Friday, 25 February 2011

Tropic Lighting & Operation Squad

Well whilst containing to paint French line infantry like a mad man I stumbled across this little teaser via Warren from beasts of war...

And pulled from the battlefront site...

" Last year in Wargames Illustrated we tried something new and let a charge of enthusiasm for an exciting period, led by Pete, culminate in our first attempt at adapting the Flames Of War mechanics to other periods. The result was a wonderful success and with so many people getting excited about both the idea and the period we realised that it could not simply be a one-off. What we have decided to do is bring you Vietnam part II this April with a following instalment each year. The rolling plan has us adding to the forces, models and how it can be played. This has made us realise that Flames Of War Vietnam has become our second period and it will receive ongoing support.
Phil takes us back to a Vietnam in WI282 to bring you the armour and new helicopters for the US and the big guns for the PAVN. Rather than just taking up space in WI we decided to include the 48 page intelligence handbook as a bonus with WI so that everything you need to play is now its own book as well as being free. Phil being the excellent chap he is did not only get you new lists but included everything from the first outing we made to Vietnam so this booklet really has everything you need to play.
Now no good book would be the same without some great new models and we have 15 A6 boxes, and some tokens and dice to give you reason to not buy quite some many chocolate eggs this Easter, and pick up a new Cobra instead "  

now personally I like the "nam" era the warfare was brutal and the assumptions of the US was quite interesting.. golden question as always shall I shan't I...

To be honest depends if any one wants to play it! and with Hail Cesar round the corner from warlord games I'll leaning towards Celts or Gauls aka the crazy guys who fought the Romans do I really need another system?

I'll hold on this one and see how the concept goes down.

But I have recently discovered a little gem in the form of a 28mm skirmish system called Operation Squad, by the same blokes that wrote operation overlord which was designed to be used with 1/72nd scale models but for what ever reason didn't really take off in my area properly due to flames of war, now if your looking for a good review have a look at surf shack games great write up and overview of the rules, Myself and Spencer dusted off our 28mm WW2 stuff and threw some dice around and my gut feeling on this system is that its going to "work" dead simple and the action reaction factor is pretty funky too. Expect some battle reports when I can get some games in... 

So as its approaching the end of the month time for the pledge...

Bought: 62 (most of this is 1/300 aircraft from raiden miniatures for CY6)
Painted: 132! all French line infantry!

Difference - 70

so smashed the pledge this month but I've picked up some more French via one of the guys from the club and its all Cavalry! so once I've worked out how many that is I'm confident that I'm still in the black but they might take a little longer to paint up but should be fairly easy to complete, 

Friday, 11 February 2011

First Look: Warlord Games Black Powder

So after a about a months worth of grind I had enough French painted to play a small game of black powder and it was going to be the English up against the French,

I fielded everything that I'd managed to paint to date:

1 Division Commander

1 Brigade Commander
3 Units of French Line infantry 32 men to a unit but I counted these as normal size

1 Brigade Commander
1 Unit of French Heavy Cav 14 men
1 Cannon

Lee's stuff consisted of:

1 Brigade Commander
3 Units of Line infantry one being black watch, all with about 26/28 men so counted at large units
3 Cannons

so as this was going to be our first game we decided to go for it no real "scenario" after losing the initiative for set up the board looked like..

so a fairly simple plan with the infantry on the centre and right with the cav and the cannon on the left, as we were playing on a 6x4 we decided to half the movement and ranges,

Close up of the French

and the English.

So after a bit of flicking through the book we'd sussed out the orders phase no problem we decided to ignore the command distance modifier for this game as Lee only had one guy to shout orders out,

so after a couple of turns it looked like....

I was having terrible rolls for my orders the cav kept failing and the infantry unit on the fair right had a massive blunder and took a sidestep right hiding behind the ruined tower, The centre infantry unit continued moving forwards and the left unit decided to stop and make a cuppa!

a turn or two later, the far right unit went mental with a triple move and was in the faces of the English, the centre and left units weren't far off either the heavy cav still wasn't going any where and that was starting to do my sweed in!

So at this point it all went wrong the right infantry unit took enough damage from shoot in make it retire backwards, then after a couple of round of combat eventually I rolled a 4 or less and was outta there,

the middle and far right units suffered from multiple disorders stalling the advance in the centre, and after a couple of round of shooting then a charge both broke.

Added to the fact the the cav continued to be a pain in the ass with regards to getting them to move and when they did get going the stopped short of the guns who then turned and let rip causing the disorder and the next round of shooting finished them off,

so in a nutshell I lost my whole army on break tests in two turns!

but apart from the kicking that I got, how did the rules play?

I liked them to be honest, nice and simple I'm sure there was some things that we were doing wrong but with some more reading and a mooch about the warlord games forums I'm sure we'll have it nailed down,

Orders phase:

Is a nice twist and if we'd been using the command distance modifiers then I'm sure most of my stuff would have been standing around alot more!

