Thursday 16 February 2023

On the Workbench: Iron Age Hillfort

There has been a lull in my gaming allowing me to concentrate on terrain in preparation for forthcoming tabletop action. An additional reason being my holiday abroad for a couple of weeks from this weekend and did not want to leave a half-completed game on the table for this duration. 

With regard to terrain. I have completed a batch of buildings for Gettysburg and I am cautiously optimistic that I have enough. All being well that will be good to go this year.

Another long overdue item is the iron-age hillfort for the next action in my Roman invasion of Britannia campaign:

I normally shy away from scratch-building terrain unless there is no other option. Mainly because of the time it takes and my limited ability in producing good looking pieces. 

The walkway behind the palisade is 15mm wide allowing for the accommodation of my 15mm deep bases. So far it is shaping up ok and miraculously without warping of the softwood base. It is being built in slow time alongside the painting of Japanese warships (in the background) to keep my sanity intact with the gluing of numerous toothpicks. It is actually quite therapeutic doing it this way!

Another priority for terrain on my return will be to add to my desert collection for both my WW2 North Africa campaign and Pony Wars. All this has meant figure painting has come to a standstill following the completion of ECW units for Edgehill. It will be a miracle if I manage to complete my target for the year! 

Friday 10 February 2023

Defending the Malay Barrier: Force Z Sortie Part 1

Before I detail the initial action of the campaign, I will cover some of the rules contained within the book (see previous post).

There are 6 bi-weekly turns with an optional turn 0 being the Force Z sortie. I have opted to include turn 0, which as it turns out, is a useful introduction into the campaign mechanism. Anybody aware of the initial moves by Japan will understand that this is a very one-sided affair. The ABDA (America, Britain, Dutch and Australia) navies were hopelessly outgunned at this stage of the war. The allies have no hope of defeating the Japanese outright, but they do have a chance of winning the campaign by amassing victory points.

The central core of this is disrupting Japanese invasion and resupply fleets. This potentially prevents Japan achieving its historical objectives.

Each turn is broken down into a number of phases:

1. General Intelligence
2. Japanese Theatre Events
3. Allied/ABDA Theatre Events
4. Weather Forecast
5. Japanese Command Decisions
6. Allied/ABDA Intelligence
7. Allied/ABDA Command Decisions
8. Japanese Intelligence
9. Engagements
    a. Weather determination and time of day
    b. Engagements resolution (resolved in order as below)
        i     Roll for ship availability
        ii    Resolve Carrier Group vs. Carrier Group attacks
        iii   Resolve Carrier Group vs. Surface attacks
        iv   Resolve Land Based Air attacks
        v    Resolve Japanese Patrol vs. Allied/ABDA Sweeps
        vi   Resolve Allied/ABDA Sweeps vs. Japanese Convoys
        vii  Resolve IJN Carrier Group follow-up attacks vs. disabled Allied/ABDA surface groups
        viii Resolve Land Based Air follow-up attacks vs. disabled Allied/ABDA surface groups
10. Repair, Bookkeeping and Victory Determination

The book provides details of orders of battle for each turn and the events section follows historical and optional a-historical deployments. I will cover the above in more detail as the campaign progresses.

A note regarding the air element of the campaign. Originally, I intended to play any air actions using the main rules in GQ3. However, on re-reading those rules I came across the campaign air rules which I had not paid any attention to in the past. These are a simplified set of rules and allows for a speedier play-through providing more time for the naval aspect. To avoid getting too bogged down, for most air actions I intend to use this version of the rules, but may occasionally revert to the full set as the mood takes me. I may even use Bag the Hun for air-to-air combat if I get really inspired!

Continued -

Sunday 5 February 2023

Defending the Malay Barrier

After a couple of years painting the odd ship as a sideline to my main projects, I have finally decided to kickstart this campaign as a project. So as not to perpetually add to an ever-lengthening project list, I have cancelled the Kingmaker Wars of the Roses campaign. This was the only non-solo project but unfortunately my opponent found it difficult to find time when we were both available due to his job and child commitments.

The campaign is one of several from the Old Dominion Gameworks site Home ( Although based on the General Quarters 3 rules (which I shall be using), any set of WW2 naval rules can be used.

The campaign covers the early months of the war in the Pacific over 6 bi-weekly turns plus an optional turn 0 (8th - 15th December 1941) involving the sortie by Force Z. As this is a naval campaign, the land element is dealt with in the abstract. 

My campaign will include turn 0, the sweep by Force Z attempting to intercept the IJN Malayan invasion force. 

I will cover the campaign in more detail in future posts.