Monday, December 16, 2013

Disposable heroes AAR: Soviets vs Germans 1941

On December 7th I got together with my friend Martin Jensen and played a game of Disposable heroes.  I have not played a game in quite a while so it was a nice diversion before heading into an intense exam schedule.

Unfortunately  my pattern of forgetting to take pictures until the game is well along has not been remedied by my long absence.

The scenario was Germans attacking a small Village defended by the soviets. the German force was part of a sweeping action to cut off a larger soviet force, and this village and its stalwart defenders are dead in the path.  The Germans were to take the majority of the buildings in the town to achieve a victory. the Russians were to hold out against the German onslaught.

Martin played the Germans and had:
1x Platoon command w/attached LMG
3x 10-man infantry squads(each pslit into a 6 man maneuver setion and a 4 man MG section)
1x 6 man recon squad
2 80mm mortar
1 50mm mortar
1 50mm Pak38
1 panzer 2 D
2 panzer 3 Hs

The Soviets(played by myself) had:
1x platoon command(3 figures)
1x Political officer
4x  12-man infantry Squads( each deployed in an 8 man  maneuver section and a 2 man MG team)
1x Maxim MG team
1x 80mm Mortar
1x ATR team
2x T-34/76A

Martin and his Germans deployed on the quarter of the table seen in the trees below. My Soviets started on the far side of the crossroads in the village. 

the first turn was mostly maneuvering for position. i pushed across the crossroads into a few buildings. Martin spread out along the width of the table, finding cover behind hedges, in the trees, and behind the closest building of the town.

on the 2nd turn, Martin managed to kill a T34 form the front with a lucky shot.  being the ever-stoic soviets they are, the troops ignored the loss and contained fighting.  later that turn 2 of my maneuver sections let loose a devastating volley for their buildings, killing 8 Germans(4 each form 2 German maneuver sections) martin took refuge in the closest building, and we both dropped smoke to continue the advance.

for a turn or 2, we traded fire from buildings. the soviet ART team took some potshots at the PZ 3 and also at some infantry in the woods, but failed to hit.

Martin advanced a Pz 3 up his right flank. it looked like it was going to be a bust for him, as he consistently either failed to spot or failed to hit. I decided to Assault  him with a  one and a half maneuver sections. this turned out to be the worst thing that i could have done, as i failed 2 improvised assault in a row.  martin just ran an entire maneuver section down, and i had nothing to show for it but dead soldiers. good thing I'm a soviet commander!

In the last turn I managed to pile enough fire in to the building martin had occupied to force the lone survivor to retreat. I also hit and penetrated the PZ2 but  only killed one crew member, and the crew passed their check.

and the end of the game, i took stock of the losses on both sides.  i had effectively lost 3 whole squads of infantry, my Maxim, and a T34.  the Germans had lost a similar amount of their force, though still had all their tanks. fortunately, my last push and force Martin completely out of the town.

Martin has some stunning luck with his tanks.  i could not kill them to save my life.  I successfully continued using the massed fire of the soviet rifles, ans was quite lucky with  the fire from my maneuver sections.

In the soviet list, the MG teams are too small and die to fast, so I focus on bringing my maneuver section to bear.  While playing Disposable heroes, i have noticed a lot of people tend to focus on killing MGs early because they think MGs do the most fighting.  This tends not to be true of the soviet lit the way it is set up.  It usually takes people completely, by surprise but martin was up to the task.

it was an very enjoyable game, with plenty of ups and downs to keep you on your toes.

and now the pics:
Soviet positions turn 2
Blaster germans killed my T34!

German push on right flank.
Soviet improvised assault in full swing.
recon squad  bloodied but not beaten.

Final positions.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Map of the Electorate

well, yesterday I finished the last exam of what has been the most Exhausting semester of my post secondray career.  but I've been thinking for a while about making a more detailed map of the Electorate of Lustigzollern-Großgesaß. this was spurred by a friend inquiring how to make maps and various mapping programs. since I'm done school for the rest of the year I decided to sit down and try my hand at finishing off a map i had previously started.  all of the following has been done in adobe Photoshop.

