Tuesday, 11 April 2017

28mm "Blakes 7" Bad Guys, Girls and a Robot.

Last month I introduced the viewer to my slight detour into the 1970s world of Sci Fi TV and my first batch of figures for my 7tv (Yarkshire Region) game, that post covering the "Good" guys and gals can be seen here.

So this time round it's the "baddies", the Federation led by the wonderfully evil and rather eye catching Servalan, there won't be many chaps of my age who don't remember that lady.

The great thing about the Federation is everything is black, black and more black, a nice straight forward palette. I did struggle a little with Servalan face as all my attempts at make up made the figure look like a killer clown ! I toned everything down in the end but might go back for another pop at some stage.

When I bought these figures they were part of the 7tv range from Crooked Dice however they have now split off to a separate company called The Beast in the Broch, the companies website so if you fancy buying any of these great minis the new website is HERE

I have all the character cards etc to use these for the 7tv rules but Graeme at Beast in the Broch is talking about developing his own rule set to go with these so it will be interesting to see how they develop.

I have been watching the series back on YouTube  (were it's available for those who haven't seen it) and I'm quite looking forward to getting a game in soon.

A really great set of figures for one of my all time favourite TV shows.

Friday, 31 March 2017

WW2 Baltic Naval Campaign Game 2 : Shore Bombardment

Team Germany.
This is a continuation of our WW2 Baltic Naval Campaign, you can find the first game by following this link - http://yarkshiregamer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/ww2-baltic-naval-campaign-game-1-daily.html

Umpire Notes

If you are following the Campaign I use the following system to determine the condition of any ship damaged in the previous game. Half any damage or speed loss and use that as the starting point for that ship for that game. Any turret / Torpedo Tube losses, I roll a d6 with a 50% chance that the equipment is now working again. A relatively short game I gave one evening gaming session to it.

Game 2 Background

The German advance on land continues a pace and the supply route into Riga is relatively secure. It's late July 1941, just a few days after our first game and we are back at Sea again with a German Task Force supplying some support to the Land Forces with a Shore Bombardment whilst the Russians are on a sortie to stop them.

Game 2 Map

The eagle eyed will notice we are on the same map as game 1, the numbered sections are for mines and submarines as described in the first post.

Game 2 Soviet Briefing

Team Soviet
Following the action against the Jackbooted Fascist Naval Forces a few days ago and following the arrival of Kriegsmarine units the Supreme Command has authorised a Sortie in strength into the Gulf of Riga.

The remnants of the Old Destroyers from the first game are available to you however any surviving Minelaying Destroyers have returned to port for refitting.

You have one submarine on patrol, inform the Umpire of their location before the game begins.

The areas of pre laid mines remain in location.

Air support is as per Game 1.

Soviet Fleet
Heavy Cruiser - Maxim Gorky
Destroyer Leader - Lenningrad 
Destroyers  -  Gnevnyi, Grozyashchi, Surovyi and Skorkyi. 

Plus any remaining Novik Class Destroyers from the first game.

First shot of the game.
Game 2 German Briefing 

Having stamped our Glorious mark on the Soviet Navy it is our duty to help our land based volk against the Bolshevik hordes.

You have been joined by the 2 Light Cruisers and supporting Torpedo Boats.

Your specific objective is to shell the front line positions (on the table edge between D2 and D3) from a distance of less than 60cms for three turns with at least one Light Cruiser.

You have one submarine on patrol, inform the Umpire of their location before the game begins.

Air support is as per Game 1, mines remain in place.

German Fleet
Light Cruisers - Leipzig and Eden
Torpedo Boats - T4, T5, T7 and T8

Plus all surviving ships from game 1, we had Destroyer Z20 and T2

How Did We Get On

The first game of the Campaign saw honours even, yes the Russians had lost three Destroyers but they were old obsolete models and there are plenty more newer and better ships back in port, however both sides completed their mission objectives. Game 2 was going to be a bit different.

Strike one to the Russians
We started off with a bit of a long range duel between Maxim Gorky and the German Light Cruisers, the Germans were getting hits but bouncing off the Russian Cruisers armour. The slow firing Russian guns were getting the odd hit and causing minor damage to Leipzig.

The clue for the Russians was that the German guns weren't penetrating their armour but the "Close with the enemy so I can hit them with my sword" virus took hold and the fleets converged.

With no aircraft turning up in the first 8 turns is was all down to the ships. The first turn that the Leipzig was in effective range she hit paydirt on the Maxim, two hits taking out a turret and the ships Rudder in one turn.

And that single round of fire led to a fairly spectacular sequence of events which would turn Game 2 into a disaster for the Soviet Navy. To make matters worse the Destroyer Leader Lenningrad suffered a Bridge hit causing it to disengage.

Turn 10 was a Demolition Derby for the Russians, the Soviet Destroyer Surovyi rammed into the rudderless Maxim Gorky causing both ships damage but even worse they slowed to a stop in front of a Torpedo Track, there was nothing to do but brace for impact.

