Monday, August 25, 2014

NWA's Open Day! - part two

Here is the next instalment of wargaming goodness from this month's annual Open Day.
So without further ado, on with the photos!

Horse and musket time. We had a selection of excellent games covering the usual major periods of horse and musket warfare with a Seven Years War battle between Prussians and a combined Austrian-Russian force using the Might and Reason wargame rules, a Napoleonic battle again featuring some lovely Russians versus French using a club variant on Empire called Cold Steel and lastly a 15mm ACW battle using Regimental Fire & Fury with an interesting teddy bear fur terrain mat. I think this looks quite interesting but maybe more suited to 28mm gaming because of the length of the fur. It certainly is handy for a quick set up!

Napoleonics ( I apologise for some of the lighting but the day was quite overcast and the hall lighting is problematic)

Seven Years War. Miniatures are a mix of Front Rank and Wargames Foundry

American Civil War. Miniatures are a mix of AB and Blue Moon

Stay tuned for the final post in this series.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NWA's Open Day! - part one.

Nunawading Wargame Association's annual Open Day.

Last weekend the weeks of frenetic figure painting, terrain building, and play testing came to a head with the annual Nunawading Wargames Association's Open Day. Again it didn't disappoint with many displays of a very high standard that would not be out of place in the more famous overseas events.

My fellow NWA'er Michael Stringer and myself ran a successful display game on the Battle of Arnhem (see previous post) but the following photos and write up cover the range of games on offer during the day. World War II featured heavily in the proceedings including two games on the Battle of the Bulge (historical and movie versions!).


First up Warhammer 40K. We now have a group of players that play this game regularly at club meetings and they put on a great looking table with some excellent ruined cathedral terrain previously built by club member Brendan Day.

Continuing the science fiction theme we next up have Judge Dredd, a great game with some nice mechanics. I already am working on stuff for this game which I will post in the coming days.

"I am the Law!!"

Fatties roll!

James Wright explaining how the game works.

Still technically science fiction we had Weird World War II with Secrets of the Third Reich but the mechs and weird stuff was toned down for this intro game. The mechanics themselves are good for just historical games too.

More pictures of a great day's gaming to follow shortly.

The Big Drop- The Battle of Arnhem, the first day.

So the big day has come and gone. Nunawading Wargames Association's open day the second biggest event on the wargaming calendar after Little Wars was a big hit over the weekend with lots of great displays. I will do another post to cover the whole event but here is the summary of the display game put on by Michael Stringer and myself.

The display game was of The Battle of Arnhem , September 1944 with the focus being the first day and the the landing of the parachute brigade and their attempts to secure the bridge at Arnhem.
We were playing in 15mm scale and using the popular Crossfire World War II rules (with some house rules thrown in).

Here is the final table layout for the game. We see the landing zones at the bottom with gliders etc. and the bridge at the far right corner. Near the landing zone is the village of Wolfheze with Oosterbeek in the middle. The Germans started with two platoons deployed hidden between Wolfheze and Oosterbeek.

The Reconaissance jeep squadron ready to move out

In this game we both had learned lessons from our rehearsal game and changed our plans accordingly. Michael commanding the Germans had positioned his forces across both main avenues of approach to Arnhem. My jeep squadron had been well and truly shot up in the last game so I was a bit more tentative. I planned to probe the German defences until I had broken through and then run my jeeps through the gap and make for the bridge.

The game started at 3.00pm game time and we used a moving clock mechanism to determine when German reinforcements arrived. The Paras were to have the initial surprise and outnumber the German defenders but if the Germans could hold up the Paras long enough then their reinforcements could swing the battle in their favour. As it turned out history repeated itself with the Paras breaking through and making it to the bridge.

My initial moves involved A company moving down the North road near the railway track but ran headlong into a German MG nest supported by a Platoon. Ambush fire took out two of my squads and my supporting mortar fire proved ineffective against the stubborn german defenders. My jeeps were originally to follow A company but when the route was blocked moved south through Wolfheze to try the south road.

As they approached the intersection they sent out a lead jeep to check the intersection was clear. It wasn't.  Machine gun fire erupted from a copse of trees wiping out the jeep squad. The other jeeps held back at Wolfheze and waited for support. The support came with C company (and later B company) moving towards the intersection to clear the Germans out. We now saw the first appearance of German reinforcements coming down from the hills north of Arnhem. With my left flank attack stopped and the right flank held up and German reinforcements arriving the clock was definitely ticking for the Paras to secure bridge before nightfall.

