Thursday, May 29, 2014

..El Presidentes Personal Protection

Of course every Dictator has his own group of Elite body guards or mercenaries tasked with his security. For our President I´ve chosen some more heavily armed, in-action contractors (could also pose as Special Forces in light gear) - remember, El Presidente is carrying his AK, so things are already serious.

I´m still fiddling with the hand, it´s very hard to get open hands right and I´ll have to cut away some parts when it´s set, as you can see on the pic below.

In preparation for some more regular troops on my list I´ve also experimented with some more structure on the body armor, inspired by Elhiems way to do things - and I think it´s turned out quite well for the first run.

From this perspective, the hand looks good, it´s really the inside that needs some rework.
Down below more structure on the body armor:

And thus ends the merry-go-round, and we´re back at the front, again with a still somewhat crippled right hand on the standing PMC.

Monday, May 26, 2014

El Presidente..

After a very busy non-wargaming weekend, I´ve picked up where I left after getting back from work today. Inspired by another event last friday, I created a very special man, a VIP in his own right:

El Presidente

Or rather: La PrĂ©sident. 

This is supposed to be Malongos President Shomballa, but he will gladly apply for any open position for head of state in your favourite Dictatorship, as he has recently been ousted by General Beng´Tusi...  (who by could be represented by the very same miniature - ain´t that cool?)

 He will be getting his personal protection detail of two foreign mercenaries, but I´m still working on them as a little side-project before returning to the planned expansion of another range of figures... 

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Hey all,

this blog has just breached the 15000 pageviews mark, so I wanted to thank everyone who´s shown interest and support for my little projects so far. To celebrate this little occasion, I´m throwing in a mix of things from the last few days.

I´ve been painting my selfmade Taliban up to presentation standard, here´s one of the figures I´ve been working on today. Still have to finish one more.

 On Friday, Special Forces here trying to save a downed helicopter crew and snatch a weapon dealer who was being transported in said helicopter and tried to escape -  while testing the FoF-Improvement Project.  They got swarmed by Taliban and suffered several seriously wounded due to leadership issues and bad die rolling.

On Saturday, we took off into the air at a local convention, my MiGs hunting two F4 over the skies of Vietnam. Unfortunately, after turns of maneuvering my opponent into a deadly downward spiral, almost ready to take the kill, the second F4 blasted my skilled pilot with a missile, effectively ending th game. I now hate rockets and claimed I would only play Korean Air War, where I can finish planes with guns, like a real fighter Ace!   >:-(

We also had Marines rescuing another team of human relation personell out of a combat zone. Running the scenario twice, we had one clear victory for the Americans and one clear victory for the Taliban.

It´s always the chicks getting into trouble. This time with an escort of Afghan Policemen.

And while I painted my Taliban, my friend (the same who did the Su-27) worked on this awesome Mig-29 digicamo. So he is now in charge of painting my planes... unfortunately he will not be visiting me again for the next two months. :(

So that´s a quick review of my long wargaming weekend!
Hope you enjoy, if you aren´t already a regular reader, subscribe to make sure you don´t miss anything. And spread the word so we reach the next 15000 even quicker!

Have a good time! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Canal - Another FIMP Playtest (1)

Hello and welcome to another playtest report for our Force on Force Improvement Project.
I´m writing this up as I play along solo, hope it doesn´t take me too long, but it should provide a good log of activities and a nice overview of the rules. This is an internal test for version 0.47 to make sure it works before I distribute it to the other "closed beta" testers - but it really isn´t as closed as you might think, just message me if you want to take part ;)

This Scenario is a first test for the scenario design tools I´m working on, so don´t expect it to be too balanced yet. I hope it´s not a complete walkover though, otherwise I´ll have to seriously rebuild things.


We are pitting two Squads of USMC (TQ D8 Morale D10) against a mixed force of regular fighters (D6/D10) and local Insurgents /also D6/D10) somewhere in Afghanistan.

USMC Task Force:

-2x USMC Squads comprised of 3x Fireteam (4 soldiers incl. 2 Supp. Weapon, body armor) and a Squadleader each (Leader)
-1x USMC GPMG Team with M240 (Weapon Team), attached to the formation and commanded by the squad leaders.

