Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bugs for my BDay!

For my birthday I decided to buy a game that I've had my eye on forever. I finally bit the bullet yesterday and went to my local hobby slash game slash toy store in Houston. They had one box left on the shelf so I quickly snatched it. Good thing too because most of the sites are sold out of this out of print bad boy.

More than likely I'll be using THW's 5150 rules with some Nuts! and CR03 thrown in. Ya hear that, LTL Dad, we're gaming this next!

Box contents from a promo pic I got off the net.

First up are the bugs. They come in hard plastic and these Arachnids are pose-able to a certain extent.

Assembly line ready for production that'll yield 20 bugs in different poses.

Since my table was already set up with some urban ruins for a Nuts! game I played last weekend I couldn't wait and posed a few completed bugs attacking my strelkovy (Black Tree Design). I'll put the MI (Mobile Infantry) together after I get done with the bugs. They're not painted yet but the models looks cool.

"Comrade Captain, here they come!"

Strelkovy about to be OVERRUN! Dasbedanyah!!
Next up: Mobile Infantry

Friday, June 25, 2010


Just finished a small unit of ten 28mm PanzerGrenadiers from Battle Honors for use with Nuts! They'll supplement my Fallschirmjagers nicely while duking it out with Strelkovy. A bit smaller than Black Tree Design. However the poses are pretty good aside from the obligatory prone figures and grenade throwing hero.

Urban Ruins: Accessorized

Any table would look wunderbar with buildings and ruins. However to kick it up a notch I've always believed in adding some real world representation of mundane things we take for granted that would breath a little more life to my gaming table.

(click on the pix to enlarge)

For urban settings I've used a Soviet army blanket I found at a surplus store. I like the texture and grayish brown color that looks like dirty concrete and paved surfaces. If you're like me, surplus stores are a great place to find gaming materials and surfaces to drape on your table.

Alternative and cost effective ways of representing cobble stone streets were my initial challenge. Because of my era and area of choice (Eastern Europe), asphalt paved streets would be anachronistic and inappropriate. 

I borrowed an idea from another excellent blogger and terrain maker, Sbminisguy. After admiring and drooling over his urban ruins table on his post: http://sbminisguy.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/nuts-ostfront-demo-game-aar/ I contacted him directly for questions and advice. He was very helpful and gave me lots of information. I preferred his street because it didn't layout flat and static thereby looking artificial. With felt or fabric one can simulate real world dips and bumps.

So a quick trip to my local fabric store yielded the right shade of greyish felt that I would use as my roadbed. Further scrounging at my local train store resulted in the perfect stamp to use in simulating a cobble stone street. I found a 5" wide x 12" long wall section (HO scale) made by the Ultimate Scenery System. A quick removal of the top stone cap made it flat enough for stamping along with some light gray latex paint. 

To make things simpler I didn't bother with sidewalks. Another added detail were the ubiquitous manhole covers that seemed to be typically ignored in most tables that I've seen. At first I thought of using buttons but I didn't find anything to my liking. Truth be told I just bored searching for the right one at my local fabric store. Another option was actual O Scale manhole covers available at Model Railroading online catalogs. However, I just got impatient and needed them NOW. Sound familiar? 

As a flash of inspiration, I Googled manhole cover images, printed them on card stock and glued them onto washers. I painted the edges with a reddish brown to give it a rusty hue. I love washers. I use them on everything as you can see.

Next, I needed telegraph poles and/or power lines. I didn't bother with stringing actual power lines and decided to include a few strands instead. The power lines would just get in the way during the game. Here are the completed poles with along their basic components.

Willy (LTLDad) suggested the addition of dead trees and I couldn't agree more. Rather than going scouring the internet or my local train store all I had to do was go no further than my front door.
 Dead trees scrounged from my yard

based, flocked and dry-brushed.

Back to the net for some street lamps.

Based, flocked, painted and weathered. Excuse the bad focus on this pic.

In context.

Here's my park and monuments.

All I'm missing now are vehicles.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Urban Ruins for Nuts!

