Saturday, November 17, 2018

Canadian WWI Armoured Autocar

Autocar in Canadian War Museum, November 2014.
One of my favourite artifacts from the Canadian War Museum was restored to running condition this year and shipped over to Belgium to take part in the end of WWI commemoration activities in Mons, Belgium on November 11.  As a kid and even today, this vehicle has always been interesting to see.  I would have loved to see it run in person in Ottawa or in Mons.  I have yet to find a video of it running in Belgium.

This armoured car was built in 1914.

From the Canadian War Museum:
This armoured car was manufactured by the Autocar Company. Built on a two-ton truck chassis, the car had 5mm of armour at the front and 3mm in the rear. With its solid rubber tires and 22-horsepower engine, it could reach speeds of 30 to 40 kilometres per hour on roads, but had very limited cross-country capability. Its twin Vickers machine-guns could each spew 450 bullets per minute. (source)

Canadian armoured cars going into action at the Battle of Amiens.
Canadian armoured cars pass through Mons, Belgium.
(source: Library and Archives Canada)


Autocar driving in Mons

Below are three videos of the autocar being restored before being shipped over to Mons.

Autocar in Mons: Facebook link (video)


source: Link

More photos of Autocar in Mons

For the wargamers, there is a 1:144 scale model of the Autocar available from Shapeways: link

Also available is the Flames of War 15mm pack of two.

My final painted 15mm Flames of War armoured cars.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Philippine-American War Skirmish Battle

At our last club convention I put on a Philippine-American War skirmish scenario between Filipino forces and A Company, 1st Colorado Volunteer Regiment.  The scenario was based on a real skirmish battle that happened on March 25, 1899 between well trained Filipino troops and US volunteer troops.

The 28mm figures are from 1898 Miniaturas and a few Tiger Miniatures thrown in.  Rules used were The Men Who Would Be Kings with some house rules.  Terrain that affected the battle was the jungle, rice paddies and hedges.

The objective for the the Filipino troops was to defend the area and prevent the US forces from breaking through.  Just like the historic battle, the US forces were able to push the Filipino forces out of the area but it was a tough battle.

Initial deployment for the Filipinos and US forces started off table.
Two additional Filipino units would arrive as reinforcements.

A Filipino unit with the support of a bugler and flag defend the edge of a forested area.

A unit of volunteers charges pinned Filipinos defending the rice paddy berm.
The Filipino troops could not hold the berm.

The Filipino left flank trying to hold back the advancing US troops.
Ignore the two dice trays.

Links to previous posts related to this battle:

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

October CMH Club Meeting Photos

Here are some photos from the October monthly meeting of our club.  Two 360° photos are included.  Games are Blood and Plunder, WWII tanks, and Chinese

Click to view and pan in 360°.

Click to view and pan in 360°.

Unit of the month figures laid out on table. Oh ya...and one of my rice paddies.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Men Who Would Be Kings - House Rules

I have played these rules a couple of times and have enjoyed the battles with them.  I think they are a good alternative to The Sword and The Flame rules.  I will be using them for a Philippine-American War skirmish between a Company from the Colorado Regiment and a Filipino unit.

I have browsed through TMP and the The Men Who Would Be Kings Facebook page and found a few good house rules.  I wish there was an easier assembled source of house rules to read through.

I can see myself adding more house rules as I continue to playtest and play more games.  So the list below may be updated after I post it.

House Rules:
  1. Commander-in-Chief figure added. This figure can move 12" and provide a +1 bonus to a Unit doing a Rally action within 6" of the figure.
  2. Instead of rolling two d6 to see if a key figure is killed, a roll of a 1 on a d12 will kill a key figure.  Roll the d12 when rolling for potential hits on unit.  This will speed up play.
  3. Each player and each Commander-in-Chief have a chit.  This chit is drawn at random to determine which becomes active.
  4. Units with a flag or bugle gives a leadership bonus of 1. The example is a leader who starts at a 7+, with a flag figure, the leadership would be 6+.  If it also has a bugler, then it would be 5+.
  5. Move and At the Double are merged together into Move action which is now basically At the Double (6" + 1d6" for movement).
  6. When failing a rally, but not routing the player has two option with the unit:
    1. Retreat to cover or in the open up to 12" and remove a pin marker.
    2. Stay in cover and do not remove a pin marker.
Note the unit of 12 figures, one of the figures is replaced with a flag figure for the leadership bonus.
In the back the Commander-in-Chief is within 6" and can provide a leadership bonus for a Rally action.
American unit has a Bugler who gives a leadership bonus.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Rice Paddy Tutorial

