Monday 31 December 2012

Happy 2013 and New Year Resolutions

With just a few hours away in Europe to conclude 2012, I'd like to wish my fellow world wargamers and bloggers a most fruitful and successful 2013... and for the rest of mortals, hopefully some enlightment to the gang of useless politicians governing our countries (not just talking about mine, but overall). As for my resolutions and projects, I aim this new year at a twofold objective: to consolidate some of the wargaming activity developed in 2012 and to start at least one specific project.

Probably not very ambitious, but surely there will be new temptations arising along the way: the dark side of señor Clarke from TooFatLardies makes him unpredictable, and he's already tempting me with a revised "Algeron", a WWI plane game rules, and the long awaited "Chain of Command", the platoon-sized WWII rules to replace the ageing Troops, Weapons and Tactics that should be ready "before Easter" ...hopefully of 2013, although he did not make a specific statement :-)

Sunday 30 December 2012

Gallipoli Campaign # 1 - Red Beach

In the heels of the very successful Stalingrad campaign, my wargaming group is now undertaken another major project around the campiagn in Gallipoli. The first game of the campaign was played on Friday night but quite unfortunately I could not attend due some family committment. For this hgame we are using the WWI rules "Through the Mud & the Blood" from the TooFatLardies factory with some adaptations to the historical context of the game.

This game started with the landing of a contingent of Australian troops aiming to secure a beachhead from where to launch the offensive into Turkish territory. Despite facing some low quality units, the news I got from the battle indicate that the first Australian waves were mowed down by the deadly fire of the Turkish HMGs, tainting the snad in red... although the following waves are starting to consolidate a foothold in the contested beach.
The next game is scheduled for Friday January 11th. I leave you now with a nice recollection of photos from the battle yesterday.

Saturday 29 December 2012

German Platoon Command Vehicle

I did not have anything specific planned for Christmas on the wargaming side, but the campaign of Vyazma or Bust has triggered my appetite to paint some more early war German vehicles and figures to reinforce my troops. These are the last additions, a Platoon command vehicle SdKfz 251/10...

... with a Pak 36 on top. This is an old Esci model that has been lying around since the early 80s. The kit is generally OK except for the tracks.

I aslo made some progress with a flamethrower stand, that will be attached to a combat pioneer unit in the near future, and tank-hunting team 

 I need now to work on the bases for the ATG team and the Hanomag. I also need to find a nice command figure to ride on the half track. Im the meantime I continue with the painful rebasing work (... the wargamer's curse)

Thursday 27 December 2012

Taking Stock of 2012

Following this post by Dux Homunculorum, and with the year about to close, it is a good momment to assess my performance as wargamer  in 2012 vs the initial plans. True that I wasn't too ambitious in my targets for this year, as my main and only objective was to start playing with IABSM... target accomplished  but I failed miserably in terms of both timing (I started with the rules only in November) and specially with the period  played (I was planning to concentrate my playing time around the Spanish Civil War period, and I finally ended focusing on the early WWII Eastern Front period).

However reviewing my blog, I can only express my satisfaction with my achievements over this period. The five most relevant personal aspects, hobby wise in 2012:

  1. Vietnam engagement: top in the list just by browsing in the blog and all thanks to Charlie Don't Surf, so far (at least for me) the best rules set released by the TooFatLardies factory. In this year I have consolidated a nicely devoted group of players at my club, and significantly expanded my armies (the last batch of reinforcements arrived on Christmas day!). I also built a nice library of Vietnam related reading that you can consult in my Shelfari link (at the blog's left column) or reding in this post
  2. I Ain't Being Shot Mum: a late start but gaining momentum, it has  revived my appetite for WWII and new reinforcements are coming well as forcing me to undertake some nasty rebasing work of my old BK Commander stands :-(
  3. Salute: meeting face to face many bloggers and  Richard Clarke, one of TFL's brains, was really good. Visiting some of the military museums with my club mates and friends... had no price.
  4. Maurice: another major discovery in 2012, for a period (XVIII century) that always attracted me but never found the right moment to play. I'm not planning to do any painting job as many of club mates have beautiful armies already, but I will keep playing in 2013.
  5. Dark Ages: the publication of both "Duxes" this year attracted a lot of my attention and I even invested some money in one British-Romano army; the project has lost steam but it is a clear candidate for a revival in 2013. The book published by TFL, Dux Britanniarum, in particular is a joy to read and the rules hooked me from the very first moment I started reading it,  similarly to what happened when I bought Charlie Don't Surf.

