Wargaming Week 16/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 9th through to the 15th of September.

BLOG STUFF

New post on the Gringo 40’s guys coming tomorrow! Just need to do the finishing touches to it.

NEWS

This week is a week of Spectre news! First of all, a massive tease from them – it looks like we have a big Spectre release coming this weekend seeing as they are assembling a new board for it. Including a hanger and a new pattern drone, it’s quite an interesting tease – guesses for what the new release is on postcards!

Spectre also put out some releases. First up, the Contraband pack is the last set of objectives that were first available back at Salute. A pile of money and a pile of drugs are perfect for decorating any classic criminal hideout.

The other release is a new upgrade for the technical range. Containing a new set of bull bars, a snorkel and a roof rack with prefilled storage, this is a neat addition to the range that has been a long time coming (you can see it in the version 1 rulebook on the African technical). I have to admit, I’m tempted to pick up another technical to include it.

PURCHASES

If you are just here modern stuff, you might want to keep scrolling…

Okay, so the Games Workshop hammer hit me pretty hard this week. First up, after seeing my friend Matt assembling some Aeronautica Imperialis stuff on the weekend, I decided that I quite fancied a few planes myself. I’ve always wanted some of the flyers from 40k but Forgeworld was always too expensive. 8mm is also a more sensible scale. In addition, I’m very interested in the game itself – I like X-Wing and other games like it but always disliked the range guessing. Bring on the hexes. Now I also have to wait for some Valkyries…

The other GW thing was this pair of sun bleached boxes. They have been in my local newsagents window for the last year and a bit and frankly, I could never see them getting sold. So I decided to go in there and make the man behind the counter an offer for them. In the end I got them for a third of the actual price which is a pretty good deal. Not 100% on my plans for them but it should be interesting to play around with.

HOBBY

As you might have guessed, first thing was finishing off my NVA figures. It still amazes me just what a wash and a dry brush can to do a paint job. I’m actually quite happy with the final result and I like just how well they fit with my other insurgents.

New boxed game meant new things to build so I started making planes. I’m taking my time with them, enjoying the feel of plastic kits again. So far, I’ve done the Thunderbolts you see above (a nice mix of air to air and air to ground under the wings) and two Marauder bombers (one with a mix, the other loaded with bombs). The Ork fighter sprue is out and will begin assembly this week. The plan is not to buy any more until all my planes are painted but we shall see how that goes

Finally, more assembly work. This time on my Canadian LAV-III. There were a few fun bits (like the turret rear cage) and it’s still missing the crew and pintle MG but I really like the look of this thing. It will be a terror on the tabletop as well!


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

Wargaming Week 09/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 2nd through to the 8th of September.

NEWS

Empress has had a pretty busy week with a literal pile of releases! First up, the M113 ACAV is now available in 1/50 scale as part of the Vietnam range. Coming with the all the parts you need to cover it in machine guns and perfect for rolling around the hills and streets of Vietnam, this is a cool looking piece of kit. I can see plenty of use for it outside of Vietnam and in Ultramodern settings as well, especially if you take off a few machine guns.

Following on from Spectre releasing some of their Kickstarter exclusives, it’s time for Empress to do the same! Unlike the frantic ebaying that happened for me to get mine, you can now just order your own NZ SAS figure from Empress from the limited quantities left. I really like the look of this guy – he’s perfect to add as a leader to other Empress SF figures. Get them while they are still in stock!

Empress are also entering the Afghan civilian market with their first two releases. With a pack of Afghan women (ideal for decorating any village scene) and a pack of an Afghan man and boy on donkey (something for an ISAF convoy to encounter or to approach a checkpoint), these two packs are an exciting start to assembling a full village worth of civilians.

Finally for Empress, they ended the week with an additional Vietnam vehicle – the terrifying and odd looking M50 Ontos. One of the strangest vehicles to be deployed and only really used in Vietnam, the six recoiless rifles are perfect for delivering a volley of high explosive rounds. Perfect for when you need to fight through Hue street by street. I think it also looks a fun kit to build – it’s going to be a neat addition to any board.

Finally, the UK has a new Eureka stockist! FIghting 15s for a long time was the best way of getting Eureka’s rather excellent range here in the UK but earlier this year they had announced they were no longer stocking them, However, Eureka have managed to organise another seller, who has just opened this week. They already have the full range up, so get buying!

PURCHASES

Nothing, still working through the piles of stuff I currently have.

