Saturday, 12 December 2015

Black Ops

We had an opportunity to try the new Osprey rule set "Black Ops" last Thursday at the Club.

A high ranking diplomat had been kidnapped by local rebels some where in Central Asia.  The rebels were a mix of poor quality militia, mercenaries and an FSB team on site to interrogate the prisoner.  A special forces team supported by regular troops were despatched to rescue him.

We played the stealth game with 5 guards in position and the rest of the defenders unable to act until the alarm was raised.

Overall table layout.

In the first game the attackers hadn't really got to grips with the stealth concept.  They ran (which created noise) and tried to take out a sentry with a shotgun!  In addition the support squad couldn't hit a barn door and with some 16 noise tokens in very short order the defenders were soon up and ready. Seriously outnumbered the spec ops assault team were soon taken out and the attackers called it a day.  The mission failed, casualties were heavy and questions were asked in the House!

By the second game things had improved.  The assault team moved in quietly while the support sniper quietly took out three of the guards.

The bulk of the defenders were taken out before the alarm was raised leaving the FSB team, who were quartered on the other side of the village, to try and get away with the hostage.

It looked like they might have got the hostage to a landrover but this was quickly destroy by the support team when they realised what was happening.

The game came down to a great final scene when inches away from the table edge, the final 2 FSB agents with the hostage were chased down by the assault team leader.  With 2 shots pistol shots he took out both agents and avoided hitting the hostage.  

Hostage rescued, minimal friendly casualties and commendations all round.

These really are a fun set of rules. We did somethings wrong and the rules are a little vague in some places but a quick look at a couple of posts on the Lead Adventure Forum has cleared these up.  I highly recommend these rules to anyone who wants to play small action modern games.  Equally they would work for a whole host of scenarios and periods.

Highly recommended!

I used my Copplestone Future Wars figures but am seriously tempted to invest in some of the Empress and Spectre Miniature moderns.

Here's a few more shots of the game

Hostage (with briefcase) in the central building

FSB agent faces off against the Support Team while an RPG armed rebel cowers behind cover.

Support Team in cover.

Rebels, mercs and FSB defend the village.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ships of the Desert

One of the projects I have been working on this year has been 1880s Sudan.  I haven't posted anything about this project yet but I've almost finished my first round of painting.  To this end I've just finished off a unit of camels and cavalry and thought I'd share a couple of snaps as a teaser.

Hope you like them

As usual Perry figures.  A bit of a pain to clean up but you just can't beat them for wonderful animation.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Earlier this year I dipped my toe into the Napoleonics period.  Inspired by the anniversary of WateNapoleonicsrloo I started to build up a small French and British force for 1815.  Along with a number of friends at the Harrogate Wargame Club we managed to pull together enough painted 28mm models for a scaled down battle of Waterloo (with 1 unit representing a brigade).  Now any refight of Waterloo has to have a model of Napoleon himself and I managed to dig out the Wargames Foundry model that I had squirrelled away many, many moons ago.

It's a lovely model with so much character.  The expression on Napoleon's face is just priceless and along with his whole posture just seems to capture the moment when he realises the battle is all going wrong!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

To The Strongest

Well I have managed to introduce To The Strongest to the Club and I must say it has gone down very well. We've had a number of games over the past couple of weeks including Normans against Byzantines in Italy and the classic match up of Early Imperial Romans against Ancient Britons. It was the later match up we played last Thursday. Rather than a simple pitched battle I went with a bit more of a scenario. The Romans were escorting a baggage train through contested territory and were ambushed by a British force. The Romans had to deploy in one quarter (with the 2 baggage elements no more than 2 squares in and had to escort the baggage off the opposite short table edge. The Britons had to stop them.

The Roman deployment with the baggage escorted by legionaries in the rear.

 The Britons deploy from their villages.

You'll see we've invested in a couple of the Deep Cut mats sold by Simon Millar and very nice they are too.

I won't give you a blow by blow account but just some highlights.  First blood went to the Britons who charged a Roman cavalry unit that had rather rashly pushed up the centre on its own and then saw off a light cavalry unit with javelins.

A melee developed in the centre between the tribesmen and the auxiliaries.

Newly painted auxiliaries based on Impetus style bases.  I like these bases so much I'm planning to rebate my whole army in this style.  Somewhat against form the auxiliaries did rather well (normally newly painted troops can be expected to flee at the first sign of any trouble).  These guys held firm despite being outnumbered.

 The Roman juggernaut advances with the Auxiliaries covering the flanks.

Early moves.  The Roman cavalry has moved up aggressively in the centre to try and counter the British chariots.  As mentioned above the cavalry was seen off and the British moved to cut off the Roman advance.  

With the 2 main forces heavily engaged in the centre the Roman player attempted to move outflank the Britons with the baggage to the far left.  In a lightning move the chariots were able to swoop on the unprotected baggage and capture them.  The chariots had a great run of cards drawing about 3 10s in succession which completely wrong footed the Romans.

We'd ruled the baggage counted effectively as mobile camps and as such this cost the Roman player 6 victory medals.  He was down to a single victory medal!  It looked like the game was all over.

As the chariots retreated with the captured baggage a legionary unit set off in pursuit while the rest of the Britons concentrated on the Auxiliary units and a single unit of archers who were attacked on both flanks.

Despite overwhelming pressure the cards swung firmly in favour of the Romans and the small auxiliary archer unit shrugged off hit after hit.  The Britons only had to kill this one unit to win, but just couldn't manage an unsaved hit.  Slowed down by the baggage the chariots were caught by the legionaries who easily recaptured the wagons as the chariots evaded abandoning the slow moving ox-carts.  

