Saturday, 16 April 2016

A Library...in the Northern City?!?

Howdy folks,

Just a quick post this weekend...I'm in the middle of making some terrain tiles for a Frostgrave tournie for this years Cangames...we're playing on Friday aft...come check us out if you're in Ottawa.  My main goal for this project was to get back into terrain...build on an extremely small budget...use as much materials as possible that I have laying around the house/workbench.

I am working towards a standard 3' x 3' table, with each tile being 1' x 1'...I currently have 8 as I'm OCD'ing about the last one...I used some MDF I had laying around to act as the base...took a bunch of 1/2" packing Styrofoam from the garage to act as the playing surface...the paints are all Michaels crafting paints that have been sitting in the basement for at least 5-10 years...and they are still in great shape...and they only cost me 99 cents a bottle...Canadian!! That's like 5 cents a bottle American...or something much less than 99 cents...

I'm using the library scenario from the Frostgrave MRB to guide me...or at least inspire my version of a frozen Great Library...

Anyhow, here are some initial shots of the tiles...I should be done them by tomorrow afternoon...only 1-2 more layers to put on them...and then I'll work on the scatter terrain, book shelves, finishing pieces, etc...

Take care.

Every entrance way needs statues to guard it...my wife found 2 of these at a local discount store...they were wooden bookends...ours for $2...
A little black basecoat...then some tan...add some metallic gold and a very dry brush of Vallejo Brass...et voila... 

Mounted, sanded, carved up, with blister pack cardboard 'stonetile'...the tiles were ready for painting...black basecoat...dark grey

Close up shot... 

Next, layer of 'grey'...comparison shot with 'dark grey'

Third layer...'dolphin grey'...5 of 8 complete...in their rough layout as well...

Close up... 

Comparison shot with dolphin grey on bottom, grey on top...

Much more to follow...Cheers.






Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Team Yankee Battle Report - Red Storm Onlsaught

Howdy folks,

A week or two ago we had the last of our Team Yankee escalation campaign days at the club...in total we had 5 players with 2 US and 3 Soviet commanders rising to the challenge.  I've enjoyed this mini-campaign very much and needless to say it has pushed me to focus on painting a themed army. 

Unfortunately I was only able to make 2 of the 3 club days...I did take in some TY gaming at Mike's place and I was able to paint up 10 x T72's, 10 x BMP 2's, 3 x Carnation 2S1's, 2 x Mi-24 Hinds, approx. 35 soviet infantry, 2 x objective markers/command post vehicles, and I've read through about 8 books on Cold War history or fiction (First Clash, Red Storm Rising, Team Yankee, Canada's NATO Brigade, 100 Years of PPCLI History, to name a few)...all in all very happy with my progress...

So, the last campaign day, because we had an odd number of commanders, we went with a large table layout with Reds vs Blues...we scaled the points in at about 250 per side split amongst the commanders.  This left the Sov's with about 85 each and the US with 125-ish each...for the Soviets, this roughly translated into:

