Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Maintenance Halt...

The May meet of the Moscow Front was well attended, but pretty low key. Not much in the way of gaming, but lots of preparation for gaming in the future. 
Much positive comment was made over Mike and Mark's Gettysburg scenario.  They admit they have some tweaks to make to perfect it, mostly in terms of board space they said.  That may be, but it wqas still a great game.
The Komissar got to show off "DefCon", a realtime computer sim of global thermonuclear war, and Ken E. got to show off his latest coputer game. I forget the title, but it was about Arnhem.  It looked very promising.  I smell PBEM in the near future!!
The focus of the meet was to help Bob with his Elephant/Ferdinands.  He's a big fan of German heavies, and this vehicle is perhaps his favorite.  A few months ago we got them primed and basecoated, now we had to move on to camoflague patterns and more advanced techniques. Bob doesn't have much experience in miniatures painting, but he makes up for it in enthusiasm and determination. Deciding upon the classic spiderweb pattern in red-brown, we went to town!

Next we explored the wonderful worls of washes, trying both oil/turpentine washes, and simple blacklining.  Bob seemed happy with the results, but there is much more work to do.

Here soon in the next few weeks we will finish with some drybrushing and finishing the vehicle commanders standing in their hatches.  Of course, we will show off the results when Bob is finished!

For now let's leave y'all with a reminder not to take this hobby too seriously.  We don't, we just have fun with it!

-The Komissar

Thursday, May 9, 2013

MainForce VC 2nd Platoon...

Part 2 of my MfVC "Pass in Review", it is May and all, and I offer to the dice gods a second platoon of VC/battle-weary NVA.  The figures are a mix of Flashpoint and Peter Pig.  Again, I'm just not feeling what BattleFront has to offer.  The NVA they've put out earlier is not going to work for me.  Don't misunderstand, BattleFront has an excellent and well earned reputation for their figures, and I would highly recommend them for 15mm gaming, but their NVA just plain stinks.  Rumor has it there is a new line on the way.

My personal preference, and yet another big dig on the BF line, is I think communist infantry look better in the bush hat, rather than the big sampam hats, or the plastic helmets. 

I again gleaned my past ACW Confederate experience and painted my VC in various uniforms (black, green, and khaki), as well as some civilian dress. 


Back before BattleFront really developed their Vietnam system, I did some reaserch for another game company, trying to flesh-out MainForce VC organization.  What I discovered is that MfVC and NVA are pretty much identical, with the MfVC suffering from shortages in manpower, and weapons in terms of number and in size and sophistication.  If a NVA battalion had 6 120mm mortars for support, a MfVC battalion had 4 82mm tubes.  If an NVA battalion had 6 .51 cal DshK machineguns, the MfVC would have 4 old .30 cals.

I tried to reflect this deficiency by basing MfVC teams normally in threes, and in pairs for command and LMG teams. 
Lastly, I have a WIP objective, a VC supply cache in the process of being buried.  OR... a VC supplies that were captured by Free World forces and are being readied for disposal. The radio, weapons, food, and ammunition were a Peter Pig pack. The tarp is paper-towel and white glue.  I'm still trying to work on the hole so it stands out with more depth. 

Thanks for looking!

Mainforce VC get ready for action...

As Ken W. and I get closer and closer to finishing our armies for a sharp Vietnam War battle, we will offer them up in a pass in review. Up first is a MainForce VC sapper/special tasks platoon, based of for the "Tour of Duty" Flames of War suppliment.

Mainforce VC Sapper/Special Tasks platoon

The figures are a mixture of Flashpoint Miniatures, and Peter Pig 15mm castings.  From the beginning, I was more interested in fielding a MfVC army, and this was assisted by the rather horrid figures released by BattleFront. 

The unit is depicted in that act of breaching the barrier wire that was common with Free World forces defenses.  The wire itself is aluminum grating, cut out strand by strand.  If carefully done, this leaves "barbs" in the wire AND, as it is soft, it bends VERY easy.  I would even say it bends "in scale".  I mean, it looks like real barbed wire and not something manufactured to look like it. BattleFront's  very own Mike Haught showed me how to do the wire effects, and I give him all the credit.
I'm particularly happy with how the crater turned out.  It could be from another breaching team blowing the wire, a mortar strike, or a claymore, but I think it makes for a good effect.
When doing my bases I prefer to give them a unique color, so I can separate then from other units.  Although in this case the wire effects, the full teams, and the specific sapper figures (pole charges and satchel charges) would accomplish this, the gold border makes it easier from a distance.

One concern when mixing figure ranges and manufacturers is will they fit together?  Both Flashpoint and Peter Pig are different, I feel they are close enough.


When painting I chose to model MfVC units later in the war, where NVA cadres were used more and more as filler to replenish war-weary VC units.  I figured there would be a predominance of the latewar green uniform, but with enough khaki bits from older uniforms, as well as a mix of civilian clothes and the iconic black pajamas.  I could also use this unit as a bedraggled and out of supply NVA platoon, or even a well organized band of locals. 

I do look forward to pushing this unit on the table. That's all for now!

CONTACT!! Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 1863...

Our last meeting provided some excitement, as Mark and Mike brought over there extensive 15mm ACW collection, and set up "a minor scrap" in the fields and ridges north of Gettysburg town.

Ken W. and Mike put the finishing touches on the battlefield...

The idea was to help playtest a 1 July scenario for an upcoming wargame convention using a modified version of "Fire ans Fury".  Being as many in the group have a fondness for ACW gaming, we could hardly say no.

An arial view of "PZ Longstreet"

So, after a bit of show and tell with the status of our Vietnam collections (hence all the "Hueys") After a few hours it became obvious that the Rebels were in for a tough fight, perhaps a bit tougher than what occured historically.  Lots of solid criticism (of the constructive kind) was offered with particular attention given to terrain and unit entry issues.

Federal cavalry takes shelter in a farmhouse...
Gen. Heth's vanguard regiment presses the "bluebellies" away from the farm.



Federal 1st Corps tops Seminary Ridge to re-enforce Buford's cavalry.

Federal commanders plot their next move...

The battlefield, using the old school "geo-hex" terrain.



Confederate commander Ken E.(hat) discusses his options with Mike (r) and Mark (l).

Great fun was had by all, and we look forward to more of the same from Mike and Mark.  Although, I think everyone would agree that it may be better if they got to play a bit, rather than manage the game.  Playtesting is difficult, but rewarding work and Mike/Mark do it well, and we're grateful for it.