This is my third version of rice paddies and the most traditional looking version.  This is a newly planted rice paddy.  I was not overly impressed by what I saw online from other wargamers, so I worked on trying to create something more realistic.  Probably still not as good as what model railroaders would make, but certainly better than what I've done in the past.  Mine are not perfect and I welcome better versions than mine and please share how you make it (TMP, Facebook or your blog).  This is not a fast technique, but maybe better paddies takes more time.

I have a fallow, newly planted and fully grown rice paddies.  These are the three I'll be using in an upcoming wargame.  They will be seen together in a future post on this blog.

  • Pre-Mixed Grout (sandstone)
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water
  • 1/8" hardboard (from old poster frame back)
  • 1/2" square dowels dowels
  • Masking tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Liquitex Acrylic Color: Burnt Umber
  • Amsterdam: Permanent Green Light
  • JTT Field Grass (Light Green), item 95086
  • Optional: Some sort of green flock for the berm

  1. Assemble all the material. Make sure you have enough of the material to finish the project.
  2. Cut the hardboard into a 10" x 10" square. I choose the square shape because I wanted to have multiple rice paddies beside one another.
  3. Using the grout mix, build up the berms around the outside of the square hardboard. I went  1/2" high and flattened the top to give the impression that people can walk along the berm.
  1. When the berms are dry (1-2 days), paint the berms and the inside of the rice paddy a dark brown. 
  2. Cut the wood dowels to the width of the rice paddy (10").
  3. Cut grooves in the dowels every 1 cm along two opposite sides of the dowel.  I made 19 notches on either side.  This is where the grass will fit into.
  4. Bunch up a bit of grass together and place it into each groove, and cover with a piece of masking tape.  Try to pack the grass together as tight as you can and straight.
The gaps between dowels allows the Realistic Water dry better.
  1. When all grooves have grass in them in the dowel, trim the bottom of the grass so when you place the dowel over the rice paddy on the berms, the grass touches the bottom of the rice paddy.
  2. Repeat steps 5-8 until you have full coverage of rows.
  1. Make sure the base is level before you pour the Realistic Water.
  2. Pour the Realistic Water into the rice paddy.  I think something slightly over 1/8" deep will work.
  3. Arrange the dowels over the rice paddy.  Make sure all the grass are embedded in the Realistic Water.
  1. Let dry three days (not sure why it took me three days).  Make sure the rice paddy is fully dry before moving to the next step.
  2. Cut the grass with scissors near the bottom of the dowel, not near the water.
  3. The grass will not be perfect, and there may be missing rice or issues.  I fixed these by drilling a hole in the water and placing grass in the hole with the same process as 5-8 and then just poured a small amount of Realistic Water filling in and slightly around the hole.  Cut the grass like in step 14.
  4. When fully dry and happy with the outcome, trim the grass closer to the water.  Height is completely up to you.
  5. Paint the rice a Light Green.  The JTT Field Grass is a bit too dark.
  1. The berm can be left without flock if you want, but I chose to glue small green flock on the berms.  I did not glue much flock on the inside of the berm.

I welcome any comments/suggestions.  If things are still a unclear, I can certainly expand further in my tutorial.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Operation Pedestal a Go

Based on my research of rules, books and miniatures for the WWII naval operation called "Operation Pedestal," I have determined that I am going to do it [naval wargame fans go wild in the background].

I am looking to run this operation in a single four hour game session.  The operation was from August 9 to 15.  I will run the game very similar to my Arctic convoy game.


My previous convoy game used a variety of rules.  This time I wanted to see if I could just use a single ruleset.  I looked at a number of boardgames to see if they could be used with miniatures.  The best one I found is Second World War at Sea: Bomb Alley.  I tested submarine, aircraft and surface ship actions and all work well.  I don't have the second edition, but my edition should work fine.  So far I did notice I will have to modify the motor torpedo boat rules a bit.


