Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Black Aeronef Down!

This reporter became caught in the thick of the action when en-route to covering Crown negotiations with tribal leaders near Mogadishu on board the pride of the Her Majesty’s Sky Navy, the HMES Hermes. Whist over the outer suburbs of Mogadishu, the Hermes began to vibrate unnervingly and a low bass noise could be heard. All of a sudden, the instruments on the Hermes failed and the craft plummeted from the air, crashing into a clearing inside the town itself.

We counted ourselves lucky that no one had been seriously hurt, but as the Hermes could not be refloated with the tools at hand, Captain Henderson sent a distress signal, hoping for aid. We saw little of the locals at first, the crash of the Hermes having frightened them into hiding. Soon, however, Lieutenant Samson noticed movement behind the buildings.

The first sign that something was wrong came when a group of armed men exited a nearby building and approached the Hermes; their leader was soon identified as Falafel, a known dissident.

Before Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, commander of the 24th South Wales Borderers Regiment, our seconded protection, could react, the bass vibration started once more and this intrepid reporter identified the source. On the roof of a nearby building, sat the eccentric and treasonous wheelchair-bound Professor Malcolm X with a crew of locals operating one of his feared Sonic Weapons, later revealed to be the Bedouin Sound Clash device. Fortunately, this time the fearsome device had no effect on the grounded Hermes. Reacting to this sudden show of force, Bromhead and the 24th leapt the railing of the Hermes to engage the local militia.

A noise sounded at the other end of the courtyard, behind the Hermes, as the dread Mutawa charged from a building, lead by the great British Traitor El-Laurance; they threw explosives at the Hermes, but the heathen weapons had no effect on sturdy British engineering.

At the same time, Falafel's militia opened fire on the 24th, sadly killing one man. In response to this, the 24th moved towards cover, hoping to regroup and allow the crew of the Hermes to escape.

 In the distance we began to hear a familiar rumble, it seemed that help may have arrived, help in the form of the Prussian army.

My fellow British and I retreated to the area around the local Mosque with the 24th forming a defensive line to hold off the advancing militia and Mutawa, their fire dropping two crewmen of the Hermes as we fled. Then the air was filled with catastrophic sounds, the bass rumble of the Bedouin Sound Clash Device keeping us diving for cover and the crash as the Prussian Steam Tractor the Rammstien pushed through the walls of Mogadishu, spearheading the rescue effort.

As soon as the Rammstien pushed through what little rubble was left by its Disintegration Cannon, the Prussian Cuirassiers charged through the breach as the Rammstien's Maxim gun felled fully half the crew of the Bedouin Sound Clash Device.

Cheering at this sight, the British rallied and the 24th formed a firing line. Panicking, the coward El-Laurance turned his Mutawa towards the walls to fight the incoming Prussians. A glint of brass could be seen on the wall, as another sonic weapon, the Electric Camel Drum, repositioned to fire on the Cuirassiers, who now found themselves under attack by Prince Dastan of Persia, who began to carve a path through man and horse alike.

As the Prussian Sturmpioniers and Strahl Gepade Regiment began to flood the breach, Major Lothar Von Tannenbaum, the Prussian commander began to push the advantage of surprise. Although they took further losses in the charge, Hauptmann Leopold Rothe, leader of the Cuirassiers claims to have downed Prince Dastan, although no trace of a body was found afterwards. Meanwhile, one street over, the Rasmmstien gunned down the remaining crew of the Bedouin Sound Clash Device, removing that threat. In a turn-about of luck, the crew of the Electric Camel Drum found that they were too far out of range to fire effectively. This reporter and the surviving crew of the Hermes had managed to reach a nearby dock, but no boats could be found to escape the city on. For a moment I thought I spotted a famous face in the form of the Great Hunter, Alan Quartermain, but it was such a fleeting glance that I could not be certain.

The unstoppable Rammstien rumbled into the square, downing the lead Mutawa with its maxim gun, hot on its heels were the Prussian Sturmpioniers, clearing the walls and entering the town proper.

The 24th opened up at the local militia, downing four, but losing three of their own in the return fire. Enraged, the Mutawa threw their grenades at the approaching Rammstien, detonating on the hull but having no effect on the thick steel plating.

Professor Malcolm X dove for the controls of the Bedouin Sound Clash Device, but even the fruits of his warped genius were not enough to halt unstoppable Prussian engineering. Meanwhile, the Rammstien continued to butcher the Mutawa with machine-gun fire, although a lucky return shot from the heathens killed the brave turret gunner.

Worried about being in the open too long, Bromhead withdrew his remaining men, but not before Mutawa carbines felled another couple more in a lucky panic-fire as the heathens fled from the mighty Rammstien. El-Laurence had snuck to the roof of a nearby building in an attempt to rescue Professor Malcolm X, but the heroic crew of the Rammstien spotted them and gunned them down ending the traitors' threat to the Empire once and for all. With another burst from its maxim, the Rammstien reduced the Mutawa to its leader, Asneeze, who fled towards the nearby Mosque.

