A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shipwreck! Shapeways PLAN Part Two


A spell of bad weather here, and I found myself with a couple of hours to work on something.... I chose the Shapeways order of PLA(N) ships I based up not so long ago. 

That is, from Shapeways....

1x Type 051B Luhai (Shenzhen)
1x Type 051C Luzhou (Shenyang)
2x Type 052B Luyang (Guangzhou and Wuhan)
4x Type 054A Jiankai II

plus, I also had ordered 3x Song submarines from Navwar, so I painted them too!

I noticed in some photos that on the Songs you can see part of the red underbelly near the tail when they are surfaced.  It breaks the monotony of all black subs.  I will go back and check more classes of submarines, to see if any others display their underbelly colors at all.

Here are all of the new vessels escorting the Liaoning.  I have not painted on the PRC banners yet (though I have the id pieces affixed)... but that is not a big deal at the moment.

But where could they be headed?  Sadly, an all too familiar grouping of islands....

That wasn't too hard, choosing a dark blue felt sheet, and painting on the "majority" grouping of islands.  Its "about" 1" = 1 nm.  Since its on its own moveable piece of felt, I can arrange it on a table any way I like.

Admittedly.... feels odd to paint up the islands, now that I have done so.  We started gaming the current Pacific prior to things getting this tense, seemed an interesting theater for modern naval wargaming in the beginning.  Unfortunately, it seems to be getting more "interesting" as time goes on.  Here's to hoping that it stays a game.

Might see some of these in action on my table sometime soon.... hope these give the old hated USN a good surprise!

Thanks for viewing.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Disposable Heroes: Pacific Airstrip


Recently conned one of our club members into a game using Red Sun Red Death our Pacific supplement to Disposable Heroes and Coffin for Seven Brothers.  I set up the table as a Japanese airstrip, partially covered by bunkers.  The USMC attackers would be positioned in such a way as to represent their partial penetration of the Japanese defensive works.  Also, the airstrip required a very large, open, area.... something we don't frequently have in our games.  My opponent chose the forces, and went with the Japanese.

The Marines are all 28mm Brigade Games, the Japanese are mostly Battle Honors 25/28mm with a few Brigade Games mixed in.  The M4 Sherman is from Corgi, the Chi-Ha and Ha-Go are from Company B as are the 2 USMC 37mm ATGs, and I don't recall where the 1/48 Zero came from anymore.

Here is the opening scene for this battle....

The Marines began to surge onto the table, while the Japanese redeployed from their initial positions into more flexible defensive positions.  Japanese units in bunkers that had already been bypassed by the Marines left their fortifications to nibble at the flanks of the Americans.

On the American right, the struggle was particularly brutal, and most of the casualties would be caused in this general area.
Oh, I took a quick shot of another game going on that night, a Point Blank game, 1939 Poland, using an experimental double blind system.
Anyway, back to the jungle....

Casualties and failed morale tests kept things interesting on the Marine right.  Typical of the Pacific Theater, this included some melee.

The Japanese brought up their Chi-Ha to support their left (they also had a Ha-Go deployed in the aircrew shacks, which was putting down accurate 37mm and MG fire, whittling down a US HMG team throughout the game).  The Marine 37mm ATG on that side was pushed into position, and scored a hit, which failed to penetrate.
The overconfident Chi-Ha moved too close to the Marine infantry... who promptly initiated a close assault....

... and with the aid of a machete, a P-38 can opener, and some hand grenades, they dispatched the Chi-Ha spectacularly.

Wary of cross fire from a bunker-enclosed 70mm IG and a HMG team, the Marines were reluctant to cross that wide, flat, field.  You can see the Ha-Go blazing away at the advancing Marines.
The Marine M4 Sherman had hit the 70mm IG bunker several times, without a single penetrating hit, until finally...
... it scored a penetrating hit with a "10", resulting in the destruction of the bunker and all of its occupants.
With the failure on the Japanese left, and the way across the middle now open, it was clear that the Marines would be able to take the air strip.  We called the game at this point.

My Marines has suffered a fair number of casualties, as had the Japanese.  In retrospect, the Marines were a bit too strong for general play balance in this scenario.... not always a bad thing, but if I played this set up again, I would tone them down a little, or give the Japanese maybe one more squad of infantry.

Still, it was a fun game, and had tough choices for both sides.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shipwreck! Red Storm Rising...


I had made a large purchase of 1/3000 NavWar Soviets, and then, added some more which hasn't arrived yet.  I may have bought a little too much....

I started basing some of them up, we will have slightly warmer weather soon, hoping to get some spray paint on them.

In the below image, you will see the Kuznetsov, the Admiral Gorshkov, the Moskva (the CVH), the Kirov, the Frunze, a Kara, the Admiral Chabanenko, 3x Slava, 2x Alligator, Boris Chilkin, Ivan Rogov, 3x Typhoons, 3x Sierras, 3x Victors, 4x Alphas, and 4x Kilos... all based except for the Boris and Ivan.

Wow.  Typhoons are big!  I think I will borrow an idea, and have one named Red October :)

The Kirov looks to be slightly miscast, the tops of the masts are not as distinct as on the Frunze, and the modified Kiev seems a little too rounded on the prow.  Still, I am very happy with this... no where else could I get such a fleet for such a price.  If from GHQ in 1/2400 for the same price I'd have 2 capital ships and 2 DDs.... from NavWar for the same price, I have "all" of them.

Still in the bags are 3x Udaloys, 3x Sovremennys, 8x Grishas, 4x Krivak IIs, 3x Pauk, 3x Tarantuls, and the Peter Gutshenko.  I have several items on order, including a Sverdlov, and more subs. 

Also shown in this image is a single pack of 3x Song subs for my PLA(N).  Finally, I bought a supertanker and 2x dry storage merchant ships.  The merchant ships are a must.... we really need some for the PLA(N) vs USN games, and will need them for our Cold War gaming too.

As far as the PLA(N)... I really need to talk to procurement about obtaining a couple of Slavas.  I don't care their real world problems, the Slava looks great on paper!

Almost all of the Soviet ships and subs are usable by the modern Russians, so I have a fleet from the late 70's through today to use against everyone, including my PLA(N) if it comes to that.

Hope to show off some paintjobs soon.  Thanks!