Monday, March 31, 2008

15mm WW2 British

As promised I’m going to try and get back to work on Taking Stock. This evening I thought I’d tackle the 15mm Desert British. I can’t call them “Desert Rat”s because… well… they aren’t. The formation is essentially an infantry formation and the Desert Rats, technically, refers to the 7th Armoured Division. I can’t really even call them 8th Army (though I often do) as the force is nominally a 1940/early 1941 force which I think predates the formation of the 8th Army, does it not? These should really be called “Western Desert Force” troops…

Originally I used these for WRGs WW2 rules… Then Crossfire… They’ve probably seen the most action fielded as a company in Flames of War, but I’ve pretty much all but abandoned that. I think we used them for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum, once or twice. Currently I’m using them for much larger scale actions with Blitzkreig Commander.

These and the DAK and Early War Germans are the only 15mm figures I’m keeping. I'm pretty sick of painting 15mm figures and have no great desire to ever paint any ever again.... That being said, I put a LOT of work into these, I know a lot of guys with opposing forces (heck, for North Africa I have my OWN opposing forces), and they’re done enough that I have a fair number of options for playing and designing scenarios. I do own a few more things I COULD paint if I wanted a bit more, but it will be a long time before I get to doing them as I have zero desire to paint anything in 15mm these days… I also don't happen to have much North African stuff in 20mm, so hanging on to these would mean I could play bigger battles in this theatre...

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

22 stands of rifles. This could be three and a half platoons for Flames of War or two slightly under-strength battalions for Blitzkrieg Commander. These are mostly Old Glory

Seven command Stands. These were Platoon Commanders or observer teams in FoW. I did have a larger CHQ and 2IC but they seem to have disappeared… They will be HQs and FAO/FACs for BKC. The one in the back with the officer dressed in battledress and an SD Cap acts as CO for the time being until I can make a new one… That may be a while. A mix of Old Glory, Battle Honors, and Battlefront.

Four Boyes ATR teams and three (unpainted) 2” mortar teams (platoon support weapons for FoW). If those 2” mortars ever get painted it will truly be a wonder. Don’t get me started on how hard it was to get some bloody 2” mortars…. I have them now though, should I ever decide to play at a scale that I need them…. The Boyes teams are from Peter Pig, the 2” mortars from Battlefront.

Vickers Machine-guns. One still hasn’t been re-based. A Platoon in FoW, a Company in Bkc, both from the Divisional MG/Support Battalion. All from Battle Honors.

3” Mortars. A full battalion’s Mortar Platoon for FOW, or enough Mortar Platoons for six battalions in BKC…. Think that last one will ever get re-based…? These are a mix of Battle Honors and Battlefront.

AT support; four six-pounders (and jeeps to tow them), two two-pounders. Again, a battalion’s AT Platoon for FOW, or enough AT Platoons for four battalions in BKC…. Or perhaps the 2-pdrs could be issued to the infantry battalions and the 6 pdrs could be from the Royal Artillery….? Guns and crew are Battlefront, jeeps and drivers are Old Glory.

Five universal carriers. Battlefront.

Pioneers – for an FOW pioneer platoon or enough pioneers platoons for a brigades worth of battalions – which is all I ever imagine I would ever field. Battlefront.

Three 5 CWT CMP trucks. I’m sure I have a few more of these elsewhere… needing to be painted… Battlefront.

A Dingo (I think) and a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car – Recce platoons for BKC. The Dingo is from Battlefront the Rolls is from Minifigs.

Matilda IIs. Two platoons or two squadrons, depending on the rules, from a supporting Army Tank Brigade. The tanks are Old Glory – I think the crews were from Peter Pig…?

A battlefront unpainted busted tank objective marker that was given to me recently and the beginnings of an HQ for the above Armoured Squadrons. These are all Battlefront. As the Battlefront Matilda is slightly bulkier than the Old Glory ones, and tends to stand out a bit, I thought I’d make it an HQ. For the HQ stand I will (someday, maybe) paint up the Dingo and add it to the stand, and perhaps add a few more figures, to make a bit of a mini diorama.

