Monday, 17 December 2018

More CoC on a Sunday afternoon

The impromptu "campaign" between my Germans and Brian's Soviets rumbled on yesterday at the club. The scenario we were playing was Number Five in the rules - Flank Attack, and I was defending. The support dice rolls would obviously favour the Soviets, but I did end up with four points, which I decided were best spent on a FOO and an off-table battery of 81mm mortars.

The game also gave me the opportunity to get my new JoPs and ruined buildings on the table. The first few pictures show the table. My German platoon would be defending the ruined factory complex which was being used as a fuel dump. The Russians would have to cross some fairly open ground, much of which was pockmarked by craters from the Russian artillery's pre-game bombardment. 

Here are the German Jump-off Points, all close to the factory, except for a more forward one on the corn field on the left.

Brian had the higher Force Morale, 9 to my 8 and went first. Amazingly, he rolled 3 sixes, thus ending the turn and removing the effects of the pre-game barrage. I was now able to deploy my troops at will. I put my first section into one of the ruined factory buildings. 

The second one followed shortly, in the corn field.

On my right flank, Brian pushed two squads forward, detaching two scout teams.

I didn't care much for this and my FOO, who had already deployed,  contacted the mortar battery and shortly after was able to call down a barrage. This successfully pinned Brian down and blocked off my right flank.

This was the only action so far. I had deployed all my troops and most of them stayed on Overwatch while waiting for the Soviet assault to start. What I was really worried about was Russian armour, which I was certain would appear before long. 

I wasn't wrong. Two 76mm T34s soon appeared, together with the third Soviet squad and the senior leader. My anti-tank capability was my Panzerschreck team, plus three Panzerfaust 30s. Not great.

I decided that I needed to shift the mortar barrage, which had done its work, causing the loss of one scout team and several casualties on the Soviets on my right. I soon had mortar fire dropping down on the area where the tanks were advancing. I knew that it would be very hard to damage the T34s, but I wanted to keep the infantry as far away as possible.

I pulled my lefthand section back at a run, hence the shock marker on the rifle team. The JL had already removed the shock on the MG42 team. I needed to bring these across to my right, because the section there had already lost the MG42 team in a bout of Russian initiated hand-to-hand-combat.

Despite loosing the MG42, the rest of the section were slowly whittling away the Russian squad with close range rifle and SMG fire. The other Russian squad here had been pretty badly knocked about by the mortars and I didn't see it as a threat.

Before long, the remnants of both squads were pulling back. One was routing and the other in no fit state for anything. Soviet Force Morale was dropping fast.

My troops in the ruins were pretty comfortable. They were not suffering at all. Things were looking OK, apart from the armoured threat.

Brian had pulled his final infantry squad back to a more central position, a turn end having unpinned it, but it had suffered shock and a couple of casualties. I used a CoC dice to maintain the barrage, though.

I pushed a section forward, in the hope that I might get lucky with a 'Faust or the 'Shreck.

The T34s rumbled forwards. All I could do was wait.

At this point, time was running out. Elsewhere, Brian had done a typically Soviet thing and thrown his last strong squad into a charge against the intact section on my right. No pictures of this, because I forgot to take any. I ended up with a huge number of defence dice and easily won the combat, killing both his SL and the squad JL. His Force Morale plummeted to 2. At this point we called time. 

It seemed unlikely that the Soviets could win, given that they had no infantry and Brian was rolling a mere two command dice.

So, another engrossing game of CoC and another win for the Germans, who I think are ideally suited to a defensive role in Chain of Command.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

What the postman brought this time

I was expecting a box from Bad Squiddo, because I knew that Annie had shipped the Maze of Malcor Nickstarter, but I wasn't prepared for an explosion of PINK!!!!! when I opened the box. A gorgeous surprise. This was a couple of things that weren't in the parcel that I picked up when I saw Annie at Warfare.

And here they are - Ninjas and Onna-bugeisha with naginata and yumi, plus badges.

There were also the usual freebies in the box. I think the walking stick is going to go on the Christmas tree.

Then, underneath was all the Maze of Malcor stuff. First, the box of plastic female soldiers.

Then, the actual book.

And finally, a huge bag of shinies.

In that bag are the new female Thief, Barbarian, Knight, Templar, Apothercary, Markswoman and Tracker with with Warhound figures, plus a lot of new specifically Malcor goodies. There are five new Wizards and Apprentices, representing the new Schools of Magic; Sonancer, Astromancer, Distortionist, Fatecaster and Spiritualist.

