8th Army – Bren Gun Carriers

So I’m nearing the end of this project. I have enough toys to do various games with at this point. But it’s time to show some more of them. This time it’s 9 Bren Gun (or Universal) carriers for the army. I believe this is the most produced fighting vehicle in history but in reality they are not that impressive on the table or in real life. It’s a combination Jeep, halftrack, truck as the ultimate army utility vehicle.First I have three with heavy machine guns mounted on them. Although having four crew as standard most of these particular models came with 3. All these models in the post are the old metal battlefront versions. I believe they now have a plastic kit for universal carriers as does PSC, but in the end I’m not sure I really want a lot more of them in any force.They will be used for transport and scout units. Like the halftracks of the Germans/US they really were transport vehicles than a fighting ones most of the time. I’ll try to remember to use them as such on the table as well! The six remaining ones have no obvious weapon and will be for just such a transport role – allowing for fast deployment of infantry squads to the right location on the table. If troops get caught in them then that’s not a good thing as they really don’t have much protection for them to hide in. I believe they were very maneuverable, reliable and adaptable which made them perfect for a massive number of roles for the British army. It’s just that front line combat was typically not one of them.The one combat use on the table they will have is it can have is as a mobile carrier platoon. They rode to the rescue in these things (in theory anyway) in the fast reaction role. There were meant to be 10 carriers in such  platoon but mine will have 9 in any event as that’s all I have. So their use as reserves in various games may be the right tactic.So another platoon ready for the table. As you can see I even have one with an officer in it – so I can see these dropping off an infantry platoon and then getting out of dodge pretty quickly.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 2 Comments

8th Army – Objectives and a Grant tank

A quick post this week of a couple of items for my desert army. First two objective bases. These can be useful for all sorts of games or just as terrain but are the official ones which came with the Flames of War army pack.I must admit I was tempted to try to paint the tank as a burnt out wreck as thats how it would really be – but I’m not sure I’m up to doing the rust really well. The heat rust effect is hard to pull off but that’s how it would be in real life – most likely anyways. So instead I just did some browns over the engine and rear area. So it shows a problem there but not the results of a true fireball from being hit.  I also have a single grant tank for the British force. It’s actually the US style one not the British with a true US turret on the top vs. the British one which was smaller. However, for the few times I’ll use it that should be ok. Let’s call it a conversation starter if people can really identify it as incorrect.If the local store had more of them I may have gone for a platoon of 3 as they were used quite a bit in the desert by the British as the lend lease program really came into effect. However, the single one will be good for Chain of Command etc. games as a major support item I believe. I can use it for a command tank as well in bigger games.So there we are a small post this week to balance things out I guess. As the football World Cup has started my painting time is likely to be impacted a bit but I should be able to keep up the posts here all the same.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | 1 Comment

Necromunda Cawdor gang

Ok I have been showing my 15mm desert war stuff for a while but now is time to have a bigger post of figs and of a different scale. I feel some of those posts have been a little ‘eye candy’ light so it’s time to change that with this post, which is picture heavy. Included are the touched up/redone original Cawdor gang from Necromunda. You can see them all below.These were my favorite faction in the original game and I got several good campaigns in with these figures. I have redone the basing, touched up the painting and added more highlights/contrast to the figures. You can see the detailed pictures of the figures – front and back below.  I always try to keep to a theme with forces and use a limited or specific set of colors. With these it was pretty easy, with the original colours I used being browns, greens and purples. The last was kind of highlight or emphasis colour on them. There are a few other bright shades mixed in – the leader is most obvious with orange and some blues here and there as they are a gang after all.I always liked the standard gangers of this group. They look to have a the ‘futuristic medieval throwback’ style. In some ways it’s quite similar to what some tv shows do to give a different feel of cultures. We’ll have to see if the new Cawdor sculpts have the same appeal to me as these.The hooded look had one extra side effect – which is that I don’t need to pain the faces. When I first did these that was a big deal. It helped me get through them, but I think my painting has improved these days to the point that I’m less worried about that now. The basing is a mixture of two of the GW new textured paint colours and some light highlights after the fact. I must admit I quite like the overall mixed effect but I have been trying to do a different basing style for each of these redone gangs. It provides just enough context to them to make them interesting though.There are a few repeats of the poses, as is common in the old packs. However, I think these are reasonable and still look decent for their age – and travels, having been with me since the original release of the game in the mid 90’s.  The leader is the orange cowled guy with the chainsword. He stands out nicely on the table so just like the heavy guy there is no confusing him with another model. The fact that he is the only one with a chain sword makes him unique as well.Overall, I’m happy with how these have come out and they really did not need too much work. Their basing was awful (well basically I did nothing with them), and they had basic block painting but the touch ups have brought them out nicely. So it’s cool to have another go at them now. So there we are a load of pictures of models in this post. Another gang ready for the revitalized under hive.