Casualty, Pin or Suppression markers and some extra officer types. They Officers were used as platoon commanders in Crossfire for a bit and may have been fielded as “big men” in IABSM…

To add some versatility to the force I thought I’d pick up a couple of Shermans and paint them with Canadian markings for the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade so the force could also be fielded as Canadians in Sicily or Italy (in the summer at least!). The bases aren’t finished yet – at some point they will look like the Matildas above. These are mostly Battlefront. The un-based one off to the right of the picture is from Battle Honors.

Objective markers. I think these came from JR Miniatures…?

A Commando Troop for FoW, or nearly a whole commando for BKC. I’d need two more stands (assuming each stand represented a Section and two stands made a troop….) for a fifth troop plus a Heavy Weapons Troop – of course for BKC I HAVE extra Vickers and Mortar stands… These are mostly Battlefront, but there is a few Peter Pig commandos thrown in there for fun.

An Airborne (or ‘Air Landing”) Platoon from Battlefront. I have them in 20mm and 28mm so I might as well be a completist and have some in 15mm, right? I’d probably need a second pack to make a Para battalion for BKC. Considering I haven’t yet finished painting this one I doubt I’ll be picking one up anytime soon to do so…

“Bailed out” markers for FoW (Battlefront).

A Special Air Service Raiding Squadron. Not quite sure how these could really be used in BKC. The Raid scenarios in FoW are bunk! These are Battlefront – though there may be one or two Peter Pig drivers in the mix…

The beginnings of an LRDG Patrol from Battlefront. See previous comments on FoW raid scenarios…. Not sure how I’d ever use these…

The rest of the patrol….

Not for the desert, but I wasn’t about to do a separate post just for these. These are Canucks for Northwest Europe ’44-’45. They’re still based for The WRG rules we started with. The rifle men are all Old Glory and the platoon command, support and bren-gunners are from QRF.

Air Support. The finished spitfire is a 1:144 plastic model. I think it was Hobbycraft…? The others are Minifigs (another Spitfire and a Typhoon). Would have been nice to have a couple Hurricanes but there was no way I was going to pay $50 for a fight of them and by the time Battlefront came out with them I was pretty much through with FoW anyway…

The rest of the “To Paint” pile. Not a lot there – so close, yet so far…. Though I have enough for another 27 stands of Rifles I could only imagine ever painting up another 14 stands worth – for a total of 36 stands. That would make for 6 full-strength platoons (2 companies) in Flames of War (or any other 1:1 figure scale game where stands are half-sections), or three full-strength battalions (a brigade) in Blitzkrieg Commander (or any other game where stands are platoons).


British (or Canadian - in Sicily or Italy...) Infantry Brigade (for Blitzkrieg Commander)

CO – Need to paint a new one…

3x Infantry Battalions each with:
-1x HQ (3 total) – DONE!
-12x Rifle Platoons/Stands (36 total – Have: 22 Painted, 14 to Paint)
-1x Pioneer Platoon/Stand (3 total) – DONE!
-1x AT Platoon/Stand (2 Pdr or 6 Pdr - 3 total) – DONE!
-1x Platoon/Mortar Stand (3” - 3 total) – DONE!
-1x Platoon/Carrier Stand (3 total) – DONE!

Divisional Support
MG Company (3x Vickers Stands) – DONE!
4.2” Mortar Battery (3x 4.2” Mortar Stands) – “Need” to get…. (yeah… right…)
25 Pdr Battery (4-6 stands…?)
Actually for both the above batteries I could just field FAOs, which I already have DONE!
Reconnaissance – Dingo, Universal Carrier, or Rolls Royce stands… DONE!

Corps/Army Support
-2 Squadrons of Matilda II – DONE!
-1 Squadron of Shermans – Have: 3x Sherman V Painted, 1x Sherman VC To Paint!
Air Support
1x FAC (I could use the Dingo or one of the other Observer Stands) – DONE!
-Aircraft – Have: 1x Spitfire Painted, 1x Spitfire and 1x Typhoon To Paint…
(If I was concerned about putting aircraft on the table I should probably track down some Hurricanes or Kittyhawks for North Africa…)

As for the NWE Canadians… Maybe I should give them away or something… I have 20mm stuff to cover that Theatre of Operations…

I’m not even going to bother sorting out what I have for Flames of War…. I can’t imagine playing it in the foreseeable future…

Like I said so close but so far… I should really put the nose to the grind stone one of these days and crank out those 14 rifle stands and a couple of new HQ/CO/Command units and be DONE with it all!!! Well then there’s the Sherman VC…

Then there’s the LRDG Patrol…. Ugh... What to do about them…!? I think Someday I will paint them up and hang on to them for the fun of it….