On top of that two of the remaining Russian Destroyers Grozyashchi and Skorkyi managed to collide with each other, to conclude one of the worse turns for one side I think I have ever seen.

The next turn wasn't any better, the Torpedo attack on Maxim Gorky hit it's mark, the stationary Cruiser suffered a series of internal explosions causing her to rapidly sink taking the Surovyi with her.

The Russian Airforce finally turned up but unfortunately for them so did the Luftwaffe and the Bf109s made swift work of the old Ar2 Bombers.

The remnants of the Soviet Fleet made best speed for port leaving the German ships to complete their mission without opposition.

The next game (which is on the table) covers the Tallinn Convoys, a big win for the Germans in this game, the loss of the Maxim Gorky could be quite crucial in the later games.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

28mm Empress SCW Cavalry

After a slightly crazy month, I have a spot of catching up to do on the blogging and gaming front.

First up is my attempt at some 28mm Spanish Civil War Cavalry. The figures come from the most excellent range sold by Empress Miniatures.

I bought these at the York show in 2016, a unit deal of 10 figures for £36, they must be alright as I bought another 10 this year.

As you would expect with the Empress Range the figures are lovely sculpts and nicely detailed. The horses are separate from the figures which is ideal for me as I paint horses on a white undercoat with oils and figures in acrylic with a black undercoat.

The figures do come out rather nicely, I haven't decided yet how I am going to organise them as a unit for our SCW games but they will definitely add a new dimension to what is already one of my favourite periods.

For those of you who are looking at buying a set of these lovely figures, they do come with a separate Sword which sits on the side of Horse,  I chose to leave these off, they are gaming pieces first and I have a "if it might fall off, leave it off" rule.

One small quibble with this set is the difference between the Officer and the Bugler. The Officer is a slightly larger figure whose Horse,  at the saddle, is 3 or 4 mm higher. That and the poses make the Bugler look absolutely tiny. It's a small point but it's the first thing I see when I look at them.

A Grand addition to the SCW collection.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

28mm "Blakes 7"

Cally, Gann, Jenna, Blake, Avon, Orac and Vila
For a number of years now I have been coveting these gorgeous figures but took ages to a) Get round to buying them as they are not my standard historical fare and b) getting the things painted.

Thankfully this year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge had a bonus TV / Movie round, the excuse has landed.

Gann was a bit shy when this one was taken.
I am pretty sure that this fantastic TV show, filmed in the late 70s and early 80s didn't travel very far outside the UK and I don't recall it being repeated either, so those under 40 might not even be aware of the programme. It certainly seems that way when I posted these to the AHPC site.

Cally and Jenna with Orac
I loved the show back then and still do today, the low budget and creaking sets are there for all to see but so is the great writing and fantastic characters who all had their own interesting and often ambiguous motives.

Cally front and back.
The story followed a group of renegades out for revenge (or money / power !) battling against the "evil" Federation led by the scheming Servillan  (to be painted soon).

Blake was the Rebels leader (or was he ?), backed up by Avon a general rogue who was out for himself  (or was he ?), Gann the gentle giant with a brain implant to restrict his violence. Vila the cowardly thief, Cally the telepath, Jenna the Smuggler and Orac the super computer.

The real cast and show logo.
The figures themselves are heroic 28mm in scale and I bought them from Crooked Dice Miniatures under the title Future Freedom Fighters, there has been a recent split in the ranks of that company and I understand that these figures will now be sold under the new company name of Beast in the Broch.

Jenna front and back.
Regular viewers will know that my normal bag is historical figures so these are a bit of a departure from the norm for me. I also generally paint Figs in batches of 8 to 10 where as these were all painted individually which is a real change in technique.

Blake and Gann
The seven figures here represent the classic (in my mind) cast of the series which was active throughout most of the first two series. Major changes were made in series 3, Gann had already gone part way through series 2 to make it Blakes 6 and then at the end of series 2 Jenna disappeared and Blake was shot believed dead (although he did turn up at the end of series 4).

The show ran for 4 series each of 13 episodes. There has been a series of radio plays over the years often featuring members of the original cast however recently there have been very strong rumours of a resurrection of the show which would be fantastic news.

I have the figures to do the remaining characters who joined the crew over the series plus two later period Avon and Vila minis, added to which are the bad guys, but more of them soon.

Monday, 27 February 2017

1/2400 Tirpitz and Friends

My WW2 Collections are all 1/3000 and are definitely too big for me to even consider a foray into 1/2400. However I was recently approached by a gaming chum to put these together and paint them up for a Raid on Tirpitz game set in late 1944.

I have painted Tirpitz in its final colour scheme which was considerably simpler (thank god) than some of the earlier versions. Gone was the giant red flag and in was a muted scheme, dark grey hull and light grey uppers.

The models are of course GHQ, the level of detail on these ships never ceases to amaze me, they can be a real pain to put together and some of the smaller gun barrels never seem to bend straight. These however are small quibbles they are just great, although with the drop in the value of the pound they are becoming a bit of a luxury item.

