Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Vampifans Views 126 - Enforced Absence

On Friday December 20th, I was admitted to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, as an emergency patient, for an operation which resulted in me having my big toe of my right foot amputated. As a result, I missed Xmas and the New Year and I am still recovering in hospital. This was officially the worst Xmas of my life.
I am bored to tears having nothing to do in hospital and I desperately miss the internet. I hope to get out soon and get back to blogging but I don't currently have a discharge date. I am undergoing Physiotherapy and I am well on my way to recovery.

Hope to speak to you soon.

Vampifan

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Bolt Action Ruined House & Craters

Up till now I have shown quite a lot of my American and German infantry forces for Bolt Action, as well as a smattering of vehicles. What I haven't shown so far is some of my scenery items - and I do have quite a bit to show. Anyone who knows me well, will know that I place a great deal of emphasis on my terrain and scenery items. I like nothing better than a fantastic looking gaming board that makes you want to play on it. So, ever since I began my Bolt Action project I have slowly been amassing various scenery and terrain items.
In this post I'll be looking at three separate sets I bought - a ruined a house, a set of bomb craters and some road sections.
I'll start with the ruined house. This is a plastic construction kit produced by Warlord Games specifically for Bolt Action. It comes with its own scenic base to which I have added a few tufts of static grass.
It is a simple rectangular building with a staircase leading to a small landing. The walls are very thick and a selection of sandbags are provided for extra cover on the doors and windows. It is big enough to hold a squad of about ten men.
To the right of my photos is the Warlord Games crater set, which contains six small resin cast craters. I don't think you could play a game set in World War 2 without craters!
Finally, are my modular road sections, which are produced by War World Gaming, a firm I discovered on Amazon UK. The road sections are roughly 8" in length and about 3" wide. They come in straight sections, curved sections and an assortment of junctions. They are textured and ideal for country lanes. The road sections are available in grey (as shown) or dirt brown. I found them very useful and with a few sets I can easily fill my gaming board.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Bolt Action - German Panzer IV Ausf H

The Panzer IV Ausf. G evolved into the Ausf. H with the addition of a slightly improved L/46 75mm high velocity anti-tank gun. The Ausf. H would become the standard German battle tank until the final Ausf. J was developed, but this only had minor changes, such as the improvement of the gearbox and the turret's roof armour. If any tank can claim to be the standard battle tank of the German Army then it is the Panzer IV.
It was not well liked by its crews, who were often veterans and very aware of the tank's drawbacks. They nicknamed it the Sardinebuchse, "Sardine Tin" due to its relative lack of armour.
In Bolt Action, it is classed as a Medium Tank with 1 turret-mounted heavy anti-tank gun with co-axial MMG and 1 forward facing hull mounted MMG.
This Panzer IV has Schurzen Armoured Skirts fitted. These stand-off, thin armoured plates protecting a tank's turret and sides were developed  to act as additional armour against Russian anti-tank rifles. Later they became more widely used and also helped protect a tank against shaped charges by detonating the warhead  before it hit the main armour. If a German tank has Schurzen , then anti-tank rifles and shaped charges such as bazookas, PIATs, etc. never get the +1 penetration bonus for hitting the vehicle in the side.
The Ausf. G, H and J tanks all cause Tiger Fear. Such was the lethal reputation of Tiger tanks, that often Allied troops were spooked by the appearance of any German heavy armour, mistakenly thinking that any Panzer IV was a Tiger waiting in ambush. All enemy units that have line of sight to one or more German vehicles with the Tiger Fear special rule suffer from Tiger Fear. Units suffering from Tiger Fear count as having one extra pin marker on them when taking any order test, except if ordered to Fire against a vehicle causing Tiger Fear.
I decided to give my Panzer IV a mottled green and red-brown camouflage scheme over a sand base coat. It looks quite effective and I'm happy with the results.
This plastic kit is produced by Warlord Games and you have the options of making the Ausf. F, G or H variants. It went together very well and I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to add the Schurzen, which are also optional. Interestingly enough, the points costs for the inexperienced, regular and veteran crews of the Panzer IV Ausf. H are identical to the points costs for the inexperienced, regular and veteran crews of the American M41A1 Sherman 75mm tank, which is what Oddball's tank is that I showed earlier, albeit stripped of its Hollywood extras, i.e. 188 points, 235 points and 282 points respectively. This makes my only two tanks (so far) a good match in theory. I'm keen to try them out in a battle to see who is the better.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Konflict 47 Colonel Grauler & Werewolf

Konflict 47 is Warlord Games' Weird World War  2 game based on the popular Bolt Action rules, featuring giant mechs and supernatural creatures. It is very similar to the Secrets of the Third Reich game by West Wind but the history differs somewhat. Even so, you could use figures for both games together with your preferred rules set. For me, that is Konflict 47 as I much prefer their rules, background and figures.
I recently bought this two figure set of Sturmbahnfuhrer (Colonel) Grauler and Werewolf by Warlord Games. The great weakness of Hitler’s Occult Forces is the Vampire’s inability to go out in daylight. To overcome this weakness the mountains and forests of Germany were scoured and the shock troops of the Wulfen SS were formed.
We have here a werewolf stormtrooper from the Wulfen SS, ready to rend the enemies of the Third Reich limb-from-limb. Never too picky in their rendition this Wulfen is accompanied by Frau Grauler, the She-Wolf of the SS who keeps her minions in line with frequent admonishment with her riding crop.
I plan on buying even more Werewolves (at least six off them) to bolster this set. Full rules for using Wulfen are provided in the basic Konflict 47 rulebook and they are fearsome troops.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Bolt Action - German Medium Mortar Team

The standard German medium mortar of WW2 was the 80mm Granatwerfer 34. It was a very effective and accurate weapon that could provide longer range, on-call support. It had a maximum range of 2,400 metres and could maintain a rate of fire of 15-20 rounds per minute.
 It was carried by its crew in three pieces: base plate, tube and bipod.
As with the medium machine gun team, I have based the figures separately to make it easier for removing casualties. This set is produced by Warlord Games as part of their Bolt Action range and the troops are all Panzer Grenadiers.