If I ever REALLY got into playing WW2 North African scenarios again I could conceivably see myself picking up more tanks. Painting 15mm tanks isn’t quite as annoying as painting 15mm infantry… I’d pick up some earlier cruisers (A9, A10, etc.) or maybe some Crusaders… Long way off, that…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Taking Stock - 15mm WW2 Germans; Early War and DAK.

More Pirates! and… uh… some other stuff…

I know, I know… I said I was going to work on taking stock and work on terrain…. Well I had these started and very nearly finished when I typed that, so I just finished them off last night… For the rest of the week I’ll get cracking on terrain and taking stock…

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

Another six Crusader pirates.

I started this guy ages ago. I noticed him in the “on deck” box and he really only needed the base finished up so I finished it… I have no idea who made this. I’m sure I’ve had it sitting in a box unpainted for a dozen years at least. I took it out, based and primed it last fall, then painted it at some point over the winter.

Do I count this guy as "foot" or "mounted" for the painting totals....?

Who says that lead that sits in the closet for years will never get painted!?

These are a few of the Old Glory Frenchmen I got in the Big Swaperoo, with straps and boxes repainted, rebased and ready for action. I probably shouldn't count these towards the totals. Maybe I should have a spot to keep track of how many figures I've re-based... nah, that would just be sad....

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Stock taking (15mm WW2 to start) and terrain. Really.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Battle of Coronel, 1914

We played a game on Friday night this week instead of the regular Thursday as my friend Curt from Regina was in town. He ran a lovely little Great War naval action using the new General Quarters III "Fleet Action Imminent" rules (and his BEAUTIFUL 1:2400 scale GHQ ships). It was quite good fun and quick to pick up.

The Battle of Coronel, 1914


At the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 Admiral von Spee, commander of German naval squadron in the Far East, found his command in a very tenuous position. Germany, while having significant influence in the European theatre of operations exerted very little power in Asia and the Pacific. Germany had only the pretense of an Asian 'empire', only holding a naval station at Tsingtao China and this provided no guarantee of supply from the Fatherland. Spee's ships required large quantities of coal in which to operate and this could not be relied on by the German possessions or allies in the region. Due to the demands of re-coaling Spee felt compelled to either order his ships to operate individually as privateers in order to take supplies by force, which would break-up his command, or to stay together and attempt to break out of the Pacific and make their way back to the security of the High Seas Fleet in Germany. Being a naval officer from the 'old school', Spee decided to keep his forces together and attempt a passage back to home waters.

Conversely, the British, while commanding a huge fleet, possessed a far-flung empire, which divided both its resources and attention. The vast majority of England's most modern warships where husbanded in home waters to face the German High Seas Fleet and to secure the critical Atlantic convoy traffic supplying Great Britain. It therefore fell to a polyglot force of mismatched assets under Admiral Sir Christopher Craddock to face the challenge of tracking down and confronting Spee's squadron. Craddock held no illusions to the chances of his success but hoped that with a little luck he could maul Spee's force and give a good account from his command.

On the afternoon of November 1, around 100 miles offshore of Coronel, Chile, the two squadrons sighted each other, closed and engaged.


The action will start upon the opposing fleets first sighting each other at approximately 26000 yards. Spee's German squadron is composed of the two modern armoured cruisers Scharnhorst (his flagship) and Gneisnau, along with three light cruisers Leipzig, Nurnberg and Dresden. Craddock's British command is made up of his flagship, the old armoured cruiser Good Hope, two other armoured cruisers, the Monmouth, and the Defence, along with the light cruiser Glasgow and an armed merchantman Otranto. (Please note: the Defence has been added for greater play balance as historically it was not at the engagement, being in transit at this time to support Craddock.)


John and I played the Germans. I took the two armoured Cruisers, and John took the three light cruisers. Gary and Curt played the British. Gary had the Good Hope and Monmouth, while Curt took the Defence, Glasgow and Otranto.

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

The starting position of the German Far East Squadron lead by my two armoured cruisers; the Gneisnau and Scharnhorst.