USMC is subject to Western Medevac rules and loses VP if they suffer KIA.

So the USMC formation is tough, filled with manpower and maybe a little short on command ressources, but they have an initiative level of D10 which might compensate the lack of dice a little bit.

Taliban Forces:
-4xAK + Leader + RPG (regulars)
-3x AK + PKM (regulars)

-3x AK + Leader (irregulars)
-2x AK + RPG (irregulars)
-2x AK + RPK (irregulars)
-1x Light IED (AP: 2/AT: 1L )

Starting Insurgency Level : 2
Caveman Casevac

The Taliban draw two "Ambush"-Cards, which are aces up their sleeves. The first card says "Place reinforcements in any field on the southern board half", the second is a "place reinforcements in any building/behind any wall in the northern board half" - please note that these can only placed outside enemy optimum range to avoid exploits with units popping up in controlled areas.


USMC Objectives:
-Take the Bridge over the Canal (5 VP)

Taliban Objectives:
-Hold the Canal and the Bridge (5 VP)
-per US KIA: 2 VP

There is no explicit time limit, but with variable insurgency level, the Taliban benefit from more reinforcements the longer the clock keeps ticking, increasing their chance to bring a world of hurt onto the Americans.

The Game - Turn 1

After setting up, the game starts with some Initiative rolls. The first roll already produces a tie, with 3 successes for each side. Having the higher base initiative dice, the Americans go first this turn.

They set their MG team on Overwatch and advance on the right flank into the fields covering the approach to the Canal. Being covered by Overwatch, the Taliban decide not to act and wait for a better opportunity. Instead, they reorganise the troops on the far side of the Canal to bring them closer to the action. With one unit refusing to obey, they lose a precious die and choose to only move on unit using Out of Contact Movement. With one die left, they can only activate a unit within command range, which are exactly the units they don´t want to move right now...  So they choose to not use the die.

Turn 2

With 3 successes versus 2, the Taliban wrest Initiative from the Americans hands and are ready to unleash hell on the poor Marines...

Their Reinforcement roll yields a 2, which is just enough to bring more reinforcements on the table. They roll a 3 on the Reinforcement Table, which means 1D6 AK -  and they get a whopping 5 Taliban Regulars onto the Table!  Next turn, Reinforcement level will be 1.

With three command dice available, they choose to execute their "Ambush"-Card, placing the reinforcements straight into the southern field by the road!

They move the nearby leader towards the new unit, which is just two inches out of effective ambush range, so preemptive discovery doesn´t matter. The leader barks at them to open fire and they send a volley down the range, targeting the American Fireteam in the open.

Though the Americans win their Reaction Test 8-5, they score only a single success, cause no casualties and fail to suppress the Taliban. Thus, they are targeted by pretty accurate fire from the Insurgents. A Marine is hit, the Team decides to fall back into better cover.

The large Taliban group on the hilltop attempts to join the fray by firing on the USMC Team that has taken cover on the right flank last turn, forming up in a field and treeline. The Americans spot the incoming rounds in time and are able to return fire with some effect. Four successes in the round of fire send the Taliban cowering behind their rocks, while causing no casualties.

Without fire superiority on the team in the fields, the Taliban move their Irregulars into a position to cover the flanks of their reinforcements in the southern field.

With their remaining Activations, the Americans fire on the Taliban in the field in order to fix them in position. Winning their test and scoring 5 successes, they are able to cause two casualties on the Talibs and suppress them. With the unit fixed, they go on to the flanking part, sending another team wheeling around the right flank...

The position is not optimal, but gives good cover against the Local Irregulars across the Canal, even if it doesn´t allow flanking fire on the Taliban in the field. The Americans open fire on the Irregulars to force them to the ground. Being Irregulars that moved this turn, the Locals are no match for the Americans. The US Marines hit one of them, but fail to suppress the unit.

Turn 3

US Command has trouble to sort out the situation, rolling only a single success and being completely outmatched by the 4 Taliban command successes. Fortunately, the Taliban don´t have many units in condition to act.

All Taliban Casualties are found dead, the wounded US Marine is lucky and has suffered nothing but a light wound.

