HOQ Rule sets – Fire Team, Oscar Mike, World at War and SABOT

In-house rule sets and much more (well a little bit more) …..

Over the last few years we’ve slowly (very) been working on tidying up our various in-house rule sets. It started as a project to update them for ourselves but we also decided that if they tarted up ok we’d eventually make them all available to other gamers free (ie a donation if you feel like it). Recently while working with Empress on a Modern Battlegroup set (Oscar Mike) and totally unplanned, we snaked our way back to first principles gaming (ie no dice or tables games). The result was we ended up revising our core play combat systems. Very much for the better as it turns out as it’s really given our gaming and hobby a new impetus. Sooooo what are we working on …..?

Moderns

Fire Team and Oscar Mike. Fire Team is our own set of 8-20 man modern skirmish rules with a dose of RPG elements thrown in (that’s Role Playing Game not Rocket Propelled Grenade!). It was basically finished and had been pretty well tested but is now being re-vamped with our new combat system which greatly simplifies things but still allows for detail where it’s wanted. That and the lure of making a “Syrian-Modern” style destroyed city terrain board has generated some excitement again.

Oscar Mike is a Battlegroup sized rule set we’re working on with the Lads at Empress and is aimed at 1-2 platoons and 6-8 vehicles a side, although it scales up and down easily. As this is a collaborative set it, and any supplements, will eventually be available (hopefully middish 2017) from Empress Miniatures once play-testing is complete and assuming it’s successful too …. 🙂

modern-rule-sets

WW2

World at War (working title lol) is a Platoon-Company sized WW2 game. Originally just set in Western Europe we’ve been using and tweaking our WW2 rules for over 30years of gameplay. Oddly this was our rule set we were most happy with as it always matched up to the thousands of books and combat accounts digested. However the new combat system plays so well that even this has gotten a re-write to use that as it’s core. The equipment lists are currently being expanded to cover most of the middle to late war.

Sabot is our Tank vrs Tank tabletop RPG game. Again this is getting a dose of the new combat system and a focus on making the gameplay a little easier (some features were nice but needed tech to speed up the play which is beyond our resources) and with more focus on crew development and skills progression.

We’ll probably convert Fire Team to the WW2 setting as well so allowing a man focused small WW2 skirmish game in the style of the Commando comics we loved so much.

ww2-rule-sets

Sci-fi Fantasy

Just pure funsies here. We grew up playing Space Opera and Traveller and have a deep love of sci-fi. Upon hitting upon our new combat system it’s opened up Sci-fi gaming for us again as being able to be both simple but with depth, so it’s all ahead with the rules. The front end is done and allows any type of sci-fi troop type you can think of to be easily created with simple and relative stats. Races that can be created include from a few base values include Hordes (Tyranid, Alien and Arachnid types) creatures, Warrior races (think Klingons, Proxims and Krogans), Alphans, Human Planetary Forces, Heinlein inspired Power-Armoured Assault Troopers (gee I wonder were the idea for “space-marines and terminators came from”) and Robots. While not laser-locked on our Radar as being urgent, it’s hard not to feel the liberating freedom of being able to game anything you’ve ever read or watched in the Genre with one base system and not requiring to buy every specific rule set or kickstarter ….

Survival Horror. Bit of a touchy one this one. It’s been on our “to game” list for almost 20years now so it’s definitely not a fad but we have had a couple of souring experiences that have pushed this back into the dark for a while. Long story short, imagine some naive kiwi lads (then part of another rules company) talking with a major gaming and miniatures company and their partnered publishing house about a rule set (none of their games or books had any “Z” related stuff in their published collections at that stage). After taking a copy of said rule set, offered in good faith of an agreed working relationship, but professing no real interest at all in that type of thing (“but we’ll see what marketing says”) it was exciting to see who ended up recently releasing a fully fledged Survival Horror game heavily using the rules concepts and systems my brother wrote most of – lesson, don’t trust big companies where profit, ideas and small developers are concerned. Tossers already had a line on procuring another manufactures “infected and survivors” miniatures we suspect, but didn’t have a rule set so were being total cynical cxxxs in pretending to have no interest. Either way producing this would be the second time we’ve re-written a Horror set but unfortunately now have most of our enthusiasm for the project sapped, so probably only the WW2 based set is ever likely to see the light of day fitted with the new combat system.

sci-fi-rule-sets

Of course we could always just batten down the hatches and dig out our WW1 Air Wargaming rules or Starship Battles sets and play with those for the next few years, such is the fickle directionless life of a tumbleweed in the wind ….. 😉

Q

Modern Combined Arms 28mm wargaming rules – Empress Miniatures

Empress – Queeg project update ….

