Books I have read and recommend.

Monday, April 14, 2014

US Marines for Longstreet

 Hi All
Sorry for the long break between posts, but 'real life' stuff keeps getting in the way.
Anyway, continuing on with the 'LONGSTEET' theme I thought I thoughts I'd share my latest completed unit. An eight based US MARINES battalion.
I'm quite taken with the Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) and having served on several occasions with the US Marines I was very interested in producing the unit for my LONGSTREET collection.
The Marines sometimes look upon First Bull Run as a blemish on a particularly impressive war record but I'm of the opinion they have been judged harshly in regards to this particular engagement.
You can find an interesting article of the Marines performance at First Bull Run HERE
 As for this particular unit I used PERRY MINIATURES codes ACW 30 and 31 which are actually Confederates in Frock Coats but these were the closest I could get to what the US Marine Battalion would have been wearing at the battle.
The Flag ( a single National Colour) is from THE FLAG DUDE whom I can't recommend highly enough. These flags are outstanding and well worth the money.
ABOVE AND BELOW: My US MARINES using Perry Miniatures. Behind them you will notices another Federal unit. They are the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery deployed as infantry. I'll post more about them later.

I've based them 3 or 4 to a 40mm square base.
Here is an excerpt from the link I've provided covering the Marines efforts at First Bull Run.

"When several of the Federal units that had been driven from the hill finally regained composure, an attack was launched to recover the captured artillery. The 14th Brooklyn took the lead, followed, as Col Porter later said, "in fine style" by the Marine battalion. Other regiments fell in behind. Gaining the crest of the hill near the wreckage of Ricketts' battery, the rejuvenated Union troops took the Confederates under fire, driving them back across the plateau and into the pinewoods beyond.
The attack swept toward the position held by the Virginia brigade commanded by BGen Thomas J. Jackson. As the swell of the assault neared the thicket of pines, the 4th and 27th Virginia Infantry Regiments opened fire. An instant before the Virginians fired, the 14th dropped to the ground, and the Marines took the full effect of the volley. They wavered for a moment, but quickly recovered.

Pressing forward with the Brooklyn troops, now on their feet, the Marines plunged into the pines. Rebel fire intensified, and the attack began to falter. Reynolds was quickly in their midst, raining expletives on all within earshot. Lieutenant Colonel Edward W. Fowler of the 14th recalled Reynolds using "language more forcible than pious," but his efforts to hold the Marines went in vain. The entire line collapsed, and the broken remnants of the second assault force ran back across the plateau and down the hill to safety.
As the Confederates took up the pursuit, Daniel M. Conrad, surgeon of the 2d Virginia Infantry, surveyed the bloody aftermath of the fight. His account, published in the Southern Historical Society Papers in 1891, proved the determination of the Marines to break the Confederate line. "The green pines were filled with the 79th Highlanders and the red-- breeched Brooklyn Zouaves, but the only men that were killed and wounded twenty or thirty yards behind and in the rear of our lines were the United States Marines."

The Marines again rallied at the crossroads and, after reforming, charged back up Henry Hill in support of an assault led by the 69th New York Infantry. After making some headway, the Marines and the New York Irishmen were driven back by the counterattack of the 8th and 18th Virginia".
Please feel free to leave any comments.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Buildings from Battlefield Accessories?

Hi Guys
I was fortunate enough to be given a small building created by Mike Parker of BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES whilst visiting EUREKA MINIATURES a few days ago.
Mike produces some fantastic resin terrain but is now considering entering the world of 'Laser Cut' terrain.
Very early days but here is his initial offerings.
Two building, one in 15mm - 18mm scale and another in 25mm scale.
As you can see the kit comes flat packed. This is the 15mm version.
 Once opened it's always a good idea to lay all the parts out and then conduct a 'Dry Run' at assembly.
 Now here are some vids I took with 'step by step' assembly.
I'll admit they aren't of the highest quality. I used my iPhone and only have two hands,....




And here is a photo of the finished product with framing attached.

