Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Game Plan 07 Sep-Dec

Well… August already. So to update the plans for the rest of the year…

August – Bolsheviks! Finish the officer master, make the rest of the moulds, cast and paint by the hundreds! Try to finish up the airplanes (Chinese and Bolshevik Spads and British sopwith) and make bases for them.

For the rest of the year (Sep-Oct) I’d like to leave things a little open but have a few projects on the go to keep me somewhat focused. These will be:

CLA Africa – I want to work on a couple forces (British/Imperial and German) for a campaign in the fictional German Central African colony of Timbogo. I’m hoping John might get stoked about this and make some French colonial figures for himself to use. I’ve made German (Shutztruppe) and British (KAR) askaris already, I’d just have to cast and paint a pile more, and maybe add a unit or two of European regulars (or Indians!), European volunteer militia types (big game hunters, etc), local/tribal irregulars, and of course I’m going to have to build myself a couple of Gunboats for the battle of lake Timbo.

28mm World War 2 – I have a pile of Germans and British (mostly commandos) to finish up. I’d like to actually PLAY with these at some point too! I had an idea for an “All Quiet…” campaign involving some of these. Others will hopefully see action in Pulp skirmish games.

Project Rebase - I started re-basing a number of my 15&20mm WW2 stuff. I will continue to do this throughout the fall. Hopefully I will make use of these playing Blitzkrieg Commander, etc.

Indians – I would still like to make some Indians for CLA. They would be a very versatile force potentially seeing action in the Back of Beyond (Central Asia), Palestine, Mesopotamia, East Africa, etc.

Canvas Eagles – Get going on building/painting these piles of 1/72 Great War aircraft I have….

Pirates – Build a couple of 28mm ships and paint up some pirates, sailors and marines to crew them!

Some of this may carry on into the New Year….

July Update

According to The Plan I was supposed to have completed the following in July:

1. Finish Indians, make moulds and cast

2. Paint Bolsheviks inc. SPAD (buy some MGs, Mounted Officers for C-in-C/Staff officers, Commissars, etc.)

I haven’t even started modeling any Indians… I have a feeling my game planned for Fallcon will probably not be included a force from the Army of British India, but rather an interventionist force of Canadians (wearing Fourth Division patches…. Because they’re… well… already done..!).

I did finish off the Chinese this month (of course that was one of June’s tasks…) and I did finish modeling the Bolsheviks and started casting and painting a few (well okay I STILL haven’t fixed the arm on the Bolsheviks officers master, and I haven’t made moulds for the other two which are complete… maybe later this week…).

Here are a few of the things I’ve finished up in the last week.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

One units worth of riflemen finished… only 7 or 8 units to go… (the commissar is from Coppelstone Castings).

One MG team/unit, again Coppelstone Castings.

Still more Coppelstone Castings; some more commissars and a Bolshevik Heroine.

The mounted version of Baron von Ungern-Sternberg (guess what? Coppelstone Castings).

I finished of a unit of French Foreign Legionnaires from Artizan Designs

Finally a famous duo from my childhood comic reading days; Tintin and Captain Haddock (the Tintin figure is from Copplestone Castings Sleuths pack from the Gangster line, The captain haddock figure is a modified SAS figure from Artizan Designs - I have to admit I got the idea for using this figure from someone else – I can’t remember where… some link posted on TMP’s forum – I actually modeled the turtle-neck however…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Contemptible Little Armies Central Asian mayhem!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Whites Across the Border

This was a quick Contemptible Little Armies/Back of Beyond game I threw together and played last night. Playing the game were John Bertolini and Christian Knudsen. Now Christian is an old wargamin’ pal from waaaaaaaaaaay back that I had kind of lost touch with and managed to track down through the culty fad-of-the-month: Facebook.

The scenario involved a brigade size force of White Russians, fleeing from the Red onslaught, which has crossed over into China. Cold, Starving and tired, they head for the nearest town, which unfortunately the find to be garrisoned by a TWO battalions of Chinese, who seem to have had some warning that they were coming and are not to terribly interested in sharing their homes and resources…

John (General Bertolovski) played the Russians and Chris played the Chinese. I gave John the option of having some of his force (up to half) make a flank or rear march. After the fourth turn if attacking on the flank, or eighth turn if attacking to the rear, units in the force would individually start dicing to see if they show up. John chose to have one regiment (three battalions) of infantry to do a rear march.

