Category Archives: Dad’s Army

Battle of Godfrey’s Cottage

Following the recent death of Jim Perry , I had a desire to watch a few episodes of his perfect creation Dad’s Army.

It also got me thinking about putting on a Dad’s army game for the regular monthly game. The only issue was that I did not want to play the large version I have taken to a number of shows as only two could make it this weekend. During the week I was in the shed looking for something and came across a set of WW2 skirmish rules called USSR – Ultra Simple Skirmish Rules. These are a small A5 booklet which I was given for free by Bolt Action in 2004 when they first started to sell their range. I am not sure if any of the boys have ever seen or even played these rules and I have to admit that apart from one game 12 years ago neither have I.

Having re-read the rules I saw something different in them which excited me. Yes they were simple, something I like but they also try to give a sense of camaraderie. This is how firing is done.

When any shooting happens a no. of D6 are rolled by the firer depending upon weapon, rating above  and modifiers are added to each die. The defender rolls a single D6 adds rating above and modifiers. Totals of each die are compared and from that a result is achieved. This depends upon the highest score compared to opponents lowest score. Very simple, but this is the clever bit. When defenders are in a group(1″) of another figure the rating added is of the highest member of the group. Therefore a group of conscripts with a sergeant add +4 not +2. This is explained in the rules as the sergeant communicating with his team and ensuring they learn  from his experience.

Yes I am easily pleased but I like this idea so

The Rules

ussr-rules

The main aspects

  • The table size is 1m x 1m, so terrain is important.
  • Simple mission generator – Not every game is necessarily a firefight
  • Casualties, as in looking after them is a key factor
  • No weapon ranges – you see it you can hit it.
  • Importance of senior officers and or training
  • Groups/Teams did not get the importance of this in game play until a couple of re-reads in.
  • Suggests no more than 1 squad per player, to maintain the command experience.
  • Targets infantry only games

Figures are classed as :

  1. Civilian
  2. Conscripts
  3. Veterans
  4. Sergeants
  5. Elites

I set about developing a simple test scenario. I laid out a simple 3’x3′ board. A  He111 carrying out a pre-Seelowe invasion, reconnaissance crashes and the crew and invasion plans must avoid capture and await rescue. The local home-guard have been sent to round up any crew.

In the terrain below the plane is in the NE corner, Godfrey’s cottage is the SE cottage and in the SW corner you can see the home-guard entering the table.

Battle of Godfrey's Cottage Briefings

German

Capt. Hertz Von Rental

Damn fools in Berlin.

The day before the planned invasion of Britain and they get you to do a daylight sortie. Just your luck, on the last run a lucky shot hit an engine and you have had to land. Most of the crew seem OK. In your last communication Berlin advised you sit tight and await help.

Group 1

Yourself – Veteran

2 crew – Conscripts

Group 2

2 crew – Conscripts

Group 3

2 crew conscripts (LMG)

British

Capt. Mainwaring.

At 17:00 hrs June 5th 1940 you have received an alarm that a German bomber was seen coming down, just outside Walmington. In fact, in the field next to Godfrey’s abandoned cottage.

You called the platoon out and have instructed the 2nd squad to wait at the Church Hall while you go with the first squad to round up the crew if any survived.

Godfrey reminded you to be careful as all the services were still connect to his house. Although the toilet may be a welcoming sight for him!

Your Squad consists of:

Yourself – Veteran

Wilson – Veteran

Jones – Veteran

4 soldiers – Conscripts

3 soldiers – Civilians

Due to ages, all move at max 4”

Objective

Reconnoitre crash site and capture crew.

 

Here are a few pictures of the game

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Godfrey’s Cottage

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Godfrey’s Garden

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The home guard cautiously advance on to the table and at the bend in the road split into two parts , one to survey the plane while the other continues on to the house.

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Crew mingle around the aircraft

sam_3915 sam_3917 sam_3920 sam_3925 The rules have no ranges for weapons due to the scale but this started to feel wrong especially as the crew had pistols only. A quick discussion and it was agreed that:

LMGs Normal 36″ Long 72″

Rifles  Normal 18″ long 36″

SMGs Normal 12″ long 24″

Pistols Normal 6″ long 12″

all would suffer a -1 when firing at long range.

As the home guard inspected the plane the crew who were now in the other damaged cottage opened fire with the LMG they had removed from the plane.sam_3929

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Pike is down and Walker is suppressed.

sam_3926 sam_3933The LMG rattled around the group and caused a couple of suppressed results and a down result! Good die throws from the Germans and poor from the British.

It took a couple of turns for Walker to recover and apply first aid to Pike.When a figure is classed as down the nearest figure must perform a first aid action. This enables them to check the down figure for their status; Dead, still down or recovered.  I thought this was a good aspect and while trying to “first aid”, a number of figures running the blaze of fire from the LMG ensured they also became victims or hid in cover.

Anyway, the home-guard recovered their nerve and returned fire eventually on the LMG team. Due to their leaders and some great dice rolls both crew became suppressed.

sam_3932Eventually one of them becoming Down and dead upon first aid from another crew member.

The other home-guard group came under fire from the crew located upstairs and having had another member die, sent a runner back to the church hall for reinforcements ( if they could have got to Godfrey’s cottage they would have found the telephone still connected and could have called).

This is where we finished for a break and some lunch. Everybody thought the rules were OK but would benefit from a little bit of additional detail.

I enjoyed it all and will certainly be adding a little more detail, so maybe watch this space for some suggestions.

Figures are all from the brilliant Foundry range

Buildings are Sarissa and Foxtrot Charlie while I scratch built the greenhouse.

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Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, German, Sarissa Models, Skirmish, USSR - Ultra Simple Skirmish Rules, Wargame Rules, World War 2

Pegasus Bridge 1940 Part 3 – Legionary Show, Exeter

I may be a little biased but my local show Legionary is a great show. I do not think any one thing makes it great but what I do think helps is:

Trader Variety – too many other shows have multiple traders selling similar items. This is not too much of an issue at large shows but at small shows it is annoying. While this can be good for a buyer i.e. bartering, the rest of us wish an alternative supplier attended. I guess the trader is not too happy either as his profit margin gets hit.

Good games – good coverage of eras with good quality figures and terrain. New games appear every year, not just same games rehashed.

Good Parking – Not many shows where you can unload your game from the car at the table! For visitors plenty of level, free parking and only a 45 min walk from a park and ride.

Helpers – loads of people on hand to help and the start and end of the show.

Food – Fantastic canteen facilities run separately and professionally  Great hot and cold food served nearly all day at great prices.

 

The Game.

As usual, living only 5 minutes drive away I was there on time and with the help of Steve, Laurie  and Nathan the game was set up and we broke for a well deserved breakfast.

The format we normally have at shows were we have put a game on  is a bit of wargaming and a bit of shopping while trying to keep an eye on the bring and buy, with at least one of us at the table to answer any questions.

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The scenario was based on the Pegasus bridge raid of 44 in reverse, with Homeguard units holding key bridges from invading Fallschirmjager who once they have captured the bridges have to hold them against British reinforcements while holding out for German reinforcements.

The Germans landed and luckily the homeguard were on the ball, and first thing they did was race to the bridge control room and raise the bridge. There was a vicious exchange of fire and the homeguard started to receive a few casualties. They held on for a few more turns before having to retire.

The British reinforcements started to arrive but almost immediately so did the German ones. This caused a panic in the British as the first lot  of Germans appeared on the same table end as the British having made good time from Exmouth beach, while others appeared at the other end having traveled from Dawlish. The only thing stopping them linking up was the bridge still be up! A group of Germans tried to board the boat and cross the canal. A yes/no/maybe dice was rolled and unfortunately Jerry could not start the boat. No worries, as a unit in rubber boats came up  the canal and storming the control room they managed to lower the bridge.

The British reinforcements made slow progress though the town as Pz IIs were now arriving. The British Matilda even had to contemplate with a 5th columnist Policeman attempting to destroy it with a sticky bomb. He was soon dispatched with a burst of MG fire.

The game was eventually declared a Minor British victory as the Germans were either being pushed back or lacked reinforcements being unable to grab anymore ground. That said though, they had managed to hold on to the beaches!

A big thank you to Steve for the canal and Laurie for a last minute painting effort for the dinghies and lorry passengers. Cheers GUYS.

Many people stopped and chatted and a few were surprised that the bridges we based this game on were used to practice the Pegasus raid  and that they were only a mile from the show.

 

Everything else was from my own collection.

Buildings – Charlie Foxtrot, Sarissa or Homemade.

Trees and Hedges – Homemade. see blog elsewhere.

Figures – Mainly Foundry with a few Artizan, Blacktree and Warlord.

Vehicles – Tamiya, Frog, Stronghold, Blitzkrieg, Blacktree and homemade (Beaverette MKIV).

Rules – House rules. They need a little refining so may be uploaded soon.

 

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Filed under British, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, Demo game, German, Legionary Wargame Show, Sarissa Models, Traders, Wargame Rules, Wargame Shows, Warlord, World War 2

Legionary 2016 – Pegasus 1940 Part 2

Legionary 2016 is now only a week away (30th April 2016). Therefore I have started to pack away my game, ready for the show.

Here are a last few pictures before the show.

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Filed under British, Dad's Army, German, Legionary Wargame Show, Scenarios, Wargame Shows, World War 2

Legionary 2016 – Pegasus 1940 Part 1

With my local show on a few months away it was time to reveal to the boys what I intend to put on for them to play.

The show is only a mile a mile away as the crow flies and to get to it I have to cross a couple, a River bridge and a Canal bridge.

Here is a picture of the canal swing bridge and in the background is a bascule type bridge (I cross this coming back from the show). The reason I am interested in them is that in 1944 the swing bridge and the river bridge where used in training for the Pegasus Bridge assault.

CaptureRiver BridgePlaque

This got me thinking and as a lot of people have done a Pegasus bridge based wargame scenario I started to think about Operation Seelowe (Sea-lion) and the possible importance these bridges may have played if the Germans had come ashore on the Devon coastline. In fact we have two large flat beaches (Dawlish Warren and Exmouth) with a few miles. Both are either side of the estuary and for the forces to link up they would need the bridges.

Below are a few shots of the planned game so far. Still plenty to do as well as a set of display rules to write.

Infantry -Home guard are Foundry with Heavy  Support Weapons ( Northover Projector, Spigot Mortar, Smith Gun) and Beaverette from Stronghold Miniature. I have also scratch built a Standard Mk III Beaverbug version. Regular infantry are Warlord. Germans are mostly Foundry with a few Blacktree with some additional heavy weapons from Artizan Designs.

Vehicles – Vickers, Matilda and Panzer 38T tanks(all metal) old Blitzkrieg Miniature now Warlord, I think. Panzer II are old Frog Fumen kits. Kubelwagon is Corgi, Opels and Styre? Unknown.

Buildings – Mainly Charlie Foxtrot and Sarissa with some unknown and some scratch built. River Bridge is a Hovel.

Tree and Hedges  – Scratch built

Boat – Scratch built

More pictures will follow as items get completed.

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Filed under British, Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, German, Legionary Wargame Show, Scenarios, Wargame Shows, World War 2

British 2 LBR

For the last few weeks since our monthly game I have been working on nothing else than buildings for my up coming game at Legionary 16. To have a break in some way I got out a couple of figures set I will probably need for the game. These were 2 different makes of 2lbr guns from Crusader and BEF Miniatures, now Warlord games (I have had these a while). These will be used to enable the British to defend the bridges in the game from possible German Invaders!

I think both are nice sets in their own rights but the size difference of the makers is noticeable in the gun if not the crew. If fact I mixed up the crews to get a better look to the vignettes.

British 2lbr (1)

British 2lbr (1)

British 2lbr (4)

British 2lbr (4)

British 2lbr (3)

British 2lbr (3)

British 2lbr (2)

British 2lbr (2)

 

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Filed under British, Crusader, Dad's Army, Traders, Warlord, World War 2

More Buildings from Charlie Foxtrot

It has been a while since my last blog about buildings but like buses a few should come along pretty quickly.

The first is a couple of building from CF. As always these are a good set of buildings.

First I have done the “La Boulangerie”. Cost is current £19 and is a nice size  W170xD130xH220.

I have painted this to represent the village post office. I left the window frames unpainted as I think if gives it that natural wood look.

SAM_3295 SAM_3296 SAM_3297 SAM_3298 SAM_3299

The second model was “L’Epicerie” or Grocers. This is a stunning model and although it looks complicated, it is very easy to put together and I have to admit it is my favourite so far and I have 3 of them to do!

Being a grocers it could only have been “Hodges’ Greengrocers.

It is currently £25 and is a sizable building coming in at W173xD173xH215.

I wanted to do something to break up the growing avenue of rendered buildings. I decided to print off some brick patterns and externally wallpaper the building. Do you like it?

It will allow to do rendered lower half  with brick upper floors. Corner buildings can really add to the visual impact on a street.

SAM_3287 SAM_3288 SAM_3289 SAM_3290 SAM_3291

 

Here is the link to Charlie Foxtrot Models http://www.charliefoxtrotmodels.com/

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Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, Terrain, Traders, World War 2

Mrs Fox Caught Behind The Pie Shop With Corporal Jones!

