Tuesday 13 December 2011

2012 Project

Normally I would shy away from any commitment to a given project in a given year. The demands on my time from work and family are such that hobby time is always difficult to find.
That said, there us one thing I really want to achieve in 2012. The year marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands / Malvinas War, and I really want to run a couple of games this year that revisit some of the events during the conflict.
Rules will be "We'll have to bloody walk" by TwoFatLardies. Scale will be 6mm.

I may also do some of the special forces operations using Force-on-Force.

Focus will be on the land war, but if time and budget allow, this may expand to the sea and air.
More bulletins as events warrant, but I have a lot of reading ahead of me to get properly up to speed...

Tuesday 6 December 2011

2mm Moderns

Recently, on a whim, I spent the last of my pocket money for this year on a 2mm Modern Battlepack from Irregular Miniatures.  These are packs with two opposing forces, plus a set of rules.
I wanted to match Brits up against Warsaw Pact in the 1983 timeframe, so Ian from Irregular was very helpful in ensuring that my future BAOR (British Army of the Rhine for the uninitiated) forces were equipped with FV432 and mainly Chieftain tanks (just a couple of Challengers) rather than the Challengers and Warrior IFVs of later years.
Below is a quick comparison picture I took of some of my 6mm Irregular NVA (painted for my AK47 games) against BAOR mechanised section with their FV432 APC. 

As you can see, these are tiny figures, but they create a real glee in me.  I can't help but smile when I pick them up and look at them.
The infantry section comes in a single long strip with 8 figures, but a pair of side cutters very quickly gave me two groups to provide more variety for basing.

Painting will be the trick; I'm hoping to give that a go some time this week.
I also have a conundrum on whether to pursue 2mm or 3mm - more on than later....
Hobby time has been very short over the last few months as we prepare for the arrival of our second child next week.
I'm not going to fool myself that I'll have a wealth of time available after number two arrives.....

Thursday 27 October 2011

Quick Review: FoF Ambush Valley

A day or so ago I received my copy of the Ambush Valley sourcebook for Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games / Osprey. This is the revision of the earlier AAG Ambush Valley offering, to fit into the new Osprey mould.  Despite what it says on the cover (1965-1975) it covers the Vietnam conflict from the advisory period (1963 onwards) and could probably be used through to the fall of South Vietnam in 1975. It is a lovely looking book, paperback with full colour pages, and quite thick (176 pages plus Fog of War Cards).

Unlike the "Enduring Freedom" book, which felt a bit "samey" compared with "Road to Baghdad", "Ambush Valley" is a different beast entirely.  The majority of the book in this case is detailed information on organisation and equipment of all of the various forces involved in Vietnam, Laos, Combodia and Thailand throughout this period.
After a quick introduction, the book launches into specific rules for Force-on-Force for this period.  As well as the usual complement of terrain, civilians etc. the book has a section on boats that enables a riverine game straight out of the box; a nice inclusion.

Then we begin the detailed TO&E info, which runs for most of the book.  There is a lot of meat here, however if you are an experienced Vietnam gamer, there may be very little for you here.  For me, the non-Vietnam stuff (Laos, Combodia, etc.) stuff was new and interesting, but the rest was not new.  As I say, it will depend on your pre-existing knowledge of the Vietnam conflict.

Once the TO&E section is done, there is space for a paltry six scenarios, a page or two on solo play, and then it's "roll credits" time.

To be honest I was disappointed by the number of scenarios, as that is one of the primary reasons I have for buying these books.  The TO&E stuff I can read and find, but the ability to have a ready-to-go scenario to play through is very valuable for me. 

This book has expanded the scope from the original Ambush Valley and substantially beefed up the organisational data included.  However this has come at the expense of removing the campaign system that was present in the earlier version, and there are still only 6 scenarios as there was in the first book.  This was a major shock, with this book following on from "Enduring Freedom" with its 20 scenarios.
I will still certainly use this book as it pulls together TO&E data that I have scattered over half-a-dozen sources into a single handy volume, and it brings the rules up-to-date with the new FoF.
I do regret the small number of scenarios, and the removal of the campaign system.  For those I'll be keeping by version one copy of Ambush Valley close to hand.

If you're new to wargaming Vietnam, this is a must-have. 
If you're looking to game Vietnam with Force-on-Force this is a must-have.
If you are looking for an excellent Platoon-level TO&E guide for the US involvement in Indochina, this is a must-have.