John’s force consisted of the following
1x C-in-C
1x Staff Officer
6x Regular Infantry Battalions (18 figures each)
1x Cavalry Cossack Regiment (16 figures)
2x MG Detachments
1x Sniper

Christian’s Chinese defenders had:
1x C-in-C
1x Executioner
2x Chinese Infantry Battalions (18 figures each)
1x Special Assault Unit (8 figures)
1x MG Detachment
1x Trench Mortar Battery
6x Sections of barbed wire
6x 4” sections of trenches
the town (hard cover)

In hindsight I should have given john some off-table artillery support and/or given Christian a bit less stuff. Maybe only one infantry battalion – or two smaller ones – and either the trench mortar OR the MG…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The initial set up (that’s Christian off to the side). This is actually at the end of the first turns shooting phase and dead Russians can bee seen lying down on the field already…

John started out with his troops in close order columns – though they gained no benefit from this not being classed as “close order troops” (other than being able to maneuver all three units in a relatively small area) - because he said they were Russians and it just felt like the right thing to do.

There they are again. Being in a close order formation however they are considerably easier for Christians Chinese mortar and MG to hit and he took a chuck out of two units…

On the next turn John dispersed his troops into open order!

There was a lot of open ground to cover to get to the town or even the defenses before it… All the while the Chinese plucked away at the Russians with the mortar and MG as they advanced.

Christian cleverly placed the wire to funnel most the Russians into a nice neat killing zone. While John had some good movement rolls to start off once they got to this position the Russian infantry faltered and started rolling 3 and 4 (on 2d6!) and weren’t able to close quickly with the defending Chinese infantry.

One unit of Russians in the center was wiped out. The following one and the one off to the side were pinned down, with two morale failures, out of bomb-chucking range… The C-in-C rushed to the front but was unable to get the men moving again.

The Cossacks were unleashed! The MG took a heavy toll from these as well. Another terrible movement roll also left the cavalrymen within small arms range for a turn too long. Those that did make it to the line were beaten down by the kung-fu warriors defending it…. Did I forget to mention that this town was home to one of the leading Kung-fu schools in China? Well it was, and their specialty move was taking down charging horsemen with flying one wire leaps with a fixed bayonet.

After a couple of turns of failing to show up, making us all think John perhaps should have just attacked with his entire force from the north in waves upon waves, Part of the flanking force finally arrived… two battalions one turn, the third one the next. I took over these troops as John had to leave and the forces he had been commanding at the other end of town were more or less wiped out.

This briefly (very briefly!) looked promising. Three battalions attacking in waves at the south end of town, thinly held with a very stretched out line of Chinese and no support weapons… The first battalion made it into close combat. Between the fire on the way in and those lost in the actual close assault they totaled 6 casualties – causing two morale test… both of which they failed and were thus forced to retire the next turn!

The second battalion got in there with half of it’s number (due to a bad movement roll) at the end of CC they had no troops left in contact and their second line was 2” away from the Chinese in the town… so they decided just to hang tight and throw bombs for the next turn to soften the Chinese up a bit before going in again. The did soften the ine up a bit, but the Chinese return rifle fire soften the Russians up enough to compel them to leave the field.

The third battalion made it in. After one round of CC things were looking not terrible. The Chinese battalion defending the south end of town were down to 6 figures and the Russians were easily double that… however… the Chinese still didn’t have any morale failure markers – thanks to having lost their men in small numbers over a number of turns… and the presence of the executioner squad!!

Unfortunately beyond the Chinese at the immediate south end of town were the (still fresh) Special Assault Troops just waiting for their chance to get into the action and the (mostly intact) Battalion of Chinese from the North end of town, having wiped out everything there, was quickly making their way through the town to help out!

It was also getting late and I was getting sleepy so we called it a night and a definite victory for the Chinese.

I actually sat down to figure out the points for the respective forces – I usually totally ignore these things… but I thought I’d figure it out just to see. In an assault scenario such as this the suggested point totals are 1000 for the attacker, 400 for the defender. The Russians had 900; the Chinese had 460 – not including the defensive benefits of the town itself. It probably could have been considered a trench or 36” (thus another 36 points…). Like I said if the two Chinese infantry units had been half the size, and I dropped the Trench Mortar and gave the Russians an off table artillery battery… things might have been a bit different… Maybe I’ll try soloing the scenario again with those changes some night this next week…

The next game I run I think I’ll try a big encounter battle – two forces that both happen to be heading for the same objective bump into each other. Set up on the long ends of the table so there’s lots of room to maneuver… bust out ALL the toys… should be fun!

