Saturday, 25 July 2020

Black Seas - Battle report - Journey to the new world.

Black Seas - Battle report - Journey to the new world.

Black Seas is the Age Of Sail era fleet ship-of-the-line combat game set between 1770 and 1830.

The war rages over the Atlantic. The British have gained the advantage over the French. Desperate for a solution a French ambassador heads to America to appeal for more direct help against the British, who they have no love for. British spies aware of this plan, alert the navy and a task force is quickly sent out to intercept.

The scenario for today's battle is Catch The Prize. It was randomly determined that the French would be the defenders and are given an unarmed 5th rate ship that has a +1" movement that would act as the prize ship for the game. 

The defender will have to protect this ship and get it to leave off the opposite edge of the board. The attackers have to stop it leaving the board by capturing the prize, compel it to strike the colours or prevent it from leaving the table.

French Defenders
La Gloire de la mer -3rd Rate - Streamlined Hull and Boarding Nets
Le Paris -5th Rate - Sturdy
Le Aquitaine -Brig - Streamlined Hull 
Le Normandie -Brig - Streamlined Hull
Le Vengeance -Brig - Streamlined Hull
L'espoir -Unarmed 5th Rate (Prize ship) 

From Left to right- Le Paris, Le Normandie, Le Aquitaine, Le Vengeance, La Gloire de la mer and the L'espoir.

British Attackers 
HMS Harbinger -3rd Rate - Sharpshooters 
HMS Gauntlet -5th Rate - Sturdy
HMS Spirit -Brig
HMS Albion -Brig - Grappling Hooks
HMS Hammer -Brig - Trained Marines

From Left to right- HMS Gauntlet, HMS Albion, HMS Hammer, HMS Spirit and the HMS Harbinger.


The French fleet start their journey to the new world at full sails.

As the Atlantic seas get rough, British ships are spotted closing in.

Weather is an optional rule which is included within the Rulebook and most results have no effect on game play however this occasion the seas turned rough causing havoc on the smaller ships and limiting movement.

Turn 1

Activation order of each ship is determined by the direction of the wind "Activated in Weather Gage order". In this case the wind was blowing from behind the French hurrying them along.

The rough seas weather condition causes a single damage each turn to small ships. (In this case all of the Brigs)

With the British closing in the French force fanned out. Le Vengeance struck out first firing upon the HMS Spirit with its initial broadside but only doing a little damage. 

Initial broadside - The first time a ship fires a broadside the cannons are ready and prepared and as long as you don't want to fire from any of the other firing positions you're given extra dice for the cannons for that attack. 

The rough sea causes disruption among the French. La Gloire de la mer, Le Paris, Le Normandie and the Le Aquitaine have to drop down to light sails abruptly, causing minor damage to all of their ships damaging their sails.

The L'espoir managed to keep the wind and move at battle sails and keep a straight heading.

HMS Spirit sets the Le Normandie ablaze.

HMS Spirit keeps at battle sails to get a raking shot against the Le Normandie and setting a fire onboard the French vessel.

Most of the British fleet drops to light sails to converge on the unarmed L'espoir.

Turn 2

The wind remains coming from the same direction as before and the small ships take damage from the rough waters.

Le Vengeance moved into position for a raking shot down the stern of the HMS Spirit with its initial Volley damaging the vessel so much that it was forced to raise the colours and surrenders.

Le Vengeance gets in to firing position and devastates the HMS Spirit. 
HMS Gauntlet passes its orders to fire upon a smaller ship but fails to do much damage on the Le Vengeance.

The Le Normandie crew failed to put the raging fire causing more ship damage, panic onboard with the crew failing to control the blaze the Captain ordered to raise the colours. The crew of the HMS Spirit could only look on in horror as the flaming French brig plunged into the side of the ship, both brigs breaking up and sinking beneath the raging waters.

Le Normandie and the HMS Spirit collide, sealing their fates.
HMS Hammer speeds up to battle sails to come alongside the L'espoir  peppering it with cannon fire, but the crew were unable to grapple with the ship.

The L'espoir failed to keep the wind this time and dropped to light sails and kept on going straight, fighting to ditch its pursuers.

HMS Albion and HMS Hammer, close in on the L'espoir whilst the Le Aquitaine tries to disrupt the formation.

HMS Albion opens fire against the Ambassadors ship the L'espoir damaging its rudder.

The trained crew of the HMS Albion with their grappling hooks successful grapples with the prize ship, but the Ambassadors bodyguards heroically fought off the attackers causing damage to the HMS Albion.

HMS Albion grapples with the L'espoir 

Turn 3

The captain of the large 3rd rate La Gloire de la mer was unable to attack the smaller ships around it due to the rules of engagement and the strict code of honour.

