Sunday, February 25, 2018

JWW2 Japanese Army and Visitors

Just complete another project.  This is a WW2 Japanese infantry regiment with a supporting tank battalion.  Test of Battle games has released a scenario book for the war in the Pacific called "Road to Tokyo".  Hoplite Research has also released a scenario book on the same subject called "The Emperor's Finest".  While the formation is scaled at one base = one platoon, I can upscale it to one base = one company for "The Emperor's Finest" scenarios.
 The tanks.  Lights on the left.  37mm medium next then the 45mm mediums.
 The infantry.  Three infantry battalions in front.  Supporting guns and engineers in back.

After putting everything away, I noticed that a flock of migrating birds had arrived.   They pass through in the early spring/late winter and late fall.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Restructuring of the Federal Union of Buena Vista Army

A while back I had posted the organization of two fictional modern era countries:  The Federal Union of Buena Vista  and The People's Democratic Republic of La Cucaracha   The new organization of the Federal Union of Buena Vista's army will consist of ten brigades.  These will be as follows:

1st Presidential Guard Brigade: 8th Lifeguard Tank Regiment, 14th tank regiment (Dragoon Guards), 11th,12th mechanized regiments, 18th reconnaissance regiment (Hussars), 4th engineer regiment, 34th artillery regiment, 40th logistics regiment,

2nd Mechanized Brigade: 20th Tank regiment (Dragoons), 24th mechanized regiment , 1st motorized regiment (Rifles), 7th reconnaissance regiment (Light Dragoons), 48th engineer regiment, 25th artillery regiment, 47th logistics regiment

3rd Light Infantry Brigade:  21st, 22nd, 23rd motorized infantry regiments, 16th reconnaissance regiment, 3rd engineer regiment, 45th artillery regiment, 28th logistics regiment

4th Mechanized Brigade: 44th, 46th mechanized regiments, 43rd motorized regiment, 6th reconnaissance regiment (Light Dragoons), 38th engineer regiment, 32nd artillery regiment, 42nd logistics regiment

5th Artillery Brigade:  52nd, 53rd MLRS regiments, 56th air defense regiment, 41st logistic regiment

6th Airmobile Brigade : 36th attack helicopter regiment, 26th, 31st airmobile regiments, 10th, 30th transport helicopter regiments, 15th reconnaissance regiment (Hussars), 27th engineer regiment, 60th ground support regiment.

7th Mechanized Brigade:  5th tank regiment (Cuirassiers), 2nd, 37th mechanized regiments, 13th reconnaissance regiment (Hussars), 17th engineer regiment, 35th artillery regiment, 58th logistic regiment

8th Artillery Brigade:   51st, 54th MLRS regiments, 57th air defense regiment,70th logistic regiment

9th Training Brigade: 39th tank regiment (Carabiniers) (training), 33rd mechanized regiment, 29th mechanized regiment (training), 19 motorized regiment (training), 9th reconnaissance regiment (Uhlans) (training), 49th engineer regiment (training), 59th artillery regiment (training), 69th logistics regiment (training).

10th Territorial Reserves Brigade:  63rd reconnaissance regiment (cadre only), 61st, 62nd motorized regiments, 64th motorized regiment (cadre only), 50th artillery regiment, 55th engineer regiment (cadre only), 65th logistics regiment

All regiments are single battalions with three combat companies except for airmobile regiments, artillery regiments, and MLRS regiments.  Air mobile regiments have three combat companies, a weapons company, two commando companies, a medical company, a training company, a reserve company, and a logistics company.  MLRS regiments have two batteries.  Artillery has four batteries of four guns.  Tank regiments have Leopard 2A6.  Mechanized Regiments have Puma IFV.  Motorized Regiments have Boxer IFV except for the 3rd Light Infantry Brigade, which has Boxer APC's in the 22nd and 23 regiments..  Brigade Artillery Regiments have PZH2000.  Attack Helicopter Regiment has Tigre. Transport Helicopter Regiment has NH90.  Air defense regiments have two Gepard companies and two Roland companies.  There has been some discussion regarding separating the infantry formations from the helicopters of the airmobile brigade, creating two separate brigades, and placing them with the 10th territorial brigade under a third division command.

