Scouts Out!

Scouts Out!
C Troop musters for action

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brandon's Pictures from Last Weeks Game

Last week, as I mentioned in my last update, I played a game with my two boys.  That is unusual because my oldest boy, Brandon, tagged along to play.  He normally doesn't play because he prefers electronic games and thinks my games are a bit boring although he likes the miniatures.  This time he really took the time to learn the game and to play... and he really enjoyed it!  Sweet!

Anyway, while we were there he used his DS to take some pictures.  So here's the game though Brandon's eye!

 Looking north toward the main gate.  The two soldiers on the Games and Stuff building are the US ANG command team.
 Close-up of the SWAT team covering the curtain wall.
 My technicals slinking down the board's edge trying to stay out of the Bradley's LOS.
 A random shot of some 40K terrain.  Games and Stuff has some nice terrain for the 28mm crowd.
 Jeremy's reinforcements in the process of eating RPGs!
 The nice urban ruin table that was "next door" to us.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A pick-up game at Games and Stuff: US Army vs. LRL with insurgents

Last Sunday I grabbed my boys, Brandon and Jeremy, and dragged them off to Gen Burnie, MD to play a wargame at the "Games and Stuff" FLGS which isn't too far from the Evil Empire HQ!  I love going there too, however I wanted to break out my 15mm toys since they haven't seen the light of day in a few months.  Rules wise I decided to play my version of Ultra-FUBAR.  It's a nice and simple game that takes almost no time to pick-up and play with plus its FREE!  

Tgunner's Ultra-FUBAR


One of the cool things about "Games and Stuff" is that they have a huge club house room with dozens of gaming tables and whole bins full of buildings and terrain.  With just a little work you can cobble together a rather amazing looking table!
   Pretty nice eh?  What I came up with was a small US settlement surrounded by woods, hills, and swamp to the west.  The objectives of the game were:
1.  Inflict 50% or more losses on the enemy,
2.  For the LRL force to get troops inside the curtain wall of the settlement,
3.  To control the "Games and Stuff" building which is next to the main entrance of the settlement.

Since the boys wanted to be the "good guys" I decided to let the run the US forces while I would run the "bad" LRL forces.  But I would also serve as a technical advisor (helper!) for the boys.

Here's a rough OOB

US Army National Guard Garrison (Seasoned)
Platoon Command team with AR and AR/GL (as an action the commander can call in a 6D mortar strike as an action, the command team doesn't need LOS to call if another unit has LOS)
2 Sentry Guns (HMG activates on 3+, Expertise 4+, cannot move),
4 National Guard squads with about 6-8 men each split into two sections (1 SAW per squad),
1 Police SWAT squad with 5 men armed with 2 SMGs and 3 ARs,
1 Bradley APC,
1 Sniper

1 US Ranger Platoon (Veteran) with 12 men: 1 ATGM, 2 AR/GL combos, 2 SAWS, 7 ARs organized into 3 squads of 4 men each,
1 Motorized Section (Veteran) with 2 five man squads riding HUMVEEs (1 SAW per squad), 
1 HUMVEE with a HMG,
1 Ares MBS (Veteran) with a heavy cannon and HMG.

The USANG troops were deployed in the town and the boys made sure that they had a strong garrison in the "Games and Stuff" building (it's the USANG arsenal building).  The squads were deployed in the buildings with good LOS over the wall.  Not too bad of a deployment for two little boys!  The Bradley, unfortunately, was set-up in the middle of town right were it couldn't see anything.  Jeremy was pretty nervous that I would take it out I guess.

The reinforcements would be rolled for at the end of each turn with the Rangers as one group to roll for and the motorized platoon with the Ares suit as the other.  Getting access to them was simple:  roll a d6, if the result is equal or less than the current turn then you get it.  The Rangers, being ODST like troops, are allowed to land anywhere on the board if they passes an Expertise roll (3+).  I figured that the boys could use the extra firepower to make things even since I would be running the LRL.  The motorized section simple enters the board from the boy's baseline.

LRL Forces (Seasoned)
4 LRL rifle squads (11 men with ARs, 1 SMG, 1 RPG),
4 Rockhopper Technicals with HMG and carrying 5 or 6 men from two of the rifle squads,
2 AMX-60 Hover APCs carrying one squad each (!)
1 AMX-70 MBT (using M1 stats... I really need to stat out this guy!)
4 squads of Liberty Insurgents (Seasoned) with 5-6 troops each and armed with 1 RPG, 1 SAWs, and like 3 or so SMGs, the rest were armed with ARs.  I want to say there were 19 insurgents split into those 4 squads.

I placed each of the insurgent squads in one of the stands of woods or in the swamp, forming a rough horseshoe around the US settlement.  All of the vehicles were deployed about 6" in from my baseline with the technicals on my left with the AMX tank and the AMX apcs on my right.  My basic plan was simple.  My insurgent squads would pin the enemy squads into place and thus allow my motorized/mechanized squads to rush the main gate, then with tank support they would enter the curtain wall and sieze the arsenal building.  Easy peasy, right?

