Thursday, December 26, 2013

Glenpool Strike: Airfield Assault

Last Sunday we played out the second skirmish in the Glenpool Strike. In the last game I got my butt handed to me by my son, and the Black Legion lost an entire squad. Between games we followed the rules for force development from the Red Poppy / White Feather rules for the Cherry Street Irregulars. They managed to get a few improvements here and there, the most important being that a second leader has emerged, meaning that they can now activate as two groups instead of one group and / or individuals. I started with a squad of entirely inexperienced men and managed to roll as poorly as I do when we are playing, so I started with a leader and one model with an additional ability.

We then went ahead and rolled on the mission generator. I rolled a one, and so did my son, he however got to add a point to his total so he got a 2. This meant that he was the attacker and was doing a prepared attack.

It was decided that we would do a support weapon for each squad. I choose a MMG, but not having the model for one (it's on the way) we used a small artillery piece as a proxy. My son has been dying to have a Bazooka, his favorite weapon of all time, and why wouldn't it be. So he was a bit disappointment when I told him that it hadn't yet been invented in 1937. So we settled on something else that I had built a few months back. More on that in a minute.

Here are the Black Legion forces guarding the south entrance of the Tulsa Municipal Airport. The entrance has been sandbagged and a machine gun position has been set up to fire down the road. Around this the squad has set up their tents and a small fire pit for cooking. The squad has also been assigned a two local recruits, one of which the squads has nicknamed "cowboy".

Another shot of the Black Legion squad securing the southern entrance to the airfield. All is quite and has been all morning. The troops are just now rotating out of guard duty two at a time to sample some of cowboy's chilli for lunch.

The Cherry Street Irregulars, fresh off the adrenaline buzz of last nights victory have decided to push their luck and directly assault the airfield. Hoping to quickly destroy the fascist menace. They made a call to a local union held shop that escaped the anti-communist purge, and had a Rube Goldberg contraption ready for field testing, it was sent immediately to their location to aid in the attack. 

 What's this? Two trucks rapidly approach the checkpoint, just cresting a small rise. The Senior Sgt. gives the order to open fire with the MMG as these are clearly insane communists who have come to die at the hands of the dreaded Black Legion.

Wouldn't you know it. They are a half inch out of range. Damn the luck. The rounds hit the ground in front of the truck, kicking up dirt but otherwise having no effect. 

An aerial shot of the mad rush towards the gate by the CSI.

A quick shot from the MMG position looking down the road. And what pray-tell is that puff of smoke in the wheat field on the right.

Why, It...It's the "Wiener Werfer"! An old hotdog handcart turned into a mobile rocket platform.

Another gratuitous shot (or two) of the Wiener Werfer delivering red hots to the fascist pigs.

For the rockets we used the rules from "The World Aflame" and they worked well enough. My son picked the spot he wanted to aim at and then had to estimate the distance. He did surprisingly well, coming up about 5 or 6 inches shy of the target.

The first two shots land in the center of the Black Legion forces. Raining shrapnel down on our two diners, and the MMG crew. The two diners both go down but the MMG crew takes cover behind their sandbagged position and escape harm.

The cowboy momentarily rethinks his decision to join up with the Black Legion, but when he sees his award winning chili done wrong by those commies, he becomes a fanatic. "Those durned commies will pay"! he shouts, grabs his trusty shotgun and rushes to join the fray.

At this point we are between turns. We roll for initiative and I win, so I throw the Black Legion .30 cal on over-watch figuring that the commies will continue forward down the road and my boys will be able to get some good shots off and maybe knock out the lead truck. Since, there was no shooting, the initiative passed to the communist forces.

In a move that caught me by surprise, my son does not activate the truck but instead opts to fire the last two rockets from the "Weiner Werfer" and calls out the range again, with an extra five inches added. Which puts the rocket fire right on top of my MMG. However, he still have to roll for deviation which is a d12 so I'm still not worried, they could still land almost anywhere. Then he rolls a rolls a 1 and a 2. Well, the MMG team was nice while it lasted. LOL

The deadly accurate rocket fire from the dreaded communist Weiner Werfer blows the living daylights out of my machine gun nest, incinerating all those therein.

Now the lead communist truck continues it's mad dash for the front gate. It stops just short of the machine-gun nest and take heavy fire from the waiting fascists. Lots of shots are exchanged, a Molotov cocktail goes flying wildly as the thrower is shot and falls from the back of the truck. Another communist is shot as is a Black Legion trooper.

The Second Communist truck arrives with more soldiers. The cowboy takes a shot but misses by a mile.

