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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Night Raid!

Played a game of Black Ops Saturday night with Patrick. Two 4-man JTF2 teams were tasked to snatch a Taliban commander hiding in a village. The raid takes place at night, so stealth rules and sentries are in play. Just pretend all the pictures are that livid green colour from Night Vision Gear.

Table layout. Canadians enter lower left. Target in house with red poker chip
Crossing the irrigation ditch
They had been inserted a kilometer away. WO Stan Uchanski had picked an approach route that have them some cover among the grape mounds but passed the fewest compounds. The last thing he wanted was a dog giving them away.

Carefully they all crossed the ditch. Pete on the SAW covered them as everyone scrambled up.

A splash and muffled "fuck"
"Damn it Carl, keep it quiet."

Everyone gathered in the shadows of an orchard wall. Stan sent Pete and his no. 2 across the road to cover the final advance from some ruins. He had just joined them among the rubble when the sputtering of a small engine and the blob of a weak headlamp made them all hug the shadows tighter and hold their breath.
Random civilian
After the motorcycle passed, Stan keyed his mic. "Mike? Go."
Several muffled shots dropped the two closest guards. One fell with a loud groan and clatter as he dropped his AK.
Assault team advancing
One of the other guards started shouting. A Taliban came out of the left hand building, spraying bullets from a PKM LMG.
Marksman takes out sentries
Pete responded with the C9, dropping him in the archway. Carl and Tom ran up to put a couple of grenades followed by bursts from their C7 rifles into the room, chopping down a section of Taliban as they were still grabbing their weapons.
Clearing the first building
Other fighters boiled out of the target compound though. Bullets snapped around them. Carl and Tom were quickly knocked down. Turbaned fighters shouldering RPG launchers appeared on the roof and at the corner. Pete and Mike quickly took them out, covering Stan as he dashed over to his stricken team members.
Man down!
Uchanski tore open his first aid kit as bullets ripped up the air around him. Their target, the Taliban commander jumped into the pickup truck and gunned the engine. Sands flew as he backed up narrowly missing some of his guards.
Firefight in the street
Uchanski yelled at his RTO, who was carrying a grenade launcher. "Sparky! Take him out!" A fragmentation grenade exploded against the front tire, flattening it, damaging the engine and shattering the side window.
The C9 team joined in, spraying the truck with 5.56mm rounds. Return fire hit them both, but too late, the Taliban commander was bleeding out in the cab of the smoking truck.

At this point both sides made a hasty disengagement. Sparky yelling the 9-Liner into the radio and arranging for a helicopter extraction as they carried their casualties out of danger.

Tom was VSA when they got to the Blackhawk. By the time they had returned to KAF cellphone chatter picked up by a listening post confirmed that the target was dead along with half of the Taliban cell.

For extreme coolness and bravery under fire while rescuing his wounded comrades which contributed to the success of the mission, WO Uchanski was awarded the Military Medal.

It was a tight game. I don't know if the Canadians could have done better.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A New Hope

A lot of anxiety and anticipation here at the Townhouse of Solitude lately. But after a 20 hour labour, Daughter No 1 has popped out our first Grandchild. A fine healthy boy, 8 lbs. 15 oz., who has my name (which I'll admit does please me).

Mom and baby are doing fine. I've put Mrs Rabbitman on a plane to the Wild Frontier so she can help out and get all the baby snuggling.

I will console myself in my loneliness with painting and eating bacon.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Counter Attack at Cinque Lapins

Last weekend I solo played the 'Attack-Defend' scenario as the Germans launched a counter attack on Lt. Black and his platoon from the London and Oxford Fusiliers, as they would.

Germans got a platoon of Panzer grenadiers and with a roll of 12 for support options I took two StuGs. For the Canadians I hemmed and hawed and finally took the ubiquitous Sherman tank.

During the Patrol Phase, remembering the carnage on the German right, I concentrated on patrolling into the farm and around the left of the town. For the Canadians I tried to consolidate on the town but also pushed patrols out to the right to shut down the German probes.

End of Patrol Phase. Canadians in blue, Germans in red.
Location of JOPs
If you can see them, the Canadian JOPs are in two back gardens and a 15 CWT truck in a field. The Germans also have an Opel Blitz in a field and two JOPs in the farm.

