Archive for the 'World War II' Category

A Long Overdue Update & Plans for 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s been a long time since I updated this blog.  As usual, there are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. Life has been busy.  My work got very busy in the second half of 2012 and I spent a lot of time working out of town.  Naturally this had a negative effect on my hobby time.  I also had some family health issues to deal with as well.
  2. What hobby time I have had has mostly been spent working on non-historical projects.  I picked up a copy of Warhammer 40K last summer and found a new (to me) local game store that had a healthy GW gaming crowd that had a vibe I liked.  As a result, I’ve spent most of my hobby time painting up a Tau army for Warhammer 40K.  I’ve started a separate blog covering my GW-related activities.  If you’re interested, you can check it out here.
  3. When I’ve had hobby time, I’ve been spending it on painting versus writing.  I joined Twitter last year and spend more time writing short updates there.  I find the short-form micro-blogging that Twitter allows for is something I can keep up with much easier.  If you’re curious, my Twitter handle is @GreatRedoubt.  I talk about both GW & historical gaming there.  I haven’t found too man historical miniatures gamers on Twitter so my content & timeline skews towards the GW crowd.

I’ve enjoyed the break from painting Napoleonics figures.  While I would still love to build armies and play games with large blocks of 28mm Napoleonics, it’s not a short-term project for me, especially without at least one other committed partner.  In the meantime, I’m looking at starting at least one short-term, smaller project to break up the painting production line.

The main project I’m starting is 28mm WWII.  I recently bought some figures during some end-of-year closeout sales and am looking at a doing some low-level skirmishing.  I know, 28mm probably isn’t the preferred scale for this period, but I like the character and dynamism that figures from companies like Artizan, Crusader & Warlord (among others) bring, and I’m already committed to doing some 28mm terrain to play on, so the thought of having to duplicate a lot of it in 10/15/20mm scale is not appealing to me.

I’m starting with 1939 in Poland.  I have a few squads of Polish infantry and early German infantry on order, and eventually I’ll add some smaller tanks and supporting vehicles.   While the Polish campaign was over relatively quickly, the Poles put up as much of a fight as they could, and the combat at the tactical level was not as lopsided as some gamers may think.  The Germans had yet to perfect their tactics, so at a tactical level the two armies were probably closer in skill level than, say, the Germans and Russians were in 1941.  Both armies used the Mauser rifle as their main squad weapon, with the Germans having a distinct advantage in squad MG (the MG34, with it’s high rate of fire) versus the Polish BAR.

I’m looking at games with maybe around a platoon per side.  This keeps things small which means I can get game-able forces painted up faster as well as provide both sides without breaking the bank.  I think a number of the Warhammer 40K players may be interested in trying something like this, along with some of the historical miniature players in two.

The nice thing about skirmish gaming is that basing & organizations are the same across rules sets, so I will be able to try out and potentially play a number of different rules sets.

Current candidates include:

  • Bolt Action – This is the new ‘it-rules’ for WWII put out by Warlord Games & Osprey publishing.  I have yet to pick up a set but plan to do so soon.  I suspect this rules set may be one of the easier crossover games for GW players to pick up.
  • Disposable Heroes – I’ve played this before and it can put out a fun, if sometimes bloody, game.
  • Rate of Fire – These rules from Crusader Publishing look relatively simple while still being fairly ‘historical’.
  • Force on Force – These rules from Ambush Alley Games would probably put out the most ‘realistic’ game, but it’s a bit complex for novices.  I’d love to try it but it might be a harder sell among the local crowd.  I have the pre-Osprey edition of FoF that still had the WWII rules included.  A new, updated WWII version of FoF will come out eventually, but not until Bolt Action (another Osprey product) will have had a good head start from what I’ve read.

Over time if I keep on enjoying myself, the project will move into later periods of the war.  I just don’t want to have games that are wall-to-wall panzers, so early war seems like a smarter place to start.

Beyond WWII I’d be interested in other 28mm projects, whether it’s ancients (WAB or similar), Dark Ages (Saga) or horse & musket. We’ll have to see how things progress as the year goes on, and who I find to game with.

Well, that’s enough blathering for now.  I hope that 2013 is a good year for you and your gaming projects, and I hope to keep this blog more up-to-date as well.



FoW Painting

I picked up some 15mm Battlefront Panzergrenadiers about a year ago on Bartertown.  I got them cheap, cleaned them up, primed them white and then shelved them in favor of other things as I am wont to do sometimes.

I’m trying to get back into the swing of painting more frequently and I picked up a few sticks of these figures and starting playing around with them a few nights back, more as a break from turnbacks, collars and shako cords.  I’m painting the figures  in a mix of FeldGrau and the Heer splinter camo pattern.  A lot of the figures appear to be wearing helmet covers and/or camo smocks so for the most part they are getting feldgrau trousers and a mix of feldgrau and camo tops.  I’m throwing a few uncovered helmets in for variety.

The 15mm figures are small enough that I really need the optivisor to do a decent job with them.  I’m experimenting with both washing the figures before and after painting them.  For this batch I took some artist’s oil Burnt Umber and washed the basic white figures, let them dry for a few minutes and then wiped them down with an old T-shirt.  The net effect was a very heavy shading that made all of the nooks and crannies on the figure a very dark brown.  I then proceeded to block paint the main colors over that, leaving the recesses a dark brown.  Looks great with the beige/brown camo, not so great with the feldgrau.  As I said earlier this is an experiment so I’ll noodle around with these figures and see what gives me the most pleasing look.

I’ll post pics when I have something done.

Plans for 2011

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted something here.  Family life and work have been very busy this winter and it doesn’t show many signs of letting up.

Looking to this year I can see two main projects for me.  I’m continuing to work on my 15mm 1807 Russian Army for Legacy of Glory.   I’m about 1/2 done with the infantry for Dohkturov’s 7th division and then have three regiments of horse and some grubby cossacks to crank out.  Hopefully that will be completed this year, giving me a nice-sized army to play LoG with.  We continue playing the old rules and are slowly mastering them.  I’m still hopeful LoG2 will be released sometime this year, but if it doesn’t David and I both seem to be up to speed on the old set and between the two of us can run a game without issue.  We would like to get one or two more players to both contribute armies and become well-versed in the rules.  We’ll see what happens.

The other main project I see for myself is WWII.  I’m trying to reconnect with some old friends and hopefully we can decide on a 20mm WWII project for a company or battalion-level game.  Rules and campaigns are still up for debate. Stay tuned.

The last thing I’ve been pondering recently is how to turn this loose affiliation of gamers that meet every month or two into a slightly more formal club.   It’s not easy to do; I tried running a formal game club years ago and it didn’t last long.  My main goal this time would be to get a few more people actively painting troops and learning the rules so we can play a variety of games without relying on one or two people to bring figures.  I’m looking for more gaming ‘producers’ and less ‘consumers’ I guess.

In the meantime we continue to schedule games.  Legacy of Glory and Johnny Reb 2 for ACW have been the recent fare, but newcomer Dave B. has floated the idea of 28mm Sword and the Flame and that sounds like a hoot.  We’ll have to see what we can rustle up for games this year.

God’s Own Scale – 20mm

Just a quick post to comment on some 20mm WWII BEF infantry I’m working on as a change of pace from the Napoleonics.   On the Guild they call 20mm “God’s own scale” or something similar and after painting some of the figures I can understand why.   Just large enough to get more detail on the figures, but small compared to your average 28mm figure, so painting is much easier.    I’ll post some pics once I get the figures done.  British battledress is a breeze compared to all the belts, facings and plumes you get with Napoleonics.

Obviously I’m enjoying this new (for me) scale.   I’m working on around 2 squads of British right now and hope to acquire some early war Germans sooner or later for some small skirmish games.

Weekend Painting Blitz

My lovely bride is heading out of town this weekend with her girlfriends on a scrapbooking retreat so yours truly is left to his own devices.  This means taking care of the kids during the day, and three nights of straight painting.  I’m going to try and knock out two regiments of 1807 Russian Musketeers this weekend in preparation for a planned early April game. I’ve been thinking a lot about my painting style and trying to refine things such that I find a look that is pleasing to me while using the least amount of work to execute.  My current figures look nice but I’m doing a lot of shading & highlighting that really gets lost on the gaming table at three feet viewing distance and in sub-optimal lighting.   I enjoy having nicely-painted figures, but at the same time my speed is relatively low and I’d like to do something about it. I’m also embarking on a small side project working on some 20mm WWII BEF infantry.  A small skirmish game would be a change from Napoleonics both in terms of painting and game play while still being reasonably cheap and easy to do. I’ll post status updates on the painting blitz in my ‘painting table’ widget on the sidebar here.  I don’t know that I’ll get all 72 figures done this weekend but if I can get a good start on them I’ll be happy.


