Monday, February 25, 2013

Top Malo House

Today is my birthday, but I’m busy tonight so I had the 9th Annual Wargaming birthday Bash last night. We played the Top Malo House scenario out of the force on Force on Force. In attendance were Gary, Patrick and Other Tim again. Christian had said he was going to come but then decided he was sick of playing with me and my stupid games… (or maybe his family was sick…? anyway, it was something involving sickness!)

It’s been a while since I’ve played Force on Force and have been trying to learn – and exclusively playing – Bolt Action, so I was a bit messed up and totally forgot a few things… and was a bit confused about some of the scenario stuff… and I didn’t quite finish up my Top Malo House buildings… (and I cut my had while desperately trying to finish them up Sunday afternoon after dance class!?). All that aside it turned out pretty okay…

Top Malo House, East Falkland, 31 May 1982


On May 30th, 1982, a Royal Marine Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre OP reported the arrival of Argentine special forces in their area. Concerned that the Argentines might set up their own OP on Mount Simon from which they would be able to call in air strikes on the Marines advancing towards Teal Inlet, they had to be removed. The Argentines holed up for the night in an abandoned Sheppard house known as Top Malo House. ON the morning of 31 May 1982 a force of Royal Marine Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre troops was inserted by helicopter to attack the Argentines position.

There is information about the action at Wikipedia:


The scenario is straight out of the Force on Force main rules book (on page 182). The British Marines have to dislodge the Argentines from and/or kill or capture all of them. The Argentines have to hold the position or withdraw their forces off the table and try to cause as many British Casualties as possible.


Elements of the Royal Marine Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre

Assault Element

HQ Group
-Captain Boswell w/M16
-Signaler w/SLR
-Platoon Sergeant w/M16 and M79

RM Section
- Section Commander w/M16

Fire Team One
- Team Leader w/ SLR
- Grenadier w/ M16 and M79
- Rifleman w/M16
- Rifleman w/SLR

Fire Team Two
- Team Leader w/ SLR
- Gunner w/ L4A2 Bren
- Rifleman w/M16
- Rifleman w/SLR

Fire Support Group

RM Section
- Section Commander w/M16 and M72 LAW

Fire Team One
- Team Leader w/ SLR and M72 LAW
- Grenadier w/ M16 and M79
- Gunner w/L7A2 GPMG

Fire Team Two
- Team Leader w/ SLR and M72 LAW
- Rifleman w/M16 and M72 LAW
- Sniper w/ L42A1

Elements of Argentine Commando 602

HQ Element
- Captain Verseci w/ FN-FAL

Commando 602 Assault Group
-Section Commander w/ FN-FAL

Fire Team One
- Team Leader w/ FN-FAL
- Grenadier w/ FN-FAL and Rifle Grenaders
- 3x Riflemen w/ FN-FAL

Fire Team Two
- Team Leader w/ FN-FAL
- Grenadier w/ FN-FAL and Rifle Grenaders
- 3x Riflemen w/ FN-FAL

Commando 602 Support Group
Fire Team One
- Team Leader w/ FN-FAL
- Grenadier w/ FN-FAL and Rifle Grenaders
- Gunner w/ MAG58 GPMG
- Riflemen w/ FN-FAL
- Sniper w/ Weatherby .300 Magnum


Gary and Patrick took the British and Other Tim took the Argentines.

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

Initial Deployment: in the foreground is the RM Assault Element commanded by Patrick. Further back is the fire Support Element commanded by Gary. All the Argentines are in the house.

Same thing different angle.


The RM Fire Support Element dashed up to the low ridge in front of them and the Assault Element held their position.

In the End Phase the Argentines spread out into the adjoining out buildings.


Fire Team Two of the RM Support Element fired on Argentines taking cover in the shed close, knockig them all out of action before they could effectively return fire!

The other RM fire support team fired on the Argentine commandos in the house – which drew fire the house and the stable. They caused one casualty in the house and set Top Malo house on fire...

...but the return fire from the Argentines took out all three British!

A pretty devastating first turn of action!


The British retained the initiative.

The Argentine casualty in Top Malo House turned out to be lightly wounded. The status of the RM GPMG team and the Commandos in the Shed remained unknown as they were all down and no one was present to check on them.

The RM command team started moving over towards the RM GPMG team to see why they were not firing anymore.

The other Fire Support Team sat on overwatch while the Assault Elements rushed the stable.

The fire from the two teams effectively put the Argentines within out of action before they could effectively return fire.


The remaining Argentines scarpered out the back of Top Malo House taking fire from the Fire Support team on overwatch – causing another casualty – Other Tim assigned the wound to the chap that was already wounded. He’d planned to abandon him in the house but only took him along on my insistence that abandoning casualties was generally a bad idea and that he wouldn’t slow them down on the first turn or two of running as the first they would be leaving the house – which can only be done as a Tactical Move  - and crossing the creek bed – which they would have to next turn – I had designated as bad-going and could also only be done as a tactical move. As it turned out Other Tim did have a use for the casualty – taking another bullet…


The British retained the initiative.

