Monday, 22 February 2016

New Lannies from S&S Models

The Saturday morning post brought a clutch of Land Rovers I ordered from S&S Models two weeks ago. There's a 1/2 ton 'Airportable' Recce, 1/2 ton FFR (Fitted For Radio), 1/2 ton with cnvas tilt and finally a Land Rover Ambulance.

Forgot I'd ordered the 1/2 ton with tilt to be honest. Nevertheless It's the sort of 'kit' I like. Body and 4 wheels, job done! Looking at it in my hand I'm wondering about turning it into an armoured Lannie. Not too hard to do

And the Ambulance? It's joining the resistance!


Saturday, 20 February 2016

MIke Bravo Miniatures: 28mm COIN Toms

HWhen I conceptualised Winter of '79, there really was very little in the way of suitable miniatures available. Maff and I had to scratch together forces from partial Cold War ranges, namely Platoon 20 and Britannia Miniatures. Together with old ex Hotspur Urban Operations figures mostly bought in dribs and drabs from eBay.

If it hadn't been for a plentiful and readily available supply of Airfix/JB Models Cold War British vehicles suitable for our tabletop vision of Saracens on the streets of Thatcherite Britain, the whole idea may have withered on the vine.

If that was hard, getting our hands on decent 28mm figures was even harder. Mongrel Miniatures' excellent BAOR British infantry had effectively disappeared from the market, leaving Gripping Beast's partial MoFo Falklands range as the only source of 70's/early 80's soldiery.

So, needless to say, I'm delighted that the interest in 70's TV inspired games together with a growth in the appreciation of 70s/80s Cold War and urban conflicts has spawned a whole new range of 28mm miniatures not only suitable for Winter of '79, but created with Winter of '79 in mind.

4 British Infantry with '58 webbing, flak vests,
SLR (patrolling poses) PLUS 1 x Firing Pose 

Dan at Mike Bravo Miniatures has sculpted some really great Toms with SLRs in typical urban COIN dress at £10.00 and available for pre-order now along with a pack of masked para-militaries. Suddenly, 28mm W'79 is Red ON, Green ON, GO!

Gripping Beast 28mm MOFO & Mongrel Rebels
testing out with OO scale shops


Is this where I get the No.13 to Luxton?

The dus depot arrived safely from eBayland. My Wessex Rangers took up residence immediately in a show of force with the intention of turning the depot into a temporay base of operations.

Army Land Rovers eh? Wait for one
and then three come along all at once!

Shown in urban context

Just wondering about the viability of security screens, gates, sandbagged sangers etc. More about effort put in vs actual tabletop use? Anyway the bus depot is a welome addition to my 20mm urban collection.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Living on the Frontline - Available Now

Living on the Frontline the first official Winter of '79 publication from Partizan Press hit my carpet this morning. Let me tell you, It's cracking! 

Colour photos throughout, the same quality as those appearing in my Winter of '79 article in this February's issue of Wargames Illustrated. I know that if I didn't already play Winter of '79the photos alone in Living on the Frontline would get me reaching for my wallet to buy a few Cold War/Falklands era figures and a Saracen APC to get some games on the table.

Available now from Partizan Press priced £16.50


Monday, 15 February 2016

Olivers Army: Part 1 'Our Kid'

I admit it, I got carried away and spent all of last week writing new rules and games and all things Winter of '79.

What had started out as a short and sweet 1970's British Army career generator has turned into a sprawling Character Generator in no less than 4 parts! Not quite finished but who cares....

 So, here is Part 1. 'Our Kid'. I'll be updating it with a few more tables but thought you might like to start rolling up a character of two for Winter of '79 and taking them through their school years, ready to join the Army or the revolution.

Click here for the free pdf hosted on Dropbox Oliver's Army: Part 1 'Our Kid' 

 I ordered a clutch of 1/2 ton Land Rovers from Shaun at S&S Models last week and picked up this Bus Station at a very reasonable price from eBay.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Sandbaggers - The Game

Civil Servants for the working day, these men and women carried out their assignments in a world of departmental squabbling, uncomprehending superiors, complicated approval processes and penny pinching. Knowing that if they are caught they will be either imprisoned or put against a wall and shot. HM Government will then deny all knowledge of them. Missions matter only as part of the ongoing Cold War chess game. Welcome to Sandbaggers the game.

Click on the link for pdf version of the free Sandbaggers gamette hosted on Dropbox - Sandbaggers

This is the first of several sets of free rules and mini gamettes we will be sharing on Winter of '79 throughout February.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Winter of '79 Goes Loud in Wargames Illustrated!

This month Winter of '79 comes of age, appearing in February's issue of Wargames Illustrated WI340. In the shops now. My thanks go to Wayne at Wargames Illustrated for his professional encouragement and personal support in making this happen. Keep your eye out for more to come.