Also in the package to paint were these 3 Destroyers, I have given them a simple painted scheme, grey all over with mid brown on the decking around the guns and bridge.

The great Battleship was under tow or stationary in the intended scenario so I haven't done much in the way of bow waves, just adding a bit of white alongside the lower hull suggesting waves breaking against the ship.

Whilst I was painting these I had a rogue Merchant ship to get finished so I chucked that in the mix at the same time and got it finished.

The ship is sold as a WW2 Armed Transport / Liner however it is destined for my WW1 collection, I have been looking for something suitable for the likes of Otranto and this will do nicely.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Yarkshire Gamer is 3 years old !

Happy Birthday YG

Project Jutland was 2016
So here we are once again at the end of my gaming year. Feb 19th 3 years ago was the day when I finally got round to starting this blog, I had the Name and even the front page done back in 2010 but just never got anything "out there".

The blogging is still fun, I really haven't found a better way of recording the little miniature adventures I take part in. The pages here act as a great reminder to me when it comes to uniform colour schemes, previous games etc. It's great to look back personally for me, a photo album of my gaming activities, if you like. An old friend from back in the day found some old photos of a Leipzig game we played in the 80s a while back and it brought back great memories of that time, the game and those people, some of who I haven't seen in years. Looking back how I wish I had pictures of all those old games.

28mm SCW game "University City"
Last year I failed again to get my 28mm Crusades project up and running, other distractions mostly Nautical got in the way again. The Jutland project was a massive undertaking, 250 ships in 1/2400 scale (one of which had to be home made) was no small ask but it's been great to have the whole collection on the table and couple of times.

The Jutland Project saw me being interviewed for a podcast and having my first ever figure pictures in a Wargaming Magazine, which was nice.

I have been involved in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge this year for the first time and that has been great in kick starting my painting for the year. I still haven't got going on the Crusades yet but have finished a large chunk of 15mm SYW as well as more WW1 troops for Mesopotamia and some SCW.

15mm SYW French Guard
2017s project will again be an attempt to get the Crusades going, that is until I am once again distracted. I have picked up quite a bit of weird stuff recently 7tv, Malifaux, The Walking Dead and the rebooted Escape from Colditz game so I would definitely like to try those out over the coming months.

Before I review the top 10 posts of the year I would just like to thank all those who have visited, commented on or otherwise contributed to Yarkshire Gamer this last 12 months and hope to see you all again soon.

All the titles on the top 10 link back to the original post.

Yarkshire Gamer All Time Top 10.

10. Battle of Newbury 1643 Scenario

Without doubt one of my favourite periods and collections I always try and get one big ECW game a year in, sadly a defeat for the Righteous King (how is that democracy thing working out at the moment ?) in our action but it was a great refight.

9. Prelude To Leipzig 1813

This post details my first foray back into Napoleonic gaming, my first love and biggest (6000 plus 15mm figures), it was a first attempt at General de Brigade rules and although not 100% happy (I miss my Quarrie National Characteristics and no I don't care if they are old school) it seemed to work well. We have had another couple of games and we are nearly there. My Figs are all based at 33:1 so its been a case of trying to shoe horn the Figs into the rules.

8. The Battle of Gaines Mill 1862 Part 1

This post has proved to be both successful and resilient, this was last years No 1 Post so although it's dropped 7 it's still hanging on. A tribute to the US following of YG who do like a post about the ACW.

7. The Walking Dead (Mantic) Preview

In at 7 is one of Yarkshire Gamers reviews, I was completely unaware of the Kickstarter for this Game and came across it by chance at the Recon show in Pudsey. A cracking game and one I have invested in further, just need the time to play the damn thing.

6. Project Jutland - A Grand Day Out

The first of two Project Jutland posts in the top ten for the year. This post covers the games first ever public outing, at the FIASCO show at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. It was a great day getting the project on the table and I can honestly say that I hardly had a moment spare when I wasn't chatting to someone about the project.

5. X Wing The Campaign Begins

Now this post is becoming a proper Klingon ! It's appeared in the top ten for three years running. Although the Campaign has slowed a little with my work commitments it's still going strong and Game 30 is due soon. All the individual games link back to this single post as it contains all the Campaign rules which are updated as the game progresses so no surprise that folk keep going back to it.

4. Project Jutland - WTJ and the Grand Fleet Review

This was the most popular Project Jutland post of the year, it came about mid way through the Project when I had just finished the last of the British Dreadnoughts including some ships for WTJ, a high water mark in the Project in many ways.

3. 28mm Princess Bride Style Miniatures Review

Another review grabs the bronze medal this year, just 4 figures this time but what a great set of figures.

2. Deep Cut Studio Mat Review

Second position is another review, this one for the latest "craze" amongst us gamers, printed gaming table "mats", great products simple as, however if they managed 10% sales on the back of visits to the review I should be due a discount.

And Finally......

Last years number 2 is this years number 1. My how to base and paint WW1 Naval miniatures,  remarkably popular still.

Thanks again for your continued interest and support.