The army has two division headquarters that serve as administrative commands.   The first division has the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th brigades.  The second division has the 2nd, 4th, 8th, and 9th brigades.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Chaos at Chios

Having assembled enough ships I decided to run the Battle of Chios 201BC at the Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento meeting.   Phillip V of Macedonian had been forced to retreat from the siege he was conducting and was intending to flee to the island of Samos.  The combined fleets of Rhodes and Pergamon caught him and brought his fleet to battle near the island of Chios.  Polybius is the main source for the battle.   Phillip lost about half of the lembis and 28 of his larger ships.  The allied fleets lost seven ships.   There were two events of note during the battle.  One was Phillip's flagship accidently ramming one of his own ships when it crossed his path, getting stuck, and then being sunk by two opposing ships.   The other was Attalus flag ship running aground and being captured by Phillip along with the treasure on board.

I used the order of battle from the War Galley scenario converted to 1:1 scale except for the Lembi's in the Macedonian fleet.  As I only had 60 small ships they were scaled at 1:2.5 for the 150 Lembi's in the Macedonian fleet.  This gave Rhodes and Pergamon thirty-three "5's" each along with nine "3's" for Rhodes and three "3's" for Pergamon.   The Rhodian fleet was rated as well-trained giving them slightly more movement and a +1 for ramming.   The other fleets were rated as average.   The Macedonian fleet had three "10's", four "8's", five "7's", three "6's", eighteen "5's", eighteen "4's", three "3's", and sixty Lembi's representing the 150 Lembis that were present.  I also added a couple of  extra ships.  Rhodes got a "9"  and Macedonia got the "Katastrofea Ploion" a "12".   I may purchase a Navwar "16" and name it "Astro Thanatou".

The rules that were used were The Society of Ancient's version of "Corvus" with some modifications which I will cover later.  Mike O'brien commanded the Pergamon fleet, while Gary commanded the Rhodian fleet with Aaron as his subordinate.  Dave commanded the Macedonian fleet.  Both sides were allowed to deploy as they wished with the restriction that Rhodes was on the right and Pergamon on the left.

During the battle both sides conducted missile fire causing a few casualties.  The Lembis were considered to be destroyed if they suffered any casualties from missile fire or were rammed.  Both sides also attempted oar shears with mixed results.  There were quite a few ramming attempts.  A couple of times the rammers sank.   The Rhodians engaged in a few boarding actions and captured two Macedonian ships, one of which was rammed and wrecked by another Macedonian ship.  The Macedonians did capture a Rhodian ship.   Following the initial contact the fleets no longer maintained ordered lines and the ships sought individual targets.  I did not keep track of the number of turns that the game lasted, but after setup and explaining the rules it lasted a little over four hours.   The fleets spent three turns approaching each other before engaging in combat.   After several rounds of combat Macedonian losses exceeded their morale threshold and they fled.   The Macedonian right flank almost broke the Pergamon fleet which would have won the game for them.   The allies lost more ships than happened historically while the Macedonians had about the lost more lembis and fewer large ships.

Photos of the battle follow.  Though they are hard to see in the photos the Rhodian fleet had red markings, Pergamon green, Macedonia blue and grey with ship sizes on their bases.

