Friday, 14 November 2014

2015 Cancelled. 2016?

I regret to inform you that the Brighton Bash "DAK! DAK! Go!" Tornie is going to have to be cancelled.
Whilst I was planning to have one last stab at tacking down Mark to book the room for later in January today, I have just been informed at work that my project has been green-lighted and I'm going to be struggling for free time to build terrain.

12 desert tables in a few months may have been over ambitious I guess.

Going forward, we will still have at least one Flames of War tournament next year and if someone (Adam Machnowicki, Jon Skipper) wants to schedule a different variant on the Bash to fill the January slot (providing they can get a date booked!) I will support them 24/25th is still the best slot in the national calendar and it'd be a shame to waste it.

We have a metric butt stack (equivalent of 1.76 Imperial Butt Stacks) of terrain for Eastern Front or Western Europe terrain. It's just Italy and the Desert that we struggle on.

I want to do DAK! DAK! GO! I think an all desert tornie with strict list limits has merit.

I'm going to set a goal of working on terrain on a slower timeline over 2015 to try again in 2016. Sadly the SNAFU with the room killed my enthusiasm and work has finished it off.

I'm also in early talks about running something at Conquest 2015.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Desertification Pt.2

Desertification Pt.2

Work continues.  It's been a rough week as it looks like the pub may have double booked the room.  Trying to work out what is happening on that.

But worse case, we still need terrain for early January so can't really give up yet!

So, I got busy with the Jigsaw and cut up 36 MDF irregular shapes (with a 45° chamfer).  A fairly easy few hours work.

Slightly more tedious was cutting the astroturf from the last post.  I cut up about half the sheet, filling an ice cream container with "tufts".  That was the best part of an evening.

I then spent two evenings tiding up the cuts of the tufts and hot-gluing them onto the markers (as well as badly blistering a finger...).  That gives us this:

Miles and miles of shrubs.
Some mild concealment.  There's a 25pdr, PzIIIL and 14 of those bloody Italian 47mm guns in the photo...

A fair bit of cover!  It's about two or three markers per table alone.  I need to retrieve the old scrub markers from the club and refurbish them to add a further ten markers. 

The next stage will be to add sand and then paint.  I did consider just painting with masonry paint but the texture is perhaps a little too fine.  Sand will add some good texture for the drybrush stage.  I'll also add some green/brown "stilfor" grass tufts for variety.

Not one to waste material, I noticed that some of the MDF offcuts from making the shrub markers were of use for the "palm tree" markers.  My plan was to mount two or three trees to a base that would then sit on a larger "area marker" as seems to be the fashion these days.  I had some circular markers left from the Eastern Front hay-bails project but the offcuts were a slightly more interesting shape.
The trees have a "pin" on the bottom so I found a suitable drill bit and used the dremel to make a few holes on the base.  I then dabbed on some hot glue and slotted the trees in place, cutting off the excess length of pin.  Again, it needs sand, some paint and a drybrush, plus a few tufts of stilfor.
Some shade.  You can see the pin through the drilled hole on the right.
That used up the offcuts pretty quickly!  Still a lot more to make of those but I'm now out of hardboard/MDF!  A re-order is on the cards but I need to know if I have a tournie to terrain up first!

Finally, I stuck the telegraph poles, more hot glue, to tongue depressors.  I did consider sticking them to washers or pennies but this works for putting them snugly alongside a road or rail marker.
A lot of bandwidth...
Again, a bit of sand, paint and stilfor grass is in order to finish.  But that will, assuming the markers get spaced with a gap, give over 50" of telegraph line!  No real game effect, just adds character.

Now, just to see what Monday brings for the future of the tournament...

Found the rest of the old haystack bases.  Whilst not chamfered and more circular in nature, they are still worth using up!

