Thursday 28 May 2015

Very British Civil War

Being sat at home babysitting the builders and two dogs while they fit double glazing isn't my idea of fun. However, in between cleaning up and stuff I have managed plenty of hobby time. I am keen on flexibility and being able to use things in different genres and games. I have been working on a larger Operation Sealion project for a while and the miners bought and painted in two different groups were bought for that.
West Cumberland Miners Company
 But having now dipped my toe into IHMN I think some of these may show up some time, we have also been planning some VBCW and this platoon will probably support the West ommunists.

 The sailors below picked up cheap at a show ages ago will find themselves no doubt in some bodies company for IHMN. They feel and look Russian (and in fact may be) so I can feel the itch of another company idea.

Russian Sailors ?

The Battle for Novo Archangel'sk : August 1941

The fourth battle in our Uman Kessel Campaign. By now the Russians are well and truly surrounded in the pocket. With a view to forcing a way through to the Dnepr River the 4th Mechanised Corps fought to break though the 9th Panzer Division. Fuel and armour were now running low so despite fierce fighting and with only limited support the ultimate end was probably not in doubt.

For our battle the  4th Mechanised Corps under Gen AA Vlasov consisting of remnants of the 81st Mechanised Division and the final tanks of the 8th and 32nd Tank Divisions are up against Alfred Ritter von Hubicki commanding the 11th Panzer Granadiers, 102nd Panzer Artillery Regiment, the 50th Panzerjager Battalion and the 33rd Panzer Regiment.

Overview of the Battlefield
As a breakthrough mission the Russians have a much larger force but only 12 turns to break through the German lines to safety. As always a lot happens in the battle so I will let the pictures tell most of the story.

Germans dug in in the town itself. 33rd Panzers on the right flank

Panzer Grenadiers in the Town supported by Artillery and
Panzerjager Battalion
The Russians in a desperate position in the kessel chose to throw all their armour into a full on left flank attack attempting to swing round the town to safety.

Russian Motorized Division enter on the left flank

Remnants of the 8th and 32nd Tank divisions
Historically the Russian were down to their last few tanks by this stage but to make it a more fun battle we allow the Russians to pull together quite a few tanks, perhaps they were able to salvage a few from within the pocket. Importantly they have managed to find the last 2 KV1's.

Germans reorganise their left flank
With the thrust of the Russian advance on the far right, the German had to quickly reorganise, sending the Panzerjagers through the town hopefully to buy some time whilst the 33rd Panzers swing round capturing the Russian exposed flank.

Dug in Artillery claims the first Russian tanks

Panzers on the flank
By now the Germans have pushed out the 33rd Panzers and are starting to have an impact. The Russians are starting to turn to protect their flank whilst pushing forward direct for the town.

Hot work as the Germans bring increasing firepower into the battle

Germans starting to take casualties and they are outnumbered !

Russians deploy their last few T34's and use them to bolster their right flank

At this stage the whole battle started to drift to the North, the Russian Motorized infantry in trucks, they didn't have a enough for all of them, have reached the small woods in the distance. Whilst the battle continues in the centre, the Russian armour is tied down but as they bring greater numbers into the combat the German Panzers begin to become isolated and are picked off one at a time.

Russians in the woods
The German commander desperately tries to bring more troops across to the right flank but no armour can be spared at this stage.

Critical stage of the battle, Russian T34's push the 33rd Panzer back !
Russian T34's are concentrating fire on the panzers and pushing them back
At this point the Russian Motorised infantry had made it into the woods and were able to unlimber their remaining artillery, they made a heroic dash forward taking out some of the Panzerjagers and pushing back the Panzer Grenadiers in hand to hand fighting. With the Panzers being pushed back and a definite breakthrough on the right we decided to call it a day here, a minor Russian Victory.
End game......
Historically the battle took several days of hard fighting and I guess our battle might represent the Russian high point, eventually though the Germans were able to bring more reserves into play and the Russian were running out of fuel, armour and hope.....

ED: another good battle and a deserved win to the Russians. Luckily they have run out of KV1's now all that remains now is to close the pocket our final battle for the bridge at Pervomaysk.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Cumberland and Westmorland Constabulary : IHMN

More time off work so I have finished off a few more figures (I am not quite as prolific as it looks as most were already painted for other projects) but I have touched up a couple and completed the four characters with rifles. One to play as a Chief Inspector and one a Sergeant. The other characters in the Constabulary Company are of course the Consulting Detective, the Good Dr Watson, the retired Chief Constable.

