Saturday 30 June 2012

El Tiburon sails again!

A few years back when my Rif War project was in overdrive, I decided to give the Spanish a small navy - a armed gunboat, some landing craft and light boats. Being a lazy modeller I decided to just modify and re-crew the Britannia Minaitures - "WW2 Germans Armed Trawler".

El Tiburon - The Shark,  is crewed with various Kelly`s Heroes - Soviet Naval Marines or Kreigsmarine, with minor conversions (the AA Hotchkiss and tripod mounted Hotchkiss), the 3" gun was made up of various bits.

Now this vessel has featured in a number of our Rif War games including the big SOTCW game at Gauntlet in 2010

I now find myself in need of a ship for a one-off WW2 game - The landings at Safi in Algeria, November 8th 1942.
I came upon the idea of just re-crewing El Tiburon, so her she is in here new guise - USS Bernadou

The 40mm Bofors (in the rear bandstand) came straight off my GMC 6x6 SP Bofors (borrowed for the one scenario), the main gun is a Raventhorpe pack 105mm as are the two .50cal water-cooled AAMGs. Various crew just for the scenario, does the job.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Figures for Mexican Revolution era games in 20mm

Figures for Mexican Revolution era games

Someone over on TMP asked me what figures I was using in our game so I thought I`d do that as a post on here for everyone.

The bulk of my Banditos are Raventhorpe and Jacklex with some figures from Irregular Miniatures and some odd conversions.
Raventhorpe mounted Banditos
Scratch built 37mm Hotchkiss Pom-Pom auto cannon with crew (various plastics with a couple of head-swops)
Raventhorpe bandits on foot

Female Villaistas converted from SCW and WW2 resistance fighters
Jacklex `75 with crew and limber

More Jacklex including a Colt machine gun

For the Federal Forces, once again Raventhorpe come to the rescue with uniformed Federales, both foot and mounted and including a Hotchkiss machine gun. Raventhorpe also do an excellent range of separate heads and these can be used to expand your forces by pinching figures from their other ranges – British Northwest Frontier, WW1, French Foreign Legion, etc. I also added a few odd SCW figures (left over from another project) and the odd conversion.

Raventhorpe Federals
Airfix Horse Artillery limber with a HAT Krupp105
The Krupp 105 with a mixed plastic crew (minor conversions)

Federal cavalry converted from Warrior Miniatures and Irregular Miniatures figures mostly with Raventhorpe or Airfix (Confederate) heads.

Mexican Army Cadets, I wanted to add some colour so decided to build a unit of Army Cadets. After careful consideration of the uniforms, I went for Tumbling Dice early WW1 Germans in field cap.

Some minor conversions including this standard bearer (Flag by The Square)

German military advisors (a must for any Mexican game)

Col. von Bratwurst is an Airfix WW1 plastic, his aid a WW2 SS officer from SHQ, the squad are more Tumbling Dice early WW1 Germans

Pershing`s Yanks. The intervention forces from north of the border. Here Raventhorpe fall down badly having only a single mounted and foot trooper plus a single foot version of each too, not enough variety for even a platoon! For the bulk of my forces I chose Tumbling Dice WW1 Americans in Montana hat. I painted these up – infantry as 6th Infantry Regiment and cavalry as the negro 10th Cavalry. Later I`ve added more infantry from IT Miniatures (now available through Frontline) and yet more infantry and some cavalry from Jacklex. David Reasoner`s excellent Moonlite Modelwerks supplied the Yanks with a 2.95” howitzer (crewed by Tumbling Dice figures); Jacklex supplied a 77mm Erhardt gun with limber and crew and a Colt machine gun team.
Jacklex Colt MG
77mm Erhardt gun with limber and crew
10th cavalry (coloured) by Tumbling Dice
6th Infantry Regiment machine gun platoon
Moonlite 2.95” Vicker-Maxim with Tumbling Dice crew
10th cavalry on foot   

Raventhorpe (email for lists) -
Frontline Wargaming (IT Miniatures) -
Irregular Miniatures -
Tumbling Dice -
Warrior Miniatures -
Moonlite Modelwerks (email for lists) -

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Journal #76

Among my other sins, I am the editor for the SOTCW (Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers) magazine - The Journal. This morning issue #76 arrived here in Swansea - my 24th issue as editor.
In this issue you will find -