The Romans recovered their 6 victory medals and the chance of victory had slipped through the hands of the Britons.  The wagons were escorted off the table and the victory went to the Romans.

Man of the match goes to the auxiliary archers who held on against overwhelming odds.  

A great game with a real roller coaster feel.  The Romans were certainly up against it early doors and the run of cards that allowed the chariots to swoop down on the baggage had the Britons whooping with joy.  But this was the high water mark.  After this the fates swung firmly behind rather Romans who pulled victory from the brink of defeat.

A great game and showed the rules can equally support scenario games as well as straight up pitched battles.  They also support multi-player very well with each army being made up of 3-4 commands which can be taken by a separate player.  Ideal for a Club game.

Looking forward to playing again soon!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Last of the Romans..

Last couple of vignettes for my Romans. First is the engineer pack from Foundry.

They really should be based with a half built road!  Again wonderful animation from the Perries, the figure wiping his brow is just great.

Finally a camp scene

I'm not sure Romans would have slept in their armour but I wanted something to use with the disapproving look on the standing figure and came up with the idea for a couple of late risers.  The lying figures are from the Foundry casualty pack with miliput blankets added.  

I'm sure you can imagine the dialogue although I'm sure it's not family friendly.

It's always fun to make a couple of scenes that tell a story in amongst the ranks of serious units.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

More Romans.

Leading on from my last post just wanted to share some vignettes with you.

Command base.  Again Foundry figures.  The foot tribune is from the Caesarian range while the rest from the Imperial Roman range.  The captive is another Foundry figure but I can't remember what pack.  Really minor conversion in that the guard had his right arm rotated to test on the captives shoulder.

Here's the same base from another angle

Another command base this time based on a certain film.  The main figure (not Maximus) is from First Corps (General of the Northern Armies) and is a cracking model. As usual the other 2 figures are Foundry.

Close up

More next time.


Fantastic result for Japan in the Rugby World Cup.  What a game!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

Following on from my last post I thought I'd post up a few close-ups of some of my Romans.

The vast majority of the figures are the Perry sculpted Wargames Foundry figures.  Although a somewhat vintage range they are still, in my view, one of the best Early Imperial Roman ranges available.  They probably show their age in that they are quite small in stature (closer to 25mm rather than the more modern 28mm) but the animation and sculpting is still top notch.  

I managed to pick up most of my figures over 15 years ago when Foundry still sold them individually and I'm glad I did.  Originally based up for Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB) my current basing is a mix of 60mm frontage to allow for DBA games, 40mm bases and individuals.  

They now get used for Hail Caesar and of course To The Stongest, where a unit frontage of 120mm works well.  I could do with doing a few more units and will probably just go with a 120mm frontage (Impetus style).

Anyway here's a few shots

Auxiliary archers


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

To the Strongest

I'm a bit of a sucker for rules sets.  Like most wargamers, the search for the perfect ruleset is a little like the search for the holy grail (although probably with slightly less chance of success!).  However, I do like reading rules and picking up clever ideas.

Recently I'd picked up on a new set of ancient rules by Simon Miller called "To the Strongest" which seemed to have a different approach (no dice!).  The initial reviews I'd read were positive however, and I was intrigued.  So with the rules available for download for under a tenner it seemed rude not to take a look.  

As noted above, TTS are a little different.  To be fair, as they use neither dice or tape measures it has been joked that they aren't really wargames rules at all!  Tape measures are replaced by a grid on the table and dice are replaced by playing cards.  Both aimed at speeding up a game.

I laid out a quick grid on my table using little bits of ground cover material, roughed out 2 armies from my Roman and Ancient Briton figures and set to it.

Table set to go with the grid marked.

Roman battle line.

Britons defending the village

Battle commenced with the Romans advancing and cavalry clashing with chariots on the left.

Overall I liked the rules.  Playing solo it took a little time (as always) to get my head round the rules but the basic concepts are dead easy.  In addition combat is quick to resolve but does seem to ebb and flow in a realistic way.

The Romans won the first game, but I realised I hadn't counted the warband units as "deep" which while making them less manoeuvrable does give them more staying power.

The second game saw fortunes reversed.  This time the Britons managed to break through on the right.  This did highlight one of the strengths of the rules which is the need to hold a reserve.  Units are far less manoeuvrable than most ancient rule sets.  Once your battle line is breached it is very difficult to react quickly withou fresh reserve units.

Overall I like them.  They do give a quick game and are, I think, ideally suited to multi-player games.

I definitely want to play more and introduce them to the Club.  With the multi-player aspect and quick play I think these would be ideal for a club nights.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Men in Black

Until I get organised I'll be posting up some of my painted work somewhat randomly.

Many years ago I discovered the Future Wars range sculpted by Mark Copplestone through Copplestone miniatures.  I'm a huge fan of all Mark's figures.  They have real character but are sculpted in a way that makes them really painter friendly.  I only wish he would do more!

Anyway this is a group of corporate heavies, sharp suits and lots of firepower.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Starting....At the Beginning

So here I am, taking my first tentative steps into the blogging universe!

I'll use this as an opprtunity to talk about my hobby, painting and gaming with miniatures.

To get started here's a picture of a recent game, set in the Wild West featuring some of my scratch built buildings alongside a couple of commercial ones.

And here's a Chinese bandit.  Not quite a typical gunfighter but that's another story!

That's all for now.