25 June 2010

General Work-In-Progress Update

I'm trying to add to the blog at least once weekly. Rather than something totally completed (maybe a completed item to be posted tomorrow) this week is simply another work-in-progress report

Recently I made my first order with S&S in the UK. From ordering & paying to arrival here in Oz was basically 1 week. Pretty impressive.

I ordered two Soviet/WARPAC vehicles - a ZSU-23-4 (Shilka) and a MTLB. Both were specifically ordered for a particular mission - but both can be used for more than that mission alone. The Shilka was a fairly common (and excellent) triple-A vehicle while the MTLB was a common troop transport, artillery tow etc.

Here's how they come in their little plastic bags:



These are the components unbagged:



You'll see that the MTLB had a small break on the front fender. This was easily fixed.

Before I started to put them together I washed all the peices in warm soapy water.

Relatively simple to put together - well the MTLB was simplicity itself:


The ZSU-23-4 was a little more difficult. I say that because of kind of think I stuffed up the guns. It made sense at the time but looking at it now - I think I got it wrong. Radar supports had to be bent a little but apart from that was simply than the guns.


There are a few casting bubbles - but nothing particularly significant. I'm yet to decide whether to do something about them of simply ignore them...

So that's it for now - lots of work to do here!

Have fun


15 June 2010


An “Armoured Vehicle Heavy” Scenario Designed for Play with Ambush Alley’s Force of Force

It is spring 1987, and long feared Soviet invasion of West Germany has taken place. NATO forces have been forced back all along the Inter-German Border. Across the front, the remnants of larger NATO Armoured Cavalry and Mechanized Infantry units are selling their lives in an attempt to give their comrades in the next line of defence more time to prepare for the WARPAC onslaught.

From the small hamlet of Füssel, just west of the IGB in the CENTAG a small rearguard of West German Panzer Grenadiers shelters as the first salvo of Soviet artillery impacts nearby. Approaching them are the reconnaissance elements of the 20th Guards Motorised Rifle Division.

(This scenario is in homage to the 1st Scenario in the board game “Team Yankee” by Games Designer Workshop).


Duration of Game: 8 turns.

Initiative: The Soviets have the initiative for the first turn. From the 2nd turn onwards, roll for initiative each turn.

Special Conditions:

Holding the Hamlet
NATO forces begin the game in possession of the hamlet, Füssel. Victory in the game will depend on how long the NATO forces can hold the hamlet, or how quickly Soviet forces can take it.

NATO forces can begin to withdraw from Füssel at any time they choose. Of course to do so to early will have victory points implications

All NATO forces that begin the game on the board, may deploy hidden. Reserves should refer to Table 1.

Panzer Recce Troop Random Entry
Before the Game begins the NATO player secretly rolls on the chart below noting the result. The chart indicates where each of the Leopard 2A4’s begins the game.

Table 1
Roll on 1D8 Result
1 What Leopards? – It appears your armoured reserve has already been destroyed or sent to help another, more desperate unit.

2 At the start of the NATO players turn 3 both Leopard II deploy on the board in ambush in prepared positions at C

3 At the start of the NATO players turn 3 a Leopard II is deployed from hiding at the Walled Farm while the other is deployed in hiding in prepared positions at C.

4-5 At the start of the NATO players turn 3 both Leopard IIs deploy anywhere in the village from hiding.

6 At the start of the NATO players turn 3 both Leopard IIs enter the board at B

7 At the start of the NATO players turn 3 both Leopard IIs deploy on the board in ambush in prepared positions at C

8 In addition to the 2 Leopard 2A4’s you have 2 Leopard 1A4’s! In turn 3 deploy the Leopard II’s in hiding in prepared positions at C, with the Leopard I’s in hiding in prepared positions at D.

Soviet Deployment Zones
The map of the table is marked with 3 separate deployment zones. The 3 Soviet platoons begin the game on the table, each can be placed anywhere by the Soviet player, within their respective deployment zone. The woods should continue into the 3 deployment zones until they reach ther table edge.

Fog of War: Each player draws one Fog of War card at the beginning of turn 1. Further Fog of War cards are triggered by Reaction Tests


9’ x 5’ for 20mm or larger (a table tennis table)


A: NATO withdrawal point and Soviet objective
B: Secondary Road
C: Woods
D: Woods
E: Walled Farm
F: Fussel
G: Bridge

The Woods
All the woods on the board should be considered Average.

The houses that make up the hamlet of Füssel count as a Decent Average buildings that have not been fortified.

The Walled Farm
The Walled Farm counts as Decent Average buildings that have not been fortified.

