Preorder of the Day

Imperial StruggleI saw Imperial Struggle first time several years ago and thought that it could possibly be interesting. Then I forgot about it.

It also seemed that the designer had forgotten about it as well, since there was practically no progress for  a long time – or so it seemed. Other day, I bumped into GMT web site for completely different reason and noticed that they are actually printing the thing.

Considering the shipping circumstances, it may of course take a while before it actually lands on my hands but I am looking forward to.

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How about some other grazers?

Since there were already cows and bones, perhaps some sheep would be a nice touch as a filler. This time a little hillock void of trees. Wondering when would be the next opportunity to bring these on to a table.

While thinking of that, I was also wondering that I might get some buildings from Total Battle Miniatures, since they appear to have rather attractive enclosed town, along with some other goodies, such as walls, maybe a bridge, and a windmill.

I also noticed a distinct lack of French late war troops in their greatcoats and rough looks. Something I should probably order from Baccus before long.

Meanwhile, progress of the ASL counter clipping is going admirably. Done MMC, SW, SMC, ordnance of Germans, French (Free, Vichy & plain), Hungarians, and Axis Minors from Croix de Guerre & Armies of Oblivion in addition of some US MMC and SW.

Sheeping - 4Sheeping - 1Sheeping - 2Sheeping - 3

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Buying a Farm…

Besides of the boneyard, I thought that while the war is raging on the countryside in much of Europe, some honest folks are at least trying to hold on to their bread and butter… At least until the Prussian reservists arrive to bivouac and to loot it all…

Small feature tiles that can conveniently be surrounded by bocage, wall, or hedge, as seen fit.

Gone farming - 5

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Gone farming - 1Gone farming - 6Gone farming - 3Gone farming - 4

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A bit of Hiatus

It has been a long, long while since I did any painting or modeling. There are two reasons really, first I’ve had quite long span of ASL and other cardboard games (including bi-weekly Gloomhaven campaign that has been going on pretty well) lined up, and miniature gaming prospects have been hovering around zero.

However, since the current situation, and very sluggish return of mojo, I might get at least more troops to the lines. Additionally, I had some ideas of terrain details (I still prefer the battlefield be gluttered with details, but still haven’t figured out how to make good looking masses of trees… ).

So, for the time, some photos of the most recent piece of terrain – and of of several reserve infantry troopers of Prussia that have been in queue for a long time… Afterall, what would the European battlefield be without yard of bones.

Graveyard shift - 1Graveyard shift - 2Graveyard shift - 4Graveyard shift - 5Graveyard shift - 7Graveyard shift - 3Graveyard shift - 6

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Acquisition – Croix de Guerre

Croix-de-guerreWell, this one took quite a while to arrive but finally it made it. I do have the old French module of course, in fact I have pretty much all of the oldies but that one was somehow particularly poor production run from the Avalon Hill twilight years. Now, while quite expensive, Croix de Guerre includes quite few interesting scenarios, and Vichy French OOB (one could argue that we do not need them, because we can portray late war French with British, but well, well). Besides of these, there was usual pages of French equipment, and notes.

As sort of bonus, Dinant is part of the package. I have not gone to it in any detail, but realized two things. First, my 3 ring binder is too small, and second, I think that the map of Dinant has too small hexes. I would have much appreciated same hex size as in the excellent Hatten in Flames – good grief they are handy…

That said, Croix de Guerre did not come alone. I finally invested to a corner clipper, so I can work to eradicate the most irritating corners at least from the new edition counters. Perhaps I leave the older ones square as a reminder of the localized insanity.

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Acquisition: ASL Journal Bundle

ASL JournalsI have several ASL Annuals, which are quite good reads, but never actually got my hands on the Journals in time. Therefore it is most welcomed by MMP to finally released both the Journals and Annuals in a bundle form. Price of the bundles is quite agreeable, and content, well, interesting.

Of course I had to get into a fray. I am still thinking about the Annuals though.

Rumor says that there could be an ASL RB in electronic form, and this would be probably the best thing ASL has seen since it’s conception.

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Acquisition: Deluxe Redux


Well, this has been waited for a very long time indeed. Ever since the Deluxe Action pack I had hopes to see it materialize because I really do like Deluxe ASL maps and also scenarios portrayed.

Deluxe ASL has always had a special place and now it has seen the rework that should have been done years ago – albeit perhaps people were not ready for it yet.

Now what are missing still are the King and Country to replace my very worn British, and Croix de Guerre to get the correct OB of French in play.

