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!

Monday, September 29, 2014

NO NEW PERIODS! NO NEW SCALES! Wait never mind.... Ultra Modern Canadians

I had recently been tempted by a discount offer at Peter Pig and was pondering their 15mm modern US Marines as proxies for modern Canadian troops. Conferring with friends in the Reserves, they aren't quite right, but 'close enough'... but then I had another tea and a think and remembered that no one makes a LAV III in 15mm, so really why bother?

Then Dan said "Why not 1/72nd scale?" and indeed, why not? While at KEGSCON I'd gotten talking with some of the other attendees and one of them mentioned Elheim Figures, so I got poking about their site and discovered their WIP page on The Guild Forum. I was promptly directed to these:
One pack so far for sale, but Elheim hopes to have more ready by Christmas and has 6 in total planned if they gain some traction (i.e. sales).

I also was directed to S &S Models and found this:

A LAV III Kodiak, God help me.

Being a totally new period, it's not like I would get any benefit from being able to use pre-existing figures or terrain (OK some of my North West Frontier stuff could have been re-purposed but not very much). So why not 1/72nd scale? Big enough for the figures to be interesting, small enough for the vehicles to be cost effective. Die cast civilian vehicles are cheap and aircraft kits are easy enough to find.

So if folks are going to be nice enough to make dedicated modern Canadian figures, I think it is my patriotic duty to support them.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rabbitman's Grand Day Out

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of training seminars for our 5th year cadets. But Detachment kindly scheduled something else that day, so our plans got bumped. This meant I was now free to go to KEGSCON. This is a one day gaming convention held in the Chatham Legion hall, hosted by the Kent-Essex Gaming Society (KEGS), a pretty active bunch of splendid chaps who I think are scattered from London to Windsor.

This is KEGSCON's second year, and they're still trying to get some traction. It was a two hour trek for Wierdy-Beardy and I from Stratford, so Pasha Dan and the Mad Padre had an even longer drive. But four fellows came from Toronto and put on a spiffing game, of which I shall speak more anon.
So that's what the wall looks like
Friday, Mrs. Rabbitman and I packed up the store.
Warlord horse and musket and Perry shelf pretty empty
Wracking my brains to try and predict what would sell, what would be a waste of space, and what we should bring anyway just so folks know we have it. Fortunately Martin's van is pretty roomy.
PSC shelf picked clean too
Martin was coming with his van to take everything down Friday night and set up bright and early. He would run the booth and I could spell him for breaks (which he never needed) but otherwise I was off to have fun.

And fun was had.

Mikey and I arrived around 10, so the morning games had started. But the Wings of War guy didn't have players, so we jumped right in, flying an assortment of biplanes to try and shoot down a pair of Gotha bombers.
This was my first time trying the popular WW1 air game. I quite enjoyed myself. A lot of the technical detail is nicely buried in the unique maneuver decks for each aircraft. Saves a lot of fussing with tracking airspeeds and such.
Don't you just love the WW1 camo patterns?

Of course shooting down the lumbering brutes wasn't as easy as you'd think. Flying into some German 'Archie' and catching fire didn't help either. Both bombers got off the table edge, although one only had ONE damage point left!

Then after some more schmoozing with people and lunch (beer, burger and chips), I got into a game of FUBAR set in Afghanistan run by four young fellows from Toronto showing the colours for The Most Glorious Order of the Magpie (formerly known as the Toronto Historical Gaming Society). A team of US Spec Ops fellows have to search a village and rescue two downed pilots.

Lovely 28mm Empress figures

Very nice Miniature Building Authority buildings

Entering the village

Technical shows up

Getting bogged down

Things going pear shaped. We've got two operators down in the garage, trying to rescue the 2nd pilot. Another fireteam is rushing up to rescue all three.

Terry Taliban tries to outflank us

Can we lay more smoke? Trying to get out of Dodge.

Mission accomplished!
Fun game with lots of tense decisions, some spectacularly bad die rolling (fortunately it was on both sides!) and beautiful toys. Those Spec Ops guys may have some great game stats but when somebody goes down, well now you're seriously handicapped. I'm starting to like FUBAR.

Next I joined the guys in some X-Wing. The Mad Padre let me take over one of his Y-Wings. I hadn't played this popular game yet either, so it was fun to get a taste of it. The Padre and I shot down the big shuttle, but I got blown up by it's escort and the Padre bugged out with only one damage point left!

Pig Wars
I didn't get many pictures of the other games though. There was also some Flames of War and a very pretty Dux Britanniarum game.
28mm Bolt Action
After dinner (most of us had the fish and chips special and we all sat around a big game table to eat together) it was a massive, silly, last man standing wild west shoot out.

Keith and Jason put all of their Wild West buildings and terrain out. Everyone got a figure and the mayhem began. Alliances were formed and as quickly betrayed. I took a lot of wounds very quickly which resulted in me spending most of the game bleeding in a house. When I finally staggered forth I had a misfire and killed myself off with a bullet in the leg!


