Friday, February 20, 2015

AAR Chain of Command in Carelia

A Finnish T-28 somewhere in Carelia 1941

Chain of Command is a very good set of rules. We have played it ever since it Camel out. Still it
offers something new each game. The latent thing we( that's Ulf/Tabletop gamer and me)have picked up is Big Chain of Command. It's a version that allors the player to field a Tank Platoon besked the usual infantry Platoon. The game is originally based around an infantry Platoon. The size of it all is roughly thesame as a game of Bolt Action, though the rules are rather different. Chain of Command starts with a pre-game where the two sides jockey for positions before the. Realbattle beginns. When the real game beginns the twoforces are usually quite close to each other. That cuts down the too often rather tedious maneuvering before first fire.

This game is set in Carelia during these called Continuation War. Finland and Soviet Union fought each other in a side theater between 1941 and 1944. It was in part a consequence of the Winter war between the two countries in 1939-1940. 

Some background  history 

The Winter War was a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Soviet and Nazi- Germany. Hitler and Stalin had divided between each other. Finland was supposed to end up in Soviet hands. Finland  fought bravely and kept it's independance after a massive Soviet onslaught during the Winter
 War. When the war was over significant parts of Finland was handed over to Soviet Union.

When Germany and Soviet became enemies  after Operation Barbarossa Finland saw an opportunity to regin what lost.  It was not a wide move. In the end it prologed the suffering of the Finnish people
and the country gained nothing. However in the opening moves of this war it looked as if Finland not only would regain Lost territory, it would also conquer new territory in the part of Carelia that
previously was part of Soviet Union.

This game is fought during the winter of 1941. The Finns had taken most of Soviet Carelia. The
frontline was locked somewhere along the River Svir.

The main diffrence between the Winter War and the Continution War was the fact that the Finns had Tanks in this war. The main supplier of tanks to theFinnish armywas the Soviet army. Finland had
taken them as warbooty during the Winterwar and during the opening moves of the Continuation
War. Below you can see a Finnish T-28 opening fire upon the enemy ahead.

 The Scenario

The game is played with 15mm miniatures on multibases. The distances are the original ones. The game is intended for 20-28mm single based miniatures. We found out quite early one that the distances made more sense in 15mm an thus we have kept it all in this scale.

In this scenario the two sides face each other near a crossroad there are some farmsteds and houses
nearby. Both sides have an Infantry platoon and a tank platoon each.  The Finnish tank platoon
consist of two T-28 and Two BT-7. This is a configuration that the Finns had until November 1941. In
addition to the standard platoon unit has an additional asset - a BA-10 armoured car.

The opening moves of the Finns

The Russians hides in the woods

An attempt to support the Finnish advance with a T-28

The Russian tanks advances into the village...

The Soviets have  four T-28. It is a significantly stronger unit compares to the Finnish one when it comes to firepower, but the T-28 is slow.As for infantry it is similair situation. The Finns have fewer men and less firepower, but have greater mobility. In a game like Chain of Command greater mobility means that a smaller mobile unit might gain greater firepower locally by conscentrating firepower at the enemy's week spot. It is not a game of basic attrition. That is way too common when it comes to other WWII-rules.

Since this a scenario set in a winter landscape this narrows down the time frame. It has to be November 1941( and yes by this time it was winter in Carelia in 1941).

In the opening moves both sides advances with their tanks towards the center of the village. The finns halts first. The basic idea is to choke the Russian advance. If the Russians have to fees their tanks piecemeal through the village their T-28 might loose their Firepower superiority( they be stuck in a road traffic queue instead). This seemsto be successful at first. The Russians and the Finnish tanks
trade off in a stand still fire fight.

In the meantime the Finns advance on both flanks. The right Flank is soon halted ny the greater
Firepower of the Soviets. The Finns takes cover in the woods.

The left flank if the Finns advances , but are stopped by a single Russian squad - a head on attack in the open against an enemy  is a generally bad idea in this game.

The stalemate is broken when the Russian tanks manage to supress the Finnish T-28s. At the same time the Finns fail to move their ligher armour into a position where they can support the infantry.

The tiny BA-10 is brown to pieces by the Russian T-28

The fire fight on the left flank 

The Finns knocks out a T-28

The Finn T-28 finally recovers. At the same time the Russian lead tank moves into a trap. In a nearby house hides two finnish squads with satchel charges and molotov cocktails. The Russian lead tank is knocked out. At roughly the same time the Finns on the left flank breaks through. The Russian squad blockning their way is routed, the Finns captures the Russian jump - off point(that's a real loss in this game). The Russian morale eventually breaks and the game enda with a Finnish victory.

The final moves of the game. The Russian jump-off point is seized by Finns

Saturday, February 14, 2015

AAR -The French and Indian War goes Donnybrook

AAR French Indian War - The Strong Box 

This is a fictional scenario set in the French and Indian war. The rules we are using is Donnybrook. In order to fit the period there have been some house rules added to the game.

