The Joy of Six 2017

Some things are small but perfectly formed: Mini Coopers, Fiat 500s, Lambrettas, Kylie, Clare Grogan, Lichtenstein and now I’d like to add the Joy of Six show in Sheffield to the list. If you do not know already this show is the brainchild of Peter at Baccus Miniatures and is to promote 6mm gaming and it does this very well indeed.

As I have mentioned already on here I was there with the Neustadt Crossing game along with fellow South London Warlords Daren, Dan, Warren and Jonathan. After meeting up at the hotel in Sheffield, Warren had got the train up and Jonathan was meeting us there the next day with the rest of us arriving in Dan’s car, we headed off to meet up with Peter and other gamer types at a ‘beer and curry’ night that he had arranged. This a nice idea to get people together before the show, although the curry wasn’t the best – sorry Peter, general consensus from us – the pub was cracking and a good time was had by us and we did have a great laugh at the meal.

The next day saw us having to make the 5 minute drive to the venue which in the end took us nearly half an hour due to Sheffield’s lovely one way system! This meant that we arrived quite late and were a bit rushed getting everything set up. We just about got set up in time and managed to have a quick mooch about the show before the doors opened. The show in itself is in no way large, but the quality of the games on display was of a very high standard indeed. Traders were obviously limited to those who supply 6mm kit and they seemed to be doing brisk business all day. When I managed to get over to see Andy at H&R later in the day he looked completely knackered as they’d been so busy but I did get to have a quick chat with him and there are some very cool things in the 6mm Modern pipelines – the upcoming Danish Centurion and M41’s are superb and they have a Finnish Sisu coming out too, so very happy days for me! I also had a good look at Commission Figurines range of 6mm MDF figures and they were actually quite appealing, I liked the new ACW ones in particular.

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We had an absolutely cracking day at the show and we got to speak to a lovely bunch of people, especially the gents we met at the curry the night before. I also got to say hello again to Per from the fantastic ‘Roll a One’ blog which was nice too. Not only were those that came to look at our game a lovely bunch of people but whilst checking out the other games too there was a really nice vibe, everyone had time to chat, terrain tips were swapped and there was none of the snidey comments you can get from people at other shows who don’t dig 6mm. Indeed it is possibly the friendliest show I’ve ever been to and you actually had time to have a good chat with people whilst also getting the game done too.

Yes, the game. Unfortunately Comrade Noakesavitch and I failed once more to liberate Neustadt for the workers. We had hatched a seemingly brilliant, simple and effective plan the night before in the pub and it lasted about 3 turns before we realised why its not best to hatch brilliant military stratagems after a few pints. Highlights of the game were, for Warren definitely, a Harrier taking out both of our Hinds in one go after rolling double snake eyes and us driving a company of BMP’s through an artillery barrage (which didn’t go well). Also the plucky escort Scorpion taking on some T-62’s and coming out on top deserves a mention, fanny magnets all round for the crew of that vehicle. We didn’t get the bulk of our armour into action though and would have obviously triumphed once they engaged the filthy, capitalist-imperialist lap dogs. We have sworn to triumph one day, maybe next time eh Dan? And hopefully there will be a next time as it was an absolute pleasure as always, I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

We have been invited back for next year and will definitely be doing so. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in 6mm gaming and can see it growing in popularity and maybe size. We’d all like to thank Peter and co for putting the show on and hope that it will be on the calendar for many years to come.

Here’s pics of some of the games that took my fancy, unfortunately the ones I took of Per’s game haven’t come out well at all (sorry Per!) but you can find some here: https://rollaone.com/ and well worth it they are too!

Deeside Defenders: 1st Bull Run, using new Fire and Fury Brigade rules which they were enjoying apparently which bodes well as Des has just secured some copies for us to use in the near future. A cracking bunch of lads and a lovely table.

 

Robert Dunlop and Sons: Messines Ridge 1917 – not sure of the rules. This was a proper busy table, it gave Dan a headache apparently but I thought it was fantastic, captured the Western Front well which was headache inducing I reckon! I have seen their games at shows before and are always well worth it.