More bases using some surplus circular bases I made previously.
Newer base on the right.  Slightly easier on the eye but needs must!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Desertification Pt.1

Desertification Pt.1 

With a few months to go I am being a busy beaver trying to put together terrain.
As its stands, between the club and the local payers we have about four tables worth of terrain.  that leaves a mere 8-9 tables to produce.

My aim is to produce:
  • Four tables worth of modular terrain - with set in Wadi and depressions and maybe an Oasis.
  • Enough soft sand, rocky areas, old wreckage and shrub and palm tree markers for the additional tables
  • Rocky hills and escarpments
  • A desert airfield
  • repaint the existing "green and brown" hills for the desert.
Obviously this needs to be done on a budget so It's going to be a case of build rather than buy.

The Palm Trees are one of the few things I need to but.  Thankfully E-Bay showed a  few options and I settled on a Chinese supplier netting me 200 trees (70mm high palm trees)for a mere £12.  I also bought some HO scale telegraph poles from the same supplier to add some character to the desert roads and railway.
I'll add the palm trees to an MDF mini base (think how the "battlefield in a box" works).  The telegraph poles will go on tongue depressors ala the European tree lines.  One telegraph pole 6" tongue depressor should give sufficient spacing.
Nothing like a bag of trees and poles to brighten up a work day!

Tree and telegraph pole next to 15 and 28mm DAK!
As you can see, the Telegraph pole is perhaps a touch large for 15mm but there wasn't many options.

The shrubs took a bit of pondering.  My original idea was aquarium plants but it worked out a bit costly.  Whilst strolling through the North Laines in Brighton I passed a store that has sheets of "astro-turf" on sale.  The stuff is akin to what you see in butchers and the like for putting goods on.  £11 bought me a large sheet.
It's about 2000+ clusters!  It's a lot of cutting.
I figure if I cut it into the individual "clusters" then it'll do for the waxy spinly leaf brush you get in Africa.
Cluster versus DAK.

As you can see, it's maybe a touch taller than I'd like.  But it should work fine.

The rocky and sandy areas are fairly straight forward.  Just markers which either sand of ballast glued to them.

My aim is to get these markers done by the first weekend in November to clear the way for doing all the major work - building the modular terrain and airfield.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Brighton Bash Tournament Pack

 Brighton Bash Tournament Pack
10th/11th January 2013

Welcome to the tournament pack for the 2015 Brighton Bash, hosted by the “Brighton Warlords”.
The Brighton Bash is a 1500pt, Mid War (North Africa), Axis vs Allies Tournament. 
This tournament pack will detail the rules and restrictions for the competition and provide some helpful tips on getting to Brighton.
We've got a small pool (three regular players + one non-FoW player helping with logistics) of organizers who will stay on the sidelines and act as judges and score keepers. If we have an odd number of players then one of them will give up their judging duties to even the numbers out.

First up, an important message.  We get the use of the pub's function room for free, but its under the condition that we don't bring food and drink from outside.  If you could abide by that then it would be appreciated as the last thing we want to do is lose such an excellent venue for the club and future tournaments.

The tournament has 24 places (split evenly between axis and allies).
Each player will nominate which side they wish to be on in the sign-ups.  Players who are prepared to bring both sides to help balance up in the case of drop outs would be appreciated!

  1. Armies can only be selected from the list in Appendix A. 
    Forces are restricted to match the available forces in November 1942.
  2. Warriors and other special characters (loosely defined as the guys in the bit before the army lists start proper) are NOT permitted.  Neither are Mid War Monsters
  3. Each player will use one of three army lists all generated from the same company org chart (but varying in its contents) :
A.    A 1500pt main force.
B.    A 1200pt “garrison” force for defending in a raid (derived from the same org chart as used for the main force)
C.    If using a “Raiding Force”, a 600pt “raid” force for attacking in a raid (derived from the same org chart as used for the main force).
  1. Army lists will need submitting by 24th December. Can you please make sure that each list has the player's name, army type and what book/PDF it is from. Makes life easier for the checkers.  Easy Army is appreciated but not essential.
  2. Lists should be sent to  I’m happy to check armies at any time (even pre-sign ups) in acknowledgement of the added complexity.
The Missions and Schedule
The tournament will use the following schedule.  Missions will be any in the main rule book, randomly selected.

