sci fi

sci fi

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Zulus!



I've just finished reading this Osprey Combat book and jolly good it was too. I was a bit dubious about the format, which contrasts a typical combatant from either side of a conflict, as it seemed a little gimmicky and pointless, despite the stonking Peter Dennis artwork on the cover. 

However, on reflection, I think it really works and gives a history from below feel to the narrative, which is a refreshing change and ideal for those of us who like skirmish level games. The text is by Ian Knight and is, therefore, well worth reading.

The Zulu War is something I've been interested in for a long time but never got round to, for the usual tedious reasons. I have a dusty box of 28mm Black Tree Zulus and British infantry somewhere that is at least a decade old and I've been thinking about the potential of plastic for quite awhile.   

I've also pre-ordered a copy of the soon to be published Zulu War supplement for Black Powder. I really enjoyed the single game of Black Powder that I played a while ago but have been put off by the large number of figures required for a typical scenario.

However, the ease of painting Zulus is a significant incentive to give it a go. I may go for the 28mm plastic option but 10mm is also a real possibility, especially as the Perrin Zulu War range is so well sculpted. It's made be wonder if 2014 might be Africa Year on the workbench? 

Friday, 29 November 2013

Bolt Action Bunker Assault



There's a new scenario on the Warlord Bolt Action site for a Bunker Assault, which looks ideal for my late war US re-inforced infantry platoon in the advance to the Rhine. I have some very old but very nice Snapdragon resin trench sections including some log bunkers, that would be ideal for the Reichswald, although they need some attention if they're going to look decent enough for a game. I'm thinking of painting them up to match the bases on the infantry and possibly scratchbuilding some obstacles, wire and dragons teeth to match.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

AK47 UN Intervention Force

I'm now piled high with yet more marking but I have had some ideas for a UN Intervention Force for AK47, which might even see the light of day. The rules and flowchart for UN peacekeepers are posted by a player on the RFCM yahoo group as an add-on for the old rules and I think they look pretty good.


To start with, you get an initial unit of professional observers, with no heavy weapons or armoured vehicles. I've decided to keep mine down to the bare mimimum of four S/A bases, so that I can save the points for the two other professional units in the force. This seems like a bit of a gamble but it should pay off. The figures will be from the Peter Pig Israeli range


The second professional unit will consist of six S/A groups plus two ATGW missiles, rules for which are included in the army list, with four machine gun armed Rhino anti-mine APC's to move around in. This lot is quite expensive in points but should be very useful in a stand off battle. The third unit will either be a diecast Mangusta attack helicopter or two 90mm armed Panhard armoured cars.


The fourth unit has to be regular one, so I'm going to dig out some of the leftover Peter Pig hardened militia figures from the spares box and paint them up as UN sponsored security forces. I will probably just have four S/A bases and a couple of RPG's, with a couple of Unimogs to truck them around in, but I might also make some HMG mounts for the Unimogs and use them as fire support.


The fifth and final unit is going to be a militia unit using the 'new' Peter Pig militia figures that I didn't use for the Mbote dictatorship. This will represent a local militia force or unit of guides for the UN mission, although it will only consist of six S/A bases and a mix of RPG's and heavy weapons, rather than any vehicles.


I have 99% of the stuff I need for this, with the ATGW teams being the only thing that I'll have to find from somewhere. I also have some diecast air support lined up, in the form of an AML jet fighter bomber and an Augusta EH101 transport helicopter for airlifting the professional troops in and out, should the need arise.

If I get the Superpower Backed army shifted I can start on this one straight after Xmas!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

AK47 Winter Wobbler [6]



I shifted a pile of work today so gave myself half an hour of painting time this evening. I've wetbrushed and then drybrushed two stages of Foundry Phlegm Green on the BTR60's and the techinicals, ready for the slightly more involved camouflage stage. It's all a bit messy but will tidy up once I've applied some layers and washes. I wasn't sure about using the same scheme on the technicals but it'll speed things up a lot and help to make the army look suitably uniform.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AK47 Mini Campaign 2014

 
I'm snowed under with work again, so the AK47 army has had to take a back seat for a couple of days. However, I have decided to run a mulitiplayer AK47 mini-campaign at the club next year, starting sometime in mid to late February.
 
I have four other players signed up, two as Colonial Settlers, one a Dictatorship and one nationalist Peoples Popular Front, along with my Superpower Backed army to make up the numbers. I'm hoping that one more player will join in to make six in total, as this makes it much easier to match up head to head games.
 
To make this work, I'm lending my Dictatorship army to one of the team and will try to complete another small force for someone else to use, once I've finished the current Superpower Backed stuff. This is on target for the end of December, if all goes according to plan?
 
The front runner for a third army is a UN Intervention Force, using the add on rules and political flowcharts from the RFCM group, with either my stockpile of French Foreign Legion or Israeli / South African figures and AFV's as the three unit professional core.
 
