30 May 2015

An idle resort to war

A veritable dearth of activity on the ECW project this month as my real life academic requirements piled up, and Alan rightly prioritised getting some Dark Ages figures completed for a campaign he has going.  Nevertheless, I did achieve some interesting acquisitions for the library - 2 gaming and 2 non fiction titles which will form part of my summer reading.  Reviews to follow in due course.

29 May 2015

Secrets of the Third Reich 2nd Edition

Excellent news on a recent edition of Meeples and Miniatures podcast (Episode 145 - see here) that West Wind Productions will be starting a kickstarter to fund the long awaited 2nd Edition of Secrets of the Third Reich very soon...next week in fact!  Lots to look forward with this one I think, with the rules split into two books from the outset and the inclusion of Imperial Japanese forces.

Does buying updated rules that I already have (with figures) count as a full 'ohhh shiny' moment? I don't think so either...
There is a little more over at Beasts of Warm with a couple of concept art pics:

24 May 2015

Jungle Foliage

Amongst Mig's recent releases are three interesting jungle foliage sets: terms, plans and jungle leaves.
They are at the 28mm+ size scales but would make great additions to Heavy jungles and Lost World style projects.  No good for historical 15s though sadly


21 May 2015

Driving Offensively in a Dark Future

To diverge from my recent Vietnam theme, this week's release of Fury Road (aka Mad Max 4) and a revamped version of Car Wars in recent times has a range of gamers going ga-ga for some offensive driving fun and I am not immune... So I've got the lad onboard, the old GW Dark Future rules in hand, a bunch of cheap hot wheels cars and its time to hit the road!  If this tickets your fancy too, the following results of my Google research will be of interest to you.
Max as I remember him: Last of the V8 interceptors!
These will get your post apoc juices flowing:


Post Apoc Portal http://postapoc.net

Post Apoc Truck Stop Fortress https://www.flickr.com/photos/9593487@N07/sets/72157621888596807/

And for reference, here are the original GW releases:

Modding Cars:



I am the Nightrider. I'm a fuel injected suicide machine. 

I am the rocker, I am the roller, I am the out-of-controller!

                       I am the chosen one. The mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the unroadworthy!

20mm Road Warrior Suppliers (same scale as Hot Wheels cars and GW's Dark Future)

Ramshackle Games: Bikes and Bikers

Stan Johansen Miniatures

Apocalypse Miniatures: Bikes & Punks


Elheim Miniature: Survivor Peds

Aberrant Games:

Tamsin's Tips for bits to mod cars:
also worth looking at Brigade Models (http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/15mmSF/Accessories.html) and Old Crow (http://www.oldcrowmodels.co.uk/index.htm plus archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20120525190044/http://www.oldcrowmodels.co.uk/ocproducts.htm - the 6mm turrets would look about right on 1:64 diecast cars).

Greetings from The Humungus! The Lord Humungus! 

The Warrior of the Wasteland! The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!

Other Car Combat Game options:





Car Wars: http://www.sjgames.com/car-wars/

18 May 2015

Review: M113 Platoon set

M113 ACAV "A" troop 3/5th Cavalry "Black Knights" 9th Infantry Division "Old Reliables". Near Quang Tri on the DMZ border -- patrol along the 17th Parallel. Vietnam, 1971
After years of procrastinating (and blatantly just forgetting), I finally managed to pick up one of Battlefront's M113 Platoon boxed sets.

The box comes with spurs to make 4 APCs in any one of 6 different configurations - troop carrier, Armoured Cavalry (ACAV), two Mortar track variants and the flamethrower armed M132 Zippo.  Pretty good value for $30 incl delivery, and by far the most economical way ahead to acquire a few of these iconic vehicles, useful for a range of conflicts.

Actually, maybe I need another box...

Assembly Instruction here:

There was an unboxing awhile back at Beasts of War here:

M113 acav "K" troop 11 ACR "Blackhorse". Vietnam '66-67 (Henry David McInnis Collection)

14 May 2015

Playing with your Pics

Sketch Effect
Inspired by the lovely artwork in my new Battlefront Blitzkrieg rulebook, I've been playing about with a free online photo manipulation tool, modifying one of my favourite pics which is an M60 Patton tank sitting on high ground and dominating my Vietnam battlefield.

These are some of my favourite ones and I thought you guys might be interested.  This is the tool I used: http://www.picturetopeople.org

Anyone else found some good effects or tools to play with their model pics?

"Crackle Effect" 
"Cartoonizer effect"
"Grunge Effect"
The original pic

12 May 2015

Review: Brown Water Navy

Brown Water Navy
Battlefront released their latest Vietnam era title in April and having received it last week I thought a short review might be in order.  My up front disclaimer is that for a range of reasons I don't actually play FoW, but bought this for eye candy and some ideas on how to take our current beta test rules onto the deltas of Vietnam.  Thus, my perspectives on this book are probably a bit different to somebody who plays FoW Vietnam frequently.

Its a 50 page softcover book with full colour on every page in the tradition of other FoW books.  Very nice quality paper and high res printing.

After a couple of pages of intro and history, the book splits into two sections - the River Assault Squadrons and troops from the 9th Infantry Division who roamed the Mekong Delta, and the local Resistance forces.  The rules go through each platform type and some interesting rules for incorporating them, including beaching under fire and the fact that most boats need up to 3 hits before they are wrecked.  US organisations include the incorporation of waterborne, airborne and mechanised forces which would work neatly for some bigger multi-player scenarios.  SEALs get to play as well, though obviously this was not their usual work, and air support comes in the shape of either the A-1H Skyraider (my favourite) or the A-4E Skyhawk.

Moving to the Communist forces, there are no NVA down in the Mekong and so the local resistance is both Main Force Viet Cong and local force VC.  There are a range of rules which help them melt away into the jungle, plus they have access to a range of fortifications/bunkers, booby traps and minefields.  The VC player can also access elite sapper units, rocket forces and sampans which can ferry troops around the battlefield right under the Allies' noses.
The artwork and pics of models are at the usual very high standard throughout the book

The book includes a few thoughts on modelling BWN battlefields and the terrain effects of things like jungle overgrowth and water navigation hazards before going on to outline the single Mission scenario.  This was real pity as the Brown Water Navy theme could have been used so much better to present different scenarios types such as extracting a surrounded ground force, recovering a wrecked Tango boat from a previous mission etc.  These could have been included by chopping out the two double page pics of models for no extra page count.

I thought the value (USD$20, delivered) was adequate at best and lacked a 'wow factor'.  Annoyingly, if you want to play these rules you not only need the core FoW rules, you also need something called the 'Pocket Guide to Vietnam' on the FoW digital app (only) OR the previous book Tour of Duty (although the Battlefront webpage says that "Most of these rules can be found in Tour of Duty, but not all of them." The inclusion of only a single mission was also a disappointment.  If you are the kind of gamer that likes getting a framework to go your own way, then you'll be happy.  But if you want a bit more meat, you are going to be left wanting more.

Overall I recommended this book to hardcore Vietnam and BWN gamers only.  If you are getting this out of interest I think you'll get better value elsewhere. Sorry.

09 May 2015

Famous weapons

I recently visited a museum with a rather excellent firearms collection, including a classic Hollywood section.
Captain Mal's "Moses Brothers Self-Defence Engine Frontier Model B"
A gun that can't hit anything!
Did I fire 6 shots or only 5?

The Duke's guns from Big Jake

The Duke's gear from True Grit

Tommy gun in classic violin case

And finally, the Gatling gun from War Wagon and The Outlaw Josie Wales!

02 May 2015

Iron Butterflies in a Killer Jungle

Still got the Vietnam bug at the moment, which is frustrating with all my stuff 10,000 miles away...

In reinvigorating my interest in Brown Water Navy stuff ahead of the Battlefront releases, I recalled this demo game "Iron Butterflies in a Killer Jungle" from Salute 2014.  Some very neat stuff here an some ideas on how to put together a delta style table.  In fact, I'm wondering if it would be better to build a 4x4 table painted up as brown water and varnished, and then lay strips of land terrain over that...


Here is some of the real life History behind the Iron Butterflies and the Rung Sat Special Zone

Pic from http://tenfiguresaweek.blogspot.com/2014/04/more-salute-pictures-not-cutting-room.html