Monday, October 31, 2011

Operation Barras playtest

On 29Oct11 some of the regulars at the Basement of Heaped Miniatures gathered to playtest Chuckaroo's Operation Barras game. He plans to run it for the Catawba Gamers but needed to play it and see what bugs might come up and balance the forces so everyone would have an enjoyable game. We used the Disposeable Heroes rule set with the Seek out Close with and Destroy, Man Among Men and By The Knife : Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan supplements.

Some background on Operation Barras. On 26Aug00 members of the British Army's Royal Irish Regiment operating in Siera Leone were captured by a rebel group called the West Side Boys. On 5sept00 five of the soldiers were release but negotiations broke down and the West Side Boys threatened to kil the remaining hostages. That prompted The British Prime Minister to authorize a rescue mission called Operation Barras. A disclaimer is that we are not trying to refight the historical battle but trying to stage a fun for all multi-player game. Many of the elements of the historical account have been altered and/or omitted for playability and constrains of our model collections.

The force for the game were

Two Short Para platoons consisting of a command section and three fire teams each in a Chinook helicopter.
One SAS fire team starting on the ground
One Mi-24 Hind gunship flown by private contractor Neall Ellis

game wise the paras use the elite British infantry rules from SOCWAD, the SAS use the British Special forces list from SOCWAD. The Mi-24 Hind comes from the By the Knife supplement.

West Side boys
One Platoon with a Command Section, four rifle squads and a SA-7 sam team
One Platoon with a Command section, three rifle squads and a SA-7 sam team

They also have four technicals and three heavy machine guns in Magbeni.
We also planned to give the West Side boy some armor reinforcements but they didn't arrive before we stopped playing.

The West side boys used the Zipra List from the Man Among men book. We dropped the bomb shell rule but kept the Pop up rule.

A picture of the battlefield. North is to the right of the table. The lower village is Geberi Bana and is where the hostages are held by the West Side Boys. Historically the SAS teams had located the hostages but for the game we plan to have the hostages randomly found in one of the huts by the British. The river running through the table is Rokel creek and was actually 700 yards wide, so for the game we are going to say the river, from bank to bank is 40 inches across. The upper village is Magbeni and was were the captured British Land rover were kept.

A patrol boat comes down river but was dropped from the game before it started.

Neall Ellis piloting a contracted Siera Leone Mi-24 Hind gunship to support the operation.

Magbeni with the ex- British land rovers parked and the West Side Boys snoozing in the shacks.

A Chinnook Helo flys low over Geberi Bana.

Another Chinnook flys south of Magbeni.

A better shot of the Chinook behind Magbeni.

A SAS team moves out of the forest toward Geberi Bana

British Paras fast rope from the Chinook on to the Geberi Bana football pitch. Then are gunned down by a group of awakened West Side boys.

All the west Side boys started inside the shanties and had to pass a Guts check before they could activate. I passed the guts check and the one group managed to slowdown the British attack into Geberi Bana. After the game we decided that next game the West side boys will have to roll a three or less before they can activate on the first turn.

The SAS team guns down the group of West Side boys that shot the Paras.

Neall Ellis arrives and does a rocket and gun run down through Magbeni and leaves the table.

The Geberi Bana Chinnok takes a hit from SA-7 Sam and passes its forced down test.

The West side Boys didn't have any SA-7 sam missile teams but we added them to give the rebels a chance against the Mi-24 Hind. Unfortunately the Hind made guns runs coming on and leaving the table so the Chinooks were shot at.

A West Side boy hits the damaged Chinook with an Rpg but doesn't down it.

The Para Command section takes three casualties and the Lieutenant is pinned down on the foot ball pitch.

Paras set up on the southern bank of Rokel creek and suppress the SA-7 Team hiding in a building in Geberi Bana.

The Damaged Chinook leaves the table before it crashes on it own troops.

A pop up West side boy appears and shoots up a para fire team bagging one.

The SA-7 team in Geberi Bana leaves their shanty and jumps into the swamp.

The British Paras search the first building and find no hostages.

West side Boy technical fires on a landed Chinook in Magbeni and fails to damage it.

I didn't take a picture of it but once the SA-7 missiles started flying JB landed the other Chinook on the football pitch at Magbeni.

Neall Ellis returns but the West Side boy SA-7 team is waiting and takes a snap shot heavily damaging to Mi-24 Hind.

Alarms going off, Ellis expends all his remaining rockets and leaves the battlefield before he crashes.

In Geberi Bana several groups of West Side boys are killed but a lone Rpg gunner survives two rocket hits.

In Magbeni they are not as lucky. The rockets kill several West Side boys, pinning their unit, destroy a technical and demolish a building killing the men inside.

This is the last of the picture and near the end of the game. We called the game soon after.

