Wednesday 31 October 2012

Home Guard Beaverette in 20 mil

The vehicle models are 1/76 Frontline resin kits of Beaverettes and I have decorated them with various 1/72 polyethylene toy soldiers. They are based on 1940 Standard armoured cars built on a car chassis: yes, they handled worse than an American limo. It was of course an emergency desperate measure as their combat value was questionable - to put it mildly. Named after Lord Beaverbrooke, who ordered them, they were armed with a bren gun.

Suitable for a 'Sealion' 1940 or 1938 game.

Note the Home Guard Tank Rider. :)

The real thing.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Final Final Sale

For those who enjoy a punt. I just received this email from Maelstrom, see below. But be warned there is a finite chance that the company will cease trading before your goods arrive.

"Thanks to stockchecking just about everything, once more here at Maelstrom Games ( we have decided to clear as much of our hard-earned stock as we possibly can over the next few days and to that end, all our remaining stock will now be sold at 70% off UK RRP except for Battlefront Miniatures and Mierce Miniatures, which will be sold at 50% off UK RRP and Templar's Forge at 75% off. We still hold some stocks of Battlefront (it's worth checking!), Gamezone Miniatures, Dark Age, Cool Mini or Not and Scibor Miniatures, and there's a few bits of Games Workshop, Privateer Press and Malifaux left too. These sales don't come along very often - so take advantage of it, as this is our FINAL stock sale and it WILL end on Monday the 29th of October! Grab a bargain now!

The voucher will work on all the items in our webstore that are IN STOCK ONLY, but it will NOT work on any out of stock items or pre-orders, nor anything within our eBay store.

Your voucher code is: FINAL-FINAL-STOCK-SALE"

Friday 26 October 2012

All Hallows' Eve

Warlord Games have this offering: Zombie red indian braves.

Or how about these zombie Japanese troopers from Company B?

They also do suicide pilots.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Maelstrom in Doggy Doo

I have been following the Maelstrom story for some time. I had some disturbing experiences with them a few months ago but I have not commented as you can push a company under by rumour mongering.

But, well read below and make up your own mind.

This has gone out on the Wyrd Games Forum from the Wyrd distributor in Christchurch:

"Maelstrom won't be getting any more Malifaux from us as he's been cut off due to his massive debt, which has now been sold via a debt purchase company who will be pursuing the debt and legal action.

MG is running his final sales (several of them) and there is nothing much left. No further stock will be sent from us.

All fate Decks, Retro Decks, rulebooks etc are all in stock here and you'll find them at any other stockist in the UK who have ordered them in. Try Firestorm, Wargames Workshop, Waugh Games, Arcane, Wayland Games, Waylands Forge, Spirit Games, Total Wargamer, Worthy Wargaming, Titan Games or any of the dozens of others who have plenty of Malifaux on the shelves.

We have re-stocks coming in every other week and pretty much running straight out the door to all the stockists, so we're just ordering even more"

Maelstrom's site is still up, as is the Eye of the Storm mirror site. Not clear how this will affect Mierce Miniatures, which is their own brand.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Bolt Action Rules: First Impressions

   I purchased the new Bolt Action Rules from my FLGS, Rochester Games, for £25. First impressions is that it is physically good value, at a 216 page hardback. Strangely the writers names are omitted from the front cover. It is credited to 'Osprey & Warlord', which means nothing, or less than nothing as far as Osprey are concerned, given their track record with rules.
   However, inside, in microprint, it admits that Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley designed the game. Hello, Osprey, the lights are on but there's no one home - is there? Cavatore and Priestley are two of the best known and most celebrated wargame designers in the world. If you want to sell the book you put their name on the front cover. I believe this is known in the business world as marketing.

   The pedigree of the work is clear on a read through. The rules are well laid out, readable and complete. They make sense and after one read through that took about an hour or two. Then one can play a game using the helpful rules summary sheets and tables at the back. In short, this is a professional job.

   The book has nice pics from the more recent Osprey books and photos of Bolt Action Miniatures.

   Army lists for 1944 British, German, American and Russian armies are given and I understand that there will be a raft of army list supplements.

   The game is clearly designed for Warlord's 28 mm range. An army consists of one or two platoons reinforced by vehicles (suggested one light and one heavy) and heavy weapons. The army lists make it clear that the generic scenarios included assume 1000 point armies. 

    Above is a 1000 pt Russian army for Kursk (yes, it's '43, I know) from my collection. The infantry are Plasic Soldier 28mil, the BT7 light tank from North Star Miniatures (can't remember the brand), and a 1/50 Corgi Russian Lend lease Churchill with 6pdr. The infantry are regulars and the vehicles inexperienced.

   The points buy a platoon with a command squad led by a captain, two rifle squads of eleven men supported by an LMG, and a section of tank riders with SMGs, an LMG and anti-tank grenades. The platoon is supported by an anti-tank rifle, an HMG, and a 76mm general purpose field piece.

      The Churchill was a serious piece of kit in ’43 with heavy armour and a medium AT gun. In reality it was less useful than its specs suggest as it was mechanically temperamental, especially with Russian crews, and slow. The light tank is a death trap. Russia only kept making them because they could be manufactured on car production lines that couldn’t make T34s. A mistake, as all they did was cost the lives of crew.

