Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Red Army

As I didn´t feel much inspired by painting more Taliban, SpecOps or anything else I had in my list, I scoured through my tin mountain to find a set of figures I felt like painting. On this occasion, I found a group of Soviet Cold War Motor Rifles that I traded for some surplus Taliban a while ago - and I started painting.

The big pro of these Cold War Soviets is that you don´t need to care about camouflage patterns or minute deailwork on the uniforms - all you need is a single tone, which makes them ideally suited for a more mass-production style painting.
Thanks to my airbrush the basecoating and rough highlighting of the uniform was quickly finished, which left me with just the guns, boots faces, helmets and webbings to paint by hand - after that, all was highlighted and oil washed (never did that before for 20mm minis, but it worked out alright and even considering the extra layer of varnish it really isn´t that much more work if you consider that you don´t have to re-apply your basecoat as usual)

The result looks like this, not much different from the usual product, but it felt much faster than the other minis I painted in smaller batches lately.

Which of course means I now need more Soviets, as these models are very cool. So I´ll go for a mix of the newish Elhiem Soviet Rifleman and producing my own Support Weapons, as I´m not quite satisfied with the older RPG- & LMG sets matt has available - something about them doesn´t tick my box and it would still leave me short of the requiered amount of UGL-grenadiers.

Work has already commenced and two RPGs are already finished... just taken no photos yet.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Code Red: Vietnam Playtest

In preparation for our monthly gaming day yesterday, I offered to prepare a small Code Red scenario for a skirmish set in the jungles of vietnam - and so I did, experimenting with a few aspects of scenario design that have been itching and will need to be tackled sooner or later.

So, I chose to build an imbalanced scenario, the kind of real world engagements you rarely see on the tabletop, where everything is nice and balanced.

A lightly armed, scouting US force gathering intel along the frontline was about to get hit by a full-blown assault of an armored spearhead...

Fortunately for the Americans, though not very beneficial for playtesting the game, the US Force had the sensible objective to fall back in good order, while the Vietnamese needed to push through all the way to the other side of the battlefield.

The game began with solid Command & Control for the Americans, who managed to keep the initiative throughout the entire game. Setting up along the outskirts of the village, they went into defensive positions and started to withdraw their troops, providing vital covering fire, but avoiding firefights they were sure to lose.

The Vietnamese set up their tanks dispersed evenly along the battlefield but due to their failure in utilizing the shock and surprise of their attack, they had two out of three tanks sitting in the back for the first few turns of the game. All in all, the Vietnamese commanders failed miserably to coordinate their forces.

A few minor firefights broke out on the left flank of the Americans, suppressing a lone Sniper and pinning an M60-MG Team in one of the huts.

The US infantry squad on the left zeroed in on the T55 with their M72 LAW, managed to hit, but failed to penetrate the front armor of the tank. Unimpressed, the tank returned fire and hit home with his 100mm cannon, causing chaos and upheavel among the Squad - but fortunately, no casualties.

The Squad then kept their heads down, hoping to escape another confrontation with the T55s main cannon with the help of their conceilment, calling in a Huey Heavy Hog to deal with a small group of Vietnamese Infantry in the field. Calling in the Airstrike didn´t prove as easy as imagined though as the pilot again and again failed to identify the target area.

On the left flank, a second M60 Team opened fire from a swampy ravine, trying to hit another group of infantry. Suppressing them, it didn´t took long for them to feel the Vietnamese revenge as another 100mm round struck home, killing the gunner and forcing the loader into retreat, where he was cut down while falling back.

Trying desperately to leave no man  behind, the US commanders dispatched their medic to make his way into the ravine to pick up the wounded man after the M60 fell silent.
Due to good conceilment, he got there in time, found the casualty and started dragging him out... as a T55 rolled up along hit right side.
Staring with shock as the turret turned towards him, the Medic put all his strength into a final rush into the undergrowth, breaking the line of sight to the tank. Some machine gun fire cut through the leaves behind him, but he had reached safety.

The guns finally went silent as the last US units fell back from the huts and disappeared into the rice fields and jungle undergrowth, falling back to the next line of defense with better AT assets at their disposal.

They had done their job for today, jumping across razors edge with merely a single KIA and one seriously wounded casualty.

All in all, a fun game, although slighty one-sided due to the extremely good command rolls of the Americans. Hard to judge how different things might have went along if the Vietnamese dice had been better...

But, as always, I took some interesting notes that will be worked into the next version of the rules!

Friday, August 14, 2015

SADF Remake

About a year back I released the first set of South Africans with R1 Rifles, horrid sculpts by todays standards. In an attempt to refresh the existing old miniatures and bringing them up to my improved quality level (first done with the SAS sets) I decided it was time to purge this particular set from my shop by replacing them with a remake.

So, here are a few impressions on what the new SADF section with R1 rifles might look like:

Two almost finished figures:

Two early WIPs:

Together with these, I´ll either mold a few new Modern French or British troops to grow the Ranges for Modern Major powers. All of this is due for September (probably late September).

All the best,