If you are already a Vietnam conflict wargamer, or own the original Ambush Valley, there may be much less for you here than you may expect.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Quick Review : FoF Enduring Freedom

A while back I received my copy of the Enduring Freedom sourcebook for Force on Force by Ambush Alley.  This is Force-on-Force's book on Afghanistan from the commencement of hostilities in 2001 to the current day.  It is a lovely looking book, paperback with full colour pages.  Some comment has abounded regarding the cover art.  Earlier placeholder art was in my view better, but Osprey / Ambush Alley have obviously decided to go with this one in the final release.  It wouldn't have been my choice.
From my perspective this book is "more of the same" when compared with the earlier Iraq book (Road to Baghdad).  There are 20 scenarios in this book, most of them seem to trend towards the larger size of game (Full platoons with support on both sides), rather than the earlier small forces we saw in the initial Ambush Alley product.

The format of the book roughly follows the same approach taken in "Road to Baghdad".  An overview of the conflict is followed by explanations of the specific rule elements for Force-on-Force that apply to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

After that we have the 20 scenarios, followed by details of organisation and vehicles for the various ISAF and Afghan forces.  A quite nice part of this book is a guide to uniforms, painting and model selection for the conflict.  It desn't suit my predeliction for 6mm all that well, but it's nice to see in what is essentially a hooby book.

If you've been a follower of Ambush Alley Games and modern wargaming for a while, there may not be a whole heap for you in this book, apart from the scenarios.  I had a vague feeling of "samey-ness" leafing through the book, but to be honest I have not found the time to invest in a cover-to-cover in-depth read.

If you're interested in Afghanistan, it's obviously a must have.  If not, then I'd leave it.
Maybe it's because it's Australian focused, but I think the older Operation Uruzghan book that AA Games issued before the Osprey partnership was a better book, with scenarios more suited to what I'd like to game in the Afghan conflict.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Roll a D6

I'm a bit late to the party on this one.
Just heard about out on the D6G podcast.

Monday 13 June 2011

6mm AK47 Game

I had a quick game of AK47 Republic with by brother, Thomas, on Sunday night.

Full After Action Report has been posted to the Angel Barracks forum as part of a competition Michael was running.
Check it out there!

Monday 23 May 2011

6mm Fedayeen

Last night I had a crack at sculpting some "Darth Vader" helmets on some H&R Soviets to create Fedayeen Saddam figures. 
I'm finding that the "greenstuff" is drying out to much as I'm working with it - I'll need to look online for solutions.  Looking at the line-up you can tell that the figures in the middle are the ones I started with, and the I moved to the ones on the edge of the sprue.  As the putty dries out, I'm finding it becomes harder and stickier, resulting in worse sculpting.

My plan is to mix Darth helmets with balaclava'd figures (next conversion job!) to create my fedayeen for Road to Baghdad.

For those of you who aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, here is a google image search for "Fedayeen Helmets" : link

I couldn't find any images I could satisfy myself about ownership/copyright in the short time available to re-post here.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

6mm Moderns begins in earnest

The new Force on Force and Road to Baghdad have pulled me away from my Vietnam project.
It's now on hold until later this year.
I picked up some mid east buildings form ebay before easter.
I'm inspired.......

Monday 18 April 2011

Quick "Road to Baghdad" Review

I'm going to cheat and post a quick review I knocked up for Book Depository.  After I've had a chance to read through RtB more thorough over the Easter break I'll post more detailed thoughts:

The Road to Baghdad is a return to roots for Ambush Alley Games (AAG). Their original game "Ambush Alley" was firmly rooted in the events of the 2003 invasion of Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As the first offering from their new partnership with Osprey, AAG have served up a wargamer's treasure for this conflict. The book is 104 pages, soft cover, and full of colour art and photos as you would expect from an Osprey publication.

After a brief introduction, 11 pages are devoted to the an overview of the war, with the timescale stepped out.

After this comes the real "meat in the sandwich"; 19 scenarios for the conflict spanning 83 full colour pages with maps, force lists, suggestions for alternate and augmented forces, and the all important historical outcome. These scenarios are design for use with the Force on Force ruleset, but could equally be used with any ruleset focusing on about a platoon per side.

Finally there is an overall listing for US, British and Iraqi forces to enable further scenario creation, as well as a bibliography of further reading.

If I have one immediate criticism of Road to Baghdad, it is that there is so much information crammed into the 104 pages. Skimming the book it can be difficult to pick individual scenarios immediately, as there is very little whitespace (camouflage space??) free in this book to delimit the individual scenarios and they often run on into each other. The Table of Contents obviously helps here, but this is a lot of content in a compact form.

