Going on Break

Shame this photo is from August

We’re here! The last post of 2017! Post number 113 for 2017.

I really hope you all enjoy the new part of the Great Big Modern Wargaming Rules Comparison. They are a bit of bastard to write but hearing people talk about the end result makes it all worthwhile. To make things easier, I’ve actually compiled both parts of the series into a single page that can be found at http://hntdaab.co.uk/blog/wargaming/great-big-modern-wargaming-rules-comparison-complete-edition/. So if wanting something long to read over the Christmas break, here is an option!

I’m taking the next two weeks off to enjoy my Christmas holiday, see family and friends and start planning out some of next year’s projects. I’ll be getting up to some hobby shenanigans over Christmas (including the yearly painting session/watching of Zulu in York and possibly a few games) so keep an eye on my Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram for plenty of pictures.

The site will be back on the 8th of January (my birthday!) with a “State of the Union” post, looking back at last year and going over the survey. Then on the 9th of January we’ll take a look at what’s coming up including multiple projects I’ve planned out. Then on the 12th we’ll be back to business with a new Something for the Weekend – the current plan is to take a look at Round of Fire assuming I’m able to get a few games of it in.

To all my readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed this year of content. May you have a happy Christmas period, and a great start to 2018!

The Great Big Modern Wargaming Rules Comparison 2: Electric Boogaloo

Before we start a disclaimer: I have done some writing for Skirmish Sangin (including the latest book) and I am listed in the Spectre Operations book as a play tester.

Last year I wrote the Great Big Modern Wargaming Rules Comparison as a way to share some of the information about the hobby which I had gathered over the years. To say it was successful is to put it mildly – it’s among the top posts every month and probably brings most of the traffic to the site. So, where can I take it from here?

For the difficult second album, I’m looking into some smaller systems – the ones that turn up in conversation less often but are still well worth looking into. I’m going to use the same headings as last time, including the two added in the appendix covering scenarios and campaigns.

Basic rules apply – all of these games are playable with 28mm figures at a 1:1 model ratio. They are all about playing games in the post 1945 world, although many of them would work for actions in WW2.

Same as last time – If anything is incorrect below, please drop me a message so I can fix it.


Well, who best to ask about the details of each ruleset than the info pages for them on their store? Click on the images to go find them

Fireteam Modern from Rory Crabb Games

Fireteam Modern is a set of small unit skirmish wargame rules for modern combined arms land combat using 15-28mm scale miniatures. The rules can be used to fight battles from any post WW2 conflict dating from the 1950s to the modern day or the near future.

These rules have been designed to work with opposing forces of approximately platoon size with additional reinforcements such as small numbers of armoured vehicles and light artillery support.

FUBAR by Craig Cartmell and The Forge of War Development Group.

FUBAR – One Page Modern/SF Small Unit Wargames Rules (There isn’t really much else to say about them)

Living on the Frontline: A Winter of ’79 Game by Mark Hannam, Matthew Sparkes & Mike Bradford

These rules represent an alternative history of the late seventies and early eighties. In this vision, the ‘Establishment’ take control of the legitimate government and the subsequent ‘crackdown’ is faced with spontaneous popular resistance led by trade union, liberal and left-wing elements, which boils over into civil war.

No End In Sight by Ivan Sorenson

“The M113 is burning behind you, the Reds are coming on strong. the platoon is in bad shape and mortar support is nowhere to be seen.

As platoon commander, you have to rely on your squad leaders to push your troops forward, lay down suppressing fire and win the fire fight.”

No End in Sight is a comprehensive guide to contemporary, cold war and near future combat. Lead an infantry platoon through random battles, several campaign styles or scenarios of your own design. Track the progress of your squad leaders as you play.

The rules feature an innovative activation and reaction fire mechanic that leaves you making important and tough choices constantly. Know when to push and when to hold off. Your men have to last for a long fire fight and you may run out of steam when you least expect it.

Combat is written to produce a fairly realistic level of casualties. Most fire will serve to pin and suppress the enemy with modest casualty rates until you close to assault.

Command battle hardened professionals and insurgent militia, dismantle IED’s, call in artillery fire, evac the wounded and take on enemy tanks. It’s all covered.

The rules are written to be both playable and enjoyable on a small gaming space, using approximately a platoon plus appropriate supports, APC’s and assorted vehicles on each side.

Wars of Insurgency: Skirmish Warfare in the Modern World by Mike Demana

“Rise up and free your country from its oppressors!”

  • Simple fast-play rules for man-to-man, modern skirmish warfare
  • Complete campaign system allowing rival factions to war for control of their fictional or historical country
  • Special rules & descriptions for 6 faction types drawn from 20th – 21st century History
  • Point system allowing balanced battles between Elite, Regular, or Militia troop types
  • Three sample scenarios and guidelines for adapting historical actions
  • Political scheming, Permanent Institutions (like radio stations), & more!

With Wars of Insurgency, players control 3-5 squads that can range in size from 3 figures or one vehicle to a dozen men. Each miniature represents one man. The rules can easily be used for 15mm, 20mm, and 28mm scales without modification of ranges. The rules are meant to give the flavor of modern infantry firefights without being overwhelmed by complexity. First Command Wargames rules are meant to provide a fast, easy-to-learn game for the new or veteran player.


This was the year of the PDFs

Fireteam Modern

Available from Wargames Vault in PDF form. Currently no expansions.


Available for free from the FUBAR website. The most recent version is 4th edition. As FUBAR is a generic system, there are plenty of other additional elements that can be grabbed from the website to theme it.

Living on the Frontline

Currently only available in physical form from Cavalier Books (either online or at one of the shows they attend. There are two other books in the series currently listed – “View of a Disunited Kingdom” (which is primarily a sourcebook on the world of Winter of 79) and a Wild Geese inspired book with mercenaries in Africa.