Just a quick note that we’re excited to let people know that we’re currently working down the path in developing a set of modern wargaming rules with the lads at Empress Miniatures. The rules are aimed Company Battlegroup / Combined Arms sized games and are a larger scale partner to the Empress Danger Close Skirmish rules. Aimed at around a reinforced Infantry platoon with support teams and around 6 – 9 vehicles per side it does however scale up or down easily depending on your game preference (or megalomania) 🙂 Either way it’s a chance to get some of those lovely vehicles on the table …..

As you can see in the post below this one testing is currently going well and even better than we expected. Anyway, we (the Queegs – Craig and I) look foward to being able to update on progress and also post what are going to be some supporting and interesting modelling projects.

cheers
Q

From the Empress Face Book page …..

Empress Miniatures
May 20 at 9:12pm

Just thought that we should share some information.

We are currently working on a set of rules for ‘BIG’ games. Containing tanks, vehicles, infantry units, helicopters, support artillery, etc. In other words a set to recreate true war scenarios at company, and perhaps larger, on your table in an evening.

Working with Brent (Queeg) and Craig (one of the original guys behind Skirmish Sangin), the project is aiming at bringing a very full on modern reenactment experience to a table near you with us not forgetting that this is a tactical game that is designed for entertainment. Play testing of the mechanics are under way and working well.

Release date is difficult to say but we are aiming for early next year or ASAP as we want to play them ; )

As stated early days but we will update you all as they develop and no doubt get into asking for ideas, opinions, help, etc in the not too distant future.

Here are few pictures of the original play test to add a bit of atmosphere.

Cheers,
Paul

Modern Rules Testing – v01

New rules set testing …..

Haven’t posted for a bit as we’ve been working on a new modern Battlegroup/Company rules set which is currently at the concept proofing stage. Craig managed to scam some time off work, came up for a visit and we did some rules thrashing. Can’t go too much into rule mechanism detail yet but basically we started with a platoon infantry game to make sure the basics worked and then escalated into tanks, MICVs and Platoons.

ps the pics are raw as they are straight off a phone but they should give an idea of the scale and movement etc.

Game 1

A meeting screening engagement between Russian and American Infantry platoons. Each platoon is split into sections which are further each split into two fire teams.

The first turns saw the cunning Americans moving two sections up to a tree and scrub covered ridge while the bulk scarpered along using the ridge as cover to move into a small village. For their part the brave Russians advanced up to a ridge line commanding both a view of the opposite ridge and a valley in front of the village.

Fire was exchanged with some teams being pinned but recovering and little overall effect until Big Willie Apiata (attached to a US team for morale purposes to give it some “extra stiffness”) stood up to taunt the Russians. The Russians were at first offended but then changed tack and focused the fire of three teams onto Willies Team, causing first one, then two casualties and finally wiping it out in the crossfire. The second team (same section) watched Willie go down and panicked, dropping their packs and legging it back towards the Company CP (which was unfortunately off-table).

The remaining US teams stood firm but the longer range fire from the more spread out US infantry was sporadic, variously suppressing or pinning but failing to cause Russian casualties. In desperation the US brought on an MATV to try and stabilize the line but it was targeted by three RPGs from the Russian Infantry teams who had gone on overwatch. Before it’s M2 could lay down some pain two rockets had whistled close by with the third catching it squarely and ending the US hopes.

Game 2

The second game was an escalation to test the vehicle and AFV rules in concert with a decent amount of infantry. Each side had 4xMBTs, 2xMICVs and 1 Infantry Platoon.

The US infantry drove into the village and debussed from their Bradleys which then took up blocking positions on the flank. Two Abrams slowly moved through the village to provide support while the infantry took to the buildings and walled gardens. Two Challengers (on attachment) moved onto a ridge on the opposite side of the start line to provide a balanced threat.

The Russians balance split their forces with two T90s, a BMP3 and Infantry moving into an elevated farm complex. The other BMP3 and Infantry (plus HQ) advanced onto the central ridge line while the T80 section tried advancing into hull down positions on the left flank to try and prevent the Abrams down the valley moving out of the village.

The Challengers advanced up onto the ridge into hull down positions and rapidly made short work of the T80s, the Riussian dice apparently having been tampered with during a coffee break. One Challenger stayed on Overwatch to engage the T90s across the valley and one advanced to close with the infantry and flank them. The Russian infantry RPGs couldn’t penetrate the advancing Challenger and resorted to harassing fire trying for a miracle hit (lucky 12’s always hit). A Konkurs team attached to the platoon HQ got off an ATGW shot but as the Challenger had moved around a ridge ending out of sight it could only score a glancing hit, pinning the Challenger.

