Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Battle of Long Tan - 18 August 1966

As I have recently been digging out my vietnam figures, I was surprised to see a post on TMP, about the anniversary for the battle of Long Tan just passing recently. The major engagement of the Australian forces recently getting in country, is one that is often over looked when the conflict is studied. For those who have not heard about it, it was was a brutal and bloody encounter, which pitted the still fairly green yet professional well motivated Anzacs against a vastly bigger, yet less professional VC force. The battle was remarkable in many ways, for things such the torrential monsoon rain it was fought in. The proximity of the enemy, and the close and remarkable effect of heavy artillery. Though the Anzacs took a pounding, and lost a lot of men, they did not buckle and the VC were forced to flee. It gave by all accounts, a severe bloody nose to the VC at the time and forced them to re think their strategy.

The following website contains information on the units involved and the battle itself. 

The Australian contribution to the war I think is easily overlooked. Though their numbers were much smaller than their US counterparts, they fought aggressively and with courage and have left a lasting legacy and respect in the hearts of their one time adversaries.

Graham Rodger - Battle of Long Tan Song


Ebay Selling - 20mm & 28mm WW2 - Britannia Miniatures etc

I am selling off my 20mm WW2 bits and pieces, as it is a project I started when I got back into gaming, but my love of 28mm took over. Ever since, they have sat, un touched. With an increasing lack of space. It is time they went. Also have a 28mm scale all white metal Tiger Mk1 Tank, which I have no idea who made. I only know it is not BTD, Boltaction or Westwind. It is slightly larger than my other 1/56th, so could only guess it being 1/50th. Its a ncie model, just missing hatches and exhaust tubes.

Project Planning - 28mm Vietnam

A few years back I won some 28mm Baker Company vietnam figures, in an auction. They came badly undercoated and chipped. After straightening them out, and stripping them (I will do a seperate guide on these two topics at some stage). I popped them into a storage tray and there they have remained.

One reason that have lain there undisturbed, has been the lack of good rule set. I bought a copy of Ambush Valley and Force on Force, by Ambush Alley Games. But frankly, it was not quite to my liking. Its not a bad rule set. Just the flow the game is not one I like and it is very easy to get lost in the reaction cycles etc.

Anyhow, having dug out copies of Charlie Company etc, I came to the conclusion there was nothing that grabbed me as, hitting the "feel" of the period. Having enjoyed Rules of Engagement for WW2, because it captures for me, the feel of the battlefield, the tactics and the differing forces characters, it struck me that RoE would work well for vietnam with some alteration. Thus I began writing a mod for RoE. In recent months I have hit the stage where, pushing pieces of paper across an empty desk, trying to replicate actual games and test mechanics have been exhausted. It is time to get the figures going.

So, it was I clambered into the attic and dug around and found my nam figures. Since winning my initial set, I have picked up packs here and there, from bring and buys, and then a big purchase from John Bruce at Force of Arms back in feb.

So now I need to plan what units to do and in what order. I should have enough to do a platoon roughly of both US Infantry, or Areo Inf, a VC cadre platoon, and a NVA platoon to get me started.

I have a few painted VC that I picked up on ebay, so I am tempted to prioritise the US figures. I will post a few photos of the starting sets and as the paitning progresses. I cannot wait to get these onto the table and get some games going.

Figure in comfort company cases.

A few years ago, I needed some storage and so bought a couple of "Midi" sized cases with foam trays from the then (previous) owners. They were great cases. But two is usually enough to lug to the club and back. So when I spotted the new company boxes. Basically a simple correx or corrugated plastic box, which stored four trays of 28mm figures. The solution to my problem was at hand. I now have a stack of these handy and more importantly, very affordable cases, for storage at home. I then either take the company box to the club, or if taking more than one force, quickly take out the trays and pop them into the Midi cases. As we tend to do go through phases of playing differing system each week at the club, it is not really a hassle. The boxes are remarkably sturdy and so far, my olded one is now two years in age and still going strong.

(Above - Figures in Comfort Midi Case)
Also, aside, from the fact the Company boxes and other cases they do are in my view the best out there, by far. The new owners Eric and his wife are extremely helpfull as well as knowledgeable on their trays.

(Above - Figures in Comfort Company Box)

On the matter of foam quality, in my time I have had battlefoam trays, GW trays, KR trays and some from WOTC for their figures range they briefly did. All have been far too soft in the base and either torn with use, or come unstuck. My olded FIC tray is now, 5 years old and still going strong. You can also pick up an entire tray of 28mm white metal figures and not have it fold in half. Having had that happen to me a few times with my other trays, its not only frustrating as everything falls out, but the damage to the figures is just not good.
If you are in the market for figure storage, and you are weighing up your options, then give the FIC trays alook. I seriously cannot rate them high enough.

