Links of Interest, 26 April 2015

A few links to get us through the weekend!

I have a moderate font-collecting addiction. Dafont is my go-to source of high quality free fonts, but I’ll pay money for the right font. Remington Typewriter is probably one of the right fonts, and it’s very inexpensive over at DtRPG for four weights, depending on how short of ink you want your typewritten text to look. Great for player handouts, props, or other documents for pulp gaming or anything WW1/WW2/early 20th C!

Dinosaurs are always pulpy, and now Antediluvian Miniatures are doing some models based on the really early concepts of what dinosaurs were thought to look like. No fast, sleek, feathered raptors here, these are big chunky cold-blooded alligator-y critters, and they look great.

Having wandered into playing Infinity a few months back, I’ve started finding and following Infinity-related blogs. Bleached Models has some good stuff, including this really nicely illustrated tutorial on blending and layering colour.

Ending on a Russian Civil War related note, the Russian-language page AviArmour has a page about the Armstrong-Whitworth armoured car with some interesting text (in Russian, but Google Translate will give you the basic idea) and some great period photos of Armstrong-Whitworths in action. Would have been nice to find that page while I was working on my own 28mm A-W from Copplestone a couple of years ago! Lots of interesting information on AviArmour, it’s well worth a browse.

Finally, Trumpeter Salute 2015 Photos!

Realized a few days ago that I hadn’t even taken my photographs from the Trumpeter Salute 2015 wargame show off the camera, never mind looking at them and choosing which ones to publish. This for a show that was at the end of March, three weeks ago and counting!

The whole collection is over on Flickr, as usual. Here’s a couple of highlights.

Whippet Tank vs Zombies

We started off with “Russian Civil War + Zombies” or “The Undead Are The Ultimate Proletariat”, which was fun and silly even if All Things Zombie isn’t my favourite set of rules. I got to blunder around in this great papercraft Whippet tanks, attracting zombies just by leaving the engine idling (thing is LOUD!) and then running them over or machinegunning them. Good fun!

Missiles Away!

Saturday morning and afternoon were both full of Tomcats, MIGs, and other Cold War planes as we ran two sessions of Air War C21, which is a fast, fluid, great set of rules. Tomcats are scary aircraft.

Actual Russian Civil War

Saturday evening I ran my actual Russian Civil War game for four players. I had two signed up as “spares” and had to turn a seventh away, which is always disappointing but it beats having nobody show up for your games! (which I have had happen at GottaCon here in Victoria…) It was a closely fought battle but the Reds succeeded in keeping the Whites out of the village in the end.

Crash and Splash

Sunday at Trumpeter is the long single session, so we get the “big” games out. I participated in the gloriously goofy Lego junkyard race game, with half of the other players under 14. The red-and-yellow pointy looking vehicle at the very back of the photo above is my racing machine. Good fun, I can’t even recall who won, to be honest!

Somewhere near Kursk

Next table over was Thomas’ absolutely spectacular Kursk WW2 game in 20mm, hordes of Russians trying to push the Germans out of the Motherland. I spent a lot of time between my racing turns gawking at this game.

Already looking forward to Trumpeter Salute 2016. I might bring Russian Civil War back, or I might go back to my pulp gaming and run some sort of pulp adventure game. We shall see!

Thanks again to Jon for the ride over, Martin for the hospitality, and the Trumpeter Salute club for putting on another amazing weekend.

Martin’s Photos From Trumpeter Salute

My own photos from the Trumpeter Salute show over in Vancouver at the end of March are still unsorted and unedited, but Martin has gotten his photos uploaded to Flickr, so I’ll happily show them off until I get my own photos sorted out!

He’s got all of his Trumpter Salute 2015 photos in an album, if you want to see all 45 from the weekend.

We did Russian Civil War + Zombies using the All Things Zombies rules on Friday evening, but Martin didn’t have his camera with him. I’ve got some photos of that session – running over zombies with a light tank was a lot of fun…

We did modern air warfare Saturday morning and afternoon, using Martin’s great papercraft jet fighter models.

Air War C:21 - Top Gun

Air War C:21 - Gulf of Sidra Incident

Air War C:21 - Gulf of Sidra Incident

Saturday evening was my Russian Civil War game using Chain of Command/Mud & Blood rules. Four players total, two Red & two White, each side running a platoon plus supporting troops. It ended in a narrow Red victory but was close several times!

Chain of Command - Comrades & Cossacks

Chain of Command - Comrades & Cossacks

Sunday I played in a LEGO Junkyard Race which was a ton of fun; Martin was able to get into Thomas’ spectacular Battle of Kursk WW2 game, with an amazing table filled with great models.

Battlegroup Kursk - First Charge at Hill 252.2

Battlegroup Kursk - First Charge at Hill 252.2

I’ll get my own Trumpeter Salute photos sorted out over the next couple of days and posted here!