HOBBY

Not much hobby this week but but I did get to spend my weekend down in Leeds for some dental work. However, I used the Sunday afternoon to head over to York and meet up with my Usual Opponent and friends to sit down and paint. And I managed to get some done! As you can see above, I took the Gringo 40’s NVA from undercoat all the way up to mostly done (apart from wash and final drybrush). More details coming this week.


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

Wargaming Week 02/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 19th of August through to the 1st of September.

NEWS

New releases from Spectre! This selection of four High Value Targets lets you add a really great character to augment a scenario. Each takes a different role, ranging from the Salesman gesticulating to a possible buyer, the Adviser perfect to lead your militia fighters while still remaining hands off, the General huddling the cold in his classic Russian coat and the Dictator in military regalia and with his cane.

What’s quite interesting is where each of these figures are actually from. The General is one I haven’t seen before but the other three have been glimpsed. The Dictator was in one of the packs in the original Spectre Kickstarter (alongside the African Militia Warlord, African Rebel Warlord and a Sapeur themed leader) while the Salesman was one of the Kickstarter stretch goals. It took me a while to realise that the adviser had appeared first all the way back in 2015, appearing in the display stand as part of the WIP greens (you can see the photo in my Unreleased models post way back in 2017). Overall, I think it’s great to see these figures being released and become much more easily purchasable.

Empress also released some new figures for their WW2 range. The Late War Brits I’ve started collecting now have two more packs. The Support pack includes a rather fantastic sniper model, the vital 2inch mortar and a few command figures. The Radio Pack has two Radio teams. Overall, I like them a great deal. That said, my project has slowed slightly, both due to a lack of time but also the fact we’re missing some vital figures from the range. As someone who likes picking up the Vickers machine gun in my Chain of Command games, I’m eagerly waiting to see Empress’s version of them.

PURCHASES

First up, I picked up a set of Gringo 40’s NVA after seeing them on Facebook. They are missing many of the key Vietnam farmer/fighter look, due to focusing on Hue, so they could actually fit very well with an ultramodern setting. With a super fast delivery, I already took a look at making them fit the Middle East a little more.

Of course, with a new Spectre release I just had to pick them up. I already have the Salesman waiting to paint, so the other three were added to the collection.

HOBBY

First up, I got a pile of Canadians! And more importantly, an LAV-III has arrived after a long journey through the delights of the customs series. A slight downer at accidentally receiving two of the same pack was elevated by just how cool they look. I can’t wait to get them all assembled (especially the LAV-III after the dry run I did with the parts) and ready for operations in Bazistan.

As mentioned above, here are the NVA figures from Gringo40s. I’ve done my rookie green stuff job on them. Shoes for everyone, a bandana on the female runner, a scarf for one of the fighters and (with it being the Middle East) a bushy mustache on the leader to assert his authority with. The next step will be getting them based and painted, making sure to vary their colours to give the militia look. These guys look perfect for slightly more well equipped fighters, seeing as all of them are wearing chest rigs and carrying lots of grenades. More details when I finish them.


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

Wargaming Week 19/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 12th through to the 18th of August.

NEWS

First up, news from Spectre. Price rises hit all of us, and it looks like it’s now time for Spectre’s metal figures to go up in price. You’ve got until the 1st of September to enjoy the current prices.

Additionally, they are working to improve their resin production, mainly to keep their stuff at better stock levels for as long as possible.

Of course, as soon I mention them quietening down, Spectre drops off this little preview onto Instagram. Two new HVTs for your tabletop. The figure on the right is a reproduction of the African general from the original Kickstarter, so this re-release might explain why a few people found. some resin versions of him in the last set of Covert Packages. I’m more interested in the General on the left, a very Russian looking gentleman in a warm coat with a big hat. This will be perfect for any Russian separatist games where you might want to play the Russians as the good guys.

TTTS is coming out with another vehicle to add to their increasingly large US vehicle garage. This time it’s one of the Special Forces support vehicle motherships, nicknamed Warpig. It’s a fierce-looking vehicle and is coming to Kickstarter later this month. I like the TTTS stuff but buyer beware, it is 1:56 rather than the 1:50.

Finally, Blacksite has a brand new range coming ready for Stalingrad. If you’re looking for some bombed-out Soviet buildings for other modern warzones, these look pretty great. Pavlov’s house especially is just incredible – a game board all by itself.

PURCHASES

Infamous JT has slashed their prices as he clears out other product lines to focus on his own range. While still waiting for my Canadians to arrive along with the LAV-III (which is taking its sweet time through the postal system), I decided to pick up the rest of the Canadian teams to complete my collection. Fingers crossed the sudden arrival of a block of Canadians will summon the rest of them.

