Wednesday 30 March 2011

Britannia Miniatures - the legacy of Dave will go back to business!

Jenny Howitt, Dave Howitt's daughter, gave us the good news about her dad's work going to continue with help of Andy Grubb at Grubby Tanks. She wrote: Hi this is Dave Howitt's daughter Jenny. Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and wishes they have been much appreciated in this difficult time for us. Just letting everyone know what is happening with Britannia Miniatures. The business is currently in probate, but once that is sorted Britannia will be being sold to Andy Grubb of Grubby Tanks. ( [...] Thanks Jenny Howitt. Good news indeed for all gamers of 20mm size - Dave's work is some of the best on the market. Nice to see it going back to business!

Monday 28 March 2011

HUMINT, March 2011, Vol. 3: new releases for gaming "moderns"

HUMINT = human intelligence. A new series of posts on my blog about news of various tabletop miniature producing companies concerning "moderns". The pictures were taken off the producers' catalogues with their prior permission. Cheers for that guys! Links to their webshops can be found within the right column of my blog (see sources for 20mm....).Wartime Miniatures releases for March 2011:
Cold War Americans (1964-84). Based on Cold War TOE. US 1/2 Sections Cold War Americans (1964-84). Based on Cold War TOE. US 1/2 Sections Insurgents with Support Weapons
Insurgents with Mortar Insurgent Leaders/Dickers

Insurgents with Small Arms
Generic Moderns

Helo Crew, Suitable for Chinooks, BlackHawk, most really. 2 x Doorgunners and 1 x Ramp Gunner.
Snipers in Ghilli Suit.
Generic Special Forces (also suitable as Contractors)
EOD Specialists

figures including EOD suit, Detector and EOD bomb-sniffing Dog
Leader, Comms, GPMG
Special Forces/Contractors:

4 x SF with M4's + SAW

Najewitz Modellbaushop releases for March 2011:

Jens at Najewitz Modellbaushop has a new series of 20mm generic middle eastern buildings that can be used for Africa, Iraq and other settings.

"Little" Mosque with Minarett

Saturday 26 March 2011

Arab / middle eastern style buildings - a review of Art Of War Terrain's stuff

Art Of War Terrain was a shop (link in the usual place, right-hand side column of the blog) I came across when I was searching the web for new suitable terrain for my games set in Iraq. I can only say I was really stunned when I saw the price for the terrain below: the whole set of six (!) houses was only 31€ (~44US $). I then read the item's description and thought I'll give it a try. I got them a couple of days back and here are my findings:

First of all: it is six (!) houses for a very, very decent price. They are going to cover almost a quarter of my smaller gaming table. They don't need assembling and they are pre-painted in a greyish-white colour. Hand-crafted items, made out of thin MDF - very sturdy and not at all bad looking. But let's get a bit closer...
Included in this set, called "wargame terrain DESERT TOWN 15mm / 1:72 scale painted",
are multiple storey houses and single floor houses. Some have flat rooftops others domed ones.
All doors are fixed in half-open positions, all windows cut out.
The set has various shapes of buildings, rectangulars and some with little towers - but all with a lot of space on top to give miniatures cover.
Some houses I will convert a little using the S&S items for satellite dishes and air conditioners. The one on the right-hand side looks more residential, so I'll add some shop signs to the left one.
For a whole set like this I was really surprized how big some buildings turned out to be. The stairs add a nice touch.
Not that I would need this to be the case for Force On Force games, but those little gems even have removable rooftops (all of them!)
They aren't as big as some of the other buildings (other companies' products), but they do blend in nicely with all of them and really expand my collection of wargaming terrain. I like the little holes Ray left to help taking off the roofs - it looks like a door of some sort. Ever wondered from where those Insurgents actually got to the roof? ;-)

Like I mentioned before, you can take off the roofs and all inner ceilings. Something I didn't expect for that price.
Just to prove my statement about inner ceilings!
And then there is something that I would really like to share with you guys: the conduct of the shop's owner: Ray B.
When I ordered those buildings it took a little while for them to show up. When I asked about the whereabouts, Ray turned out to be not only a guy who wants to sell something, but also a fellow wargamer - and a really nice guy to chat to. We exchanged quite a bit of mail about many different things and because I had to wait longer then expected, he even offered a full (!) refund.
What was charged too much for postage, was refunded. This is what a gamer needs - somebody you can trust in and a honest business partner. Ray turned out to be both.
He said he is going to expand his 1/72 scale collection soon and I am looking forward to see it being online for sale. All of his terrain for sale is hand-made, so you got to expect a little time in between his offerings on ebay. But it's well worth the wait!