Hey, if you made it this far please feel free to leave a comment below; let me know you were here and what you think! Thanks!


I finally started casting some of my new Bolshevik figures. I ran out of RTV Rubber and so only had enough to make one mould - there are three others in the works (another rifleman and a lewis-gunner that are ready for moulding, and an officer who is not quite finished yet). Here are a handful of painted samples of the first Rifleman... (click on pic for a bigger version).

Heroes of the Workers Struggle (...or something like that).

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Chinese

I am finally finished (well, mostly) my 1920’s Warlord Chinese army (for now…).

I have no real information about the organization of Chinese troops in this period (if there even was any sort of consistent organization) so I have styled it after a modern European brigade (I tend to think of the “units” as Battalions) of two infantry regiments – each with three battalions – plus attachments. The additional force troops include an MG company, mortar and field artillery batteries, a cavalry regiment, a unit of specialist assault troops, a battalion of White Russian mercenaries, and a unit of executioners.

In game terms, the force consists of;

1x Chinese Warlord (C-in-C)
2x Staff officers (technically, according to the army list a chinese army can only have one unless it has foreign advisors… I’m not really all that concerned about following army lists, I have two figures, and two regiments, so… I have two staff officers…)
1x Warlord’s Bodyguard (the White Russian mercenaries – 17 figures)
1x Assault Unit (10 figures – all armed with “trench brooms” – SMGs)
6x Regular Chinese Infantry (18 figures each)
1x Cavalry (12 figures)
2x HMGs (again, technically only one allowed – and I’d normally only field one – but I do own two, because at the time they were only available in packages of two…? One I painted in a grey uniform and it may be the beginnings of a second Chinese Warlord force which I would paint all in grey-green uniforms…)
1x Field Gun (unfortunately I have only one of these howitzers so they currently have to share it with the British… I just painted up a couple of my generic artillery crew as Chinese should I ever feel the urge to field an artillery piece…)
1x Mortar
1x Executioner

Here they all are:

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Most of the rank and file infantry are my own castings as are the cavalrymen. The Horses the cavalry are on are Hinchliffe horses from the Colonial Connection. The Russians were also cast (and painted) by myself from a mould I borrowed from my friend John Bertolini (which he made from his own master…). Each unit has an officer, and indeed the entire assault unit, the MGs, the mortar, executioner, the C-in-C and staff officers are all from Coppelstone Castings. The Field Gun (shared with the Brits) is a 4.2” QF Howitzer Mk. I from Reviresco while the crew are my own models/castings.

Another view from the above.

I do also have an airplane that I haven’t quite finished it’s a Testors Spad (Which they don’t seem to have listed in their catalogue any more… lucky me I got it when I did!). I’m going to paint a Chinese dragon on the side of the fuselage as the pilots personal symbol at some point…

At some point I might like to add an armoured car and/or an FT-17 to the force as well…

I finished up a couple other figures recently as well…

The Baron Roman Nicolaus Fyodorovich von Ungern-Sternberg (from Coppelstone Castings).

The beginnings of my Bolsheviks a pair of Commissars from Coppelstone Castings (one is actually from the Bolshevik Heroines pack…).

These are a couple of John Bertolini’s Japanese he made for the Russo-Japanese war. I found them in a box I was cleaning out last week. There’s a picture of some Japanese in Siberia near the back of the Osprey book on the White Russians. The uniforms look quite similar so I thought I’d paint these up to see what they look like. I was really guessing at the colours as I have no info about Japanese uniform colours in the late teens/early twenties (the picture is, of course, black and white.. also in the picture they’re in greatcoats...).

I thought the Japanese might be an interesting interventionist force to do for the Russian Civil War - as there was quite a few of them in Siberia (far more than the Canadians, Brits and Americans...!). I won't be seriously considering this any time soon, however!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

On Wednesday these Chinese might be seeing action! Stay tuned for complete after action report and pictures of the battle!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Red Snapper

Ya-HAAARRRrrrrr mateys! Let me introduce yeh to the crew of the Red Snapper. The crew of the ‘Snapper are wimmin folk, saphists everyone! Lets start with the Cap’n Shall we..

(remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Captain Marianna de Rouge (The Foundry)

Esmeralda Swiftsnatch (Reaper) First mate and ship’s carpenter

Vanessa Redbusch (Rafm) Mistress of Sails

Emilie Laplotte (The Foundry) Mistress of Guns

Sister Helen (Reaper) Ship’s Surgeon

Carmen d’Epee (Rafm) a duelist of fearsome reputation

The Salty Sisters; (L to R) Brittany (Old Glory), Vicky(The Foundry), Amber(The Foundry), and Tess (Dixon Miniatures). The oldest, meanest, saltiest members of the crew.

The Crew; (L to R) Trisha(Dixon Miniatures), Maddie, Thelma, and Louise (all three are from Old Glory)

More Crew; (L to R) Leslie and Muriel (both conversions of Reaper figures - I added the cutlasses)

More Crew; (L to R) Crystal (Reaper) and Belinda (I think this came from some Ral Partha boxed set…) again both are conversions - I added the swords/cutlasses

The Gunner Girls; Laverne and Shirley (both Foundry)

…. And we can’t forget Trudy the Cabin Girl (Old Glory)

The latest addition… technically not even a crew member – but she is a hot lookin pirate lass so I thought I’d include her – I picked up this figure from Reaper for Amanda to use if she ever gets to play in the campaign….

The crew of the Red Snapper first saw action as a Mordhiem warband and will soon set sail again as recurring nemesis’s (and possibly occasional ally) in my upcoming Savage Worlds: Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign. Just thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce the “ladies”…

Coming up nest on Tim’s Wargaming Blog:

A report of the first action in the Pirates campaign… yaaaarrrrr!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Age of Sail House Rules For Savage Worlds

Here are some Fast, Furious, and Fun house rules for ship combat in the Age of Sail. These are additions and corrections to the rules presented in Savage Worlds: Pirates of the Spanish Main .

Ship Stats

This must have been a misprint or they were taking their lead from the CSG because I have a hard time believing that of the forty odd people listed as writers, editors, and play-testers that every last one of them new LESS about the Age of Sail than me (and I don’t know all that damn much…!). Big Ships go faster than small ships?! Nonsense! What were you thinking?! More sails=faster?!

Also ships don’t have brakes and have a lot of momentum so I don’t think they should be able to slow down as fast as other vehicles (i.e. 2x acceleration), instead ships should decelerate at the same rate they accelerate. The “hard brake” maneuver can still be used but it will only slow a ship up to twice its acceleration/deceleration rate.

So we are using the following top speeds, acceleration/deceleration.

One Mast Top Speed: 5, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
-Sloop - Top Speed: 6, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Skiff - Top Speed: 5, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
Two Masts - Top Speed: 6, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Galley - Top Speed: 6, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Hoy Top - Speed: 6, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
Three Masts - Top Speed: 5, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Crumster - Top Speed: 5, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Schooner - Top Speed: 4, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
Four Masts - Top Speed: 4, Acceleration/Deceleration: 3
- Frigate - Top Speed: 4, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Galleon - Top Speed: 4, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
Five Masts Top Speed: 3, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2
- Man o’ War Top Speed: 3, Acceleration/Deceleration: 2

Movement, Captains, and Going on Hold

A captain may go on hold. If he does so and remains so at the end of the turn the ship he is commanding will travel forward at the same speed and on the same heading it had in the previous turn. Just because a captain goes on hold doesn’t mean a ship stops dead in the water… This might seem obvious, but I couldn’t find it mentioned anywhere in the rules…


It’s the Age of Sail.. not the Age of Motor Boats…fer pete’s sake! I imagine wind was dispensed with in the favour of being “Fast, Furious, and Fun” or they were again taking a cue from the CSG. Both reasons seem silly to me. The CSG is a Collectible SRATEGY game; Savage Worlds is a tactical game – two totally different scales of action, in my mind, deserving (requiring!) totally different treatment. I also think the game can still be Fast, Furious and Fun (and CHALLENGING!) with rules for wind. If keeping track of how many shots you ship has in the hold isn’t too damn much book-keeping (we thought it was and dispensed with it! Ha!) I can hardly see how anyone at PEG/GWG could have thought wind too much for all the Savages out there to keep track of …

So this is a very simple (remember: FAST, FURIOUS, and FUN!) set of rules for wind.

