Monday, August 31, 2009

Work in Progress

Finally finished a company of South Korean infantry, the first of fourteen that will eventually make up the regiment by the time support elements are added. This is a company command platoon.

One of the rifle platoons here. I have tried to mix up the figures a bit to make the unit look a bit more rag-tag.

The Imex figures mix quite well with the others that I have to choose from. As this is an early war ROK unit the companies have no integral support weapons of their own, including bazookas, MMGs and mortars.

I added the odd backpack or slung weapon on a few for variety, otherwise they are all standard, nothing chopped off at the waist or anything drastic.

Still much to do, but reasonable progress thus far. Almost forgot, the Soviet ATR team featured in an earlier post is in fact by MARS. Paul Foster said something today that had me trawling through the PSR site until I found them, and in so doing I also saw a number of other figures that I have never seen before. PSR is a very useful resource indeed, cheers Paul.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Solo Game

Solo games are ultimately pretty boring affairs. Anyway, here are a few pictures of one that I have been using to test some new rules, a Sino-Japanese game set in the mid 1930s.

This one shows the Chinese support positions within the built-up area. Their 75mm howitzer and mortar were connected by telephone to an FO platoon positioned on the heights just forward of the main line of defence.

This is the left flank of the Japanese advance, just over a battalion of infantry, supported by a company of tanks.

Japanese platoons in the center drew a full advance order, which saw them make the first engagement with the Chinese troops dug in along the edge of the heavy wooded area.

With fairly predictable results, two platoons destroyed outright, and two others reduced in number by 2/3 and 1/3 respectively - it's not very often an actual opponent would make such a move, but this is the fickle nature of solo games in that some orders are drawn randomly from a selection.

The Japanese left took a long time to get moving and suffered a lot of casualties to a couple of LMG platoons sited on the high ground.

This is from about turn 6. The Japanese had started to make good ground in the centre and extreme right. Several Chinese units were shattered by repeated infantry assaults supported by mortar and machinegun elements.

Despite losing ground on the flanks the Chinese did enjoy some success a couple of turns later. The only unit they had that was capable of stopping the Japanese AFVs were their engineer company, which made short work of the first tank platoon which entered the urban area without close infantry support.

Still the situation was starting to get desperate for the Chinese. Here, the regimental commander directs the last of his reserves towards the area of greatest Japanese pressure.

More unscathed Japanese troops and armour penetrate deeper into the village. There was still Chinese platoons holding out in several buildings but most were suffering low morale and heavy losses, so there wasn't really much they could do.

In the last couple of turns a few battered platoons supported by their porter units attempted to protect the gun position, which was still doing its best to support the few Chinese units in good morale and still fighting.

This is the remnants of the engineer company which had performed so well throughout the game.
All in all the game served its purpose in allowing for the play-testing of some new rules. The Japanese attacked with a superiority of 3-1, and even allowing for the random order system there was no way they should have ever been in doubt. However, they only scored a minor victory as they were only allowed ten turns to secure their objectives, when in fact it took them twelve.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

German Antitank Guns

A few pictures from the German antitank part of my collection. First, the 37L45. No idea who makes this kit but they are reasonably good models.

Next the PAK 40, I think these are by Revell.

Last two are of the 88L56 and are the only two of these I have.

Looking at these has made me realise how inadequate most of my gun crews are for the various weapons they usually serve. So, have now added some gun servants to my list of things to do - like I needed another. However, having looked through the bits box this may prove a little more difficult than first expected, especially for British and US crews, so some more conversions will have to be attempted.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Antitank Rifles

This first example dates from a 1918 OOB. They were a variant of the Mauser big-game rifle. I have read somewhere that after about eight rounds the firers shoulder would break. Apparently, this became quite a sort after job because coming out of the line with a broken shoulder was about as good as a wound got on the Western Front.

This is one of a few metals ones I have, usually it serves with my small Dutch collection, a 20mm Solthorn I think.

