Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sniper Fire

Sniper Fire

Sniper fire is a special form of Ambush Fire, and takes place in the Ambush Fire phase. One sniper, fires one shot, at only one target. The sniper must be at least 150m away from the target. Troops that survive a sniper attack, and are within 50m of the sniper may return fire if they first make a 50% roll to detect the sniper. Only one sniper may fire per turn within a 1250m-diameter area. Any unit that takes sniper fire may not fire until the next turn; return fire at the sniper is at 10% less than normal.

Only persons facing in their general direction may detect snipers firing suppressed weapons. Those who are facing the general direction roll the die to detect the sniper.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

What Kind of Vegetation is That?

Ambush Fire

Ambush Fire occurs when the firer is concealed, and did not move or fire during the previous turn and did not move or take Challenge Fire during the current turn. The maximum range of Ambush Fire is 1250m. Ambush Fire reveals a 250m wide area centered on the firer, for infantry and a 1250m wide area centered on the firer for AT guns, and ATGM. All forces within that area are revealed. ATGMs firing in AMBUSH hit immediately, if range is less than 1250m.

Casualties of Ambush Fire are removed immediately, prior to return fire taking place. Targets that are not destroyed by Ambush Fire may conduct return fire at the ambusher. Since the return fire is at a target that was concealed the return fire is 10% lower than normal. After the return fire takes place, surviving members of the ambush party may immediately retreat, up to 50m away from the enemy, except through impassable terrain.

Challenge Fire

Challenge Fire

Challenge fire is taken when a target moves from one concealed position to another. The firer must be stationary for one or more turns, in order to take challenge fire. The fire is taken 10% lower than normal. The target may fire back, even if he is destroyed, but must reduce his chance to hit by 20%. If the target did not have its weapon facing the firer, then he may not fire. If a unit takes challenge fire it may not fire until next turn.

Challenge Fire is designed to fire at a specific location, such as a gap in dragons’ teeth or down a street at traffic passing though an intersection. The firer must not move, or even turn his turret, for one or more turns. If the first tank coming through the gap in the dragons’ teeth is destroyed, then the rest of the column must stop.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wargame Rules Movement

One player from each side must roll one six sided die at the start of the movement phase. The player with the highest number will move first during the movement phase for that turn. A die roll will be made in this way for each turn.

Players may move all items but may not change their movement after they take their hand off of the vehicle or soldier. Movement may not be saved for use in later turns. The side that moves first designates the firing second. The side that moves second designates fire first.

Infantrymen crawl 10m, walk 50m and run 100m per turn. Horses walk 50m, trot 100m and run 250m. Dogs crawl 10m, walk 50m and run 250m. Pronghorn run 1000m, cheetah runs 1250m.

Vehicles move at a rate of one inch for every two miles per hour plus three inches. A real tank with a speed of 30 mph would move 18 inches per turn. This movement rate applies to all types of vehicles including aircraft and ships.

Vehicles that move should have a small puff of cotton placed at the rear of the vehicle to indicate that it moved. Vehicles that moved cross-country on dry soil shall have a big puff of brown cotton placed behind them to simulate the dust cloud raised by the vehicle.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Game Scale


These rules are designed for one model figure to represent one real soldier. This one to one ratio is used for all equipment, land, sea and air. One player can easily control 50 troops and five tanks. Experienced players can control many more. Game size is limited only by space, time and the quantity of materials available.

These rules are written for Minitank size models, 1/87 to 1/72 scales. To compensate for the distortion caused by figures that are larger than the ground scale, the ground scale is expanded at short ranges and contracted at long ranges. The ground scale at short range is one inch equals ten meters for the first ten inches, or 100 meters. Each of the next five inches equals 30 meters apiece, up to 250 meters. After 250 meters the ground scale is 1 inch equals 50 meters.

Range in meters Actual inches
10 - 1” 50 - 5” 100 - 10” 250 - 15” 500 - 20” 750 - 25” 1000 - 30” 1250 - 35”
1500 - 40" 1750 - 45"

Distances are written in meters. Yards and meters are averaged together and used inter-changeably. A distance shown in meters should be converted to the scale shown on the measurement table. Distances shown in inches are real world inches.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Role Playing

Role Playing Game

Each player selects a figure to represent him on the Wargame table. This figure cannot be killed, all results that would have resulted in death are litter case injury. Hits that results in a “litter case” injury are walking wounded, and walking wounded results in a minor flesh would that does not stop them. The player figure is always considered at three levels of elite against any other opponent, and therefore gets first shot at enemies and takes return fire only from survivors.

One way to make a wargame more interesting is to introduce a personalized element to the game. As the commander of your side, you will want your figure to be at the main headquarters for your side. Just having a figure on the table that represents you, even if he is in the back and safe someplace will cause the player to be more careful.

