The HAWKs have been putting on land battles under the banner Armies for Kids for several years. We run a game at Historicon and then when it is over, the kids (under 10 years old) take home fully painted armies, rules, dice, tape measures, and often some terrain pieces to play the game at home with their buddies. This year, in addition to a Franco Prussian war 15mm project, we also put together a naval project.
Using dollar store wooden sailing ship kits each kid will be issued two assembled and painted boats. They will then select from a stack of sails to personalize and attach to the masts. When the game is over, they will take home a box with the rules, dice, measuring sticks, their two boats, plus two more to decorate at home.
The recent issue of Wargames Illustrated magazine included an article about Greg Priebe’s Falkland War supplement for Combat Patrol(TM). The editors omitted Greg’s name as one of the co-authors of the article. For space reasons, the section of the article that described the refight of the included Murrell Bridge scenario was not included in the magazine. Below is the information about the re-fight.
Chris Abby and his son, Lewis, have played quite a few Combat Patrol(TM) games over the last year, including WW2 Normandy and Pacific. They have also play tested the recently released Horse and Musket supplement with the 95th Rifles fighting those pesky French Dragoons. They wanted to see how Combat Patrol(TM) would work for 1980s combat. Most of the games they played involved reinforced platoons. The refight of Murrell Bridge is an action of the section commanders war, where every shot really counted.
Lewis commanded the section from 3 Para, and Chris took the Grupos Tiradores from the Argentinean Commando Company. The Paras deployed the GPMG team and two rifles forward covering the approach to Murrell Bridge with Alpha fire-team deployed in their assembly area. The Argentinian’s approached the British positions from the east, fanned out with a fire team either side of the road.
The engagement took place at night, so all units started the game ‘un-spotted.’ The Paras and the Argentinean officer, section commander, and Automatic Riflemen had second generation night vision sights, and there was a half moon. This made spotting range 24 inches. At this range infantry in the open were spotted automatically, and a spotting test could be made against those in cover. The Paras’ sentries detected the advancing Commando’s as they ran for cover and successfully engaged the section on their right flank.
The Paras incapacitated the Commandos’ section commander, resulting in that team becoming pinned. This halved that team’s effectiveness. The Paras that had opened fire then became a target, as the night fighting rules allow speculative shooting at muzzle flashes (at a greatly reduced probability). As one of the folks in our club likes to say, it is bad being everyone’s only target. All of the Argentineans that could do so fired at Bravo fire-team, causing one Para to flee and the rest to shift position.
On the Paras’ left flank, the Argentineans rushed forward and flung themselves into the stream bed, taking casualties on the way. The Paras used reaction fire to interrupt their movement in the open. During this fire and maneuver, L/CPl Fisher became a casualty, pinning Para Bravo fire-team. Having achieved a firm base of fire on their right flank in the stream bed, the Argentinean Commandos advanced on their left flank, making best use of available cover. The Paras took every opportunity to interrupt movement and engage the enemy in the open. A fierce fire-fight continued with the outcome very much in the balance.
When the game had ended, the Argentineans had managed to dislodge the Paras from their positions, but had not managed to capture a prisoner for interrogation, so in the final analysis it was a marginal victory for the Paras and very similar to the actual outcome on the night. The Argentineans had patrolled aggressively and had dislodged the Paras from their positions, but they had suffered very heavy casualties in the process. Chris and Lewis really enjoyed the game and look forward to reversing roles and playing again.
In a previous post I showed a work in progress of some silver space ships that are meant to be evocative of the ship from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
A few folks have asked for some more details on how they were constructed.
I started with a microwave steamer meal. After eating the meal, the outer bowls went through a cycle in the dishwasher to make sure they were thoroughly cleaned.
I used a paper plate that matched the diameter of these bowls for the lower hull. The bottom of the bowl, which will be the top of the space ship, has moulded writing on it. I cut a piece of stiff cardboard from a microwave popcorn box to match the diameter of the top of the ship. I tried card stock and other materials, but even when I sprayed both sides of the top piece, it still seemed very susceptible to warping due to gluing and humidity. Best would probably have been sheet styrene, but I didn’t have any large sheets of it handy.
The feet of the space ship were made of a washer, a disk magnet, an end to a coaxial cable. I was able to get a pack of ten of these cable ends at Lowe’s for a couple of dollars. I glued three washers to the bottom of the paper plate. This was so that the legs could securely connect to the bottom of the ship but were removable for storage.
Then I took all the parts outside and sprayed everything black.
After the black paint had dried, everything was sprayed silver.
In the picture (above), you can see that I cut a doorway in one of the space ship upper hulls. In the picture (below), you can see three legs attached magnetically to the bottom of the ship.