 

Baccus: Siege of Manchester, 1642. Again not sure of the rules, quite a neat little table this with all of the 200-odd buildings cast in resin specifically for this game.

 

Mailed Fist: Last Train to Berlin, 1944 – Iron Cross rules. This was the game next to us and sported some great terrain. They were using an adapted version of the rules to enable the use of larger units. Cracking armoured train and town.

 

Dan Hodgson: Waterloo, 1815 using Polemos Rules. This was hands down for me the showstopper game. I was just gutted I didn’t get more time to study it more, or even to get involved. An absolute beauty.

 

Cold War Commanders: Landjut ’85, Cold War Commander rules. This game had just about everything a Cold War game could have from Soviet Attack Hovercraft to airliners, if you could think of it, it was on there!

 

20mm WW2 Norman Buildings

As the club doesn’t have any buildings specific for Normandy ’44 games and as quite a few of the TFL ‘Pint Sized Campaigns’ are set there I thought I might try and invest in some appropriate abodes to help with my OCD twitches when using slightly ‘off’ kit. So I started to scan the interweb for cheap as possible options and was actually quite surprised by the dearth of buildings for 20mm figures for this campaign – tons of 15 and 25mm which I must admit I thought was a tad strange.

Anyway my three-quarter arsed search resulted in me narrowing down the likely places where my shekels would go to 3 outfits:

https://www.starfortminiatures.com/20mm-models

http://www.empiresatwar.co.uk/20mm-NORMANDY-KITS.html

And a German outfit called najewitz-modellbau.de but the link I had for them just brings up an error page and it seems as if they aren’t making their kit anymore which is a right shame as I really liked it, that’ll teach me! However I pulled the trigger on the Star Fort and Empires outfits ordering the 5 building Norman Village set from the latter and a Cottage and Granary from the former. All are MDF kits (I freely admit to liking the smell of burnt MDF, something quite pleasant about it I reckon, although the Mem isn’t too keen!) and with the village set being pre-painted I decided to tackle that first.

So far I have made 3 of the 5 buildings and I must say they have gone together reasonably easily, I am extremely cack-handed when model making so I am allowing for that, but I have had a couple of problems that maybe aren’t down to that. On the plus side they are ridiculously easy to knock up, I take my time and each one took about an hour to do. Once built they look really nice, the chimneys aren’t exactly wonderful but I can live with that as they are great value for money, and once I painted the doors they really came to life and I look forward to getting them on a table. On the minus side the instructions aren’t the best, a series of blurry photo’s don’t really help with the one or two ‘trickier’ bits but having said that once you’ve built one you can do the rest of the buildings without referring to them at all. The biggest gripe I have though is the dormer’s – I can’t for the life of me get the sodding roofs of these to fit properly so I am leaving it for a day or two and then will be trying again, or I might just try and get some etched card and make some of my own to fit – it could be my modelling skills as well so I’ll try another one and report back if it is a consistent problem (EDIT: Immediately after posting this I had another go and managed to get them on, it was deffo my cack-handidness ballsing this up!). I also decided not to remove the cut outs on the roof for the chimney’s as it just didn’t look right on the first one (I re-did it after doing the 2nd building differently and seeing the difference). All in all though I am happy with these and for only £35 for the 5 they are a bargain I reckon. I’d also like to say that the service was very good too, delivery was within a week so a plus there, I’ll be definitely getting more from them when they release more in this range.

I won’t be tackling the Starfort buildings for a bit as I need to get some enamels to paint them and also they didn’t come with any instructions! Now as they are a bit more involved that the Empires ones I think that it wouldn’t have harmed them to help us out by giving us a hint at what to do, I’ll be pinging them an email to see if any are available as I couldn’t see any on their site for these particular models.

Anyway here’s some pics of the 3 made so far, I’ll bung the other 2 up later once I have them finished, I reckon once they are all done and a shop or two plus a church are added they could make a nice little village.

