Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Partizan - Hard Road to Vukovar

My own, very humble, showing at Partizan was of course my Yugoslavian Civil War game.  The personal life* got in the way of organising this game as well I had hoped and the net result was not quite what I had originally envisaged, but in the circumstances it was good enough.

Firstly the table ended up rather larger than expected:

Now I didn't have a problem with this, per-se.  The organisers had given us a generous allocation of space in an airy room towards the far end on the show.  But it was not the busiest of spots.  The game stretched from a 6 x 4 layout I intended to closer to 9 x 5!  However we also had space for poperwork, background books and the like.

The plan was to represent one of the many probing attacks of the Serbs around Vukovar in late summer 1991.  To that end there needed to be a lightly defended village as the centrepiece of the battlefield:

This had involved rebasing and refreshing a couple of my generic buildings only days before.  For the record, these two are both from the Dapol model railway range, and are both perfectly suitable for the region, used sparingly that is!

The base for the battlefield is clearly the ubiquitous 'faux fur':

I had the club remit to make this look passable, which given it was a vivid GREEN!! was a challenge; not one yet fully mastered I think.  After having a tentative go at it with hair clippers I took it out and oversprayed it four times, with a mixed of light green and sand yellow spray paints.  The effect is far better than the raw cloth - visible along the fringes - but still a long way from natural.

As to the actual game, after staring at the table for a little while and answering a few questions from traders, myself and Mark set to with a very vocal playing of the game, only stopping to chat to punters as required, for a couple of hours anyway!  The Serbs were ordered to exit the opposite side of the battlefield, inflicting whatever damage they could on the way, but with a priority to move armour off the table.  Clearly for the Croats the reverse was the case.

The Croats allowed the Serbs to advance freely for several turns (frankly it reduced the battlefield to the intended dimensions by permitting this), before stopping their lead tank with an RPG round that disabled its' main gun and caused an ammunition fire in the turret.

The Serbs began to deploy infantry to cover the armoured advance, whilst the piecemeal defence of the village was supported by a handful of reservist militia.  ONe of the Serbian M84's cleared the tree line and pushed back a resilient unit of Croatian National Guard from the Villa on the road.  They had to leave their Transit van behind!

To the Croatian aid however, came a Hidroelektra armoured personnel carrier with more National Guard - with the even more deadly Armbrust anti-tank rockets.  Which was just as well, as the ZNG M18 Hellcat had been destroyed in an ill advised exchange of fire at range with a T55 tank.

At this stage things looked bad for the Croats, but the battle was about to turn.  The Second M84 tried to cut through the tree line, and hit a mine, shuddering to a halt.  Croat Guards took the opportunity to pick off the immobile vehicle with an Armbrust.  The Serbian M60 APC was also destroyed in a similar fashion.  Serbian regular infantry left their truck on the road to support the tanks but were caught in a crossfire, whilst the remaining M84 over extended itself and was also caught by RPG fire and lost it's main gun too.

Latterly the first T55 hit, remobilised by the surviving crew as an armoured machine gun platform, was hit again and this time spectacularly destroyed.  Marks attack was down to one last tank and it looked likely the infantry would be mostly walking home too.

We called it a day there and left it as a display for the rest of the, now rather quiet, afternoon.  We'd certainly managed to talk to a lot of people during the day, and three themes seemed to arise frequently:

  • Is that a real vehicle (the Hidroelektra)?  Yes it is, here's one of the same series:
  • Did they really have M18's?  They certainly did, here's one at the Homeland War Museum in Turanj:
Yes, there is a M36b2 next to it.  A lot of people aren't aware the Americans supplied the Yugoslavs with military equipment in the 1950's.
  • How do you find the Rules; I've heard they are confusing?  Well, there is certainly a truth to that criticism, but once you've played a few games and decided what bits you want to use and what bits you want to ignore or adapt (as should be the case in any set of rules) they work fine.
So overall a successful day, nice to catch up with a couple of people too over the day.  But that's my display game antics over until Recon in December.  Thank goodness!

* I guess when it comes to choice between Wargames and Women, Wargames lose out....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Partizan 2012 - photo gallery

Once we'd set up, and after the initial rush myself and Mark had time to wonder around the show at Partizan, taking photo's of the games that caught my eye over the course of the day.

It must be said that this is a more selective range than normal, as there were far more games than at some smaller shows and I was pushed for time, to that end I also cant provide a lot of detail on the pictures, but here we go:

Saxons versus Romano-British:

Part of Warwick Kinrade's Normandy Firefight game in 54mm.  I bought a copy of the rules on the grounds they are suitable for many scales and I felt at £10 they were not unreasonable to give a go.

The Society of Ancients had a DBA game using Tony Bath's collection of 30mm flat figures.  Their best game in the last five or six years...

A beautiful Renaissance game featuring Turks besieging a castle.

I really liked the artillery dioramas...

Medieval naval, probably Sluys, but I could be wrong.

I believe these are the Zvezda medieval cogs, with Perry crew.

Part of the Aventine game; a huge phalanx stands ready:

The battle of Boxtel 1794; Wellesley's first battle.

War of the Roses game; lovely terrain and figures.  Oddly both me and Mark were taken with how the sunken roads really improved the look of this and other boards.  Plus Teddy bear fur in various forms and uses is becoming ubiquitous...