HOBBY

With a bit of free time, I finished off the last two Spectre civilians that had been sat on the painting desk. I do find solid colour stuff is perfect for a quick bit of evening painting, and these guys were a nice bit of relaxation. Also, I now have a decent crowd to fill the streets of Bazistan, ideal for annoying…everyone.

Finally, the big thing was assembling more MDF. I’ve finished the three buildings from Knights of Dice and as you can see it’s looking like a proper city now. I’m working on the article now and then it’s going to be a lot of work to tweak and prepare them.


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

Wargaming Week 12/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 5th through to the 11th of August.

BLOG STUFF

No blog posts, but the first Forces List for the Bazistan Project is now up on the Patreon. Seeing as I already had them mostly planned out, I started with the Aden Defence Force. Being based on the British Infantry arrangement with a few tweaks, I’m looking forward to actually getting these squads on the table

For the moment, everything on the Patreon is going to be free – so if you want to take a look you’ll find it here. Donating will let you jump in and comment as well as showing your support.

NEWS

No news! Everything has gone a bit quiet.

PURCHASES

No purchases!

HOBBY

Not much in terms of painting and gaming (mostly too busy finishing the article for the Patreon) but my order from Knights of Dice did finally arrive! After sucking air through my teeth at the VAT bill, this collection of MDF landed on my desk with a crunch. The apartment buildings are going to be a big chunk of work but I’m really looking forward to sitting down with them.

As you can see, I managed to get all of the market stalls constructed. Building them was really nice, the kits are wonderfully designed as always. More details coming soon.


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

Wargaming Week 05/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 29th of July through to the 4th of August.

BLOG STUFF

I published a new post on the Tabula Rasa villas from Knights of Dice! Overall I’m pretty happy with them, I just need to actually get them detailed up before painting. But once ready, it’s going to make fighting through some city streets pretty interesting.

Become a Patron!

Over on Patreon I posted an update on what I’ve been up to in regards to my ongoing project. I’m still working out the best method of presenting the information but I’ve also been getting some content finished off. The Aden Defence Force document is almost ready, I just need to finish writing some of the words around the actual useful information.

NEWS

It’s still summer! Apart from Spectre detailing a slight thermal issue with their resin production (it’s really warm), there is no news.

PURCHASES

Nothing! Still working through my current list of items such as eyeing up the pile of MDF all over my flat.

HOBBY

This week has been pretty hobby quiet – I’ve been focused on other things (mainly video games and preparing for an airsoft weekender in August) or writing up stuff for the Patreon. Come back next week and I might have done a little painting!


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

Wargaming Week 29/07/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 22nd through to the 28th of July.

BLOG STUFF

Big news this week was that I ran a game! The second part of the adventures of Captain Amari, it was a bit of a monster, with that number of players (especially with most of them not knowing the rules). As always I ended up rushing the prep slightly but it was overall pretty damn fun. And now I just have to plan the next one!

NEWS

It’s summer so things are pretty quiet. However, Spectre Miniatures are running their usual summer sale, ready to take all your money while offering double points on everything.

More importantly, Spectre has finally released the errata and points for V2. Both pdfs are available on the website, ideal for keeping games of Spectre flowing. The Errata fixes are mostly common sense, but the extra profiles for the Attack Helicopter are a great expansion of the OTA option.

PURCHASES

Well, thinking ahead to the next game in the campaign, we’re going to need some more multiroom buildings to CQB through. After seeing Treadheadz work on facebook, I’ve put in an order with Knights of Dice and have already started planning some of the room tweaks. More details when they arrive!

I’ve also grabbed a few things from the Spectre sale – I realised the Luxury SUV would be perfect for the new Contractors and was an element missing from my collection. I also grabbed another turret for the HMVs – a full armoured turret bravo ready to add a spare .50cal I have to it to give me a few more options when kitting the Humvees up.

HOBBY

Probably the main thing from this week was doing a few interior elements for on Thursday. I didn’t finish as much as I had planned and the ones I did manage to get ready chipped a little bit . I also had a play with my airbush as part of this, leading to a situation of rushing to learn how to use a new toy. I’ll be doing some more work on this stuff before I really show it all off.

The main hobby activity this weekend was digging into the Knights of Dice buildings, specifically the villas. These were pretty fun to build and I have to admit I’m loving having more multi-room and level buildings which are ideal for the skirmish games I love to play.

