Posts Tagged With: Charlie Foxtrot Models

Christmas Loot!

Well, another Christmas has come and gone and we have done very well here at Cry Havoc!

I will begin with the required post.  For the last few years,l I have participated in the Secret Santa program organized by Catherine and Ian over at THE BLOG WITH NO NAME.  this is a lot of fun.  The way it works is a number of us wargaming bloggers share are information and post ideas of things we would like for about 15 GBP.  Catherine assigns us people in some unknown magical fashion and we secretly send our little packages to our assigned target.

My gift just arrived today, a little late.  I only mention this because one, my odd sense of humor finds it intriguing that these little guys were cast in England, sent off to Germany and then finally here to the United States!  They have yet to see battle but they are already well traveled.

Secondly, I have been informed that they were sent late due to a family illness at Christmas.  I wanted to share my hopes and wishes for the best of all health to you, whoever are.  I know some of the blogging community have been greatly challenged with illness this Christmas Season, and whether serious or slight I hope that you and yours are doing as well as you might.

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Two packs of fine Perry Brothers miniatures.  One Queen’s Rangers Command and one Queen’s Rangers Light Infantry.  these are destined to be the start of my new project, focussing on Benedict Arnold’ invasion of Virginia in 1781.  the Queen’s Rangers will my  Main Force for this Sharp Practice campaign using Dawns and Departures.  Thank for sending me these and thanks to Cath and Ian for continuing this Yule tradition!

I also received a number of things from Charlie Foxtrot Models.  The huge Georgian mansion, a porch house, the stone barn I have so long wanted and his pig sty.  I also received the driveway, pond and entrance gate to match the Georgian house.  More on these will appear here later.  These are mostly to be used for Chain of Command but I am sure some of them will find themselves serving double duty.

From Sally 4th, for my 7TV THE BEAT game, I have some new photorealistic row houses a Pub and Corner Store.  These are really nice and I am slowly seeing the Greendock take shape.

I am still awaiting my Blood and Plunder Kickstarter, which should arrive any day.  I know they are being fulfilled and look forward to getting mine with great anticipation.  Lastly, I have some more stuff from Colin at Charlie Foxtrot on its way, most notably his new Tidewater House that I linked to in my last post.  That is a project that I have been involved with and am very chuffed to see it come to fruition.  More on that here later as well.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

Ron

 

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Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Crooked dice, Secret Santa, Sharp Practice, Terrain, The Beat, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Few Terrain Reviews

Due to a number of matters outside of our control, my usual group of gamers has been very inactive recently, and this has been reflected here on these pages.  I though as a change I might post a few little reviews of some terrain I have in most cases recently received. Even more so because I enjoy sharing excellent products and traders with others!

At this year’s Guns of August I decided that I was no longer satisfied with my scenery.  A few years ago I purchased a couple of yards of a green felt that I had intended to paint up as a ground cloth for Wings of War.  I never actually completed that painting, and instead, the cloth became destined for other purposes.  While it is no inexpensive craft store felt and a far better color than most felts it is still a large expanse of green with little variation.  With a lot of terrain feature placed upon it this is not such a problem, but at Guns I had a table mostly free of such things, and I was very disappointed with the result.

So, the first thing I looked at to improve matters was that cloth.  I could have broken the featureless expanse by airbrushing varies colors but I didn’t trust my artistic abilities.  Instead, I looked to two commercial sources.  These were Cigar Box Battle Store and Game Matz.

The club uses some of both of these fine products.  The Cigar  Box mats are beautifully painted cloth whereas the Game Matz are printed on heavyweight vinyl and many are photo realistic.  For various reasons I decided to purchase the Game Matz  Grassy Battlefield mat, though I do intend to purchase some Cigar Box Mats in the future.

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These mats are beautiful.  Some of you may have seen the Dark Forest mat by the same producer in many of my Pulp Alley posts.  Chris also owns a sea mat.  All of these are excellent quality, durable and waterproof.  They are too stiff to drape over terrain, so any hills or mountains have to be fully flocked and placed on top.