As the game progressed the Germans put one section into the trees facing the hotel and two sections deployed from the farm. The Canadians reacted by quickly getting a section each into the hotel and the shop. The third section deployed from the terrace houses to the left of the hotel. Some MG42 rounds hitting the brick work around them caused some frantic scuttling into the brush on their left.

German right flank facing the hotel

3 Section covers the Canadian left

First shots

2 Section moves into the hotel

3 Section takes cover
At the farm, one German section moved out of the barn, with its poor fields of fire to try and take the shop. But 1 Section got there first and started laying down fire. The Germans replied in kind, two MG42s putting a horrible amount of lead through the shop windows. Two Canadian riflemen went down.

After deploying the PIAT team to the upper floor to cover the road and the 2" mortar at the intersection under Lt Black's control, Sgt Bedford took charge in the shop, directing the defense.

The Germans had moved tactically and taken cover but they now found themselves in a cross fire from both the shop and the hotel.
On the left, the German third section moved from the farm to try and flank the Canadian position. But help arrived as the Sherman tank rattled up. Seeing that the road was blocked, the tank moved to the right to protect the Canadian JOP which was vulnerable to the German flanking move.
Somewhere around this time, Lt Black got another game saving run of initiative, rolling double 6s for four consecutive phases.

The Sherman moved up to cover the JOP and opened fire on the German section, killing the section leader and some grenadiers. Lt. Black and Sgt. Bedford directed fire on the grenadiers in front of the barn. Even with the hard cover from being tactical in cover, the Canadians rolled a lot of 6s eventually shooting down the entire section.

The Germans facing the hotel tried to support, killing a few more Canadians. With the threat from the farm eliminated, 2 Section in the hotel switched it's fire to the trees. A good burst killed the third section leader and broke one of the MG42 teams. The German Force Morale collapsed and it was game over. With half of the German platoon down, including all three section commanders, it was time to fall back and regroup.

Unfortunately for the German side (and my  game objective of refreshing my memory on the armour rules), the Germans never got enough junior leader activations to get the StuGs into the fight. The Canadian platoon, with a second senior leader, meant they could take full advantage of some command rolls with two 4s which kept the rifle sections firing when it was critical.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Banner to Rule Them All -4th Orc Unit Done

Finished the fourth unit of Uruks for Angmar this weekend.

I had a burst of inspiration for the banner. My old tattered copy of The Lord of the Rings has on the cover the Eye of Sauron encircled by the script Gandalf finds on Frodo's ring at Bag End.

But how to do it without it looking like a deflated football? Circles are impossible to free hand. Especially with lettering.

Then I remembered my old set of drafting tools and the circle template my dad got me when I was little and liked drawing tanks and spaceships and stuff. Picked a circle that fit neatly within the flag, used a pencil to trace it lightly on the black and remembered to dot the center so the Eye would be in position.

I used a graphic that I'd found on Pinterest as reference. Copying the script going around in a circle would make it easier to follow with the paint brush.

I am quite chuffed with the results. Here are some snaps I took on the painting bench before wrinkling or doing the bases:

A Nazgul would probably criticize my calligraphy and spelling, but you get the effect.

This gets my Legions of Evil up to:
  • Caradamarth ("Red Doom" dragon) greater warbeast, with flame and cunning 10 pts
  • Morithol ("Dark Helmet") elite rider with venemous 9 pts
  • Werewolf, lesser warbeast with cunning and magic armour 8 pts
  • Wizard, light missile plus Spellcaster 8 pts
  • Witches, light missile plus wizardling 6 pts.
  • Men of Carn Dum cavalry, heavy riders 4 pts
  • Men of Carn Dum, heavy foot 4 pts
  • Men of Carn Dum, heavy foot 4 pts
  • Men of Carn Dum, heavy foot 4 pts
  • Trolls, bellicose foot, 4 pts
  • Orcs, light foot with missiles 5 pts
  • Orcs, light foot with missiles 5 pts
  • Orcs, light foot with missiles 5 pts
  • Orcs, light foot with missiles 5 pts
Which is quite a lot. Easily two, or possibly three, warbands.

But I'd still like to add a couple of Reaper trolls, wolf riders and some goblins.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Action at Cinque Lapins -a CoC AAR

In order to accomplish two objectives: 1. play with my new buildings and 2. refresh my memory of the Chain of Command rules, I set up a table Saturday afternoon and then played out a "Probe" scenario Sunday afternoon and evening solo.