The perplexed British commander, "Damn those bothersome Jerries!"


How do I get past these Jerries?

Aha! Smoke them! Flank them! And wipe them out in a close assault!
I was finally able to turn the German flank and with a couple of courageous bayonet charges wiped out the machine gun nest and the supporting squad. My jeeps could then high tail it for the bridge.

C company and B company now pushed through the gap following the jeeps while Michael commanding the Germans pulled back what was left of his platoon into Oosterbeek to try and delay the paras further. Another squad of reinforcements arrived moving into Arnhem.


The jeep squadron with C and B companies move towards Arnhem. It looks like the paras have got the battle won. The breakthrough occurred near the river just like it did historically.

The jeep squadron dismounted in Arnhem and assaulted the Germans defending the road and the battle was over. The paras had made the bridge!

Historically Colonel Frost's second battalion was able to secure the north end of the Bridge. The victory conditions were a German victory if less than a battalion held the bridge by the end of the day. If the British were able to get extra troops at the bridge then it would be a major victory for the British. The game ended with at least the equivalent of two battalions at the bridge so a major win for the British.

The game certainly had some tense moments and if Michael had been a bit luckier with the moving clock dice rolls he may have had more troops to stop the British advance.

It is a great scenario, and we will definitely give the game a couple more run throughs to fully explore the possibilities.

Colonel Frost at the bridge!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Get your Damn hands off me you damn dirty ape!

Here is my ape gang for Judge Dredd, Super system or any other type of scifi/pulpy skirmish game.
The figures are from Eureka miniatures ( and I have been eyeing these off ever since I saw them. They also have a great Gorilla with a recoiless rifle which I want to get as well as a bunch of gun toting gibbons.

My back story for this gang in Judge Dredd is that they were a group of janitors at a military installation when they revolted, stole a large cache of military hardware and disappeared into the bowels of Mega City One.

Their first couple of games of JD have seen them comprehensively whup a team of judges and plod bots. The chimps have got speed, they're agile, and they are packing some serious hardware. The ape with the M60 is a standout picking off targets if he can get into a good vantage point.


And now for something completely different...

Back again :) 

And this time it's a whole new category of gaming. Now my science fiction has thus far been limited to the glorious heady days of Victoriana where aether ships cross the cosmos to exotic locales like Mars and Venus , where stout hearted British redcoats fight savage Parrotmen or evil Martian Tripods.

VSF (don't call it steampunk!) will always be my first love but never let it be said that I am afraid to try new things. So when a new rules system/game is in the offing I will always be interested to see what it can offer. Now if the new system happens to feature one of my favourite comic book characters, well then in true Jerry McGuire style I would say, " You had me at Judge Dredd!"

Yes it's off to Megacity One to clean up the streets and bash some juvies heads and throw them in a cube prison. I loved 2000AD and in particular Judge Dredd (and Rogue Trooper but let's not get started on that one!). I still have my piles of comics and annuals in a box in the garage waiting for my sons to be old enough for me to "pass on the baton" as it were.

I guess I am a recent convert to what would be called "gang skirmish" where each side runs a faction of around 10 figures each. Individual characters develop skills as you play more battles. Judge Dredd is one of these games. Fellow NWA'er and gang skirmish supremo James Wright ran me through a game of Dredd to try it out. The mechanics are pretty straightforward , being simple but not simplistic and the game runs well and doesn't appear to be unbalanced.

Here is the layout for the game:

The basic scenario was a group of fanatical cultists were trying to open a portal to the underworld and summon a demon. The judges, well they had to stop them. I was running a rogue cyborg-robot faction that was out to spoil everyone's fun.

The cult leader has summon one real nasty mother of a demon (with a strange elephant like appendage!)

My robot's had a mercenary fatty to help out on the day. Fatties are hard to take down especially if there is a ready supply of hamburgers nearby.

"I am the Law!"  Judges swing into action

One thing you learn quickly in the game is that cover is your friend, here some of my bots hide from cultist fire coming from the tower.

I advance my leader to the base of the tower ready to clear out the cultists.

It's chop chop time!

After clearing the tower my fatty and another bot engaged the plod bot and judges on the right while my leader made for the demons

Dredd taking on a rather chubby demon.

Fatties can launch a devastating attack by charging. My Fatty charged a plod bot and squashed it against a wall!

My leader cyborg took on the demon but came off worse off. My faction broke and the judges were left to clean up the cultists but it was not looking good for them.

All in all Dredd is a good fun quick game that captures the flavour of the comic. I will be looking forward to playing this more in the future.