Friday, July 25, 2014

Storming Kananga

Heya - after a little break I´m back with another battlereport. Last weekend we had a match of FoF + Improvement Project Rules, featuring the largest battle I ever played with the rules and the first time with a serious concentration of vehicles.

We played a fictional battle in the Nation of Malongo, where the Province of Kananga (supported by western influence) had risen up against the central regime to proclaim independence. After a series of broken ceasefires and failed negotiations, the National Army of Malongo has pushed into the Province, prompting the US Government to intervene to protect their interest in Kananga.

Unfortunately with forces overstretched and tight military funding the Americans where unable to supply anything but symbolic defense and some airstrikes into Malongo, which hardly stopped the well equiped and determined NAM.
Now, with Malongese Forces on the march towards the province capital, the US Forces are right in the firing line as they have to defend against the African formations pouring into the city.

This is the shot of our test game deployment - for the real game we added another BTR to the NAM-Forces in order to enhance their firepower and mobility ever so slightly. 

On the American side, we had an understrength  Mech. Infantry Platoon with 2 full Squads + 2 Bradley IFVs, the corresponding platoon HQ including medic and JTAC as well as a single M1A1 Abrams.

The Americans where to hold the central walled compound (white) while the next defensive perimeter was being prepared.

The game report is pretty compressed, featuring only the major flow of the game and the important events - there was a lot more going on, but explaining every order would likely exceed the attention span of even the most interested readers ;)

The National Army of course had the Initiative almost throughout the entire game with a lot more decently led troops on the board. They started pushing across the entire front, with emphasis on the right flank for the first turn.

US Soldiers on the rooftops tried to knock out the first tank on the right flank by firing their AT weapons, but failed miserably and had to endure the effects of aimed 12,7mm DShK-Fire from the mounted MGs on the tank. Several casualties where the result.

In the center of the battlefield, African Infantry moved in to occupy the important compound overlooking the entire "no mans land". They are covered by ther MG team on the wall, which unfortunately fails to suppress the American Infantry in the bunker.

On the other side of the battlefield, the NAM-Commander loses his patience during turn 2 and orders to reduce the buildings occupied by US Forces to rubble. The tanks lay down some well aimed main gun fire and both structures crumble into ruins!
Very unlikely result, but both buildings failed their destruction test. Of course the occupants didn´t like that very much and further casualties ensued.

Next turn, the other Tank on the right flank (visible below) struck hard against the sandbag bunker, obliterating it´s defensive effect and reducing the available cover for the US fireteam.

Below: Malongese Forces have occupied the compound in the centre and have a well covered position with good look over the battlefield. The Americans bring their Abrams into action and hit the T55.  The African tank gets lucky and only suffers a main gun malfunction.

While trying to reverse and retreat behind the field (the vehicle included the Assistant Platoon commander of the Tank platoon, providing important leadership points and commands to the African tanks)  the T55 was hit again by the Abrams and this time was gone for good.

In the center, a firefight between the American groups and the US Fireteam in the bunker rages, both are suppressed in the pic below.

With American forces weakened on the left flank after buildings crashing on top of them, Malongo pushed forward with it´s tanks...

... and suffers an incoming missile from an F-16 fighter hitting the weak deck armor of one T55. 
The other tank is targeted by a Bradley IFV (the one on the right flank), but the TOW missile misses. Returning fire on the Bradley disables the IFV...

Unfortunately, the infantry is yet unable to catch up with the tanks, leaving the armor dangerously exposed.

While trying to draw in the infantry by crossing the open, the Americans seize the opportunity to relocate their second Bradley. The IFV hits the infantry group on the run with his Bushmaster Autocannon and carnage ensues...
The infantry is forced to fall back into the field, tending to the many casualties taken

In a bold move, the Bradley circles around the T55, trying to hit his weak rear armor with the cannon. Both vehicles fail to damage each other, the T55 rolls on to put pressure on the platoon HQ positioned in the target compound.

The Bradley pursues, but this time the T55 gunner is faster and more accurate than before and the Bradley is rendered inoperable.

Meanwhile, the Abrams had halted all breakthrough attempts on the right flank. Popping the fully manned BTR, the Abrams dealt a serious blow to the mounted infantry, preventing any further push into the fortified american positions, where the US teams where pinned under heavy fire.

In a stroke of luck, the remaining T55 on the right flank not only held off the M1A1 by absorbing a hit in its tracks without brewing up on a ball of flames (only a mobility kill) and then hitting the Abrams well enough to kill its Main Gun!

Imagine the frustration and joy of this moment (depending on the faction) ;)

The Americans surrendered after this loss of their hardest hitting weapon. In theory they could have won (things didn´t look too bad with all the african infantry bogged down and yet unable to cross the open terrain).

