Sunday, October 12, 2014

Medieval Musings and some Jerry reinforcements for CoC

Well, after a lovely break enjoying lovely weather and a trip or two to the beach, i'm back at work. We're now into term 4, and the final reporting period is upon me, so this update will be a short one.

I've managed to get a bit of gaming in down at the club and at MOAB, the annual show held in south Sydney. Down at the club, I managed to get in a game of the much lauded Sword and Spear ancients/medievals rules by Mark Lewis. Sutto and I took the Achaemenid Persians and, despite a few hairy moments, walloped the Greek City State force commanded very ably by Thomas. I have to say that the game really does live up to the hype. Some intuitive mechanics, particularly regarding activation and friction, give a realistic and fun game where your focus is on the tactical decisions, not on charts, tables or percentages. It actually had a very Lardesque feel to it, and regular readers of this blog will know that that very much ticks all the boxes for me. Now i'm looking at building up an early Hungarian force for the rules. A tad obscure I know, but we're looking at the period of the early crusades, and the chaps down at the club are putting together Crusader, Ayyubid, Fatimid, and Byzantine forces. I was quite taken with the Magyar people and history during my time in Budapest in 2012, and figure that the Hungarians fought Crusaders and Byzantines at various times. Also, they can stand in for other central and eastern european armies at a pinch.
Sword and Spear - Achaemenid Persians attack the Greeks
Spartans and Greek hoplites 
Massed Persian cavalry advance
Spartan hoplites and Persian sparabara clash 
Persian immortals and sparabara dominate the high ground
If you have the slightest interest in Ancient to Medieval gaming, head over to Mark's website and grab yourself a pdf copy. Seriously, for £6, it's hard to go wrong!

Last weekend I headed down to MOAB, located about in Sylvania Heights, just south of Sydney and about an hour and a half south of home. I checked out a few games, including a very good looking Napoleon at War game, where Sutto's British were valiantly holding off two forces of dastardly Frenchies. That said, i've got a dastardly French force for this great little ruleset being painted up now. I had a game of Napoleon at War down at the club last month, and despite my skepticism, it was great fun and played with the 'feel' of Napoleonic combat. The prospect of painting up six 24 man battalions of 15mm figures has led me to my first painting commission. Of course, the glitter of Napoleonics has been impossible for me to resist, and I've got a few command bases on the painting dest at the moment, and plan to paint the cavalry and artillery myself. Stay tuned for some lovely AB Napoleonic goodness in the not too distant future.

Napoleon at War at MOAB - French assault the British thin red line.
Meanwhile, last month at the club... French Cuirassiers clash with British Hussars
French Leger hold against British light infantry bobs.
As well as the Napoleon at War game, I got a chance to meet up with some lovely chaps flying the Lard flag. Resplendent in their Lard ambassador shirts, they were hosting a great little Chain of Command participation game pitting a platoon of Australians against Japanese 'somewhere in the Pacific' in 1944. After picking up some bits and pieces, including some of the new X-Wing ships, I sat down and took command of the Aussies. I was very surprised to find that my opponent was Chris, who had played one of the Chain of Command games I had hosted at MOAB the year before, and who is a regular poster here. Hi Chris! Small world. Anyway, It was interesting to see how the Australian's and Japanese played, and the Aussies were just beginning to break through when we both realised we had to go. That night was the Rugby League grand final, and my route home took me past the front of the stadium. Last year I left late, and found myself stuck in traffic for well over an hour. MOAB is a great show, and it was fantastic to see so many good looking games on display. I also noted how many young people were present. I've read a lot about wargaming being a 'greying hobby', but I saw little evidence of that at the show. Seeing a load of young people getting into games has encouraged me to start planning some type of wargaming club at school, which I hope to get up and running next year.
MOAB Chain of Command - Aussies assault the Japanese
The Australian war-games show calendar is rather sparse, and the next big show is Cancon in January. Since i'll be trekking through Anatolia in Turkey at that time, MOAB is probably the one big show for me this year. Still, I've been getting a load of gaming in at the local club, which is great.