The British Squadron.

Close up of the Defense – aren’t they just lovely little ships?! Bravo, Curt!

The Monmouth and Good Hope.

The Gneisnau and Scharnhorst

The first couple turns we spent turning our line around and trying to close the distance between the squadrons to give ourselves a bit better chance of hitting. The Light cruisers with only 4.2” guns would have to get quite close.

Looking back we (John and I) probably could have each taken one of the Armoured Cruisers and a couple of the Light Cruisers and just stood off and pummeled the British Squadron from a distance. I was surprised how quickly they actually closed….

The British broke their line-ahead formation and came at us as a gaggle.

For the first half dozen turns or so – which were closing and maneuvering we had a line down the center of the table that represented 10000 yards – this is taken shortly after we had closed enough distance that it could be removed. In the foreground is the British Squadron. In the distance are the Germans.

Around this time we stared exchanging long range shots.

Now the germans have finished turning and are in a full line-ahead formation and the Gneisnau and Scharnhorst are starting to pound the British.

The Gneisnau and Scharnhorst have turned to give the British broadsides and the lighter cruisers are carrying on ahead to close the distance some more.

The British are taking a pounding – that’s four penetrating hits on the Defence from the Gneisnau on Turn 11– resulting in Main Turret damage, Bulkhead damage, and an Engineering Critical…. OI!!!

The next turn the Gneisnau scored another 5 hits on the Defence, including another main turret hit and THREE more bulkhead hits. The Defence went down with all hands…

I think this is the Good Hope taking hits from the Scharnhorst. Their first volley caused ammunition and BRIDGE criticals – Killing Craddock!!! Luckily they flooded the magazine and the whole ship didn’t go up on the first volley… but they were essentially done at this point.

The next turn one of John’s ships, the Nurnberg, got a shot in on the Good Hope causing a Fire Control critical – not sure what the effect was… but it sounded drastic!

This must still be turn 12 because the Defense is still out there… not for long though…

This is probably Turn 13 – the Glasgow, the one with all the big sploosh markers in the background) is being pounded by the German Light Cruisers. The Leipzig (in the immediate foreground) took some serious damage from the British. I can’t remember if it sank…

The Gneisnau and Scharnhorst, in the middle of the picture are actually firing broadsides at the Good Hope and the Monmouth which are off to the right.

The Good Hope taking some more hits.

This is Turn 15 – the last turn we played. Having sunk the Monmouth the previous turn the Gneisnau started firing back at the Glasgow (which had been firing at it for a couple turns).

On this last turn the Scharnhorst sank the Good Hope and we called it a game….

I was the Bulkhead sniper I don’t think there was a turn that I wasn’t causing bulkhead hits on one ship or anther once the shooting started – and they seemed pretty nasty; if you damage control parties didn’t seal them off in the damage control segment they just kept filling up your ship. In a couple of instances I caused multiple bulkhead hits on the same ship in the same turn and only one could possibly be repaired each so it was guaranteed further damage in the following turn – which sank t least one a ship…


This was a totally fun game (THANKS CURT!) …and I’m not just saying that because we utterly destroyed the British Squadron – we all pretty much knew it was going to work out that way from the get-go. I would have had just as much fun playing the British – seeing how much damage I could do before heading to Davey Jones Locker.

I have to say when Curt busted out the play sheets the tables and charts all looked rather intimidating! Once we actually figured out what they all meant (which wasn't so difficult as I initially imagined) it was really rather simple and played very quickly. Four of us (three who had never played the system and were completely ignorant of Great War naval combat), playing with about 5-6 ships, all picked it up rather quickly and played out the engagement in 3-4 hours (and there was a lot of side discussion taking place). The scale of the action seemed about right. I'm not sure how really large actions would play out; I could see it bogging down a bit.

It’s got me thinking again about making my own little generic looking Great War ships… (in the same vein as my sailing ships - except they’d be skinnier, grey and lacking sails…. Maybe I’d even try modeling some of the larger turrets… (Stay on target! STAY ON TARGET!!!)

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’m thinking I might take the next week or two off painting and modeling figures to finish Taking Stock, and maybe work on a bit of terrain…

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Swashbukling Elfie Pirate - YA-HARRRRR!

One more finished up last night - more or less.... put the grass on this morning...