A 28mm WWI game, which once again appears to throw all the toys it could onto one table: planes, tanks, trenches, siege artillery, railway, craters....

40mm toy soldiery, somewhere in the nineteenth century.  A charming little old school game:

Some chaps put on a Yugoslavia game!  More photo's in a few days but here's a teaser of M84's advancing in the sun...

A nice big 28mm Napoleonics battle:

Vikings in Vinland; a real Where's Wally (Waldo) game; with masses going on.  My main issue is I didn't think any part of Newfoundland had terrain like this...

Lastly some photo's of a 28mm Blitzkrieg game in France, featuring lots of excellent model tanks.

Particularly this monster; the Char D2:

With running a game, and having failed to trouble the traders much last week at Triples, I didn't part with much cash at Partizan either, though I was able to pick up The Osprey book "Armies of the Napoleonics Wars" for just £12; myself and a trader bought the only copies available before the punters arrived.  Sorry folks!

Partizan is a bit of a trek from Leeds and I'm not sure it was going to get our club any new members, but it is one of the nicest venues for a show; and for me a relaxing day compared to events like Recon or Fiasco.  I'm glad I made an effort; but more on that in a day or two...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A German Interlude

Today I was of course at Partizan, which was fun, but the camera is out of  battery so instead I'll fill some airtime with pictures of a recently finished painting project.

A Jagdpanther of  654 schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung ("654th Heavy Antitank Battalion") in Normandy 1944. 

This is a 1/72nd scale (20mm) Revell kit I managed to pick up cheap.  Frankly not the best kit ever; easy to put together but with some crude and dated parts.  Not their best effort.

Still for £5 I'll tolerate it.  Painting is my usual vehicle style.

This represents another addition to a slowly developing German force for either use in Kampfgruppe Normandy, or to go to eBay.  Time will tell...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Partizan Preamble

Want to find out who's responsible for the drivel in this blog?  Want to see yet another slightly laclustre display game, hastily thrown together with a distinct lack of professionalism?  Want a chance to buy more toy soldiers you don't really need, and have to hide from the wife on your return home?

Well, Too Much Lead will be at Partizan this weekend!  I'm displaying for the Leeds Nightowls, with a game of Force on Force for the Yugoslav Civl War:

It's been some fifteen years since I last went to Partizan, and that too was for a display game, that got my one and only magazine shoot for Wargames Illustrated (an AK47 game , with Dock, Airport and Railway staition).  So despite the long journey and the inevitable stress of running a game, I'm looking forward to it.

If you are there, I'll be the one running the game, NOT in a Nightowls t-shirt, so feel free to say hello!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Breaking News

It comes as no surprise to me that the following has occured:

"Warhammer Historical Has Now Closed

We can no longer accept any further orders for our products

We would like to thank our customers who have purchased our publications over the years and hope you will continue to get many more years of gaming enjoyment from them."

So it looks like Games Workshop's ginger haired stepchild has finally been unceremoniously dumped.  For something like a decade GW has at times given the impression that it was fully behind WHH but for most of that period it was scarcely interested in what to it was surely a niche market.  Palming it off to its' Black Library subsidiary can't have helped.

And so that is probably it for Warhammer Ancient Battles, and possibly their other rule sets. Knowing GW I would predict there will be no second life with another publisher for their core rules, I can't imagine them permitting anyone else to develop WAB; as for rules like Kampfgruppe Normandy, which do not use the Warhammer game engine as a core and are the intellectual property of their authors there may be more hope, but only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Triples 2012* - the Rest of the Show

I had ambitious plans for this post, but the technology defeats me so instead I'm just going to have to bombard you with photographs.  Sorry.

Barnsley's 20mm Sicily WW2 using Kampfgruppe Normandy:

Like a Stone Wall; Mons Salient 1914:

Glory Boys (?): 6mm Barossa 1811

Leeds Nightowls; Screening Cagny 1944 - 20mm WW2

Leeds Wargames Society; San Carlos Water:

Too Fat Lardies; Dux Britannium

L'Ordre Mixte; Ostrowono 6mm Napoleonics

It's English Civil War in 15mm and I've seen it before, but it wasn't on the lists:

SFSFW; Doctor Who in 28mm:

Rotherham Wargaming Society; 20mm Modern Africa:

GWP3: A Very British Civil War in 28mm:

Chesterfield Open Gaming Society (?): In cold Blood - Victorian Fantasy:

Penarth and District: 40mm Texan-Mexican War

SOTCW: Kursk 1943:

Doncaster WG Soc (?): Aargh Monster (?):

Sheffield and Rotherham: 20mm Force on Force Vietnam:

Lance and Longbow Society: Grandson 1476:

Scarab Miniatures: War and Conquest:

Company of Veterans: Borodino 15mm:

British Legion: The Falklands 20mm Force on Force:

Burton and District Wargamers: 15mm American War of Independence:

Abbey Wood Irregulars and Associates: 1957 Honduran-Nicaraguan war 10mm:

So was it a good show; well, it was ok; a little lacking in spectacle with the exception of a couple of games only.  But some more interesting games on than usual so that was nice.  Also good to chat to people and generally mooch around for a couple of hours.  In the end my purchases, despite plentiful traders present, barely made the journey worth it, but it is a long time since I went to gaming shows to shop.

Not a bad little day.

(*Obviously the observant noticed I cocked up on where I was; my incompetance has now been corrected, and medication increased!)