Having your own figure on the board at the WWII era corps headquarters is a pretty safe to be located. Having your figure as the leader of a squad of twelve men on patrol places you at much greater risk. Players who have their figure killed could be out of the game or at least out until the medics can make them all better.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Morale Rules


Morale is based on three factors: training, fighting spirit, and experience. The Combat! Charts are set up to depict units that are Regular, Average and Veteran. Units that are better than that in any category fire with a DM of 5% better. Units that are the worst in any category fire at -10%.

Elite +5%
Militia -10%

Fighting Spirit
Victorious +5%
Weary -10%

Hardened +5%
Green -10%

Effects are cumulative. Units that are highly elite will fire at an even great percentage chance to hit that just 5%. Marines are elite and fire at +5%. Marine Paratroopers are double elite and fire at +10%. Units that are +15% or higher fire first and the casualties are removed before return fire is permitted.

Military Hobbies

Randy from Fidelis Models and I stopped by Military Hobbies, 138 E Taft Ave, Orange, CA 92865 today. We got there only 5 minutes before closing time but Lindy was nice enough to do work even after the work hours.

While there I picked up a Anigrand Craftswork Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep in 1/72nd scale. The kit retails for $48.85, but again, Lindy was nice enough to cut 10% off the price. It is a resin kit of a small flying vehicle that the US Army developed in the late 1950's. This kit makes either the prototype or the first test vehicle. Eventually the Army dropped the program because helicopters were the winners in the air transport competition.

While I was there shopping I ran into a couple readers of this blog and we shared some vehicle collection stories. It is always great to speak to folks who read the blog and even more interesting to talk hobby stuff with a couple good guys.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Figure Sale At Toy Soldier HQ

"I now have a closeout and overstock page for my 1/72 sets. I am trying to get out of paid storage and will limit stock on hand. The Overstock page has excess sets at a nice discount and now until the end of January you get a further 30% off. So a Stretlet set with a normal retail of 11.00 has been reduced to 8.00 if overstocked and with the extra 30% is only 5.60 until the end of January. One week left. Kent"


Kent has run Toy Soldier HQ forever. It is a great company to do business with, I have purchased items from him many times. It is a good chance to get some cheap figures, as we all know they don't go on sale much and with the low exchange rates for the US dollar, we are unlikely to see cheap plastic figures for a while.

M38, M47, M48

While I upgrade my vehicle storage, I am taking a bit of time to take some photos. I like the chance to see a few vehicles that have been in storage for a while.

Some M48 tanks. I cut a tiny bit of a drinking straw to make the early round style searchlight. I also put some .30 caliber mgs on the cupola, perfect for early Viet Nam War.

A couple camo AHM M47 tanks.

I filled the drinking straws with putty to fill them up a bit.

A die cast M48 and a Roco upgraded with sandbag armor.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Bunkermeister Collection is stored primarily in underbed storage boxes, each with a little white 3 x 5 card at the end showing the contents.

Inside you will find a vast array of M-38 Jeeps and a few tents. While most are Roco, a few are from other companies. Some of these are over 40 years old. Some are nearly new. Well, maybe five years old.

Some of these need work, but many have been highly modified. The Roco Machine Gun set has been very useful here, those .30 caliber air cooled being very good here, but some of the .30 caliber water cooled also make an appearance.

The US Infantry Battalion had loads of Jeeps, for HQ, supply, anti-tank, mortars, machine gun carriers, and scouting.

The Roco M-38 Jeep when purchased used often is missing parts. The windshield and the back seat are two of the most frequently missing items. Sometimes I mount a machine gun and use one of the Jeeps without a back seat. A bit of sheet styrene to make a smooth floor and I am done. The absence of a back seat can be explained by making more room for the machine gunner.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I got this little gem on a recent visit to the train shop.

They make a nice range of HO scale civilian vehicles.

Fully assembled, painted, decalled, right out of the box for only $5.98.

This is an excellent model of a California Highway Patrol car. I see cars just like this almost every day.

I got these two woody station wagons at the recent train show, they look pretty good with the Crown Vic.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


More of my 1950's Cold War US Army. It includes 8 inch and 155 mm self propelled armored guns. Naturally, the mainstay is the M-47 series Roco tanks. Note the tank commanders popping up from the hatch. My battalion command vehicles are designated by the presence of a tank commander.

The corner here has a couple Nike anti-aircraft or anti-missile rockets.

I have a few M59 Roskopf armored personnel carriers. This was in use before the M113 and looks very similar. I am always on the lookout for a few more of these long out of production vehicles. The little green plastic box is my spares box for this storage box. I try and put a tiny box in each large box in case a machine gun or other bit falls off in storage or in play.