The BMP on the ridge debussed its infantry and engaged a Bradley which had broken from the cover of the town but at long range and partially behind some cover it missed. It then had to back off the ridge as to avoid both the flanking Bradleys and Challenger. On the other side of the table shots were traded for a bit but due to positioning the 2 Abrams managed to trade with the T90s one at a time, eventually knocking both out in turn while suffering only 1 pin.

Finally the BMP in the farm complex had a lucky escape when an Abrams shot ricocheted (a double 1 is always a miss) when it only needed any roll over 2 to hit. It was pinned and popped smoke to cover itself until its crew could recover and move back. Infantry on both sides exchanged fire but with the Americans and Russians in buildings the cover and range prevented any real casualties. Eventually with their armour gone and the Russian infantry now getting flanked the brave green men had no choice but to pull back under the cover of a smoke screen and plot their rewenge.

Q

01 rusinf 010

01 rusinf 332

02 usinf 331  2

03 rus inf 33 2

03 rusinf 4556

03 rusinf 4557

04 usinf 33

07 usi twn 11 2

08 usi twn 12 2 2

09 rusinf 338

10 usinf 33

11 rusinf 4555

11 usinf 333

12 dice

13 Bigwillie

13 usinf 339

14 matv  3  x1 2

SPETSNAZ – Empress Miniatures 28mm conversions for FIRETEAM

Spetsnaz conversions …….

Some wicked Spetsaz in Gorka (mountain – windproof) uniforms which hopefully will see use in our Fireteam skirmish games. They’re being made by our friend Jon (and are from his collection) who’s also a superb painter and a bit of a Soviet nutter. The figures are made from Empress Modern Russians with head swaps (plastic from the Perry Africa Corps set) and the odd equipment embellishment made from greenstuff.

They’re painted in the universal windproof Gorka combat suit which comes in quite a range of tans and olive greens and now often with a camouflage patterned shoulder section. I’ve attached a few reference pics filched from the web (for purposes discussion only).

And a quick word about the Spetsnaz as it can be quite confusing knowing who’s who.

In general Spetsnaz is a term globally used to encompass Russian (and Russian and ex-Russian states) special forces. Spetsnaz literally means Special-Purpose (spetsialnogo naznacheniya). Broadly speaking Spetsnaz units fall under the command of three branches;

Spetsnaz GRU – Soviet (Russian) Ministry of Defence special forces
These include Ground Forces, Naval and Airborne Spetsnaz units.

Spetsnaz FSB – State security (KGB-FSB) special forces
Counter terrorist specialist units such as Alpha Group

Spetsnaz MVD – Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) special forces
Internal policing troops such as Special Rapid Response Units (S.O.B.R.) and various local named OSNs (Special Purpose Detachments) such as the 25th OSN Merkuriy (Smolensk).

I might expand on these guys a bit more later as Special Forces are something we’re planning as a FIRETEAM supplement, when we get organised that is, maybe a kickstarter would help, or a kick in the “a….s” more likely 🙂

Q

jspn gk 022

jspn gk 038

jspn gk 030

jspn gk 023

jspn gk 024

jspn gk 036

jspn gk 037

.
Some Gorka equipped Spetsnaz reference pics (from open source web sources and included for discussion only)

modsov spgorka 22-2

modsov spgorka 222-2

modsov spgorka 233

modsov spgorka 236

Empress Miniatures Delta Force 28mm – FIRETEAM

Delta Force ….

The start of our Special Forces venture which will hopefully include some new units to add to this one as well as eventually USN Devgru (SEALs), SAS and FSB/Spetnaz.

And some background;

The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), popularly known as Delta Force, is the U.S. Army special operations unit tasked with such missions as hostage rescue and counterterrorism, direct action and reconnaissance against high-value targets. It’s the US Army counterpart to the possibly better known United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (or DEVGRU), also often referred to as SEAL Team Six.

Formed in 1977 under command of an ex Green Beret Officer Charlie Beckwith, it’s exact composition and strength is classified although some known sections include;

A Squadron (Assault)
B Squadron (Assault)
C Squadron (Assault)
D Squadron (Assault)
E Squadron (Aviation)
G Squadron (Advanced force operations, Reconnaissance and Surveillance)
Combat Support Troop (Contains WMD Experts, Breachers, and other specialists)

Q

emp US8 Delta  1250 v2

emp US8 Delta  inf 1100cu v2

emp US8 1000 v2

emp US8 t2 1000 v2

And some refs (from open web sources and included for discussion purposes only)

delta 554

delta 556

USarmy Delta  Tom Spooner rtd

delta 559

delta 553

hqdefault

SABOT – Fur Gaming table

Teddy Bear Fur Gaming Table ….