I did take some shots of the interiors of the lovely 4Ground Dead Man's Hand buildings with some furniture in them.
I mentioned the furniture to the players around me. "Was that a shameless plug?" "It was a plug," I replied. "There was nothing shameless about it."

That's me with all the wound markers by my base.

So after all that, Mikey and I staggered home in a rainstorm, trying to rehydrate and fend off the too much gabbing, too much laughing, too much having fun and eating bad food headaches that always get me at these things. Martin and Stephen had already packed up the store and left, so I got home to a pile of totes in the living room.

Mrs. Rabbitman and I are spending our Sunday morning having a lot of tea and taking stock, putting everything back on the shelves and seeing what sold and what didn't. For a small crowd, sales were actually not that bad.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dark of the Sun

Pasha Dan wanted to test run his game for the local one day game show next weekend called KEGSCON.
Pasha Dan does not do normal gaming periods. If it's off the beaten track, set some place few have heard of and requires him to painstakingly convert a mass of figures, vehicles and buildings to make it look even close enough, then Dan will probably want to game it. If he does WW2, then he's doing Yugoslavian Partisans. If he does Vietnam, then it's French troops versus Viet Minh. If he's doing ancients then it's an army of Palmyrans or a skirmish set on the Empire's remote and neglected southern frontier. His 1930s Pulp adventures set in Manchuria and Central Asia are always a big hit at Hotlead. I think his Russo-Finnish Winter War stuff is probably the most mainstream project he's done.
So last night's game was based on the 1968 movie Dark of the Sun, starring Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Brown and Peter Carsten.

I'm going to let the pictures tell the story. The red and blue chips that you see in some shots are to show groups and leaders who haven't activated yet.

L-R Cpl Katiki, Sgt Ruffo (Jim Brown), Capt Heinlein (Peter Carsten) and Capt Curry (Rod Taylor) loads of conversion work, how else you going to get a DAK figure with an American "grease gun"?

L-R Yvette Mimieux and the unremembered Mining Director with all the diamonds (a couple of Rafm Call of Chthulu adventurers)

Katangan Gens d'Armes; Warlord Commandos, US Rangers, some green stuff and FNs from The Assault Group.

One of the Simbas; Zulu warrior, an FN and goodness knows what.

The game begins with the train pulled up to Port Reprieve station. Capt Curry is in the mining company office with the Director and Yvette Mimieux, trying to get the safe opened to retrieve the $50,000 in diamonds. Capt Heinlein and the two NCOs deploy the rest of the Katangan Gens d'Armes to cover the flight to the train with lots of firepower.
Pasha Dan (R) explains the scenario, Wierdy-Beardy fresh from supervising a Scout activity on the left 

Gens d'Armes deploy

European residents run for train

More Europeans running for train, note mix of Pulp and VSF figures. Many are waving pistols, but they have no combat ability in the game.

The Simba leadership. Chap with all the feathers is their commander.
Heinlein takes a half section to the Mining Offices to cover Curry's withdrawal

Simbas capture their first Europeans

More Simbas come out on the left!

Simba Commander flanks Heinlein and two Gens d'Armes go down!

Sgt. Ruffo in the rail station provides covering fire for the fleeing Europeans

Heinlein and his two men provide cover while Curry and the Mining execs make a break for it.

.30 cals on the train lay down more suppressive fire

View from train
Fighting in Port Reprieve

Overview. Curry and other Europeans in the middle running for train. Simbas swarming through town.

Simba Commander takes a bullet. Simbas can't roll off enough suppression and try to surrender. Heinlein is ex-SS, so he does what SS do....
Simbas flank the train

Curry (red beret) and Mining execs are on train. Heinlein and his two Gens d'Armes bringing up the rear. I think the Missionary by the yellow car actually managed to make it to the train.

Two mobs of Simbas come out of jungle to try and cut the rail line.

Simbas in road by RR station are getting cut down but still have control of the Europeans they were chasing. Sgt. Ruffo and his men jump for the now moving train. Heinlein is the last to get aboard. The two Europeans in the middle of the road kept rolling crap for their movement and never made it.

Simbas on the train! Taking a lot of very close range .30 cal and FN fire

Train pulling out guns blazing.

End game, train ready to power through the Simbas blazing away with everything.
Except for the Mining Execs (Yvette Mimieux and Nameless Guy) and one Missionary, none of the European residents of Port Reprieve escaped the massacre. But Curry did get the diamonds out for his employers and only lost three men doing it. The Simbas lost a lot of warriors, but I think they're OK with that and they killed many of the hated white oppressors.
Good fun had by all. Dan's rules are a mash-up of FUBAR and something else. He keeps his convention game rules really simple to speed things along.