I have been relying on roads by Ricks Scenics and am very pleased with them, but recently need double the amount I had available.  This became a challenge because the company is no more.  Flying Pig Terrain took over production but they now are on hiatus!

I needed a lot of roads, wanted them to look good but didn’t want to spend a lot of money since I have already a good deal of rather expensive Ric Scenic Cobblestones!  Fleabay and War World Scenics to the rescue.

These roads were a very good price even with shipping from England.  They are not all a perfect match to each other color wise but they are far closer looking in person than the above pictures would suggest.  The appear to be a material very similar to roofing tiles but much thinner (at least thinner to those in the United States) with nicely flocked edges.  I bought two sets, one was simply straights and the other a bunch of useful pieces (smaller straights, turns, intersections, etc.).  These are very flexible, nice looking and will play the part of any metalled or asphalt roads I need, leaving my Ric Scenics for cobblestone and dirt roads.  I will be buying some more of these as I need a slip the other direction and I would like to cut some of the turns and straights to give me more choices.

While looking for these roads I stumbled on some beautiful hedges.  I wasn’t in the market for these, but hedges are always useful.

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These also were on Fleabay, sold by Treefella1.  For about $4o USD I received over 200 inches of hedges! I have no idea what material is giving these their bulk, but they are flocked and based upon cardstock.  The gates are very nice.

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Very pleased with these.  They did take a while to get here, and I am concerned about how durable they might be (the box it filled with flocking that has already come off) but I am far from disappointed.  These were far less money than equal quality products I have seen elsewhere, well worth the wait and I can reflock them if they ever need it!  i don’t see how I will ever need any more hedges!

The next items are NOT new, but I decided to add them as I am so very pleased with them

First, Hotz Mats fields.

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These are made in two different scale sizes, mine are the 20mm to 30mm set.  They are just felt with flocking in rows but make some of the sweetest plowed fields I have ever seen.  His sets in this scale come with four in various sizes and they are available in two different “seasons”.  His delivery times can sometimes be slow, but the product is inexpensive and worth the wait. $13 USD for a set at the time of posting.

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They do only come in squares and rectangles but one could easily purchase an extra set to cut up to form triangular pieces to make the squares fit into odd shaped areas.  These are completely flexible and lay flat.

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Just a few shots with some vehicles and a Charlie Foxtrot house to show all of these elements together.

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Cheers untill next time,

Ron

 

 

Categories: Charlie Foxtrot Models, Game Matz, Hotz Mats, Review, Terrain, Uncategorized, War World Scenics, Wargaming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historicon 2015

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I must first apologize for being so far behind in my posting to this blog.  Historicon was back in July, but my work schedule is been so very crazy that I have been unable to properly report!

Historicon was enjoyable as it always is.  There were noticeably fewer venders and it appeared to me that there were fewer games and gamers as well.  The powers that be state that I am wrong on the last score, and maybe that is so.  I do hope I am wrong, as I wish this show continued success in it’s present city.  The facility itself did a far better job than they did in the previous years as did the Convention staff in my opinion.

Friday night I played Zvdeda’s Armada Invincible.  This game was a lot of fun and the models were very impressive and full of satisfying visual impact!  The fellow running the game had altered some of the rules and as I am unclear of whta changes he made I will avoid comment on the rule system.  We played with a mixture of the Zveda ships and Old Glory which made for a very impressive battle.  I had command of the White Bear and fought for Gloriana and England.

The White Bear

The White Bear

The rules were very basic and simplistic, a fun beer and pretzel set.  very easy to understand and adopt to and I am now looking to get a set, but they are pricey.  A word of warning, the Zveda ships don’t seem to be well scaled and certainly not with the Old Glory vessels.  Our GM had renamed the Zveda ships for smaller vessels which I think was wise.

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The English Fleet Tacks towards the Spanish

THE BATTLE OF STONNE

On Saturday night I ran a battle from the Fall of France Campaign I created for Chain of Command and At the Sharp Edge.  This battle would bring Gross Deutchland to the outskirts of Stonne in May of 1940.