SABOT 000 Table  1600

As mentioned several times in posts about our gaming we recently picked up the fur we’ve been looking for to upgrade our gaming table. Craig (my brother and partner in gaming madness) managed to scam some time off work and as I’m still been too sick to do any sort of modelling, came up to stay and under my direction trimmed and joined our fur, managing to create both a useful gaming faux grass matt and a large family sized throw rug.

First steps involved trimming the fur down, removing the artsie-white bleached ends and getting it down to more of a scale length. For the trimming we used a trusty Wahl Chrome Pro (TM) hair trimmer which I must say performed the task admirably. The fur was trimmed roughly in one direction then cross cut and scummbled in the opposite direction to remove both the residual white and any pattern shaved into the surface. A vacuum was used to pull the trimmings off the blade as it cut and frequent stops were made to oil, clean the blade and cool the motor down. We were so impressed with the cutters performance that we contacted Wahl with a glowing testimonial to use in their advertising in exchange for some gaming sponsorship funds but so far haven’t had a reply. Joking aside it has ground, self sharpening blades and a heavy duty motor, both features that I suspect kept it cutting over the 4 days of shaving and from bursting into bright and hot flame ….

SABOT Fur trimming 001 1300

SABOT Fur trimming 002 1350

There’s still some touching up of the join area required and I may yet still cut some random sections down a little lower to add some more variety but basically we’re pretty happy with the result. Of note also during the project we pioneered a new system of extremely useful and versatile measurement, the Craig. We measured the length of the fur mat and indeed our cutting progress in “Craigs”, with approx 7m being equal to 3-3/4 Craigs. Imagine our quiet surprise when we realised that the “Craig” can be used to measure everything from the height of rooms to the length of the driveway – all very useful for planning future home improvement projects.

The “Craig” (pat pending) measurement system in action …

SABOT Fur trimming 003 1500

Q

New Gaming Table goodness …….

SABOT Table  002 2 1600

SABOT Table  003 2 1600

SABOT Table  004 2 1600

SABOT Table  005  2 1600

SABOT Table  007 2 1600

SABOT Table  008 2 1600

SABOT Table 009 3 1600

SABOT Tank vrs Tank skirmish wargaming rules – part 1

SABOT Tank rules …..

sab pg 000

sab pg 004

Though I’d do a quick (ish) post and give a little background on part of the reason behind the revival in our tank replacement and production program. Sounds a bit like a 1930s re-armament program when put like that doesn’t it ….. 🙂

For really deep background we’d have to start with our 20mm collection which was/is mostly made up of models over 20years old (and that’s the assembly and painting, not the kit/mould age lol) and generally in pretty poor shape. Some time ago we decided to retire our old collection and sort of start with a new broom as my building and painting had somewhat improved over time. Actually we thought it’d be nice to have vehicles and troops as good as the stuff I was building and sending out to my customers. But as in all things other projects jumped in and apart from some Project ’46 stuff our 20mm replacement program really went nowhere.

Recent Motivation

Advance to today, well recently anyway and the major thing that got us moving again was finally locating faux fur with the right density to cut down and use as a gaming table cover. This has been on our “badly want” list for a long time and was another factor stalling our 20mm gaming. The fur once trimmed will allow proper grass cover for our whole table, with HD foam formers underneath creating undulating terrain and using place-on buildings, woods and roads etc. The great thing about the fur base is that it’s equally good for all scales, from 20mm through to 28mm and 1/48th, and maybe even 1/35th . . . hmmmmm.

So that fired us up to get back into 20mm gaming and to get our collection updated. After a bit of thought (unusual for us) the quickest bang for a buck collection wise was to focus on vehicles and the best way to use them would be for me to get my Tank vrs Tanks rules sorted out.

And so after all of the above this is why we’ve been working on tank platoon building, for use with our SABOT rules.

Gaming fur 001 1024

And so what is SABOT?

Well basically it’s the core of our standard WW2 ruleset but expanded and focused on Tanks. The goal was to have a set of rules backed up by a first principles vehicle generator system which would allow us to create relative stats for any AFV from the WW1 A7V to the latest ultra-modern T14 Armata, and everything in between. Opposing forces can then be selected using roughly comparable AFVs and then with points values so that balanced forces can be fielded.

