Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photo Report: Games Day on May 24th

Here at long last are some pictures from our games day that was held on May 24th.  A colourful 18th C. action in India with John Company vs. the Mahrattas, as well as some Eastern Front butchery using Blitzkrieg Commander II.

First to the Indian subcontinent.  Gareth and Matt played a very attractive 6mm game set in the 1780's, with the H.E.I.C. army pitted against an Indian host during the Mahratta Wars. Figures were 6mm, largely from Irregular Miniatures.  A really great looking game! 

Very nicely painted and based figures.  We all commented on how effective the jungle terrain looked in this scale.  Aquarium plants bought at the local 100-yen store!

I really liked the mosque- which was from Irregular Miniatures, I believe.

Mahratta bigwig seen on his command elephant.  I believe he bought the farm during the battle.

The game ended in a lop-sided British victory, so the Empire was saved.  What better way to celebrate Victoria Day?


The other game saw Soviets pitched against the Germans in 1943.

An issue that had come up with our last few games was that they had ended up being more or less just armour engagements.  Due to poor scenario design and/or lack of transport, the infantry had been really tardy in getting into contact.  The result was that the armour and artillery basically decided the issue long before the PBI could get to grips.

We had been really itching to see how BKC II handles infantry combat, so this scenario was designed to remedy that by getting the infantry stuck in from the beginning.  Which it certainly did!

Being set in 1943, and wanting to concentrate on infantry action, I didn't use my T-34/85's for this game.  A decision, which if historically justifiable, was one I would turn out to regret.  Big time.

The scenario saw Brian's British commandos (proxying for Russian paratroops) being airdropped into a German-held village in the centre of the table.  And I mean airdropped!  We used pieces of paper to represent each stand, and Brian stood up with the pieces of paper in his raised hands, and just released the lot over the table.  Where each piece of paper landed was where he had to set them up!

Brian's "paratroops" slugging it out toe-to-toe with the Germans, and being heroically butchered in the process.

The Germans (Giovanni) had a force of armour- including a Tiger and Ferdinand, as well as Pz-IV's and the dreaded bicycle troops- coming in from one end of the table to come to the rescue of the beleaguered garrison.  While on the other end Soviet reinforcements (Daniel and I) were attempting to come to the support of the paratroopers and to consolidate their hold on the settlement.  

Oberst. Hermann von Heck's Angels; Giovanni's fearsome Bicycle Battalion races to the settlement to help pour on the fire on the Soviets.

Brian had been working on some Esci commandos, and had a very inventive approach to how to deal with those few "odd" poses that always seem so beloved of soft plastic figure designers.  As a painter and modeller, Brian is really going from strength to strength.

This was life imitating art, as far as the game was concerned.  To cut a long story short, the Germans cleaned Ivan's clock.  While a long and ferocious infantry battle went on back-and-forth in the centre, Daniel's Soviets- whose command included our heavy armour- seemed determined to fail as many command rolls as was statistically feasible, and his advance went in at a snail's pace.

This picture may as well be titled, "Still Life on the Steppes"...

On my part, my over-reliance on infantry, and the absence of anything in my command even remotely able to take on the Tigers and Ferdinands on anything near equal terms, meant that we found ourselves being taken out piecemeal by the Germans.

My Ivans seen in their full glory just before getting dumped on by Me-109's, Tigers, Ferdinands and, for all I cared, the Dortmund Bank Tellers' National Socialist Oompah Band and Knitting Circle.  Just about everyone and everything available in the German arsenal, or so it seemed.  A Skytrex SU-76 in the background and SU-122 in the foreground. They may as well have been ice-cream vending wagons for all the use they were in the game. 
Giovanni's very nicely done Me-109 on its way for a spot of leisurely strafing, as it roars past some uber-armour as they advance towards the front.  All willing, eager, and all-too-capable of doing some serious GBH to the hapless Popovs.

The SU-76 leads the way to support the paratroopers, as reinforcements follow on, only to end up as...

...Kat food.

The Tiger and Ferdinand had reached the top of some hills where they proceeded to settle themselves in for a sehr gut afternoon's Russki-shoot.  Giovanni had clearly learned from our last game that the best way to use the Tiger and Ferdinand was to employ them as long-ranged snipers- snipers on steroids at that.

Just perch them on top of a comfortable hill, and from there the crews can set up a barbecue, crack open a few bottles of Liebfraumilch, and just take turns taking 88mm pot-shots at anything green coming at them in the distance.

By this time, and despite putting up one hell of a fight, Brian's force had been reduced to a battered few survivors crawling over the edges of the rubble.  Ivan's nose was getting bloodier and bloodier, while the German forces were still largely intact.   So with precious little time left for the Soviets to pull off any miracles, we decided to call it a day and hand the Germans the victory, leaving the outraged commissars to start rummaging through their pockets for more pistol ammunition...

In all, a great game and a lot of fun for all.  This was the first time we tried using air support, close assault and the opportunity fire rules.  After some initial confusion we quickly worked them out, and liked how they played.

Things were made easier by Daniel's Quick Reference charts- he took the relevant charts from BKC II and after photo-reducing them down into a convenient size for the tabletop, placed them in clear, stiff plastic file cases.  These were then colour-coded with tape down the edges.  A great finishing touch was having period posters on the other sides!  I just love them.

BKC is becoming a firm favourite with us.  Games can be played to a conclusion in an afternoon, and it's an elegant system that can be picked up easily by those unfamiliar with the rules.  Giovanni is also working on a large Italian army for the Western Desert, so we expect a lot of games in the future.

Finally, a preview of some Napoleonic action waiting in the wings for later this year.  Matt has been beavering away at his Perry and Victrix plastics, and they are looking good.  Here are some of his British.

Looking forward to seeing more of these!



  1. I'm new to miniature games and BKC. Thanks for the post. I'm going to be using 6MM.

    Would it be possible to get Daniel's charts or are they simply photocopied?

  2. Thanks for commenting, Todd.

    Daniel simply used a photocopier to reduce them to what is known here as B6 size (about 7" x 5"). Having them to hand this way saves the wear and tear on the rule book as well.

    In any event, we all bought our own copies of the rules and Dan's cards were meant solely for his own convenience as he was in effect the GM for our last game. Distributing copyrighted material is a no-go.

    BKC is a great set of rules for the beginning and experienced gamer alike. Easy-to-learn mechanisms, but with more subtlety than is immediately apparent.

    Adding house rules to taste is also easy to do without necessarily "breaking" the rules, but until we have half a dozen or so games under our belt we aren't going to alter a thing until we feel that we are playing them correctly as written first.