Friday, January 27, 2017

10mm Germans and Canadians for the Mediterranean

All,

Well, I was perusing t'internet the other night, and it got me ta thinking.  Thinking about Crossfire.  I spent quite a bit of time on quite a bit of blogs, but mostly this one:
Steven's Balagan, http://balagan.info/crossfire

Lots of really cool stuff on Crossfire.  It got me pining for the rules again.  When I first became a wargamer back in 2009, I bought two sets of rules: Crossfire, and Blitzkrieg Commander.  But Crossfire just didn't really seem to work out for me; I played a few games with buddies (non-wargamer types), and then my father (converted wargamer) and I played a bunch of games, but it just didn't work out.  We were both way too cautious, way too afraid to go for it, too worried about losing the initiative, and so we had some extraordinarily boring games.

But reading the blogs, I started getting fired up about Crossfire again.  The last year or so has seen my seven year-old son and I have played quite a few wargames, almost exclusively 5Core.  I imagine he's like most kids: pretty aggressive.  That aggressiveness, tempered just a bit, could be perfect for some free-wheeling games of Crossfire.  And he could pull me out of my passive shell; rather than scheming to beat my old man, I shall match the boy's aggressiveness.  No cares about winning, just playing for fun, throwing our troops about with reckless abandon.  And learning more about strategy and tactics as he gets older and more capable.

So, now I'm wanting to play some Crossfire, but what am I going to use.  I've got tons of 10mm stuff that I could use.  I've got a bunch of 20mm WWII stuff that needs to be painted, could use that.  Looking at Steven's Balagan blog, I really liked his 15mm setup, and for some reason, I really fell in love with the look of his Germans.

I couldn't find any really great pictures, but here's a pic of the troops I'm talking about.  I don't know what it is; I think it's how dark the gray is, almost black.  I really like them.  I came within a hair of ordering a bunch of 15mm troops.

Then I figured I should stop spending so much damn money on wargaming, at least until the proverbial lead mountain has shrunk a bit.  So, I actually exercised a bit of willpower and didn't buy some new toys; I looked around and found some old troops that I could re-purpose.  Back in August 2013 I'd purchased some 10mm Brits and Germans from Pendraken, and based them up singly (on pennies) for Chain of Command.  I moved through various rules, but played a bunch of games with these guys.

But, with a new (new again, anyway) set of rules, I embarked upon a new project.  I've been wanting to do some Canadians in WWII; I'd have to fictionalize it a little bit, but follow a unit from Sicily to Italy to Normandy to The Netherlands.    So I grabbed these guys:

(10mm WWII British by Pendraken)

And these guys:

(10mm German Fallschirmjaegers)

And did a quick re-paint and re-base on them to turn them into:

This.  Two equal forces for Crossfire.  Both sides have a Company Commander (on a quarter), four rifle platoons (three squad stands and Platoon Commander on a penny), two machine guns on tripods (Vickers and MG-42s), a mortar (3" and 80mm), two anti-tank stands (PIATs and Panzerschrecks), an anti-tank gun (6-pounder, and I wanted a PaK-38, but had Pak-40s on hand), and one Engineer squad.  Amongst my 10mm WWII collection I've got plenty of other guns and vehicles to use as well, everything from Bren carriers to various armored cars, halftracks, self-propelled guns, and tanks.

Another look.  For the Mediterranean, I really wanted some dry-looking basing.  I was going to sand and paint the bases, then throw a little static grass on them, but then I found some great looking yellow flock, and it's sooooo much faster than sanding and painting.  I'm pretty happy with the look of the basing.

Other side.

And the backside.  Let's get to some closeups.

A look at the Canadian Company Commander.

Some Canadian rifle squads.  You can see I went with the lightweight summer uniforms, sand colored (almost white when faded, from what I could tell from contemporary pictures), and I put red divisional patches on each shoulder.

More Canadian rifle squads.

Canadian heavy weapons: two Vickers HMGs, a 3" mortar, two PIATs, and a 6-pounder anti-tank gun.

A closeup of a PIAT stand.  Just to show how they can look good from afar, but ugly as hell close up ;)

The Canadian engineer squad, at far left.

From behind the Canadian heavy weapons.

Closeup of the back side of the Canadian mortar team, wanted to show you the web gear.

The German Company Commander.  I re-painted the trousers desert yellow, and a lot of hats and helmets got the same treatment.  I left some of the hats field gray, though all the helmets are either desert yellow or camouflage.

Some German Platoon Commanders (singles) and some rifle squads.

German rifle squads.

More German rifle squads.  I really like the camo smocks with the yellow trousers and helmets.

Two German MG-42s and their 80mm mortar.

The mortar and MGs at left, with the PaK-40 anti-tank gun and two Panzerscrecks at right.

The German engineer stand.  The guys with mine detectors always look like hockey players to me ;)

German LMG teams, but just regular rifle squads in the game, with some Platoon Commanders at right.