Movement phase:
Is dead simple none of this wheeling and all that kinda stuff so that was fairly easy,

Shooting phase:
Was a bit of a werid one for me, I couldn't get my head round that you get three dice per unit... and if your in attack column you get one, the "saving throw" aka moral is good and again really quick and simple, I liked the disordered factor but might be a bit over powered or Lee was just rolling alot of sixes!

Hand to Hand phase:
Nice and easy simple to work out who'd won etc.. and the choice of charge reactions was easy to pick up.

So overall really easy to pick up and we were flying through the turns and having no problem doing the basic stuff the odd question came up but I'm gonna hit the forums and see what the guys say on a couple of points.

Personal thoughts on the game..

The "famous" french attack column did bugger all and I'm at loss to what I should have done differently? but maybe the cav going after the guns wasn't the best plan for them?

Cannons are shite! the range that I was shooting at I was rolling once dice needing a 5+ to hit so not good, god knows how the "grand battery" was so effective??

I need bigger units or more cav, maybe some skirmish units? time to experiment with some troop types me thinks.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Still on the French Line Infantry....

Well I knew it was gonna be a mammoth task and I'm doing quite well...

The unit on the left is what I did last month and the middle and right units are what I've managed to finish off this month so far,

So as I've been bashing away at the French for about a month now I've done a bloody lot.....

1 Unit of Heavy Cav
1 Cannon & Crew
3 Units of line infantry

I figure I might get another 2 units of line infantry done this month if I don't get distracted....

oohh.... shiney

I've manged to get my hands on Check your 6, and so far what I've read its pretty good, all I need to do is get my hands on a hex mat, I've sourced the planes and flights stands and the like but more on that when they turn up.

I'd due to play on Thursday at my local club so I'll try and get some pictures of the French in action...

Friday, 4 February 2011

Perry or Victix an intresting choice....


As I've managed to blow yet another day bulb in one of my lamps and the local DIY shop didn't have any I've decided rather than a post of this is what I've painted I'd do a comparison of the Perry & Victix plastic French Line Infantry,

So Lets start with...


Victrix - 60 chaps for around £22 that's 36 pence a model
Perry - 42 chaps for around £15 that's 35 pence a model

so value for model there about the same, you could get two units out of one victrix box where's in the perry box you get one command element so that could be a bit more difficult.

Quality & poses:

 Both boxes are the "new" generation historical plastic ranges, both been around for a couple of years now but this is where the similarity ends, the Victix box reminds me of a "proper" model kit loads of different options, i.e. heads and the like with sword scabbards and backpacks being separately, loads of arms for different stances are also included,you do get quite alot on the sprue below.

(now this is just the normal infantry sprue I'd already clipped out the command sprues earlier in the week, then thought about doing this post!)

now lets compare that to the Perry sprue

a massive difference! ok so again you've some head options and some of them look like chef's hats but hey that's history for ya! the basic sprue has two guys that can be posed shooting and advancing so you could use them as skirmishers or something along those lines,

now poses wise the Victrix box does have the most choices mainly down to the separate arms and heads so that you can pose your models how you want, but when you've units of 32 this can be a time consuming process, however on the perry side all you need to do is clip off the chap and his rucksack and that's it.

So both have there positive and negative points.. its comes down to personal preference.


with the Victrix box and all those bits that you've got you need to really think about the bits that you want to use most of the arm X will only go with arm Y combo's are fairly easy to mix up if you clip out and don't keep an eye on whats going where,
I'm not sure what the plastic is but it does take a little while for the plastic to really stick and hold its form, 

The actual assembly rules are pants all text no pictures, and when saying that grenadier's are armed with bla bla bla, it doesn' mean jack shit to me! I've ended up choosing "cool" looking bits for one of my units!

Perry on the other hand are so simple that in the time that I managed to do about 20 Victrix chaps I'd banged out a box of 42 and they where stuck on cardboard strips ready for base coating, assembly instructions aren't really included more of a painting guide for the uneducated (aka me!)

So again both are quite different, personally on ease of assembly Perry wins this round,

Finished product "look"

Now I can only really compare the Perry as thats what I've painted so far the victrix stuff with a little effort will look just as good, but with the Perry box you get bases, the Victrix box you don't but as I'm mounting mine on 40x40 bases the Perry bases aren't going to be used any way,

Now if I could only choose one box out of the pair I'd be picking up the Perry miniatures just on the pure basis of ease of construction and the actual poses, I don't see myself individually posing 60 odd chaps that'd be pure madness! I want them to look cool sure but that's where the neatness of the basing and ranks do the job for you on that front,

so for you guys & girls out there that have picked up both boxes would you agree? and if not why not?