Sunday, March 13, 2016

10mm Modern Skirmish Forces


I've got 8 million excuses why, but the short story is I've had a lot going on personally and professionally and so this is the second weekend in a row that I got ZERO games in.  Very depressing.  And it doesn't look to get any better from now to the end of summer.  And so I've done a bit of thinking and it's time for a pivot.  What I need are ways to get get quick games in; my son and I have been having an absolute blast playing through Operation Jupiter (we're eight games into a 30 game campaign), but the games take a long time to set up, a relative long time to play, a long time to tear down, and a long time to process, write, and post to the blog.

So what I need is a mechanism to get quicker games in; easier set up, smaller forces for quicker games, which makes for easier processing, writing, and posting.  Combine that with the fact that my buddy Ivan just put out his new rules "Five Men At Kursk" (5MAK), which I really want to play, then combine that with the fact I have a bunch of 10mm modern troops lying around in a box waiting to be painted, based, and played with, and you might be on to the same idea I came too.

I've got quite a bit of Minifigs 10mm modern stuff lying around needing to be cleaned up, primed, painted, and based, so what I'm doing is basing it up for 5MAK (single basing for troops, couple guys on a penny for weapons teams, one vehicle is a vehicle).  I also have a bunch of vehicles lying around; some I have painted but want to re-do, and some that haven't been touched.  So I touched them too, and what I have now are two pretty much identical forces for 5MAK.

Let's get to it.

The whole she-bang, everything I did up this weekend.  Essentially I built this as "Blue Force" vs "Red Force," with Blue using NATO gear and Red using WarPac gear.  From the picture the Blue force is missing its helicopter gunship and tanks; the tanks are Takara pre-paints I've had for years (M1 Abrams), and the Blue gunship is an AH-1 on order from my buddy Mako at TMP.

Most everything in the pic is from Minifigs UK; the two T-72s are Takara pre-paints, and the two aircraft are from Maisto Tailwinds.

A look at all the vehicles.  Both Red and Blue have desert and temperate-painted vehicles, with Red on top and Blue on the bottom.  Red has a T-72, a BTR-70, a BMP-2, and two BRDMs for each of its forces, while Blue has two M-2 Bradleys, an LAV-25, and two HMMWVs for each force.

A look at the Blue desert M-2 Bradleys.  Nice little models, easy to slap together.  Actually, I also have AAVs that are Takara prepaints.

The Blue desert LAV.

Blue desert HMMWVs, with M2 .50 cal (left) and Mk19 grenade launcher (right).

The Blue temperate M-2 Bradleys, in NATO 3-tone camouflage.

The Blue temperate LAV.

The temperate HMMWVs, with M2 on left and TOW on right.  Not sure why I don't have a TOW for my desert force.  I'm sure it's around here somewhere...

On to the Red Force vehicles.

The Red desert T-72.

Desert BTR.

Desert BMP.

And desert BRDMs.

And the Panda had been making fun of the striped camouflage I'd put on my WarPac vehicles, so I decided to re-do some of the temperate vehicles too.

A Red Force temperate T-72, in plain old Russian green.

The temperate BTR.

Temperate BMP.

And temperate BRDMs.

And now we come to the Red Force helicopter gunship, a KA-52 Alligator, from the front.  This is a Maisto Tailwinds prepaint, which I've re-done.  And please ignore the base, it's for an AH-64 Apache I have upstairs.


Other flank.  I wish I'd have cut off the landing gear...

Up close.

Another Maisto deal, this time a Predator UAV, which I'll use for each side, as necessary.



Now, on to the poor bloody infantry.  This may be a bit of a letdown for you ;)
For some reason I ended up with quite a bit of Modern British and Vietnam-era Australian infantry lying around, so I decided to use them for this project.  I sorted them out and gave each side (Blue and Red) the exact same force, even the same exact poses.  I then painted the two sides up, each in their own, very basic uniform.

The whole mess, with Blue Force on top and Red Force on bottom.  Each side has a ten-man rifle squad in helmets, flak vests, and light gear with rifles, SAWs, and grenadiers, a seven-man squad of troops in bush hats with very heavy packs, carrying rifles and an LMG.  Then each side has five support elements: an MG team, a rocket team, an ATGM team, a mortar team (it's an 81mm mortar model, but will be used as a 60mm mortar), and a SAM team.

The Blue Force ten-man rifle squad.

From left to right, a SAW, radio man, and the boss (cake eater with hands on hips).

A rifleman, the grenadier, and some poor sap humping an ammo crate.

Then the other SAW (or LSW) and another rifleman.

And the last two Blue Force riflemen of the 'regular' rifle squad.

The Blue Force seven-man rifle squad.  These will be used as additional riflemen to augment the 10-man squad, as reconnaissance elements, or special operations troops.  Hell, maybe even militia or local force troops.  Okay, they'll be used for whatever I want to use them for ;)

Left to right is the LMG gunner then the boss.  I love these poses!

Two riflemen, one with SLR and one with M-16.

Two more riflemen, though the one at left may actually be some sort of SMG.  The guy on left also has a LAW strapped to his pack.

Last Blue Force rifleman.

The Blue Force support teams.

The MG team.

The rocket team (it's an 84mm Charles Gustav).

The ATGM team (it's a Milan missile launcher).

The SAM team (it's a Blowpipe).