No End In Sight

Available on Wargames Vault. There is one supplement (Rules Pack Alpha) and several smaller options to expand the game which can be found on the Nordic Weasel site.

Wars of Insurgency

Print and PDF available from the main website. You can also purchase the PDF from Wargames Vault. There are currently no expansions.


Fireteam Modern

  • Activation System: Alternating activation (winner of the initiative role goes first). Automatic unless suppressed, two action a turn.
  • Shooting: The RoF for all weapons in a squad are added together to give you your total number of dice to roll against your shoot stat (with only three modifiers). All successful shots can be saved but otherwise cause hits. If a single burst of fire causes 3 hits (or a HE weapon is used), they are suppressed. To help with this, units can choose to shoot suppressive fire (higher chance to hit but harder to cause damage)
  • Morale: Suppression makes it harder to activate but against depleted units (50%+ casualties) it can be devastating. Failure to activate followed by failing a morale test will kick off a retreat.


  • Three stats: Characters are super simple and consist of three stats: Activation (how easy is it for this character to do something), Expertise (how good they are at something and Suppression (how easy are they to suppress)
  • Initiative: Simple roll off to see who attempts to activate first and the player who wins can keep activating until they fail a roll. This causes all units to attempt to activate, with initiative passing back and forth until everyone has tried to activate.
  • Shooting: Different weapons have a different number of Fire Points. The total number in a unit is the number of dice to roll. Pass your expertise on a dice? It counts as a hit and then needs to be saved or else it will start suppressing your troops. If you take too much suppression, casualties start to stack up.
  • Suppression: Suppression stops you. Suppressed models can’t shoot AND they negatively affect the suppression role.

Living on the Frontline

  • Activation: Card based activation – each player is assigned a colour and a number of cards relating to the main experience level of your troops. Adding these cards to a deck along with the joke gives you your activation deck. The joker has a chance of ending the turn early. Each card is equal to a pair of infantry or a single support (such as a vehicle or support gun).
  • Actions: Activated units can either do Combat (aggressive ones including movement and shooting) or Non-Combat (reloading or staying low) actions. These qualifiers are important, as groups can only do the same action and non-combat actions let player choose to Duck down to make them harder to hit.
  • Dice Rolls: Skills are expressed as dice types, with modifiers shifting this type up or down (to a max of d12 and a minimum of d4). This system works wells and prevents the need for buckets of dice.
  • Shooting: After modifiers, the attackers shoot dice is compared to the defenders defence dice. If the result is higher, the target is hit and must roll against the wounds table which has a range of effects from simply knocking them down up to being KIA.
  • Morale: Suppressed figures need to be rallied before they can activate. However on a role of 1 on their morale test, the figure testing simply flees the field and is removed. If a force has reached its breaking point it begins to lose cards from the activation deck. This can be paused by passing a morale test (at the risk of more troopers leaving the battle) as once you reach 0 cards in the deck, your force has routed.

No End In Sight

  • Activation: Chances to activate alternate between players. Leaders are used to activate and can spend their activation points on figures below them in the chain of command (and within range depending on their skill level).
  • Stress: As leaders activate they gain stress which can prevent them from activating. Keeping this stress under control will let you activate more easily.
  • Reaction Fire: There is no dedicated overwatch action – instead, any movement in the open is vulnerable to reaction fire (unless you rush and manage to roll high enough to clear a gap)
  • Shock/Kill Dice: Shooting dice are based on the shooter’s firepower but generate different dice. Every point of firepower is a Shock dice, every pair of points is a Kill dice. When these dice are rolled, if the target values are hit (5 or 6s for Shock, 6s for Kills) then the effect is applied. Shocks pin, Kills cause casualties.
  • Morale: Having pinned figures in a squad take up valuable activation points to clear and get back in the fight. Combine that with casualties and troops are likely to start breaking and falling back.
  • Simulation: There are a lot of rules to look at but thanks to them it becomes a game that feels very realistic and very different to anything else around.

Wars of Insurgency

  • Orders: Initiative is a simple dice off but to actually order your troops, each player puts a numbered marker down to each squad face down. The numbering shows which order they move in. This means each player doesn’t know who which squads are going to move forcing some careful planning. However, careful use of your leader means you can quickly change the order of the the squad they are with.
  • Attack/Defence Dice: Modifiers don’t affect the final value, instead it adjusts the number of attack or defence dice you roll. Attacking dice succeed on 4+, defence dice on 5+. This makes massed fire easy to work out
  • Morale: Squads below half strength need to start taking morale checks which has the potential to lock them in place by knocking them prone. Before they can attempt an action another morale test
  • Campaign Play: A big focus in Wars of Insurgency is the campaign game, seeing your force increase in size and gain additional abilities.


For this test, we will be using the profile for a British Army squadie (so a professional soldier) with body armour, assault rifle, a frag grenade and a smoke grenade.

Fireteam Modern

Regular Soldier4+5+4+4+

Grenades are not modelled, weapons are listed individually.


Using the Afghanistan supplement, British Infantry are listed as:

Activation: 3+
Exp: 4+


  • Ceramic armour 5+
  • Grenades
  • Personal Role & Radio
  • ISAF Assault Rifle

Living on the Frontline

We’re going to use the Trained profile for the standard squaddie

Troop QualityShootDefendMoraleInitiative
Trainedd8d6d87 Cards

Assault rifles and grenades are covered in the rules. There are no mentions of body armour in the rules.

No End In Sight

Troops are listed by a few ratings:

Troop Type: Professional
Battle Experience: Regular (or Veteran depending on situation)
Motivation: Moderate
Leadership: Either normal or Charismatic

Rifle, Hand grenades and Body armour all have effects

Wars of Insurgency

ProfessionalPointsAttack DiceDefence DiceMorale scored needed
Infantry, small arms12333-6

Also armed with Grenade. There are no mentions of body armour in the rules.


