Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trench Raid Mission

This past Monday (12/28) I put on a Trench Raid game for the DAHGS.
This was the first play test for this mission with others and I was really looking forward to their feedback. I had played it solo and enjoyed it. I will post some ideas on how to do this in the future.
I let them pick sides and nations. Jan and Frank chose the British and Attackers and Josh (with my help) was the Germans and Defender.
The British had a raiding force of three full infantry platoons. Since the rules allow the attacker the Kampfgroup rule they created a fourth platoon using the 2IC and teams from the existing platoons. The Germans had three infantry platoons, an HMG section, a Marksman HMG section and two SOS barrages.
The British chose to attack at night. For those not familiar with the Night Fighting rules this limits movement (no double timing) and visibility (each platoon must roll for visibility each turn).
After the placement of the objectives, six in all, three placed by each side, the Germans plotted their SOS barrages. The British then placed their platoons and wire gap markers.

Turn one through three were fairly uneventful as the British moved through the wire and into the trenches quietly in the dark and the Germans did not successfully roll for any troops (reserves). The British did manage to take two objectives (I made a mistake on the first one and allowed them to capture the first one incorrectly). To counter this I gave the Germans an extra die for the next two turns for reserves.

One turn four the Germans were successful in calling in both SOS barrages and receiving two platoons. They rolled a 2 and 6 for location of entry. The six being the left side front trench that the British had not set up a blocking unit like they did on the left (location 1). The Germans entered an infantry platoon at this location. Location 2 was the right side support trench which the Germans brought in the HMG section. From this point the left side was afire with grenade blasts and rifle and MG fire pretty much the rest of the game.
The Germans assaulted the British, forcing them back and successfully holding the objective in that location.
The British had obtained two objectives and needed a third to have a minor victory. Their right flank was in a struggle costing them casualties so the left went for a bold move to capture a deeper objective on their side. Luck was with them as the Germans had a difficult time unpinning their platoons and allowing the British to sneak a few teams up and eventually taking the third objective. The German HMG section on that side must have had extremely bad night vision because they were never able to see farther than 4”.

Now all the British had to do was get it’s platoons off the board. Easier said than done!
Their tactics were text book as they left Lewis gun teams to cover the escape and it was working on their left. Their right was another story and before the last teams could escape their casualty numbers caused a moral test which they failed reducing their number of platoons that had captured an objective to two. A Minor victory to the Germans.

A good time was had by all! The only tweak to the mission is to reduce or eliminate the 8” distance from the table edge requirement for the objectives.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas gifts

I received two wonderful books on French uniforms by Andre' Jouineau for Christmas.

The FRENCH ARMY - VOLUME 1: 1914 (Histoire & Collections: Officers and Soldiers) and
FRENCH ARMY - VOLUME 12: 1918 (Officers and Soldiers). They are loaded with color plates of all the uniforms of the French. The detail on the markings like rank is fantastic. It covers all aspects, dress uniform, field and even barracks along with Quartermaster, aviation, etc.
If this does not inspire you to build a French army then nothing will. I pulled out my French lead and started planning what to do and what was needed. It is almost to good because you start making plans that can note be completed in a life time. At least as fast as I paint.

I highly recommend these!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Making 15mm Trenches

There are a number of trench products on the market but to get the volume that I wanted it would have cost me a fortune. I decided to make my own.
In deciding to make my own I started searching the web for ideas. I could make table sections (and still may for specific terrain/games in the future) but it is limiting in the terrain you have to game on so I went with the modular style.
The next decision was what to make it out of. I looked at making masters and molds and mass producing them in plaster. Nice and heavy so they don’t move but if dropped…
I then looked at something out of clay or wood. Lots of work and the wood can not be shaped as easily. I decided on foam, which I had a large stock of at the time.
The foam is light and I was afraid it would move on the table but with it laid out it is fine and you can drop it without any issues. It is delicate to work with but can be shaped easily. I started out with right and left angles, straights, T’s and some angled sections.
I marked the foam and then cut the sections. For cutting I went with my table saw. A little dangerous and I will caution those considering this. BE VERY CAREFUL! It does give nice straight cuts and makes all the trenches the same depth. It is also much faster than by hand.

Once I made the cuts I molded or mushed the sections by hand, removing the straight angular look. I then painted them with craft paint and sprinkled with some fine sand to give a little more texture. Add some detail – sand bags, wood, tin sheets, etc. I did not model them like a display; these are for gaming so not to much clutter. The last step is a coat of wood glue. This gives it a nice hard shell and also some highlights.

Hope this is helpful and inspires you to make your own trenches. As I posted before, what is a WWI gamer without trenches?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scratch building a 15mm 6" Newton Mortar

I thought since I was creating a few more I would give some details and show how easy it is.

The 6” Newton Mortar was the standard medium mortar for the British army in World War One from early 1917.