The Argentine casualty turned out to be seriously wounded now…

Top Malo House burns…

Beginning of Turn four.

The two RM Assault Elements advanced to the stable

 One RM Assault fire team entered the building taking control of the Argentine wounded within and firing upon the retreating top Malo House causing two more casualties. The Argentines falied morale and their return fire was ineffective.

The other fire team of the Assault Element ran round the back of the stable hoping to flank the Argentines the following turn.

The remaining RM Fire Support Element (in the distance there) would make a rapid move in the direction of the shed full of Argentine commandoes they’d previously shot up.

The RM HQ element arrived at the position of their wounded comrades on the low rise where they’d been shot down.


The British retained the initiative.

Checking the Fire Suport Team the HQ element found two to be Seriously Wounded (2 victory Points for the Argentines!)  and the other was only Lightly Wounded. The Argentines casualties in the group fleeing out the back of Top Malo House, one was Seriously Wounded and and the other Lightly Wounded. The RM assault Element checked on the Argentines in the stable and found one to be Killed in Action, one Seriously Wounded, and the remaining three were Lightly Wounded.

Beginning of Turn Five

The RM assault team in the Stable fired on the REtreating ARgentines again, causing two more casualties. 

The RM Fire Support Team rounded the corner of the shed and spotting the Argentines in the open lit them up causing two more casualties – only Captain Verseci remained standing at this point…

The flanking RM assault element can rounded the corner and spotted Verseci trying to flee…

…and they shot him down too…

The British took this game scoring 8 victory points (5 for killing or capturing all Argentines by Turn Six and 3 for clearing all argentines from the buildings before  Turn Six). The Argentines weren’t shut out, however; they scored two for the two serious injuries they caused the British.

Among the Argentines there were four killed in action, seven seriously wounded, and seven lightly wounded.

I really like force on force. There were a few things I wasn’t totally clear about in the scenario and a few things I forgot.

The big thing I forgot was Fog of War! (Can’t believe I forget that…)

The things I was confused about was whether we were to keep track of LAW rockets? Was each person armed with them carry just one or a few of them. We treated them as ATGMs and did a TQ test to see if they could fire one each turn the wanted to fire – of course being TQ d10  meant they pretty much always did – which gave them some pretty overwhelming firepower.

Also I was confused about the building destruction rules as it seems to be changed fromt eh standard rules which only allows weapons with an unmodified 4D to attempt such things… and it got kind of awkward when a fire team was firing two (or three) – plus a guy firing a rifle as the two (or three) building destruction tests and the small arms fire all had to be worked out separately… or perhaps they were supposed to only allowed to fire ONCE at a target each turn i.e. one rocket OR small arms…? I completely ignored the M79 grenade launchers (as they were supposed to be allowed to make building destruction tests as well – according to the scenario).

I suppose, had I been prepared a little further in advance I could have asked about this stuff on the forum… ah well…

The scenario is super tough for the Argentines - they are totally outclassed and outnumbered by the British (or at least British firing volleys of LAW rockets) . There is no way they can "win" in the traditional sense of defeating the British - they have to play to the victory points and try to execute a fighting retreat - give up the position to the British (which does give some VP to the Brits), but then deny the British points by exiting troops off the table (and potentially gain some if they get half off!) and then maybe try and pick up a few points by causing British casualties…?

I had thought I might run this at ToonCon in the fall, but now I’m not so sure if I'd run it for a convention (maybe a demo at a store…). Playing the argentines could potentially be a bit of a drag as things can go very (VERY!) bad for them very quickly! If I were to play the Argentines I could really only have to players - one playing each of the British Elements. If I had a british player playing each of the fire teams (4-5 players potentially) and one team was wiped out in a lucky round of shooting (as happened here), they’d pretty much be out of the game… With a player playing both teams of the two elements (as we did) there’s always that second team to contine playing if one gets wiped out…

I think the scenario wasn’t too far off the historical outcome. The Argentines were beaten with most of them wounded and a few killed. The British suffered a couple of casualties…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well now that that’s over… what to do next… I’m kind of jazzed to get going on some more modern stuff to play more Force on Force (and I just got my hot little hands on Classified - my little Birthday Present to myself! …among other things…). 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Again With the Bolt Action

As a sort of warm up for the Wargaming Birthday Bash we played a little game of Bolt Action on Saturday Afternoon.

1941, East Front


The Germans have invaded and are plunging deep into soviet territory, encircling vast swaths of the Soviet Red Army, cutting them off and the annihilating them!


Again we played SCENARIO 1: ENVELOPMENT, straight out of the  Bolt Action rulebook.