.........and one other hiding at the back. Known by the others as Constable 101 Ferguson or FASC for short the 'Ferguson Automated Steam Constable' made previously only for the army this is the first of his kind used on the streets of Carlisle. I have some special rules in mind including him blowing up if  shot.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Victorian Town !

The largest thing I picked up at salute was the Gas Lamp Alley victorian town hall by Sarissa. It wasn't what I had intended to buy but it was more impressive than the building I was looking at. Anyway we have had builders In today so a day off work has seen this project completed...well almost.
Flat packed mainly MDF but some details in thin card.
A little bit of prep work sticking the card details onto the walls. Best dome before painting.

Painting the card inserts for the windows and doors

the Second floor being glued together
I found painting the walls before pushing them out fairly easy and the best way to get a fairly even colour for the walls.
The floors stuck together
Everything went together fairly easily, but you need to be careful with the pieces to get the wall detail to match. I have some shiny kids card which i have used for stained glass on the big window.

In one piece awaiting the completed roof
I made some small amendments on how the floors fit together as the official tabs are far to tight and I want to be able to use the floors. I have also changed the roof fittings. and then applied the same roof tiles that my other buildings have to make sure it blends in when i set up a town scene.

Finished front
Overall happy with the building which I think can give several different options. I have painted more details on the 'front' so it looks slightly more grand. May build an extension roof to the tower to give another option, also thinking about putting some simple walls inside.
Finished back

Monday 25 May 2015

The Earl of Lonsdale and the secret papers : IHMN

Having made off with the Earl's new arc weapon blueprints Justice Blackborough had his engineers working through the night to construct the new weapon. He knew it would give him the edge when carrying out illegal activities or if it didn't work he could sell it for a good profit anyway. Whilst contemplating his future profits, one of his Ruffian henchmen entered his private chambers all in a fluster. He had been on a mission but had been forced to hide the secret papers he had been carrying. In a few minutes 'the Mask' set out with the Botchergate Ruffians carrying with them the new untested Arc Weapon.

The Mask and the Botchergate Ruffians start their search
The Ruffians spread out on the edge of town Comrade
Smirnov takes up a position looking down the main road.
From the other end of Town the Earl and the Fops start to look
 for the crates as well but they aren't all really concentrating !
The Ruffians move across the allotments
Both groups spread out and start searching, but with the dependable Comrade Smirnov already locked and loaded it is the fops who take the first casualty. Blood in the streets of Carlisle but there will be more before the day is out.
One of the fops climbs up the gas tower but forgets to
take his glasses with him
Ed: As per the scenario in the rule book the two companies are looking for 3 objectives but there are also 3 dummy objectives hidden under crates as well. The small pink pieces of paper are the secret plans. We felt it appropriate to spend a full turn at each location before the plans could be found.
The Earl and Obediah search crates around the
gas tower. Lady Violet makes a run for it but Smirnov
has her in his sights

Much of the action was taking place around the allotments and the gas tower, but in the distance Lady Violet had already located some of the plans. She immediately made a dash for home but found it hard to run in her expensive finery. (although close up she has a special rule making it -1 to hit her due to her breathtaking/beguiling beauty this doesn't work at long range) and sadly Comrade Smirnov is no lover of the British aristocracy. CRACK went his sniper rifle .......and she fell.(the normal standards of British decency clearly not applying i have chosen to blank out the undignified scene above) Thankfully although she dropped the plans I believe she made it home, cross that the lovely green dress was torn and covered in blood !

Mrs Bowman on the other side of the Road brings a Ruffian
 to the ground with her shotgun.
Arnold with the Arc weapon walks slowly forward, anxious
that it hasn't been properly tested yet !
With all this gun fire on the outskirts of Carlisle it was bound to draw the attention of the Authorities and suddenly from the now where the Peelers arrived armed with new all British electric-truncheons. (these would be an independent company charging and arresting the nearest visible figures)

Having come on in the Allotments the Peelers make straight for
Charlie Hickmen who is squaring up to one of the Fops
Back on the main street 'The Mask' has made his way to where Lady Violet had been shot where he has picked up the plans. The Earl by now realizes he is in trouble and is keen not to be caught by the Carlisle Police as this would require a lot of explaining.