These are by my understanding just prototypes but the finished product should be pretty close to this mark.
I for one will be very keen to see these buildings hit the shelves and be available for purchase. As with all products from Battlefield Accessories these promise to be excellent value and a great addition to your terrain collection.
The prices I mentioned in the video IIRC are what was mentioned for the 28mm scale building.
I'll try and get a better idea of costs ffrom Mike or Nic.

Underlay: A new terrain option?

Hi Guys
I recently acquired some underlay material. We were moving house (again) and the removalists left some underlay with us wrapped around some furniture.
I remember reading somewhere that underlay was a useful material for use as a terrain covering though the consensus was it was best used buy draping over books of foam bloxks to create hils and then covering it with a terrain 'coloured' cloth.
I wondered if it was possible to simply colour the underlay itself.
What follows is a series of photos of my attempt at colouring underlay and using it as a terrain matt.
Here is what the underlay looks like without any alteration at all in contrast to a Warhammer Game Matt:

 Next: I sprayed the underlay with several cans of paint. Starting with earthy and dark browns the dark green and light green.
 You can see here that the underlay has a natural 'Grassy' look about it.
Finally I gave it an 'All Over' light spray of Army Painter Desert Yellow colour as a bit of a highlight.
 Add some terrain features like roads, crops and a building,.....
 a '"teddy Bear' fur wheat field and a felt stream/

 Add some troops!

 All in all it looks OK I think!
It will be interesting to see how well it stands up to the rigor of a few games.
I've discovered you can create some excellent hills by placing a couple of folded towels under the underlay.
As usual, comments are welcomed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

REVIEW: PERRY WW2 Metal British

Hi Guys
I'll admit it. I'm a PERRY-O-PHILE.
I've never been disappointed be anything the PERRYS produce. I think their plastics are particularly good. Highly detailed, easy to assemble and brilliant value for money. Their latest venture into the Second World War is particularly good, as each box set so far produces a complete Platoon. Coupled with their Metals and you have a very nice range of miniatures.
They decided to enter the WW2 market with troops from the Western Desert theater. An unusual choice one might think, given you're average pimply faced teen only thinks of WW2 starting some time in December 1941 and being fought only in the Pacific and in France with the GIs saving the rest of the free worlds sorry arse.
But the choice the Perrys' have come up with is actually pretty smart. Not only can these 'Desert Rats' (British 8th Army) set be utilized for fighting in the Western Desert of North Africa, but they are suitable for Commonwealth forces fighting in Crete, Sicily, Italy and Singapore, Malaya, Burma, India and also used as Aussies in PNG.
To supplement the Plastic box set they have recently released some metal miniatures but these lads are wearing Battle Dress (BD) trousers in contrast to the plastic soldiers in Shorts.
Naturally I couldn't resist getting some so here is a short review of some of the Metals with a focus on how they compare to the plastics.
I purchased one pack each of codes WW11, WW12 WW13 and WW14. You can see them HERE
The four packs combined give an under strength platoon of two rather than three sections. Not unrealistic at all.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box of WW13 (infantry charging with fixed bayonets in battle Dress Trousers) was how very fine the bayonets and rifles were. The bayonets in particular were almost bent back upon themselves. Fortunately I was able to bend them back into their correct position without any breakages but one needs to be aware that the rifles and bayonets appear to be rather fragile. I guess this is the price one pays for correctly scaled weapons. 
The poses are (as to be expected) excellent. The Bren Gun Teams from WW12 are my favorites. The set consists of a Bren Gunner, Loader and NCO with a Thompson SMG. The kneeling bren gun team is a real gem with the loader / assistant passing a magazine to the gunner as the NCO gives a target indication. The advancing Bren team is also lovely, the the assistant being depicted with a bandoleer of Mags draped over his shoulder and a very determined looking Bren gunner leading the way firing from the hip
Casting was excellent with only some minor flash. One or two figures from  packs WW13 and 14 did have mold lines across the helmets, but these are easily fixed with a scalpel and or file.
Most importantly the metals fit in perfectly with the plastics. Mixing the metals and plastics will not be an issue at all.
As you can see from the photos I posed the metals on plasticard to compensate for the Plastics being mounted on the bases that the come with in the box set.
Fortunately the PERRYS have made the 20mm round plastic bases that come with their box sets available as for purchase. SEE THEM HERE

