31 January, 2012

Secure the LZ

2nd Squadron punches through the enemy cordon to cross the border en route to taking control of landing zones to be used later in the day by the 9th Infantry Division.

A circling scout helicopter spots a large enemy force on the edge of the clearing.

Securing the LZ

Moving through a small farm, the men of 2nd Squadron spread out

Through the farm

Things had looked clear from their vantage point at the farm, but as the jungle erupts with fire, the squadron discovers itself surrounded on three sides

Looks Clear

In the jungle to their right the VC are moving in force - the Lieutenant and his RTO draw back with the M113 to call in assets from the farmhouse

VC moving in force

Circling the Squadron's other flank are more VC, who exchange fire with the squad. They grab cover at the edge of a paddy field - it's better than nothing!

Circling the other flank

The threat on the right becomes more evident as VC have high-tailed it there from the rest of the battlefield - the Americans lay down suppressive fire with the M60 to buy some time. They'll wait for the Sheridan to wade in

Laying down fire

With the VC on the defensive, the Americans near the paddy field advance, but one guy stands on a Toe Popper and goes down. With both sides in need of help from the Sheridan, they realise that they're all short-timers and reason with themselves that they can provide covering fire from where they are

Toe Popper goes off

As the medic rushes to the aid of the squad on the left, they open up on a water buffalo which blunders out of the jungle! Though terribly for the Americans, the LT has discovered a tunnel right beside the farmhouse. While he's preparing a satchel charge, four VC rush out and gun down him and the RTO!

Getting the bum's rush

Only one of the four survive the fire from the M113 around the corner, but that's no satisfaction to the rest of the troop

Getting away with it

A VC sniper appears to open fire on the Americans, just as the Sheridan crew go a little loco - maybe it's the sniper fire, but as if this situation wasn't fugazi enough!

VC Sniper in cover

On the left the medic has seen to the casualties and they're all combat effective. They push through the edge of the jungle and send Victor Charlie packing

Sending Victor Charlie packing

Their M113 AVAC bursts through the jungle - the top gunners have taken a hammering but it's still doing the business

Bustin' Jungle

Nearby the VC are reorganising - they're biding their time for a final push through the LZ

VC reorganising

The M113 crew shut down the tunnel near the farmhouse

Securing farmhouse

Things are starting to look up for the Americans, they're taking cover at the edge of the clearing and engaging with the Viet Cong across the way - but with the Sheridan and M113 both on the scene it shouldn't take too long to set them to flight

Taking cover at edge of clearing

The Sheridan's commander gets hit by concerted fire from the jungle, and the driver loses his nerver and reverses back into the jungle.

Sheridan reverses

With the M113 taking bazooka fire from somewhere else, there's no way in hell the Air Cavalry are calling this LZ secure (and that's ignoring the anti-tank mine on the other side of the clearing!).

30 January, 2012

My Favourite Figures: #7, #6, #5

Continuing last week's post on the Top Ten Figures in my collection.

Just back from Warpcon, where much fun (and beer) was had.

Say it with Flowers

This mobster in 28mm is from Copplestone's gangster wars range. Armed with just a pistol, he's got flowers behind his back - he's obviously confident that his mark will be having his funeral sooner rather than later.

In fact, click on this one to get a better view of those flowers Gangster retreat outflanked

Terrifyingly Efficient

This squadron of French Lancers from Baccus' 6mm range for the Napoleonic Wars are just superbly done, and look pretty murderous en masse like this


Small, but Perfectly Formed

Part of Ground Zero Games' duo of E-SWAT Marksman and Pointman (aka Briareos & Deunan). This is just a fantastic sculpt and the paintjob (by Michi from The Guild) is out of the top drawer. The miniature is 25mm (like my Stargrunt stuff) but quite petite alongside them.

Warpcon reports to follow tomorrow, but I'll wrap up this series of posts by the weekend.

25 January, 2012

My Favourite Figures: #10, #9, #8

Over on Santa Cruz Warhammer, they've started taking submissions from readers about their favourite model. I sent in my choice and that got me to thinking about doing a top ten.

Last year they did a great series of posts on their Top Ten figures, all 40K/Warhammer, but nonetheless well worth a look

I'm not going to drag this out into ten posts (I just know that the tension would kill you! Notwithstanding the fact that you know what my #1 is). I'm also going to confine myself to miniatures which I actually have - makes the whole process simpler I think (and less likely to attack my budget!).

I'm not necessarily saying that these are the best miniatures in my collection, but just my favourites.


I really like this piece in 6mm by Irregular. It shows a seated Daimyo with two hatamoto. I cannot help but think of Kagemusha when I see it. Honestly, if I was to start doing 6mm Samurai again, I would probably go with Baccus (and their seated Daimyo is just amazing) - but still this gets into the top ten.

Oda Clan

Gung Ho

The 28mm US Marines from Pulp Figures have oodles of character, but this guy has extra moxie. The hard-bitten sergeant holds his pump-action shotgun easy, and is smoking a pipe! What's not to like?

