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!