No Reinforcements will arrive this turn, as was to be expected. Next turn, Reinforcement Level is back to 2.

The Taliban choose to activate their Irregulars to shoot on the US Team on the wall, but fail their reaction test with a 1 - which means time for a Fog of War Card!
They draw a Card named "Where did that come from?!" - allowing them to fire first in a round of fire of their choice, even pre-empting Overwatch fire. They gladly keep the card to exploit it later, not willing to waste it on the small Irregular cell.

The Americans hit another irregular and pin the cell down, preventing any further firing from the Irregular unit.

Aggrevated by his enemies success, the Taliban player (me) attempts to draw in another regular cell to fix the problem, but they outright refuse to listen to the leader that detached himself from the team earlier. Down to two dice, the Taliban leaders try to radio a team further behind the frontline, without success. Four command dice wasted without much effect!

With their single command dice, the Americans activate another fireteam in the back, firing on the unit in the field to keep it suppressed and then disengaging to support the attack on the right flank. Usually I would have started a close assault on the unit in the field at that point, but the IED placed right in the middle of the road deterred me.

Turn 4

The Taliban sacrifice one of their command dice to unpin their large cell on the hillside and roll 3 successes with their remaining 5 dice. The Americans also score 3 successes, resulting in a draw. So the Taliban retain initiative from last turn.

The Local Taliban casualty (irregular) is found dead, the wounded man in the field is up on his feet again, probably thanks to smoking a lot of Opium before the battle started.

Reinforcement Roll is a 5, so no additional troops and next turn the level increases to 3.

The Taliban use their initiative by attacking the Fireteam on the wall with the group on the hill, which is devastating flanking fire. They execute the Fog of War Card just to make sure they go first and push some 8 FP dice into the American team, scoring 4 successes. The Americans are exposed (flanking fire) and do not benefit from the wall facing the other way. Their saving roll is merely a 6+
In a display of good fortune, they roll two 8, one 7 and only a single 3, suffering just a single casualty. They are pinned and fall back into the nearby field, but their return fire has the Talibs putting their heads down again.

Again, they try to activate the defiant team inside the Canal, but as before they refuse to obey. With only one die left and all units within command range either activated or pinned, the Talibs lose their last command die. 

The US-Player (again me - nice thing about solo gaming xD) puts some ineffective fire down range by their MG team while maneuvering two teams along the left and right flank. Progress is still slow due to the dense terrain.

Turn 5

Taliban spend another command initiative die to unpin the unit on the hilltop and a second to unpin their team in the field. With 4D6 they score two successed and again keep the initiative against a bad USMC roll with two successes.

The casualty of the flanked US Fireteam is again just lightly wounded, this seems to be a lucky day for the Americans.

Reinforcement roll is another 5, which means no more manpower for the insurgents this turn, but better chances next turn.

The Taliban leader with the irregulars by the canal detaches himself to run towards the compound, trying to get back into command range to avoid further loss of command dice.

They shoot on the MG team and force it back into the underbrush, but without any casualties. More fire pours down from the hill, targeting the pinned Marines in the fields on the right side of the road, but to no effect.

The US Teams now use their two command dice to move up two teams on the left and right flank.

Turn 6

Both teams are out of luck with their iniative rolls, only one success per side. The Taliban had spent another two dice to unpin their teams on the front line.

Reinforcement roll is a 4, which actually means reinforcements are arriving! The Taliban roll a 9 on their table, so 2D3 Ak + Leader + RPG. They roll 3xAk, so the team is five man strong again. The troops arrive at Hotspot number 1 - which is on top of the hill, where a huge blob of Insurgents now resides. America should have brought heavy calibres... I knew that taking the GPMG team to battle was a mistake, should have chosen the mortar salvos...

The large Taliban cell tries to keep up fire on the MG team, but again roll a 1 on their reaction - another Fog of War Card!  "Playing Dead" - One unit that has been fired upon this turn may automatically go into hiding and has to be spotted again.  Nice opportunities for some ambushes, maybe.

The US MG fire (still pinned and with reduced accuracy) is remarkably effective, taking two Talibs down - including the RPG gunner - and pinning the unit, preventing any effective return fire from these badly trained troops.

