Assyrian army

Assyrian army

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Dixon Miniatures. Early Dixon Miniatures.

As in, very early Dixon Miniatures.

Must have been 1976? - I was sorting trade stands for the Regional Finals to the National Wargames Championships in Liverpool when a couple of the committee came up to me and said something along the lines of 'Hey Rob, have we any space left? There's a kid just started making figures and he wants a stand. He's just 17 but his figures are brilliant.'

So I booked Trevor Dixon into his first convention and LWA members always called him 'The Kid' - at least, all the time I was there. I mean, I was an old 24 at the time!

Anyway, I bought a load of Mongols and Korean auxiliaries but could never really work out how to paint them. Doing a bit of sorting at the moment and came across a few of the cavalry so... here are some of the first ever production figures by Dixon Miniatures.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The continuing battle

Trouble with covering 3 moves is that things start getting complicated. So, mostly letting the pictures tell the story.
Overview as left two swarms continue their advance. Both swarms kept 'passing' morale tests and wouldn't stop.

Right flank swarm did retreat back to their saucer after getting hammered.

More from the Martian left flank...

Tanks passing burning war machines

Another overview picture as things get serious.

Starting to form a new line.

This bit caught me out a bit - hadn't sorted rules for taking out saucers. Finally decided on 5 or 6 to hit, but with 3 or more saving throw when it tried to take off - it survived and eventually left.

Getting very close up and personal. The battle certainly finished up at close quarters - which tends to favour the swarms.

Last of the Martians finally die (apart from the one that ran...)

Casualty list. Actually one too many tanks here - an intact vehicle was put in the photo by mistake! More human casualties then I would normally expect - dice rolls and the effect of starting in quite close so that the Martians didn't take as many casualties while out of range. All three saucers got away safely though one was damaged.

The Martians Phase 2

Phase 2 sounds less like a game and more like a 'real' battle...

Overview of second move before shooting starts. Being a solo battle the swarms movements have to be determined by a set formula - in this case, nearest enemy to take priority. Hence the middle swarm heads for their left flank rather than into the city. Meanwhile the human forces are taking up positions to meet the various threats.

Again, shooting priorities - shooting will concentrate on that front tank!

Meanwhile the Martian right flank swarm charges headlong towards the city - but shorter ranged weapons mean they will be receiving fire without being able to return fire for this move.

This time the missile barrage works, taking out 3 war machines. The tanks score a further 2 kills but...which ones the missiles kill is based on a dice roll - dice roll for every machine, lowest scores are the kills, in this case meant one war machine was killed twice! (ie, once by tank, once by missiles)

Meanwhile, all the machines concentrate on one of the tanks and it 'dies' 3 times. A lot of the swarm shots 'missed'. 1 war machine is killed by the tanks and another is taken out by the tanks advancing down the road.

 So, interesting how the rules are working at the moment - basically, against swarms missile barrage best tactic, swarm tactic mechanism also seems to be working as planned. Looking promising.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018


Just a quick interim post as I sort out the photos for round 2.

One thing I decided on quite early was that this rule set would involve lots of shooting and dice roles. That being the case I thought -need more dice. So bought this lot of 50 off eBay for £2.93.

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Martians start their attack.

Basically they just charge for the nearest humans...

The initial landing sites were very close to the outer defences of the humans.

This picture shows the Martian charge as the three swarms head for their targets.

The Martian right flank soon swarmed round the exposed human defences in this area... fire support from advancing tanks and artillery were never likely to help here!
They didn't really stand much chance...

Humans on the Martian left likewise soon got in close as the gravtanks turned to meet the threat.

One problem the humans had - lousy shooting (dice rolls). Loss of two infantry sections while the Martians suffered little in return.

Apart from poor shooting by the human forces this section of the game worked well. Starting close in, the Martian swarms meant lots of firepower on only a few targets so they were certain to cause major human casualties. Having said that, they should have taken far more casualties in reply... however, the next stage should show the weakness of the Martians. Light armour and short ranged weapons against heavy armour and long ranged weapons. It will take the Martians three moves to reach the next line, two moves before their weapons are in range - all the time while taking fire.

A short note on how 'lucky' the swarms were. I treat missile barrages from the support missile launchers quite simply - everything in the zone is hit on a dice roll of 6. For infantry and light armour there is no saving throw. So, firing on a swarm of 6 Martian war machines with 3 missile launchers gives 3 x 6 or 18 chances of a 6 - on average, 3 machines should have gone up in smoke. They lost 1! And it was like that across the board!

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Martians are coming....

At least, they could be Martians and, well, there's not really a lot of them, more of a recon rather than a full,scale invasion...

And it gives me a chance to set up a totally unrealistic city as well as giving those flying saucers a run out.

So firstly set up a 'city', then gave it a garrison. Basically an armoured battalion, infantry battalion and supports. Except that I haven't finished painting the infantry so they've been represented by light GEVs. Which is why they are sitting on the top of skyscrapers.

The Martians started off with 6 saucers. Dice roll of 3 or more for each saucer to 'arrive' meant should average 4 arriving, 3 did. It's assumed the others were shot down or something. Originally I was going to have them arrive randomly over the whole table but decided later on to just have them arrive on the front  - two stage method, 1,2 left of board, 3,4 middle, 5,6 right for each group of 2 saucers (one group didn't arrive!) then split that segment into 6 to see where in each segment they landed.
Overview of the table - the blue saucer is just off picture on the bottom right side.

Main initial battle area showing where the saucers landed in relation to the first line. I will dice to see where that second  green swarm attacks - follow friends or head for the tanks.

Not sure that this infantry squad is happy about the landing site...

This one should be interesting.

View of the second/main line - doubt that they will see much action...

6mm Flying Saucers

Picked up from the Range. 60mm diameter, cost £1.49 each. So the rockets I have are pens, the flying saucers are pencil sharpeners...

Love office supplies.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Rather old 5/6mm WW2

Or 1/300th or something.

There is more of this stuff lying around somewhere, like infantry, artillery and Russians, just not easy to get to. No idea who made any of this stuff...

Some of it is looking it's age.

British and American. These are plain green but there were lots painted a bit more ambitiously.

Germans showing early use of a 3 colour paint scheme by me.

Easy to give a rough date for these. Back then I worked as a Research Chemist and did a lot of TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography). The plates for this came in just the right size boxes. I left there in 1981...

The Panthers are finished

Had about a three week period of no painting done, period over and I got the Panthers finished.

Which is all I can say really. Except for the usual - wargames figures, not expert or painting competition standard, plus paint scheme not guaranteed authentic.

Monday, 9 July 2018

An annoying 'feature' of Windows 10

Trying to set up the Guest account. Guest is one of the accounts that is 'built in' - it's quite simple to set it up, no issues there, except...

It doesn't work.

You can't actually get it to open... start up the laptop and you always finish up with your original account to login and no other options.

I just want to be able to do what I have been able to do with every previous version of Windows... have 2 accounts, one for me, one for Guests. Not setting up a named account (haven't tried it but seems you can do that using their email address. Don't want to go through some backhanded rigmarole or workaround. Just want it to load up the changes to allow me the option of using the Guest account I have set up and assigned a password to.

Come on Microsoft. Is it really that difficult to sort?