-Vehicle combat has some quirks... Bradley have the same front armor as a T55, the only difference is the more devastating damage table? Still strange...
-Infantry combat works fine!
-I need to tweak the movement rules - units within 2" of a terrain features edge should be able to rapid move across the open. Maybe not for buildings, but it doesn´t take ages to leave the edge of the field and sprint across open terrain..

If you have any questions, just leave a comment!

The houserules are available as beta version for playtesting, please contact me with your email adress and I´ll send them to you.

Until next time!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pimp my Taliban - Part 1

I´ve recently noticed that I´ve got a lot of Insurgents in my collection and while I keep adding more and more (or drafting plans to do so) I´ve neglected the very basic stock of figures that has been with me from the start.

Throughout the last gaming sessions I´ve realised that some of my very first 20mm figures need a serious workover to bring them up to my modern painting standards. My philosophy back then was to prepare them for gaming as fast as possible in order not to lose interest in the hobby again, as it happened before when I didnt´get to play that much.

As I´m still waiting on my next shipment of casts from my own production, I´ve decided that now is a good time to rework my Insurgents, bring them up to my current painting standard and improve their overall look.

So here we go. I tried something new in relation to color modulation and I´m pleased with the results so far - especially on the white parts of the miniatures, where washes always produces strange results. This time, I started with a grey base color and lightened up the white parts bit by bit. 

They do look much better than the old figures.  Remember how they looked? No?
Well... here´s an impression back from 2012 (not exactly the same figures though):

And here´s the impression from 2014:

More repainted Taliban are on the way, when I´m done I might be able to justify adding more new troops to the lot :D


Regarding the sculpting front: I´m busy with doing some comissions at the moment, probably not much news on this aspect of the blog for a few days, I´ll try to fill the break with painting. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

No Figure today :(

Hey folks,

very sorry to say this, but I got n figure to present today. I tried to finish another one, but simply didn´t have the time to get him done.

As my best friend is around for the next few days, I won´t have much time to proceed either - so this is Season 1 for now, I´ll be following up with Season 2 as soon as I´ve got enough stuff at the ready.

However, on the bright sight, a lot of painting is coming ahead and we´re playing another set of scenarios throughout the next few days, so plenty of other stuff is heading towards you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 15: Ulrich

Last East German for a while:

And as promised, the entire group:

Let´s see about tomorrow, I don´t know yet which figure I shall present. I´m running low on finished figures I fear...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 14: Sebastian

New day, new figure:

The second RPK-Gunner!

Last East German tomorrow, together with a picture of the whole crew!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 13: Frank

A bit later than usual, sorry I kept you waiting. I got carried away renovating my old Taliban (the first 20mm Figures I ever painted).

So this is our East German Assistant RPG-Gunner:

I´m a bit shocked that it´s day 13 already. Seems like I have to get started with more figures, there isn´t much left...

Two East Germans left, you´ll have to wait until the other day!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 11: Holger

Here we go with another assaulting East German, firing from the hip.

And a little bonus picture for today: A new, shiny reworked M16 Master.
I believe I have to shorten the magazine ever so slightly, but even so it´s much better than the old version.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 10: Ralf

You know the deal by now - another figure!

East German soldier firing from the hip
I just noticed that I need to fix the boots... but that´s minor work ;)

Another East German tomorrow!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 9: Gerhard

New day and we´re changing themes again. With my stocks of R4 running low I´m presenting more East Germans throughout the next few days, until I can hopefully continue building up other ranges with fresh supplies of R4, FN FAL, AK and the likes.

East German RPG-grenadier ready for the shot.

More pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Figure A Day - Day 8: Dean

And another South African, almost forgot to post the pictures.

This is the first batch of SADF with R4, as I don´t have enough R4s in the stockpile I´ll move on to the next range of figures from tomorrow on - but here´s another batch pic.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 7: Willem

A bit stressed out today, so I´ll leave the usual talking aside and just post a single picture instead of several. Tomorrow will be even worse. :(

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Figure A Day - Day 6: Jan

Hello again.

Today there´s another South African Rifleman for you, with a big headache... well, or maybe he´s just taking cover?!

And another angle:

As we´re reaching the end of the first week, I´ve got enough figures for a second week!
Big question is if you like this format at all, or if I should revert to posting them packed up in larger chunks....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Figure a Day - Day 5: Piet

Another day, and as usual, another figure.

As promised it´s something different from all the Insurgents presented recently. Next to doing the Insurgents, which where something spontanous, I´ve reverted to the original plans and started expanding my South Africa Range with more Rifles.

So here we go, first figure with R4 Rifle (the rifle itself might get a bigger magazine later on, I´m not yet set on this)

And the backside, not as fancy: