Those Ragged Bloody Heroes CG, Nov 29 PM

This is December 1942.  The Australians are looking to dislodge the IJA from the Gona mission in 5 CG dates.

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Product Review : Broken Ground Design Vehicle Counters

IMG_4491H35 ScanAlan Findlay at Broken Ground Design, followed his sample sheets of German, Polish, Partisan and Axis Minors counters with a sheet of French vehicles last week.  In case you are not aware, Mr Findlay is looking to release an big suite of redesigned Advanced Squad Leader counters which includes “standard” nationalities as well as “new” nationalities.

I took a careful look at the Vehicle counters this weekend.  In the process I placed a few of my Avalon Hill French counters side by side for comparison.

Let me show you a few photos first:

 

 

My first impression is that the vehicle graphics are too small.  When I put the Broken Ground vehicles next to the old Avalon Hill counters, the graphics are indeed smaller.  The smaller graphics is unfortunately combined with a camouflage pattern that completely, well, camouflaged the outlines of these vehicles.

My next thought is then, can I tell which vehicles are Open-Topped ?

You can see for yourself from the upper set of photos where I compared the Avalon Hill counter for the Open-Topped AM Dodge against the Broken Ground one.  You can still tell that the AM Dodge is Open-Topped from the Broken Ground counter but it’s not as easy.

I wonder if it will help if the vehicles are made bigger, the camouflage tuned to a lighter saturation and shading added to bring out the vehicle contours.  Then again, I would be asking Mr Findlay to conform to a different style and would probably be asking too much.  A way to better communicate “Open-Topped” will help though.  Perhaps we can make the Movement Points a light blue (it’s on a white background anyway) like certain SS vehicle counters.

IMG_4515D Back

Flipping over the counters, I like the fact that Mr Findlay decided to use a bold font on the back to improve readability.

The improvements to readability are even more pronounced on the front.  Mr. Findlay decided to put a black outline around the white symbol that is the background for the Movement Points.  Now it’s much easier to tell whether a vehicle is Fully Tracked [D1.13], Half-Tracked [D1.1.4], Armored Car [D1.12] or Truck [D1.15].

OutlinesMr Findlay has also made it much easier to tell, by accentuating the difference and adding black outlines, the difference between Fast Turret [D1.31], Slow Turret [D1.32], Restricted Slow Traverse [D1.321] and a One Man Turret [D1.322].

Both of these improvements will certainly speed up play.

These vehicle counters and the infantry counters that I have previously reviewed are both very well made.  I would even suggest that the printer did a better job with these vehicle counters than it did with the sample batch of infantry counters – evidence that previously mentioned issues are addressed.IMG_4517

Pros

  • A much more readable set of symbology and text on the counters
  • Quality components
  • An affordable way to gain access to full sets of counters

Possible improvements

  • Make it easier to discern Open-Topped vehicles
  • Tone down the camouflage so we can see the vehicles.

(All Photos are Copyrighted to the Hong Kong Wargamer.  Do not use without permission.)

Broken Ground Design

Enlight7

Chinese People’s Volunteer Army Machine Guns

cvpalmg2-7cvpalmg2-6cvpammg4-12cvpammgr4-1044b1ecde-031c-4ee3-9ee7-e8f494f0798bcvpahmgr6-1236e609cb-8019-4bca-a4b6-64c56dbbee07

Having gotten Forgotten Wars : Korea 1950-1953, I asked about the machine guns I see in the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army’s (“CPVA”) OB.  The following is Mr Paul M. Weir’s response, reprinted with his permission.  I researched and inserted the illustrations – so any errors are also mine.

(By Mr Paul M. Weir)

There are 2 sets each of LMG/MMG/HMG as well as 1 0.50″.

One set is Soviet LMG, MMG and HMG in CPVA colours, the other set are the MGs from the GMD/NRA in CPVA colours, the .50″ being common to both Soviet and GMD in values.

Czech ZB vz 26

Czech ZB vs 26

Madsen

Denmark Madsens

The 2-7 LMG represents Czech ZB vz 26/30 (the Bren’s predecessor), a widely exported weapon, also locally manufactured versions, as well as odds and sods like Madsens.

DP28

Soviet DP28

The 2-6 LMG(r) represents the DP aka DP-28 or DPM Soviet LMG.

 

From both text and photos the Chinese, all sides, had very few air cooled MMG/HMG until either supplied in WW2 by the US with M1919 or captured Japanese MMG/HMG. Most seem to have been versions of the classic Maxim design, the German MG08 being the commonest but you would also see Schwarzlose, Browning M1919, Vickers and even some Italian (possibly part of the shipment that brought the L3/35 tankettes) MG. If a MG ever saw production, it is likely at least a few saw service in Chinese hands.

Now that I think of it, the PLA had large number of Japanese MG, the 2-6(r) being closest match to the Japanese LMG., the non-(r) MMG/HMG to the Japanese MMG/HMG. Note that the Japanese 50mm mortar comes in CPVA and ROK/KMC colours.