Raiding Forces will be given two “Raid” cards (one “The Raid” and one “The Convoy”).  These can be used once in the tournament. 
The raiding player must declare that he is using the card, and which of the two cards is being used, as soon as he meets his opponent.  The players then play the mission on the card (“The Raid” or “The Convoy”)
In the event of two Raiding forces playing each other and wanting to use their cards, the players will roll-off.  The highest player uses their card, the other player keeps their own card for future use.

0900 to 0930 - Registration and House Keeping
0930 to 1200 - Game 1
1200 to 1300 - Lunch
1300 to 1530 Game 2
1600 to 1830 Game 3
1900 - Day 1 close

1000 to 1230 - Game 4
1230-1330 Lunch
1330 to 1600 Game 5
1630-1700 Prize Giving
1700 Tournament Close

One game in the tournament will be played in a sand storm.  This will be randomly selected over the course of the event.

The schedule above may be tweaked if weather requires it.

The Draw
  1. The first game draw will aim to pair up players with opponents from different clubs.
  2. There after, opponents will be selected using a modified swiss system. Highest Axis vs Highest Allied, then next vs next, and so on. There may be a small amount of shuffling to avoid rematches.
  3. The tournament will stay axis vs allies for the full duration.
The Games
  1. All missions will be played axis vs allies and have a 2.5hr duration.
  2. Once time is called, players should complete their current turn so both players have an equal number of turns.  Some extra time may be available if it would get a definitive result but this is at judge’s discretion and subject to the schedule being met.
  3. Any mission that does not reach turn 6 for both opponents will be scored as a fair fight draw, no matter the victory conditions.  Fighting Withdrawal has to be completed to get anything other than a draw. 
  4. If a player is noted as consistently failing to achieve six turns then we may look to award their opponents retrospective victories.  Blitz play (where each player has a controlled amount of time to complete a turn) may also be considered after the 2.5hr mark.
Scoring is currently being reviewed.  We are looking at a new system that would still reward the player who meets his objectives but make some acknowledgement to the opponent who makes it a costly victory (even if platoons don’t break).

The following prizes are up for grabs:
  • The “Panzer IVF2 Special prize” for best axis player
  • The “Sherman II prize” for best allied player
  • The “Carri prize” for the players' choice “most sporting player” – because you don’t use Italians if you plan to walk away with 1st general.
  • The “Honey Stuart” for the player's choice “best presented force” –because Stuarts in Caunter scheme are dead sexy.
Getting to the Venue and Hotels
The King and Queen pub is in the center of Brighton.  For those with GPS/Google maps, the post code is BN1 1UB. 
Parking in Brighton is a bit of a nightmare.  There is an all day car park in the New England quarter, about 20 minutes walk from the pub that is approx £6-7 for 12hrs parking and probably the best value but doesn't appear to exist on any map.  On the Sunday, there is some free parking across from the pub.  There is no parking at the venue itself.

The pub is also a short walk from both Brighton Coach Station and Brighton Train Station.

There are numerous budget hotels nearby.  Premier Inn is the closest but there is also a Travel Lodge in the town centre.

TBC - it'd be good to organize something for the Saturday evening. Let me know if your interested.

I've set up an e-mail address for the event -
Drop me a line here if you have any questions on the above, getting a hotel, etc or want to submit interest without being a forum member.