Somethings that came from the play test. On the first turn the West side boy activated too quickly and were able to stop the British before they could clear the choppers. So next game the West side boys will need to roll a three or less to activate on the first turn.

The West Side boys having two SA-7 sam teams may be too many. I think the West Side boys need them to defend against the Hind but they are a big threat against the hovering Chinooks.

We plan a refight with a few tweaks next time.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hydra Tutorial Part 3: Gunner's Cradle

Here is the final instalment in my Hydra turent tutorial, where I build the gunner's cradle and add some final details.

Parts Needed

7.9mm styrene angle

6.4mm styrene square tube

1.5mm x 3.2mm styrene strip

.5mm styrene sheet

1mm styrene sheet

Sentinel pilot

small radar antenna from space marine vehicle sprue

Assemble the sentinel pilot.

Cut three pieces of the 7.9mm styrene angle 15mm long.

Glue the first piece to the bottom of the pilot. This is middle piece pictured above. Then glue the next piece onto the rear of the pilot butted up the the piece already glued on the bottom. Finally slide the last section up under the feet and glue it to the styrene behind it and the legs to its front. you might have to take a couple breaks to let everything set before going onto the next piece.

From the 1.5mmx3.2mm strip cut a 5mm piece and a 10mm piece.

Glue the 5mm section to the top of the 10mm section. This will eventually the the gunners head rest.

Trim down the edges of the small piece to make the head rest and shave down the longer piece so it will fit between the gunner and the styrene angle.

Slide the head rest behind the gunner and glue it down. Dry fit this before you glue so it will fit.

Next cut a 15mm piece of 6.4mm square styrene tube and glue it to the styrene angle on the back of the pilot.

Slide the gunner onto the 4mm tube already on the other side of the center pylon. There is a good gap and you will need to cut a couple shims to keep the gunner in place when the gun moves. Once you get the shims glue the gunner onto the 4mm tube.

Cut the 4mm tube off flush with the end of the 6.4mm square. Take a piece of scrap 1mm styrene sheet and cut a piece big enough to cover the end. Glue it down and trim it down. then Greenstuff the gaps around the join.

Assemble the radar antenna and glue it to the end, keeping it level with the gun.

This will be the ranging radar for the gun mount.

Take the 4mm tube you cut off earlier and shave down one side. Insert it into the top of the center pylon and glue it into place. Be careful so that no glue gets onto the tube through the pylon so the gun will still move. Use some more greenstuff to close in the gap at the top of the center pylon.

Next I dug around the bits box and came up with a headlight from a toy truck. I trimmed it down and then mounted it on top of the 4mm tube. This will be the search radar for the gun.

I found a scrap section of .5mm styrene sheet and cut out a 10mm x 7mm piece. I bent the piece around and exacto knife handle then glued it to the receiver. I went back with a little greenstuff and filled the gap around the edge. This will be the spent ammo chute cover.

The gun looked plain so I took a section of scrap styrene strip and glued it on top to add a little detail.

I though about adding some bits but I decided they are good enough. Time to get them primed, painted and back on the table.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Hydra Tutorial Part 2: Gun Assembly

Here is the second part of the Hydra turent Tutorial. This cover building the gun from styrene tube and mounting it the already assembled base.

Basic parts

3.2mm styrene tube

11.1mm styrene tube

9.5mm styrene tube

a wheel lug from the ork wheel sprue
The barrel from a bic ink pen

Start with the 3.2mm tube. Cut six three and a half inch sections and a single one inch section.

Assemble the longer sections around the shorter section. I put a good bead of glue around one end of the short piece and added the longer pieces to it. As you add a piece add a touch of glue to each section. Then get them even and set it aside for the glue to cure.

While the barrels cure, take the 11.1mm tube and cut two sections, one half an inch long and the other, one and a half inches long.

The longer section goes in the rear and will form the receiver. The half inch section goes onto the front to hold the barrels together.

Make a mark in the center of the receiver.

Drill a 4mm hole.

The gun assembly them mounts onto the 4mm tube that runs through the center pylon of the base.

I raided the bits box and picked out a lug from the old ork wheel sprue. If you don't have any of these laying around you could substitute the lug from a space marine bike wheel sprue.

Take the lug and glue it in the end of the 4mm tube. You might have to file down the inside a bit to make it fit.

This is what we have so far.

Take the 9.5mm tube and cut a half inch section.

Glue the 9.5mm piece inside the rear of the gun assembly.

While the glue cures dig a Bic round ink pen barrel out from your bits box, remember never throw anything away.

Cut an inch long section off of the back of the pen barrel, keeping the plug in the barrel.

Slide the pen barrel into the back of the gun assembly and glue it down with some superglue.

this is the basic assembly of the gun section.

Come back for the last instalment with the gunner's cradle and finishing details.