A revised version of the original map that i had posted previously.

I had originally zoomed on one the electorate on the larger map i had made. i drew in the boarders and placed names of the provinces that make of the Electorate.

Today's Staring point.
 Starting from this point i went looking on the internet for something i could used as terrain.  i found a jpeg of hand-drawn mountains, forests, grass and hills, as well as building icons on it was in the resource section of a group over there called Cartography-Guild. the artist's name is Star Raven, and he is by far more talented then I when it comes to hand-drawing things.

I tossed this jpeg into Photoshop and began cleaning it up to use as bits for my map.  once on my map, I split everything into layers by type(Hills, Mountains, Forest, Trees, Grass, roads, individual place names, etc). I do this with everything. it makes making changes far easier later on. at the moment i have 45 layers in the end product.

once all the icons were in place i used blending options to make the hills and mountains solid black, and i made the trees overlays and tinted them green.  I used the pencil tool in a separate layer to add all the roads, and applied a pattern overlay and an external glow to make it pop. i di the same thing to all my text to differentiate it from the backgrounds.
the map after adding the modified Star Raven terrain art & Roads.
 at this stage i decided i wanted to make it look a little more like an actual map on parchment. from the same DeviantART group i snatched some generic parchment and overlayed it on to the entire project. i also snagged a nice  map rose.   I then went to a City and Town name generator that I found online to generate names for different countries.

the completed map of the Electorate

I used Austria as the country to get the names for the electorate cities and towns.  for Ungar I used Hungarian and Croatian names.  for  Lagerlichhutland I used Germany and for Aquilonia I used Welsh. some specific places were required to have preselected names, such as Köztársaság(home of my Pandour regiment)  and  Lustigzollern and Großgesaß.  for the rest i just generated 50 place names and picked the ones I liked(which were often the hardest to pronounce).

I'm very happy with how this map turned out.  My Machinations do not always pan out, but this one did quite nicely.  I'll probably end up doing a few more for the other nations i have on the map(Arsaryan turks and Polish haiduks).

 I will eventually be doing  contingents from both Aquilonia(Consul's Highland guard, regulars) and Lcgerlichhutland(perry Hessian Jagers).

I have a backlog of stuff to post(mostly from the last 2 weeks), that will hopefully make up for my school enforced absence this semester.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

RC Tanks To The Rescue!

I've been in a painting funk for abut 2 months. it sucks, because I had plans to do a lot of painting, and then suddenly i could not bring myself to paint anything.  it probably has something to do with my reenacting(of complete lack thereof) but that is a story for another time.

anyway, a couple of friends  got me interested n 1/16th RC tanks recently.  in case your unsure what is involved, these RC tanks have full range of movement(including turret) recoiling barrels full sound, and even smoke coming out of the exhaust.  but the test part is that they have Infrared laser emitters and recievers  that register hits, in a laser-tagish sort of fashion.

We attended the CanAm Tank Club's Battle day on July 21st, in Niagara Falls, Canada, and soon after decided to get into RC tanking.

I'll be refitting much of the electronics(being an electrical engineering student) but I'm also the resident painter, so I've been investigating how to paint these monster tanks(18-24" long). I ended up buying a gravity feed dual action airbrush and wanted to try out some of the new techniques I picked up.  So I pulled out my WW2 28mm vehicles box and produced Army Group North Miniatures Opel Blitz's and Sdkfz 10s, 2 of each.
AGNM Opel Blitz's
I started by airbrushing on a base coat of  Vallejo Model Air 71.052 German grey. then I applied 2 coats of  German grey mixed with 71.050 Light grey, getting progressively lighter with each layer. finally i applied  coat of  the light grey by itlsef to highlight  high areas and centres of large panels.
after this i applied a watered down  Vallejo black wash, and then used the straight black was and applied it to panel lines, creases, and gaps.  