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I ran the scenario as Attack and Defend.  My notes have unfortunately gone missing, so I will have to report from memory.  Four gentlemen played the game including two whom are active in the Chain of Command world, Malcolm and Ricky.  I had met them both before and Ricky had played my Chain of Command game at Historicon the previous year.  He is also the blogger at Making History. Malcolm took charge of the Germans and Ricky the French.

I do not recall all of the support options that were taken, but I do remember that the Germans chose a Panzer III and the French a 47mm Anti Tank gun.  I am still trying to find a 28mm model of one of these by the bye.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!  The French also took two mine fields which they placed just East of the bridge on the approach to the town.   These mine fields were very effective as their existence caused the Germans to leave the main route into town alone, and instead tried to come around on the flank,  Leaving them a long walk.

Mine fields defending Stonne

Mine fields defending Stonne

The French used their patrol phase very aggressively to quickly close the markers and to end the phase.   It is a pleasure to watch a patrol phase were the players understand the importance of this portion of the game.  I have seen games won on the patrol phase.  I wouldn’t say that happened here, but the Germans were left with some less than ideal Jump Off marker placement.

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German troops advancing from the North East.

In the end, the combination of poor German jump off sites and the ignoring of one of their avenues of approach allowed the French to concentrate their defense on the northern road.  One of the main areas for contention being the Barnyard in the center of the table.

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Poilus defending Barnyard

As the main assault approached along the North road the French took heavy fire.  Eventually this would be reduced by their deploying of their Anti Tank gun, beginning a duel of tank to gun, not to mention a good deal of small arms fire.  Eventually the gun was silenced, but not before killing a number some of the tank’s crew.

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The Panzer III supported by a section of Germans startle some sheep.

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The players and myself (pic stolen from Making History)

In the end it was a French victory.  All the players had a good time and I certainly did.  I love to see Chain of Command played well!

Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Convention, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, World War II | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Guns of August

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August 20-23 marked the return of local wargaming convention, Guns of August.  This local show is one of two put on by ODMS here in Williamsburg every year.  Usually there are about 200 people in Attendence and soon the venue will be changing to allow for continued growth.

I was slated to run a Sharp Practice game on Friday night, but had to cancel due to difficulties getting home from New Hampshire on a work related trip.  While that game didn’t happen I did take the time to run a add on Chain of Command game Saturday afternoon.

The game was a Fall of France game, set in May of 1940.  Having nothing special prepared, I simply rolled for a scenario following the procedures suggested in the rules.  One challenge was that I was missing my 1940 army lists which were not properly put away after Historicon.  Because of this annoyance I was forced to organize my troops as per memory and I had no idea what the proper support costs were.  I ran the game a s a probe, and decided to give the Germans the use of a Panzer II and the french a 25mm Antitank gun to counter it with,

My players were two old friends of mine, Alfred and Malcolm.  Alfred decided to play Germans and so Malcolm took command of the French.

The French suffered a bit from their patrol phase.  One challenge to Chain of Command is the learning curve attached to the patrol phase.  This phase represents the pre-battle reconnaissance of the forces involved but it is a game unto itself.  it is also pretty much exclusively a Too Fat Lardies concept and therefore unfamiliar to most players.  Very often it will take a players few games to understand the importance of the phase and how to use it tactically.  this does give an advantage to the player more familiar with the ruleset.  I think at conventions I need to get more proactive in helping new players through this bit.  the French therefore found themselves with most of their jump off markers trapped rater close together and far back, behind a stone wall to the rear of the table.  one was forward in the central farmhouse.

The French did take the very strong defensive position in that central farmhouse.  A German squad aggressively approached it to just out of Close combat range.  Their Junior Leader ordered two potato mashers lobbed into the house, but they missed the window and skitted of harmlessly.

