Friday 30 October 2009

10mm Arab Buildings - Updated

Finished these off today,all have removable roofs sized so that a stand of Infantry (2.5 x 5cm Base) can fit inside. T55 shown for scale.

Thursday 29 October 2009

Google Sketchup

A useful tool I use when making buildings is Google Sketchup, not only is it free, it's very easy to use. Very quickly you can get an idea of what your building is going to look like when completed, exact measurements can be inputted allowing a true scale model.

This took me about 30 minutes most of that figuring out how to make a dome, there is also an extensive help library.

Monday 26 October 2009

10mm Arab Buildings

Using some offcuts of foam from the 28mm Church, I've tried my hand at some 10mm buildings, here are a couple of work in progress shots. These are actually the third and fourth bases after one and two were failures. The most difficult part was the texture for the buildings, these have been coated with a mix of filler and PVA which has worked well.

Sunday 18 October 2009

Somalia 1993 - Food Aid

Another great game this Saturday, with the Somali militia forces attempting to steal trucks laden with food supplies from a compound guarded by the UN.

The Table

Closeup of the food compound, look how densly packed they are ;)

Somalia 1993
A detachment of UN forces from the 19th Pakistani Lancers are guarding a compound holding trucks from the UN’s food relief agency.

Somali Militia Briefing
Assault the UN compound and capture as many food lorries as possible, once captured they are to be removed via either short table edge.

UN Briefing

Defend the food relief point against local insurgents, in the event of attack, QRF units from the US Ranger task force can be called upon for assistance.


UN/US Forces 1600pts – shared (roughly 800pts each)
Somalia’s – 1600pts

US/UN Deployment
UN forces will deployed in a central compound area.
US forces are off table reserves, which deploy via mobile deployment from a
short table edge, the turn after the attack begins.

Somalia forces Deployment
Non vehicle forces may deploy within 30cm from the UN location so long as they are out of LOS.
Vehicle forces deploy via mobile deployment from any table edge.

Special Rules
Shooting to stop – units can attempt to shoot at any of the UN food trucks in an attempt to stop them, but will need a 6 to hit regardless of other factors and it takes 3 hits to stop them.
1 Stand of infantry is converted into enough drivers for all 6 trucks

Victory Conditions
1 pt for each truck prevented from leaving the table (US/UN)
2 pts for truck that escapes (Somalia’s)
No breakpoint

Game Length
8 Turns (we decided this after the game)

Turn 1 started with the Somali forces deployed surrounding the compound (with their snazzy new hidden markers). My plan here was to infiltrate as far as possible then spring from the buildings and make a dash for the trucks, in line with this I had scheduled an 82mm Mortar strike on the compound for the first turn in the hope of suppressing the majority of the forces. There was the danger here of destroying some of the trucks but hey what are the odds of rolling 4+ on all three of the dice.

The Mortar strike succeeds in suppressing 50% of the infantry but also destroys one of the food aid trucks, it could have been far worse! Unfortunately all the Somali commanders fail their command roles and remain in place, a trend that is becoming all too clear. In fact the only unit that manages to move is a Somali sniper, sneaking atop a building with clear LOS to the Pakistani CO.

Turn 2 Kicks off with Somali Sniper successfully suppressing the Pakistani CO, severely disadvantaging them. The remaining Somali Units decide that now is the time to attack and following a raft of excellent rolls move up to the buildings surrounding the compound and open fire. Barrage fire from numerous RPG Hunter killer Teams take out the Pakistani Patton’s. Opportunity fire in response accounts for some Somali casualties.

Turn 3 sees the appearance of the US quick reaction force who deploy in two groups behind the main group of Somali. Unfortunately for them one group attempting a flanking manoeuvre runs into an ambush set up for exactly this purpose. One HMMWV is destroyed, and another suppressed, return fire destroys a Somali emplaced recoilless rifle leaving one beleaguered stand of Militia isolated and afraid.

The Fighters surrounding the compound trade fire with Pakistani Forces slowing whittling them down while taking few casualties themselves, this firef ight extends into turn 4 with little else of consequence.

Turn 5 (the exciting turn). Somali reinforcements appear, a horde of technicals armed with DSHK HMG's and recoilless rifles.

The US Quick reaction force moves up to within sight of the compound, a Sheridan lagging behind in an overwatch position.

After finishing off the remaining Pakistani Forces, Militia fighters pour out of the buildings and into the street towards the trucks.