Arab / middle eastern style buildings - a review of The Colonial Steamboat Company's stuff

My ever-growing terrain collection got bigger recently. The houses I show to you below are from The Colonial Steamboat Company (see link list in the right-hand side column). Sometimes - if you are lucky - you can get your hands on items that aren't out of the ordinary range of models they sell (raw kits), but already painted and assembled perfectly. Those two buildings are such items, which I was able to win on ebay.
They are made out of some ultra-lightweight materiƩl and came sand-coloured.
I'll go and add some items from S&S to them, mainly satellite dishes and air conditioners.

As you can see they are quite big, at the moment they are the tallest of all buildings I have in my collection.
One building got a hallway right through it - its even wide enough for a Technical to hide within!
The stairs that lead to the upper floor are wide enough for a 20mm wide washer (base) to place miniatures on.
I love this particular building. It can contain a little bazaar. Very middle-eastern, just perfect for my games.
Again, the stairs are excellent to even place your troops upon. If you look at the door that leads to the roof, you can see its perfectly in scale for 20mm miniatures.
It got another entry on the opposite side. By the way - you can place miniatures inside. The floors are removable!
Second building, other side. The windows are perfectly cut out to fit the inner floors - figures will be located exactly where a real human being would be, when placed inside the building.
Really large buildings, compared to the tanks I placed for scale.
The roof has been removed: it even has rooms!!!
The inner floor has been taken out, you can see there is other rooms on first floor. That's what I call a detailed piece of wargaming terrain!
Same goes for the other building I got. Roofs and inner ceilings are removable.
First floor....
These buildings are by far some of the best wargaming terrain I ever had. Ultra-light, very sturdy and pre-painted for a decent price. If you consider buying middle-eastern terrain, don't miss those!
I will work them over to make their generic look a bit more Iraqi. With some posters and other small details they are going to lose their rural look and hopefully turn into some nice urban terrain.

Friday 25 March 2011

Ambush Valley 2 - The Redux! Content preview

Piers Brand, writer of Ambush Valley and in-house painter/photographer said: "As some may know Osprey will be publishing a revised version of my Ambush Valley supplement for Force-on-Force in October. I have been joined by Joe Trevethick on this and I think we have pulled together something really special for Vietnam players. As a sneak peek, I thought you guys may like to see the contents page list... Its not complete but it will give you a good idea whats coming... "

A Place Called Vietnam.
Vietnamization - New Rules
The Advisory Period (1965-64)
The Defense, Counteroffensive, and the End (1965-1975)
Unit Organizations.
The United States.
US Basic Infantry Units.
US Army Rifle Company.
US Army Rifle Company.
USMC Infantry Company.
Specialized Infantry Units.
US Army EOD Detachment
USAF Combat Security Police Flight
Above Company Level
US Military Armor Units.
Basic Armor Units.
USMC Medium Tank Company, Tank Battalion.
USMC Anti-Tank Company, Tank Battalion.
USMC Amphibian Tractor Company, Amphibian Tractor Battalion.
Specialized Armor Units.
US Army Airborne Tank Company, Separate Airborne Brigade.
US Army Artillery Battery (Automatic Weapons, Self Propelled and .50 Caliber Machine Gun), Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons, Self-Propelled)
Miscellaneous US Army Armor
US Air Force Armor
Above Company Level
US Army Cavalry Units.
Division and Brigade Cavalry Units.
US Army Armored Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Infantry and Infantry Division (Mechanized)
US Army Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Airborne and Airmobile Division Or Separate Brigade (Light)
US Army Air Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Infantry, Infantry Division (Mechanized), Airborne Division, Airmobile Division, or Separate Brigade (Light)
The Armored Cavalry Regiment
US Army Armored Cavalry Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron, Armored Cavalry Regiment
US Army Air Cavalry Troop, Armored Cavalry Regiment
Above Troop Level
The Republic of Vietnam.
Infantry Units.
ARVN Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
ARVN Mechanized Rifle Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Regional Force Company, Regional Force Battalion.
ARVN Regional Force Mechanized Platoon.
ARVN Popular Force Platoon.
VNMC Infantry Company, VNMC Infantry Battalion.
NPFF Company.
Armored Units.
ARVN Tank Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Tank Company, Armor Battalion.
ARVN Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Armored Car Troop, Armored Car Squadron.
Free World Armed Forces.
Australia and New Zealand.
ANZAC Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
Australian Tank Troop, Tank Squadron, Tank Regiment
Australian Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Cavalry Regiment
The Republic of Korea.
ROKA Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
ROKMC Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
The Kingdom of Thailand.
RTA Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
The Republic of the Philippines.
Philippine Army Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion Combat Team
Special Operations Forces.
US Army Special Forces
US Army Infantry Company, Ranger
US Army Infantry Platoon, Scout Dog
US Navy SEAL Platoon
USMC Force Reconnaissance Company
USMC Reconnaissance Company, Reconnaissance Battalion, Marine Division
South Vietnamese
Luc Luong Dac Biet (LLDB)
South Vietnamese So Cong Tac (Special Mission Service)
South Vietnamese Lien Doi Ngoui Nhia (LDNN) and So Phong Ve Duyen Hai (Coastal Security Service)
ANZAC Special Air Service Troop, Special Air Service Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment Special Programs
The Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG)
Program Projects Delta, Sigma, and Omega Intelligence Collection and Exploitation (ICEX) and the Phoenix / Phung Hoang Program
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front
The People’s Army of Vietnam..
PAVN Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
PAVN Sapper Company, Sapper Battalion.
PAVN Armor Company, Armor Battalion, Armor Regiment
The People’s Liberation Army and People’s Liberation Armed Force.
PLAF Infantry Company (“Main Force” and “Local Force”), Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
PLAF Sapper Company, Sapper Battalion.
A Not So Secret War – Laos & Cambodia.
Unit Organizations
The Armee Nationale Laotienne, Forces Armee Laotienne, and Forces Armee Royales ANL/FAL/FAR Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion
The Hmong Irregulars
The Thai Unity Battalions and Other Irregulars Cover Operations in Laos
The Pathet Lao.
Battle of Ap Bac, 2nd January 1963
First with Honour 1964
Enemy at the Gate, 31st January 1968
Shutting the Barn Door, 1st February 1968
The Ben Cam Sweep, 28th November 1969
Firefight along the Dong Nai, June 1969
Battle of Binh Ba, 6th–8th June 1969
The Longest Fight, An Loc 1972
Unit Organizations.
The Forces Armees Royales Khmere.
ARK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion.
The Forces Armees Nationales Khmere.
ANK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Division and Separate Infantry Brigade. ANK Mechanized Squadron, Infantry Division and Mechanized Regiment Armored Brigade. ANK Armored Brigade.
FANK Special Forces
A Detachment and B Detachment
Covert Operations in Cambodia
The Khmer Rouge.
Sample Vehicles.

