Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review - Crusaders Over 'Nam

Crusaders Over 'Nam - written by Roxanne Patton.  Published by I-94 Enterprises, March, 2017.  $18.00.

As many of you already know, I like obscure and different periods of history to recreate on the tabletop.  While the Vietnam War is certainly not obscure, Vietnam air combat is not that prevalent in the gaming world, so when I came across a Check Your 6! scenario book for Vietnam on the I-94 website, specifically one that deals with the F-8 Crusader and MiG kills I was curious.  So, I placed my order via the I-94 Raiden webstore, and within a few days I received my copy.  While the booklet is not an official Skirmish Campaigns production, it is designed for Check Your 6!

Let's jump into what I felt left me less than satisfied.  First, the price of the scenario booklet is $18.00.  Unfortunately, the number of pages doesn't warrant such a high price tag.  The 8.5" by 11" booklet comes in at only twenty pages.  The cover is color cardstock, while the interior is black and white.  Unlike the other Check Your 6! scenario books, this offering does not have a data table showing the plane stats needed, which I find very useful in the other books and wish could have been added here to avoid having to refer back to the Jet Age version to obtain plane data.  And there are a few typos and missing information, both within the scenarios themselves, and in the rules modifications section.  Example - Page 4, second line states "range is reduced to eight (8) hexes for targets at."  At what?

Okay, those were my sticking points.  My positive takeaways are the vast majority of the eleven scenarios are ideally suited for four players, perfect for a small gathering of friends or a convention setting where the smaller number of players makes teaching Check Your 6! an easier task.  The scenarios are also well researched and clearly written indicating that the author knows her subject well.  The bits of typos and missing info within the scenarios is easily overcome with a bit of common sense.   The eleven scenarios, with F-8s featured in every one, also includes A-4s and a lone A-6, while for the "bad guys" all one needs is only MiG-17s, and MiG-21s.  This is a simple mix of planes for the player to obtain.

Overall, Crusaders Over 'Nam fills a niche for Vietnam War air combat, while providing more scenarios for jet age gamers, especially those who use Check Your 6!  You will have to be the judge in deciding if a twenty page scenario book priced at $18.00 holds value for you.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vehicle Suggestions for Nomads

I am looking for some 15mm vehicle suggestions for these Micropanzer nomads I picked up from Jason at Micropanzer some months ago.  I am thinking something big, beefy, tracked or wheeled, large enough to hold eleven troopers (or twenty-two if large enough).  The nomads themselves have a bit of a Tusken raider feel (from Star Wars), but with higher tech level weapons.  The figures are bulkier and a bit larger than say Darkest Star but are a perfect match for GZG offerings.  I'll be using them against both, so a bulky, tough, and somewhat tech worthy vehicle is what I am shooting for.  Suggestions?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Modern Austrians

As I am always looking for something strange, obscure, different, I have been, for months, looking at those gorgeous Eureka 15mm modern Australians, and what I could use them for (yeah, I could use them as...Australians, but I hate painting camo!).  Going through the figures weapon mix (basically the Steyr AUG, the Minimi, LAW, Carl Gustav, and MAG), I wanted to find a country that uses these (or similar weapons) and has troops who do not normally wear camo.  Who might that be?  Closest I can find is Austria, who use the AUG, not the Minimi, but do use the Carl Gustav and LAW, and while they use the MG3, it is at probably higher levels than what I plan on portraying on the tabletop (fireteams to squads).  Finding a good unit organization has been interesting, but I did have provided on The Wargames Website a seven man unit (mechanized troops) that might be interesting to field. Uniforms are basic olive green, but the Austrians do use camo from other countries when on deployment, although I did come across a mention of a solid tan uniform for desert climes.  Hmmm, so, because I would be using them in a non-historic context, why can't I tinker a bit with what they might wear and what they might carry in terms of armament?  Heck, they even use the Iveco LMV, which is the non-command version of the British Panther, of which I have two of from Evil Bear.  