Pick a wind direction or roll randomly (we find it easiest to have it coming directly from one table edge). Refer to wind diagram below to see which way you can go and how fast.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Hopefully when you click on this it gives you a picture of a high enough resolution that you can print it off and use it for yourselves!

So, obviously, ships can’t travel directly into the wind, or on any course within 45 degrees, on either side, of directly into the wind.

Ships traveling on a course that is between perpendicular to the wind and up an angle of 45 degrees into the wind it can do so at a speed of up to half it’s top speed. Likewise, a ships acceleration value will also be reduced by half, but not it’s deceleration value.

Ships traveling perpendicular to the direction of the wind or at any angle more than 45degrees away from the wind may do so at up to their regular top speed (with the following exception…).

Ships traveling directly with the wind (or within about 5 degrees of directly with the wind) will have their top speed will be reduced by one.

If a ship turns onto a new course that takes it to within a zone in which it should be traveling at a lower top speed it will instantly decelerate by its deceleration value, and will continue to do so each turn until it drops to half speed (so it is conceivable that a ship could travel at more than half it’s top speed on the first turn that it has turned into the wind…). If the drop in speed will drop it to or below the distance the ship has already traveled it cannot make the turn. For example if a sloop was traveling at it’s top speed (6”/turn) on a course perpendicular to the wind and wanted to turn 45 degrees into the wind the ship can make the turn only if it has traveled 4” or less (6”-2” deceleration = 4”). If the ship traveled less than 4” it may carry on into the wind up to a total of 4”, on the following turn it will have to further decrease it’s speed to 3”.

Performing a tight turn maneuver should also reduce a ships speed. A ship performing a tight turn maneuver will also decelerate equal to it’s deceleration value. This is in addition to any deceleration caused by turning into the wind.


Ships sitting still will drift ½” each turn (in the direction the wind is going!).

New Maneuvers

I’m not sure about using the chase rules – as I’ve never really quite understood them – but in the table top rules if one vehicle is chasing another vehicle with the same (or higher) top speed has no hope in hell of ever catching it unless the faster vehicle crashes or runs out of gas or something. To add a little randomness and give slower vehicles a hope in hell I’ve created a new maneuver:

Push the Envelope (-)

A vehicle that is going in a straight line at it’s top speed throughout at turn may attempt to Push the Envelope a little. This requires a boating skill (or piloting, or driving if using this in another environment). With a success, and for each raise, the vehicle may travel one extra inch (for this turn only!) up to a maximum equal to the vehicles acceleration.

Damage to Ships

Here’s where I’m going to take a lead from the CSG. Boats are big and tough and made out of wood… and wood floats… I think it’s a touch easy to sink a ship so Instead of a ship sinking when it takes wounds equal to it’s Wounds rating it is dead in the water and may not move or fire – the crew is too busy trying to repair things (it will drift – see above!). If the ship takes a further wound it will begin to sink (Finishing move – naval style!)

I think maybe there should be a table similar to the knockout blow table… I’ll work on that..

Another thing I’m going to work on for a further house rules post is a naval Fortune and Calamity table – as most of the gaming we do are skirmished and Fortune and Calamity is always fun. This will include a change in wind direction (or possibly speed..?!). with a F&S table there will be a need for a Freak Event table (maybe that’s where change in wind speed will come into play – can you say HURRICANE!!! BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!).
If any of you have ideas for Nautical Freak Events please do feel free to post them in the comments section below! Thanks!

Gosh I hope this all makes sense. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them as comments below. Also if you’ve been thinking along the same lines but have better ideas – I’d love to hear them; post a comment (or a link to where we can find your own thoughts and/or house rules) below.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Meet the Crew of the Red Snapper…. Ya-HAAAARRRRRrrrrrrrr!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Action at Sea

On this past (Savage) Sunday we got together and made some heroes for the lads and tried out the Savage Worlds rules with my new wee ships. I took a four master and a sloop and told the lads that the big ship had just bombarded their home port and killed a pile of their pals so their were out for blood! Darrin took a three master, Jeff a two master, and Lloyd – who will be playing the captain in our campaign took his own ship – another sloop.

