I decided that I would start to finish my World War 2 Jaanese. This way I’ll have a local opponent for my early World War 2 Russians. As the armour is mostly done, and the aircraft half painted, it is time to put together the infantry and artillery. Where the Russians are based around 9 bases to the company/battalion, whatever the level is I am playing at, the Japanese will have 12 bases.
Added to that then the heavy weapons support, artillery from the 75mm Field Gun as well as the 70mm and 105mm howitzers, some 20mm anti-aircraft guns and trucks, loads of trucks, 43 of them, then this force will be ready. I also have some fun stuff to add to the army but more on that later.
First off it will be the infantry heavy weapons and artillery. I’ll worry about the trucks and the pack animals later.
Oh, one largely anachronistic item for this army is the beautiful Mistsubishi G4M3 “Betty”. It did not fly over Manchuria/Mongolia but it is a great little aircraft never-the-less.
It’s that time of the year again – time for the Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Great Wargaming Survey 2015. The survey takes about 10 minutes and is a great way for at least part of the hobby to get a feel for the direction the hobby is moving in as well as should be moving in out into the future.
Just to make it more tempting, the nice folks at Karwansaray Publishers are offering a 10% discount coupon to everyone who completes the survey. I should point out too that Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy is my favourite general wargames magazine currently with interesting articles as well as some interesting columnists.
If you are curious and missed the results of the Great Wargaming Survey 2014, then have a look here for a summary of that survey.
I was sorting the jumbled figures from the move and in one box I have Numidians and Romans, part based for Baccus’s Polemos SPQR rules. I’ll come back to the Romans later. The Numidians, however, are basic and are extra to my current Numidian needs. I have an all-options 6mm Numidian army already based for DBA. The question becomes, what to do with these blokes?
The stock consists of 80 general javelinmen type figures and 40 general cavalry figures. So all figures are armed with javelins (or short spear in 6mm), a shield and no armour. Tunic Colours are mixed and the figures have a Caucasian appearance.
Any suggestions as to what this can be morphed into. They will be re-based on standard DBA 40mm bases and ideally will have a number of figures backed onto the bases to make them look like there are more than there are.
Before I outlined the possible plans for the weekend and they were:
Go out and drink beer
Get back into wargaming items
Whilst it was a tough choice as one does enjoy the odd tipple, what finally worked was to drink beer of Friday night (way too much as it turned out) and then I got into some wargaming related stuff today. First cab off the rank was to repair the existing figures after their move from Singapore to Manila. They looked a little messed up when I opened their box:
Figures were jumbled all over the place and there were a number of bent spears. I was more worried about anything that had broken off. Fortunately, nothing was broken off, just a lot of bent spears and the odd paint chip. The paint chips were not seriously noticeable so I have decided to leave them as they are. Now these three DBA armies are ready for battle again.
All the figures here are 15mm scale with the Later Hungarians being from Essex Miniatures, the Nubians are old series Gladiator Games and the Koreans are Alain Touller Figurines.
Later Hungarians – these guys did most of the damage as there are four really heavy bases in here
The Hole has changed and looks a little different. I’ll be updating this over the coming days but I am hoping this will be the new theme for a year or two. I think it is cleaner and easier to read. Let me know if you don’t like it (or indeed, if you do like it).
OK, three months before anything wargaming done other than the Field of Glory online games. The other relevant statistic here is 11 months in Manila and 10 months in this apartment and very little done. I now have some weekend and week-night evening time and the choice is:
Go out and drink beer
Get back into wargaming items
It is a tough choice as one does enjoy the odd tipple but I suspect that I will keep number two for Friday and maybe Saturday nights – mid-week only for business.
The bathroom has been cleaned, apartment swept and mopped, balcony mopped, washing done and washing up done so domestic matters have been taken care of. I am planning on rearranging furniture soon but that will have to wait to next weekend. The dining table has been cleared and the painting/computer table is set for a clearing tomorrow so there are no excuses now.
First cab off the rank is to tidy-up any damaged figures from the move over here. Whilst Balikbayan boxes are an inexpensive way to ship stuff to and from the Philippines, they are treated roughly and are inverted at least twice, plus bumped and bounced around in the back of trucks and when being loaded into containers.
There are some photos of the effect of that movement on the troops. The 6mm figures were fairly well jostled around but not as badly as the 15mm figures. I guess it is because the mass of the 6mm bases is much less than the 15mm bases.
15mm DBA armies a little jumbled – these are the Hungarians and Koreans
6mm DBA armies – Numidians, Parthians and Romans
15mm Greeks well mixed
6mm Polemos Ancients – these will be re-based and reused for 6mm DBA.
The Russians appear to have some command and control issues
Once they have been sorted, I have two boardgames I want to start on (actually, I think it is really three or four boardgames). The Great War in Europe from GMT games is one I have been wanting to play for a while so that may be the first occupant of the dining room table. The other games related to the Mongols, including GMT’s Devil’s Horsemen as well as S&T’s issue on the Mongols.
Great War in Europe maps
Great War in Europe – counter sheers
The two Mongol based games and one expansion dealing with the Mamelukes
So, someone is now on the way to seriously un-stressing!
OK, three months now … but it is going to change. I have plans! Grand plans.
The dining table will be cleared and a board game set for evening play. I am looking more and more closely at finishing the painting of the aircraft for the modern fleets. Then, the World War 2 Japanese will be based and painted. There will also be FoG online when my opponents get back to their PCs.
