Battle of Britain rules added

Mike Crane provides his original set of air combat rules for the Battle of Britain, including 3D paper airplane models.

It’s on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Air gaming, Periods - World War II | 1 Comment

More tat? More terrain!

By Jonathan Aird

Once more I have found that I have had to face up to that greatest of perils that a wargamer may face – the mild scorn of one’s loved ones. The main reason for a recent holiday on Dartmoor was to walk amongst the Tors and experience again the wild openness of the high moors. However, I also came across some interesting tourist tat in the gift shops in the villages. As regular readers may recall, in a previous article on a similar subject I mentioned that it had been quite a while since I’d seen knick-knacks which had usefulness in the realm of fantasy wargaming.Well, deep in the moor I found a minor treasure trove — a fine collection of prepainted skulls. I passed on the pixies that were guarding them though!

There was quite a range – maybe a dozen different types – however, I only picked up examples of two different models as shown in the pictures. A giant skull, surrounded by smaller skulls and another skull with a small dragon perched upon it. The skulls are about 30mm tall – which in 25mm would make it the remains of a 50-foot giant — and the Dragon the merest newborn hatchling! However – in another scale all this changes. Think of the mighty titan that would have left such a skull behind in 6mm! And in such a case the Dragon would now be an impressive 80 feet long from snout to end of tail. It’s this latter use that most appeals for the skulls with lesser skulls about them – think of movies like Conan and Red Sonja where the landscape was littered with such gigantic remains. I’m going to make at least one into the pinnacle of a small hill to use with my 6mm Hordes of the Things armies.  Should look spectacular.  The Dragon skull I think I will place on a stony base and use as a marker or an encounter for 25mm dungeon questing adventurers to stumble into.

At £1.75 per item it’s a reasonable way to acquire some nice looking additional terrain at very little effort.

Posted in Periods - Fantasy | Leave a comment

‘Kokoda Trail’ rules added

Kevin White authored this set of skirmish rules for World War II jungle combat that originally appeared in Lone Warrior.

The rules are on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Periods - World War II | 1 Comment

What’s new — A new page on the blog

Today marks the debut of a new page on the blog, titled “Complete Rule Sets.”

The page will be a permanent place for rule sets that have been provided over the years by contributors to this blog and to Lone Warrior magazine. We have gathered the rules on the new page from both sources and intend to add others in the future. Please take a look here.

Posted in Lone Warrior blog, What's new | 2 Comments

Warships and accessories

By Rob Morgan

In the local model shop, I found two packs of 1/700th Hasegawa ‘Water-Line’ series accessories. I’ve often mentioned the Hasegawa ‘Tugger’ set of small vessels suitable for conversion as armed auxiliaries in many periods of modern naval warfare. One or two will even suit the ACW. These two packs were sold at a relatively cheap price, under five pounds, and so I bought one of each. They are worth some closer examination.

First the ‘Heavy Vessel Ordnance Set’ No. 517.

This is described as intended for ‘Leviathan vessels,’ and contained two sprues of small — sometimes very small — and fragile odds and ends, intended to upgrade and super detail Japanese heavy units in the Pacific. There are 30 different items of equipment, ranging from three versions of the Type 89 Twin 12.7cm AA gun, to seaplanes, an ‘Alf’,’Dave’,’Jake’ and a ‘Pete.’ There are a also couple of searchlights and some signalling lamps, anchors and boat davits. Small detailing material for kits.

The sprues are well made, absolutely no flash as you’d expect from this manufacturer, and pack 517 also contains 18 ship’s boats, from 12m motor boats to small cutters. The former are specifically Japanese, and require some small trimming for use elsewhere, I thought of Manchukuo river patrol boats to escort junks, or the Yangtse possibly.

The cutters are almost universal, with or without davits. There’s a mass of 30 or so smaller triple and twin AA mg’s, which can be used anywhere of course, and a few other odd items which can be cannibalised to use on other nation’s warships in 1/700th, in 1/600th with little problem, and more than a few of these small accessories have use aboard 1/300th models. The 12.7cm with the flat rounded anti-smoke shield I found use for in Science Fiction models, along with the Type 94 Fire control system tower. The 12.7cm (you may not believe it) makes for a good spaceship gun turret!  The other larger guns in more typical shields could make shore batteries, or be added to Chinese Civil War craft.

It’s a very useful pack.

So is ‘Light Vessel Ordnance Set’ No.518.

At first sight, I thought this was similar, but the differences are many. Four seaplanes, a ‘Glen’, ‘Rufe’, ‘Rex’, and a ‘Special Attack Seiran’. The seaplanes are fiddly to construct but look good when completed. Each pack contains decals for the planes, by the way. Again, 30 items are provided, no fewer than 14 triple and quadruple torpedo tubes, and the same number of 12.7cm guns in single- and twin-covered mounts. Along with a large number of AA weapons and anchors, and searchlights, all great for adding detail.

The 10 ship’s boats and cutters are smaller, 7m versions than in the other pack, and look better mounted on say Peter Pig 1/600th ACW vessels or Tumbling Dice WWII craft. I was very impressed with the 14 single guns, intended for IJN submarines, but tremendously useful for any warship of the modern or Ironclad period as ant-torpedo boat or light AA weapons. Two other deck pieces are worth mentioning, four depth charge launchers, small but neat, and four minesweeping paravanes, which can easily be used elsewhere, on the Tumbling Dice WWII Drifter for example or the Heroics & Ros small German escort trawlers.