The final space ships are not glued together. By keeping all the parts separate, I can easily disassemble them and nest them for storage.
Two views of the final space ships are below with one of Mark Morin’s space tanks and some 28mm Slave2Gaming aliens for scale.
I like the look of the open hatchway and the ramp made of think card.
NJ Con will be held on 9-10 June in New Jersey. A number of the HAWKs are going to head up to run a few games. Among the games we are taking up there are three Combat Patrol(TM) games.
Zeb Cook is running a cowboy game using his under-development Wild West variant of Combat Patrol(TM): World War II. Various factions battle it out in a wild west town.
Duncan Adams will run a War of 1812 game using his recently released black powder era supplement for Combat Patrol(TM). This scenario is set in a small Caribbean coastal village. The Americans land in the village to push out the British.
I will be running a US vs. Moros game, set in a coastal village in the Philippines.
Come and experience the streamlined mechanics of Combat Patrol. Cards are used to resolve combat, not just manage activation. A card draw takes the place of calculating a bunch of modifiers, rolling some dice, and then looking up a result on a table. The result is that you can fight the game, not the rules. Check out the rules’ Web page for demonstration videos, free downloads, and other information.
I have shown pictures of 1:48 French tanks for my Historicon scenario in previous posts. This past weekend I worked on the platoon of infantry to go along with them.
I am running two scenarios in the same French village, one in 1940 and one in 1944.
In addition to the French figures, I also got started on a project that has been in my project queue for quite some time. I am making a bunch of alien flying saucers. I am going for the Day the Earth Stood Still look of no apertures and seam-free hull.
I am making two types of flying saucers, larger “transports” and smaller “scouts.”
The larger ships started life as a bowl for a microwave steamer meal. The bottom of the hull is a paper plate. The legs are made from coaxial cable connectors, some washers, and magnets. The bottom and top hulls will come apart, and the legs may be removed for easy storage and transport.
All of the saucers were sprayed black and then resprayed with this brushed silver paint. I find that the silver covers much better over black than the bare plastic.
I think the best scenarios come from history. I am working up a science fiction scenario based on Stirling’s Raiders attacks on German airfields in North Africa. These space ships will substitute for the German aircraft.
The scout ships began as bowls from the dining car in an Amtrak train. Some years back we took the sleeper train with the kids from Harper’s Ferry, WV, to Chicago, IL. It was a very memorable experience. In particular, the food was real food, not airline extruded meat paste. I thought these bowls had a good flying saucer look to them. Like the larger saucers, these are meant to come apart and nest for storage.
None of the saucers are completed. I want to add a few details to all the ships and perhaps legs to the scout ships.
I needed to place an order to Reaper. To get free shipping, I added the above anti-tank teams to my order. They painted very quickly. From this picture, the camouflage pattern is difficult to see, but it turned out pretty well.
Finally, the reason I wanted to make an order to Reaper was to get the robot woman from Metropolis. While I was at it, I also ordered the pulp-looking science fiction woman. I had intended to give her purple hair like the moon base women in UFO, but somehow she was calling out to me to have green hair.
I have an extremely busy week and weekend ahead of my, but I hope to at least find time to flock the French infantry and put that effort to rest.
I’m not sure I think that hovering tanks are very practical on a futuristic battlefield. The cannot climb well, they are loud, they blow up a lot of dust and debris, and they are expensive. The LCAC is useful for its purpose, but I am just not convinced of a general land battle use case. In any event, the rules will support such vehicles, so I wanted to paint up a company of them for play testing purposes. These are hovering tanks from Reaper CAV.
I wanted to have the effect of dust and debris being thrown around by the air, so I used some cotton batting painted with two colors of brown as you can see in the above picture. The effect is okay on 10mm figures.
I tried something new this week. I used some withering powders for model railroads to dirty up my 1:48 scale French tanks a bit. I didn’t want to go crazy with the weathering effects, but I wanted to get some dirtiness to the undersides of the vehicles and the tracks. When you compare these to the ones in the previous post, you can see the difference. It is more apparent in person than in the photos, I think.
I also painted and weathered a couple of German Pz.Kfw. I light tanks. The brown on the gray is much more apparent.
I am getting ready to run a France 1940 game using Combat Patrol(TM): World War II at Historicon in July. There is nothing like a convention promise to improve your painting throughput. This past weekend the weather was nice enough I could sit in the back yard and airbrush six French tanks I recently purchased from Shapeways. 1:48 scale vehicles are difficult to find, but Shapeways had the ones I wanted.
At this point the tanks look pretty pristine. I like them that way, but the next time I get out the airbrush I may weather and dirty them up a bit.