Should be a lot of fun!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

AK47 Winter Wobbler [5]






Here's the transportation for the regular units in the Superpower Backed army, of which I'm allowed up to two. These are all very nice Skytrex BTR60's of one form or another, with three turret machine gun APC's and two unarmed APC's, the whole lot capable of lifting fourteen groups of small arms and/or heavy weapon equipped troops. I can split them into two units to spread the load and also use them as fire support, so a pretty flexible force.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

AK47 Winter Wobbler [4]




I managed to get four militia technicals assembled this afternoon with a variety of heavy weapons on the flatbeds. The punchy ZSU AAA guns are Peter Pig models, whilst the HMG's and Katyusha rocket launchers are excellent little models from The Scene. The HMG's were left over spares from a couple of resin assault boats which looked ideal for the back end of a Toyota pick-up, so were salvaged from the bits box and super-glued in place. This militia convoy unit is worth a pretty decent 130 points and will add some significant firepower to the army.

Barricades and Bunkers



I popped into my local printer supplies shop this morning, in search of some printer cartridges, to discover a small corner of the room crammed with model and wargaming supplies. These included a selection of Army Painter products and some very nice 15mm resin barricades and sandbag emplacements by a company called Javis, which is primarily a model railway scenery manufacturer. As you can see, for the pricetag of £1.35 each, they're pretty good and ideal for AK47.

Friday, 22 November 2013

AK47 Winter Wobbler [3]



A very,very long week but it's now the weekend and I'm hoping to make some headway with the AK47 Superpower Army. In keeping with my 'things not figures' theme, which has been a little less than successful this year, I'm going to max out on vehicles for the bulk of the five units in the army, with the militia as an obvious starting point. 



 The plan is to produce a unit of Toyota technicals armed with a variety of heavy weapons, from rocket launchers, through RPG's to HMG's and AAA guns. The idea is to create a unit with some decent punch but with as few figures as possible, thereby cutting down on the painting workload. I have a relatively quiet weekend ahead, so I will try to complete the initial paintwork by this time on Sunday...?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Bootleggers


I won a bid on Ebay for a copy of the Steve Barber gangster era rules, The Bootleggers, the other day and they arrived in the post this morning. A quick skim through later has me thinking of all sorts of fun to be had with Copplestone gangsters and Days Gone By diecast toy cars, with only a handful of figures required for a full on gang busting campaign.


I don't have any figures in the leadpile, not counting my Back of Beyond Texan oil prospectors (above), but I do have a stash of 28mm compatible diecast cars and trucks that would be perfect for the 1920's and 1930's. The only thing that put me off this in the past was the terrain, but a fellow gamer at the club has done some amazing things with downloaded card kits, so some city architecture could be sorted out in similar fashion.


I also scratchbuilt a model still for a club show participation game a few years ago, which would be perfect for some FBI raids in the prohibition backwoods, especially as there are plenty of very nice lasercut mdf colonial-era and western shacks on the market for the hillbillies to defend. I'm quite enthusiastic about this as a mini-project, but other things are on the workbench at the moment, so it'll be a slow burner for 2014.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

NEWSFLASH - Bana Soto incursion smashed by Mbote MDF (Reuters)


MDF victory parade in Mpongoville
From our military correspondent in Mpongoville

In a startling but smoothly co-ordinated pre-emptive strike, the Mbote Defence Force (MDF) has ejected units of the Bana Soto army (ABS) from the disputed mineral rich border zone between the two nations.

A small scale but heavily armed incursion by Bana Soto mobile armoured units, supported by ground attack helicopter gunships, was swiftly and decisively defeated by the MDF under it's newly appointed commander, Major Fubar Snafu.

In a press statement, Major Snafu praised the bravery and skill of MDF armoured, reconaissance and AAA ground units, together with elements of the local tribal militia, who played a significant role in the hard fought battle:

'Without the fearless determination of the People's Volunteer Army, we would not have seized our objectives. The brave tribal warriors of the PVA have once again assisted the MDF in the resolute defence of our sacred homeland. Bunga Bunga!'

In an exclusive TV interview, Colonel Banga 'Boum, the universally admired and internationally acclaimed President of Mbote, also praised the role played by Captain Neeps N'tati of the border defence force, whose superior tactics were instrumental in the deployment of both MDF and PVA forces.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

AK47 Club Game















Another enjoyable AK47 game at the club this evening, which ended in a well deserved victory for the Mbote Defence Force attackers, although it wasn't always on the cards by any means. In the end we scored a decisive 28 point advantage over the defending Bana Soto colonial forces and, despite losing two regular units, we held two of the three objectives whilst inflicting some punishing losses on the opposition by the end of the countdown.