One last look at the two forces, ready to rock'n roll.  I've got one more fight to play out to finish up my US Marines in the Philippines (two still to post), and I've got some modern Special Operations stuff going on for Cuba Libre, but I want to get to Crossfire as soon as possible, start working with the boy on the new rules.

V/R,
Jack

16 comments:

  1. ...because as a wargamer you just can never have too many projects...

    :-)

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    Replies
    1. It's not my fault. At least I didn't buy new stuff to paint.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  2. Love the Balagan blog and Crossfire are very interesting rules, looking forward to whatever comes from this.

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    Replies
    1. Balagan is quite a resource, isn't it? Thanks Norm!

      V/R,
      Jack

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  3. Beautifully painted and based. I'm looking forward to seeing your games of Crossfire with these. :)

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    1. Thanks Vicki, and it's going to be a bit. I've got other things to finish up, then I've got to learn the the boy the rules.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  4. Jack,
    Ive been on a huge Crossfire kick myself lately. I love the look of your troops and cant wait to see the games. We played his "russian scouts" scenario last night and also one of the pick-up games from "macs missions." Ill be blogging those later today. 10mm seems to me to be a perfect scale for CF. If i didnt have so many damn 15mm troops id do that scale myself.

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    Replies
    1. Steve,

      Great timing! I can't wait to see your batreps, and I've been thinking about how to do them. With so much movement in Crossfire, I've been considering taking less pictures and using movement arrows. I like the Russian Scouts missions on Balagan, haven't really dug into "Mac's missions" yet, but I will.

      I was looking at the six 2' x 2' scenarios (from Dick Bryant, I think?), looking to use them as starter games for the boy and I.

      Regarding scales, I'm the opposite: I wanted to do 15mm, but I've got so much 10mm it just doesn't make sense. The grass is always greener ;)

      And regarding me liking Balagan's really dark Germans, that's something I've always liked about yours, too. My are just to light, too cartoony German gray.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  5. I just posted the batrep from the 2 games last night. Awesome and loads of tension and decision making.
    There's so much movement in CF that I try to summarize the action from a few initiatives. Steven T from Balagan uses pretty cool arrows and skull and crossed bones markers for his AARs that I think he ginned up in powerpoint but I'm not sure.
    The Dick Bryant scenarios look awesome and you can link them into a campaign. (there's a page on Balagan for that, too, a 3 game crossfire campaign).

    The Russian scouts is a tough one. Those German HMGs really control the table. You might like the Mac's Missions. Give those a shot sometime or use the tables in the Dick Bryant scenarios but the force packages from Mac's MIssions!

    I hear you. If I could do it all over again I'd do it in 6 or 10 and put 10 dudes down on a FoW style base and have that look like a proper squad. I use nuln oil, the GW wash on my Germans and that does the trick for making them look darker and like they've been in the field for a long time.
    I like the look of your guys with the sandgelb stuff and smocks. Almost like HG Division guys in Sicily!

    Yeah I'm going "all in" with Crossfire I think. I just like how fast and brutal it is, and when the game starts, I'm thinking:

    Where's the enemy at.
    How thick is the terrain on each flank to cover my assault?
    Where are his HMGs going to be?

    This is real I.P.B. type stuff and I love that it forces you to think that way. Ok off my soapbox now.

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  6. Steve,

    Just saw your batreps, they took awhile to show up in my reading list for some reason. I think I'll do 'sweeping' photos with arrows, then zoom in every now and again for some contact.

    You know me, I'm all about the campaigns, so I'll absolutely be linking the fights. I think I'll follow a company, with named characters being the CC, the PCs, and the squad leaders.

    These Germans should look the part for HG in Sicily and FJ in Italy (southern Italy, at least). Then I've got another whole set of Brits and Germans I need to re-base for Normandy and The Netherlands.

    I'm really looking forward to getting this started, can't wait. And you're right, it is tense. Maybe too tense, I don't want to freeze up! ;)

    V/R,
    Jack

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  7. I like the sweeping arrows idea. Cant wait to see them!
    Yes i was just reading about your KG Klink OKH's fire brigade. Adding names will be a nice touch to the game.

    Nah never worry about freezing up, all our Soldiers go back to the tray at the end of the day and there's no court martial for us when we do something stupid! I feel like i learn so much more when i lose [and by that logic i technically should be a freaking genius]

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    1. Steve,

      Just played a test game, I'd love to hear your thoughts, though I went with a 'conventional' style batrep. KG Klink was a lot of fun, and I intend on getting back to it, as soon as I can find time. I love following a unit of troops, it's how I play everything.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  8. Hi there
    I have shared your blog post on 10mm Wargaming Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/10mmwargaming/) and 10mm Wargaming Facbook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1485781548417483/)

    Why not join the 10mm Wargaming Facebook Group and post more about your project.

    Take care

    Andy

    http://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

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    1. Hi Andy! Thanks, and please feel free to repost any of my 10mm stuff as you like. I'm not really active on Facebook, but I'll take a look at the website.

      V/R,
      Jack

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    2. Hi Jack Thanks much appreciated

      Take care

      Andy

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