Photo: 28mm Winter of '79 action
courtesy of Wargames Illustrated

Over the course of our gaming project Maff and I have had many great games. My favourite remains Mae pont yn rhybyell from Feb 2014. A cluth of Free Taff militia, a reduced platoon of around 16 Welsh Territorials with a small cadre of Royal Marines and a 120mm Wombat from the Welsh Guards, hold a river crossing against the Emergency Government's strike force, '5 Para' supported by armoured recce elements.

It was one of those games which becomes a legend and is laid down in your wargaming psyche.  The engagement should have been a cakewalk for the Paras, but instead they got a bloody nose and the Free Taffs fought a grudging withdrawal. They may have lost the battle but won our respect. The game itself  swung back and forth, and looked like it was all over when the Paras put in a helicopter coup de main, but a plucky 'Charlie G gunner' in the post office scored a direct hit as the Wessex disgorged it's troops.

But of course the action takes place in the streets as well.  Streets created from card buildings by Metcalfe, Scalescenes, Kingsway and others. I like the any street, anywhere, aspect of Winter of '79. Is this a scene outside your mum's or grans house? The Corporal calling up a Saracen to help support the close quarter gun fight.

With a lot of new 28mm figures suitable for Winter of '79 appearing just now we will be upscaling in 2016 to 28mm adding Gripping Beast, Mike Bravo, Copplestone and Crooked Dice amongst others, though 20mm will remain our main focus.

Right, those Airfix Scorpions wont build themselves and the rear brakes on my 1:1 scale Lannie need looking at.....


Friday, 29 January 2016

Doomwatch: Tide of the Dead

Doomwatch was a British TV Sci Fi drama series of the early 1970's which was a sort of grown up Dr Who. Doomwatch was based on the investigations of a quasi-government scientific department who explored science driven threats to mankind. Great TV fun but dated now!

20mm RH Models Urban Terror vs Elhiem Zombies

Above, Dodgy Dan and Spider Steve hold back the Zombie hordes after the great Ormskirk OMO** factory fire. Clouds of toxic soap crystals have turned the inhabitants of this Lancashire town into blood craved savages.

H isnt well, so has taken herself off to bed. Leaving me plenty of time to unwind after a mentally strenuous week back in the office. And what better way, as I'm off the booze, than a tongue in cheek solo Zombie bash.

I originally had an idea for a game based around an army patrol chasing a shooter through the streets and alleyways or should that be Avenues and Alleyways if we're continuing the early 70's theme. I wanted something a bit more lighthearted so....Zombies. Here I used a quick and simple variant of my car chase game using a pack of cards to play a spirited game with Dodgy Dan and Spider Steve attempting to out run a large mob of Zombies and a few strays thrown in their path for good measure.

Keep an eye out for our free Winter of '79 themed rules appearing on the blog over the coming week or two.


* Tide was a soap powder brand in the 70's.
** OMO another soap powder brand. Squaddies will remember that if placed in the window of a married quarters it was an invitation (OMO = "Old Man Out").

Land Rover L6 120mm Wombat Conversion Kit

The Hobby Den have recently released this 'Must Have' resin conversion kit of the L6 Wombat and vehicle modifications for the Airfix LWB Land Rover. See below:

I'm absolutely delighted that this is the most detailed model of the Wombat in this scale and the kit meets a very important gap in the Winter of '79 armoury, providing plenty of punch to rebel and government forces alike. The conversion kit is 7.50 Euros but the Land Rover must be purchased separately.

Hopefully either Rolf at RH Models or Matt at Elhiem will produce crew figures.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Cold War armour from Sgts Mess

20mm Cold War British armour fans get a boost from Sgts Mess ( latest resin models. All the staples  are there, including the full CVR(T) range built on the Scorpion FV101 chassis: 

Chieftain, Abbot, Scimitar, Scorpion, FV432, Spartan, Sultan, Samaritan, Striker, Samson.

Prices are very competitive at £6.25 for the CVR(T) range but get in quick because they are on offer at only £5.63 each. The stalwart 120mm Wombat anti-tank recoilless rifle is also available at £4.75.

Models appear to have crisp, clear lines which are perfect to enable you to add cam nets and stowage to your hearts content.

At these prices thats a Spartan troop on the cards for my Close Recce Squadrons. 


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A very personal Sitrep

The death of one of your parents is an inescapable rites of passage. You can hope for the best when the time comes, you can attempt to prepare yourself but the raw truth is that you simply cannot predict how that moment in your life will unfold.

My mum died suddenly. Unsurprisingly, a hammer blow. That's all I can say about it. I've just now for the first time since that call I took in the office, penned many hundreds of words about the experience, but chose to subsequently delete them. It's a very personal experience many of you have shared or are still yet to experience, but it is unique to each of us. It helped me to write those words and see them written down, and I think it was right I was the only audience for them. 

It's time now to move on and return to the frontline on the streets in the Winter of '79.