Sunday 20 March 2011

HUMINT, March 2011, Vol. 2: new releases for gaming "moderns"

HUMINT = human intelligence. A new series of posts on my blog about news of various tabletop miniature producing companies concerning "moderns". The pictures were taken off the producers' catalogues with their prior permission. Cheers for that guys!
Links to their webshops can be found within the right column of my blog (see sources for 20mm....).

Under Fire Miniatures releases for March 2011:

Pack 1 : A 'fighting' pack. Consists of prone rifleman, kneeling rifleman with night-site on his weapon, a standing/firing Minimi gunner and a man at ready about to fire a combat shotgun.
Pack 2 : An 'engineer' pack. This has a soldier using a Vallon mine detector, another using a wrecking bar for loop-holing purposes, a third carries an assault ladder, whilst the fourth test fires the XM25 25mm grenade launcher, currently on trials in Afghanistan.
Pack 3 : A 'command' pack. Has a bareheaded SNCO/officer type pointing and issuing an order, a light mortarman & 2 x radio operators, one with a Minimi.
Pack 4 : A crew served weapons pack. There's a 2 man medium mortar team, with mortar & a soldier firing a Javelin missile.
Najewitz Modellbaushop releases for March 2011:
Jens at Najewitz Modellbaushop has a new series of 20mm generic middle eastern buildings that can be used for Africa, Iraq and other settings.
A modern House with shop.Supplied with air conditioners, power poles and satellite dishes
And another House in old style.
S&S releases for March 2011:
Shaun and Stewart have been busy once again and so we get another bunch of brand new vehicles this month. The Special Forces Quad Bikes were created with help from Brian. There are going to be various riders to man them.
Special Forces Quad bikes.
"War Pig" United States Special Forces vehicle.
Shaun said: "this has mostly moulded in stowage, but does have metal stowage that can be added or left off, the crew figs are from Elhiem, thanks to Matt for the license agreement, and to Simon Ford for badgering us both to do it. (...) the rear gun and seat are separate and again can be changed, the gun will be a .50cal HMG, but a 40mm Grenade Machine Gun or GPMG (General Purpose MG) option is available. Although you will not be able to buy them just yet, they will surely be ideal for those Ambush Alley games. My thanks to Mark Taylor for the paint job."
Land Rover WMIK of the British Special Forces.
Shaun said " has lots of metal stowage and will have 3 crew, you can choose between beret, helmet, floppy hat or spec ops crews. Main armament can be either .50cal HMG or 40mm Grenade Machine Gun."

Wargaming "moderns" - a guide to start Force On Force

I was asked to write up a "starters tutorial" for Force On Force. I have tried to put the most important information in. For links to sources for miniatures (at least in 20mm), see the right column of this blog and scroll down. Same goes for terrain.

You can click on these images (to zoom in) two times to bring them to full size. This will make it easy to read the text. Just use your browser button to "go back".

NOTE: I updated my blog on March 22, 2011. This article is now also available for (free) download (pdf file). If you look into the right-hand side of the blog you'll find a link to click on.