SABOT has optional RPG elements to it also and you can take your AFV crews through a campaign or series of battles, improving their skills and their chance of survival and success as you go. Of course crew losses have to be replaced which is done using battle experience points gained from battles. Don’t have enough EXP? then your replacement driver is going to be “Green”. Crews cost points which is added to the base AFV cost so that the total force points cost is a combination of crews and AFVs. The fun is in seeing whether your veteran crew can really make enough of a difference to win against superior numbers ….

But at it’s core we really wanted SABOT to have a Tank only – WOT feel, but without the match fixing and behind the scenes result adjustments you get in WOT. Here good tactics and a little luck rolling the dice will determine success and you can instantly feel elation rolling a lucky 12 or pain coming on with a roll of snake eyes …..

Rules Mechanisms

In SABOT each vehicle is moved individually with activation alternating between the two sides (or players if it’s a multiplayer game) and each activating one vehicle at a time until all have performed actions or been “passed over”. Each vehicle/AFV has three activation points which can be used in any way the player wishes, ie the AFV can move for 3 AP, or it can mix other actions such as move 1AP, halt 1AP and spot a target for 1AP. Vehicle characteristics such as mobility, rate of fire, gun accuracy, range-finding equipment, turret rotation speed, optics quality and others all help determine what actions can be attempted and how effective they might be.

Crew skills (fixed for the basic play version) are determined by the level of experience and training. A “trained” crew makes all it’s activation dice rolls and tests with a base value of 7 on 2d6. The system is also a “roll equal to or higher” for success as we feel it’s more natural when rolling dice to try and roll high. So when attempting to shoot a target for example, the base to hit roll required is 7 and this is then modified by both the firing vehicles actions and the targets range and actions.

The effect of successful hits is determined by both players rolling dice (2d6) with the firer adding his roll to his AFVs weapon penetration. The target player adds his dice roll to his AFV armour value, which is dependant on the location of the hit (front, side, hull down/turret, rear, top/bottom). These dice rolls allow a measure of real-world variation to the results, so a weapon of penetration lower than the target vehicles armour value still has a small chance of causing a damaging hit. This represents that lucky hit which finds the gap in the armour belt, the drivers vision block or smashes the gun tube. Likewise there is a remote chance that a smaller vehicle could bounce that potentially crippling 8.8cm hit …. for a turn at least.

Gameplay example

The best way to illustrate the gameplay flow and the use of the 3AP is (hopefully) with one of our gameplay examples;

sab gameplay

And some random pages below showing where we’re headed with the SABOT system …. still very much a work in progress 🙂

cheers
Q

sab pg 015-16

sab pg 019-20

sab pg 021-22

sab pg 025-26

sab pg 038

sab pg 053

sab pg 052

Modelcollect E-75 zug – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Gnarly E-75 zug . . .

And yes, more tanks. This time a Modelcollect E-75 platoon (or more correctly “zug”) of two 12.8cm vehicles and for a bit of variety two 8.8cm L/100 vehicles. Ever since Modelcollect announced it’s “E” series tanks (and there’s an E-100 on the way too) I’ve been wanting to get one to have a bash at it. Prompted by the SABOT game project, instead of one E-75 my brother “gifted” me a platoon of four to assemble!

Firstly a bit of history (yes I can hear the groans over the interwebs). So keeping it brief, the E series was a proposed streamlining of German tank design allowing more commonality of parts , simplified designs where possible with they goals of improving protection, armaments and streamlining production.

The proposals included;
1 E-5
2 E-10
3 E-25
4 E-50 Standardpanzer
5 E-75 Standardpanzer
6 E-100

The E-75 was to share as many components as was practical with the lighter E-50 and both designs were visually similar to the Tiger II. A unique feature as proposed was to have rear drive so as to reduce drive train vunerablity and improve both weight distribution and maintenance/access. This feature presented many technical difficulties and the Modelcollect E-75 uses the standard “Tiger II” front drive and automotive layout. This layout is most likely to have been used as an interim solution until the rear drive technical issues could be solved.

Interestingly French postwar tank design was heavily influenced by German designs and also assisted by German Engineers. The AMX50 utilised rear drive in a format very much like that envisioned for the E50/75 series tanks. The resulting design was longer at the rear to accommodate both the engine (a Maybach design) and the transmission. The few existing original German WWII era design proposals do not allow sufficient length to allow rear drive in practical terms and it is likely that the final E50/75 series may have looked significantly different from most designs found on the web today.