Figures in Comfort Website - Here!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Vietnam Gaming Forum - Fields of Fire

If you enjoy playing games from the vietnam period, and have not come across this particular forum before, you might find it well worth a visit.

It has a wealth of information and some very nice game reports that are worth a read through, if you are into the period, no matter the scale.

Background Image

If you are wondering what the background image is, then it is a photo from a WW2 game of Rules of Engagement. A weekend long game I ran, for several club mates and shows a couple of squads of US 28mm Infantry, advancing across a sunken lane, in the bocage of Normandy. Their objective was the farm buildings in the background. Crossing the lane was a hard fought battle in its own rights, with the Germans, having been forced back from the opposite road side, but not before causing several casualties for the advancing yanks.

Afghanistan 28mm WIP thread on FoF forum.

Here is a link to the WIP thread I did for my Afghanistan figures. It has some large photos of the figures, though due to time constraints I never got much of the US or British Infantry on there. Empress have since released a support pack for the British Infantry. I am very tempted to add that to my British Forces as it would give them the rather deadly Javelin launcher. As well as a proper sniper figure.

Space Hulk the RPG

Spacehulk was a game I never really got into when it was first released and second edition came out during my gap in war gaming. But when third edition arrived, I picked up a few sets. The board pieces were very nicely made and figures very detailed. Having played the campaign and enjoyed the game for what it is, a simple and yet very tactical game with a great sense of tension at times, I felt the full potential of the sets was not used, in the standard game.

So… out came some paper and some pencils and a few scribbles and discussions with a friend, and whalla.. Spacehulk the RPG was borne. Firstly its not a full RPG, its just a simple system allowing players to play one or more marines, with multi-hit points, armour and play in a more roleplaying style. Rather than one hit, your dead, as in the basic game which is fun. However, my adaption allows for multiple players to either play multi squads or play multiple character from one squad..

The basic premise was to firstly expand the current range of bad guys, from the genestealers and broodlord, to include Warriors, Zoanthrope, Ripper Swarms, Raveners, Small Carnifex and the big daddy of the lot, the hivetyrant.

To balance out the new threats, the aim is to include rules for Standard Marines, Terminator Chaplains, Terminator Apothocaries, Terminator Captains, Techmarines, Inquisitors and Sentry Gun Drones.

The first few play tests have gone well and though we are still working on some game balancing, the basic principles are there and giving fun and interesting games.  I hope to release the final version as a free pdf, so others can enjoy it. Though we have only used this with 3rd edition game, it should work with 1st or 2nd.

I will explain more as it comes along.. watch this space!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gauntlet 2011 - Afghanistan Game AAR

I posted this, before I started this blog. But if you want to see how the game worked out, and a few photos of the Empress and British Infantry figures on the table then click on the following link..

28mm Afghanistan - Models

I realise it is not some peoples cup of tea, to game current or recent campaigns. I can appreciate it is uneasy for some, and thus they don’t enjoy it. But I have grown up with friends serving in the forces. Many of whom are themselves gamers.

I have had an interest in Afghanistan, and its historic and current conflicts for a while, from the soviet era through to the current operations. I was gutted a year or two back, when just as I made the decision to buy some figures from Mongrel Miniatures, they shut up shop in the UK.
So, was over the moon a year or so later when I managed to aquire a few sets. A month or two after that, the range reappeared.
At the same time I was reading through some books, on the british army in Afghanistan in 2006, and onwards, such Attack State Red and 3 Para. Both excellent books and worth a read for anyone who wants to hear a soldiers eye view of the war at that time. With Gauntlet 2011 Gaming show coming up soon I decided I would run a game and so.. I began to assemble some Mongrel Afhgans and some Empress Taliban figures. The later ware very much modern day, in style and clothing. The former are more 1980s in style and equipment but fit very well in modern terms and so.. here are some photos of painting and assembly..

In the end I gathered a large set nearly 70 plus Taliban / Mujahedeen fighters as my op-for. Here are a couple of shots of some of the weapon teams and massed ranks.

First Post - Ever

Like many gamers, I often see links to other peoples blogs posted on forums and sites across the net, and have spent many a happy hour, reading through or looking at pictures from other people gaming projects and game reports. For a while I have considered starting my own. And so today I have!

So here it is, the very exciting, first post... ok well it’s not that exciting. But I have to start somewhere don’t I?