Crusade 2015 – Penarth

I had a great day visiting Crusade at Penarth today.  This is my first show of the year and is quiet enough to be able to browse all of the traders and even get close to the bring-and-buy.

I only went with a short list this year which was to simply get the helmet decals for my German WW2 infantry from Great Escape Games.  Stuart is always a welcoming chap and despite a recent home move as well as a relocation of their business he seemed in fairly good spirits.  He did have some interesting sheets of textured fields with a variety of flocks etc which looked like they would add a  lot to any 28mm skirmish game. (Maybe next time)

Mike at the Scene had the new Nissan huts from Andy on show and really looked good in the flesh.  Again a purchase for another time.

Ironclad Miniatures are always worth a visit, especially if you are interested in In Her Majesty’s Name, or other Victorian/Steampunk game systems.  I picked up a lovely set of 4 household servants carrying a variety of weapons to join my Lady Windermere’s Fan Club for IHMN.  I also succumbed to a pack of Naval Landing crew wearing helmets and breastplates and wielding guns and cutlasses.

Rob Broom was carrying the extensive War-games Factory plastic figures range which are definitely going from strength to strength.  He is also carrying some of the Sloppy Jalopy vehicles and figures.  New in were a set of cricketers which looked suitable for A Very British Civil War, or even IHMN.  I came so close to buying these but held out long enough to leave the building.  Definitely worth a look since it’s an entire cricket team along with an umpire for £15.  It looked like eveyone was armed in some fashion, and not just with cricket bats.

Both Warlord Games and Mongoose were present carrying their entire ranges.  Some of club managed to get their gang purchases in for the up coming Judge Dredd Miniatures campaign; the Clegg Invasion force was new and looked quite interesting, as did the new Blood on the Streets supplement.

I stopped by BSD Hobbies who have a very extensive range of laser cut acrylic counters, markers, templates and game boards.  They are able to cut to request and offered to provide their game boards in whatever colours the customers requested.  Definitely worth giving these guys a look.

I met the owner of Madhouse Miniatures who I haven’t seen around before.  They were carrying a range of pre-loved fantasy and sci-fi figures, but in addition they also had a selection of 3 foot square (£22) and 4 foot by 6 foot (£40) pvc printed mats. These covered a variety of arenas from desert, city-scape, grasslands, moon-scape, and space (various beautiful nebula types).  He will be at the Lincoln Barn table event in May.

There were the usual suspects in attendance including Magister Millitum, Sergeants Mess, The Square, among others.  There were also a mix of smaller traders who I haven’t seen elsewhere.

All in all a good event which gave me the opportunity to meet up with old friends before heading off at 1pm for lunch.

There were a lot of interesting demo games on display.  If you visit the War-games, Soldiers, and Strategy Facebook page you’ll be able to catch sight of most of them. (Unfortunately I forgot my camera and my phone so don’t have any of my own pictures).

Games included;

an interesting one for a new 30 Years War game,

a Chain of Command game being run by the Too Fat Lardies,

a large Oldhammer (I mean 54mm large) game,

a large Winter War (WW2) game,

even a Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

there were a lot more so check out WSS (it’s also worth following them for more hobby updates)

15mm/18mm Nissen Huts

I’ve just seen some fantastic nissen huts from the capable hands of Andy Cummings suitable for most things from FOW 15mm WW2 back to All Quiet on the Martian Front up to more recent conflicts.

The models are made of resin and are gorgeous.  I’m unsure of the measurements but from my poor memory would say around 6 inches long and 3 inches wide (happy to be corrected).  They come in various formats with door and window combinations.

They will be available for sale through Mike at The Scene.  I think that they will get their first showing at Penarth tomorrow (31st January).  I would imagine that these will go fast because they are such a versatile model.  For an early view check out the background scenery on this post for the All Quiet on the Martian Front game…

Hopefully I’ll be able to pick some up for myself.

Excellent color comparison tools

If like me you have a somewhat eclectic mix of paints then understanding what colours are the same as others in different ranges is very confusing.  This is ever more the case when finding the  great paint scheme for waiting up your troops to only find it listing the Vallejo paint range.

Fortunately the Internet Elves are always busy seeking solutions and in this case there are various charts and tools available.  Most unfortunately (for me at least) focus upon the various Citadel colour interactions compared against each other usually being compared against Vallejo.  Fortunately for those like me who have Humbrol, Tamiya, and various craft paints also languishing in your draws there are other tools available.

Wargames@nordalia has an easy to use  chart for working out what craft paints align to what Vallejo paints;

Another great tool is available from Silicon Dragons

This is a tool which allows you to put in a specific colour from a range and get all of the nearest colour alternatives from the other ranges.

There is another useful site at;

This does some very clever matching to identify the nearest alternative vendors colour with the least ‘gap’

SAD 2015 Judge Dredd Campaign

I’m running a short two week Judge Dredd campaign at the club over the two Wednesdays 11th & 18th February.  So far I’ve got 7 players signed up but am hoping for a few more if possible.