Another key feature was the adoption of externally mounted suspension, the resultant space gained by removal of the torsion bars used to increase internal storage, lower the vehicles and would have allowed for floor mounted escape hatches. The system proposed used “Bellville” or stacked conical washer like springs and was intended to reduce both the complexity and un-sprung suspension weight while retaining the load bearing qualities of the larger interleaved torsion bar system. The Belleville Spring Washer system was used on the post war Swiss designed Panzer61 and is still used in some Formula 1 suspension applications.

E-Series Belleville Conical Spring Washer suspension

e75r E series bellview-conical suspension

e75r E50 conical suspension ga

E50 and E75 hull designs with rear drive.

e75r E50-E75-2

e75r AMX50 rear drive

Common impressions of what the Heavy E series tanks would have looked like.

e75r E-75 seb nast

e75r WOT E-50M

And a teaser of the project

Modelcollect E-75 025 1500 2

M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

Some kit building action …

Firstly why M26E4s and not the other more common Korean War or WW2 variants? Basically it’s because I prefer to model and game using my alternative war Project ’46 scenarios and vehicles.

For several reasons but primarily because it frees up my modelling allowing variations in camouflage and designs that can’t be picked at by “specialists”. If I want camo on Pershings I’ll add it. If I want to use early Centurions along with Shermans I can. And of course I’m free to convert and construct my own alternate designs. So the E4s (of which only 25 were modified) easily fits into my Project ’46 framework. As a bonus the E4 was fitted with the impressive T15 gun (90mm T15E1) and gives the medium weight Pershings some much needed firepower against the German heavies …

And so like with the Shermans I was a little unsure what to expect from the Trumpeter Pershings. In box they look good having nice sharp moulded detail. They suffer from solid lifting rings like the Shermans but they’re easily replaced. The TC hatch is open but no other so at a later date I’ll pick up another one to take the platoon numbers upto 5 and I’ll open all the hatches (scratchbuilding replacements) and fit a full crew.

Assembly went without issues although some care is required to align and level the suspension arms which are separate pieces. I fitted them first allowed the glue to almost harden attached the wheels and then adjusted them by bending until everything sat level. They were then put aside overnight to harden up.

The tracks were fitted using my normal method of bending/stretching and attaching in stages with superglue. They went on easy enough but watch the front/first roadwheel which is a reasonably weak unit and can be bent easily …. turret finishing next 🙂

Q

tr t26e4 -001

tr t26e4 -010 1250

tr t26e4 -014 1024

tr t26e4 -025 1250

tr t26e4 -029 1024

tr t26e4 -028 1024

tr t26e4 -032 1024

M26E4 Pilot Model

I decided to convert two of the Pershings to the pilot-model produced in WW2 and with the distinctive additional armour and gun balance cylinders. While the turret isn’t strictly correct as it should be a production M26 with additional counterbalance weights stacked on the rear, it’ll be close enough for me lol

Pics of my quick conversion (measurements, shapes and sizes done by eye) and a few pictures of the real thing …. (from various web sources and for discussion only)

tr t26e4 -038 1250

tr t26e4 -039 1024

tr t26e4 -041 1024

tr t26e4 -042 1024

tr t26e4 -043 1024

m26r 030 Super_Pershing

m26r 031 super_pershing_1

m26r 032 super_pershing_6

m26r 033 super_pershing_3

m26r 034 super-pershing-4

M4A3E8 Shermans Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Trumpeter M4A3E8 Shermans …..

Recently we’ve been working on another of our rulesets called SABOT designed for Tank vrs Tank skirmish gaming. Based around a home written WWII ruleset which we’ve been using since …. um …. paper was invented, but updated with some newer ideas and game mechanisms. It uses a first principles vehicle generator that allows us to create vehicle stats, tables and relative points values for everything from WWI MkIV and A7Vs to the ultra-modern M1A2 Aim/Sep/Tusk and T14 Armata.

Anyway enough blathering as the point is it’s given a long term plan plan to update our 20mm collection a much needed dose of impetus. A major part of the game-play involves deploying platoons and so we’ve adjusted our building plan to suit, which is a major change from the sporadic building of single vehicles based on pretty much a whim 🙂

So here’s one of our first platoons under construction 4x “1946” M4A3E8s, 1/72nd Trumpeter kits with some conversions using some left over Dragon kits.