The Marines push on the right flank, closing with the Canal and trying to eradicate the last Irregular insurgent on the other side of the obstacle. With poor shooting on both sides, nothing happens.

Turn 7

Finally some good dice on the American command roll. 3 Successes. Unfortunately the Taliban now have another leader on the table, which takes them to 8 base initiative dice. Though they spent one to unpin a unit, they still roll the required three dice to keep the initiative.

First Aid on the Taliban at the hill (if you want to call it that way) looks grim, both are dead or dying. Nobody is trained to take over the RPG, so it´s left in the dust.

Reinforcement roll is a 3, which means MOAR TROOPS - Again it´s a 9 on the table, just as before. This time it´s 4xAK + Leader + RPG arriving at Hotspot number 3, on the far right corner of the board.

The reinforcements from last turn suffer badly when they try to engage a USMC fireteam. Two casualties including the leader and a demoralized unit are the result of the feeble attempt.

The cell in the field attempts to finish what the others failed to bring to a conclusion, but are interrupted by another US Fireteam. Losing both reaction tests, they are subject to the combined fire of two teams and are remarkably resilient, suffering just a single casualty and no morale effects, while dishing out a pinned result to one of the US teams.

Knowing it won´t get easier with time passing, the US forces are ordered onto the offensive. The right flank advances further towards the Canal with a second fireteam joining the push, the team on the left relocates to the edge of the woods to open fire on the Taliban on the hilltop.

Turn 8

Taliban Initiative suffers from the two dead leaders, but they still score 3 successes consistently and outmatch the Americans with two successes.

No Reinforcements this turn, but next turn the level is back to three. The Taliban leaders are beyond rescue and now the left flank could start to crumble. Fortunately, the Americans have to relocate their command elements to keep pushing forward.

The Taliban use out of contact movement to draw their reserve cell closer to the action and bring a leader back into command range of the units on the hill. They activate one of those to shoot on more Americans in the open, but are again preempted and devasted - the same unit as before. Losing three men and getting suppressed, the party is  probably over for them.

At the Canal, the Taliban reinforcements are moving into close firefighting range with the Americans to prevent any further advances onto the objective. With both teams rolling a 1, it´s Fog of War Time again!  The Taliban draw a free reroll of their reaction test (which they have won anyway, having the initiative), while the Americans hit the Jackpot: "Just a fleshwound" - The next serious wound is automatically downgraded to a light wound.
This seriously hampers the Taliban who need the serious wounds desperately!

The firefight erupts, after a few seconds an American is hit and his companions are heading for cover behind them. Their return fire hits a single Talib, but no on of importance.

The US player suppresses the Taliban on the hill with more fire from the Machinegun and the nearby infantry team before starting a mad dash across the open field, in a gamble to increase pressure on the enemy.

Turn 9

Finally scoring more successes than the Taliban, the US Marines achieve initiative for the turn (3 successes vs. 2) and the gamble might pay off.

All Taliban casualties from last turn are dead, the wounded US Marine has rolled a critical wound, but is downgraded to light thanks to the Fog of War Card.

Reinforcements do appear to bring the Taliban back on track (2 rolled) - 1D6+2 Insurgents with AK. A total of 5, again reinforcing hotspot 1 on the hill.

The Americans open fire on the cell in the field, suppressing them and whittling down their strength to two men. Setting their team on the far left on Overwatch to cover the hill, they attempt to initiate close assault...

Rolling a 7 the Americans charge forward, quickly dispatching the Taliban with grenades and controlled bursts.

The Taliban by the Canal turn to confront the Americans inside the field, but the short range firefight has them suppressed and suffering a casualty.

Turn 10

In a rare occurance, both teams roll all their dice successfully, producing 4 vs. 4 dice. The Taliban are suffering from the loss of their leaders...

Reinforcements are not in sight.

The US Marines on the left act on their own initiative and shoot at the large team on the hill - however, the Taliban draws a lucky Fog of War Card that auto-wins the reaction test for him, going first. With 8 FP rolling downhill, the Marines suffer a casualty and are utterly suppressed.