Schwartzlose

Schwarzlose

The multitude of Chinese factions prior to 1949 got whatever they could whenever they could and the PLA inherited that mix. The eventually standardised on Soviet pattern stuff but that took time. So apart from the non-dm Soviet MMG/HMG ‘feature’, you could use whatever mix you want and you would not go too far wrong. The potential mix of weapons was really that bad.

http://modernfirearms.net/machine/mg03-e.htm

Soviet 12.7mm DShK (modernfirearms.net)

hotchkiss_1930_mag-fed

French 13.2 Hotchkiss (modernfirearms.net)

As for 0.50 cal type MG, there were really only 3 moderately common designs; the US 0.50 cal Browning, the Soviet 12.7mm DShK and the French 13.2 Hotchkiss. The British had their own lower powered Vickers .50″ round that was also used by the Italians but their guns were mainly used in aircraft (Italians), multi-gun AA mounts and in tanks (mainly British). The Brownings and DShK have seen use everywhere since WW2, but in WW2 were really only issued to US+US Lend Leased forces and Soviet forces respectively only. The Hotchkiss was used by French, Belgian and Greek forces and license built by the Japanese. Unlike the Browning and DShK and while the bare gun was about the same weight as those two, the Hotchkiss mainly saw use in weighty AA mounts and AFV, plain infantry style ground mounts seem to be rare.

The CPVA had anything and everything that was left over from the Chinese Civil War period. German, Italian, Czech, US, Soviet and Japanese as well as locally manufactured rifles, MG and mortars. A very common rifle was the German Gewehr 1888, locally manufactured as the Hanyang 88. Ditto the German MG 08 was locally manufactured in Hanyang as the Type 24 and the Czech ZB-26 done in Gongxian Arsenal. Of course as the 2nd Sino-Japanese War (’37-’45) dragged on, increasing number of Japanese weapons of all types were in use and likely copied. The Japanese 50mm MTR seems to be one weapon copied, though I could not swear on that. The Chinese seemed to really like the US 60mm MTR and various RR and eventually produced their own clones as well as using captured stocks.

http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/forgotten-wars-3-guns.146997/#post-1925273

Counter Art : Hong Kong Wargamer
Photos : 抗战机密档(中日军队轻武器史料)

Kenneth Katz, chief designer of Forgotten War: Korean 1950-1953, gave us more details here … CPVA Machine Guns in Forgotten War – the Designer’s Supplement

 

Looking for Wargames in Toronto? (Part 1)

I know of four game stores in Toronto

I visited two of them today.

401 Games



This is a big store.  They have a second level that offers gaming space and game rentals.  Unfortunately they don’t have too many wargames – a medium size bookshelf of GMT games and that’s it.  No ASL.

Then I took a walk from 401 Games to Meeplemart.

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@Kinka Izakaya

Meeplemart

Meeplemart is hard to spot from the street, you got to watch the street numbers (247 Spadina) or you will walk right by.

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You want to stop at the set of office building doors right beside the first “TD” sign.  It is an office building but if it’s “247 Spadina Avenue”, this is the place.  Immediately after you walk through the glass doors, you will see a set of staircases on your left leading down.

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Go down those stairs, it’s okay.

Folks there will greet you and asked that you check your bags at the counter.  They will clip half of a poker card to your bag and give you the other half.

(I should check what companies are in this building and whether they are looking to hire…)

If you walk down the left around the counter and up ahead, you will see a couple of tall shelves with a sign saying “Wargames”.

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They carry mostly GMT & Compass games but they also carry MMP, Avalanche and other lines as well.  There are definitely more here (about two/three big shelves) than 401 Games.  I also found some boxes sitting the floor and filed under “ASL” I found 3 x ASL Journal 2 and 1 x Turning the Tide.  The guy behind the counter said “That’s because ASL sells out the quickest.”.

So here we are, I hope this allows you to find these shops quicker the next time you are in town.

By the way, on my way back home my bus passed by Hairy Tarantula North.

IMG_4317

Looking for Wargames in Toronto?  (Part 2) – I went to Hairy Tarantula North the next day.

 

Wanna ditch Skype?

If you play VASL with Skype and has been looking for a voice platform to replace Skype. You might want to check this out.

My opponent Will Fleming set up a server on Discord for voice comms during VASL games and text chat when hanging out.

You can install the app if you want to but you and/or opponent can run this via your browsers with no installs.

Heres the link if you want to try it out https://discord.gg/XxpxAvx

Before you ask, I don’t know what the advantages are beyond what I see on their webpage and beyond feedback from my friends. If you are young and want to try new things with us, here it is.

One of my friends look at it as “VASL lobby on steroids”.

T001 Gavin Take

In this scenario, the US Paras win if they exited 1 or more squad equivalent and more Leader out hex Q10, which is where the road exits in the middle of the map. Any German exits increase the exit requirements for the US.