The reasoning behind the exact composition of these packs is lost on me, though perhaps some IJN buff can explain where 10 of the Type 90 Triple Torpedo Tube mounts could be used! Again, I put my SF hat on, and thought of a new wonder weapon — the unmanned floating torpedo battery for harbour defence. However, there are many components with significant value, enough to make these packs a must for any naval modeller.

I’ll end with a query please.  I wondered if anyone can answer a question. Hasegawa have side-lined two destroyer kits, IJNS Momi and IJNS Wakatake. These I know were old destroyers soon downgraded to escort craft, but each of the kits includes a small armed vessel, less than a quarter of the size of the destroyer. Can anyone tell me, please, what that little ship is? It’s role? It’s numbers and fate?

One further point crosses my mind. Pack 518 contains a ‘special attack’ floatplane, which in my mind spells ‘Kamikaze’, but this is a floatplane, hardly the fast moving live bomb you’d expect! Anyone know more?

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | 1 Comment

A sample article for August

Here’s a sample article for this month. It’s titled “Notes From a Naval Wargamer” and was written by Jeffrey G. Chorney. The article first appeared in Lone Warrior issue No. 197.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - Nineteenth century | Leave a comment

Steam Punk and the USS Galena

By Rob Morgan

The USS Galena gunboat design was not one of the great successes of the Federal Navy, I’ll admit. Attractive, of course, with the awesome tumble home and quite powerfully armed as, essentially, a broadside ironclad. Never destined to be a class or to seriously influence warship design, but aesthetically the bark-rigged warship looked good. That’s my starting point.

This is the 1/1200th metal model of the Galena. Purchased at a show a few years ago (I can’t recall if they were Navwar or Skytrex). Anyway, there were four and I bought the lot. One, of course, sails with my Federal fleets, and for some reason, I thought I’d paint the others green. I do things like that. Of course, my slight obsession with science fiction helps, and apart from the fact that superglued over the original funnel is a 10mm section of plastic biro refill, the models are totally unchanged. I’d planned to drill for a mast on the foredeck, and a shorter mast aft, but changed my mind, nor did I add ship’s boats.

Basic models. You can see what I did, sprayed them a ripe green colour all over (got that from Games Workshop, I think) and detailed with gloss black and matte brown, with silver touches. I did that one Winter’s evening, and never returned to them. Until of late, that is.

I had a visitor. who being a youngish enthusiast of the Steam Punk world, asked to see some of my SF models. These were among the ships I put out. I was told they were obviously Steam Punk warships, not a term I’m over-familiar with. We ended playing a game with them and a couple of other Ironclad oddities, using standard American Civil War one-page rules. Worked nicely, and later on I found myself thinking I could have added to the ships some small deck guns fore and aft, and masts, naturally, and maybe a spar torpedo over the bow.

Anyway, I had an e-mail, and another. Four in all, asking about my Steam Punk warships and how to make them! Well, I suppose that’s exactly what all of the Dystophian Wars range is, but the 1/1200ths are smaller, quicker and a lot cheaper! I looked up Steam Punk and apparently this is a sub-genre of science fiction that incorporates the technology and aesthetic features of 19th century steam-powered machinery.

When the Federal Navy’s designers planned USS Galena, that’s what they had in mind, a powerful and aesthetic craft. The tumble home and the slender lines give it away. In fact, aren’t a great deal of the Federal and Confederate fleets found in this category — sorry, sub-genre?

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - American Civil War, Periods - Science fiction | Leave a comment

Review of ‘The Cthulu Wars’ (Osprey)

Jonathan Aird finds this Osprey amusing and possibly useful for gaming. Lots of ideas.

It’s on the Ospreys at a Glance page.

Posted in Periods - Fantasy | Leave a comment

Just don’t look at the paint job!

By Rob Morgan

These are veteran figures, big 25mm Wargames Foundry from the 1990s, I believe, and were produced in the Barons War range covering the 13th century, possibly from old Citadel moulds. I bought a pile of them, over a hundred, in a car boot sale. Good value too, but the painting, well, oh dear! Anyway, these are two of the odder figures, the poses and types that many manufacturers include in their lists but probably don’t sell that many of. Wounded and injured individuals don’t pull their weight financially in the composition of a tabletop army, do they? That’s one of the reasons why many of my existing casualties are from old Airfix or Atlantic plastic sets, all being posthumously cheap!

So, I’ve got these two. They’ve both strayed too close to the enemies’ arbalests, and suffered to their cost. The prone foot soldier’s usable as he is, maybe a bit too glossy, but he’ll find a place next to a bombard or at a breach of a wall. The knight, however, is not so easy to deploy, unless in a diorama. I’ve temporarily based him on an old game counter, and I laid a 30mm pavis below the horse’s hooves. He’s gone very close to the crossbows, obviously. It happened to Richard the Lionheart, but it doesn’t make it any easier to use the figure — man and horse are one piece, by the way.

Is it worth a repaint job? The charging knights, those with mace and sword and lance are all good, but this one? I suspect he’s a commander as he hasn’t even drawn his sword, but what, in a wargame, shall I do with him?

Posted in Periods - Medieval | 1 Comment

Review of ‘The Pikeman’s Lament’ rules

Paul Le Long reviews the Osprey rules for Pike and Shot small battle/skirmish gaming.

It’s on the Reviews page.

Posted in Periods - Pike and Shot | Leave a comment