Back from Trumpeter Salute 2015

Just got back this evening from a fantastic weekend over in Vancouver for the Trumpeter Salute 2015 convention. Lots of great games, I got 2nd Place Best in Show for the Saturday evening time slot for my Chain of Command-powered Russian Civil War game, which was awesome.

Didn’t do a lot of shopping, just a couple of Osprey books related to the RCW and a couple of small packs of figures – except for the 40+ fully painted and based WW1 Turks I bought from a friend who has moved over to Vancouver and is downsizing his figure collection! He gave me a fantastic deal on them, too, and I’ll get some photos up shortly. I’ve had a group of British infantry in tropical kit for several years now that are terribly underutilized due to a lack of a proper opponent for them, so the Turks will provide that. I’m sure they’ll also appear in various pulp games, too.

Photos and a proper writeup in a day or three, tonight I need sleep!

Links of Interest, 25 March 2015

Yet another post of short links, news, random bits, and oddments that wouldn’t warrant a full post.

Laser-cut MDF for early motor vehicles? They look pretty good, actually, and they’re 1/3 the price of resin & pewter vehicles. I might have to make an order to Warbases sometime to expand my pulp/RCW/WW1 vehicle fleet some more!

Via the always-excellent Airminded (who describe it pithily as “the fine print”), this great Australian recruiting poster from the Imperial War Museums online archive.

All Eligible Men...
All Eligible Men…© IWM (Art.IWM PST 12220)

The Battle of Mons: The Official German Account
From the blurb: This book is a translation of the German official history of the Battle of Mons, which took place between the German and British armies in August 1914. It covers the lead up to the battle, details of the fighting that took place, and the immediate follow-up from a German perspective. Early WW1 isn’t my particular area of interest, but well translated sources from the German side of World War One are rare enough to make this especially interesting regardless!

Eureka’s Tachanka, Part Two

The Eureka tachanka itself (the wagon, that is) comes together fairly easily with a bit of patience and some test fitting. The main body is a single piece, which I had to bend very slightly to straighten as the back end had been pushed very slightly downward during shipping. The rear springs and axle are three simple pieces; the front piece has the bar the horses are harnessed to, then two springs, then a front axle.

tachanka
The tachanka itself upside down on the right; the horses mounted and puttied into place on the base to the left. Crew figures int he foreground, along with the Maxim MG. Click for larger, as always.

I glued the whole thing together in one shot, wheels and all, and now that I’m painting it I find myself wishing I’d left the wheels off to make the undercarriage slightly easier to paint. On the other hand, getting the fenders on either side into place and symmetrical is easier when you have the wheels already solidly in place for reference, so it’s one of those “on the one hand/other hand” sorts of things. I can always slop mud around on the underside to hide any minor painting glitches, after all…

The base the whole thing will sit on is a strip of .040″ styrene plastic card, reinforced with Milliput epoxy putty, especially around the horses’ integral bases. I also ran a ridge of putty down the centre of the card base to stiffen it, with some slivers of scrap card under that just to give the putty something to hang on to. The base is just barely big enough to hold the wheels of the tachanka and the horses, but similar minimal “shadow” bases have worked to protect the relatively delicate wheels of other pewter/resin vehicles in my collection for several years now.

The tachanka is getting a dark green basecoat, similar to the paint scheme on the earlier armoured car. I’ve gone with blue trim, either a remnant of civilian finery (a lot of tachankas were lightly converted civilian carriages) or a bit of regimental pride coming through. I’ll leave all three crew in generic Russian khaki so they can be used by either side in my RCW games; I might eventually rig a flag holder somewhere on the thing for it to show off which side it’s fighting for today!

tachanka2
Such basecoating! Horses, tachanka and crew all basecoated, as well as heroic Russian officer dude on his horse behind – also a Eureka figure. Click for larger, as always.

I’m trying to get the tachanka ready for Trumpeter Salute in Vancouver which starts this Friday, so time is pressing and I’m speedpainting like crazy, and feeling rusty because I really haven’t painted much at all in the last eight months or so! At some point I also need to come up with some basic rules for running the silly thing in Chain of Command, but that might be left for the ferry ride over to Vancouver Friday afternoon…

Eureka’s Tachanka, Part One

About ten days ago I made an order to Eureka USA for a few things, most importantly their Russian three horse Tachanka/crew in cap.

What the heck, you ask, is a tachanka (also found spelled “tchanka”)? It’s a Russian vehicle developed during the Great War and used, in various forms, right through the Second World War. A lightweight, sprung carriage with two, three, or sometimes four horses out front, a Maxim machinegun mounted to fire out the rear, and a few crew holding on for dear life. It was designed to give machinegun support to cavalry units. Wikipedia has a bit more, if you’re interested.

The Eureka tachanka has been around for ages, but it has a bit of a mixed reputation among RCW/BoB gamers. The crew figures are undersized, is the usual complaint, and I’ve also heard comments about the beastie being fussy to build.

