keskiviikko 27. tammikuuta 2016

Force on Force - Contracting Trouble

Our Kharum -campaign continued with a game where UN troops were retrieving two western engineers from obvious trouble. And what a show those blue clad boys put up after so many humiliating defeats.

This time the game was a classic scenario from the FoF rulebook, "Contracting Trouble!. It is quite straightforward rescue scenario with fairly small troops. Its is simple but it provides a good basis for a great game. And it didn't failed this time either.

The story was two engineers, mining they said, stuck in a hostile part of town because their car had failed them. Yes, once again, but this is almost everyday problem in harsh streets of Kharum. The engineers reported the situation and UN troops nearby responded. The area was known to be Colonel Miracles supporters so UN troops decided not to draw too much attention and approached location by foot and left jeeps behind. At the same time local militia leaders were having a meeting near the place where the broken car and poor engineers were waiting for. And naturally the militia troops were there too, so the place was crawling armed men.

Few moments after the UN troops had started advance they spotted potential threat and first fire fight broke out. At the same time one of the UN jeeps zoomed along the road passing surprised Un troopers and even more surprised militiamen. Jeep rushed in front gunning down a gunman toting RPG in the corner. This fired up the scene. One Un unit took an overwatch position and jeep zoomed ahead towards two engineers. Local militia was still bit slow to react, maybe the lack of leaders was making them reluctant to engage UN troopers. At the same time the other team of UN troopers took advantage of the phlegmatic behavior of militia and performed clever flanking move towards the rescue point. Gradually one militia group after the another engaged UN troops but surprisingly effective overwatch fire and good tactical moves most of the opposition was neutralized. The alerted leaders were trying to run to their own troops but ended up shot by the UN fire team watching over the street.

UN jeep reached the engineers and was burst in flames after detonating mine or IED. Crew survived
and took two engineers in protection. They started moving to flanking UN team while overwatch team on the street took care almost all fighting and very successfully I'd say. Even more militia poured in and surrounded the team on the street.They had clear plans to jump to UN troopers and take them as prisoners. But the most heroic street team kept the spirit up and while taking some casualties eliminated the attacks to their position and arrested two militiamen, to ad the insult. At this situation UN sergeant decided not to try the push towards safe zone, it was too risky. UN troopers occupied small house and set defensive positions there. Local militia tried one more strike but once again prepared UN troopers were better. There was once again an incident where four masked fighters appeared from nowhere shot down group of militia and went on before anyone really noticed. Everyone was wondering who these ghosts are? This operation ended on nice stalemate where four partly wounded UN group have took positions on three houses surrounded by bunch of very hostile militia. Good point to have another operation.

Some AAR shots from the scene:

Town waiting...
Poor engineers and their broken car.
Militia moving about.
UN team flanking successfully avoiding fire.
UN jeep rushing for the rescue,
Mllitia leaers clising in.
More militia and scary RPG.
Militia is in every corner.
And is running into fire.
Engineers secured and moving guarded.
Heroic UN team literally surrounded. 
The last stand.
Taking prisoners.
Closing shots.
Very good game. Fun and eventful with many turns of initiative. Some truly movie moments in the fight. Next will be "the Alamo".

maanantai 25. tammikuuta 2016

Bolt Action - 8th Army ready for the Duel

Bolt Action gaming has been somewhat on hold since the Force on Force campaign is now running more or less regularly. But the painting hasn't been on hold, by no means. I've painted regularly and all sorts of miniatures for the Bolt. More Germans, Sikhs, more British and this my latest addition for my collection 8th army with some LRDG reinforcements, which is presented now.

At some stage during the autumn one of my club mates was ordering miniatures from Perry Miniatures and I jumped in to get troops for the North Africa. This idea had been bubbling in my mind for a year and this was perfect excuse to start new army. Then when the great miniatures came I started right away.