Fireteam Modern

Small tactical unit is the rules is an element which is a fireteam. Each model in the element must remain within element cohesion and each element in a squad must be within squad cohesion for best effect. Additional, vehicles must remain within 12″ of another vehicle or element or else they will be risking negative morale modifiers.


Units are the smallest element and are activated together. They require the models to remain within cohesion and morale is based around the number of suppressed figures.

Living on the Frontline

Activations can only move a group under certain conditions which include staying out of sight of unsuppressed enemy models. For this reason, squads are best until the fire fight begins. Leader models can also choose to activate 1 additional model.

No End In Sight

Squads are the smallest unit which can be activated by their squad leader or anyone above. Squads have cohesion limits which vary depending on experience levels.

Wars of Insurgency

Each unit is a small squad. Cohesion depends on skill level. An important note is that each unit must be of the same skill level – you can’t mix Militia and Regulars in the same squad.


Fireteam Modern

Yes. Everything from technicals up to MBTs. This also includes helicopters that act as vehicles once on the board.


Amazingly, yes. No mention of air vehicles though.

Living on the Frontline

Yes! It cover all types of vehicles from civilian cars to MBTs. There are also rules for helicopters in the Advanced Rules section

No End In Sight

Yes. The game is focused on infantry combat so the vehicles are more focused on supporting roles. Vehicles do not have specified profiles but is instead using an estimate based system, letting players work out the correct class, traits and armament.

Wars of Insurgency

Yes. No airpower due to the setting.


Fireteam Modern

Lots of it! There are rules for off map artillery (including three levels of support), counter-battery fire and fixed wing air support.


The Afghanistan supplement includes rules for UAVs but no rules for CAS or artillery backup

Living on the Frontline

There is no specific mention of rules of off map support but there are rules for mortars and profiles for artillery pieces that could be combined as an ad-hoc off map support option.

No End In Sight

Full chapter on supporting fire including smoke rounds and the ability to model the effects of pre-game strikes on the opposition (also known as The Stonk).

Wars of Insurgency

Friendly Air Power is available as a political scheme to provide a bonus to your force. Apart from that though, it’s all up to what’s on the table.


Fireteam Modern

Reinforced Platoon


Squad or Platoon – each unit you control is a fireteam

Living on the Frontline

A few squads up to a standard platoon.

No End In Sight

Platoon scale is the main focus but can be played with less or more.

Wars of Insurgency



Fireteam Modern

Forces are built with points values and are split into Compulsory choices (normally the infantry platoon) and optional choices (such as vehicles or specialist team). There are lists for British Army, US Army, Generic Middle East Army and an Insurgent force.


No points to guide but lots of mentions of using real world squads as a starting point. Much like Danger Close last year, pick your statlines and guns.

Living on the Frontline

No points values but there are some suggestions in force creation as part of the scenario guide.

No End In Sight

No points values. However there are some rough lists detailing platoons for various nations and

Wars of Insurgency

There is a big section of rules at the start, covering points costs for different weapons and skillsets. In addition, there are themes for your force (such as Tribal Militia or Superpower Backed Client Forces) which determine the exact makeup of a force.


Fireteam Modern

Reinforced platoon engagement. Game supports both asymmetric and conventional battles.


Quick and simple games with a few units per side.

Living on the Frontline

Small platoon sized fights between mixtures of regular and irregulars.

No End In Sight

Reinforced platoon

Wars of Insurgency

Platoon engagements in a post-colonial insurgency. The biggest vehicle to expect would be an armoured car or a technical and squads will be a mixture of skill levels.


Assume for all games that a tape measure, playing surface with terrain and models are required. All the rules work on a 6’x4′ table although some are better on a small one.

Modern battlefields are a lot more cluttered than those of ancient war. I personally recommend lots of scatter terrain to provide plenty of cover and concealment for the forces involved.

Fireteam Modern

  • D6s
  • Markers for activation and suppression.
  • Cotton wool for making destroyed vehicles


  • D6s
  • Markers for activation and suppression
  • It’s a one page set of rule so Quick Reference Sheets are not needed

Living on the Frontline

  • Multiple dice types – D4, D6, D8, D10, D12s
  • Playing cards for activation
  • Markers and Roster sheets from the book
  • Start off with a squad vs squad fight before jumping in to a full size battle

No End In Sight

  • D6s for gameplay
  • Two colours of D6 for shock and kill scores – either use the different colours or smaller dice
  • Stress Markers – smaller dice or counters
  • Counters for wounds
  • A way to differentiate your leaders in your force
  • Start off with a squad vs squad fight before jumping in to a full size battle – there are a lot of things to get used to.

Wars of Insurgency

  • D6s
  • Numbered order markers for each squad – the rules recommend poker chips or faction flags
  • A counter for how many grenades your force has remaining.
  • A marker to identify your Leader
  • A reminder of what your Political Scheme/Permanent Institutions is so you don’t miss out on your edge in battle.


Fireteam Modern

There is currently no campaign system included in the book.


It’s two pages of A4 – no campaign system.

Living on the Frontline

There is currently no campaign system in the main book.

No End In Sight

I think we have a winner in the campaign department. As well as three pages covering the basic rules for linked games and experience games, there are multiple subsystems covered which lets you theme your campaign around different styles of engagement. From insurgencies which requires keeping a close eye on the hearts and minds of the population through the Domino Theory style missions to affect a region up to the escalation of a full on super power war, these options present you with a massive range of possible combat situations. Add to this, there are also guides to setting up the personalities of your characters and a scenario generator to help decide the upcoming scenario.