AGNM Sd Kfz 10 1 ton haulers
After that i applied  some "paint scratches" using a dark red-brown that i mixed.  it was dabbed on using a scrap of  abrasive scrub pad(the stuff I used for hedges).  I then finished off all the details with a brush.

the effect is subtle, but all in all, I thought that this technique worked well, especially for the first try.

my friends bought  early tigers and panzer IVs to start their RC tanking.  i bought a single  Panzer III and plan to convert it into  Panzer III/IV, with the same paint scheme as it's World of Tanks Counterpart.  the Pz III/IV is one thank that has been in my garage since i got it, and no one has one at the tank club(yet), so it will be a unique addition.

I'm sure you'll see more of teh RC tanks as i start to paint them, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

French in greatcoats

I had a busy weekend.  I was at the local gaming store Saturday for  the grand re-opening(they moved to larger storefront 3 weeks ago) and 6th anniversary.  Sunday was up at the store again giving some 40K  bits to a guy who is trying to do some heavy converting.

despite all  that time a the hobby store, i managed to polish  of a battalion of great coated French(and a 40K IG Manticore for my friend).  and start a battery of french artillery in greatcoats.  yesterday I finished off the artillery battery.

Perry French in greatcoats, with Command from the Victrix
Old Guard Chasseurs boxed set

Perry Metal  French artillery in greatcoats.

the command in the infantry battalion are taken from the Victrix  Old Guard Chasseurs box.  the perry french box does not come with any great coated command(despite halving nearly have the figures in greatcoats).  I only need 3 of the 4 sets of command that come in the Victrix old Guard boxes(i do units of 16 , so in a 60 figure box I can get 3 battalions).  so this is a useful way of using up some more of those figures.

 I really like this victrix officer.  he is very nicely sculpted, and  is very dynamic. He is the nicest victrix figure I have pained to date.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the First Russians

I finished basing these russians Yesterday.

the first unit is the 1st battalion of the Smolensk regiment.

1st Battalion of the Smolensk Regiment,
12th Div., 7th Corps, 2nd Army of the West

these are warlord Plastic Russians with Perry Plastic command. The warlord starter armies only come with one set of Pavlov command. I had gotten the perry command for my birthday.  My dad got an email confirming that he wanted 22 Russian command sprues. they thought there had been a mistake.

these figures have gaiters which is not historical(for the later period these are for, 1810+. earlier they wore full boots, still no gaiters).  I painted them white so they are hard to see, but if you look at warlord pictures, tehy actually paint them black.

now you might note that the Foundry skirmishers below also have gaiters, and I painted them.  first, the foundry figures around 20 years old.  A lot of stuff that is proliferated on the internet wasn't in the mid 90s. Where as 2 years ago when the warlord stuff was released it was easy to find. The gaiters on the foundry figures were distinct enough that painting them white wasn't an option.  plus being Jagers, they already have a great deal of black, which further simplifies painting.  lastly, I'm willing to tolerate the  Gaiters on these figures because perry doesn't make Jagers skirmishing in fatigue caps(only in shakos), and I like to differentiate my Jagers  by using figures with fatigue caps. My units of Jagers in line will be  perry with fatigue caps)

Elements of the 5th, 6th, and 42nd Russian Jagers Skirmishing

I'll be Taking a bit of a break from Russians to paint a battalion of french in greatcoats, and a battery of artillery in great coats. I'll be sure to post them when they are done(hopefully by Monday)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NATO Forces Arrive!

I had intended to post earler, but i spent two and a half week dealing with reeneactment issues rather then painting..

US Abrams tanks.
These are actually M1A2s(post-cold war) but most
people can't tell the difference

Last week I finally got back to doing some painting. i pulled out some NATO Cold War Micro armour.  I've been meaning to do this for some time, since i sold most of my allied force(the USMC  battle group) to my friend Dan.

US Bradleys.
Again, these are post-cold war variants  but again the average
person can't tell the difference unless it's pointed out

German Leopard 2A4s

I painted up  both Tanks and IFVs for Americans and Germans, plus a few extra support vehicles for the Bundeswehr.
German Marder 1A3 IFVs.

