Q13: Another 15mm Manufacturer Added to the List

Just when you thought you had them all, up pops another. My thanks to those of you who e-mailed me.

Vanguard Miniatures are mostly a 6mm manufacturer, but have got three 15mm ranges available as well. These are the entomorphs, who are rather nice and need to be purchased asap, some space ork types known as skinnerz (any relation, Nick?) and some human types. They also stock Onslaught Miniatures ranges as well.

Here are some of the entomorphs and, yes, sigh, some space orkz too!

Loving these Entomorphs, will have to get some

Q13: Xar Flying Saucers!

I've often complained that figure manufacturers have a habit of releasing incomplete sci-fi armies: a few infantry codes but without any support weapons, vehicles etc.

One manufacturer, however, who can never be accused of that is Ground Zero Games (GZG). If ever there was a good reason to use the word plethora, then  looking at the GZG catalogue is it!

Ralph Plowman's Xar

One of their latest releases are the Xar:  six legged aliens also known as Critters. True to form, the initial release included basic infantry types with two types of support weapons and separate officer/specialist types. That first release was soon followed by unarmed Xar in a variety of martial arts poses (just brilliant!) that could be used as such or also engineers, gun crews or other such support types, with the plethora of equipment and vehicles available elsewhere in the GZG range.

Now GZG have topped themselves again by launching the first of the vehicle codes for the Xar:  flying saucers! Each one comes as a thickish disc about 2.5cms in diameter topped by a Xar and sided by an impressive array of guns. As you'll see from the pictures below, despite my rudimentary painting technique, these are great. Highly recommended.

Must clean off the spider webs before photography!

New 15mm WW2 Figure Manufacturer

Having sorted out the list of sci-fi figure manufacturers, I thought I'd better take a look at the WW2 list as well.

Coincidentally, just as I was doing this, a notice about a new one appeared on TMP:  Butlers Printed Models.  This is a 3D printing outfit who will print your required vehicles to order.

As it's 3D printing, the finish is a bit rougher than resin or plastic, but then tanks (especially Soviet ones!) tend to be pretty rough to the touch.

At the moment, Butler's have all the basic vehicles required at some very competitive prices. All they need to do now is a Polish 7TP and I shall be reaching for my credit card!

Click on the pic below to see all:

OML5: The After Action Report

My chosen scenario for Operation Market Larden 2017 (the TFL games day held in Evesham each year) was scenario #06 from the Poland 1939 supplement, The September War: Wegierska Gorka.

Taking place between 2nd and 3rd September 1939, the battle for Węgierską Górką, or the “Hungarian Height”, took place near the Polish-Slovak border and was fought between Polish mountain troops and German infantry. The Polish position included a number of anti-tank bunkers overlooking the valley below, and was therefore of significant strategic importance.

Here are the two AARs from the day: one game in the morning, one game in the afternoon. Click on the pic for all. My thanks to Noddy, Ty, Bob and Vlad for making it a great day's gaming.

List of 15mm Sci-Fi Manufacturers Updated

With some of my favourite 15mm sci-fi figure manufacturers suddenly disappearing from the scene, I thought it about time to properly update the list that's available in the Quadrant 13 section of the website, or by clicking here

Very interesting: about a quarter of the 50 or so listings needed updating. Is it me, or does that seem like quite a lot?

To help you decide, here's a listing of what's changed:

  • Astro Miniatures: deleted as the man behind it is taking a break
  • Cactus:  fairly new on the list, but the website has disappeared: deleted
  • Clockwork Miniatures:  still on the list, but only an information page on their website  now, as their 25mm range has shifted to Warlord Games as part of their Bolt Action weird WW2 variant. No sign at all of the 15mm range :(
  • Combat Wombat: has been only a FB page for ages. Now that says the range has been sold to Skullduggery Press...but nothing on the Skullduggery site. Left on in the hope that they return.
  • Critical Mass:  sold to Ral Partha Europe. The infantry has started appearing on the RPE shop, no sign of the vehicles yet. Left on, but links to the RPE page now.
  • Mad Robot:  deleted, as the Harook have disappeared from their website :(
  • Spriggan:  just before I deleted their entry, I happened to notice that the 15mm Spuggs were also now in the RPE store. Link changed.
  • New entry:  Sayiner Microtoys with a few 15mm vehicles
  • New entry:  Slap Miniatures with their Space Dorks and more

All the above just goes to reinforce my opinion that, whenever you see miniatures that you like, you should buy them immediately as, if you don't, they can disappear from the scene without warning.