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BoF #07 – The Fields of Black Gold

There was – again – an opportunity to take up some ASL match. This time BoF took us to east of Grozny, to the all important and rich oil fields. I was given the Viking SS, and my opponent took the Russian defenders. Forces in the scenario are quite interesting mix of armor, artillery pieces, trenches, infantry and some Lend-Lease Valentines. Additionally, and somewhat unusually there was a wind. Fields of Black Gold - 1

All this made the prospect of attack an uneasy affair, even tough only one of the Russian guns was HIP. (and probably emplaced in some nasty corner). I was somewhat affraid that my opponent would have protected his right flank with gun emplaced on the high ground.Fields of Black Gold - 7

So, in the best of traditions of early war SS, I just planned to charge up the hill, take the key locations, then turn right and roll up the small hill on the side…. Or, well, I planned to do that – SS supposed to be, well, the best of the best.Fields of Black Gold - 10Russians had build defense in depth, all the neat and nice trench lines on the top of the hills, waiting for the attack to come about. Additionally, the small hill on my right had quite substantial defensive works.
Fields of Black Gold - 6

That said, some forces went to the right to prepare the enemy positions while bulk of the forces, including armors went against the hill positions. My troops took quite a few casualties going against the hill positions. Only too late I realized what actually needed to be done – cut behind the enemy positions, overrun and freeze. Once I got this going the Hill positions surrendered (or would have, if I’d have any inclination to take prisoners) quickly and the defensive structures collapsed. Only the minor hill was then standing between my forces and victory.Fields of Black Gold - 5

Trouble was that I had spent significant portion of time and my troops combating the enemy in close quarters on the big hill and had lost nearly two thirds of my infantry forces by the time I got to the minor hill.Fields of Black Gold - 8

Interestingly I had not lost a single armor due to the enemy fire. AP rounds just appeared to bounce of the MkIV repeatedly. That soon changed and MkIII became a flaming wreck. After that I lost two more tanks for recall – something I could not really afford to lose.Fields of Black Gold - 3

My opponent packed pretty much all his remaining forces on the minor hill for the last turn and there was no way I could get them dislodged with the forces in my disposal. So I threw everything in and hoped for the best. Game ended with two inconclusive melees and heavy concentration of Valentines in the victory hill. Fields of Black Gold - 2

Given enough foresight to see earlier what needed to be done, the end result could have been different, and the casualties far less prominent. Moving armor up the hill and firing smoke dispensers to cover up the advance could have been far better idea than what I did. 

On the other hand, my opponents placement of the gun around the small hill did create an massive opening to the left side, which I should have exploited more. Without gun coverage, it will be a highway to massive defensive casualties.

All in all, I like this one immensely.

Error correction section: AFV may, provided it has not fired, chance CA at the end of the fire phase.

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ASL: AP86 – Milling About

We had an opportunity to play Milling About (AP#86) from the ASL bonus pack To the Bridge! Milling About is an meeting engagement where concealed formations of Commonwealth and Japanese bump on each other in  a jungle and a cactus hedge. At this stage I have to mention that several mistakes were made, but more about this later.

Milling About - 1

Entry positions – would have been quite bit different with Dense Jungle…

I had the honor of taking the Japanese, which are in a tough bind, however it could have been all different with the SSR read carefully enough. Essentially I opted to run through and get exit VP, especially since I got the first move.

Milling About - 2

Moving on, around the left. Yes, H16 would have been the place for HIP MG/mortar…

Milling About - 3

And more… 

Milling About - 4

Just in time at the edge to make exit.

Without the screwup with the jungle, it would actually have been very interesting scenario.

Mistakes were made with SSR, I genuinely read that Light Jungle was in effect – which of course is not. Not only this would have changed quite a few of the moves, but also because of dense jungle number of DFPh shots could not have been made.

Additionally, this would have meant that there can be no FG composed from adjacent hexes (Japanese had one such, British a few more), and trying would have been in effect in quite a few places (not so much for Japanese, but also for British).

Additionally the HIP option also for Japanese attacker was missed.

Maybe next time we get things right…

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Acquisitions: ASL stuff #3

More ASL stuff is dropping in. This time some more scenarios on a form of Winter Offensive #10 and scenario pack Best of Friends. So the quest to find the missing action packs and winter offensives continues…

I am still a miss of quite few but perhaps I’ll get my hands on them in time…

Action packs 3 - 3Action packs 3 - 2

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