Germans advance on the Farmhouse

Germans advance on the Farmhouse

Well almost harmlessly.  Oddly enough this aggression seemed to frighten the Poilus inside and the immediately were ordered to retreat and fall back to the cover of the stone wall that ran parallel the length of the southern table edge.  this action proved disastrous, as it meant crossing an open area in cross fire to get to that cover. The Frenchmen took serious casualties and their eventually broke and fled, causing serious loss to the French Force Morale, not to mention represent a third of their force already gone.

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Frenchmen in position behind stone wall

After this point the French settled into a static defense of the rear wall and the game turned into a long drawn out exchange of small fire.  Never the best course of action in a Chain of Command game and certainly not one when opposing a larger force also in defensive positions.

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More of the same

Either from confusion or unlucky  command dice rolls, the French command was slow to deploy his brigaded Rifle Grenades which can be devastatingly useful.  The Germans never deployed their Panzer II, and because of that the French also waited to deploy their AT gun, which may have proven helpful against the infantry onslaught as well.

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German squad takes cover in destroyed farm house opposite the French held wall

Eventually attrition did it’s bit.  The French position slowly collapsed due to casualties, shock, and dwindling Force Morale.  Just in the nick of time for me OI might add, as I was scheduled to run the Battle for Lake Tanganyika directly thereafter!

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The French Line

THE BATTLE FOR LAKE TAGANYKA

 This was the second time I ran this battle, but this was the reason it was created.  My club, The Williamsburg Legati, are commemorating the 100 year anniversary of World War One by sponsoring themed games at both Williamsburg Muster and Guns of August over the next few years.  Some of these are the major actions and other, like this one, or more unusual situations.

This battle was actually made up of a few encounters fought between December of 1915 and February of 1916 on the world’s second largest and second deepest freshwater lake in the world.  involving elements of the British Royal Navy,  Belgian Congo’s Force Publique, and Imperial Germany’s Kaiserlich Marine.

Basically, the Germans held complete naval superiority of the lake this with small ship and a couple of boats.  The British decided to challenge this by transporting two 30 foot motor boats through the Congo.  A crazy and arduous adventure on its own.  Command for this mission was given to an eccentric British Naval administrator Geoffrey Spicer Simpson.

For the game I combined what were in reality two separate actions, to allow the Germans the use of both their boats instead of letting the British attack them piecemeal as happened in reality.  The game was played in 28mm with most of the vessels built by myself with the exception of the British vessels the Mimi and the Toutou.  These are Old Glory castings.  the rules used were TVAGs Boilers and Breechloaders.  A little bit of adjustment had to be made for the two British ships (which are both petrol boats not covered by the period or rules).  The vessels are also over armed by the rules,, but I followed the history.  That might have been an error.  Having run this twice I am pretty sure that the points are not equal, giving far to strong an advantage to the British/ Belgian coalition.  If I ever do this again I will need to make some changes.

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The Congolese ex torpedo boat Netta, with Mimi and Toutou in the background

Boilers and Breechloaders is a card driven activation system.  this proved disastrous for the Germans.  Over and over again they were losing initiative to the Brits.  Besides that factor, the Kingani’s captain had horrible dice luck.  he was successfully avoiding any critical damage but is shots kept missing their target, and his 6 pounder was the largest of the German guns.  Furthermore an incredibly lucky British first shot left hedwig’s main gun crew disabled!

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The German Squadron, Kingani and Hedwigg Von Wissman

Damage was being done to the British boats.  One more hit on either would have seen them destroyed, but the Germans lost the ability to strike.  Kingani was taking on water, her speed reduced and constant machine gun fire eventually left the Hedwig bereft of her crew.

I like to report that all players had a good time, but not on this occasion.  At least one of the Germans was displeased.  I do think this game has some balancing issues, which I had warned when I begun, but it really was more luck that hurt the Germans than anything else.  I may run this on one more occasion, or maybe not.  The theme for Williamsburg Muster is Naval and the second battle did happen in February 1916 (Muster is in February).  if I do, I will either use different rules, modified rules or leave the Belgian ships out.