 

 

 

Off to Joy of 6….

On Sunday, 16th July Daren, Dan, Warren, Jonathan and I will be taking the Nuestadt Crossing Cold War game that we put on at Salute to the Joy of 6 show in Sheffield. If you are unaware what this show is about well there’s a clue in the title, every game has 6mm/1/300th scale figures or models. The aim of the organiser (Pete from Baccus) is to promote the use of 6mm as a wargaming scale, indeed if you pitch up and declare that you are a 6mm sceptic then they will waive the paltry £3 entrance fee safe in the knowledge that the games being put on will change your mind!

Both Daren and  I have been keen to attend for the past few years as the games do look spectacular but have been unable to so it was great when we were accepted to put the game on and now we are really looking forward to it. So if you are there please pop by for a chat, I’m not sure exactly where we will be but we will have a stonking great South London Warlords banner up so it will be hard to miss us!

Here’s info about the show:

http://www.thejoyof6.co.uk/

And here’s some pics of the game we are putting on:

https://tracksandthreads.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/salute-2017/

https://tracksandthreads.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/salute-game-run-through/

I’ll be posting pics later of some new buildings I have from Empires At War. They are 20mm MDF Normandy Houses for use with Chain of Command, the first one is done and I should have a couple more done later today as the second is well on the way to completion.

Apologies for lack of posts…

I haven’t been doing much these past few weeks as I’ve not been feeling too good, a visit to hospital yesterday showed that my blood problem is being a bastard again so my medication is having to be increased once more – huzzah!. I don’t have any game reports to post either, it was AGM night at the club on Monday and the week before was a ‘training’ game for someone on FFT3 and I didn’t take any photos that I could use on here so decided to not do a write up.

I am hoping to get some stuff done this week though so should have something ready later in the week, I’m determined to finish off some Soviet kit that’s been on the desk for a few weeks now.  Also we are taking the Salute game up to Joy of 6 next weekend which I am really looking forward to so there will be lots to post about after that.

Bovington Tankfest 2017

I was a very happy camper on Saturday as I joined 11 other members of the South London Warlords in a trip to Bovington for Tankfest 2017, which was Kindly organised by the club. Even a 7:30 start from Dulwich (meaning I had to getup at 5.30) wasn’t enough to spoil the start of the day. The 3 hour drive in the mini-coach passed smoothly enough helped immensely by watching A Bridge Too Far on the on board DVD player, an inspired idea by Dave there.

I had never been to Bovvy before and I was quite excited to tell the truth and couldn’t wait to get cracking. Of course though we had to be civilised as a brew and bacon bap was needed by Dan and Daren before we ventured into the museum – I breakfasted on Pork Pie and Coke, the choice of champions!  – but pretty soon we were in. The place was absolutely heaving with the event being sold out and so I didn’t take too many photo’s as there was usually someone in the way! We made our way round the museum and had an absolute blast, as if we weren’t going to enjoy ourselves really, it is a huge building full of tanks.

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Vickers 6-tonner – just loved this camo scheme
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Yes, the armour wasn’t great and the gun’s a bit pony but there’s just something about a Cromwell!
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Soviet T-26 captured and used by the Finns

So we spent the whole morning wandering round the exhibits getting our tank nerd well and truly on, with each of us coming out with little nuggets of information or being the first to recognise a certain mark. Then there was the shooting competition. I noticed a Bren Gun set up in front of a screen and a young lad ‘shooting’ at it, apparently a Skill At Arms Test Simulator thing. It was only a pound a go and hence too tempting to not to have a bash, so we all duly did. There were other weapons that you could go on too dotted about the exhibits so the Vickers and PIAT were tackled as well – indeed we kept coming back round to where the Vickers was as there was always a queue! It must have been the combination of the boyish joy of being around all those tanks and watching the film on the way down that caused it but it was bleeding good fun even though I was useless!

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Daren giving it some on the PIAT…
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.. and embracing his inner lad as a result!