There are also assorted monsters and creatures. These are as follows. There is an Acrisbird (a bit like a grumpy ostrich on steroids), a Banshee, a Bog-Man, a Coal-Man, a Collegium Porter (a kind of animated chest of drawers), Starfire Elementals, Glass Spiders, Shrieking Wolves, Phase Cats, Bloodwaves and a Mantodeus ( a sort of giant creepy-crawly). In addition there is a model for Malcor, accompanied by some Wraiths (his Advisory Council) and one for a Rangifer Shaman, plus the shades of four dead Wizards which were stretch goals for the Nickstarter. I think there was supposed to be a fifth one of these but the goal wasn't unlocked.

All in all, a huge amount of stuff to make up (there are lots of separate bits with some of these figures), prep and paint. Still, at least it will keep me busy after Christmas.

I can see lots of potential for these figures, apart from Frostgrave, and they are terrific models too.

Frostgrave club league - Week Five

On Sunday, we held the latest round of our Frostgrave "league". This time, the game was slightly different as Andy had designed a scenario, so he didn't bring his Band of Frogs, instead acting as the game Umpire (in a sort of Dungeon Master way) and Kevin handled the role of Undead and Monsters player.

The scenario was all about bands of adventurers exploring a location in the Frozen City that was known to be a place of dread; the burial place of a great necromancer and three of his most important underlings. The tombs were surrounded by a wall that no one had ever climbed over, well no one had ever come back again so the assumption was that there was some terrible force at work here. The tomb enclosure had four entrances, one at each corner. Surrounding the enclosure were a variety of rooms and courtyards, some which had clearly served as libraries, refectories and storerooms for the necromancer's entourage, plus a number of smaller tombs and monuments. The only ways into the necromancer's domain were via secret doors which opened from behind bookcases.

Unusually, Owen, Richard and me all decided not to attack one another, because there were unknown perils that had to be dealt with first.

All of the photographs below show various points in the game. The domain of the necromancer was, unsurprisingly a place where the Dead stalked the passages and open spaces and, whenever a location was explored something horrible was likely to emerge, even if there was treasure to be found as well.

Here is my band's first appearance. There were lots of places here when treasures might be found.

Unhappily, there were also many Ghouls, some of which emerged from a noisome privy just outside the Refectory area. These would cause me a lot of problems.

There were also piles of treasure scattered around. Sadly, most of these proved to be nothing more than enchanted rubbish of no value at all.

My fighters spent a lot of time trying to eliminate one particularly tenacious and unpleasant Ghoul.

Elsewhere, Richard's Apprentice, accompanied by a Knight explored a scriptorium just inside the tomb enclosure.

Owen's desperadoes spent no time at all in penetrating into the tomb enclosure.

The gems here represent small items of treasure that have been found. None of these were large and were no impediment to movement, although they did hamper a fighter in combat.

Owen's band were now close to the actual tombs of the evil wizards.

Having finally seen off a number of Ghouls, Skeletons and Bony Hands which grasped my treasure hunters by their ankles, my band was also inside the tomb area.

We were running out of time. However, We were all successful in finding at least a few small items of loot, plus a major treasure. When the time came to tot up our gains, each of us had found part of a map and a key, as well as some gold coins. I also found a Magic Dagger. Unhappily, my Infantryman, who had been incapacitated in the game never recovered from his wounds. Sic transit .............

The pieces of the map. when joined up purport to show the real location of the Necromancer, and the keys will open up doors, hopefully revealing great treasures, but probably more likely a host of undesirables. Once again, our three bands will have to cooperate for our mutual benefit if we are to triumph.

In the post-game reckoning, I decided to replace my Infantryman with another Treasure Hunter and I have given the Magic Dagger to my Thief. My wizard has now advanced to Level 10, so not bad overall, really.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Some 15mm Jump Off Points for Chain of Command

A long time ago, back in early 2017, to be precise, I painted up some JoPs for Coc in 15mm. I have used these ever since for my games of CoC, but I have always been conscious that they are actually a bit big and that they could better serve as small pieces of terrain. Also, I have always needed more of them

Anyway, at the club's Reveille show, I bought a blister pack of small Baueda items from Magister Militum that I thought would make better alternatives, and now I have painted them, ready for next Sunday's game against Brian's Soviets.

These are considerably smaller, each being based on a 3cm round MDF base, and they will be far less obtrusive on the table. In the blister there was also another piece, which is the one on the 5cm square base (which I have textured with Javis cork and sand and pebble mix). This will be useful for a number of things, but certainly will work as hard cover for infantry in CoC.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

15mm resin scenic stuff

I am always on the lookout for 15mm scenic items, especially things for WW2 that I can use in games of CoC.

