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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rommel - A Review of the Latest from Sam Mustafa's Honour Series

Review by Tom Burgess,


Sam Mustafa, one of the most successful US miniatures wargame rules developers, has brought his Honour series of the wargames into the 21th Century with Rommel. Sam has for the most part had kept previously to ancient, 18th and 19th century rules. The Honour series includes many great historical miniatures wargames to include Aurelian, Maurice, Lasalle, Blücher, and Longstreet. I have greatly enjoyed playing Sam's games and was a playtester for a couple of them. What I always appreciated about Sam's rules is that he always tries to push the envelope and come up with unique approaches and mechanics to keep games simple and fast moving while retaining the appropriate feel for the given period.

Rommel is no exception to Sam's guiding game design philosophy. As I playtester on Sam games I recall as many has eleven different versions being tried. And when I say different versions, I mean complete redoes of the entire core mechanics, not just some minor tweaks.  Blücher may have had many more as it was completely shelved at one point, before coming out in its published form after Sam returned to working on it.

So what make Rommel so different? I've played a lot of WW2 miniatures wargame rules that run the gamut from small man to man squad actions up to brigade size battles, but Rommel picks up where the other WW2 wargames leave off. Wargaming with Rommel starts at the Division command level and extends upwards to the corps and even army level, this level of command in wargaming previously was for the most part the domain of board based wargames.

Indeed, many may see Rommel as more of a board game than a miniatures game, and I can tell you that's exactly what Sam wants. As with rest of the Honour series, he wants you to make what you want out of the game. Sam has designed Rommel and other Honour series wargames to be equally playable using miniatures or without by using unit cards. Even though I consider myself a miniatures wargamer, this aspect has grown on me quite a bit. It really helps in playtesting new scenarios before embarking a large modeling project and it allows you to branch off and do "one off" scenarios in theaters that your model collection does not cover. It also lets you set up full battles which might be beyond your miniature collection span. For example, I have couple of lovely 15mm British Napoleonic Divisions for Blücher, but with the Waterloo unit cards decks for  Blücher I now have the complete orders of battle in unit cards for the Anglo-allied, French, and Prussian armies of the entire Waterloo campaign!
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mega Team Yankee Game! Soviets vs. United States


 By John Sulek

The Spotsylvania Area Gamers decided to pull out all the stops for a big Team Yankee game.  We played Free for all with  Wayne the Soviet player as the attacker. Wayne ran his army out of Red Thunder. Ren and I ran our armies out of Stripes. We set points at 150 per side. Ren chose to run a standard M-1 Tank Company of 1 M-1 HQ, 2 x 3 M-1 Tank Platoons with 4 VADS and 2 Cobras. He topped out at 69 points. I ran a Mech Infantry Combat Team out of Stripes with 1 HQ M-113, 2 full mech platoons minus the extra Dragon team, 2 VADS, a 6 gun M-109 Btry, FIST, and then tried out a few of the new units in the new Stripes book. 1st up, an IPM-1 platoon of 4 x IPM-1's. The extra front and side armor worked good going up against Wayne's T-72's.  Next was the new Scout sections. I ran 2 and the extended deployment area helped out also. Then I ran 2 x SAM Stinger teams. I used 2 M-151 Jeeps with dismounted stinger teams for proxy. Then last but not least, I ran a Platoon of my 82nd Airborne Paratroopers that are also included in Stripes. Not exactly as I envisioned them but overall not bad. I took a full platoon of 7 stands plus 2 x M60 GPMG's and an extra Dragon team. In Stripes, they ride into battle in UH-1's but I chose to proxy 4 of UH-60 Blackhawks. With the Soviet AA on the board, I waited to deploy them until turn 4. Unfortunately, they were too late to change the outcome and the right flank in the county side fell.  Ren went up against Wayne's T-64's and BMP's and was pretty much overwhelmed by turn 5 in the city. My scouts were within 14" of an objective when Wayne's T-72's assaulted my Arty Btry and they finally gave way. Overall a fun game. Lessons learned and I look forward to running this again.





