Saturday, 31 March 2012

1500pts - sorted!

Points games for World War 2???????? Welcome to the Stafford Games Flames of War (v3!!!) League.

I wanted to join in, I wanted to get over my serious reservations about the authenticity and aesthetics of those little bases of infantry, I wanted to see if the rules are as good as people seem to think they are (and I wanted to cause some's a long story!)

The Panzer IV's are done (see previous post). Now it is the turn of the big cats. 3rd Company, 2nd Platoon Panther A's, from 2nd SS "Das Reich" Panzer Division, Normandy, July 1944. Bases still required......

Panther 321. I used decals on these (from Battlefront's SS decals pack) as opposed to trying to paint the details as I did with the Panzer IV's.

Front three quarter view to try and show my miniature attempts to break up the outline with some bocage.

I tried different methods for the foliage, mostly using Woodland Scenics stuff. Clump foliage marketed as bushes stuck straight on, chopped foam flock mounted on polyfibre, the same mounted on lichen and a mix of bushes and chopped foam.

The view those damned Yankees would rather have of a Panther, especially if they have a bazooka to hand....

My preferred foliage option - lichen base with chopped foam foliage

Close up on Panther 325. Need to do the cover the gloss varnish base for the decals with some matt.

The entire 3rd company - 5 Panther A's. The bad news is that I can only afford four in my 1500pts.....
All the featured Panthers are made from The Plastic Soldier Company kits, from which D, A and G variants can be made. An excellent product if ever there was one. Recommended!!!

I am not convinced by my foliage efforts overall, but, somewhat paradoxically, I will at least be able to spot them on the table in any multi-player games I involve myself in!


Compromise continues

Eager (?) to become involved in the Stafford Games Flames of War v3 league (never having played FoW and disliking the infantry bases used in the game as being aesthetically displeasing for World War 2 as I see it), I have been busy with tanks. I posted the first photos a few days ago, but have now gone a little further. Just bases to go.....

Company commander close up, with added garden. 2nd SS "Das Reich", Normandy, July 1944.

And again, as seen by running Yanks.......

Fifth company commander and 2-i-C with four tanks of fifth company itself.

Three months in......

Back in January, I posted what I had in mind for the year overall, detailing what I had "planned" down to the end of May for completion. I do not know why I went so far, as I tend to work by quarters of a year, but guess I got carried away on a rare wave of enthusiasm to be organised......

Well, three months in and......

Plans: 100x 28mm infantry (mainly 30 Years' War), 24x 28mm cavalry (ditto).
Achieved: 20x 28mm infantry (30 Years' War) and 12x 28mm cavalry (Tott's kurassiere, again TYW)

What went wrong????? I got carried away on the WMMMS show display game we did as the Wyrley Retinue. Along with a couple of paltry regiments, I also managed several basing endeavours for my TYW-era village to enhance that, numerous sheep, pheasants, cattle, fowl, crates, boxes, barrels, baskets, fences, more tents.........a couple of wagons, the odd dog or two, some get the idea. Oh, and a steamtank, three Panzer IV's (still to be based) and five Panther A's (still to be based also).

Not an entirely wasted three months then!!!!!

Plans for the 2nd quarter are 58x 28mm infantry and 24x 28mm cavalry. Hmmm.


Sunday, 25 March 2012


I blame Paul.

Not Nephew Paul, who is responsible in part for my Afghan purchases at the WMMMS Show a fortnight ago, but another Paul (aka Peltast from the Stafford Games forum). "Why?" you might ask......

He posted on said forum that the recent release of Flames of War version 3 was a wonderful excuse for a club league using said rules.

I do not play FoW, never have in fact, and World War 2 games are very rare in my repertoire. I grew up in the seventies on a diet of Airfix kits and soldiers (1/72nd and 1/32nd), the "World At War" series and Sunday afternoon war films. I grew up actually believing that all those Germans were really killed in those films, which probably explains my "sympathies" for all things Wehrmacht/ Luftwaffe/ Waffen SS when that conflict is discussed. I am not really into naval games, so the Kriegsmarine has not grabbed me.......

However, as a gaming period, I have always struggled with World War 2. I think it started with me using 20mm stuff when school friends were micro-tanking. I could not tell anything apart from more than an inch or two away and, I now know, the visuals/ aesthetics are what drive me. Micro-tanks were out for me.

A further problem for me is just when to dip into such a vast conflict and, indeed, where? Eastern Front? 1942 or later? The desert? 1940 or later? France? 1940 or Normandy? You get the picture, I think. The bottom line is that the Wehrmacht of 1942 was far inferior in kit quality to 1944 and the same is true of other nations. I have favourite kit, but this can be Jagdpanthers or Matildas - I am not that choosy!

Returning to aesthetics, I had issues with FoW. Maybe it is just my fellow Stafford Gamers, but FoW games looked like Ancients ones, with little infantry bases lined up neatly to start. I also dislike those bases, because I cannot get over the thought of real people trying to stay alive in reality yet crammed onto a few centimetres of plastic in miniature. I like single figures for WW2 and WW1. I am also a scenario-fascist for modern era games (i.e. 20th Century on), so lining up 1500 points of Patton's finest against 1500 of Hitler's rang all sorts of weird bells. I know there are scenarios in the rulebook, but they seem more of the setting variety rather than actual tests of uneven combat situations.