HMS Hammer fails to tack and move out of the way and collides with the grappled L'espoir. The damage caused to itself caused the HMS Hammer to raise the colours.

HMS Hammer crashes in to the larger L'espoir.
Le Aquitaine bravely grappled with the HMS Albion an epic assault to free the ambassadors ship. The HMS Albion reeling from the French attack raises the colours and ungrapples with the L'espoir.

In a desperate gamble to stop the ambassadors ship from escaping the HMS Gauntlet sped on with battle sails, turned and blocked its path. The stoic Captain gave the strict order not to open fire and to hold their position.

The L'espoir  broke away from the surrendered British brig but due to a damaged rudder the unarmed ship fails to evade and smashed directly into the HMS Gauntlet.

The ambassadors ship shook violently from the impact and the Captain gave the order to raise the colours and surrender to the British.

The L'espoir raises the colours after suffering damage from the collision with the HMS Gauntlet.

The French ambassador now in the hands of the British at the high cost of all three of the brigs. The French fleet gave the order, broke off and headed back to safer waters. 

British Victory - Prize ship captured

This game from Warlord games store can be found here

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Blood Red Skies - Battle Report - Dogfight over the English Channel.

Blood Red Skies is a tabletop miniatures game where you command formations of fighter aircraft in battle. Action in the game is fast-paced - with six or more planes per side, a thrilling dogfight can be fought in forty-five minutes or less. 

Blood Red Skies Battle Report.
Dogfight over the English Channel

It's 1940, the Battle of Britain rages on, the Luftwaffe increase their attacks on the Isle of Great Britain. The R.A.F Spitfire pilots are given the order to "Scramble", and soon the Spitfires were in the air.

The battle report was played with just the contents of the Battle of Britain starter set.  
At the time of writing the Blood Red Skies basic rules are available free from the Warlord games website here.


Raiders- Luftwaffe - German BF109's  x6

Element 1 = BF109's  x3
Pilot Skill - 5, 3,2

Element 2 = BF109's  x3
Pilot Skill 3 x2 and a 4

Luftwaffe Element 1

Luftwaffe Element 2

Action Deck:

Trait - Great Climb x3, Great Dive x3
Ace Card -Lightening Reaction
Doctrine- Seasoned Pilots
Theatre - Clear skies, Poorly Trained Opponents

Defenders of the Isle - R.A.F  British Spitfires MK2 x6

Element 1 = Spitfires MK2  x3
Pilot Skill - 5, 3,2

Element 2 = Spitfires MK2  x3
Pilot Skill 3 x2 and a 4

R.A.F Element 1

R.A.F Element 2

Action Deck:

Trait - Tight Turn x6
Ace Card - Accurate
Doctrine - Defensive Tactics
Theatre - Radar Support, Home Advantage

The player that receives more Boom chits than they have aircraft remaining in the squadron it then retreats from the table at the end of the current turn, and the last player to have aircraft on the table wins. Boom chits are given when an aircraft is hit even if it dodges. 

Set up and starting advantage.

Luftwaffe played the Theatre card Clear Skies causing two clouds to be removed. The R.A.F played Radar Support and now have the jump on the Luftwaffe raiders and four out of the six Spitfires start advantaged.

Clear Skies over the Channel.

Luftwaffe starting advantage

First Turn

The clear skies help the defenders to see the approaching BF109's and the Spitfires break formation
BF109's close in on the spitfires

The Rookie and the Pilot Spitfires cross each other with their Tight Turn ability
Spitfires gain advantage as they approach the splintered 109's
The Luftwaffe Veteran hides in the clouds as the advantaged Spitfires approach. 

Nobody was outmaneuvered by the attacking BF109's, and all of the 
R.A.F Spitfires finished the turn in the advantaged position. 

Second Turn

The Spitfire Ace Tight Turns and picks off a rogue BF109. 

The BF109 is shot down by the Ace and crashes into the waves. 

Luftwaffe Pilot splashes down in the English channel.
The Luftwaffe is given 2 boom chits.

The Veteran Spitfire takes the chance and takes a head-on shot against the German, but is unable to get a shot on target, the German hits back and scores a hit and reduces the advantage level of the Spitfire Veteran. 

Head on return fire

All three Spitfire attacks miss the lone BF109, and the return fire is devastating, landing 3 Boom chits on the R.A.F squadron.

Adding further insult the Spitfire Ace also gets tailed from a Luftwaffe Rookie who gets a hit but the Doctrine card Defensive Tactics a with a Tight Turn card makes it just a deflection shot (side on) and the Ace is still in the air. 

End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 2  R.A.F - 4

Third Turn

The Spitfire Ace has the Veteran Luftwaffe pilot on his six and he can't seem to shake him, the Spit gets riddled with bullets and it's still in the air. Another boom chit for the R.A.F.

