In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Panzerschreks in Ambush

Scott was free last weekend for a game, which is a rare event indeed. So the two of us played I Ain't Been Shot Mum. The game was an attack by Canadian infantry and armour supported by Wasps on a village in Normandy held by Fallschirmjaeger and a platoon of STuGs.

Mainly because I wanted to put my new haystacks on the table. And the FJ hadn't been out of the box in a while.

Canadians attacked from the left and tried flanking move through field at top

Canadian view of entrance to town 

FJ panzerjaeger team springs ambush 
I deployed from the road,  with one troop on the road, the Sqdn HQ in a field left of the road and the second troop on it's left. The two infantry platoons were following in line on either side if the road. The Wasps trailed behind waiting for something to set on fire.

Scott revealed his trip wire, a section of FJ with two of his three  tank hunter teams who promptly brewed up the leading Sherman.
"Ambush right!"
A section of recoilless rifles were also revealed in front of the Sqdn HQ.
FJ support gun section revealed 
I got the 'Armoured Bonus Move' card so I decided to try and overrun the FJ. Of course, I quickly learned that this doesn't work so good against unpinned troops who aren't in foxholes. I did crush one gun, but everyone else evaded and even made a few antitank attacks. Sqdn HQ had one tank brewed up and the other two damaged. The right hand troop had three Shermans burning after their charge.
Burning Shermans 
The Wasps moved up to toast one panzerschrek team while the infantry rushed forward, clearing the hedge and then the first house at bayonet point. The surviving Shermans got busy shelling everything they could see. The FAC was also calling in Typhoons by this time. The infantry charge swept in before the smoke from the rockets could clear.
8 Plt takes the first house with bayonets
On my left, my remaining Shermans were thinking about crossing the road to flank the town. But Scott tried being cagey and moved a blind along some cover on my flank.  Thinking these were his STuGs I redeployed in cover to protect myself and dropped a Typhoon on the blind to find it a dummy.
Shermans move around the flank

Typhoons give support 
By this time he had revealed his second platoon in the big green house, so my Shermans shifted to put HE into the houses instead of maneuvering more aggressively.  This saved them from getting killed by his STuGs who were sitting patiently covering the field on the edge of town. The field I had been thinking of moving across!
FJ second line

STuGs waiting in ambush 

Surviving Canadian tanks being cautious 
It was now midnight and time to call the game.  His infantry and AT were pretty beaten up, but the STuGs were still a threat.  I had two good infantry platoons but I'd lost half my armour. So it would come down to keeping my remaining Shermans alive to fire HE, while the Wasps burned out the remaining FJ and supported the infantry attacks.

Not a good day for the Canadians. But I enjoyed setting up a bigger game for a change and I liked how the table looked.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rabbitman's BIG Kegscon Purchase

For the last few years, every convention, I've been bugging 6Squared Studio for their 15mm haystacks. They've always been sold out.

At Broadsword in August Kevin said "Send us a message a week before and we'll cast some up for you."

So I remembered a few days before Kegscon and ordered a dozen.

Here they are, all painted up with some 15mm sheep and Austrian Jaegers for scale.

Expect to see these on all my 15mm WW2 and SYW battlefields now.

This picture reminds me I haven't had my SYW armies out for a few years. Might be time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

KEGSCON 2018- In Which Mr. & Mrs. Rabbitman Have a Romantic Getaway

This past weekend I think I achieved the impossible: I combined a weekend getaway with Mrs. Rabbitman while attending a wargame show!

This was possible because Kegscon is held in the delightful Retro Suites Hotel in Chatham. The accommodations are top drawer, so Mrs Rabbitman didn't mind lounging and working on her knitting while I pushed toy soldiers about. Plus the restaurant is very good, so splendid meals were eaten.

I took Friday off, so we were able to check in around 4:30 and settle in before dinner. Then she went upstairs to lounge and I got in 2 games. The first was "What a Tanker" with Brian, Thomas and Frank (the GM).

Frank's table and 1/48th scale tanks were very enjoyable. We did 2x M4 Shermans vs. 2x Pz IVs. I was trying to hunt Thomas and we chased each other around a stand of trees, then Brian brewed up Frank and hunted me. I ended up caught between the two and brewed up in spectacular fashion.

"Driver advance!" My tank for the game 

"Target left!" You can just see Brian's Sherman nosing out behind the shed.

Then we got roped into a game of "Gaslands" the Mad Max/Death Race 2000 car wars game from Osprey. I went for speed and was heading for the 2nd gate when Keith set me on fire with a very unsporting flamethrower. I shot at Brian as I slid past out of control, then Keith flamed Brian and some one shot Keith, all of this resulting in a spectacular 3 car fireball blocking the second gate. But I was surprised at how fun it was trying to balance hazard with speed. Lubricated with more alcohol it would be even better.
I'm on FIRE!
The next morning after a hearty fry up, Mrs. went walkabout and I ran my game with three players. Same basic scenario but I added tanks (because I forgot the gunship at home). My friend Rico commanded the UNMC with considerable skill and held the FOB at games end. The new rocket launchers helped too, I think.