Force 1 (Manoeuvre Group):
  • Formation commander - T72
  • Tank Company - 7 x T72
  • Tank Company - 6 x T72
  • Artillery Battery - 6 x 2S1 Carnation w/ 1 x BMP1 observer
  • in support: 4 x M-24 Hinds w/ 4 x RPG teams and 4 x rifle teams
Force 2 (Blocking Force):
  • Formation Commander - T72
  • Tank Company - 9 x T72
  • Tank Company - 6 x T72
  • Motor Rifle Company - 13 x BMP2...I think...full sized infantry company IIRC...
  • Anti-Air - 4 x SA-13 and 4 x ZSU-23-4
  • Fast Air - 4 x SU-25 Frogfoot
Force 3 (Boots Force)...My memory and photo reconstruct is a little fuzzy on this one:
  • Formation Commander - BMP2
  • Motor Rifle Company x 2 with BMP2's...I think 13 x BMPs each
  • Recon - 3 x BMP2
  • Tank Company - 4 x T72
The US forces were equipped with:
  • Tank Company - 10 x M1's
  • Tank Company - 10 x M1's
  • Artillery Battery - 6 x M109's with extra ordinance and FIST track
  • Air Defense - 4 x M113 VADS
  • Anti Tank - 2 x M901 ITV...I think there may have been more...can't recall
  • Mechanized Infantry Platoon
  • Mech Mortar Platoon with FIST track
  • CAS - 4 x A10 Warthog
The scenario was breakthrough or counter-attack...can't really remember the name, but...the table was divided into quadrants with one quadrant being the US deploy zone w/ one objective; another quadrant being the Soviet deploy zone; next quadrant over (opposite table end of US) being reinforcement/counterattack area for US; and last quadrant being where the second objective was placed.  The scenario called for US to hold objective in their quadrant and initiate counter-attack against sov force starting in turn 3...the Sov's had to hold at least one objective at end of turn 6.  As well, the US had to hold at least half of their force off table for counterattack force and were able to hold some units in ambush...

Putting all the metal/plastic on the table was a pretty daunting task...for the Sov's we even ran out of deployment area and eventually swapped tanks for recon so that we could expand our deployment depth...this worked well and is a pretty good tactic (Spearhead move...).  Our overall plan was to move force 2 up to block the US troops in their deploy area near their objective and have force 1 and part of force 3 move towards the open objective and secure.

The Pics...

Deployment...Soviet quadrant (approx. 4'x2'-ish) turns our Form Up Point into one big green parking lot...you can see the blocking force (#2) in the foreground...off in the distance in columns of 3 are my Manoeuvre force (#1)...mixed in are the Motor Rifle force (#3) supporting both arcs of attack.

In stark contrast...the US deploy is 1 tank company with a few extra elements...the open field at the top of the pic (with 3 M113's at the fields edge) would eventually be home to an M109 battery in ambush...

The US objective...a BFM...big f'ing missile, home of the Mech Platoon and one FIST vehicle... 

Pre-push pic of the horde...engines revving waiting to go... 

Force #1 moves towards the open objective with Tank Companies hugging edge of a copse of trees staying in the open side...Carnation battery starts to move out of ville over the hardtop...Force #3 infantry and recce push for direct route via ridgeline... 

Air Assault drops near open ground in striking distance of open objective (one really pimped out looking command track <insert shameless self promotion>...Hinds purposely drop troops off objective...intell suggest that the US might have the objective pre-registered for artillery...clever! 
US turn...you can see smoking T72's in the distance...US artillery striking via FIST track...apparently Red better stay away from Copperhead Road...or copperhead fire missions at least...

Both Force #1 and #3 push to objective...Hinds drop their troops...Carnations get into position behind tree copse at base of ridge... 

From this view, you can see half of Force #3 pushing to US objective...burning T72's in foreground...Carnations setting up in background...Force #2 SA-13's are providing a nice SAM umbrella for Force #1...the ZSU's were providing AA overwatch for the blocking force...

Free of their troops, the Hinds move back to support the blocking force using the ville to infill to within missile range of the US ITV's...they had already helped eliminate the artillery threat... 

A fairly open opposite end of the table...US forces move into position to bring some hurt on the Ruskies...Frontal Aviation forces arrive with a 4-ship of Frogfoot to relieve any pressure... 
smoking a couple of vehicles...dodging AAA from the VADS Vulcan gun... 

Long table view from free objective area towards US deploy zone...Force #3 is forming up to assault the US BFM in force...I split my tank force at this time to support both arcs...Company 2 moving towards the US objective, Company 1 (whats left of it) moves to overwatch the open objective that the Air Assault troops are prepping to take...

Just in time as the US counterattacking force starts to arrive...2 full platoons of M1's hit the table and make one movement up from the corner to get flanking shots on the BMPs...the recce troops (3 x BMPs on the hill top) feel it first...


