Saturday, 16 May 2015

Painting British Modern Infantry - Progress Report

Usual readers of this blog know that I have recently embarked in a new painting project ahead opf the publication of the incoming TooFatLardies modern warfare rules "Fighting Season"·. Once I overcame the initial panic, I found a reasonable palette of colours to paint the new British Army MPT ammo and now I can show the first finished minis.

Photo 1: Command group 
(radioman, light mortar, senior leader, assisstant senior leader)

Photo 2: Infantry Section

The Photo 1 is The Assault Group modern British range while the minis in photo 2 are from Empress. Both brands are fully compatibale although there are some differences in the uniform (specially helmets).

I have another batch to paint on my table including a medic, a mine detector operator, a LMG and a couple of Minimis to provide more beef to the sections.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Glimpse of Fighting Season

Too Fat Lardies has uploaded a very interesting battle report of Fighting Season this afternoon in its official blog "Lard Island" that provides a good flavour iof the incoming rules for modern warfare.

Aficionados to Chain of Command will quickly grab the similarities to the WWII rules, however, as Richard Clarke explians at the end of the blog post, the changes introduced to the basic rules-engine comes out in a total different type of game.

Coincidentally, I was reading the first chapter of Attack State Red this afternoon while returning from work and I could not believe how similar the action described in Lar Island was to what I just read in the book.

Friday, 8 May 2015

I found hell...

...and hell is painting the modern British Army multi-terrain purpose (MTP) cammo uniform. Or at least this what I thought when I discovered the dramatic change in the British battledress uniforms.

At the time of planning collecting some British forces for Fighting Season (the incoming TooFatLardies modern warfare rules), most of the graphics materials I found depicted the typical British soldier en in the simple two-colour cammo uniform (sand and dark brown) so I thought that painting was "piece of cake". However, just after I bought the first batch of minis early this week from Empress and The Assault Group (coinciding with my birthday) I noticed that the uniform did not entirely match what I found in my photo search.

So I returned to "googling" more in depth and to my dismay I discovered that in 2011 a full new battledress and equipment had been introduced, currently supplied to almost all units of the British Army. Why the dismay? Just see the photo below (MTP on the right)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

What ISIS really Wants

This is somewhat off-topic to a blog mainly dedicated to my wargaming activities. But as I said, only "somewhat". Part of the pleasure of painting (and playing) with my toys is to do some extended research on the period involved; actually, I ended up in the wargaming world because of my interest for history  (I’m sure I’m not the only one here).

As you also probably know, I’m currently looking to play Fighting Season, the incoming modern warfare rules by TooFatLardies. We can not talk here about researching “history” but more properly “geopolitics”, which incidentally is a topic that I regularly follow in newspapers, magazines and books. And I’m especially curious to understand the emergence of the radical religious-based movements spreading across Africa and the Middle East.

Why? Because for good or for bad, Spain is at the forefront of a future clash with these movements; and if you take a look to the history of Iberian Peninsula, it can only be fully understood taking as a context not just Europe (the north) but also Africa (our south broder).

Friday, 1 May 2015

April Wrap-Up and a Reading list for Fighting Season

For heaven's sake! April's over and I hardly noticed, was I sleeping???. My blog activity over the past month was null, not a single post written (first time in years). Looking back into the past weeks, I just noticed that did not play a single game since Easter due to a combination of family engagements during weekends and some forays of my gaming group members into other wargaming interests... terrible.

I’ve been active on the painting front nonetheless and have managed to conclude a couple of units for my El Cid Project and some WWII bit and pieces (a US Airborne ATG and a mid-war German Panzer III).

Perhaps the most relevant news last month was the announcement by TooFatLardies of a new set of rules to play modern conflicts called Fighting Season, powered by the game mechanics of its 2 WW skirmish rules Chain of Command.