The Tiger exhibit was well worth it and you can see why people were terrified of the buggers in WW2, they are truly impressive looking machines, the Tiger 2 being comparable in size to a modern MBT. I wasn’t too keen on seeing the ‘Fury’ bit though but as Dan said I suppose they have to take any sponsorship they can get. One thing that I particularly enjoyed was the many Centurions, hands down my favourite tank I reckon.  Just a great looking bit of kit and still has to be one of the most successful tanks that has ever been produced. Good to see the Panzer IV too, a much overlooked tank I reckon and one that we all agreed on is probably the image you get in your mind if you think of a ‘tank’. Some of the ‘odder’ vehicles and funnies were interesting too such as the Preying Mantis and Matilda Canal Defence Light.

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Pz IV, or a Tiger if you are reporting to HQ!
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Loved this Finnish StuG.

So with the museum done and the shooting comp finished it was outside for a couple of beers and to check out the show, where I bumped into ‘Lindybeige’ of YouTube fame which was nice as I like his stuff (fantastically eccentric, check it out). We had missed the morning’s event but got to see the WW2 and Cold War tanks doing the rounds of the arena which was, quite frankly, well cool! I loved seeing the Leopard 1’s (a German a3 and a Canadian C2) belting about and the incredibly squeaky Swiss Pz61 was a nice surprise. Hands down winner though was the Challenger, the speed of the turret traversing was quite frankly scary and it did look the business. We decided to skip the battle re-enactment to have a look around the conversation centre/shed which we all agreed we should have visited earlier as it had some great Cold War kit in – Marder, AMX-13 and AMX-VCI being favourites for me. I was quite surprised that just how big some of the vehicles were, the EBR-75 and 90’s are absolutely massive, as is the Luchs which made the Ferret seem even more ridiculously small!

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What’s better than a Centurion?
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One painted like this!
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Swedish upgraded model in their tricky camo scheme.
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Although a Chieftain in Berlin Brigade camo comes a close second.

As much as I really enjoyed the day out I could have done without the re-enacting. There was just something  a bit off about people pretending to fight battles when there are guys walking about the same venue that have been doing it for real quite recently, I did see one squaddie looking quite despairingly at a couple of geriatric looking Fallschimjager as they walked past him. Having said that though the place was absolutely rammed with people from all across Europe and beyond so they must be doing something right, and the World of Tanks sponsorship seems to have been a success with a long queue at their stand all day.

It was soon time to head back to the coach though and after a sleepier journey home – with the fantastically bonkers ‘Excalibur’ to watch this time as ‘Zulu’ wasn’t working – we got back to London about 8 o’clock, knackered but thoroughly happy chaps. Many thanks to the club for arranging the trip, an absolutely cracking day out. Daren, Dan and I have discussed maybe putting a game on at next years Wargame show so hopefully we can get back down there again.

 

 

Club Night 12/06/17: Battlefront WW2, 1940 France

I have been visiting the website of the Battlefront WW2 rules for a while now, mainly to use the fantastic Cold War TO&E’s posted there and have been intrigued by the rules too, I was wanting to try them out to see if it was worth having a go at the Cold War version. I finally got to have a go a couple of weeks ago against Philip using his lovely 10mm 1940 French and German kit. Unfortunately I wasn’t really feeling at my best and was quite half-arsed all evening which is probably why it has taken me ages to get this posted.

Details are going to be sketchy I’m afraid but here goes. As the exercise was simply to get used to the rules – Philip had only had the one or two games of them himself as they were new – the scenario was nice and straightforward. My French force was counter attacking the invading Boche and needed to secure a village, they were trying to stop me. To do this I had a Battalion of Char B’s, a few R-35’s and a Dragon Portee Battalion in Lorraine carriers. The German’s had a Panzer Battalion with a mix of Mk. 1, 2, 3 and 4’s and an Infantry Battalion.

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Kick-off. French nearest camera.

