Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Medic & Radio Operator

What more can I say a medic and radio operator for the Fallschirmjager.

Both are Bolt action figures from Warlord Games. Both to be used as part of the platoon/company command section.

I must admit to have never really paid much attention to the uniform/accoutrement's of the German medical personnel. So a little bit of research.... didn't reveal many contemporary photos either (I'm sure their out there somewhere) . But there were plenty of photo's of re-enactors or miniatures of German WW2 medics. All seem to agree that white helmets were used with either a single red cross or multiple symbols on the helmet or even a single large cross painted across the whole of the helmet. (NB the white helmet does not seem to have been standard, and modern reconstruction's had images of standard uniform with the red cross arm band only). Now on the subject of the tabard I had seen in  a recent TV documentary contemporary film of a German medic running between buildings in combat and wearing such a tabard (I think it may have been about Operation Market-Garden). But I could not recall the colour of the helmet being worn or if the red cross symbol was on the reverse of the tabard. It made sense it would be, so I have painted a cross on the back.

This photo is of a Leichte Schutzenpanzerwagen U304(f), is based on a captured French chassis and this particular version was used as an armoured ambulance. Issued to units in France from 1943 on. Note personnel wearing red cross armbands only and at least one wearing a tabard (standing in passenger compartment). No white helmets though. 
Next up support weapons for the Fallschirmjager, coming soon. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

Ghost Walkers (An ongoing story of survival in the Old West)

Dawn , Texas, February 16th 1881. The cowhands, maids, and cooks start work in the pale morning sun light at Big Jake's Ranch. Another day of toil and drudgery.

Suddenly a blood curdling war cry shatters the calm. From the surrounding scrub, Victorio's renegade Apache warband race towards the homestead.

Victorio himself, leading one half of the warriors, rushes towards the corral eager to seize the horses from the white eyes. Ulzana leads the others towards the stone walled cattle pen; food is needed to feed the hungry warriors and their families. The women folk and children of the ranch scatter for cover.

The warrior Yuma takes careful aim and strikes down one of the fleeing women. The lust for revenge for the injustice heaped up his people clouds his vision, all are enemies here.

Having reached the corral a fierce gun battle enrupts across the paddock has the homesteaders fight hard to defend themselves. Then disaster strikes...

Yuma falls knocked senseless by a lucky shot.

Ulzana's half of the band is more successful. The warriors have seized the cattle and begin to lead them away. In the far distance the warriors Nana and Kuruk give covering fire to drive off more of the white eyes who have emerged from the buildings.

But are they to late to stop the Apaches? Meanwhile at the corral the gun fight is getting desparate. Neither side is able to gain the upper hand.

Dahana using the rail fence as cover draws closer to his enemy. Gripping his prized Winchester rifle tightly he opens fire on the enemy and one bullet flies true.

The cowhand crumples into the dust never to fight again. But then the thunder of hooves can be heard fast approaching.

Prospectors have heard the sound of gunfire and ride to the aid of the beleaguered defenders. Or perhaps they are motivated more by the chance of collecting a bounty from each Apache scalp they take? Now it is the Apaches who are under pressure.

Out numbered brave Dahana is gunned down in a hail of bullets, never to rise again. But the stubborn battle at the corral has not been in vain.

Ulzana and his warriors have taken the cattle, and retire into the surrounding scrub. Victorio mourning the loss of his brother warrior, leads his men away.

The white eyes sensing an easy victory give chase but their bravado comes too late to stop the warparty escaping.

This was the third game in which my Apache warparty have taken part in. The first saw a minor victory to the Apache, the second was a close run thing, from which Victorio and this warriors just managed to escape from a party of scalp hunters, after giving them a blood nose. My opponent 'The Secret Wargamers Friend' has decided to draw up a campaign of sorts with a certain element of role playing. He will be DM and my actions across the game map will determine the next encounter. This was the first official game using the campaign map, so the first one documented.

Rules used 'Legends of the Old West', figures by Foundry, Artizan, Dixon and others. Terrain bought and scratchbuilt. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Interesting Question?

Stu raised an interesting question as to what rules would I use for a WW2 pulp game (from last post)? For small scale platoon sized actions I've previously used the Iron Ivan rules. 

Which give a good game and Iron Ivan have recently released their Pulp/adventure rule set and a squad level rule set. Though I don't really know much about either of these new sets. The blurb for 'Where Heroes Dare' says they are for 20s/30s pulp games, but I'm sure they could stretch to the 40s.

 My other choice for platoon level WW2 is the 'TOOFATLARDIES', Tactics, Weapons & Troops' (or TW&T) for short. 

Now I'm itching to give these a bash. I only need to complete a few more fallshirmjager and add a few more pieces of terrain and I'm off (at last). I've played a couple of the Lardies sets and really enjoyed the games that they give. Now with the Big Men rules, I think they could be adjusted for a small pulp style game, or would you need that little extra flavour to flesh out the characters? But then there is always the TW&T supplement 'Platoon Forward' which is designed to give a little more depth to the Big Men. At the present time I'm not sure I'd won't to be purchasing more rule sets. I've already got too many some of which I have not played, nor am I likely to play.

So to recreate 'The Eagle Has Landed' in 28mm what would you need. German fallshirmjager in Polish paratrooper kit about 16 figures. A platoon of GI's to represent the Rangers, including Larry Hagman.

I think he would be a level 1 Big Man!

A handful of civilians, including Jenny Agutter.


And Donald Sutherland as Devlin.
But would you need these characters? Maybe heading into the roleplaying territory? Who would play Jenny (I can think of a few candidates).  It would depend on whether to play the game as a straight fight between the Germans and Americans or to have the main characters played by select individuals to develop a story, rather than a straight wargame.  

Throw in your quintessential English village, a few Jeeps to get shot up could be a great project/game. This is definitely a project I would like to run and one I have considered for a while, worthy of further consideration. Having never played a strictly Pulp game I can't at this stage comment to well on rules or how to run the game. Though I have been interested in the Pulp genre for a while and it is an area of wargaming a would like to try. There are other rule sets out there, besides those listed, which could fit the bill.  

Of course another 'classic' WW2 film I have considered turning into a game of some sort is...


Thursday, 2 February 2012

My Name is Michael Caine

Norfolk never looked so exciting!!!

Oberst Steiner is here to take command.

This little gem is from Warlord Games and was a must have. Based on the Michael Caine character from the  'classic' 1977 movie 'The Eagle has Landed', itself based on the Jack Higgins novel of the same name (which I have never read).

Yes Oberst Steiner may look more like a Luftwaffe fighter pilot than a Fallschirmjager Officer, but its a great figure and will make an excellent platoon commander. The fact the model is carrying a sten gun really appealed to me.   
Warlord do produce another Fallschirmjager figure with a looted sten gun but that figure has been modelled in a prone position, and I'm not to keen on figures in prone or kneeling positions, I prefer 'action'/'movement' poses.  It would be nice to have a Jager with a sten gun in a better pose. This photo illustrates the use of captured/looted weapons.

The Jager on the far left (standing) is holding a sten gun. This still is from film taken during the Battle of the Bulge. The men are stood on the back of a King Tiger, on route to Stavelot, Belgium on 19th December 1944. The march of this particular King Tiger is well documented in 'Battle of the Bulge Then and Now' available from here afterthebattle.

P.S. Yes the film/book is set in Norfolk. The scenario would I think make a nice little game, something Pulpy perhaps-can you save Winston Churchill from the dastardly Nazis?