German M110 SPG,  Jaguar 1, Luchs, and
2 command stands: 1 leo 2A4 with M577, and 1 Iltis Jeep

so now that i have a decent core of NATO opfor for my horde of soviets(these guys are outnumbered about 4 to 1 by  T80Bs and BMP 2s), I can start playing some game again when my friend Dan is NOT around.

I should be back later this week since  i have  several units of napoleonic russians waiting to be based.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Borodino Command Stands

In the recent foundry order i previously mentioned, i grabbed the 'Napoleon, Marshals and Staff' pack.  I've been looking to get this pack for a while. and the price cut really made it possible. the figures depict napoleon as depicted in a famous painting of him at Borodino by Vasily Vereshchagin .

Napoleon, Marshals, and Staff, from Foundry

Napoleon at Borodino
by Vasily Vereshchagin
I tried to capture the spirit of the painting in the arrangement of the figures on the base. I also added the little dirt drop-off in front of napoleon.

Better view of the back figures

and of course last year, the Perry Bros stared their Napoleonic Russian line, of which the first pack was Russian high command at Borodino. this one was bsed losely on the painting Mikhail Kutuzov at the Battle of Borodino by Anatoly Pavlovich Shepelyuk.

Perry 'Russian high command" pack

Mikhail Kutuzov at the Battle of Borodino
by Anatoly Pavlovich Shepelyuk.
  I've posted a pic of these before because I painted them last August.  This picture is better, and it seemed apt to post both command stands  together.  The Perry's penchant for research is obvious in the inclusion of General Wilson, a British officer and adviser to the Russians during the 1812 campaign. He was present at the battle of Borodino so it makes a lot of sense to including him in a high command pack.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On a Whim....

While I was at Hotlead this year, i picked up a few things, including a  Victrix British light battalion conversion pack(a rare find in person these days, since victrix metal line was sold to brigade) and a warlord ECW cannon & specialist pack.

when exams started , on a whim, i sat down and apinted the cannon team with the  gunner specialist from the specialist pack.   I had decided to paint something different after the relative monotony of the Peninsular  Napoleonics.  despite a total lack of opponents I still intend, at some point int the future, to finish my ECW army.

This really is a nice piece, an the addition of the specialist aiming the gun really  makes it that much nicer. the Warlord ECW  line really is their best offerings.  the sculpting is head and shoulders above that of the Napoleonics they've been releasing.

Next is a set of Perry Plastic Carabiniers I painted 2 weeks ago. this is part of my friend Derek's French army. you'll be seeing more of Derek's French as I paint it over the summer.

These were quite nice to paint(as perry miniatures often are). I'll be doing a regiment of these when I eventually do my own French contingent.

and finally is a random photo of my peninsular war British rushing to defensive positions  at el matadaro 

 I had taken some pictures close in on my new fur mat when I set it up for the first time. I got bored 2 weeks ago, and grabbed one of the pics and photoshopped in a background. this is the result.

Stay tuned for more...

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Peninsular Armies(finally)

It's been a busy 2 months....

After hotlead was finished, school reared it's ugly head. we had all kinds of issues with  professors so i really needed to buckle down. in the words of one friend:

 My college course has somehow become a National Lampoon film, with me as a character within it. A real life college course can not possibly be this outrageously poorly run. I can only comprehend the last few weeks by believing I am actor trapped in a never ending college comedy flick, and not as a human being in a real world college.

sadly that was a common feeling.  

 After the year was done, i ended up being occupied by a seemingly never ending succession of renovations.  first was ripping out a wall so the crack in the foundation could be fixed. then it was pouring a concrete pad for a shed, and then assembling the shed. following that, i had to insulate the enclosed porch out back, to make it a 3-season room.  while we were doing that some mild leaks popped up in the roof  of the porch, so we had to fix those as well. all of this was in preparation for the new windows and door going into the back porch. 

 earlier this week i finally snapped some pics of a few things. the first of which is the 2 armies I used for the Sharp Practice game I ran at Hotlead entitled, "Assault at El MAtadaro".

in this scenario, the french were assaulting the fictional town of El Matadaro. the terrain is that seen in the previous thread.