Wars of Insurgency

Campaign play is a big focus for Wars of Insurgency and is designed to let you fight through a civil war.. After picking a faction style from the list included and gaining victory points through games, you get to see your faction grow (from Obscure Movement up to eventually taking control of the country). As you grow, your force organisation changes to give you more access to better trained troops and vehicles. In addition, you also gain access to Political Schemes and Permanent Institutions. Political Schemes are effects chosen before each mission and effect your force for that mission (examples include employing Tactical Advisors or performing Magic Rituals). Permanent Institutions are chosen every time your group increases in size, giving your force access to Spy Network or by having your faction Leader appear on the cover of Time Magazine. These two abilities really help to theme your force and make your game feel like it’s taking part in a late 20th century insurgency.


Fireteam Modern

There are seven missions included in the book (four for Asymmetric warfare and three for conventional). These are generic missions which don’t specify exact forces for each player.


No scenarios are included. It’s literally 1 page (2 if you include the Afghanistan supplement)

Living on the Frontline

Two scenarios (one focused on a section sized action, the other for a platoon) and a scenario generator with 5 archetypes to use.

No End In Sight

This set includes one of the best scenario generators I’ve seen. It’s packed with multiple tables for rolling up things like terrain, objectives, forces, arrival method (!), support options and possible complications.

Wars of Insurgency

Three scenarios with maps, objectives and special rules but no specified forces.


Basic rule – head to Modern Miniatures Wargaming group on Facebook or the Lead Adventure forum for general modern-day warfighting.

Fireteam Modern

Rory Crabb has a site for all his games (I’ve linked the page for Fireteam Modern)


The main website for FUBAR.

Living on the Frontline

I haven’t found a specific website for the game but two sites of interest are the Winter of ’79 group and the original blog that inspired it – This blog is probably one of the main reason I got back into wargaming.

No End In Sight

The main nordic weasel site and the blog for future updates

Wars of Insurgency

There is a group for First Command Wargames on Facebook


Have you checked out part 1? There are lots of other rulesets in there which already have all of this information on them.

Okay still haven’t found something you like? What. Well, in terms of what’s coming soon, there are a few updates from last year and a few new entries:

Round of Fire

This ruleset is out! I actually have a copy sat in the PDF folder on my tablet and I have been having a read through them. Rather than trying to rush a very interesting ruleset so it fits into this post, I’m going to be doing a separate impressions piece in January (provisional date is on the 12th). But it’s well worth a look! You can find them on Wargames Vault at http://www.wargamevault.com/product/227996/Round-of-Fire–Core-Rules


Still on its way from Radio Dishdash. There have been two playthroughs of it on the blog – one for Modern and one for WW2. Colin was kind enough to send over a version for me to look at (and help find those issues you start missing after you’ve read something 1000 times) and I’m really excited for it – it’s got some of the same flavour as Skirmish Sangin but much more suited for Platoon+ levels of engagement.

The Empress-Queeg Project

This has gone a little quiet. I think one of the authors is currently busy with real world issues so there will be a wait on this one.

Fighting Season

It’s gone very quiet. Based on talk on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast and from talking to Mr Clarke at Claymore, the core rules are in place but it’s now a case of making a campaign system that properly gives the feeling of operations out there. I fully understand Rich’s desire to not release until this campaign system is ready – too many modern games I’ve played have turned into full on fights to the death with no care for the consequences.

Ambush Alley: CQB and Force on Force 3: Boots on the Ground

So this is a story and a half. Early in 2017, Ambush Alley Games have decided that rather than trying to make a one size fits all ruleset, they were going to split the game in half – Force on Force 3 will focus on the larger size platoon games while Ambush Alley is more focused on the Close Quarter battles. As always, keep an eye on http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/forum/ambush-alley-games/news-and-community/

OSC Book 2

The author has been distracted recently with real world stuff (having a kid will do that to you) but sounds like it’s starting to ramp up. So we should soon be seeing vehicles and teams running around on the fields of OSC.


I’ve decided to hold off on my personal thoughts on the games in part 2 for now. The reason is that I haven’t played these games anywhere nears as much as I had when I wrote part 1. I want to get a few more battles in before I come forth with judgement.

Well that’s part two of the comparison done. I hope the page is useful to you and helps you answer that tricky questions – “which rules should I play?”

If anything is missing or incorrect, please drop me a message and I’ll update it.

Impressions: Spectre’s SAS Counter Terrorism Response

The final part of Spectre’s November releases was the SAS Counter Terrorism Response team. These guys may be familiar to those of us in the UK who watched the news earlier this year and noticed the guys in tactical gear alongside the police. All the operators are wearing civilian clothing (with no kneepads and only a few pockets on the trousers) with plate carriers, battle belts and helmets to help them perform their role. The team also wear mesh facemasks which is an unusual choice as it’s an item more commonly seen on airsofters. However, it does a good job of protecting your face from debris and doesn’t fog up your eye protection. This is in addition to the balaclava’s benefit of masking your ID. The operators have varying levels of armour; As well as the basic plate carrier and helmet, some figures also have applique armour panels on their head and/or the pelvic armoured plate. This really helps to make them look like they are ready to rumble. The range has three packs at the moment:

Squad Set

The main set is 6 men strong, in a variety of poses (three aiming, three in combat poses). All are armed with L119A2 short carbines, complete with lasers, torches and red dots. Some of the figures have assault packs. As always, there is plenty of variation in terms of webbing layout and pouches. An important thing with any multi-figure sets, the operators look great when deployed together – even all the shooting poses are varied enough that they don’t look like carbon copies.


The first backup pack for the team is a marksman. Armed with a HK 417 DMR (with scope and laser), the marksman will help to back up the rest of the team. I love some of the details on this figure – you can even see the engravings on the AFG on the bottom rail.