The communist jump out of the second truck and fire at the Black Legion soldier with the hand grenade, and take him out. So ends the second turn of the game. We roll for initiative again and the communist win this turn.

They target the cowboy, taking careful aim...

...and punch a hole or two through his 10 gallon hat.

The other Cherry Street Irregulars open fire trying to kill the last remaining Black Legion soldier. Their luck has run out and they all miss.

He returns fire taking out the Thompson-wielding field  hockey player, before being gunned down himself.

So ends the second skirmish in the Glenpool Strike campaign. The communist have won again, two consecutive victories over the fascist Black Legion.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Glenpool Strike: A VACW Campaign

The Black Legion forces have been dispatched to Tulsa Oklahoma to secure the Glenpool Oil field. Which, up until a few years back was the single largest oil strike in the US. With the aid of a few local citizens sympathetic to their cause they were able to land at the Tulsa airport north of the city just after midnight. The first two planes held a total of 20 soldiers and their equipment. They were easily able to take over poorly guarded airfield and adjacent Spartan school of aeronautics. Reinforcements were scheduled to land every half hour but later planes hit severe weather and turned back. With only two squads available, the commander decided to hold the airfield with one squad, and then send the second ahead, in an airfield service truck. Their job, along with two local guides was to scout the planned route to the Glenpool oilfield, and if it looked as if the refinery was an easy target to go ahead and capture the facility, or wait for reinforcements, at Lt. Drysdale's discretion.

Unfortunately for the Black Legion forces, they failed to capture all of the people present at the airfield. One, a communist agent, was able to slip into a back office and make a phone call to his comrades, the Cherry Street Irregulars. This commie was caught and shot by the Black Legion guards. However, the damage had been done.

The Black Legion squad in the truck had already departed but because of the poor visibility (dark and rain) and muddy roads they were moving rather slowly. The Cherry Street Irregulars were able to get ahead of them and set up a an ambush. At the intersection of the country roads outside the city limits at Sheridan and what would be 31st street, if 31st street extended outside of town (rather, it is an unnamed county road).

Since we were doing a really small table, my folding table, which is around 3x3ft I decided that we would try out an old skirmish game called Red Poppy/White Feather that I found for free on the internet. It seemed like an interesting game for a squad based game, so we gave it a try. We used the Bolt Action dice to keep track of things, as the orders aren't really all that different.

For the game we set visibility at 12", beyond this models could not be seen. That is with the exception of any unit within 3" of the sides or back of the truck, and 6" in front of the truck. The truck could also be spotted at any distance because of the head and tail lights.

Outside of the regular rules the only thing we added was the random event card between turns.

Since the Black Legion guys were getting ambushed they set up first and had to be within 16" of the table edge where they would have entered. Then we placed the barricade on the road and the the CSI guys set up in ambush.

Just another shot of the table from a different angle. Here you can see the farm house and the CSI van parked behind the shed.

As we see here the Black Legion come down the road to find the intersection blocked by two dead cows. The local guides and several troopers get out to investigate while several more troopers guard the rear of the truck just in case.

So now everything was set up and the game got under way. My opponent won the initiative and he decided to use his leader, the lad in the dashing prison striped pants to activate the crew at the rear of the truck. They opened fire but failed to hit any of my troops so the initiative passed to me. I used my officer in the back of the truck to activate the three guys in the back to fire back. They too, failed to hit a target.

He activated the man by the shed, who shot at my officer but missed. In return one of my locals moves over the fence and took a shot at him and he went down. Then my guys in front of the truck took a few shots but missed. So the initiative pass back to my opponent, and not being one to mince words, he pushed the attack, with his troops at the front of the truck opening fire. The first gal scored a hit on one of the guides with her Tommy gun, and so he kept initiative and his next commie threw a Molotov cocktail at the two remaining men in front of the truck doing some serious damage. After failing to activate his next model it was the end of the turn.

Not bad, lots of shooting but not much in way of hitting except the Molotov cocktail. So far, it wasn't looking very good for me and the Black Legion. We drew our random cards. My opponents was blank, but mine allowed my to place a LMG team on the table, as we apparently suspected some funny business ahead and dropped a few guys off to circle around just in case. Well it paid off. They set up in the window of the farm house and opened fire on my opponents commander.

Since I took down the enemy commander, if you can really call a small time thug a commander. I kept the initiative and decided to activate my commander and the troops at the rear of the truck. Figuring they would do better with some cover from the other two in the back my men jumped the fence and went on the offensive. Two of the communists went down before them. I tried to rally one of my troops who was down but failed.

The communists moved up and took some shots. The rifleman and Thompson wielding, ex-field hockey player downed my BAR gunner and my officer.