UNMC fire team with missile launcher 

Brian's 6mm Battle of Spichern (FPW 1870)

Then after lunch with Mrs Rabbitman  (a grilled bacon and brie with apple sandwich and fresh cut fries ) I got back to the show in time to play "Chain of Command " with Thomas' 20mm 1940 Blitzkreig toys. Rico and I took the French mainly because I find their Art Deco design tanks quite charming. We deployed into a village, contesting a vital cross roads with Les Boches. I thought I'd be clever and put a section out on the flank, but they attracted the fire of two sections in a house at the cross road and never got out of the turnip field. I sent in my platoon leader to rally them but the shock and casualties piled up, he got wounded and there were tears and recriminations.  But good fun playing a game I like a lot but get little chance to play and the German player Barnaby, who organizes the Broadsword game days, was a gracious opponent.
"La Guerre, c'est merde " the doomed section.

After that, Keith's wife Tam, Frank and his wife, Mrs Rabbitman and I, all went out for some great Indian food at a little hole in the wall place.

I talked to some of the guys on returning but except for the Hobbit SBG tournament there wasn't much going on so it was up to the room to unwind and watch some TV.

The next morning was check out and meeting Keith and Tam for brunch at another great restaurant, then a leisurely drive home, stopping at a deli we like in London. Home and tea by 3:30.

All that rich eating played havoc but well worth it.

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Rules in The Expanse So Far

Here are my cheap SF skirmish rules. Some of these ideas I may transport back to my Afghanistan skirmish rules. Apologies for the wonky formatting, I'm just copy and pasting from a Word .doc and had to reformat some stuff that was in text boxes. But it's FREE so quit your griping ya apes!

But I'm going to have to come up with something for the Mad Padre's Space Kitties on jet bikes and grav tank. That will I think involve some of the Padre's port...

SF Skirmish Rules v.3.1
Some Definitions
Light Vac Suits- worn by ships crew, civilians, survey teams etc.
Work Suit- rugged reinforced and protected vac suits for workers
Heavy Vac Suits- reinforced and power assisted suit worn by construction workers and cargo handlers
Combat Suits- heavy vac suit but with added armour, HUD displays, targeting, sensor suit, IFF
Power Armour- heavily armoured, enhanced sensors, targeting, thrusters, built in grenade launchers, enhanced strength and movement
Pistols ROF 1 Range 12”
Automatic Rifles (AR) ROF 1 Range 36”
Automatic Rifle with Grenade Launcher (AR/UGL): usual military small arm
AR ROF 1 Range 36”
UGL ROF 1 Range 12” AP 2

Shotguns/Heavy guns- big gun, heavy round. Lots of hitting power ROF 1 Range 18” AP 1
Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW)- like an AR but bigger magazine, higher ROF ROF 2 Range 36”
Power Armour AR ROF 3 Range 36” AP 1
Heavy Support Weapon (HSW)- carried by some Power Armour think 40mm grenade launcher/.50 cal MG ROF 6 Range 48” AP 2
Rocket Launcher- shoulder fired rocket/missile launcher for anti-vehicle/flyer work ROF 1 Range 48” AP3

Activation/Turn Sequence

Use one coloured chit for each fireteam or vehicle. Red one side, black the other. Or for larger multi sided games use each suit for different factions. Add a third coloured chit for Random Events.
Drawing the special chit activates a Random Event Roll, effecting whichever side /colour the next chit is for

Random Events
  1. 1-   Passing craft overhead. Next unit to activate cannot move.
  2. 2-   Meteor strike! 4d6” and scatter dice from center of table. Any team within 3” of impact gets AP 5 attack.
  3. 3-   Poor visibility. Dust/gas/raining methane reduces visibility for shooting range reduced to 12” for next unit
  4. 4-   Crevasse! The last ground vehicle that moved must test. On a 4+ it is stuck in a crack in the surface and can’t move for rest of game.
  5. 5-      A pile of cargo or a building catches fire and explodes. 4” range, AP1 attack
  6. 6-      Cyber-attack Next unit drawn cannot move or shoot.

When chit drawn, team or vehicle can move fast (bounce), move slow and shoot or shoot with a +1 ROF. Power Armour can move fast and shoot with half ROF, or they can set an Overwatch and reserve shooting until an enemy team is in their LOS
Place chit with team/vehicle to show it has activated.