It was then that something extra-ordinary happened; the Jihad's Vizier brought forth from sealed bottles a great cloud of green smoke, from which charged a horde of ghostly Persian Warriors. Understandably, when faced with such an assault, the 24th beat a tactical retreat around the back of the Mosque towards the dock where Captain Henderson and the crew of the Hermes waited for relief.

Major Lothar Von Tannenbaum had became bogged in soft sand near the walls of the town, and in a panic for his safety amidst the Sonic Weapons, ghostly Persians and constant rifle-fire, he ordered a retreat. As the Rammstien backed up, the Prussian infantry and remaining Cuirassiers flooded back through the breach, leaving us confused and still marooned in hostile territory. Fortunately, at that moment, the ghostly Persian Jinn vanished into the air.

We began to follow the retreating Prussians through the wall breach, but the local forces were still on our heels; bravely, Colour Sergeant Bourne stepped forward and drew his sabre. Asneeze, screaming a challenge, charged at Bourne and the two duelled briefly before Bourne put an end to the screaming heathen.

However, just as things were looking up, the Vizier brought forth the fearsome Jinn once more, they charged into Bourne and cut the brave man down. By now, the Rammstien was the only visible Prussian presence left in Mogadishu, doing nothing more than keeping the few surviving locals cowering behind buildings. Despite this, the Jinn bore down on the crew of the Hermes, who stood their ground allowing this correspondent and the remaining Hermes Stokers to escape.

The battle continued after I had reached safety, what happened exactly we may never know, but as Captain Henderson and Lieutenant Samson never joined us, we have to assume the worst. Once we survivors had caught up with Lothar Von Tannenbaum and his men, we were taken back to Blighty on the next available Zepplin. The full effects of this disaster are yet to be felt; the Hermes was recovered, but several components had been stolen and it may be months before the ship is combat-ready again. It is clear now just how much of a threat lies to the East of the Empire, how long until armed forces are deployed to take care of this menace?

Sir Ridley Scott, Foreign Correspondent for the London Times,

Dictated to James Wright, Author of Minor Note.


The above is an account of our last Gaslight game for the year featuring my newly finished Middle Eastern buildings and New arabic opponents commanded by the author and fellow NWA'er  James Wright.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

OzBattler - My new gaming business venture!

Hi Guys,
In case you have been wondering where I have been lately , I can now reveal part of the reason for my silence :)
This is my new Business venture Ozbattler!

OzBattler is now the official Australian and New Zealand Distributor for Old Glory US range of 15mm, 10mm and 28mm miniatures.

In addition to Old Glory, I will be stocking the popular plastic ranges currently available and I am also working on my own miniature range starting with my War of the Worlds Tripods and Martians.

Bye For now


P.S. Next update more ECW madness!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Consumer Warning!!!

Hello all,

On the Yahoo Crossfire group recently a member posted a notice letting members know that the crossfire rulebooks were available from http://www.wargamesmini.com/. I have been wanting to get a copy of crossfire for ages.

After this was posted, I visited the website and ordered both the rule book and

hit the dirt scenario book. That was 29th of August.

I have not received these goods yet. The supplier (His name is Baxter)ignored my

emails and happily charged my credit card.

After a couple of emails I finally got an excuse claiming the shipment

disappeared. I was then told it would be shipped next day using a courier to

track it. That was back on the 30th of September and again no delivery and

ignoring my emails again.

I am now demanding a refund.

I strongly suggest you do not purchase from this guy. He is either not to be

trusted or incompetent or both.



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eagle Day 70th Anniversary WWII dogfight!

Yesterday was August 13th. The 70th Anniversary of Alder Tag "Eagle Day" the first official day of the Battle of Britain. To commemorate that day I decided to run a WWII Battle of Britain dogfight game.

Over the last couple of months we have been wanting to expand our Canvas Eagles WWI dogfight game. Canvas Eagles has proven very popular at the club with some games involving over a dozen players in massed dogfights over the fields of France. I have also had a keen desire to play Battle of Britain games, so I have collected a number of 1/144th scale planes. Another club member has also picked up some Hurricanes and Me110 and HeIII.

The WWII rules are a bit harder to track down. Knights Cross is the name for the WWII variant of Canvas Eagles. There is a yahoo group for these rules but the rules and aircraft sheets are a bit haphazard. I spent a bit of time collating the relevant data and playing around with the aircraft sheets in photoshop to make them as similar to the Canvas Eagles sheets so club players could quickly switch over to the new period.

The Knights Cross games are faster than the Canvas Eagles games, mainly because of the higher number of critical hits in the game. Planes tend to smoke, catch fire, or blow up more often, which of course is a lot of fun.