These two are from my BEF collection, unfortunately there is nothing similar available in plastic, and both are equipped with Boys ATR.

Some Russian versions now from my Guards Infantry Regiment, metals mixed with plastics. I got most of these while working overseas, before comparable figures were made in plastic.

These figures have probably seen over fifty games.

Small conversion on the observer from my early experiments with converting to create variety.

This was the first plastic antitank rifle team that I had ever seen. It came in a small plastic bag with about a dozen other figures on the same sprue, and included an MMG and several other quite uniquely posed figures. I have never seen any since and have no idea who makes them, but I bought them in Croatia and have always assumed they were some sort of locally made product that never made it any further. Painted under lamp light whilst living in a warehouse, they have always been a special part of my collection.

Last one is from my Polish collection. I have recently heard that there are quite a few antitank rifle figures available in plastic, and will make an effort to get a few more as time progresses. One of the things I like about collecting is that there is always something to look forward to acquiring, painting and eventually gaming with.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Other Great War French

Just another couple of French varieties today. I haven't done any serious conversions with this set, except some experimentation with paint jobs. This unit usually stands in for French Marines but have also made a single appearance as Foreign Legion.

The style of these figures are very good, but the plastic is just a little soft for my liking. Still, there are some excellent conversion possibilities available, and if I ever get around to finishing the Great War Belgians I have been messing around with for ages, I'll be sure to post them also for your critique.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great War French

Figures from Aixfix and Revell. Neither set are really that good in many ways, but until we get something more suitable they'll do. I've tried multiple, ultimately unsatisfactory, conversion attempts on both of these sets, but the styles are so different it is hard to get anything to match well.

A couple more of the early war regiment.

A line rifle company, not the most tidy of paint jobs but they look alright on the tabletop.

Lastly, MMG platoons which normally function in support of their individual battalions, but can also be grouped at the regimental level.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great War Americans

This was another hastily constructed unit, here a 6' trench mortar for my WW1 US collection. The first time we gamed Belleaux Wood (first US Marine action of WW1) we realised we needed a battery of these about an hour before start time, this was the result.

The next two are of rifle platoons, the first Emhar figures, and the second HaT, both are excellent sets.

Many of the Emhar figures have rifle slings, which is a really nice touch. I have a full, all asset, brigade of Great War Americans. This equals four battalions of infantry, plus light and heavy trench mortars, and light and medium machine gun companies, forward observer and HQ units.
This is an engineer platoon that I converted before US figures were made by anyone other than Airfix, the next shows a rifle platoon from the same set with helmets and backpacks added.

The next few are some of the various machine gun platoons from the brigade.

For a while, the unit on the left was the only support weapon stand I had for the US, which didn't make for very good gaming. The HaT and Emhars sets have really expanded this part of my collection nicely, and I will almost certainly add some of the recently released artillery to it as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Great War Turks

A few pictures from my Turkish collection. The first one shows the regimental command stand and a couple of engineer stands, which I usually try to add a box or pick and shovel to; this sort of item gives them a bit more of an engineer look.

Maxims. This is four out of the five stands usually available to the regiment. As in reality, such units either individually or grouped are real show-stoppers. Many an ANZAC attack has been blunted with these.

As you might have noticed these figures did not really get the paint job they deserved. Actually most of them were still wet on their first day out. We did one of the Krithia attacks, which pretty much came out as it did historically, even without Hunter-Weston present. All of the Gallipoli games we have done have been historical ones using trench maps of that era and the actual OOB, where possible.

This is one of a rifle, MMG and company command platoon. The total amount of Turks I have is about 85 stands, including engineer, artillery and some German advisor and Marine platoons. This works out to a full, historically accurate, infantry regiment. Most of the Turkish field pieces were of German manufacture, so we usually get accurate matches there also.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great War British Artillery

The selection of guns for the Allies is somewhat limited in plastic, but here are a couple of pictures of what I have.

It will be good when the British 4.5 is added to the range, and some Russian weapons would not go a miss either.