Movement per action
Power Armour d6+3” bounce 2d6+6”
Other Vac Suits d6” bounce 2d6”
Vehicles slow d6” fast d6+6”
Bots/droids d6”
Flyers 24”
Obstacle 1 full move to cross
Take cover/go prone 1 action
Be sensible. Ground vehicles aren't going to be crashing through rocks mounds or crossing crevasses. That's what the engineers are for.
Low Gravity Troops on foot moving fast can bounce over obstacles add +1 to an enemy spotting roll. But they can also try and spot over any LOS blocking obstacles.
Power Armoured troops can bounce over obstacles and sight over LOS blocking terrain (and give the enemy the spotting bonus), OR they can use their thrusters to stay low while moving fast

Spotting hidden targets or getting a Positive ID on enemies moving in open among civilians
Light or Heavy Vac Suit 5+
Combat Suit 4+
Power Armour 3+
Flyer/Recce drone 2+
+1 if target bouncing (exception see Power Armour above)
+2 if target shooting
-2 if target in thermal or electro-magnetic obscuring clutter (power generator, temperature variation in terrain etc.)
Roll 1d6 per ROF
To hit:
Civilians hit on 6
Security Contractors/Pirates/Gangsters hit on 5+
Marines hit on 4+
Snipers hit on 3+

For each hit, the targeted team rolls against it’s Armour Save
Light Vac Suit –no save
Work Vac Suit 6+ save
Heavy work Suit 6+ save
Combat Suit 4+ save
Power armour 3+ save
Cover adds to the Armour Save
Obscured +1
Hard Cover +2
Trench +3
Any weapon with an AP factor reduces the Armour save by that amount.
Heavy Weapons (big rail guns and missiles) will ignore Cover
Other weapons
Power Armour launched grenades can be fired while moving
8” indirect attack 5+ to hit, no cover save or can make smoke screen
Shoulder fired missiles
Cannot move and shoot 4+ hit AP 3
Railgun 3+ to hit AP 5 Popup attack from cover -1 to hit
Missile Pods 3+ to hit 3” blast area AP 4

No move and shoot. D6” move.
3+ to hit ROF 3 AP 1
6+ Armour Save

No move and shoot. D6” move.
3+ to hit ROF 1 AP 3 2” blast radius
6+ Armour Save

Hand to Hand
When a figure moves into contact resolve hand to hand.
Each figure rolls a dice.
Civilians d6-1
Marines/Security/Pirates d6
Power Armour/Heavy work suit d10
High roll wins. Loser moves away fast move. If player declares before rolling attempt to capture then loser is captured.
High roll doubles loser, then loser dead.
Anti tank
Weapons with anti-tank armour penetrating ability have an AP value
Roll to hit.
Vehicle gets Armour Save based on Armour Value of facing hit minus AP value of weapon attacking.
A 6 on an Armour Save roll is always a save.
If the Saving Roll is failed then roll for effect.
  1. 1-      Mobility hit, no fast move
  2. 2-      Immobilized
  3. 3-      Weapon hit -1 to hit roll
  4. 4-      Weapon hit knocked out
  5. 5-      Vehicle disabled crew bail out
  6. 6-      Vehicle destroyed, crew killed

Move d6” Fast d6+2” can carry up to 4 Marines
Front Armour 8
Side 6
Railgun 3+ to hit ROF 3 AP 1
Missile launcher 3+ to hit ROF 1 AP 3 2” blast radius

Paladin MBT
Move d6+2” Fast d6+6”
Front Armour 10
Side 8
Railgun ROF 1 3+ to hit AP 5
Secondary Gatling laser ROF 3 3+ to hit

Ferret Scout Car
Move 8” Fast 12”
Front Armour 8
Side 6
Railgun 3+ to hit ROF 3 AP 1

Move 24”
Armour 7
If behind cover can make pop up attack
Railgun 3+ to hit AP 5 Popup attack from cover -1 to hit
Missile Pods 3+ to hit 3” blast area AP 4

Fliers vs Missiles
Roll d6 to hit
Under 12" 4+
12-18" 5+
Over 18" 6

1-3 evade off table come back after 1 turn
4-6 roll AT attack
Damaged flyer will withdraw
Destroyed flyer will crash, impact area is full m

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Space Force Painted!

I have finished the additions to my Martian Marines. The command pack features some fellows with monoculars and a tablet type control pad, plus this alarmed looking fellow holding his helmet. I just find him amusing and characterful, which is pretty good for someone in a full helmet. The monocular users will either be in the HQ teams or assigned as spotters for the snipers and missile launchers.

"Look over there sir!" "Ack!"

"And over there!" "ACK!"

