Friday, June 30, 2006

Photos - 6mm Militia (Generic)

Both sides in the Spanish Civil War 'regularised' as much of their militia organisations as they could once the 'early war period' was over. Thus, Falange and Carlist were merged and placed under officers whose prime loyalty lay with the Franco regime, and the numerous socialist and communist militias were 'regularised' through means of supply of armaments and purge. The Basque militia always were relatively 'regular' in their own regional way.

To reflect this, I have a battalion of 'regular' looking militia. Here they are under an Italian militia flag, perhaps representing some of the tens of thousands of conscript 'volunteer' militia sent by Mussolini.

And here they are in the full roster, this time representing nationalist cannon fodder.

Of the three battalions I have still to paint of militia, I reckon one will be painted to represent the Falange, and the other two will be uniformed similar to the figures in the above two photos.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Photos - 6mm Artillery Park

Much of the fighting in the Spanish Civil War bore more a resemblance to that of WWI rather than WWII. Both sides used extensive artillery barrages. Probably the most common gun on both sides was the French 75/17. Hence the medium artillery batteries pictured here are primarily composed of this model.

Here's a view of the artillery park in my full roster photo.

Note the German 37mm A/T guns to the far left.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Photos - 6mm Nationalist Batteries

The Nationalists were strongly supported by armaments sent them by Europe's most powerful fascist dictatorships, Germany and Italy. Here they are in the full roster.
The heavy artillery of the Condor Legion was probably that part of it which was most continuously in battle.

Less famous than their German counterparts, Italian artillery was also used in large amounts by Franco. Here are Italian light batteries (I think they are models of Italian 47mm from WWII Irregular range, but I count them as 60mm pieces).

Photo - 6mm Republican Guns

Against Franco's artillery the Republicans used what they could. Of some importance, Russian imports. Here are a couple of 47mm guns from Irregular's WWII range.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Photo - 6mm Mounted Regulars

The horse was not uncommon in Spain, as indeed in both WWI and WWII. Besides transport and food, they were used to mount infantry, improving operational mobility. Here is a picture of (almost) a battalion of mounted regulars.

Here's a picture from the full roster ...

You'll see that there are only eleven platoon elements. Of all my troops, I am only aware of having lost one, the twelfth mounted platoon. Oh well ...

Photo - 6mm Regular Infantry

The regular army of pre Civil War Spain divided at the outbreak of the conflict, and 'regular' troops fought on both sides. Here are a couple battalions flying the Nationalist flag ...
Here they are in the full roster ...

Photo - 6mm full troop roster

I recently finished painting up my Spanish Civil War armies*. I couldn't resist the temptation of lining them all up and recording the achievement. Here they are ...
Here's a detail, recording something of the 'suppressed action' which they make concrete ...

* Being a wargamer, I still have unpainted troops. Not too many however ... two battalions of militia, three of regulars, six elements of militia 'cavalry', about half a dozen 'flag stands', a bus and a horse and cart. I'll wait until I get the urge before painting them. I still have to (matt) varnish my standing armies.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I have finally finished (re)painting the bases of my armies! All they need now is a matt varnish and we're off! I put in this photo, because it seems to capture something of the eagerness I expect of my troops ...
This is a bit of less blurry detail...

This is a shot of the most recent and final batch of fully painted troops, which I previously photographed partway through the process (click here). I'll post pictures of the full range shortly.

If you haven't gathered, I'm a wee bit excited at the reaching of the rare milestone of having finished painting all the troops which I started painting so long ago!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Al Front! update - card driven event sequence

Firstly, the Al Fronte! rewrite IS happening, but is happening slowly. It does appear that this should be the last such rewrite before I publish it on the web, so there is some consolation.

One positive aspect of a decently long development time for a game system is that you can think about the physical equipment required (as well as paint your 6mm troops up!). One such advance I have made because of the long cogitation period my procrastination has given me is to link a bit of web trivia in my 'favorites' to a practical use in my game.

This site has a free web based 'Trading Card' design application. I will use it to replace the playing cards I presently use for our game. I will be able to do it without using other's images (and the ethical issue that involves as a photographer) by taking my own photos, or accessing sites for images which are available for personal use. I will still leave the card key in the rules so that future players may do as we do now, and perhaps a link to the cardset I use for those that wish to print and produce their own atmospheric cards.

My first attempt at a designer Random Event Card

Another project to get underway in this brilliant pursuit of gaming!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Eastern Front Update

The Long Walk Home scenario has entered the middle game (turn 7). From the Russian perspective it must appear as though his numerous columns marching down forest paths are being hit by an increasing number of platoon and company level ambushes, from which positions the Finnish bandits vanish on their skis into the forest before they can be encircled by nearby columns who always seem to react too slowly.
Mix this with cavalry attacks in the russian rear against his support weapons and transport assets, and the mysterious dissappearance of his tanks in the mist, and Wayne should hopefully be beginning to get a bit paranoid by now.
If you haven't gathered, I am playing the Finn and loving it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Someone else's beautiful figures...

