Wednesday 27 June 2018

On the Workbench: Op Nostalgia ships and planes make progress

The situation with Operation Nostalgia now has all axis forces deployed and work well under way on the the allies. More specifically, allied forces have been deployed to their ports and now orders are being prepared for embarkation of troops on their allotted transports. 

It looks as though the problem of combining Bag the Hun rules with non Hex boards has been resolved:

Templates from the Lardies Summer 2012 Special have been printed off and enlarged to allow for 30mm rather than 1" hexes. These will be cut out and mounted on mdf.

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Friday 22 June 2018

On the Workbench: Planes, Ships and Italians

Over the past week preparation for 'Operation Nostalgia' has pretty much overtaken my wargaming life. I knew there would be a significant amount of records to be updated but it is only when you actually start the project that it hits home how much. Orbats have been completed and are now on the blog. I am fairly close to finishing the Axis deployment across the islands of the Aegean. 

I will then have to prepare the allied invasion forces allocating units to transport ships together with their orders. I am keen to get this campaign underway with early actions likely to be naval and air.

One of my tasks this week was to ensure I have all the necessary player aids for Bag the Hun and GQ3. The latter proved to be no problem but I had some work to do for Bag the Hun. First up were flight stands. Rather than wire that I used for my 1/300 scale aircraft I opted for perspex hex bases with perspex rods and magnets.

The wooden stand is a test stand I completed to confirm I was happy with the height and the magnet glued to the top is used to ensure I get the polarity right when attaching magnets to aircraft and stands. I settled on a 50mm height with 30mm hexagon bases (1" appears to be the norm in the rules but I felt 30mm gave better spacing between aircraft, especially bombers and tranport). 

The 2mm x 0.5mm magnets are incredibly fiddly. I found that it was easier holding a stack of them when gluing to the stand or aircraft (as in the photo). When dry the surplus magnets are removed.

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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Operation Nostalgia: Orders of Battle - Naval units

These are the final part of Orbats for Operation Nostalgia. This list may be expanded as the campaign unfolds. If, for example, the campaign becomes protracted additional naval units may become available for both sides. Those will be determined in due course with a nod towards realism. 

The naval list is an expanded version of that contained within the original article in Wargames Illustrated. It represents a hastily assembled allied task force with whatever is available in the area. It is mainly British which happens to coincide with my collection. I have assumed that most of the US Navy together with Royal Navy capital ships would be concentrating on the main allied offensive on Sicily. Axis ships are mainly light units deployed in the Aegean. To make it more interesting I have added potential Italian reinforcements which could arrive at any time during the campaign. Most of the Italian capital ships are in the central mediterranean protecting the homeland.

As with the other two lists I will update this with damaged and destroyed vessels.

Click 'read more' to see the full orders of battle.

Monday 18 June 2018

Operation Nostalgia: Orders of Battle - Air Units

As with the land orbats this will be a live document in that it will be updated as losses occur.



1 x squadron of 12 x ME109 fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x ME110 long range fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x JU87 Stuka dive bomber
1 x squadron of 9 x HE111 medium bombers
1 x squadron of 9 x JU88 medium bombers
1 x squadron of 8 x JU52 Transports
3 x Arado float planes


1 x squadron of 12 x Macchi C.202 Fulgore fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x Macchi C.200 Saetta fighters
1 x squadron of 6 x SM79 Sparviero torpedo bombers.



1 x squadron of 12 x Hurricane fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x Beaufighter long range fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x Douglas Boston light bombers
2 x squadrons totalling 18 x Dakota transports

On HMS Avenger -
1 x squadron of 12 x Seafire fighters
1 x squadron of 8 x Swordfish torpedo bombers

On HMS Biter -
1 x mixed squadron of 4 x Sea Hurricanes and 8 x Grumman Martlet fighters
1 x flight of 4 x Swordfish torpedo bombers


1 x squadron of 12 x P38 Lightning long range fighters
1 x squadron of 12 x B25 Mitchell medium bombers

Sunday 17 June 2018

On the Workbench and Operation Nostalgia updates.

While I have been away I took the opportunity to read through 'General Quarters 3' and 'Bag the Hun' rules. It confirmed my initial views that both will provide the sort of game I enjoy for naval and air battles. By using several different rules in the 'Operation Nostalgia' campaign I will need to consider how they will interact when different elements come into contact. i.e. air v naval and air v land actions.