Wrong.  The game opened with the boys making a spotting check and locating my insurgent squad hiding in the swamp.  The boys then opened fire with a hurricane of small arms fire!  I was quite shocked to discover that one of their USANG squads actually snuck 2 SAWS onto the board!!! Seesh!  I really need to pay better attention to what the boys do when they pull troops for me.  Well, I decided to let them keep the SAW and I took it on the chin.  Did you know that a six man USANG squad with 2 SAWS, 1 GL, and 3 ARs can toss out 15 DICE at 12"??????? Yikes!!!

When the boys finally failed their activation I rushed my AMX-60 hovers up to lay down supporting fire.  I also tried to activate my insurgent squad but alas... two suppressions are almost impossible to overcome.  That squad only got one activation and it couldn't gain fire superiority over two enemy rifle squads, nor could it effectively disengage.  
The plasma cannons on the AMX-60s did help but not enough.  Over the next couple of turns the boys shredded the insurgent squad AND they pulled half of my strike force away fromt the main gate in what was to be a fruitless firefight for me.  Seriously, you need to keep your eye on the ball in wargames and not let the drama of smaller actions derail your plans!

I think this picture says it all.  The kid was a killer roller and he had plenty of firepower to dump on my insurgents.  I REALLY should have taken away that extra SAW!!

While things heated up on the right flank I moved my technicals, who were acting as half-squad carriers, down the left side of the table.  I used the terrain to screen my forces and I moved my units toward the boy's baseline... maybe a little too far.  You see, I had to scrap my original plan because Jeremy, finally, committed his Bradley and moved it in contact with the curtain wall.  I just didn't want to expose my thin-skinned technicals to the Brad's vehicle shredding ATGMs and Light Cannon.  To counter it I move my AMX tank out from behind the hill in the picture above and I TRIED to engage the Brad.  Over the next couple of turns the Brad and the AMX tank tossed missiles and shells at each other for very little effect.  The AMX's armor and point-defense guns dropped the enemy missiles and light shells while my gunner proved his credentials as being a graduate from the Imperial Stormtrooper School of Advanced Gunnery... in other words he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn!!!  But hey, at least he gave the Bradley a hobby and kept his attention away from the technicals.  

Here's that Bradley skulking around the curtain wall and around turn 4 he got some friends to join him.  For some reason Brandon decided that the Bradley needed some infantry support so he moved the SWAT team away from their building and placed them along the curtain wall next to the Bradley.  Not the smartest of moves as the curtain wall gave them less cover than the buildings.  When my technicals came rolling out they dumped HMG fire on the SWATs... target practice!

Around turn 3 or 4 I realized that I had totally blown-off my original plan!  My technicals had wondered way too far toward the boy's baseline, my AMX-60 carriers were involved in a losing firefight trying to protect an insurgent squad, and my three remaining squads of insurgents were pretty much sitting around "on guard" and otherwise unengaged.  I figured that I might as well have a go at the front gate with them.  After all, there was only one US squad near the gate and I did have my AMX tank close by.  So I activated them and rushed the front corner of the settlement where a small gap exists in the curtain wall.  The boys caught on to what I was up to and rushed in reinforcements!  

Then things got really ugly.  Right before we moved on to turn 5 Brandon tossed the reinforcement dice and succeeded!  Now the boys had the Ranger platoon and the mechanized section.  They wasted little time getting those forces onto the board with the Rangers taking up firing positions on the same part of the curtain wall that my technicals were rushing.  This freed up USANG squads who hurried up to the main gate to stop me.  At the same time the mechanized section rolled onto the board... and right into my guns!  It really was bad luck for Jeremy!  All three HUMVEEs and the Ares failed activation rolls so they only had one action.  So all they could do is take a move action and come onto the the game board. 

I quickly dismounted my LRL riflemen and proceeded to hammer each unit in turn as it appeared.  The Ares ate a AMX main gun shell and a RPG, the first HUMVEE also got some of the action with two RPG hits as well.  It was during this turn that Jeremy gave me a classic whine, "Why do you keep shooting up my reinforcements?!?!?!"

However these reinforcements did do their job.  My attack on the curtain wall bogged down into a vicious firefight between my technicals and troops and the reinforcements.  We all got our licks in and both sides took a beating!  I lost 2-3 LRL riflemen and one of my technicals was toasted.  In response I scored mobility kills on a HUMVEE and the Ares, and I dropped a whole squad of Rangers.  I rushed my surviving troops into a couple of stands of woods and dug in for a long firefight.  So much for that flank...

About turn 5 I went on ahead and took the chance and rushed through the curtain wall in a desperate bid to at least secure one victory objective.  The boys weren't having any of that though and they rushed their squads into the small court yard near the entrance.

And a blistering firefight broke out!  Both sides had two squads in very short range blazing away at each other with SAWS, SMGs, grenades, ARs, and kitchen sinks... to very little effect!  Lots of missing, armor saves, and tom foolery ensued and when the smoke cleared everyone was STILL STANDING!!  I honestly don't think I've ever seen worse luck in a miniatures game.  

WOW!!, I missed...