French Forces for the Assault at El Matadaro

 the french infantry are Victrix 1808-1812 french.  the dragoons(both mounted and dismounted) are perry, and the cannon team and crew are Front rank. there were 3 line company groups, 1 grenadier  group, 1 voltigeur group, 2 dismounted dragoon groups and a mounted dragoon group. then of course the gun team.

British defenders of El Matadaro
the British defending the town are a combination of Victrix Peninsular centre and flank companies, along with Victrix British gun teams, and a group of British Hussars. the British had 3 centre and 2 flank groups, 2 cannon teams and 11 unit of hussars. the British cannon teams had no limbers, which forced the British players to make some hard decisions.

In the battle at the convention, the end result was a draw.  one British cannon had been captured, the other one was be mandhandled back a bit. the french had made it into the edge of the town but had not made much more progress past that.

also, a few weeks ago, i ordered some Napoleonic stuff from foundry, in light of their new pricing.  they had brought back individual packs of  Russian opolchenie, so i picked up enough packs to finish of the 2 half units I've had unpainted sitting in boxes.  I also grabbed 3 packs of jagers in firing line to use as skirmishers. I also grabbed the Napoleon, marshals and staff, which is a vignette of a painting of Napoleon at Borodino.

In addition to that, my birthday was last Friday, and my father ordered me the perry Russian command sprues I needed(22 to be exact) to be able to make units out of the 2 warlord Russian starter armies(which had 1 command set of 4 figs for 120 infantry!) , so I'll be starting in on them soon. they gave him a call the day after he ordered to confirm he actually wanted that many.

so expect to see lots more Russians in the near future, as well as more french for my friend Derek's army./

Hopefully I'll be posting a little more often now that the pace of renovation has slowed a bit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hotlead peninsular game

So I'm putting on a game at this year's Hotlead In Stratford, Ontario. I decided to do peninsular war skirmish, as a way to get it kickstarted. it also allows me to use all the spanish buildings I have made to date.

I also took the opportunity to experiment with a fur terrain mat. i managed to find a place that was selling fur ends in a tan-brown for about $17CDN a meter. they had a 5x7 piece and I also grabbed a 2-foot piece to experiment on. The total bill was 54 bucks.

I used animal clippers to vary the length of the fur and to shave out the ruts for the road. I then used an airbrush to spray the colours on.

I used this tutorial HERE.  It was a fantastic resource.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

churched finished

Over the Christmas break I finally got the Spanish church finished. I had ordered and received the Renedra gravestones from J&M miniatures by the end of October, but due to school I didn't really get a chance to add them to the church yard until Christmas eve. Christmas night I managed to get the texturing and painting all done. I thought it was rather poetic to be building a model church over Christmas. the base is about 24" long and about 15" wide at the cemetery portion. the bell tower is 12" high. the tower is 2 pieces above the main level. and the roof of the church is removable.

anyway, over the weekend I had a few friends over, and we decided to have a game of Disposable heroes.   I decided  to pull out the completed Spanish buildings(i still have 2 more bases under construction). the excuse we came up with to allow the Spanish buildings was that German volunteers in the Spanish civil war were actually positioning along the french border for a secret  attack, and the french caught wind and launched a preemptive strike into a small Spanish border village to stop them.

we jsut through down an old green GW game mat some roads telephone poles and the buildings, and played. the game ended in a tie, leaning slightly towards the french.

This semester looks like it's going to be merely busy as opposed to the usual frenetic frenzy we have become accustomed to, so I'll probably be posting a little more often. although over the next week or so I'll be packing and moving into my grandfather's old house. I hate moving, but I'll have a decent basement that I should be able to set up a bigger gaming table in.