Posted in 28mm, Gangster, Necromunda | 1 Comment

8th Army -Infantry platoon round out

So time to show the rest of my infantry which have been based individuality for use with Chain of Command/force on force style games. These round out the different figures that I have and should give me enough for pretty much any size game I want to play. They are also useful if I want to play such ones as battlegroup, as they need casualty tracking/figure removal as things go badly. Below you can see the full collection of my British figs based this way – the full platoon. I just thought I’d put a nice picture of the full group.So now I have some close up shots of the different figures. As always they all match with basing style and colours.These figs are all the plastic battlefront platoon set. As I have said before they are not bad models but I’m not really that impressed with the face detail. That is a little flat and it did not really come out with my usual style. In the end trying to deepen the tones I went a bit too dark, but at the same time on the table it works, even if up close it looks rough. Here are the officers/commanders from the set. All are exactly the same model which I do find a little annoying but I guess that’s what they have done. It would have been nice to at least have a couple of different poses.Below is the front of the officer figures. These have a better face than many of the models.The integrates support weapons are fairly basic in the standard British platoon in the desert, being an anti-tank rifle and the small mortar. I still think of the mortar as a knee mortar, which is what the Japanese called them, but I know that’s their official name. I seem to remember them being 2″ mortars, but I may be wrong.Here we have the front of the anti-tank gun and the small mortar figures which are usually part of the platoon.Last in this little group are a corporal and a few figs with automatic guns – the Bren and a couple of sub machine guns.As I said, it’s interesting that these get separate figure with different poses but there is only one officer pose. Still what can you do, I think I can deal with it.So, there we are, this is all my original infantry for this project. I have a few more posts for this project but I have a decent selection of figs already.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Leave a comment

8th Army – Crusader Tanks

OK it’s been a little while since I showed some of the British tanks I have done, so here is a platoon of three Crusaders. These are the last platoon of tanks I have for this army. The Crusaders were decent mid war tanks used by the British. Over 5,000 Crusader tanks were manufactured and they made important contributions in the desert war. They were not the best tank though. Their protection was limited and always had issues in guns used – it was upgraded through the various version but they were often outgunned and challenged to penetrate German tanks. They were also quite prone of mechanical issues and especially early on were prone to breakdowns. Overall, they were good when facing the Italians but modern German tanks were a challenge, which I guess that’s not saying that much about their power. Still they were one of the main cruiser tanks for the British from 41 though to 42 and saw service right up till late 42. They also were surprisingly successful for all their issues.The characterful and stylish angular turrets made a shot trap if an incomming round hit them right making this a nasty risk, which did not help their combat capabilities. One crippling problem though was a lack of HE shells which limited their use vs. infantry and especially made them vulnerable to Axis anti-tank guns.These three models are all battlefront. Like all the others tanks in my 8th army force I have them painted in the same British desert style camouflage. In games this platoon needs to move and get to flanking positions against most German armour or anti-tank crews.  These are really light tanks and they should be used as such. As with all of my British 8th army desert force they are not custom built as a killer combination of units but are more a characterful and realistic force. So having these around makes a lot of sense for mu gaming options.I must admit I do like the look of them, but for all the reasons above you’ll agree they will likely not be massively successful in action.  Used as light tanks on a flank though with the infantry and Matida’s in the center they should be effective.  Otherwise in games like CoC they may be flanking force to support infantry. That’s how they were often used – as they were at the time one of the fastest tanks in the desert I believe. If they can attack not from the front they can be a powerful unit, but a frontal battle charge will likely just end up one way.

One of the last things I found when reading about these is they were another British tank which created the ‘Tommy cooker’ name. That was due to their capacity to catch on fire when taken out of action. I know the Sherman had that issues but I had not realized that there were other tanks with a similar issue.  So there we are, another set of tanks and the last I have for the force at this point. I need to get these and the others I have on the table i.e. ‘the field of battle’ a few times and see how good or bad they really are before doing more tanks. I do still have a few more items to finish in this force though.