It is D+10, Lt. Black of the London and Oxford Fusiliers (a local, now defunct, Militia regiment that actually spent the war guarding the Welland Canal) has been tasked with probing the village of Cinque Lapins. The Colonel has attached a carrier section to him for the operation. Operating in the area are troops from the 735th Infantry, composed of Polish conscripts and convalescents from the Russian Front.

Studying his map, 'Blackie' opts to send his scouts through the fields to the right of the road where there is some cover. They will then hook into the village from the west.

German patrols extended on the right a foot in, Canadian patrols starting clumped on the left table edge
The Canadian side did well in the roll, getting 3 extra moves. This let them get their patrols well into the village, seizing the key buildings. The Germans tried hooking patrols around the eastern flank to try and outflank the Canadian position. Two patrols on the German left in the farm, and in the center, were used to lock the Canadians in place before they established an even better position.

End of Patrol Phase, the Germans (red) locked things down before the 4th Canadian patrol (blue) could move to the top of the picture and perhaps get a JOP in the terrace houses
Lt. Black established himself at the crossroads beside the big hotel. He sent one section into the shop across the street to hold that flank and cover the road. A Bren team was dispatched to the hotel to cover the other road.

Canadian JOPs clustered in the middle of town

German JOP by farm

German JOP in center
Feldwebel Wurst quickly sent a section to try and seize the terrace houses on the eastern side of the village. But Sergeant Bedford was rushing the rest of the Canadian platoon forward, a section quickly arrived and took positions in the upper story of the terrace houses, with a fine view of the Germans advancing across the open field. A carrier also rattled up the road and took a position to enfilade the field.

Rifle and Bren fire erupted from the windows in front and the brush to the German right. One landser was down. Gerfreiter Schmidt tried to dash forward out of the trap, but the shock and a bad roll just resulted in his section lurching into Sten gun range.

Then followed an incredible run of good dice as the Canadians kept the initiative for 3 or 4 phases. This allowed Blackie to bring up the rest of the Carrier's onto the German flank, push his third section into the hotel and pour several volleys of devastating fire into the Germans. Gerfreiter Schmidt went down in the second volley and the shattered remains of the section ran away.
Schmidt getting pounded
The Germans then deployed a section into the trees behind the hotel.

The Carrier section now charged across the field to grab the German JOP. The Germans hastily deployed their panzerschreck team which knocked out a carrier before going down under a hail of answering bullets.
Only German success of the game
The Canadians then played their CoC die to end the turn and eliminate the JOP permanently. German Morale by this time was hurting and they'd lost a Command die.

In the center, the Germans were able tried pushing a scout team into the hotel and deploy their MG42 in the trees. On their left they brought their last section up from the JOP at the farm, hoping for a flanking move.

But the Canadian Sgt was in the shop taking charge of the section there. They poured some devastating fire into the Germans, who went to ground behind the hedge. But even the hard cover doesn't help when the shooters roll several 6s for effect! The remaining Germans ran away over the field and the Canadians dashed into the lane to keep the pressure on.

No. 2 section also came out of the terrace houses into the gardens to get a better line of sight on the Germans in the trees and perhaps flank them. They took two phases to come down from the third floor. So note for next time, second floor still gives a good field of fire, but it's quicker to get out of.
By this time however, the German Morale had collapsed down to 1, and with only one Command die, there wasn't much to do.

Good refresher. Both the 4Ground and Crescent Root Studio buildings worked a treat. Learned a few hard lessons about covered routes of approach and concentration of effort. I like the terrain and am going to leave it set up for a German counter-attack and try to relearn the AFV rules.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Gift for the Feast of Epiphany

As the Mad Padre will tell you, Friday was the Feast of Epiphany, the day the Wise Men brought their gifts, and the last day of Christmas. Conveniently, my present from Mrs Rabbitman arrived in the mail. Not gold, frankincense and myrrh, but two MDF buildings for my 15mm WW2 games from Crescent Root Studio.
Terrace and shop

These are, quite frankly, the feline's sleep wear.
Hotel, or pub with apartments

They seem pricey compared to 4Ground, but they come out of the box assembled and table ready. The finish is superb, with a pleasant texture to the walls and the use of printed roof tiles gives a better look.

