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Friday 29 May 2020

No Moon Tonight! - A Solo Air Wargame

I haven't played a game for ages, and for some time I have been thinking about an air wargame, inspired by the neat rules in Bob Cordery's 'Developing the Portable Wargame' book.  These simple rules allow for a fun fast moving game.  At first I tried it out using a couple of 1/144 scale ME 109s and a couple of Hurricanes. It was OK, but I found that, for me, it did not work too well being played as a solo game.

What I needed was a fixed enemy.  Now I have some 1/600 scale Lancaster bombers and I thought I could create an enemy consisting of targets, fixed air defence units all on a hex based table.

I used the industrial and AA markers from the Axis and Allies board game.  The idea being that each Lancaster has a strength of 3 points (SP) and a hit from an AA gun costs one SP. The Lancasters have to fly through the air defence network to reach the target, which has an SP of 4.  The aim being to fly the bombers in without being shot down and to destroy the targets, in my game there were two, with eight bombers in two waves of four.

I added a rule that if an aircraft can be engaged by two or more AA units at once, the defender could dice (D5,6) for a searchlight cone, which in turn increased the hit probability. This is what ir looked like:

The first wave of Lancasters head for target one:
A Lancaster over the target, that has already lost one SP:

A Lancaster is 'coned' by searchlights:
The raid completed the Lancasters head for home, still being shot at by the flak units, damage to the aircraft is denoted by the white spots on the wings.
In this game the primary target is hit and loses three SPs, The secondary target (at the top of the above picture) is untouched. One lancaster is shot down, two are damaged, one losing one SP, the other two. They will not be able to take part in the next raid. This means that there are only five Lancasters available for tomorrow's raid, the damaged Lancasters being out of the game for one round and two rounds respectively.

Overall this all worked well. The AA units need a D6 to hit an aircraft, but this is decreased to D4,5,6 if the aircraft are in a searchlight cone. The destroyed Lancaster suffered this fate. I enjoyed playing this as I only had to concentrate on the Lancasters, the enemy being completely static.

I will see how raid two goes.

Sudanese Tribesmen

Starting to think about an opposition for my newly created colonial armies I painted a few tribesmen. First off there is a group of rifle armed Mahdists. The figures are by Minifigs and they fit in well with the Barry Minot offerings:

Next up are some gunners, manning a very senior muzzle loading gun. I am not sure what make these figures are, possibly by Foundry?

This chap seems to like like someone we all know!

Monday 25 May 2020

Sudanese Infantry

Continuing to build up my small colonial force, I have recently painted these Barry Minot Sudanese Infantry, in Egyptian service. Once again, these proved to be lovely figures to paint:

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Barry Minot Colonial Painted Test Figures

Well it transpires that the Boers and Gurkhas are not Minot after all, but are by Charles Stadden. In a way this is good news as it means that I can add to the range because the figures are still available, sold by Tradition of London. I will certainly buy some command figures.

So, the Highlanders, Dervishers and Sudanese are certainly by Minot and my plan is to use these to create a small colonial force.  Numbers can be made up using Tradition figures.

With all that in mind I decided to paint some test figures. After some deliberation I settled on my gloss toy soldier style of painting, which I think suits these figures:

I shall have a go at the Dervish infantry next, although I only have three at the moment!

Tuesday 19 May 2020

More Barry Minot Figures

I have managed to acquire a load more 30mm Colonial figures, which have been identified, by John Preece as by Barry Minot, for which I am most grateful.

I now have about 100 of these figures and I am trying to work out what they are. Here are some pictures of the various types. First off, I think these are Boer infantry, I only have about ten of these:

Next, we have some infantry that I am assuming are Sudanese, although the could be Egyptian. In all I must have about 50 in various poses:

Finally there are some British troops that look to me like Ghurkas:
Unfortunately there is only one command figure amongst the whole lot, so I will be on the lookout for some of those.  My plan is to paint these figures in slow tome and use them with the portable Colonial Wargames rules, when the book arrives.  So far I have painted 10 highlanders and three Dervish infantry.  I will put some pictures on my next entry.

Does anyone have the figure lists for this range as I would be interested to see the extent of it?

