Monday, December 14, 2015

An early Wednesday Whimsy

Why did all of the kids back in the 50's got the really cool toys? Stupid hippies ruined all of the fun.

I present the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

Not only could you get well educated in science (plus learn proper grooming and how to wear a tie), but you can also earn a keep to go to college with another Gilbert toy, the U-239 Geiger Counter
Stupid hippies made generation of helicopter parents and took away all of the fun.


Friday, December 11, 2015

All This and World War II...

So why am I naming this blog entry after one of worst cinema flops ever?  I happen to like the title, plus I enjoy the sound track (which I still have on vinyl), and it is actually a very good description of what this entry's topic covers.

All This...

I still have not finished doing the prices for the 25mm to sell so I can get it posted up for people to look at as I have been going through my other scale projects to decide what I want to keep based on storage availability.  I haven't figured out how I a going to store my air or naval models yet, but I got most of what I plan to keep in 15mm and smaller figured out for storage, even if I haven't actually separated them into their storage boxes.

First off, I started to mess around with 3mm (1/600) ground combat projects for various periods.  This scale is officially dead to me.  It is too small for old eyes.  I do plan to keep the Falklands aircraft in this scale, but that is all.

Next, my 6mm (1/300) projects are also going away...even including my beloved 1950's Pentomics.  Again, I just don't see me ever using these figures for various reasons.  I do plan to keep a small token force of my Pentomics mounted on bases for display purposes only...especially my Honest John nuclear battery.

Third, my 10mm projects will be reduced in numbers and in sizes.  I am keeping most of my Vietnam project which should take up two 4L Really Useful Boxes, plus trays.  The other 10mm project that will be kept is my battalion level Falklands where each stand equals a section/squad and this should fill one 4L box, plus a tray.

Currently, I am waving on keeping the 10mm French Indochina project.  I want to do it, but I am thinking of dropping the 10mm's for 15mm's.  I love the details of the Pendraken's 10mm, but they have a extremely limited number of poses for the French.  Eureka's 15mm has more dynamic poses and are nicely detailed.  I am OK using the 10mm terrain and buildings with the 15s, and they don't use the same vehicles either, there is no loss there.

The only other 10mm projects I might consider is forces to play the Neil Thomas rules for war gaming, maybe an ancient period and/or 19th Century European war.  But I think I rather do those in 15mm, if I were to pursue them.

This now nicely rolls into discussing my 15mm projects.  This is my 'big battles' scale  other than the couple of 10mm projects mentioned above.  I am converting everything over to a uniformed base sizes as for 'Flames of War', except those that are specifically for individual skirmishing.  

There will be two exceptions to this basing rules.  The first is for the Triple Alliance War project which I am using the Neil Thomas' rules with a slight modification to the base sizes.  Instead of using four bases of 40mm x 20mm for a unit in which there is always a 2nd rank, I went with two bases of 50mm x 60mm with a die holder and name tag on the back side of base.  If I do any other projects using the Neil Thomas' systems, I will probably stick with this basing size.  The second will be for my Ridgeway project which I am still unsure of what I am going use for rules and how to base them.

Since I mentioned that one of my 15mm projects to be kept will be the Triple Alliance War of 1864 to 1870, the storage for that will take up two 4L boxes unless the mounted lancers will allow me to still use a tray.  Then I should only need one 4L box with a tray.  As I have not decided on how to do the Ridgeway project, it should not that up more than one 4L box. But what else do I plan to keep?  

For skirmishing, I plan to break it down into sci-fi, horror, and historical.  I am going to try to get all of the skirmish figures in to a 4L boxes with a tray per type of skirmishing. The painted figures that you saw in one of my previous entries with the astronauts and Green Slime, etc. is part of all of this.  I haven't started going though all of what I got, but that gives you a general idea of what I will be keeping.  The historical side of it will probably be only the French & Indian War skirmishing project.

But as for the FOW based projects, there are basically only two periods, and possibly a third if I do decide to convert from 10mm to 15mm for the French Indochina project.  

The first period will be post-WW2 Africa.  This project will focus on the Congo in the early and mid 1960s.  I plan to do four main forces, a Kantaga company, a mercenary force with an ANC platoon, a Simba horde slightly bigger than a company, plus hostages, and a mixed UN company of Irish and Indians.  This should fit in two 4L boxes with trays.  I probably will add a Belgian Para-commando company too, and expand the ANC and UN forces for a third 4L box with a tray.  I also plan to use one more 4L box and tray towards a Rhodesian Fire Force project and a South West African Police's Koevoet project.  Both of these be a platoon or so in strength, plus a couple of platoon size groups of terrorists and some civilians.

...and WWII

Now you should see the connection with this entry's title, as my final 15mm projects are about WW2.  This actually will be the biggest of all the 15mm projects for number of figures and the number of 4L boxes needed to store everything.  Right now I am looking at six boxes with trays.  This project will be broken down into three different theaters and time periods.  

First is the Winter War of 1939-40.  One box will hold a Finnish infantry company, plus supporting platoons.  The second box will hold a Soviet rifle company, plus engineers and tank support.

The second is Operation Seelowe,1940-41.  In one box will be an infantry company, plus Home Guard and improvised weapons and vehicles from the long defunct SDD line.  Another box will a German Fallschirmjager company with limited heavy weapons support.  This Fallschirmjager company will also do double duty for the third and final WW2 project.