That might be why my lead mountain is so high, and why my children look hungry all the time!

Helicopter Landing Pad from Ironclad Miniatures

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'd been to Vanquish, the small wargames show that takes place in May each year in Bourne End, Bucks. I didn't spend much there, but one thing I did buy was the helicopter landing pad from Ironclad Miniatures

As a new purchase, the pad went straight to the front of the painting queue (!) and despite my current bout of painter's block, was soon ready for the tabletop:

Not a very good picture, but a great piece of terrain

I've chosen to put a cross in the centre of the pad as I want to use it for Q13 as well as for Charlie Don't Surf!, but you can see in the smaller picture (from the Ironclad site) how good it looks if you can do a decent 'H'!

One thing to note, the pad is actually listed in their 20mm terrain section rather than their 15mm section but, to be honest, works really well with a 15mm helicopter.

Painting Challenge: Monster Update

Loads of submissions this week: good stuff, keep it up!

In no particular order, we have:

  • Lloyd Bowler returns with more aircraft than you can shake an 88 at
  • Loads of cannibals and pygmies from Mervyn
  • There are StuGs from Mr Davies
  • And more medievals from Mr Helliwell
  • Steve Burt joins Mervyn in Darkest Africa
  • Carole has a new renaissance army
  • It's rød grød med fløde from Doug with his modern Danish battlegroup
  • And, last but by no means least, a trip to Mars with Matt Slade

As is now usual, clicking on the names in bold above opens that person's gallery in a new window.

Today's pictures are as follows:

Here's Doug's modern Danish battle group: see his gallery for close ups

Da tank from da Vinci:  part of Carole's newly painted renaissance army

Gloucester Gladiators from the Hat!

Keep those entries coming!

New CoC Pint-Sized Campaign: Bloody Bucket

Although this site tends to cocentrate on the company-sized games from the TooFatLardies (IABSM, CDS, Q13), we do like to promote new releases for their other systems.

Here, then, is the latest pint-sized campaign for Chain of Command:  Bloody Bucket. Here's the blurb:

"This Pint Sized Campaign for Chain of Command is the first covering the battle of the Bulge.  The action here covers the initial German attack against the US 28th Infantry Division as the 26th Volksgrenadier Division attempt to clear the ground between the Our and Clerf Rivers in preparation for Panzer Lehr’s advance on Bastogne.  What followed was three days of epic action which destroyed the German chances of victory.

Six battlefields provide a campaign which sees the Germans attacking and infiltrating to isolate the US defenders, initially with infantry but soon with armoured support while a gallant band of men fight on to the end.

This classic Pint Sized Campaign is designed to be run using the campaign rules in At the Sharp End and with Chain of Command rules.  Can you break through and open the route to the Meuse and Antwerp, or will you make an heroic stand and halt Hitler’s lunatic vision of victory in the West?

Thirty-two pages long, this Pint Sized campaign provides the background history to the campaign with situation maps.  Uses period maps to show the location of the actions and then provides a complete campaign with forces for both sides, support options for players to select from and full victory conditions for all six battles and the campaign as a whole."

Click here or on the picture of the front cover to buy "Bloody Bucket".

IABSM AAR: The Dunkirk Perimeter Given the Luther Treatment!

Back in January 2015 I put together a quick game for the lads from Benson featuring a fictional action on the Dunkirk perimeter. Set, obviously, in 1940, some plucky British defenders attempt to hold back the German tide. Click here to see that AAR. 

Mark Luther read that battle report, and put on his own version of the game. Click on the picture below to see how it turned out:

Hura: Second Platoon Complete

Despite my current lack of painting mojo, I have managed to finish the second platoon of Hura: the 15mm four-armed sci-fi infantry originally kickstarter-ed and now available from Clear Horizon Miniatures.

