Sunday, 31 January 2016

Troops of Special Designation

OK I appreciate I was supposed to be painting Perry Afrika Korps but on a trip through to Asgard Games  I got talking to some of the regulars who happened to mention Osprey's "Black Ops" rules, which they are intending to give a go in the near future.

I've been a bit wary about the series of rules being published by Osprey - they seem to churn them out with some regularity and all I have seen so far are skirmish \ fantasy \ sci fi type settings. My initial reaction was they were all a bit ephemeral. Anyway I took the plunge and bought a set of rules, and having had a look at the rules for Black Ops I may have to make a reassessment as they seem rather good (caveat - will know better after actually playing!)

Anyway they seem to fill an interesting gap in the rules front at the moment, and also push a couple of good buttons as far as I am concerned, low figure count (a cell of four Special Forces is about right for the starting games, although the defender will need more but less well trained), and happy coincidence that I already have some suitable lead. They are subtitles "Tactical Espionage Wargaming" and it is clear their inspiration is the many computer games and films set around elite troops creeping into or storming buildings, hideouts and the like. This was a bonus as I already had some 28mm Russian Spetznaz from The Assault Group lying around unfinished. So the DAK went on hold and after a couple of sessions of brushwork - the first "proper" painting of 2016 has produced enough serious Russians to play Black Ops but also to act as sinister guys in 7TV or any Zombie hunting game that happens along.

I'm really pleased with them, although the "urban" cammo is a bit of a pain to paint I think they look good. I have a couple more to finish to allow me to expand into two full cells plus command \ support, but with a bit of luck they should be done soon.

Then I can get back to DAK......


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Battle Report - Impetus Koreans vs Persians

I'm off to Vapnartak (York Wargames show) on the 7th Feb to play in the Impetus competition. This will be the first time we've played with the new 400 pt format so my usual opponent "Big Paul" suggested we get a bit of practice in, and it would also give him the chance to get his newly acquired Yi Dynasty Koreans on the table - and get the "new army first game auto loss" out of the way before the competition started. I decided to go with my old faithful Early Achaemenid Persians, but to use the extra 50 points the format gives to upgrade the Immortals to "A" class - never had the points to do that before so I thought it would be interesting :-)

Both armies had 2 commands, the Korean left being 2 units of VBU7 heavy cavalry supporting 4 units of VBU 3\1 Comp B light horse. The Korean C-in C was with his infantry, 2 deep units of B class foot backed by bowmen, plus a unit of rather scary "two sword wielders" and a secret weapon - a rocket launcher!

The Persians were similarly arrayed, two deep units of Immortals supported by two units of Sparabara on their left, with three Medium cavalry (5-2 Comp C) supporting four light horse (4-0 Comp B) facing the Korean cavalry on the right. This was an interesting face off - the Korean heavy cavalry were in theory superior to the Persian mediums, but the Persians had bows and an advantage in numbers. They also had a unit of Thracian Javelinmen bought in case there had been a need to scout any difficult terrain the cavalry could not get into.

Terrain turned out to be uneventful - some broken ground on the Persian left. Here is both armies after deployment

And a couple of pics of the Koreans - very nicely painted by Steve Irvin and based by Paul

 In comparison the Persian looked a bit boring

Turn 1 and the Persians won the initiative, but elected to stand on opportunity. The Koreans advanced a little, tempting the Persian Immortals into a bit of long range shooting which disordered some light horse but otherwise achieved nothing.

Turn 2 and the Persians pushed their light cavalry forward to try and capitalise on the Korean disorder, safely within the protection offered by the line of mediums behind them. More disorder in the Korean light cav, who were starting to look like they were coming unstuck against the slightly better factors of the Persians.

Meanwhile the Korean infantry also advanced

and deployed their secret weapon!

Which missed! The Persians responded with long range bowfire which achieved little other than a couple of disorders which were soon shook off.