The British start using the clouds for cover. 
Spitfire Pilot gets a 109 on its six. 

In a quick-thinking move, the 109 manages to tail the Spitfire Pilot, hitting its target but unable to take it down. Another Boom chit for the R.A.F. 

The tailing BF109 Pilot gets tailed too, by a Spitfire Rookie.
Seeing the chance to make a name for himself the Spitfire Rookie relieves his fellow pilot and but couldn't land a hit. 

End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 2  R.A.F - 6

Fourth Turn

Only one more hit and the R.A.F will call the withdrawal.

           The Spitfire Ace takes another hit, the Luftwaffe Veteran tailing furiously,                      another Boom chit, but the British play Home Advantage and ignores the Boom chit.
                                                  The R.A.F are still in the game. 

The Spitfire Veteran takes a pot shot at an unlucky Luftwaffe pilot and the rest of the squadron watches on as the BF109 plunges into the water.  

Another 2 Boom chits for the Luftwaffe, only four more of the raiders left. 

The clouds act as a quick respite for the Spitfire Ace. 
                             End of Turn Boom chits - Luftwaffe - 4  R.A.F - 6

Fifth Turn

One more hit for either force and they'll withdraw from the battle.

Dogfighting over the English Channel at the end of the fifth turn.
The Luftwaffe Pilot bursts from the clouds behind the Spitfire Ace and manages to land a hit. No serious damage but the R.A.F makes a tactical retreat. 

The R.A.F Ace takes the 7th and final Boom chit and orders the squadron to withdraw.

Final Boom chits 
Luftwaffe - 4 
R.A.F - 7

Dogfight Winners

The Raiders lost two aircraft whilst the R.A.F were shot up a lot. enough to make them retreat. The R.A.F did make the shots count by downing every BF109 they hit.

The acrylic tokens that were used were created by the talented  Buy-The-Same-Token you can find them on Ebay here 

I hoped that you enjoyed the battle report. 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Blood Red Skies - Painting The BF109E Squadron

Blood Red Skies - Painting The BF 109 Squadron

With the arrival of the Blood Red Skies starter set and getting the Adlertag set from Warlord games, I now have thirteen BF109's, two squadrons of six planes and the Ace Aldolf Galland.

A few of the research pictures of possible paint schemes. 

With the scheme I went off to the LFGS and picked up the colours need, I've chosen to use GW paints on this occasion, as I usually stick with Vallejo for WW2 miniatures. 

The Paints I purchased. 

Caliban green - (To be mixed with a little black) for the top and wing "triangles"
Dawnstone -  for the other "triangles and base grey. 
Fenrisian Grey - for the underside
Flash Gitz Yellow - for the nose and tail marking.

I started by giving them a spray coating of black. 


The underside was given a base coat of Fenrisian Grey and then washed with Agrax Earthshade, then brought back up to Fenrisian Grey leaving the panel lines. I didn't bother highlighting further as you're not going to see the underside that much. To finish the underside I picked out the wheels in black. 

Wings and Fuselage

After looking at the reference pictures I decided to go with the triangular pattern instead of the mottled design for the wings. The black and Caliban Green mix was added to the upper sides of the wings and the top and sides of the fuselage. Then following the triangular design pattern above from the reference pictures. I've used Dawnstone to paint on the markings, just on the wings.  

The fuselage I went for the mottled pattern, as in the reference images. then drybrushed up with Dawnstone over the Black/Green mix across the whole miniature. I added a little bit of white to drybrush over the Dawnstome wing section to bring out the paneling and details. 

The Nose and Rudder

   I base coated them with Zamesi Desert and then gave them a light wash with Agrax Earthshade. Once dry, lightened them up to Flash Gitz Yellow leaving recesses dark. The spinner was painted back to black and given a small highlight of Dawnstone. 

Windows and Canopy

These were base coated Lothern Blue and given a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade, then once dried, highlighted back up to Lothern Blue and a small final highlight with some white added to the blue. The frames of the canopy where picked out in Dawnstone. To finish off I added a coat of  gloss varnish over the glass areas

The first six Painted BF109E's before the decals

I really think that the BF109's come to life once the decals are applied. They were god quality and very easy to apply. Once applied I gave the transfers a coat of Matte varnish to help seal them in. 

Decals are from 1/144 Direct

Next up was the
Fighter Ace - Adolf Galland

My reference picture

Then it was decided  an attempt on the yellow wing tipped fighters, I'm only wanting to make a pair. 

The Black Buzzard

In the usual fashion as the Soviet Yak-1 article I've chosen a cover of a Commando comic to paint up an Ace or Squadron leader.

The Commando Comic cover by Benet

Oberst Von Regner. 

The Black Buzzard and his wingmen


In Jet Mode

In BF109 mode.