Somewhere in the Colony of New York 1756....

The French raiders are comming.....

The borders of the Colonies are burning. This is just one of those days where the French, the Indians and the Colonist struggles for control over the Amerrican Wilderness. French raiding force is closing in on the small settlement of East Brumford. The force is led by the infamous leader of French
wilderness raiders Captain Jean Jacques Castroulle. For quite some time he has been without luck
bring home rich bounty that will ensure his comming promotion. Few in the upper echelons of power in Quebec truely understands the need to keep up the pressue on the  wicked Anglo-american Colonist and their redcoated protectors.

The opening situation. The French attack from the North( the upper part of the picture). The defenders initially only consist of single unit of British grenadiers and a small group of Rangers.

The Grenadiers defending East Brumford.....

Several days of fruitless patroling in the woodlands south of lake Eire and no adequate target has been provided. Then one day the luck returns for our French friends. After the return of his Indian
scout Cpt Castroulle learns that the Colonist are gathering resouces near a small village.There are both civillians and a few Red coats in this settlement....and there is a strongbox. The colonists are probably depositing their valuables. The time to strike is now.

The Strongbox....and the Reverend providing an inpiratorial sermon before battle. The French are somewhere nearby closing on their objektive 

In the meantime in East Brumford. After a number of raids in the area the locals are prepairing to leave the settlement and head for the nearest Brittish Strongpoint. The situation has become untangable. A Convoy is about to leave in a few days and the wagons are prepaired. Under the auspice of a group Grenadiers the locals are stashing their valuables in a strongbox( the very one Castroulle's scouts have spotted). The wagons and the civilans will leave as soon as Colonel Wilbourforce arrives with the main body of the escort. 

The French Raiders snatches both the strongbox and the Reverend......

Intially the Grenadiers manage to stem the tide of French attackers. However a group of French Marines(Compagnie de Marine) manage to fight their to the strong box. The French also manage to grabb  some hostages. The Rangers counterattack the Marines and kills most of them. The hostages managed to free themselves, but one single French soldier grabs the handle of the strong box.

The reenforcement are comming.....the Redcoats and their Mohawk allies arrives on the scene

A Major Mayhem in downtown East Brumford....

In the meantime the situation escalates into a major firefight. Colonel Wilburforce an his reenforcements arrives. It looks like the defenders will be able to stop the French attack. The casualties are high on both sides.

The Final moves of the game.....

The lone French Marine has not given up. With quite a bit of effort this lone soldier drags box to safety( at least from a French perspective). The game ended with a minor French victory. 

The set up....

This is one of the Standard scenarios of the Donnybrook rules. The main body of the attacking force is deployed all at once from the outset of the game. The defender is arriving piecemeal as the game progresses. Donnybrook uses a card mechanism. Each unit on the table has it's own card and the units activated when it's card is drawn. The defender has only one card the first round. Each Round other of the defenders cards are added to the draw pile.The attacker has all it's card in the drawing pile from the start of the game(at least in this scenario!). There is also a stop card. If the stop card is drawn the turn ends. Thus there is a chance that some units will not move this turn. 


There are a few characters in this scenario. Each side has 4 characters with their own special abilities. Each character on the table has also a card and are activated just like the unit when their card is drawn. In the orginal game the characters can't activate units, they just act on their own accord or when the unit they are attached to larger units. In our houserules we have allied the characters to activate units. The basic idea is to make them more in control of the whole situation. After all they are usually supposed to be officers. If a unit is within 12 inches of character or a character is  attacked to unit the unit can be ordered to activate. In this scenario we had more than the usual ammount of Characters. Their was also as light deviation from the number set by the scenario i the rulebook. The game is based on points when setting up an army list. This was somewhat ignored in this case.

The game.....

The french force consists of

4 units 

8 drilled French infantry
8 drilled Coreur de Bois
8 drilled Compagnie de Marine
8 drilled Indians

1 Officer( Cpt Castroulle)
1 Sergeant ( leader of the Comapgnie de Marine)
1 Sergeant ( Le Boeuf - leader of the Coreur de Bois)
1 Scout ( Mugua- Indian leader)

Please note that "drilled" in this case does not refer to their training as much as their  moral and their ability to use their weapons.  The troop levels in Donnybrook is Mob, Drilled and. Elite.  Drilled unit usually has 8 miniatures. The same goes with the title/rank Officer, Ensign, scout and Sergeant. This label determines the character's abilities rather then their true rank. 