I did not start with many references to the operation, but have been finding a few books to help.  Here are some:

  • Courage Alone: The Italian Air Force 1940-1943.  For Italian air force reference, I discovered this book is good for aircraft colours and squadron OOB.  There are two pages that show all the Italian squadrons, where they were stationed and how many aircraft of a certain type were operational during Pedestal.  I trust this over the Supermarine II scenario book below.
  • Pedestal: Malta Convoy of August 1942 by Peter Smith.  Excellent book.  Very comprehensive and probably do not need another book on the operation.
  • Supermarine II: The Second Part of the Mediterranean War July, 1941 to August, 1942 published by Clash of Arms Games.  The Pedestal scenario in this book is very good.  It outlines the air bases, number of planes and types.  Also it outlines the task forces in more detail than in the Bomb Alley scenario book.


I thought I could use 1:2400 miniatures (i.e. GHQ) for all the Allies and some Axis ships, but found the selection was not great and the models are probably too big to fit on the table (the 4'x6' cloth with hexes during the operation could end up having all the Allied task forces laid out).  I have chosen 1:3000 due to the availability of types of ships and ends up being cheaper.  I've painted up plenty of 1:3000 before, so they should look pretty good.

The aircraft miniatures will be CAP Aero 1:1250.  Nope, not all planes are available by CAP Aero.  I will be going with Tumbling Dice 1:600.

Italian Video

Operation Pedestal convoy action (no sound)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fully Grown Rice Paddy Terrain Tutorial

For my 28mm Philippine-American War first scenario, I needed rice paddies.  I have made 15mm rice paddies in the past with limited success and the same approach was not going to work for 28mm scale.  I looked at what other people have made online and I am not impressed.  I thought I would take a stab at making something better.  The approach in this blog post is for a fully grown rice paddy.  I will also be making a recently planted and fallow field versions.

For material I recommend using what you have available and what works for you.  The material I used is what worked for me.  I'm sure you can find cheaper or better material.

  • Pre-Mixed Grout (sandstone)
  • Woodland Scenics Realistic Water
  • Rust-oleum Gloss Spring Green spray paint
  • 1/8" hardboard (from old poster frame back)
  • Light brown faux fur
  • Liquitex Acrylic Color: Burnt Umber
  • Optional: Some sort of green flock for the berm

  1. Assemble all the material. Make sure you have enough of the material to finish the project.
  2. Cut the hardboard into a 10" x 10" square. I choose the square shape because I wanted to have multiple rice paddies beside one another.
  3. Using the grout mix, build up the berms around the outside of the square hardboard. I went  1/2" high and flattened the top to give the impression that people can walk along the berm.
  1. When the berms are dry (1-2 days), paint the berms and the inside one or two inches of the rice paddy a dark brown. No need to paint the whole board as the middle part will be covered with the faux fur.
  2. Cut the faux fur into a 8" x 8" square.
  1. Trim the fur around the outside of the square and then use an electric hair trimmer with the 1/2" comb attachment to cut down the fur to about a 1/2" length. The hair trimmer was only about $20.

  1. Lay out the fur square flat and spray the fur with the green spray paint until you no longer see any brown fur. I recommend a brighter gloss green color (i.e. Gloss Spring Green by Rust-oleum) for the spray paint. If you miss a bit of brown fur deeper in the fur, that is okay.  Most of what you see wargaming should be green.
  2. When the fur square is dry, glue it into the middle of the hardboard. Make sure the outer edge of the fur square is flat to the hardboard.
  3. With a small funnel, pour the Realistic Water into the gap between the fur and the berm all around the board. Let dry and repeat the application if not satisfied. It probably won't be perfect. No worries since I don't think it will be very visible when on the table.
  4. The berm can be left without flock if you want, but I chose to glue small green flock on the berms.  I did not glue any flock on the inside of the berm.

That's it, the rice paddy is good to go.  There will be some warping, but I think when you lay it on a wargame mat it will sink into the mat slightly and the warping will not be noticed.

Monday, May 28, 2018

West Wars 2018

Our annual West Wars Convention was held May 19-20.  Another good one and I got to play in three different games.  The photos below are from Saturday events.  I forgot my camera for Sunday events.

360 degree photo 1 link

360 degree photo 2 link

Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

Prehistoric game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

The Men Who Would Be Kings game

Vietnam game

Prehistoric game

Sword and the Flame game

Sword and the Flame game

Prehistoric game