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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

STRIPES - Making New Lists from Team Yankee's Newest Book


As a mostly West German player up until now, I haven't been tempted by other armies.  It took me 6 months to paint the one I currently have.  But looking over at the new previews for Stripes has me considering my options.  I still want to work on a Soviet or Warsaw Pact Force eventually, but the Americans were not on my radar.  This was mostly because it appeared that they wouldn't be as competitive as their other NATO allies.  This book changes that, and gives the kind of tactical flexibility I would want in a force.  I will be making some lists out of the new kit, and let you know what I would want to be playing when the book comes out.

I apologize for the quality of the pictures, getting selected PDF copies of the pages proved a titanic pain.  I resorted to the phone.  I'll have it figured out next time.



1. US Airborne - with Sheridan
2. A Patton Company (marines)
3. Armored Cavalry Troop

For the sake of this tournament season, I'll make all my lists at 64 points, since that will be what a lot of North American places use.  I think its a good amount,

List #1 - 82nd Airborne

 UH - 1 Huey Infantry Combat Team


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Monday, November 27, 2017

The Ghost Army Podcast: Cancon Warm Up Special 2017




The Ghost Army Podcast Cancon Warm Up Special 2017 


Listen closely as Patchimus and hobby badass, Andrew Brownrigg go toe to toe in the smacktalking run up to next year’s largest Australian Bolt Action event, Cancon. Sold out with 50 players signed up.

The guys talk about the awesome BA community, national team event that has sprung up and what it means for those wanting to add another element of awesome to their Cancon experience. They also talk about what they are planning on taking this year and what they are looking forward to seeing at Australia’s biggest BA event!


You can find this fine podcast episode in the iTunes store or you can download it directly from HERE.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

WWPD will be taking the week off to prepare to cook, eat too much, drink too much and fall asleep in the 3rd Quarter.  Best wishes to everyone!


- Dirty Jon, Luke & Steven
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

BattleGroup: Overlord Beyond the Beaches

All images courtesy of IronFist Publishing.

When IronFist Publishing and The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) first published their Overlord book in 2013, the tome weighed in at 240-ish pages. The book covered the Western Europe forces in D-Day operations, as well as D-Day+1 up until the defeat in the Falaise Pocket.

IronFist and PSC recently republished a partial re-release of the book: Overlord Beyond the Beaches (BtB) that covers "the battles inland" after D-day. The reprint is slightly over half the pages of the original (at 136 pages).

The new version deals specifically with the forces and operations in Western Europe from D-Day + 1 on. IronFist will publish the D-Day sections and lists from the original at a "future date." PSC teases the release on the web-page for BtB, noting a major anniversary date coming up (2019 would be 75 anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy).

Why then did IronFist and PSC decide to republish just half of the original in paperback version?

"...many of the smaller European Theatre of Operations campaign books we'd like to do in the future will use these lists..." (BtB, page 5)

Both the Wacht Am Rein (Battle of the Bulge) and the newly published Market Garden books do refer back to lists from the Overlord book (now accessible in the Beyond the Beaches re-release). The Wacht Am Rein link above takes you to a page to purchase a PDF copy of the book - but check your Friendly Local Game Store supplier if you'd like to find a physical copy. The Market Garden Link takes you to a link for a bundle of Market Garden AND Beyond the Beaches (BtB). I suspect PSC will continue to bundle (on their website) BtB with the campaign books that refer back to it.

What's in the book?

Historical Section
Beyond the Beaches begins with a historical recap that spans five pages, and covers June 7 through August 1944. Photos from the Bundesarchive Archive, US Army Signal Corps, and Canadian National Archives enhance the layout.

Scenarios
Beyond that section, the book showcases several battle scenarios and rules for bocage terrain. Three types of battle scenarios are suggested by the designer: Meeting Engagements, Attack-Defence Scenarios, and Historical Re-fights.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fight Outnumbered and Win - The U.S. Army in Team Yankee’s Stripes

By Tom Burgess

The 1980’s were an amazing decade for the U.S. Army. Through these years the U.S. Army went through incredible changes in doctrine, organization, and equipment in order to better confront the Soviet hordes that were poised to surge across the Iron Curtain into Western Europe. The new Team Yankee intelligence briefing “Stripes,” tries to represent the U.S. Army right in the middle of this decade of massive modernization and expansion.