 Initial deployment Macedonians on left, right-front to back Mike O'Brien Pergamon commander, Gary b.  Rhodes commander, Aaron M.  Rhodes sub-commander
 First turn  On the left from front to back Mike W., Dave R. (the Macedonian admiral).  
 the fleets approach
 from the other end.
Initial contact as Aaron attempts oar shears.  Aaron was plaqued by bad die rolls for most of the game
 The action continues as fleets become interspersed. 
boarding action near center bottom of picture
 Action in the center.  Macedonian flag ship at top center.  Rhodian ship near top right about to be rammed by four Macedonian ships.  Macedonian Lembis sneaking into the rear of the allied fleets in the gap between the two.
 Pergamon fleet engages Macedonians
 Battle devolves into a free-for -all  Allied right flank
 The center
 Pergamon flank maintains order as they opposing sides were the last to engage in combat.
Then the fleets engage.
 chaos on the Pergamon flank as combat continues
Allied right
 allied right flank
view from behind Macedonian center
 end of game center
 end of game Pergamon flank Rectangular blue markers are wrecks, square blue markers are crippled, H and white are temporary halt markers.  Small counters with numbers indicate ships that have taken missile casualties and their current boarding factor.  Original single-sided reference sheet at bottom right.  Ship with red and black marker at rear near the center of the photo is the Pergamon flag ship.
end of game center and Rhodian flank  I used the graphics program to divide the reference chart into two parts and enlarged it to fit on two sides of the paper.  I also made half-sized turning templates from the larger scale turning templates instead of using the smaller turning templates that came with the rules.

Bottom three photos by Mike O'Brien

The table cover is the back side of the space cloth I had purchased from JOANN Fabrics.  I was going to use it to photograph some spaceships and noticed that the back side looked like water, so I no longer needed to purchase an ocean table cover.

I used my computer to reduce the full size 1:600 turn and movement aids to half size instead of the included smaller turning and movement aids.   This allowed the more agile triremes to make an attack and turning maneuver they were capable of as mentioned in a previous blog post.

As I noted we used some house rules for the game as follows

INITIATIVE – At the beginning of each turn after the first both players roll one die.  High score has choice of which side moves first or second that turn.  If the dice are equal, the side which did not have the choice on the previous turn gets to choose which side moves first or second for the turn.  Helps to avoid the tendency to stand off facing each other
SHIP SPACING – Ancient ships did not deploy oar-to-oar.  They usually kept far enough apart to avoid entangling their oars.   Though not mentioned in the rules, ships must keep about ½ unit  apart.  If friendly ships make side to side contact treat it as a collision per the rules.
MOVEMENT – A ship that is not crippled and is halted may pivot in place and face any direction.  Crippled ships may only pivot up to 90 degrees.   Ships that have rammed another must back up on the following turn to disengage their ram.
RAMMING – Change rule from having to move straight 4 units to ram to 2 units to ram.  This matches the movement chart.
DISTANCE SHOOTING While ships sometimes used fire weapons for shooting, most of the time they did not.   Engines could shoot large bolts capable of piercing four inches of wood or stone/concrete balls weighing ten pounds (think cannonball).  If a hit is scored reduce the close combat factor by one.  Also, use the shooting factor for the class of ship with the equivalent of the reduced close combat factor.  For a close combat factor of 5 the shooting factor is 4.  
FIRE WEAPONS – If shooting fire missiles the range is halved.  If equipped with fire pots and the ship rams an opposing ship the fire pots may be dropped.  For missile fire the missile hits as it normally does.  Roll again and on an odd roll the target ship catches fire.  For fire pots the target ship catches fire on an odd roll also.
CREW QUALITY – (Optional) Well- trained crews cost 1 point extra and add 0.5 units to movement rate.   Poor crews cost one point less and deduct 0.5 units from movement rate.  
Other possible modifiers:                       
Ramming – Better quality crew than opponent add +1 to ram modifier.                                                    Oar Shear – Crew quality two levels higher than target also shear on a 5.   Crew quality two levels lower than target only shear on 4 or 6.  
One additional note.  We copied the 1/600 movement and turning aids and reduced them to half size for the 1/1200 ships instead of using the 1cm in place of an inch.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Souvenir Shirt Design for 2018 Society of Ancients Battle Day

Finalized the design for the Society Battle Day game that I will be running at the club.  Image from Allied Shirts design page.