The US forces open up causing suppression and casualties in response.
The compound is overrun!
Turn 6, The remaining 5 trucks are manned by the militia and driven out of the compound.
The US open up on the trucks after some fantastic command roles (2 double ones in a row!), stopping two of them with a mix of fire from nearby Infantry and HMMWV's.

Turn 7, with the remaining trucks now on the road (command bonus!) they make good headway, in a desperate attempt to stop them the US Super Cobra strafes the last truck and immobilises it. (Points wise it is now 3-4 to the Somalis, they have to exit the last two trucks to win).
Meanwhile on the rest of the table a devastating turn for the remaining US forces as they are wiped out to a single stand of infantry.
Turn 8, in a last ditch the Huey Super Cobra tries to take out one of the remaining trucks fleeing the table, unsuccessful it turns its wrath on the technicals to devastating effect.

Double one! the Somali manned food aid trucks escape into the night securing then a victory!

Thoughts for this game:-
  • A possible reduction in the effectiveness of RPG's in the hand of militia stands.
  • Buildings should have a clearly defined limit to the number of stands of infantry they can contain.

Thursday 15 October 2009

28mm English Church

Despite this project languishing in the back of the cupboard tonight I felt inspired and some progress was made. After deciding on a final shape, the polystyrol foam was cut out , holes punched for the windows and the texture surface board applied. Nothing is fixed at the moment, still waiting for the PVA to dry, after which there will be a lot of filling to do.

The tower top will probably feature battlements that can be found on a few English Churches

To Hide the ugly joins on the corners i'm going to user quoins as shown below.

Sunday 11 October 2009

Somalia 1993 - Arms Caches

Let me start of by saying this was the most fun game we have played in a while! Unfortunately I forgot my camera, luckily Big Dave did not.

You can read the mission brief here:-

Turn one started with the Somali militia deployed hidden and in Ambush in the back two thirds of the table. Let me tell you 800 pts does not buy a lot, the force comprising mostly infantry with upgrades a sniper, a couple of technicals, a recce jeep and an RPG hunter killer team.

The US forces rolled on in three groups comprising troops in HMMWV’s, special forces (in trucks!) and a supporting Sheridan each, with an aim to cover the buildings as quickly as possible. An observation helicopter was covering the battlefield ready to call in a Huey Super Cobra if needed.

Initial buildings are scouted quickly, but as the Recce HMMWV leads the force a poorly disciplined mob of militia opens fire to no effect.

In turn two one US flanking group moves into the left side of the town the Sheridan trading shots with a RR armed technical, which is left badly damaged and suppressed, infantry deploy from their HMMWV’s and search nearby building but fail to find any arms caches. The Super Cobra makes an appearance and finishes of the technical with a Hellfire missile.(concerns are raised in Washington as to possible misuse of expensive ordnance)

The right flanking group of US forces triggers the first ambush, well trained RPG gunners obliterating the Sheridan, the return fire is overwhelming killing one stand of militia. The remaining militia prepare themselves for close quarters fighting as they see special forces disembark from the truck and head toward their building.

The combat is swift and brutal leaving no Somali survivors.

Turn three sees further trading of fire between the Recce HMMWV and possibly the worst shots in the entirety of Somali, clearly shooting is not their forte instead they elect to charge the HMMWV. Unfortunately command also doesn't seem to be one of their skills leaving them whistling in the wind but a few metres from their target.

The left flanking group of US forces move further into the town triggering another ambush resulting in heavy casualties for the US, many HMMWV’s are destroyed and Infantry Killed.

The right and centre groups of US move deeper into the town, nearly all of the Somali forces have been revealed now and sporadic fire fights are commonplace. Casualties mount on both sides. In an attempt by the US to gain control the Huey is summoned once again, however accurate fire from an HMG Armed technical drives it off.

With only a few buildings left unsearched and no arms discovered turn three ends. Both forces have reached their break points (4 for the Militia! And 8 for the US) while the US succeeds the Militia bottle it at this point and disperse.

Turn 4 is a rush for the US forces to discover the arms caches, one is located immediately, but the final one proves illusive. Both sides score a minor victory, a draw by any other name.

Thoughts for this game:-

  • Despite my misgivings about the balance for this game, it was near perfect and thus proved an extremely enjoyable experience, the only thing I would change would be to revise the turn length to 8.
  • We had changed the HMMWV’s in this mission to give them a save of 6 (small arms only) and some limited firepower, this worked well.
  • It was a good choice to revise the Somali improvised AA fire to 50% a this still proved reasonably effective with out being overwhelming.

