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 -

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.