So, a sort of TO and E:
1 section commander with AUG
1 assistant commander with AUG
1 rifleman with AUG and LAW
1 rifleman with AUG and grenade launcher
1 rifleman with AUG with precision sight
1 machine gunner with Minimi (in lieu of MG3)
1 assistant machine gunner with AUG

Attachments
1 rifleman with sniper rifle
1 Carl Gustav team

Picture from CP Models site
Opponents would most likely be my CP Models Taliban.  I really like those chunky and animated figures.  They are larger than most 15mm figures out there, so I am hoping that the Eureka figures will be close enough.  Some 15mm figures I own are just far too small and thin to be sued on the same table, even if they are not within the same unit or even same side.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Recent Purchases

In a previous post I posited a question about tracked vs. hover and received some excellent comments.  While hover is probably something that might be commonplace 200-300 years from now, there is still something about tracked vehicles that appeals to me, even within a sci-fi setting.  After dithering about for weeks, I finally bought a pair of tracked tanks from Darkest Star.  I went with one Cobra and one Python, just to mix it up a bit.  The Cobra has a smaller turret and has a choice of a plasma or laser cannon, while the Python, has a larger turret with options for a 150mm cannon or rail gun.  Both tanks use the same chassis and track configuration, but the larger turret on the Python gives that beast a slicker look.  Not sure exactly what they are going to be used for, but as I already own some of the Darkest Star infantry and Scorpion wheeled LACVs grabbing a couple of these high quality resin tanks made sense.

I also, in a fit of restlessness one night at work, bought a few packs of 15mm infantry from Ground Zero Games.  A contingent of New Israeli and another of Brethren of the New Light will soon need to be mounted on bases and painted.  One thought I had was the use of my current middle eastern terrain, enhanced with some suitable sci-fi buildings and what-not, where the New Israelis are clearing Brethren settlements.  Kind of a Jews in Space meets whack-a-doodle religious extremists.  Might throw in a couple of other elements with Arab-types and aliens.

For the Brethren I grabbed two bags of riflemen and a bag each of light machine gunners, light support weapons, and command and comms.  For the Israelis a similar mix of riflemen to go along with SAW gunners, snipers and missile men, and command and comms.  One can tell that the Brethren are newer sculpts as they are a bit taller, a bit chunkier, and a bit cleaner in terms of casting.

Both of the aforementioned companies are making great products and provide excellent service.  I really like the moderate prices of the GZG figures which helps to offset shipping costs from England. 

Keep your scope sighted in on this blog for future postings about these latest additions to the pile! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tracked or Hover?

While perusing the Darkest Star Games site, I came across their (somewhat) recent releases of 15mm armor for their Federation sci-fi faction (think Traveller).  I really like the look of the Python/Cobra MBTs, but wanted to know what you thought of going tracked vs. hover?  While I would be using these (if purchased) for far future gaming (at least 2300 A.D. style if not Fifth Frontier War), I really like the look of the tracked versions as opposed to the hover options.  They remind me of World War II German light tanks for some reason (think Czech 38 and its many variants within the German Army).

Piccies of both:



What would be your choice, and why?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Air Support for the Banana Wars

While not a perfect match, I was able to score three of these Futura Choco Eggs Grumman F3Fs for some Banana Wars or Yangtze gaming.  While the F3F was indeed an operational aircraft for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, it really appeared a bit too late for historical small wars actions pre-World War II, but the price for these Futura models was right, the paint scheme attractive, and the options for other more suitable aircraft to match my 15mm gunboat, Eureka Marines, and Khurasan Chaco War do not exist.  Ideally I would like to find a 1/144th or 1/100th scale Vought O2U Corsair, but as far as I know they are not being made in those scales.

Back to the F3F.  The scale of this model shakes out to be 1/125th, based on a wingspan of thirty-two feet.  The model's wingspan is just the slightest hair above 3", so we are right in the middle of my 1/100th to 1/144th scale need.  Perfect!

F-Toys 1/144th Albatros D.III and Futura 1/125th Grumman F3F

The F3F carried one .30 and one .50 caliber gun, and could also act in a bomber role with a pair of 116 pound bombs.  Range was nearly one thousand miles, and top speed was 264 miles per hour. 