Next week, in a “Big Dave” exclusive scenario the Somalis try to capture some food supplies from a UN compound! Stay tuned…

Saturday 10 October 2009

Our second game in Somali is set for today, i've written the mission brief below, battle report to follow...

The Outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. May 1993

Mission 2 - Arms Caches

Caches of both Heavy and Light Weapons have been reported in the area. As part of the goals of UNOSOM II, the US forces in the area are responsible for:-
  • Maintaining control of the heavy weapons of the organized factions to be brought under international control.
  • Seizing the small arms of all unauthorized armed elements.

Therefore to stop the current escalation of Violence, follow the gathered intelligence and render these arms unusable.


  • 1500 Points US Forces (No Planes or Arty, Helicopter & Mortar Support Only).
  • 800 Points Somali Militia (No IED’s, ambushes may be bought as normal)


  • US Forces roll on from their short Table Edge.
  • Somali Militia start deployed (Hidden) in the back two thirds of the table.
  • Before the start of the game the Somali player secretly designates 2 Buildings as locations for the arms caches, one in the middle third of the board and the other in the rear third.

Destruction of Arms Caches

  • A building is deemed to have been searched when an infantry stand enters it.
  • To destroy an arms cache an infantry stand must enter the building, and be ordered to destroy the cache, a successful command roll is a successful detonation. A blunder will mean the cache detonates prematurely, killing the infantry stand (normal blunder roll is disregarded in this instance). If engineers are destroying the cache they will never blunder in this way, instead resolve the blunder normally.


  • The US player achieves a major victory if he locates and destroys both arms caches.
  • The US player achieves a minor victory if the Somali Militia Breaks, or destroy a single arms cache.
  • The Somali Player achieves a major victory if the US forces break.
  • The Somali Player achieves a minor victory if he retains an arms cache at the end of the game.

Game Length

  • 12 Turns

Sunday 4 October 2009

Saturday 3 October 2009

Outskirts of Mogadishu - 1993

The Americans have been tasked with retrieving several Special Forces squads that have been cut off after being noticed by the local Somali Militia.

The American Commander on the ground "Big" Dave has been assigned a number of infantry mounted in HMMWV's with TOW support and a Huey Super Cobra giving air support, several empty vehicles have been provided with which to extract the special forces.

Standing in their path is a motley mob of Somalia militia fighters backed up with a few technicals and well sighted Ambushes. Although the American Commander knows the location of the troops requiring extraction, the Somalia militia do not and will have to react accordingly.

Where are the Special Forces lurking?

The US forces roll on and almost immediately trigger an ambush from a well sited recoilless rifle, taking out the TOW armed HMMWV and suppressing a number of trucks and infantry.

While the Somali militia move hidden in the surrounding streets the second group of American Vehicles move in what seems to a flanking move around the town centre, unfortunately a ghastly friendly fire incident results in two KO'd HMMWV's and another damaged, cheering crowds of Somalia’s can be heard in the distance by the stunned American survivors. One Sergeant can be heard muttering about firing squads.

Advance scouts from the US side call in Helicopter Support against a group of technicals that can be seen moving forward, while the cannon fire misses, a hellfire missile makes short work of one of them.

Some further movement from the first group of HMMWV's triggers a second ambush; unbeknownst to the militia fighters the same building is shared by a group of recuperating Special Forces! A brutal short range firefight ensues leaving a further HMMWV destroyed and scattered but insignificant Somali casualties. Incensed the Special Forces initiate a close assault which unfortunately results in their demise.

American morale at an all time low they barely manage to stay in the field, seeking a quick evacuation with some inspired leadership the remaining Special Forces squads emerge from nearby buildings and head toward a nearby empty HMMWV. They manage to climb aboard, whilst behind them the roar of technicals can be heard in pursuit. Huey air support strafes the group but when the smoke clears from the cannon & hellfire missile there are no Somali casualties.

Finally in an unheard of move the US forces surrender to the Militia Fighters. The level of casualties sustained finally taking their toll.

This was a test game of Cold war Commander which we intend to use to refight the Battles in Mogadishu seen in the film Blackhawk down. Mainly to familiarise ourselves with the guerrilla doctrine (used by the Somali forces) and tweak the unit stats to suit this purpose.

Our findings:-
  • HMMWV's need a save and the ability to shoot (we essentially used them as trucks in this game).
  • Possible suspension of the break point rule, and having the game victory determined by scenario conditions/outcome.
  • Toning down of the Somali improvised AA fire (they nearly destroyed the the Huey!)