Then the guys in the back who had moved up, threw and hand grenade...and that was pretty much it for my offensive attack.

 Meanwhile, the second communist that had been next to the shed during the start of the game went around through the front of the house to attack my LMG team, but he came up short and got taken out by the LMG team. At this point instead of fighting on, they captured comrade Roberts and made off into the night with their prisoner.

More shots of the carnage. I should also mention there is free BBQ and potluck at the People Collective HQ's tomorrow.

Another shot from down 31st street.

The Cherry Street Irregulars made off with a truck they captured from the Black Legion.

In addition to the one they brought, as my opponent insisted that he be allowed to have his vehicle on the table also. It was only fair after all.

So one of the things that I find interesting about the game, is that after the action is over you roll to see what happened to each model. Just because they went down, doesn't mean they were killed. Nor does being up at the end of the game mean that the model lives, they can die from wounds, despite their heroic effort.

So we rolled for the communists first since they won. They had one guy captured, the man with the red and white blanket and the comrade next to him was lightly wounded. All the other model were just down, and all of the remaining models were lightly wounded or perfectly fine. Not bad.

For the Black Legion, the rolling went less well. All told; they suffered five men killed in action, four men seriously wounded and unlikely to recover, including the squad leader, Lt. Drysdale. The last man was found alive and unwounded, but knocked out by the concussion from the grenade. The two man LMG team survived and slipped off into the night and reported back to the rest of the unit at the airfield.

The Cherry Street Irregulars clearly won this engagement. Here is a picture of the smug little snot gloating over his victory. :)

...and one picture taken after I asked him what he thought my odds were of winning the next game.

not good apparently!

A VACW: The Red, the White, the Black and the Blue

I kicked off my 2nd American Civil war campaign today. The campaign is based around an alternate history timeline in which the United States descends into war after FDR proposes "court packing" legislation in the spring of 1937. Already unhappy about FDR's New Deal legislation, American businessmen revive a previously aborted plan to assassinate the president and replace him with "Cactus Jack", Jack Nance Garner the presidents Vice President, a vocal critic of FDR and his "leftist" policies.

One of the biggest backers of the plan is Henry Ford, who, driven by his extreme religious views has become convinced that FDR is a Communist agent. Since the aborted assassination plot in 1933 by Giuseppe Zangara, and the failed fiasco of the business plot, also in 1933. Ford has decided that the plan of assassinating FDR doesn't go far enough, he plans on replacing the entire government with a fascist one. After the previously failed plots, Ford has established contacts with the National Socialist Party of Germany and their leader. Adolf being a huge fan of, and inspired by Ford and his philosophies, commands the German SS and Abwer to give him their full cooperation. As such, Henry Ford is able to acquire detailed plans for German small arms, heavy weapons and even tanks. All of which he secretly begins manufacturing and storing in warehouses across Michigan. Ford has also recruited the Black Legion, a group of American Fascists that have a large following in the Michigan, Ohio, Indiana region. Chosen members of this group are sent to Germany by Ford to train with the SS and become the Officer and NCO core of his new private army.

The proposed "court packing" legislation sets Ford in motion. His men first attempt an assassination on FDR, putting him into the hospital in serious condition. Jack Garner takes over the county and is broadcasting live about the attempted "communist plot" to kill FDR, when the White House is attacked and captured by communist forces. Jack Nance Garner is killed by gunfire during the middle of his national address. Numerous members of the Senate, House and Supreme Court are kidnapped by communists agents and murdered. The hero of the hour, General Douglas MacArthur, who just happens to be in town for a meeting with the VP, leads U.S. Army forces from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds to the White House and battles the communists for over four hours before the White House is burned to the ground.

MacArthur assumes command of the nation, imposing martial law and addressing the stunned nation in a somber radio broadcast, where he promises to purge the nation of communist and socialist elements in our once great country. Violent outbreaks erupt across the country against known and suspected, socialists and communists. Thousands are killed and many thousands more are on the run or hiding. Thousand of MAC (MacArthur Anit-Communist) militias form over the course of a few days as order is re-established.

Then...FDR recovers from his wounds. In his first fire-side chat since his recovery he assumes command of the nation once again, urges the peoples of America to stay calm, and dissolves the state of Martial Law imposed by MacArthur .

In Washington MacArthur and J. Edgar Hoover have an emergency meeting. In which Hoover reveals to MacArthur the FBI's ongoing investigation into voter fraud from the last election and FDR. The evidence Hoover presents at the meeting shows that the communist and socialist parties conspired to get FDR elected illegally. Whether FDR was a co-conspirator in the plot is not known, but it is assumed that he was a willing participant of the plot.

