Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Giza Rebuild (28mm Gunboat)

Well it's been awhile and I have been busy.  I have been getting many orders for boats and as soon as I got started things started heating up at work (in a very good way).  What slowed me down was a couple of my fellow wargamers requested the Giza boat.  That was the second model I made a few years ago and didn't create any plan drawings for it.  That made things interesting but I did record it all in my blogs.  That helped!

I remembered the build and thought it could have used more space on the bridge for a couple of riflemen.  So you will see I ran the deck a little longer with a canopy for the helmsman.  If you look at the old pictures the Machine gunners port and starboard did not have much room around the gun.  So I opened the main deck by building the stack structure a little smaller.  This also gave me a nice location to mount the flag holder. 

The stack is removable for storage.  I am going to put on a small wood plank wrap to the base of the stack as added protection like I usually do.  The canopy over the bridge is also removable but can be glued down if the gamer would like it that way.  You can still slide models from the rear into position.
The other item that I think enhances the model are the sandbags.  My cousin Bud came over and helped me start rolling and shaping up the bags out of modeling putty.  That saved me so much time.  Letting it dry and start the layers of dry brushing was easy.  I still want to add a little more sand color to these.  And I still need to add a layer of bags around the helmsman position.  I think it's a nice touch. 

The hardest thing to build for this model is the paddle assembly.  Very labor intensive.  They are not perfect but I think they look pretty good.  Somebody suggested that I use a 3D printer.  I say where is the fun in that?  Yeah it's a bit old school but I think wood looks better than resin? That is my humble opinion.  But then again I do see some beautiful resin boats out there.

So my typical caveat about these models.  These are my own representations of gunboats I have either seen on wargame tables or articles and movies that provided the inspiration. They are not perfect, not even close.  Each model has its own personality as you can imagine.  I am building them in three's and I cut the wood exact for each but after assembly there is always something a little off.  It's funny but as any ship builder you start making minute changes here and there.  The good thing about my models are they are built with basswood for the most part. So if anything breaks just grab some wood glue, repair and paint.  Hey, it just adds more personality!  

Well these Giza gunboat models are ready to be shipped.  Next I'll build three Double masted Dhows and followed by three more new L Class boats. I also have a small steam launch project on the side.  Where is the time!

As I mentioned these boats are ready but I really can't let them go without a few Dervish bullet holes drilled into the sides of the boat now can I? 

Remember to "Always Send a Gunboat!"

Last Stand Dan 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

TMWWBK - Get to the Boat! (A Sudan Scenario)

Finally, I finished the Town for this scenario and worked it out using The Men Who Be Kings rules.  This was two play test battles because after building this little town I am going to tour with it at conventions next year.  I already know how to switch it up to The Sword and The Flame.  I just wanted to try these rules which really worked out great.  I will not go into any comparisons and this is  not meant to sway anyone from the rules they are currently using.  It's just another great option out there that may or may not fit your style of play or scenarios.

And again I have always wanted to do something like this.  It was inspired by Sand Pebbles, The Wind and the Lion and other great movies that had some cool evacuation scenes.  And of course my good friend Sgt. Guinness who over a year or so put on The Wind and the Lion at a convention which got me thinking.  Thanks.

So some notes on the rules around Regular units or just Regulars.  In the rules the Free Actions, meaning you don't have to roll against your Leadership value to perform are firing and Standing to.  We did this in the first game and although they had a great 5+ to perform that movement using 2d6 we must have had over 6 or 7 non movements throughout the first battle.  We also only completed 8 of 12 turns and the Dervish just swarmed them and blocked their escape path to the awaiting gunboat.  The same for the rescue forces coming from the boat. We had a number of stalls.  So with all that said we gave Regulars Move as an additional free action.  They are running for their lives right?  So in the second battle it worked out great.

And yes I made the Egyptians Regulars in this second revolt.  But only the Egyptians had to roll on the random leadership tables.  That was interesting and added some very reluctant and very eager Egyptians to fight next to.

The mission was to evacuate the Governor General and his staff from the Government House to the Cairo.  His staff has a British unit as an escort (Grenadiers in battle 1 and Highlanders in battle 2).  The rescue force has three commands.  Each having either a Naval, Grenadier or Royal Marine unit with an attached Egyptian unit.

The order or movement was borrowed from Western Gunfight rules.  Each leader is dealt a playing card and highest card goes first, etc.  Jokers were wild and did not shuffle the deck each turn.  We just ran through the deck and it worked out well.