I decided the ships should have names; I names my big one the H.M.S. Unicorn (the Unicorn is the local Naval Reserve unit – yeah… don’t ask me why there’s a naval reserve unit in the middle of the bald-ass prairies – and it was also the name of the ship Captain Haddock’s ancestor had sailed) and the sloop was the Antelope (“oh the Antelope sloop was a sickening sight, how I wish I was in Sherbrooke now…”). I told the lads to name their own ships. Jeff came up with The Black Reefer… uh, yeah… well… that’s what you get when you play with pot-heads… Reefer could be a nautical sort of term … like… a ship that sails around reefs….? Still it was the best of the three! Darrin names his the Hole in the Water (lame). Lloyd, perhaps a little indignant that he should have such a small craft to start off with (WHAT?! You guys thought I’d let you start with a Man o’ War?!), called his Barely Afloat – that was so lame I insisted he change it. There was a could other bad ones that I can’t even remember and then he finally settled on the Dubloon Express – which sounds more like a 19th Century train than a 17thCentury pirate vessel?! I wanted to get playing rather than listen to more silly ideas so I let it stick… for now (It’s lame, Lloyd, you’re going to have to change it – start thinking of a new one).

So… yeah… if anyone can think of good names for pirate ships PLEASE feel free to post them in the comments below!

I let all three use their own characters relevant stats where appropriate on their own ships.

Here’s how it played out:

Turn One and Two – everyone racing towards each other at top speed.

Turn Three

The Unicorn and Antelope sail forth…. as did Darrin and Lloyds ships (I can’t even bring myself to name them in this report…).

The Black Reefer sailed forward and then turned at the end of it’s move to bring guns to bare on the Unicorn. (so Jeff’s character is a Master Gunner… a REALLY GOOD Master Gunner – he’s like a frickin surgeon with a cannon…). A single four-pounder thundered and a shot tore through the Unicorn. By the time it splashed into the water on the far side of the ship it had shattered 8 crew, one gun and done grievous damage to the ship! (16 to hit – so that’s a raise – 22 damage… 2 wounds… crew and weapon criticals).

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Black Reefer takes a long distance shot at the Unicorn (at the bottom right).

Turn Four

The pirate sloop swings around to broadside the Antelope (with 4 x 4pdrs…) and made holed its sails (two hits, no damamge). The Antelope replies with four cannons of it’s own with no hits at all. The Unicorn joined in and fired on the Pirate sloop as well – with equally under-whelming results.

The Pirate sloop firing on the Antelope.

The Reefer scored another hit, this time on the Antelope. The antelope was forced to take evasive maneuvers (hit, not enough damage to wound but did force a control test – which failed and cause the ship to swing around…).

Darrin’s big beast then also fired on the Antelope holing it and leaving it dead in the water… (one wound… that’s all it’s got….).

Turn Five

The Unicorn and the Black Reefer exchanged long range broadsides with little effect.

Unicorn and Black Reefer firing on each other.

Darrin then finished off the Antelope. Bloop!

Lloyd’s ship, having shot well past their enemy, tried club hauling his sloop, failed, and swung the little boat around in circles.

Turn Six

Everybody maneuvering and taking pot shots at each other with no effect.

Turn Seven

Lloyd let rip with his four we guns at the Unicorn at a fairly long range. The Unicorn had had enough and game Lloyd’s little ship a full broadside. The “Dubloon Express” disappeared in a cloud of smoke, splinters, body bits and other flying debris (There! She’s sunk! Now come up with a better name for your next ship!).

KA-BOOM! (33 damage, causing 5 wounds to a ship that can take one…)

Jeff and Darrin also took shots, which hit but caused no appreciable damage to the sturdy hull of the Unicorn.

Turn Eight

Jeff gets a joker! The Black Reefer lurched about and fired. They scored another telling blow against the Unicorn, sending splinters flying and destroying another of it’s cannons.

Meanwhile the Unicorn and Darrin’s ship exchanged ineffective fire.

Turn Nine

The unicorn maneuvered and fired back at the Black Reefer and missed. The Reefer returned fire causing 10 more crew casualties and leaving it dead in the water.