After that, 6mm ancients I reckon, or the 10mm Pacific War Chilean/Peruvian/Bolivians.
I was thinking of buying some more lead but I’ve decided that I should work on some of the local stock in the lead pile here.
It has been about 12 years or so since I was last a paid-up card-carrying member* of this wargames club. I still keep in touch with what they are doing and even now, remember fondly Friday nights, driving to Tring with Steve, and sometimes Jeffro, troops rattling around in the boot. We’d walk into the old community hall and grab some table space for a game. The usual suspects would be next to the stage playing Shako, or something American Civil War-ish, or later Rapid Fire. There would be some DBM being played, sometimes Hordes of the Things and there was generally an esoteric mix of other games going on.
We’d start by 7-7:30 and a quick game was a good game as we aimed to be finished, packed up and down to the local for two pints and a bag of crisps before the bar rang the bell. A lazy consuming of the beer then into the car to drive back to Winkwell, dodging the drunken brawls that inevitably would erupt across the High Street through Berko.
They were some most enjoyable times, and the period that I probably played most wargames on a regular basis – and they were a great bunch of guys.
Well, they are still a great bunch of guys, just slightly older (crikey, aren’t we all) and they are still meeting regularly every Friday night in Tring. They’ve finally got around to registering a URL for the club (well done Colin) and the club’s webpage can be seen here www.tringwargames.org.uk
*OK, so we didn’t really have cards … but we could have!
Well, except for the ongoing FoG Online battle with Anthony where, for the third year running, he tries to squeeze a win out of his classical Spartans!
Still, it has been a lean two months wargaming wise. No painting, no playing, nothing, nada. Even the planned experimenting with my new airbrush (new? I bought the thing last year and still haven’t sprayed anything with it) where I was going to paint the aircraft for my Chinese, Indian and Japanese fleets has not happened.
So, this weekend looks full again with events conspiring to ensure that I will not get any wargaming time except … maybe … if I can’t play, and I can’t paint, I can buy. Buying takes less time than painting or playing and best of all, I can fool myself into thinking “ah, this will be my next painting/gaming project”.
Yes, BUY BUY BUY!!!!
But WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!!
The Chinese are rattling sabres in the East China/ West Philippine Sea area, building artificial islands in reefs to claim them as Chinese territory and circling the Filipino Marines on that rusty old boat so that could flare up. I already have a Chinese modern naval fleet as well as Japanese so there is a start. There is also an Indian feet but that will likely not drift around from the Indian Ocean.
The Philippines Navy would in all likelihood be nothing but speed bumps to the Chinese so maybe another fleet to stand up to the Chinese. Building a Singaporean fleet is an option. They have the quality to face down some of the Chinese vessels but perhaps not the kahunas given the number of mainland Chinese in Singapore and the Chinese nature of the government there.
Looks like it is the US 7th Fleet – or at least part of it, perhaps a US carrier battle group. A big mofo carrier, some smaller vessels for point defence and away we go.
Another option, Chinese modern land forces. I have a modern Danish army built for Cold War Commander so whilst it is not likely that the Danes will ever face the Chinese, at least I have a contemporary opponent for the Chinese should I build a PLA army and whilst I am waiting to build an opponent.
Another option that comes to mind is UN Korean War and North Korea for Cold War Commander. A mix of the best British, US and French tanks on one side and Russian tanks and Chinese (amongst others) infantry on the other side – plus a really cool mix of aircraft.
I managed to get some more time at the work table Sunday and decided that as I was progressing well with the 1/1200th aircraft, I should get the first batch based and ready for painting. The photo to the right shows the three air fleets, such as they are, ready for painting. I am planning on painting next weekend, social engagements permitting.
At the rear, the Japanese, the Chinese to the fore and the Indians off to the left.
The Indians are shown to the left. Two maritime patrol aircraft – an Ilyushin Il-28 and a Tupolev Tu-142 Bear – which I finally got to stand on a base.
Also present are the Ka-28 and Ka-31, and the Sea King helicopters. The Sea Harriers, MiG-29K and Breguet BR1050 Alizes round out that little force.
To the right are the Chinese aircraft. Ka-28 and Ka-31 helicopters provide the ‘copters carried by the Chinese naval vessels. A Tu-26 Badger provides maritime patrol. For some aerial punch there are some MiG-21s in the guise of Chengdu J-7s, Sukhoi Su-30s and Shenyang J-15s.
The MiG-21 is small relative to the later aircraft and is modelled with no fuselage under the wing level which is not quite right, however, at 1/1200th scale, I don’t have any rivets to count and for wargaming purposes, it looks like a J-7.
Lastly, the Japanese. As the Chinese have taken Russian designed aircraft and localised them to Chinese requirements, so the Japanese have been building American aircraft under license.
For maritime patrol the Japanese have a Kawasaki P-2J (a licensed version of the Lockheed Neptune). Helicopters are Sikorsky Super Stallions and a local version of a Sikorsky Sea Hawk, the Mitsubishi H-60. For some punch there are a couple of older F-4 Phantoms and some newer Mitsubishi F-2s.
Of course, being a wargamer, it is too difficult to pass up the opportunity of having a couple of Phantoms bounce a couple of MiG-21s. However it seems like one of the MiGs has managed to get itself a firing solution whilst the wing man to the Phantom hopes his leader will get a hurry on and get a firing solution on the other MiG.
Lastly, something a little more modern.
OK, enough playing. Next step with these is to undercoat next weekend when I hope to finally try out my new air brush.