Categories: africa, Boilers and breechloaders, Chain of Command, Convention, Sharp Practice, The Virtual armchair general, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, Williamsburg Legati, Williamsburg Muster, world war I, World War II, world war one, wwii world war two normandy buildings mdf | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlie Foxtrot, a Review!

For a while now I have been wanting to write a small review of a new vendor that I have been using. Charlie Foxtrot Models.  Colin’s company first came to my attention by way of some excellent reviews written by Rich Clarke on the Too Fat Lardies Blog.  Unbeknownst to me I already had a small distressed shed produced by him that I had purchased on Ebay.  All of the buildings that I have from him have been purchased through Ebay.  Some of these have been appearing on my After Action reports here or on the Williamsburg Legati blog.

Recently Colin has opened a new webpage and created a new blog that can only serve to increase the ease of purchasing his products.  The page has divided his line into various periods and genres, but unlike many other suppliers the models will appear on any list that they could work for instead just the ones they were originally designed for.  I find this a great advantage.

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The first is a farmhouse.  This is a simple two storied structure with a small room coming off of one side.  That room is separate so it can me moved around to make different arrangements or left of completely.  The kits are sent flat packed and the window frames, doors and shutters are separate.   This not only serves to make painting easier, but it also allows for some alteration  and individuality to easily be added to the structure. They are Laser cut MDF and so far all have been well cut and usually well fitted though I have occasionally needed to sand a little.    Like most of the Charlie Foxtrot line, the building is designed to allow interior access.  In this piece the top comes off of the main structure and the side building.  The upper floor also separates from the bottom  with an attached floor.  This is becoming a necessity for many of the modern skirmish games that are so popular.  Another nice feature is that a piece of plastic is included to finish the ridge line which is normally not considered with MDF kits.

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I complete these models by building them into substructures and than applying a surface of stucco patch and white glue to the outer surface walls.  this gives some additional strength and provides some texture to what would be an otherwise smooth surface.  I spray the structure grey or white.  So far I haven’t done much highliting of the walls, but I think that such treatment would certainly be worth the effort.

The roofs all have a tile texture cut into them, but I have chosen to add a more three dimensional feel by applying tile roof sheets purchased from Warbases.  Colin now offers his own roofing tiles on his webpage and I will order some of those in the future.

I paint the window, doors and shutters separately and glue them in with clear plastic (usually recovered from a miniatures package) glued to the inside as window glass.

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Colin offers a few war torn buildings as well.  This one also came with some additional rubble and interior roof trusses.  I built it in much the same manner I described earlier, though in this case I used a liberal application of pastel chalks to create a charred look around some of the damage.  I also cut some of the window plastic to simulate additional damage.  I wanted to get this model done and on the table, but their is room for an awful lot of detail and addition on the room that is visible through the damage.  Quite a nice little model.

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This next set of buildings are three  row building kits.  The Brasserie, the Boulangerie, and the Tabacco shop.  None of these models are finished yet but I wanted to get this review written!  Some of these are very clever in how the are built to create some variety to their fronts.  Unlike the other building, they also have some internal walls for the lower floors.  A nice addition that was not offered when I ordered mine is that you can now for a small fee, have a custom name etched into the sign.  At the very least this allows for more realistic signs than simply baker or restaurant, but also allow for the same basic model to be purchased in numbers to represent a variety of shops.  These sign changes can also change the local of the structures.  On the Charlie Foxtrot webpage there are some customer examples that have been created as British shops for either VBCW or Operation Sea Lion games no doubt.

These structures are very well designed well produced and an excellent addition to a battle field.  They have been made in a form that makes addition and alteration a breeze, which serves to provide a great deal more character and individuality than some MDF provide.  The price point is very good though unfortunately shipping these kits from the UK to the US is costly!  Quite a varity are available already and Colin is very keen to find new designs and meet his customer’s needs.  I there is something you are looking for try emailing him and asking.  He is very accommodating, quite a gentleman, and a few of his products were the result of just such contacts!

Categories: Chain of Command, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Review, Too Fat Lardies, Wargaming, wwii world war two normandy buildings mdf | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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