Other conventions is that the rules state that you can only fire at one unit and any units in a melee, everybody fights.  Well, how many Colonial Street fights do we see in our games?  So in this scenario, a unit can split their fire if in Open Order and if a unit is charged with half of your guys outside then only those poor souls fight the attackers.

Same for firing.  You can only fire and target what you can see.  So if three guys are sticking their heads out coming around a corner and you are firing 8 guys then you can only kill the ones  you can see.  When defending a narrow door, similar to the close order melee rules, you can only fight two wide and two deep.  So if you have a unit defending or blocking a door, then the fight will be 4 vs 4, so not everybody fights.  We figured that you may be several soldiers holding your ground in a narrow doorway or alley and a mass of warriors is trying to push their way in.  We had this happen a couple of times and it worked out great.

Also in the rules if you take a casualty you roll for Leader hit.  And if you lost the melee you rolled again for your pin.  After a while we started just to roll once if you lost.  If you rolled double 1's your leader is killed and you probably get a pin.  Anything else your leader is okay and you fall back and you may or may not get a pin based on your leadership with that one roll.  Did that make sense?

Dervish Insertion Rules
So I borrowed this from Mr. Carpenter's Ambush alley.  I placed ten (10) Hot Spots on the board.  I also created a Dervish insertion schedule for each turn.  The Dervish are able to place their units on any spot that is not in sight of the infidels and is still active.  Active meaning that if an infidel comes into contact with an insertion point it is removed.  This is not to say that there is anything to kill there but think of it as a Dervish gathering point and it was broken up by just their presence there or they locked up a door etc.  So there is a tactic both sides have to take into consideration, one how do we get the Governor out and two how do the Dervish intercept and kill him.  Sounds easy?  hahahaha (evil Mad Guru laugh).

So the two battle worked out great.  Each battle in the future will fight out differently and there are some tactics that I want to try as the British that I will not give away here.

And if you have any questions or comments just leave me a message.  Join the blog for updates!

Thanks again to all my friends and colleagues that helped out.  I will blog about the building of the town next time.  For now its pack this all up and get my boatyard up and running again.  Our Colorado Military Historian (CMH) Club's Vet Wars is in two weeks here in Denver, Colorado.  Should be a good one. Hope you like the annotated pictures of both of these battles.

Last Stand Dan

Please forgive all my typos.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Get to the Boat! Part II

First of all I apologize for being out of touch lately.  Again, job, family and travel sometimes gets the best of us!  And on top of all that I have been deeply focused on getting this project completed that is taking up my gaming/work/boatyard table as you will see in the pictures below.  

And, oh, regarding travel, I am going to put out a post of my trip that my Wife Julie and I took to Normandy! One of my bucket list places to visit.

So what am I up too?

After putting on this scenario with my friends at a con in Florida and borrowing all of those buildings I thought I probably should make some of my own.  This project is getting closer to the end, maybe two more weeks and I will post more pictures during the upcoming play tests.

For this scenario I am going to use The Men Who Would be King (TMWWBK) just to mix things up at our big Club event in November.  The main reason for the this project is that I try not to borrow everything I need because when I want to put on a game it becomes a burden on others.  So I always try to be self sufficient whenever possible.  As I mentioned in the last scenario blog it would not have been possible without buildings and walls from Sgt. Guinness and Dr. Pasha Jones in Florida, thanks again.

So to begin this project I invested in the right tools!  Man that saved some time.  I purchased cutting tools from Foamwerks which allowed me to cut up walls production line style.  And then with some proper knives slicing in doors and windows was easy but time consuming.  My buildings are not perfect and not Ebay worthy like some of the "works of art" I see you gamers doing but it works for me.

At this point I still have to mount wood doors and window shutters, build one more building and finish and paint the Mosque and Government House.  In the pictures everything is laid out on the back of styrofoam board because it got messy!  But at first dress rehearsal I will remove everything in a particular order and then lay out my cool Cigar Box desert mat, water tiles and dock and reassemble the town you see here with all the trimmings.  lol.

I intend on getting two pre-games in before our game day at the club and then be able to transport this to gaming conventions next year.

I will post more details later, I just wanted to let my "Gamers in Arms" know that I have been very busy.  And my humble apologies on the delays with my Boat Production and Gunboat Rules.  As soon as I can finish this I promise I will be back in the Docks!

Here are a few pictures of a big mess...without the ground mat, palm trees, gunboat, etc...

Last Stand Dan

Last note:  If you have not read my last blog about this battle it might help put things into perspective.    Bottom line is that VIPs have to make it from the Government House to the Gunboat Cairo waiting at the docks while Dervish units appear at active hot spots all over the table.  More on the revolt later...