During the 80’s, “AirLand Battle” became the new operating concept for the U.S. Army. This concept would rely more on fast and mobile counterattacks rather than simple static positions. The mantra for this new U.S. Army operating concept was “Fight Outnumbered and Win.” To do this, the U.S. Army would require better equipment to out-tech the East Block opponents the U.S. Army Would face. Chief among these was the “Big Five;” the M1 Abrams tank, the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), the AH-64 Apache helicopter, the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, and the Patriot air defense missile system. These were not the only new pieces of kit the U.S. Army would field during this period. The ubiquitous jeep was replaced by the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), the shoulder fired anti-air missile replaced the older Redeye systems, and the Multiple Rocket Launcher Rocket System (MRLS) joined division and corps level artillery units.

There would also be significant changes to U.S .Army Organizations. Under the “Division-86” plan, tank battalions would go from three to four companies, but the tank platoons in those companies would go from five to four tanks. Division Cavalry would give up its tanks, and “light” infantry divisions would come into existence.

The novel “Team Yankee” and the “Stripes” intelligence briefing are set in 1985, right in the midst of this massive re-equipping and reforming of the U.S. Army. As such it allows U.S. Army in Team Yankee to field old style U.S. Army units or the new advanced Division-86 formations. So let’s work our way through “Stripes” and take a deeper historical look at its formations and units.



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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Stripes: Reviewed and Spoiled by Sarge!


We here at WWPD got lucky to get our hands on the new Team Yankee book, Stripes, which focuses on the Americans and gives them some great upgrades.  This luck was compounded by getting some famous people who once wore stripes to talk about what they initially thought of when they read the pre-release copy.  We at WWPD thought this would be a great way to commemorate the upcoming Veterans Day and to have these enlisted icons tell you a bit about what is new in Stripes. Before we get to the Sergeants, I will tell you that this book is what every US player has been waiting for and really adds some flavor and color to the US lists from the original Team Yankee book. I know some folks really wanted the Bradley IFV to be in this book, however you get so many neat new toys here I just do not see any room to complain. Also in Stripes the developers take some liberties with some of the units and weapons that were around in Europe during the period (1985) that the game takes place in. Once again, no room to complain because the alt-history in Stripes really is minor and I like what they did here with this new book. Now off to those NCO's of Hollywood!

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

FOW LW Tournament - Toywiz October 2017

I headed down to Nanuet, NY to participate in a tournament run by Troy Baker and Ordo Malleus.  Its been a while since I've gotten a game with these guys since they manage to schedule their tournaments during every wedding I've been forced to attend over the past 2 years.  And there have been many weddings.  As my Friend "Matt Varnish" and his Canadian cohorts know, I've been unable to attend Canadian Nationals for 3 consecutive years due to weddings on Labor day weekend.

But the good news is that I'm running out of friends who haven't been married yet.....so I may have more time to do the important things....like painting models, and fighting with toy soldiers.

Some shots of the store:



The Tournament would be played in three rounds, and I brought my airborne, along with their over sized but pretty tray.  It would be the second time I had played Brit airborne in a tournament and I had learned some lessons from last time. I hoped they would pay off.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bolt Action: Australian Militia Painting Guide



By Bryan,

Hi guys, welcome to another step by step painting guide for some 28mm WW2 miniatures, this time it's for the Australian Militia who fought in the South West Pacific in 1942. This guide is designed to be a simple and efficient way to paint a platoon's worth of miniatures rather quickly. This is for the Australians initial Khaki Drill uniform they first deployed to the theater in, the specialized Jungle Green uniforms came later at the end of 1942-43. I have done a guide previously for these later green uniforms here. You can use this guide for British 8th Army in the desert as well, just swap the helmet colour to a sand rather than green. Right, on with the guide!


Step 1 - Add base texture

After cleaning up the flash and mould lines on your metal miniatures, use superglue to attach them to their plastic bases. The Warlord Games plastic round bases feature a lip around the edge of the design to allow the metal tab at the models feet to sink into them slightly. However, it's still a good idea to fill the base up with some material to hide this and add some texture for later. You can simply use sand an PVA glue for this, but I find it doesn't hide the metal tab well.

I prefer to use Polyfilla (or any gap or crack filling product) from a hardware store and simply smear it across the base, using a toothpick or sculpting tool to poke it about. In a single step this fills up the base, hides the metal tab and creates a rough earth-like texture. The result should look like below.

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