I also have had an idea to make some troops for LRDG for some, "behind the enemy lines -games. So next order went to Warlord Games and armed Jeeps and lorries were on the way. Previously I had bought one extra Finnish Bofors light AT gun and when I saw a picture of Portee gun Morris armed with Bofors it was added into this project too. And what is an army without tanks so few tanks were added for serious support duties.

So here's my latest Bolt Action project just in time for new "Duel in the Sun" - campaign book. This project got extra boost when I was on holiday and spent a week in the Bay of Aqaba and visited Jordania where the scenery boosted my inspiration.

The Desert rats squad one.
Squad two.
And then reckless LRDG commandos.  
Light mortar and At rifle for support.
And best support ever the Sniper.
Platoon command team.
Medic with orderly to keep boys healthy.
LRDG jeeps and portee gun.
M3 White and Morris for transport.
Another M3 but this time Grant to counter good German tanks.
Front view. This was particularly nice model to paint.

Crusader II a bit faster armor.
And the front view.
I might get one more box of Desert rats to complete this, but now I'm busy with German DAK painting and some Ramcke brigade troops so next there will be Germans...

keskiviikko 13. tammikuuta 2016

Force on Force - Fatal error

After a short break Kharum got active once again. This time incident was a group of American geologists ending up in distress which launched US Marine rescue operation. Scenario was one from "The Day of the Ranger" book, where food delivery point gets under attack by gunmen. They were protected by US troops arriving with choppers and fast roping to the scene. I just changed roles.

The story started when a group of US geologists got threatened by group of local gunmen who wanted to rob poor scientists. Gunmen never knew that these seemingly harmless scientist were carrying very important samples in their truck. So, to be safe scientists picked their satellite phone up and called Uncle Sam, which promptly sent some Marines to rescue from near by carrier. The samples were to be taken back home.

At start three civilians were surrounded by by angry gunmen and they were hunkering under their red truck. Just when the gunmen were to apprehend scientist two choppers entered the scene. First chopper flew in and team of Marines fast roped down near the scientists. During insertion phase Blackhawk was clipped by two RPG rockets and it went smoking down. But managed to make autorotation landing. Marines formed perimeter and gunmen just moved closer to reach scientists. Second chopper flew in and got no ground fire, so second team of Marines were able to form perimeter in very good position. All Marine teams went to overwatch.

Gunmen moved for the hit and the firefight broke out. With almost surgical effectiveness Marines gunned down gunmen effectively eliminating them group  by group. It was like Hollywood movie since always when gunmen tried hostile action they were shot down. This went on and when sniper team which has been aboard downed Blackhawk joined the fight gunmen really had no chance. Only mishap was when team of Marines exploded hidden IED and two Marines were wounded. When situation was as it was gunmen withdraw from the fight. Marines did won, but US gov. has lot to explain about the downed chopper and what they were doing in Kharum.

First chopper enter and troops are fast roping down.
Second chopper arrives.
Marines forming a perimeter surrounded by hostile gunmen.
Blackhawk down, but gently enough on top of the roof.
Hold on you'll be rescued!
Marine leader instructing one geologist to follow another is saving the samples.
Truck of the scientist Marines covering by the wall. 
IED explosion!

Nice game and it was so surprising how almost everything went for the Marines. Truly a schoolbook example of rapid rescue mission, even one bird went on the deck. Only two Marines wounded, nothing else.

Now US presence in Kharum is clear. Let's see where that leads...

keskiviikko 6. tammikuuta 2016

The Look at My Miniature Year 2015

When I started this blog few years ago the aim was to create some sort of diary. Maybe also share pictures and stories of hobby projects and games through the year. Now it's the time to look back on a year 2015 through my beloved hobby once again.

Painting and modeling


WWII painting and collecting has been still on top of the list on my painting priorities. Now it seems that when I started collecting WWII figures, mainly from Warlord Games, there seems no end to that. For some reason they just spark my interest and fuel my inspiration again and again.