   The German army is veteran. It represents elements of the Gross Deutschland recon battalion and assault gun battalion, which were used as a spearhead at times during Kursk. My points bought me a command unit lead by a 1st lt, two rifle squads with LMG Spandaus, an assault section with Schmeisers and another Spandau on a tripod as an MMG.The infantry and Hanomag are 28mil from Warlord.

   Vehicles include a Stug III assault gun, and SDKFZ 222 light armoured car and a Hanomag. The Stug is Tamiya 1/48, and the AC Hobbymaster 1/48

   It is quite clear that this is a skirmish rules set with limited forces. A full one thousand point army could easily be assembled for under £100.

 For my first test game with Shaun, I set up two 650 pt armies of six tactical units each in Normandy. My forces, the dastardly Hun, had a veteran Stug and Hanomag and a three section platoon of regulars with command squad.

   The command control system is one of the fashionable 'alternate by section' systems, which is why you can't use too many units. Each player puts chits into a mug equal in number to the number of tactical units in the army. Chits are drawnone at a time allowing the lucky player to move a unit.

   Units may be given one of six orders: stay still and fire; move and fire with a negative modifier; run - double move; ambush - go on overwatch; rally - remove pin markers; down - stay still and go to ground. This all takes time compared to a straighforward IGO-YUGO, hence the small armies.

   Firing, line of sight, and movement are all pretty standard. Hits lay on pin markers even if there are no casualties, a bit like Hammers Slammers: these affect morale checks and firing. There are no 'spotting' rules.

   My opponent were a veteran Royal Marines platoon supported by a Centaur. We played the centaur as a medium howitzer rather than a light (to up its armour penetration). The battle quickly came down to a duel between the Stug and the Centaur. This is a problem with WWII skirmish armies with one tank each: the resulting duel can have a disproportionate weight on the outcome.

   The Centaur piled pins on the STUG without penetrating its armour, but affecting my accuracy. I fired five times at the Centaur. I missed twice, I hit twice without  penetration, and I knocked out the tank on my fifth shot (6th turn).

   Shaun advanced a PIAT team forward but missed the STUG. I had taken the precaution of protecting the assault gun with a rifle team that shot up the PIAT team.

   Shaun conceded at this point as he had no realistic way of dealing with my armour. My first thoughts? It plays smoothly albeit I found the command system a bit fiddley. In a smallish army the tanks were overmighty, probably less of a problem with a full 1000 point army. Even so, each player will probably only have one MBT, two at max.

   Recommended, but don't expect to field big forces.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Dad's Army Home Made Armour

The Home Guard was arguably the last 1930s-style army with improvised weapons. To inspire your modelling conversions, have a butchers at these examples.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Home Made Armour

The 'Protected Lorry' is a Dad's Army model from Frontline's 1/76 range. I have painted it as an Anarchist APC. The cavalry are there for scale.

The armoured tractor is another Frontline Dad's Army model. The argricultural model alongside for scale is a 1/76 diecast model from Oxford Miniatures. This company does a large range of inexpensive but decent 1/76 vehicles including military and 1/72 aircraft. Well worth checking out iof you're a 20mm wargamer.

Thursday 18 October 2012


The Russian T35 heavy tank in 20 mil scale. This beast was huge with a crew of 11. Around 60 were built in the mid 30s. They served with the 64th and 65th Tank Regiments in the Kiev District in 1941. Most were lost through breakdown and abandonment.

The T35 was based on the Vickers A1E1 Independent heavy tank. Only one prototype was built in 1926, now on display at the Tank Museum, Bovington.

The plans for the Independent were sold to the Germans by the fascist traitor Norman Baillie-Stewart.

The Germans built five Neubaufahrzeug prototypes before abandoning the concept. They were used for propaganda purposes in Norway and broken up for scrap in '41.

And that was the end of the landship concept that Vickers and the British Army set running in 1924.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

The Old Guard

Warlord Games Half-Track

This is an out of the box version of Warlord Game's Allied Half Track in 28 ml that I completed recently. I need to acquire a British driver and gunner to finish it off. It is a more difficult kit than their German Hanomag but does give a very pleasing result.

Another Clearout

The release of the new Chaos Codex has moved me to have a clearout of my wargame figures. EBay beckons. I only have limited funds and space so am inclined to be ruthless when I no longer have a use for the models. C'est la vie, or somesuch.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

SELWG 2012

And off to Crystal Palace on a bright sunny autumn day for SELWG 2012. Had a small show feel this year with the big players largely absent and the space taken by demo games and small traders. Quiter than previous years, or at least that was my impression.

Robin had a demo of Gruntz, better pic here.

Something Napoleonic but I forget. Lovely huge display though.

Kevin Dallimore & JohnTreadaway demonstrating a Capt Scarlet game.

Leviathan on sale. V., v. pricey

Rapid Fire game on the invasion of Denmark by the 3rd Reich.

Belgian invaded.

My local Rainham, Kent Wargame Manufacturer: Frontline. Picked up some nice 30s vehicles.

And my loot: 200 quid's worth of books and toys.