Last night the scenario was the German side launching an attack on the Kenley airfield with two Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers and a HeIII escorted by 4 Me109 Emil fighters.  On the British side the airfield was defended by 4 Mk 1 Spitfires.  I found an 1940 aerial photo of Kenley airfield on the net and enlarged it on the printer and stuck onto Hex card sheet to make the objective. To achieve victory the Germans had to successfully bomb 4 out of the 6 airfield hexes. The Stukas had only one bomb attack each while the He III could do 3 bombing attacks.

We had 7 people playing the game, 5 on the German side and 2 playing the Brits. Here are the photos, my camera technique was pretty poor on the night, so I apologise for the blurry photos.

The game began with the German bombers flying straight for the target flank on each side by a pair of 109s at a higher altitude providing the cover. The Spitfire climbed to gain height and split into pairs to take on the Germans.

The German Fighters worked well together coordinating their attacks on the Spitfires. The Spitfires however seemed disorganised and this result in several instances where Spifires were surrounded by more than one fighter. The first Spitfire was destroyed by a long burst by a 109 and finished off by a Stuka. The British pilot bailed out successfully. Meanwhile the German bombers dived lower to prepare for their bombing run.

The Stukas commenced their Dive attack on Kenley and both succeeded in hitting their targets. However as they pulled out of the attack one stuka was hit by a Spitfire killing the pilot and sending the Stuka crashing into the ground. The first bombing run of the HeIII failed however.

As the Spifires concentrated on the HeIII the Me109s swarmed around the Spifires sending another one crashing to the ground. The HeIII continued its bombing run successfully hitting its next two hexes to successfully destroy the mission objective.

The HeIII and Stuka turned for home pursued by the remaining two Spitfires. One of the Me109s took the term "close fighter support" too literally and crashed into the HeIII. The HeIII survived but with a killed waist gunner. The Me109 broke up and exploded.

The Stuka made a quick retreat without incident while the damaged HeIII sought the security of a cloudbank to escape the pursuing Spifires but it wasn't needed as the two spifires were despatched in quick fashion, one of the Spits a ball of fire as its fuel tank exploded. The other pilot while wounded managed to bail out successfully.

So the night was a reversal of the historical result with a comprehensive victory to the Germans. Kenley had been severely mauled and all four Spitfires destroyed , however two of the British pilots did survive.
On the German side they had lost one Stuka and one Me109 with all three aircrew killed. The HeIII received repairable damage, but lost one gunner. So the German casualty rate of 4: 2 did seem to reflect the historical casulty rate of Casulaties on both sides during the Battle of Britain.

We are planning on having more Battle of Britain games in the coming weeks to commemorate the Battle of Britain.

Cheers Neil.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Warlord Games ECW Dragoons review.

Hello again,

Now that I have temporairily exorcised my WWII bug from my system, I have been able to get back to painting ECW. I have finished another foot regiment and a cavalry regiment along with my William Waller command figure. I will post pictures of them shortly in another post.

At the moment I am painting up the Warlord Games Dragoons and I thought I would give a quick review of them.

What do you get? Well in the box, you get 12 mounted Dragoons (metal rider and plastic mount) and 12 metal dismounted Dragoons and a set of plastic bases. The plastic horse sprue is the same as the cavalry horses. The size of the horses are quite big compared to other manufacturers and the difference is quite noticeable. Dragoons typically rode poor quality horses compared to the cavalry so these horses are a bit too good for dragoons but that is only nitpicking.

The sculpts of the figures are very good with good poses, and good facial expressions. The characters come with separate metal hats so you can choose what type of hat they can wear, however there are not enough hats for you to, for example, give them all monteroes, so you would need to use some left over plastic ones from the infantry boxes.

Overall quite good value for money.

Now for the down side.

The plastic cavalry are good sculpts but they are let down a bit by the poor casting. The bodies are in two halves which require a fair amount of putty to fix up the gaps around the neck and across the chest.

The metal riders are cast very poorly with quite a bit of flash. Parts of the sculpt are wrecked in the casting so that I had to use green putty to hide it by turning the blob into another sack. The figures look like they have been quite carelessly pulled out of the molds with muskets and standard poles bent quite badly (particularly the standard pole which was also twisted!). The cast riders also do not sit on the plastic horses without considerable filing and bending of the legs with pliers. 

Also the mounted commander figure was missing an arm! Luckily I was able to use a leftover plastic sargeants arm from the infantry box plus some green stuff to effect a passable repair job.

These issues took a lot of time to fix. The finished and painted figures will no doubt look very good, but I will not be rushing out to buy another box anytime soon based on the poor quality of the casts.

There were no problems with the dismounted dragoons.

Overall, very good sculpts severely let down by poor casting. Methinks that they have rushed these figures out to meet the demand and the quality control has gone out the window.

5 out 10.