My Urban Ruins table set up for Nuts! Greyish building ruins by me, red building ruin by Justo aka Uncle Greasy, streets courtesy of Willy aka LTL Dad and dead trees provided by Mother Nature via my yard. 

This really isn't a full on batrep, just a top line summary of the events with pix. :D

Since I'm a relative noob to Nuts! (meaning that I've only played a few games) I'm always in dire need of practice and any excuse for gaming is all that I need to set up a table. Besides I've got to play with my newly completed Strelkovy and Fallschirmjagers. 

Willy ran the Ruskies. 
While I got the Fallschirmjagers (FJs).
We played a few scenarios where my FJs were holed up in a building while his Russians came on the table to clear out the hated Fascisti invaders. Bottom line: more Russians were needed as in another squad of 10 AND 2 less FJs. Or a single T34/76 or SU76 for added support would've given the Soviets a fighting chance.

4 of the FJs were armed with FG42s


2 with 1 shot panzerfausts and MP40s

A lone sniper (prone) and the ubiquitous MG34 LMG team as shown above (you have to squint a little b/c I substituted a Soviet DP LMG team since my MG34 is still enroute from the UK). 

Urrah! Urrah!

Skirmish line

A picture's worth a thousand words...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

FoW Cossacks!

First a little background. My fascination with all things Russian transcends differing time periods. You just can't do Russians (from Napoleonic to WWII) without the ubiquitous horse units that were part of their history since the mid 17th century. With that long history it's no wonder that most people associate Cossacks with Russians.  

For me it goes all the way back to the early 60's when I saw the epic 'Tarras Bulba' as a young lad.

Yul Brynner as the archetypal Cossack hetman. 

This movie and his title role caught my imagination. Although I always had a problem with Tony Curtis. He was too pretty in this film and in this one when he was paired with another great: Kirk Douglas.

But I digress... Sadly, I never found any plastic Cossacks in those early years for me to game with. Now a days you can practically find any type of unit however obscure. Don't believe me, check this out:

Now I just discovered that a foreign remake (in Polish and Russian) has already been released last April 2009. I haven't seen it but thankfully it's available on DVD from Amazon. I'm hoping that it'll be more authentic than the earlier Hollywood version.  

And I'm so looking forward to lots of eye candy particularly the Polish Winged Hussars charging against the Cossack host!

Read all about it:
Fast forward to 2005: on a visit to SoCal (when I officially returned to gaming) my old wargame buddies gifted me with FoW boxed sets of a Panzergrenadier Platoon and a Strelkovy Company. For good measure they threw in the rulebook and a couple of Intelligence Handbooks for the Eastern Front: 

Needless to say, I got hooked as they knew I would be. Soon I found out about the upcoming release of:

Now, bar none, this had to be one of the best pictures I've seen that really captured the heroic (albeit suicidal) Cossacks fighting along with their Tankovy brethren. The next step was for me to acquire the book and the box.

So with all that background, I was chomping at the bit (pun intended) to incorporate a Cossack unit for my FoW Russians. Before I had a chance to fight with them I had fun posing them in this diorama.

Don Cossacks thundering thru steppes!

Attacking a railhead

with Sturmoviks in support.

Meanwhile, here comes the German relief column. God only knows how that battle ended.

Cossacks are a fun unit to field however it takes a bit of finesse as I was soon to find out. At a recent FoW battle playing the Road Block scenario I was able to use my Cossacks in support of a Tankovy Batalon. A platoon of T34s and T70s were speedily dispatched to hold the first objective (represented by the downed FW109 marker).

After a few turns I had my Cossacks charging full tilt to secure the second objective (represented by the stack o'crates).

Dismounted to support the tanks, they are ready to rumble. Note the burning T34 on the right.

Urrah, urrah!!  Second objective taken and held.

Historically both sides used them. They were perfect for the steppes and were very good fighters. Just a word of caution with these units. I know it's tempting but be very careful about charging your horse into dug-in and blazing machine gun positions. It just won't do unless you're shooting a movie or posing a shot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...