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!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Eagle Day!

The Battle of Britain side of my Bag the Hun project is completed and ready to play. 

I decided to try and keep things simple with the Luftwaffe, sticking to the shades of green splinter camouflage that I could be sure was used during the Battle of Britain. Other camouflage patterns, especially on the tiny Bf109Es, would be just too impossible to try and execute, or were only introduced later in the war. Although I did try some mottled grey on the Me110s, which I hope isn't too subtle.

The crosses,  some only 1.25mm across, were a bugger. Despite improving my decal application technique considerably, I had more spoilage the first night doing 12 fighters,  then I had with all of my USN and IJN aircraft put together!

So here we are, all set to try and pummel plucky Britain into submission; a staffel of 12x He111 bombers, a staffel of 12x Bf109E fighters and a schwarm of 4x Me110 heavy fighters.

On the He111s you will notice call letters along the fuselage. Miscellaneous Miniatures has separate decal sheets for bomber squadrons. I also put on the tail swastikas on 3 of them and 1x Me110,  but decided that they were too fiddly to be bothered with doing the rest.

For the Me110s and most of the He111s I actually used the larger bottom of the wing crosses because I liked the better visual impact. 

The Few are represented by a squadron each of 12x Spitfires and 12x Hurricanes, plus 4x Mosquitos for no other reason than I think they're dead sexy. 

What was I saying about tiny German crosses?

I feel a game coming on!

If I decide to go after German convoys in the North Sea I'll need some Beaufighters and shipping. But I think I'll be getting my urge to blow up ships satisfied in the Pacific. Watch this space for some exciting developments about that in the New Year!

So, with 3 hours to spare these are done in 2020, and I've achieved my arbitrary and self-imposed goal of getting everything that I purchased this year painted. I won't mention some Goths and SYW Prussians that I got as gifts however. I'll work on those next. But I think that I've shrunk the leadpile considerably. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

1066 and All Those Dice

I spotted this while I was on the Pen & Sword website, preordering Henry Hyde's forthcoming Wargames Campaigns book. Since I was painting an awful lot of Norman cavalry at the time, I thought Why not? and got myself a little treat.

At 119 pages, this is a quite useful guide to a very popular period. Daniel Mersey surveys the history, what the armies looked like, and how they fought. The major battles, campaign ideas, scenarios for fights before and after the major battles, figure ranges and rule sets available. I even learned a thing or two. The Conquest didn't end on Senlac Hill but it took a few years of brutal low level fighting to finally subdue Saxon resistance. Plus there were the Scots and Welsh. So loads of scope for small scale games using Mersey's own very popular Lion Rampant rules. I'll definitely play some of his scenario ideas.

This book is great for a novice to the era and even worth a read for gamers who have already  researched the Conquest period.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Torpedoes Away!

Having finished the Pacific side of  the project with decals and sorted out the magnets I wanted to get a proper bash in.

The scenario has the LST, presumably a straggler from an amphibious task force, being attacked by randomly arriving groups of Japanese aircraft. A section of two Wildcats is patrolling overhead and the others will arrive randomly as well.

The Japanese began with two Bettys on table. At the turn of the "Blank" card I'd roll a d10 to see if anything arrived. Another d10 to see what it was if Japanese, a d6 for arrival point and d6 for altitude. An American result was always a pair of Wildcats arriving from the same point. I also rolled for pilot quality when they came on.

Aircraft miniatures are 1/600 scale from Tumbling Dice. The ship is a 50 plus year old 1/700 scale Airfix kit.

CAP begins with sunward advantage but moving away from bogeys. Can't break patrol circuit until Japanese are spotted 

Bettys roaring in

Bandits! Wildcats go after the bombers 

A pair of Val dive bombers arrive on a different vector 

Starting their run 

Wildcats can't catch them and go after the Vals instead of flying into the flak

The LST turns into the threat. Clouds of flak make the Bettys break away. Wildcats get on tail of lumbering Vals 

Some Kate torpedo bombers arrive

Another flight of Bettys follow the first

Crowded sky!

Wildcats pour fire into the Vals. 1 loses control and eventually crashes.  The other has its pilot wounded, gunner killed and controls destroyed.  It turns for home 

Flight of Zeros arrive to help

1st pair of Bettys (upper left) circling to try again but one is on fire and going to crash. Wildcats have broken off from Vals and are going after the new threats. 2nd pair of Bettys flying in line, drop their torpedoes  (red micro dice)

Kates begin their attack run 

Blue Leader fires the last of his ammo into a Kate which drops it's torpedo  and breaks off. Next turn the others drop theirs too. Rear gunners damage Blue Leader's engine. Flak splashes a Kate. Blue flight heads back to the carrier. Torpedoes from Bettys have missed and they are climbing away through clouds of flak  

Red flight arrives


Flak blows one Betty up and the 2nd catches fire. It explodes next turn 

Zeros go after Red flight and get a face full of .50 cal! One Zero vaporizes 
Note the Val at altitude 1 about to splash

Swirling dogfight 

Torpedoes passing to port

Green flight arrives! 

Splash another Zero 

Dodging and weaving the last zero fights to survive 

Brace for impact! Torpedo hits amidship with a heart stopping CLANG! It's a dud.

Fuel line  hit, canopy shattered, the Zero tries to break off

But Red Leader gets on his tail, pouring in a long burst. Leaking aviation fuel ignites into a fireball. Red leader has his 2nd kill!
A 2nd flight of Zeros with green pilots  has arrived 

Zeros engage and both flights of Wildcats converge on them. One Zero explodes dramatically 

Fighters circling trying to get a target

After much circling the last Betty drops it's torpedo practically onto the deck. Depth is good. It runs straight into the target and CLUNK! Another dud. I'm taking bombs next time.

After that I decided to call the game. A pretty solid USN win with 9 kills and no damage to the ship. The LST took down 3 Bettys and a Kate.  Blue flight got a Val. Red flight got 3 Zeros and Green flight one. 

Learned the ship, flak and torpedo rules.

Need to make torpedo markers. Next time I should drop the torpedoes farther out. The first flight of Bettys waited too long and dodging the flak kept messing up their attack run.