To have a look at what someone else has done in 20mm SCW and Russian Civil War figures, click here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Phase 10 - Ravensberger dice game

We have played a game of Phase 10, purchased for $15 at the game store in the Station Arcade in Adelaide's town centre. It is a simple dice rolling game where players take turns to make sequences of rolls of up to 10 dice (specially marked), generally attempting to make triplets, quadruplets and runs of numbers according to the requirements of the 'phase' they are in. The game contains a neat sturdy box, rules (not that easy to understand unless you like rules), a scorepad and ten dice. The dice are six sided, but contain numbers from 1 to 10 in different colours, and a number of 'W' faces which count as 'wild' scores).

There are ten phases in the game. Players take turns to try and roll a specified 'pattern' (eg three of a kind and a run of four consecutive numbers) in a total of three rolls of the dice before they hand the dice to the next player.

In the first and second rolls, the player chooses which (if any) dice they just rolled that they will roll again. A player can choose to leave some of the dice as they are, and use the face showing on these dice to count in their subsequent this turn. They must take the result of the third roll as final. If they don't make their Phase requirement (eg. seven consecutive numbers) for the phase they are in, play passes to the next player.If they make the requirement, they score each of the dice which is in the winning combination ...

... and record it.

When one player completes Phase 10, remaining players can try and pass through the remaining phases. They get three rolls as usual, per phase. If they don't make the requirement, they stop rolling and their game is over. If they make the phase requirement, they have three rolls at the next phase. This continues until they either complete Phase 10 or bomb out. The winner is the player on Phase 10 who has the most points.

Opinion: originally I was sceptical about a pure dice game. The game sucks you in, however, making choices about which dice to leave, which to reroll, which patterns to go for thereby, when to effectively surrender a turn to try for a better score, etc. In other words, you're mainly playing against yourself.

The game is produced by Ravensberger in the Czech Republic. Does that make it a "Eurogame"?
By the way, Jessica won.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Painting - 6mm bases

I have recommenced repainting all my bases a 'uniform' colour, now that the front room has been freed up for my hobby again (thanks Nancy).

Here's a photo of the table at the end of about one and a quarter hour's work. You can see the three metal trays. One (top left) I keep my paints in, another (bottom left) holds figures whose bases still require repainting, and the third (bottom right) holds those who were either finished tonight, or had the first half of the base painted. To do it cleanly, I paint a half of a base at a time, it stops a lot of fiddling around. It's part of the craft that turns conveyor belts into fun...

This is a wider angle shot taken before I had started the session. You'll notice some of my books in the shelf at the right, I try and keep my military and gaming books together here. The grey object at top left (sort of) is the castle that me and my stepdaughter put together for her school project.

The yellow/orange and red objects on the table are hard pencil cases with trays inside within which I store and transport my miniatures. They are nearly full. I should fit in all the troops visible on the table once they are done, but I'll need to sort out how to store the (presently unpainted) reinforcements that are moving along the conveyor belt...

My new photo blog ...

I have started another blog where I'm putting up various photos I have taken around the place (not game related).

Click here to have a look.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

East Front Update - Western Gate

Wayne was victorious in the East Front II game we have been playing by email. I played the Poles, trying to break through a smaller but very stubborn German defence force across some low hills and forest tracks, with bits of marsh and swamp scattered around the open fields. Despite initial success with my infantry, I couldn't crack the doughty SS defenders. Their machine guns picked my troops off as they advanced out of the mist. Before long, I was juggling my companies around to try and keep up the momentum as german guns created disruption amongst my thinning ranks.

Just when it appeared that I was going to struggle through in my main centre attack, and sieze a Southern objective in one of flanking diversions, my two crap tanks took hits from hidden infantry and reinforcements arrived on field for the German. It seemed that I was now facing a battalion of German armour, and an endless truck conveyor belt feeding German machineguns into the battle zone.

In several turns, my meagre and hard won gains in the central zone were wound back and I was pushed out of the orchards and off the hill. In the South, my infantry managed to hold the objective until concentrated german fire swept them out in the final turn. Lucky for me there was lots of woods and marsh scattered around, it gave my decimated forces somewhere to hide as the German tanks and infantry annihilated anyone still in range.

It was a major german victory for wayne - I think I managed to end up on about -600 points, with no objectives. Makes you feel sorry for the Poles.

We've started the next one in our series of games, "Long Walk Home". I am the Finns trying to delay or halt the russian advance through the icy forests of the Karelian peninsula. Wayne is the Russian.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Wargaming Blogsters

Obvulessly my wargaming hobby has expanded its influence over my time on the net. That's not a bad thing, this blog itself I believe contributes something to the world we live in. I thought originally it would just be something interesting to do, a bit of a log of games, a record of my ongoing pastime and sometimes social pursuit. But it has grown into much more than that.

How? By transforming itself from a private pursuit to an ongoing entity in the worldwide virtual community of gamers. I think I started to realise that there are others like me out there when I discovered Miniature Wargaming. That led to The Miniatures Page, and its forums. And they led me to this list of wargame blogs.

I've checked out several, and recognise the mentality behind some of the posters. Scary, eh? But nice to know that I'm not the only one with this sense of black even handed competitive humour out there.