That final WW2 project is Normandy, 1944.  The Fallschirmjager company mentioned above will also have some Panzerfaust stands, some 7.5cm PaKs and a couple of StuG's in it 4L box.  Their opposition will be an American infantry company, plus support platoons including a M4A3 platoon and a M10 platoon.  This will take up 1-1/2 4L boxes or so.  So whatever room I might have left, I am plan use to save for my Free French  M4A2 tank platoon and possibly upgrading my Finnish forces to be usable for the Continuation War, 1941-44.

So there you have it!  I am looking at 21 x 4L boxes and trays for my 15mm and smaller, excluding naval and air, projects.  My shelves can hold 12 x 4L boxes.  So I can get all of my 15mm and 10mm projects on just under two shelves, which puts me where I wanted to be, in that one shelf per scale of figures. I really was hoping to take up less room so I could increase the number of boxes to hold 28mm projects, but more on that later. 

I need to start going through my 20mm projects to figure out what projects to keep and what is my storage requirements will be for them.  The good news is that they are still small enough for the most part that I can get them in a 4L box and still be able to use a tray in that box so that I can double the capacity count for that box.  So with any luck, I will not need a whole shelf for 20mm and give that space to 28mm projects.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

AAR - Massacre at Cannibal Hill

A Game!  I actually got a game in!  OK, well I didn't run or provided miniatures towards the game, but I did actually get in a miniature game and against a real living person!  The game was hosted by Blake W. and we used his miniatures.  The game was played at Game Nite, which also Blake used their terrain.  Glenn W. was my opponent.  Blake and Don C. played a game with the same set up prior to Glenn and me.  In their game Don beat Blake, but it looked fairly even in their losses.

The game was set in early years of World War One in central Africa with the villainous, Kaiser's imperialistic hordes (Glenn) invading the docile, peaceful loving Belgian Congo who's residents are more prone to handing out boxes of chocolates to visitors instead of shooting them (my side.)  The rules that were being used was the Darkest Africa variant of "The Sword & the Flame" called, "The Sword in Africa".  There are some difference between the two, but the biggest one is that units are 10 figures instead of 20 like in "The Sword & the Flame." 

As far as the forces go, the Germans had better quality of troops with two units of German Seebataillon (the best troops in the game), two units of askaris, and a better cannon unit (cannon fire is based off of number of crew figures, the Germans had 4 figures.)  The Belgians had lesser quality troops, but where made up in greater numbers with four units of askaris (same quality as the German askaris), one unit of askaris with muskets (the worst troops in game) and one cannon with three figures so to be weaker than the Germans. 

I failed to get some pictures of the first couple of turns, but Glenn shifted his line to his right to try to use mass to push through two of my askari units that where in open order and prone (that is the reason why there is one figure laying down for each unit in the pictures).  My plans were to use one flank as an anvil in a prone firing position and try to flank the Germans with the other side.  As Glenn moved first towards my left flank, my decision for the anvil was decided for me.  

During the firing phase, I lucked out twice, once for getting to fire first and second to get enough hits on the German artillery to silence the gun before it ever having a chance to fire on my units.  This was probably 'The' most critical moment in first half of the game.  By the time I took the first picture, the Germans were trying to force my left flank and preparing to push my musket armed askaris off of Cannibal Hill that I was able to occupied before the Germans.  My right flank units are rolling better than average for their movement rates and rapidly sweeping to flank the Germans.
The Germans delivered a deadly fire on the musket armed askaris on the hill and forced them to route off the hill, but not without some losses of their own.  Luckily again for me, I was able to get my mule mounted senior commander over to the routing askaris to rally them before they fled the board.  Glenn continued with his attempted at a mass attack on my anvil.  Will my hammer be able to get in position in time to catch the Germans between them and my anvil?
I focused my fire on one of the weakened German askari units and did enough to caused it to withdraw.
After the picture from above, my far right flank unit fired into the withdrawing askaris and forced them retreat off of the board.  But Glenn deliver a deadly fire on my far left unit and forcing them to rout off of the board.  Only the weakened askari unit was left to hold the German in place for the the flanking hammer units to try to crush the Kaiser's invaders.  At this point, we both lost one unit, but Glenn's artillery unit was effectively lost too and his losses overall were heavily than mine.
All or nothing charge!  The Kaiser's brutes charge the remnants of the one Belgian askari unit that were is still fighting on in a prone open order.  This will be extremely ugly for these brave defenders of King Albert I.  But the hammer is clearly between the German horde and their colonial border.  

Needless to say, the Belgian defenders where destroyed, but not without some losses among the Germans too.  With two units lost now, I still have four units left.  Luckily, I was able to have rallied my musket askaris earlier otherwise I would have been at 3 / 3 and would have had to make an army morale and possibly routing off of the board.

As the Germans were in a disorganized mass bayoneting the Belgian askaris laying on the ground, the next turn went went to the Belgians and I charged my  full strength askari unit into the German askaris.  The Germans Seebataillon survivors fled in different directions with one of those two groups getting charged by my second full strength askari unit.  The musket armed askaris didn't want to be left out of the revenge melee and helped out on the melee against the German askaris.
The melee went the way that you would have expected it to go with the destruction of the two German units.  The game was conceded to a Belgian victory with one German Seebataillon unit partially escaping back to the German lines (we rolled two more shooting rolls against them to represent my pursuit against them and only 3 of the 7 would have made it back to friendly lines.)  

Overall it was a good game (especially for my Belgians.)  I lucked out in several key points, especially silencing Glenn's cannon right off the bat and my askaris normally shooting better than average for most of the game.  Statistically, I should have only been getting hits about 20% of the time, but I was normally getting about 30% hits most of the time.

Thanks, Blake and Glenn!