Now I just need to get all these buildings painted up…


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

Battle Report: The House On The Corner – Spectre Operations

So here we go, the direct follow on to the last game.

After the events during the attempted hand over of two Aden citizens, Captain Amari and her rescuing SAS team have fallen back to an Aden External Security Agency (AESA) safehouse on the outskirts of Bazi City. The team has decided to go to ground, waiting for a security gap to allow them to escape back across the southern border.

Meanwhile, the rebel leader has taken the intelligence gained from the captured local fixer and used it to locate the enemy safehouse. Rather than risking his own forces, the leader has instead sold the information to the Internal Security Forces of Bazistan (ISFB). 

After all, when you find a criminal den, you call the police.

The Forces

Limping away from their firefight in the badlands, the forces of the AESA and SAS were limited to a small number of operators. Six Elite operators, mostly using carbines but supported by an LMG would be the main force. Along with the Elite Captain Amari, three other Trained AESA staff members were on-site and armed with assault rifles which would provide some extra guns.

The BLUFOR objectives were to prevent any opposing forces from capturing evidence of illicit activity taking place on Bazi soil by the Aden Government. This would mean holding off the opposing force long enough to destroy the pair of servers holding operations data, demoing the supplies in the garage building and then extracting as much of the personel as possible, including the unarmed civilian AESA station chief.


Prompted by details of the safe house, the Bazi Ministry of the Interior assembled a large force to deal with the security threat. To provide the training core, the Bazi Army hired six Professional Argo Contractors, each armed with modern CQB small arms and grenades, body armour and NVGs. These troops could be parcelled out, either mentoring the lower skill Bazi units or acting as a close-quarters assault force.

And speaking of the Bazi Army, they are providing two units. The elite(ish) Bazi Special Forces would be taking part in the assault. Although only Trained, the 6 man Bazi SF team were equipped with CQB weapon systems. They are also arriving in a Tigr armour vehicle, mounting an MMG (the automatic grenade launcher being banned due to the ROE). A much larger presence was the regular Trained Bazi Army, bringing an 8 man squad in body armour and carrying an MMG and an RPG (just in case). They also arrive on the board in a BTR-80A – despite having its main claws trimmed by the ROE, it can still help the assault through using the armour and its Medium Machine Gun. Finally, a Technical from the Bazi Army would provide MMG support.

OPFOR objectives are simple – capture as much evidence of insidious actions against the Bazi Royal Family and Government taking place on Bazi soil. Ideally, the Interior Ministry would love to have some captives to parade on TV and so capturing the opposing force is a priority.

The Setup

First of all, let’s take an overview of the setup. Taking place in the suburbs of Bazi City, strict ROE is in place regarding the use of explosive weaponry such as the RPGs or autocannons. The mission also takes place at night. (Although this may have been forgotten once the action kicked off)

(As an aside, I really want to get some more of my buildings painted up and ready for play. As much as I like the layout, a few more buildings would have really set the suburban scenes)

The AESA compound in the photo above is located south of the road and focused on the main safehouse, with two other smaller buildings acting as annex’s, including a garage. Several concrete walls and barriers provide cover. On the other side of the road, a multi-level construction as well as several smaller buildings filled with non-combatants.

The Special Forces in the Tigr slowly rumbled down the side road. Pausing only to let three of the team disembark, the vehicle prepared to push on into the main compound. Upfront, an Argo contractor kept an eye on the gentleman in the orange outdoors coat, listed as a possible AESA agent.

On the other side, a technical from the Bazi Army rolls up, MMG swinging to focus on the target building.

Inside the safehouse, the BLUFOR operators were unalert but at risk of a future assault. For this reason, they were checking entrances. Upstairs, the SAS were taking positions at the windows and doors, trying to cover all the angles.

On the ground floor, the AESA statin chief, a SAS operator and Captain Amari were in discussion. Two AESA agents were also on this floor, one in the makeshift server room and the other checking keeping watch.

Events

As the night rolls on, the Bazi Army makes it’s assault.

Three of the Bazi SF operators setup on and then breach into the garage building, the sound of boots on wood echoing through the night. Inside, they find a stockpile of supplies destined for anti-government rebels – in other words, jackpot.

With the sound of vehicles moving the raised voices, the inhabitants inside the building start to setup. Table are flipped, guns checked and made ready to go.