Well, what was planned as a short update has, as usual, grown into a monster. So, i'll finish off with a bunch of German support options which i've completed for Chain of Command. My German force is based around the 21st Panzer Division which fought in Normandy against the British. I love the clunky looking conversions developed by Colonel Becker to fill out the divisions strength, and really enjoyed putting these together and painting them up.

First off, here are some recce halftracks, SdKfz 250/1s and a 250/9. All are from Shaun at SandS miniatures, and are the (neu) models, with the simplified, more angular design used from 1943 onwards. The crew, a mix of AB and Britannia, are based on sabot bases made from thin plasticard, to enable me to show them crewed up or empty.

Next up is an SdKfz 234/1 armoured car, also from the recce battalion of the 21st Panzer Divison. One of the great things about Chain of Command is that vehicles like this, which are usually just cannon fodder, can actually perform a valuable function.

Below is the delightfully awkward and catchily named 7.5cm PaK 40 auf Somua S307. Doesn't quite had the ring of Tiger or Panther. This dangerously top-heavy looking model is from Raventhorpe, and the AB crew are again based on a sabot. The camp pattern was me messing about with my new airbrush, and was inspired by a similar paint job I saw over on the guild forum.

Challenging the S307 in both ungainliness and awkwardness of name, below are a brace of 7.5cm (Sf) 39Hs. These are from Britannia, crew is AB and again, they are based on sabots. It was a bit of trouble basing them this way, but I really wanted crew on these, and don't like the look of a 'brewed up' tank with a crew casually sitting there amidst, or rather beneath, the flames. Just doesn't look right to my eye.
Next up, a Marder I. This is the type of vehicle used but the 716th Infantry Division during their attack against the 7th Paras and Ox and Bucks at Benouville during the early hours of D-Day. The vehicle is from Early War Miniatures, and mighty nice it is. Crew is AB on a sabot. For some reason, the pigments on the tracks look particularly red. I was going to re take these pictures using my new Canon G16, but never got around to it. 

Below, a brace of Tiger ausf Is. I know, I know, when am I going to need TWO of them in a Chain of Command game. Both are prepaints repainted, the zimmerit one is from Dragon the other is Altaya. 

To finish off the armour, I painted up a second Panzer IV ausf H, this one sans skirts. This is from the Plastic Soldier Company.

Crewed weapons in Chain of Command usually have a five man crew. While this is historically more accurate, almost every crew pack of figures i've seen comes with only three figures. I painted up five figures using a Battlefield and Britannia figures. These guys serve as crew for the Battlefield 7.5cm PaK 40 anti tank gun, and for the Britannia 7.5m leIG 18 infantry gun. They also fill out my sustained fire mount MG42 crew to the full five figures.

Finally, a couple of support choices from Britannia. These are a two man forward observer crew, to rain down fire upon the Tomis and Amis, and a scharfschutze, or sniper. I really do like the poses of the Britannia figures.

That's it for me for now. I've recently finished some more Dux Britanniarum Saxons and Romano Brits, along with some Norman Knights for the Dux Brit 11th Century supplement, Terror Mundi, and a load of 20mm 1940 Frenchies for Chain of Command. I expect to post some updates of these soon, along with an AAR or two. 


  1. Those Germans are great. Especially the crew figures are eye candy.

  2. Very nice brush work. I specially like the sniper

  3. Great to catch up at MOAB. Pity it was so short. Nice to see you into sword and spear. It does seem a good rules set. Keep doing the 21st panzer to keep those Brits entertained. And remember that the more kids at school you can swing over to miniatures to more opponents you'll have when you retire from all the report writing.

  4. Hey Ben, it was a good show. I got in a couple of games of BA with the Demogamer crowd. On another note, it looks like there will be a new show on the calendar for next year - HawkCon ( Still a bit of a hike for you, but maybe a tad closer than Sylvania?

  5. Great job and beautiful photos, love the crew!