I will need to play several test games to finally establish the best route to take but my initial thoughts are to retain the GQ3 rules for naval v air as they more accurately reflect the AA ability of each ship. GQ3 has 'flights' representing on average 3 aircraft compared to individual aircraft in BTH. I will in all probability introduce changes to GQ3 to allow for aircraft to be represented singly. The obvious change to make is for each ship to replace an AA attack with 3 x AA attacks and the results being individual aircraft damaged or destroyed rather than entire flights. I will need to look closely at air attacks on ships and how that can be altered if required.

Rather then use Blitzkrieg Commander's abstract rules for AA I will probably use BTH. For air to ground attacks I would like to use BTH but will need to ensure it causes no conflicts with the BKC method of recording casualties.

When I returned home from holiday a couple of days ago I received some welcome packages on my doormat:

On the left are my first 1/600 planes from Tumbling Dice. On the right is a delivery of 1/3000 ships from Davco. Some of my Navwar vessels could be better and I therefore picked a few Davco to see how they compare. I will shortly paint a few up before I decide to stick with these or return to Navwar.

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Thursday 7 June 2018

On the Workbench: Completed 8th Army figs and ongoing Naval.

A quick update before I go on my hols tomorrow for a week.

A batch of 6mm GHQ 8th Army infantry have been completed for the next N. Africa scenario. They will also be used in the Operation Nostalgia project. I experimented with the bases to bring them more into line with my revamped Desert terrain. Previous bases were to match the commercially built terrain tiles before I 'upgraded' them. They were unfortunately almost as bland! As can be seen of my recent game 'Into the Gap', they did not really fit with their new desert surroundings.

It is finding that right mix of not spending too much time on them, they are after all for wargaming and need to be got onto the tabletop asap, and making them so basic they do not compliment the figures. I am certainly happier with this version and adding a few rocks also helped. My only regret was not adequately covering the figure bases on some individuals making them stand out a little. It is something I will need to take more care of in the future. 

The photo is not as clear as I would have liked but hopefully you get an idea of how they have turned out.

Continued -

Operation Nostalgia: Order of Battle - Land Units


I intend to complete the land, sea and air orders of battle on separate postings. These will be live documents and will be updated with casualties as they occur. This should allow easier reference to the orbats as the campaign unfolds by opening additional tabs or windows showing the relevant list.

A brief note about these orbats and how they differ from the original articles. Both sides have been expanded with additional units. Rather just Elite and Regular, I have added Veteran and Conscripts. I have also changed the way in which points are awarded for Elite troops. In the original article they cost double. I have changed this to +50%. For Conscripts it is -1/3. Veterans and Regulars are not modified.

The invasion force has been hastily thrown together with available units after the fall of Tunisia. Support elements in particular have been drawn from various units and added to the mix. 

Bases refer to bases of infantry for Blitzkrieg Commander rules.

Sea and Air orbats are close to completion and will be posted shortly.

Continued -

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Operation Nostalgia preperations

A good deal of time over the past few days has been spent going through my collection of ships recording what I have for the forthcoming campaign. A shopping list is being drawn up to fill any gaps. I hope to have the same ships represented in each of the scales where possible. 

My current collection of 1/600 scale vessels. A mix of what is now Heroics & Ros Coastal Forces and PT Dockyard. This will certainly be expanded, particularly the smaller craft.

Continued -

Saturday 2 June 2018

On the Workbench: 6mm, ships and trees

I have been ploughing on with my WW2 Western Desert collection this week.

GHQ 6mm 8th Army figures on their way to completion. At the same time I decided to base up another batch of trees. These are some of a couple of hundred I purchased from China on ebay. I cut down the trunks on these particular trees to provide variety in heights. Some will be dipped in diluted green acrylic paint to provide a variety of shades. 

Continued -

Friday 1 June 2018

WW2 in the Aegean: Operation Nostalgia Campaign

I clearly have the attention span of a gnat! There I was, having completed 'Into the Gap', starting to prepare for my next WW2 battle in the Western Desert when I got distracted. You will have seen from my workbench updates that I had begun repainting my old 1/1200 scale WW2 warships that I have not touched since the 70's. This was meant to be something of a slow-time job while I painted other figures and vehicles. There is a problem though. I thoroughly enjoyed painting them and worse still, it ignited a whole raft of ideas together with a touch of nostalgia.

Most of those ideas revolved around a WW2 campaign that I have started and failed to complete several times over the years. You will have seen under my 'Collections and Projects' page reference to Operation Nostalgia. So what is Operation Nostalgia?

Operation Nostalgia is a fictional campaign by Richard Marsh (of Rapid Fire rules) detailed over two articles in the November and December 1993 issues of Wargames Illustrated. It is set in the Aegean and I reproduce here the background laid out by Richard in the first of those articles: 

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