Surprisingly these are the first Trumpeter kits I’ve ever assembled and wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall detail is very nice, sharp and fine. To offset this the kits have some basic features, all tools are moulded on and the lifting hooks and loops are all moulded as solid pieces and will have to be replaced. I was most worried about the tracks though as I’d heard some horror stories about “ungluable” Trumpeter tracks but fortunately I found no problems fitting or gluing them.

Two Trumpeter hulls have been cross-kitted using Dragon hulls from the spares box. One now has open drivers and radio operators hull hatches and a large split loaders hatch on the turret. The other vehicle has been modified to use a cast hull, which I think looks pretty gnarly.

And a few pics, including some inspirational ones filched from the net (for discussion purposes only of course).

Q

tr m4a3e8 - 000

tr m4a3e8 - 020 1250

tr m4a3e8 - 042 1250

tr m4a3e8 - 30 1024

tr m4a3e8 - 035 1024

tr m4a3e8 - 044 1024

And some inspirational M4A3E8 HVSS Sherman pics …..

ref M4 with 76mm Toeven Holland1945

ref sherman-tank-old-baldy

ref congo m4

ref congo m4 -2

ref sher0022

ref kel01

Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.

Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures’ FURY.

FIRE TEAM Air Support – Hasegawa 1/48th AV8B Harrier

Fire Team air support …….

In between life issues I managed to get a little work done on the USMC air support part of our Fire Team Skirmish gaming project. The 1/48th Hasegawa Harrier is assembled and waiting the addition (purchase) of a pilot and underwing stores as the kit comes with nether. This is the first plane I’ve built in many many years and I was definitely a little rusty. This boy has some tricky fit issues too, especially around the upper wing and lower ventral stores/undercarriage areas. A little filler and like most of my builds I’ll make up for it with the paint ….. that’s the theory anyway 🙂

Q

av8b - 048 1440

av8b - 044 1440

av8b - 046 1440

And a little inspiration for the Harrier and the Cobra/Viper I’ve got to build ….

av-8b-harrier-imgur-aircraft-2790165-1600x1016

e4c93e2b5bf68a1d6626774c1645146c

AGM-114 Hellfire loaded by members of the USMC(MWSS-373) onto A USMC AH-1W SuperCobra at Tikrit

FIRE TEAM – 28mm Modern Skirmish wargaming – Rules testing 2

Rules testing . . .

Oddly although this is titled “rules testing2” it’s actually the first part of the game that I managed to get a few pictures from (see the US pics in an earlier post). And of course we’ve played a few more than 2 games 🙂

Anyway the game went as follows,

A British section (2 Fire Teams plus command) went on a routine village foot patrol unaware that the villagers had fled and the insurgents moved in in some strength. The first few turns were patrolling for the Brits with the Insurgent commander rushing on off table fighting groups to strengthen their hold on compound 67 in the town centre.

The insurgent commander brought in some (admittedly largely inaccurate) harassing mortar fire to suppress and force the Brits to go to ground while he positioned his forces. After a turn recovering (straight-forward with no casualties to complicate things) the UK infantry teams worked forward taking the insurgent positions under fire. Again the results were largely suppressive but it allowed the Fire Teams to close up into assault positions while hastily called in support (A Warrior MIFV) arrived.

The Warrior moved up and opened fire but after causing one observed insurgent casualty it’s fire was unable to breach the thick compound walls. The insurgents then unleashed a hail of RPG fire causing the Warrior to first button up and then neutralising it with several hits (2 direct hits which luckily failed to penetrate). The harassed British then called in the local US heavy force (with a Marine Abrams to breach the compound) and withdrew to seal off the perimeter of the village.

Q

The UK Infantry start enter the edge of the village for a “routine” foot patrol ….

ft uk atc 200

ft uk atc 201

The Insurgent Commander observes the Brits and orders up his reserves by cell phone, then calls some harassing fire from an old soviet mortar. Widely inaccurate (or just unlucky depending on who was rolling the dice) the crew blamed their lack of success on rusty ammo.

ft uk atc 210

ft uk atc 211

ft uk atc 212

ft uk atc 214

ft uk atc 215

An old WW2 era Soviet 82-PM-43 mortar is called in to suppress the UK Infantry

ft uk atc 216

ft uk atc 217

The Brits call up some fire support in the shape of a Warrior and work their way forward, suppressing and pinning the insurgent firing positions.

ft uk atc 219

ft uk atc 220

ft uk atc 221

ft uk atc 222-2

ft uk atc 223

The Insurgent Commander orders his fighting teams to drive back the steel beast with RPG fire. Two misses and 2 non-penetrating hits cause the Brits to call in heavier support before they retire, sealing in the perimeter and closing in the insurgent escape routes.

ft uk atc 232

ft uk atc 231

ft uk atc 233

FIRE TEAM – 28mm Modern Skirmish – USMC AH-1Z Viper and AV-8B Harrier

Fire Team Aircraft and Helicopter Supplement ….

