Wargaming progress: March 2019

The story so far…

As usual I have too many wargaming balls in the air at one time.
I am working through my in-tray, but now have adopted the system that if a game is on the table then other projects will have to be recycled through the pile of paper, unless they are research, reading, rules development, etc. that can be done without disturbing the current game.

Each project gets an hour to progress before the next one is examined.  That way I do not get stale.  So, in the last two weeks I have:

1. Printed, painted and played with some WW2 naval models, to playtest my rules for use of submarines with my hex-based adaptation of Axis & Allies War at Sea. The trial game has already been reported here.

2. Received some new Kallistra half-hex tiles to square off the edges of my terrain. This makes a world of difference to the visual aspect. Unfortunately part of my order was incorrect, receiving unflocked rather than flocked tiles. Sally at Kallistra was very helpful and sent replacements, but this time with the wrong orientation (cut side to side rather than point to point).  Anyway, it’s all sorted out now and Kallistra refunded my return postage.  I am now in the process of creating roads on some of the half-hexes before my 1939 Poland game can progress.
Having discovered that the half-hexes are simply whole hex tiles cut in half I had a go at some half-slopes for where my hills run off the board.  Photographs will follow when the rain stops enough for me to comfortably get to the man-cave.

3. Designed and printed labels to create WW2 tokens for use with both my Memoir ’44 and Advanced Squad Leader boards*.  My idea is that if the terrain is viewed top-down, the troops should be too.  I have tried using various top-down images, but the definition on 13mm square tokens is too low to easily identify troop types for mechanised warfare.  Therefore I have adopted map symbols. As a basis for the images on the labels I am using the German system from 1939/40 for map symbols. I have not been able to find a comprehensive pre-NATO system for the Allies, so the German system is used for them too.

The labels are printed onto Avery A4 sticky label sheets, then stuck onto 13mm gaming tokens of different colours which I obtained from Plastics For Games. Unit labels German for blog

4. Played two engagements of the ongoing Play By E-mail campaign of Market Garden and started a third one, using the tokens described above and Memoir ’44 boards and rules.

5. Started research for a (probably) solo campaign for Operation Lion – the possible German invasion of Britain in July 1940 (before the “Battle of Britain”).  I am re-reading Kenneth Macksey’s book: “Invasion” and have ordered an old copy of the GMT game “Britain Stands Alone” from the USA, for orders of battle if nothing else.  I have yet to decide whether to use the board game as a basis for air, naval and land battles (solo or with an opponent), or whether to use the ASL boards for a rolling terrain campaign for maybe one German regiment to follow its fortunes – or both!!!

(I refer my honourable friends to the comment in the second line of this post.)

Oploo 4

* I was always too lazy and short of time to learn how to play Advanced Squad Leader properly, but have found a myriad of uses for the hex-boards, of which I now have several dozen and am always on the look out for more.

image

They are particularly useful for “rolling terrain” type games or campaigns involving exploration into unknown country. My latest idea is to create a template to place over ASL boards to create a board for Commands & Colors and its various derivatives, or for transfer to my Kallistra terrain for 6mm games.

Where did February go?

Since my last wargame posting I have finished the game that was in progress as part of the Market Garden campaign.
By the parameters of the game the British won, with two thirds of the 7th Hampshire’s moving off the board to the north. However, The Germans are holding much of the town of Oploo in strength and the British have a regiment of field artillery ranged in and the remains of the 1st Worcester’s as protection. Reinforcements are arriving, but once again XXX Corps advance was stalled for four hours.

I have also been preparing for the Donald Featherstone Tribute Weekend at the end of March at the Wargames Holiday Centre. We have received the rules (“Will Victoria be Amused?”) and the “General Idea”. This year it’s an expedition up the Nile fighting the Mahdi. The game appears to be very much a rôle playing exercise with all players against a randomised enemy.  Our game provider, Steve Thompson, has gone to incredible lengths with production of model soldiers, boats, buildings, dogs, crocodiles, etc. , not to mention producing a game character sheet and back story for every officer!

I decided that we needed to try out at least the basic rules, so I ordered a load of 20mm plastic figures and gave them a basic undercoat. Unfortunately on the first solo test I ran out of enemy on turn 2! (Half the order of Mahdists had not yet been delivered).
So I quickly took some “top-down” photo’s of what I had available, stuck the results onto vinyl floor tiles to make some units and we set to.
Large warband We found that this is not going to be easy.

Of course, I now have lots of half painted plastic soldiers for a scale and period that I don’t normally game, so they have gone into the painting pile.

One model has been completed, and the umpire has already written extra character rules for the pair of characters:
The Right Honourable Sir Armstrong Whitworth C’nardley-Stannde with his servant/gamekeeper and now batman, Gordon Bennett.
Sir Armstrong Whitworth CNardley_Standde
These were created from a mix of body parts found on eBay. I needed riding legs and a bewhiskered face resembling my own, and ended up with a pack of two Lancers and a pack of two steampunk adventurers.   With my painting skills, or lack thereof, I used basic block painting followed by a coat of Army Painter dip and then a matt varnish spray.  It has been touched up in detail  since this photo’ was taken.

Apart from that I have achieved very little in the past couple of weeks, apart from some gentle gardening in the ridiculously fine weather we have been enjoying in Britain. So kind of Europe to let us share some of the warmth before we drift off into the fogs of isolation.