Force on Force Arrives...Early!

My colleague who sits next to me just came back from the mail area with two packages.
Inside was this:
The books look very nice and are more compact than the A4 printouts I had of the original rules.
More details after I get a chance to have a flick through over lunch.
But for now.....Back to Work!!!

Nice 6mm Terrain

Up late working on a number of customer proposals for work.
I take little breaks to look at other stuff, took keep me going.
Just found out I't missed a great post on the Ambush Alley Forum for 6mm.
Check it out here:

Not a lot of progress here at the moment.  Just behind my laptop on the desk are this VC conversions I need to finish.....

Friday 8 April 2011

Conversion Attempt - part 2

A couple of days ago I took a quick comparison shot of my new "VC" against the H&R US figures.

 Unfortunately it turned out to be against some of my worst hat work, but the size comparison is significantly better that vs the Irregular figures.

Since then, I've started basing the figures.  This was a bad move, as I need to file off their webbing to represent poorly equipped Local Force troops in just "pyjamas" and a rifle. 

Note also in this picture the figure who is missing their hat because I tried to file some of the wonkiness out of it.  He's so depressed that his rifle barrel has gone droopy.....

The dodgy hats will need replacing rather than fixing it seems.
Plenty of work to get them to where they need to be, but it's a start!

Saturday 2 April 2011

Conversion attempt

Found myself with some time last night, so I had at putting some rice hats on some warsaw pact figures to convert them to Local Force VC.
Converted H&R Warsaw Pact Infantry

Tuesday 22 March 2011


Okay folks, I have a bit of a problem.
I've gotten some more Heroics and Ros 6mm figures.  This time it's their modern US, that I plan to use for my 6mm vietnam project.  That's all well and good, but I need some opponents for them.
H&R don't make any VC figures.  I could try to convert their Warsaw Pact range, but that's likely to be a fair bit of work.
As far as I can tell, there are a few manufacturers who make VC and NVA in this scale:
  • Mainforce - too big
  • GHQ - too big and too expensive
  • Irregular - my usual choice, but big against the H&R.
Below is a comparison shot between H&R US infantry and some Irregular VC.  I've lifted the H&R to account for the base on the VC, and they aren't too bad:

The problem really arises with the comparison against the NVA (really Main Force VC for the most part) range from Irregular:

Not as close....
Every time I look at the second picture, my response ranges from "That's not too bad..." to "that's awful".
My budget appears to have backed me into a corner on this.

Sunday 6 February 2011

15mm Cthulhu-esque action

You need to check out the fantastic Octopus Cultist and their eldritch Octopus-God overlord coming soon from Khurasan:
I'm seriously considering getting rid of my 15mm and making a move completely to 6mm for cost and space reasons, but these have really made me pause.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Another 6mm Comparison Shot

Below is a shot I took earlier, comparing the H&R German Infantry to a couple of vehicles, from both H&R and Irregular (don't forget to click for the full size).
Left to Right we have; Irregular Toyota Pickup, H&R Panzer IV H, and Irregular M113 ACAV.
Scaling wise, I think the H&R infantry scales quite well.
As a result I ordered some more bits and pieces from them today......

H&R German Command - unpainted

I missed this on my original list of photos.
The H&R GR2 code also includes a command strip.
I believe that this is also what you get for the G185 German Command Strip.

Monday 31 January 2011

Old School Buildings

I love this post over at Lead Gardens about "Old School" building construction!

Sunday 30 January 2011

First H&R Germans Painted

Quickly based and threw some paint on the Heroics and Ros German Infantry
The macro focus on my phone kept focusing on the back row, so I might need to switch back to the real camera.
I'm hoping to base some more this week if time allows.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Heroics and Ros WW2 Germans

I ordered some Heroics and Ros World War 2 Germans as opponents for my British Paratroops.  H&R are quite affordable like the Irregular figures I currently use, but they come in strips that enable them to be based individually.
I picked up a range of items to make up a force of Grenadiers to defend against my Irregular Paras, and here they are:
German Infantry:
Heavy Weapons:

So how do they compare to the Irregular Paras?
Interestingly the two manufacturers are similar in height, but they have different "bulk".  They're obviously not going to work on the same base as each other, but I think I can still get away with using them.
I also picked up some vehicles to support the grenadiers:

Friday 21 January 2011

Irregular Vietnam Village

The other part of my Christmas buy turned up at the start of the week - some Heroics and Ros WW2 Germans.  More on them in a coming post...
Here are some pics I took of the Irregular Minis 6mm Vietnamese Village.  It wasn't until I got it all out of the bag that I realised how much there was!
Here it is with all the various bits:
And here I have close-ups of all of the constituent parts.  I particularly like the little wagon.  All pictures (including the one above) should zoom when clicked.