Dog Handler

The final Response team pack is a Dog Handler and Malinois multirole dog. The dog is a new sculpt, an improvement over the original one early purchases of Spectre may have received alongside their K9 Handlers. It looks a lot more dynamic than the original one. The handler is also really cool – he’s got both the applique armour AND the pelvic plate. Combined with the UICW (a super short M6 carbine) he’s using, this figure will pull great double duty as a point man for your team.

For painting, my main focus with these guys was the eternal issue of making teams not in uniform still look like they are part of a team. The multicam webbing and helmets help, but I also did the trick of using the same palette of colours – for example I’ll use one colour for a figure’s trousers and then reuse the colour for someone else’s shirt. US Field Drab was used for the holsters and the multicam was done using the Spectre method. As with all my figures, I finished them off with a dousing in Agrax Earthshade to bring out the details and soften the edges of the colours.

Now I’ve finished all three packs, I think it’s time to pick my favourite of the three groups from the UKSF collection. Despite the coolness of the Assault squad in respirators and the dynamic posing of the Rural Ops (as well as the good mix of weaponry), the Response team stands out. I love the combination of civilian clothing and tactical kit. Alongside the two additional packs, this helps to make the team a fantastic set for anyone running close quarter actions. As with all the ranges, I’d love to see some more support operators for the Response Team. Operators with breaching gear or carrying larger rucksacks to stand in as a medic would be a great addition. As well as the traditional role as CT Response, these guys would also work for some covert agents. They look like they have just thrown their tactical kit over their street clothes. Look for them on the streets of Bazistan and Zaiweibo, ready to swoop in and snatch intel while under fire. This is one set I’m excited to get on the table.

Wargaming Week 18/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 11th through to the 17th of December.


This week’s post was on last month’s SAS releases from Spectre! I may have not managed to finish off all the releases (thanks to an unplanned team night out for christmas that left me incapable of painting multicam for an evening) but the ones I had done I was pretty happy.

This is actually the last Wargaming Week for 2017! I’ve got a bit of small update on Friday at 6pm to cover what the plans are over Christmas and into the New Year but as for the rest of the week you can look forward to:

  • Wednesday: Impressions on the SAS figures I missed out
  • Friday: The Great Big Modern Wargaming Rules Comparison 2: Electric Boogaloo! Its got a whole load of new rulesets and a few updates on the ones I previewed last year!

As we’re coming to the end of the year, I’ve noticed I’m 1 off hitting 250 likes on the Facebook page. If anyone hasn’t followed the page, you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/chargeblog


No games this week – too much work/beer tasting


Currently no purchases – however there is an interesting Ebay auction finishing tonight that (fingers crossed) will mean I can add something new to the Technicals project.


As you might have guessed, lots of painting SAS. I ended up tweaking my Rural Ops guys I had finished the previous week in order to make it looked a little more brown rather than green. With the Assault I had decided to opt for the Multicam look for theming purposes. However, I tried adding the under layer colour you see on body armour shirt by adding a small amount of Deck tan around the carrier. I think it look pretty good and will be using it on my other models.

I also did some work on the SAS Response team but you’ll see them in Wednesday’s post.

I also received my Spectre order and the ebay’d figures. The Spectre guys are in the queue to be based and undercoated (planning to work on them over the Christmas break). I’ll be assembling the weapons systems around the same time as I need to cut some more plasticard bases for them, but I’ll be covering that in an upcoming part of the Technicals project.

As you can see above, the ebay’d figures are lovely. Great models (as always from Empress) and a great paint job. However, after some thought, I decided to strip and repaint them. I like my force to look consistent and I have a bit of pride in being able to say I painted every figure. This is also a chance to repaint the rest of the dive team – they were some of the first I painted and although I was happy with it at the time, it’s not as neat as it could be.

That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Impressions: Spectre’s November Releases

In my article on unreleased models written back in October, a big chunk was taken up with three previews spelling out “WHO DARES WINS”. Well November saw those figures arrive, bringing the latest version of members of the UK’s Special Forces Community to the tabletop.

The big thing about this release is that all the core infantry are sold in the squad packs with any additional support in single figure packs. I think this system works well – it does mean you can’t buy individual figures for conversion work but it prevents you being unable to complete a squad because one of the three pack isn’t available. It also makes buying a starter easier – you can just point at a squad box or two and say “get that”.

SAS Rural Ops

We start with the new SAS Operators ready for an operation in the field. Equipped with body armour, assault packs and sidearms, the team has a good mix of guns ready for any engagements encountered on patrol. Five guys with L119A2 SFW carbines (complete with suppressors, lasers and optics) and a LMG give you your ranged firepower while the team also includes a UGL and a light anti-tank weapon meaning you have a wide selection of tools.

I think that this set shows off the best circumstances for using the squad pack system – a single box that gives you a squad that’s ready to go and get on the table as a pretty reasonable force. The figures are also great showing a lot of detail on each figure.

As an additional option, Spectre are also selling a Marksman to go with the rest of the Rural Ops squad. He is armed with a scoped 417, the perfect DMR to help out the rest of the squad. I particularly like the fact he is sculpted wearing an old style SAS smock to give him some variety. Unfortunately it seems like my DPM job is a bit too similar to my multicam so it can be hard to spot.

SAS Counter Terrorism Assault

While the Rural Squad are great for most ops, sometimes you need some guys to take down some doors. The Counter Terrorism Assault Squad is basically the modernised version of the classic black kit. They are wearing Crye gear but most importantly have donned respirators – perfect for defeating CS gas or when you need to assault a villain with a container of pathogen. In terms of gear, they are all armed with suppressed carbines (again with red dots and lasers) and sidearms. There is some nice variation with the tactical gear, with different troopers carrying different arrangements of pouches

One comment about this set is that it would have been nicer to see a figure in this style with some specialised gear such as a breaching shotgun or other device for close quarters combat – as it stands the set is all carbines which doesn’t give you the same options as the Rural Ops pack.