Just to prove that building can have more than one life, I have just finished another model from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

The catalogue describes this one as ” Tabac” and is in the range of building mainly representing WW2 France. While I like WW2, I tend to like what if scenarios  and base many of my games on the aborted “Operation Seelowe”.

I like this because it gives me a chance to use the Foundry Home Guard range. With this mind I look out for building suitable. As said in an earlier blog I use to have all the Grand Manner, Carentan range.

This building is a lovely little addition to my growing collection but to make it usable for different theatres of operation I  blue-tack  the signs on and swap them as required rather than permanently gluing it on.

This model is 120mm(W) x135mm(D) x 220mm (H) and currently retailing at £16.

The model goes together really easily and after just a little filling, was painted with match-pot paints and it is done. I have not yet used ” Chinchilla Dust” as recommended on the CF website to give a rendered look but I am still happy with the finish.  The brick work on the front of the shop is superb and the window style makes me think of a village shop.

Where this model is different from some in the range is that the roof is flush with the gable walls, so is designed to sit in a row of shops where they all butt up together.

In the pictures below Cpl Jones is defending Mrs Fox’s honour! Can I hear Jones telling Hodges that “They don’t like it up them”?

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Filed under Charlie Foxtrot Models, Dad's Army, Reviews, Terrain, Traders, World War 2

Dad’s Army photos.

As promised a while ago here are a few shots of some of the units from my Dad’s army game. Most of the figures are foundry with possibly the odd blacktree and crew weapon from Sloppy Jaloppy. The vehicles are HLBS, Chieftain, Sloppy Jaloppy and scratch built bren carriers.

The downed crew. Foundry

The downed crew. The officer still has the invasion plans tight in his grip. Foundry 

The locals including Mrs Fox. Anyone of them could be a 5th columnist. Foundry.    
The locals including Mrs Fox. Anyone of them could be a 5th columnist. Foundry.

German fallschirmjager. Foundry

German fallschirmjager. Foundry

Group of homeguard on patrol. I just love rhese figures. Have about 40 on bikes. Foundry

Group of homeguard on patrol. I just love these figures. Have about 40 on bikes. Foundry

Mainwaring , Wilson and Jones. When playing Jones you gained a +1 in combat for shouting

Mainwaring , Wilson and Jones. When playing Jones you gained a +1 in combat for shouting” they don’t like it up  them”. Centainly got visitor’s attention. Foundry.

Spigot mortar. Sloppy Jaloppy I think?

Spigot mortar. Sloppy Jaloppy I think?

Beaverette by Sloppy Jaloppy. Great model. I have scratch built a later version with a turret.
Beaverette by Sloppy Jaloppy. Great model. I have scratch built a later version with a turret.

Vickers by Chieftain models.

Vickers by Chieftain models.

Bren carriers by me. Could not resist a flame thrower version.

Bren carriers by me. Could not resist a flame thrower version.

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Filed under Dad's Army, Gallery, Reviews, World War 2

Dad’s Army -The game

Hi there.

Well to play the game I wanted an easy set of rules. the game would have about 10 players with 20-30 units. They needed to be quick to pick up and give a fun and fair game.

I decided on a card based turn. This meant that each unit had a card with its name on plus an end of turn card. These were made by printing the details on to address labels and applying them in turn to a deck of playing cards.

Here is the game procedure

Game Procedure

The major players each received a small character history. These gave me the chance to have a bit of fun but also gave the players some clues as to how to play the game.

Mission Overview – German

Labels

I also made a small deck of card that had the characters on. One of these at random drawn by the German player would be a 5th columnist. They got points for destroying phone booths. They did this by being moved into contact with one. To stop them getting discovered, when the civilian card was turned the British and German players rolled a D10 for initiative. The higher wins. Then a D6 is rolled, this gave the number of civilians able to be moved. this allowed the 5th columnist to be hidden in a crowd of moving figures or not moved at all. This turned out to be a fun bit as British constantly chasing suspected 5th columnists.

here are a copy of the rules. I hope you enjoy them.

they don’t like it up em!

The game

Unfortunately the aircrew did receive a few casualties. They had taken shelter in the manor garden around the green houses.

Grand manner, manor with scratch built shelters and greenhouse

Grand manner, manor with scratch built shelters and greenhouse

Ammo resupply crates were placed around the table. Some were blank.

The home guard were lucky! they have a beaverette, smith gun and Lewis gun.

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The smith gun is place on the quay. Manufacturer unknown.

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Lewis gun shelters in the pillbox as the squad on bike return.

The 5th columnists was Mrs Fox, Jones will be upset.