I would HIGHLY recommend these metal additions to the PERRYS' WW2 British range. They are quite simply beautiful miniatures.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


 Hi Guys
Well its been hectic.
My wife has started University studies in Sydney, so it was pack up our house in Canberra and head north.
It did however lead to an opportunity to visit WAR AND PEACE GAMES.
War and Peace are a Postal Orders / Online Shop working out of the Central Coast north of Sydney.
What struck me when I took up John's invite to "Pop in and visit us" was how very well stocked they were.
As you can see there are racks upon racks of stock to be had.
Long story short I left with a few packs of Perry Metals and some fantastic 4Ground Buildings in both 28mm and 1/72nd scale.
I also grabbed a box of AGEMA Miniatures Roman Republic Velites simply because I'd never heard of this manufacturer before. A quick look in the box and I was quite impressed with what I saw and 16 figs for $18.00 AUD seemed reasonable to me.
I'll do a review of these miniature shortly.
 The guys are running a very slick and professional operation.
 BELOW: My host John. He's grinning I suspect because I've just explained I'd need to sell a kidney after smashing my wallet.
 I'd recommend you consider WAR AND PEACE GAMES when thinking about stocking up on anything from Miniatures, Rules, terrain, paints and all manner of wargame supplies.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chain Of Command at CANCON 2014

ABOVE: My forces for the game
I was fortunate enough to play a CHAIN OF COMMAND participation game at CANCON.

What follows is an AAR from my (The German Army or Heer) perspective.

Leutnant Hans Meashmizer surveyed the lay of the land before him.
BELOW:Leutnant Hans Meashmizer and the Panzershreck team of Privates Franke and Hessmann

His unit had been fighting for the last week against American Paratroopers and had suffered some casualties. Each of his 3 sections had been reduced to a MG42 LMG team of 3 men and 4 riflemen with a panzerfaust. CHQ had offered up a Panzershreck team and these two soldiers where his main defence against an armour that might link up with the American paratroopers from the beachheads of Normandy. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.

The small hamlet of Le Epic seemed empty. The little terrace houses and their small enclosed gardens looked peaceful enough nestled in amongst the bocage that surrounded it.

Unteroffiziers Schmidt and Paulus, take your sections and secure the first two houses on the main street. Obergefrieter Gobel, take your section along the line of bocage and await further orders. I will keep the Panzer killers with me. Move out”!

With that sections one and two occupied the two buildings on the western end of the hamlet on the south side of the road.
ABOVE: The German Sections secure the two houses
Obergefrieter Gobel’s section was slower to move off. The familiar and terrifying sound of a 60mm mortar firing caused them to pause.

At the north east end of Le Epic American Paratroopers from the 82nd were advancing into the Hamlet. One squad rushed into the house almost opposite number 2 section. Just as Unteroffizier Paulus’ men open fire on the ‘All Americans’ across the road a mortar round crashed into the roof above them killing Private Brand and causing the rest of the section to become concerned (suffering a point of ‘SHOCK’)

GAME NOTE: When a section, team or squad have more shock then members they become ‘Pinned / suppressed’ Once they have twice as much ‘Shock’ as members they rout!

ABOVE: The American Paratroopers take fire from Paulus men, and;
BELOW: Paulus men suffer a casualty and some 'SHOCK' from the Paras and their 60mm Mortar.

Unteroffizier Paulus started kicking some butts and the fire that his section poured across the road at the Yank Paratroopers across the road was very effective killing or wounding half the Americans.

Shorty an uneven firefight erupted between the two German sections and the now much depleted American Paratroopers. A Panzerfaust shot across the road sealed the Yanks fate and the three survivors fled out the back of the house into the part of the Platoon Sergeant who rallied them.  


