BoB: Barn and Outhouses

I bought several buildings from Brigade Games a month or so ago. The box arrived and I thought when picking it up it must be a part delivery not the full thing. I was wrong.

The resin they use is very lightweight but very sturdy.

This is the barn (duh!), the other two buildings are WIP. I often find that there are not enough barns and outhouses on wargames tables.

The roof is removeable.

So I finished off the spare 4Ground MDF buildings I had. An outhouse and a privy. These help increase the clutter around the village that I will be putting together for my BoB Big Game in June 22nd if anyone is interested).

BoB: Building a new army

You don’t often get to purposely build a new army, well I don’t.

On my list of stuff to sell was a rather randomly bought pile of WW1 Germans from Brigade and Great War Miniatures. Nothing wrong with them, I just bought them on whim and found I had no need or them really. Well up untiul I decided to do the Big Game for BoB this June.

So I sorted through them and found I needed to round it out (yes really).

So I could have three core infantry units plus a command unit and HMG.

I decided to add to that another HMG and an artillery piece.

The Germans didn’t use any tanks on the Eastern front at all, and had only a small amount of A/Cs, so if I was to field them they would have to be balanced out with more HMGs, and maybe a fourth infantry unit – the infantry not being armed heavily with LMGs or SMGs, and not trained as stormtroopers either !

So that’s about 4-5 units of 10 troops and a couple of HMGs, plus the artillery.

There you go, the full force, now all I need to do is paint ti by June for the Big Game

Now to dispose of the 40+ troops I cdon’t need.

BoB: Austin Armoured Car Part 2

Sometime ago Byakhee Rich helped pin together a Sloppy Jalopy Austin (Mark 3) Armoured car for me. I then painted it, and waited to acquire some transfers/decals to apply identity markings to it.

Well the transfers arrived yesterday from Brigade Games, and they were used in anger. (there is no way I could paint this accurately without a lot of effort and patience. The roundels on the turrets are the roundels used by the Russians in WW1 and carried over into the White Russian army later.

The Skull & Cross bones on the front was quite a common marking for Russian and German vehicles and helps tie in with the Shock Troopers. The Imperial Eagle on the back is very alohistorical, but helps identify it as a White Russian Vehicle.

Looking up the stats or this armourec car, Tom Hillman in his book “Armoured Automobiles of the RCW 1918-1920“, has fiound that this was the most advanced o armoured cars used, but that records indicate a mere 60 were imported to Russia.

Many of the armies in the RCW used it, along with the British as well in WW1. various models were built but the Mark 3 was the most numerous.

This Austin is in use by the Don Army (the Don Cossacks) and may be early on as it only has the Don Cossack symbol (yellow roundel with black triangle representing an arrowhead that has been used shot into a stag, and this was also used on Don aircaft as well). This will be used on my next kit to make it different, allow me to field a different faction on the field.

More details here on wiki.

RCW/BoB: Anarchists and Armoured Trains

Ordered from Brigade Games, amongst the pack that arrived today:

During WW1, the RCW, WW2 and even later up til the 1990’s armoured trains were used by the Russians and to lesser extents the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Czechs, Poles and Chinese.

As you can see from the ruler, it’s over 12′ long and dwarfs the two figures that also arrived. By the time I’ve added the locomotive behind it along with some carriages and flat beds, plus a flat bed in front and maybe more armoured units it’ll only ever get used in a Big Game where we can have boards 10′ plus to cope with the size of this beast.

Strelnikov is a thinly disguised Trotsky character, cavorting around on a heavily armoured train. In the RCW Trotsky had his own luxurious train and a personal body guard which purportedly were kitted out in red leather uniforms (see the Osprey book). Another colourful unit that could be deployed along with this marvellous item. Interesting to note the Sailors watching him go by, the Russian Sailors were pretty much pro-Bolshevik until 1921, and provided a good cadre of troops trained in the use of HMGs and artillery, much like you’d need on armoured trains.