Sunday 23 December 2012

German Late War Squad

I finally made up my mind and have decided to reorganise my 20mm minis, to play with I Ain't Been Shot Mum.  This has involved some planning as I had plenty of early and late war Germans based for Blitzkrieg Commander in 6 x 3 cm bases with 3 minis each. As IABSM uses a 1:1 scale ratio, each platoon has 3 x 8-men squads plus an officer (Big Man) and also you need to keep an accounting of casualties, I had first to resolve how to base them.

After much consideration I decided the following:

Friday 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Well, once that the end of the world seems to have been skipped, time to wish you out there a very merry Christmas together with your friends and beloved ones. Here at Anibal Invictus' home we are planning to have a muted celebration, as my in-law has gone through a serious surgery a few days ago and it's not clear that he will be back home before Monday.

Wargaming wise, I'll be playing a Mud & Blood game (my first since summer!) and watch The Hobbit on Sunday, and  expect Santa bringing me some nice US Vietnam reinforcements on Monday night :-) I also hope to play a few games during these holidays and to dedicate some quality time to reading and painting (today I'm still deciding my reading list and painting project).

I leave you now with one of my favourite songs (and singer) for this season. Enjoy it!

As said, have a good holidays, health, peace and fortune for you all.    

Sunday 16 December 2012

Vyazma or Bust Campaign # 5 - Yelna 2nd Day

The fifth game of the Vyazma or Bust campaign was played today. The  fourth game  (attack to Yelna) ended in a deadlock, but we finally arrived to a compromise  to play a second day in the city with the Germans starting now deployed in a narrow bridgehead in the west on the city. 

The OOBs were modified to take into consideration the casualties of the first day and the scarcity of reinforcements available to both sides. I also added a new feature: the inclusion of movement thorugh the sewage network... unfortunately the Russian unit assigned with the mission to make a surpirse attack in the German rearguard got lost in the undergorund maze.

Friday 14 December 2012

My first participation in a crowdfunding project

My first participation in a crowdfunding project has concluded succecesfully today, when the guys of Shenandoah Studio sent me my copy of the Battle of the Bulge game for iPad. I have just downloaded in my tablet, lurked around in the different options of the main menu and my first impressions are really positive.

The team at Shenadoah leveraged on the experience of die-hard wargamers and iPad users to build the first  intended wargmae for the tablet and, pending a more extensive use of the application but it looks terrific so far. One of the  next projects will be El Alamein.

Thursday 6 December 2012

X-Wing First Impressions

Constitution's day (and a holiday) in Spain, we decided to have a father-son afternoon, attending a X-Wing exhibiton game in my son's local games and cards shop. A good opportunity also to try distracting the little rascal from his Magic addiction... we'll see if the attempt succeed. 

Being a long time fan of the StarWars film saga (I still remember the thrill I felt watching the first film in 1977!!), I've been taking a close look to the game and the very positive reviews in different blogs I follow over the past few months. But today it was the first opportunity to actually "touch" and "feel" the game... and I have to admitt that it's a very nice and engaging product indeed.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Vyazma or Bust Campaign: In Search of a Compromise

Following my request of help after theVyazma or Bust last game  draw, the majority of the opinions are inclined to give the victory to the Soviet side. However, the TFL Big Man himself (Richard Clarke) suggested in the Yahoo Group the possibility of a refight assuming as a strating point the maxium penetration line of the Germans in the previous.

I find this soultion to be a fair one, at least fairer than proclaiming the Russians straight winners when th truth is that the main objective was celarly disputed. A second chance for both sides to show their war(gaming) capabilities.  I'm planning to work this scenario as the second day in the battle, following a ceasefire after dusk. Now I'm working on the new OOBs to take into consideration the casualties of the previous game and also the possibility of reinforcements sent through the night by the German and Russian HQs respectively.

And I have another surprise in hand for the players, inspired by an article published in  recent TFL Special... but this is a secret that I will unveil after the next game, scheduled for Sunday December 9th  (ha, ha, ha!!).  

Saturday 1 December 2012

Vyazma or Bust Campaign # 4 - Yelna and Help Needed

Last Sunday we played the fourth scenario of the Vyzma or Bust campaign, the early WWII eastern theatre companion book to I Ain't Been Shot Mum. The game so far has seen different turns of fortune, with the Germans losing the initiative after failing in their first attack on  Izdeshkovo and being defeated again in their retreat from Belyj, but stopping the Red Army advance in the defensive battle around the river crossing near Pochinok.

On Sunday, a German counterattack took place aiming to control a key crossroad at the city of Yelna, that would open the gate to reconqueing Smolensk. The oucome of the battle was... well you can help to decide by casting your vote, leaving a comment at the end of this battle report.

The Yelna scenario was an urban combat battle and at least on paper promised to be as bloody as the epic Stalingrad struggle was, with armour shooting buildings at short range and the grenade and the spade being the favourite combat weapons of the rival enemies.

Russian Commanders looking concerned about the coming battle...