Whilst this was happening Obergefrieter Gobel’s section was moving east along the bocage in an attempt find a flank to work around, and towards the sound of the American 60mm mortar that was continuing to drop round after round of HE on the two Heer sections in the houses at the western end of town.
Now Leutnant Hans Meashmizer entered the battlefield with the Panzershrek team. They halted in the walled garden behind Unteroffizier Paulus’ house. “Franke, take Hessmann with you and cover down the road for the approach of enemy Panz,…”

"BLAM BLAM BLAM ‘PING’! BLAM ‘PING’ !Buddddaa budda budda budda BLAM BLAM BLAM ‘PING’! BLAM”!!!
The bocage to the east of the terrace houses suddenly erupted with the sound of multiple M1 Garands and a 30 Cal MG!
Both Franke and Hessmann were both killed instantly and their Panzershreck fell in amongst the tomatoes and beets in the garden. As masonry and twigs flew all around him Leutnant Meashmizer dashed for and reached the relative safety of Paulus’ house. Only to find Paulus section dashing out the front door in an attempt to secure the house that was vacated by the broken and fleeing Americans. Paulus’ men stacked up outside the house in preparation of entering.
BELOW: Only Leutnant Hans Meashmizer is left standing in the garden
ABOVE :Obergefrieter Gobel’s section moving east towards the sound of the mortar firing
As this was happening another American squad and a bazooka team was attempting to move to the west and dashed across the road heading north and propped up against the side of the bocage,… the wrong side of the bocage. Unteroffizier Schmidt’s section blazed away and wiped out the majority of the Paratroopers. Only the Bazooka team managed to get over the bocage to relative safety. The three surviving Paras went back the way they cam and hunkered down in a garden behind a house.

Maybe it was the close call or maybe the rain of 60mm onto the house Leutnant Meashmizer was sheltering in but a paralysis overcame the German command.

GAME NOTE: My opponent stung together two phases of double 6 rolls, them played a CHAIN OF COMMAND (CoC) die then we had a ‘Random Event’ where ‘JABOS’ appeared overhead that resulted in everyone not moving.
BELOW:Paulus’ men stacked up outside the house in preparation of entering get shot up.

As Paulus men prepared to enter the house the Americans had vacated Yank Paratroopers at the northern end of the bocage that had just wiped out the P’shrek team now blazed away at them. The 60mm mortar also dropped a round on them. Only Paulus and two of his MG42 team made it inside. They managed to get their LMG into action and finished off the three remaining Paras that Sergeant Rock had rallied. At that same time Schmidt’s section crossed the road and occupied the house opposite them.

Obergefrieter Gobel’s section arrived opposite the bocage the American squad to the east had been using to cause so much carnage and managed to get the drop on them
GAME NOTE: I played my CoC Die and interrupted the American’s turn.
ABOVE: Obergefrieter Gobel’s section arrived opposite the bocage
BELOW: The Yanks suffer the consequences of being surprised

Grenades sailed over the bocage onto the Americans followed by a hail of Rifle, SMG and LMG fire. Killing or wounding 4 Americans.
The Mortar shifts its fire onto Paulus and his LMG team.
The American SNCO SGT Rock called out to the three Paras lurking in the garden to lay down a suppressive fire onto Paulus’ and his two Machine Gunners before hurling a grenade and assaulting them. Amazingly he killed all three Germans and recaptured the house! .
BELOW: The Three Yank Paratroopers who laid down the suppressive fire for SGT Rock's charge!

BELOW: SGT Rocks Assault! THE PLAN! The thin red lines represent the 'Support by fire' from the 60mm Mortar and the three paratroopers in the garden. The narrow arrow is SGT Rocks assault. The thick red arrow is Schmidt's dash across to road into the house.

ABOVE: SGT Rock prepares to assault Paulus and his two man LMG team!
BELOW: The victorious SGT Rock 
Feeling embolden by SGT Rock’s heroics the three Paras rushed into Schmidt’s house only to be wiped out.

BELOW: Schmidt's men seize the house on the northern side of the road and dispatch the three brave / foolish Paratroopers.

From their now digs Schmidt's men engage and kill the Bazooka team. The American moral is now very low and only one point away from breaking!
Obergefrieter Gobel’s section continued to engage in a vicious firefight with the Paratroopers across the road and behind the bocage eventually coming off second best when the Obergefrieter is stunned and unable to rally off any shock.

