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Welcome to Big Andy's Blog.

Hello this is my first attempt at a Blog. Hope you enjoy my ramblings. Andy

Friday, 29 August 2014

Hawker Hunter

 Well I managed it at last.  I finally got my 1/100th scale Hawker Hunter in production and available.
 So I'm just a bit chuffed.
As a mainstay of the RAF during the late 1950- early 60s the Hunter  became an iconic machine. Under RAF auspices Hunters served in Aden in a ground attack role.
 However it was as an export model that the Hunter served in numerous  airforeces worlwide and saw considerable combat scoring Victories against such diverse aircraft as F-86 Sabre  MirageIII and A4 Skyhawk. Fighting in the Jordanian, Iraqi  Rhodesian and Indian Air forces amongst many others.

 These tow pictures show my first Hunter in Rhodesian Air fore colours. No1 Sqn used Hunters throughtout the bush War of the 70s. Usually in the ground attack role though they were  also used for "overwatch" missions on externals in case  Tanzanian or Mozambique Migs  wanted to play- but they never did.
 I hope to add more jets to this range  all to 1/100th scale - to match the ground troops. Next up should be a Pucara for the Falklands war (not strictly a jet) then hopefully A-4  Mig 17  and F-86 and just maybe a Vampire  but we'll see what occours .....

Thursday, 28 August 2014

IZAL fails to completely wipe

The 23rd of August dawn bright and clear- and, within an hour its honking it down- must be a Bank Holiday weekend ...
 A comparitively  huge number of T.W.A.T.S, gather at our regular pub - well huge for us almost double the normal turnout a tatal of 8   fellas turned out for a modern game
 All the Usual suspects I-man  Tom ,Farmer  Dave ,Andrew the Tekkie, Floating Jeff and your gentle Author  but not only this stalwart band but 3 more- Steve - who had been with us for the Durham game. Darren- a friend of Tom's and Shaun - new to us but not new to the Hobby.
 The scene was set of an exercise in Asymetric Warfare in other words a modern game with a few twists and turns.To get us away from the old samey-gamey stuff , There would be 5 players and 2 Umpires for this one as the set up was a tad unusual to say the least.
 As always for our modern 15mm games  the basic rules were "Combined Arms " wwith additions from CPQ and a few local amendments to suit some of the more "irregular" elements of the forces engaged. .
Briefings for the 5 players follow.


Colonel Haidar iffa Khan
 3rd Armoured Infantry Bn
 Harraqui Defense Force .
 Govenor of Akharsi Province.

The Zealots are upon us.! This is a problem as they will certainly shoot you if they catch you. Not only that they will make Barry Manilow and Karl Largerfeldt illegal. This is not to be tolerated  by a man of style and breeding such as yourself!!!
 Fortunately you have the help of some British Royal Marines who may be rough trade but are very competent!
You must hold the town of Akharsibad and if possible  gain the Border crossing to stop IZAL forces joining the Tribesmen in the Marches – who  will cause trouble if they can . Their Mortars shell the town periodically .
 They seem to be based around the Old Turkish Fort   on the banks of the great Sewah river.
 Your troops

Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
 Battalion HQ with
I Command Stand
1BMP toc
 1 Shilka SPAA
2 infantry Companies each with
1 Command Infantry Stand
1 Weapons Stand
1 Infantry stand
3 BMP2
Attached Tank Company from 6th Tank Battalion
with
3 T-72

You have been told to expect reinforcement in the shape of the rest of the 6th Tank Battalion Ciommanded by your distant cousin Gurdana Khan  who as is well known works for the CIA and wants your job. If he should fall in the coming battle...... but you take the credit ..... 

Colonel Gurdana Khan
 OC 6th Tank Battalion
 Harraqui Defense Force.

As a distant cousin of that effete fool Haidar you know you will make a better job of ruler   of Akharsi Province than he does.  He puts it about that you work for the CIA. This is rubbish just because you know a man at the Embassy in  Al – Kahol who gets you Hershey bars and Tommy Hilfiger shirts ...and just because you are friendly with him and talk to him ....
IZAL are coming  they are not to be trusted- unless you can cut a deal- your distant cousin Farrouq Kemal is Govenor of Firket he has contacts with them  but can you trust him ?
 Your troops
 Tank Battalion with
 Trained Morale 7
Battalion HQ company
1 Command T-72
1 T-72
1BDRM  SA-9

2 Tank Companies each with
1Command T-72
2 T-72
 The 3rd company of the battalion is at present under command of Haidar Khan – once you arrive at Akharsibad you can take back control of this unit.
You would like Haidars Job- if he were to fall in the coming battle  with IZAL then all will be well  but if IZAL look like winning .....

-The American spelling of defence is of course deliberate .... 
Earkly in the game- British WMIKS with Apache overwatch move North through "friendly" Harraqui  T-72s
Colonel Farruq Kemal
Commander Firket District and Border Crossing.