I duly advanced on the village whist pushing my nippier R-35’s towards the round wood on the right which Philip started to move round with nearly all of his tanks. I started to trundle some Char B’s across to assist the lighter tanks in fending this threat off as well as placing my mighty 25mm ATG to help out as well. My infantry did manage to assault the Germans in the edge of the village and in the adjacent wood but due to me not supressing them sufficiently before launching my attacks they all failed whilst suffering quite bad casualties. I did manage to thwart the Panzer attack though although neither side lost too many vehicles, the toughness of the mighty Char B’s was a deciding factor.

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En avant! Infantry move out…
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… supported by these chaps.
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Filthy boche get moving too.

The rules were quite enjoyable to play, nice and straightforward mechanics with some nice touches, you only needed a few turns to get your head round the basics and we started to get into the swing of things very quickly. I quite liked the cards that had vehicle and infantry stats on but reckoned a data sheet would be easy to knock up – just not as pretty! Although we didn’t reach a definite conclusion to the game with a couple more under our belts I reckon we would have done, this was probably not helped by me feeling crap too.

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I really like the camo on these.
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Germans in the trees attract la Furia Francais
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Lovely limber model, came to a sticky end unfortunately.

Many thanks to Philip in putting the game on, he is a worse rules tinkerer than me and said that he hadn’t find anything yet that he wanted to change which is high praise for the rules indeed. I’d definitely be happy to give them another whirl soon and if I really like them might invest to be able to try out the Cold War version. I’m really trying hard to resist all of the lovely 15mm Cold War kit available these days, however these seem like a good set to use for that scale so it might just give me the final push into taking the plunge.

 

Polish Armoured Cavalry Division

This is another of my alt-history formations in my FFT3 project. The division is the cream of the Polish ‘line’ Divisions and is rated as a ‘Regular’ formation and is first in line for new equipment. It differs in organisation to the Mechanised Divisions as it has 2x Armoured Cavalry and 2 x Armoured Regiments so it is the ‘heaviest’ unit in the army designed for exploitation and counter-attack tasks. (Pics to follow once I have finished off a last few bits to complete them following a minor tweak to their TO&E!)

  • Divisional HQ
    • 1 Cmnd Sultan/OT-64
  • AD Btln
    • 2 sp SIDAM q25mm adg
    • 1 Starstreak sp sam
  • Art Regt
    • 1 foo VBL
    • 3 Palmaria sp 155mmh
    • 1 APR-21 Mrls
  • Eng Btln
    • 3 Coys
      • 2 Eng (3 ar, rg, lmg, carl gustav)
      • 1 Combat eng (3 ar, rg, lmg, maw, 1 flm)
      • 3 4k-4fa apc
    • 1 Coy
      • 2 AVLB
      • 2 CEV (AVRE)

 

2 Armd Regts  

  • HQ
    • 1 Cmnd OT-64/Ferret
    • 1 Striker
    • 1 4k-7f-GrW120 sp120mm Mortar
    • 1 recon Scimitar
    • 2 Cmnd Sultan (for forming Combat Teams)
    • 2 Blowpipe teams
  • 2 Coys
    • 1 Inf/Bill ATGM
    • 2 Inf (3 ar, ATrg, lmg, Carl Gustav)
    • 3 4k-7f-20 aifv
  • 4 Coys
    • 3 PT-78m (Vickers mk.3)

(One of these Regiments might be equipped with new Tanks and AIFV’s, not sure yet)

2 Armoured Cavalry Regts

  • HQ Coy
    • 1 Cmnd OT-64/Ferret
    • 1 4k-7f-GrW120 sp120mm Mortar
    • 2 Cmnd Sultans (Task Force HQ’s)
    • 2 Blowpipe teams
    • 2 Spartan/BILL atgm
  • 2 Lt Amd Coys
    • 3 Recon Scorpion-90
  • 2 Tank Coys
    • 3 PT-78m
  • 2 Cav Coys
    • 1 Inf/Bill
    • 2 Inf (3 ar, rg, lmg, law, maw)
    • 3 Stormer-20 AIFV