And that was time!  We had to call the game because it was time to leave.  A quick look at the victory objectives showed that each side accomplished one thing:  I got troops inside the curtain wall, they kept the armory, and neither side inflicted 50% losses on the other.

It was a tie!!!  How about that?  The boys were pleased that they thwarted dad's plans, and I was pleased that my oldest boy, Brandon, told me that he really enjoyed the game!  That's huge because he's never shown any interest in "dad's games" so this was his first outing with me and Jeremy.

Here he is taking pictures with his DS.  The kid's a pretty good shot with his camera.  I'll see if I can post some of his pictures later.

Anyway a great game at a wonderful venue with some fun players!  Even the Central Maryland Wargamers stopped over to cheer on the boys as they took on daddy.  Great guys and gals!

Semper fi, carry on. 

Camilla Bathurst... she's itty bitty!!

John at Khurasan really "wowed" a lot of us when he first posted pictures of this mini on TMP some months ago:

It's amazing that this is a 15mm miniature!  There is just so much detail on her.  Well you don't know the half of it!  A couple of weeks ago I put in an order for miniatures and decided to pick her up too.  As soon as I saw her I was floored.  She is REALLY SMALL!!

 That is a US quarter just to give you some sense of scale.
 Look at how thin her arm is!  It appears to be rather bendable.

I'll post some more pictures of her today in a "usual suspects" line-up so you can see how she matches up with other common 15mm figures. She's a great little mini!  I don't think that my painting skills will even come close to the work of art at the top of the page, but I know she'll be an awesome mini to have on the board for some sci-fi/pulp games.

 I have to say, I have a whole new respect for John's sculptors and painters!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

3rd Shock Guards Brigade!

Time for some Neo-Soviet fun!  

The last couple of years for the Liberty Project have been focused on US and Liberty forces so my 15mm collection has had a distinctive "western" look to them with maybe a few odd terrorist/insurgents tossed in.  While I love the LRL and its impromptu, ad hoc vibe I think it's time to have a more menacing OPFOR join into the fun.  And honestly, who better than the evil empire itself?  The Neo-Soviets!

The old Soviet Union was a classic, conventional, foe.  Their vast armies of mechanized troops and powerful regiments of tanks scared the bejesus out of generations of NATO troopers in Germany.  In fact, I was probably one of the very last troopers to go through the Armor School with training aimed right at fighting the Soviets!  So yeah, I have a soft spot for the Red Army of yore!

So I want my Neo-Soviets to echo that force: lots of AFVs, tough motor riflemen, and nearly unstoppable tanks, but with a distinct pseudo-futuristic look!  So que in the comrades of the elite 3rd Shock Guards Brigade!

The 3 SGB is a independent unit that is part of the Neo-Soviet Union's off-world army and as such it is equipped and trained to fight with just the resources on hand... and they are considerable!  The core of the 3 SGB are its three maneuver battalions each with three mechanized companies.  Each mechanized company is based around three motor rifle platoons with 3 BMP-20 Yozhiks or BTR-15 "Turtle".  These core troops are happily available from Khurasan miniatures and from Antenocitis Workshop.

Motor riflemen: Khurasan Red Faction Infantry

BMP-20: Khurasan Yozhik



I have the Khurasan infantry and APCs but I don't have the Kabardins yet.  Maybe this summer!  I purchased the Khurasan platoon pack for the infantry so I have three rifle squads and two heavy weapons squads.  I'll probably organize them into a single platoon with the BMP squads being 6 strong and the BTR squads being 10 strong.  I might break up the weapons squads and attach them to the troops in the carriers or I'll just have to grab another APC!

For heavy support forces I'm going with the old Red Banner tanks from Khurasan:

I'm going to 'trick out' the Soviet tanks and I plan to get a couple for my LRL forces, but in the vanilla flavor without the armor or special weapons.  I have one tank right now that I'll keep for the LRL.  Any new ones will be for the 3 SGB and will become, over the months to come, a full tank platoon of three tanks... or I'll just cheese out and buy the platoon pack with my end-of-the-school-year emolument check. 

Mecha... hey, it's sci-fi, you've got to have mecha.  I already have two old VOR Ursa battlesuits:

I just love them!  They are HUGE for 15mm, bulky, awkward, and just downright scary!  I'll probably use them just for the simple fact that I have them!  But I have to say, I'm seriously tempted by these guys:

AT $9.99 for a pack of 2 I'm betting that they are very small compared to my Ursa.  But maybe they can be the Neo-Soviet answer to the American Valkyries?

The Valkyries are the two small mechs next to the big Ares.  These are Battletech Valkyrie light mechs and they are 1/285th scale, however they make for some great battlesuits in 15mm.  I can easily see the head tipping over and a crewman climbing into the chest of these things.  Maybe the Pocket Mecha are the same size.

Anyway the plan is to have a demi-company with one complete BMP platoon, a tank section, a mecha section, and the command team.  That will be the foot in the door that might eventually become a full company with 10 BMPs and 3 T-555 Red Banners!  That should put the fear of Stalin into the capitalist pigs on Liberty!

Anyway, enough for now.  Time to gather up the minis and get them ready!