Soviet Forces

1x Captain + Flag guy (Regular)
2x Senior Lieutenant + 1 runner (Regular)
4x Rifle Squads (NCO w/SMG, DP + Loader, 7 Riflemen – Regular)
1x Sniper and Spotter (Veteran)
1x Infantry Squad (NCO w/SMG, DP + Loader, 8 SMG-gunners – Regular)
2x MMG Team (Regular)
1x M-42 Light AT Gun (Regular)
1x Zis-2 76.3mm Field Gun (Regular)

German Forces

1x Company Commander (Major) + 1 orderly w/ SMG (Veteran)
1x Senior Lieutenant + Sergeant ( Regular)
3x Infantry Squad  (NCO w/SMG, MG34 + Loader, 7 Riflemen – Regular)
1x MMG team (Regular)
1x Medium Mortar Team + Spotter (Regular)
1x Stug IIID
1x Sniper and Spotter (Veteran)


Christian and Gary took the Soviets and Other Tim and Patrick took the Germans.

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

Christian and Gary – the Soviets

Patrick and Other Tim – The Germans


Preliminary bombardment on the Russian right the Sniper, the MMG team, and the Light AT gun each took 2 pins and the AT gun lost one of it’s crew! The Rifle Squad only took one.

Over on the Soviet left, the platon commander took 2 pins and the Rifle Squad took one. The rest (Howitzer and MMG) were fine.

The Germans roll on.

The Germans brought on their Stug, the mortar and observer, the sniper team and the Company Commander – the remainder (the entire infantry platoon – commander and three full squads) were held in reserve for some flank marching…

The soviets mostly spent the first turn rallying.


There was mostly maneuvering on Turn Two

The Soviets on the German right maneuvered around the hill a bit to stay out of LOS and the Zis went into Ambush Mode – should the Stug (or any other target) roll into view.

Over on the other flank the rest of the Soviets laid in wait as well…

The remaining Soviets (two rifle squads, the SMG squad, a Platoon and Company Commander) all remained in reserve to see where the real German attack would develop.

The German Stug rumbled forward, The rest advanced through the woods to get into a firing position.


The German MMg team fired on the Soviet MMg team causing a casualty. The Soviet MMG team in turn failed to receive an order to (I think…) return fire – so they just went to ground and cowered as bombs from the German mortar started to drop around them (with little effect – still ranging in).

The German sniper team moved into position. The Soviet Rifle squad rushed to the crest of the hill and fired on said sniper team – a “nigh impossible shot” (needing sixes, followed by sixes) hit alt least once, maybe twice, but failed to cause any casualties.

With targets now presenting themselves the Stug rolled up and fired on the soviet Rifle Squad causing two casualties!

A German Squad arriving on the flank also shot up the Soviet Squad causing further casualties.

At some point Finnegan joined us and offered to roll dice for us…


Everybody came piling in out of reserve – or flanking maneuvers…

I’m not a fan of the flanking. It’s just silly.

Russians on the the other flank holding tight just in case that last German squad turns out to be flanking on that other side of the table…

We played on the full table (~5’x7’) but almost all of the action took place in a 2’x3’ corner of the table…

The Germans shot up one Russian squad causing four casualties, including the squad leader. The Zis fired at some Germans causing two casualties and a couple of pins. Another Gemran Squad fired on another Soviet Sqad causing two casualtie. One of the Soviet Squads actually tried to charge into close combat, but failed to get motivated enough. The Russian MG fired. Antoehr Soviet Squad fired and caused four casualties – causing a morale check – which failed – first German Squad gone (and 2 Victory Points for the Russians!). Then German Platoon command advanced and fired on a Russian Squad at point blank range causing two casualties – ncluding another squad leader….. The German mortar missed again (really... target rich environment… missed…). German MMG couldn’t hit anything. The German Sniper however took out a DP gunner. The Stug advanced – causing the Soviet AT gun (waiting in ambush since turn one) to FIRE! But it missed… The Stug also missed whatever it was shooting at…


And just when you though things were just getting too silly…

The soviets finally realized the Germans had concentrated their attack on a 2’ frontage of the (7’) table and began to try and redeploy their stranded elements over on the other side.

The Germans that came on in the first turn, sitting in the woods…

A German squad fired on the Soviet MMG causing another casualty – which prompted a morale check – which was failed and the remaining crewman fled the field of battle (1 Victory Point for the Germans!)

The German Platoon Command attempted to Close Assault the remains of a Soviet rifle squad…

…it didn’t work out so well for them (2 more Victory Points for the Soviets!)

The Stug rolled forward and fired on something… and missed… then the remaining Soviets in the squad that had been assaulted by the German Platoon Command attempted to Close Assault the Stug… but failed to do anything…

I don’t know what’s going on here… it looks a mess… The Soviet SMG squad seems to have finally come out of reserve, as has the last of the German flanking squads….


