Despite working a string of 50-60 hour weeks and missing most of my club’s gaming events, I have managed to complete a handful of 1:48 vehicles. I can do these a little at a time, so they fit into my work schedule where painting the 80 Russian infantry sitting on the painting table have had to take a back seat.
I have been converting some 1:56 scale Bren carriers into unmanned ground vehicles for science fiction skirmish games. I finished them earlier this week in my copious free time.
At the last minute I decided to keep them olive drab instead of painting them with some wild camouflage pattern. See them with some Pig Iron figures in the picture above. I think they came out pretty nicely.
I also finished two Tamiya M-8 Scout cars. I need to put the stars on the front this weekend.
Preparations are in full swing for Barrage 2018, 28-29 September in Havre de Grace, MD, USA. Barrage is a great little convention, which will feature upwards of 5o events over two days. No politics, no hassles. On site food at reasonable rates and dining options within a short drive. Easy parking. A broad spectrum of games. Friendly HAWKs! Many kid-friendly games.
The guys from LittleWarsTV will be there filming.
We’ll be publishing a list of vendors soon.
TWO Flames of War tournaments.
The largest ADLG tournament East of the Mississippi.
If you go to the Barrage Web site, http://www.hawks-barrage.org, you will see the currently scheduled games. The number is what we usually have seven weeks before the convention, and more are being added literally every day. If you’d like to run a game, please sign up soon.
This Saturday we held an organizational meeting for Barrage with the HAWKs who usually participate in running the convention. After lunch we played a fun game of Combat Patrol. Greg and I will be running this Sea Lion game at both Barrage (28-29 September) and Fall In. The terrain will look similar to that of our Sea Lion games at Historicon 2018. Little Basely by the Sea is once again the scene of a German attempt to gain a foothold on British soil.
The Germans landed in force on the beach. This landing craft and these Germans in rubber rafts were somewhat separated from he main body. Their goal was to disrupt the nearby airfield so that the RAF could would be hampered in its attempts to support the beaches. The German objective was to get across the table and into the corner of the airfield represented on the table to blow up a Spitfire. That is a long distance to cover in a four-hour game, so we placed a lot of trucks and cars near the sea wall to enable the Germans to steal them and move more rapidly.
The British forces consisted of two squads (sections) of Home Guardsman with Boys ATRs, a 6-lb. Smith Gun, one squad of regular army British soldiers. The locals got into the action in the form of Land Girls from the Women’s Land Army, church ladies, and some women’s auxiliary with improvised weapons.
The German forces consisted of a full platoon of German infantry, two 35(t) tanks, and a Panzer III.
The British thought that they also had a squad (section) of sailors, but it turns out they were Fifth Columnists. They were actually German sailors in disguise. I decided that their best use would be to run over to where the Home Guard had set up some AT weapons kill the crews and make it easier for the German tanks to get off the beaches.
The German players didn’t realize I was on their side and almost began to fire on my sailors.
The entire squad (section) of sailors was killed by the end of the game, but I had successfully kept the ATR out of the action and even began to threaten the Smith Gun with my single survivor.
In the meantime, Duncan had advanced his 35(t)s up the ramp from the beach and was “racing” toward their objective. One of them kept getting really poor movement distances and the other bogged down in the woods for a couple of turns. The Smith Gun took a shot at the advancing truck full of German infantry, but it missed horribly. Then the 35(t) rolled into sight.
The game was set up so that the Germans were supposed to have an easy advance until the British reinforcements were released. Geoff’s Home Guard and Eric’s particularly aggressive Women’s Auxiliaries slowed them more than anticipated. When Greg’s truck full of Germans got to the third table (between the town and the airfield), that was the trigger to release the troops from the airfield. The reinforcements consisted of four Bren carriers. While none were equipped with ATRs, this gave the British six Brens and a .30 cal. water cooled machine-gun. The .30 cal. could disable the lightly-armored early war tanks but failed to do so. In the last turn, the Pz. III got close enough to shell the airfield, the British machine-gun got two shots the tank but failed to cause any damage (it was a long shot anyway). So, I called the game a German victory.
It was a very fun scenario. With one or two small tweaks, I think it will go well at Barrage and Fall In.
I use only 1:48 scale vehicles in my WWII games using Combat Patrol(TM). I found 1:48 scale Bren carriers from Butler’s Printed Models. Butler’s models, however, do not come with crews. The only way to get crews that I found was to order the carriers and crews from Warlord. (They don’t split up sets any more, apparently.) So, I was stuck with some 1:56 carriers. I was going to flea market them, but I thought that no one else would want Bren carriers without crews. Then I thought that they might make interesting unmanned ground vehicles for science fiction games. So out came the bits box…
So I found some old weapons, bits, and bobs, and began to glue these to the Bren carrier chassis. Below you can see how they look before I will begin painting them. The weapons are mounted with magnets so that they can be turned during a game.
I will post some pictures when they are painted and ready for a game.
Greg and I have run a couple of Sea Lion based skirmish games using Combat Patrol(TM). I really like the early war periods, like Finland 1939, Poland 1939, and France 1940. I have recently gotten excited about Sea Lion based hypothetical scenarios. In the Sea Lion and Fall of France games we ran at Historicon, Greg provided all the British Regulars, and I provided the Home Guard. I wanted to flesh out our force with some additional figures.
The Smith Gun is quite interesting. I had never heard of it until a year or so ago, and during our recent trip to Tank Fest, I saw one in person at the Imperial War Museum. It is a 6-lb gun. You rolled it into position and then tipped it up on its side. The axel then became the traverse mechanism. The “top” wheel provided limited overhead protection. This was the Home Guard’s only viable anti-tank capability in 1940.
Some months ago, I purchased several packs of Warlord and Footsore Home Guard figures. I don’t know which are from which manufacturer.
Another early war weapon of the Home Guard was the Northover Projector. It fired hand grenades, rifle grenades, and special incendiary bombs to be used against tanks.
The weapon was fired using black powder and percussion cap. The anti-tank bombs were glass bottles. When the bottle broke (presumably near the vision ports of a German tank) the phosphorus inside the bottle burst into flame and filled the crew compartment with noxious fumes. The weapon cost less than ten pounds to build.
Warlord makes nice 28mm figures but 1:56 scale vehicles. I used 1:48 scale vehicles. I was able to find 1:48 Bren carriers from Butler’s Printed Models, but they didn’t come with crews. Warlord used to break up their sets as special orders, but no longer. I had to order a set of four 1:56 Bren carriers to get the crews and some dismounts. The 28mm figures fit nicely in the 1:48 scale vehicles. There are additional Brens on pintles to mount on the Bren carriers, but I am waiting for some very, very small rare-earth magnets to come in the mail to mount them. I think I will also use them to put the figures into the Bren carriers if they are thin enough.
These are the dismounted figures that came with the set. There are enough to make two squads / sections.
Finally, I ordered a set of Boys AT Rifle crews from Crusader Miniatures. Together, I am starting to formulate a pretty good early war British force.
The event schedule for Barrage 2018 is filling up. More games being added daily. Don’t miss the best little convention on the East Coast. Great games, great people, no politics. Just dice, cards, and toy soldiers.
Take the day off Friday and start gaming at noon when the doors open. Gaming goes until everyone tuckers out Saturday evening.