You may noticed I ended up painting them in multicam rather than the black used on the default models. This was just a matter of personal taste and I think it’s better suited for the sort of ops I’ll be using them on in my games.

SAS Counter Terrorism Response

*—————-* ERROR: FILE MARKED TOP SECRET *———————*

… — .-. .-. -.– / –. ..- -.– … –..– / — — -.. . .-.. … / .- .-. . / -. — – / ..-. .. -. .. … …. . -.. / -.– . – .-.-.-

– …. .. … / .. … / .– …. -.– / -.– — ..- / .- -.-. – ..- .- .-.. .-.. -.– / -.. — / – …. . / .–. .- .. -. – .. -. –. / — — .-. . / – …. .- -. / .- / .– . . -.- / -… . ..-. — .-. . / .– .-. .. – .. -. –. / – …. . / .–. — … –

*—————-* DO NOT RELEASE BEFORE: 20/12/2017 *—————-*

Oh, that’s inconvenient. Looks like you’ll have to check back on Wednesday for the details on the SAS Counter Terrorism Response set.

I think this range is pretty great. There are some wonderful details, especially with the new style of heads; the gas mask and face protection (which you’ll see more of on Wednesday) are very different from any of the previous releases and they have turned out really well. I’m looking forward to seeing what other future releases might have a similar look – fingers crossed for some guys in full Hazmat gear. In addition, all of the armament and clothing shows off the quality of the research job on these figures – all the little tweaks to make them look different from the other ranges despite the pieces of common gear.

L-R: US Army Ranger, Task Force Operator, SAS Rural, SAS Assault

As you can see, they fit alongside the other operators pretty well while still looking different enough. This means there are now four collections you could mix and match when trying to build up your Special Forces assault team – perfect if you’re using my Task Oriented Team system. I’d heartily recommend picking these guys up if you want a set of Operators. In fact, the Rural Ops pack is probably the best option for someone just starting to play Spectre.

Wargaming Week 11/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 4th through to the 10th of December.


Last week’s post was Thursday night’s game of Spectre Operations. It was a really fun time, definitely on the larger side of the things I would usually run. Someone asked if I play to take the game to shows – the current plan is no, but I am thinking of making these scenarios available. Also I’m not thinking about taking games to shows until next year – I still haven’t finished running the first one!

We’ve almost used up all the slots on it but the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! The comment question has been really great – thanks for all the kind words.


Thursday’s was probably the most fraught in terms of planning, with me still writing the briefing doc less than an hour before actually playing. As well as two club regulars, we also had two new players arrive Overall I think it went well – the staggered arrival of the Bazis meant that the SF players got a chance to be sneaky before it all went to hell and also meant we got to run through some turns before giving the new guys lots of tactical choices.


Three things this week:


First up, more hobby materials! So, I haven’t varnished my models for ages after I ruined a batch while spray varnishing. Since then, I’ve just worked off a process of just patching up places where paint has peeled. This obviously isn’t great – coming back after the weekend in Cardiff was just a case of deciding between repair jobs or stripping models down. However, the idea of varnishing also seemed like a nightmare – either ruining brushes and unevenly applying it or the risk of spray varnishing. Then there was the concerns about matt vs satin vs gloss. But through all of it I kept hearing how testors seems to be the go-to for good effects.

Well Great Escape games had some in stock and so I picked up three cans. After the christmas, the aim is to get everything painted touched up, any final tweaks done and then varnished up.

Part 2, Spectre brought out some new releases! The 5 specialists that came out at Crisis are now on the store for general sale. These extend the Nomad, Tier 1 and Task Force Operator ranges by adding some more special weapons. My standout favourite has to be the Tier 1 Breacher I’ve listed above – the combination of tomahawk and SIX12 shotgun is fantastic.

In addition to the new stuff, I’ve also grabbed some more bits to finish off my militia technicals. As well as the ZPU1 and ZPU2 (ready to be painted up alongside the ZPU4 and ZSU-23), I’ve grabbed the rocket pod. I love these things – they are probably the most bodged together weapon systems you can get. The final item is the SPG-9; my plan with this is to use one of the .50cal stands I have spare and mount it at a height to stand out from it’s bigger brother. I look forward to solving the challenge (and documenting it along the way).

So last part, on Sunday evening I spotted someone on Facebook selling some Empress figures that grabbed my attention. Two of the models above were kickstarter exclusives – a great model of a NZ SAS operator and another combat diver carrying some satchel charges. I’m missing both of these from my collection and so just had to pick them up. As for the figures I’m torn – the paint jobs are really nice but part of me wants all of my figures to match in style (part of the reason why I haven’t start commissioning people to do my backlog of figures).


It’s a week where I ran a game so obviously it’s time for lots of new painting.

First up, I painted up the Nomad team! Once the new marksman turns up, I’m going to do a full impressions piece on them. But as a short preview, I really like them! Mainly lots of tan when painting and great fun to use ingame.

Second stage was painting up some buildings. Theses are two more from REDVector, and were ideal to stand out amongst the one storey Adobe buildings that were going to fill out the rest of the board. Painting method was black undercoat, Tan first layer, white lightly sprayed over the top and then a respray of tan for the final colour. The right building also got hit by some Humbrol Desert Tan and some watered down wash. I’m okay with the final result but I really should have added some texture on the outside, especially to cover up the gaps in the MDF.

The final step in painting was the SAS (full details coming in this week’s post) and an Empress BTR80A to drive the Bazistan Army around. It’s been sat on my “to be painted” list for a while, just needing the details done. As always, Empress have done a really nice job on the kit and I’m already eyeing up the BTR80 to back it up.