Appendix A – Allowed Forces

Monday, 8 September 2014

Italian Force Restrictions


The Italians fight to protect their colonial holdings in Libya

From North Africa
  • Compagnia Carri - no limitations (German Allies are subject to the limitations in the German section)
  • Battaglione Bersalieri - no limitations(German Allies are subject to the limitations in the German section)
  • Squadrone Eslorante - no limitations(German Allies are subject to the limitations in the German section)
  • Battaglione Fucilieri - no limitations(German Allies are subject to the limitations in the German section)
  • Compagni Paracadutsti - no limitations(German Allies are subject to the limitations in the German section)
  • Battaglione Fucilieri, Tunisia and Sicily - no access to units listed below.
    • Renault tank platoon
    • Self propelled 90/53 Platoon
From Burning Empires
  • Compagnia AutoSahariana - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options
  • Compagnia Mitraglieri - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options
  • Note – the Arditi Camionettisti are being reviewed as acceptable (20/10/14)

USA Force Restrictions

The United States of America

The USA has entered the war and Tunisia will be their first taste of combat.

From North Africa
US Forces - all forces can be used from North Africa.


  • No force can take Parachute Rifle Platoons in support. They appear to have been fairly self contained as a raiding force.
  • No force can use M4 Sherman (all variants – the brits got them!),
  • No force can use the M5 Stuart (the M3 is fine though)
  • No force can use the M10 Tank Destroyer (the other two types are fine through)
    • All of the above did not arrive until 1943 so are outside the scope of this tournament.
  • The OSS from Burning Empires can not be taken as it was not in service until Italy.

British Empire (and Free French) Force Restrictions

British Empire (and Free French)

After the swirling fights of the previous years, the desert veterans of the Eighth Army are finally starting to push the German and Italian forces out of Egypt.  Meanwhile, First Army has arrived to start the encirclement from the west with the American allies.

Anything from the "British in Africa" intelligence briefing with limitations listed below:
  • Heavy Armoured Squadron (Africa)
  • Light Armoured Squadron (Africa)
  • Infantry Tank Company (Africa)
  • Motor Company (Africa)
  • Rifle Company (Africa)
  • Divisional Cavalry Squadron (Africa)
  • Armoured Car Squadron (Africa)

  • Anti-Tank Platoons may not take 6pdr (this does not apply to Motor Anti-Tank or Anti-Tank Platoon, Royal Artillery) – The Infantry did not start getting them till late in Tunisa.
  • Anti-Tank Platoon, Royal Artillery may not take 17/25pdr anti-tank guns.
Anything from the "British in Tunisia" intelligence briefing with limitations listed below:
  • Death or Glory Squadron (Tunisia)
  • Motor Company (Tunisia)
  • Rifle Company (Tunisia)
  • Armoured Car Squadron (Tunisia)
  • Recce Squadron (Tunisia)
  • Commando (Tunisia)
  • Parachute Company (Tunisia)
  • Death or Glory Squadron may not take Lee HQ tanks
  • Anti-Tank Platoons may not take 6pdr (this does not apply to Motor Anti-Tank or Anti-Tank Platoon, Royal Artillery) – The Infantry did not start getting them till late in Tunisa.
  • Anti-Tank Platoon, Royal Artillery may not take 17/25pdr anti-tank guns.
  • Note, Death or Glory have not gained their Shermans so no Armoured Squadron (Tunisia) are available, nor "Armoured Platoons" as support.  
Similarly the Churchill Tank has yet to arrive so no Infantry Tank Company (Tunisia) or Infantry Tank Platoon as support.  (King Force in North Africa is fine though)

From Burning Empires:
  • LRDG Patrol - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options
  • SAS Patrol - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options (only applies to any supporting LRDG really)
  • Sudan Rifle Company - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options (only applies to any supporting LRDG really)
 There are no relevant PDF lists.

For the sake of completeness, the following Free French forces can be used from Burning Empires:

  • Compagnie de Tirailleurs Senegals - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or "M" options, so no Laffly S15TOE
  • Compagnie Decouverte de Combat - no "E" options allowed, only "E/M" or"M" options, so no Laffly S15TOE, or LRDG early war options.