Monday, November 25, 2013

Planning for DANG 2013

With a busy November coming to an end, I am starting to prepare for my yearly naval game: DANG (Dave's Annual Naval Game). We ran through the voting in October and this year's voting ended in a tie (for those of you keeping track, this is the third year in a row that the voting ended in a tie) and the winner was decided with a coin toss.

This year’s game is “Operation Landcrab – The American Invasion of Attu” and here is an overview of the game situation:

It has only been a month since Admiral Koga took over the Combined Fleet due to Admiral Yamamoto's untimely death and now word has come that the Americans are invading Attu. With (unhistorical) decisiveness, Admiral Koga activates Operation K-Go saying “The Navy will take action to apprehend and destroy the enemy’s surface forces.”
Japanese battleships preparing to get underway
Japanese troops occupy Attu and Kiska, but US air strikes over the past several months have battered installations and eliminated the few Japanese planes stationed there. Reinforcements and relief must come from naval forces and airbases at Paramushiro, 700 miles west of Attu.
The U.S. Navy's Task Force 51 ready to support the Attu landing
The US has built up a substantial invasion force and there are US air bases at Adak, Amchitka, and Umnak, but the variable Alaskan weather will limit the effect of airpower and it will be up to the U.S. Navy to protect and support the invasion of Attu.

The game will use the General Quarters 3 scenario (with a few twists) and cover operations from 15 May 1943, just after the U.S. Invasion of Attu, until around 20 May 1943. Both sides will have a number of older battleships, along with cruisers, destroyers and transports to complete their missions. Aircraft will also be available (each side has land-based air and a light carrier) to help with searches and attacks, but you can expect the weather will have a major impact on air operations.

We will be using the General Quarters 3 rules (with the latest updates) and 1/6000 scale ships. The game will happen on December 30 and, as always, it should be a lot of fun. I have a few new ships to paint up (I hope to post pictures) and the various forms and background information to create. I also have to go in for shoulder surgery, which will take me out of action for a little while, but (hopefully) won't impact DANG.

This is DANG’s twelfth year and here are links to recaps of games from before 2010, the Lepanto game from 2010, and the American Civil War river game from 2011, and last year's 1812 Lake Ontario game

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Recap NHMGS Game Day at the Flying Heritage Collection

Last Saturday (November 16), NHMGS held a game day at the Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, WA. It was a great chance to interact with the public, but it was also a little bit of a challenge to put this on since we just had the event at the Museum of Flight a couple weeks ago. NHMGS is hoping to have more of the events at the Flying Heritage Collection, but also hoping to shift the date so it isn’t quite so close to another event.

The Collection has some really nice aircraft, such as this P-40C done up in Flying Tiger colors (the description plaque said this plane was actually in Soviet service, but I can understand them going with the more well-known AVG markings). 

We were set up in the Flying Heritage Collection’s second hanger, the one with the tanks guns, and split into a couple areas.
A photo of the main game area with a Sherman tank overseeing the action
Setting up the Kursk game table with a Hetzer and Flak 88 in the background
And with the T-34 on the on the other side
It was interesting to see games being put on with some actual World War 2 vehicles looking on.

Kevin and I put together a couple small coastal force actions, one in the Pacific and one in the Mediterranean, for the event. So I was pretty busy throughout the day. But I did manage to grab a few photos of the games and items around the Flying Heritage collection.
A game of Fire and Maneuver getting ready to start
A Check Your 6 game getting set up
A photo of the dogfight
The afternoon Check Your 6 game featured Gladiators (shown above) against CR-42s
A Bolt Action Pacific battle featuring Marines against the Japanese
It seemed like it didn't go too well for the Japanese
The Kursk game had several walk-up players(including the young fellow in the blue-striped shirt)
The afternoon session also had another Flames of War game
Along with an Axis and Allies Air game
The morning Action Stations game was an attack on a Japanese barge convoy
The game started out well for the Americans as they were able to knock a bunch of weapons on the escorting subchaser, but the dice turned against them in the later part of the game  
In the afternoon we switched to the Mediterranean, with a Italian/German convoy being attacked by a mixed British/American force
Running the larger vessels turned out to be a little different than smaller Pacific barges, here an Italian sloop dodges some British torpedoes
The German barges were sluggish, but hard to hit with torpedoes
Overall, it was a fun day and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 NHMGS Game Day at the Museum of Flight Recap

Sorry I haven't been posting more, work and home internet issues have been limiting my time and ability to get new posts up. However, I was able to sneak this one in.

