Monday, 26 May 2014

28mm WW2 Italian Bersaglieri

28mm WW2 Italian Bersaglieri (Desert)

These guys were never really part of the plan, I was going for a Battalion of standard Italian Infantry plus the Giovani Facisti I featured in a previous blog. However I went to the Recon show last Xmas near my home in Leeds and couldn't find anything I needed, in danger of being cast out for not buying something at a show, I went for the "oh, they are nice" option and bought the Warlord Games Bersaglieri box set.

The box contains 21 figs, 15 foot, a light mortar with 2 crew and an MMG with 3 crew, also shown is a 47mm ATG l bought over tinterwebnet last month.

Basic Infantry types
Breda MMG and crew, sandbags added by me
Pea Shooter and crew
47mm ATG looked a bit bare with no gun shield so I added some sand bags

Front and rear view of one of the figs
They have painted up quite well, I prefer the Perry stuff, they have that touch more detail and character but will certainly get some more of these to make up enough for a company (or 2, or a battalion, I know !)

Certainly looking forward to getting a big game on with the Desert stuff, I have the next batch of vehicles half done so when the current Naval Mini Campaign is done (see other posts and the background of the top photo, oops) that might be next.

In general wargame world it was a pleasant trip to Triples a couple of weeks ago. My lead mountain was on the way down but I ended up buying a couple more boxes of Perrys desert stuff, some Panzer 1s for SCW and a box of the 28mm Agema Romans to try out. It might just be me but I find the current venue for Triples "soulless" its a big sports hall at the end of the day, to me things just get lost in the enormodome.

The old Octagon had character, lots of different rooms lots of soul, it was a pain to park near, even a bigger pain if you were a trader or putting a game on but it just had something about it. It might just be nostalgia but I genuinely used to look forward to Triples now I can take it or leave it, for me York is now the best show in the area and one I always look forward too (its near my birthday as well so usually have lost of figure tokens to use up). Sheffield Wargames Society do a great job organising the thing its not a criticism of them, its horses for courses and I'm running at York.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

WW2 Naval Campaign Day 2

WW2 British v Japanese Naval Campaign Day 2

Sadly shift work has scuppered the gaming a bit recently but last weekend we managed to get a few of us in the same room at the same time. We left the game with daylight breaking and the two fleets separating after the night action,  the Japanese shadowing the British from a distance with the British circling the waggons in preparation for air attack.

The British Fleet close up for an air attack
A second Japanese Squadron had arrived on table containing two Battlecruisers Kongo and Hiei, supported by 2 more Heavy Cruisers Takoa and Atago.

Japanese Battlecruisers arrive
The first 10 moves were designed to represent a Japanese land based air attack, each move they rolled 3d6 receiving 12 aircraft per roll of 5 or 6. For each successful roll a d12 was used to determine what arrived, a 1 or 2 brought Zero fighters which could be used as CAP over the table or held back to escort the Dive or Torpedo bombers which were randomly selected on a 3 to 12. The Japanese could hold aircraft off table for a maximum of 4 turns before using or losing them.

The first Japanese airwave arrives
The British had 12 land based fighters which could be called up with a 4 move delay, there  where also the planes of the carrier HMS Indomnitable, there were 18 Sea Hurricanes, 18 Fulmars and 18 Swordfish. The Japanese players managed to be very average and get 12 planes a turn most turns. In total they managed three attacks on the British Fleet.

Indomnitable under air attack
The carrier took the brunt of the attacks and was badly damaged by a couple of torpedo hits, down to 10 knots it was only due to some quality damage control that she survived at all. A third strike against Prince of Wales wasn't as successful a single 500lb bomb striking the deck and causing minimal damage.

The air war rages over the table
The British player wisely decided against launching an air attack in this phase aware of the risks of having armed aircraft on deck whilst under attack. All British Air operations were limited to Intercepting attacking bombers. This part of the game ended with Indomnitable withdrawing, limping off the table covered by the smoke of the destroyers Valentine and Vimeria.

In the second phase of the days gaming the next 10 turns represented a slackening off of the land based air, the Japanese still threw 3d6 per turn but needed a 6 for aircraft. The British still had the 12 land based planes plus those of the withdrawing aircraft carrier. The Japanese fleet were released by their Admiral and moved towards the British Ships.

Bad die rolls meant their 1 air attack failed to do any damage
As expected air power was less of a factor in this phase. The British managed to get one attack wave in but poor dice meant no hits were obtained. The Japanese managed an attack too, this time against Repulse a single torpedo hit caused minimal damage.

Repulse under air attack
The ship to ship combat saw minimal damage to the capital ships, both sides kept switching targets and losing ranging bonuses. HMS Ajax was sunk from the fire of 3 heavy cruisers and the Japanese destroyer Akebono sank after she suffererd a fuel fire on board. Someone then said "You know what we haven't had a Bridge hit today", guess what 3 Bridge hits in 2 turns. HMS Jaguar withdrew as a result of the loss of its Captain whilst the destroyer Akitsuki ended the phases trying to regain control after its Bridge hit.

The day ended there, one more session of the Campaign remains, both sides are due reinforcements and hopefully an exciting conclusion.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

28mm WW2 Desert British Armour Pt 2

28mm WW2 Desert British Armour Part 2

Honey, Crusader I and a Daimler I
Got round to finishing these off after a week away, there is quite a queue on the vehicle production line at the moment, I have 2 Semoventes, 3 M13/40s and a Lancia Truck mounting a 90mm gun for my Italians and a Mk 6 Light tank, 3 A10 cruisers, a jeep and another Daimler for the Brits in various stages of construction, priming and undercoating.

First up a blitzkrieg miniatures M3 Stuart or "Honey" as it is more popularly known, this model has been around for a while and has proved quite deadly in our early war play testing, advanced sights and a gun which isn't a 2pdr make light work of my Italian stuff. It has been painted in standard desert brown to get it on the table, got finished off this week in the lt blue caunter scheme and finished with the wonderful domsdecals . The name Bellman is a genuine tank name of this type.

Next up a Crusader MkI this time from warlordgames , have to say I'm really happy with how this one came out, especially in the top photo. Still experimenting with the green on this version of the caunter scheme, after being too green on the Matilda (see previous post) this might be not green enough, anyway I've got 3 A10s to do some more practice on. The tank has been named "Battleaxe" painted on the rear of the turret (not in view) a common British tank name of the period. The tank commander is from Perrys.

Finally from this batch is a Daimler I again from Warlord. I couldn't find any pictures of this vehicle in caunter so I have gone for a two tone scheme which is on the example at Bovington. This one is as yet un named, I haven't found any examples of named Daimlers, if you know different let me know.

Now for a bit of a steam release regarding Warlord, they are a relatively new company and they have come a long way in a short time, mostly their stuff is great but recently I have noticed a marked drop off in quality of the castings. Both the Crusader and the Daimler above have badly warped chassis and there were some very bad casting lines on the rear of the Daimler turret, which I gave up on and covered with the turret hatch. Both these models are released in the fancy printed boxes meaning that they will be the ones that go to model shops etc and therefore the molds will get a big hammering. The Mk6 I bought recently had one of the tracks miss formed and part of the resin wasn't set, I'm still waiting for a replacement part 6 weeks later, they haven't even dealt with my complaint yet.

I do hope that they haven't got so big that they forget about production standards and customer care.