Baxter leads the patrol out

Eyes On

This reconnaisance pair in 20mm from Liberation/RH Models are so nice. A lot of lines have figures in non-combat poses, but these guys are obviously on a mission (probably to drop something nasty on someone's head). I just need to find that mission on the tabletop...

Observation Team

How about you?

23 January, 2012

Task Force Shoemaker

Vietnamese forces had been using eastern Cambodia as safe havens to rest and recuperate without fear of American and ARVN attacks. Transporting materiel down the Sihanouk Trail these areas also served and supply bases.

On 30th April 1970 President Nixon announced his decision to launch American forces into Cambodia with the special objective of capturing "the headquarters of the entire communist military operation in South Vietnam."

While ARVN forces in the south fixed the enemy’s attention, Task Force Shoemaker including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment would drive forward to cut off and capture the elusive enemy headquarters while destroying enemy forces and equipment.

I'll be running this mini campaign, following the squadrons of the 11th Armored Cavalry at Warpcon this weekend.

Warpcon is on from the 27th-29th January in UCC in Cork. Visit their site.

15 January, 2012


Two Divisional officers (an S-2 and an S-3) are being escorted back to base, after conducting a field interrogation of a high-ranking VC. Their vehicle throws a track and the crew gets out to repair it.

A Viet Cong cadre chooses their moment well to close in on the stopped convoy

VC closing in on broken down convoy

The Americans deploy security - they've got a bad feeling about this!

Convoy deploys security

At the edge of the jungle, the VC take up positions and open fire

At edge of brush

The GIs take control of the junction and return fire

Taking control of junction

The intel officers bail out of the bullet magnet. They're advised that they're probably safer on the outside!

Intel officers bail out of bullet magnet

The rearmost security M113 takes an RPG hit and brews up

Rear M113 takes RPG hit

On the other side the arduous task of clearing the jungle begins - they successfully drive back the VC

Clearing the jungle

Bereft of their supporting firepower, the Americans make a meal out of the other VC cell - a dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues where several GIs are picked off

Cat and Mouse

Showing stern bravery the remnants of the American Squad drive onwards into the jungle to buy the third M113 the time to get out

We're going in

That mission is a success - but there is one final spectacular reaction sequence which deserves a mention! This one allowed the M113 to drive off into the sunset...

Awesome sequence of reaction rolls!

A very interesting one, some alternate strategies for the VC present themselves, maybe I'll post the replay...

12 January, 2012

Corporate Security Shuttle

With the situation worsening in Novaya Sakha, Heymans & Yamada Corporate Security are maintaining a heightened state of alert at all their facilities in the province.

Art by Talros

The Interface Facility outside of Hanhai is abuzz with activity

Jet Facility

Maintenance doing a spot check on the defensive capabilities of the interface craft as Special Operative DeVilliers oversees the proceedings


Senior Technician Betsen takes a second look at the cranky V-Tail


The anti-grav drive and the C3i module all look good though


10 January, 2012

Snatch and Grab

With the Tet Offensive in full swing, many Americans units are left without a clear role and some just don't know what's going on.

'D' Company's HQ is out in the middle of nowhere, it's sent patrols and has stationed piquets to catch Viet Cong trying to escape the counter-offensive, but little does it realise that it's caught the very special attention of a Vietnamese commander who's sent in his best men on a snatch and grab mission.

Broken Down

Captain Fanning assumes that the VC he can see are in flight, having never seen the enemy duke it out before - they obviously haven't spotted his position in the dark

VC moving in

But these VC know exactly what they're after - a sniper team set up in the jungle

Snipers set up

The Assault group charge in - virtually all the Viet Cong are armed with sub-machine guns and in close range that should prove decisive

Assault Group

Too late Fanning realises his mistake and gets every available man to the edge of HQ's position to open up

Meeting the assault head on

It's too little, too late and the HQ is overrun. The Viet Cong's intelligence officer races to the command track to look for anything useful


One of the Company's patrols are coming in

US Patrol incoming

They engage some of the Viet Cong in a long-range firefight, able to pick out the snipers who give their position away

Long-range firefight

The patrol tries to cover the open ground as quickly as possible

Covering the ground

The Viet Cong hold out while they ransack the American's HQ

Holding out

A brief counter-attack stalls the American advance


Not for long, as the left hook of the patrol starts to make an impression on the VC's defence of the outpost

Second wing of patrol

Some of the VC start to withdraw under fire - they've taken one of the HQ staff prisoner

VC withdrawal under fire

The other section of the American patrol starts to cut off the retreating VC, taking down one of the senior guerillas

Cutting off the retreat

The Americans open fire on the supporting light machine gun, winning that firefight with ease

Engaging the VC support

VC casualties start to mount up but everyone is dragged into the jungle

VC taking casualties in cover

Leaving the Americans to retake the HQ and count the cost

Retaking the objective

A hectic night battle, where Charlie really did rule the night. Massed SMGs are hugely effective (so long as you are able to close the range).

Once again, I gave this another go solo, and a more aggressive start from the Americans and some lucky rolling from the HQ team see the VC embroiled in a tough firefight before they can even start their intelligence-gathering operation.

More like this