Black watch in Somaliland 1940 (interesting early war history and scenarios)
The Battle of Alt Bor (late war Volkstrum Vs Russians)
A fictional modern naval game
A Cold War land scenario
Unit organisations for the Yom Kippur War 1973
An introduction to Focussed Firepower! rules
Battle of Lislow (Eastern Front scenario)
Rules for gaming the Seige of Peking
Helo Ambush (CY6 Jet Age scenario)
Prague Rising 1945 (history and scenarios)
Dog Fighting for Beginners (ideas and thoughts)
Pennon de Velez de la Gomera (Rif War 1920s)
Naval War in the Red Sea 1902-14

Monday 25 June 2012

Battle of Corruna

The second game set during our fictional Mexican Revolution era campaign

Battle of Corruna

Buoyed by his success at San Christobel

Colonel Jesus Razza has decided to push on with his offensive and attack the next major town west along the rail-line towards the state capital Ciudad Victoria. He hopes another stunning victory will demoralize the forces of the military governor – General Pedro Ramirez Diaz and lead to a speedy and total state-wide victory for the revolutionary army.

Corruna is a small rural town with little or no strategic value and no industry. The rail line has a stop there for the local sugar and grain farmers to get their goods to the rich markets in the capital or to the port at San Christobel. Col Razza’s spys tell him that the town is garrisoned by a company from the local Federal regiment and that they have no artillery.

Col Razza’s forces
4 infantry units (12 men each)
2 mounted units (12 men each)
Chicas del Muerta (8 girls with guns)
1 x 37mm Hotchkiss pom-pom + 4 crew & limber
1 x Colt MMG + 3 crew & mules

Unfortunately unknown to Col. Razza (or his spy) a train has arrived from the capital and brought a nasty surprise.

Many months ago with the revolutionaries gaining ground all across Mexico, President Carranza looked abroad for aid. From Germany he was sent a military mission led by Colonel Graf von Bratwurst, to whom he gave a commission in the Mexican Army (Captain-General) and put him in charge of the Army Cadet School at Ciudad Victoria.

The Federales also have spies, General Diaz has heard about Col Razza’s planned attack on Corruna, to prevent it, he has ordered von Bratwurst to take his best trained cadets by rail and defeat the revolutionaries but halting their advance on the capital.

Von Bratwurst, his cadets and the local Federals have spent several days building barricades and setting defences, all this will come as a nasty surprise to Col. Razza and his bandits!

Corruna defenders
Federal company – 3 x 10 man units (all rifle armed)
Col. von Bratwurst`s command
Bratwurst, aid, veteran NCO, 4 veteran soldiers (all German)
1st cadet platoon (officer, standard, 7 men) well trained
2nd cadet platoon (officer + 8 men) well trained
Maxim team (well trained)

Col. Razza`s forces
This is the Revolutionaries board entry, showing the outline of the Federal defences
looking into the town
rail station
Mexican Army cadets (Tumbling Dice early WW1 Germans with conversions)
German military advisors
The initial moves after dispositions had the Federals spread out across the town with reserves and fall-back positions planned.
Col. von Bratwurst at his HQ
The Rebel commander – my eldest Alex (14 next month) decided to concentrate his attack and threw his entire force at the right flank, thus screwing up all my careful defence plans!!!!!
whilst his infantry engaged my defenders, covered by his MMG and 37mm, his cavalry rushed back and fore firing from the saddle, until an opening was spotted in the centre (after I`d tried to rush defenders from right to left), when the cavalry then rushed around and attacked the now weakened centre! The cadets swung into action supported by their own Maxim team and the German advisors, these inflicted serious casualties, and slowed the rebel infantry for a while. Then a lucky shot from the 37mm killed the entire Maxim team and with others federal troops suppressed by the MMG and rifles the left-side defence withdrew. At the same time a wide flanking move around the far left side of the table threatened to envelop the HQ and remaining cadets on that side too! The remaining Federals and cadets in the centre fought hand to hand against the rebel cavalry, slowly being forced back past the station. At this point von Bratwurst ordered a general retreat to save what remained of his cadets and advisors – victory to the rebels, Viva la Revolution!
Infantry & cavalry engaging my left flank
37mm Hotchkiss pom-pom (scratch built) supporting the attack
Cadets moving across the table (right to left) to aid the battered left
Razza`s cavalry now engaging the centre
Cadets withdraw from the left back past the HQ (in the foreground)

Good game, Alex`s tactics were influenced by his playing 40k, he would have suffered badly if the defender had, had artillery.