Monday 18 February 2013


The focus of my 'spare' time over the last few weeks has been on todays presentation to upwards of 150 managers at the Smarter Aberdeen: Smarter Workforce conference held at the Beach Ballroom. I'm no Steve Jobs when it comes to presentations, and I certainly don't do turtlenecks.

The presentation went down well. Lot's of positive feedback and now I'm home. Shattered. But strangely looking forward to doing it all over again next week. It's going to be a cakewalk next time round.

Now, back to the important things in life. Wargaming!


Wednesday 13 February 2013

Fighting Patrol

1979... Borcestershire

6 Section  receive a tip of from a friendly farmer that some Borset Trots are on 'maneouvres' near the blasted hamlet of Crooked Crowe. Corporal Stan orders Lance Jack Dave to take the gun group to the top of the ridge and create a base of fire covering the hamlet and the road leading into it.

Stan leads his rifle group towards the hamlet itself.
Hoofing it, he hopes to get their before the Trots.

 L/cpl Dave and the GPMG group get into some decent cover.

The Trots are being led by 'Kensington Phil'
an ex squaddie who is taking them through their paces.

They're looking nice and warry.

Dave spots an opportunity and opens up.

 'Kensington Phil' goes down with a bullet to his knee. 
Terry is killed outright the rest are in shock at the suddeness of the onslaught.
Stan and Del rush the survivors. One Trot resists. He's slotted. Another surrenders.

One unidentified tail-end Charlie takes off, with Stan in pursuit.
Unfortunately, Stan's 40 a day habit catches up with him 
and he's left wheezing as the youngster legs it into the distance.

6 Section and their IO are delighted. An emergent Trot cell taken out. Two more martyrs for the cause and a 'warm' to interrogate. 'Kensington Phil' is handed over to Special Branch. And one to get away to spread the message that 5 Para own this turf.

The game was short and sweet. Maff wanted to slot some Trots, so I obliged. Technical difficulties with his laptop ate up 45 minutes of gaming time, so I condensed the planned platoon sized action into something achievable in remaining time. We actually 'muggergamed' it - talking through the action, moving the figure without the aid of a ruler and rolling dice where appropriate.

Figures: RH Miniatures
Terrain: CJ's World and WarTerrain


Tuesday 12 February 2013

Call of Duty: The Tiger of Zlatava

2005... Breakaway Russian Republic of Belomorkanal. MVD troops have identified the hideaway of Michkael Zauszage, the infamous Tiger of Zlatava.

 Two of the Tiger's henchmen.

 Clearing the village. A slow and painful task moving house by house.

MVD take casualties from an RPG.
Another fire team breaks left using cover of the trees.

 Must keep an eye on these heroes!
They've outflanked the village and gunned down several henchmen

Run to ground (window, top right), the Tiger is caged!
He rolls high and takes his own life in a futile gesture of defiance

Another cracking game. Really enjoyed this one. I used a classic solo wargaming technique of generating additional henchmen when the MVD moved into a possible arc of fire for the first time.

Roll a single die looking for a result equal to or below the number rolled. Eg 1 if guy pops his head round a corner and a 1 is required (from each possible enemy location). 2 guys = 1,2 etc. Therefore four guys rushing across a street are more likely to draw fire. By drawing fire you created an enemy in that location.  Snipers can roll against their Bottle/Elan to hold their fire for a high value target. Simple, effective.

Entering unoccupied buildings had a further refinement. Low roll = safe. High roll = Booby Trap/face to face encounter. Any building with a roof or full upstairs was treated as another building and could trigger another encounter.

Figures: RH Miniatures
Terrain: CJ's World


Monday 11 February 2013

Call of Duty: Return to Sender

...... Russia: 2008, somewhere in ultra-nationalist territory....... the lads from Benson & Hedges Two Zero find themselves on the run from the bad guys. Their pursuers have lost the scent. A shattered village provides cover for the night. All is quiet.....when a BTR patrol noses out of the forest and edges down the high street.

Baz: It doesn't look like they're expecting us <squelch>
Gaz: Your call <squelch>
Baz: Leave it.....Leave it....[rolled high]..... Let 'em 'ave it! [another roll high]
Gaz: Shit! Another sodding BTR! (noise hidden by forest)
Daz fires a LAW [rolls low] right up the leading BTR's exhaust. WHAAAM!

The surviving bad guys leap or are thrown from the BTR. Ginge rakes them with his SAW. The second BTR retaliates knocking the merry-hell out of Ginge. The riders jump clear and take cover. The remnants of the lead BTR's riders melt into cover.