Turn 3

Persians won the initiative (Ahura Mazda be Praised!) and their light cavalry pressed home their early advantage, wiping out a pair of Korean light cavalry. Paul realised the battle was swinging away from him so charged with his heavy cavalry. The Persian lights evaded but their supporting mediums declared a counter charge from Opportunity, meeting the Koreans head on. Their was a quick mellee which went in favour of the Koreans, but both sides had suffered losses and the Korean heavies had not managed to maintain contact with the Persians as they fell back, leaving them feeling rather exposed. Whoever won the initiative next would gain a big advantage.

After three equal initiatives the Persians finally won, and like a well oiled machine they started to take the now stranded Korean heavies apart with a combination of point blank bow fire and charges to the flanks. The Koreans broke, but not before a heroic charge threatened the Persian Cavalry commander who survived by the skin of his teeth.

On the other flank the Immortals decided to give an example of how dangerous A class troops can be, and threw themselves across the battlefield and into contact with a rather surprised Korean infantry command. The Koreans proved a tough opponent however and drove the Immortals back, at least initially!

With the flanks now threatened by the arrival of the Persian light horse it was clear to everyone that the game was up for the Korean infantry. The Immortals rallied and fired point blank into the still disordered Koreans before charging in. The Korean artillery was also overrun, breaking the army morale, but not before a brave charge from a surviving light horse unit rode the Thracians down.

The final positions as the Koreans broke

All in all an interesting battle, with both players looking thoughtful and thinking about tinkering with the lists a bit. I was rather impressed with the Koreans who could easily have won the cavalry fight if the initiative had gone their way and they had been able to press their heavy cavalry advantage before the Persians rallied.

Thanks again to Paul fpr the game and Hartlepool Wargames Club for the venue.


2015 - That was the year that wasn't.........

OK so were now happily steaming into 2016 and I have the urge - you know, "new period urge". In an effort to prevent my already stretched leisure budget from imploding I thought it would be an idea to list what I got done on the wargames front in the last year, and what still is sitting around gathering dust.

So on the plus side

I painted a 28mm French Indian Wars British force, a Dux Brit force, a 15mm WW2 Chinese army, added to my Dropzone UCM and Scourge forces, painted a Dreadball team and enough figures to form a Frostgrave party. With the exception of the Chinese, which were a commission for another gamer, all of the above got some use, so not too bad.

On the downside I bought a 28mm Roman Army (Warlord plastic), more 28mm Ancient Indians, Dropzone Resistance army, a box of Woodland Indians, some Perry DAK plus supports, more ancient Persians, 28mm Cybermen and Sontarans, most of the Russian fleet for The Battle of the Yellow Sea, 2 Dreadball teams, some more Hussites, some 1:200 WW2 planes, some 1:144 WW1 planes, and the Lord only knows what else. And all remain unpainted.

Almost anyway. I realised I had got bogged down in the early autumn, probably after returning from Derby with the usual load of lead and plastic. In passing I spoke to Rob Hymer, who haunts Asgard games in Middlesbrough, and he agreed to paint the DAK figures for a small stipend. I was pleasantly surprised when he rattled through them and nice they were too, but I decided to try and make them a bit more "mine" by adding some highlights, but then I was struck down first by an infection in my right leg caused by a scratch I picked up - probably in the day job, but that ended up hospitalising me and removing any urge to paint, then with a rather more serious problem that put me back in hospital for a fortnight and "laid me low" for some time longer. By the time I was ready to put highlights on Robs work it was already 2016, so here they are, or rather the first squad - more to come..

So what about 2016? I've pre-empted the Lardies and bought a platoons worth of modern British infantry in 20mm from Elhiem Figures, and very nice they are too. Onwards into 2016 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Normal Service will be resumed shortly (just as soon as I can work out what "normal" is,,,)

I've not updated the blog for a while, mainly due to an unfortunate sequence of health issues which culminated in a couple of weeks in hospital.

I'm back in the general population now having built a glider out of the insides of toilet rolls, so I'm hoping to start 2016 off properly, with the almost compulsory review of 2015

Coming soon