Fallschirmjager were dispersed and arrived on the table at 11am, 3 hours to rescue the plans, agent and escape before the tide goes out.

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Lighthouse secured

The germans advance carefully and captured most  of the area around the lighthouse and manor. Her,e there was a short firefight with a returning squad of homeguard. A few casualties on both sides. This had the desired effect of alerting the downed crew who came out of hiding. They were promptly shot at by the husband of the captain’s mistress. The player of the crewmen did not know why until he spotted the leader and advised that he knew of the affair. The crewmen started to head to the British to surrender! They made it to the town but more fallschirmjager were turning up all the time.

The crew handed them selves in. The safety was short-lived as the group were attacked. Even Laurie playing Jones shouting “they don’t like it up them”  to get +1 in combat didn’t help. The home guard retired leaving the crew in german hands. They promptly shot the captain to wound him and possibly let him know who was the boss.

They lost a few more when they realised that they would need to hold the quay to get aboard the trawler coming for them. they started to fight their way through.

German trawler to the rescue.

German trawler to the rescue.

 The pill-box held out for a few turns and took a few with it.

There seemed a stalemate until Mainwaring remembered the telephone no. 1066 and called for assistance.

Just as the trawler came on to the table so did the British reinforcements in the shape of a bren and  vickers light tanks.

Reinforcements arrive

Reinforcements arrive

These managed to hold up the evacuation with one being disabled on the quay but still being able to fire long enough for the trawler to run a ground due to the tide going out. The Germans decide to surrender only after destroying the plans and shooting the captain. Mrs Fox was caught and ……. enough said.

All agreed it was one of the best games they had ever played. In total we had 55 turns during the day and while it was a show no one drifted off during the game to buy stuff.

On the Sunday we replayed the game and a new day bought a victory for the Germans, they even captured Sgt Wilson, the long-lost father of one of the crew!!

I have thought about adding a sci fi version with daleks instead on germans and the tardis acting as a troop transporter. But that is for another day.

I hope have found something to enjoy from this article.

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February 18, 2013 · 9:12 pm

Designing my “Dad’s Army” Game

Welcome to my first ever blog.

All of my wargaming mates are in to WW2 in a big way. I must admit that it never really interested me but after a chat with a few of them, they convinced me to put a game on for a show and they all wanted WW2. I agreed but wanted something different.

To keep me interested I needed to enjoy the theme, the rules, the figures and the terrain.

I locked myself away in my wargame room and thought. To help I put some DVDs on. One of these happened to the Dad’s army feature film.

Light bulb moment!

The town end of the game

The town end of the game

The Scenario

How about, a shot down German recon unit who were checking out the British coast pre operation “Sealion”.

Unfortunately they had a copy of the plans with them. This must not fall into British hands. A rescue mission is launched (Fallschirmjager) to rescue/destroy the plans, oh yes, and possibly the crew!

5th columnist help by blowing up communication points e.g. telephone boxes etc but who? These were the character from dad’s army; Mrs Fox, verger, vicar, Hodges etc.

I added some separate mission cards to add a bit of flavour. These are randomly drawn before the game. This makes every game different. In the first game it turned out that one of the rescue team found out his wife had been having an affair, unfortunately with one of the downed crew! Does he rescue the plans and kill the crew member or resist and save him getting more victory points?

Jones gets +1 in combat if player shouts ”they don’t like it up them“ when they roll.

Godfrey – every turn on a roll of a 1 misses the turn due to the call of nature.

The figures

Had to be the Wargames Foundry range.  The odd figure supplemented from Blacktree.

The Vehicles

Vickers tanks

Bren carriers – scratch built by me and cast in resin. I think they look great.

Hodges and Jones vehicles by Corgi?

Reinforcements arrive

Reinforcements arrive

Buildings

Mainly Grand Manner – Nice buildings, not cheap. Decided to glue roofs down to protect as constantly removing roofs and floors to move figures really slowed down play testing. Various others were scratch built by me.

Church – hand built using individual blocks, never again.

Trawler – Scratch built. Used by Germans as an option for rescue/escape.

Anderson shelters – Scratch built (best mate Brian Collins and myself) and cast in resin.

Greenhouse and cold frames – scratch built and cast in resin

Light house – Scratch built from that staple diet for wargamers, a pot noodle.

Hedgerow – home made.

Grand manner, manor with scratch built shelters and greenhouse

Grand manner, manor with scratch built shelters and greenhouse

Next blog may detail how the game went.

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January 25, 2013 · 8:47 pm