This project is actually very simple. The items needed are; a regular round toothpick, some card stock, thin wire, glue and a little patience.

I glue the tube to the base and let dry. Then I cut the wire and glue it on. I add a dab of glue to the top to get a ridge around the top. Some wire as hand holds.
Hope this helps!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brutinel's force

With the flash of painting a month ago the holidays have slowed progress dramatically. I did get a few DBA and WoW games in with friends but the work bench has been quiet and again I find myself slipping from my Middle East project. I am reading the Osprey book on Vimy Ridge and have been searching Canadian stuff, well I ended up back at Brutinel's MMG force (I created an Intel for them some time ago and it is posted on the FOW1918 site). After making my Talbot car I thought about making the 6" Newtons mounted in lorries.
reference - along with a number of books I have.
So, I am working on them but need to get some more of the Minifig generic trucks.
I plan on painting up a few Model T's as the CO and 2IC vehicles. I think it will make a great gaming force; 2 sections of two trucks carrying 2 HMG teams each. Two trucks with mortars mounted in them, some Cyclists, cavalry and maybe some late model Austin a/cs. This force was active in the last few moths of the war so they will generally fight withdrawing Germans. I will post some pics once done with the mortar trucks and maybe one of the whole force assembled. It should make for a great game. Mobil warfare!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Middle East project progress

I have made some more progress on my Middle East project.
Below are the Arab LMG teams I created a few weeks ago in full color.
I am really happy with them!

The next is the third and final Turkish infantry platoon completed along with six Turkish guards mounted individually. These will be used for raiding games I am planning on running.

Last is my version of a Talbot Car used in conjunction with the Rolls Royce A/Cs.
It is a Minifi WWI generic truck. I did a head swap on the driver using a Peter Pig WWI Sun hat head.

The Talbot Cars were armed with old light field guns. The gun is a Peter Pig Screw Gun from the PITS line. The crew are EW British Minifig.

I made the gun removable by mounting it on a piece of metal basing allowing the truck to be used for other purposes. I think it turned out smashing and should be a real blast on the game table.

Next up, Arabs!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Arabs gain some LMGs

I guess I am pretty motivated. Tonight I created two LMG teams for my Arab Irregulars.

I started out with the lying down shooting Arab and the British Yoemanry Hotchkiss Gun team from Minifig.

For the Lewis Gun, I removed it from a Battlefront SAS figure and grafted it into the arms of the Arab. His companion just has his rifle removed. I may try to find a Lewis Gun drum or two for him.
The Hotchkiss gun was pretty straight forward.

I think they look smashing! Just waiting for the putty and glue to dry and then off to painting.

Inspiration from others work

I search eBay for 15mm WWI miniatures regularly; Who doesn't love a deal? Recently there were some WWI Middle East items from a guy in Canada. One of the listings really inspired me.
I think he did a grand job on them and I love all the color!

While I wait for my EW Germans to return from the painter I have pulled out my Arabs and Turks and decided to work on them some more. My Turks have one infantry platoon and some guards (for raid missions) that need completing. I also need at least two limbers.

My Arabs are much farther behind and they need more, head swaps and mods more lead, etc. I will be creating a Lewis gun team and a Hotchkiss LMG team along with a Talbot Car with its 10pdr (British crew) guns. The thing with the Arabs is they take twice the stands, mounted and dismounted versions. So, I send a small order into Peter Pig for the screw guns and some Sun Hat WWI heads.

I will post some pics as I make progress.

BTW -I did get permission to post the pic from the seller, thanks Ross!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More EW figures done.

Since I sent my EW German company out to be painted I have been working on some smaller units for my EW armies. I can usually only get a few minutes every few days at the painting table so it goes slowly.

This is a British Artillery section. The figures were already painted (fair) so I just did some touch up and re based them. I did not mount the guns allowing the unit to have 4.5" How (pictured above - QRF model) or 18pdrs (pictured below - Peter Pig). Crew are Peter Pig.

I did the same thing with the German Artillery section. I repainted the figures completely with these. This is with the 7.7cm Field gun (Peter Pig)

This is with the 10.5 How (Peter Pig). Crew are also Peter Pig.

This last pic is of German Cavalry dismounted. They were just touched up, dipped and re based. They are Peter Pig figures.

I am currently removing some French Colonial Zouaves (Blue Horizon Miniature figures) from there original bases, touching them up, dipping and re basing but more on them in another post.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

1917 Nivelle Offensive game

Last night some friends came over and we tried a new scenario I created,
1917 Nivelle Offensive.

The Germans had full knowledge of the attack and prepared well. The French tanks were a disappointment and the artillery was not well coordinated.

The Preliminary bombardment did little to the one German platoon in the trenches, only pinned them but it was effective on the wire creating a few large gaps.

This is the French starting off.

By turn three the Germans call for one of there SOS/defensive barrages and it catches a Schneider tank and sets it a fire. The French rolling barrage is starting to get away from the infantry.