Monday, February 5, 2018

1/1200 fleets and more rules

I have completed one of the projects I set for 2018.   Once I had received the 1/1200 ship counters from Tiny Tin Troops I set to work with the graphics program to reduce the images I found on the internet and those I had from the Roman Seas ship sets.   I had previously seen someone reduce the Roman Seas ships to 1/650 scale on the Miniatures Page Galley forum.   While they looked good trying to do 3 dimensional ships in 1/1200 would have been extremely difficult.   My original intent was to reduce them to fit on the counters and use the oars as a stabilizers.   I did do one ship that way and found that I did not need to use the oars to stabilize the ship images.   This saved a lot of time and I was able to complete everything in about a week.   The following are pictures of the different fleets that ate made by Tiny Tin Troops.   Three of the sets are for actual battles while the other three consist of two sets for the 1st Punic War and one for Greeks vs Persians.

 The combined Carthaginian fleets from the two Punic War sets.  Triremes in the back, fives in the middle and fours in the front.  63 ships in all
 The Persian fleet  36 triremes and 12 pentakonters.   The Greek fleet has the same number of ships.
 The combined Macedonian fleet.   This has ships from the battles of Chios and Cypriot Salamias.   The large ship in the front is a 12.  The one with the red sail is a 10.   The rest of the fleet ranges from 8's on down to Lembis.  67 ships total.  While there is no recorded instance of a 12 being used in combat there are records of larger ships ranging up to 16 and 20 that were capable of combat.  The ships with the sails in the background are Hemiolas.
 The fleet for Rhodes and Pergamum.  This has a 9 and some 7's and 6's that are not recorded as being at the battle of Chios or used by either of the two kingdoms, though they do allow for some interesting what ifs.  The ones with the sails are Triemiolas.  This is the smallest fleet with 24 ships.  I may transfer the ships larger than a five to the Macedonian fleet
 The combined Roman fleet.  This is the two Punic wars sets and the Actium set.  Thee is a seven and some sixes in the front, then 5's with another 6 mixed in, 4's, triremes, Liburnians, and Lembis.  Those with the flags are the 5's with the corvus.   88 ships
Finally the combined Ptolemy fleets from Cypriot Salamias and Actium.  From left to right in front two 10's, two 8's, a 9, and a 6.   Behind them are fives and fours with nothing smaller.   49 ships

The total number of ships is 386 which is probably the same amount in British pounds that I would have to pay for ships and postage if I ordered from Navwar.

Since my previous post on Ancient naval rules I have been sent several sets and notified of others that I did not mention in previous posts.   These are Ram Speed   (I am aware of another set with the same name) Ramming Speed, Greeks at Sea, and Trireme Ancient Naval rules (also other rules with the name Trireme).  These are all better suited to squadron level actions with most concentrating on the earlier Trireme period.   Greeks at Sea does include 7's and 10's along with penteconters through 5.s, but is missing about half the different ship types.  We are planning on fighting the battle of Chios at the South Bay Game Club meeting in March and I may also run it at the Miniature Wargaming Society meeting in February.


Time for a brief break from the past and a look into the future.

A while back I posted a design for an improved missile cruiser for the Federation CG300  It took me a while to find an appropriate model for the design though.   I had looked at various hobby and craft sites, but all the had were wooden barrels or oil drums.   Finally, I was able to find a barrel shape that was very similar to the shape and dimensions of the CG300.  There were actually several different vendors on Shapeways.  The design was for the daego millennium falcon model.  deago barrels 

While they were the right shape and number they are about 1/2000 scale compared to the 1/1000 scale of the domain starships.  The picture below is a comparison of the CG300 and domain ships at actual sizes

The next picture shows the CG300 at the same scale as the Domain ships.   I used Paint Shop Pro 3028 to resize the ship

As can be seen the ship is wider and shorter than the others.  The Domain ships are probably longer than they actually should be, but that is the way they are made and they ae the style that I want for the Domain.   The CG300 was designed this way to reduce its reflected image and its target size aspect.   The overall diameter is the minimum needed for the spin habitats needed for crew comfort and is maintained along the length of the ship except for the ends to allow fields of fire for the laser turrets.   The overall length is also the minimum needed to enclose the volume of all the ship components.