Leutnant Meashmizer then decides it’s up to him to storm the house occupied by SGT Rock. SGT Rock decides to meet the German officer in the street and like some scene out of Saving Private Ryan they both kill each other.  

At this point the game ends with the German Moral at 0 and the US moral at 1. Both sides are pretty much destroyed.
What a FANTASTIC game! CoC is without doubt one of the most realist WW2 / Modern skirmish games I've ever played. It plays quickly, easily and if you employ historical / real tactical doctrines you will be rewarded with a very enjoyable and historically accurate game.
My two biggest blunders were sending Paulus' section across the road without first ensuring it was safe to do so. No smoke was thrown to cover their crossing, and the whole section crossed when really I should have sent across only a team at a time. A rush of blood saw the section lose half it's strength. I should probably have sent Schmidt's section across the road at the same time and by team bounds.
Blunder number two? Assuming my P'shreck team and Leutnant Meashmizer were in a secure position resulted in a near disaster. Losing the P'Sheck team was a bitter lesson. Never assume anything unless you absolutely have to.
Unfortunately for me the firefight with the American squad behind the bocage came down to poor firing by my guys and the JNCO being taken out of the fight. Without his leadership the section soon fell apart.  
I wont go through all the game mechanics. My advice is go over to YouTUBE and watch the video series the guys at Too Fat Lardies have posted on CoC. They are well worth a look.
Part one is here:
In short. A great game. I highly recommend Chain of Command to you all!
Thanks to the guys who put the game on and to my opponent Dean from Sydney. The terrain and miniatures were first rate and Dean was a real gentleman to play against.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Hi All
It's the Australia Day long weekend and as usual the Canberra Gaming Society hosts CANCON.
As usual there was a lot to see.
A big crowd again this year with day one appearing to me to have the biggest crowd.
I didn't play in any of the tournaments, but I did play in two participation games
I did get some shopping in. The Bring and Buy stall as usual as a real treasure trove, and VERY crowded on the first day in the morning.
I did manage to purchase the following at excellent prices:
1. A Platoon of Australian 20mm Wartime Miniatures modern infantry and a Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) and about 40 Taliban fighters and a mint copy of 'Operation Enduring Freedom' Codex and scenario boot for $60. The Aussies were even painted to a rather good standard.
2. A mint condition 'A Nation Divided' ACW board game, (that I'll use for my LONGSTREET campaign) for $25.
3. A mint condition copy of BATTLE CRY ACW battle game for $20.00

Hall of Hero's was there and selling X-WING expansions are bargain prices. I got a Millennium Falcon, a Shuttle, two Tie Bombers and a B-Wing for $90.00!

Without a further ado here are some photos from the three days

BELOW: EUREKA MINIATURES was in attendance and are now producing AB MINIATURES 20mm WW2 range. Here we see the German Paratroopers. I purchased a Platoon plus worth or these guys for 'Chain of Command'

 BELOW: FoG-Ancients Babylonians
 BELOW: BOLT ACTION games. And some very nice Teddy Bear fur terrain.
Romanian Infantry I think.


 BELOW: A Mathilda Mk II Tank for BOLT ACTION.

BELOW: A MASSIVE modern Chain Of Command game set in Rwanda
BELOW: Some of the action from the IMPETUS comp. Egyptian Chariots always look impressive when painted and based to such a high standard.

 BELOW: IMPETUS battle between Egyptians and Sassanid Persians

 ABOVE and BELOW: The magnificent Grotto Wargames Furniture.
 BELOW: DBMM or FoG-Ancients game.
BELOW: More IMPETUS tournament games in progress.

 BELOW: MUSKET and TOMOHAWK game in progress

 BELOW: Some of the impressive remote controlled Tanks on show.
 BELOW: Three photos of some of the very impressive Teddy Bear Fur terrain used in the BOLT ACTION tournament.

 BELOW: A very interesting Counter Insurgency game with LOTS of human terrain to deal with and some nice scratch built buildings.
 BELOW: The WRG Napoleonic's tournament. Hard to believe people are still using these old rules.