That said, it’s the only easily-available tachanka, and the presence of such an eccentric and unique unit in an RCW/BoB force is a powerful lure!

So to start off, here’s what you get.

tchanka1
The Eureka tachanka all laid out. 25 parts including crew and horses.

Three horses, three crew (driver, gunner, assistant gunner), a Maxim on the usual Russian wheeled cart (4 pieces) and 15 parts for the tachanka carriage itself, most of which are suspension. The whole thing is cleanly cast and there was a minimum of mold lines and flash to remove, most of it between the horses’ legs.

The small piece of paper with the exploded view is useful as a reference, although I think I’ll wind up printing the photo of the assembled tachanka off the Eureka website as well for additional reference. The front wheels/suspension/horse-attachment bit is the only really complex subassembly, although the fenders on the sides are going to require some gentle, careful bending to fit them into place and keep them symmetrical. I’ll put it on a “shadow” base like I did the armoured car I did a couple of years ago to help strengthen the whole thing, and probably use a small amount of putty out of sight on the underside to reinforce things here and there.

As I assemble the beast I’ll get some photos of it along side Copplestone & Brigade RCW infantry and cavalry, to attempt to answer that whole question about the scale of it. Onward!

To Delay Is Dangerous

Via the US Library of Congress, this fantastic simple British recruiting poster from 1915.

delay
…To Delay Is Dangerous…

Really fantastic handdrawn typography and an eye for proportions. A classic of the type.

The whole Library of Congress WW1 Poster Collection is fantastic and well worth a browse. WW1 and post-WW1 posters from all over the world, not just the English-speaking world. Even better, copyright has long expired on almost all of these items across most of the world, so you can re-use them for your own purposes if you like.

The Assault on St. Vodkanovich Monastery

Last Sunday (15 March) got us another bash at using Chain of Command/Mud & Blood (I’ve taken to calling it “Chain of Mud”) for Russian Civil War adventures. I umpired the game for Mike, who has played RCW previously a number of times and once with the current Chain of Mud rules, and his brother Stewart, who was visiting from Vancouver and had heard interesting things about my RCW games and wanted to try it out.

We had a scratch White force of a short platoon of White Rifles (three sections), supported by two small troops (Teams) of Cossack cavalry and an armoured car attacking a hamlet around a small walled monastery defended by two sections of Red militia backed up by a single section of Red Guard and a single Team of especially enthusiastic local Reds lead by one of the Red Guard leaders.

It was a good game that saw the White rifles driven off by Red rifle fire before the Cossacks and the armoured car finally rout the Reds in a really, really tight game that saw both players convinced it was all over for them several times.

monastery
Late in the game, the White armoured car (lower left) brings its machineguns to bear on the walled monastery compound defended by Red Guard.

I realized afterward that I’d gotten the Force Morale tests wrong in the heat of the moment, so the Whites missed two tests that would almost certainly have damaged their Force Morale and could have cost them the game.

I’m really starting to enjoy the Patrol Phase of the game and the use of Jump-Off Points. The tactics of the Patrol Phase, once new players catch on, can be almost as fascinating as the main game itself, with the limits on movement imposed on the Patrol Markers and the conflicting desires to set up good JoPs for yourself and also deny the enemy good JoP positions. This was the first game we’ve played where one Jump-off Point marker wound up right on the table edge, nearly halfway up one long side of the table, which gave the Whites a flanking position on the whole hamlet that gave the Reds quite a lot of trouble in the first half of the game.

I’ll be running an expanded and tweaked version of this scenario at Trumpeter Salute in Vancouver in a couple of weeks; I might swap the ordinary Red Guard out for a section or two of Red Sailors, just because they’re such a colourful set of figures to put on the table! With a bit of postal luck I might also have a tchanka from Eureka Minis to add to the fun!

A Building For Infinity

I’ve previously shown my urban scatter terrain for Infinity, and after getting that assembled I decided to tackle something more challenging and larger.

Quite a bit larger, actually. It’s a two-storey building that wound up being about 10″ long, 6″ wide and almost 7″ tall!

The building is entirely made of mat board, usually used as picture framing board. It’s good quality cardboard, easy to work with and it takes paint and glue well. Our local art supply place, Island Blue, sells the offcuts from their framing business off cheap! The roof and second storey come off to allow full access to the entire building during games, and I think I’ve managed to make the building tactically interesting for games of Infinity.

Check out the gallery below; the captions have a lot more detail.

If you’re interested in doing similar buildings for Infinity or any other skirmish game, I really like the ongoing “Cardbuilding” series of articles over on the Infinity news site Data Sphere: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 3.5, Part 4. Errhile is much more organized than I am, designing a whole system so that his buildings nest and stack for storage and reconfiguration, and he’s got lots of great techniques and ideas in his lavishly illustrated articles. I might well do some similar modular buildings, but for now it’s fun to just bust out a big, complex building — I haven’t done much terrain building recently!

Wargaming & Such (formerly Brian's Wargaming Pages)