Open Areas
All open areas on the board can be made into fenced fields if both players would like to do so.

The River & the Bridge
The bridge is the only location where non-amphibious vehicles can cross the river. It is wide enough for one vehicle at a time and if a large armoured vehicle is destroyed on the bridge, it is blocked.

After smashing the leading armoured regiments of the 20th Guards Motorised Rifle Division, the now severely written down Panzer Division defending this potion of the IGB has had to withdraw.

Preparations at the next defensive line have nearly been finalised, but in order to by some time, a small rearguard force has been left to defend the small hamlet of Füssel. Füssel surrounds a road intersection, both of which lie along the main route of advance of the Soviet division.

The Bundeswehr troops have been ordered to

1. hold the hamlet for a long as possible,
2. inflict as much damage on the Soviet force as possible,
3. withdraw of the west edge of the map once the hamlet can not be held
4. do so without loosing to many of their own assets.

Off Board Light Artillery Support with 3 fire missions available (these can be either HE or Smoke)

Each Soviet soldier KIA: +1/2 points
Each Soviet Vehicle Destroyed: + 3 points
Each NATO Vehicle Destroyed: - 5 points
Hamlet held at end of turn 3: + 1 points
Hamlet held at end of turn 4: + 3 points
Hamlet held at end of turn 5: + 5 points
Hamlet held at end of turn 6: + 10 points
Each Marder successfully withdrawn pass point A: + 2 points
Each Leopard successfully withdrawn pass point A: + 1 points (if they start the game east of point A)

The war has just begun and despite the shock of the attack the West German troops remain Confident with Normal Supply levels, TQ d8 and Morale d10.

Panzer Grenadier Company Remnants
Platoon Commander – POSITIVE LEADER (Uzi)

1 x Marder 1A2 – Gruppenführer (Uzi), a 3 man Fire Team (3 x G3) and a 2 man MG team (1 x MG3 and 1 x G3 loader). The fire team may fire 1 Pzf-44 rocket per turn.

1 x Marder 1A2 – Gruppenführer (Uzi), a 3 man Fire Team (3 x G3) and a 2 man MG team (1 x MG3 and 1 x G3 loader). The fire team may fire 1 Pzf-44 rocket per turn.

NB. If Milan ATGM is dismounted from a Marder 1A2 the squad is split into 2 as follows:
2 man AT Team: Milan ATGM (G3 secondary weapon) and 1 x G3 (loader)
4 man Fire Team (Gruppenführer (Uzi) 2xG3 and MG3 LMG).

It takes on activation to remove the Milan ATGM from the Marder, unless the Milan begins the game dismounted.

The remnants of the Bundeswehr Panzer Grenadier Company begins the game on the table. The NATO player can deploy the units at either Füssel or the Walled Farm or anywhere west of the Secondary Road as indicated on the map. Note that deploying the Marders to far away from their dismounts may cause the NATO player difficulties when trying to withdraw off the board.

Panzer Recce Troop
2 x Leopard 2A4

The commander of the 20th MRD is annoyed. His leading regiment has succeeded in pushing the Germans off their first defensive line, but at a huge cost and now, much delay as the division sorts itself out. He now needs the remnants of his reconnaissance force to quickly find the next line of resistance. He also has a reasonably good idea of where this will be and it definitely won’t be Füssel. But that doesn’t mean for a second that the Germans won’t leave the small hamlet undefended.

He has ordered the reconnaissance force to rapidly defeat whatever force is in Füssel without slowing.

The Soviet player must
1. Clear the town of all enemy
2. Defeat any NATO forces
3. Exit of the table at Point A

Off Board Light Artillery Support available each turn of the game (with one 1 smoke mission over the course of the game).

Each NATO soldier KIA: +1/2 points
Each NATO Vehicle Destroyed: + 5 points
Hamlet captured at end of turn 3: + 10 points
Hamlet captured at end of turn 4: + 5 points
Hamlet captured at end of turn 5: + 3 points
Hamlet captured at end of turn 6: + 1points
Each Soviet Vehicle exits past point A +2 points

The war has just begun and the Soviets are confident of victory and are therefore rate High Confidence with Normal Supply levels, TQ d8 and Morale d8.

