Friday 30 November 2012

Big Board Portable Wargame: Modern - Early Days

So I've finally finished applying static grass to my 10mm Pendraken WW2 British units and can now put them to the test against their Wermacht foes in a solo playtest of the Big Board Portable Wargame: Modern rules (Hex version) by Bob Cordery.

A simple 12 x 8 hex board was made up featuring an isolated church near a fork in the road all setup in otherwise rolling countryside with a few small woods.

The British were tasked with the defence of this road junction from the advancing Germans. Actually the Germans were retreating hoping to break through the Britsh defenders and join their comrades further east.

The British force was made up from 3 sections of infantry (a platoon) supported by a Commander, a heavy machine gun, 2 anti-tank guns, 2 mortars and a further platoon of infantry.

The German force was made up from a platoon of infantry (3 sections), 3 Panzer IVs, a mortar, a Commander, a heavy machine gun and another platoon of infantry.

The apparant mismatch in force ratios was covered by the scenario in that the Germans would be judged by how much of their force could escape across the table bearing in mind that the tanks were low in petrol and could be halted at any time. The rolling countryside was also exceedingly muddy and armoured vehicles could easily be bogged down.

The dice requirement for this game is both simple and complicated. The large dice are unit ACTIVATION DICE and are effectively blank dice with stick on numbers. They have 0,1,1,2,2,3 on them. The medium sized dice are normal D6s and the small dice are for casualty marking.

Action will commence as soon as possible.

Friday 23 November 2012

Playtesting ACW

Just in case some of my readers think I've stopped playing wargames I thought I would show a quick pic from a recent game.

The underlying terrain is Hexon II from Kallistra, the house is by the Perry twins and the fences are scratchbuilt by me. The figures are 30mm ACW by Spencer Smith.

My playing group are currently tinkering with Featherstones original ACW rules, we've made a few minor changes.

One change is to allow infantry units to form a firing line in two ranks rather than one which effectively doubles the width of the table.

Another change is to artillery firing. I now restrict artillery casualty dice from two to one die at over 2 feet range but I allow twice as many artillery pieces on the table. This helps make deployed artillery look like batteries rather than single guns by themselves.

The next set of changes will probably be to the morale sections which we plan to completely replace with those from the 'On To Richmond' ruleset.

I will report via this blog.

Friday 9 November 2012

Portable Pendraken Brits

I'm one step closer to playing a Big Board Portable Wargame using the rules found at:

I have completed the painting and basing of my late war British troops and I hope to move onto the German opponents soon.

This is my representation of a section which in real life should be about 10 men so the 5 figures here are roughly at a 1:2 scale.

Here are three sections together with an HQ section. Three sections make up a platoon in the British army.

There are also various support weapons available to the platoon. Mortars are just one.

6 pdr Anti-Tank guns are another.

You can never have too many Vickers machine guns.

The PIAT is not as handy as a Bazooka but they had them anyway!

The Germans greatly feared the British field artillery. These are the famous 25 pdr's.

Having a few Shermans about is always handy.

Is this another Sherman?

No it's the same one with the turret turned a bit!!

I drilled out the turret base and the hull and superglued in a pair of mini magnets. The turret now revolves freely but doesn't fall off.

Now for the Germans.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Crisis, What Crisis!

Last Friday morning saw me and a chum set off on a big silver bird (white and orange actually) and then a fire breathing dragon (read smokey red and yellow) to the Belgian city of Antwerp to attend Crisis 2012, the biggest and best continental wargames show this side of the Atlantic.

By teatime we were in the hotel bar chatting with a few traders and also a few wargamers then heading off on a downtown wander terminated by a superb Italian meal followed by a few more beers back at the hotel.

All on schedule so far until Saturday morning when I was unable to lift my head off the pillow. All the symptoms of the dreaded 'flu' were apparant as my chum set off to Crisis alone while in due course I demolished half a dozen paracetamols in the vague hope of getting there before close of play.

I did manage a brief afternoon attendance doing a zombie impersonation and everyone who knew me agreed that I didn't look at all well. A few minutes of rare clarity saw Dave Ryan of Caliver Books trade £50 against three Wargamers Annuals (more of them later) and another trader supplied a box of plastic bits which I expect to become some of my Panzer Grenadiers transports.

I finally found my chum and we set off back to the hotel. We were unable to attend the evening buffet, one of the show highlights, as the earlier zombie resemblence reappeared.

Sunday produced a day largely confined to the hotel room although I managed to follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a choice of French, German, Dutch and English. Sunday also confirmed that all pharmacies and chemists were closed so my chum and I resorted to a short evening of an alcohol remedial therapy.

By Monday morning I had resumed a sufficiently human appearance to go off in search of the red and yellow dragon and then the big silver bird.


No Dragons, Birds or Welshmen were harmed during the research of this tale.