I picked up the closed gate back in August. I love it but I always knew I’m going to need to pick up some more to stand in as replacement parts after they are played with. As well as a base order, I also picked up two additional gates from Supreme Littleness Design. As for the new states, I decided on open and breached (although crushed by vehicle was a close runner up). Open was a simple case of shaving down the edges on the tabs so they would fit securely in the slots at a different angle. With Breached, I decided to make it very obviously what had happened. Going slightly over the top, I trimmed a big piece out of the center of each side and roughed up the edges. It’s a lot bigger than you’d expect but once painted it should be very obvious

No pictures for this, but I’ve started prepping the African forces and insurgents to be painted back up. Friday night was spent with a tub full of Iso and ended with me staining my fingers with the paint/iso mix. They are now all based so the next step is adding the sand and then base coating. Still deciding on painting plans for them – from watching The Brave, very inspired to paint up the SAS Jungle Guys in a slightly browner multicam and cam-creamed faces so they are ready for trekking across the savannah of Zaiweibo.

That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Battle Report – A Brush With The Law – Spectre Operations

This week’s battle report sees us return to the ongoing campaign in Bazistan. Following the kidnapping of the Geordiestan Ambassador from the Petramco/NZDF force back in September, it’s time to go to the next stage of the operation.

The Geordiestan Ambassador has been missing for two weeks. After being kidnapped en route from the airport by an unknown group of militia, intelligence has been working day and night to recover him. Unfortunately, the whims of the Bazistan government has caused this process to be delayed as only Bazi SF can act on any intelligence partner nations provide. A Special Forces team from Geordiestan did arrive in country but was turned round at the airport. Other nations have also been held off, with American, British and Russians all barred from operating legally on Bazi soil.

However, a new piece of information has come to light. Multiple sources point to a group in the badlands bordering Aden which is preparing to move two high value targets out of the country. This compound has attracted the attention of the Bazistan army as well as British Intelligence. Two teams from the SAS (codenamed SABRE and WANDERER) have been deployed to extract the hostages before the Bazistan Army does.

The game takes place in a frontier town in the Badlands of Bazistan, close to the border with the Aden Republic and only a short drive to the Red Sea. Intel had found two target buildings, (the tan coloured ones in the photo above) that were militia strongholds and could be the location of the two hostages. Both buildings would need to be checked. As the game began, the militia were completely unalert – the town is in safe territory and the police hadn’t tipped them off to any possible attackers. The Bazistan Army wouldn’t arrive until later – Bazi SF arriving on turn 2 and the bulk of the force arriving on turn 3.

The forces were simple:


  • SABRE – 6 Elite operators with usual direct action kit, including a LAW, LMG, UGL and DMR
  • WANDERER – 6 Elite operators in local clothing. Designed for stealth, they also had a SMG, Auto Shotgun and a Airburst grenade launcher

Bazi Army

  • Bazi SF – 6 professionals with modified assault rifles and the usual support items like body armour and medical kits
  • Bazi Motorised – 8 Trained soldiers with Assault Rifles, a MMG and an RPG accompanied by an Elite Special Forces mentor


  • Three technicals – two with HMG and one with a recoilless rifle
  • Multiple small groups of trained fighters, armed with the usual mix of Assault Rifles, RPGs and MMGs

The SAS came on from the Western board edge, seeking the shortest route to one of the buildings that avoided the patrolling guards. SABRE headed for one of the ruined buildings, aiming to set up a base of fire to assist an assault on Objective Bravo.

WANDERER headed for Objective Alpha, stacking up on the door before breaching into the empty interior. Carefully sneaking around, they headed upstairs. Due to the buildings not including staircases, we added two in opposite corners of the building. Next time I’ll add some markers

Upstairs, they found themselves in the midst of a small collection of insurgents. Taking advantage of their silenced pistols and SMGs, the team took the first shots of the game easily dropping the two fighters inside the main room. After disposing of them and the two RPG gunners on the balcony, only three militiamen knew something was up.

Unfortunately, their intel was faulty – this building was completely clear of hostages. Time to dig in and start covering

Instead, time to focus on Objective Bravo. SABRE moved into an assault position, with the LMG, DMR and UGL gunner digging into the damaged building while the rest of the team prepared to sprint across the road.

Interestingly, they spotted a white SUV moving away from the target building. It seemed to be forming up into a convoy with one of the other technicals.

As turn two began, the first sign of real trouble turned up. Six operatives of the Bazi Special Forces had appeared, moving through the ruins of the African Quarter. They managed to stay relatively quiet, not alerting the militia as they crept into position.

Turn two was pretty uneventful – WANDERER dug in to the building by setting up positions covering the staircases and aiming to cover any assault on Objective Bravo. At the same time, SABRE moved into final positions, with the assault team going into cover behind one of the pickups by the side of the road. By now these actions were starting to concern some of the civilians and it was only a matter of time before the militia was entirely on alert.

Of course, elements of the Bazi 12th Motorised Division have no concept of stealth and rolled onto the board in their BTR80A. This could be a major game changer – the armour would be hard to penetrate while the heavy autocannon would easily cut a swathe through tightly packed squads.

This was the battlefield as the engagement shifted from a stealthy operation into a more kinetic experience. A few other things happened very quickly:

First up, the technical leading the convoy about to escort the SUV away swung round at the sight of the enemy. The M40 recoilless rifle it carried on the back would be one of the main weapons against the enemy AFV.

Two of the local Bazistan police ran forward to see what on earth this military unit was doing here. Once in cohesion range, these two police changed from being ambient civilians to working alongside the military.

As for the militia, they quickly started moving some more assets around. One of the technicals with HMG moved into an ambush position, ready to spring out with the .50cal. Of more immediate danger, a fighter with a RPG-29 moved into position on the balcony and prepared to engage.