The next day at noon, MacArthur addresses the nation via radio once again. He lays out the evidence provided by Hoover (but does not name him as a source) and refuses to relinquish control of the nation, as FDR's election was a fraud. Again the nation erupt into violence, major riots rock almost every metropolitan area. This time, the MAC militias find themselves the targets of the violence. In many cities the American Legion turns out to suppress the rioters and join the MAC militias if they weren't already one and the same. The violence in Pittsburgh is especially brutal with tens of thousands killed. Mutinies, desertions and executions are common fair on military bases and ships across the nation as the military forces and personnel declare their personal allegiances for one cause (or man) or the other. After the smoke settles in pittsburgh, Gen. (retired) Smedley Butler leads a rag-tag force on a march towards the nations capital. In order to depose the fascist MacArthur.

At this point in the conflict J. Edgar Hoover has assumed de facto control of the plot. He is fully aware of all the players, their roles and is now MacArthur's puppet master, and Henry Ford has suffered a fatal heart attack after a visit by friendly local agents of the FBI. Hoover plays both sides, he remains a secret adviser to MacArthur and controls the MAC militias through his network of nation wide informers and spies. While at the same time he plays the loyal public servant to President Roosevelt.

Hoover dispatches the Black Legion forces across the nation to seize important targets. These include radio stations, factories, ports, airfield and petroleum production facilities.

General Butlers march on Washington turns into a bloody and brutal campaign that stretches out though the winter and does not end until MacArthur withdraws his forces from the capitol and retires to the south. He promises that "I shall return".

Across the rest of the nation, little is known about the disposition of U.S. military forces as most have not, or cannot respond to orders issued by both parties claiming to have command of U.S. military forces.

Foreign military intervention begins when the Hindenburg explosion is proven, by an FBI investigation to have been caused by sabotage by communist agents. Germany sends forces to bolster the MacArthur regime, while France sends the Foreign Legion who land in New Orleans to assist U.S. Marines loyal to FDR fight with Texian separatists on the border of Louisiana and Texas. Soviet advisers and equipment land in ports in the Pacific Northwest captured by American communists. numerous independent National Brigades begin forming and are sent to America to fight for one cause or the other.

The Red = Communists
The White = Federal Forces
The Black = Fascist Forces
The Blue = Republic Forces

Friday, December 13, 2013

Year end building clearance.

I haven't been doing much with the blogging as of late. I find that I spend as much time taking pictures and writing as I do working on my miniatures. Also throw in the fact that my son needs a liver transplant and in order to accomplish this we had to move a considerable distance. Well, I just haven't had much time or the inclination to do much of anything. Until lately that is, the last week or so has been a flurry of projects. We all seem to be settling in and I am coming out of my funk a bit. However I am going to start with some of my favorites from last year that I never got around to posting.

One of my favorites, to celebrate getting out of the crapper. The crapper. Made from pink foam and some flocking. Very easy to do really. The TP coming out the door is a nice touch if I say so myself.

My bombed out cafe below is one of my all time favorites. The versatility is useful. The only real drawback is that it is made out of cardboard. Then again, I didn't really have anything else to work with at the time. As I made this in the hospital room while my son was recovering from his kidney transplant. I have always thought it was one of my best building and I want to do at least one more. The plan was to redo it with better materials and do a tutorial, but things haven't really worked out that way.

As you can tell from the picture, the top half comes off so you can put your miniatures in there. BUT WAIT! IF YOU ORDER NOW! ....sorry, could resist the infomercial parody.

The roof comes off as well. The second floor does as well and if you flip it over, it can be used as a different building. Then the roof can be put back on the main part of the building, or left off.

Well, I thought it was pretty cool.

Most of my buildings are for WW2 skirmish gaming, but the following I made for a Savage Worlds game that me and some friends were playing. Savage Worlds is fantastic BTW, and they have a skirmish version of the game as well.

My ancient temple that I built with four of the 50+ columns that I picked up from an estate sale in my neighborhood for $2.00. So why not build some temples. I have a bigger one, as this was only supposed to be the center, but I ran out of time and energy trying to build that giant thing. It is currently sitting in my garage collecting dust.

Finally we have this last weekends project.

My little place in France. Made out of the usual foam, cardboard and some card stock. This was by fare the easiest roof I have ever done. I would like to do a larger 3 story cafe that comes apart, and has the same type of roof. I found some laser cut windows that I am planning on using for that project if I ever get to it.

One of my dastardly SS figs for scale. I hope the bowing walls in the photo have something to with the camera angle or something.

Here is the back side. Of course I intend to set this baby up against other buildings so I didn't put any windows or anything on the back or sides.