Soviet Recce Patrol
2 x BDRM Reconnaissance armoured cars

Soviet Armoured Platoon
3 x T-72 MBTs

Soviet Mechanised Rifle Platoon

1 x Soviet BMP-1 with Platoon Commander (AKM), and a Rifle Team (3xAKM), Support Team (1xPKM, 1xAKM) and sniper (SVD)

3 x Soviet BMP-1 each with Motorised Rifle Squad consisting of Rifle Team (2xAKM, 1xUGL, 1xRPK) and Support Team (2xAKM, 1xPKM, 1xRPG)

09 June 2010

"World War Three" The Movie

Saw a link to this on "The Miniatures Page" website this morning and over lunch I watched the first 7 parts, out of ten. I then finished watching the rest at home last night. It's posted in Youtube on the Cold War Warrior's Channel and he has a lot of interesting clips there. Well worth a good look.

Whilst it's a movie it is done in a documentary style and I have to say its very clever. It uses real footage and actors to portray a situation, starting in 1989, that leads to the Cold War turning Hot. So you see George Bush senior railing against the new Soviet leader for being a despot, when really, I think, he's probably railing against Saddam Hussein - its quite chilling how well its been done.

Whilst I can't say I agree with all of the suppositions in the movie/doco, I think it is presented in a very logical format - and I've got to say it presents an interesting scenario in terms of how slowly a situation like this could have ramped up until you get to a shooting war. Also, it shows the perspective of the European Peace Movement quite well. And of course the ending is quite likely to be the outcome of such a conflict.

Clips of Vietnam, the Falklands, Reforger exercises etc, are all spliced into the movie.

So please have a look at it and tell me what you think.

I'll be posting up a scenario next...

Have fun


01 June 2010

Bundeswehr Troops

I've now completed all my West German Troops - I don't have a ton, just enough for some decent sized skirmish games. They are a mix of Elhiem troops and Revell plastics. Size wise I think they mix together well.

I had to be careful in selecting from the Revell range as they are very modern and generally don’t fit into the 1980’s at all. So basically I just took Milan teams and snipers as neither of these have the new G36 Assault Rifle – so I thought I could get away with it – at least when you look at them from a wargaming distance!

My only beef with the Elhiem figures is that they have a bit of a weak point at the ankles. I don’t think in years of painting and gaming that I’ve ever broken an individual figure (I have dropped models and smashed them to pieces – but hey, that’s different). I managed to break 2 of these guys – and due to the skinny ankles, was not successful in pinning them back together. Once I get around to doing a Marder or M113 with an open hatch I should be able to use both these figures there so nothing to complain about really.

Oh yeah – a couple (mainly shooting ones) had faces that were not so good as well. This confused me a little because the vast majority have excellent faces.

Hopefully, though, at some point I will be able to supplement these with some Liberation West Germans (one they have been remastered) and more from Elhiem. I know some more chaps with G3’s and MP5s are currently being done.

Here's a couple of my standard wikipedia links to things of interest on this topic

The Bundeswehr

G3 Assault Rifle

MG3 Machine Gun

Uzi Sub-machine Gun

Light Pzf 44 2A1

My aim was to have them look like this:


Image from Osprey Elite 16 "NATO Armies 1949-87.

I’ve also found a couple of other reference photos:




These chaps (the Elhiem figures) were very easy to paint, once I had worked out the correct (in my twisted view) colour for the West German uniform. Once that was done, the rest was a piece of cake. These were painted in my traditional manner.

1. Black undercoat – Citadel Spray

Base Colours
2. Base Uniform Colour (slapped on) – about 60% Vallejo German Field Gray 40% Vallejo Green Grey
3. Helmet, Breadbag and some other bag at the rear of the figures – Vallejo Khaki
4. Pouches and Webbing – Vallejo Medium Cam. Brown
5. Water Bottle, Stock and other parts on Gun – Vallejo Reflective Green
6. Metallic parts on Guns – Vallejo German Grey
7. Wooden Uzi butts – Vallejo Beige Brown
8. Flesh – Vallejo Flat Flesh

Black magic Wash over the whole figure apart from the flesh.
Citadel Orgyn Flesh Wash over the flesh

Highlight the whole model using all original colours (I drybrushed the helmet and the pants)

9. Helmet Cam colours – Vallejo English Uniform & Reflective Green

Here are some pictures of the completed Elhiem figures:

West German NCO's with Uzi SMGs


Bundeswehr troops with MG3

Bundeswehr troops with Pzf 44



Bundeswehr troops with G3's.

Here are some pictures of the completed Revell plastic figures:

Sniper Teams



Milan Teams

Again - as per usual - here are some Bundeswehr Youtube clips:

Well like I said – that’s all my current stock of West German figures painted. Next step is to complete the painting of a couple of Marders, Leopard 1A5s and Leopard 2A4s.

Then I want to try out a little battle between my West Germans and my Russians.

So have fun