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

This is a Reaper Miniatures "Half-elf Pirate". Amanda will be using it in our Savage Worlds game.


A big box o’goodies arrived in the mail today. This is the stuff I have (finally) received in trade for my 15mm HOTT Fantasy stuff. (There’s also supposed to be a pair of Osprey campaign books coming at some point…)

In addition to the toys pictured below there was a copy of Rules of Battle from Minden Games. The stupid part of me wants to hold on to this. The stupid part of me has amassed a ridiculous number of miniature war games rules that I will just NEVER read – let along play – just because I got them for a “good deal” (just LOOK at them all). I think I will pass these on to John (Bertolini) – it’s totally his period.

So here’s the toys:

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

Some Old Glory Seven Years War figures. Not entirely sure what they’re supposed to be… Looks like French. Anyway, they’ll do fine as some Frenchmen for skirmishing.

Normally painted figures would go straight into the Pinesol bath, but these are pretty nice and close enough to the way I paint mine. I think with a few touch-ups -re-painting the leather straps to match the leather strap colour I use on all my own figures, and sticking them on washer bases – they’ll fit right in with everyone else…

More Old Glory PIRATES! It looks like the Pirate Captain and Pirates with Cutlasses packs.

Bizarre Lizard Creatures and a Rafm Reptiliad. Will probably see use as Venusians in some sort of VSF game…

A pair of West Wind Productions dwarves. The one on the right is a Dwarven Highlander – which made my day…

Some sot of Roman commanders. I’m not sure of the make. I know enough to recognize them as Roman – but I have no idea WHICH era of Romans…!? Anybody?

More Roman command – These are Gripping Beast. Nice Figs. (Like I need another era to work on…) These and the fellas above will be hidden away in a deep dark drawer where they will cause no distraction or desire to build a new army… for a while at least…

A Parasaurolophus. I know this because I have a 4 year old son.

A couple of bizarre old Ral Partha figures. The assassin might see some use in various eras. The winged fellow… maybe a companion in a VSF game – the last of his kind from a lost world, or something like that.. They WILL have a pinesol bath…

Three void promo packs – identical except they have slightly different packaging….? Maybe They’re collectable and with the full set…. Feh… whatever… It’s a Viridian Night Shade. Anybody what one? I doubt I’ll use all three… if I even use any of them… (I will use ONE someday – I bought a pile of VOID stuff not long ago for generic Savage Worlds Sci-fi skirmishing – they were $1 per pack!)

Some cool resin scenery. The busted wall may not be so useful – as it would be the only section of wall that looks like that on the table (and thus look a little out of place). But the barrels and boxes will be painted up quite quickly and see much use as caches to destroy or simple stuff littering the battlefield getting in the way or providing cover…

A big PILE of GW plastic stuff… Unfortunately not enough of any to make unit for Warmaster (yes, I’m planning on playing Warmaster with 28mm…), but I should be able to use some for Savage Worlds Fantasy skirmishing… Included in this lot are 8 Human Archer types (Brettonians?), 3 40K Humans (Imperial Guards of some sort I assume), 4 mounted and t dismounted Wood Elf Horse Archer types, 4 Dwarves, 2 Ogres (these may go to John Burt – if I ever get around to painting the Chaos Ogre Command he gave me to paint…), 4 Zombies, and 4 frightful looking creatures that I am guessing are Dryads (I thought dryads were supposed to be hot looking chicks!?), and a sprue of chaos bits. Some of it is pretty neat looking stuff. Too bad it’s all so darn expensive!

These are wee goblinish things – almost like snotlings… but made by Harlequin.

Some halberds and gun carriages… without the guns… hmmmm…

Some mounted Dark Ages types… I have no idea what…? Scotts? Picts? Irish? Welsh? What’s the difference, really? Anyone know that they’re SUPPOSED to be?

More Dark Ages types – these are Gripping Beast. But again, I have no idea what they’re supposed to be. I think some might be Irish?

Still more Dark Ages types. Same goes for these – what are they? Does it matter? They’re made by Old Glory, I know that much.

What the…?

Any ideas…?

All in all a pretty good trade – got rid of stuff I will never use, got some stuff that I will… I really need to finish cataloguing all my stuff – and post some more stuff for trade (15mm Falshirmjagers will be next…).

Thanks Sean!