And the mortar team.  A little hard to make out, the mortar is at center, with a guy on right having just hung and dropped a round, and the guy on left holding the next round.

On to the Red Force.

The Red Force 10-man rifle squad.

These are all the same exact poses as the Blue Force, so I'm showing the opposite angles.  On the right is the boss (hands in his pockets, weapon slung), and on the left is the guy humping the ammo.

The Blue Force had dark uniforms with light gear and a stripey camouflaged helmet cover, while the Red Force has a lighter uniform with dark gear and a spotted camouflaged helmet cover.  Not bad, but I wish I'd have gone a bit further in trying to be distinctive between the two uniforms...

The LSW and SAW (Minimi).

The Grenadier and radioman.

Two Red Force riflemen.

And the last two Red Force riflemen of their 10-man squad.

The Red Force seven-man squad.

The boss (left) and machine gunner (M-60, on right).

Two riflemen.

Rifleman and SMG gunner with LAW.

Last rifleman.

The Red Force support teams.

The MG team.  I love the A-gunner sitting there with his legs spread.

The rocket team.

The ATGM team.

The SAM team.

And the mortar team.

Now, a couple photos with Blue and Red Force infantry standing side by side so you can see the difference.

The Blue Force boss is on left, the Red Force boss is on right.

The reverse.  So not too bad, but I still wish I'd have gone a bit further...

Anyway, I'm happy to have all these done, and I'm looking to get some games in with the boy, who's really been having a great time (as have I).  So all this is about a strategy to speed things up in order to get games in, perhaps even on week nights (gasp! Don't tell the wife!).  So the plan is to draw up a force generator which will result in each side having between 6 and 17 men, and 0, 1, or 2 support teams.  Though I'm quite proud of how good (in my humble opinion, and in strictly relative terms) my tables have looked recently, these fights are going to be on very simple terrain to speed up the set up/tear down process.

If you've looked at my Cuba Libre blog, you may have noticed I've been planning a campaign in the fictional nation of South Leon, a country on the west side of the African continent which was a key player in NATO domino theory during the Cold War, but now the Cold War is fini, has been left to deal with a communist insurgency fomented by its neighbor.  I had planned to play some pretty big games in 15mm for this, but what I'm thinking is to get it rolling with these guys.

And it's funny, I've been a solo gamer for so long it seemed that would simply be that kind of wargamer.  But now my boy and I have been playing, I kinda don't want to go back!  But I tell you what; pretty soon I'll be going out of town on business for two weeks, and from what I understand nights and weekends will be mine.  So another thing I've been pondering is taking these guys with me, a sort of 'travel set.'  Most of the guys are mounted on magnetized bases, I've got 2' x 2' boards I can take, trees, walls, shrubs, and houses that are easily transportable.  Dice, camera phone, and notebook are no problem.  The only thing I'm worried about are vehicles; I'm scared of knocking the crap out of all these metal vehicles.  For Blue I'd need an Abrams, a Bradley, an LAV, a HMMWV, and the Cobra.  For Red I'd need a T-72, a BMP, a BTR, a BRDM, and the Ka-52.  Not sure how to safeguard those in my luggage, and could make for an interesting conversation with airport security ;)

The second part of my two-pronged strategy also revolves around my Cuba Libre blog.  You may be aware of my campaign in the fictional country of Cronistria, a newly-minted democracy in the Balkans.  Cuba dispatched SF troops there to aid the country, and now the local forces have been trained up to the point they are ready to take on their communist adversaries.  So I've set up a 2' x 2' table of a small village, and I'm looking for the boy and I to fight a series of battles over that same exact terrain.   You know, two patrols stumble into each other, then the place magically transforms into a key piece of terrain for political reasons (each side wanting to show its resolve).  So those will be small games using 5MAK in 15mm on a table that doesn't change (I can see getting at least five fights out of it).

Well, if you've somehow made it this far, please drop me a line to let me know what you think of my strategy to speed things up to get more (some?) games in.  And let me know if it sounds like batreps you'd like to see.



  1. Everything is looking great :)

    I really dig the idea of repeated skirmishes over the same area. That could be a really interesting way to go.

    1. Thanks man. Repeated use of the same terrain is not optimal from my standpoint, just a timesaver, though I think it can work for a particular campaign situation. I really hope it turns out to be a credible story of "they kicked us out of that ville 17 times, but we kicked them out 18."


    2. Well plenty of literary and historical precedent for that kind of stuff :-)

  2. I really like the Red vs Blue forces and their uniforms. Looking forward to your AARs with these.

    1. Thanks Chris, I appreciate it. I'm hoping the boy and I can get a game in tomorrow after work. Then, if this works the way I hope, I can get it written and posted Wednesday night.


  3. Nice collection of stuff the repainted Hokum!

    1. Thanks Jim, but my helo doesn't look as good as your Hind! And perusing your AK47 stuff the other day once again had me perusing Kallistra's Hexon page...


  4. Hexon is really easy to use and looks great..but it isn't cheap :O( Luckily my local club has loads of it!

  5. I'm really enjoying the battreps so please keep them coming. They have a clean, simple style that I've been trying to copy in my own solo games. Thank you.

    1. Glad to hear you like them Sebastian, thank you. I've had a lot going on lately but I'm trying to get some games in this weekend.