We assumed the Unicorn would be finished off or boarded and plundered so we left it at that. Nine turns in just over an hour of play sent two ships to a watery grave and crippled another. If we hadn’t spent so much time making characters (… and waiting for people to show up) we might have had time to play out a boarding action … well… if we had some larger scale ship models… I’ll get working on that

Coming (very) soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hopefully I will finish up the House Rules for Savage Ship Combat in the Age of Sail tonight. It is the first Friday of the month and I had promised to run a game… but I haven’t heard from anyone saying they’re coming and I know of two definite NOs…. So it’ll probably just be a hobby/blog posting night.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Holding Chapel Pass

Finally, the long awaited (I’m sure you were all on the edge of your seats) report of the Blitzkreig Commander game I had with Gary Chappell last week.

We switched things up and had a little battle in the desert. We wanted to try a bit of a bigger battle with multiple commanders and formations (at least on one side). I gave Gary a British infantry battalion with order to hold a pass (Chapel Pass). I took a Panzer Grenadier Battalion and two Panzer companies to attack with. The Scenario we played was “The Assault”. I had 8 turns to take a rise in the middle of the pass. We also each had a battery of artillery off board and an observer on the table (to try out the artillery rules).

Our actual forces (each platoon = 1 stand)

British - 2/3rd Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s own Light Infantry.
LCol. Chapel and Battalion HQ (command value 8?)
12x Infantry Platoons (4 companies of 3 platoons)
1x platoon of 3” mortars
1x platoon of 6pdr At Guns
1x Jeeps (to tow AT guns)
1x platoon of Vickers from the Divisional MG Battalion
1x Forward Artillery Observer, C battery, 23rd Royal Artillery Regiment.
1x 25pdr battery (off table) , C battery, 23rd Royal Artillery Regiment.

Germans - Kampfgruppe Braun
Oberst Braun – Kampfgruppe Commander (Command value 9)
1x Recce platoon of Sdkfz 222
Major Meuller – Commander of II/5 Panzer Regiment
2x Platoons Pzkv IV
3x Platoons of PzkwIIIJ specials
Major Klaus – commander of I/8 Panzer Grenadier Regiment
9 Panzer Grenadier Platoons (3 companies of 3)
3 MG platoons (1 per company)
1x battery of Lorraine Schlepper (off table) 17 Artillerie Regiment

here’s how it played out:

Initial dispositions

Gary set up his battalion stretched ot across the pass. I decided to roll my guys up on one flank which looked like it would provide cover for most of the advance.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

You can see the British stretched out in the pass. On the far side of the table by Gary there, between the two rocky outcroppings that bracket Chapel Pass. In the bottom right you can see the German force in their FOP hidden from the prying eyes of the British behind some large dunes (The spray can had been used to steady the camera for one of the close-ups I had just taken…).

Close-up of the German force – ready for action!

Close-up of the British initial positions.

Turn 1

Germans moving up under cover.

British anxiously awaiting them.

Turn 2

Germans move up. The artillery observer is now in position so he calls in some HE on the British line suppressing the MG platoon. Recce races ahead to see what’s what.

British fire upon and suppress the Recce (with the 6pdrs, I think…).

Turn 3

Germans continue their advance, I thin I had only one move for my tanks and infantry so they moved out in the open but then stopped. Artillery is not proving to be terribly effective so far. Three hits are caused but no suppressions. Perhaps more than one battery is needed…?

British now have targets! The six pounders fire and cause two hits and suppress a PzkwIII platoons. They fire again and finish off the platoon. They fire again, two more hits, no suppression. Gary’s on a roll! Snake-eyes! The two pounders take TWO actions the first finished of a second platoon and the second action causes three hits and a suppression! Military medals all around for those chaps!

The British start brewing up panzers.

Turn 4

To start the turn a couple of the tanks platoons fire under their own initiative causing a few hits and suppressions among the infantry. In the orders phase he tanks continue to fire suppressing more infantry and the AT guns (WHEW!).

The artillery observer dices a command blunder! INCOMING! 150mm shells rain in on his own position causing a hit and a suppression (YIKES!).

The infantry only got one move, crawling ahead amid the burning wrecks of the Panzer III company…

The British stall. The AT guns are suppressed by sudden violence of the tanks returning fire, the infantry are unsure what to do (failed command roll). Artillery was called in but had little effect.

Turn 5

No major victory for me as the DAK are nowhere near their objective (the dune that the AT guns are sitting on).

My reconnaissance troops prove to be incompetent (roll anything but a one to make contact with HQ… one…dang).