I’m also figuring out a way to get some of this kit deployed for the AVBCW, probably involving the Royal Train and secret railway tunnels under the Malverns…

The two figures are Nestor Mahkno

and Fyodor Shuss) who were the leaders of the (anarchist) Black Guards in the Ukraine during the RCW.

Plus they had some groovy black banners…

Hmm, I can imagine they’re going to get painted/built sometime soon…seeing as Makhno fought the Germans, Austrians, Ukrainians, Whites and Reds.

BoB Shock Troops, the second unit UPDATED

Well as indicated I have done a second unit of Russian Shock Troops for my BoB armies.

First few photos are here, and I’ll amend this posting tomorrow when the full unit is done.

Here are two standard bearers. One I’ve done with the Russian tricolour, and the second I’ve done with the standard that seems to be typical of the shock troopers, with the deaths head.

I couldn’t find any copies of this standard on the internet, so I made my own using Google Translate (1st Company, Shock) to translate into Russian. I have since manipulated the graphics a bit more but it looks good enough.

Here’s the full unit including commanders, and I added some stick grenades from the Warlord/Bolt Action German Infantry plastic kit to bulk them out as I thought the original troops were a bit light on them:

I painted them with black Gymnasterkas, as noted in the White Armies of the Russian Civil War book (Deryabin/Hillman) officers of the General Staff began to wear them in 1916 onwards and these were the oficers that went on to join the White cause. As many of the shock troopers and Colourfull regiments also used black, it seemed a good way to differentiate this unit from the first one I did.

I am awaiting the new transfers from Brigade Games to complete this unit.

AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – 1

After a last minute line up change we got to the game. On Table 1 – we had two tables…

The BUF (Richard) and Royalists (Roo & Tom) massed their cavalry, some 40+.
Now Cavalry did not have a good track record in AVBCW games (note past tense)…

But when augmented with Tanks, and a few good dice rolls they stormed across the table towards the Anglican and Socialists. Though the BUF tank did blow up a building on the way over…

Whilst the Socialists from B’ham after rather placing thier car in a rather rakish position on the bridge suffered from the effects of a chance card that meant it was out of petrol. This seemingly small event went on to make a major impact on the game, as the broken down car was then shelled by the BUF tank, blown up and left wrecked on the bridge blocking it. It provided cover for Anglican bomb squads who attempted to blow up the BUF super tank later as it crossed the stream.

Meanwhile the Socialist NCO checked out the wrecked car..and found that it had contained the Bishop of Hereford, who had now escaped and was somewhere on one of the two tables…capturing the Bishop would be a major issue for both sides.

Elsewhere, the Anglicans had sent forward a unit across the stream. Screams were heard across the fields, and the survivors later claimed that they had found an Abyssinian Lion in the bushes that attacked them. Both the Anglican troops who claimed to be attacked, and the Royalists moving towards them made these claims, but to date no reliable photographic evidence has been shown. It is suspected that a domestic house cat or two was responsible for clawing a few ankles.

The staff of Emperor Hailie Sellasie have declined to comment on the whereabouts of his highness’ pet lions.

With the Royalists and BUF approaching the bridge, the Socialists called up their reserves !

With both their lead car and motorised tachanka out of action (kaput), the socialists retreated as per orders whilst the BUF and Royalists targeted them with mortars and tank guns. Luckily for the socialists the BUF super tank managed to get stuck trying to cross a hedge which bought them some time. However, spies in their midst, fog and other adverse chance cards really hindered them and they were not able to mount a decent defence.

Having loped off the head of the scarecrow that was taunting them (it was dressed up in BUF uniform), the BUF cavalry cantered on, leaving in their wake some very annoyed Twiggy Mommet protesters who turned their scythes, pitchforks and shotguns on the unfortunate BUF infantry.

Breakthrough !