Technically I have one more platoon and the company commanders to go, but I'm unsure about actually painting the third platoon.

That would give me a good, solid, nine-squad company, but I've found that in Q13 I rarely use more than two platoons, so re-tasking these for duty as gun crews and other miscellaneous bods might be more useful than a third infantry platoon.

On top of that, the Hura support weapons now really look to me as if they should form the third squad of an infantry platoon i.e. a platoon would be infantry squad, infantry squad, support squad.

If I do that, I have my three squads per platoon, and all the company command I need, and can concentrate on getting some vehicles and artillery/AA pieces...which I can then crew with my now-spare figures.

Decisions, decisions!

One thing I do need to do is to find the Hura some vehicles, as Clear Horizon don't produce any. My usual solutions would be to pop to GroundZeroGames, who have a cornucopia of such things, but this time I think I'm going to go with Brigade Models' new Yenpalo Heavy Grav Tanks:

What I might also do is get some of the Yenpalo lizard riders and see if I can do a bit of a conversion job: adding half a Hura to each one.

A couple of squads of mounted scouts would add a certain something to the army: it will just be a question of whether I can get the conversion to work without too much superglue, pinning and green stuff!


Back from Operation Market Larden 2017

Sorry for the lack of posts recently: been working and training and going out-ing hard over the last week or so, so have had neither the time nor the energy to update properly.

Anyhoo, leaving that aside, yesterday was the annual Operation Market Larden games day organised by Ade Deacon and the other Wyvern wargamers.

For me, this involved an hour's sorting and packing the car on Friday night, then leaving the house at 6.30 on Saturday to get up to Evesham to get everything set up for the two games of IABSM that I was due to run.

As usual, it was a brilliant and well-run day of gaming followed by a delicious curry and plenty of drinking. My thanks to all the Lardies who attended and made it such a good day (and evening!) and especially to Ade and the other organisers.

I'll write up the two games that I ran later this week, but in the meantime here's some pictures from the day unashamedly "borrowed" from the TFL Facebook page:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust #5M: Near Bashnya

Here's a cracking AAR from the Norseygamer blog: scenario #5M: Near Bashnya from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack.

The Germans have their backs against the wall: well, Bashnya's walls to be exact. Here they attempt to stop the Soviet advance one last time.

Click on the pic below to see all:

TFL Painting Challenge: An Update

Fairly slow week on the Challenge: not the usual cornucopia of entries, just a steady flow.

Mind you, I can't talk: my painting mojo has deserted me for the moment, and I haven't managed to finish anything for a few weeks now...and this despite the fact my lead mountain is the highest it has ever been.

Note to self: after finishing this update, you must finish that platoon of Hura sitting on the painting table: you must!

So, today's update:

  • John Haines with some lovely samurai
  • Steve Burt is still in darkest Africa
  • Jonathan Davenport pops in a large entry: twenty T-34/85s and some modern British infantry
  • There's a whole load of 6mm and 10mm infantry from Mr Hodge, plus three gardens for his 28mm housing project and some monsters
  • Mr Helliwell is still all medieval, with some Donnington knights
  • And last but by no means least, it's more Burmese terrain from Mr Luther

As always, clicking on the names, above, will open their Gallery in a new window.

Today's pictures are below:

samurai and friends from Mr Haines

samurai and friends from Mr Haines

I like these: the Spirit Host from Mr Hodge

Always tough to paint: French HYW Knights from Andrew Helliwell

Mr Davenport's modern Brits

Another Modern AAR: Chetequera

As people seemed to like yesterday's modern AAR, taken from Mark Kinsey's excellent blog Daddy's Little Men, here's another in the same vein.

This time, we go further back in time to Historicon 2010, where Mark and friends are running a game based on the battle of Chetequera: part of Operation Reindeer, which began on 4 May 1978, and was South Africa's second major military operation in Angola, carried out under the Apartheid regime. This phase of the South African operation consisted of an assault by 2 South African Infantry Battalion on two South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) base complexes, Chetequera and Dombondola, near to the then-South West Africa/Angola border.