Gaz and Ginge are in the thick of it. Taking the worst of the bad guys fire. Surviving bad guys go firm at the base of the village and start pushing forward. Ginge is in no state to be moved and covers Gaz as he makes a dash to join Daz.

The bad guys rush the yellow house just as Baz and Daz decide enough's enough and lower themselves to the street below. Under fire the remainder of Benson & Hedges Two Zero slip away into the dark.

A simple scenario. A quick and bloody but fun game on my new village terrain tiles from Chris at CJs World Wargaming Terrain. The village has real character and is a delight to play in. I'm reminded of the years of toy soldier and then wargaming fun I had as a kid playing on the Bellona vacu-form ruined 'city'. No, stop me before I get all dewy-eyed.

Tomorrow night, we're in the Caucacus as Russian forces bring the Tiger of Zlatava to ground.



Sunday 10 February 2013

I Remember Vilinius....

The last month has been mad but last week became insane. My new HR Information Systems portal was launched to 800 managers, pushed out together with an online Performance Review and Development toolkit.

If that wasn't enough, I've had to write a script for a conference, develop and prepare a 25 minute presentation to be held at the Beach Ballroom and delivered to 500 managers and key stakeholders, do presentations to senior executives and on my own behalf, apply for two job opportunities.

On a Winter of '79 front things have come to a temporary standstill as I put some key figures out to be painted and am just waiting for them to return before continuing the airborne assault into the Welsh valleys.

 SAS lurk in the shadows as the BTR patrol passes by......

Nevertheless, gaming must prevail and the grittiness of the recent weather has made me look to some Balkanesque Ghost Recon gaming. In part inspired by a new purchase, a destroyed village set in 20mm from eBay seller designchris, who's products can be viewed at CJs World Wargaming Terrain.

I was taken with the terrain immediately I first saw the village for sale on eBay. But I admit, I was a little apprehensive when I committed to buy. Been bitten before. However, the village arrived in only 48 hours, undamaged and impressively packaged. As soon as I got it out of the box and on the table, I just had to play a quick game to blood it.

I am even more delighted that it's miles than in the photos. Chris manages a good tonal quality that makes it feel right. I've consequently put a bid in on something else and have a couple of other items lined up once we get closer to pay day. Another game using these new village terrain tiles is planned for today and I have two more games in mind this week now that work is under control and Im fully prepped for taking the stage next week. 

Chris's village set has also inspired me to pick up a couple of packs of Under Fire Miniatures' new Chechen fighters. And I finally have an excuse to get a few Warmodelling/AB Figures Normandy Brits and Jerries.  Plus, don't think you won't see this used as a Winter of '79 Welsh or Dales village either in coming weeks either.

Photos and batreps of all the games to follow over the next few nights.


Friday 8 February 2013

Hello, Sitrep. Hello?

Well, time for a sitrep and I'm using one of Mark's classic W79 pics....

Given the weather in January it seems appropriate. It's been a funny few months - I think that Mark and I had hit a wargamming stride last year but then with september came a whole load of things to deal with on all fronts and gaming took a direct hit. Still, the groundhog of wargaming seems to be poking his nose out and blinking in the sunlight. Part of this has been a few diversions - 15mm sci fi, 28mm dark ages, 28mm imagi-nations and 15mm portable wargaming. I dont propose to flog on too much with them here as I think you gents are mostly fans of kensington sten guns but here goes:

Bishop Leonard of Spinalonga loses the Papal taxes to Tranlavonian bandits - for which he is exiled to the Bishopric of Hibernia. Very short game played with Heroes of the Dark Ages by Dave Millward. Yes, its back.
A Freidonian supply column struggles with snow and hostile Sandusky indians somewhere in Neu Prussia sometime in the 1750's. Not a good day for the Freidonians though the muleskinner got away. Closely monitored by the local feline population. Rules - err sort of from MOHAWK, the ace boardgame of the FIW.

15mm early war Wehrmacht run amok on ASL maps (Kampfgruppe Peiper as you asked). Rules - from Portable Wargaming website - thanks Bob! Warning - does not work with anything bigger than a Pz38(t).
Takes a deep breath....15mm Wehrmacht envelop an NKVD detachment sometime summer 1941, map....Axis & Allies, rules - Bob Cordery strikes again. This did seem to work and YES a Tiger will fit on those hexes!

It all goes to ratshirt for a civ in Meta City One. What happens next? You be the Judge, find out at The Zone for sci fi thrill in 15mm.........

So, with that and Mr H hopefully knocking them out with his presentation next week, who knows perhaps normality may assert itself.