Posted in 15mm, World War 2 | Leave a comment

8th Army – More small bases and treasure chests

A bit of a mixed bag post this week, just showing a few more painted items. First, as a follow up to the post two weeks ago here are another 8 extra small Flames of War bases.  These again will be used for general troops and/or casualty replacements in games where the figure count on a base matters. Most of the figures are metal but there are a few plastic ones in this mix from the Battlefront packs that I have. They are a mix or 2 and 3 figures on the bases so should be useful in most cases.These all continue to be in the same style as all the rest of the troops I have for the force. I will continue with the basing in the simple manner as I’m not sure the desert really needs a lot more.Secondly, included here is a picture of another small project I have done. This is from a Kickstarter and are ten treasure chests from the Dungeons of Massmorra game. They were I believe a KS additional item which came for free. These will actually be useful in that game (if I remember them) but also useful for games such as Frostgrave as well. Infant they may be more useful in those games than the original where card pieces still work. I included Bob to give some scale to the chests.So there we are, just a quick painting update this week.

Posted in 15mm, 28mm, Board game, Fantasy, World War 2 | Leave a comment

First game of Saga v2

So this week I played my first game of the Saga v2 rules. I have yet to read the rules but do own them. So this was a bit of a learning game for me. I had managed to scan a few things on the net about the new version, so was not coming into this completely cold. My opponent Perry was playing Irish list but with some very middle eastern stand in models and you can see a close up shot of them below. I suspect they will really be used when the crusades book hits over here. I know it’s released but I have not seen it over in Canada yet. The toys are nicely painted and that the main thing, so I had no issue with the stand in’s – I much prefer that than unpainted models.The Irish have champions still and the new version makes levies much more effective so he had 3 of them, 2 champions, a unit of warriors and a mercenary hero/single character. He set up covering one corner of his deployment zone and about half the table width in, as you can see below.
I used my Welsh – so this was going to be a ‘javelin fest’ with lots of tricks. I say that as both are armies have their fun ‘magic’ powers on the saga battle board. So rather than just hitting hard they have reaction or subtle mechanic change rules which make them unique and different. I had 3 small hearthguard units of 4 figs each in the centre and 3 warrior units, 2 mounted on my left flank, with a unit of warriors on foot holding the right against the main force of the Irish. The table was set out below. We just scattered some terrain vs. using anything in the rules.My basic plan was to use the foot warriors to hold the main force of the Irish in place while the mounted units went around the flank . Then with help of the hearth guard they would all destroy the Irish. I also remember from the old version that Irish champions and warlords were a pain and hard to kill so my thought was to focus on his levy units to take away saga dice and their space taking abilities. With those dead it should be easier to take out the characters.One change with the new rules is the ability to move unengaged units once without a die. I did this in the first turn and used a welsh ability to ignore terrain. So the Irish were a little shocked by the rapid movement of all the Welsh to just outside long range by turn 1. The holding Welsh warriors hid behind terrain knowing their time would soon come, especially as in the Irish turn their battle line moved forward in their turn. I also learnt about the special Irish extra hits power on their characters – which was enabled in most game turns it seemed. It uses 2 Saga die but does make them extra resistant to damage. That reinforced my thoughts/plan to focus on the levies really though. The next turn my aggressive nature got the better of me. I could not sit for a 3rd the game without getting stuck in. So after moving the flanking cav again, I moved my other unit up close to one of the enemy levy units. A flight of Javelins took out a couple of the levy and then I used a Welsh battle board power to force the Levy to charge my unit- through bad terrain. This worked and I only lost one warrior to the levy and did a loads of hits in return but after some really good save dice rolls the levy still had enough figs to count for a saga die generation. This left my horsemen exposed so I used the foot warrior unit to charge another levy unit in the center. Oddly, this was much more effective and again for a single casualty they kill 6 of the levy. Still not enough to stop them generating a die but that was a bit of a bloodbath, with half their number dead.The Irish turn went somewhat as expected though with them concentrating on the exposed warriors but I was surprised they were not as effective as it could have been. This time it was my turn to roll decent save die! It does not happen often so heck that was a nice surprise. The Irish did move to surround my two warrior units though.The Irish have battle board abilities to use one die to activate a lot of units but only once which the allowed them to use other dice for powers. So my warriors needed to do something on my turn. to break out of this.