The defensive force  consist of
8 drilled Grenadiers
8 drilled  Infantry
8 drilled  indians
4 elite Rangers
8 drilled Rangers
8 drilled Anglo American Militia

1 Officer ( Colonel Wilbourforce)
1 Officer ( Major Rodgers)
1 Scout( Snake Eye - white man leasing Indians)

The objektive of the attacker is to kidnap civilians and steel the strongbox. The defender should try to prevent this. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

ACW, 19th Century Plantation Building

There was a need for some more 28mm  to the club's upcoming ACW games. So I had two options either buildings something from scratch or to buy something more or less ready made. After scanning the net I found an interesting option. There are nowadays quite a few companies that offer terrain/buildings in lasercut MDF.  That is always an interesting option. i have bought a few such models kits before. Usually these kits needs quite a bit of work before you kan put them on the table, but the end result is usually quite good. So I decided to give it another go. I bought a kit made by Sarissa Presicion Ltd. 

The kit is labeled as a " Plantation House with Porch". It is made from 2mm MDF. It's 140mm x 125 wide and the heigt is 155mm. As you can se the whole things is a kit that you need to assemble it before you paint it. Though a good adwise is to carefully study the model before you that. If you put it together all at once you will have hard time painting it. Instead I suggest you do step by step putting bits and pieces together step by step.

Step 1


I started to paint the basecoat before I assembled the main structure.

The first parts of the house are put together

I suggest you start building the main structure, the outer walls. Do not build the porch yet. The window lids can also wait. Apply the base coat. In this case the base coat is black. You can probably spray paint it without any problem, but I tend to do this manually( I don't think that this really matter). Se to it that that all the black coat is solid, but do not Apple to much paint. The etched parts might disappear if you do.

Step 2.

The first drybrush

Apply the second coating. When I paint buildings I usually drybrush a thin lager of olive green or a
mix of brown and green. This will give you building the worn look of a building that have been
standing without proper maintenance for quite a while. To get the best result see to it that the brush is
almost out of paint. If the paint is too thick then you will cover the etchnings on the model and that is not good. This trick is mentioned by the late and most prominent builder of wargaming models Ian Weekly. He had a few really good articles about this in the long gone wargaming magazine Practical Wargamer.  

Step 3.

The ground floor

The ground floor with a black coat

The upper floor being assembled

The final look of the interior

Start working on the inside. Give the interior a black coat and assemble the inner structure. The model is designed so  that you will be able to use it in skirmish games. Thus you are supposed to be able to remove the roof and place models inside the building. The are even two levels within the house. You can place you models both upstairs and downstairs. For the you the one putting it all together this is quite a challange this is indeed a prescion model. To much glue or paint and you will not be able to insert the inner structure. So go easy on that part. 

Step 4. 

Go back to the outer wall. Give the exterior an other dry brush. This time I mix bone white or ivory white colour with a bit of grey. The bone/ivory white should by a the major part of the mix. Once more see to it that most of the paint is removed from the brush before you start. Some tine parts should be left uncovered so that the second coating shines through. 

Step 5.


The widow lids are attached to the outer structure

The window lids are painted olive green, then some Agrax Earthshade is used as a wash.

Attach the window lids. It attachés them unpainted, but you can consider giving them a base coat. I painted them olive green straight away. The reason is that I figured that window lids tends to be repainted more often than outer walls. Thus they do not have the same worn look as the outer walls. To emphasize the etchings on the lids I game them a wash using Games Workshop's Agax Earthshade

Step 6. 

The roof under construction. Brush protectors are used to add some extra piping to the chimbeys.

The roof, more or less finished

The Roof should be removable and Thus handled as a seperate piece. You assemble it and give it a black coat. As before be aware. Do not cover the etchings otherwise this building wil not have any roof shingels. It's a three step process. First the black coat. Then drybrush greenish brown. Finally
drybrush it all grey. You can give it other layer of even lighter grey to really heligheten the general impresssion. I dotted some light grey on each shingel in other to get the right look. I found it rather tricky to get this right. 

Step 7.

Build the Porch . This is not that hard. I painted the porch in the same colour as the window lids. I used the same wash and then I attached pieces to the building. 

Step 8. A final dry brush

This time I gave it a white dry brush. Not the entire surface of the building was covered. Just enought to producera white highlights.

Step 9 

Model railroad gravel added to the base of the house

Just the detailing and finish touches

I applied some railroad gravel to the base of the building. Then couloured it with burned umber, then drybrushed it with raw sienna and ivory white. Some model static grass was added to finnish it off.

In order to protect the building from the forces of ungently handling by eager wargamers I applied some gloss coat, then some dull coat. If that is really necessary is different question.

.....and that was about it

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Smålands Cavarly Regiment 1708

The Småland Cavalry Regiment of it's 1708 incarnation has been compleated. The uniform has shifted quite a bit from the appearance of 1676. The unit had by now received the Swedish unity uniform. The colours are standard blue and white. The flag had stayed the same though. This menas that I now have three cavalry regiments in total. One infantry regiment is soon to be ready for display as well. All miniatures in this unit are from Warfare minatures. I had to convert one the riders in order to create a flag bearer. A  bit of cutting(removing the sword), a model dril and a ready made metal spear from North Star miniatures did the trick.