Turn four the second SOS barrage falls but does little. The French continue to push forward as the barrage rolls pas the front trench and the Germans start to man the line.

The French get into the trench and try to fight their way down the line but the Germans put up a stubborn defense.

The French left tries desperately to get up the trench as the right takes the trench but is then pinned and never recovers. Eventually they are ground down on the left and the game goes to the Germans.
It was a lot of fun and played and flowed well. The German HMGs caused major problems for the French.
I will post the scenario on the FOW1918 yahoo group.

Friday, August 28, 2009

1914 German Infantry - The repaint begins

I have started on the EW German infantry that I obtained recently. I was hoping that they would be as easy as the EW British but after review I will be doing a complete repaint.
I did the CO, 2IC and the HMG Section as a sample to see what I was getting into. It is not to much, though the little detail of the red piping and such will slow me down.
The platoons are huge, 17 bases each. So this part of the project will take longer than I had hoped but better to do them right the first time.

I am fighting the urge to follow my gaming mates and do a DBA RRR army. I will eventually do a French one based on The Three Musketeers but for now it is back to the 1914 Germans.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

EW BEF Infantry

Here are my 1914 British Infantry. They were part of the large collection I purchased a few months ago. The figs are Peter Pig painted to a reasonable gaming standard. I rebased them for FOW1918 and dipped them. I think they look pretty good. I just need to do some cav and an artillery battery but I am on to the German Infantry next.

CO and 2IC.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

1914 German Kurassiers

One of the many early war German cavalry units that I am rebasing and touching up from my resent acquisition is a Kurassier troop. The Kurassiers were the heavies of the German cavalry. They no longer wore the breast plates of yore but were still large men on large horses. For my EW force I want a full troop (nine stands) so I will have to purchase a few packs from Minifigs to finish this unit. One thing that all German cavalry shared was the lance, leading to confusion within the allied armies as to whom they were actually dealing with.
The lances all had pennants distinguishing there region. I used some medieval ones off and painted them. I will do a different region for each type of cav unit I created, Hussar, Uhlan, etc. I found the Renegade Miniatures article very helpful and it matched up with the pictures on the Landships website.
I am very much looking forward to seeing them on the table in mass.
I have some Peter Pig Kurassiers figures but they are a wee bit smaller so they do not work on the same stands. The nice thing about the Peter Pig figs are the pennants are already present and the lances are much sturdier.

Online sources:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

EW Armies, O' my!

I just purchased a large collection of EW Armies. British, German, French, Serbian with some Russians, Italians and AH thrown in. It is huge and I am a little over whelmed. Most are Peter Pig but a good amount of Minifig and then Eureka.

A large amount is painted but then again a lot is not.

I have started to rebase the British for FOW1918 and then will be doing a little touch-up painting. This will get the EW gaming going fairly quickly.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The things we find on eBay!

I search eBay regularly for WW1 15mm figures. My latest score are these Serbs. I am not sure the manufacture since the only current line is Eureka and these are different. I rebased them on to Litko bases and have no idea when I will ever game with them since I will need a EW AH or LW Bulgarian force as an opponent. They sure look cool!

The little things that can be done.

With my bicycle training hitting its most demanding period and starting a new job I have had very little time for gaming. I did manage to 're-base' my WoW WWI aircraft in the few minutes I could find. It is a really neat way to enhance the gaming with the miniatures but I can not take the credit for it. Harry did something similar for his Check Your Six miniatures.

It is a steel ball hot glued to the stand and a ring magnet glued to the plane. It allows total variance in yaw, pitch and roll of the plane with little effort and it stays in place. It makes a difference when using the miniatures and the plane to plane rule instead of the base for shooting.
Now to just find time to game!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trench Battle Game - FOW1918

The other day I hosted a game for the DAHWG's (Dulles Area Historical Wargamers) at the Monday night fights. It was a pure infantry attack based in 1917. I used a combination of The Big Push mission in the main FOW rule book and the D-Day mission. I will work it up as a FOW1918 mission and post it on the Yahoo group after a few more play tests.

The British had four infantry platoons, a Stoke mortar section, a rolling barrage and a counter battery barrage. The Germans had two full platoons, one with three squads (no bombers), a HMG section and a Defensive (SOS) barrage.

The Pre Lim bombardment was fairly effective in clearing some wire but did little damage to the one German platoon on the table.

By turn three some of the Tommies were through the wire and into the trench. Will the Hun finally got their SOS barrage only to have it blasted away by the British counter battery. On turn four the German HMGs come on the table as his ambush.
Turn six the Germans finally get their reserves (both platoons) and they rush to cover the objectives.

It came down to a real nail biter at the end of turn 11 beginning of turn 12.

Jan wrote up a more detailed review from his point of view as the British CO at

I think we may actually have it. The feel is good the game flows. The different weapons and FOG is good.