In my turn I rolled good Saga die for once and decided to continue to attack aggressively. Yes, people who know me are not shocked at this aggressive tactical move I’m sure. I used the mounted warriors to charge the remaining levy in the center and took them down to a single fig. The foot warriors were there to support and I started to move some of the hearthguard forward to help, but I could not move everything with the limited dice I had. I waited for the counter attack which I knew was coming at this point though.The Irish turn saw the destruction of the mounted warriors and my foot warriors were taken down to half numbers and retreated from losing a combat. So that was as expected really. Getting in the middle of the opponents forces with just a  couple of units is never great. The supporting  hearthguard unit was starting to close though. I was limited by an awful saga die roll… all die rolled the weakest symbol which limited me for what I could do, both for powers and units to control.The main thing I decided was for the hearthguard unit to attack and destroy the second of the levy units. I tried to get them to safety but instead exhausted them – which is easier in this version of Saga. I forgot how easy it is to do that. By now the flanking mounted warriors were around the hedge and getting ready to make their play. The Welsh warlord and another hearthguard unit was also on the move while the Irish now we’re starting to look a lot thinner on the ground.The next Irish turn their mercenary attacked and destroyed my exhausted hearthguard unit but only after they had been peppered by their champions and warlord by javelins. Warlord definitely seem to shoot more than I remember in the last version.My unit of foot Warriors were gainly holding out vs the other levy unit but at two fatigues they were not doing much. That’s something which has changed in this version, as fatigue seems to be more of a tactical factor vs. the last edition. More units doing one or two actions seems the norm here vs the super units doing quite a bit and then losing fatigue in combat which happened from what I remember in the old version. They did get knocked to just above the size where they would  generate a SAGA die with the full force of the Irish on them. I used one of the Welsh evade abilities to keep them alive a little longer but by the time it was my turn to move they were down to a single figure.With a pretty poor saga die roll again the next turn, I did managed to get my remaining mounted warriors into combat with the Irish foot warriors. Although I lost 4 figs the Irish lost 5. That worked to take another unit out of generating saga die for them. However, I could really do little else apart from set up some reactions to moves. The Welsh have quite a counter punch capability so I was starting to slowly get used to that. It’s also useful to get troops away from trouble with an evade action.The next turn though I was ready to deal with the last levy unit. I used a saga ability to force the levy to charge my lone warrior, who died manfully but brought them out of cover and gave them a fatigue. Then the hearthguard unit close by pounced on them and to the loss of one of their own killed all but three of the levy. In a competitive game I might not have done this sacrifice of a single figure unit but it seemed like a fun idea to get the levy out of the bad terrain.Talking of that, I also charged my remaining mounted warriors at the mercenary. Even with advantages on my side it did not work well though and he killed all them. I definitely need to read the rules up on the characters again as they seem harder in this version than the last one. In a tourney or a competitive game I might not have done this but I wanted to see what happened. I predicted they would to be able to kill him and that expected result did really happen. Still what the heck.In the last turns, the Irish did not have enough Saga die to do that much – especially not power their extra defence power. So my idea of taking out the levy to remove saga die had worked to an extent. I was also getting the hang a little more of moving units etc and using the Welsh board which helped a little as well.I waited for the Irish to set up and power saga abilities to weaken a unit, then I moved that unit away with a reaction ability. This saved some of the worse of the damage the Irish warlord/champions can do with Javelins. It also left one of the Irish champions exposed and I did finally kill one of them with my final fresh Hearthguard unit. I also killed the last of the levy so the Irish has 1 levy fig in the table and their characters. Another typical saga game where not many models survive the game!In the end I’m not sure who won as I’m not sure what victory conditions were, but we had fun. We both had a good time playing the game which is the main point. It’s given me the push to read the rules and get back playing saga again which is good as well. I say that but still have not opened the book to read them yet but I will.

Tactically, I need to get better at moving more units and doing combined tactics as it’s obvious this version has a little more focus on that than the last one. Javelins also are nasty – helping in attack but also reducing your own armour which is not great. So I need to get better at using the Welsh board for the attack and counter move style fighting.

Overall, I have to say  Saga 2 is a fun game and may well be better than the first version. It does not seem any worse that’s for sure. Its another game to use my Dark Age toys with as well as Lion Rampant which I really like. We had a fun game and knowing the rules will certainly help for the next game I play. The Welsh also are aggressive enough for my style and come with some tricks so I will try them again. They are different than the Vikings I played often in V1.

Posted in 28mm, After Action Report, Ancients, SAGA | Leave a comment