Across the road, SABRE waited.

Rolling forward, the BTR was quick to drop the ramp and send deploys its squad of Bazi soldiers. Of note was the fact that they had been joined by an Elite mentor to give them a bit more sticking power in the fight.

Thanks to the massed fire from three separate squads, the Bazistan army quickly started taking a toll on the smaller militia units, pinning them down under massed suppression of simply taking them out.

Meanwhile, SABRE bust into the target building and came face to face with a few surviving militiamen. Ever the professionals, they quick dropped them before pushing forward. From upstairs, they could hear the steady sound of gunfire as the insurgents engaged the oncoming army. The fire managed to down the two policemen and suppress the oncoming soldiers but did distract them from the team of killers slowly climbing the stairs.

At the same time, WANDERER got involved and pulled a cool piece of kit out of the toolbox. Rather than engaging an isolated militia group with carbines, the airburst grenade launcher took aim and sent a single shot flying out across the roof tops.

Safe to say, it was quite effective.

An interesting side diversion was the two police at the end of the map. Rather than meeting up with the Bazi army to begin operations, they instead got stuck in a fight while trying to defend themselves from the militia trying to restrain them.

Back in the fray, the militia were taking a beating with huge numbers of suppression markers. It wasn’t just the Bazi Army – WANDERER were assisting the assault on Objective Bravo by eliminating incoming militia units thanks to sitting on overwatch – the -1 modifier was easily nullified by the optics and high shooting skill.

Meanwhile in the building SABRE rushed up the stairs to be confronted by a stack of insurgents. However, they were ready for this. In went the flashbang.

After a blinding flash and a hail of gunfire, three insurgents lay dead – the other two were to follow in the next turn.

At this stage, the photos dry up but there were a few great events

  • SABRE’s base of fire started engaging the Bazi Army, kill several with a mix of 40mm, LMG fire and DMR shots. However, many more were saved thanks the body armour and personal medkits
  • The BTR and technicals started trading rounds, leading to both parties ending up with no drivers.

However, the big thing was unmasking of the hostage in Objective Bravo revealing the ambassador’s aide. Finally being told that the ambassador was in the quickly escaping white SUV, two members of WANDERER decided to engage. And for the first time this game they actually rolled pretty high on their armour penetration roll leading to this.

The aimed precise shots were a little too effective, with a carbine killing all three passengers in the vehicle with a single burst.

Good job everyone.

Henry Mitchell reports on the situation in Bazistan after the dust has settled

Seeing as the Ambassador is no longer with us, Geordiestan must be furious with everyone involved in this affair from Petramco and the Kiwis to the Bazistan government and the rumoured involvement of British troops. We shall have to see what happens next!

Slightly more concerning is what the rescued aide recounted to the SIS when being debriefed. He overheard his kidnapper mention a safe house they were to be taken to… in the city of St. Davide in Zaiweibo!

The next game will pick up this trail, possibly going for a slightly stealthy mission as intelligence forces seek to discover more information in the land across the Red Sea.

Hope you guys enjoyed the battle report! It was a really good game, where I got to put a lot of toys on the table, hiding the militia in amongst civilians. The most important thing however was that everyone left the table smiling having had one hell of a battle.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at those SAS chaps, along with their more urban focused buddies. There might even be an additional impressions based on another set of figures I’ve recently painted…

Wargaming Week 04/12/2017

Let’s start, covering the 27th of November through to the 3rd of December.


This week’s post was the first stage of, Building a Force a new series for Spectre Operations designed to show off some hints and tips for building your own force.

Also the survey is still running! For everyone who hasn’t filled it in, you can find it at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2FXWLKF. For everyone else who has filled it in, thank you! It’s been great to see the responses coming in and I’m already planning some ideas.

One comment I got was that I have quite a lot of Spectre content on this blog. I wrote a big long post in response to this on ChargeBlog (you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/chargeblog/posts/1536228216453318 ). It’s a perfectly valid point of view though – I’m going to try to vary it up so the Friday posts are not always focused on one company.


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Also hey! If you like my work I’ve got a Ko-Fi page where you can throw a few quid my way. Every little helps me to keep the site running and have enough cash in the hobby budget to pick up new rules and figures.


Super busy week at work (huh sounds like the last few weeks) so no more gaming. But the drought is almost over! I’m running a Spectre on Thursday at the club which should see multiple SF groups engaging each other on the streets of Bazistan while looking for the kidnapped Geordiestan Ambassador. Not 100% on how many people are going to take part so I’ll be assembling a selection of teams for people to use.


I bought a lot of figures. Maybe, just maybe, I bought too many figures. This is my order from last week arriving and with it I now have all of the figures currently on the Spectre store. I also have about 40 figures ready to be painted up ready for Zaiweibo between the militia, rebels and the national government.


Speaking of Zaiweibo, it’s time to redo a few figures ready for the new setting. I have the African forces range but they were painted a long time ago in a not particularly good scheme of OD and tan. Seeing as I’m about to paint a load of rebels in the same camo, I’ve decided to strip them back and redo them alongside the new figures. I’m thinking DPM for everyone using the scheme I worked out for the Empress SAS assault team.

I’m also going to go back to my Insurgents. This was the first group of figures I painted that I haven’t stripped back and they are all dressed in OD and tan (seeing a trend here). They are also sat in the iso waiting to be stripped back. The plan will be painting them in a mixture of clothing styles to represent them as members of various militias.

As well as getting figures ready for Thursday, I’m painting two of REDVectors buildings up to be the target locations. I’m still not entirely confident with building painting so everything looks like sandy concrete. However, it will be nice to have a few more buildings painted up and it’s practise. I can see how getting an airbrush will be handy. I also want to investigate posters and artwork to decorate some of the walls.

That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!