Initiative fire nets a few hits and suppressions on infantry.

The panzers continue pumping shells into the British position causing some hits and two suppressions as one was already suppressed we rolled to see if they ran (infantry in trenches won’t fall back but if they roll 10+ they bug out) and one platoon decided they’d had enough and vacated!

The infantry were emboldened by the sight of fleeing Englishmen, their commander diced a two for his first command roll! SCHNELL!! Away they went while the MGs stayed behind and fired at the AT guns (causing a couple hits but no suppressions… oh dear) .

The artillery observer spent the turn getting his wits together and yelling at the battery commander.

The artillery is called in and is as ineffective as ever. Then it’s time for LCol Chapel – a blunder! CEASE FIRING! The command unit takes fire; five hits and a Suppression! Being the only command unit that would mean Gary would do nothing this turn OR NEXT TURN(!) which would mean he’s basically effed. We diecided that perhaps Gary should have had a second command stand all along (the Battalion 2ic..?) so we gave him one and decided they would have been the ones that had the command blunder… so they take the five hits.. and are destroyed… So the battalion commander takes over and carries on… (in a nutshell we ignored the command blunder). Gary make another command roll; 10. Face it Gary you just weren’t meant to do anything that turn…

Good for me as the AT guns weren’t suppressed!

Ooh look there’s one less British infantry stand out there! We are on our way to the TOP!

Turn 6


Initiative phase. German infantry suppress British infantry with fire, then the panzers roll in to over run their position.

My recce troops continue with their bird watching or whatever they are doing…

In the command phase I bring in some more artillery on the British position, which causes a few hits and suppressions, but both armour and infantry commanders fail command rolls so we skip right ahead to close combat – once again without successfully suppressing the AT platoon!?

I had two combats; both tanks versus suppressed infantry. In both cases the infantry were wiped out and the tanks disengaged and regrouped BEHIND the AT platoons position! Huzzah!


Initiative fire suppresses one of my infantry platoons. Artillery finally causes one hit, but fails to suppress anyone. Then came the command phase… Gary got his entire formation to go three or four times in a row – moving some reserves up to try and fill the gap left by the company on their left which had been wiped out, and firing lots of firing. I think this is where Gary had his epiphany. We had wondered at the rules and figured one should direct all his fire on one unit and wipe it out before moving on to the next… which seemed a bit like Crossfire and perhaps a little gamey. Gary discovered the value of suppressing troops – easier than killing them, they won’t move or do anything to you next turn, and if you suppress them again they’ll fallback a bit and might just leave…! Also in a game with a time limit (as this one had) one turn of not moving – especially combined with some retrograde movement due to fallback is a big disadvantage! So that’s what he did The AT gun fired on the remaining panzers to his front and the mortars, MGs and rifles let fly with and absolute hurricane of lead pinning and suppressing and forcing just about every unit in my command to fall back!

Germans trying to advance under withering fire from the British defenders.

Panzers make it through the lines and behind the guns.

Turn 7

My reconnaissance finally, FINALLY, came through! +1 to my overall commander which would take over direct control of most of the action this turn. Everyone that could was pumping shells and bullets into the British position during initiative fire; the AT platoon was taken out and a couple infantry were suppressed. In the command phase everyone ran like hell in a last ditch effort to take the high ground before turn 8… I’m not sure what would happen at the nd of trun 8 that would prevent them from carrying on..? they turned back into pumpkins…? But that was the scenario so there it is…


Gary continued on with his “suppress everyone” tactic with much success.

Turn 8

I know we played out turn 8, but I seem to have taken no notes. It being almost a week ago I’m having trouble remembering what happened. I know I got tanks on the hill but failed to clear it off….

Some pics of the final positions:

Panzers on the hill and to the rear… but unable to clear or hold the objective. Even if they had cleared it I would have lost as the game requires that Infantry be on the position to be in control of it and all my infantry were pinned out in the open in front of the position…

There they are. Pinned infantry everywhere.

Overhead view of the final positions of all involved. The British still had 9 of 12 initial infantry platoons. I think I took out the Vickers platoon on the last turn with fire from my own MGs and/or artillery. I myself had only lost one or two infantry platoons, but having them all suppressed turn after turn and unable to move forward is just as bad!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Action in the Age of Sail: a naval battle using Tim’s new ships and Savage Worlds!