Making a tight turn, the Tigr bursts into the compound, causing the AESA agent to make a break for the annexe. The civilian he was talking to, after adopting a surrendering gesture then attempted to run. Twigged by this movement, the Tigr’s gunner opened up with a burst of fire, dropping a suspect to the dirt. The first casualty had taken place.

The Tigr also ended up being a bit of bullet magnet, with SAS troopers both inside the main building and the annexe engaging it and piling on suppression.

On the other side, a fireteam of the Bazi Army troops were moving alongside the BTR and getting ready to stack up on the back door. However, with a smash, a frag grenade thrown by one of the SAS came flying out, landing in the middle of the attackers and shredding most of the force.

Hearing the gun battle outside rising, Captain Amari snatched thermite grenades off the AESA agents and got to work, placing them on the server racks to destroy the lists of operations inside Bazistan.

At this point, the three man infiltration set of contractors were getting ready to rush the building, sprinting across the road. The squad leader suddenly looked to his left when, with a roar of an engine, the BTR came flying down the road, turning the corner and then…

BOOM

It collided with the building, it’s prow smashing through the wall, the driver’s head coming flying forward and breaking his neck. The rest of the crew and passengers were stunned, leaving the three operators outside to keep pushing.

Inside the room, as the dust settled, the room was a mess. After talking it through, we decided that everyone in the room would be stunned, the cloud of dust and rubble smashing things aside.

On the other side, the Bazi SF split up, starting to assault the two buildings. Unfortunately, they ended up being caught in the cross of the SAS LMG and a riflemen, eliminating the trio on the ground floor.

The PKM gunner, his ears ringing, hit the deck and got ready to open up while his Argo buddy got ready to move up. However, a quick burst of assault rifle fire and the MMG went silent. The contractor hower brought his SMG up and trained it on the window when…

BOOM

A thunderous blast of from the upstairs, accompanied by a pile of shrapnel, and suddenly the fire from the upstairs windows slowed. The SAS team leader was preparing to drop a grenade on the assault for below when he fluffed his throw. Landing on the window sill in front of him, the blast took him out, the concussion echoing around the roof the room and stunning his teammates.

The operator, who had taken out almost a whole team by himself, was caught standing in the window stunned by a burst from the Argo contractor. He dropped dead, leaving only two SAS operators standing upstairs.

In the Annexe, the SAS operator and AESA agent looked at each other and decided to make a move, busting out the window and getting ready to make a run for it.

After a short scuffle, one of the Argo Contractors managed to tackle and drag the AESA Station chief back outside of the ruined front room, letting the main Bazi Army push inside. Another contractor around this time also attempted to knock unconscious one of the SAS operatives. After a short scuffle hower, the SAS operative was killed in the fighting.

Outside, the last of the Bazi SF were taken down, the SAW in the SAS gunner’s hands hammering away and shredding what was left of the door.

This is a bad photo of the event, sorry

As a final push, the last rifle operator upstairs attempted to rush down and rescue the AESA station chief. However, the Contractor holding the captive simply swung around and clocked him around the face with his rifle, knocking the operator unconscious and adding him to the captive pile.

Inside, the Bazi Army and Argo contractors burst into the server room, finding Captain Amari slowly raising her hands and kneeling down.

On the other side, the servers gently smoulded, useless to anyone. Amari was still smirking when the rifle butt came down on her face from an irate Bazi Army trooper.

The last AESA agent, crying out for updates from the explosion behind him while still keeping an eye on the Bazi SF before they were cut down, was very surprised when an Argo Corporation merc grabbed him by the neck and slammed him into the door. And with that, resistance at the compound was ended.

AFTERMATH

Although missing out on the data, the Bazi force did manage to take four inhabitants of the compound hostage. Three AESA agents, including the famed Captain, and a single British citizen should be a handy group to show on Al-Jeezra as proof Aden is not to be trusted. The stockpile of material in the garage would help with this, providing shocking evidence.

Of course, three BLUFOR operators did manage to get away. Perhaps they may return in future missions?


Overall, it was one hell of a game. I did not expect the BTR to be used as a battering ram, nor for just the sheer number of grenade fails. I did lose my cool a little (I blame the heatwave we’re in) when it came to keeping the game flowing and also forgot a rule or two (such as sidearms in CQB). On the other hand, the Spectre rules still play fast and feel brutal.

But this is setting up the next mission in the campaign. With Captain Amari in chains, I think it’s time for someone to build a prison (I’m thinking a few of the Knights of Dice apartment buildings) and prepare a rescue. The question is… who will be doing the rescuing?