For those of you that look in from time to time, sorry for the absence. I’ve been pretty crook and this is the first time I’ve been able to sit at the PC (let alone model) for a couple of weeks now. Anyway in keeping with our USMC vehicle theme some 1/48th aerial support arrived from China recently, a Hasegawa AV-8B Harrier and Kittyhawk AH-1Z Viper.

Both kits look packed with detail but the Kittyhawk Viper really is a nice piece of kit. Colour markings plates with instructions, canopies come sealed in a cardboard box to protect them, PE, 3x markings options and even a set of resin rivet’s to add detail.  Soooo looking forward to getting into these guys a bit later.

On the rules front things are also looking good with the Aircraft and Helicopter Data and rules supplement basically done and the Combat Vehicle supplement not far off either. All in all after years of neglect (we have home rules written for just about everything (period/type wise) that just need some tidying up) our moderns are coming together nicely . . .

Q

Hasegawa 1/48th USMC AV-8B Harrier II

AV8B - 001 1024

Kittyhawk 1/48th USMC AH-1Z Viper

AH1Z - 001 1024

FIRE TEAM Rules layout teasers

FT scs pg5

FT1 p0

FT1 p1

FT scs pg67

FT scs pg19

FT scs pg8

FT scs pg17

FT scs pg51

Aircraft and Helicopter Data and Rules layout teasers

FTAS1 p1

FTAS1 p2

Fire Team – 28mm Modern Skirmish rules

Recently we dusted of some of our in-house rules sets . . .

and realised that it wouldn’t take much to bring them up to date as we’ve been using most of the rules mechanisms for quite some time and they play pretty smoothly. As with all out rules we’re always streamlining them but the overall concept is for them to play as a sort of amalgam of all the books we read, with the emphasis on “feeling” right for the period. With our interest (and about 1000hrs of U-Tube Afghanistan doco watching under our belts) we decided to tackle our Modern Skirmish rule set first – Fire Team.

* Note in due course our WW2 Skirmish, WW2 Company, Modern Company, Project ’46 Alternate War and Infected Survival Rules, Knights of the Sky WW1 Aero and Rodger Young (Sci-Fi Starship combat) will all be tarted up and hopefully made available for free / donation.

Soooo while my brother was ripping into some of the nice new Empress Miniatures 28mm modern figs my task was to tackle the vehicles and as one of the first I chose to build a USMC M1A1.

While we’re confessing things I’m also at a bit of a crossroads in deciding how to model it. I’m getting the impressive resin 1/48th Gasoline M1A2 kit. Now the only M1s in Afghanistan were the M1A1s of the Marine 1st Battalion. To depect one of these tanks properly I’d have to backdate the Gasoline kit, then partially upgrade it with selected TUSK1 components.

Further complication things is that we plan to make a HMMMWV unit later in the year. Given that it will be based on the Tamiya 1/48th kits and the upgrade armour and weapons turrets commonly seen on Afghanistan deployed vehicles aren’t available for them, it would make more sense to finish both the M1 and the Hummers as vehicles from the second Iraq War.

At the moment I’m undecided. I guess when the Abrams turns up (it’s on order at the moment) I’ll have a look at it and work out how much work is involved in converting it to the later USMC Afghanistan standard.

Q

.My loose plan is to depict a heavily used vehicle and use it as a chance to go to town with contrasts and weathering. My reference pic below is this tasty looking USMC vehicle pictured from the Iraqi conflict though current Afghanistan deployed vehicles have been upgrade with newer equipment.
Some of the upgrades applied to the Abrams include SEP (Systems Enhancement Programme) and TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) which include the following components, a Thermal Imaging sight for the loader, CROWs remote weapons station for the tank commander, Armoured Gun shield for the loader, rear mounted Tank/Infantry telephone and an improved armour kit comprising reactive armour tiles and rear mounted slats. Recently DUKE anti IED jammers have also been fitted to the service fleet. Note I don’t intend to add all this stuff . . . . though I might . . . . add . . . . some . . . . .

.
OIF Abrams

Abrams Tusk upgrades

Well that’s all for now apart from waiting for the bits to arrive. Feel free to comment on the build once I get going and ask any questions which I’ll be glad to try and answer (except the dumb ones you’re thinking up Craig!)

Brent
Aka Queeg