The blocking force, Force #2, start to take some losses as the US starts to push out of their zone...Force #3 disgorges their troops for a full attack on the US objective... 

IIRC, the Hinds (2 or 3 of them at this point), move back to the open objective to put some missiles downrange...the BMPs also start popping ATGMs...a couple of kills, a couple of bails... 

The US Mech Platoon holds out bravely...they have withstood artillery, direct fire from tanks, BMP autocannon, and now infantry fire...pushing hard, Force #3 assaults with vehicles to clear the objective... 

The game ended with victory for the Soviets...we held the open objective, had stalled the counter-attacking force and I think we took the BFM...


Overall Thoughts...

I don't think I had ever played on such a large table...and for most of us, we had never played this scenario...the main thing I liked about this setup and table was that is was longer than normal...we did have to measure distances for artillery...the scenario was pretty cool...

What I think detracted from it...the view from the US side was daunting from the very beginning...it showed...throughout...the parking lot was tough to look at and not feel that the game was over before it began...I think if we did this again, some ad-hoc mechanics could come into place to help the US forces more...maybe more platoons in ambush is a start...not sure, but I'd love to hear if anyone has had experience with this yet in TY.

Take care all.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Cold War Sov's - Artillery Support

Howdy all,

Just a quick update today...I recently completed the Team Yankee Soviet Carnation Battery box...these were very quick to put together and get painted up.  The figs themselves are the standard metal and resin that I've come to know from Battlefront...they are not the plastic that we've come to know through their Team Yankee line.

The models put together very quick and took the paint very well...I think I was done these in a night or two...a couple of movies worth for sure...I used the same method to paint these that I have been using throughout my TY Soviet experience.

Hope you enjoy.  Take care.


 


 

Friday, 8 April 2016

4CMBG Update - with Corps Support attachment...

Evening folks,

I'm pretty pumped...I recently finished the Canadian M577 Command Post track that I had been working on with the DIY 'pimp my combat ride' look that I was using as inspiration.  I really like how it turned out.  The feedback I got on my previous command track was awesome, so I kept with the same colours and paint scheme...thank you folks/commentators.

Also, I've been into some light to medium reading on the Cold War and researching 4 CMBG and their time in Germany, with primary focus on the 1980's...and thanks to Sean Maloney, Canadian veteran and author, I was able to identify and date my inspiration photo.

According to his book "War Without Batles: Canada's NATO Brigade", this M577 specimen, is from a NATO exercise circa 1975, track operated by the 3rd Mechanized Commando of 4 CMBG.  3rd Mech Cdo had a very short if not interesting history...only 7 years in existence, as part of the Canadian Airborne Regiment nonetheless...found this article to be quite interesting: 3rd Mechanized Commando.  At the end of their time, they were quite simply 're-badged' as 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment.
 
Anyway, with the photo above to guide me, some awesome feedback, and the excellent graphics and research of Armoured Acorn, here is my second M577 for my Crazy Canucks...
Designated 2A, this track could conceivably serve as a formation command vehicle for TY, Company CP for Bravo or November companies... if you look at the decals above, you'll note the regimental symbol for mech inf...
DIY tool box and platform in miniature life...from real life...separate tarp/tenting around the edge as well...
 
Now, while in Germany, 4 CMBG served a variety of roles and stood as a fairly flexible entity for more than one command element...during the 1980s, 4CMBG was on the hook to deploy with either the German II Corps or the VII US Corps...as such, I thought I'd paint up a couple of M901 ITV's to deploy as a combat attachment/Corps support for my 4CMBG formation... 
 As part of the Team Yankee release, Battlefront did their normal work and included a painting guide...as well as a bunch of painting guides, templates, etc since then...I figured since most folks would be copying the BF take on MERDC, I would google my way into something a little different.
 
During my google search, I found a pic of this 901 unit with MERDC-ish paint schemes...they are definitely close enough for me, and lets my ITVs stand out a little.
 
Take care folks.