I decided to cut back to one regiment of figures and see how far I can get.  On Saturday I managed to block in the coats, trousers, muskets, flesh and blanket rolls.  They’ll get a good dose of GW Devlan Mud this morning and then I’ll get back to them this evening.   I’m also going to try and base up some of the other figures I’ve already finished painting. I’ll update this post over time.


All my detail brushed now have split tips.  Dammit!!!  My painting is done for this evening.  I gave all the brushes a good cleaning with the Master’s soap, rinsed them, formed the tips and wrapped them in paper towels.  Hopefully at least some of them will reform properly.  Otherwise I’m DOA for detail work until a new trip to Michael’s.

I did get 6 battalions and my skirmishers based up.  I’ll move on to terraining those bases and cleaning up my 20mm WWII BEF British.

An Update: Legacy of Glory, 20mm WWII and Empire

Life has been busy which means the blog has been quiet.  Work has been very busy and while the pace has slackened a little bit, it’s still giving me plenty to do on nights and weekends which conflicts with both family time and gaming time.

Other than buying a slew of wargame rules recently the only other purchases I’ve made have been about 20 feet of olive canvas for the start of a terrain mat and recently I’ve bought some 20mm WWII figures for France 1940.    I’ve been painting in spurts and recently started working in earnest on the AB Russians again.   I’ve gone back to a cleaner version of my original style since the blocking-in look, while nice was very time consuming.    Between the Napoleonics and 20mm stuff I’ll be plenty busy over the next few months as time allows.

Gaming-wise it’s been a slow time.   Haven’t done any since the fall.  I have my Legacy of Glory gaming group coming over Saturday to spend an afternoon pushing troops around to get more familiar with the rules.  This will be our third meeting and things are slowly coming together.  We would’ve been further along had my schedule not been so messed up over the winter; our plan is to meet at least once every two months if not monthly.  We’ll see how that goes.   I hope to get a copy of the beta rules for LoG: Thunder of Destiny sometime this spring.  The rules authors are starting to distribute early releases of the rules in snippets and so far things look good.  I’m hopeful that playtesting will reap benefits for both game play and rules layout.  The first edition of the rules suffered from formatting issues that kept a good set of rules from gaining wider acceptance.

In other news, Scott Bowden is re-releasing Empire in several versions (the original Empire, Empire II and EMPIRE (aka Empire V)) in electronic form via The War Event.  If anyone’s interested in getting a set, it’s a way to keep interest alive in the rules.  I haven’t played Empire in almost two decades but I had fun with the rules when we played and would not turn down a chance to play them again with the right group of people.  Another game with a complex learning curve like Legacy of Glory.

Something New: Force on Force

I ordered a copy of  “Force on Force” from Ambush Alley Games yesterday.   I had previously downloaded the free version of Ambush Alley and liked the ideas, so I thought I’d spring for a copy of FOF with an eye to some World War II and maybe some modern/near-future gaming.   It’s a busy week (when isn’t it?) so I haven’t had a chance to peruse the PDF versions I received, but based on the feedback I’ve seen on the web and the AA rules that they’re based on, I’m looking forward to them.

I’m going to slowly accumulate some 20mm WWII figures for running some small games.   It will be a nice diversion from Napoleonics and it may be something I can interest my son in playing a few years from now (he’s 7).    I figure when I get bored with painting too many white straps and shako cords I can switch and do some figures in camouflage to mix things up a bit.  With winter coming on we’re getting back to what I consider to be prime time painting season.  With much less outdoor work to be done, I’ll have a few more hours a month for painting.  Mixing in a few platoons of 20mm WWII figs shouldn’t be hard.

I may also pick up PDF copies of Rapid Fire 2nd Edition and some of their supplements as well for a quick & dirty larger games.

Closed circuit to Chris S.:  Answer your damn email!  😉

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