During the year I've completed many armies for Bot Action and still keep on starting new. During first months of the year I completed quite large troop ofUS Marines and some months later US Armored infantry with sizable amount of tanks as they are armored infantry. During spring months I painted also Blitzkrieg Germans with some tanks and later on motorcycle squad. During early summer it was time to move to Continuation war Finns.

Along that project I modeled themed gaming and demonstration table based on  Portinhoikka crossroads, famous historical battle scene during Tali-Ihantala fight. I put some dedication to that project and it ended up to be featured on Warlord web site. I'm happy! And also I started armies for Russian both summer and winter. But these projects still wait to be completed.

Crusades came and went

Early year 2015 saw also brief venture on Crusades era miniatures as I painted an army of St John and some early Crusaders for our club games. It was quite nice to paint some fighters for Levant for variation to olive drab and field grey. And of course thy are most heroic and fun to paint as such.

Napoleonic s

During the year I also added some units for my 15mm Napoleonic collection. There were start of the Poles and some additions for French and Russian armies as well as troop of Dutch cavalry. But nothing much. Maybe I go back to painting Poles on 2016 if and when our Leipzig project proceeds.

Back to modern

On the previous year modern miniatures returned back on the program as we started once again Force on Force gaming on the club. Also nothing big only few units of Rhodesian native infantry and generic military police or
mercenary troopers. Now I realize, I haven't published any pictures of these.

Gaming and events

There was once again quite busy gaming year. Bolt Action was on top of the list, how else. I'd say a
game of Bolt a week was normal pace. We also arranged two BA gaming days on our club where clubs Bolt gamers get together to have a game and a talk. New gamer were also initiated to beloved game of Bolt. Bolt Action was also presented to public on Tabletop Gaming Day and on big event Suuri Snadi.

Last year saw also many Black Powder games as we started our 1812 Napoleonic campaign and fought
many fights of French against Russia until we reached Borodino. That was one of the largest games this year. Some six thousand figures on table. A game that lasted full 11 hours and almost wasted me. Great fun. There was also another big one, Waterloo refight later summer.

During last year I tried some new games for medieval gaming. Deus Vult, Saga/Crescent & Cross and Lion Rampart were on the table, so to say. Deus Vult is promising, not many games though. Lion Rampart was nice and easy with no special gimmicks. As Saga is too full of those gamey features, and is not in my taste.

And off course there was War Head Christmas tournament Civil War where War Head team members celebrated startingYuletide by having very friendly and strongly thematic WH40K tournament. My only time last year when I did Warhammer 40K. But if you do, do with best possible way, War Head style.

Last year we went once again to Hamburg Tactica to participate weekend gaming event. Absolutely my favorite two day happening in nice and friendly atmosphere. Lots to see and experience and loads of inspiration to be taken back home. It will be on the schedule this year too.

Thoughts for the next year

Once again active year with this somewhat eccentric hobby. Painting mood was good throughout the
year and quite amount of figures got ready for games, some just got stored to wait the game to appear. Now looking back the year, I painted almost evert day when I was at home. Painting sessions were from quick hour up to six hour sits during weekends, so sometimes my painting pipeline got empty. This was remedied by ordering quickly more.

As I have many times pointed I'm more of a painter and modeler than gamer. I really enjoy painting nice figures on highest standard I can reach. I go for quality and detail more than speed, so I could spend some time with interesting figure getting it more and more detailed. I still haven't counted how many figures got painted this year, but I believe something around 350 - 400. Or should I say, I figure per day.

There was an active gaming year also, even if I just stated myself as a painter. I found myself in our Club having a game or two a week, so some could even challenge the non-gamer statement. But the games I like to play should be based on scenario and should have strong theme, historical if possible. I just don't want play so called competitive games with miniatures and miniature rule sets, there are way better ways to compete, if that rings your bells. No nicely themed, dramatic and preferably historically set scenario, that my thing. On one interview mr. John Stallard from Warlord Games said, he's historical-romantic gamers, I think I'm too!

Well, this was my year of miniatures. Now toward the next...