Last Saturday (November 2) NHMGS had its annual Game Day at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. This year we were in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery (there was a scheduling conflict with our usual spot under the Blackbird). The Space Gallery is across the street from the main museum area and houses the full-size Space Shuttle flight trainer.
Here is a view of the gaming area with the Shuttle trainer in the background
We set up our information table and five gaming tables near the trainer and around 25 NHMGS members and guest show up for the games. I spent the morning at the information table, but to a little time to grab some photos of the games.
The gaming area from a different angle.
Setting up the information table.
The morning session had a Wings of War WWI game, our home-brew Golden Age Air Racing game, an X-Wing Fighters game, a Check Your 6 Jets Korean War game and some DBA games with winged Polish Hussars.
Early war Wings of War game with a burning Eindecker.
Air racers begin their race (these are 1/144 scale planes from Shapeways).
Imperial forces in the X-Wing Fighter game.
F-84s and Meteors defend the B-29s from MiG-15s over Korea.
DBA with the winged Hussars.
In the afternoon there was more Wings of War, an Axis and Allies War at Sea game, a Galactic Knights space battle, more DBA (and some Hordes of Things), and Kevin and I ran the “Hunting the Beast” Fleet Air Arm attack on the Tirpitz game (the same one we ran at Enfilade earlier this year). I got the most photos of the Tirpitz game, but I did get a few others.
Axis and Allies War at Sea game.
A small Galactic Knights game.
Some interesting troops for a Hordes of Things game.
The Fleet Air Arm strike force moves to attack the German battleship.
A wider view of the attack.
A Martlet and Corsair strafe Tirpitz.
The bombers attack, but only come away with one major hit.
We had fewer people walk by the games and stop to talk, but it was still fun to see the other gamers and talk with the museum visitors. The game day is always a good opportunity to show off the hobby to the general public and the museum is a really great forum for it. We always get questions from people that have never heard of the hobby. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we expect to be back next year.

This event also gets us primed for another game day at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett. More on that soon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prepping for the Flying Heritage Collection Game Day

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, NHMGS has been invited to run a game day at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett WA on Saturday, November 16, 2013.

The Flying Heritage Collection primarily focuses on World War II combat aircraft, but it also has some armored vehicles, guns, and V-2 rocket. Be sure to check out the list of items in the collection. There is some interesting stuff there. We will be set up in the Collection’s Hanger 2 and, because of the Collection’s focus on WWII, all the games will be WW II games. Here is a brief list of the planned games (I don’t have information on specific scenarios, but that will give you a reason to show up):

 Morning Session 
- Air battle using the Check Your 6 rules
- Skirmish game using the Fire and Movement rules
- Skirmish game using the Bolt Action rules (I think this will be a Pacific action)
- Coastal forces battle using the Action Stations rules (probably barge busting in the Pacific)

Afternoon Session 
- Air battle using the Check Your 6 rules
- Flames of War battle
- Air battle using Axis and Allies Air rules and pre-painted planes

Additionally, I think that Chris Ewick will be there with his Flames of War Kursk game during both sessions.

Kevin and I will be running the coastal forces battle and I’m getting everything together for that, but no new ships are in the works. 

I’ve also been working on some troops for use with the Bolt Action rules (I might even try to get them in this weekend’s game). Just to be a little different, I decided to do a force of Australian for the Pacific. I currently have around 2 squads, some support weapons, and a tank. The figures are from Brigade Games “Diggers in the Pacific” range and the tank is Company B’s Aussie M3 Stuart. I really like the figures; I think they provide some interesting poses and they have a lot of character.

Some of you might know that I have a real problem painting troops. I’m fine with ships and planes (and even tanks), but painting people just seems to petrify me (as could be noted by all the half-finished figures for my 15mm Age of Sail games). So, painting up a bunch of 28mm figures was a big step forward for me. I did take several photos of the painting progress, but in the end I decided to just post photos of the finished product (I still need to add some flocking or grass to the figure bases).
Here come the Aussies (you can click on the image for a little larger view)
I looked around for some suggestions on how to best paint up the figures and I settled on using the ‘dip method’. I followed the instructions posted by a number of bloggers on the best way to do this and now you can see the end results.
A closer view of the Stuart tank
First squad
Second squad
A supporting Vickers MMG (you can also see the Platoon Commander figure in the front and part of the Characters A pack in back)
The supporting 3" mortar
I’ll eventually have to get some Japanese figures to go up against the Aussies, but for now I’m just happy to have completed the figures.

I will post a recap and photos from the game day sometime next week.