Thursday, May 06, 2021

3D Printer

3D printers have become a new fad among wargamers.    I had been put off by the cost & the degree of difficulty in mastering the art of using them.  But the price has dropped dramatically & a visit to Nick's place to see what he was doing with his, & knowing I had him as a mentor in the learning curve got me enthused.   It took a week to arrive from Sydney.  I took the box up to Nick's place to assemble it so I had his help & his assembled machine as an example to follow.  I was glad  I did.  It would have driven me to the edge of insanity to put it together just from the instructions.

There is a plethora of ready made files of models on the web, either free or not expensive.  The Thingiverse being the best source I know of.  These have to be converted to a file that suits your printer by a program.  I'm using Cura, a free download.  This too takes bit of learning to use, but there are you-tube videos to help.  This program also allows you to scale the model.  The Thingiverse AFVs are nominally 1:100 so you scale them up about 180% for 28mm.

Then there is the learning to use the thing.  They are cantankerous beasts & many things can go wrong.  You have to make sure the bed is level & the right height every time as it can drift off.   The nozzle can clog & the feed get stuck, so you need some spare parts & figure how to put them in.  You need to learn the techniques to make sure the model sticks to the base throughout the process, & to provide it with support under overhangs.  

The process is slow.  A 28mm AFV will take about 5 hours.  But the feed is cheap - about A$25 for a 1 Kg roll which will make about 25 models.

Here are my first efforts:

The pontoon bridge parts were easy ones to start with.
The Horsch on the right is as printed, the one on the left is Warlords resin & painted.
The vineyard row has been spray painted.

This is the Horsch on the bed as finished.  The infills under the model support it during construction & snap off pretty clean. The raft under provides a firm seating on the bed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Bolt Action Tank Wars

Mike & Mitch: 1,500 pts US Armour
Mark & SteveJ: 1,500 pts Panzer
Tank War scenario on 8'x6' table.
The US are on the right.  
There are 6 objectives: The two bridges in the centre & the 4 hills towards each corner.
Deployment was in a turn 0 with no shooting each side within 24" of own table edge.
The US have advanced infantry to seize the two bridges.
Both sides are advancing infantry on their right flank.
The tanks are sniping at each other at long range.  So far the only damage is a dead Sherman.
On the far flank the German infantry have advanced, but were severely mauled by tank HE fire as they crossed over the ridge.
In the centre the US are Down on the objectives taking heavy fire.
On the near flank the US infantry have advanced to meet the Germans & hit them hard.
In the last turn things really heated up.  
On the far flank the US had a good chance of rushing the decimated Germans & consolidating within 6" of the objective.  But they had  a pin from Hetzer MG fire & failed to activate.
On the near flank, the US activated first & prevented the Germans trying to rush them.
In the centre, hot shooting my the German MMG in the orchard beside the house caused the US at the bridges to break. The LMG squad on the other side of the house then rushed up to the bridges.
The US had to move tanks forward to maintain possession of the objectives.  
To win the Germans had to take out the US armour with their panzers to leave their LMG squad holding the objectives.  They either missed their shots or failed to penetrate, so the US won holding 4 objectives to 2.

My personal favourite kind of BA game is between mechanised forces on a big table as we did tonight - there is room for manouvre & ranges & transport matter.  

We tried just a few house rules tonight:
- Instead of 6&6 for Nigh Impossible Shots: 7= 6&4. 8= 6&5. 9=6&6. 10+= cannot hit.
- Cover accumulates, so firing thu 2 hedges is -2.
- No templates for HE.  Dice for no. of hits as in houses except hits capped at 1 per fig in target.
- High dice good in Command/Break Tests.  Vets pass on 4+, plus 1 per pin. Regs on 5+ plus 1 per pin.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Experimenting with Bolt Action

The Bolt Action unique turn system provides a great game, but it doesn't work well for very large games.  In such games it become ponderous & slow. Today we experimented with playing Bolt Action with an IGoUGo turn sequence to see if it did indeed speed up play & whether the game worked that way.  The idea being to look at developing a house variant suitable for fighting large battles, possibly with 15mm figs.

Jim's Panzer Platoon v. Chris' Soviet armour.  1,500 pts Tank war with just 2 objective (two bridges near the centre of the 8'x6' table).

We found that the game did indeed flow much more quickly than standard BA.  The basic combat systems in BA are simple enough to suit large actions.  It is the need to advance the game unit by unit that slows big games down.  There are some not obvious tweaks required with the change, but we decided it was an idea worth taking further.In this battle the Germans concentrated their forces better, seized the objectives early & held off the Soviet counterattacks to win. 

Bolt Action

 Jim's Panzer Grenadiers v. John's Brits:  1,000 pts Double Envelopment scenario.

Both sides countered every attacking move their enemy tried leading to an honourable draw with no units getting into the enemy's deployment zone & only 1 difference in units lost (1 German to to 2 Brits).