The "kit" comes in several parts, but putting it together is a breeze.  If you are just wanting a display model then you probably need not worry about gluing the parts together, but as I plan to use at least one of these for gaming, gluing is a must as the upper wings like to pop off with mild handling.  You have a choice of landing gear in a retracted or extended position.  The plane is done up in USMC colors (VMF-2 piloted by Bob Galer, a double ace at Guadalcanal and a Medal of Honor and Distinguished Flying Cross winner).

So, while the Grumman might not be the perfect aircraft for the Yangtze or the Caribbean, in this case she'll have to do!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Twilight 2000 Material Released

A quick mention about an East Africa source-book for Twilight 2000, with the setting focused on East Africa.  This is official material, available as a pdf download from Drive Thru RPG.  

For only $2.99 it may well be worth the minimal investment!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Twilight 2000 Blog

It has been some time since I have done much of anything on the gaming front, but a new blog by Jason Weiser has sparked some interest in some Cold War gaming.  Years and years ago some of my gaming buddies and I were involved with a Twilight 2000 campaign.  It was great fun, even though some of our actions were a bit unrealistic, and then there was that damn horse that one of our female players just HAD to drag along everywhere (so many times we tried to kill off that horse...accidentally of course).  

With the recent spate of Cold War figures hitting the market, it might be time to do some small scale gaming.  And Jason's blog is covering the gaming aspect of T2000 very well, including a great article on 15mm figures that would be suitable.

Another excellent site that has a plethora of T2000 information (mostly equipment data) is this one from Paul Mulcahy.

And having some of the Oddzial Osmy "little green men" would lead me to believe that their Cold War Polish would be excellent figures for T2000.  Excellent quality for the money, and available Stateside from Pico Armor.

Time to pull out the rules again....

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Gesso Experiment

As I live in a condo, I really do not have a space where I can spray-prime my figures.  We have an enclosed balcony, but the spray causes a bit of sediment once it settles so that is not a practice I can keep utilizing and expect my wife to be pleased.  There has been several mentions of similar living arrangements on The Miniatures Page, and seemingly the most common solution is using a brush on primer.  Far more time consuming, but much safer for my marital health.

This past weekend I was out with my wife and we stopped by a Michael's craft store so I picked up some Liquidtex Gesso, in this case the white artists series as I did not want to have any graininess that some reported using the basic version.  I really wanted gray as I like a darker primer yet one that still allows me to see the details of the figure, but the choices at my location were black and white.  Upon coming home I grabbed a couple of test figures (in this case a Ravenstar Studios 15mm Horrid, that was cast in a bright blue resin, and a metal 15mm Khurasan colonial marine based seemingly on a popular science-fiction movie series).  If the Gesso didn't live up to its billing, these two figures would not be a huge loss.

Here are the figures within moments of painting.


And here they are a day and a half later.


Overall, I am fairly pleased with the results.  While priming figures with a brush is slow work as compared to priming via a spray, the Gesso seems to cover well.  I do not think I put as much on as some others, as the detail difference is not that noticeable between my two pictures, but upon drying the details were a bit more prominent.  I have since primed several more of the Horrids, and when they dry I will start applying a basecoat and see how the Gesso holds the paint.

If you need any further convincing that Gesso might be a great way to prime figures without spraying, here is a video showing how well the Gesso forms to the figure.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Taking Advantage, Yet Again

Over on the Fields of Fire Vietnam forum there was a post from Scale Creep Miniatures about reducing their remaining Flashpoint Miniatures stock.  As I love a sale, I just HAD to take advantage of the 30% off, and added a bit of cool items to my 15mm Vietnam project (Koh Tang Island), which really means I added a new Vietnam project altogether as most of what I purchased has nothing to do with Koh Tang!

I was able to snag a platoon of Main Force infantry, a platoon of Main Force weapons, a platoon of M14-armed Marines, some defensive and causality tokens for the communists, along with some porters and a civilian ox cart.  I was hoping to score some Australians, but the rifle platoon was already sold out.  As you can see, really none of the above has any relationship to Koh Tang, but what the hell!

And of course, Scale Creep once again lived up to their usual fast turnaround time.  I had the figures in a just a couple of days from when I ordered.

To take advantage of the little remaining stock at these nice prices, click HERE.
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