The Soviet SMG Squad charged the newly arrived German squad. The German squad reacted with fire – 7 hits! (one casualty…)

…and the Soviets whipped them out… (2 more Victory Points for the Soviets)

A soviet Platoon Commander Close Assaulted the Stug and immobilized it!

Some other Soviet Squads rallied… The German MMG fired on one of them leaving only one guy left…

Somewhere in there the remaining German squad close assaulted a Soviet Squad but had their asses handed to them… (2 more Victory Points for the Soviets)

What WW2 battle ever looked like this…? Bunch of guys running around in an open field, firing point blank at each other…

That’s about it… Game ended at the end of Turn Six.

The (immobilized) Stug was the only German element anywhere close to the Soviet deployment zone (though I think the German Company Commander and maybe the sniper team may have left cover and sprinted for the Russian end of the table, but just couldn't make if far enough to score points...), and none had gotten off the Soviet edge… so The Soviet scored EIGHT Victory Points, the Germans only scored one…

This was my least favourite game of Bolt Action so far. Time to ignore the canned scenarios and point values, come up with some rules for entrenchments, and see if this game can work for a sensible scenario…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Another game report – The 9th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash – we played the Top Malo House scenario out of the force on Force on Force, but that will have to wait until tomorrow (or, rather, later today....) as I'm way to tired and it's way to late... 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I think this may be the biggest batch of 28mm figures I’ve ever painted… usually I work on squads of ten or so… sometimes units of fifteen… maybe twenty… I have done a unit of thirty-two once or twice… But this week I sat down with fifty (50!) Mujahideen and painted them all without being distracted… or finishing up half and leaving the rest for later…

I’ve been on a bit of an Afghan kick lately. I watched Afghan Luke, the Beast, and Charlie Wilson’s War (all for the first time) recently. I also dug out the 9th Company and watched it again. I’ve also been reading Ted Rall’s to To Afghanistan and Back and the Osprey Histories book on the Soviet-Afghan War and listening to Morgan Spurlock’s Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden on CD… and I have a few others that have risen to the top of my “to read” pile…

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

Here’s the lot of them… Most of them are Mongrel Miniatures, though there are a few Eureka Miniatures and the casualties are from Brooks Miniatures…

Adding them to the ones I already have…

These guys are ready to defend their country (and the faith!) from infidel invaders! (There are additional ones from Mongrel and Eureka as well as a few from The Assault Group and Devil Dog Design)

I need to fix up my generic mud-brick village and make some more terrain… 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I need to switch gears and build Top Malo House if I'm going to run that scenario on Sunday!? I guess if I run out of time on that I could always have an asymetric engagement in the 'stans... 

I should have a couple game reports up over the weekend as I'm planning to play another game of Bolt Action on Saturday and then the 9th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash (Force on Force) is on Sunday! Huzzah! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chemical Commies

I picked up a set of Cold War Soviets in NBCD gear from Eureka Miniatures USA. Here they are:

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

The whole force (including a few others I'd ordered and painted previously) 

Unfortunately ordering from Eureka USA most of the ranges are only sold in complete sets of one of each pose... which doesn't necessarily add up to anything resembling any sort of TO&E... But with what I have here I can more or less field an under-strength platoon (what platoon in the field was EVER at full strength anyway, right?). Insofar as I can tell there was only ever 6 or 7 that dismounted from a BMP or BTR, so these aren't terribly under-strength.

First Section. 


Second Section

(that blurry bit in front of the MG-Gunner is a snowflake blowing past... There was a bit more snow falling, and blowing around, this morning...)

Third Section - including the platoons designated marksman. 

Platoon command. Serzhant and Leytenant pointing. Plus a spare MG and Sniper - perhaps the Serzhant is a good scrounger and "aquired" these extra items for the platoon - they could be added to any of the other sections for some extra support. 

Some chemical defence or engineer types... the could be attached to the platoon if need be...?

Another attachment - the Sagger (I can't really call it a "team" as it's just the one guy....) - when a slightly longer ranged (slightly harder) punch is needed to deal with armour (or bunkers?).

of course these guys could be Ferried about in my BTR-60s. Perhaps I should have taken a picture with them...

Perhaps it was a bit silly getting these guys in chemical defence suits. I have no other forces so equiped to deal with an NBC environement - so these guys might look a little silly running around in their suits expecting to be gassed when no one else is...

Ah well...

I suppose I could use them a Soviet zombie containment team...?

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I need to get that model of Top Malo House built as it’s just a week away from the 9th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash (where I was planning to run the Top Malo House scenario from Force on Force - so I’d best get cracking on that…

After that…? So many project so close to completion that I’d just like to finish up… but which one FIRST!? French? Afghans? WW2 Soviets or Paras?