Currently you are making a fortune taking Bribes  from sundry fellows wha want to have no trouble with customs at the Border.
You wish this happy state of affairs to continue.
 However there is a problem
 Your distant cousin Mustapha Narsul is just over the border with a force of IZAL fighters who would love to wipe you up. You have therefore “promised” that you will take your forces over to “The cause of God”  once IZAL nears the town .

 Your command consists of
Infantry Battalion 19th Reserve Infantry Division
 Trained Morale 7.
Bttn HQ with
1 infantry Command Stand
Weapons Company with
1 81mm Mortar stand.
1 weapons stand.
2 infantry Companies each with
2 infantry stands.
These troops may occupy any of the trenches and bunkers on the table outside the town of Al-Kahol.

Firket  Garrison
Trained Morale 7
 1 command Stand
 1 Radio Car.
AA platoon with
1 BRDM SA-9
Garrison Infantry company with
2 Infantry stands
Garrison Weapons company with
1 weapons stand
1 HMG  stand
ATGW company with
3 BDRM  AT

Your primary concern- indeed ONLY concern is to keep your job  as you have 2 wives and a Swiss Bank account to worry about. You don’t care who rules Harraq as long as you are making a shekel or 6 .
 You win if you are still in control of Firket and the Bridge and border crossing. 

IXAL forces backe by "rebel" Harraqui boder troops these are the positions they would hold more or less throughout the game.

Mustapha Narsul
 Commander 72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade
 IZAl Forces.

God is Great . The Time has come!
 You have received sufficient Reinforcements to attack the Infidels and destroy them . You already have small forces in the area of Akharsibad- which will be your new Capital and the garrison Commander of Firket one Farruq Kemal a distant cousin has promised to bring his forces over to you . You have managed- without his knowledge to infiltrate a small force into Firket but you will need Kemals troops  for the next Stage- this does not mean that you need Kemal. Though his troops seems to be Loyal to him so care may be needed.
 You must secure the Bridge over the Little Sewah river so that your invasion can succeed it is likely to be guarded by the troops of Colonel Kemal.
 Your Troops.
 With you on the Northern Border.
Command  element
 1 Command Infantry Stand
1 car.
Motor cycle Recon group with
 3 Recon  Motor Cycle stands
1 Recon  motor cycle weapons stand
 Veteran Morale 8
 All self – ordering
Fist of Islam Tank company
Trained Morale 7
 1 command T-55
3x T-55
 Hammer of God Artillery Company
 Trained Morale 7
1command stand
 1 107mm RCL
1 107mm MLR
1 Light truck with SNEB rocket pod.
 1 truck
 1 HMG stand
1 HAAMG  stand.
 Islam’s  Scorpions
Mechanised assault  Group
 1 Command HMG truck
1 HMG truck
1 HAAMG truck
Foriegn Jihadis
 Green Morale 9 (daft sods)
1 Inf Command Stands
5 Infantry stands
 Note 2 fig stands 2nd hit destroys

In Firket.
Veteran Morale 8
 2 recon Infantry Stands  (SO)

In the Marshes  on the banks of the Great  Sewah River
Tribal Militia
 Green Morale 7
 1 command Infantry Stand
2 weapons stands
 2 Infantry Stands
4 81 mm Mortar stands
(ROF1)

 The more territory you hold by game end the Greater your Victory. The more of the enemies troops to come over to you the greater your Victory.  
 All units increase Morale by 1 point when you are attached to that unit (in case you shoot them)


 Rules note- SO = self ordering . These small units are quck to react to new events BUT have little staying power.
Harraqui Troops in the town of FIRKET on the border with Rh'agheidistan. These troops simply stayed where they were s town Garriosn .

United Nations Force for Active Response to Terrorism.
 Lt- Col  Myles Overlaap DSO
69 Cdo  Royal Marines .

 It seems likely that IZAl (Islamist Zealots Alliance) will attempt a coup in Harraq. Your task is to bolster the Loyal Harraqui forces and see that they do not crumble against what has so far proven to be a vicious and cunning enemy force.
 You should secure the town of Akharsibad and  co-operate  with the commander of  3rd Harraqui  Armoured Infantry Battalion, Col. Haidar Ifa Khan who has so far proven Loyal to the New Regieme.
 On the way to Akharsibad  are the rest of the 6th Tank Battalion  under Colonel Gurdana Khan- who may or may not be working for the CIA .
Own Troops.
Elite Morale 10
HQ 69 Cdo Royal Marines Battle Group
1Command stand
1Landrover.
1 BV10 Viking TOC .
Support coy with
1Command Infantry stand
2 Recon sniper stands (SO)
2 81mm Mortar stands
2 Milan Stands.
1 GPMG stand
1Quad Bike and Trailer
1 Pinzgauer truck
1 landrover
2 companies each with
 1 command Infantry stand
2 infantry stands.
Any stand from the Support company
may be attached to either of the infantry companies
Manovre Support group.
1 command WMIK
2 WMIK

You should mount a recon to the Firket Bridge and town of Firket as the Garrison there seems to be in a shaky condition  with the threat of Invasion from IZAL forces from the T’Urdistan province of Rh’agheidistan but you  MAY NOT commence Combat operations unless fired upon .
 U.N.F.A.R.T.  Rules of Engagement do not allow for the commencement of Hostilities by UN forces but of course troop may defend themselves.
More troop in the shape of 1 armoured Infantry company – 2QM and HQ and 1 sabre Sqn 1PROHH are en route but may not arrive in time .
Force build up - Akharsibad at the top of the picture. Despite the British presence the Harraqui defense force were unwilling to actually figt IZAL.