Monday, 18 November 2013

NEWSFLASH - Mbote MDF in full mobilisation (MBC)



From our Mbote Broadcasting Corporation correspodent in Mpongoville

In response to the aggressive and unprovoked deployment of Bana Soto military forces, the Mbote Minister for War, Major Fubar Snafu, has announced the immediate mobilisation of all units of the Mbote Defence Force. With immediate effect, all leave has been cancelled and all military personnnel have been ordered to report for duty.

A state of emergency has been declared and the MDF has been placed on the highest level of readiness, with immediate deployment in effect should the Bana Soto government initiate further hostile threats to Mbote border security.

In a press statement, Colonel Banga 'Boum, the very popular and undisputed President of Mbote, declared his support for a Combined Regional African Peacekeeping mission to the disputed border zone, in order to avoid unnecessary regional conflict:

''Only a totally C.R.A.P. intervention can prevent the naked aggression of the Bana Soto post-colonial puppets''

NEWSFLASH - Bana Soto rejects Mbote sanctions (Associated Press)

ABS troops mobilise for border defence
From our correspondent in Njuba

President Washington Deesee of the newly independent state of Bana Soto has appealled to the United Nations for support for its legitimate claims to the mineral rights to the territory within its borders with the Democratic Republic of Mbote.
 
In a press release, he has stated that the military dictatorship of Mbote has failed to respond to diplomatic attempts to resolve the issue and the seizing of the assets of Bana Soto by the Mboto finance minister, Dr Faht Waalet, is designed to provoke conflict in an area attempting to recover from previous wars, and in particular, the one that led to the rise to power of Colonel Banga'Boum.

Field Marshal Goto Awar has placed the Army of Bana Soto (ABS) on high alert to defend the borders of this fledging state which fears for its future in the face of the aggressive posturing of the Democratic Republic of Mbote.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

AK47 Winter Wobbler [2]

 




 
I grabbed some time this afternoon to complete the painting of the T55's and MTLB's that were previously destined for the Mbote Presidential Guard. I've added some camouflage to the crew uniform so that they look different to the Mbote armed forces and will adopt the same scheme for the rest of the figures, as it's a quick and easy way to add a bit of colour to the units.
 
I weathered the vehicles and added some basic decals, then over sprayed the whole lot with Army Painter matt varnish. I need to texture and paint the bases but that can wait until I've shifted some infantry. To finish off, I based up and quickly painted a couple of crocodiles for the game on Tuesday, just in case the opposition attempt an ill advised river crossing with their tasty infantry...?

NEWSFLASH - Mbote freezes Bana Soto assets (Reuters)


Dr Fhat Waalet, Mbote Minister of Finance, CEO of the MOB
From our correspondent in Mpongoville

A fierce diplomatic row has broken out, threatening the fragile relationship between the Democratic Republic of Mbote and the newly independent state of Bana Soto. The recently installed president of Mbote, Colonel Banga'Boum, has called for a trade embargo with neighbouring Bana Soto, in retaliation for claims made by the interim President of Bana Soto, Washington Deesee, to valuable mineral rights in the border zone between the two countries.

In a press release, the Mbote Finance Minister, Dr Fhat Waalet, announced that the Mbote Offshore Bank (MOB) would freeze all financial assets belonging to the impoversished state of Bana Soto including those of President Deesee. These would only be released when all territorial claims made by Bana Soto are relinquished. A deadline has been set for the government of Bana Soto to back down but, as yet, there has been no news of any such move by President DeeSee.  

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Warfare 2013








I took the boys to Warfare today. They had a good time but I'm pretty sure that Pokemon has a far greater pull than wargaming. Anyway, there were some good looking games on display but perhaps less so than in previous years, which is a bit of a shame as they've been really impressive in the past.

The stand out game for me was a 28mm Samurai battle, with some splendid terrain and lovely figures, but two 54mm games also caught my eye, one being an LRDG raid behind enemy lines and the other a very well displayed English Civil War skirmish. I quite fancy doing something in 54mm now!

I also dented the wallet with some self-inflicted good things including a Bolt Action Japanese Banzai starter army plus a couple of extras, some more panzerfaust anti-tank teams and a PAK 40 for my Artizan late war Germans, with a pack of Copplestone Ngoni witchdoctors for In the Heart of Africa to round things off.

I was especially chuffed with a Copplestone Medium Mark C resin tank kit for £15, although what I'll do with it has yet to be worked out. I also made a last minute purchase from Figures in Comfort, so my AK47 armies will now have a snug foam storage box to be carted around in.

I was sorely tempted by the new Judge Dredd starter box set but resisted the impulse to splash out on yet another 28mm project. I'm more of Strontium Dog fan anyway. The rulebook does look pretty good though and the figures aren't that bad either, so a potential birthday present is on the horizon. 

A good day out!