Therefore I was really pleased to pick up these nice resin ruined buildings from Ironclad Miniatures at the club's recent Reveille show. First, there is a really nice ruined factory. I very much like the two storage tanks at one end of the building.

The other one is a ruined building that could either be a house or part of a larger factory complex.

Both of these paint up really well. The models are clean and have no flash. I hope that more buildings of this type will appear in the future. Well done, Ironclad!

To complement these two, I have also painted up some pieces from Baueda, again purchased at Reveille, from the Magister Militum stall. I am a big fan of Baueda resin stuff. It is always a joy to paint and the WW2 stuff has lots of nice details. This small building was made from two pieces glued together on an MDF base to  make another ruined building for the factory complex. I added more debris using Javis crumbled cork boulders and sand and stone mix. I really like the way this turned out once it was painted up.

Finally, here are two other Baueda pieces, plus a resin fuel dump I picked up from the The Square stand at Colours.

Clearly, the two Baueda pieces will work as part of the factory complex. The fuel dump is always going to be useful. It will work nicely with the one I painted earlier in the year. I reckon that if you want a fuel dump, you want at least two stacks of oildrums.

I have a game of CoC planned for a couple of weeks' time, so I think that my Germans might be defending a bombed out factory against the evil Bolshevik hordes.

I've got quite a few other resin things that still need work. So, it is either get those done first, or go back to my 28mm FIW Régiment de Guyenne troops, which I need for the end of January. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, 26 November 2018

A new Sharp Practice mini-project; French forces for the French and Indian War

The French and Indian War,  which was fought in North America between the British and French colonies began in 1754 and ran on until 1763. From 1756 onwards, it can be viewed as part of the much larger Seven Years' War. It started out as a conflict between the colonists and their local forces, but gradually regular troops from France and Britain began to be deployed as the conflict grew.

I am painting up a smallish 28mm French force for a Sharp Practice weekend in January next year at Bristol Independent Gaming. Each player has 65 points available for their troops and mine is going to consist of the following;

Leaders (total 22pts);

Status III - Capitaine Philippe Au Brion, the impoverished son of an Irish emigré military family. He is accompanied by a Musician (drummer) 10 pts
Status II - Capitaine Henri Thierry, 6pts
Status I -  Lieutenant Pierre Lardon, 3pts
                Lieutenant Jean Merluche 3pts

Troops (total 42pts);

3 groups of 8 Fusiliers of the Régiment de Guyenne (18pts)
3 groups of 6 Compagnie Franche de la Marine Skirmishers (24pts)

Support (total 1pt);

Burning torches 1pt (not sure how useful these will be)

This gives me a grand total of exactly 65pts.

Capt. Au Brion is the force commander and leads the fusiliers. He is assisted by Lt. Lardon. 

Capt. Thierry commands the skirmishers, with Lt. Merluche as his deputy.

Before starting on this little project, I looked around for the what I thought would provide the best fit for the kind of force I wanted to paint. I decided on the Warlord boxed sets of Compagnie Franche and Line Infantry, and I bought two of the latter, so that I'd have enough figures for my plans.

So far, I have completed the skirmishing force made up of troops from the Compagnies Franches de la Marine, autonomous companies of infantry who were attached to the  French Marine Royale and who served both on ships and as garrison troops in the various French overseas colonies. Until the FIW, these were the only regular French troops stationed in Nouvelle France, the French possessions in North America.

Anyway, here is where I am with this project so far.

First, here are Capitaine Thierry, on the left with the drawn sword and Lieutenant Merluche.

Next are their troops, in three groups of six skirmishers. Note that there is a lot of variation in the dress of these soldiers. in the first group I have added in one figure from the box of line infantry. This is because I didn't want any figures with an officer's gorget amongst the rank and file. I see this figure as being a low-ranking NCO, and therefore not a leader in SP terms. While on active service, the troops of the Compagnies Franches wore a relaxed service dress that included some items adopted from the Native tribes of the region. The hooded capot tunic was also popular. Troops were issued with swords, as were line infantry of the period, but these were often replaced with tomahawks.

Finally, I have painted up two Deployment Points. Both of these are resin items from Coritani Miniatures, whose products can be found here. Both of these DPs are using surplus figures. The one on the left is from the Compagnies Franches box and the other one, painted up to represent an office of the Régiment de Guyenne, is from the box of line infantry.

My next task is to get my line troops prepped and undercoated.