Thursday, March 24, 2011

Painting Service

I have found that I had to many Syrians and PLO figures to paint, so after researching all of the painting services out there I decided to try Blue Moose Arts and Evil Bobs Miniature Painting. (I think I picked the two extremes based on their corporate naming conventions.)

Both would not be able to get to my figures for awhile but I was impressed by their professionalism in explaining their services. So much so that I was willing to put their links on my blog.

I will post their results once they are received.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Charioteer Rule

This is a special IABSM rule for the use of armor by the PLO and the Lebanese militias. It is named for the Charioteer tank/tank destroyer used by the PLO, Lebanese Arab Army and the Tigers Militia. It is equally applicable to T34/85s and T54/55s used by these forces. This is to take into effect the lack of training and maintenance.

If the player wishes to use the tank, it requires a ”big man” activation. A single die is thrown.
  • On a 1-4 there is no effect. The tank can neither move nor fire. It is just a target.
  • On a 5 the tank can only fire its weapons.
  • On a 6 the tank can activate as below.
If a tank rolls a 6, than it can move or fire using a single die. That is a single die for movement or the correct number of dice for firing, but not both in a single turn. To keep moving, or firing the big man will need to stay with the tank. This rule does not affect Technicals.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cold Wars AAR

For me this was one of my better Cold Wars HMGS Conventions.  I ran two games; played in a third and watch a few interesting games as well.  Attendance seemed to be down but that did not deter anyone from having fun. 

Mark Kinsey and myself ran two games dealing with Lebanon 1982 and Dr Mercury had two 28mm games covering the conflict as well. All in all the Vista Room in Lancaster was a little bit of Lebanon (in the Middle East that is).

On the Purchase front I picked up a pack of Modern Havoc 15mm Insurgents to add to my PLO.  These twenty additional figures are armed with AK47s and RPGs and will add a lot of additional figure poses for the table. Unfortunately I had to increase my figure count by the same twenty. Oh bother. Also picked up trees for the village. This was not a big purchase show for me.

Now on to the battles and After Action Report

The first fight was “Lebanon 1982 - Fight at Ishiya” This is a village in the Bekaa were the IDF is looking to move north as fast as possible while destroying as my of the PLO infrastructure as possible.

The Battlefield - Image from Doctor Merkury

Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. The IDF had a platoon of infantry with Magach support.  While they had two perfectly good roads to use, they set up on the table edge and started to move through the rough terrain. Now as a game master I should have place the figures on the road and said you start here. My fault.

The IDF started by approaching a cluster of houses and found a PLO arms cache, but also civilians, militia and a news crew. Now after failing to spot the news crew (even though I had figures on the table) they proceeded to use the machine guns and Magach tanks on the people and buildings getting a clean kill on the entire news crew.

Things could not get worse for the IDF, well they could and did. For over three turns they continued to pummel the buildings. It took an order from over the radio to get them moving, ever so slowly. In desperation (on the game master’s part) I said something like, “I paid a lot for that latex road and you guys need to use it.

Once they got on the road they moved towards a market building and encountered a second PLO team with a machine gun. This slowed up the column again and the reinforcements. The IDF received a jeep platoon.

At this time the Syrians appeared on blinds (we were using a Lardies rules). It was funny that the IDF was not concerned about the new column approaching the village center. The Syrians had two platoons of T55s and a platoon of BTR60s.

It was only when the command tank was hit by an RPG and received engine damage that the IDF realize they were in trouble. The command tank earlier lost their commander. The Syrian Infantry and lead platoon of T55s fired on the tank and the crew bailed to a building. More on that latter.

The rest of the IDF column made a run for the edge and it looked like they were going to make it, until the PLO moved their one heavy asset, a Charioteer, to stop them. There is something humorous in having a 1950s tank (or tank destroyer) frightening off the IDF. Only by luck was the PLO tank unable to get the last M113 in the column. (In the future I need to write up some PLO specific tank rules. Should make for interesting and comical battles.)

Back to the tank crew. They were holding up in a building being shot at by a platoon on Syrian and a defiant group of PLO. There situation did not look good, so the jeep platoon went in to recover them. Luck was still with the Syrians as they were able to get into a firing position and disabled the jeeps and captured their crews and the crew of the tank.

This game was a PLO and Syrian victory. I think the IDF commander was lucky to have been an early causality, if not Ariel Sharon would not have been happy with the results.

The second battle was “Clearing the Orange Grove”, an infantry fight based on a scene in Waltz with Bashir. This was to have the IDF moving through an agricultural area on the coast road.

This operation was smaller with only a platoon of infantry. Each player had control of a M-113 with three fire teams. 

This operation followed doctrine with the infantry working with the APC. This time the PLO came off for the worse. Their teams put up a good fight, but the combined firepower of the IDF contained any PLO threat.

This is a game I will want to bring back to a convention.

I want to thank all of the players and Mark for taking part in the two games. I hope to use Mark’s Orange Grove (that he forgot) in the future game.

Please look at Daddy’s Little Men and Doctor Merkury’s Lab for more (and better pictures) running a game does not allow time for taking pictures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It keeps growing...

Right now I have two big terrain projects going. One is known, a "Lebanese Village", that will allow Mark and myself to run games at either house. His set up is more urban while mine is more like the Bekaa Valley (oh the spellings - have to do a blog post on that one). In theory it allows our friends to chose their battlefield. That is the theory at least.

The other project is Green Island (Operation Bulmus 6 - That is another needed blog post on the numbering of the IDF operations. Could be interesting.) This island in the Gulf of Suez was the scene of a drag out fight during the War of Attrition that was only halted by the indiscriminate use of Egyptian artillery on their own position. (I guess the Egyptian never thought their troops could hold out.)

Today I received a couple of the machine guns I will need for the position. It should be fun and I hope to get it ready for Historicon, just don't ask me which year.

 The only aerial photograph I could find of the island.

The Growing Village

It has been to long since my last post with most of my time being spent on getting ready for Cold Wars and getting my Lebanese village in order.

As you can see from my 2011 Projects list I have been busy with doing up buildings and figures. Currently on my bench is a “Straight Flush” Radar system to be used in Lebanon and the War of Attrition. After that I have five buildings to finish up and than I can get back to writing and gaming.

I hope to see you at Cold Wars in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Mark and I are running two games on Saturday.

Below are the recent images of the village. The five buildings primed black are waiting to be finished.

The Village Market Place. This was the most fun to work on. To the left will be the Lemon/Olive Orchard.