I had an old Roco AVLB on the M48 chassis and I backdated it onto an M47 chassis. Call it a prototype to test the theory.

I got an M47 from some Japanese company decades ago that had a terrible turret, so I used the hull to make this AVLB.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tiger Tanks

The Germans also mixed the early turret and series turret Tiger II tanks in the same battalions, as seen here.

The German TO&E has Tiger tank, all the various tank versions of the Tiger were interchangeable, both Tiger I and Tiger II with either tank turret.

These old Roco Minitanks have been in my collection for a very long time, maybe 30 to 40 years in some cases.

Late in the war, some units were still at full strength, as late as January, 1945 they had at least one battalion of 45 Tiger tanks.

Tiger Battalion

One of my Tiger Tank Battalions in the box.

On the Western Front, the Germans mixed Tiger I and Tiger II with the early turret, into the same battalion.

I have a full range of Tiger tanks, including the Arsenal M Driver Training Wood Gas Fuel version. If the drivers are not trained, then they don't drive my tanks.

Old Roco Tiger tanks. The old Roco was not a bad vehicle, it was just not highly detailed, this is true for both their Tiger I and Tiger II series tanks. When Roco came out with a new Tiger I, I got a few of them but unlike their Panzer IV, I did not replace my Tiger collection with the new vehicles.

A big nasty surprise for any Allied tank battalion.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rail Gun

Recently I visited a train show and I found a couple of these little gems.

It is a heavy lift crane, used by railroad maintenance of way crews to lift heavy objects, like derailed train cars.
A long time ago, I found a photo that showed a Soviet railcar from the Second World War that had a cabin like this one but insead of a crane, there was a large caliber cannon inside. I suspect it may actually have been a ships turret moved to a rail carraige.

I have started taking the crane apart but have not made much other progress yet.

In close up you can see the rivets, making this look like a very heavy walled structure. I still have to figure out the cannon and have a lot of other work to do on it. I will follow up when I make more progress, but it coule be a while.

Friday, January 15, 2010

M-47 Storage

M-103 heavy tanks oversee the M-47 medium tanks in my newly upgraded storage boxes.

The M-41 Walker Bulldog light tanks lead the parade.

M-47, M-103, and M-41 light tanks, all from Roco, in their new storage box. The olive fabric really looks good with the olive drab paint and the bare Roco dark green.

My 1950's US Army tank battalions take up a couple boxes like this one. The majority of the M47s are Roco but a few are from AHM and other model railroad companies.

The staff car is a recent acquisition and it goes well with this unit.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Box Lining

In the past I used shelf lining to help keep my Rocos in place in the plastic boxes where I store them.

I use underbed plastic storage boxes to store the collection. They are made by Sterilite and sell at Target stores for about $8 each. A couple years ago I upgraded from cardboard boxes to plastic after finding mouse droppings in one of the boxes and the boxes shredded.

At first, I lined the plastic boxes with shelf lining, but after while, I realized that the lining was reacting with the styrene Rocos and melting them. Not unlike the vinyl tracks that come with the old Airfix kits that would melt the vehicles over time. So I have been removing the shelf lining as quickly as I can.

Once pulled from the boxes, I trim the shelf lining into thirds and place a four inch strip down the center of the box.

I then lay a 14 inch by 30 inch piece of corduroy fabric in the bottom of the box. The shelf lining holds it in place. I use an olive green for American, red brown for German and red for USSR.

It does give a more elegant look to the packed vehicles. The corduroy ribs help keep the vehicles from sliding around inside the box, so they are more organized and don't bang into each other.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Army Men

Ykreol is not making a new set of WWII German troops. It is another of their sets of German commanders and staff troops.

These 1/72nd scale soft plastic figures are fully assembled and will work for a variety of scenarios. This guy is a likely a motorcycle rider, the overcoat and the gas mask in front is typical of that.

The Germans developed and fielded an infra-red night vision system. It was very successful and was used in the last few weeks of the year. You can imagine the effect of fighting an enemy that can see in the dark, when you can't. A tactical and psychological advantage. As far as I know, this is the only soft plastic figure with this late war system. It consists of a large searchlight, and then a optical device to view the I/R illuminated image. They were used on the MP-44 assault rifle as seen here, the MG42, and mounted on the SdKfz 251 series halftrack and Panther tank.

Here is the whole set off the sprue. They include high ranking officers, a guard with German Shepherd dog, a man mounting a horse, and two figures on parade. There is also a rare female soldier. This set would be good for a game based on the Valkrie movie for example.

A set has three sprues just like this one. The initial set does have a bit of flash, but as you can see from the photos it cuts off okay. Ykreol will probably do the set in several colors of plastic, but so far the only one I have seen is in grey.
The man with guard dog, the men on parade, the woman, and the man from the motorcycle are very useful and I will want several of these sets.