The BUF supertank crosses not only the hedge, but the stream !
Thbis was the beginning of the end for the Anglicans and Socialists. With the tank across, and seemingly immune to the tank killers of the Anglicans who made a brave effort, the ATR squad mown down by BUF cavalry, the tide turned against them.

However, the Anglicans went down fighting, the Royalists assaulted the immobilised tanks (known as the Hot-Rod), but the Anglican commander raced to the rescue and valiantly fought off the Royalists.

And then a Chance card through everything up in to the air. It turned out the commanders were old enemies and basically everyone had a grudge against each other…CHARGE…

To be continued…

BoB: Tanks

Grinding my way through the playroom, I stumbled over my second armoured park (the first being the AVBCW armoured park). Loads of Brigade Models/Company B Mark V tanks.

I had assembled the main resion components but shyed away from the metals guns and other components. As I commented to Richard:

This is partly why I’ve had them a good few years and not built them – they’re complex and fiddly and I knew unless they were pinned, then I’d waste a lot of time bodging it before they then fell apart when stared at too intently.
One thing I have learnt from doing up houses, is that you need the right tools for the job, if you bodge it, it’ll break/fall apart, and then you’ll have to do it all over again properly.

As in, I’ll wave a little white flag and admit to not have drill bits small enough, and not having the skill to do that level of detailled pinning – I can do bigger stuff no problem (size isn’t everything).

L-R: Male; Hermaphrodite; and Female
(Oh yeah is that going to generate some spurious Google search hits or what ?!)

The Male Mark Vs had a cannon in each sponsoon; the Females had two HMGs (Hotchkisses) in each sponsoon; and the Hermaphrodite tanks had a a single male sponsoon (cannon + HMG), and a single Female sponsoon (2 HMGs). HMGs were also mounted (this spurious Google search is getting worse…) on the front of the tank and also one…on the back.

So off they went to Uncle Rich’s Pinning Service(TM).

As I originally bought these for my BoB armies I was planning on painting them in White/Red Russian colours, but seeing as my interests in WW1 and AVBCW have expanded their use I’m now a little stuck as to what to paint them. My books on RCW armoured vehicles indicate that they would probably have arrived painted in British colours: either a Khaki Green colour; maybe a drab Grey; or possibly khaki. Books on WW1 British armour indicate all of the above, especially Khaki for those in the Middle East, and I’m guesing those would have been shipped to the AFSR first. Then there is some indication that the Whites/Reds used camo patterns (see Kolmiots et al 2001 – Tanks of the Russian Civil War). Certainly both the Whites and the Reds went to town with extra markings and slogans on all the tanks and armoured cars that came into their possession.

So I think I’ll go for a plain starter with green/khaki (I may need to deploy these models on the 16th for the AVBCW Big Game JP and I are organising).

Good job I have another 2 of each of these models stashed away awaiting attention. 😉

BoB/RCW: White Russian Shock Troops

During WW1, and for the Brusilov offensive, the Russian army experimented with new tactics for infantry in order to break through the Central Powers’ lines. They ended up developing techniques very similar to those used by the German Stormtroopers and certain British units. Most joined the White cause in the RCW.

During the Brusilov Offensive of 1916, the Russian general Aleksei Brusilov developed and implemented idea of shock troops to attack weak points along the Austrian lines to effect a breakthrough, which the main Russian Army could then exploit. The von Hutier tactics (infiltration tactics) called for special infantry assault units to be detached from the main lines and sent to infiltrate enemy lines, supported by shorter and sharper (than usual for WWI) artillery fire missions targeting both the enemy front and rear, bypassing and avoiding what enemy strong points they could, and engaging to their best advantage when and where they were forced to, leaving decisive engagement against bypassed units to following heavier infantry. The primary goal of these detached units was to infiltrate the enemy’s lines and break his cohesiveness as much as possible. These formations became known as Stosstruppen, or shock troops, and the tactics which they pioneered would lay the basis of post-WWI infantry tactics, such as the development of fire teams.