"You won't believe what 2 platoon is doing sir"
For heavy support I also got some missile bots to supplement the gun bots. I figure these will be used for defensive missions rather being dropped from a ship.
 Then there is some shoulder launched missile support too, for drop insertions.
The pack of 4 missile launchers also included 4 snipers. I thought about putting these guys in some dark grey camo, but decided against. With sensors etc. they could just as well be in bright pink so long as they aren't radiating any energy signal.

I also added four more 3 man fireteams to make two platoons of 6 fire teams plus HQ and weapons teams each. I have 4 left over SAW/LMG types who I will probably assign to the sniper and missile teams as close protection.
And a better picture of the tanks. Note the red dot laser projector to distractify the Mad Padre's Space Kitties. Still debating tactical markings.

So that's it for space marine types. Now it's just angry colonist/pirate/smuggler types for unsuited mayhem inside the tunnels of an asteroid/moon colony or on a distant world through the ring gates.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

August Update- in which Capt Rabbitman Narrowly Avoids a New Period

It's been a not that bad month on the gaming front actually. A fellow whom I met via Twitter turned out to live fairly close, so I had him over for a get to meet each other game of Lion Rampant. For the first time in a long time I tried a Burgundian vs. Swiss matchup and it was hard fought and bloody. Makes me feel like I need to pay more attention to my neglected Swiss.    

I've also done more playtests for my SF game. I think I'm on draft 3.2 now.  But at least I'm not totally trashing things and starting over each time. Mikey and I had a very unbalanced game featuring angry miners supported by Belter extremists vs. UNMC Marines and Corporate Security goons. The expected outcome but the highlight was some workers in heavy work suits fighting hand to hand against UN power armour and winning. The main objective of testing rules was achieved, and a better activation idea was thought of.

Then the Mad Padre came down with his son for a flying visit. We played my SF stuff again, trying out tanks and the new activation idea this time. Martian Marines overran the base but took heavy casualties. After pizza it was our usual game of Dragon Rampant but I was the Good  Guys for a change, and the Padre's son and I managed a narrow winning draw that featured my Elf king charging the orc legions alone. The Padre conceded the game when he realised he may have fudged a critical courage test.

The Padre's legions of Isengard 

Elf king about to get a long sad song composed about him
The next weekend, it was a fun day at Broadsword 6 in Hamilton. This is a one day event held 3 times a year as a fundraiser for the Legion Branch that hosts the Hamilton Tabletop Gaming Society. Lots of games and catching up with folk. After lunch I sat in on a Flames of War Vietnam game,  leading some Armoured Cavalry into the muzzles of an appalling number of dug in recoilless rifles and NVA Regulars. I blew up in spectacular fashion. The .50 calls on the M113 ACAVs were not as effective as I'd thought, plus my Sheridan tanks were out ranged by the 85mm recoilless rifles and got killed before getting a shot off. Plus we had no artillery or air support and the NVA force (quite a mass of them and not a VC in sight) included tanks. Yes tanks. The NVA team were also rolling incredibly hot dice. So we were doomed.

Marines have problems landing on Tarawa at Broadsword 

Battle of Britain at Broadsword 

Armoured Cavalry painting it black

Frozen French and Cossacks fight for the last pig at Broadsword 

Painting wise not as productive. While digging out rare earth magnets for my Martian tank I found the Battlefront Centurion tank I'd bought for $5 a few years ago and assembled it since I was busy assembling things. In the process discovering that my old Roskopf mini tank Centurions are also 1/100th scale! This explains why they  were dwarfed by the 1/72 scale Firefly they fought beside. But I was 10, so what'd I know ? Everything was "HO" scale, right?

I thought about doing the Martian armour in red, but thought a grey camouflage scheme looked kinda cool too. Plus I have red WW2 British tactical markings,  so they'll show better.

Martian armour in action

Painting the Centurion also got me finishing the company of T34/85s that has been stalled all summer because my green armour mojo was off.

T34/85s ready to drive to Berlin 
Painting the Centurion and seeing that I had THREE 15mm tanks got me thinking of uses for them. The Indo-Pakistan War of '65 has an attraction, but I'd need M48s and infantry (maybe in 6mm?).  But I also remembered my old African Imagi-nation, Ruanda, who fielded Centurions and upgraded Shermans against the People's Republic of Simbaziland with T34s and T54s (played by an Airfix and a broken diecast JSIIs). But I'll wait until PSC releases their plastic Centurion kit before I order some infantry from Peter Pig's AK47 range. But I do conveniently already have Shermans and T34/85s.

The Padre also gifted me a spare Nazgul. Black prime, highlights, dark grey dry brush on cloak, black ink on horse, silver highlights on armour and sword. I gave the sword edges a green ink wash to try and give it an ethereal evil magic look.

I'll play him as reduced figure elite rider causing fear and the wizardling upgrade, giving him 3 spells to effect courage tests and prod his legions forward.