It was publicly tested in the recent London gathering Salute, with great success from what I grabbed from tweeter on the day and by the follow-up reports of different bloggers afterwards.  This announcement  also opened some interesting debates in the TFL Yahoo Group related to both how to simulate these type of asymmetrical conflicts and the convenience or not to “play” a conflict so close to our times that can arise high sensibilities.

As for the first aspect, the military prowess and strength of the Western armies forming the coalitions in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. always create a risk of creating a totally unbalanced and sort of whack-o-mole type of game, where one player just shot and destroy anything coming on its way.

As in the case of Vietnam is not only the military side that counts towards victory, but winning the political side of the conflict. The fact that the enemy is an irregular force, blended with the civilian population, imposes important restriction to the way the Coalition units can operate. This is an aspect already tried and effectively handled by TooFatLardies in the Vietnam-era rules Charlie Don’t Surf. I’m confident that the mechanics of Fighting Season to simulate the military/political tension will be nicely embedded in the game and will be one of the key differencing factors versus other modern-era rules in the market.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Planning the Easter Week Break

Easter Week in Spain is traditionally a big holiday break. In Madrid we'll be from Thursday to Sunday on holidays; but the first three days of the week I don't foresee much activity at work, with everybody travelling or planning to leave to the beach or the ski resorts on Wednesday morning, most likely I'll be returning home pretty early in the afternoon.

I’m not leaving the city so I was thinking this afternoon how best employ this lull of activity. Current plans include the possibility of playing 3 days at the club, as two of my gaming mates will also remain stranded here; I have proposed to umpire the 29 Let’s Go! pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command as we shall be able to play between 2 and 3 games until the weekend. Alternatively we may play some casual games

Painting wise, as I’m somewhat delayed with my El Cid project, I expect to recover some of the time lost and finish my Moor warband. Currently painting some Berber infantry and noble cavalry, I definitively want to finish these guys and idelaly start a levy unit of archers. We aim to start playing using The Crescent & the Cross by late April

On the reading front I’m about to finish the fourth book on the Arnhem campaign in the next few days. I managed to go through the classic A Bridge to Far, Urquhart’s and Frost’s memoirs and currently 70% progress of another great work It Never Snows inSeptember.  I have bought some excellent guides from Pen & Sword and want top do some planning for our club’s collective visit in November to the area coinciding with Crisis 2015 in Antwerp.

So these are my plans but you never know what I may end up doing. Any plans the rest of you guys? Would love to hear.

PS: Specially for those far from Spain, the photo above is not a celebration of the Ku-Kux-Klan, This is the typical dressdown in Easter Week in the country (serious!)...

... well not everybody dress like this but almost...

Friday, 20 March 2015

Old Hickory - New Campaign Book for Chain of Command

TooFatLardies has released a new campaign booklet for Chain of Command in its "Pint-Sized" campaign series. From its website:

Focusing on the action north of Mortain during the German counter-attack, Operation Luttich, we follow the action around one potion as Der Fuhrer Regiment of Das Reich attempt to push the US 30th Division aside.  Historically this is a much studied gritty defence by the yanks, Staff colleges aorund the world still conduct staff rides to look at the events.  We have foillowed the usual format, with historical background and period maps, then a selection of six potential battlegrounds to fight over. 

Thirty pages long, "Old Hickory" contains an overview of US operations in Normandy and beyond from Operation Cobra to the German counter attack at Mortain, Operation Luttich.  It goes on to present a mini-campaign covering the defence of L'Abbaye Blanche, a key position to the North of Mortain where the US 30th Division stood firm against 2nd SS Das Reich, and Der Fuhrer regiment in particular.   

The campaign is a total of six game tables with the duration running between three and eight games.  Briefings are provided for both sides, along with measurable objectives, period maps, force and support option listings and everything you need to play this campaign through to its conclusion.  

Like all of our Pint-Sized campaigns, this is available for the price of a pint in our local pub.  We're sure that you'll agree, that is great wargaming value!