The figures are by Brigade Games from their Storm in the East range (BG-SIER030, 31 & 32). They come with the Adrian pattern steel helmet.

Sadly this is not modelled with either the Imperial Russian Eagle or the deaths head the shock battalions usually had on their helmets.

Mark Plant commented on TMP:

More importantly, helmets weren’t worn in the RCW because they were more hindrance than help. It’s not that they didn’t have them, but they didn’t wear them even when they did. No amount of the Brits shipping them to the Whites would persuade the troops to wear them. Lots of RCW troops wore British kit, but the Russians kept their knee boots as long as they could, and used the caps almost exclusively.

Helmets were invented for troops under constant artillery fire in trenches. Since the RCW was largely devoid of this, the helmet was just a huge weight on a man’s head, keeping him too hot in summer and too cold in winter, for virtually no protective benefit. So they discarded them.

From all the RCW photos I’ve seen, there are precious few helmets being worn, and for the reasons given I tend to agree. However, for table top purposes and to distinguish these troops from other Guard/Officer units the figures are useful practically and have a semi historically plausible root. Indeed, it is intersting to note that the British troops in Baku (and throughout the Middle East) did not use the steel helmets either relying on their Wolsley helmets made out of cork or pith.

I’ve done the command squad except for the standard bearer which needs some remedial treatment by Uncle Richard’s Pinning Service (TM).

The figures are nicely sculpted, but lack some attributes like the rolled up greatcoats, and extra grenades that they should hvae on some of the models. The command squad could also have been a bit more dynamic in their poses, but otherwise are really good. they certainly add a new and different unit to the table top which is always useful when you are fielding hordes of drab khaki clad figures ! The figures are compatable with Copplestone BoB figures, even if they are slightly shorter and more slender. I’m trying to get hold of some more stick grenades from the plastic Warlord German Infantry sets to improve their kit, and maybe wil add greenstuff for extra baggage and rolled up greatcoats for a second unit.

(L-R: Copplestone Ragged White Infantry; Brigade Games Shock Trooper; Copplestone White Russian Infantry)

My other comment is that the metal used is softer than the Copplestone one, and so the gun barrels do need a bit of straightening as can be seen in some photos of the bayonets in particular. However its also worth noting that there is some variation in size of the Copplestone range itself.

I re-iterate however, these figures from Brigade Games are compatable and well worth the money to increase the diversity of RCW, BoB and WW1 Russian forces.

BoB: One Armed Sutton

There were many characters in the 1920’s in the RCW and Chinese Warlord periods. One of them was Frank “One Armed” Sutton. He had lost part of an arm whilst fighting during WW1 in Galipolli, when caught in a trench with some Gurkhas that were being subjected to grenade attack by Turks:

In his own words: “This much I had learned at Eton: I was always a safe field. I was bound in the course of time to misfield, and I did.” The grenade blew his right hand off at the wrist. Shortly afterwards, a massive Turk jumped into the crater with his bayonet fixed. After a titanic struggle during which Frank bit the Turk’s ear off, he managed to kill his adversary and returned to the beach to retrieve his golf clubs, where a surgeon removed the rest of his wrist. Thus he came to be known as “One Arm Sutton”.

In 1918 he went to the Russian Far East as a Gold prospector, and after numerous adventures there, wound up in China where he manufactured guns and mortars such as the Stokes 5″. He later went on to create primitive aroured vehicles based on the White Tractor. He was the Chief of Staff and Director of Munitions for Tsang Cho Lin.

Unsurprisingly, Mark Copplestone has done a model of Sutton (BC20).

Mortars were frequently used by the Chinese Warlords due to the absence of field guns.

the Sutton Skunk was an armoured Holt tractor. This model is made by Company B (available via Brigade Games and others) and is armed with a Lewis LMG. A very nice little model with only a few parts all crisply cast.

A key component in any Chinese Warlord army for BoB.