So the US retaliates in true fashion by bringing down more firepower and killing another Taliban, pinning the rest.

Inside the fields, the US Marines refuse to push deeper into the unknown to close assault the other cell, fearing an ambush. The Taliban are meanwhile attempting to outmaneuver them by bringing units around their left flank in the fields and along the hill. Fortunately they are able to spot the threat in time, silence the immediate threat and reposition to face further calamities.

At the end of Turn 10, the Objective is still contested, American forces have been lucky and their casualties light. So far, the scenario seems to be very balanced, which is good news for the scenario balancer. I´ll take a break here and get back to the game later - maybe with some human opposition?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Insurgents everywhere!

Insurgent somewhere in Eastern Europe:

Insurgents for Afghanistan:

Insurgents everywhere! ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Taliban - Quick and Dirty

After returning from my weekend holidays, I´ve created some Taliban today, just because I felt like doing so. These are quick and dirty Talibs, the first half, done within a single day. Taliban are very nice and easy to make, not much fancy equipment, easy heads if the faces are covered and very forgiving if you destroy the figure by touching parts that ought not be touched (the fingerprint-issue ;) )

So here they are, Talibs quick and dirty. Mr. RPG needs some minor cutting on his left elbow, somehow the arm mutated again and grew longer than it was supposed to ;)
And the other guy of course needs iron sights, but this will have to wait until everything is set.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

SADF Section - Finished!

After a few more days of work, the first SADF section is finally finished! My original plan was to take photos of the entire section when the light was better, but unfortunately it didn´t improve throughout the day - overcast and now rainy, so I decided I had to do things with artificial light and some GIMP-magic, as I´m leaving tomorrow and won´t be here for the weekend. So excuse me if the pictures have different levels of lighting and contrast.

This is the full section of 8 men, including a GPMG, an RPG and the Section leader as special figures. I somehow failed to distinguish the second in command from the ordinary riflemen. Alternative heads are mostly done, I need to finish two of the helmets and they´ll be supplied together with the rest of the troopies for head-switches to helmeted version.

This is the closeup of the right part of the picture above, left to right with a rifleman, platoon lead, RPG gunner, Assistant GPMG Gunner,  FN-MAG machinegunner and another rifleman (supposed to be 2nd in command).

And the closeup of the other ordinary riflemen on the left part of the picture. I also filed down some of the rifles a little more, still feels like I could file off a little more...

Last but not least, a special figure I did on the sideline, with the excess putty from the normal guys. A SADF casualty marker. My original plan was to add the arm to the figure, but somehow I felt like it´s not necessary to add it, with the figure being a casualty anyway... What do you think? Is the gruesome depiction of the amputated arm too much?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weapon Stash

Today, I received a secret weapon shipment from the smuggler:

Well, this is a litte behind the scenes entry, if you want to call it that way. I´ve received a shipment from my alternative casting service, testing quality, delivery time and all that stuff with a casting run of weapons and dollies. And I have to say, I´m very satisfied with the results and will make sure to run part of my production through this caster, simply for the much smaller delivery time and comparable level of quality.

And of course, there´s been progress on SADF - still working on the arms though, have to be very careful with these to avoid breaking them off. Right now, I have to be patient and let the putty cure before proceeding with the details.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

SADF Support - RPG

First of the SADF support weapons done (almost done, the rifle again needs minor improvement, but very very minor in this case.

AT-Gunner with RPG-7 on his back. He doesn´t carry a loaded gun on his back but has a grenade pack with him to prepare his RPG should the need arise. If people start screaming and kicking how this would never happen, I can still add a grenade to the shouldered launcher ;)

Now on to the machinegun....

Friday, May 2, 2014

SADF Section grows...

...slowly but with a steady pace. Added another figure, the last pure rifleman. Now I´m preparing the support weapons and the sections 2nd in command, so half of the Section is finished, the other half remains.

I still have to do some cutting on the rifle, but that´s minor stuff, I´m doing that when everything is fully set and cured. Just to make sure nothing is damaged. The rifle is slightly too large right now, but once I´m done with it it should like fine.

So this is my half-section with three rifleman and the section leader, with a perimeter established to provide cover for the leader to safely conduct radio communication.