Friday 15 May 2020

Mystery Figures

I recently acquired these old 30mm colonial figures, but I have been unable to work out who manufactured them.  I have looked at Scruby, Willie, Tradition and other websites with no luck.

The group consists of highlanders, Sudanese? infantry and some natives:

On the base are the letters CW and a number:

If anyone is able to identify the maker I would be most grateful.

Thursday 14 May 2020

The Circle of Life

My wargaming days, like many others, began with some boxes of Airfix soldiers, some books as hills and lying on the carpet playing out the actions seen on the old black and white war films, or in various comics at the time.

Some months ago I gave my grandson a tin full of old plastic figures thinking he might enjoy looking at them. Imagine my delight when I received these two pictures from my daughter.  Just like me some sixty years ago, the little plastic figures battle for book mountain:

I'm not sure that everyone was pleased with all the books being dragged off the shelves, but what a joy to see a young lad playing out his fantasies, rather than nose down on a computer screen.

I am seriously considering introducing him to Memoir 44 next time he comes up to visit.

Monday 11 May 2020

Something Brighter

Having spent the last month more or less painting Prussian blue, grey and black, I thought it would be fun to try something more colourful.  I have had these French Guard Chasseurs a Cheval for some years and they were worn and faded and needed a face lift and rebasing.  In the end I almost completely repainted them but now they certainly add a splash of colour:

the figures are 25mm Miniature Figurines S range and they now take pride of place alongside my S Range French army.

Sunday 10 May 2020

Prussians on Parade

Having completed the last of the Ros Prussian units (although I have since found enough figures in a drawer for a further four battalions!) I thought it would be nice to show the fruits of my labours.

So, Sunday morning church parade Berlin 1813.  On parade we have 22 infantry battalions, of which three are Jaegers, one Guard, five Landwehr and two Reserve. There are three batteries of artillery and five regiments of cavalry.

The Jaegers and Line Infantry:

The Reserves and Landwehr:

The left wing cavalry, two regiments of Warrior Dragoons:

The right wing cavalry, a regiment of Warrior Hussars:

The cavalry reserve, two regiments of Warrior Cuirassiers:


Saturday 9 May 2020

The Final Few

At long last I have reached the end of my Prussian infantry painting project.  During the last couple of months I have painted/repainted 18 Prussian infantry units, along with two batteries of guns. In all this has worked out at around 230 figures.  It is quite satisfying to know that I have completed an army - well more or less. I still have a few cavalry figures to do and there are around 30 odd Prussian infantry that could be formed into units.

The final two units consists of a couple of Ros 25mm Prussian Jaegers.  There are no Jaeger musicians in the Ros range, so I converted a couple of standard bearers. I have also used some Warrior Prussian Horse Gunners as officers, as I did not think that the standard pointing Infantry officer figure would look right, given the Jaeger pose.

Here they are, ready to take up their position in the line:

Methinks a Spring review is in order!

Wednesday 6 May 2020

More Prussians

The last few days has seen me painting the final Prussian Line battalion consisting of Ros Figures and revamping four Minifigs S range Landwehr battalions.

First off we have the Ros line infantry, painted as 1813 -15 regular infantry, representing a West Prussian unit:

Next, I have four Prussian Landwehr battalions. Two are from the Elbe Province with light blue facings and the other two are Westphalian, with green facings:

I bought these on eBay many months (maybe years) ago and they have been sitting in a drawer waiting their turn.  The original artist had done a very good job, but they were scratched and some of the paint had yellowed.  So, I rebased them and touched them up.  Four very useful additions to the Prussian army.

Friday 1 May 2020

Prussian Guard Grenadiers - Warrior Miniatures

I really am beginning to feel that I am closing in on the end of this napoleonic Prussian project. Having just completed another infantry unit I now have just two Jaeger Battalions and another line battalion on the work bench to complete. They are well on the road to completion too.

The latest addition is a battalion of Guard Grenadiers. These figures are by Warrior Miniatures and depict the guards in full dress, although I have given them grey trousers, rather than full dress white.
As with all Warrior figures they do not look very convincing in their bare metal state, but once the paint goes on they come alive and I really like them.