So what to do????
  1. Go for tanks (ignoring one "expert" who said I was "mad" to ignore infantry in FoW. Mad, yes, but not cos of that!!!)
  2. Build something that floated my history boat, with a hook that grabbed me. 2nd SS "Das Reich" Panzer Division came to the fore. The fluff is crucial for my interest in any period, and those bad boys have a whole load of fluff.
  3. Go into the games with my own agenda. I am not going to win the league, but want to rid the table of as many infantry bases as possible and thereby raise that aesthetic playing field!

Flames of War is by all accounts a fine set of rules and I could have been losing out on some quality gaming, above reservations notwithstanding. So I bought a recent book covering German forces in Normandy, spent my 1500pts and I am off. I already had some "Das Reich" painted and will use little of it (typically), as it is mainly Panzer Grenadiers. But the panzers are on their way......

The basic building block for expansion, in the form of The Plastic Soldier Company's PzIV kit. Great potential and very easy to do, even for people like me who tend to dislike making kits nowadays.
Commander of the 5th company. I had to handpaint the numbers as I ran out of transfers, but now have some more so will improve the look of future builds by using transfers. Some random bocage is also due as well as basing.

An earlier build, from the Battlefront resin model. I am not sure about kill stripes in Normandy, but wanted to paint a few to show how tough these bad boy SS are!!!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WMMMS Purchases

So, just what did I buy at last weekend's WMMMS Show.

My intentions were:
  1. Warfare Miniatures firing line infantry (WA09???) to build James II's Lifeguards.
  2. Warfare Miniatures advancing infantry codes to build the Gardes te Voet.
  3. Some Blooper figures in 20mm for my long lost Vietnam project. I BOUGHT THESE!
  4. Some Huey's for the same.
  5. Some magnetic basing stuff. I BOUGHT THIS!
  6. Some ship's bits (don't ask, but a chap named Nigel has carved some hulls and got me interested.....) I BOUGHT THESE.
  7. Some 7TV figures.
  8. Some Victorian sci-fi stuff.
As you can see, I went somewhat awry, but what did I buy???
  1. Reiver infantry with apostles - I have Lord Louth's and one other Jacobite unit in mind for these.
  2. The new Napoleonic rules from Osprey/ Slitherine (but cannot remember the name of for the life of me!!!!)
  3. The latest issues of both MW and WSS magazines.
  4. £70 plus of modern Afghan stuff.........................I have no idea why, other than Nephew Paul bought a loads of 16th AIrborne and I took pity on his lack of opposition. Hmmmm???
  5. The Warlord Games "Tilly" figure for TYW.
  6. Some Warlord Games sword and buckler figures - I have some Spanish in mind as I have a desire to show Nordlingen at some point.
War in Afghanistan??? Taliban figures?????????? I look on in awe at the news stories and the sheer guts and stoicism of our troops in such a horrid and difficult situation and loathe what we hear about these fanatics. Will I ever paint them? Will I ever game with them? Possibly against the Russians....

Yet I have SS and use nothing else in the odd WW2 game I play. I play African warlord games on occasion, so am not overly sensitive. I think I can get my head round it if I leave out crap like IED's.

An impulse purchase if ever there was one........



It is now three days since we took Steinkirche out again, this time to the WMMMS show in Wolverhampton, still know as "Alumwell" to us old lags!!!

  1. The game seemed to be very well received.
  2. We took the 3rd place trophy in the Best Display game stakes.
  3. A fun time was had by all.
  4. I spent far too much!!!!!!!!
  5. I got the "Bloopers" for the Vietnam part of my lead mountain.
  1. We didn't get 1st or 2nd in the Best Display game stakes!!!
  2. We didn't win either Best Painted Army or Best Terrain!!!
  3. I spent far too much!!!!!!!!
  4. I could not get any Warfare Miniatures figures at all to kickstart my 1690 project, but I added some more Reiver figures, so not all bad.
  5. I FORGOT TO TAKE MY CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
However, Nephew Paul took some photos and has promised to burn them onto a disk for me. You will see them in a couple of years' time knowing Paul.........

Also, Nephew Nick took photos and has posted them already on his blog (see his Carrot & Stock blog, for Nephew Nick is "Beithir" in my followers list).


Saturday, 3 March 2012


Just one week to go, and little, old G is getting excited!!!

More excited than a vampire in a blood bank!
More excited than a turkey that has made it to Boxing Day!!
More excited than a rabbit who has just discovered he is the only male in the warren!!!
More excited than a lottery ticket holder who has just seen his numbers come up.............OK, not quite THAT excited!

Steinkirche is out on tour again, for its second outing. The Wyrley Retinue (both of us) and our sundry associates are gearing up for another set to and all the players who took us to club glory at Wargamer have confirmed their interest, except for Stu (where are you StuG???)

G has been busy making all sorts of little bases, bits and bobs to add to the game, from supply "dumps" to sundry livestock. I believe the hall lighting will better facilitate photos, so see you in a week or so for some WMMMS action and another post or two.

I have donned armour and hardened resolve in the meantime for the inevitable "comments" from The Beloved about not needing any more stuff..........What is this "need" thing?????

"This ain't need," I tell her. "This is pure hedonism!"