Mrs Rabbitman opted for the bases for each building, so they have some walkways to help tie them into the table top. I've already indicated that the extra damaged floors and the other two buildings would be very nice for my birthday and/or next Christmas.

My only complaint is that they don't have the same extensive range that 4Ground has. The lack of interior walls can be easily fixed with some heavy card.

Compared to my other buildings, they really shine.
With 4Ground terrace houses

Resin Landmark cafe looks a bit small
Someone asked how 20mm figures look beside them. So here are some of my 15mm Germans and a very out of place 20mm modern Canadian, checking out the new real estate.
The 20mm figure is oversized, but he might look OK beside one of their middle eastern buildings instead; mud brick construction is different and the door ways tend to be lower I think.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking Ahead for 2017

Looking back at last year's New Year's post, I see I certainly went off script.

Didn't get anything done for WW2 or the Samurai. Painted a few units for my SYW Austrians but didn't play with them.
Did get my Colonial figures out a bit to bash around with Sharp Practice a few times.
Black Ops started strong and then fizzled due to the pre-game admin burden. Shame that, I'd like to do more with those rules.
I have pretty much wrapped up the Afghanistan project. Although the expansion to the Canadian figures by Elheim does tempt. I should order some before the Loonie drops versus the Pound.
Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant have been the big winners this past year. Inspiring a lot of games and a lot of painting and An Unexpected Project. Both are easy to pick up and throw a quick, fun game on the table, which is a big plus in my life right now. I've also really enjoyed revisiting my oldest miniatures among my Medieval armies and finally finding a satisfying outlet for my decades old Tolkien-gaming desires.

So where now?

More Middle Earth is obvious. I'd like to add wolf riders and maybe some scruffy arrow fodder golbins to my orcs. Plus Reaper makes some lovely Trolls (which are conveniently made under licence here in Ontario by RAFM). Some shield wall types and a few archers for the Dwarves would be good too. Another Ent for the Elves would be lovely, but I fear they are unobtainable.

More WW2 too. I still have that last platoon of Fallschirmjaeger and a few other bits to finish things up. But even just some solo games of Chain of Command would be good. Maybe that will get the painting juices going for doing more WW2.

Mostly just play more. Start setting up solo games on a Sunday afternoon if I have to. Now that I've got the second table and a permanent painting area sorted, leaving a solo game set up won't be an issue. Although it looks like I managed over 20 games last year, which is better than I expected. 3 OP Thundering Dice gaming weekends with the Mad Padre helped, accounting for 8 or 9 of those.

But there's nothing like playing some games to get you inspired to paint some figures. So we'll see where inspiration takes me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Werewolf of Angmar- 1st figures for 2017 and last of 2016

I had last week off, so I've been able to get a lot of painting done in between eating cheese and the Cold Steel game day with the gang.

The last completed figures for 2016 are these Elf archers. All Vendel castings. Usually I would brown wash the quivers but with the figures otherwise being so drab I wanted them to pop a bit. I also spent a while on the cloaks since those are a dominant feature. The three chaps in the animal skins and the trumpeter are from EO8 Wood Elf Command.

Next is this wolf I found in the lead pile when I started the project. I wasn't sure which way I was going to go for a while: evil werewolf or goodly hound. But after looking more closely at the face I decided he looks pretty evil, so a lesser warbeast for the forces of Angmar it is.

I'm not sure where he came from. By the sculpting and casting he sure looks like an Old Glory casting, but I'm clueless as to how he slunk into the lead pile. He was done earlier in the week with the elves, but the basing wasn't completed.

Finally, a third company of orcs. More Vendel of course. Figures from the orc command pack, large orc shield wall pack and small orc archers pack.

For the banner I tried something like this:
With a Big Red Eye in the middle of Mount Gundabad.

But it came out badly so I painted it over and went with just a Big Red Eye and the Elf numeral One in the corner.

I also really like this Captain. Lots of animation and character. So he'll have to get a name.

I also have to highlight some of the cool helmets in this unit. They make me think of Brian Froud's or Alan Lee's illustrations.

These additions get my Elves up to a pretty large force by themselves, with the capability of fielding 2 units of light missiles with the sharp shooter upgrade, or a massive swarm of scouts. The orcs can now be a contingent on their own, separate from the Men of Carn Dum.