Friday 14 January 2011

Irregular 6mm US Firebase

Okay folks, as promised here are some shots of the US Firebase I just picked up.
All of the bits you get:
As you can see, you get 2 sandbagged buildings, 2 tents, 2 piles of barrels, 6 sandbag walls, 4 gun emplacements and 6 defensive mounds with sharpened pickets.  Plus a flag.
Below is a quick attempt at a comparison shot using some of the 6mm Brit Para's I've been working, along with one of the ACAV's that I received in the same order.

Note that the thick base on the Para's causes the ACAV too look a little small (and the hut to be too short).  I think that once everything is at the same height it will look great.
For those of you who want to look at the components a little more closely, I've taken some more picks and put them in the Picasa album : http://picasaweb.google.com/scannablegoose/6mmTerrain#

Tuesday 11 January 2011

More Irregular 6mm

One of my packages just arrived today.  I ordered a number of items direct from Irregular in the UK.
First off, I should say that it has been quite pleasant dealing with Ian, and I will defintely be ordering more in the future (assuming the AU$ stays high!).

The majority of the purchase was 6mm terrain:
  • A Zulu Kraal for my Cold War Africa conflicts,
  • A Vietnamese Village and US Firebase for my 6mm Vietnam plans
These are quite bulky, so I'll take some snaps of them when I get home. 
I also picked up a couple of miscellaneous items for the above conflicts, and it only took a minute or so to take a quick snap with my phone camera:
  • Toyota pick-ups with and without MGs in the back:
  • M113 ACAVs
  • LVTP-5 / LVTH-6 
I'm actually pleasantly surprised by the ACAV and the LVTP.  The photos don't do them justice.  The Toyotas are very good, but the gunner is a bit rough as you can see.

More bulletins as events warrant....

Friday 7 January 2011

Christmas Loot

For Christmas I received some money from relatives, and that has been spent on some more 6mm - more bulletins once the figures arrive.  I've already mentioned my paints Vallejo paints as well.

I also had some money from my wife, so I immediately set about giving it to TooFatLardies.

I picked up:
  • Bag the Hun - WW2 Aerial Combat (expanded to Post War in various Specials)
  • Sharp Practice - Napoleonic Skirmish (large number of scenarios and expansions available)
  • Kiss Me Hardy - Napoleonic Naval Rules (hopefully get my Wizkids Pirates back out)
Plus I picked up a number of Specials, which amongst a whole heap of other stuff contained:
  • Summer 2004 : Up your Cara al Sol - Spanish Civil War and A Bunch of Limey Gangsters - Commandos for IABSM
  • Christmas 2005 : To Die for a Tie - Korean War for IABSM
  • Summer 2006 : What's for Afters - Pegasus Bridge scenarios, and Grabbing Mussolini's Baubles - InterWar conflicts for IABSM

Slow Progress on the Paras

No navel-gazing on what happened in the last year, or what I'd like to do this year. You and I both know that it's tough to find the time to paint and game, and that I have a whole heap of things I want to game.  Lets move on!

My Christmas package from Maelstrom Games in the UK was delayed due to the heavy snows but finally arrived when I came back to work on Wednesday.  I picked up a hodgepodge of items; some dice and scenic materials, and my first ever batch of Vallejo paints.

My wife had offered to get me a voucher at the local Games Workshop for some more paint for Christmas, but a quick look at the AU retail prices of GW paint, vs the Maelstrom pricing on the Vallejo made the decision very easy.

I ordered individual pots of the paints that comprise the Battlefront British and German paint sets.  Unfortunately I have a habit of always missing one item whenever I order from Maelstrom.  In this case, I forgot the 983 Flat Earth, which is a key colour for the Denison Smocks of my Paras!  I have this coming soon, once my brother can escape the floodwaters around Rockhampton.

Rather than wait for the missing paint to turn up, I got started last night.  Only spent a few minutes, but I'm very happy with using the vallejo with a "wet palette" (another new experience for me - Thanks Thomas!)

I'm going to try to have most of the base uniforms painted (trousers and most of the denison smock) for the figures before the Flat Earth turns up to finish the smocks.  Thens it's just webbing, weapons, flesh and headgear to finish them!....