We’re using the rules from Warlord Games (as were Mongoose), which offer some very fast thematic games from the Judge Dredd Megacity One universe.  There are a whole host of different factions available including;

  • The Justice Department (The Judges)
  • Brit-Cit Justice Department (the British version of the Megacity One Judges)
  • The City-Def (cliche futuristic national guard weekend soldier types)
  • Street Gang (classic dark future types),
  • Ape Gang (gorillas, chimps and orangutangs – you gotta love it),
  • Mobsters (Mafia and such like),
  • a  Fattie Stampede (the faddishly super fat of the future on the rampage),
  • Cursed Earth Desperadoes (muties from the radiated wastelands),
  • East Meg Invasion Force (cold war future soviet stereotypes)
  • Apocalypse War Resistance Unit (Megacity one mishmash),
  • Sky Surfer Gang (street gangs on flying surfboards!),
  • Lone Vigilante (gadgetted up super-hero ala Batman type with sidekick),
  • Chief Judge Cal’s Retinue (a parody of Caligula Caesar in the future),
  • Zombie Horde (future undead types),
  • Renegade Robots (Robot rebellion),
  • the Angel Gang (badass gang from the wastelands)
  • the Dark Judges  (seriously messed up Judges from another universe)
  • and even a Demonic Cabal (as if what already existed in Megacity One wasn’t enough someone wants to add even more demonic madness to the mix!)

I’ve limited the campaign by restricting the Angel Gang, the Dark Judges, and the Demonic Cabal, but I believe that there should be enough of a choice for most people to be satisfied.

We’ll be starting with 500 point gangs and I’m hoping that we’ll get three games in on the first Wednesday, and likely only 2 games in on the second day due to the gangs growing (hopefully).

Whilst you can probably pick up most of the official stuff cheaper on eBay you can often get fairly good deals on Warlords site;

Alternatively check out Mongoose

Of course you’re not constrained to the official figures and there are a lot of lovely alternatives which could be co-opted into your gangs.   I may revisit this in a future posting.

… and back onto the WW2 Americans

Now that the Germans are in hand I’ve gone back to trying to finish off my American Armoured Rifle platoon.

I need to get the MMGs finished for the Machine Gun section, as well as a few additional riflemen and BARs just in case I was to use the force as an American Rifle platoon.

The figures are all based and base coats applied, so now I need to add the detail and shading (likely to be the old faithful Wilko Dark Oak Quick Dry Acrylic Varnish).  After that I’ll just need to unify the various sections through making the base dressing more consistent. I probably ought to make it look similar to the German infantry as well since they’ll likely be used against each other.

Hopefully I’ll get these finished this week, especially since this Friday evening is a painting session.

Photos to follow

Finally Getting the Germans finished

I spent a couple of evenings during the week trying to get my WW2 Germans looking decent for the table.  I have used them over the last couple of weeks but really let the side down by not having them painted up.

I’m reasonably happy with the end result and they pass the 2 foot wargaming inspection though I may have gone slightly overboard on the tufts and scenic basing.

This should give me at least three sections for my German Rifle platoon with a few heavy weapon options.  I’ll need to finish a few more light machine gun teams to be able to consider using them for Panzer Grenadiers.

On the vehicle front I recently experimented with some old Corgi Stuka Hanomags by removing the missile boxes from the side of the vehicle to convert them back to the standard Sdkfz 251Halftrack as the infantry carrier for the infantry.  The first attempt was reasonably successful so I’ll probably continue with the remaining three to finish the platoon.

Pictures to follow.

Excellent Game of Chain of Command

I had a great game of Chain of Command against Phil over the weekend.  He had the American Rifles whilst I took the German Rifles.  We rolled for the scenario and ended up with Patrol (next time I’ll ask that we play any other scenario instead.)

I took an extra senior officer as well as a mortar team.  Phil took the larger American Mortar team.

We quickly got into the game as I’d already set up the table in anticipation and Phil chose the side.  The beauty of the CoC rules is that using the patrol phase we quickly established our front lines and got into the game.

Phil went first as he had the higher Force Moral (11 vs my 8).

The game revolved around events in the centre of the table.  On one flank we both had a section facing off ineffectually against each other, whilst on the other flank Phil had a rather ineffectual section standing around whilst I committed two of my sections to face off against his remaining section in the centre.

Despite a cock-up which resulted in a close combat between two of our sections which I lost it was inevitable that my two sections quickly ground down Phils lone section.  When that had dissolved resulting in a multitude of force moral tests he was left with only 3 command dice.  From then hi end was in sight.

I was able to bring my sections up ion the centre, though Phil was able to finally get his lethargic section moving with the help of a senior officer and my weakened section was soon suffering as well.

I was able to break his section on the other flank and the game was over.  This was all very fortunate since Phil had to dash due to an urgent appointment.

Hopefully I’ll be able to work out how to get the accompanying photos off my mobile…

Revisiting some old homemade board games – part 2

I keep revisiting the notes which I’ve made over the years to make sure that I’ve captured the various theme aspects which I wanted to reflect as well as to try and ensure that any rule mechanism used sits well with the theme.  We’ve all played games where a mechanism is used within a game which doesn’t seem to make much sense in the light of the theme being played.  How successful I am in this respect remains to be seen.

My base premise is a mini-wargame driven by a high level worker placement mechanism.  The game should handle 4 players well, but cater for between 3 to 6 and reach a successful conclusion in about 90 minutes.  I want the game to give the players sufficient decision points to feel as if they are playing the game (as opposed to being driven along by the game and having little input) and at the same time I want it to be fun – which is fairly fundamental.  I have played many games

Chain of Command

Had an excellent game of Chain of Command at the club last night introducing Rob to the rules.

We played the basic patrol scenario to get the hand of the rules.  The battle was a densely ‘hedged’ (is that a word?) using all of my new hedges.  I’ve now discovered that I don’t have enough hedges so will be making a batch more over the weekend to cover this shortfall.  As such I raided the clubs supply of walls to finish the table.

Rob took American Rifles and I took the German Rifle Platoon.  I took the HMG as my extra whilst Rob had a mortar team.

I’ll upload the maps shortly.

It proved to be a fairly lively game but it will be sufficient to say at this moment that Rob dominated the game on both flanks and before long I had lost my two flanking sections and my force moral had collapsed.

All in all a very enjoyable game.