Click on the pic below to see all:

Modern AAR: Cassinga

Here's an historical AAR I've been wanting to post for some time: Mark Kinsey and Jon Yuengling's Cassinga game for Fall In 2013.

The Battle of Cassinga took place on 4th May 1978 during the South African Border War. The battle involved South African forces raiding a suspected SWAPO base at Cassinga, Angola and, covered in the game below, the intervention of a Cuban armoured force operating out of the nearby Techamutete village.

The game was played using a combination of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! and B'Maso!, the latter being the Wars in Africa 1950-99 supplement for IABSM.

Click on the picture below to see how this great game played out:

More Goodness from MBA

Regular visitors to this site will know that a month or so ago I took advantage of the 50%-off Miniature Building Authority sale to order some 15mm terrain from the US. See the post by clicking here (will open in new window).

I was so pleased with the buildings, and the fact that the 50%-off made them affordable to buy from the US, that I decided I'd better get some more in order to make my middle eastern town a bit bigger. A few clicks later, and I had another of the compounds and four more little houses on the way.

Whilst I was on the site, a couple more of the buildings caught my eye, and I duly ordered some of them too: manufacturers take note: all you have to do is get me there!

First up is the sawmill. Great little building this, and ideal for one of the scenarios in Bashnya or Bust! Unfortunately, the site said it was out of stock, but an e-mail to Kirk (good man that he is) led to him uncovering one deep in the recesses of the warehouse.

A nice little building, quite distinctive, that comes with a couple of piles of wood (okay, so they are a bit pants!) and some fencing to make an outside area. Loving this: will make any wooden Russian town or village a bit more interesting.

The next thing to catch my eye was the MBA Russian church. I'd coveted one of these for some time, but the problem is I already have at least three (it might be four, I deliberately forget!) Russian churches. If I bought this one, I was well on the way to having enough to portray a different church in each of the various towns and villages  in all 32 of the Bashnya and, indeed, all the Vyazma, scenarios as well. I definitely did not need another Russian church.

So here is my new MBA Russian church proudly sitting on the tabletop:

Another lovely model that comes with two gold crosses for the steeple: a really nice touch as I am bound to break or lose one over the next few years.

Here are the two buildings together rather than in isolation, and you can see the new middle eastern kit behind them as well:

So how did the financing work out this time?

Using an exchange rate of $1.30:£1.00, here's the calculation, rounded to single units for ease of consumption:

  • List price: $290 (£223)
  • 50% off: $145 (£112)
  • P&P:  $85 (£65)
  • Tax: $36 (£28)
  • Total Paid: $266 (£205)

So a saving of around £20...and I have some very nice buildings that are usually only available (due to cost) in the States.

The MBA sale is still on, click on the banner below to visit their site. Please mention VL if you do end up buying: I've already received one angry e-mail from a spouse about the money spent by her other half the last time I posted about MBA!

TFL Painting Challenge: A Large Update

People have been busy! Plenty of entries flooding in. So, in no particular order, in today's update we have:

  • Andrew McCarthy finally gets off the mark with some WW1 British infantry
  • More WW1, but this time from Carole: some Scots
  • Chris Kay pops in a platoon or so of 15mm modern British infantry
  • Thomas sends in three figures
  • Mr Helliwell is still dabbling in the 1/72 medievals: a mass of longbowmen to be exact
  • Mervyn is back to Dux, with some Irish in 28mm
  • Mr Luther sends in a hodge podge of bits and pieces in a variety of scales
  • There's more Darkest Africa from Mr Burt
  • Koen pops in some beautifully painted French for Indochina, and some American Civil War figures as well
  • Stumpy has kept his painter busy, meaning he has loads of rebasing to share
  • And last, but by no means least, Mr Slade is back with some engineers, artillery and a few civilians

As always, clicking on the names, above, will open their Gallery in a new window.

Today's pictures are below:

A close up of some of Koen's Paras

Don't look at the figures: just look at Stumpy's re-basing!

Matt's engineers: Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb!