Thursday, 30 July 2015

Wvyern All Dayer - Chain of Command

July brings another all-dayer up at a Wyvern, and Ade was kind enough to bust out his massive 15mm WWII Normaspndy collection. We played the first day of Operation Epsom using Big Chain of Command - the first day of the assault on 26 June 1944 by the two platoons from the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division supported by Churchill tanks.

Connor, Gav and I took the three British platoons agains a well dug-in two SS platoons commanded by Seasoned CoC players Ian and Bob. Ade was kind enough to umpire.

The town of Raurey (?) somewhat worse for wear after the naval and artillery bombardment.

The end of the patrol phase - a respectable attempt to reach the hedge line. But not wuite'a out jump-off points were thrown back and the Germans were in deployment range of it.

The game had a foreboding start , with this as Ian's Command Dice roll - so much for out preliminary barrage!

British troops cautiously approach the hedge line. The SS pioneers had done good work and were well dug in. A merciless fire erupted from the defensive positions and the morning mist meant the British couldn't bring their firepower to bear. The advance section was quick,y beaten back.

As the mist rose, the armour finally make an appearance, having been held up at a minefield on the way from the beaches. 

Churchill crocodile does its work on the makeshift bunker, and the Germans wisely withdraw


In the face of all the British armour, the Germans melt away from the hedgeline and a general advance begins.

But with caution and wisely so. Two panzershreck ambushes fair to take out the hulking Churchills, and the teams are scattered by British reaction fire. 

Sporadic fire continues, and British morale is shaken. But they reach the minefields and a Sherman flail begins to clear a path.

But the surviving Germans strike with their Panzerfausts, starting the collapse of British morale.

A cagey game all in all, it felt like the British should have had the resources to smash through, but despite a reasonable tactical approach, the dug in and elite German platoons were just too tough a nut to crack. Also completely a game of two halves - the first dominated by Ian's above average rolling and Connor's impressive ability to roll kills for his own troops. But once the British armour rolled on, the Germans were reduced to hit and run attacks from the hedgeline while the Brits leapfrogged onwards to try to engage them. It felt like it went to the wire, but the loss of the Sherman and a lucky shot killing my platoon leader sent us packing. Well played by Bob and Ian and as Walsh, Ade out on an excellent, highly historical and challenging scenario. Cheers to all!

Also on the day, Dane and Chris had a great looking American War of Independence game in 10mm - I gather the British same out on top twice on the day.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Tewksbury Medieval Festival

The summer does bring its advantages, like a big reenactment event this weekend, Tewksbury Medieval Festival. It marks the Battle of Tewksbury 1471, a decisive battle in the Wars of the Roses. The Yorkists, despite being outnumbered, defeated and routed the Lancastrians, leading to a great slaughter in the 'Bloody Meadow' just outside the town. 

Young Edward looks serious as the Armies assemble

Archers exchange fire.

Gunpowder weapons add further excitement

The Lancastrians advance

The lines meet

 A fine sunny afternoon out, it's a big and busy event, despite the crowds it was easy to park up and traffic all flowed freely around the town - somehow! Lots of era eye-candy on display, all shiny armour and heraldry. I was thankful for the zoom lens and tilting  LCD screen on my camera, helped me capture a few shots that I'm pleased even over the heads of the crowd of onlookers. 


It's been a pleasant summer over the past few weeks, and I've realised I haven't put brush to miniature for over a month. While my painting hole is a cooler room in the house, the paint still dries too quickly to suit me. 

Instead, I've hit the terrain. I had a therapeutic week building up 15mm 4Ground WWII buildings. They are really fine pieces, and ready for the tabletop, but still need the edges touching up and some details adding. 

I've also churned out a bunch of small pieces that I've picked up over the months, ready for a game of 15mm CoC at Wyvern last weekend. First up 12 entrenchments for small and medium FoW bases. Well priced and I appreciated that they are all different sculpts. Thanks to Mike Whitaker of troubleatthemill for the tip on these, sourced from Daemonscape on eBay for the princely sum of £4.99.

For scale, with apologies for the lighting

More defensive works - barbed wire at 2"x6" for Flames of War. Mdf bases from Warbases, toothpicks and some hobby barbed wire. 

Next up a small copse of trees. These were from a bag of cheap Noch railway modelling trees, which means they aren't that durable and the flock is starting to bald already. Don't think they'll last that long, but I've loads of better woodland scenics armatures to build up at some point.

Last up for the 15s, some Landmark high walls that were on discount at Timecast, giving me 6' of walls. 

A nifty sidestep to 28mms, I saw these nice cypress trees in the local (usually pretty mediocre) model railway shop. They were only £1.50 each too. Based for my 28mm terrain, they'll go nicely in Spain.  

Last up, harking back to some of the first terrain I ever bought, I finally, finally painted the rest of my 28mm roads and junctions. I never loved these: while keenly priced and well detailed, they are a bit too chunky for what I was after and needed a lot of work to tidy them up. The originals feature in one of my first ever blog posts - so these have been sat awaiting the brush for at least 4 years! Once painted, they  make a decent large rural roadway though. I took an opportunity to refresh the original ones, re-touching the rocks and flock to match my terrain from the last few years. 

Last Sunday I got in a good game of Chain of Command with Ian up at the club. I took a small but powerful US Para platoon while Ian defended a farmhouse with Panzergrenadiers.

With precious few support points, I settled for a .50 cal.

And immediately emplaced it on a dominating hilltop overlooking Alan's jump-off points. 

I'd be outnumbers and outgunned, so wanted to hit the PG's hard at the outset, but my first section was stalled facing two. We mad an error here and interpreted the walling as hard cover - soft would have made a more sensible game. The .50Cal was valued support, but didn't do the damage that I'd been hoping and a static grinding firefight ensued. 

My second section moved to encircle the farmhouse, but Ian dropped his third into the farm itself, where it would be difficult to shift. This section took a battering as they tried to work their way out of the line of fire. 

Eventually, the Para's brutal firepower and more consistent activations meant they could grind the Germans' morale down. A well timed assault by one of my sections, followed by a sub-optimally timed one by Ian (assaulting a section that just unpinned on the turn end...) closed the game with a narrow US victory. 

I really should play more Chain of Command - it's been a few months!