Back on the main street Arnold is still winding up the Arc gun
Things were going from bad to worse for the Earl and his Fops. Geoffrey Cuthbert-Smythe having climbed up the gas tower with his rifle realizes that he didn't bring his shooting glasses. Seeing a scuffle in the allotments he assumes it is the Ruffians making off with the plans and takes a shot. Unfortunately for Geoffrey he has shot his fellow Fop, well at least he has saved him from the Peelers.
A badly aimed shot takes out his hunting companion
Justice Blackborough hearing the police whistles picks up the plans and make a run for the safety, the Earl also decides it is time to make a run, But what is this .........Arnold has finally charged the Arc weapon, closing his eyes and fearful for his own safety he discharges a powerful electric arc across the road, hitting the lamppost but then striking the Earl in the back ! luckily the Earl has an excellent pluck roll........... (ED. at this point it should be mentioned that the Fops seemed to roll nothing but 1's for their pluck rolls and they somehow managed again for the Earl) when Obediah finally picked him up, the Earl although still alive, his hair standing on end and smelling faintly of burning , was shaking and mumbling incoherently about lighting and maps ?

Both the Earl and the Mask attempt to get away.
The final scene in the days' activities took place in the allotments, Charlie still stunned from seeming the man he was about to smash in the face shot in front of him had no time to react and four of the peelers were straight on him, he had no chance and after a slightly excessive beating he was led away in cuffs. Comrade Smirnov made sure they paid a heavy price.......

Charlie Hickman is captured by the Peelers but the rest
of the gang run for it covered by Smirnov.
Postscript : A very enjoyable encounter...although the Earl rolled really badly through out surely the law of averages means you can't always roll a 1. Now getting into the swing with the rules, the companies above are 220 points, but i have a few more figures to add in, we are planning lots more adventures. You will note that the secret papers are in fact the parts of a map ! But before then the next scenario has written itself as the Botchergate Ruffians will have to rescue to make the prison. Honestly.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Victorian Flame or Arc weapon ?

Having captured the secret plans last weekend Justice Blackborough has had his engineers hard at work building the new weapon. Not sure at this stage if it is a flame weapon or some form of Arc weapon generator? Only time will tell.

Funny how when you take a photo you see more mistakes so I have touched up a few bits !

Wednesday 20 May 2015

The Battle for the Iron Mountains : WHFB

Our third and final battle between Chaos and Orcs played out at the weekend. Lord Khrogal had been killed in the previous battle but in his dying throws he had made a pact with the Chaos gods who had allowed him to return one more time into the realm of men as a Daemon Prince. If he could find no favour now he would forfeit his life and spend eternity in pain for the pleasure of the god of Khorne. He once more brought his force onto the field of battle. The only change being the addition of two nurgle spawn who were the mutilated and twisted forms of the previously defeated Chaos Hero and Sorcerer.

After two straight defeats I was hoping my Chaos band would pull out all the stops. We played a straight up battle. The pictures tell most of the story.
Chaos battle line drawn up they win first turn and
charge across the table.

With this kind of army it is all about combat so there was no holding back
I had reduced magic as well to gain some extra warriors.
Things went really well to start with Chaos charging across the table, taking out within two turns large orc units on both flanks. A good start........
Giant charges rather than being charged

All hell has broken out across the table. Chaos giant has knocked out
a flying goblin. The daemon prince and shaggoth have charged into the Orc Trolls
You'll note in the pictures that the Orc managed to come to battle without their giant spider was we supplemented in the giant rat creature, we gave it the same stats as the spider but for some reasons it played far better than the spider ever does ! not lending him out again !
Goblins have released 3 whirling fanatics but they cause as much damage on
themselves as Chaos. The fight above proved to be the deciding battle of the
contest although we didn't know it at the time.

Trolls are shrinking in number but somehow managing to hold the daemon
The critical fight in the battle proved to be the Orc mercenary giant who won the fight against the Chaos Ogres and warriors by yelling at them , in the stunned silence that followed both units failed their leadership and ran ! leaving the chaos right flank devastated. Not sure why the Chaos giant never seems to do this.
Giant smashes chariot to pieces but takes some unnecessary wounds in the process
Chaos fought bravely on but numbers were beginning to tell. Eventually Khrogal the daemon went down and the fight in his remaining troops crumbled. The final straw was the Skull Crushers fleeing as well.
The end for Khrogal's ambition in the Iron mountains
Although there wasn't much left on the table it was another clear orc victory ! three in a row and probably a record. Chaos in the campaign just haven't found a solution to being outnumbered, whilst the Chaos units are individually very tough and good in combat they haven't managed to kill enough Orcs quickly enough to make a difference. They have shown they can kill any individual unit pretty much but they have then found themselves up against the giant and the spider. Well played the orcs.....