It is most important that any territory lost to IZAL should be recovered by Harraqi forces rather than the UN.Your primary task is Intelligence and Support.
 You also have on call
1 AH64 Apache
And a Chinook
The Chinook can carry up to 3 stands of troops
 but care must be used IZAL have a lot of light AA/ HMG  and possibly Stinger Missiles. If a helicopter is shot down- you lose-  Career over Bowler hat ..... no mention in the Birthday Honours ...



The UN(British force) are in normal gaming terms hamstrung by thier Rules of Engagement. They simply may not fire first.Despite that they are by far the strongest single force
 As you can see from the Briefings it was quite possible for players from different sides to both win at once ..... 
 As Umpires Andrew and I cecided to introduce a "Negotiation phase"  between moves where no actual combat had taken place .No negotiations could take place without the presence of an Umpire.  With  better communications and  Intelligence assets  the British would recieve a distilled version of any negotiations where they themselves were not present from the Umpires - some of this may even be the truth .
 Very quickly the game developed into a cross between a game of   Diplomacy and Carry on up the Khyber
 Farruq- Tom retired to his hardernd communications bunker and stayed there once the Initial negotiations with Mustapha- Jeff had taken place- Money Changed Hands- Farrouq's Swiss accounts swelled.

 IZAL  advsance their forces to the  hill line across the centre of the table on its east -West axis  accompanies by Tom's  BDRM AT company and some other heavy weapons. And there they stayed.
 However fighting was opened by  Jeff Tribal Militia in the  Green Zone - running  most of the Eastern leangth of the table  . A flurry of ill- aimed 81 mm Mortar bombs landed amognst the British forces.
 Cries of "FOOK ME"
 were heard from the lads but no serious damage was done thanks to osprey  body armour (  in game terms first hits on any stand  so equipped are ignored for casualty purposes )
Next turn the Militia mortarmen bwegan to bug out but CYMBELINE morat radar caught them and return fire destroyed 2 of their 4 tubes .(wa it significant that Darren was ex- Royal Artillery and knew how to work CYMBELINE???)
 Izal also tried to rocket the road  ad Haidar moved out of Akharsi but to no avail- it was spweculative indirect fire  so needed 1 on a D10 to cause a hit  and it didn't even with a 12 tube launcher.
 Then it all went quiet .
 Rogues began a- plotting .
The British force called in an Apache on overwatch . For reasons best known to themselves Farruq Kemamal's BDRM SA-9  hten opened fire on it   and missed. Permission was sought to return fire and a single Hellfire was launched - Exit 1 BDRM in a pall of oily smoke
 Then it went quiet again ....
 More plotting
 It was soon apparent that the 3 out of 4 Arab players were up for having a go at the British but frankly didn't have the bottle- nor did they trust each other enough to start a war in the certainty of getting the rest to join in
 Gurdana Khan(Shaun)  was a bit more circumspect  as his tanks advanced  towards the hill line he came under fire from the T-55's and BDRM AT  to which he replied Range was longish . Neither side scored any hits.
Meanwhile Haidar Khan (Dave) was trying to get the British to open fire on the IZAL but since IZAL had not fired at them it wasn't going to happen.
 Yet more plotting - the "Confernce of Arab Brotherhood " !!
  It did seem that there was a considered opinion  amongst the Arab players that the British should be given a kicking- though each of the "Brotherhood" thought someone else should actually start the ball rolling !
 Nevertheless Tom and Jeff thought they'd have a little bash  so they  decided to Rocket the town of Akharsibad and launch ATGW  at the slowly moving British Challengers- who had just arrived on the table .
 As British Infantry moved to occupy the govenors palce in Akharsibad  107mm rockets exploded about them . Ospey however proved it worth again causing no more than minor wounds and cries of FOOK!
 Equally ATGW streaked from the treeline to scratch the paint of a couple of Challengers-  exit another BRDM in a pall of slightly less oily smoke as a 120mm tank round found it mark .
 Meanwhile the Tribal Militia had been active and a sudden burst of AK and RPG fire erupted from the Tree line near the British transport park  British 50 cals on WMIKS replied  and later blood trails were seem  but no bodies recoverd .
 No-one at this time was anxious to investigate the Green Zone.


Nevertheless as night closed in  IZAL had not been dislodged from their positions and so really were the victors on the day- though only marginally . Akharsibad would need a new Govenor and the British were deeply perplexed at the inability of the Arabs to sort out their own problems. Just another day in Harraq methinks .....

As always the Hot Beef Butties and the Ale were excellent and a fine time was had by all-  Next months game may be Naval with Floating Jeff in the chair ... possibly ...