporal George's riflemen look distinctly 'out on a limb' behind a couple of shrubs!

At this point Corporal Spencer's Section deployed and tried to turn the German's left. However the crafty German commander deployed his last section in this area and a poor movement/fire roll by Spencer's Bren Team left their Rifle Team in the lurch. Three out of four riflemen in that Team were mown down by the Germans and the last private fled with multiple shock!

Disaster for Spencer's Section the riflemen did their bit and reached the hedge behind the Germans but the Bren crew, requiring anything but 1 on their movement die roll of course got a 1 so were not able reach the hedge to give the rest of their Section any covering fire for a turn!

The Germans fan out and hose the isolated British riflemen

With their right hook stymied and the Mortar Team working furiously trying to cover the forward infantry with smoke to cover them from withering Spandau fire the British played their trump card the MK VI tank!

The mighty Mk VI trundles into action...

Combined fire from the Mk VI and Smith's Section killed the German flank Section's Junior Leader and forced them to retire out of the British LOS. Actually Sergeant Smith's men did the job, the Mk VI with eight dice hitting on 5 and 6's failed to get a single hit!!!

The leaderless German left Section fall back into cover, their JOP is now beyond the German front line!

The Germans used their CoC Dice at this point and their ATR Team 'ambushed' the Mk VI, they hit it forcing it to retire with shock they then scurried back into cover (this is the sort of thing you expect from dastardly Germans!).

At this point we called the game so we had time to review how we went. As it stood either side could have eventually won.

The tabletop when we stopped play, the Germans are to the left and the Brits to the right...

It was an entertaining evening, the CoC rules give players many command challenges and the only issue we encountered was working out some of the spotting rules (welcome Mr Google!). These rules reward coordinating Sections and Teams so gave us a real feel of fire and movement tactics. We also determined Close Combat should not be employed unless against a weak and highly shocked opponent! The only place we 'blew it' with the rules on the night was regarding leader casualties, we just killed two Junior Leaders when hit instead of going to the casualty table (as it was one a side it balanced out haha!). We will go for a full game next time we use CoC as we are confident with it now and hopefully that will be soon as my 1940 French Platoon and support are coming together nicely!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

X-Wing - A Daring Escape

Daggs Starlifter watched nervously as the senator’s shuttle lumbered away from the battle. The Corellian vessel was as tough as they get, but slow as a three-legged nerf and couldn’t defend itself against a tad-moth. A single snub fighter to protect Her Ladyship was never going to be enough, but Daggs was all that was left after the Empire ambushed the senator’s corvette. Slipping unnoticed away from the battlefield's wreckage seems like a slim hope, but it was better than none at all.

A warning light started blinking on the long range scanner and the astromech decoded it as two Tie fighters approaching dead on. Powering up the X-Wing’s S-Foils, Daggs accelerated to attack speed and radioed the pilot of the shuttle to stay as close as possible and undertake evasive manoeuvres. This was going to be a tough fight.

Monday night’s game saw a single X-Wing defend a heavily shielded shuttle carrying Senator Camilla against two Tie fighters. For the Rebels to win, the shuttle had to exit the opposite side of the table. The Empire must not let the senator escape alive.

We played two games and swapped the role of the Rebels for the second game. Game one saw Al playing the rebels and Dave and Pete each took a Tie fighter. Charging at full speed towards their quarry, the Ties quickly closed to within range, deciding to try and take out the X-Wing first. Jinking to the left, the X-Wing took a burst of fire to its starboard side but the shields held and no damage was done. The shuttle powered on steadily into the midst of the approaching fighters, relying on its shields to buy it enough breathing space to escape.

It wasn’t long before the Tie pilots realised that the X-Wing was a tough beast and wasn’t going to go down quickly so they turned their attention to the shuttle. Shot after shot hit the ship, gradually whittling down its shields. But the X-Wing was hammering at the attackers as well to try to keep them at bay. With limited mobility and a lumbering gait the shuttle inched close to safety until just before it reached its objective – with all of its shields gone and its hull almost breached, the X-Wing scored a direct hit on one of the Ties and the shuttle was home free.

A narrow victory for the Rebels.

Game two saw much the same result with Dave as the Rebel pilot, but this time the Empire decided to focus all of their attacks on the shuttle and ignore the X-Wing. This meant that the X-Wing could manoeuvre without any real regard to drawing fire from the Ties, but the close quarters of the combat meant that ships were bumping into each other.

A second victory for the Rebels, with less damage done to the shuttle, but both Ties intact at the end of the game.

Fun for all, with lots of cheesy sound effects and some truly dreadful puns.